'Hello? Thor here.'
'Where the fuck are you, you asshole?'
'Hello, Loki. Jotunheim of course. The dwarves have been supplying these guns-'
'I don't care about the guns! Why weren't you in Asgard?'
'Why would I be?'
'…Did something happen?'
'They called me in again. Wanted to have a go at me about those forest fires. Just like that time with the wolf release program in Scotland, I told them they were perfectly normal wolves but who listens to me?'
'And you hanging around in Scotland was just a coincidence? No, I know it wasn't you. But you were baiting them.'
'I didn't know they were bringing you in. No one told me. Including you.'
'I thought you'd be there. You're meant to be on the jury, aren't you? One of the twelve high gods of Asgard.'
'They don't call me in for everything.'
'Right. Not if it's something unimportant.'
'Fuck off. You know I would have come.'
'Did they let you hang around afterwards? Sigyn's been missing you. Not that she ever saw you when you were living with us, never mind now.'
'They didn't even let me into Asgard. Held the whole thing by Urd's well, just in case I decided to take up suicide bombing I suppose. And you can fuck off, Sigyn never complained.'
'She worries. She's been talking about going to live with you on Midgard, since that's where you are all the time now.'
'Shit. Talk her out of it, would you? This whole thing's precarious, I don't need her caught in the middle of my mess when it falls apart. It's bad enough that the rest of you - Talk to her, okay?'
'Talk to her yourself.'
'Okay. Fine. So did you convince them you weren't setting forest fires?'
'Yeah. Eventually. After some hands on interrogation by Tyr.'
'Bruised and pissed off. Not bad for a visit home. I'm going to get a drink. Talk to you later?'
'Loki, this is Sigyn. Where are you?'
'In a bar.'
'Which country? Which city?'
'What? Thinking of visiting?'
'Yes. They wouldn't let me see you today. And they keep coming up with excuses why I shouldn't leave Asgard.'
'They're right, you know. I'm having a hard time here staving off Ragnarok and stopping both sides killing me. I don't need a tagalong to take care of.'
'Loki, you've never taken care of anything in your life.'
'That would be your job, wouldn't it? Well I'm alive, I'm fine. I left you in Asgard so I wouldn't have to deal with you, but you can't take a fucking hint.'
'…I don't need to be protected. Least of all from you.'
'Loki. When you said you'd talk to me later I didn't think you meant the middle of the night.'
'I think I had a fight with Sigyn.'
'Call her then. Say sorry. I'm not the expert on women around here.'
'Now you're mad at me too.'
'I won't be if you let me get some sleep.'
'Maybe I shouldn't.'
'You really should. I'm tired.'
'Say sorry, I mean. If she's mad at me she'll stay in Asgard.'
'She's not mad at you, okay. Now go away.'
'You don't know that.'
'I only had the two of you living in my house for several thousand years. She's not mad. But I'm starting to be.'
'Loki? Is that music I can hear? What are you up to?'
'I'm in a gay bar.'
'Why a gay bar?'
'If I want to get fucked by men it's better to be a man too. Less risk of pregnancy.'
'I thought you were on the pill.'
'Fuck off. Oh, wait, wait, listen. Did you hear that?'
'Did you just wave your phone around? What am I meant to have heard?'
'It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fiiine.'
'You sing like a kettle.'
'It was funny though.'
'Are you drunk?'
'You're high. Loki, you promised.'
'I thought you'd learnt your lesson anyway. That neither of us wanted to go through another night like that one I spent holding you together. It's okay for mortals to think they're dissolving into goo and seeping into the ground but you're a shapeshifter and the norns only know what would have happened if I hadn't stopped it. Whether you could even have come back. And you promised -'
'I FUCKING KEEP MY PROMISES.'
'Loki. Calm down.'
'I do. I keep all of them.'
'Okay. So what did you promise?'
'No hallucinogens. And I haven't.'
'I should have made you promise no drugs. You're too powerful to lose control like that. Don't laugh, you are. You're in a room full of mortals for a start.'
'I'm not going to do anything to them. Nothing they don't want, anyway.'
'Why did you call?'
'…Wanted to say sorry. About earlier.'
'It's okay. I won't come down if you don't want me to. I've had about as much as I can take of Asgard, though. Thor and Sif are the only ones I can talk to now.'
'Just thought. Why didn't you call Thor about the trial thingy?'
'Odin wouldn't let me. He said the problems in Jotunheim were too important. Even confiscated my phone until afterwards.'
'That bastard. He set me up. I thought he was the only one there even close to being on my side and it was just a game of good cop bad cop with him and Tyr. And I fell for it! He set me up. Hold on, I'll call you back later.'
'Loki! Don't try to handle Odin while you're high.'
'Yeah, okay. He'll be hearing from me tomorrow though.'
'Maybe you could come down. Just for a visit. Would they let you and still let you back in?'
'Thor would. I don't think anyone would bother going against him, not over me.'
'Will you ask?'
'There's this guy looking at me.'
'Go have fun. Norns willing, I'll see you soon.'
'You sound cheerful. Made up with Sigyn?'
'Yeah. She's going to ask about coming to visit me.'
'She told me something interesting too.'
'What are you up to now?'
'Odin confiscated her phone so she couldn't call you.'
'Oh? Come on, you're meant to get angry.'
'This thing with the guns has been pretty bad. I can see why he'd want me to stay out here.'
'It's got nothing to do with the guns. He didn't want you getting in the way when Tyr beat me up.'
'Getting the truth out of you isn't hard enough for him to go to the trouble.'
'You didn't set those forest fires and you told them that.'
'You didn't. Did you? Loki, if you don't answer me I'm going to try out Tyr's interrogation technique myself. Okay, stop laughing. This is why you get in trouble. Hold on. Thialfi says "hi".'
'Didn't know he was with you.'
'He's been scouting. And he's found the camp. Get back to you.'
'Hello. It's your brother.'
'I'd like to know why you were so determined to keep Thor away from the tribunal.
'He's got important things to do in Jotunheim.'
'Can't be that important. If it had anything to do with Ragnarok I'd be involved.'
'Ragnarok isn't the only thing that matters.'
'I can't believe I'm hearing that from you.'
'Other things are important besides the end of the world. I've done my best to avert it, delay it or prepare for it. But that doesn't mean I have no awareness of anything else. The only reason you're fixated on it now is because it keeps attention focused on you.'
'And we can't have that, can we? Hey. Are you listening to me?'
'I'm needed elsewhere. Goodbye Loki.'
'Hey! Don't ha-'
'Who are you and where's Thor?'
'It's Thialfi. Thor's asleep.'
'In the middle of the day? Never mind, just wake him up.'
'You can leave a message with me.'
'I don't want to. Come on, he's just being lazy.'
'Loki. He's been shot.'
'Fuck. How bad is it? Is he going to be okay? Do you have the chariot with you? Do you want me to come out?'
'Pretty bad. I don't know. No, we don't have the chariot. You wouldn't do any good, I've called Freya.'
'Right. Healing. And she'll bring her chariot to get him home?'
'Yes. I'll have to go now in case she calls.'
'Okay. Tell her if she lets him die I really will cause Ragnarok.'
'You've been saying you'll cause Ragnarok every time something doesn't go your way for sixty years now. You're holding a bomb over our heads and threatening to set it off and then you wonder why no one wants you around.'
'It was a joke!'
'Sigyn. Thor's been -'
'Shot. I know. The whole of Asgard's in a state over it. He'll be fine, he always is.'
'Sigyn? I want him to die. Because if he does Ragnarok can't happen and I won't have to.'
'You don't mean that.'
'I wish I didn't. Thialfi says I'm holding a bomb over everyone's heads. They don't trust me not to set it off. I don't trust me not to set it off.'
'I trust you.'
'You're a fool.'
'Listen. I know they say everything happens according to prophecy but that's a bit beyond me. What I do know is that you don't want the world to end. And you never do anything you don't want to. Am I right?'
'There you go then.'
'Do you want me to come down?'
'No. You'll get in trouble and things are fucking bad enough already. You can keep me updated about Thor.'
'I will. Promise. Take care of yourself.'
'Loki, it's Sigyn. Thor's awake.'
'That's great! How is he? Is he…are you laughing?'
'Sorry. He's just so embarrassed about it all. Everyone's been panicking but he just takes it for granted that he'll be fine in no time and can't think what the fuss is about.'
'That's Thor all right.'
'I notice you're happy about his recovery. So much for wanting him dead.'
'I didn't want him dead personally. Just someone who was part of Ragnarok. It would be better if Heimdall died. I'll have to look up undetectable poisons.'
'I don't know if that was a joke but if it was it wasn't funny.'
'First Thialfi, now you. Everyone hates my jokes lately.'
'You want an undetectable poison? I hear mistletoe's pretty good.'
'Hey, no, wait. I'm sorry.'
'You should think about what you're saying before you say it.'
'I know, I know. But I'm talking to you and you don't normally think the worst of me.'
'So it's my fault now?'
'I said sorry. So what have you been doing while everyone in Asgard panicked?'
'Keeping Sif company. I don't know if it did any good, or even if she needed it. I've never been able to read her.'
'I thought you could read everyone.'
'Everyone except Sif, Frigga and the bloody norns.'
'Funny, those are all women.'
'You said she was one of the only people you could talk to?'
'We're not close. She just doesn't treat me like a victim. Or like I'm an idiot for still loving you.'
'And I thought she was smart.'
'Joke. Forget it. I'll call you back.'
'Bye, then. Take care of yourself.'
'Thor! Are you okay? Are they taking care of you?'
'Oh, not you too.'
'What? What'd I do?'
'Everyone's been all over me - I wasn't hurt that badly. I thought you'd at least -'
'Be enough of a self-centred bastard not to care?'
'Sorry to disappoint you. Tell me about these guns.'
'Thought you didn't care about the guns?'
'I do now. Spill.'
'It's not actually the guns. It's the bullets.'
'Dwarven handcrafted bullets? They'd cost an arm and a leg each and you couldn't reuse them.'
'That's the thing. They came up with them a while ago but hardly anyone used them. Too expensive when you'd only get one shot. Then suddenly a whole tribe of rock jotuns turns up with magazines full of them.'
'So how did they manage that?'
'How should I know? I was just trying to stop them invading.'
'Moulds. It's got to be moulds. They'd take years to make though. You'd have to do it all with runes, couldn't pour magic into the bullets during the forging. And then you'd need the runes to come out perfectly every time. No misalignment, no slightly faint impressions. But once you had it you'd get a new bullet every time you poured in hot metal.'
'We're in trouble then.'
'You are. Nothing to do with me.'
'Just don't hare off after them like an idiot.'
'You were worried about me.'
'If anything happens to you who's going to step in when that lot decide to have a go at me?'
'So stay put and get better. Okay?'
'Everyone's saying that.'
'Listen to them, then. I might be busy for the next few days, but I'll call you when I get back.'
'I'll probably be better by then.'
'Yeah, yeah. Tough guy.'
'Loki! I've been trying to get hold of you for days. Where have you been?'
'Sorry, Sigyn. Had something I needed to do.'
'What have you done now?'
'That's a bit uncalled for. It might not be anything bad.'
'You sound pleased with yourself.'
'So I'm only pleased when I've done something terrible? Thank you very fucking much.'
'Just tell me - what did you do?'
'It's a surprise.'
'Nope, not going to ruin it.'
'I got Thor a get well present. I'm having it delivered. Did you ask Odin about seeing me?'
'Yes. I'm sorry. He said "no".'
'Why? Does he just enjoy tormenting me? It would only have been a couple of days.'
'He's afraid of what you might convince me to do.'
'What? A good girl like you?'
'You've always been persuasive.'
'Wish you were here. Then I could show you how persuasive I am in person. I could sneak in, I bet. Heimdall might see everything but he's not going to watch every passing fly.'
'Don't you dare. They'd lock you up again.'
'I'm on eternal parole, aren't I? Can't put one toe over the line.'
'I'll believe that when I see it.'
'Gotta go. Watch out for a parcel delivered by trolls. It's for Thor.'
'What in nine worlds did you get him?'
'Loki, did you just -'
'Thor! Good to hear from you. Feeling better?'
'Loki. Are these the moulds for the magic bullets?'
'Don't call them that, you sound like you're talking about the Kennedy assassination.'
'Of course they are, what else are they going to be? Idiot.'
'And you sent them to me.'
'You have them, don't you?'
'Why not? I didn't want you getting shot again. I thought about just destroying them, but they're a really nice make.'
'Glad you liked your present.'
'Hi, Loki. It's Sigyn. I can't talk for long.'
'Because I'm going to be travelling. I've been given a month in Midgard.'
'Who else? I'll be seeing you soon. Bye for now.'
'See you soon.'