[This fic is now complete however I promise to faithfully respond to all reviews/comments. If you are a guest reviewer then please see the bottom of this chapter for a reply. I will continue to download and update this chapter so I can thank you guys properly. There are currently no plans for a sequel or another Sif/Loki fic but that might change. If you would like more Loki-inspired raciness, then please keep an eye out for a Blackfrost fic and Loki/Sigyn fic which should be forthcoming!. Thank you! xo 18/11/13]
Final chapter guys! I hope it will not disappoint. Also it's loooooong!
Thank you to everyone who has read, followed, favourited and reviewed this fic. Best motivation to keep trying to write for a character as complex as Loki.
Special thanks to murdur, 'Guest', 'Guest', Lemomina and dragonupgost for your reviews! Very much appreciated indeed. Guests as I can't PM you I've replied to you below. I hope you won't mind.
Super special thanks to murdur who has been with this fic from the start. If you are a Sif/Loki fan please do check out their fics which are absolutely wonderful. My current favourite is 'Twofold'.
Sif would often think back to the night before Fandral's intervention. Loki's dark hair had felt like raw silk slipping through her fingers. His lips and tongue had been exquisitely soft as they drifted over hers in long, lingering kisses. Sometimes, if she closed her eyes, she could still feel his hands trailing up and down her back, stroking her bare skin with something close to reverence. Their bodies had moved together in a slow, steady undulating rhythm. For once Sif had been no hurry for more. She remembered wanting to savour every moment. The heat and smoothness of his flesh against hers. The sensation of being completely one with him. Being so close to him that she could feel his lashes brush against her face as he closed his eyes. Hearing the low moan of pleasure that escaped his lips. Feeling full and satisfied and utterly adored. Maybe some part of her had known that was the last time. That she would never share this wonderful intimacy with Loki again.
It drove her mad. She longed for him so much that it was a physical ache. The nights without him were long and wearisome. She found little release in sleep as memories of him would taunt her in painfully vivid dreams. She would awaken damp and shaking with lust, her hands curled up in fists ready to pummel the guiltless mattress in her frustration. Perhaps this was what Fandral had been hinting at in the tavern when he said Loki ruined women.
The first few nights she didn't return to Loki's chambers, he said nothing. He gave her a mildly inquiring look when she arrived at training but that was apparently as far as his concern extended. Sif wasn't above admitting that his nonchalance stung her pride.
When her absence continued for a week, he started to look more sharply at her, she could feel those keen, blue eyes on her, studying her, analysing her. She had to stiffen her resolve. She would not return to him. She would not bed him again. No matter how much she missed his hands upon her body, his voice whispering in her ear, she would not give in. She had erred gravely in entering into this torrid affair, the only thing she could do now was to try and repair the damage. The sooner, she put this whole madness behind her, the sooner it could be forgotten and perhaps Thor would never have to find out. Perhaps she wouldn't have ruined her chances with the God of Thunder after all. It was a strange, desperate reasoning, she knew that but it was all the hope she had.
Loki never questioned her or her decision. Sif wasn't quite sure how she felt about that. On the one hand if he truly cared for her as much as Fandral had implied then he would have fought for her. Like a proper warrior, he would have demanded reasons for her cold behaviour towards him, her sudden indifference to his charms. On the other hand, he had respected her wishes. Whereas other men may have sought out an ugly confrontation or threatened to expose their affair, Loki withdrew into himself. Sif no longer felt his heated gaze upon her, no longer caught glimpses of a playful smirk playing on those narrow lips. It was disquieting how that realisation felt within her heart.
When Thor turned to her one evening and commented that his brother seemed unusually quiet of late, Sif had to mask her true feelings. Thor had been awkward, he often was when he came to discussing anything to do with matters of the heart. Still, despite his reluctance for emotional chitchat, he had confided in her. Told her that Loki was barely eating, that he was avoiding company even that of his elder brother, that he was spending more time than ever consumed in those dreary books of his.
As Thor frowned and fretted, Sif had to fight back her horror of being found out and the sickening guilt that came afterwards at this being her primary concern. She had forced a smile upon her face and teased Thor for worrying too much. She had played shamelessly upon the relative strangeness of Loki's preference for scholarly pursuits over the more physical activities that Thor found pleasure in. Reassured slightly, Thor had thanked her, placing a warm hand on her shoulder, his beaming smile full of that inherent goodness which was so unique to him.
Sif later blamed her sense of remorse for her body's dull reaction to his touch. Whereas Loki's long fingers would have sent sparks all through her body with such a simple gesture, Thor's did nothing.
It was lust. Nothing more than that. Animalistic, meaningless lust. That's what Sif reminded herself every time she caught herself looking at the dark haired prince instead of the golden one. She fought a vicious battle within on a daily basis. It was Hel to observe those beautiful hands as Loki conversed with the All-Father, their elegant movements clearly emphasising a particular point in his argument. It was even worse when he would loosen his shirt after a vigorous set of training exercises. For some reason those rolled up sleeves exposing his slim forearms and the few loosened buttons on his shirt made her body clench with a longing that Thor's golden muscles could never achieve. Perhaps, the lowest point was when she noticed how his tongue darted out to swipe blood from the corner of his mouth after Hogan succeeded in landing a hard blow to his head during battle practice. It disgusted her that she could find such a perverse thing so erotic.
She had to keep strong. She had to overcome this weakness. She loved Thor. He was the one she wanted to be with. He was the one who was perfect for her. Thor. Not Loki. Thor. Always Thor.
It was in the aftermath of another mission that Sif's will crumpled. It was intended to be a quick stealthy affair but an unfortunate run in with a couple of rebel trolls had changed everything.
On this rare occasion, it was Hogun who got in harm's way. He swore that the troll's blade had barely skimmed over his flesh and indeed in the beginning there was only a thin line of red etched on his neck. An unsettling reminder of just how close he had come to being beheaded. Except the blade must have been poisoned because minutes after they fled the scene, Hogan collapsed. Falling off his horse mid gallop, foaming at the mouth, whimpering at unseen phantoms. The mild scratch on his neck had already turned black and was oozing a disturbing shade of yellow pus.
It was the first time, Sif saw Thor flounder in his command. He had stood over his friend's body clearly distraught and panicking. None of them had ever been severely injured before and it was obvious that the Thunderer was lost.
It had been Loki who maintained a sense of calm control. Loki who had issued clear orders in a measured voice even as he knelt down beside Hogun and re-examined the wound on his neck. Naturally, Sif and the rest of the Warriors Three had turned to Thor for validation of the younger Prince's demands. A fact which did not escape the Trickster's attention judging by the bitter twist to his lips as he attended his patient. Observing his administrations, Sif could only recall how easy he made it look. A spark had entered his eyes as his all too clever, quicksilver mind worked out the puzzle. Maybe that was why none of the others appeared to recognise the skill with which Loki had saved their friend's life. Volstagg had given Loki a grateful slap on the back and Fandral a few murmured words of thanks which hardly seemed adequate. Even afterwards in the Great Hall, Thor made much of how bravely they had fought against the trolls, naturally emphasising the importance of his own role as the bearer of Mjolnir. Loki's act of healing was never even mentioned. Hogun did not want to suffer the sympathy and sentiment that such a tale would provoke. Thor did not want the All-Father to know how close his son had come to losing one of Asgard's finest warriors. The rest of them wanted to forget those terrifying few hours where they forced to confront the truth about their supposed invincibility.
Still, Loki could have said something instead of listening intently to his brother's boasts at the evening meal. That is apart from occasionally adding a dry remark to the God of Thunder's commentary. As hard as she studied those handsome features, Sif couldn't penetrate the perfectly crafted mask that Loki wore to conceal his true feelings. In the end, she gave up trying, joined in the rest of Thor's rapt audience and tried not to think about how the berry wine tasted exactly like the one she had drank that first night with the younger Prince. At one moment, she glanced up from her goblet mid laugh and caught the Trickster watching her with an extraordinary mix of hunger and sadness in the dark blue of his eyes. It was a look which stole her breath away, igniting all those forbidden desires she thought she had successfully quashed.
Was it that look that brought her back to his chambers that night? Or was it the memories that the wine provoked? Perhaps, it was the result of all those weeks away from Asgard, sleeping each night in agonisingly close proximity to her former lover, listening to his quiet, even breathing and knowing that she couldn't reach out for him. Whatever the reason, Sif found herself walking down a golden corridor in the palace that had once been a familiar route.
"Guards, you are dismissed." There was no hesitation before they departed, no indication that Loki's order was in direct contradiction to Odin's general command for all guards to remain at their positions no matter what. It seemed as though Loki's personal sentries have been taught very well as to who was their true master.
The Prince himself stood outside in the corridor, his feet planted wide apart in a familiar power stance, his frame steady and upright despite the considerable amount of alcohol he was meant to have consumed at the dinner table. One of the doors to his chambers was half open but neither of them made any move towards it.
Sif had anticipated some awkwardness, she had after all just broken things off without so much as a word of explanation, but not this. She had thought he would have at least let her into his chambers instead of conducting their affairs in an area which was only semi-private.
A slow smile crept over Loki's mouth as he took a moment to survey her. "My lady." His voice was low and gentle, the softest she had ever heard it. For some reason, it sent a shiver of unease down her spine. "What brings you to me this evening?" The smile deepened a little. "Or should I ask who?"
Unsettled, Sif barely managed to restrain herself from frowning at his choice of greeting. "I missed your company," she replied with what she hoped was disarming honesty.
Loki continued as if she hadn't spoken at all. "Was it the lovely Aurora?" His tone was conversational but with each word an underlying intensity was beginning to emerge. "Or perhaps, Iliana? She is quite the beauty if a slightly dull conversationalist. Although, my brother would scarcely concerned himself with that." His laughter was brittle.
Sif shook her head in a pointless denial; her eyes, widened with horror, had already given her away. "No..."
"Oh come now Lady Sif," Loki was practically purring the words. He spread his hands out invitingly. "You can confide in me. Am I not a reliable source of comfort when it comes to my brothers' cast-offs?"
Despite her best efforts, Sif flinched at his cruel taunt. Not least because it had an element of truth to it. She knew that involuntary movement was a mistake even before the moment Loki's sharp eyes observed it.
"It's been all about him, hasn't it?" His voice was so quiet that Sif had to strain her ears to hear it. It was heavy, full of a hurt resignation that made her own heart ache.
Silence stretched out between them. Loki seemed to be struggling to maintain control over his emotions, the elegant hands that had given her such pleasure clenching momentarily into fists before loosening again. His jaw was taut with tension, his lips pressed together in a thin line. Loki never lost control, never gave in to his temper. Seeing him this close to the edge alarmed Sif more than if it had been Thor reaching for his beloved Mjolnir.
"It's always about him."
Sif took a step forward, reaching out to lay a hand on his arm, "Loki…" She wanted to explain, to tell him that maybe it had been about Thor at the start but that wasn't the case now.
"I should have known." Even when quietly spoken, Loki somehow managed to imbue his words with a bitter ferocity. "Why else would you come to my chambers like a common whore if not to make Thor jealous?" The Prince gave her a sly, malicious smile. "Except, it didn't quite work out as planned. He didn't notice. You lowered yourself to rut with his brother and he notices not." There was manic edge to Loki's chuckle. "That's how little he cares for you Lady Sif. How little regard he has for you as a woman."
It was Sif's turn to curl up her hands into fists, to feel a sting of rejection at his vicious words. Then just as suddenly, he turned his gaze upon her, his clear blue eyes so similar to Thor's in this golden light, were full of hurt, full of something uncomfortably close to desperation as he asked in a broken voice; "Did you think to settle for second best?"
Stunned, by both his question and rapid swings in temper, Sif could barely summon the words to argue back. "No! Loki, you have to listen-"
Loki cut her off with a snarl, rage contorting his handsome features into something sinister and twisted. "Because that's all I am. All I will ever be." He stalked away from her, taking only a few steps before he spun around to confront her again. "I can never match up to the mighty Thor. Can I?" Resentment oozed from every syllable. "The Pyrite Prince who gains so much adoration and for what? Any half-wit could run around smashing the world with a hammer!
Time and time again, he exposes himself, his companions and whatever realm is unfortunate enough to be hosting him to reckless idiocy. He can barely control himself from lashing out at anyone or anything who dares to question his over inflated sense of worth." All Loki's usual finesse was gone, his mouth no more than a menacing gash in his face, his sapphire eyes mesmerising as they burned brightly against his pale complexion. "You all are guilty of indulging him in his petty excesses, of condoning, no! –worse still praising his violence as heroic when truly it is a sign of his inadequacy as a leader.
What of those who have noble gifts to offer? Those who respect and learn from the wisdom of their predecessors? Who slave every day and night in servitude for a realm which shows regard for nothing other than wretched thunder and lightning?"
As she began to retreat backwards and away from the furious Prince, Sif wasn't sure what she found most terrifying. The pure, undiluted rage and hatred in those ultramarine depths or the tears which were threatening to spill over onto his cheeks. For just a few brief seconds, Loki had allowed the carefully constructed façade to slip and Sif could see the ugly truth that laid beneath his charm and lies.
"You hate him," she whispered breathlessly, shock threatening to overwhelm her. There had always been sibling rivalry between the two brothers, that was only natural but this, what Loki had just revealed, went far beyond that. "You truly hate your own brother."
It was as if someone snuffed out a candle. All the animosity and fury simply drained away, gone in less than the blink of an eye. And it was the Loki she had known for all these years who stood before her. Calm and composed, a slight smirk playing on his lips, blue-green eyes once again empty of emotion. "Oh Sif," he began with a touch of patronising affection as if he were about to scold a wayward child, "I could never hate my dearest brother. Why I simply-"
"No." Her voice was hard and cold. Her hand instinctively came to rest on the bejewelled handle of her dagger as she continued to step backwards. Just a few more yards down the corridor and they would be in the presence of guards once again.
For the first time that evening, Loki actually listened to her. His gaze flickered from her lips which were curled back in disgust to the fingers she had wrapped around the dagger's helm. A stricken look flashed across his face before he successfully managed to repress it. It only served to make Sif grimace even further. Such sentiments were nothing more than a pretence, a clever manipulation of emotion by the Trickster. Just like his love for Thor. "I know the truth of you Loki Odinson," she met his gaze unflinchingly as she retreated into the adjoining corridor with its rows of well armoured guards, "And I will never forget it."
She had been true to her word; keeping the memory of that confrontation burning and alive in her memory for decades afterwards. She had watched the younger Prince closely, all traces of desire vanquished by the knowledge of what lay beneath that calm mask. There had been a hint of something close to madness in his eyes that night and such instability was ill suited to a powerful sorcerer let alone a potential heir to the throne of Asgard. When the time came, when Thor was banished, when Odin was asleep and when Loki ascended onto the throne that was not rightfully his, she had acted swiftly and decisively. She had no hesitation in deposing the Trickster King of Asgard. She had done what she truly believed was the right course of action. That's what she consoled herself with when she lay awake and alone in the darkest hours of the night with guilt and sorrow corroding her insides.
It was sobering to cast her mind back and recall the events of the past few years. Feuds had escalated, losses had been suffered, hearts won and entire realms exposed to danger and warfare. Twice now, the Royal Family and subjects of Asgard had mourned for their youngest Prince. Except for Sif. She would not grieve for a man who had caused so much pain and anguish to those she loved. And the fact that in the end he had sacrificed himself for Asgard? For Thor? What right had he to seek redemption in death when he had been so scornful of it in life?
So lost was she in her thoughts and memories that Sif was slower than usual to react to the cries of alarm surrounding her. Startled from her reverie, Sif's hand automatically grasped the helm of her sword as she leapt to attention along with the rest of the warriors including the Warriors Three. Guests were pushing chairs away from their tables, guards rushing in through the various entrances, the Royal Family rising to their feet. And all because of the dark smoke gathering and swirling in the centre of the room. Sparks of vivid blue light darted between the threads of darkness as it began to take shape. The scent of magic permeated through the air which seemed to be sinking several degrees lower in temperature. Snakes. That's what the thick flumes of grey seemed to represent as they reached ever higher towards the ceiling. Glancing to the King for command, Sif puzzled over the All-Father's reaction. His hand was firmly placed around Thor's on Mjolnir as if he were restraining the Prince from using the weapon. There was a curious mixture of fear and hope on his heavily lined face, a spark of life back in the aged blue eyes which had recently been filled with such sorrow.
There was only one reason why the All-Father would wear that look. One impossible reason.
A bright blue orb glowed amidst the lightening smoke before there was an authoritative thud, one which did not come from Gungnir, then suddenly the air was clear again and the Great Hall full of golden light. Gasps reverberated around the vast space as the people got their first glimpse of what had replaced the billowing columns of smoke. Sif's knees almost gave way at the shock of seeing that darkly clothed figure once again.
He stood tall and defiant, his pale face unsmiling as his gaze travelled slowly around the grandeur of the Great Hall. He was unarmoured, alone and with no weapon other than the blue-tipped sceptre in his right hand. And he had never seemed more dangerous. Even in her current state of disbelief, Sif couldn't help noticing the contrast between the man he had been before and the man he was now. His hair was freshly cut, his lean frame filled out, he looked very much like someone who had been cared for, nurtured. Beyond these minor details, there was the distinctly more worrying fact of the raw power that seemed to pulsate through him. Magic and energy so potent that it crackled in the air surrounding him. This was not the broken God of Mischief that had returned before, bound and gagged and seething with resentment at his defeat on Midgard. This was an entirely unknown entity and therefore an even greater threat.
It was the Queen who broke the silence. Her soft cry of "Loki," filling the air, a mother's joy and anguish jumbled up in one word, the name of her son. Did anyone dare to try and restrain her as she ran to him? Or, were they still frozen, their mouths gaping at what could only be a ghost? His form soon proved solid enough when the Queen embraced him, flinging her arms around his neck, tears pouring down her face as she whispered his name over and over again in a prayer of thanks. A highly unusual display of emotion but one that could be easily understood in the circumstances.
Loki didn't let go of the sceptre which Thor was eyeing up with increasing horror but he did wrap one arm tightly around the Queen, drawing her closer, bending his head to hers. "Mother," he breathed his voice full of reverence.
It was only then that Odin's hand fell away from Thor's.
Loki was cupping the Queen's face, his own softening with the smile he reserved only for his mother. "Should I take this to mean I am no longer bound to my previous punishment?" he asked wryly. His gaze slithered snake-like up to the High Table where the All-Father and Thor stood side by side before returning to the adoring face of the Queen.
Frigga made a sound of both exasperation and love before pulling her son back into her embrace. It was the answer Loki wanted and one which Sif feared the consequences of.
As Loki ascended up the steps to the High Table, taking his former seat beside the Queen who never once let go of his hand, the Great Hall was already filling with the sound of whispered gossip and speculation. Sharp eyes were raking over the Royal Family examining their every move, scrutinising every detail of the newly returned Prince. How could one cheat death not once but twice? What did the dark Prince's return mean for the future of the Asgard? And if the Crown Prince had truly been overwhelmed with grief for his lost sibling then why were his eyes now full of anger and suspicion?
For her part, Sif simply slumped back into her seat and raised the nearest goblet to her lips. With a grimace of distaste she swallowed the last of the dark red liquid. No wonder that this was Loki's favourite wine: after the initial burst of seductive sweetness, it left nothing but bitterness in its wake.
Thank you all for reading and your kind words of encouragement. xo
Guest: Voila! I hope you enjoyed it xo
Guest: Aw thank you! Nothing like ripping up a reader's heart to make you feel like you're not doing too bad a job! I loved that you picked up on and enjoyed all those little nuances. Thanks again! Xo
REPLIES TO GUEST REVIEWERS:
Dean 22/09/2013 – Aw thank you so much for your lovely words. Incredibly motivating to hear such praise for my writing especially with a character/fandom I'm still trying to get to grips with. I'm delighted you enjoyed it xo
Sarah 26/10/13 – Thank you! It's always tricky trying to balance detail and action when writing so I'm glad you thought I got the balance right. Xo
Sarah Carvalho 29/10/13 – Thank you, delighted to hear you enjoyed the raciness :D xo
Guest 08/11/13 – Aw thank you very much. I am really pleased that you thought the angst and smut was believable, I wanted to portray this pairing and their possible interactions/feelings in as realistic a way as possible. No plans to write more for this pairing but you never know… parts of Thor: TDW were pretty inspiring ; ) xo
M 10/11/2013 – Thank you! That's awesome to hear, Warfrost is definitely a pairing that I didn't expect to ship but somehow ended up writing about. Really pleased to hear that you enjoyed the fic! Xo
May 12/11/2013 – Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it and want to read more. The ending was really planned to fit into my previous fic 'Disappointed' where Loki cheats death. I have no plans for a sequel but there is a scene between Loki and Sif in the TDW which begs for a racy one-shot so it might happen yet… Always a delight to be asked for more of my writing. Hugely flattering. Thank you. Xo
Sharon 16/11/2013 – Thank you, I really hope you enjoyed the rest of the fic xo
Akaine 16/11/2013 – Wow, thank you so very much for such an epic review. Blushing like a crazy lady here. How incredibly lovely of you to say so especially given the amazingly high standard that has been set by so many of the authors on here. Absolutely thrilled to hear your comments. I'm really glad that you thought Sif was in character – she is a strong and interesting person to explore and I'm especially pleased that you liked the portrayal of Loki's sweeter side. I suspect his fluffy, cuddling side may be somewhat diminished after the Avengers. Xo
Guest 16/11/2013 – Wow, thank you! In the nicest way possible I am awed to hear that it brought you to tears, it makes me feel like I did my job properly in portraying the characters and the emotions. Very happy that you enjoyed it and no thank you for letting me know your thoughts, I appreciated it so much! Xo
Bekah 30/11/13 - Thank you so much for your lovely review. I am delighted that you enjoyed it and I really appreciate your kind words about the smut. Writing sex scenes can be very difficult and this was my first time actually posting them for public viewing so I was very nervous. I feel the same way about fics sometimes, I hate waiting around for the next chapter! I'm not sure if I will be writing more Warfrost for a while but I will hopefully be posting a Sigyn/Loki fic or a Blackfrost fic soon. Thanks again! xo
Guest 4/12/13 - Thank you so much! xo
Katie 15/12/2013: Apologies for the late reply, thank you very much. It's always the wish of an author to leave her readers wanting more. Not sure what will happen regarding a sequel until I have finished up at least a couple of the fanfics on my to-do list but it is definitely being considered. Thanks again xo