Another wonderful gift from my good friend, Jason! XD This is the first story he wrote me and my favorite as it's so canon in my eyes! Hurt, angst, betrayal! *swoon* Awesomesauce! =D
This Story takes place during the Thor: Son of Asgard series.
A knock at his door roused Loki from his studies. He closed the tome he had been perusing with a sigh of irritation. The irritation was quickly replaced by astonishment; no one ever came to Loki's private chamber...
As he crossed the room Loki felt apprehension for whom it might be; surely someone had come to confront him concerning his recent deeds. Composing himself, he opened the chamber door.
The Lady Sif stared at him from the hallway, her face an unreadable mask. She wore a simple brown tunic and leather pants, and her sapphire eyes gazed at him evenly.
''Lady sif, I did not expect you, and I would remind you that if you are here regarding the events of yesterday, violence is not permitted here, and it was I whom freed you to pursue your enemy Amora on behalf of your beloved Thor.'' Loki sneered as he said this, and he readied a spell in case her intent was indeed an attack.
''No, Loki, though these events have angered me, not to mention your part in them, I have not come to berate you.''
Loki was nonplussed, ''No?''
''No, Loki. I have come to terms with my own part in those events as well, and understand that pointing a finger at you now would be hypocrisy.''
Loki shifted from one foot to the other. ''Really? Then you know I am free of blame in this matter?'' Loki's face shone with innocence, at least as much as he could fake.
''Also no, Loki, you are to blame, it is just that I am as well. I see no reason to push the subject. The reason I have come is because this experience has reminded me of an old memory of you.''
Loki took a step back at this, ''Which memory, pray tell?''
''My memory of the time when you cut my hair, a prank you took too far.'' Sif's eyes narrowed as she studied the trickster.
''Ah, but I returned your hair to you, Lady,'' Loki was certain now that she hid her intent, he readied himself to call the guards.
Sif's eyes narrowed further, ''You returned my hair the color of blackest night.'' Her expression softened, ''You did return my hair, though, and it was no simple task for you to have traveled into the mountains and barter with the creatures there to mend my mane with their dark hands.''
Sif took a step into the room, Loki retreating yet another step back. Her voice was gentle, ''You took a risk on the journey and with those you bargained with, and though I know not what it is you gave up on your end, you gave it up to right the wrong you had done.''
Loki's face drained of color, ''You knew where it was I obtained that wig, and you are not angry?''
The edge of Sif's mouth turned up in the slightest of smiles, ''It was a noble deed, and many would be surprised that you worked to undo your own mischief with no benefit to yourself. After all, to your own mind, I was not even aware that it was your hand that did the deed when I went weeping into my mother's arms.''
Sif took two steps forward and Loki stood rigid, uncertain what he should do or say. Her smile grew a little as she gazed on his confusion, ''Someone needed to tell you that you are not beyond hope, as some believe. There is good in you, and I have faith that it will win out in the end.''
With that, Sif turned briskly and walked away, commenting over her shoulder, ''Goodbye, Loki, I hope this discussion has provided you food for thought.''
Loki simply watched her leave, unable to guess what ploy she was setting in motion. Was it possible that words were her only reason for coming to his chamber? Loki checked the hall to make sure she had really left, then upon not seeing her let out a long breath he had not realized he was holding. It amazed him that she knew so much... was someone telling her these things? If so, who could have seen his trek to the dark mountain? Loki shook his head. Perhaps things would become clear as events played out, but until then, he had more important things to do.
After a few more hours of research, Loki decided to take a walk to soothe his growing headache. He changed into a comfortable black tunic with matching black breeches, both matching the color of his hair and then took the route he prefered most, near a woodline of towering oaks away from the annoying distractions and noise of the city peasantry.
He was thusly walking along, scratching his chin as he thought of the events of earlier that day when a shout and the sound of ringing steel drifted to him from the direction of the deeper woods. Loki perked his ear as he stealthily made his way closer to the sound of conflict. He heard a mountainous roar, surely a giant, and the lower feminine shout of a warrior, likely Asgardian. Pulling aside a low-hanging branch, his eyes confirmed his guess, and the warrior was none other than Lady Sif. Something seemed off, however. Sif swung her sword with much less precision than Loki had before seen, her motion jerky and sluggish, as if her sword were much heavier than normal. She panted hard, out of breath; perhaps that was the cause? Or perhaps the giant had poisoned her?
Loki's thoughts were interrupted by a fearsome bellow, as the giant swatted Sif off of her feet with a massive club. She struck the ground hard and her left arm seemed bent strangely, as if broken. Loki's mind raced; this would be tragedy to Thor, the blonde warrior's heart would suffer greatly should Sif fall to this giant, and all Loki had to do was not act.
The titan lifted his great club above him, slamming it down with bone crushing force. Had several saplings not bound themselves together before her in her defense, Sif would have surely died. As it was, the club still crashed through the wood to smash her right shoulder jarringly. Loki raised his hand toward those trees, and they wrapped around the giant's weapon, rooting it in place. Sif wasted no time taking the advantage, driving her sword to the hilt in the behemoth's chest. As the giant's death rattle filled the air, Loki slipped away into the night.
Loki stood by the city well, looking into it's depths as well as the depths of his own mind. The city was quiet, most of it's inhabitants having retired for the evening.
''You saved my life.''
Loki jumped at the low voice and turned to see Sif standing before him, her body still bearing scratches from her recent battle, her left arm bound in a makeshift sling.
''O-of course, I could not leave a fellow Asgardian to die.'' Loki opened his mouth as if to say more then simply closed it with an audible snap. He fidgeted uncomfortably.
Sif approached and to his surprise took his hand in hers and squeezed it, ''Thank you.''
Moving sluggishly, feeling as if he was in a dream, observing himself from the outside, Loki placed his other hand on top of her own, ''Y-your welcome.''
Movement to his left, Loki glanced over to see Thor staring at the two of them, a hurt look etched across his chiseled features. Without a word, the yellow-haired young fighter turned and began to walk away. Loki stared. He had just hurt Thor, after years of attempting for this effect. He had expected to feel great joy at this moment, but something about this felt hollow, something felt wrong...
Even as Loki thought this, Thor began to fade away to nothing, as if he had ever been a dream. Looking back, he saw that Sif was also gone, replaced by a grinning Amora, whom had his hands still, only they were now bound with dull gray manacles that glowed in the moonlight.
''So, you did in fact release the spell that I had used to freeze Sif in place, trickster.''
''I can explain!'' Loki blurted as he struggled in vain to remove his hands from her trap. He knew only somatic spells so far, he would be unable to cast thus bound!
''How about I explain instead? I pretended to be Sif to test the extent that you had betrayed me, and it turns out you are every bit as deceitful as I thought you to be, playing Sif and I against one another.''
Loki's jaw made a stubborn line of defiance, ''I simply made a deal with you, I...''
''You will be silent until I say you may speak, I have had enough of your lies!'' As she said this, Loki felt his jaw snap shut as her magic bound his lips. His eyes widened as the first taste of panic descended on him.
''I have been watching you, even before that debacle with the love mirror. You ever plot and scheme to harm your brother Thor whom only wishes well for you. It is poetic justice that I have used illusions to deceive the deceiver into a sense of false victory. However, I do not feel it is enough.'' Amora moved toward him, and Loki nervously backpedaled until his back met the well and he could retreat no more.
''You still must pay for all the slights you have met out to your good-natured brother.'' With a quick motion, Amora grabbed Loki's belt, flipped the clasp, and ripped it free of his pants.
''You act the child, you shall be punished as a child, for I sincerely doubt Odin has placed the rod of discipline upon your spoiled cheek.'' Loki's eyes widened as he realized her intent, and turning he attempted to escape her, only without his belt the movement caused his trousers to drop around his legs, causing him to trip and fall hard to the cobblestone road.
Amora slowly approached from behind like a cat toying with a mouse, and ground her knee into his back, slamming him flat on his stomach as she grabbed a handful of his dark hair to stop him from crawling away, roughly jerking his head back. ''This has been a long time coming to you, I am certain.'' With that she raised the belt and brought it down hard on his bared cheeks, striking slowly and solidly so that the well echoed with the sound of each slap.
Unable even to cry out, Loki's body twitched this way and that, his fingers clenching and unclenching inside the manacles. Then just as suddenly as it had started Amora stopped, setting the belt aside and relaxing her grip on the trembling Loki. '' I have released my hold of your tongue so that you may answer me this; did it bring you satisfaction to think that you had hurt Thor?''
''Of course not, he is my brother, I... Ow!''
Loki was cut off with stinging pain as Amora began swatting him with renewed vigor. ''I have other ways to filter your lies, trickster, speak truth.'' She hit him resoundingly then stayed her hand once more.
Loki blinked back tears of pain, his backside had been more sensitive after the short rest, ''I felt no joy, but I admit I have wished ill upon Thor on occasion.''
Amora's expression softened slightly, ''Progress! I know not why you hate your brother so, Loki, but you must learn that your actions have consequences, regardless.''
Loki's face became a mask of rage, ''As do yours, enchantress, you will rue this... Ah!''
Amora resumed spanking him with redoubled zeal, each strike punctuated by a cry from the bound trickster, ''P-please! No more! S-stop!''
But Amora did not stop, the whipping continued for some long minutes that for Loki seemed an eternity, eventually reducing his cries for mercy to unintelligible blubbering and whimpering.
Amora saw that he was weeping openly now, and once more rested her hand. ''Do you now regret that statement?''
''M-most sincerely,'' Loki sobbed.
''See? You can learn. Another outburst like that one and I will call the guard, that they might witness your punishment.''
Loki's eyes bulged in horror, ''N-no! Please I beg you don't!''
Amora gauged his reaction thoughtfully. ''You have been predictable, Loki, I knew from the start that sympathy from Sif would turn you to thoughts on how to exploit her. I staged that illusory battle knowing that you would 'save' Sif to indebt her to yourself. I took your hand as Lady Sif and you, spying my mirror image of Thor aproaching, moved to hold my hand and draw close to injure him, exactly as I knew you would. You are easy to read in your malice, does this not shame you?''
Loki stared at her with a strange expression on his face, ''B-but I had not seen your apparition of Thor approach. My attention was entirely on Lady Sif.'' Loki's eyes grew clouded as he considered what he said.
Amora raised the belt high to begin anew, but instead stared at Loki intently, her expression unreadable. ''Were this true, perhaps I have cut you two ways with my mirage.'' Her arm lowered and Loki realized his cheeks had been tense with anticipation as he relaxed slightly.
Amora's brow drew down as she cooly regarded the trickster, ''Feel free to tell Odin of this 'assault' if you wish. I am certain it would provide the court with a solid laugh.''
Loki's face turned a dark shade of red and he offered no reply.
Amora stood and threw the belt on top of Loki's prone form, ''Remember well the rewards of your foolishness, Loki, especially where I am concerned.'' With that Amora shimmered and was gone.
Loki looked down to see the manacles had also dissapeared, freeing his hands. Loki winced as he tenderly ran a hand over the red welts on his rear, and tried to right himself and sit gingerly only to yelp in pain and return to his hands and knees. Loki was beset by wracking sobs then, and could only hope noone could see his humiliation...
Thor and Sif walked along the woodline, hand in hand, speaking softly and sharing smiles. Apparently they had admitted their true feelings for one another, and had grown much closer, spending much time together nowadays.
Loki watched from the shadows. There was resentment and anger in his eyes, as always, but today the root of that anger shone clearly as he lurked unseen. Today his eyes told of the worst kind of loss, the loss of that which was never had.