Disclaimer: I do not own Thor, which doesn't really bother me all that much. Not owning Loki really does and I would like to lodge a complaint with the higher ups and propose that they fix this.

She had always watched him. All of Asgard had. The two sons of the Allfather. Their princes.

Thor, the first born. Strong Thor. Impulsive Thor. The assumed heir and beloved of the people.

And Loki. Forever in Thor's shadow. Second to be born, second to the throne. Overlooked and forgotten.

But not by her.

She had grown up in this palace, with these people. Oh, she was not a warrior. Not like Sif. But she had other talents. She was who they turned to when Thor led them into another battle and they paid the price. She was there to heal their bodies and their spirits. She was who they turned to for comfort.

If Thor was their leader, she was their protector.

She alone knew the envy in Loki's heart before the betrayal.

When they were children, and Thor and the others had gone to the training yards to bash each other with swords once again, she had sat on the side lines with him.

"It's not fair." He told her one time.

She had said nothing, neither pushing or moving away, willing to give him all the time and support he needed.

"They love him so." He had continued. "The mighty Thor. Our future king."

"Do you want to be king?" she had asked him quietly.

He thought for a moment.

"I would not rush into things foolhardily like he does." He replied. "I think I would be a better king."

"You did not answer my question." She told him.

"Because I do not know the answer." He replied.

"Then an easier question." She said. "Do you love your brother?"

"Yes." He answered without hesitation. "He is my brother."

"Than do not dwell on what may or may not be." She told him. "Thor will grow and one day he will make us all proud. And so will you, Loki. You may not have your brother's talent for smashing things, but you have wisdom and cunning, and he will need those things. He will need you. We all will if we hope to keep him from mindlessly running into things. You know, tables, the odd wall."

Loki had chuckled at that.

"Loki!" Thor called, smiling brightly. "If you can tear yourself away from our dear Sigyn, Sif would like the chance to spar with you."

"You mean she'd like the chance to beat me into the ground." Loki called back, but smiling none the less. "By your leave, my lady."

She had smiled at him and inclined her head.

And when he smiled at her before running off to join his brother, she had known, even then, that no one would take his place in her heart.

And that he would never feel the same.

So they had grown. She had taken her place in the court, still their healer, still their comforter, and he had taken his place at his brother's side. The counselor, the companion. Loki, the Trickster, the silver-tongued.

And the Lady Sigyn. The healer. The faithful.

The forgotten.

She watched as Thor and Loki, along with Sif, Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg took their place in the hearts of the people. Their warriors, the strongest of all Asgard.

And she faded into the background. And she watched. She did not begrudge her place, for it was only from there that she could see what the others could not.

From that place, she could watch helplessly as the dark consumed the man she loved.

"My lord." She called softly.

He sat up with a start on his stolen throne.

"My lady." He replied warily. "Have you come to challenge my rule as well."

"I have come as I have always come." She replied. "To speak as a friend, if you would hear me."

He hesitated before nodding, giving her permission to approach him. She climbed the steps and stood in front of him, gently reaching out to touch his cheek, but pulling away when he flinched away from her.

"What are you doing, Loki?" she asked him softly. "This throne was never meant to be yours, you know this. You were destined for something else."

"Tell me, Sigyn." He spat. "Why does Thor deserve it more than me? Are we not both Odin's sons? Why should he be king, leading us into war, when I would uphold the peace?"

"Would you?" she asked him. "You have just as much reason to hate the Frost Giants. Maybe more…"

Loki studied her for a moment.

"You know." He said. "How?"

"I know you, Loki." She replied. "You've always been desperate for your father's approval, but this hatred of Jötunheim is new."

Loki stood up quickly, forcing her back a few steps.

"You should have more care when speaking to your king." He told her.

"Are you going to banish me as well, Loki?" she asked defiantly. "Send me to Midgard and strip me of my powers? I have always been your friend, my lord. Kept your confidence. Stayed by your side." She lowered her voice to a whisper. "Loved you, despite the knowledge that you would never love me. Do you really think I would do anything to hurt you?"

Loki turned away from her and she took a deep breath.

"Why?" he asked softly. "Why don't you ever just leave, like the others? Thor is the one they all love, not me. Why do you defy the natural order?"

"Because I am faithful to those I care about." She told him. "You, your mother and father, Sif, Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg…and yes, Thor. You are my family. And you can still fix this, Loki. Order Heimdall to bring Thor back. Give up this throne, and maybe the two of you can bring peace by taking up a different one. Bring Thor back and tell him the truth. He is your brother, blood or not, and he will still love you, despite your mistakes."

"I am the son of our enemy." Loki said viciously. "I will be cast out."

"You are the son of Odin." She shot back. "A prince of Asgard. Nothing can or ever will change that." She smiled slightly. "And think of the trick of an Asgardian prince growing up to be king of Jötunheim. Never in history would the Nine Realms have seen anything of its like."

Loki smiled at her and opened his mouth to say something when an alarm began to sound.

"What is that?" she asked.

"The Bifrost is opening." He said, his smile turning to a sneer. "Was this your plan? Distract me while my brother's friends run off to rescue him?"

"Loki-" She started, but he cut her off.

"Get out of my sight." He shouted, pushing past her.

She watched as he stalked down the hall, tears gathering in her eyes, knowing in her heart that it would be a very long time until she saw him again.

And that was where Thor found her, curled up next to the throne like she used to when they would gather as children to listen to the Allfather tell stories of battles long ago.

"He's gone, is he not?" she asked softly as he sat next to her.

"Yes." He replied softly. "Loki was lost in the destruction of the Bifrost."

"He loved you." She told him softly. "You must know that. In his own way, Loki loved you more than anything."

"As you loved him." Thor replied.

She turned her face from him, but he reached out and made her look at him.

"Sigyn, I am not as unobservant as I seem." He told her. "And I have learned much in my exile. You loved my brother, and to use your words, he loved you more than you knew, in his own way. You were the only one he ever confided in. The only one he sought out when he was troubled. The only one who truly knew his mind. I am sorry he could never give you what you needed in return."

"I never needed anything." She said. "Only him. And in the absence of that, his friendship."

"I know it is a poor substitute, but you have mine, Sigyn." Thor told her. "If Loki was my brother, despite our blood, than I could not hope for a better sister than you."

"I told Loki this, and now I tell you." She told him. "You are my family. Nothing changes that. Not what you have done, nor what you will be. You are my family, in this life or the next."

Thor smiled and wiped her cheek with his thumb.

"Dry your tears, dear Sigyn." He said. "The Nine Realms are a mysterious place. Loki may be lost, this does not mean he is gone. We may yet see him again."

She closed her eyes and Thor drew her into his embrace.

And so now she stood with her family, Sif at her side and Fandral, Hogun, and Volstagg surrounding them, as they waited for their princes, their friends, to return. One in victory, the other in chains, with Odin standing in judgment.

As light cleared, she stumbled at the sight of Loki, bound and gagged and she felt Sif take her hand.

"Strength, Sigyn." She whispered to her. "Do not show weakness."

She nodded and forced herself to not fall.

But then he looked at her.

She saw the madness in his eyes. The hate and loathing.

And beyond that, the fear.

She saw his pain and his torture.

And she could not stop the tears from falling.

And he saw them.

He looked at her in shock and she knew he was wondering how anyone could still care.

"Loki, Laufey's son-" Odin said.

"Odin's son." Thor interrupted.

Everyone looked at him in shock, except her. Thor caught her eye and she smiled slightly in thanks.

"He himself has renounced his claim to my name." Odin told his heir.

"That does not change the fact that he is my brother, your son, Father." Thor said, standing his ground. "Nothing he ever does or says will change that."

"He betrayed the Nine Realms!" Odin shouted.

"Out of love for you!" Thor shouted back. "In a misguided attempted to please you! To make you proud of him. And I will not allow anyone, not even you, Allfather, to treat him as anything less than my brother, whom I love."

"And I will not allow his crimes to go unpunished!" Odin told him.

"I am not asking you to." Thor replied. "I am simply asking that you afford him the respect due the son of Odin."

Odin studied his first born for a moment before inclining his head.

"Very well, Thor Odinson." He said. "What would you have me do with him?"

"Lock him away." Thor said. "Keep him from harming himself or anyone else."

"And allow the risk of him escaping?" Odin shot back. "I think not."

"I cannot wish him dead, Father, anymore than I believe you could kill him." Thor responded. "Or would you order someone else to deliver the blow? Perhaps Mother, who has loved us equally? Or Heimdall, who watched over us as we grew and played? Who would you ask to condemn him to death?"

Odin turned him back on his son and looked at those of the court who stood waiting, moving from face to face before landing on her.

"He will need a keeper." Odin said. "Someone to watch him always to ensure he never escapes."

She squeezed Sif's hand and stepped forward before their friends could stop her.

"I will do it, Allfather." She said, her voice strong.

"You are not a warrior, Lady Sigyn." He told her, studying her.

"No, but I am a healer and a protector." She replied, not backing down. "And I believe that is what Loki needs, not a jailer."

Odin studied her for a moment more.

"Very well." He said. "Loki…Odinson will be confined to the lowest levels of Asgard, with the Lady Sigyn as his keeper."

With that, he turned his back on them all, leading the way back to the palace. Finally, all that was left was Thor, Loki, and her.

"Please, Thor." She said. "Must he have the gag?"

"I thought it best he didn't annoy the mortal warriors on our return home." Thor replied. "Some of them have volatile natures."

"But you are home now." She said. "Please."

Thor sighed and reached over to remove his brother's gag.

"Why are you doing this?" he demanded, his eyes never having left her.

"I told you once, but you didn't listen." She said, walking towards him. "I am faithful to those I care about. Nothing you have done changes my affection for you."

"I will not rot in a prison for all eternity." Loki spat at her. "I will be free again."

She reached out to touch his cheek, and this time she didn't back away when he flinched away, but pressed on, cupping his cheek with her hand.

"Perhaps that is true." She said. "Put will it really be so terrible for you to be in my company for now?"

Loki's eyes softened as she stared into them.

"It has never been terrible to be in your company, my lady." He said, a spark of the quiet, thoughtful child he had been peeking through. "Though you may regret your decision to remain in mine."

She smiled softly and shook her head.

"I have missed you, Loki." She told him. "I will never regret your return to Asgard."

"I have missed you as well." He said softly. "More than I can say."

"Come." She said, nodding to Thor. "We have much to catch up on."

And so they went on, into the future. Sigyn, the Faithful, always at Loki's side, through everything that would come their way.

Never again forgotten.

A/N: Okay, so I was sitting at work and this story just came to me. I've always loved the story of Loki's wife, Sigyn, forever holding the bowl to protect her husband as best she could from the punishment he had earned, so I decided to try to incorporate her into the movie-verse at least. Tell me what you thought.