AUTHOR's NOTE: Consider this movie-verse, though I plucked Loki's wife and son's names and the possibility that Sigyn *might* be Vanir from the Prose Edda (correction: internet summaries of the Prose Edda). I want to write a long Loki/Sigyn fic, but I've been very bad about updating things recently, so I thought I would start off with a one-shot first. Movie-stuff belongs to Marvel. The rest is part of the world's cultural inheritance. I adore reviews, but I write because I love writing.


"I wish that you'd let us go with you…"

Loki's fingers stilled on the clasp of his breastplate. He turned his attention away from the mirror and towards his bed.

"Looking like that?" he asked, a smile tickling the corner of his mouth as he took in the sight. His wife, Sigyn, was still in bed. Her naked body was draped across a pile of pillows and silken coverlets in a pose that would have been wanton if not for the chubby infant- their son, Váli- that was suckling at her breast.

"No, not like this!" Sigyn answered, making a weak concession to modesty by tucking one of the blankets across her legs. "You know what I mean."

"And you know why I said 'no'."

"Do I?" Sigyn's full lips twisted into a pout, and Loki couldn't resist the temptation to cross the room and smooth the look away with the pad of his thumb. He picked up one of her auburn curls and dabbed it like a paintbrush against the baby's cheek as he avoided her eyes.

"Of course."

"The real reason?"

Loki stiffened at the question. He dropped the lock of hair and stood up.

"Loki?"

He stalked back to the mirror and tried to concentrate on the fastenings of his armor again as he fought down a flash of panic. Did Sigyn know what he was planning? If so…did anyone else?

His thoughts were interrupted by an icy prickling beneath his skin. For a fraction of a second, he felt as if there were two cold fingers trying to dig behind his eyes.

"SIGYN!" Loki snapped.

Immediately, the sensation was gone. He spun around, eyes flashing.

"You promised me not to do that!" Loki said tightly.

Reaching inside the mind was one of his Vanir wife's many talents- one she was forbidden to practice without permission. The slip would ordinarily be cause for anger. Today, Loki found comfort in the fact that she has been tempted to ignore their agreement. It meant that she had not worked out his plan. His secret was safe.

"You know that I wouldn't be going myself if I could avoid it," Loki said, hoping to smother her curiosity before it caught flame. "I've lived through enough of Thor's glories already."

"I thought you might need the support."

"You can support me perfectly well from here."

"But-!" Sigyn started to protest, but was interrupted.

"Sif will be there," Loki said, altering his approach. He shifted his eyes so that he could watch his wife's expression in the mirror as he delivered the news. "She'll be on the dias next to me…it was Thor's request, of course."

Sigyn's eyes darkened. Even without the ability to read minds, Loki knew what she was thinking. Sif had once delighted in humiliating the exiled princess.

Victory Bringer. As a girl, Sif had taunted Sigyn mercilessly over the meaning of her name.

"Victory over what, exactly?" Sif had demanded.

Though Sigyn would deny it, Loki knew that the sting of humiliation had never gone away, and so he felt a prickle of conscience as he pressed his advantage against his wife:

"I don't like the way that any of them look at you...as if you don't belong-"

"I would bear it for you."

Sigyn's answer made Loki feel even worse. He had to remind himself that he was protecting her before he was able to speak again. "I know that you would," he said, letting the warmth seep back into his voice. "But I don't want you to."

Sigyn fell silent. Loki tried to ignore the weight of her gaze and concentrate on donning his armor.

Váli was dozing. Sigyn laid him aside when Loki reached for his cape.

"Let me," she murmured, rising out of the bed. She walked to where Loki stood and plucked the heavy velvet cloth out of his hands.

Loki submitted to Sigyn's nimble fingers as they hooked the material into his golden collar. He kept his face turned forward, but his eyes gazed hungrily into the mirror, roaming over his wife's naked curves.

"You've changed tactics, I see."

"Oh?"

"If you can't come along, you'll tempt me to stay."

At last, a smile returned to Sigyn's lips. Loki turned and smothered it under a kiss. He only intended to dab his lips against hers but, as always, kissing his wife was like wading into quicksand. Loki overestimated his strength. He let the touch linger a half-heartbeat too long, and then found it impossible to pull away.

It was Váli who broke the spell. A thin, angry wail marked his protest at being left alone in the bed.

Sigyn stepped away to tend the baby. Loki instinctively moved to follow, but she held up a hand to ward him away.

"You'll be late."

Loki bowed his head in agreement, but then caught the hand and brushed it against his lips.

"Don't leave this room until I return."

Sigyn met his eyes. To his relief, the question that he read in her silver gaze never reached her tongue. Loki didn't think that his wife would entirely condemn his scheme to ruin Thor's coronation, but neither would she condone it. As fiercely as he loved her, Sigyn's pity and quiet understanding could wound him as deeply as Odin's disappointment. He was surprised- but grateful- that he didn't have to justify his request. Loki was nearly certain that the Frost Giants would be thwarted in their attack, that the stunt would do nothing more than postpone Thor's crowning by a moment or two, but a sliver of fear remained. What if the Jötunn succeeded in stealing the casket of Ancient Winters? What if the giants attacked the palace? What if…?

Loki's thoughts were interrupted by the sound of trumpets. The ceremony was about to begin.

"Go," Sigyn whispered, pushing him gently toward the door. "Your family needs you."

No…Loki thought as he pulled the horned helmet onto his head and walked through the door.

I need them.