This is me re-editing some of the language and grammar. My first story so I hold it dear and I wanted to elevate it to a height I deem worthy even if I'm not as involved in this fandom anymore. Hope new and old readers alike enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing but Halios (Pronounced Hail-e-us)
"Fan you cannot be serious!" Halios said, her arms crossed defiantly in front of her as she stared judgingly at her friend.
"I have but no option left, besides most of my friends have known about you for a while. After all, it was getting harder to lie about my sudden disappearances around meals or training." Fandral remarked while brushing his goatee thoughtfully.
They sat in Halios's garden behind her stone house. The chimney was puffing smoke like a careless old man and his cigarette. The lush grass blew around them in waves as the wind teased like kisses on the blades. Fandral looked to his petite friend surrounded by her abundant flowers. Her honey blond hair was wild, much like the fair girl's spirit. Her eyes were two pools of water that held tender care for even the most despicable of adversaries. She was goddess of mercy and fertility, and had been his long friend through many hardships. Currently she was sitting amongst her bushes, fuming silently as her button nose scrunched in irritation. Fandral grinned while trying to ease her comforts.
"I promise my friends will adore you much as I have come to in these past years." He placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. He was adorned in tight black cotton pants and a dark brown tunic today. His golden hair stayed perfectly coiffed against any weather condition, and was quite a hit with the loose women of Asgard if it wasn't too bold to say.
"You are a part of the warriors three and share relations with the two princes; I doubt the welcome wagon will be forthcoming." Her eyes casted downward as she shrugged his grip off. She wore a pure cotton dress the color of snow hare in the winters pass that spread around her form as she sat in the green grass. She couldn't afford better, but it wasn't unflattering in the least. The bodice was tight fitting and strapless with only a brown leather belt tied around her waist. She never wore shoes around her home, and once when he asked about it, she replied they felt only like a prison for her feet.
"Nonsense my dear girl. The Lady Sif would be most warm to you as would any of the warriors. And do not be so quick to judge on the royals, they are my two dearest friends." She frowned with a raised brow in judgment, "Next to you of course." He added hastily.
She thought back again in the silence that stretched. "Well…what have you told them about me?"
"Only your name and of your kind heart. Please oh please accept this offer!" He beseeched. He got down on both of his knees before her while clasping his hands together in prayer.
One look in his eyes and it was over for her, "What day would suit them best?" She said in defeat.
"Yes! I knew you'd agree so I told them today!"
"YOU WHAT!" she shrieked, standing abruptly, stumbling a little. He rose to meet her while she strode back and forth nervously. Surely she would leave a trail in her garden from the frantic pacing she was doing. Fandral reached out and grabbed both of her shoulders gently to halt her fretting.
"Do not worry so. They've looked forward to this day as long as I have." His eyes look at her gently, and she inhaled a sharp, long breath.
"Let me straighten myself before we go. I need to put on shoes." She stepped away from him and back through the stone path to her back door. Her home was shaped like a clay dome that was every bit as cozy on the inside as it was inviting. Fandral had lost count to how many days he had spent wasting away with their chatter, and eating her delicious pastries. Halios was something of a cook, among other things. Her love of nature and of plants that grew tall, like the many sweet pea vines that ensconced the back of her tiny house. She was too tiny to ever be considered a warrior, but she also practiced her brand of magic's in her time alone. Most of the spells Fandral had seen her use were nurturing incantations for her plants. He couldn't imagine her ever using a harmful spell, but she had shyly replied she did know more than one to use, though lacked the power to conjure them.
He followed behind to give her space. In his heart he was certain all of his friends would adore Halios. Thor was every bit as charming as himself and welcomed any new stranger with open arms. Volstagg would take to her cooking so fast that she'd have to beat him away with a frying pan. Hogun and Loki were both hard to read, but were also somewhat friendly when the time asked it of them. Maybe he should warn her not to use magic around Loki; or even mention it for that matter. It wasn't uncommon for Loki to be rude or ridicule ones less talented than himself.
"Halios, one thing before we leave." He spoke aloud while she rummaged through her bedroom. It was common courtesy for a man to never enter a maiden's chamber unless invited or that of your wife, which Halios obviously wasn't.
"Of course, speak your mind Fan." He smiled at the nickname she had given him since their long friendship.
"Don't talk about your magic while we're there. Prince Loki, as you are well aware, is the master of magic's and I don't rightfully know how he'd take to learning a female is trying to master the same art as he."
"Is it because I'm female, or is it because I am not a noble female?" She asked, poking her head around the door, her face serious.
Fandral rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly. At the most unpredictable of times, she could call him out and make him feel worse than a Frost Giant. He risked stealing a gaze at her only to find her smiling in front of him. "You have not offended my honor; I know of what I am and of my stature in society."
"Thank Odin, because I really hate your angry side." He breathed out in relief, and she quirked her lips in inquiry.
"Oh I have an angry side do I?"
His eyes widened, "No, no…oh by the Gods, I've stuck my foot in my own mouth."
She laughed a melodious giggle, "Don't worry, I'll spare you of my wroth, but next time I will not be quick to stall. Now come, let us visit with flirty Fandral's friends."
She glided gracefully to the door, her dress leaving a haunting vision for him to follow. "I am not full-heartedly flirty, just half halfheartedly."
She chuckled deep in her throat. "Okay half halfheartedly it is."
They traveled down the valley roads, passing small town houses alike. Vines with juicy honeysuckles tangled up the sides of brick storehouses; the yellow looking vibrant against the stark burgundy red. Little wooden picket fences lined down the neighborhood, grass growing tall between the wooden rows. Halios kept a warm smile on her face, only pausing to pluck a small flower that she placed delicately behind her ear. Small songbirds were drawn to her cheer, and would land in her hand as she would whistle a sweet tune before sending them back into the sky. Fandral always felt his inner peace come to life when he was with her. Pray death come quickly to the soul to ever rupture her kindred spirit.
"What's the palace like?" she wondered suddenly.
Fandral was taken aback by the question. Never had he been asked to describe the palace before. "Tis a most glorious place. The great hall is Grande even on an empty day, but when the place is filled with life during meals it is at it's best. The music and the laughter there is full of joy that no evil can touch. And the food!" He said exasperatedly.
"Better than mine?" She asked incredulously.
"Well maybe not the desserts, after all, your cherry's jubilee could melt away the most prudent woman's willpower."
"Perhaps I should have made some to take to your friends." She said, a look of worry on her face.
"They will like you without having to bribe with a gift, besides Volstagg would not have let you leave if he was to taste such a divine creation."
"He sounds like a pleasant enough fellow, and I truly am excited, but my nerves seem to be winning out the battle." Her hand dusted across the front of her gown, picking away at an imaginary thread as her eyes fell to other things.
"Well we're only going to sit in a glade today, so there will be no pressure to act a certain way." He assured.
"Just promise me that you will warn me ahead of time if I ever have to meet the Allfather. I think I'd die of shock if I was to be forced into that situation."
"Be still your frantic beating little heart, I will always give fair warning." He placed a hand over his own chest dramatically, and she stifled a small laugh with her hand.
"We're close now." He noted. Her tiny hands clench in and out of fists at her side as she practiced at keeping her ragged breathing at a normal rate. Would these famous artisan's really be gleeful in welcoming an outsider? She looked fair enough; her skin being a nice toasty bronze from her days spent outdoors. Surely her hair could do with some grooming, but her skin was clear of noticeable blemishes, and she held a trim waist on a small figure. Her clothing would be outdated to dance in the halls of the palace, but Fandral had said they were only going to a glade which helped ease her trepidation's. It wasn't as if she was about to pop out from the seams or something unsightly of the sort. She looked up from her leather sandals to see the stone steps of the palace coming into view. Her heart rate sped up at the sight of five figures waiting up and down the cold marble.
"Relax, they're going to greet you with open arms." Fandral squeezed her hand from her side, but she had become so numb, that she hardly felt a thing.
After reading the first chapter over, I realized there wasn't much to change and I still love the innocence of how this story started. Hope it is appreciated by new readers as well :)