Title: Object of Affection
Author: Girl Who Writes
Word Count: 1715
Summary: He had learnt, in many painful, uncomfortable and downright embarrassing ways, that when it came to Sif, it was better not to resist. To wait and simply find some sort of… loophole.
Notes: This was written for Sifki Week's second prompt - "First Kiss". This fic is shamelessly sweet, and for that I apologise. I'll add more suffering to Aristeia to make up for it or something ^_^ Also, this fic was impossible to name, so if I have a better idea, I will change it.
This fits into exactly none of my verses and will stand alone, ashamed, for all its days.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: The MCU belongs to Marvel and Disney, and I make no profits from this fan-based venture.
It had been five days, nine hours and twelve minutes. And he had failed.
"LOKI ODINSON, DON'T YOU DARE IGNORE ME."
For the last five days, nine hours and thirt… fourteen minutes, he had managed to avoid her. A daring combination of seidr, shadows and outright hiding had kept him from stumbling into her paths.
And because he just had to get his book right this second, and he just had to take the short path instead of the tried-and-true long way around.
And now she had found him.
A small hand clamped down on his shoulder and spun him around.
The Lady Sif was angry. With him.
Her dark hair was a cloud around her face, one hopeful pin clinging to a strand. She was scowling at him in a most ferocious way. She had clearly just come from the training yard, her knife at her belt. He rather wished that she wasn't armed.
"WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?" she practically exploded in his face, and he watched several maids and guards - grown adults - wince. One of the guards looked outright sympathetic to the young prince's predicament.
"Good to see you too, Sif," he managed, complete with a smile.
Oh dear. That seemed to have made her even angrier.
She clamped one hand around his wrist and dragged him off down the hall.
He had learnt, in many painful, uncomfortable and downright embarrassing ways, that when it came to Sif, it was better not to resist. To wait and simply find some sort of… loophole.
And then run like Ragnarok was coming.
Dragging him into an empty sitting room, she released him and whirled around to face him, her hands on her hips.
"Almost a week has passed since I have last seen you. I go to meals, and Thor tells me that you're in the middle of something that involves hours upon hours in the library. Of course at some point, I assume that you have to eat and sleep and perhaps bathe, because you learnt from the last time that I will throw you in the pond if you choose mouldy old books over soap again."
When she paused to take a breath, he made his second… third… another mistake.
"You mention soap, but you have dirt on your nose. And there's a twig in your hair," he plucked it out and handed it to her.
It was going to be a slow death. Those practice blades were dull. Very dull.
Sif crushed the twig in her hand, her eyes flashing.
"AND THEN, I go to your mother, and she says that you're flitting around somewhere. I went to the stables, to the library, to the archives, to the Vault…"
As she listed every single place she had gone in search of him over the past few days, he contemplated her. The anger in her eyes. The way her hair appeared as if she hadn't taken a comb to it since last Yule. The mud on her nose. The faint scar above her eyebrow where she slipped on some wet rocks and fallen when they were younger. She had rolled up the sleeves of her fine linen shirt. The skin on her cheeks was peeling slightly, from where it had burnt, lingering in the training yards too late in the morning.
He had been hiding. He couldn't deny it, not as she listed the evidence against him. But he had hoped to steal enough time, just enough, to get over the embarrassment. She would laugh at him, and so would Thor and the rest of them. It was easier to ferret himself away in forgotten alcoves and corners of the palace with a book, than suffer through another mortifying meal…
He had thought of telling Thor, just once because he was, quite frankly, bored out of his mind. But Thor would want to help, and he was disastrous at keeping secrets. The entire palace would have known by dusk.
But she had caught him. She had a rotten habit of doing that, of popping up at the most inopportune moment.
"So, Loki?" she demanded, bringing him back to the present. "Where have you been that you've been hiding yourself away like a hermit for a week?"
He didn't think. He didn't speak. He was intensely aware of the leather and paper cover of the book clutched in his hands, and the fact that his hair was in his eyes again.
He leaned forward and kissed her.
And it was dreadful. He missed her mouth and kissed her half on the lips and half on the cheek and she didn't do anything and when he pulled away, her cheeks were red from more than just old sunburn and he really was going to die right here and no one would blame Sif because really what had he been thinking.
He made a sound that was somewhere between a croak and a wheeze, and turned and fled.
He stumbled through the palace in a daze, finally finding Thor and his friends seated around a table playing cards, and dropped onto the bench beside Thor.
"Loki! Sif has been looking for you everywhere, did she find you?" Thor asked, thumping his brother on the back in greeting.
A sound came out of his mouth like a groan and he dropped his head to the table.
"Brother, is everything alright?" Thor was looking at him with concern now, lowering his cards enough that Fandral was blatantly looking at them.
"I have done something so ridiculously foolish," he said, his voice muffled by the wood of the table, "that I do not believe I shall live til dawn. I expect a large funeral. Lots of weeping. Take care of Mother, Thor."
"Not the strangling flowers again?" Fandral offered, having lost interest now that he realised Thor's hand was much superior.
"The newts in the taps?" Thor offered cheerfully.
"That time you made all the footstools grow legs was good fun," Fandral said. "Except those ones that grew ten legs."
Even Hogun shuddered at that memory.
"You've managed a great deal of tricks, brother, without particularly severe punishment. What in the Nine Realms could you have done to assume imminent death?"
For a moment, he resisted telling them. He would never hear the end of it. But, then, advice would be good. Advice could be offered. For if anyone knew Sif better than Loki, it was Thor and Fandral.
"I kissed Sif," he said, hoping the words would be muffled by the table again.
And then laughter. Shocked laughter.
"And you have lived to tell the tale!" Fandral declared. "Asgard's historians will need a record of this fine day, for you are the first not to be found whimpering and bandaged in Healer Eir's care."
"You have chosen well, brother," Thor said with such an enormous grin that his face had to hurt. And then look puzzled. "But why are you, then, here? Pondering your death?"
"Because I kissed her and ran away. And it was… rather dreadful," Loki sat up, but decided not to meet the eyes of anyone.
"Oh dear," Fandral said unhelpfully. "Well… practice makes perfect?"
Clearly, Fandral's death would be proceeding his own at this point.
"I suggest, brother, that you locate Sif before she comes looking for you," Thor gathered up the forgotten cards and reshuffled them. "Maybe with flowers?"
"Sif and flowers?" Fandral shook his head. "A weapon of some kind. But then I suppose she could use it on you. Hm. Well, you should take something. A peace offering."
"For two fools who do nothing but blather on about girls, you are maddeningly unhelpful," Loki huffed and stood up, snatching up his book.
"Try the flowers."
Loki paused and looked at Hogun, who shrugged.
He spent the rest of the day trying to seek out the absent object of his misguided, ridiculous affections, and briefly experienced the frustration that he had forced upon Sif. She wasn't in the training yards or the stables, the orchard or… anywhere, it seemed.
In the end, he gave up and returned to the doors to her quarters and sat down in front of them, vowing not to think about how pathetic he looked, sitting against a door with his book, an apple and a slightly ragged looking posy.
And if one more guard or maid gave him a look of either pity or one that told him exactly how 'adorable' they found the situation, he was going to turn them all into white mice. And release them into Thor and Fandral's quarters, late at night.
He looked up to see Sif standing in front of him, her arms crossed over her chest and an unfamiliar expression on her face.
"I-I am sorry," he thrust the flowers at her rather clumsily. "I don't know what came over me and it won't ever happen again." Please don't stab me.
"Oh." Sif took the flowers carefully, smoothing the stems together.
"You didn't mean it?" she was frowning now.
"No, I mean yes…" He was going to turn himself into a white mouse for the next decade just to dull the memory of this excruciating day. He had the horrible feeling that he was turning red, and why was she looking at him like that?
"I just thought, since it was an awful kiss, perhaps we could try it again. When I know it's going to happen, and you don't go running off," she said, slightly crossly.
He just stared at her.
"Unless you don't want to?" she said, "And then I can take my fine offer somewhere else…"
He shook his head wordlessly.
She smiled brightly. "Good." Then she ducked her head for a moment. "Thank you for the flowers. No one's ever given me flowers before."
His wits reappeared and he reached out, cupping his hands around the blooms. A faint glow rippled through the petals. "There. They'll last forever now."
When she looked back at him, with a new and rather lovely smile upon her face, Loki decided that possibly, justpossibly, the ridiculousness might have almost been worth it.
When she leant over and kissed him on the cheek, he decided that yes, it had definitely been worth it.