Trials of the Trickster King
Disclaimer/AN: If I owned it we would have had an adorable young Balder and also shapeshifting Loki. Did you see any shapeshifting? No, all I saw was pole dancing (and no Balder). Safe to say I don't own it.
Chapter is best read on ½ or ¾ story width with a larger font, though that may just be my eyes.
Her screams were easily heard in Helheim. They sent flocks of birds flapping into the air in fright, and set dogs to cowering. They started with shock and ended in a rage so pure it was nearly palpable.
The Lady Sif was very much Not Amused.
Loki, in his infinite wisdom (and his ability to scry) knew this.
So when Sif put two and two together and got Loki cut off all my hair the young God knew that he only had so much time before he had to fend for his life against an angry Asynja that would probably come armed and more dangerous than usual. He was certainly one for theatrics, though, and as such the God conjured up a chair and a drink and sat down to face his death with dignity.
He didn't have long to wait.
Sif burst into Loki's personal chambers with all the grace and charm of a raging Fire Giant. The doors bounced off the gold-plated walls and closed themselves behind her, and she stopped a wary distance away from his chair with her hand straying towards the hilt of the sword at her hip. The deep red cloak that covered her head and shoulders shadowed her face from prying eyes, but the Trickster God could still see the grim snarl that her lips formed. Loki opened his mouth to say something- perhaps a witty remark- but the Lady Sif cut him off.
"Fix this," she hissed, punctuating the statement by throwing back her hood. "Now."
"What makes you think I can?" Loki asked. He took a sip of his drink and surveyed his handiwork with a faux concerned expression. In the rather bright ambient light of his chambers the damage done to the Lady Sif's hair was far more garish than it had been in the darkness of her messy room. The bald patches of scalp between the glinting gold stubbly bits and mangy-looking tufts of hair still present on her head were flushed pink with anger. With a bit of dejection the Mischief God realized that he had left a long lock of golden hair in front of her left ear relatively intact. It hung limply around her face in a rather forlorn way.
"You hacked it off, you can very well put it back where you found it," Sif snapped at him. To Loki, the fury in her eyes was almost entrancing. He loved knowing- seeing- that he could stir the people around him to such rage. The young God sighed and bade his drink disappear with a flick of his wrist, standing and doing the same with his chair.
"I did not," he began as he straightened his clothes and began a slow walk towards one of his desks. The lies spilled easily from his lips, nothing showing on his face as his silver tongue spun assurances. "You've done nothing to me to garner such ire. Honestly I rather liked your hair," he continued. Brushing a few papers aside Loki leaned against the edge of his desk, facing the Lady Sif. "What makes you think I've done this?"
"I've been Thor's friend for a very long time, Loki. I've been your friend just as long. Your occasional cruel trick or falsehood does not change this fact. Deny it all you like, Trickster God, but I know you better than you would think or like," Sif's voice was very much calm as she spoke, but Loki could hear the barely-restrained anger behind it. "I knew you," her eyes narrowed and her chin jutted out defiantly as she spoke again, spitting the words as though they were a filthy poison.
"You think so low of me now?" Loki offered the warrior woman something that seemed almost like a self-satisfied smirk. Her upper lip slowly curled as her mouth flirted with a sneer. "You didn't before," the young God's voice was teasing. He sighed and leaned back on his hands against the table, watching the young woman in front of him with a careful eye. She had foregone reaching for her sword, but the younger prince had no intention of becoming another victim of the fearsome Lady Sif. "Still," he said, "I had nothing to do with your current haircut."
Sif made a very un-ladylike sound of disbelief.
"I can probably fix it, though," Loki continued as though he hadn't even been interrupted. In a single fluid movement he pushed himself up and away from the table he leaned against, making his way across the room towards the Asynja. The warrior woman regarded him with no small amount of distrust in her narrowed eyes, but she didn't turn to watch him as he walked around behind her and back into view on her other side.
"Well?" Sif asked. Loki gave her a look that plainly said not to rush him, and she returned it with one of her own that told him rather forcefully to hurry up.
"Of course I can fix it. Whoever did it in the first place just hacked it all off with some shears or something- all I need is a simple spell," Loki offered the Lady Sif a small smile as he spoke, the expression quite charming on his face. With a flourish of his hands he produced the trolls' handiwork from a subspace, catching it carefully with the tips of his fingers and holding it out to the unfortunately-coiffed woman in front of him. In the light of his chambers, the blond hair almost looked like its original liquid gold. Gently- carefully- Sif reached out and took it from the God.
"A wig?" she asked, looking up at him with a bit of skepticism in her eyes.
"It'll become your hair once you put it on," Loki supplied. Sif looked down at the wig with her eyebrows rising, and Loki's own rose in an urging gesture. "It can't bite you," he assured.
"Thank you for that," Sif muttered. In a flash of gold and quick flip, the warrior woman was carefully arranging the hair on her head. The blond strands fell about her face in a pale halo, and the effect was just short of stunning. She shook a few strands from her eyes and brushed the rest back over her shoulder with a flip, giving the second prince a small smile. It was interrupted for a moment by the smallest of winces, but as that faded the Lady reached up and tugged lightly at her bangs. They didn't budge.
"See?" Loki asked. "You're fine. No need for the theat-" the young God's eyebrows knit together as he paused, his gaze focused on something that wasn't the Lady Sif's face. His fine brows suddenly shot up, and the expression he made was not a pleased one. Sif's hand raked through her new hair and brought a fistful of it forward in front of her eyes, watching helplessly as shiny pitch blackness spread through the strands like blood in water. She pulled more of it forward in time to see the black color spread all the way to the tips of her hair.
There was a long silence between the two Æsir.
Those two trolls were going to pay.
"What did you do!" Sif shrieked. She ran her fingers through the thick black hair she now sported, tousling it this-way and that to perhaps find some bit of blond left. With angry curses she pulled at the hair, but the savage tug only made her scalp hurt. The Asynja threw her new black locks back over her shoulders, reaching for the sword at her waist instead.
"I swear to you, it was a mistake. I didn't mean to-" Loki leaned back at the waist to keep the sword currently pointed at his nose from carving a path across his face. Behind the weapon he could see Sif's rage plain on her features, framed as they were by gentle waves of hair the same color as his own. Knotted and unkempt as they were from her frenzy of hair-pulling and screaming, the pitch black locks fell about her much as her golden hair had- in a way that enhanced her beauty. But the black added fierceness to her features, whereas the gold had made her seem courtly and fragile.
"Fix it," Sif demanded. Loki stepped back and straightened up, looking the picture of apologetic as he wrung his hands for lack of something else to do with them.
"I… don't know how," the God admitted. "I've never bothered with cosmetic magic. Shapeshifting encompasses all of those spells without having to learn individual incantations for shade or colorfastness. I've never thought myself as vain as to need it- or so low as to resort to it for tricks and laughs."
"So learn!" the Lady snapped. "Learn quickly!"
"Would you wish your hair to turn blue!" Loki snapped right back. That Sif would even deign to think she could order him about as she had just done made him livid. "Learning takes time, even for someone such as me. Not everything can be solved with a simple wave of the hand and perhaps a few sparkling bits of flashy showmanship. Magic is practice, and understanding, and- and-" the Trickster God's silver tongue was failing him. For the first time in a long while, he had been brought to the point of wordless anger.
He was actually going to kill those trolls.
Nobody would ever miss them.
"-and it looks good on you," the prince finished dumbly. The words seemed to have the opposite effect on the Lady Sif, because she snarled deep and jabbed her sword forward towards the God.
"I will not stand to be mocked, even by a prince of lies and slander," she spat. Her words were harsh, but behind the sneer and the hard narrowed eyes Loki could see the hurt that fueled the rage. The God of Mischief was no stranger to the Lady's emotional cruelty- more powerful words had spilled from her lips to him before this, and she recanted all those with due time. These would be no different. The God seemed to deflate, his anger leaving him as she spoke.
"Not even a bird would mock you now," Loki quipped. He made a gesture with one hand and the mirror hanging from a nearby wall zipped to his grasp. The young prince pulled it gingerly between himself and the angry Asynja, angling it to show her the hair she now sported. Sif slowly lowered her blade, her brow furrowing lightly as she scrutinized her reflection. "See?" Loki's silver tongue seemed to be working for forgiveness of its previous shortcomings, as he spun lies quickly as he could open his mouth to form the words. "Between the gold of a simpering Lady and the black of a Warrior, which would you choose?"
"You would call your brother a simpering Lady?" Sif asked. The look on her face was as mischievous as any he could make. Loki gave the woman a knowing smile around the edge of the mirror. The matching expression, though devious, lit up his features in a charming manner.
"The Lady Thor's womanly charm is unmatched by all but our mother," the prince said, his tone dry. "So? With proper scrutiny, do you like it? You could find someone to change it if you asked about, I suppose. Women that learn cosmetic magic are hardly in short supply in Asgard, seeing as that's usually the only lessons they ever paid attention to while I was learning."
"It's…" the Lady Sif trailed off. With one hand she brushed strands of her new hair from her face, arranging the black locks around her fair features with a certain amount of feminine grace. Her skin was a sharp contrast to the new color, even tanned as it was from her hours of practicing in the sun. "It's not so terrible," she finished.
"I wasn't lying when I said it suited you," Loki said. Sif offered him a small and somewhat uncomfortable-looking sweet smile, but it was gone as soon as it came.
"Thank you," the warrior woman began, "for giving me my hair back." Loki waved his hand and the mirror he held zipped back to its place on the wall.
"I did nothing of the sort," he said as he took the Lady's hand and raised it to about head-height between them. It was an informal and sterile version of a kiss on her knuckles, a sparse 'you're welcome', and the young God let her go quickly. "To give back your hair would mean that I had done all that butchery to it," he asserted. "I rather liked that braid of yours, though I think I like it more now."
"Your silver tongue will win no favors from me," Sif's tone was dry as she spoke. Loki shrugged as he turned from her and began walking towards the balcony of his chambers.
"It has before," he said over his shoulder. Behind him, the Lady Sif bristled and made a bit of a face. "Will you join me then?" the Mischief God asked as he opened the large doors with a wave of his hand. Sunlight flooded the room, tinting the walls orange and blue. Outside, the sky was a mix of bright orange clouds and massive belts of multicolored stars. A nebula, shining a million different brilliant colors, lit up the edge of the Realm like a disk of silver. Loki conjured up the chair and drink he had whisked away beforehand and sat down to look at the morning sky.
"I will not," Sif said stiffly. "Thank you for your help, m'lord," she muttered, before Loki heard her leave in a flip of her cape and the sound of armor. As the doors to his chambers closed behind her, the second prince of Asgard reveled in the simple silence of solitude. He could hear the occasional bird from his open balcony, and the light breeze rustled the deep green curtains that framed the balcony doors. Across the room a large tome disappeared in a wisp of green smoke, appearing a moment later on the prince's lap. He cracked it open and began to read, sipping idly at his drink.
A disaster (and possible untimely death) averted, the God of Mischief settled in for a lazy day of Grimoire-reading and drinking.
He got maybe four pages before the doors to his chambers opened once again.
At least it was a Royal Messenger this time. He was less likely to be there for blood.
"Your Highness," he began, "His Highness Thor is insisting upon your presence in the stables. His Highness and the Warriors Three wish to journey to Nidavellir to hunt, and wish you to accompany them."
"Did my brother mention the Demon Bears?" Loki sighed. He figured he already knew the answer, and as such his drink and book disappeared with quick gestures.
"I… Believe he did, your Highness," the messenger said. The second prince stood and straightened his clothes, nodding absently.
"Fine. Tell my brother I will be along shortly, and remind him to bring an extra sword. He forgets sometimes that Demon Bear blood melts everything except Uru metal," with a nod the messenger was gone, and Loki made a face as he walked back into his chambers. The doors to his balcony snapped shut behind him, and the God went to go find his Uru throwing knives.
It was going to be a long day.
Well aren't you glad that's done and over with.
I had fun writing this chapter, and I had most of it planned in my mind, but I never got around to writing it because I was too busy writing fills for the meme or drawing various horrible things (Marvel/Kingdom Hearts character designs) and putting them on my tumblr (slightly-bovverd). Also I was kind of distracted by the glorious Thor RP going on over there (seriously, glorious) and making cosplay things. Which I should be doing right now.
But so yeah. The End. Tra~
Reviews are still love.