Loki wasn't sure what to make of his newfound feelings. Every second longer they spent together, the deeper he started to fall in love.
Sif relied on him, and he was happy to be a person who could help.
He had always thought Sif was beautiful, he had always thought Sif was a powerful warrior, and he had always thought Sif was his equal. He had never thought Sif was somebody for which he could possibly hold such deep feelings.
His feelings were unknown by her; she only thought he was being extra nice to her because he had to. He was reluctant to let her know.
She doesn't feel the same way, he thought to himself as he sat upright in bed, Sif sleeping soundly next to him. We only got married because of the baby. Nothing more than that. Let me just suppress these wretched fantasies.
"Hello, Sif," Loki said casually when he found her in their usual hangout, resting on the couch.
"Good afternoon," she responded.
"Hello, all!" Fandral said, bursting through the doors. "Whoa! Sif, look at you! You're huge!"
Sif shot a deadly glare at him and was about to get up. "I'm going to kick your ass."
"Sif, stop it," Loki said, putting his hands on her shoulders and forcing her to sit back down. "You're in no condition to do this. Also, think of the baby."
"The baby would want me to kick his ass! Oh wait, the baby just kicked," she said, putting her hand on her stomach, completely forgetting about Fandral, who was grateful.
"Did it?" Loki asked. "Can I…?" He had no idea why he was asking, but he thought it would be better if he did not invade on Sif's personal space too much.
She would either snap his neck off or cuddle close to him.
"Sure, go ahead," she said. She pushed the fabric of her shirt up to reveal her bare stomach.
Loki's hands were shaking as he placed his cold hands on her stomach; she gasped. "Sorry," he said.
"No, it's fine."
Loki's hands were on Sif's stomach for a while before he finally felt it. It was small, but he still felt it. "Wow," he said. He looked up at Sif's face, her beautiful face. He wanted nothing more than to press his lips against hers, let her know how deeply he had fallen for her. He shot down his inner desires. "Wow," he said again. "So, how long until it's due?"
"Should be a few more weeks."
"A few more weeks," he repeated. "Sif… I…"
The words died on his tongue. "Nothing. How does it feel being married to the amazing God of Mischief?" He asked instead.
"Oh, it's very rewarding," she said with sarcasm icing her tone.
"That's good to hear."
"I take you don't know sarcasm?"
"I know sarcasm," he said. "I was being a little bit sarcastic myself."
"Now I have a question for you," she said. "How does it feel being married to the ambitious Goddess of War?"
He was glad he had a tongue for lies. He was not ready to admit to her that he had been carrying secret affections for her. "It's fantastic. Don't you just love the sardonic tone I have?" He laughed.
"Yes, it's one of the things I admire about you."
Loki could not detect any sarcasm in her voice, and it made feel extremely him uncomfortable. Did she admire it or did she not? Was she just getting better at hiding her sarcasm or was she being sincere?
"S-Sif?" He asked despite himself. "How do you… feel about…?" And he choked on the last word. He couldn't look her in the eye as he turned red. "…names?" He asked instead.
"Names?" Sif asked.
"Well, yes. Have you given any thought about the name of the baby?" Coward! You little coward! Why can't you just tell her?
"Not really," she admitted. "I figured I'd have a name decided upon once I actually give birth."
Loki was quiet, his hands in his lap. What was the point of being married if he was too afraid to show his feelings? Married couples are already in love, and they know it. Sif doesn't know what's going on in his head right now.
She sighed, putting her hand on Loki's knee. He nearly jumped; he was not expecting her to do that. He managed to stay composed and keep a stoic expression.
"Just a few more weeks," he said.
"Just a few more weeks," Sif repeated.
Loki was dealing with his feelings in his own way. He was keeping it all bottled up in hopes his heart would realize that he and Sif could be no more than a married couple who had no feelings for each other and give up. Unfortunately, he found this to be harder than he expected.
His heart seemed to love to dominate his entire body; it wanted to continue loving Sif.
"Tearing out my heart seems to be a good choice," he said to himself.
"Loki!" He heard Sif call.
Immediately, he bounded up and ran to her.
There was some sort of water on the carpet.
Loki kneeled down and pressed his hand into the carpet, feeling the dampness on his palm.
"What did you spill?" He asked her. "I told you to be careful about that sort of thing."
"I didn't spill anything unless you count my water breaking!" She shrieked. "It's time!"
"Time for what? Tea? It's tea time? I'll go get you some tea," he said.
"No, you idiot! THE BABY!"
"OH! Oh, now, really?"
"Yes, now!" Sif was holding onto her stomach, her eyes scrunched up in pain.
"Oh, god," Loki muttered. "Mother, it's time!"
His mother and her mother came into Loki's chambers and helped Sif out.
Loki followed them as they took her to the medical hall where most women gave birth if they had the time; some of them just gave birth in their own rooms.
"What's going on?" Thor asked as he saw them walk past him.
"The baby… Sif… time," Loki gasped.
"I'll go tell the others." Thor ran off into the opposite direction.
"Is it too much trouble to be there?" Loki asked Frigg.
"It's not very traditional for the man to be there…" she said.
"It's fine," Sif panted. "He can stay."
Sif was put onto a large bed. She screamed in agony. "Loki," she said weakly, holding out her arm.
"Hold my hand, please."
"Oh, yes, of course."
Loki held onto Sif's hand, but he regretted it. Once another pain shot through her body, she screamed loudly and grasped tightly onto his hand.
"Ow, ow, ow!" He yelled. "Sif, that hurts!"
"Oh, my apologies, Prince Loki," she spat. "I'm sure my pain is nothing compared to yours! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!" She grabbed onto his collar and pulled him to her, her face red with anger and pain. "YOU DID THIS TO ME!"
"I…I… I… Mother?" Loki yelled, looking at his mother for some sort of aid.
"It's normal," she said calmly. "During labor, the mother gets a little excited."
Loki slumped against a chair next to the bed, still holding onto Sif's hand, trying his best to ignore the pain.
Hour after hour passed, and he felt his eyelids getting heavier. "How long is this?" He asked.
"It depends on the woman," Frigg explained. "You may rest if you'd like."
"Wake me up if anything happens," Loki said, nodding off into sleep.
When he awoke again, he found that Sif was still in labor.
"You've got to be kidding me," he murmured. "Excuse me."
He rose from his seat and left the medical center, where he found the Warriors Three and Thor waiting outside.
"Is it done?" Thor asked as soon as he saw Loki.
"No. Sif's labor is really taking too long." He rubbed his eyes and yawned. "You'll have to wait a little while longer until you meet your niece or nephew, I'm afraid."
"I can wait," Thor said. "Are you patient?"
A scream came from the room.
"Loki, come in here!" Frigg shouted.
Loki did not need to be told twice. He opened the double doors and sat on the chair, holding onto Sif's hand, tighter than ever.
And it happened.
The medic was cradling a baby in her arms.
"You've done it," she told Sif.
Sif was panting heavily, and she looked as though she was about to collapse.
The medic put the baby into Sif's arms.
"A beautiful, healthy, baby girl."
Loki stared down at the child, his child, and he felt strange.
"My god," he whispered.
"What?" Sif laughed. "Angry that's she a girl and not a boy?"
"No," he said. "She's… she's absolutely beautiful. Thor, you may come in, if you'd like."
Thor, Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg came in, and their faces lit up at the sight of the baby (yes, even Hogun's.)
"Thor," Sif said, "this is your niece, Sigdis."
"Sigdis?" Loki asked.
"I think it's a beautiful name don't you? It means 'victorious woman.'"
"Yes, yes, I do." Loki bent down and kissed the baby on the head. "She has black hair, like us."
"She's gorgeous," Thor said, hardly believing he now had a niece. All his anger and all his hatred for Loki was now gone. He could tell that his brother was happier than he had ever seen him, and that's all that mattered. "Congratulations," he whispered to Loki, tussling his black hair. Tussling
"Knock it off," Loki snapped, pushing Thor's hand away. "Thank you, Thor."
"Excuse me," the medic said. "Let me just clean her up. You should get some rest, Sif, you look exhausted."
"I am," she said, cuddling into the blankets around her. "Loki, you can go, if you want."
"No, I'll stay here," he said. "We'll see you guys later, okay?"
"Sure," Thor said. "Come on, guys."
"I can't wait for the celebration later on," Volstagg said eagerly. "There's bound to be lots of good food!"
"And of course, lots of maidens gushing over Sigdis. It should be fun," Fandral said.
"Yes," Hogun grunted.
They left the room.
"Mother," Loki said, "may we be alone?"
"Oh, yes, of course," Frigg said. "Come along, dear," she told Sif's mother who was just sobbing her eyes out.
"You did well, Sif," Loki told her gently, stroking the back of her hand with his thumb.
"Uh-huh," she mumbled.
"Thanks for nearly breaking my hand."
"That's what I do."
Loki took in a deep breath. "Sif, this is very hard for me to say, but seeing as how we are now married and parents, I should just say it. Over the past few months, I have been subjected to some very strange sensations. I truly have fallen in love with you." He looked over at her to find her sleeping. "Seriously?" he growled. He smiled nonetheless.
Loki and Sif were able to take Sigdis back to his chambers later that night. Thor and the Warriors Three had built a small crib for her that they kept close to the bed.
"Thank you; it's very sweet," Sif told them when they delivered it to them. "I'm sure Sigdis likes it. See? She's very enthusiastic!" She looked down at the bundle in her arms; the baby was fast asleep.
"Loki, can you put her in the crib?" Sif asked.
Loki hesitated. He never held a child before. He was cautious, looking over at Sif, expecting her to snap at him and tell him he was doing something wrong. Thankfully, no snap came. He put Sigdis in the crib and covered her with a soft, red blanket.
"Sif, I need to talk to you," Loki said once he was finished.
"Go ahead then; talk." She was sitting on the bed and was brushing her sweaty, tangled hair.
"I know we don't really get along or anything. This is very hard for me to just say, but I suppose I'll just have to say it. I'm in love with you."
Sif dropped the brush and it clattered to the floor.
"We've been spending so much time together, and it just happened. So, there. Now you know. I'm fine with you not feeling the same way; I just wanted you to know."
"Loki," Sif said, getting up from the bed. "You don't need to be so uneasy." She touched his burning cheek, which only made it burn more underneath her skin. "To be truthful, I feel the same way."
His breath caught. "Y-you do?"
"It's hard not to fall in love with a man who's willing to put up with your pregnancy." She laughed.
Loki put his arms around her and held her close to him so their bodies were touching. He pressed his forehead against hers and smiled.
"I love you," he whispered.
"I love you, too," she whispered back.
His lips were mere inches from hers. They gently brushed against each other, and he when he went for more, the baby started crying.
"Really?" He asked in disbelief.
"Quiet, you," Sif chided. She picked up Sigdis in her arms. "Aw, are you alright?"
She quieted at her mother's touch. Sif sat on the bed, her child cradled safely in her arms.
Loki sat next to her, his eyes on his daughter.
He gently touched her cheek with his thumb.
"She'll learn to be a trickster, like me," he said.
"She'll learn to be a fierce woman," Sif said. "No matter what my mother says."
As the child was bundled up in Sif's arms, Loki pressed his lips against Sif's.
For the first time in his life, he didn't feel the need to compete with Thor. He didn't feel the need to try and plot an elaborate plan to ruin his coronation. He had finally won someone's favor, and it was the best feeling in the world.