Chapter 1: Járnsaxa
Járnsaxa smiled at the babe in Angrboða’s arms. The baby’s brow furrowed as he stared up at her, an intense look of concentration crossing his face. She offered him a finger; the baby grabbed it and pulled it into his mouth. She laughed. Angrboða smiled at her. “He is strong!” she said in joy, the baby sucked on her finger and kept looking at her.
“Aye, much like his father.” Angrboða said and gently took the finger out of the baby’s mouth. He started to fuss; she took him to her breast.
“Have you named him yet?”
“No, I will wait for Loki’s return before I do so.”
“If he does not?”
“He will.” Járnsaxa nodded and ran her hand along the small blue arm. “It is good that Loki’s heritage is known or else I would have been accused of impropriety from his appearance.” Angrboða said.“However he changes when in the company of the As and looks much like Loki did so perhaps not.”
“I still believe you should name him, Loki may never return. He has shunned the name of Odin.” Járnsaxa said.
“I can only hope for the best.” Angrboða replied. “We will be going to Midgard soon. I had hoped to see him when Thor brought him back and tell him news of his son but he escaped before I even knew he had returned. Sigyn believes I should name him as well as does the Allfather but I feel as though that would be admitting that my husband is forever lost to us.” Járnsaxa nodded. Angrboða stared at her. “Is it true? That Thor wishes to bring in another wife into your fold?”
“Yes, the Lady Jane.”
“Yes.” Járnsaxa replied testily. “Love blooms everywhere except my chambers.”
“He cares for you.”
“Cares, yes, but love? I have been wed to him for nearly a millennia and I know nothing more from him but his slightest of affections. Yet here this mortal has claimed his heart in less than a decade. How am I not to feel but slighted? Have I not been a good wife? Have I not stayed and not returned to the land of my ancestors, the home of my father, unlike his own mother? The other wives of Odin?” She snarled.
“Peace, sister.” Angrboða soothed.
“I will not. I have been silent far too long. I said nothing when he slighted our people or during the coronation when two of our kind were slaughtered like lambs by the Destroyer, much less when he swore to destroy all our kind! I will rage at him and be heard but he is not even here! He is never here.”
“You are a good wife, a dear friend, and much wanted sister to me.” Járnsaxa stayed silent. “Have you told the Allfather of your feelings?”
“Yes but I am spoken to like a child.” She sighed. “It was so lonely without you here. The court shunned me and my own husband barely saw me. The Allmother would speak to me but seldom.”
“What of the Lady Sif? Surely she spoke to you. Sigyn and I get along well and share a wing.”
“Sif is far too busy with training and her duties at court. She does not slight me at least, but we hardly see each other as it is. Now that Thor is gone, that time has dropped off even more. It hardly appears as though she is Thor's wife, unlike myself.” She sighed. “Perhaps I should return to Jotunheim, I would at least then be among our people.”
“I would like it if you stayed.” Angrboða replied. “I am hardly having a pleasant time as it is after bearing Loki’s son.” She said as she rocked the now sleeping child in her arms. “I am the Jotun wife to the traitor of a Jotun Prince. If I am fortunate he will be found mad.”
“You could come with me.”
“I cannot leave this court with my son. Perhaps if I had left while I yet carried him…but not now. The King has presented him at court. I am tied here for a little longer while he still needs me.”
“You could visit.”
“It is true but I would not feel like his mother then and what of Sigyn? She has never been cruel to me and faces the same harrows as I. There have been calls from her family to leave this house and renounce Loki as a husband. If I left her to raise my son it would be unfair and if she leaves then what? Who will look out for him?”
“The Allmother will.”
“Perhaps, or he will live in a nursery until he is old enough for tutors and taught to hate our kind.” She shook her head. “No, I will stay here until he is of age. As I stated Sigyn and I plan to visit Midgard soon, to inform Loki of his son and beg him to return if not as the son of Odin then as our husband.”
“If he does not? If he casts you out and rejects the boy?”
“Then I will leave when our son no longer needs me and encourage Sigyn to do the same.” Angrboða said solemnly.
“Thor has spoken to us about the Lady Jane.” Járnsaxa said. “He wishes for us to speak to her about an Asgardian marriage. It is uncommon for mortals to have more than one spouse now, and illegal in her land of birth.” She shook her head. “Mortals are odd creatures.”
“Will you encourage her to wed him?”
“Aye, for all I have said against this and him it is not unpleasant to be wed to Thor. It is only as of late that things have become so sour.” Járnsaxa said. Angrboða nodded. “If she does not warrant an apple then her time will be gone in the blink of an eye as well, Thor may not love me but I will not deny him the opportunity.”
“Perhaps he does love you.” Angrboða said.
“But it would be nice.”
“Only if I loved him back.” Angrboða was silent and rocked the baby.
Járnsaxa did not reply.
Chapter 2: Angrboða
Angrboða resisted the urge to pull the cloak over her head as they walked toward the Bifrost. The bridge still needed extensive repair but Heimdall still used the location to send people off to their destinations across the realms with the Tesseract. It had been a while since she had left the palace grounds. She had forgotten how intense the stares could be.
Járnsaxa appeared unconcerned. She walked tall and proud alongside her. She dressed in a mixture of Asgardian and Jotnar fashions. Sigyn walked next to her in a travelling gown, having a distaste for breeches and tunics. Her red hair was bound in a simple bun after the baby had started reaching for it. Sif walked tall and proud in her armor. She felt distinctly underdressed.
Heimdall did not turn toward them when they approached but Angrboða knew better than to assume he did not see them. “Greetings, sister.” Heimdall called when they were a few steps away. Sif smiled.
“Brother.” Heimdall’s gaze moved to them. “We wish to go to Midgard.” He turned and looked at Angrboða and Sigyn. “Yes, we seek Loki.”
Angrboða worked not to fidget or to take her son and hide him under her cloak. “It is our hope, nothing more.” She heard Sigyn say next to her.
“I do not doubt it.” Heimdall replied then looked at Sif. An entire conversation passed between them in that stare. He nodded and bade them to stand together. “You will land in a mortal park. It would be best to wait for Thor and his Avengers to arrive lest the mortal authorities panic and attack you before you may speak with them.”
“They’re mortal.” Sif said, unsure as to why her brother was suggesting they wait.
“It would merely be inconvenient.” Sif nodded. “Brace yourselves.” Then the world vanished. Angrboða blinked and found herself looking at a clearing of trees, her son was crying in Sigyn’s arms. She reached over for him. Sigyn passed him to her. Sif led them to a path where a running mortal spotted them and gasped. He froze.
Sif smiled. “Greetings mortal.” The mortal ran. “I suppose this is where we wait now.” She motioned for them to a bit down the pathway toward a couple of benches. Angrboða sat down and soothed her son. Járnsaxa scouted the perimeter, her face showing faint traces of disgust.
“This place smells foul.”
“It is their vehicles.” Sif said. “It was not as strong in the last village I had been to but here there are far more people and as such far more vehicles. Not to mention waste and miscellaneous detritus.” Sif took a seat next to Sigyn who was working minor magics to pass the time. “Sit.”
“I will stand.” Járnsaxa replied.
“As you wish.” Sif said and kept alert.
“Is Thor with his mortal?” Járnsaxa asked.
“I know not. Thor should be in this city, otherwise Heimdall would not have placed us here.”
Almost half an hour passed before they spotted a series of mortals aiming their weapons at them from a perimeter. “Admirable although they would not withstand a full assault for very long.”
“I believe it is merely cautionary.” Sigyn said, letting her magics die. Angrboða wondered what little spell she weaved. Was it one for comfort, warmth or cooling? She did not often practice larger crafts.
“It is making me unnerved.” Angrboða said. “They may not be able to harm us with those weapons as they would like but it will still hurt and I have a son to protect as well.” Sif laughed.
“Are you certain you are not a god of the hearth rather than one of nature?” Angrboða glared at her.
“Are you not one of war?” Sif smiled cruelly.
“I would have no qualms against sliding my swords into the bellies of those mortals and watching them squirm like skewered beasts save for the fact that I am sound of mind and they have caused us no offense.”
“And yet it is that bloodlust that you and Thor share that started this entire debacle to begin with. Had he any reason and you done your part to temper it then we would not need to seek him out in Midgard.” Járnsaxa said.
Sif glared. “I hardly remember you there or did you merely come to your conclusion from the court gossip?” Járnsaxa crossed her arms.
“I am not so simple minded. I know you and Thor.” She replied haughtily. “And if you find offense in my statements I will spar with you upon our return or do you forget I am no simple maiden as well?”
“This is hardly my fault or Thor’s, we were lured there and manipulated by Loki’s trickery.”
“May we not speak ill of my husband?” Sigyn asked. “I know you have reason to hate him but a little respite from such antagonism would very much be welcomed.”
Angrboða said nothing and rocked her son who was looking up at the sky with curiosity as the mortal crafts flew over them. “I will say nothing more here.” Sif replied evenly. Járnsaxa nodded as well. Angrboða smiled as he pointed to one then looked at her.
“Yes, my beloved, I see it too.” She said. The boy went back to watching. “Do you remember when I first married Loki? We all had a very nice time at my welcoming ceremony. I wonder if it will be so with the Lady Jane. I would very much like to have that again. ”
“I believe her title is that of Doctor.” Sif said. “It is a qualification that she earned rather than inherited.”
“Well is it not out of courtesy that she is called so?” Angrboða asked. “I mean half the ladies at court are not noble and while I am oft called Lady Angrboða you know I have not a drop of noble blood in me.”
“You have gained the title in marriage.” Sif replied.
“Do the mortals still have ladies?” Angrboða asked. “I have neglected to keep up with their politics in the last few hundred years.”
“Some may.” Sigyn said and stood as she saw something above. “I believe Thor is here.” Angrboða stood as did Sif. Járnsaxa uncrossed her arms.
It took several more minutes but the line of mortal authorities parted to reveal Thor with a man in blue and a suited mortal. Thor looked surprised at seeing them then smiled. He dropped his hammer and bounded toward them.
“Sisters!” He greeted. “Wife, Sif.” Járnsaxa glared. Thor sighed and amended himself. “Járnsaxa.” She nodded though made no move to embrace him as the others did. Her eyes did not leave the approaching mortals. Her lips quirked when she saw a mortal attempt to lift the hammer,it did not budge.
“Thor, care to introduce us?”
“Of course, Coulson.” He waved at them. “These are Ladies Járnsaxa and Angrboða of Jotunheim. This is Lady Sigyn, and Lady Sif, my shieldsister.”
“It sounds almost incestuous when you say it like that.” Sigyn said in an absentminded fashion. Thor glared at her. She smiled innocuously
“And whose this little man?” The blue dressed man asked as he saw the babe looking at him wide eyed. Thor smiled.
“My nephew.” He looked at Angrboða. She shook her head. “Angrboðajarsson.”
“Lokasson.” Angrboða corrected.
“Both are true.” Sigyn added as the man looked confused.
“He doesn’t have a name Captain.” Coulson said. “Thor is simply stating that he is Ms. Angrboða’s son while Ms. Angrboða is informing us that he is Loki’s son.”
“Oh. Wait, Loki’s son?”
“Yes.” Thor said daring them to say anything. “I believe we should speak in private regarding their stay on Midgard. I can assure you no harm will come about from any of them.”
“Alright, let’s bring them in.” Coulson said and relayed their intentions to the mortals and others. Angrboða looked at the mortal suspiciously when he kept cooing at her son. The child was laughing at him and looking at him as if he were the most fascinating thing in the world.
The blue dressed man smiled at her. “Ma’am, I’m Steve Rogers. Please to meet you.”
Angrboða nodded. “Likewise mortal.”
Thor was silent but kept glancing around them. “Who is he looking for?”
“Loki.” Angrboða said with bated breath. “Perhaps he sees us. I can only hope so.” The mortal frowned, Angrboða spoke softly. “He has not always been like this, Captain Rogers. Once he was a good man, I refuse to believe otherwise. While it will not forgive any wrongs he has done, I hope that meeting his son will help bring him back from the path he is currently on.”
Rogers nodded and looked at her son with a sterner glance. Angrboða drew him under her cloak. Mortals gawked at them and her height. She was not the largest of Jotnar but she still towered over them. Not to even mention that Járnsaxa was taller than her by at least a foot. A mortal dressed in red and gold raised his brow upon seeing her and her son. She heard the words. “…blue and tall!” as they were led into a vehicle for transport.
Before they arrived to the large vehicle a slender female mortal walked toward them and smiled. “Sif, it’s good to see you again.” Sif smiled at her and Thor moved to kiss her cheek. Járnsaxa’s eyes hardened. It would seem this was the good Lady Jane.
Chapter 3: Sif
“Jane, it is good to see you again.” Sif said as they were led the final few feet to the trucks. “Thor has told us about you.” Jane smiled, looking quite pleased. Thor gave her an encouraging smile. “Perhaps we would be able to speak with each other? You can tell me if he behaves the same here as he does in Asgard, if not better.” Jane laughed.
“If we have time. Maybe I’ll see you in the Tower? It depends on how long you’re staying of course.” Sif nodded. She glanced at Járnsaxa who was looking at the contemplatively.
“Have you met Járnsaxa?” Sif asked although she knew the answer.
“No.” Jane offered her hand. “Hello, I’m Doctor Jane Foster.”
“Lady Járnsaxa of Jotunheim.” She returned, gently shaking her hand. Járnsaxa was quite tall although quite slim and feminine; nonetheless there were times Sif wondered how she and Thor had comfortably consummated the marriage or how Jotunheim accommodated for all their various citizens who ranged from Loki’s height to giants as tall as houses.
Of course Yggdrasil had far more perplexing mysteries hidden in its branches. For one she still wasn’t sure how her brother’s mothers and their father had conceived him. Or why Volstagg was not the size of a house for all that he ate–––Once she had wondered the same for Loki but understood his appetite a result of his heritage and magic. Or why she never looked good in that Vanir gown that had been gifted to her for her coming of age ceremony.
The doors to the truck opened. Angrboða entered with the baby first, followed closely by Sigyn, who folded the skirt of her gown beneath her. Sif followed their progress closely. She knew the marriage between those two and Loki was a fairly successful one as far as arranged marriages went.
Angrboða though sweet and almost naïve in her conduct was far cleverer than she let on and fairly intelligent. Although she did not come at her enemies with a dagger from the shadows she could navigate the courtly politics fairly well despite her disadvantages. It was fortunate she preferred her quiet rooms to the grand halls.
As for Sigyn, Sif knew exactly why she and Loki got along well. Loki was a snake in the open. Sigyn was the spider hidden in the flowers. She was beautiful, powerful, and unexpectedly deadly. Sif knew at least three mysterious deaths at court that she suspected belonged to Sigyn but could not be proven. Sigyn was also loyal to her husband to a fault.
She did not know if there was any love between the three. Gazing at the happy babe she suspected it to be true. Of course there was the matter of Loki’s attempted destruction of Jotunheim––had he merely forgotten that his wife and sister hailed from the realm? Had he not cared? Had they been on Jotuneheim would he view their deaths as unfortunate casualties or necessities?
She entered the truck and sat in one of the seats. Thor entered next, Lady Jane and Járnsaxa entered at the same time. Lady Jane aimed at the seat next to Thor; Járnsaxa cut her off in a swift and graceful movement. She folded herself into the spot as if it were not at all uncomfortable. Lady Jane frowned and appeared puzzled. Nonetheless she sat next to Sigyn who spared her but a minor glance, fixing her dark red hair into a far more presentable style.
Thor glanced angrily at Járnsaxa who returned his gaze coolly. Sif felt a wave of irritation. Thor may be their prince yet and husband but that did not give him right to mistreat Járnsaxa as such. She swiftly grabbed his hand and glanced at him, then at Jane, and Járnsaxa whatever he saw in her gaze chastised him for he bowed his head. Járnsaxa nodded at her in thanks.
Sif returned her gaze to the last mortals who had entered the vehicle with them. One was the man known as Coulson and the other was the man who had been in the red-gold armor, which now appeared to be at his side in a small case. He must be the man of iron Thor often talked about.
Coulson smiled politely at her when he caught her gaze, the other mortal smiled at her brightly and waved. “Hi, I’m Tony Stark. I’m Iron Man.”
“I am Lady Sif.” She introduced herself. He grinned wider at her. “Thor has told me much about you and your armor.”
“Really what did he say?”
“That you are a fine warrior and smith.”
“Is that all he had to say? I’m hurt. Hurt and shocked.” He placed his hands on his chest. “Although that could just be the fact that I’m sitting next to the god of thunder.” Sif smiled. He smirked. “I mean I’m also a genius, billionaire philanthropist and one of the closest things America has to royalty. I used to say playboy but I’m in a committed relationship now and my PR department said I have to be careful about how I introduce myself. How am I doing? They said I should aim at humble but don’t think I’m quite getting it.”
Sif couldn’t help but laugh at the curious mortal, nor could the other women from the sounds of it. She saw Coulson mutter something she could not quite hear over her laughter to him and Stark waved him off. Thor just looked amused, no doubt just use to odd sense of humor.
Mortals were quite amusing. Lady Jane looked amused as well but a device in her hand quickly took her attention. She saw a series of images and text on the screen shift and change; occasionally she would reply by typing on the same screen. Mortals were utterly fascinating in the way they changed and adapted. Perhaps she could be able to investigate some of the Midgardian technology during her stay.
She felt shamefully ignorant of the current state of Midgardian affairs and wanted to catch up as quickly as she could. If she were to be Queen or even just a lady at the court of Asgard to the royal family she had to be knowledgeable of all the realms and their people. She glanced at the others and saw that they were not at all curious.
Perhaps Járnsaxa and Angrboða were not as ignorant as she, the jotnar were drawn to knowledge like flies to honey. It had not surprised her to learn that Loki knew more about mortal dress than Thor had or its devices when she had heard of his conduct on Midgard after the Chitaurri invasion. She knew not of Sigyn but the woman would not admit a disadvantage such as ignorance.
The ride continued in idle talk. Thor smiled at their nephew a few times when he reached out to him but couldn’t take him. After nearly ten minutes into the ride and the baby almost upending himself from Angrboða’s lap to get a look at the passing scenery, Thor laughed.
“You will have your hands full when he starts learning magic. If he’s already this curious you will not get him out of the libraries when the time comes.” Sigyn snickered.
“I only hope he knows when to take out his nose from a tome when needed; do you remember Loki almost missed the wedding because he was too engrossed in a book?” They all laughed, save the mortals. Jane looked at Stark as if he had any clue what they were talking about. Stark just shrugged.
Járnsaxa gazed at the child a few times in a manner that was far from casual when she believed on one to be paying her any attention. Sif wondered if Járnsaxa wanted children or merely missed Jotunheim, the child changed appearances depending on what company surrounded him.
“So the little guy’s Loki’s son?” Stark asked.
“Yes.” Angrboða said. “Will that be a problem?”
“Hey, I’m just asking. I have nothing against the little guy. Sins of the father and all that.”
“Stark, that quote refers to the sins of the father falling back onto the children.” Coulson replied.
“Oh that’s not what I meant. I could have sworn it meant the opposite. Guess people don’t use it right, like the word decimate. It drives Rhodey up the wall when people use it incorrectly.”
“Meaning you do it whenever you remember?”
“Of course, I’m his best friend. It’s my duty.” Stark replied seriously. “Right after friendship rings and half heart necklaces.”
“I do not understand.” Angrboða said.
“It’s a paraphrased quote from the Christian Bible, a religious text.” Coulson replied.
“Does this mean you will not harm my son?” Angrboða asked sounding confused.
“It is not SHIELD’s policy to harm innocents, ma’am or children.” Angrboða nodded. Sif gave her a glance, unsure if she was honestly confused or acting it.
“So, on that note. Why are you two ladies blue and you two not?” Stark asked again.
“Angrboða and Járnsaxa hail from Jotunheim.” Thor answered. “They are jotnar. Sif and Sigyn are from Asgard, as myself.”
“Loki introduced himself of Asgard, does that mean he’s from there too?”
“Loki is jotnar.” Thor replied. “But of Asgard and the House of Odin.”
“So why isn’t Loki or the little guy there blue?”
“They change appearances, my son more at will than Loki.” Angrboða replied. “I have never known Loki as anything but as you saw him. However my son may change if it suits him.”
“Angrboða do not tell the mortals what they need not know.” Sigyn hissed.
“It is not as if they may not see it, and I am proud of my heritage, which is the same as my son’s. I will not hide it.” Angrboða said. Sif glanced at Thor and saw him clench his jaw. Járnsaxa said nothing but studied Thor. Sif again wondered what she was thinking.
They came into the SHIELD underground parking garage and the group quieted. The back doors opened. Thor stood up and helped Járnsaxa up and out. Járnsaxa thanked him and Thor returned to help Angrboða out, who was having trouble as the baby had begun to fuss.
“Is he alright?” Thor asked.
“He is hungry.” She told. Thor nodded.
“You will be able to feed him soon, Ms. Angrboða.” Coulson told her. “Does he need any special foods? Do you?”
“He still nurses.” She informed him. “I will be fine on mortal fare.”
“Do you require a special room?”
“Just where I may have privacy, if you would not mind.” Coulson nodded.
“Thank you Coulson.” Thor said. “Now, if we may convene where we may talk?” Coulson nodded. “Thank you.”
The baby began to cry now. Angrboða rocked him, looking vaguely embarrassed about it. Jane left with the rest of the SHIELD scientists. Sif saw Járnsaxa mutter something to Thor. “Do we need to do it now?” Thor asked her, quietly. Járnsaxa nodded. Sif glanced at the mortals. They looked concerned. So they were not using the Allspeak at the moment.
“Coulson, may I have a moment to speak with Járnsaxa in private? It will be a moment, then we may continue to the debriefing.” Thor said. Now Sif was terribly curious. Coulson looked a bit annoyed, but nodded. “You can have that room.” He said pointing to a room in the hall they were passing.
“I am afraid I will need something more private.” Thor replied. The room had a window into the hall. “This one perhaps?” Thor asked. Coulson frowned but nodded. The room was an office, empty of its occupant. “Thank you.”
Járnsaxa squeezed past the doorway and Thor followed. Sif stood outside ready to intervene if the mortals tried to follow. The door closed. For a moment all she heard was the soft murmur of their voices. Suddenly Járnsaxa said something. Thor’s voice came after a moment, urgent. Járnsaxa answered swiftly. Again, Thor asked something in the same tone. Járnsaxa answered. Suddenly Thor gave a shout and Járnsaxa let out a startled yell.
Furniture over turned. Sif slipped into the room quickly, closing and opening the door too quickly for the mortals to see into the room. She didn’t know what to expect, almost half fearing that Thor had struck Járnsaxa. She did not expect to find them kissing. Or rather Thor kissing Járnsaxa with a hand over her belly.
Thor glanced at her then smiled. He went to her and kissed her excitedly. Sif glanced at her fellow wife and looked at her coolly. Járnsaxa had played an important card now in this game but was holding something back. She was too smart to compromise a large at tool as this.
Perhaps she did not wish for Thor to marry Lady Jane. But given the state of her and Thor’s relationship she wasn’t certain. No, it had to be more complicated than that. Járnsaxa was up to something.
Chapter 4: Járnsaxa
Járnsaxa watched with displeasure as Thor kissed Sif. While she had not expected such an enthusiastic reaction from her revelation, the surprise quickly soured when Thor kissed Sif. Sif glanced at her, Járnsaxa looked back at her easily. Her mother and father had brought her up well, to be a nobleman’s wife.
“Thora Thorsdottir.” Thor murmured after he pulled away. Sif laughed. Járnsaxa did not hide her expression then.
“No.” Járnsaxa replied seriously.
“Better.” Sif said. “But perhaps we should wait until she or he is born for a name.”
“I have names. We will discuss them later. For now we should proceed to the meeting.” Járnsaxa said.
“Yes… Thor Thorson.” Thor said distractedly.
“I will bludgeon you before the birth if you do not cease!” Járnsaxa said. Sif laughed and the three exited the room. Thor smiled at her, the familiar smile that made her think of roses. Angrboða looked at them curiously. She must have fed the baby while they were in the room because Sigyn carried him, asleep.
Járnsaxa made no show of what they may have spoken about, or Thor out of respect. It was Jotnar custom that a mother alone should announce the child’s presence before birth, and if that moment was until the actual birth then so be it. Sif said nothing. The mortals were still there, guarding them or rather the rest of the mortals from any danger they may pose.
The man known as Coulson smiled at them, looking unfazed, and directed them to a boardroom a few halls down. Járnsaxa had to maneuver under a few doorways a bit more acrobatically than she had anticipated. The hallways were tall enough for her to walk through comfortably but the doorways were the tricky part.
She made no mention of it as she slipped into the boardroom because Thor would no doubt knock out the wall above the doorway to allow her through easier. Járnsaxa gazed around the room. There were enough seats for everyone there, mortal and god alike, but there was nothing that could seat her comfortably.
Thor must have realized the same because his mouth tightened into a thin line before he asked her if she needed to sit down. She chose to stand. A dark skinned one-eyed mortal glanced at her with disapproving eyes. For a moment she felt as if he could assess her very soul and knew it was a trick he had learned. Were she human she might reveal something to him but he knew not anything of the jotnar and their ways.
A thought struck her and she could not help but laugh. Angrboða looked at her. “The All-Seer and the King – their mortal child is revealed!” She said in their native tongue as she indicated the man. Angrboða laughed. Thor snickered. Sigyn smiled covertly behind her hand. Sif glared at her. The baby whined and she felt herself chastised. Angrboða took him from Sigyn’s arms and rocked him.
“Do you have something to share?” He asked.
“A joke.” Sif replied. “You needn’t worry.”
“Right, now if we may start.” Introductions were quickly made. Járnsaxa was starting to grow tired of introducing herself. The man was known as Fury and was the leader of the organization that Thor worked with.
“You arrived at approximately 11:53 this morning by our instruments reading of the Tesseract’s energy signature. A jogger alerted authorities to your presence shortly after. It took them fifteen minutes to respond. After ascertaining that you were not immediately hostile they police established a perimeter around you. We gave Thor a description of you and he immediately identified you two as frost giants, which he identified as hostile.
“Now I find out your are family? Which is it, Thor?”
“Both, I am afraid. Jotunheim and Asgard have been at war more than once in their long history and hostilities have remained during times of peace. Nonetheless, trade and travel facilitated peaceful and necessary encounters between our people. A few jotnar live in Asgard and the other realms, as do those who hail from Asgard.” Thor replied.
“Are Angrboða and Járnsaxa immigrants then?” The mortal Banner asked.
“Which is where our next topic comes in. You want to find, Loki. Why do you want to and why should we let you?” Járnsaxa felt her hackles rise. How dare this mortal-?
“My son knows not his father. I hope to speak with Loki about it and other subjects related to the matter.” Angrboða began. “Perhaps it will aid to turn him from his ways for he does not know of his son either.”
“That’s all noble and well but it sounds about as likely to work as throwing a kitten to him.” Fury said.
“I've got to agree with Fury.” The mortal known as Hawkeye or Barton said. “Loki mind whammied me a while back, got a pretty good look into his mind too and lady there is no way a baby will help out that cluster fuck.”
“Hold your tongue, mortal.” Sigyn hissed. “You have no right to speak like that about-”
“I know it is not so simple!” Angrboða snapped at the same time. The baby began to whine again. “I am not a fool-“ She hoped Thor did not want to keep their marriages a secret for very long. Járnsaxa thought, Sigyn and Angrboða were inadvertently going to reveal the politics of it soon. She glanced at her husband.
Thor appeared to come to the same conclusion. His face turned serious. “ENOUGH!” He roared. Sigyn and Angrboða fell silent. The baby began to cry. Angrboða rocked him and shushed him.
Sigyn looked at him angrily. “You would let these mortals insult your brother?”
“Loki has wronged Midgard, and these people more than others.”
“It is not their place.”
Thor’s looked thunderous. “And it is not yours to tell me mine, sister.” Sigyn fell silent though her eyes bore into him. Her features quickly settled into a more passive expression.
“Wait, did you just say sister?” Stark asked. “She’s your sister?”
“Yes, though not in the way you understand it.” Thor said.
“Sigyn is Loki’s wife.” A quick glance was made to Angrboða by most of the mortals. Járnsaxa glanced at Sif who was schooling her features into a neutral expression. An expression she had learned from the queen. Járnsaxa’s own expression went blank. “As is Angrboða.” He rose; Sif rose with him. Járnsaxa stood to his left. “And Sif and Járnsaxa are mine.”
“Wife? Wives? Both of you?” Rogers asked sounding a bit bewildered, knowing he was missing something but not quite judging them. Járnsaxa quickly scanned the room. Fury looked at them with an almost blasé interest, he knew more than he let on and he was trying to see if he could make this information to his use. Coulson eyed the babe; Járnsaxa felt the nip of frost on her fingertips.
Agents Barton and Romanoff’s attention was on Sigyn and Angrboða. Smart but unwise, linking the wives to the husband as a united front. Banner appeared calm but she sensed unease in him, he was not sure where this would go and it made him nervous. Járnsaxa knew this man to be the beserker that had felled Loki and could outmatch Thor in strength. If the mortals decided they were hostile…
She curtsied. Sif bowed in turn.
“The matter is not one solely of family.” Sif replied. “You forget that Loki is still the son of Odin, and as that Prince of Asgard.”
“Politics.” Stark said. “High jingo. Bullshit, basically”
“Yes, though I would not put it in those terms.” Thor replied as he sat down.
“Well that’s good to know. Now that we’re all on the same page, I repeat, why should we let you see Loki if you find him?” Fury asked.
Chapter 5: Sif
I have been having writer's block off and on again since I posted the last chapter. I finally managed to crank this out but I'm not happy with it. So I apologize if it doesn't flow a bit easily as it should've. This chapter is in Sif's POV despite trying to continue from Járnsaxa's POV from the last chapter but it didn't quite work that way since it sort of was very short. Please let me know if the constant shift in POV is annoying/problematic beyond a lack of reliable narrator kind of way.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Another round of silence fell across the room. A visible tension rose between Loki’s wives and the mortals. Sif kept calm, the hours of training she had as a lady coming into play with her warrior’s demeanor perfectly. Poised and control, a lady and soldier had to be both. Járnsaxa appeared insufferably calm as ever. She glanced at Thor whose face remained calm, then at the mortals.
“I understand that you have reservations to allowing an opportunity slip where you may possibly aid in the capture of my brother.” Thor began. “Nonetheless I must oppose your decision, if only because Loki will find a way to them if when he knows about their presence on Midgard. I am certain we may be able to come to an agreement that would allow my sisters and nephew to speak with Loki without S.H.I.E.LD. or any other agency interfering.”
“Alright, let say we do come to some agreement.” Fury began. “What exactly are they going to ask him that may ‘change’ him because I can’t just let to potential allies to our greatest enemy walk in there merely because he hasn’t met his son.”
“Loki will slaughter any mortals who interfere.” Thor iterated. “He has a certain fondness for his wives that may even be love. If he does not welcome them warmly he will at least not attack them. The same cannot be said for me, Sif, or any mortal.”
“What about your other wife?” Fury asked.
“I cannot say for her.”
“Loki respects me,” Járnsaxa replied. “Although I would not place much worth into that statement since his displacement.”
“I do not think it would be safe.” Angrboða added. “If for only his hatred of Prince Thor.”
“It would be unwise.” Sigyn agreed. Sif stayed silent, thinking it not best to bring to light Loki’s attempted destruction of Jotunheim, which would create an even less favorable impression upon the mortals of the god. Járnsaxa shifted behind her, the only sign she was uncomfortable with the topic.
Sif had heard rumors in the halls, from the cleaning staff that had gotten their hands on letters Járnsaxa had not hidden carefully. No one knew their veracity for they may have been vicious pranks played on Járnsaxa. However she wondered if it were true: if Járnsaxa had lost family in their slaughter at Laufey’s palace and Loki’s release of the Bifrost. Whatever remained of Angrboða’s kin and kith on Jotunheim lived on the opposite side of the Realm than where the capital could be found.
Járnsaxa never uttered anything personal in their presence. Sif doubted they would know unless she wanted it to be revealed. Had she mislaid those letters in her grief? Sif knew she would have to think about this again when they were not in negotiations.
“I don’t mean to be rude,” Rogers began. “but I think Thor has a point. Loki would kill a lot of people given half a chance. I know S.H.I.E.L.D is attempting to create weapons or devices that would be accurately used against Loki or at least trap him but so far those are nothing but speculation. It is not as though Dr. Banner can go to every potential Loki related call.”
“He’s right.” Banner began. “I’m not even confident we will ever be able to track him yet, at least now with the technology we have.”
“I’m working on it.” Stark began. Then flashed them a smile. “No offense ladies and Thor, oh, and little guy. Just incase he doesn’t, you know, get better or something.” Her nephew, awake and sucking on his fist, smiled widely at the mortal around the moist appendage in return. “Awe. Thor, promise you won’t let Pepper see him. She’s getting ideas.”
Thor merely snorted, half amused. Sif wished they could hurry up and end the meeting. It was going to end with everyone unhappy about something. The mortal would not bend; she could understand his concern as well. Sif glanced the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Barton looked unhappy; he would side with the Directory Fury. Ramonoff and Coulson’s faces were carefully revealing nothing, save perhaps that the man looked a bit too much at the nephew.
“If you wish to know what we will speak about to my husband then I will say them.” Angrboða said. Sigyn looked at her and nodded. “Our places at the court as of now are weak, and my son will become a pawn of several of the court lords and ladies if given the opportunity, not to mention the ambassadors.”
“The Allfather would not allow that.” Thor muttered.
“You know it’s not so simple, Thor. Guardianship, apprenticeships, tutors. All could get their hands on him and manipulate him.” Sif added.
“I fear he may also end up the same as Loki.” Angrboða said. “He is jotnar. The people would never accept him as their king if the situation ever arose.” Járnsaxa nodded, subconsciously dropping her hand to her stomach although the movement was easily turned to a smoothing of her skirts.
“Then there is the matter of us, his two wives.” Angrboða continued.
“My father wishes for me to return back home.” Sigyn said and did not elaborate. Thor sighed.
“As Anthony said: politics.” Thor surmised.
“Bullshit.” Tony corrected.
“You said both.” Thor glared.
“Loki is a prince, raised one still. He will not allow this to continue if he is of any sound mind. It’s an insult to him as husband and father.” Thor clarified when Fury gave him a more puzzled look.
“And if he doesn’t agree?”
“Then I will leave Asgard.” Sigyn replied tersely. “And Angrboða will follow in due time. We can play politics long enough for Angrboða’s son to be of age. I am certain he will not hurt us.” Then Sigyn looked at them. “My prince was correct, he will find a way to us. Or we to him.” She said simply.
“Sister, the threat is best kept idle.” Járnsaxa added quickly.
“It is no threat but fact. However, I am willing to come to an agreement in which you would allow us to meet with him.”
“Will you agree to surveillance and NOT interfere with it?” Fury demanded giving them a stern glance.
“I swear it.” Sigyn said. Thor shot her a quick look, Sif hid her smirk. Sigyn was fooling no one with her quick acquiescence. Angrboða glared at her as well. Loki’s son laughed and waved at Fury. Fury merely gave him a quick smile in turn, whether out of politeness or genuine amusement she did not know.
“Of course we will require to be monitored until then.” Coulson added suddenly. “Nothing too intrusive, just a small bracelet. It would record your location at all times.”
“I’ll take a look at it, too.” Banner said in the small pause following his statement. “Make sure there’s nothing wrong with them or they could harm you since you’re not the species they were designed for. We agree to this, Director Fury?” Fury looked at him sternly but sent him a nodded.
Thor nodded his thanks at him.
“What else?” Járnsaxa said. “There must be more conditions. There are always more.”
“Escorts or guards.” Fury said.
“No.” Sif said immediately. “We are not children, we are guests to this realm, diplomatic ones if would be bold to say if merely for our stations. I am certain you do not have guest from whatever kingdom Agent Romanoff hails from escorted at all times.”
“Most of the people who come from Russia are not aliens.” Fury pointed out.
“If you trust Thor, you should in turn trust us or at least confide in his ability to vouch for our reputation. Were he to say we were a mass of indiscriminate killers then perhaps you would have cause for worry or merely as he had said, all jotnar who may be hostile.”
“It is an imperfect example.” Romanoff said. “Most people from my country coming here are tourists, which not even you could claim to be. You are here for a purpose. Like most diplomats that means unnecessary paperwork and, yes, restrictions.” She said succinctly.
Járnsaxa sighed and sat down on the ground. Thor looked over at her. “Are you well?”
“I am fine. This will merely take longer than I had assumed. I grew tired of seeing if I would potentially hit the lighting.” She said pointing to the hanging lights. Thor nodded. The meeting continued, Sif gazed upon her nephew who was falling asleep again despite the growing level of arguments and discussion occurring. Eventually he ended up in her arms, she held him awkwardly but he did not stir.
An agreement was reached: The mortals would place monitoring devices, which would be inspected by Stark and Banner before placement, on Sigyn and Angrboða by agreement. Angrboða and Thor would not allow it to be placed on Angrboða’s son. They would be monitored, if only by escorted in their outings, especially since an element of danger existed in Angrboða and Járnsaxa’s case since they could not even blend among the mortals. However the Avengers or a suitable individual would count instead of an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
They would stay in the Avengers’ communal tower. Sif wondered where they had thought they would stay other than with Thor but let the thought go. And what had surprised her the most was Sigyn allowing the mortals to studying her performing basic functions of magic for their records. Thor had not appeared happy with this, nor had she felt it either but she understood the gesture. She was offering them to observe something they had limited chances to study and had so far only witnessed in combat.
Sigyn smiled sweetly at them and Sif had to stop herself from rolling her eyes in the group. Her nephew shifted and gave a soft cry in his sleep. She awkwardly rocked him. She was not made for babies. Thor gave an amused huff and took him from her, easily cradling him. At least Thor would be ready when Járnsaxa birthed his son or daughter.
She wondered what the child would look like, As no doubt in appearance but what else… Would he have fair hair or dark like his mother? Would his eyes be blue or red like Járnsaxa or even Heimdall’s?
“Now that we have that out of the way there’s just one final item on the board left: Your marriage situation, Thor. This wouldn’t bother me but you’re dating Doctor Foster and I don’t want any diplomatic scandals coming up because you took on a third wife or because it isn’t legal here on Earth, at least not in the United States.” Fury said.
Thor winced this time. “I must speak with Jane about this. I am aware of your laws, Fury. I would not act without discussing this with you.” Fury nodded. “Good. Coulson, get them out of my goddamn base.” Coulson nodded.
“Yes, sir.” Fury exited.
“We have one more stop and that’s medical. Afterward, we’ll head back to the tower.” Coulson told them. Sif hoped this would not take much longer she was hungry. She saw Thor help Járnsaxa stand much to her protestations and out the door. Sif felt a bang of pity for Járnsaxa.
Thor had not shown her so much affection in Asgard and was only driven to it because of the child. Would he return to his distant ways when the child was born? Would he keep it up in true affection or because he wished for her to stay? Thor offered just enough affection to win over Járnsaxa when they first married and then just enough to keep her on Asgard.
He played a cruel game, and Sif was certain he didn’t do it only purpose. He never quite forgave his birth mother for leaving him in Asgard without even the slightest of visits. While he loved the All Mother, Sif knew Thor would work to keep all his wives and potential mothers of his children together for as long as he could.
Sif walked out and saw as Coulson spoke quietly with Angrboða and Sigyn about her nephew’s name. “I recommend Steve.” Coulson said and she saw Rogers wince a bit next to her before smiling tightly at her. She wondered what she was missing.
Personally she liked the name Ullr.
We're getting to Jane in the next chapter for sure. I know what I want but know its all about putting it down on paper and hoping it goes as well as I see it in my head! Thank you all for reading and hope you review if you have the chance.
Chapter 6: Járnsaxa
Járnsaxa lay on Thor’s bed. It smelt like him and his woman. She would have insisted on another bed but this was the biggest bed in the tower as it was. She closed her eyes and let herself relax. Thor and Sif were in the living room, talking about something she didn’t care about.
The trip to Midgard had been a mistake. She should have let Sif accompany Sigyn and Angroboða alone. Then she would only have to make some excuse to venture to Jotunheim but what good would that do? Once the Gatekeeper saw her with child the soldiers would come for her, an escort for Thor’s child. Thor would never know her intentions, if he noticed at all.
Her marriage was a formality. Of course she was not foolish enough to believe the small political matter that had caused the entire affair was the true reason she had been brought to Asgard. No, she was expected to give Thor heirs, many, many heirs. Odin had wanted to strengthen his house through his sons and grandchildren. Queen Bestla had given Bor four sons, Laufey had three children…Odin had married no Jotnar and had only two sons, one of which was adopted.
She placed a hand on her belly. She had refused to have a child for that reason. She was not some broodmare. Then Angrboða had announced her pregnancy to her she felt a longing for children. She had wanted them but she had not wanted them in her marriage, not with Asgard’s treatment of the Jotnar.
What had she been thinking? This had never been a good idea, but Thor had begun speaking about Lady-Doctor Foster and she had acted on impulse. Thor had been surprised when she had come to him. Yet he had not refused her, she smiled softly. Their coupling had been soft and sweet, much like at the start of their marriage.
Now Thor wanted a new wife. She could not begrudge him for finding love. Once she thought she had found it. Now she just felt like the cat circling a cow, longing for the milk that did not belong to him. He had been so different after their marriage, hiding his distaste for her kind while bringing her flowers, gifts… It was her fault for misinterpreting it for love.
The door opened. She looked over. Thor entered, smiling at her. “Are you well?”
“Tired.” She admitted. Thor nodded and went to her. He sat next to her. “Do you wish for me to sleep with you during your stay?”
“I thought you would have preferred Sif or Jane.”
“You are my wife, too.”
“But you prefer their company.”
“I know I have not done right by you, but I do care for you.” Thor replied.
“That changes little, Thor.” Járnsaxa closed her eyes. “I will speak with your Jane tonight or tomorrow, at your leisure, about marriage to you.” She heard him cough.
“You heard what I said to Fury?”
“Yes, but it does not mean you two may not wed. Merely not in this Realm. I am still your wife even if they do not recognize it as such.”
“I would not allow that.” Thor said angrily. “If they do not allow for me to wed Jane it is of no consequence, I may still court her and treat her as if we were wed.”
“That is true. Now, why have you come to bother me?”
“Járnsaxa,” Thor muttered irritated by her brusque tone.
“Husband.” Thor sighed and lay next to her. He wrinkled his nose at the smell. “I will change the sheets.”
“Please.” She frowned. “I had hoped to acquire a new wardrobe here but I doubt many mortals would care to dress me or Angrboða.”
“I am certain you will find one.” Thor said. “You would not let the opportunity pass you by to gain new clothing. I may not be the best husband Járnsaxa but I am not blind. You dress well and enjoy dressing as such.” Járnsaxa smiled at him.
“I hope to do more than shop. Would you perhaps speak with your Fury to allow me access to study? You know my training-“ Thor groaned.
“I know, I know.” Thor complained. “Why am I plagued with scholars?” Thor said in an exaggerated fashion. “Loki, yourself, Angrboða, Jane, Anthony, Bruce…the list is endless.”Járnsaxa laughed. Thor smiled at her. Then he leaned toward her and kissed her. “You must laugh more often.”
“I laugh, in private. We are oft in public together. Laughter must be used as any other emotion, for purpose and restrained.” Járnsaxa quoted to him from her lessons.
“Your education was far too strict in my opinion. Laughter is to be shared freely. There is a time for restrain but your definition of public involves far too many of my friends.”
“I find it sufficient.” She replied. “It has served me well.”
“As you wish.” Thor said instead. Then said after a moment. “Mortals often use more than one name when naming their children perhaps we may-“
“If you suggest your own name once more…” she began. Thor lifted his hands in surrender.
“Moði?” Thor offered.
“No.” She frowned. “I wish to use Magni, if it is a boy.”
“Your father’s name?”
“Why is he acceptable but now my own?” Thor asked angrily. “Our daughter will have your name, I know enough to not even truly argue that.”
“It is acceptable to name my daughter after myself for I was named for my mother, and she for hers, and she for hers and so forth. It is tradition. You merely are indulgent in yourself.” Járnsaxa said, not easily cowed. Thor glowered. “As for my father, it is in his honor.”
“I do not understand.” Thor said.
“My father is dead, Thor. Lost when Loki released the Bifrost.”
“I did not know.” Thor said seriously, face grim.
“You did not know, nor did I give you cause to suspect anything was amiss.” Járnsaxa replied.
“Then I am sorry, more that you felt you had cause to hide this from me.”
“What has passed has passed.” Járnsaxa said softly. “I cannot hold Loki at fault, though he is to blame. It would do no good and Angroboða’s cause…I support it. My reasons are my own.” Thor said nothing but drew her into his arms. She did not protest nor struggled. After a moment she asked. “Where is Sif?”
“Seeing that Angrboða and Sigyn are comfortable on their floor.” Thor said simply, not elaborating. “You do not need to speak with Jane.” he began hesitantly. “Your father, this child, and now this. It isn’t fair of me to-“
“I am not weak, Thor.” Járnsaxa snapped. “I have thought it over and I will speak with her, on your behalf.” She sighed. “We are not children. I am not a child. I am a woman and I know what I can and cannot do. You need not treat me like glass. I doubt you believe me capable of it at all, I am a monster after all.”
“Do not call yourself that.”
“Why? You did once.”
“You did more than misspeak.”
“And my father punished me for it.”
“A brief exile, hardly a punishment.”
“I was rendered mortal.”
“Thor…No, I will say no more. It will only end in a fight.” Járnsaxa said. “I stand by my words. I will speak with your Jane when you wish of it. See that we do or we will fight.” Járnsaxa said quietly. Thor sighed and nodded.
“Alright.” She nodded against him. “Tell me what you have been doing as of late.” Járnsaxa spoke and felt Thor begin to stroke her hair. She spoke about her studies and drifted into sleep somewhere in her story telling. When she awoke it was only because Thor gently roused her.
“It is time for dinner, my heart.” Járnsaxa went with him to the communal floor for the Avengers. She saw a small table and two chairs, sufficient for her height, in the room. It annoyed her but she said nothing. She looked around the room but did not see Lady Jane. Thor helped her to her seat, on his the tips of his toes to help her sit comfortably when her skirt caught awkwardly with the chair back.
Thor was so much smaller than her. She hid her smile. She thanked him. Soon he helped Angrboða into the other chair as well. Sigyn was holding the baby in the other table. The meal itself was tasteful, if odd. She listened to the conversation that went on between her husband and the mortals.
“So, Thor, on Asgard you can have as many wives as you want?” Thor shook his head.
“My house and few other very old and very powerful houses, it is one of disadvantages of our long lives. Marriage is necessary for certain treaties and trade but children are seldom born relative to other races that we must take on more than one wife. A daughter has not been born to my house since before my grandfather’s time, so it would appear that only men may take wives but had I a sister the same would be true for her.”
“Wives?” Stark asked teasingly. Thor appeared to miss the slight hint in his voice for he answered.
“If she wished, but more likely husbands.” Thor said confused. Stark just shook his head. Barton eyed the child.
“How long have you been married?”
“Sif and I have been married since we were children. I wed Járnsaxa nearly millennia ago. Sigyn married Loki about a century later and then Angrboða two centuries after.”
“Would you have married if you hadn’t been as children?” Romanoff asked. Sif answered this time.
“I cannot say for certain that I would marry Thor had circumstances been different but I would not have opposed it. I grew up with him, side by side I grew and fought as his fellow warrior. It is possible.” She replied.
“I do not know.” Járnsaxa followed up after she ended. “I expected to marry whoever my parents chose. They could not have gone higher than a prince.”
“So is Loki’s son the first grandchild?” Banner asked tentatively.
“Yes.” Thor replied. “Father has indicated he would like a gaggle of children following him around now.”
Járnsaxa looked at Sif who glanced at her. They both laughed. “What?” Stark asked. They said nothing.
“Um, so why did you get married as a kid?” Rogers asked. “If you don’t mind. It just seems odd if the rest of your marriages were done as adults.”
“My father needed aid during the War with Jotunheim, Sif’s father was willing to provide given certain conditions. Sif is older than me by a few years, I was still a toddling babe when we were married.”
“I remember pushing you when we first me and you crying.”
“And so began a similar pattern of our marriage.” Sif smiled viciously at him and followed up with.
“Do you wish to spar tomorrow?” Thor paused then nodded. “Good. You need to know mortals that by marrying me first to Thor my father secured a place at his side as Queen should he ascend the throne. The first wife is always queen unless she leaves the marriage.” Then said, “My father’s house is very old and powerful, it was something he could request from the Allfather when others would have been cast out for such a demand.”
“Just how powerful?” Sif smiled.
“My brother, Heimdall, is older than the Allfather and my father still lives. When he was young the old King Bor was a sprightly youth. In that time he has amassed power where others lost it and taken roles when others lost it.”
“Huh, good move on your dad’s part then.” Stark said and the conversation moved on to mortal topics. Járnsaxa lost interest until her name was called.
“Yes?” She asked realizing Thor was calling her.
“I was telling Anthony and Bruce that you were a healer by training, Járnsaxa. They are willing to work with you if you wish to study mortal science or alone if you prefer.”
“I have a lot of labs.” Stark said.
“Thank you.” Járnsaxa replied. “I must confess I have not been attentive; what are you discussing?”
“Nothing really.” Banner replied. “Thor just mentioned your profession when I brought up an experiment I am running.”
“You should speak with her, friends. You would find yourself cowed. My wife-“
“Wife?” A new voice broke in. Járnsaxa looked over to see Dr. Foster and a younger woman by the entrance to the floor. “What do you mean wife?” She glanced at Sif and herself.
“Jane-”Jane did not wait for him to respond and fled, Thor followed after her. She could hear arguing and Járnsaxa did her best not to move. She glanced at Sif and saw she had the same reaction. Sigyn sighed.
“That could revelation could have gone smoother.” She said and the baby laughed. Angrboða stood and took her son back. Coaxing him with small frost figurines she had been crafting during the meal. He smiled and reached for her eagerly. Sitting, the mortal seemed aware how tall she was compared to them. She smiled gently and walked back to her seat.
The arguing could still be heard, Jane’s voice shrill and hurt. Thor kept his voice calm and low. Járnsaxa felt uncomfortable. “Is there another route to the rooms?” She asked the other mortals.
“Yeah, come let me show you.” Stark said and showed her, Angrboða and Sigyn to another elevator. Sif chose to stay. She had to crouch in the machine. Angroboða barely fit. This elevator was smaller than the previous. “I’m glad I have high ceilings.” The mortal said absentmindedly. Then left them off on their floors.
She moved past the living room and explored the floor a bit more. Sif was staying in a guest room, which lack for nothing they could wish for had they been mortal. Thor had two other rooms. He had offered them to their sisters but the two had declined when the mortal Stark offered them their own floor.
Járnsaxa found a study and an empty room. Vaguely she thought this would be an adequate nursery. The kitchen on this floor was smaller and the dining room wouldn’t seat her either, at least not comfortably.
She went into Thor’s room and scowled at the sheets. She quickly looked for another set, finding a pair in a storage closet she changed them. The bed was large and heavy, not that she found it difficult to move, but she vaguely wondered how mortals did it. She wrinkled her nose at the floor she saw under the bed. She would need to speak to Thor about cleaning properly.
She didn’t know where to put the dirty sheets, so she left them in a corner of the room. She moved back to the study, picked up a book and took it back to the room. She did not want to be in the living room should Thor return ill mannered or with Lady Jane in an ill mood just yet. She lay down and began to read a book called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Mortals were odd creatures, she thought as she read.
Thor stormed in with Sif nearly an hour later; her face was bruised as was his. They had sparred earlier than intended. Thor barged into the room and grabbed clothing. He glanced at her. She returned the gaze. “Jane will speak with you in the morrow.” he said and left to the bathroom.
She stood and went to Sif who was undressing in her room. “Are you well?”
“Yes. He is angry but not at us or her, the circumstances.” She rubbed her face. “He seemed to regret our sparring afterward. There is something with mortals and hitting your spouse that he muttered about before stopping. I am unsure as to why he did.” She shrugged.
“My father told me that if he ever struck me to let the frostbite take effect where it would hurt most.” She said. Sif raised a brow. “While we coupled.”
“You mean on his––” She winced. “Yes, he would have never admitted anything if that were the truth.”
“He is a good man.” Járnsaxa shrugged. “I do not know if I could even let it happen. Angrboða and I met with the Allfather prior to our marriages where he did something to our being. He said it was for our protection but it may have been one of the reasons our touch never turned Loki blue.”
“I had wondered about that.” Sif smiled at her. “Come, now what are you thinking?”
“That are conversation tomorrow will be most unpleasant.”
“I agree. Now I must bathe. If you will excuse me.” She said and Járnsaxa headed back toward the other room. She saw Thor come out of the bathroom dressed in mortal clothing and raised her brow. “You look odd, husband mine.”
“It is easiest to dress as the natives.” She shrugged and slipped out of her over dresses. He helped her and set them in a closet. She looked curiously at the clothing but Thor closed the door without realizing she was looking. He turned to her.
“I am sleeping, do you need anything?”
“I am fine.” Thor nodded and placed his hand on her abdomen. You could not feel anything yet but Thor stroked her for a moment before departing with an awkwardly placed kiss on her chin. She closed the door and went back to reading. The Lady Jane would understand if she were the right woman for her husband. She was sure of it.
The morning came quicker than she expected but she bathed and dressed for the morning meal. Thor insisted on it first before meeting with Jane. She was starting to regret revealing the pregnancy to him as he portioned a large side of eggs and food. Angrboða raised a brow but said nothing, though her eyes flicked down. Sigyn just gave her a sharp look.
After the meal Sigyn and Angrboða returned to their floor. Sif and she cleaned while Thor called Jane to come to them. Thor returned to help them finish. The cleaning was over quickly. They sat in the living room in awkward silence until the bell to the quarters rang. Thor stood and quickly headed that way.
Járnsaxa stayed seated. She heard Thor greet Jane unenthusiastically; it was solemn. Jane returned it in turn. Unlike yesterday she was alone. She looked tired, pale, and drawn. Her eyes were red rimmed.
“Sif. Járnxasa.” Járnsaxa corrected her quickly. “Járnsaxa.” She repeated. “Sorry.”
“It is fine, Doctor Foster.” She greeted, as she felt was most likely correct. Jane gave her a strained smile.
“Right, you wanted to talk then let’s talk.” She sat away from them, trying some maintenance of control. “You never told me you were married.” She told Thor.
“I never said I was not.” he said. “I wished to tell you once it was clear we would have more than a casual affair but the laws and customs of your people made me hesitant. I had hoped that we could speak to this in private. Yesterday was not the way I had intended for you to find out.”
“Which one of you is his wife?”
“We both are.” Sif replied.
“What?” Jane’s fisted her hands, her knuckles were white.
“Peace.” Járnsaxa soothed. “We will explain. Thor, I think it best you leave.” Thor looked at Jane. “Please.”
“I will be with Sigyn and Angrboða.” He took the calling device and left.
“Now, I understand you are upset.” Járnsaxa started thinking it would be best for her to hear it from someone she had hardly met before. “It is unusual even in Jotunheim or Asgard for there to be more than one spouse without the dissolution of a marriage. However the one grand exception in Asgard is the royal house.”
“And you’re okay with this?”
“It is common knowledge in our Realms.” Sif answered her. “I married Thor young. It was never a thought that he would not marry again. It is merely how it works. Politics.” She answered, mimicking the mortals of before. Járnsaxa nodded.
“I knew I would be one of many or few wives when I married Thor. I am his second but Thor is still young. Who knows how many may need to follow?”
“What do you mean need?”
“It is politics, Jane. We did not marry Thor out of love and he does love you. You have the option to follow your heart and join him where we could not. Do not believe that Thor married us any more willingly than we did he. It merely came about as a necessity.”
“As did it between Loki and his own wives.” Járnsaxa added.
“I don’t know if I could do this. I would have…If I had known he was married…” She trailed off. “Does that make me a mistress?”
“It makes you his lover or partner. It changes nothing.” Sif said. “Perhaps you would not continue the relationship with him had you know or maybe you would have. The heart cannot be controlled so simply. If you had known and still fallen for him would you let this stand in the way when you know we will not object?”
“It is true, we will not. I do not oppose your relationship with Thor.” Járnsaxa stated. “I am aware of the value you mortals place on fidelity. You are mortal Jane, a lifetime with you is but a short flicker of time for us. To let it pass by, to lose it would be more tragic than it already stands to be.”
She nodded. “I still don’t know. I’m angry at him and I don’t…how are you okay with this?”
“You would not be the first woman Thor has courted.” Sif replied. “I myself have courted my own lovers.”
“I have had had few as well, or admirers, is perhaps a better word. I am hardly able to court many Jotnar in Asgard.” Járnsaxa said. “But I have had admirers and Thor did not oppose.”
“Except for that nice wizard from Muspelheim.”
“Thor had reason to distrust him.” Járnsaxa said as a speck of ice appeared on her hand. Sif nodded. “But as it stands we have no reason to oppose you and would even welcome you.” Járnsaxa told Jane.
“Consider it, your relationship with Thor would not change and you could always leave the marriage. It is not a trap from which you may never escape.”
Jane nodded. “Is…is this…I don’t know how this work and now that I know of you two… I’m just so angry.” Her voice broke. Sif patted her back awkwardly. Jane flinched slightly.
“Then take time and think it over. Do not let your anger deprive you of this opportunity.”
“There is more, we will tell you in due time.” Járnsaxa said. “But first there is one more thing to consider.”
“I am with child.”
“Yes, you must consider that as well.” She moved to her. “Everything is more complicated but it rarely isn’t when it comes to royalty.”
“Now it sounds like you are discouraging me.”
“We do not mean to but whatever your relationship with Thor is, it does not need to change. Not really. You would not even need to leave your realm to have it.”
“Things would stay the same as they’re now.”
“It could be more but the essence of it would be true.”
“I need to think.” She looked at them. “If I want to speak with you, could I?”
“Yes.” Both of them said.
“Thank you.” Jane wiped at her eyes. “I…tell Thor not to call me, please.”
“We will.” Jane nodded and left. Sif sighed.
“That was not at all pleasant.”
“No it was not.” Járnsaxa said and sat on the too short a seat. They were silent.
Chapter 7: Sigyn
Sigyn watched as the mortal named Jane Foster left the building through the window. She knew Thor was interested in marrying the little mortal but didn’t really know much about the woman. Járnsaxa had not said much to her and what she had told Angrboda was equally as vague. Sif never gossiped unless she wanted to and she liked to hold back information.
Thor, next to her, turned and left the floor once the mortal was out of sight. He didn’t even say goodbye. Sigyn moved over to Angrboða and the child who were in the living room watching a mortal children’s program. It was colorful and seemed to capture his attention.
“What are you watching?” She asked her as the boy pointed the ‘answer’ at the screen and looked back at them. She smiled at him. He looked so much like Loki it hurt sometimes to look at him. She had seldom seen him in his jotun form and the boy’s appearance made it easy to forget he was not half Ás. She still couldn’t imagine Loki was jotun despite it all.
“I know not. JARVIS put on this program. It is rather entertaining for him so I left it there. These are rather ingenious are they not? Perhaps we should have one at home.”
“I doubt they would get much use once he goes back to his toys. Do the mortals have a toy that can arrange itself to his fancy? To the imagines of his mind? I doubt it.”
Angrboða smiled. “It would still be pleasant to have.”
“Perhaps.” She stated. She disliked the mortals, their audacity to insult her husband so easily and their lack of adherence to their proper place below them all. Thor liked them though, considered them in some ways equal. Fool. She knew they were ingenious but short lived, that was the one aspect of their existence that proved to her their inferiority. Would they not live longer if it weren’t so?
She sat and watched instead of asking Angrboða. She would not react well to the conversation; so many already considered the jotnar inferior that she could not see the conversation using her situation as a comparison. Angrboða was happily watching and interacting with the boy. She wished she would give him a name. She thought. It was so irritating to call him anything but a name.
She glanced out the windows. Where was her husband? Where was he in this sea of glass, flesh, stone, and metal? Why had he not come back to them or taken them? Angrboða believed him mad, wished him to be but she… Sigyn didn’t know how she wanted him; she merely wanted him back.
She thought of her proposition to the mortal scientist to study the craft and observe it. She would need to decide what spells she could use for them. If they requested something she should have several options available…
Angrboða startled her out of her compilation with a simple shake. “Could you watch him for a moment? I must use the facilities.” She held her son to her. Sigyn took him without a second thought. How easy it was to care for him, she thought. She had done everything in her power to keep from child before and now she did not know if she wished for one herself. The boy smiled at her, a gummy smile she was quite familiar with. She smiled back. He reached for her hair; she intercepted his hand and kissed it. He laughed. She kissed him repeatedly until he was squealing with laughter.
Angrboða was smiling widely when she returned. “I see you two had no problems.” She said and the boy squirmed in her arms.
“Mmmm.” She heard him say, at least hum.
“Think he is close to talking?” She asked.
“Yes. He is of nearly old enough.”
“You carried him for longer than he’s been alive.” Sigyn said after a moment. “It’s odd to think about.”
“I was thankful when it was over and now I hope that his childhood is a happy one.”
“Loki’s was a happy one.”
“I will not speak of things I do not know of.” Angrboða replied evasively. Sigyn felt annoyed. She never did.
“The Allfather is not cruel.”
“Then why is our husband not here?” Angrboða replied and turned to the screen. Sigyn left it at that and went to her rooms to change. Tomorrow she would speak to the mortals and have them study her ‘craft’ and maybe extract some information from them. She smirked. Low cut blouse or hugging dress? Were mortal men like all other kinds she knew? She wondered. Perhaps.
She loved using her feminine charms she thought as she thought of what spells she could place upon them to subtly sway the mortals. Of course she would have to make sure Thor was not present, the man would ruin it all. She placed on the spells and then went to bed.
When she woke she found that Thor had left food for them. Sigyn ate with Angrboða in awkward silence. The baby slept.
“I am sorry for last night.” Angrboða told her after they were done. “I am not handling this as well as I thought.”
“I thank you.” She replied honestly. “If we disagree I rather it be in private and let our anger out rather than let is sit there building.” Angrboða leaned forward smiling conspiratorially.
“I believe Járnsaxa is pregnant!” She sounded excited. Sigyn smiled.
“As do I but she has said nothing.” Sigyn said smoothing her skirts and she attempted to
“Thor is practically declaring it. You would think he would respect tradition better.” She said laughing. “Though they may deny it we can place bets still as to conception.”
“Clearly when Thor hadn’t access to Lady Jane, perhaps as a substitute.” Angrboða shook her head.
“This had to be her decision. If not she would be on at least her fifth child.”
“Truth.” Sigyn replied and smiled. “We will wait. They have not announced it and it is telling that they have not. I wonder perhaps if our sister is planning on running to Jotunheim before the time, marry her former lover.”
Angrboða shook her head. “Járnsaxa would not do that. Would she?”
“Oh, Angrboða, have you never noticed the little bird that comes to her window alone? It always carries a letter on its leg and leaves with one from her. My little eye spied a quite familiar seal that Thor has forbidden couriers from reaching her without coming to him first.”
“He has not.”
“Oh he has. You must leave those hallowed halls of yours once in a while, dear.” She smiled and headed toward the lift. Angrboða frowned. “Do not tell her, it will not sit well between them and it is one thing to know but another to spill.”
“But she is our sister.”
“And she has chosen to give our dear prince an heir.” Sigyn reminded her. Angrboða’s brow furrowed (in the exact same way as her child’s) and nodded. She smiled and left. She leaded to the communal floor and hoped a few mortals were present (and perhaps they could teach her their system of communication).
She saw the floor empty and pouted. So much for theatrics. She explored the floor and the kitchen in particular. She was curious as to how they preserved their food. She opened the cold box and frowned at the light that appeared inside. Was it always on?
She opened and closed it quickly. Light on, light off. She repeated it. Light on. Light off. Where was the sensor? Light on, she slowed the closing ah ha! light off. Now where-?
“Having fun?” She heard a male voice call amused. She jumped, embarrassed and turned to look at the mortal Barton. She flushed.
“I am looking for um.”
“No. I wish to speak with Stark and Banner. I believe they wish to study and observe my craft?” Barton’s amusement vanished. “They’re away right now. I’ll let them know you’re interested.”
“Perhaps you may show me?” She said putting on one of her sweet smiles. She would need to win his trust after what Loki did to him. The small charms on her dress helped present her as less dangerous and influenced him just slightly. “I have seldom been in your realm and the last time I was here the quickest way of communication was pigeon.”
“Maybe. Have to see with SHIELD first.” She frowned.
“You don’t trust me.” The direct approach was best.
“I understand your reservations, I would have too but I mean you no harm.”
“No aspirations to be queen?” Sigyn smiled.
“I had right to the title for a brief time, of course I did not know it but that time is lost.”
“No, Asgard.” She shrugged. “It was but temporary and I lost nothing I ever thought I truly would have nor do I desire it.” She wrinkled her nose. “Far too much politics. I find it bothersome enough as it is, add the title and I would forever be trying to stop myself from yelling at a dignitary.”
“I’m surprised you didn’t say kill.”
“I do not kill.” She said haughtily. “That is what spies are for.” The archer laughed.
“Fine. I’ll consider it but just one hint of betrayal or something funny and I’ll put an arrow through your face.” She glared.
“My heart if you must. I would rather not spend the rest of this cycle in Hel marred.” He raised a brow. She smiled sweetly.
“Women.” he muttered. She laughed and followed him to the lift. Close, but she gently moved her right hand for a minor spell and found a knife at her throat. “What are you doing?” He hissed. She was surprised. She had not seen him move. The assassin was good.
“Can I not move?”
“You were doing something.”
“Moving my hand?” She said coyly. He glared at her.
"You can do magic. I don’t trust you.”
“I am hardly subtle in it.” She said unhappily. That was truth. “It is not my strength but I have a talent for it. If so I would have do so without your notice.”
“Well ask Thor.”
“He will tell you the same.”
“Then we’ll see. Move.” And all she had wanted to do was charm her hair. At least that was truth. Sigyn scowled. She could easily injure him but it would make is so much more difficult to find her husband…and Angrboða…she moved.
Chapter 8: Angrboða
Angrboða stared as Járnsaxa told her of her pregnancy. While she was excited she felt a slight coil of jealousy. Thor was there for her while her Loki was out there, perhaps not even on Midgard, unknowing of his son’s existence. Watching her friend she felt a pang of pity. Loki may be gone but his affection with her had hardly been as those with Thor and Járnsaxa. It was as true as their marriage allowed.
Her son squealed in her lap. “Congratulations.” She said instead. Járnsaxa laughed happily.
“I know it is not what I should allow but your son made me wish for my own. I finally will have a family of my own, even with the loss I have encountered I will not let it take away from this event.” The smile faded from her face. “Perhaps this will change things for the better between Thor and I.”
“We can only hope for the best.” She replied. Angrboða offered her son to Járnsaxa. Her son reached eagerly.
“Hello, little one. Come to Aunt Járnsaxa.” She had never referred to herself as such but Angrboða understood the message clearly: We are family. She nodded. Járnsaxa took her with a smile.
“Have you thought of names?” She asked. Járnsaxa nodded.
“Should Thor and Odin permit it, I will name the child after my parents.”
“Does Thor object?”
“He has not but he may.” Járnsaxa said with an unhappy gaze. Her son tugged at her dress for attention. Járnsaxa smiled at him. “Where is Sigyn?” She inquired.
“She went to the common area in search of the mortals regarding her offer to study magic.”
“I never cared for the art.” Járnsaxa replied.
“Surely with your studies you took part in some study of it.”
“Of course I have but I do not enjoy it as Sigyn does.” A peel of laughter came from her son as Járnsaxa ticked him. “Do you have a strategy of finding Loki or is you plan simply waiting for him to attack Thor and spot you?”
“Sigyn has more of a plan than I, she will not tell me. I am assured that she and Loki have used this method to communicate with another. It is rather limited to the same Realm which is why she has been unable to contact him before.”
“You assume he is on Midgard?”
“Where else would he go? If he is driven by hatred or madness would he not choose to act against those he perceives as an enemy? He is not in Asgard, Midgard is the only option at this point.”
“What if he does not wish to return to Asgard?” Angrboða shrugged, she was tired of that conversation. She had asked herself and Sigyn it enough.
“At worst, I can return home. I have not worked for quite some time but the lessons my father and mother taught me do not change. I do wish at times that my sister had wed Loki, but she loved her suitor at that time.”
“She did not marry him.”
“Which is why I say at that time. She was always one for luxury, though I would describe our situation more of having a golden cage. We may have wonders and luxury but can hardly enjoy them.” Járnsaxa nodded in understanding.
“I spoke with Thor about obtaining a new wardrobe.”
“A tailor here on Midgard? Their clothing is hardly exceptional in its quality.”
“I do enjoy their form though. They have gone through several fashions in the last century quite quickly. So their poor quality will hardly be an issue if they are not expected to last beyond a few decades.”
“I saw quite a lovely dress on a mortal on the way here. Quite short but lovely. However I do not think Loki would agree with my adoption of such fashion.”
“If it makes you happy.” Járnsaxa began.
“You hear that song too?” Tony Stark asked from the entrance. They both turned around.
“It is a song?”
“I’ll show it to you later. Now if you ladies would please follow me, Thor wants to see you two. Clint saw Sigyn performing some magic and it made him a bit twitchy.”
“She is not planning any treachery.” Angrboða said immediately. “If you saw her earlier today she had not yet completed all her grooming, some which partly consists of spells.”
“That’s what she is saying. Thor took a look but wants to make sure with uh you.” Járnsaxa glowered. “Sorry, having a bit of trouble with your name.
“Járnsaxa, got it.” He said Angrboða’s name with a slight hesitation. “Got that too.” The baby squealed. “Hey little guy.” He waved. Angrboða resisted the urge to take him and hide. She did not trust any one save their immediate family with her son. She did not trust him with the King or Queen; for all they protested their love of Loki they showed very little true affection for his son. Thor was only one she believed true. “Now, if you follow me.”
They stood. He looked up with a moment of slight consideration. “That will take a while to get use to.” Járnsaxa smirked.
“You are fortunate we were chosen for our stature, my brothers would have cleared this floor with ease.”
“And my sister.”
“So what you’re saying is you two are actually short for your species?” They nodded. “Wait, that means Loki is…” He laughed. Angrboða glared. He smiled in apology. They reached the lift and squeezed in and went to a different floor than the communal. The exited on what appeared to be an athletic center.
Angrboða spotted Thor, Sif, and Sigyn at one side. Sigyn appeared serene while Sif and Thor were talking quietly. Steve Rogers was at one side, by his attire she assumed he was sparring with Sif or Thor, possibly both. Sigyn glanced at them.
“At last.” She said. Thor nodded.
“I can sense nothing dangerous here.” He replied. “But with your confirmation I believe we can all be at peace.” He told Járnsaxa. Járnsaxa glanced at her.
“There is nothing there aside from the usual, if a bit stronger. She was trying to make a good impression. Sigyn is missing a few spells, her hair and one that will make her cosmetics slightly brighter.” Thor smiled.
“See now, if we may move on.” Barton was glaring at them. He glanced at her and Angrboða sensed the hostility in that glare. Loki had wronged him and she could not amend it on his behalf. Her son reached out for Sigyn. Sigyn smiled, honestly, and walked toward them, ignoring the mortals. Angrboða handed him over. Sigyn whispered to him. Her tone was soft and calming.
“Right, so I have things to do. Ladies, we’ll see each other later it seems.” Tony Stark replied and she watched him leave. Her gazed turned back on the mortals. Barton returned it, his gaze unyielding. She looked away first.
“Father will love you as we do.” Sigyn muttered as her son babbled to her.
“I’m leaving then.” Barton replied. “Keep an eye on them.” He told Rogers. He walked past them; his brush against them could not be called incidental or anything but hostile. She had heard Thor say they were good men. They would not harm them, she believed, without good cause but they would not feign any feelings of amicability.
“Sisters, sit. Join us. Sif was sparring with Steven prior to our interruption.”
“If we must.” Sigyn replied and moved next to where Járnsaxa had joined Thor. The mortal smiled at them politely. Her son gazed at him, wide eyed once again. “He remembers you.” Sigyn told him. The mortal smiled.
Sif and Steven began to spar again. Angrboða sat next to Sigyn. Thor was talking quietly with Járnsaxa.
“This stay cannot pass quickly enough.” Sigyn told her as the boy watched the match. She lowered her voice, careful to let it blend beneath Thor and Járnsaxa’s conversation. “I will send out a message tonight and hope he replies.”
“Do you think he will?” Angrboða asked, hopeful for the first time in quite some time.
“If he remembers us, I hope he will.” The answer was not comforting and Angrboða nodded.
“We can hope.” She smiled at her son. He babbled excitedly at her and pointed to Sif. “Járnsaxa has told me the good news as well.” She decided for a new course in conversation.
“So it is true.” Sigyn replied. “This will change nothing.” She kept a steady gaze onto the match. “The glories of Midgard and Asgard pass us by. We are left in the dark and to the whims of our husband’s shadow.”
“It has not always been so bad.”
“For you never knew better.”
“It has been better, at the very least.”
“That is true.” Angrboða stood after the match ended. “Sister! Congratulations on a match well fought.” She told Sif. Sif glanced at her, surprised.
“Thank you.” She glanced at the mortal.
“And you as well, Captain.”
“Thank you ma’am.”
“Perhaps you are willing to spar with me? Not at this time of course.” She said indicating her clean dress.
“Of course. I could use the experience.” Angrboða smiled.
“Thank you. Now, my prince, can we proceed to eat?” As if on cue her son began to fuss. Thor nodded, kissing Járnsaxa and Sif after first meeting them and ushering them all together. She soothed her son and followed.
With no duties and nowhere to go, the waiting was starting to grate on her.
Chapter 9: Sigyn
Sigyn paced the room. She felt irritated. Her intended best impression was ruined. The mortals thought her a creature resorting to wiles and deception. They thought her simple for all that she understood of their crafts. Different words and different needs didn't appeal to them. The child cried in the other room heedless to Angrboða’s pleas. The magic had startled him and made him uneasy.
Her Loki would respond. He had to. There was nothing left for them in the court without him. She stared at her reflection. Such a happy lie they had lived. She recalled her youth. Her mother's betrayal had damned her to this. She had fallen in love and grown to accept, and like, Angrboða. Now it was all gone.
Now they were watched and caged wherever they went. The sweetest wives or idle traitors, it's galled at her. She glanced at her dress. When was the last time she had gone to market? She was closer to the size of the mortals than Járnsaxa and Angrboða. She could find something that would distract her until Loki came.
No. She almost wept. Sigyn the scholar, the Mage had been reduced to playing shopper. But what could she do? Without Loki she could not study her art. There was nothing gained from pretty dresses and baubles. She prized her appearance but it was not that which she wished to be remembered for. Perhaps her father's pleas to return home were more than attempts to preserve what was left of their family's honor.
She conjured an image of her husband. He smiled at her. Soon. Soon.
Perhaps she should study healing like Járnsaxa. At least Járnsaxa could study and ply her art without suspect. She had delivered Loki's son without prohibition. Sigyn remembered Sif's suspicious gaze and knew it was for naught. Her poisonings had cast a shadow on her that she could not lift even if Heimdall himself could not attest to her doing it.
She had done it for her Loki, as he had asked of her. Was she just another pawn to him? He was the king of lies. How well had he deceived her?
Sigyn breathed and heard the babe's whimpers die down. She knew her husband better than the mortal Barton ever could. A few nights to centuries were no comparison. Then Jane entered her mind. Thor had fallen for her where Sif had taken centuries to achieve. Where Járnsaxa had failed all together.
No, it was madness.
She exited the room and spotted Angrboða looking worn. "Is it done?" She whispered. Her native language slipping from her lips. Was she teaching the boy such gibberish? What use did an heir to Asgard, even a Jotun, have need of such a language with the a All Speak?
"Yes. It is done. He will receive it shortly if he is indeed this Ream "
" Can you confirm if he hath received it?"
"No. It is a primitive but secure spell. It will arrive to him if he is here. He should be the only one who will be able to understand it. However the very elements that guarantee such privacy make it impossible to follow. He could receive it and ignore it."
"I hope his madness can be cured."
"He will be fine. He may have thought himself alone but he has simply forgotten us. Our love for him will help him remember that he is not alone. We are with him."
"Yes. And his son will make us three confirmed at four."
"He will adore him."
"But it is you who will make him want. He loves you best, Sigyn. I am no fool. Loki will come to you. I have give him an heir but if it's being Jotun that he despises then it will work against us without you."
"He will want you."
"Perhaps. I never lied to myself about my place in his life. For all I wished for more he gave enough. Do you adore my son? Would you raise him without me if he would reject me? I am a merchant with no trade. All I can offer is my son. "
"Yes. Do not believe me false." Angrboða smiled.
"You are much like him but like with him I do trust you."
The following day passed without any news nor with any contact from the mortals. Thor brought them their meals abut appeared distracted. He paid more attention to Loki's son. She smiled politely at him
"Practicing,my lord." She asked. Thor smiled.
"Járnsaxa has told you the news?" He asked beaming.
"Angrboða was given the happy news. Congratulations."
"Thank you." He replied. "Anthony has stated he and Bruce wish to study your magic in a few days. Will that work for you?"
"Of course, my lord." For she had nothing to do while waiting for her husband. He smiled.
"Will you two come with me and Járnsaxa tomorrow eve?"
"What awaits at such a time?" Angrboða asked.
"Járnsaxa has not kept her news amongst us. She and several of SHIELD's healers have talked at length over their craft. Járnsaxa has learned about mortals and they wish to do the same with her, it is nothing invasive but we will see my child as the mortals do theirs."
"How quaint." Sigyn said. However she agreed for she was curious about the mortals. It would be simple.
The night before she was to meet with the mortals and her hope began to wane, she found note lay for her on her bed. It came from Loki.
All would be well.
Chapter 10: Sif
Sif frowned as Thor entered her room. Járnsaxa was with Angrboða. He moved to help her finish dressing. “Heimdall will be sending more supplies for us soon.” She replied as he frowned at her dress. “What can I help you with?”
He wrapped her arms around her, drawing her close. He smelled cleaned and she breathed in his scent. She sighed against him contently. It was moments like this that allowed her to feign that she was his only wife and partner.
“I have missed you.” He told her after a moment.
“No more than before, I hope.” He laughed.
“No, more than before.” She smiled. He kissed her. She pulled back. “Does this bother you?”
“It is your right.” She replied. “Had I not married you I would most likely be with several husbands myself.”
“I do not like that image.” He said. “My Sif with another? Forever unable to be my own? I do not like it.”
“For you are Prince, should you have been noble or simple common I could have taken you as a husband.” She replied. Thor laughed.
“That is true. Of course we could always see another without marriage.”
“But what would the court think?”
“We would reveal it after I was crowned.” She smiled briefly.
“Why are you here? My company?”
“In part.” He replied honestly. “As you know Járnsaxa is with child, my child.”
“If you ask if it bothers me that she will bear you your first child then my response is no. I know you have wanted them for quite some time.”
“It is not simply that, though I am glad it does not bother you.”
“Then what more?” She asked honestly.
“I have asked myself why you have not attempted to bear me a son first. You will be my queen, Sif.”
“I would not be the warrior you know had I born a child as soon as I was able to.” She replied. “I do not care for my child on the throne or not. Once you wed Járnsaxa I knew it was more likely she would bear you a child before I had the opportunity, even if I wished it. It is simple biology.”
“Our time together in battles and adventures is something I would never change between us.”
“I am certain the Warriors Three would share you sentiment.”
“For friendship, but had they your heart you would have seen quite the quarrel between us.” He licked his lips. “I ask you to consider this.” She raised a brow. “Járnsaxa will give birth in time to come but will you consider doing the same, if possible?”
“Járnsaxa’s child will be no more legitimate-“
“It is not that, Sif. No, that child will be entitled to all the titles and privileges as my child as is its right. I asked for the time it may take her to conceive another, should she wish to, the child will be toddling at the earliest.” He pulled away.
“I miss Loki and what we had in our youth. I wish for my child to be able to have the relationship with another. You and Heimdall are too far apart in age to know such a close bond, what strength can lie there when your sibling is as young as you.”
Sif looked at him. She saw no deception in his request. The thought of a child did not appeal to her, perhaps when she was older and even with Thor on the throne but now…
“No, Thor.” She said after a moment. He looked disappointed. “It is not safe, with Loki and the unrest caused in the Realms with the Bifrost’s loss. Asgard will need the warriors it may have, myself included. My duty to the Asgard is to its people, as their warrior as their possible future queen.” Thor nodded.
“Will you consider it?”
“I will think over it, but do not expect me to change my position.” He nodded and kissed her. She pulled back. “You have spent far too much time with Járnsaxa and Jane.” She said. “You do not kiss me thusly, I do not enjoy it.” Thor looked surprised. “Just remember who you are with next time.” Sif replied, kissing him in the way she enjoyed it.
“I always know who I am with.”
“I believe you.” For it was true. “Now, my prince, how may I serve you today? Perhaps we should practice conceiving an heir?” Thor smiled wolfishly at her.
“Practice is essential for perfection.” He said and began to pull at her clothing. She stopped him. He looked at her quizzically.
“I did not say now, my prince.” He glowered, then smiled.
“Then let us pass the day quickly.” Sif changed into a new set of clothing after their afternoon meal. A simple pair of trousers made of sturdy blue cloth and a long sleeved blouse. Her swords she had to keep hidden on her person with magic.
After Thor showed her what he knew of the city they were currently in. Dressed as they were no mortals glanced at them, askance or in fear. The creaking of certain furniture and trembling of floors reminded her they were no mortals and feigning to be one required more finesse. He showed her more of the various mortal dishes he loved.
The evening was pleasant, but when Sif awoke Thor was no longer in her bed. She rose; it was still early by the morning light. She frowned when she passed Thor’s room. The door was open; she glanced inside. Járnsaxa and Thor slept together entwined. His arm was wrapped protectively over her waist.
She went back to her room and frowned. It had been quite some time since she had felt jealousy. She shook her head. She should be happy for Járnsaxa, not hold it against her. If any threatened her place in Thor’s heart it was Jane, and the mortal would be dead before the century ended.
She fell back asleep.
Chapter 11: Járnsaxa
Járnsaxa looked at Sif as she entered the room. She was careful to place her book over the letter.
“Lady Jane wishes to see us.”
“Yes. Does Thor know?”
“He left with the Avengers to an event in another village.”
“It must be why she contacted us now then.” Járnsaxa said after a moment. “I have nothing to do this morn or this eve. I am starting to feel as if Angrboða does not wish for my company. She and Sigyn have been restless.”
“They have been unable to look for Loki.” Sif replied. “For all the mortals spoke of allowing them they have dallied and tarried in enacting their half of the bargain. How are they to look for him and not interfere with their tracking mechanisms if they do not present them? Sigyn has stayed in her room since she unnerved the archer and I see Angrboða only at supper if the child is calm.”
“I am growing restless as well. I have not seen outside this building since we entered.” She said looking pointedly at her. Sif looked back unapologetically for her excursion. “At least in Asgard I could explore the gardens as I wished when in the Palace.”
“They worry about Sigyn’s magic.”
“It was an agreement, Sigyn nor Angrboða would interfere with the items they presented.”
“Would you believe the words of the Liesmith’s wife?”
“I trust our sisters.”
“If you were mortal.”
“I would not know.”
“I have agreed to see you. Will you join me?”
“When will she arrive?”
“In an hour or two. JARVIS would inform us of her arrival.” Járnsaxa nodded. She stood and walked over to the windows overlooking the city. She knew she could not see the mortal but she wished she hurried. Járnsaxa looked at Sif.
“How have you passed the time?”
“Fitful. The mortals are open to me only for I am Thor’s wife and look as they do. I take it you do not have more success.”
“My stature causes them to be ill at ease.” She replied. “I have thought to take the offer by Stark and study what I may here. I wish to learn a bit more of mortals. I have had very little experience with them.”
“They break easily and die quickly. Nothing more to learn.” Sif replied. Járnsaxa smiled.
“Perhaps. I know they have advanced much in medicine, I wish to learn of it.”
“It would pass time.” Sif thought. “If nothing is else gained.” She eyed her. “How far along are you?”
“I am not certain. I lay with Thor after Angrboða birthed her son but no sooner. The child was conceived after that time. I need more time to estimate the exact age.”
“You may see the healers, they would be able to tell you.”
“An Aesir healer for a Jotun? Nay. I served as healer for Angrboða and serve for the few other Jotnar unfortunate enough to reside on Asgard for a reason.”
“I do not see why it matters. Eir is well versed in Jotnar anatomy.”
“I will meet you when Jane arrives. Do not bother me until then.” She said and walked to Thor’s study.
She perused the books but did not read. She simply waited, thinking what Jane may wish to discuss. Shortly over an hour later, Sif came to collect her.
They met in the common floor; Jane was alone. She looked frail and small. Her face was troubled. Jane stood when she saw them.
“Hi.” Jane greeted.
“Hello.” Járnsaxa replied. Sif said nothing. “What do you wish to speak about?”
“Um, I have been thinking about what you said. A lot. I’m still angry but I understand this is completely different for us all. You’re aliens.” She said with a weak laugh. Járnsaxa smiled politely.
“What have you decided from your contemplation?” Sif asked.
“I love Thor, you’re right about that. I love him and I don’t want to lose him. I just don’t know if I can deal with the situation. You two are his wives. Wives, current not past and there’s going to be a baby soon.”
“You need not see us.” Járnsaxa said, for it was true. “I will be on Asgard and should you see Sif I do not believe it will be as Thor’s wife.”
“I serve as part of his guard as well.” Sif replied. “He will treat me the same as he does the Avengers and the Warriors Three when in battle if you must see me.” Jane frowned.
“And then what? You just hide while I’m alive? What about the baby? Thor’s going to want to be around his son or daughter. It’s a super powered baby at that.”
“It’s is your lifetime.” Járnsaxa replied. “I have spent far more time without seeing Thor in the past.”
“And there’s that.” She replied. “I mean, I just don’t know.” Jane looked at them. “When he wasn’t here I felt like I was missing something. Then he came back and it was great. I feel like someone punched me in the face with the news. “Oh, the guy you wanted Jane is married! Twice over and with a kid on the way! What a catch! Oh he does love you –“ it sounds awful like that. If Thor was a human-“
“But he is not.” Járnsaxa replied. “You must consider that over all.”
“He’s the prince of an alien race.” Jane said. “I don’t think that’s sunk in even after knowing it so long.”
“How do you two do it?” She asked.
“I do my duty.” Járnsaxa replied simply.
“I can say the same for myself. I am a warrior and nobleman, I have responsibilities at court and the Realm.”
“What does that mean exactly?” Jane asked Járnsaxa.
“I am of noble birth, Jane. Your annals of history have various descriptions of what it may entail. I am also a healer. I study my trade.” Járnsaxa wrote to Félagi often as well. She did not say that aloud, she and Sif had already mentioned their own dalliances during their marriage.
“Love is a gift you should not let slip you by.” Járnsaxa said. “For it may never come again.”
Jane frowned. “What do you suggest then?” She asked. Járnsaxa looked at Sif. Sif smiled and began to talk. It was a conversation much like the last but with every reassurance offered Jane seemed to grow surer in her own decision.
“I need more time to think about it.” She said once more. “Thank you for seeing me.” Járnsaxa nodded and watched her leave. She and Sif returned to their floor.
She feigned sleeping and wrote back to Félagi. Communication between Realms was difficult but not impossible. All it took was a bit of persistence. The letter was sent out before Thor arrived in the evening. He spent the night with her once more.
“Husband,” Járnsaxa called as Thor stood from bed, she gathered the sheets around her. He looked over at her before pulling on a mortal shirt. “would you be able arrange for me to speak with the Doctors Banner and Stark?” Thor frowned. “I wish to engage in some study.”
“Of course, my heart.” He replied and knelt to kiss her. The only time she did not kneel toward him she thought amused.
“May I discuss one thing with you before you leave?” She asked. Thor frowned again, he looked impatient, Jane had called him before he had roused and wished to meet him soon. He was on his way to her.
“Quickly.” He replied.
“Of course.” She sat up and gazed on him. “It is about our sisters, they grown weary of waiting to search for Loki. Is there nothing that can be done by you to speed up the mortals in producing the tracking mechanisms?”
“It is true it has taken some time.” Thor replied. “I will talk to them over the matter when I speak with Tony and Bruce.” She nodded.
“Thank you.” He nodded and finished dressing.
She dressed quickly and walked to the kitchen. Sif was there eating a small sandwich. She glanced at her. “Thor has left.”
“He goes to see Jane.”
“That was quicker than I thought she would take.”
“She has had several days to think it over.” Járnsaxa replied.
“I watched a drama last night,” Sif began. “it involved a pregnant mortal. If it is remotely based on truth mortals apparently learn what sex their child is by using sound waves and view it through such images before birth.”
“I agree but rather interesting. Perhaps you would allow them to do such a procedure on you. It may put the mortals in a better mood if you were seen as fragile.”
“But I am not.”
“They do not know that. Until you grow larger you will be perceived as a potential threat until the fact is out.”
“I will consider it, then. It will be interesting at the very least.”
“JARVIS,” Járnsaxa called, activating the machine as they had been instructed previously. “I would like to speak to some doctors.” Sif looked her curiously. Why wait? She mouthed. Sif smiled and went to Thor’s living room. “Would you be able to assist me in such an endeavour?”
“That can be arranged. Is everything alright?” It asked.
“Yes. There is no urgency but if possible I would like for it to happen today, I have nothing else to do.”
“I will contact Agent Coulson to inform him of the request. Do you wish for me to inform Mr. Odinson?”
“No, it will only worry him. There is nothing wrong.”
A few hours later she was greeted by the sight of three mortal doctors and various machines that were foreign to her. The two males introduced themselves as Doctor Michael Brown and Doctor Ricardo Quolas, the female introduced herself as Doctor Alissa Phen. They were skeptical to her claims of being a healer but after a few questions Járnsaxa proved her claim true. Their change in behavior was startling.
“That is true, we do use ultrasounds to monitor fetal health and sex.” Brown said after she asked about the proceedure Sif had described. “Ultrasounds aren’t simply used for maternity issues either.”
“It is a diagnostic tool?”
“Yes.” Járnsaxa stared at them. They shifted uncomfortably at her gaze.
“How is it done?” Doctor Phen answered her quickly. “Would it be possible to use on me?” She asked after a moment.
“I do not see why not.” Quolas replied. “What would you like to see?” Járnsaxa smiled.
“My child.” A look of surprise crossed their faces and something changed in their posture, it was more relaxed. Sif was right. “I am not mortal but I am well versed in anatomy of Jotnar and Aesir.”
“That can be arranged.” Doctor Brown said quickly. “There are a few other procedures we may do as well if you’re interested?”
“I will consider it.”
“Great. Congratulations, by the way.” Phen said with a smile.
“Thank you. Now these procedures?” Quolas took over. She suspected most were not as fully for maternity but did not question it. If it harmed none then she cared not.
They scheduled a time the following day. Thor was amused by her ‘adventure’ and was quite excited to see his child, even in such a primitive fashion. He had spoken to Stark on his trip and she was given access to a laboratory. While most of the items were unknown to her, she knew enough to be able to gauge the sex of her child at last. It required more than simple magic.
Félagi sent his reply a day later. However she was too excited by the information she discovered to do more than hide it beneath the tome she was reading. The small picture of her son, primitive or not, had her smiling. A son. Perhaps this would-
She was a fool for not hiding it better. She called Thor to tell him the news. It should have been a celebratory evening. Instead Thor bumped into the desk as he took off his shoes and caused the book and letter to fall.
“What is this?” Thor asked simply picking up the parchment on the floor. Járnsaxa’s expression did not change though her body tensed almost imperceptibly. He looked at the seal for a moment. He opened the letter. His face turned hard, like stone. “Járnsaxa?”
“It is nothing but a letter.” Járnsaxa said.
“It is from him.” He said.
“I have known him since I was a child. I received letters from my mother while she lived. You did not protest that.”
“It is from him.” He said louder.
“I told you I did not wish for you to talk to him.” He told her. “I ordered you to cease.”
“You knew I would not.”
“Yet you continued.” He said his voice sounding oddly calm. It unnerved Járnsaxa. This was not her husband’s fiery temper. “You continued despite knowing my wishes. It was an order, Járnsaxa.” He kept looking at the letter. Járnsaxa felt the air begin to charge. How angry was he? Her hair began to rise. “You defied your prince.”
“I defied my husband.” She said simply. “Would you stopped seeing Jane if I had demanded it?”
“Then we are on even terms.”
“You love him?”
“When have I not?” She asked. “I would have married him if I had had a choice.”
“Would you still?”
“I cannot say. He has changed.”
“Is that my child?” Járnsaxa felt like he had slapped her.
“How dare you?”
“It is a perfectly reasonable question. I cannot have someone’s bastard pass as my own.” Járnsaxa felt her eyes tear in outrage, her face heating.
“How dare you? I will not speak with you over this. Not until you come to your senses.” Thor grabbed her arm. His grip felt like steel. She did not pull away from him; he was stronger than her. He pulled her closer.
“I will not let this go.” He said softly. “We will discuss this, now.” He pulled her down. She did not fight the motion. “Sit.” She slammed into the ground and stayed there. His eyes were alive with electricity. “How long?”
“When have we not?” She answered. Her hands dropped to her stomach. She ran her hands soothingly over the bump. Thor’s expression softened. “It is your child.”
“I cannot trust you in this.”
“Why?” She let the word slip out softly. “I have been a good wife.” Her only saving grace, she thought, in the whole debacle.
“You almost left for him.”
“I never have attempted it.”
“You threatened it, once.”
“I do not remember.”
“I do.” He said. “You were drunk. You were morose.”
“I do not remember.” She repeated. “Was I alone?” He nodded. “I do not drink so heavily...only when I am unhappy.” she whispered. “I am often unhappy but keep the drink to the times were it is heavy on me.”
“I know and that is why it frightens me.” He sat next to her. “I am a bad match for you but I do want you.”
“You want heirs.” She said simply and looked at him with burning red eyes. He returned her gaze steadily.
“Yes. And you.” He reached for her. She pulled back. “You are my wife.”
“And nothing more.” She stared at him. “Do you love me?” She had never asked him before.
“No.” The admission made her hurt but it was only confirmation of a truth she had long known. “It is for the best. My love for you, had I loved you then, before all of this, would have been ugly. An ugly, brutal thing.”
“It does not change the fact of our marriage.”
“No, it does not.” He dropped next to her and took her arm again. “Have I harmed you?”
“No more than with your words, had you done so I would have burned you.” He nodded. He hesitated before asking.
“Even when with drink?”
“No, you tend to be amorous or complain loudly as no one will listen to you. Then you sleep or we couple then sleep.” He laughed and drew her close. She was stiff against him.
“We must discuss this.” His anger was back, evident in his grip. A possessive thing she did not like.
“I will not.”
“Why can you not let it be?” She asked and was embarrassed to feel her voice break. “It is but a small happiness I want to myself.” His lips tightened.
“He would have you for his wife despite it all.”
“Yes.” She did not lean into him despite his tugs. “I have considered it but never seriously.”
“He has come to court and demanded you, as though you are nothing more than a chair.”
“You are no better. I am often ‘wife’ to you instead of ‘Járnsaxa.’ I belong to you, you will not let me go to another.” She let her anger show. “How many of my lovers have you driven off? How many that I would have bed?” She felt her arm turn colder. He did not move away. “I do not understand why?”
“Because you are mine!” Thor snapped. “And I will not let anyone take you away, not before and not now. You are my mother in waiting. She was unhappy with my father as you are with me. She left without me because of the extent of her sorrow. If you must leave I would have it thusly. I will not have you leave because of another.” He dropped her hand to her stomach. “I will try to prevent that more now.”
“That is not enough.”
“It is all I can say on it.” He pulled her into a harsh kiss her arm began to freeze. His grip tightened in response. He bit her lip and she gasped. She snarled and pushed him off her. Thor’s pupils were blown and dark. “Wife, Járnsaxa. I will prove to you I want you and you will stay.”
“No. I am not a fool. You will do as you always have, give me a few petty gifts, I will accept them like always, believing them to be a sign of your affection and then you will leave. We do that once every century. I am tired of it. Either decide how you would have me in our marriage or let me be! I will not leave but I will no longer bow to you Thor, my prince.” She spat the word. “You will get heirs from me and no more.”
He shook his head and she saw the anger in his eyes return, no longer a cool and slow burning thing but the fire she had feared to see.
“I will not let you belittle my gifts toward you. They were honest tokens for you. Nor my company seen as more than a burden. I may have come to you while intoxicated but that does not mean I forced you to see me.” His mouth twisted into a snarl.
“And because of you I have no other company! I am sequestered in my wing or Angrboda’s! Do you think I would turn you away when there is no other? When the few who would see me are driven off by you?” She was weeping now and she felt ashamed of the fact.
“Are you truly so unhappy?” He asked her. She nodded.
“Do you think it has been so simple for me?” He asked. “I wanted no other wife, I had my queen but you came from father’s ministrations. I could not turn you away. I-I was true in my affections at the start, Járnsaxa. I never lied to you then.”
“Did not lie? Did not lie? I thought myself fortunate you did not slay me with Asgard’s reputation. I believed you tolerant for your grandmother. Is that not a lie? You bedded me and courted me with the mask of a man who did not hate his wife and her kind! I was a fool to think that you cared for me.”
“I never lied.”
“Enough. Leave me.” Thor stared his eyes burning with a fire she did not recognize.
“I will not. We will discuss this still, civilly.” Her vision turned red, how dare he act as if she were unstable. Járnsaxa lashed out, he caught her arm and drew her close again. “I have tried to see your beauty, but you are making it very difficult right now to appreciate that which I found.” He pressed a soft kiss to her mouth. She trembled in anger. “You are cold, and my fingers ache but you still do not burn me. Why?”
A look of realization crossed his face. “You love me.” Járnsaxa snarled a denial and her skinned burned him at last. He drew back his hands. The tips of his fingers were black, quickly turning back to a healthy pink but he stared at her. “How long?”
“It matters not. Marry your mortal and leave me be. You will be needed to raise our heir.” Járnsaxa let the fight slip from her body. There was never a fight, just a losing battle. The quicker she surrendered…
“Járnsaxa, this changes-“
“Nothing.” She whispered no longer able to keep up a strong front. Her tears froze on her face. “You never loved me. It will not change. You fell for Jane so quickly. How long have you known me?” she trembled and hugged herself. “I do not want your pity.”
“It is true, I never loved but I do care for you. You cannot say I do not care. My -“
“Do not call me your heart for I know it is a lie.” Thor was silent. “You have been honest to such a point where I should have tempered my feelings. You called me wife, and I am nothing more.” She rose, unable to keep cede it all. “Treat me with the respect my station merits and I will yours. That is all I ask.”
“As you wish.” He said after a moment. “I do not think we should continue talking today.”
“As if it will ever change.” She replied. “But you are correct. I am too tired to go on tonight.”
Thor did not reach for her and turned to leave. The reason she had called him came to her and she called to him. He turned.
“I am carrying a son.” She said, voice cracking with grief. Thor face was a mixture of delight and remorse. He nodded and left.
And not for the first time Járnsaxa wished she had perished on Jotunheim with the rest of her family.
A silence fell between them for several days. Sif appeared to notice and glanced at her pityingly. Thor was sharing his bed with her, then. She realized. Sigyn was oddly distracted and made not comment on their situation, though she noticed the change in their behavior.
She avoided Angrboða, she did not need the woman’s reassurances. Járnsaxa may be a fool for loving her husband but at least she knew her place in his heart. If she pressed hard enough Járnsaxa was certain Angrboða would answer that Loki did love her or had if his madness had not twisted such emotions.
The mortal healers tried to engage her in more studies but she declined with a practiced smile, stating she would contact them once she had familiarized herself with their vocabulary.
“My pregnancy will last far longer than that of your own women. There is time enough for you to ask your questions and for me to ask my own on your own studies.” That had satisfied them. She hoped to be truthful telling them such.
She had felt quite melancholy since her last argument with Thor.
Járnsaxa hummed as she read the books on their sciences. She had understood so very little in their terms and measurements but was certain she could excel at this as with her other studies. It was simply a matter of acquainting herself with their terminology. She heard someone enter the floor and caught a quick glance at Thor.
He did not glance at her so she returned to her reading. He moved about the other rooms, moving and shuffling things nosily. Just as she was about to yell at him he bounded in with a smile and a gift-wrapped box. She looked at it curiously.
“Járnsaxa, wife.” He said, sounding quite bright. “I have a gift for you.”
“I can see that.” She said quietly. He licked his lips nervously, and then presented her the box with an artful flare not becoming of him. He must have worked hard to find something for her then.
She carefully took the box from him and slowly unwrapped it. The box beneath the wrapping was plain white and made of a cheap material. She opened it and found inside a nicer box, clearly mortal in origin, of leather. She opened that and hoped there was not yet another box, within it.
She opened it slowly. A necklace lay in the center of the box. The chain was made of silver metal and the pendant held a large bright ruby.
Her fingers traced the gem. It was simple and realized with delight that smaller diamonds surrounded the gem. They were so finely placed side by side that she almost missed them. She almost took it out then stopped. Thor looked upon her anxiously.
She turned the box over to him. Disappointment quickly crossed his face. “Will you not put it on me?” She asked. He beamed and gently took out the jewelry. The chain looked long in his hands but after he placed it on her neck she found herself unable to see it when looking down. It lay high then. Thor seemed quite pleased with it so she supposed that was the intended look.
“It suits you.” He said sounding quite proud. She smiled back. He moved to kiss her. Járnsaxa pulled back and shook her head. She was not in the mood for such acts. Thor stroked her face gently instead. “You look beautiful.”
“Such words do no more harm than you know, husband.” She whispered.
“It is no lie.” He said firmly and looked straight into her eyes. “You look beautiful.” She swallowed back the lump in her throat. “I know this will not earn my forgiveness, but I will make amends with you.”
“What is done is done.” She whispered and the necklace felt unbearably heavy on her neck.
“And what has yet happened can be stopped.”
“Thank you for the gift.” She replied instead. Thor looked unhappy at her response but said nothing. “Will you remove it? I will wear it tomorrow.” He did as she asked.
“Járnsaxa.” He began.
“I am tired.” She said. “I wish to sleep..”
“I will wake you for supper.” She nodded. He did not move to kiss her again and she shut the door behind him. She looked at the necklace. Petty gifts. She felt angry. Why did she fall for it time and time again?
She studied the necklace. It was very beautiful. Perhaps he was honest. Perhaps she was still nothing more than a fool. She closed it and placed it with her few belongings. The letter from Félagi lay unanswered. She placed the necklace above it.
Chapter 12: Angrboða
“Sigyn.” Angrboða called as she saw her standing in her doorway. Her son whined softly as she left the pallet her bed had become. “What are you doing here?” Sigyn smiled widely and she felt the magic in the air as she cast a spell. “Sigyn?”
“He answered.” Sigyn called with a note of excitement in her voice. “Loki replied.”
“Replied? What does he say?” Excitement began to bubble in her being. This was the first time since the debacle that she felt hope. Their husband was reaching out to them.
“He wishes to meet us.” She licked her lips. “He does not know of his son. I thought it best to allow you the privilege.”
“Thank you.” She replied, for she meant it. “What else?” Sigyn handed her a parchment. Angrboða read it. A part to Sigyn and a part for her alone. She read both, knowing Sigyn had done the same with her information.
Our love became overshadowed by the burden and weight of my despair and grievances against me. I hope to see you, my heart and flower. If anything ever belonged to Loki, it is his wives and the knowledge that they stand by his side through all tribulations. Hold steady, I will return to you free or take you from Asgard to a life we once shared.
Angrboða knew she should be wary. Loki’s words were always thought out and calculated. She pushed aside her wants and thought of his actions. Had he cared for them as he admitted would he not have contacted them before his escape or during? No word or calling had they received at any point.
She would wait to judge her husband, to stay by his side or by the All Father’s, if only for the sake of her son. For all that she loved her husband, her son had to take precedence in her life and actions. It would all be easier if her husband could return to court, he had rank and lineage that she did not nor Sigyn.
“When will you make the arrangements?” She asked. Her son moved to where she had laid, his face scrunching up as he found nothing to grasp. Sigyn walked to him, picking him up without a remark.
“Soon, as soon as safely may be done. Heimdall watches for all he has been inactive. Who can say what he will tell the All Father.”
“Or Sif.” Angrboða added. Her sister’s blasé approach to privacy had always bothered her. She knew her brother watched all, but the focus would waver depending on its urgency. If Sif even suggested to Heimdall that they needed to be watched more closely, all their actions would seem suspect even if innocent.
Then Heimdall himself. Angrboða had never liked him. His betrayal of her Loki while on the throne had shown his attitude and loyalty clearly enough. The lack of punishment had left such a sour taste in her mouth that she had almost renounced her marriage for politics alone. Not to mention Thor’s own punishment in comparison to her husband’s…
“Truth.” she smiled widely nonetheless. “Yet I will work to get our husband to us again, whether it be treason or not.” Her son snuffled and leaned into Sigyn’s arms. For a moment, Angrboða saw what Sigyn desired. “And you, little wolf, will meet your father once and for all.”
“Little wolf.” She muttered, she had called her son that enough before. Sigyn looked at her. “My son deserves to meet his father, and I feel I have been stubborn in my desire to meet him again. In the act I have denied my son a name.”
“Will Loki not name him?”
“It is his right, but that does not mean I do not regret my decision to hold out. What if he had never answered or called to our desire for reunion? My son would be nameless.”
“The All Father would intervene.”
“I believe you are correct but the name he would bestow upon him would not be of our family.”
“Odin is his grandfather.” Sigyn said in a tone that stated she knew exactly what Angrboða implied in her statement.
“Yes, but what affection has he shown? He claims to love him but, aside from polite courtesy, he has shown no interest in his grandchild.” She gave a thin lipped smile. “I wager that he will show an unprecedented interest in Járnsaxa’s child, his blood grandson.”
“That is a fool’s wager.” She replied with a sad smile. “We could bear a thousand sons yet I think one child of Thor’s would supersede them all.”
“Yes.” Angrboða sighed. “What do you think the mortals will ply us with in the morrow?” She asked, changing the subject but still so closely related to her husband. For it was due to her husband that the two women had to be subject to such suspicion and mistrust. Sigyn’s reputation (though the mortals knew not about it) merited it, but she was innocent of any ploys and misdeeds.
“Simple matters, despite what Thor says of the mortals, they are not sophisticated in magic or technology.”
“They cannot even travel the void or vastness of the Tree.” Angrboða added in agreement. Such simple creatures, yet so marveled and valued in Asgard for their role on Midgard. A thousand other mortal beings excelled over them and yet they drew no interest from Asgard. She had seen wonders beyond the humans’ imagination with Loki, but still the product of mortal beings.
“Exactly what I concluded.” Sigyn rocked her son in his sleep. “Are you angry with him?”
“I am many things with him.” she replied. “Pray, do not cast me aside for our husband’s sake. I will be worth more and useful to him if I am not ignorant to our family’s affairs.”
“Think not of it.” Sigyn replied. “For your safety, I will divulge only that which you need to know.” She looked at her sternly. “For as you said, speaking with our husband may not be treason yet I do not doubt there are those who would claim it as another strike against our House.”
“Thank you.” Sigyn rocked her son. “Little wolf, your father will be so proud of you when he meets you.” A look, dark yet earnest, crossed her face. “His magic will be strong. How it will manifest I do not know but he will be strong, strong enough to ensure he will be safe even if all does not align in our favor.”
Angrboða smiled. “That is good. I only wish for the best for him, even in the worst of circumstances.”
“Now, I will rest before my meeting with Stark and Banner.”
“As will I.” Sigyn returned to her the boy. Angrboða went back to the pallet. She did not rest despite her words. She thought of her marriage. It was not the best of circumstances but out of the four wives, she thought she had the second best fortune among them. None, could match Sif but she still counted her happiness ahead of that of Sigyn and stones ahead of Járnsaxa.
Járnsaxa, the poor creature had doomed herself to Thor. He would never let her leave with the child’s birth. Yet the child would bring her more fortune than her own son ever would. She glanced at her son’s sleeping face, blue like her own for the moment.
Angrboða kissed her son gently on the cheek. “Should Asgard turn against you, beloved, my home is ready for you. Alfheim has its beauties and wonders which will amaze you.”
No matter what was placed on her to track her movements, Angrboða would stay to true to her word. She rose and left her son dozing. She grabbed a tome of literature. Mythology of their lives, it seemed voyeuristic to read but it allowed her to understand the mortal understanding of them.
Thor came for them in the morning before the morning meal. Her boy immediately demanded to be held by him. Thor took him with a smile.
“Hello, little one.” Her son grinned. A pudgy blue hand reached for his hair and pulled. Thor winced but did not move her son’s hand away.
“Dor.” They froze. “Dor!” He squealed. “Mmmm. Dor.”
Thor gave a happy laugh. “Is this his first word?”
“Yes.” She breathed happily. Sigyn watched them from the doorway, an unhappy expression on her face. “So far he has only tried to call for me but has not succeeded.”
“Mmmm.” her son called immediately as if in support. Then pulled on Thor’s hair. Thor winced again. “Dor!” he squealed happily.
“They are waiting for us.”
“I will join you. I believe Sigyn will appreciate the support.”
“I do not see why that is objectionable. I will hold him, if you do not mind?”
“Thank you.” She said. “I have no objections.”
“Will we be venturing to SHIELD’s quarters or remain here?” Sigyn asked.
“We will journey to SHIELD.”
“Privy to yet more eyes.”
“Will our sisters venture with us as well?” Thor’s face contorted into a mournful expression so quickly Angrboða thought she may have imagined it.
“No. Járnsaxa and Sif will remain here.”
“Then let us depart sooner rather than later.” Sigyn said. They headed down the stairwell quickly, Thor did not trust their combined weight to not exceed the lift’s capacity. They entered another SHIELD vehicle; guards flanked them in their seats. Thor glowered at their presence.
Her son played with Thor through the ride. A man sitting next to Sigyn watched him with such interest that Angrboða resisted the urge to pull him toward her and shield him with her body. Sigyn muttered to her in her tongue and Angrboða smiled.
“If he wishes to be secretive then he is failing completely.”
“Sisters, the All Speak please. It unnerves the mortals to not understand us.”
“Then perhaps they should show us manners if they wish to have them in turn.”
“Sigyn, I understand you do not appreciate their suspicion but-“
“My Lord, courtesy should be show regardless of the impressions Loki placed upon them. We are not him for all we are associated with him. They do not do you the same disservice and you claim him as your brother still who wishes to save him. Do you not find that to be more than hypocritical?”
“It is true.” Angrboða added. “Would you stand such behavior shown toward Járnsaxa or Sif? Your own son once he is born?”
“Dor!” Her son called when he realized Thor’s attention was no longer on him. He grabbed his uncle’s beard and pulled hard enough to have Thor wince more than for show. “DOR!” he screamed when his first call was not immediately answered.
“Yes, I see you.” Thor replied and tickled her son to have him settle. A peel of laughter almost drowned out his reply. “Sisters, I understand your grievances. I will speak with Coulson and my teammates about this behavior. You are correct, I would not tolerate it if shown against my wives or son.”
“Thank you.” Sigyn said with surprise. “We will speak in the All Speak around them. Does that please you?” She asked the question in All Speak. The mortals glanced at them.
“Yes.” He turned back to her son, who had grabbed Thor’s lapels and drawn himself up. A sloppy kiss followed and Angrboða smiled. Thor’s affection was true. Even if her husband never returned she had faith that Thor would at least permit a form of happiness for her son, All Father or none at their side or favor.
They arrived by the same underground entrance as before. Her son, more awake and alert, turned to look everywhere he could look within the arms of Thor. Thor greeted Agent Coulson, who gazed at them indifferently.
Her son reached for Coulson. “Dor!” he called in greeting. Coulson looked surprised then smiled warmly at him. If he was genuine or merely a response he gave all children, Angrboða was grateful for no open hostility to her son.
They journey to the science rooms were quick. Angrboða dodged agents and squeezed through doors with ease. Her son smiled at her movements, following the dips like it was a game she performed for him. Sigyn looked at him with a happy smile.
The rooms were large and grey with several electronics strewn around. Stark and Banner met them in the rooms. Stark smiled politely at them, Banner introduced himself. They had not expected her from the looks. She possessed nothing more than rudimentary skills like mortals knew of mathematics.
She and Thor sat to the side of the room. Sigyn performed a few rudimentary spells, explaining as simply as possible the ‘science’ to the craft of magic. She played with her son and conversed politely with Thor.”
“Angrboða.” Stark called, his voice inflecting her name incorrectly. “How about you can you do any magic to compare to?”
“No, I cannot. Nothing more than Thor can. My skills are in my natural gifts.”
“Aye, and my gifts would not serve you well to compare to Sigyn and Loki’s magic. “ A sigh of frustration came from Stark.
“We can use what you have provide, Sigyn, but more samples, I suppose you can say, would give us a better baseline to use for the tracker we’re designing for you.”
“I apologize, but I can simply nothing that would compare adequately. Sigyn and Loki’s abilities surpass the commoner and even average scholar in Asgard and the Realms.”
Thor nodded in agreement. A conversation broke out around her. The group spoke around her, directing most of the inquiries about Loki and what techniques they would use to find him toward Sigyn. Even Thor did not speak *to* her. It irritated her. Treated like a criminal all for the hopes of what? She stared at her son, back in Thor’s arms.
She should be grateful for the opportunity to work with the mortal’s help as it would make any travel easier. Yet she could not find any gratefulness in her but disgust and ire. The conversation around her carried on, a drone in her mind as she focused on the metal beneath her hands.
It was slow burn, one that would only be used to harm her enemies but not kill immediately or if she were cruel to torture. She let her skin grow colder, the metal snapped apart in several places and fell away beneath her palm on the edge of the table.
Her son clapped, drawing the attention of the group. They followed his gaze to her. Stark noticed it immediately.
“What did you do?”
“Sister.” Thor chastised.
“It was simply curiosity.” She said and held her hands out for her son. Thor winced when her hands made contact with him. Her son squealed and patted them, then her arms. Laughing at the difference in temperature.
Sigyn laughed. “Angrboða!” she exclaimed in her laughter. “Now you will have our stay here take longer.”
Angrboða smiled sweetly. “We must ensure all precautions are taken correct? Who is to say Loki has not mastered his natural gifts?” She gave a worried glance. “I thought that is why you were having such a lengthy discussion?”
“Seriously, what did she do?” Stark asked annoyed.
“A Jotun’s natural gifts include control for frost and ice. Their skin and touch may burn if they wish it.”
“I’ve seen the ice thing but this is a first. If she can do that to the table we need to create a strong alloy...” Stark complained and muttered to himself on his softly about tension and words she did not quite understand.
Banner glanced at her. “How cold can your skin get?” Angrboða frowned.
“I do not know.” Especially in mortal terms.
“Would you let us see how cold –“
“No.” She replied simply. “You know my touch may shatter you metal, that is enough of a reference to build a better model for myself.” Her face became stern. “If you have arts worth notoriety you will have this knowledge or calculations readily.
“Do not think of creating one for my son. You may do as you wish with me or ask me what you want, but do not think of tampering wit him or you will see my touch personally.”
“Angrboða.” Thor called. “Do not threaten them.”
“Even if for my son?”
“They will not harm him.”
“Your son will not be examined or otherwise handled by SHIELD or any other group without your consent.” Coulson added quickly. “SHIELD would exist as long as it has without knowing the value of diplomacy.”
“But spies now how to employ deceit.” Sigyn said. Coulson smiled politely at the claim. Thor sighed.
“Enough, sisters.” Angrboða sighed, the rest of the morning passed in the room. Her son nursed once and ate a little pittance Thor brought in from a machine. He played with a few odds and ends, mostly entertained by her figurines and Sigyn’s magic.
Stark and Banner had her test several samples of metals and Sigyn perform more tests. The metal they decided upon resisted her cold touch better but still at its mercy. It held strong through her first attempt to break it as with the other. A machine tracked and measured the coldness of her skin, it failed to shatter when she dropped the temperature further.
The scientists declared it a victory for their creations. Thor spoke with Jane at the midday meal. Their tones were hushed and unhappy. She heard Járnsaxa names come up several times but could not hear what was said.
She hoped all was well for her sister and Thor.
They had a few more days wait to receive the tracking device from the mortals. The search for Loki would move into the open then. Sigyn would arrange for a happy coincidence and they would meet in the open at last.
Chapter 13: Sigyn
Steadfast, Sigyn. Steadfast.
She prepared the spell as quietly as possible without alerting Asgard or the mortals' surveillance. She knew that machine, JARVIS, was no simple program. The sentience it carried made it an enemy in its own right, loyal to its creator who hated her husband.
She had gathered her supplies and first brewed what appeared to be a tea. In reality she brewed a potion that increased the range of her spell. Angrboða quickly sensed the need for deceit when Sigyn had offered her the concoction. The cup had diminished in her ‘sips’ with the aid of magic to keep the machine out of her business.
Now she flipped through a fashion catalogue in deceit and desire to purchase mortal clothing. She silently cast her spell to call Loki to them with the information he had requested. Despite her dislike of the mortals, Sigyn kept that fact that they wished to track them hidden.
She loved her husband and trusted him. The question remained if the man Loki had become still truly could be called her husband. What life would lay before her if he had changed and renounced all in truth? If he played them for villainy or madness?
Sigyn did not have a child to remain at court and her father would accept her into the House. Yet she did not think she would achieve a marriage or lover for a while for centuries due to her current marriage. This did not even discuss a trade or craft to occupy herself with in her life.
When had doubt become so familiar in her life? She had married with such optimism and hope. The naïve Sigyn had seen the world brightly and with the haze of love coloring all potential futures. When had she turned from a maiden to a woman with a liar for a husband and two murders to her name?
She almost stumbled on the spell when she thought of the deaths. Loki had requested them of her and she had acted for him without thought. The majority did not believe her capable of such dishonorable acts but those who did would whisper in the ears of others: What if she-; the Liesmith’s wife-
The spell completed as she ended perusing the booklet. She sighed and felt her energy dispel softly into the world in search of Loki. Soon enough they would know. She didn’t worry about the mortals sensing her energy; it had been too soon for the mortals to install the complicated sensors that would detect her magic to any degree.
She exited the room and startled to find Járnsaxa in the room with Angrboða. They were eating a small meal silently. Járnsaxa looked worn. Sigyn frowned. Odin knew she should be in a better mood after the attention Thor was devoting to her at the news of her pregnancy.
“Hello, sister.” she called brightly. Járnsaxa smiled at her, a brittle thing. “How fare you?”
“As well as I have ever been.” She replied flatly. “I came here for company though I am not much of it myself.”
“Well that is all right. We may eat as a family as opposed for a meal even if the conversation is stymied by our hardships.”
Járnsaxa nodded in gratefulness and the conversation did not continue. When Járnsaxa declined to play with Angrboða’s son, she knew things must really be troubling her. Angrboða turned to her.
“She simply came in to eat. She said nothing but she is troubled.”
“Whatever grieves her is her own affair. If she wished to lift the burdens from her shoulders she would have spoken with us.”
“She seldom troubles us with anything. I think she keeps to quiet about her affairs.”
“And privacy is of her greatest concerns in life. I believe for her lover and happiness.”
“I still think you speak nonsense with those words.” Angrboða said unhappily.
“It matters not.” She smiled. “You should have had some tea, it was quite pleasant.”
“Is it gone?”
“I am afraid so. Once it is done the flavor is lost rapidly.”
Angrboða smiled. “Then I thank you for telling me. I would not like drink what remains if it is tasteless.”
“I have thrown it out.” She said happily. Angrboða smiled. Again they would wait. Two days passed when Stark entered the floor with a flourish.
“Ladies! I have-“ Angrboða startled as she was feeding her son in the main room. Stark stared at her out in surprise before he looked away.
“Sorry! I don’t usually have to worry about that when barging in places I own.” He cleared his throat then presented two metal bands to them, sleek but clearly technological in nature. Sigyn could not help but thank Stark for the aesthetic.
“Hey, this is a Stark product. Of course it has to look good.” Angrboða appeared in his line of sight gazing at the band with suspicion.
“It is a simple band, we can remove it if we wish?”
“Yes, it’s a bracelet basically not a handcuff.” He gave her the larger band. Sigyn placed on her own with a sigh. It may not be a shackles but it felt like it upon her wrist.
“Thank you, Stark. Do you know when we will be able to speak with Coulson in order to start he search for Loki freely? Every day we waste is another where he may leave the Realm.”
“How do you know he is here on Earth?”
“A hope and educated guess based off what we know of our husband.” Angrboða replied sweetly. Her son gazed at Stark from her arms.
“Now as to my question.”
“I don’t know. You’ll need to talk to Thor. You two are his problem; pardon my French. Well him and Bruce as he’s kind of dealing with the whole human angle for you guys. I mean I have a lot of experience dealing with people.
“However, I’m missing the whole alien aspect. Not to mention Loki threw me out of a window which I’m still kind of ticked about. Speaking about Loki I would avoid the penthouse because there’s a Hulk-made hole in there, Loki should tell you about it some time.”
“I do not quite understand what you said.” Sigyn replied.
“Just ask Bruce and Thor.” Stark said with a smile. Sigyn nodded while feigning understanding.
Thor. At least Banner seemed pleasant enough, more so than Stark. The beast lurking beneath him had her wary. The man himself had to be reasonable if he was not caged.
“Thank you for the information. I will speak with Thor post-haste then.” Angrboða said. Her son squealed at his mention from Angrboða.
“Dor!” He cried.
“He little guy, can you say Iron Man? Tony?”
“TTT- Iiii- mmm-Dan!”
“Close enough.” He said and with a flourish left.
“Thank our mortal hosts.” Angrboða said with an irritated sigh. “We owe them much, do we not?”
“If only we could simply act instead of diplomacy.”
“As if it matters with the creatures.” Angrboða muttered. She pawed at the band with a look of distaste.
“Angrboða, why the change in mood?”
“It is merely frustration.” She said softly. “Such condensation and so much inaction.”
“I understand sister but we’ll see our husband soon enough. He will respond to our inquiries.” she replied.
“Yes, with more waiting.”
She would need to speak with Thor as quickly as possible. Four days passed and she could not see either Thor or their sisters. Loki had replied briefly, a sense of urgency in his response that set her on edge.
She spotted Járnsaxa one evening, a large red ruby necklace catching her attention as soon as she saw her. She quickly lost her when she ventured to her own science rooms, provided by Stark, through the lift. She knew not where it lay.
Coulson left them a message that he would meet with them, but with no date. Frustrated she tried to make way to purchase clothing but no one would aid her. In the end she simply read and played with Loki's son.
“Where is he?” She muttered, this time in search of Thor.
“Who? I hope it is not me that you are looking for.” A voice called from behind her in warm, amused tone. She gasped and turned around.
“Loki!” She called in excitement and rushed toward him.
“Not quite, my heart.” She stopped. His arm went through a tabletop. “But there is much to talk about and little time to do so.”
I know i haven't updated this in forever but this came to mind today so I posted it after writing. I'm not sure I'll post further either.
“Loki!” Sigyn repeated in disbelief. “We’ve been looking for you.”
“Yes, I trust Asgard has.” His smile was soft but his eyes hard.
“No, I meant Angrboða and I. Husband, things have been so difficult since your parting-”
“Yes, I understood that from your message.” Loki replied, he gazed at the area around them. “Lodging with mortals?”
“Where else would we go?” Sigyn replied. “Husband, it is not you who must walk in shadows as well. We have been under observation since...since your departure.”
“You could return to your father’s House.” He replied but his tone did not show whether he meant it. “I would prefer you remain though.”
“Father would only take me if I renounce our marriage. I will not.” She said. “Husband, it is not for my sake -”
“Did you know I was Jotun?” He cut her off. “That I was not a true son of Odin?”
“So your deceit was unintentional.”
“I see no deceit in our relationship.” He studied her then nodded.
“I require your service. If I’m to return to Asgard unjailed then I must -”
“Angrboða had a child.” Sigyn broke in before her husband could undermine anything, before he could convince her of any more treachery.
Loki paused, shock and confusion coloring his expression before it turned vicious. “Who was the father?” He sounded angered. “Who-Who has cavorted with my wife? When did this occur? Where is Angrboða?” A hint of madness appeared on his face and it terrified her. She had never seen this side of him. “Have you sought the company of others as well in this manner?” Had he been there she has no doubt he would have held her.
“Who else, my love? You. Her son is full Jotun and very much loved. The All Father has bestowed upon him all the rights of his station. Would you not come for him?” She beseeched him.
His expression shifted again this time to wonder and awe, all hints of the taint gone. “A child...a son?” She nodded. “What is his name?” He demanded.
“He has none.” Loki’s expression grew suspicious again.
“She has left that honor for you.”
“Stupid girl.” Loki replied but without any reproach. “She had no way of knowing how I would react or when I would return. Then we must certainly work so I may not be...incarcerated.”
“Then what have you to tell me?” She asked, whispering. Loki paused.
“I must rethink this. I had plans but this changes things.”
“Járnsaxa is with child as well.” She added.
“So there is no advantage with the child.”
“I would not say that. Thor and she have quarrelled since it has been made known and he and Dr. Foster have as well since she became aware of us.”
Loki grinned at that. “And we all know Sif will not find herself with child anytime soon. The All Father was quite pleased with his grandson.”
“Father has always wanted more children.”
“He has doted upon your son since his birth. The All Mother has tried many times to abscond the child.” It was not quite the truth, while the All Mother did dote upon the child she seemed unable to connect with him without Loki there. Loki smiled, an honest thing at that.
“Good, I need to make arrangements then. Stay strong my love. I will come back for you two.”
“Of course, would you like to speak with Angrboða?”
“No, I cast an illusion over us to conceal us but stretching it may make my contact known. I will come again. Give her my love and blessing.”
“I will. I love you.” She said. Loki smiled, his dark hair fell over his face.
“I love you two, my sweet Sigyn and faithful Angrboða.” Then he was gone.
Sigyn released a sigh and sat on the floor. She had seen her husband but now did not know if she should have. She knew Loki had changed but his behavior toward her had not been as she had known before.
It was a mistake to expect that. She knew he had changed so it made sense. Sigyn rose and went to Angrboða’s room. She had to tell her of the visit where nothing was said to them.
Loki had machinations as work.
For which they were still ignorant of.
Still she felt his words reverberate with her.
Hold steadfast, Sigyn.