An audience is cheering loudly as the show starts. I'm on a big black stage in a dark red seat that is partially facing the audience. Beside me, in a seat of his own, is Sweet. He's grinning and waving at the audience. Large block letters behind us spell out "SWEET TALKING" in sparkling gold. Sweet is wearing a sharp blue suit, while I am dressed in jeans and an oversized jacket.
When the screaming has died down enough for me to be heard, I push my glasses up nervously and look over at Sweet. He clears his throat. "Hello, hello, and welcome to the premiere episode of Sweet Talking!" he declares with a cheeky grin. The yelling intensifies.
"You know, when I said you could have your own story," I start in an undertone as I give a slight grimace to the crowd. "This isn't what I had in mind."
Sweet laughs. "Come on, Izzy. You know I'm a diva. I couldn't help it! When you told me to set up a story for myself, this is what I thought up."
I sigh and roll my eyes. "Whatever. Well, let's get the disclaimers out of the way. I own neither Sweet nor anyone from any of the stories we discuss. I'll give personalized disclaimers for each new story, but for now, everything Marvel is not mine." I look at Sweet with a raised eyebrow. "Do you want to explain why we're doing this story, or should I?"
"Oh, let me." Sweet gives a charming (he thinks) smile to the onlookers. "It all started several years ago when Izzy gave her dad a story for Christmas, One More Season's Greetings. It featured yours truly in Eureka where I made everyone sing and dance. It's four chapters long. It took her three years to finish posting it." He gives me a look, so I take over.
"Sweet got a little annoyed at me for taking so long, so he made an appearance in the Author's note for one of my other stories to 'encourage' me to finish it. Read 'threaten'."
Sweet scoffs. "I didn't threaten you that much," he retorts dismissively.
I glare and readjust my glasses. "Uh, huh. Well, anyway, he kept showing up after that. It turns out there are three types of characters in stories. There are the ones that have no idea that they are in a story, called 'norms'. There are those who know they are in a work of fiction but can't do anything to influence the tale, known as 'witnesses'. And finally, there are 'betas'."
Sweet grins. "I'm a beta. We're called that because our literary powers are second only to the Authors themselves. We can break the fourth wall and do anything that our Author doesn't strictly prohibit."
"And if we do tell them to do something, they only have to do it if we really mean it," I break in shooting him an annoyed look. "It's incredibly obnoxious, but it turns out I'd inadvertently sent out a call to betas because I wanted someone to talk to which is why Sweet showed up. He's the only beta that was able to, because I have to write about a beta before they can enter one of my stories."
"And I'm not the only one who's going to show up, too," Sweet adds. "In all things there is a balance. You know how cartoon characters sometimes have a little demon and angel show up on their shoulders? Well, I'm like Izzy's demon. At some point, her angel will show up, too, but she has to write about him first."
"And Sweet won't tell me who he is, even though he knows!" I interject with a scowl.
Sweet smirks. "That would be too easy," he teases.
I smirk right on back. "He did accidentally give me several important pieces of information, however. I know that my angel is a male character that has a strong sense of right and wrong, and I already know and love this character, so I don't have to read or watch from any new fandoms to find him, and it won't be someone I dislike or feel 'meh' about. Also, I plan on posting at least one story with him in it, but I haven't written about him already," I list off on my fingers.
Sweet crosses his arms and pouts. "I don't know how you figured that all out. I was trying to be closed-lipped about him."
"The minute you brought him up, you were doomed," I inform him with a smug look. "However, I've decided not to go actively looking for my angel. I'm content with what I have for now, and when I find him, I find him. Having said that, I have a list of potential angels, and when I'm planning on posting a story with one in it, I'll let you guys know."
"Hopefully, you don't find him any time soon," Sweet mutters under his breath.
"What was that?" I ask with an arched eyebrow.
"Nothing," he says quickly before changing the topic. "But, ah, anyway, we haven't gotten to the part about why you started this story."
"Oh, right. Well, Sweet's appearances in my Author's notes were getting a little distracting, and I feel like they were taking away from the stories they were in. So, I made this story instead. This way, I can still talk to Sweet about my works, but I'm not fostering it off on people against their will."
Sweet claps his hands and rubs them together. "Now that we've gotten all of that out of the way, shall we talk about your latest story?"
"Sure," I agree. "The story we're here to talk about today is called "The Fantastic Adventures of Loki and Thor", and it can be found on Twisting the Hellmouth, , and Wattpad. If you haven't read it yet, I strongly recommend you go do that now, since there will be some spoilers in this discussion."
Sweet leans back and takes on the behaviours of a typical talk show host. "So, how did you come up with the idea for this story?"
"Well, my sister's birthday was a few days ago, and I looked at the list of what she wanted and about halfway down was 'fanfic'."
Sweet laughs. "You did sort of set a precedent for gifting stories to people. I mean, you've written one as a Christmas present and for both Father's Day and Mother's Day for your parents this year."
I shrug. "True. But with her, I had no idea where to start. I mean, she's ten. I didn't want to have to watch one of her obnoxious kids shows to write something for her. Not that all kids shows are bad, but the ones she watches tend to have squeaky voices and idiotic characters."
"So, how did you decide on a fandom?"
"Well, my mom is pretty devious. She took my sister in at bedtime, said they'd write a story together, and asked her for three things she wanted in her story and one thing she didn't. Then, she said it was too late that night and that they'd have to finish it later."
"Wow, that's sneaky," Sweet says admiringly.
"I know, right? And once I had the prompts, the idea for the story came to me almost immediately."
"You mentioned before that this was supposed to be a one shot, but that the first scene got away from you. Could you elaborate on that?"
"For those of you who didn't actually go and read the story and are shamelessly looking for spoilers, the chapter opens with Thor and Sif sneaking through the forest, looking for some Frost Giants. They find them and a fight follows. Eventually, two of their enemies are slain along with Sif, and Thor goes back to his base and finds the Frost Giant leader has also killed Volstagg. They fight, Thor wins, and you discover they're all actually children, and the whole thing was a game."
"What was it supposed to be originally?"
"Well, initially, it only took about 500 words before it was revealed that they are kids playing," Izzy explains.
Sweet whistles. "How did you get from 500 words to a whole chapter?"
"At first, it was just Thor and Loki, and Loki didn't have much magic," I explain. "The whole story ended when Thor got Loki to trip over a rock before stabbing him. My sister DIYQueen actually likes this version better than what I went with, because you think Thor's in a fight to the death with a vicious enemy, but when he stabs the giant it yells 'Ow! Thor, you're a jerk. That hurt!' I liked it a lot, too, but it just didn't work out."
"I watched Ragnarok, and Thor said that when they were eight Loki turned into a snake before stabbing him, which really messed things up for me."
"First and foremost, there's the fact that he said when they were eight. That really tripped me up for some time. I'd written it so that they were already hundreds of years old, but that developmentally Thor was about 10 and Loki 8 by human standards. So, I had to figure that out."
"What did you end up deciding?"
"Thor told the story in his third movie, and by this time he's pretty used to Earth's ideas of normal. So, I've decided that he was putting their age into a frame of reference his audience would understand. He and Loki were actually in their 800s when the story took place, but if he'd just said that outright, it wouldn't have told Banner just how young Loki was when he started doing things like this."
"So he was putting it into perspective for his human friend?" Sweet clarifies with a raised eyebrow.
"Yeah, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it," I insist with a mischievous smile. "But once I'd gotten over that hurdle, I had new problems," I continue.
"I wanted them to be about ten in the story, and since Loki was able to do such powerful magic at eight, Thor should not have bested him so easily. With that in mind, I wrote a version of the story where Loki was practicing some magic and Thor sneaks up and ambushes him. But that didn't work either, because I really wanted the two to be playing Aesir and Jotnar, the Asgardian version of Cops and Robbers, because I really wanted Loki to say 'Why do I always have to be the Jotnar?' You know, because he is a Jotun?" I can't help but laugh.
Sweet rolls his eyes. "You're hilarious," he remarks dryly.
"Thank you. But actually, there were a lot more references to the MCU originally. For instance, in the first couple of versions, Thor is actually dressed in a drape he pulled down, as a reference to Avengers 1. But I had to scrap that idea for the later iterations."
"Interesting. But, anyway, we were talking about the first scene," Sweet says, guiding us back onto topic.
"Right. Well, it was at that point that I realized I have no idea how Cops and Robbers is played. I never played it myself; I just know it's a thing kids do. So, I looked up the rules, and I realized it's a lot like capture the flag. Overall, I realized they needed to have more people playing, so I added in Sif and the Warriors Three."
"And then you were done?"
"No, not quite. Then I wrote a version where Loki actually won the game," I explain. "I just couldn't see why he would lose when he has magic. But then I realized that Thor should probably win since Loki felt overlooked growing up and losing all the time would help shape that opinion. I had a hard time figuring out how Thor would win, however, until I remembered that Mjolnir wasn't the source of his powers; he always had lightning."
"So you had him electrocute Loki," Sweet finishes with a smile.
"So I had him electrocute Loki," I confirm before laughing. "I probably shouldn't have enjoyed that so much."
I smirk and give my best Tom Hiddleston impression. "I'm just a huge fan of the sport."
Sweet laughs. "You're terrible."
I bow as well as I can while seated. "Thank you."
"And obviously the chapter ends with Loki scheming," Sweet says.
"Hey, fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, and Loki's gotta scheme."
"Any chance you can give us a hint about what he's planning?" he asks with a raised eyebrow.
But I'm already shaking my head. "Sorry, no. I don't like spoilers. However, given that one of the prompts is Mjolnir and it hasn't even been mentioned yet, I think I can safely say it's involved."
"Alright. We'll take what we can get. When can we expect to see the next chapter up?"
"The next two chapters are already up, and I want to post the last one next week, but since I'm starting college tomorrow, we'll see what happens. Oh, and I also have a Loki-centric crack fic that I plan on posting once I've finished this one."
"Finally, where can people find you?"
"I have a Facebook page where I try to give periodic updates. Technically, I have an Instagram and Twitter account too, but I rarely take photos and I don't like word-count restrictions, so I hardly ever use them. Facebook is your best bet. Links can be found in my bio."
"Well, thank you for joining me here today. Everyone, give a big round of applause for I. B. Joyful!"
The audience cheers loudly as Sweet raises a hand in farewell to the camera.
"Thank you so much, and we'll see you all next time on Sweet Talking!"
The applause intensifies in volume.
"Drama queen," I mutter under my breath as the show ends.