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Sif/Loki 3

The Wrong Prince

Chapter 5


Fandom - Thor (2011 Film), Sif/Loki
Rating - Teenage
Summary - Sif has never done what everyone expects of her, so why should they be surprised when she chooses the wrong prince?
Genre - Romance/Angst
Status - Work in Progress, Chapter 5 of 12?
Word Count - 3, 483 words
Previous Chapters - Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3 and Chapter 4.

Written for the prompt on LJ's Norsekink - Sif's the perfect Asgardian woman. She's of noble birth, she's beautiful, she's a great warrior. EVERYONE, from Odin Allfather to the lowliest servant, expects her to marry Thor. But then she and Loki elope.

Chapter 5

At Loki’s words, Sif choked on the breath that caught in her throat, felt her fingers still in his hair and the blood in her veins turn to ice, as if she’d just set foot onto Niflheim. She couldn’t speak, even if she had found the words to say, and so she remained perfectly still, though her heart beat fast, pounding in her ears in time with the distant crashing of the waterfall.

After a lifetime of waiting, Loki turned his head towards her slowly, her fingers in his hair becoming entangled in the thick locks as loose strands feel across his face. The stupid, irrelevant thought that Loki was in dire need of a hair cut flickered across her mind, before she pushed it away and raised the courage to meet Loki’s gaze.

Now that their gazes were locked, Loki spoke the words again, his voice still so measured, so controlled and calm. “He wants you to marry Thor, Sif.”

This time, Sif felt as if the words were burning her, the ice in her veins suddenly melting and exploding into flame as comprehension of the words smashed through into her consciousness. She jumped away from Loki in a flash of speed, standing up sharply on her feet, her hand going reflexively to her sword hilt and her stance set for battle. The only indication that she was not set to strike down her enemy was her head, usually glaring so mockingly and defiantly at whomever dared to face her, now hung down, looking at the ground, avoiding Loki’s cold, emotionless eyes.

The only battle that did commence was in her mind, as it wrestled over the words, trying to strike them down and defeat them. But even she, the Goddess of War, could not fight away words once spoken and so her mind quickly adopted a new tactic, a different strategy to conquer and understand this battle. She was not famed for her wit or intelligence like Loki, but wars were won and lost on the basics of logic, of strategy and stealth. The tide of battle could turn within seconds and a death blow dealt in the space of a heartbeat. And so Sif’s mind was used to working fast, weighing up the situation and administering the best course of action within moments. With a skill hard learnt through centuries of conflict, Sif automatically forced her mind into calmness, sought for the logic within Loki’s words and began to reason and comprehend them.

She pushed the first thought that came to her away, fast. The thought that is was a trick, some game of the God of Mischief. For she had seen the look in his eyes, heard the tone of his voice, and they were empty, far too empty. There was no faint smirk playing across his lips or mischief dancing within his eyes. No, Sif knew it was no trick and his distant, despondent behaviour over the last few days, weeks even, suddenly made sense, the pieces beginning to fall into place. And so the next question pushed itself into her mind. She need not ask who he meant, for there was only one soul in all the nine realms who could scupper Loki’s plans and leave him so defeated, only one who had the power to control the destiny of the future king of Asgard and that was the King himself. And so the question that did spill from her lips, in a voice battle hardened and determined, was, “Why?”

Loki looked away from her then, back down into the crystal clear depths of the water below him. “The mortal, Jane.”

Sif nodded, though not in understanding and Loki continued, his voice slow, as if he was weighing up every word before he spoke. “He is afraid that Thor will choose to marry the mortal, that she will become Asgard’s new Queen. So he intends to marry Thor off before that can happen.”

“But why?” Sif asked again, her stance still strong and determined, though her hand had relaxed on the hilt of her sword.

“She is mortal,” Loki replied simply, turning to look at her once again, as if that answered every question his words could conjure. When Sif still looked on in incomprehension, Loki winced slightly, before he continued. “Surely you must know how he hates the idea of a non Æsir for a queen? How terrible it would be for him should their child become Thor’s heir? How my father feels about polluting the blood of the kings of Asgard!” His voice was growing angry as he spoke and the last few words were almost spat out in contempt. His face turned quickly away from her, but Sif could well imagine the hard and bitter set to his features, just as she saw the way his fingers tightened on the ground under them, fingernails digging into the rich, soft earth.

Sif stopped the next words from tripping from her tongue and instead made herself reconsider the situation, for there was more to Loki’s frustration and viciousness than his words decreed. Sif began to realise that Loki’s deep seated bitterness over the favouritism of Thor and the relatively new knowledge that he, himself, was not a true son of Odin, was threatening to come exploding to the surface. She swallowed nervously, well remembering what had become of them all the last time Loki’s inner turmoil and rage had broken through. A change in battle plan was needed and she made herself sit down again, beside Loki, though she could not quite summon the courage to reach out and touch him. Her presence alone helped calm some of Loki’s tension though and she watched it drain slightly from his face and body.

“But why me?” Sif eventually asked, the next question that had plagued her since Loki had first spoken.

He turned his face towards her and gave her a strange look, an odd mixture of exasperation and disbelief. He spoke slowly, as if talking to a child, carefully; his eyes boring into hers and Sif had to fight hard the urge to fidget and look away. “Because you are the great warrior maiden, Lady Sif. The Goddess of War and Thor’s closest friend. You have proven your worth in countless battles and all of Asgard agrees there could be no finer queen to sit upon their throne.” Loki paused and moved his face closer, his eyes still staring intensely into hers, as if trying to read through to her very soul. He only continued when Sif found herself no longer able to hold his penetrating gaze. “Surely you must know, Sif, that my father has planned your marriage to Thor for many centuries?”

Sif had dropped her eyes because she could see and did not want to acknowledge the truth within his words and now she nodded slowly in acceptance. Loki’s fierce, scrutinising gaze was making her feel guilty, ashamed and she said carefully, her voice more determined than she felt. “I am aware people have ideas, Loki, but certainly of no more than that.”

Loki continued to watch her and Sif forced herself to meet his gaze once more. Her own feelings of shame were beginning to frustrate her; she had nothing to hide, no reason to feel guilt or dishonour, she had done nothing wrong. As the defiance in her gaze grew, Loki looked away and Sif wondered whether he believed her. His gaze fell once more to the still water of the pool, staring so intently into it, as if it held all the answers to the questions of the nine realms, rather than just the rounded pebbles and boulders that lay scattered deep beneath its surface. The water had always been so clear, so still, the surface only marred when her, Thor and Loki had swam within its depths as children. Its peaceful tranquillity a stark contrast to the raging river that ran just out of sight of the clearing, its turbulent waters feeding this small silent pool from underground. Sif stared into the depths, trying to see what Loki did, trying to understand what was going through his mind. All she could see was their reflections, their dark, matching hair and pale faces, though Loki’s was far paler than hers, which was tanned from many days spent under the burning Asgardian sun in the palace training grounds.

Sif watched his reflection for a long moment, tried to read his expression and to understand his thoughts, but his face held no more meaning than the still, clear depths of the pool itself. Sif dropped her legs suddenly, her feet hitting the cool water and his reflection became twisted, distorted before her.

“How do you know?” Sif finally asked, when the water had returned to its mirror like stillness and she could see Loki’s face clearly once more. “Have they said anything?”

Loki’s face twisted into a bitter smirk at her question and he said, bitterly, “Tell me! Why on earth would they tell their adopted son anything at all!” When Sif narrowed her eyes at him through their reflections, her gaze a warning, Loki continued less venomously, “I doubt even mother knows what father is plotting, unless she saw it in one of her visions.”

He paused again and Sif watched as Loki worked hard to make his face emotionless and unreadable once more. His voice now his usual measured tone, he continued, “I know because I see it in his eyes. I see him plotting, watching Thor, watching Jane, watching you.”

At his last words, he turned his head towards her and Sif felt a shiver of fear down her spine; the idea of the Allfather watching her, planning her future so, and the deep emptiness of Loki’s eyes, frightened her. “Are you certain?” She asked, hoping neither her voice nor her expression betrayed her weakness. She was unable to look at Loki though, but she could see him watching her intently through the water’s surface, felt his eyes piercing into hers once more.

“Yes.” Loki answered, the simple word made so much more profound by the heaviness that had crept into his tone. “Though I know not when. But sometime soon, Sif, before the mortal’s next visit.”

Sif nodded, she had no reason to doubt the sincerity in Loki’s words. Instead she felt a distinct and unnerving feeling that Loki was shutting himself off from her once more; turning his gaze back to the clear depths of the pool and silently announcing an end to the matter. Whilst his gaze was still expressionless, Sif could clearly see Loki had already admitted defeat; see the dejection in the weariness of his eyes and the resignation in the slouch of his back.

Loki’s apathetic and despondent behaviour scared Sif into action, and she quickly began, “Then we must go the Allfather now! Before it is too late.” She made as if to jump up, determined to do exactly that, when Loki reached over and grabbed her arm, stilling her. It was the first time he had touched her that day and, though his grip was firm, it was gentle and made her skin burn. She looked up at him suddenly and Loki caught her eye holding it as firmly as he did her arm.

“And what will you say to him, Sif? If he will even grant you an audience!”

Sif glared at Loki, growing more frustrated and annoyed at his apathy. He may be willing to concede defeat so easily, but she was not. She pulled her arm out of his grip, but held his gaze firmly as she said, her voice full of determination, “I will tell him the truth about us.”

“And have all of Asgard know about us?” Loki asked, his voice still frustratingly calm, though Sif noticed he was finding his neutral expression difficult to hold. Good, she thought bitterly, it is about time he showed some emotion about what was actually happening!

“It was you who was always determined to keep our relationship a secret, Loki.” Sif replied coldly, holding his gaze fiercely.

“And you who made no argument of wanting it otherwise.” Loki immediately countered, his voice betraying his bitterness as he continued to hold their intense glare.

Sif was the first to turn away, though not in guilt but exasperation and frustration. She glared into the water and tried to calm her thoughts, it would do them both no good now if they let these age old arguments between them break free. There were far more important matters to discuss than the pitfalls and problems that had plagued their relationship for so long. With an audible sigh and using all her battle strength to push her anger aside, she turned towards Loki and gently covered his hand with her own. Only when Loki turned to face her did she speak, “I would have all of the nine realms know about us, Loki, if it meant I did not have to marry your brother.”

She squeezed his hand and looked at him in earnest, hoping he understood the emotions and thoughts behind her words, things she did not know how to express. Loki only held her gaze for a moment before looking away, letting his hair fall over his face so she could not see his expression clearly, even reflected within the water.

“Do you think it will make any difference?” Loki asked, his voice becoming tainted with resentment as he pulled his hand away from hers. “Do you think my father will care about a small thing like this?”

Sif tried to push down her disappointment and annoyance at Loki for pulling away from her and for brushing off their relationship so simply. “But surely if we explain…”

“It will make no difference!” Loki snapped, cutting her off with his resurgent anger and contempt. “Do you think my father will care enough for his adopted son and his little friend to destroy the plans he’s been setting for centuries?”

“But if Thor protests, if we tell him first and face the Allfather together…”

“Thor!” Loki bellowed, venom cutting through the word, “you think he will dare defy father?”

“But he can’t force me, Loki, I can protest…”

“You!” Loki caught her off guard again with a derisive laugh which chilled Sif to her very bones. “You think you will defy the Allfather? Betray your king who you are sworn as a warrior to obey?”

Sif pulled back from him, feeling her blood run cold as fear slipped through into her veins. Fear at the madness that had crept into his eyes and at the anger that had crept into his voice. There were few things that turned the Goddess of War’s heart to dread, but seeing her lover start to waver on the edge of insanity and remembering painfully what had happened when last he had fallen, turned her very soul to ice and her heart to lead.

She reached for his hand again and clutched at it desperately, trying to bring him back to sanity, back to her. She held her breath as she gazed beseechingly into his eyes, silently begging him to return. “Loki.” She reached out and gently caressed his face, sighing deeply as she felt the tension start to leave his body and his eyes slowly loose the glint of madness that burnt within their emerald depths.

Finally, his face became expressionless once again, with only now a hint of sadness reflecting in his gaze. “There is nothing we can do, Sif.”

“There must be something, Loki,” Sif pleaded, feeling her own frustration grow as Loki’s calmed. “We cannot just sit around and not do anything!”

When Loki remained silent, his face still empty and his countenance still so solemn and dejected, Sif pulled her hand away from his and brought her knees up to clutch against her in frustration, digging her fingers into her legs to try to counteract the throbbing need to take action within her veins.

“There is nothing, Sif.” This time it was Loki’s turn to be comforting and he reached out and took her hand, untwisting it from the other that was clutched tightly around her knees. “We can argue and fight until we have no breath left within us, but it will be of no use, father will never back down on this.” He reached over with his other hand and gently brushed a stray lock of hair behind her ear, his fingers gently brushing against her cheek as he did so. When Sif relaxed slightly under his ministrations, he continued, “I am sure Thor will make you a good husband, Sif, there is no need to worry.”

“And you think that is all that matters!” Sif cried indignantly, dropping her knees so suddenly a splash of water cascaded over them both as they hit the pool. She pulled her head away from Loki’s and gazed bitterly at the ground beside her. “You think it does not even matter that my future husband is clearly in love with someone else?”

Loki was surprised by Sif’s reaction, she could see it in his eyes as she turned back to snarl at him. But Loki was far more practiced at hiding his thoughts away than she and was far quicker in countering arguments that were not going his way. “But Jane is only mortal, Sif,” he answered, his tone surprisingly gentle and kind, “Thor will soon move on and, in time, he is sure to fall in love with you – he will do his duty and love you as his wife.”

“And I, Loki?” Sif asked dryly, “you think I will move on and fall in love with Thor so easily?”

Loki only held her gaze a moment longer, before turning away from her and casting his eyes back into the depths of the water. He did not say anything and neither did she. Sif knew full well that, even now, Loki doubted her friendship with his brother. It was yet another wedge that had existed so long between them and Sif was not about to allow him to drive it between them again, not now. So she continued to glare at Loki until he eventually spoke, repeating his earlier words. “I am sorry, Sif, but there is not anything we can do.”

If Sif had not been watching Loki so closely, if she did not know him so well, she would have missed the fleeting glimmer that crossed his eyes and the slight turn of his lips. But she did not miss it and it reminded her all to well of a feeling often repressed by Loki. Guilt. “What is it, Loki?”

Sif was not fooled by Loki’s look of surprise and confusion and she narrowed her eyes at him in warning. A look which could make even the fiercest of foes shiver in fear on the battlefield and Loki was not immune. He stared steadfastly into the water, but Sif could see through their reflections the way his feigned expression quivered and his throat moved in a barely detectable swallow.

Sif narrowed her eyes further, glaring intensely at him through the water, and made a show of reaching for her sword. As she unsheathed it and laid it to rest across her lap, she saw Loki’s mask slip and his eyes once again flicker with guilt and a slight tremor of nerves. Loki knew full well she would not be afraid to use her weapon and that this was no bluff or harmless threat.

Knowing he could not afford to test her patience further, he finally spoke, watching her intently through their reflections. “It is a ridiculous idea, Sif. One that is not worth even thinking about, let alone considering.”

Sif glared at him through the crystal clear water; she would not be so easily swayed by his arguments. “That may be the case, Loki Silvertongue, but you have clearly thought and considered it and I only deserve the chance to do likewise.”

When she saw Loki’s expression still remaining blank, she quickly moved her sword from her lap and let it drop between them, near to his bare calves where they dangled into the clear water. Loki’s reflection followed her sword and Sif carefully laced her words and expression with malice as she finished speaking, “It is, after all, my own future that is to be considered.”

Loki finally relented then and Sif saw his reflection shift in the water as he turned towards her. Sif copied his movement, but she did not lessen her glare until he finally spoke the answer she wanted. With his voice as calm and measured as always, his face as hard as stone, he said carefully, “The only way to avoid marrying Thor would be if you were already married before my father announces his plans.”

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Thanks for still reading! More chapters are on their way.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
nix_nox_noir
16th Aug, 2011 00:12 (UTC)
This makes me smile :D

Loki/Sif FTW!
silverducks
16th Aug, 2011 15:27 (UTC)
Thanks for reading!
Thanks for still reading and I'm glad it made you smile. I hope to have the next chapter up soon.

Thank you!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )