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Story [Thor: The Dark World] "to pick up arms", Loki/Sif, Oneshot speculation

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by Mira_Jade , Apr 28, 2013.

  1. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    "to pick up arms"

    Genre: Angst, Drama
    Rating: PG
    Time Frame: Thor: The Dark World speculation
    Characters: Sif, Loki (implied Sif/Loki)

    Summary: "When you betray him, as you are planning even now to do, know that it will not be he who spills your blood, but I," said War to Mischief. In reply, Mischief only smiled.

    Notes: Soooo . . . this is my knee-jerk reaction to the trailer for Thor II – and while not a scene I expect the film to have, it was the first thing that I imagined, and I just had to write it. Gah, Loki, just what do you think you are doing to my muse?? She is smitten. :p

    Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, but for the words.

    "to pick up arms"
    by Mira_Jade

    She could feel him even before she could properly see him.

    The Vault swam with the stink of seiðr. Though the wards on the cell of the second son (the Worldslayer, she reminded herself, for son he was no more by blood and choice) kept Loki from accessing the elemental and the arcane, the air still reeked with the strength of force needed to keep from him his power. A tingle raced up and down her spine at the taste of magic on the air – distant after so long, but never forgotten. Her pulse danced in her neck, answering the unconscious call to arms - the static and heat sensation of lightning before it struck. Underneath her gloved hand, the hilt of her glaive was a weight, a calm certainty against her palm. She let the touch of steel anchor her. The armor about her body was more than the protection of skin in that moment, it was a skin of its own - her second self as much as Loki and his ridiculous costumes were. When wearing such, she was Sif Týrdottir: shield-maiden of Asgard, she who was called and called to War. She was not Sif: the woman, with her tender places and her memories and her heart-sickness hidden in her chest. As she walked, the edges of her armor shifted together like the scales of a serpent, rippling in time with her movements. For a moment she was the battle and nothing else.

    The guards were waved away with a sharp motion of her hand, each of the two sentries bowing before retreating to the shadows and then beyond, granting her privacy without comment. Perhaps they even hoped that the Trickster would eer and she would slay him while attempting one of his misdeeds. Perhaps - like Gothorm on the right, whom she had trained with in her girlhood - they too remembered a time when they were more than the Three and their Lady alongside their Prince of one. Perhaps they remembered as she remembered. Perhaps, her restless thoughts looked at too many angles, and they simply did not care. The hand holding her glaive became a fist, hidden behind the comfort of her shield. Her shield, which became a traitor in her hand, pulsed silently so close to its enchanter, welcoming he who had begotten it, even after the years that had passed . . .

    She hardened herself at that thought, that reminder. After one more long stride, she turned the corner to find herself before the wide wall of Dwarf-forged glass that looked in on Loki's cell. For a moment she lingered in the shadows of the corridor while he stood still in the too-bright light. Her heart stammered in her chest at the sight of him. She bit her tongue and called the emotion anger.

    "To what do I owe this great honor?" he called in greeting. His back was to her, no doubt having heard the click of her armor, the rhythm of her breath. She hadn't bothered to hide her approach from him, and he knew the shape of her stride. No amount of years between them would throw that knowing away.

    With his face turned from her, she could only see the long fall of unkempt hair, following down the path of his spine. The dark strands were left to curl and tangle without the copious amount of product he had once used to keep it straight and severe from his face. She stamped down the sudden urge she had to take a blade to the locks, to crop them back underneath his chin as they used to be. She wanted to watch the shorn strands fall from his shoulders as hers had once fallen from her own mane of gold . . . She tightened her fist as she let her eyes fall lower. He wore a loose grey tunic over dark pants, both falling ill from a body that was too many hard lines and jutting bones – even for him. He was a pale shadow of the man in her memories, half-conjured and semi-solid before her eyes, as if she spoke to one of his shadows rather than to him. But his voice was the same as ever; rich and warm, seeking her as an arrow would seek its target. "If I remember correctly, you were doing such a fine job of avoiding me up until now."

    She fought the urge to take a step back. Instead she braced herself, keeping her feet a shoulders width apart as if she had roots.

    "I come, not out of my own wish, but for the sake of others," Sif started coldly – ignoring his implications, ignoring him. He still had not turned to look at her.

    Silence rang from him. Very well - she needed not of his words. She only needed him to listen.

    "The realms fall under attack," she let her words ring out smartly.

    " - you were not there to greet me at my most joyous return," Loki interrupted casually, his voice easy, as if remarking on the weather.

    "The foe we face is a seiðrmaðr," Sif continued, ignoring him. "A dark Álfar - Malekith the Accursed One, who so hails from the fifth moon of Álfheimr -"

    " - I was pained, not to see your eyes in the crowd -"

    " - He covers the nine worlds in a second darkness, the likes of which we have not seen since the Great Beginning. We cannot fight him with steel, and the few mages we have are powerless -"

    " - After all, the Three were there. Frigg was there, as was Odin great and terrible. Even Sleipnir's groom was there, but not -"

    Sif slammed a fist against the wall separating them, silencing him with the unexpected flare of her temper. "Enough," she interrupted him. "Just . . . enough."

    "Such violence," Loki clucked his tongue in mock-disaproval, laughter licking at the roof of his mouth for how easily her ire was sparked. Like lighting the wick of a candle, he had once said. She made a low sound in her throat at the memory, and at the tell-tale sound he finally turned to her. In the white light, there were no shadows to conceal the paleness of his face, the sickly pallor of his skin. She could clearly see the lines of his cheeks outlined, the hollow behind the bone that would swallow her hand were she to touch him . . .

    His eyes glinted with his mirth at her apprisal, a cruel mirth, tugging at the corner of his mouth and tightening his eyes to chips of pale spring. She wanted nothing more than to claw the look from his skin in that moment. She wanted blood and flesh to gather underneath her nails as the scent of winter and metal rose from his skin . . .

    "You," she breathed heavily through her nose, though she had told herself that she would not. She would feel nothing. "You will be silent -"

    " - It much defeats the purpose of a conversation, my dear -" Loki's responce was wry.

    " - about things you have no right to speak of," Sif finished through clenched teeth.

    "Ah," Loki's eyes cleared. They went blank – careful and calculating and green like they had not been on the day of his return. For some reason the look sat like a bruise on her bones, cutting her where his mockery had not. "So the shield-maiden was not strong enough to see my return? Or did you watch unseen from the shadows, lurking? Did you weep, my lady?" he leaned forward, as if thoughtful. His head was tilted, a graceful and curious gesture that normally came whenever he was poured over some tome of old. Once was, it had been a look to made her want to tug on his hair and turn his attention towards her, to make him read her as he read his runes . . .

    Did she lurk? Did she weep? Sif could not remember. She remembered only his mouth bound with metal as he materialized with Thor and the Tesseract before the gathered masses. She remembered seeing the steel about his mouth and remembering his lips sewn with golden thread those long years ago. She remembered the ache that had been in Thor's eyes to lead his brother bound and gagged like an animal before his father's throne. She remembered the rolling feeling like a tide in her own stomach as a matching ache settled in her lungs, stealing her ability to breathe as the crowd jeered and cried its insults. She remembered how Loki had looked up proudly, as if pleased by the crowd's reaction. He would have raised his hands – taken the foul words with grace, as if they were adulations, had he not been so bound . . . She remembered how blue his eyes had been then, still sick on the power he had so foolishly tried to wield. It had not been Loki then, but rather an imposter wearing his flesh and bones in an unfamiliar way.

    She had . . . she had avoided seeing him since that day, though Thor came often – sitting through his brother's silences while he talked easily about everything and nothing, trying to rouse the brother he once knew from the stranger before him. Frigg, too, saw her son (her son) daily, and had asked Sif to come with her only once. And Sif had refused . . . She pressed her fist against the glass until she was sure it would break from the strength of her.

    "I felt nothing at your return," she finally said – her voice a match for his in coldness, in cruelty. "I was not there, because there was nothing there worth seeing. Another prisoner of war paraded before the gluttonous masses?" she snorted. "It was not worth my notice."

    His mouth curved in delicate distaste. She remembered the shape of that look. She remembered how she would press her finger in the place where his frown met the curve of his cheek and push upwards until a true smile was rewarded for his efforts. He snorted, but his mirth did not quite reach his eyes . . . How easily he had always read her lies, she thought.

    "But I did not come to discuss things of old," she pushed on. Her words were a deflection, a feint. "I've come to inform you of that which is currently transpiring."

    "One of the Allfather's buried secrets has come out from the shadows once more?" Loki gave an unkind smile, allowing her retreat in favor of sneering over his once-father's name. "Forgive me for not swooning with my surprise."

    Sif narrowed her eyes. "We all have things in our pasts that we regret. At least Odin Allfather seeks to atone for the deeds of old. One could call that admirable - honorable, even."

    "Ah," Loki replied, humor touching at his eyes. "Now the Lady speaks in double tongues? I had thought that you would have learned better than that. You handle your words like a child with a wooden sword."

    "It is not I who is known for my forked tongue," Sif pointed out, keeping her words level. Her fist was white against the glass.

    "Silver tongue," Loki corrected, holding a finger up. "You, of all people, should know the importance of such names."

    "Verily, I named you true then," Sif retorted. A whispered voice inside of her said to stop letting him play her so finely; it whispered that he fed on her responses as if they were a fine wine to savor. It had always been so between them, even before . . .

    . . . well, before.

    "You name me such," Loki went on curiously, "But you too would seek my aid against a foe no sword can touch? How very desperate Asgard must be, if I am their only hope." And then there was a flicker in his eyes, sparking as a triumph even greater than that of throne and crown. To know need and desperation from a race that had scorned his affinity with the uncanny, the siren's song that Mother Yggdrasil sang in his veins? The idea was intoxicating to him. She could see the idea swim drunk in his eyes.

    "Our only hope? If the choice belonged to me, I would leave you here to rot while Malekith brings an ever-night down around us," she replied honestly. "But Thor will not. Thor . . . Thor loves too greatly. He loves these realms . . . he loves you. He may not realize it, but he is giving you a second chance. He may say you are our only hope – and maybe you are – but he wants you to stand up and strike a blow to remind him of the brother you once were. He wants to fight by your side once more, as you once were. He wants it like breathing – he does not even care if that want shall be the thing to steal his last breath in the end."

    Loki was carefully still before her, his expression without feeling. He stalked forward until he was very close to the glass, his every step liquid, wraith-like. There was danger in his stride then, a danger that most overlooked with his willow-like build and his too-clever words. And yet, it was a danger that Sif had seen and recognized for what it truly was all of those centuries ago . . . Now, she could feel the heat of him through the glass when he rested his forehead against the barrier that separated them. Where her hand was still fisted, he rested his hand opposite of hers, lazy and spider-like as he pressed his fingertips against the glass in a ghostly pantomime of intimacy, of touch.

    "The faith and honor of Thor," he said darkly, his voice drawn low from his chest. "You sing his praises like a skald; you lay his heart bear with all of the sentiment of a bard. But you stand by him, even now?" Loki asked, peering closely at her. "Even when he cares more for the fate of mortal-kind on Midgard over the Aesir who are his kith and kin? Even when he parades that human woman before the masses as his bride to be, when you have stood ever-loyal in his shadow, ever-faithful by his side?" His words marched, she recognized the weight of their blow.

    In answer, Sif felt a cold weight settle in her veins. It was an anger too hurt to be called fury. "And what do Thor's affections matter to me?" she returned, her voice a low whisper, forced from between her teeth. "You fight with an old argument, an old insecurity – one that affects me not, but one that once meant so very much to you . . ."

    Loki laughed; a dry, humorless sound. She could feel it hum against the glass between them. "The lady lies as well as I," he praised.

    "Not nearly," Sif returned, her voice a knife's edge.

    And Loki merely rolled his shoulders - as if her words were sky-water, striking him not. She had never been one to fight with her words, after all - that had always his weapon of choice. She dropped her hand from the glass in order to strum at the edge of her shield, watching as his eyes followed her. She wondered if he remembered as she remembered - if he recalled clever fingers at the dips between the bones of his spine, if he remembered sharp nails at the soft points of his throat, where his flesh sat tender and unprotected around voice and breath . . .

    "Thor will come, and ask for your aid," she finally stated, ignoring the intensity of his look. This close, his eyes were so very green. "He will come, knowing of the battle to fight and knowing of the betrayal you no doubt plan as we speak. He will swear that he will kill you should you take even one erstwhile step. But I do declare this, Loki Laufeyson: Thor will have not one drop of your blood on his hands when the time comes." Her voice was easy when she spoke, as easy as if remarking on the balance of a blade or the gait of a new mount.

    Loki leaned forward – expectantly, she thought. He read the deception in her words with pride. "Is that so?" he inquired as he inhaled. "What exactly will you do to stop him?"

    "I will be the one to take your last breath," she declared boldly, all pretense of duplicity falling from her mouth. Her hand on her glaive tightened, she watched as his eyes followed the play of muscle up her arm. "So, fight for those you once called kin. Fight for those who would still embrace you as such, if only you would let them. And if you wish to fight not for that, fight for your vanity – the knowledge that you are defeating a foe none of us can . . . But if your eye should fall even once to he who I am sworn to protect, know that I will kill you. I will deliver your soul to Lady Hel herself if need be – for I will not allow Thor to darken his hands with your blood. I will not allow that stain to touch his soul . . . Not his soul, not now - not after what he has seen, what he has endured from your hand." For she was War. She was the battle and all that came with it – victory at the cost of lives, life for the tax of souls. While Thor was a warrior with a hero's heart and a leader's clarity, he would never fully understand the song of armies as she did. He was not greed and loss and the ground thirsty with the blood of those fallen. He was the hope of soldiers, the pride of the people they served - and she prayed to Yggdrasil herself that it would always be so with him. It was her shield she held before Thor with his heart and his tender places left bare - always had it been, and always would it be so.

    "And you?" Loki leaned forward against the glass until the wall held his weight completely. The steam from his breath clouded the barrier between them. "Are you so eager to redden your hands? Are you eager to claim my head for your collection?"

    Slowly, Sif leaned forward. Where his hand rested against the glass, splayed fingers a feather's touch, she rested her fingers where his jugular would be were not they separated. Where his face was twisted in amusement – mischief, even – she bared her teeth. She wore the battle in her eyes as she answered, "You . . . what you were is dead already to me. Believe me when I say that I want nothing more than to take the final breath from what stands before me now."

    A moment passed. For all of his tangled hair and simple garb, he smiled as if he were something elemental. He smiled with the amusement of a parent humoring a child, as if she were threatening flame or wind rather than a being of flesh and bone. There was a dare in his eyes in that moment, a challenge. She itched under her armor. The hilt of her glaive was slick in her hand.

    "I hear your warning, Lady Týrdottir," Loki breathed mockingly, stepping away from her only to bow - the low sweeping curtessey a warrior would pay to his lady. His pupils were blown wide when he looked up from the pose, the green there bright enough to challenge even the light around him.

    "You hear my promise," she hissed in return, pushing away from the glass. Her vow fell from her lips to loiter on the air between them, resting alongside the stench of caged magic and the memories of old. She turned, and stalked away from him, her stride bold as she marched. She could feel his eyes between her shoulder-blades as she took her leave, tangling with the plates of her armor, the long fall of her night-shade hair.

    In reply, his laughter followed her until she could hear him no more.

  2. serendipityaey

    serendipityaey Jedi Master star 4

    Jan 24, 2004
    Fantastic descriptions, you captured the tension within each of them and between them so well. Particularly loved the way you used the glass in between them, but the way they could still interact, almost touch... Loved it!
  3. mrjop2

    mrjop2 Jedi Knight star 4

    Jun 6, 2007
    Good story, but you stole the title of the Thor one shot that I was about to do. LOL!! My title was going to be To War. Maybe I'll change it to Courted to War. :D

    Anyway, I was planning on doing a Captain America first.
  4. NYCitygurl

    NYCitygurl Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jul 20, 2002
    Aaaaaahhhh I love it! I'm so excited for the movie, and your story got me even more excited :D

    I love the interaction etween Sif an Loki! It fleshes her out nicely; she doesn't have much screen time. And, like everyone else, I love Loki :p
  5. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The NSWFF Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    When I logged on today, I had not expected to find this viggie at the top of the list again. It had been so long. But I was thrilled anyway! Thank you for your kind words! [:D]

    serendipityaey: Why thank-you! There is such a fantastic tension between these two - from the whole two seconds of interaction we got in the movie, to the myths - and I love exploiting that too. And I'm a sucker for all of the damage Loki can still cause when locked up. :p

    mrjop2: I think that is far off enough to still keep your title. :D I am just looking forward to more Thor fic. [face_love]

    NYCitygurl: I have so many feelings where Sif and Loki are concerned - both together and apart. So many. (Over at FF.N, I have many, many words dedicated to those feelings, and this is one of the things I cross-posted. 8-} [face_laugh]) I am ready for the new movie like breathing, that is for sure. [face_dancing][face_love]