Drip…Drip…Drip… The rhythmic pattern of the poison falling into my small wooden bowl is like a toxic lullaby. My arms burn with excruciating pain as I continue to hold the bowl over Loki's head, protecting him. I don't know how long I've been sitting here in this cave with him. It's been raining relentlessly ever since we arrived, whenever that was. My mouth and throat burn for water; Every drop of rain I hear hit the ground seems to be calling out my name. I want nothing more than to be able to go out, look up to the sky, and open my mouth, allowing the rain to fall into my mouth and run down my parched throat. The very thought of it is so appealing, I can almost taste it…

A little girl goes running down the beach in the rain, laughing as she's chased by a dark- haired man. He catches up to her and picks her up, and she laughs as he spins her around, then puts her on his shoulders and continues to run down the shore.

He stops to rest, putting the girl down on the ground and resting on a pile of rocks.

"Loki, I'm thirsty." The little girl complained, sitting down next to him while he rested. Loki grinned at her.

"Why don't you try catching raindrops, Sig?" He inquired. She looked at him and raised an eyebrow. She held out her had and attempted to grasp the rain as it fell from the sky. Loki laughed. She looked over at him, confused.

"What's so funny?" She asked, not believing she was doing anything wrong.

"Here, Sig, watch me." He said, then looked toward the sky, closed his eyes and opened his mouth, sticking his tongue out as he did so. Sigyn watched and giggled. He opened an eye and looked at her, then chuckled. "What's so funny?" he asked, wiping the water from his face.

"You are, Loki! You look silly doing that." she said, grinning at him.

"Oh, really?" he said, smiling at her. She nodded. " Well, then, why don't you try it?" he said, leaning back on the rock and waiting for her to try what he had just demonstrated. She backed up a few paces arms out at her sides, then mimicked Loki as she attempted to catch raindrops in her mouth. She spun around a few times, laughing and squinting up at the sky. After a while she became dizzy and stopped twirling, then giggled as she stumbled over to Loki. She sat down on his knee and smiled up at him as he brushed her hair out of her face, then looked up at him and said. "I'm still thirsty."

Loki laughed and hugged her. "Well, then, we're going to need to try something else…" he looked down the shore and noticed a pile of driftwood. The prince smiled, an idea coming to mind . He motioned for Sigyn to stand, then he got up and ran over lo the pile. Sigyn raced after him, shouting for him to wait up for her.

Loki reached the driftwood and grabbed the best piece he could find. He turned to Sigyn and smiled, raising an eyebrow. Sigyn's eyes lit up when she saw the look on his face. "Are you going to do another magic trick, Loki ?" she asked excitedly, running over and hugging his leg as she looked up at him hopefully.

He laughed and placed a hand on her head. Before he could answer, a sudden flash of lightning ripped the sky in half, followed by a sharp clap of thunder. Sigyn shrieked and hugged Loki's leg tighter, obviously frightened. The rain quickly grew from a light mist to a downpour, drenching the two of them in seconds. Loki picked up Sigyn and ran towards a small cave at the end of the beach. He set her down on a rock inside the cave, brushing her hair out of her face. She let out a small whimper and began to shake, the cold air getting to her. Loki hugged her, trying to keep her warm.

He looked down at her after a few minutes, pulling the piece of driftwood from his pocket. He hid it behind his back. "Would you like to get some water?" he asked.

She looked up at him, wiping her nose on her sleeve. "How do I do that?"

Loki grinned at her, "With this." He replied, handing her the piece of wood. She looked down at it, then back up at him, obviously puzzled.

"A piece of bark?" She said skeptically.

"Just examine it for a moment, Sig."

The young girl stared at the driftwood intently, as if she were attempting to solve a riddle. Loki grinned and motioned slightly with his hand. The young girl began to smile as the wood morphed itself into a bowl in her hands. Loki grinned as the young girl giggled happily, then ran to the mouth of the cave with the bowl and held it out in the rain. After a minute, she stepped back and sat down, just out of the rain. She took a sip from the bowl and smiled at Loki as he sat down next to her, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. She handed him the bowl full of water, then nuzzled her head into his chest affectionately.

"I love you, Loki."

The prince looked down at her and kissed her forehead. "I love you, too, Sigyn."

A loud clap of thunder awakens me from my dream in time to realize that my bowl is almost overflowing with poison. I swear and frantically stumble to the front of the cave, hastily dumping the contents of my wooden bowl into the rain. I look back into the dark depths of our cave- turned- prison when I hear Loki scream as a drop of poison hits his face. I cry out and run back to him blindly to him, knowing my way after years of doing this again and again. I fall to my knees beside him, tears streaming down my face as I hold the bowl back over his head. I use my skirt to wipe the poison from face carefully.

"How did you sleep, love?" he asks, looking up at me and smiling weakly. I glare at him and stop cleaning his face.

"You were watching me sleep…!" I say angrily. Loki grins, and then nods in response. "Why did you not think to wake me?" I whisper harshly, furious with him.

"You seemed to be having a rather pleasant dream, Sig…You were smiling." Loki whispers weakly. I look away and wipe the tears from my eyes before placing my head on his chest and looking up at him, a maneuver I have perfected over the years.

"I dreamt about the day that you gave me this bowl…" I say, grinning as I remember my dream. "It was the first time I told you I loved you…"

Even though I can't see Loki's face, I can tell that he's smiling. "Ah, yes… I remember that day… the first time we sat out a rainstorm in a cave together," he said, chuckling bitterly. "Only I believe we were there under different circumstances."

Another tear rolls down my cheek as I laugh, remembering that day again."We stayed in that cave for the rest of the day, remember?"

"I do… I also remember your parents reaction to seeing you soaking wet and sitting in a cave drinking rainwater out of a bowl with an Asgardian prince." He said with a chuckle.

I laugh at this, remembering the look on my mother's face when she saw how dirty my dress was. "WHY SIGYN, A DAMP SEA CAVE IS NOT A FIT PLACE FOR A YOUNG VANIC PRINCESS!" I say, impersonating her voice perfectly, just like I used to do when we were younger.

Loki and I are both laughing now, not just an awkward chuckle to fill the silence or a bitter laugh at our present situation like always, but genuine laughter. It sounds rather odd and foreign as it bounces off the walls of our cave, but it is a sound I will cherish for the remainder of our time here. I lift my head off of Loki's chest and press my lips against his. The cave goes silent again as we share in our first sincere, sensual kiss since we arrived in the cave. For the first time in what feels like ages, neither of us needs comforting. For the first time, both of us are truly happy. All I want to do right now is remind Loki of how much I love him. I want to kiss him, I want to hug him with both arms and never let go.