"Banished to Earth as Thor was? You cannot be serious. I would rather whither in an Asgardian cell-"
"You will learn to appreciate the humans you sought to dominate, Loki," Odin informed him as they stood at the edge of the realm. "I withdraw your power of insight, your strength, and your likeness to the other gods. You will live as a human, mortal and ordinary, in a place where no one will recognize your recent deeds. When you finally come to understand their worth, your powers will return."
"I cannot appreciate humans-"
"Then you will grow old with them and die as one of them," the All-Father sighed. "No one will find you there, no armies or warriors… You will be safe."
"So this is out of the goodness of your heart?" Loki croaked, his eyebrows shooting up as he eyed the man he once called 'father' lazily. The old man looked grim, worn, as though weary from all his long years of life.
"I am doing this out of love," Odin told him, and then added, "and a need to see you learn your lesson. You will be welcomed back when your penance is served."
"This place holds no welcome for me anymore," he sneered, but he could already feel the pull of Odin's magic. His energy sapped out of him slowly, and darkness encroached on his vision. He tried to call out the man's name, sweet-talk his way out of this mess, but he was already gone, surrendered and lost to Odin's almighty will.
Right. So it was finally time for Max to put her foot down. The piles of beer cans, the dirty laundry, and the unwashed (and molding) dishes had gnawed away at her for far too long; she had reached her breaking point. She'd been fair up until this point, and she had tried just about everything possible to communicate her displeasure with her current roommate's messiness. She had left little sticky notes on and above the mess. She had sat him down and calmly explained that if he was going to rent one of her rooms, he had to at least try to be a little neater. She threatened to kick him out if he couldn't get his act together. She whined, nagged, begged, asked politely, and nothing seemed to get through to him.
Max didn't particularly want a roommate. Here she was, twenty-six, and still living with someone. She had been a graduate student for about two years now, halfway through her Master's degree in Museum Studies, and she thought at this point she wouldn't need a roommate to afford her apartment. Yet, here she was, working two jobs – one as a TA and another at the campus book store – and she still struggled to keep up with the rent for her two bedroom apartment. Why she had chosen to get a place with more bedrooms than she needed was still a mystery to her, but when she found it during her third year of her undergraduate art degree, it was too much of a steal to turn down. She and a friend signed a lease, and with two people paying, the rent was certainly manageable. It helped that their landlord was a total gem, and she absolutely loved the place.
Two years later, her close friend graduated and went off to bigger and better things in New York City. This left Max alone in the small town that was only an hour away from the other small town that she had grown up in, and she had no idea what she was going to do with her slightly useless Art History degree. She didn't want to move back home, and when she found a number of her friends were returning to do graduate work at their small college in Masonville, it only made sense to stay where she felt the most comfortable. So, she applied to go into Museum Studies, hoping that would give her enough of a beefed up education in order to get a grown-up job. She took half a year off before she started schooling again to save some money as she worked full-time at the campus bookstore, and then threw herself back into her studies once the new semester started.
Her story wasn't particularly unique amongst her various friends; she grew up near Masonville in a family of four, had a brother in the military, and both parents were still married. She liked to play darts and drink beer at the pub, secretly devoured most reality television programs, and had no idea where she was going with her life. Yes, she knew what she liked to study, and art had always been her thing, but when her undergraduate came to an end, she had literally no vision of her future other than lingering in Masonville until she figured it out. So, that was exactly what she did, and she definitely wasn't alone in that decision.
For the first half of the year, it was easy to keep up with her rent, and she enjoyed a spare bedroom that she transformed into an office. However, once she was actually back in school, bills started adding up and Max began working less. Utilities, internet, cable, rent, eating out and everything else seemed to add up faster than she was expecting, and she knew she might lose her beloved apartment if she didn't find someone to share the financial burden. However, she felt a twinge of possessiveness over her home; she had painted it, shaped it, and spaced it to perfection, which meant she was definitely going to keep her name on the lease. Therefore, she opted to sublet the second bedroom for a reasonable price, which had been one disaster after another.
The first one had been an older woman who wanted to rent the room while she got her divorce sorted out. She spent the majority of her time on the phone screaming at her soon-to-be ex-husband, and then brought her kids and dog over at obscure hours of the day, only to leave them for Max to mind if she needed to get more cigarettes. She barely lasted three months before Max kicked her out. The second was another woman roughly Max's age, but she was far too much of a partier for her liking. Max enjoyed having a good time, but listening to house beats whooping on the girl's sound system all day long followed by parties three or four times a week while she was working night's took its toll, and she ended that arrangement six months later.
Finally, after another few months of living off Kraft Dinner and water, Max decided it was time to bring in another roommate. Thinking she simply had poor luck with women, she put up an ad asking for a male roommate, and a few weeks later a guy named Josh replied to her ad. She interviewed him, and was pleased to see he was a fellow grad student in his final year looking for a place to crash. It wasn't a permanent solution to her rent problem, but he seemed fairly mellow and was ready to pay his first and last month's rent, so she signed him on. They certainly got along better, sharing an interest in random internet humour and a love for French Toast Sundays, but he was incredibly sloppy. It was easy to overlook for a while, but after five months of picking up after him and attempting to get the message through in any way possible, Max had had enough.
He was a good enough guy, but he had been late on rent once already and was a total slob, and she didn't need that kind of stress. Summer was coming to an end, and with her new school term starting and her first semester as a teaching assistant looming on the horizon, she didn't need to deal with bullshit back home. Her last ultimatum had been a week ago: clean up or get out. So far, the apartment looked as messy as ever, if not more, and he had his week to shape up. It was going to be difficult, because she actually liked the guy, but this wouldn't be the first time she had kicked someone out, and she suspected it wouldn't be the last.
So, dressed to impress in an old college t-shirt and a pair of loose shorts, she found him sprawled out across his bed, laptop on his stomach with the sounds of some cartoon emanating from it.
"Josh," she started, leaning on the doorframe with her arms folded, "I think we need to…"
Max trailed off, detecting something in the air, and her eyes narrowed, "Why does it smell like smoke in here?"
He finally paused his show and set his laptop aside a little so that she could see his face. He shrugged, "It must be from my clothes."
"You promised you wouldn't smoke in the house!"
"It's my clothes!" he reiterated, "You know I wouldn't!"
"Right," she sighed, rolling her eyes. That did it. She wasn't going to just stand there while he lied to her, "Pack your stuff… I'm done with you living here."
"I told you that if you didn't start cleaning your shit up, you're moving out," she informed him, "and here we are, and you still haven't done anything. So… Pack your stuff and get out. Pretty sure Irma will back me up on this."
Irma. Her landlady disliked Josh's mess more than she did, and Max was fairly sure the older woman would have no issues getting some sort of paperwork together that would justify their reasons for kicking him out.
"This is bullshit," Josh grumbled as he sat up, running a hand through his shaggy blond hair. "You're kicking me out right before the term starts again? Seriously, Max?"
"I can't deal with you during the year," she argued. "I'll have enough on my plate, and I don't need to be cleaning up after you all the time. Pack your stuff."
"We signed a contract-"
"You already broke the contract last month when rent was late," she told him plainly, her eyes traveling the walls of the small bedroom to assess any damages he might have caused on top of being a slob. "It's null and void. Get out."
"Okay, you don't have to be a bitch about it," he groaned, rolling his eyes as he started picking up random shirts and boxers. "I'll come back for the furniture-"
"All of this is mine, actually," Max countered as she watched his start shoving things in a backpack. "The bed, the desk, the bookshelf and the dresser are all mine and Irma's, so it all stays."
She continued to watch him dart around the room, gathering up clothes and papers and stuffing them into the bags they used for groceries. She could hear him muttering under his breath, but at this point she didn't care.
"I can help you pack the car," she offered, but he shook his head. So, she turned back down the hall and decided to give him a bit of privacy as he packed up.
It wasn't a particularly big apartment, and when she had a roommate, they usually saw a lot of each other. The kitchen and living room consisted of one giant room with an island lined with barstools dividing the area. The kitchen appliances were fairly basic, and she had a mismatch of couches in front of a large television set that used to belong to her brother. There was only one other hallway, at the end of which was a bathroom that she normally shared with her roommate, and then bedrooms on either side. They were roughly equal in size, though hers was perhaps a smidgen larger.
Max tucked her feet under her as she settled onto the couch, picking at her nails as she listened to him banging around in his room. Zippers were being zipped, bags thrown into the hallway, and she peered over the back of the couch to see him stalk down into the bathroom and return moments later with all of his stuff. It only took him two trips to put everything in his car, and she met him at the door on his way back in.
"Throw the rest of it out, I don't care," he muttered as he unhooked the apartment's key from his mass of others. "You know… It's really fucking annoying that you never bought any of the dish soap but did dishes all the time, and when you clean to your shit music, I want to blow my brains out."
"Right," she snorted, snatching the key from his hand and tucking it into her pocket. "Good luck with life, asshole."
He grinned a little, and she wasn't quite sure if he had been joking with her or not. Regardless, it was good to see him out, and since they weren't friends, she wouldn't have to interact with him again anytime soon. Good riddance.
Max strolled back to her now empty room and wrinkled her nose. It was still a mess even with him gone, and it definitely stunk of smoke. She had nothing against smokers, but she didn't want it seeping into the carpets and walls. They were on the bottom floor of the building; it was so easy to just step outside and have a smoke, and then come back in! She rolled her eyes. He had left his linens and a few cords, but otherwise he cleared out pretty quick. It was clear that he didn't really have a lot of stuff to begin with, which made her wonder how he could be such a pig in his own space. The room clearly hadn't been cleaned since he moved in, and she decided it would just be easier if she hired a company to come sort it out and clean.
She grabbed her laptop from her room and sauntered back to the couch, plopping down and opening it up. First thing she did was check her finances. They had been relatively stable during the summer, but she knew tuition was going to be withdrawn soon, and her numbers would deplete extensively. Rent would follow shortly, and if she didn't find someone to help her out, she'd be paying the entire thing on her own. Nibbling on her lower lip, she opened a new tab and began cruising for ads online for anyone renting in Masonville.
It wasn't an especially big town, but big enough to host a small college and an affiliate school. Both had roughly three thousand undergraduates between them, and about nine hundred graduate students. It was located in the north end of town, farther away from residential family homes, with the downtown core dividing them further. It had a fairly vibrant local culture, and it was definitely bigger than the place where she grew up, but nothing that would draw in serious renters. Most people looking were students, and around this time of the year, they were already sorted and settled into their rental units for the year.
There weren't any new requests for housing with the college website, so Max pulled up a Word document and typed one up. She was bound to reach more people if she placed a few ads up around campus and student hotspots. So, she pulled her lengthy brown hair up and into a messy bun with the elastic around her wrist, and then quickly typed up something that might catch people's eye.
WANTED: Roommate to sublet room in two bedroom apartment
Furnished. First month's rent exempt. Must be neat.
Hmm. She searched through her files and produced the usual picture of the room that she used for ads, and went about making the page look a little more visually appealing. With that done, she added her contact information, sighed, and went to print it back in her room.
She couldn't believe she was doing this again… It felt like it was just yesterday she was writing up an ad for someone and Josh came along, and here was she in the same position a few months later. Were her standards impossible, or was she just picky? It was a question she thought to herself frequently over the course of her roommate adventures, but then she decided she wasn't. She had a right to be comfortable in her own house, damn it!
Well, in Irma's house, but her name was on the lease, so she had the seniority here! Christ. She watched the printer spit out a few sheets of paper with her ad on it, screeching and whining as it did. Once the ink had dried, she gathered them in a stack and grabbed her purse. Time to get them up: rent loomed ominously in the near future.
Yeay for my second Loki fanfic! This one will be a little on the lighter side, full of awkward situations and an unfurling romance that makes me giggle. Erhm. Sorry, just excited.
I know it's a fairly standard storyline – Loki loses his power and is sent to Earth – but I'm going to try to keep this as fresh as I can. In a way, I'll be playing out some of my own university experiences, some of my part-time job frustrations, and everything else. Though, I'm not in the US, and it's not a self-insert female character, trust me. That'd be weird. Anyway. I've had a roommate like Josh, and it's annoying as all hell when people don't respect some sort of general cleanliness in the shared spaces... Makes you want to staple things to their face.
I purposefully left Masonville's location in the US out because I'd like it to be a small town in just about anywhere along the northern states. It's our stereotypical small town college place that could be just about anywhere, really.
I wanted to write this in tandem with my other Loki fanfic because that one is a little more serious, with tougher situations (relatively speaking) for everyone involved. This one will, as I said, be a little on the lighter side and have a few more comedic situations.
Rated M for mature language use and mature sexual situations in later chapters! Woo!
We'll get to see our favourite baddy in the next chapter, which I've already started. Hopefully I'll have it up sometime this week, and we'll get rollllling with this!
I always appreciate feedback, and characterization tidbits about Loki (as I'm a bit of a noob), and even Max will always be taken into consideration! Much love!