|Reputations and Other Nuisances
Author: TruffleHead PM
Sherlock gets a call from a mysterious stranger who tells him that he has a job for him, if he wants it. On Asgard, The Gods are getting increasingly desperate for someone- anyone- to come in and try to talk to Loki, to heal him. Sherlock is up for the job- because really, if anybody could see through Loki Laufeyson, it'd be Sherlock Holmes. JohnLock and hints of Siki.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst/Friendship - Sherlock H. & Loki - Words: 4,865 - Reviews: 11 - Favs: 40 - Follows: 39 - Published: 07-19-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8337766
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
My cat, Truffles, gets credit for helping this get written by cuddling me as I wrote this. True inspiration right there. :)
Make sure to look at Krista Lokidottir' cool new crossover, too! Seriously, people. It's pretty darned cool. :)
Happy Birthday, Benedict Cumberbatch! XD
A reputation can be a nasty thing, what people think of you and what they assume- or conclude- about your character. They say that reputations are earned, that you make them. Maybe this is true, but I know two people who would strongly disagree. Two people whose reputations are extremely misleading when it comes to their character. After all, isn't it common knowledge that Sherlock Holmes is a thrill- seeking sociopath and Loki Laufeyson is a frost giant who is evil at heart?
Maybe sometimes a reputation isn't true at all.
221 B. Baker Street
Why in the world had his phone chosen this exact time to ring? It was all the way across the room, and he was so very close to finding out the point at which certain types of horse saliva boil.
Sighing and rolling his eyes, Sherlock rose from his chair and crossed the room to pick up his mobile. Just in case it would have been John.
Sherlock answered the call, a withheld number, and raised it to his ear. "Yes?" He asked, his tone making it clear that he expected a reasonable answer at that exact moment.
"Hello, Sherlock Holmes. I am Director Fury." A deep voice said on the other line.
"A Director of what, may I ask?" Sherlock asked, his tone annoyed, but internally he was jumping for joy. This man sounded dangerous, and the tone he used screamed he was used to power, and a lot of it. This was Christmas.
A chuckle on the other end of the line. "I have a job for you, Mr. Holmes. If you're up for it."
"Which is?" Sherlock responded, a bit annoyed that his previous question was discarded but too intrigued to really care.
"There will be a car to pick you up at 0700 hours tomorrow morning. Your choice to accept if or not. Hope to see you soon." The line disconnected.
The calendar must have been lying. There was no way this wasn't December.
"I'm sorry?" Thor asked, incredulous.
"You heard me correctly, son," Odin replied, still as calm as ever, "he will be brought to Asguard."
"A human?" Sif whispered. The warriors three kept silent.
"As your father has told you, Thor," Frigga piped up, "this is for the best for your brother. Nothing else is working! Would you rather him executed? Exiled?"
Thor lowered his gaze. "Of course not, Mother. You know exile would be as sure of a death as execution."
He heard Sif huff in exasperation behind him, still disagreeing with the idea, but she wisely kept quiet.
Frigga finished her argument with, "Then at least try to help your brother heal."
"I suppose we are running out of... options," Thor admitted.
Odin looked down at all of them. "He will be here by tomorrow afternoon."
221 B. Baker Street
It was exactly 7:00 A.M. when a black car pulled up in front of Sherlock's flat.
"Wait, you're going where?" John had asked when he told him about the phone call. "You're going to take a ride in a mysterious, apparently power- crazy stranger's car even though you have no idea where he's taking you."
"Yes," Sherlock had said, "that's what I said, John."
"Well, that sounds safe."
"And chasing a serial killer down the dark alleyways of London is?"
John had grumbled something about how that was different and went to go make tea.
He was still asleep when Sherlock stepped out of the flat and into the 'power- crazy stranger's car'. After all, he knew John had been right, he really didn't have a clue about where he was headed. If it did end up being dangerous, he didn't want to have dragged John into this.
The car started to move along; it was about an hour before they reached their destination- an airport. After boarding yet another form of transportation- a helicopter, this time- and a few more painfully boring hours later, it landed in what, according to the pilot, was the top of some building called Stark Tower.
The helicopter landed and Sherlock was greeted by a mob of seemingly random people.
"ANOTHER SCIENCE BUDDY!" Sherlock heard someone scream from across the roof. Whipping around to address the noise, Sherlock's coat swooshed around him and his eyes scanned the mob. He didn't have to search for long. A man with strange facial hair was rushing toward him at an alarming speed.
"Sherlcok Holmes!" He said, his eyes sparkling with excitement (or was that just a large amount of alcohol?). "I'm Tony Stark." Suddenly he stepped back, and looked at Sherlock more closely. "Hey, Natasha?"
A girl with short red hair stepped over to Stark and sighed, as if expecting what he was going to say to be either childish or immature. "What is it, Stark?"
"This guy's hot!" Stark said, crossing his arms as if he was concerned about his competition. Yes, probably the alcohol, Sherlock thought.
Natasha resisted the urge to facepalm and instead, after sending a menacing glare in Tony's direction, gestured for the new man to follow her. "I can show you to Director Fury."
Sherlock nodded sharply and followed. Everything about this girl screamed extremely athletic; he also noted the gun strapped to her hip and the way she turned her back on a complete stranger. She was very confident with herself.
That is, unless this Director Fury had told everyone about his arrival and he wasn't a complete stranger.
"See you later, Sherly! I can show you my lab!" He heard Stark call from behind him.
Which, apparently, had happened.
It was lonely in the library.
Loki lingered in the doorway for a second, sweeping the large room for a second to confirm this, and then quickly entered, shutting the door behind him. Solitude was the only kindness he could find these days, trapped in the castle.
Stepping over to a large shelf, he chose a book at random (which turned out to be on some sort of healing magic), went over to his favorite chair, and began to read.
He remained there for eight hours, until someone entered the library, his previously found solitude ruined. Sighing, Loki stood to leave the library, wondering which route to his quarters would be less likely to encounter someone.
S.H.E.I.L.D Headquarters (Stark Tower)
Sherlock put his legs up on the table and placed his hands on his stomach; it seemed to annoy Fury.
The Director sighed but continued the conversation. "Are you familiar any Norse Mythology?"
"Thoroughly," Sherlock responded, proud of his extensive knowledge. The only reason he hadn't deleted all the information he had acquired when he was a child was because his brother had always scorned him for wasting 'brain space' on such silly matters. And, of course, wasn't there a law somewhere that he just had to do whatever Mycroft disapproved of?
Fury smiled, pleased for some reason.
"Well, Mr. Holmes, I have someone you should probably meet." He touched his earpiece and spoke again, "Agent Hill, you can send Thor in now."
Sherlock raised an eyebrow. What was he playing at?
A big, muscular man entered the room not moments after wearing frankly ridiculous attire that would have been unbearable to wear outside at this time of year.
"Greetings, my friend," The man said warmly, extending a huge hand, "I have heard much about you. I am Thor..." Hesitating for a moment, he looked at Fury, as if looking for permission. After receiving a curt nod, he finished, "God of Thunder."
Sherlock ignored the hand and instead turned to Fury, who rushed into saying, "Now, this is quite a lot to take in on just a whim-"
"Thor has red hair." Sherlock interrupted, looking completely and utterly bored.
The self proclaimed God of Thunder laughed heartedly. "You Midguardians have a tendency to stretch the truth... quite a bit, to whatever pleases you more."
Sherlock looked unconvinced.
The man clenched a fist and thunder clashed outside.
Sherlock looked out the window suspiciously. "Why did you bring me here?"
Thor's eyes gleamed. Crossing the room, he retrieved a cylindrical shaped device with a glowing blue cube inside. "I would like to show you something, Mr. Holmes, if you'd like." Thor said, gesturing to the other handle.
Sherlock didn't hesitate- maybe he should have, but he didn't- and grabbed the handle.
Next thing he knew, darkness overtook him.
Groaning, Sherlock sat up and rubbed his head. Looking about the room, he noticed a large, curved window on the opposite wall and got up to look more closely out of it.
Right away he realized the constellations were different- planets and stars he was certain he had never seen before were scattered in the sky. The architecture was breathtaking- curved, golden buildings as well as sharp, pointed looking structures stretched high into the sky.
Well, wherever he was, the residents here sure were flamboyant.
Behind him, a door opened and in walked Thor. "You live here." He noted. Thor's steps were much more confident now... he was much more at ease in this place. And if he claimed to be Thor, then this must be Asguard. Sherlock turned back to the window. Oh, the experiments he could perform here.
"Yes, Asguard is my home." Thor said, smiling.
Asguard... it was hard to believe, but the thing was, Sherlock wanted it to be true. The Earth would be so, painfully dull if there wasn't much else to it than what was obvious. "What am I to do? You've shown me what you wished; now explain."
There was a beat of silence as Thor contemplated how to put things.
Eventually, Thor said, "Everybody assumes that my brother is an is an evil man at the core. I assure you, this is false. He is hurting, and he feels that he is alone. However, not many people see that this is true. Not even Loki himself."
"And you wish me to do what?"
"Make him see that he is loved... fix him." Thor looked pained, but then his tone grew lighter, "If you're as good as they say," Thor said, a bit of a smile creeping onto his face at the challenge.
Sherlock remained silent. He was begining to wonder why he should even bother. This really wasn't his area. He wondered why the gods thought he was capable of this, and how on earth had they first heard of him, in the first place?
"After you are done- or have done all you can- you will be able to... go frolic around in the name of science, as your friend Lestrade put it, outside in Asguard." Thor said, noticing his hesitation.
"Why me?" Sherlock asked. This just didn't seem to ring true.
"Nothing else is working. We've become... increasingly desperate. I will not have my brother live the rest of his life like this, thinking he is evil." Thor said, determinedly.
"What of Vor? Surely she could help," Sherlock said, referring to the goddessa of which nothing could be hidden. Thor winced.
Sherlock noticed and immediately started to deduce. "You've already tried that? Loki hurt her? No, no, you're not that emotionally attached to Vor, you wouldn't be this hurt... Vor hurt Loki? Emotionally?"
Thor looked amazed. "That is... very impressive. But yes, she told him things he didn't want to hear and got... very upset. He hasn't spoken to anybody since. Just remember... don't push him too far. He has had his magic taken away and is trapped in the castle for now, as punishment for what he had done on Midguard, so he can't hurt anybody, but still... remain cautious."
Sherlock raised an eyebrow, "Yes, I... understand." What was the point of trying to refuse? These were desperate, emotionally conflicted gods he was dealing with. Best to try and appease them, as degrading as it might feel. Besides, this was... different. It might even be fun.
"This task may be... more difficult than you are initially perceiving it to be," Thor said, his tone concerned.
Smirking, Sherlock responded, "We'll see about that." Because if anyone could see into Loki Laufeyson, it'd be Sherlock Holmes.
Thor nodded uncertainly but said, "I wish you luck, Mr. Holmes. You can start tomorrow; we will arrange a meeting of you both. For now, you can roam the castle for a time."
Sherlock turned back to the window, and he heard Thor leave the room. He would never admit it to anybody, but the view took his breath away; he couldn't tear his eyes from the sky.
A few minutes later, however, a servant came in to tidy up his quarters, and after about ten seconds of her attempting to make small talk, Sherlock left the room. He cherished solitude above all else- save for when John was around.
John wasn't here, though, so solitude would just have to do.
He wondered if they had a library in this gigantic place. Those always had musty corners where he could be alone.
As Loki stood to leave, the man that had entered the library seemed to recognize him, and immediately made a beeline towards him. Panicking, Loki quickly rushed backward, and put out an arm to signal for the man to stop. He did, but something was still off about the man... he was human.
Loki frowned. A Midguardian in Asguard? That hasn't happened in centuries, how strange...
Oh. He remembered Odin saying something about bringing a human to Asguard to try and help him heal, again. Gritting his teeth, he waited for the man to speak.
"You know why I'm here." The man's deep, baritone voice sounded, a bit of a smile in his voice; he must like to show off.
Loki, surprised, demanded, "How?"
The man started to smile and said, "You didn't ask."
A British accent, Loki thought. He wasn't very familiar with the locations on Midguard, but he knew that was not near Stark Tower or the place he had opened the portal. Is that why he doesn't hate me? Loki thought. He must not know all of what I've done.
"Well, your efforts are futile," Loki said with a chuckle, casting his thoughts aside, "I've nothing to say to you." Turning back around, he went to exit the library.
"Or, maybe you do, but you've too clever of a shell and have hidden it from us all." The deep voice said from behind him. Stupid stubborn Midguardian.
Loki turned back around, and raised an eyebrow.
The man waved a hand dismissively, "No matter; what I'm going to find out, it'll not be through words." Loki didn't change his perplexed expression.
"My name is Sherlock Holmes. Follow me if you wish." Sherlock said, and walked over to a door that held a veranda.
It was bloody snowing outside, but if the man wanted to freeze his head off, that was his choice, he supposed. It wouldn't affect him at all, Loki knew.
Without words, though, that was the bit that confused him. Was this human psychic? He had to admit, he was beyond curious. Loki followed the Midguardian outside.
"When I first approached you in the library, you had no idea as to who I was, and yet your initial reaction was to backpedal, and not to attack. I know for a fact you could have knocked me out, at the very least, and yet you didn't. This shows that you may not be as 'evil' as some people claim, at the core." Sherlock started spewing as soon as he had joined him outside.
"I fail to see how that proves anything at all; perhaps your filthy Midguardian stench scarred me off." Loki retorted, not exactly sure why he was defending the idea that he was, truly, evil at the core.
The Midguardian snorted, apparently casting off this idea as ridiculous, and the conversation lapsed into silence.
Looking off into the distant sunset, his thoughts turned to Sigyn, as they always did when his mind was idle. He didn't mind, but he knew he should be careful... too much wishful thinking and the wish itself could be too much to bear. He had no idea that Sherlock was trying to cope with the very same problem.
"Who is she?" Sherlock demanded suddenly, dragging Loki from his thoughts.
"You tell me!" Loki said, annoyed at the odd question.
"No, no, the woman who was occupying your thoughts."
Loki, alarmed, started to back away. "Are you a sorcerer?"
Sherlock laughed, apparently amused with the idea, but said, "No, no, your pupils were dilated, your breathing had quickened... I ask again, who is she?"
Turning away to look again at the sunset, he muttered, "No one of importance."
Sherlock scoffed. "Oh, please, unrequited love is an easy one to spot. Especially if you have... experience."
Loki looked up, suddenly interested. "You, too?"
"Too? So you are admitting to an admiration?" Sherlock said, leaning in closer.
Loki gave up; it would probably do good to tell someone, anyway. Sighing, he said quietly, "Sigyn."
"Sorry?" Sherlock asked, smiling victoriously.
"Sigyn," Loki said, his tone more harsh, "Her name is Sigyn."
"Sigyn? I thought..." Sherlock's sentence cut off as he remembered what Thor had said. 'You Midguardians have a tendency to stretch the truth... quite a bit, to whatever pleases you more.' In the Mythology texts, Sigyn had been with Loki as his always- faithful wife.
"What happened?" Sherlock asked, his voice gentle. He knew he stood on shaky ground.
"You tell me, first." Loki said, turning back to Sherlock.
"About?" Sherlock prompted, confused.
"'Unrequited love is an easy one to spot. Especially if you have... experience.'" Loki mocked, smirking. "Who?" He demanded.
Sherlock rolled his eyes. "Your deduction skills need some refining. I meant 'experience', as in experience with detecting the love itself, and not actually harboring any-"
"Who?" Loki repeated. He received only an annoyed glare. "Fine, then," he said, and extended his hands where a glowing blue sphere began to form.
"What are you doing?" Sherlock asked, straightening up, "I thought your magic was taken from you?"
"Ah, this is simple enough, they won't detect it. Besides, it's a different form of-" His sentence broke off, and he looked closer at the ball. "John." Loki declared, looking up at Sherlock, the magic disappearing. "That's his name, isn't it?"
"Magic." Sherlock stated, trying to sound more disgusted than amazed, "that's cheating."
"I can show you more, if you'd like," Loki started to say. Sherlock's eyes glowed with anticipation. "... If you tell me more about this John."
"Why are you so interested?" Sherlock asked dryly.
Loki frowned; he didn't really know. "I suppose I want to know... if your story is as interesting as mine."
"It probably isn't," Sherlock said after a time, "there isn't much to tell." He was a bit reluctant with sharing his story, but he knew that Loki could just bring up that confounded ball of magic and get it out of him that way, and that was a lot less dignified.
Besides, there was a part of him that sort of needed to share.
"Then tell it," Loki encouraged.
There was another pause. "I love him, he's married. End of story."
"Ah," Loki started, emotion filling his voice, "I'm sorry."
Sherlock didn't know how to respond to that, so instead said quietly, "it's your turn."
"No, no, that's quite alright," Loki said with a mischievous smile.
Sherlock groaned. "Don't make me deduce it all."
Loki smirked but said nothing. A challenge, Sherlock thought. Well then.
Stepping back, Sherlock examined Loki more closely.
"You had a lonely childhood. Maybe because of your title, but more likely because of your heritage- you aren't in the least affected by this cold." Sherlock deduced, waiting for either an affirmation or an insult. Neither came. "Am I right?" He asked, but Loki remained silent.
Sherlock started again. "Your, well, evil-ness, must have derived from something back when you were young, or it had something to do with Sigyn, both those things run very deep within-"
"Sigyn has nothing to do with this," Loki nearly shouted. Sherlock raised an eyebrow. Touchy subject, Sherlock thought.
"Then tell me what does." Sherlock said. After a moment of silence, Sherlock grew impatient. "You did imply that you would..."
"I am the god of mischief and lies," Loki spat, "what do you expect?"
"You don't like your title?" Sherlock asked, confused.
"No," Loki said, his voice a bit softer, "It's practically an insult."
"'Mischief' is not always a pejorative."
"No. But most are quick to go as far as 'evil'."
"They are judging you by your actions, as they have every right to be."
Loki laughed humorlessly. "Yes. My actions." Loki seemed to think about that a moment, and then spoke softly, "I think it's time I will retire."
Sherlock raised an eyebrow but Loki was already gone. He debated following him for only a second before he stepped back into the library. Who was he kidding; he couldn't resist.
The thing was, though, trying to follow a sorcerer unseen through hallways he was unfamiliar with might have been a harder task than he had originally thought. He had to ask for directions along the way, which was mortifying in itself, but eventually, he found himself outside Loki's chambers.
He knew it wouldn't be locked- Loki lived in the world of the gods; if anybody wanted to come into his room, they'd get themselves in. Unless Loki had specifically thought of him... well, he decided to try.
Stepping forward, he put his hand to the handle and turned. The door opened.
Why he had said anything at all to that Midguardian frustrated him. It only gave him thoughts that made him weaker- he could feel the emotions trying to take control, even now. Keep a hold of yourself, now. Don't let feelings get the better of you, Loki thought to himself.
He knew the man was trying to follow him, but also knew that he wouldn't be able to keep it up for long. Opening the door that led into his quarters, he stepped inside, shut the door quietly, and sat on his bed.
For three minutes he simply sat there, grappling with his thoughts and trying to control them.
He remembered times when it was peaceful and perfect, when he had some time with Sigyn. He remembered Vali and Narvi. Two bright young boys. Or, they would have been two bright young boys. If they had been given even a chance.
Loki didn't notice the tear running down his cheek.
The door opened silently, but Loki still heard Sherlock's entrance and looked up sharply.
"You're crying," Sherlock stated, his voice was confused. What had he done?
Loki seemed equally as confused for a moment, but a brief touch to his cheek confirmed what Sherlock had said. Loki sighed, "Brilliant deduction."
Knowing this was unusual ground for him and trying to tread lightly in case he made a wrong move, he moved over to the bed and sat down next to Loki.
Thinking, psychologically wise, that maybe if he shared more of his story, it might spur Loki to share his, he said, "Her name is Mary, John's wife. She's... she's beautiful, tolerant, and maybe not the brightest, but she does have common sense, I'll give her that." Loki didn't change his position. "She's perfect for him."
Another few moments passed, and Sherlock waited for the god to speak. He didn't know why he was trying this hard, but he had to admit, Loki, even as a whole person, was extremely intriguing. He wanted to hear his side of the story.
"Are you a father?" Loki's question was so sudden; Sherlock had to take a second to answer.
"... No." There was silence again. "Are you?"
"Not anymore. I do have one child that still lives on, but I technically mothered him."
Sleipnir, Sherlock remembered. "What of the others?" He asked, hoping he didn't push him too far. He heard Loki swallow.
"Angrboda is a giantess that lives in Jodunheim, my birthplace." Loki started, and Sherlock didn't dare to move. In the Mythology, when Loki had grew tired of his wife Sigyn he visited the giantess Angrboda, and she bore three of his children.
Then again, Loki wasn't even married to Sigyn at all.
"Angrboda wasn't a bad person- or, I suppose, giantess. I liked her, she was a nice friend, and she didn't mind that everyone thought I was evil. Everyone thought she was evil, too. We had a very strong friendship, and I would visit her often. Well, people got the wrong idea.
"When Angrboda bore three children- Hel, Jormungand, and Fenrir, the gods- even Sigyn- assumed they were mine. I don't know who the father even was. People got angry. People panicked.
"Odin threw Hel into the depth of the underworld. Odin threw Jormungand into Midguard's ocean. Fenrir was bound by the gods. Sigyn hasn't spoken to me since- although she did spare me from some snake venom, so I suppose she doesn't want me dead.
"Why would Odin do such a thing?"
"The Norns have always had a sort of grudge against me, and they refused to think me a good person. They had everyone thinking I was malevolent at the core from the start. I think," Loki continued, "they just needed someone to play the role of the antagonist." Making a face, he said mockingly, "it makes things more exciting, does it not?"
"Every fairy tale needs a good old fashion villain," Sherlock whispered.
"Eventually, everyone was convinced, even Odin, and with a little bit of encouragement from the Norns, they banished Angrboda's children, thinking they were mine. Oh, she was furious with me. Add that to the long list of people who don't speak to me.
The Norns twisted my name, as well. We earn our titles depending on our character, and, well, I suppose I've always thought of myself a silvertounge, but a god of lies? Mischief I can handle, because, I suppose I am pretty clever and troublesome, at times." He chuckled, "I've made it a habit to eavesdrop on Odin; not many people can get away with that.
"But I just got so angry, and thought, why not bring havoc about the Earth, everyone already thinks me evil. I just... swallow my pride and acted."
Tentatively, Sherlock put a hand on Loki's shoulder, but he still continued. "Even Thor was convinced I was a shell of evil, although he did have some hope for my core." Loki's voice broke, and Sherlock knew it was time to step in. Because he knew what it was like to feel like this. To feel... well, completely and utterly alone.
"You're wrong." Sherlock said boldly.
Loki looked up, and his eyes were suddenly blazing with anger. "Deduce what you will, Mr. Holmes, but do not give me that kind of false hope."
"But you can't really blame him, can you? After all that you did? He can't just guess, out of the blue, that the fates have hated you all this time-" Sherlock was cut off.
"No. Stop, please." Loki's head was in his hands again, but Sherlock could still see the tears.
Sherlock opened his mouth to say something more, but looked at Loki's antagonized form and closed it.
"I really like you, you know." Sherlock dared to say, "At least, when I'm around you, I know I'm not the only one who's bordering on insane and a complete social outcast."
Loki snorted. "You are a weak, foolish, Midguardian fool, but, I do have to admit, it's refreshing to be around someone who doesn't hate my guts." There was a hint of a smile to Loki's words.
Sherlock started to chuckle, and Loki wasn't long to follow suit.
This could be the start of a beautiful friendship. Or, at least, a friendship.
"Let's go talk to Sigyn." Sherlock said, standing, "I think I may have a bit of a plan."
Sometimes, maybe what you need to do is look past a reputation and instead at the person themself.