Where the Heart Is
AquaSoulSis aka LadyFangs
In the weeks following what was becoming known as the Great Schism, life in Asgard began returning to a state of normalcy. Yet, within the great halls of Bilskirnir, resplendent in her ancient glory, a deep sense of loss and mourning persisted.
A sense of solemnity and moroseness had come upon Bilskirnir, reflected in the hushed whispers its inhabitants used to address one another.
Life had changed.
Gone were the years when one could only think of himself or herself— the days of seeking and indulging one's own desires and selfish pleasures.
Long had their people looked to the humans and seen hubris lead man to ruin. But their own people had grown so complacent as to foolishly begin believing they had defied that baser state of being - until Thor had tempted the fates, and lost the gamble.
Now, shrouded in the in the shadows of a pillar, so as not to be seen, Sif watched as her friend looked out across the balcony at the setting sun cast its rays across Asgard's vast lands.
His head was not bowed, not that she expected it to be, but she could see, etched in his profile, the newly-ingrained weariness in his body. It was the tilt of his head, the set of his jaw, the tension in his shoulders, and the fold of his arms across his chest as he leaned his head against a wall, eyes closed.
Inwardly, she grieved for her friend.
He had lost so much in such a short time.
A friend and brother, and now, quite possibly, a lover.
The last thought brought a pinch to her heart that she worked to suppress.
Giving in to the same demons that had haunted Loki and drove him to betrayal could not be, would not be allowed to manifest in her. Sif's thoughts drifted to the tales told to her as a child, of the human allegory of Cain and Able, Romulus and Remus, Zeus and Kronos….father against son. Brother against brother.
And all rooted in jealously. That had been Loki's downfall, and, for a moment, remembering the human woman that had so captivated Thor…it was almost hers too.
They had been raised together, bonded to one another in their youth. She had sworn her allegiance to him. To defend him. To be with him always, in times of peace and in times of war. They had fought together in battle, spilled blood together.
And it was with Thor that Sif had first explored her budding womanhood. They had both been young and new to the pleasures of the flesh, and they had indulged themselves with each other.
And they had grown together. Or, so she had thought. But somewhere between the place of youthful indiscretion and the pressure of positions and power, they had also grown apart.
She couldn't quite identify when or where it had happened. They still fought. She still retained her position by his side. Their parents had already planned for eventual marriage—plotting a future that neither child seemed to ever fully visualize.
But what Sif did know, and could identify, was when the chasm between she and Thor finally revealed itself. And it came in the form of a human named Jane Foster.
The way Thor looked at the human was the way he used to look at her. The longing radiating off him was something he used to feel for her.
And in a way, and, quite possibly, for the first time in her millennia of living, Sif felt…inadequate.
"Sif, I know you are there. Reveal yourself."
Hearing his voice, she looked up, out of her own thoughts, and saw he was staring in her general direction. Squaring her shoulders, she walked out from behind the pillar, the thin, silken fabric of her gown, billowing around her legs.
He watched her intently as she walked toward him, those sharp blue eyes following her until she was standing beside him looking out at the clouds that had rolled in, the crystalline tops of the Asgardian mountains peeping above them.
"You miss her."
It was not a question, and modesty was not one of her defining characteristics.
"She taught me…much," Thor replied, looking back over the balcony and someplace into the distance that only he could see.
If he expected a reply from her, he did not get one, as she had nothing to say to him. Instead, silence fell between them, and time seemed to drag on until he opened his mouth to say more.
This was not the man that had left Asgard in banishment.
The person who had left had been brash, arrogant, and proud. Impetuous to a degree. Of all the things to describe Thor, humble, and never been one of his superlatives.
"She taught me…," he continued, turning to face Sif once more. He moved from his post against the wall and walked down two steps to kneel before her. He reached out a hand to her and she took it, her heart beating just a bit faster, at a touch so familiar and yet so different than it had been before.
"Jane Foster taught me the definition of love. She also taught me how it felt to lose it. I have lost much, Sif. My brother and friend. Jane. And yet, as I reflect upon the events of these weeks, I realize that what I cannot lose, is you."
Words failed her at the moment, and all she could do was look at him, his face filled with earnestness and sincerity. And yet, for some reason…the warmth she had been feeling toward him began to turn into something else, and she removed her hand and turned away from him.
Confused, Thor rose and walked up behind her, until she could feel the heat of his body through the thin cloth that draped her body.
"I do not understand what happened to us." She said, flatly.
Instead of a verbal response, she felt the slight scratch of his beard against her bare shoulder, and shuddered as his fingers, calloused and hard, swept tendrils of hair off her neck so that he could place his lips against her skin.
"I remember when Loki cut your hair," he whispered into her ear. "You were so distressed; you felt that you were ugly and that no one would want you…"
Strong arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her flush against his body so tightly she could feel his heartbeat through his armor.
"We were children then, but I came to you. And I comforted you. And I told you that you were beautiful. I promised I would be there for you. And while you never broke your vow of loyalty to me, I have not done right by you, and for that, I am truly sorry."
It was then that she could not fight herself. Faced with the honest effort that he put forward, she stopped resisting and let her body relax into his touch.
He bent and swept her up and into his arms and began walking off and away from the crowded great hall, away from the noise and laughter, sounds of revelry sure to carry though the night and into the wee hours of morning.
Hours later, she lay curled, naked and spent beside him, their fingers intertwined. She was drifting off to sleep, when she heard his voice, low and deep.
"It is, and has always been you. It has simply taken this experience to realize what I have had all along. And I wish for you to accept me."
She squeezed his hand as he followed her into sleep.
*Author's Note: Combines real myth with movie myth. Enjoy. For comic lovers- if I missed something, or somethings not-quite-right, let me know. Hope you folks enjoy. I wanted this to go "M" but, it didn't quite turn out that way.