"You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships every day. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity."
"Well, don't you look like a ball of sunshine."
So maybe mocking a tall, dark, stranger who had his face lodged in the mud wasn't Lou Piper's brightest idea. But hey, sleeping with that I'm-just-a-guy-in-a-bar-esque man from Bo's and getting knocked up wasn't one of her most eloquent moments either, and no one's judged her (too badly) for that yet.
Mystery-mud-man braces his arms on either side of himself, yanking his head out of the muck with a not-so-graceful grunt and peering up at the very pregnant female lurking above him.
"I beg your pardon?"
Just for the record, Lou doesn't have much of a filter. Scratch that. She doesn't have a filter. So what pops out of her mouth next really shouldn't flabbergast you.
"You must've been fucking hammered to fall asleep in the mud, dude. I mean, don't get me wrong. I've had my moments. But I can't remember the last time I got shit-faced enough to take a nap in the dirt."
It probably would've been best to walk away then. To continue with nights spent alone watching Scrubs in her shoebox of an apartment and shouting at her love-child to stop kicking at her cootie wall.
But as we've seen above, Lou isn't the sharpest crayon in the box.
So she learns his name. Loki. (Yes, it's safe to say she made some smart-ass comment about how his parents must have been either drunk or high when they came up with that one). She also learns that he talks like he's just waltzed out of some horrible midevil Syfy movie, and doesn't take too kindly to people poking fun at him.
"Do you ever shut that gaping hole of a mouth of yours?" Loki asks at one point, earning the would be, should be, intimidating bitch-you-did-not-just-insult-the-hormonal-pregnant-girl glare.
"Hey, King Henry, I'm the one who rescued you from your mud-nap. You should be groveling on your knees with thanks," Lou quips, sniffing with distaste.
And so there began the ever-rocky, can't-call-it-friendship-but-not-nearly-enemies relationship of Lou Piper and Loki Laufeyson.
"So...you're like, an alien?" Lou questions, leering in the doorway as Loki scrutinizes her bedroom. He isn't subtle when something isn't par to his standards (which happens to be just about everything), and it's kind of making Lou wish she'd left him face-first in the mud.
"No." Loki doesn't elaborate further, instead examining the photos lining her dresser. "Is this you?"
Lou pauses picking at her nails, following his gaze. "Huh?"
"This...image. It's you?" Loki questions once again, holding up a picture from some beach trip years ago.
"Oh, yeah. I was in Miami," she replies, wiping her nose on the sleeve of her sweater.
Loki makes a face before speaking again. "You were thin."
"I also wasn't pregnant, numbnuts," Lou shoots back, rolling her eyes. "Well, I guess you can take the couch until you figure out where you're gonna go."
"Why not the bed?" Loki inquires, all seriousness. Lou send him a oh, don't worry about thanking me for rescuing you from your raging hangover in the mud or anything look, resting her fidgeting hands on her stomach.
"Because I'm pregnant, nutcake, and I'm not sharing a bed with some guy I just found in the mud. No offense."
Surely he'd understand that strangers simply don't share beds. Nor do they take beds from snarky pregnant women. Or not.
"Why not?" The question rolls off his tongue with such ease that it catches Lou off guard. She stares at him like a fish out of water for a long moment, before regaining her composure.
"Woah there, skippy. You haven't even asked me on a date yet!" She miffs, shaking her head. Loki gives her a blank look. "Because, Charlie Sheen. I just found you in the mud like, ten seconds ago. I'm not just going to cuddle with you out of the goodness of my heart. Plus, I think my stomach might take up eighty percent of the bed."
So Loki finds himself on the couch that night, stripped down to his boxers while his previous attire soaked in the wash.
"If you hear scratching, that's just the mouse that lives behind the TV. No biggie." Lou informs him. "Well, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite."
The blank look from her guest only makes her laugh as she disappears down the hall.
"Are you gonna eat your eggs, or make a doccumentary of them?"
Taking Loki to breakfast seemed like a simple task. Getting him to eat, however, is like trying to teach algebra to a dog.
"You eat these...substances every day?" Loki questions as he prods his eggs with a fork. Lou rolls her eyes, almost ready to use the airplane trick to get Loki to open up his mouth and eat.
"If you would take a bite, Scarlett, you'd see that it's not that bad," Lou replies. "Just get past the fact that you're eating cooked chicken babies and you'll be fine."
So maybe that wasn't the best thing to say. After that comment, she couldn't really blame him for not suffering through a couple bites.
In the end, she walks him down 9th Avenue and buys him a hot dog. Scratch that, she buys him three. Somewhere in between his first and second weiner, Loki realizes that though he has to suffer through being stranded on Midgard, he at least has hot dogs.
"I desire another," Loki demands just after polishing off his third. Lou snorts, brushing a blonde curl from her eyes.
"Slow down there, Homer. You keep at it like that and you'll be as big as me," she replies, tugging on Loki's arm to get him away from the hot dog stand.
"I don't quite think that's possible," Loki replies coolly.
"Hey! I'm not the one who fell asleep with-"
"My face in the mud, yes I know. Have anyone ever told you that your repitition is quite obnoxious?" He asks.
"Has anyone ever told you that you're a dick?" Lou huffs, arms folding across her chest in her tough-pregnant-girl way.
Loki lets a smirk crawl across his lips. "Many times, actually."
Stomping away like a pouting five-year-old seems to be quite affective if you ever want your mysterious guest to come flailing after you. Really, you should try it out sometime.
"Are you ever going to tell me where you're from?" Lou asks, pulling Loki from his trance. He seems to find Earl Hickey quite amusing. At least Lou figures he does; it's shut him up for around an hour.
"Are you ever going to quit pestering me about my personal life?" Loki retorts, arching a brow. Lou pulls the covers of her bed tighter across her baby bump, making a face.
Loki sighs in annoyance. He always figured Midgardian women would be trashy and just plain stupid, not stubborn.
"I come from far away. That's all there is to it," he finally says.
"What, like, Australia?" Lou asks. She then roves her eyes over his pale skin, biting her lip. "Okay, scratch that. No, no, let me guess. Hmm...Russia?"
Loki gives her an amused look, shaking his head. "You should broaden your search."
"I'm not Google, Loki," she replies with a quick roll of her eyes. Loki has learned by now to ignore her Midgardian references.
"It's not important, where I come from. I'm not a part of it any longer," Loki finally says, not disguising the bitterness in his voice.
Lou cocks her head to the side, before asking, "Does someone need a hug?"
"Touch me, and I will smite you."
During the rocky formation of their relationship, Loki, at many times, wishes he'd stayed put in that mud. And at many times, he's perfectly happy that he didn't.
But honestly, he has no idea how much better/worse/impossiblyperfect things will get.
(No, seriously. He reall doesn't have a clue.)
Okay, so the chapters will be much longer, as this is just the pre-cursor to the actual major parts of the story. So please review, and tell me if you like it, hate it, love it, want to rip it out of the computer and roast it over an open fire, whatever. I love to hear what you guys think!