I've always thought that there is a bit of sexual tension between Sif and Loki despite her apparent antagonism towards him. This fic is simply my take on that chemistry as well as the possible reasons for why Sif seems so quick to judge Loki in 'Thor'. This fic follows 'Disappointed' but you don't necessarily have to read it to understand the events of this one as it's mostly flashbacks.

Any reviews or feedback would be fantastic and very gratefully received.

I hope you enjoy xo

Chapter 1

The celebrations had been muted. The joy of Asgard's triumph was somewhat marred by the circumstances in which they had gained victory over the Dark Elves. There had been disbelief at first that Loki, the dark prince, the murderous sorcerer with the blood of both Jotunheim and Midgard on his hands, had chosen to sacrifice himself to close the breach. But few could deny Thor's account of events and gradually people's memories turned towards the past. They remembered the boy that had grown up in the palace, a quiet studious creature with a smile that could dazzle. The warrior that had fought for Asgard, whose silver knives darted through the air with deadly precision and who followed his brother without hesitation into the most dangerous of battles. The diplomat whose charm and wit could compare to no other, who could entice dwarves to make the impossible for Asgard and who could seduce women with no more than a few carefully selected words. Loki may not have been the brother that he was so jealous of but in choosing to focus on Thor's golden glory he had neglected to understand the many ways in which he had been appreciated for his own unique strengths.

It was strange, Sif mused, how it sometimes took loss and pain to recognise the value of what you once had. And yet, there was also a part of her that found it slightly distasteful, hypocritical even, to hear Loki lauded as a hero, as a courageous guardian who had made the ultimate sacrifice to protect his realm. It was as if after his death, they weren't allowed to remember the darker aspects of Loki's life. They were not to speak of how he had committed unspeakable acts of evil, of how he had murdered and plundered whilst upon Midgard, of how he had lied to his family and let them suffer in their mourning whilst he still lived and, most importantly in Sif's eyes, how he had tried – repeatedly – to snuff out the life of his brother. Thor who loved him so much.

Loki's final words continued to taunt his brother from beyond the veil of death. 'Your hand shall not be the one to slay me after all.' Thor's voice had been hoarse with anguish as he described his exchange with Loki that fateful evening in the prison cell. Of how he had told his own kin that he would kill him, of how he had made that threat and at the time had meant every word of it. 'I said when Sif, I said when.' It made Sif's insides twist with rage to witness Thor's guilt, to see the pain in those vivid blue eyes and know that this was exactly what Loki had intended.

Of course, Thor had the Lady Jane to give him comfort. Even now, it pained Sif to glance up at the High Table, to see how Thor's blond head bent down towards Jane, how his fingers grazed against the blue silk of her sleeve, how his lips curved upwards in the smallest hint of a smile. He was so attentive towards the mortal woman, so deeply enamoured with her that it made Sif's heart ache just to watch them together. There had been many occasions, more feasts and balls than she cared to remember, where she had watched Thor flirt and dally with beautiful women. It had never failed to make her experience a stabbing sensation in her heart but that pain was nothing compared to this ache, this longing for something which could never be hers.

She had heard the rumours of course. The vicious insinuations whispered by some of the ladies in the court that she was jealous of the mortal woman because she was everything that a woman ought to be. And everything Sif was not. She had chuckled darkly at that last jibe. Anyone who said that clearly knew nothing about the Lady Jane. Oh yes, the mortal woman may look sweet and demure as she sat by Thor's side in the Great Hall but the truth was that they were so much more alike than any of the court could imagine. Both had entered male dominated professions. Both had succeeded against all the odds through sheer determination and bloody mindedness. Both were willing to defy societal expectations in order to achieve their dreams. And judging by the way the Lady Jane had pulled Thor in for that first kiss on Midgard, both of them were fearless in pursuing what they wanted - including men. The gossips were right about one thing though. Sif was jealous, deeply so, of Lady Jane for whatever made Thor love those qualities in her and only her.

With a barely restrained sigh, Sif turned her attention back to her goblet of wine. The dark red liquid sloshed over the golden sides as she raised it to her lips and took a hasty gulp. The taste of honeyed berries filled her mouth, the sharp flavours dancing on her tongue before fading away leaving a strangely bitter aftertaste in stark contrast to the initial burst of sweetness. The taste lingered on her lips as she licked them, evoking memories of the first time that she had tasted this particular wine. Of how the post-battle celebrations had been considerably more jubilant then. Of how Thor had flirted with the fairest of the Elven princesses, his booming laugh filling the Great Hall, his handsome face lit up with the joy of the hunt. And of how Loki's eyes, a mixture of dark sapphire and emerald in the candlelight, had met hers across the table.

An outburst of giggles caused the younger Prince to glance disdainfully to his right. A dark eyebrow rose in a questioning manner as he caught the ending of Thor's jest. Evidently, Loki found it somewhat lacking in finesse as he turned away with an expression of boredom settling on his finely cut features. His thin lips quirked upwards as he met Sif's gaze, the two of them sharing a moment of amusement at just how easily the Elven princesses were charmed by a couple of old war stories that Thor trotted out on a regular basis.

There was something else that night, something indefinably different about the way Loki's gaze flickered over her. If she wasn't mistaken, Loki's eyes seemed to darken with appreciation, his lips parting slightly as he raised his goblet to his mouth. At the sight of his tongue slipping out between his teeth to slither across the wine stains on his lower lip, Sif felt an undeniable but confusing spark of attraction ignite deep inside her.

Unsettled, she deliberately looked away and swiftly picked up on the banter flowing between the Warriors Three. As distracting and familiar as Fandral's jibes at Volstagg were, she couldn't resist the lure of glancing back at the High Table. Her disappointment at finding Loki's seat empty was soon replaced by annoyance as yet another round of laughter rang out from Thor's side of the table. Jealousy, dark and bitter, twisted within Sif's heart as she turned to see Thor cupping the pointed chin of an Elven maiden. She hated the woman for her breathless simpering over the God of Thunderer, she hated Thor for the way he looked so earnest and sincere as he smiled down at the princess and then as he caught Sif's glare, she hated him all the more for giving her a cheeky wink as if to boast man to man that he was feeling lucky tonight.

She managed a brittle smile before turning her gaze downwards into the safety of the red wine swirling around in her goblet. She had no right to feel such a way. She was Thor's friend. His equal on the battlefield. Of course, he treated her the same as Hogan or the others. She doubted that he even saw her as a woman let alone as a potential lover. She drained the goblet with one decisive gulp. Perhaps it was time she changed that.

In her increasingly intoxicated state, it seemed entirely rational to get Thor's attention by flirting with the person who was closest to him. That was her main reason for approaching Loki as the dancing began. At least that's what she told herself. It had nothing to do with that strange moment of intensity earlier. Besides Loki was the safe option. He was trained in all the ways of chivalry, he would treat her like the lady her title proclaimed her to be, he would charm and issue sly compliments without once questioning why she wanted it to be so. Fandral would be declined to be hasty, to dispose of her so that he could move onto courting whatever lady he had set his sights on for this evening. Volstagg would prefer the company of the dessert table and Hogan, well, he would probably take it as an insult that he would ever engage in anything as frivolous as dancing.

A fleeting look of surprise passed over Loki's face as she came to a halt before him and bowed her head gracefully. An indication that she wished to partner him in the dance. Tradition dictated that she must wait for him to take her hand, it was a custom that Sif resented, she would far rather take control of the situation than wait for any man to do so. Peering up through her eyelashes at her friend's brother, she gave him a fierce look. One that said if he dared to embarrass her by rejecting her hand she would rip him apart in the practice arena tomorrow. It was hardly a seductive technique but from this angle Thor was unlikely to see whatever look she was giving his brother so it hardly mattered.

There was a brief pause, a moment where Loki looked uncertain, something Sif could hardly blame him for as she had never shown him the slightest bit of interest before now but there was nothing hesitant about the way his fingers curled around hers. It was odd in a way that she hadn't noticed until now how much strength there was in his hands or indeed how they were large enough to easily surround her own. There was an easy elegance to Loki's movements, a gracefulness to the way he led them on the dance floor that she hadn't previously credited him with. It was her turn to be hesitant as they joined the couples weaving across the floor. Whilst, she knew the basic steps, Sif was far more at home on the battlefield than on the dance floor. She feared that her ill-practised moves would be clumsy and uncoordinated particularly when compared with the fragile lightness of the Elven princesses. Loki's knowing smirk as he glanced down at her made Sif want to punch him. Hard. Preferably in the throat as it was the only part of him exposed and vulnerable right now.

His other hand trailed across the thin fabric of her gown before coming to rest in a most respectable position just below her shoulder blades. For some reason, that lightest of touches made electricity crackle over her skin. She hadn't been aware until now just how delicate her clothing was. The heat of his hand flowing through the silken material did nothing to dispel this sudden realisation. The metal of his arm plate was surprisingly cold as she laid her hand on his shoulder. Standing so close to him, mere inches separating their bodies and it was only now she noticed Loki's height. Had he always been so tall? He towered over her by at least a head and a half. He was Thor's equal in height if not perhaps a shade or two taller.

Thoughts of the older prince were soon banished from Sif's mind as they began to move across the dance floor. Loki was fluid and quick, his clever steps making up for her initial awkwardness, his hands subtly guiding her in one direction and then another. With such a skilful partner, Sif could almost deceive herself into thinking that she could actually dance.

"It's no different from the battlefield," Loki bent his head to murmur into her ear. His voice still managing to be so low that Sif had to move closer in order to hear him properly. His lips almost brushing against the curve of her ear as he continued. "No more than form of sparring." And when he put it like that, it did seem easier to understand the pattern and flow of the steps.

When the music faded away, their bodies were perhaps closer than propriety dictated, their cheeks flushed with a colour that wasn't entirely down to the physical activity of dancing. In the softer lighting, Loki's eyes seemed impossibly dark but as usual his face was a blank slate with nothing to indicate that he felt the same urges stirring within as she did. As he released her and stepped back to give her a sweeping bow, Sif found that she felt a little unsteady on her feet without his support. She wanted to blame the wine that she had been drinking earlier but that didn't account for the biting sensation of anger as Loki turned to smile graciously upon another woman and take her hand for the next dance.

Later, much later, Sif would recollect the rest of that evening's events and find herself cringing with embarrassment at her actions. Thor's flirtatious behaviour and what must have been vats of wine were inadequate as reasons for what happened next. The only real explanation was Loki himself. It had been the way he laughed, white teeth flashing, his eyes crinkling at the corners as they exchanged barbed compliments. The way his thumb slid across the smooth skin of her back in a teasing caress before he released her on their third dance. It had been the fire that had started to smoulder when her body pressed against his, the hard amour and leather a delicious contrast to the softness of her gown. A fire which burned all the brighter when his long tapering fingers caressed hers, when she deliberately shifted against his lower body and felt him stir in response. She couldn't deny that the envious looks being sent her way were a factor. It was a heady feeling to know that a prince, even if it was not the one she truly longed for, favoured her over the royal beauties of Álfheim.

When the royals moved to retire for the night and the crowds began to disperse, Sif found her stomach clenching with anticipation about what would happen next. Throughout the course of the evening, she and Loki had danced and drank together, their flirtation clear for all to witness just as she had wanted. Except, it hadn't been all play acting. She truly did desire the coolness of Loki Odinson's touch against her flesh. She had even begun to wonder if that lying tongue of his was as clever and skilful as the other maidens had giggled about. And the fact that he was Loki – Thor's brother? Well, that barely mattered to her at the moment. Sif had always taken a man's approach to such intimate matters, if she wanted something she went after it and that included whatever man she wanted to bed.

As they departed the Great Hall, Sif found herself stepping in the direction of the royal chambers. It was with great irritation that she shook off the concerned hand that Fandral laid upon her shoulder. When he asked her in cautious tones if she was aware of what she was doing, she had given him a death stare that would have felled the most bloodthirsty of tyrants. As it was, Fandral had mustered a look of hurt before scurrying back into the arms of whatever maiden he had chosen to serve his ego this night.

Chapter 2 teaser:

'I will bed you as I wish.'

Please do review and let me know what you think. Thank you! xo