Two New Girls
Well I lost Aurora for the night she was staying the night with Jax at his house. I was about to walk home when Hapoy spoke.
"Gina do u want a ride hom instead of walking?
"No you don't have to I'm fine." Yeah Gina you just lied you wanted this man soo badly. Then a thought came through your head about holding onto him with a roaring bike between your legs making you even wetter for him.
"Gina you alright you got a little red?" GREAT JUST GREAT!!
" Um yeah I think the alchohol is getting the best of me." Smooooth Gina smooth.
"Then in that cause I am taking you home your not walking you might pass out." He said being half demanding and handing you a helmet. Which was hot.
You put the helmet on and waited for Happy to get on the bike and you climbed on.
"Better hold on babydoll." You wrapped your arms around him ignoring what he just called you and put your head against his back to protect from the wind.
"Your home babydoll." You get off and hand Hapoy back his helmet.
"Thank you again Hapoy I had a lot of fun tonight."
"No problem." He said walking up to you. You could feel him eyes on you like a predator which liked.
"Can I try something?" You shake your head yes unable to speak. He leans down and gives you a quick peck of the lips. He pulls back and your bite your lip. And without a other warning he gently shoves you against the wall behind you and his tongue is fighting yours for dominance.
He pulls away and puts his head on your forehead.
"I better get going will I see you tomorrow? "
"Um yeah definitely. " Nice Gina great answer remember focus.
"Alright see you tomorrow " he said getting on his bike and heading back toward the club house.
You unlock your door and sit on your bed a minute replaying what just happened in your head . I need to tell Aurora what happened and then you thought she is probably in the same situation as you why ruin both of your guys high and tell each other tomorrow.
Hello everyone I'm glad everyone is liking this series it has been fun to make and absolutely has been fun writing about Happy. If you guys have a request let me know by dm and or comments. God bless ~ Eddiesgirl
Taglist ~ @happysgal
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Off the Only Path I Knew - Chapter 2 - Friends Part 1 (John)
Start from the beginning
"Are ye eating enough?" Ellen Fraser's voice filled the room as Jamie had his weekly video chat with his parents. "You look thin. Is that John? John! Is he eating enough?"
John laughed and leaned over Jamie's shoulder. "Hi, Mrs. Fraser. Yes, I promise you he's eating. He ate about two-thirds of the pizza we ordered last night."
"How many times do I have to insist ye call me Ellen? And thank goodness he has someone to keep an eye on him. Left to his own devices, I worry for his survival."
Jamie rolled his eyes while John laughed. His breath tickled Jamie's ear, and Jamie shivered. "Don’t you worry, Ellen. I'll ensure he comes back to you in one piece after first semester."
"Thank ye, John."
John waved and moved out of the camera's view. He sat down on his bed and picked up the book he'd been reading — a collection of Greek plays for his Intro to Greek Drama class. Jamie felt a pang of jealousy; he'd been signed up for that class before his father had pressured him to switch majors.
"I'm so glad ye and John have become good friends, Jamie," Ellen went on. "He's such a nice boy."
"He can still hear ye, Mam. I dinna want his ego to get any more inflated," Jamie joked, watching John instead of the computer screen.
Finish Reading on AO3
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Last Mission - Series - Part 2: The long retreat
Last Mission - Series - WS X Reader; BB X Reader
Warnings: kidnapping, dubcon, themes of stalking and voyeurism, smut later and each chapter will have specific warnings as applicable. Minors please do not engage.
Winter Soldier X Reader (she/her); Bucky Barnes X Reader
Summary: you were his mission and unfortunately for you, he was told to bring you in alive
A/N: Would love to hear feedback, constructive criticism, and whatever else you want to say! I love detail and a slow burn but maybe it's too slow? Maybe its not even a spark let alone a burn.... Lemme know!
Part 2: The long retreat
It felt strange to be sitting in traffic, quietly and slowly making your way out of the city. It was rush hour and you were heading in the wrong direction, so it was bumper to bumper. No one spoke. The driver and his passenger didn't make eye contact or speak to one another. Instead they constantly scanned for threats. The super soldier sat next to you on the seat. He took off his glasses and stored them in one of his many pockets. You were pressed up against the door, breathing slowly and counting your breaths as the security training at SHIELD had taught you, trying to get control of your fear to think. However, you knew it wasn't a good scenario for you. They would have known you had left for the day as the SHIELD facilities are biometrically controlled. But the street you were taken from was still far from your apartment, it was busy and full of people but seemingly no one had noticed that you had been kidnapped. And no one had given chase yet. It seemed like you were very cleanly snatched, and you were not due back at work until after the long weekend. It may be Tuesday until anyone noticed that you were gone.
What kind of person doesn't have a single solitary plan for a long weekend? You didn't even call your mother on Sundays as some of your friends did. Honestly, since you moved to New York, your life had consisted of quick stop offs at your favourite restaurants to pick up single meals to take home. SHIELD paid well and NYC was a perfect place for a foodie and the long days and high-pressure environment made sure that your body ached, and your mind was mush at the end of the day.
You cursed yourself under your breath. The soldier slowly turned his head. His bright blue eyes searching your face. His features were blank and unreadable, and he soon grew bored at staring at you and turned away. He swivelled his head to look back out his window and seemed very disinterested in what he saw. This infuriated you. You unthinkingly lunged forward and started to smack him and yell. "Why did you kidnap me? What do you want with me? Let me out this instant!" You started to bang on the windows and roof trying to cause a ruckus as the van was stopped at busy intersection with cars and pedestrians streaming around the vehicle. The soldier took his metal hand and clamped it over your mouth and grabbed your wrists one by one in his other hand, his large hand forcing your wrists together and looping around both your wrists to hold your arms still. He hummed in your ear "Hush, we won’t hurt you. You are my mission. Will you be quiet if I remove my hand from your mouth?" he asked, turning you on the leather seat to look you directly in the eye. Your eyes were swimming with tears, and you nodded your head vigorously. He let go of your wrists and slowly disengaged his hand from your mouth. You immediately screeched like a banshee "What the fuck does that mean? I am your mission? I am just supposed to believe that you aren't going to hurt me? You kidnapped me, are you deranged? Who do you work for? I read in your file that you are Hydra and not to be trusted."
The soldier just stared blankly back at you and then turned to look out the window again. The van had just taken a freeway exit and you were now truly alone, with no one able to see or hear you now. You had missed your ruckus-window that could have saved you. You cursed yourself. You lost precious minutes being frozen by fear when you could have been screaming and crying and pounding on the roof of the van while driving through busy city streets.
The van had hit open highway and it sped down the freeway, taking multiple exits and looping back around. You were trying to keep track of where you were being driven by discreetly typing the exit numbers on your phone and texting them to your friend. You didn't want to draw attention, so you hoped that you were sending messages that made sense. Your phone was hidden under the fold of your dress in your hand closest to the door. The soldier suddenly grabbed your arm and dragged you across the smooth, buttery leather of the seat. He grabbed your wrist and saw your phone in your hand. He grasped the phone and wrenched it easily from your grip with his metal arm.
He crushed the phone, and it made a sickening sound as the glass and metal folded under the pressure like it was made from tinfoil, with powdery debris falling on the van floor. He then searched through the debris in his hand that used to be your brand-new smart phone and strategically broke the tracker that shield IT security had installed, your sim card, and the memory drive of your phone. You hoped you could access your photos on the cloud. But then you remembered: you were not likely to make it out of this scenario alive. Well, maybe your mother will get access to them and take comfort in the way you had diligently documented your new life in NYC and subsequently, the last few months of your life. The touristy photos you took while a wide-eyed newcomer, the work in progress photos of your brand new one bedroom apartment with all new or new-to-you furniture collected over the last few years as you finished school and hopped from job to job, the growing collection of plants and the ways in which you decorated your place to finally feel like home.
Once your phone was smashed the driver made an abrupt exit and seemed to try to be misdirecting someone. Perhaps they thought your former best friend was still speaking to you and would be suspicious of the strange texts you had managed to send. Or that SHIELD would be following behind closely to rescue you. You doubted either of those lifelines were coming. You had left your work computer and phone at the office as Fury would contact you on the encrypted app that was downloaded on your phone with short messages if he needed you. Often a message would say something along the lines of "Report to my office at 08:00 hours". You were unable to respond as a feature of the app as Fury didn't take no for an answer. If you don't show up to his requests, you better be dead or gravely injured. Luckily if he called you in to work on this long weekend you have a great excuse to not respond. If you make it out alive (doubtful) you will hopefully still have a job.
You sighed heavily as the solider threw the broken pieces of your phone out the window of the van. You saw them disappear into the ditch on this deserted highway in upstate New York. The chances of that being a clue for your would-be saviour was slim and none. The soldier then noticed the bags at his feet. He picked them up and set them on the seat. You had the small bag from the department store stuffed with your work clothes and pretty reusable grocery tote that you used for absolutely everything. He slowly started to rifle through them. He pulled your neatly packed and clean bento-style lunchbox out of the floral tote. You had eaten every last bite of your lunch quickly at your desk so that you could go shopping on your lunch break and washed it in the kitchen sink as you mulled over how to respond to rude email from your nemesis in another department. He carefully set the lunchbox on the seat next to him.
He then pulled out the small box from the bakery and opened it. He grabbed a cookie and passed the box up to the two men in the front who each gladly took the other cookie and danish you had purchased yourself. The driver ate the danish and made a satisfied noise after his first bite. You were steaming mad at this because those danishes were the best in Brooklyn. And you would know, you had gone to every bakery in the borough, meticulously keeping track of your reviews in a spreadsheet: too buttery, greasy texture, dough not worked enough or too much, or dry and crumbly. You groaned inwardly at that thought. Maybe if you had been less interested in finding the best bakery in the borough you could have made some friends or gosh, even met a partner! Perhaps you would have been meeting up with these hypothetical friends or partner rather than collecting sad supplies for a lonesome weekend. Maybe you would have been safe had you had people around you waiting on you and checking in with you this sunny afternoon.
The super soldier slowly took his mask off and turned to look at you. He ate the cookie, YOUR COOKIE, while making eye contact. You were frozen watching him chew. He turned his attention back to your stuff when the shoved the final bite into his very full mouth. He pulled the flowers out of the tote next, staring at them for a second like he didn't recognize them before discarding them next to his muscular thigh. He dug around a bit more, checking in your small wallet, including studying your new NY state ID card and looking at your house keys like a curious child. He then picked up the other bag and pulled your fuzzy sweater out. He slowly held it up in front of him and then brought it close to his face. He sniffed and then placed it fully against his face inhaling deeply. For some reason this act was deeply arousing. You rationalized that this must be some sort of stress response, the fact that this scary man with at least 6 weapons visible on his tactical uniform was pulling at your body right now. It was a strange sight to be sure and you zeroed in on his immovable features as he placed your sweater back into the bag. He again discarded it onto the floor and turned back to stare out the window. You felt exposed. And gathered up your things carefully and placed them all into the floral tote. Perhaps it was a bit of optimism that you would get to go home and use that lunch box or wear those work clothes again. You clutched your stuff to your chest, scared and uncertain.
Abruptly, the van turned off the main highway and sped down a narrow, rough road. It was starting to get dark, and the sun was setting immediately in front of you bathing the inside of the van in bright light. You had been driving for quite a while by this time. As the vehicle sped forward into the sunset, you felt wet tears starting to fall down your cheeks. The sun quickly set, and the dusk made it impossible to see any details besides the vague shape of trees outside of your window. Finally, the van slowed, seemingly at random as there was no road to turn down or markers that you could see of any kind. The driver and passenger didn't say anything, but the Winter Soldier grabbed you by the wrist again and pulled you easily towards him. He opened the door as he pulled you out of the van behind him. You stumbled and nearly fell to your knees as he rushed forward. Your body was tense with fear and the van was high from the ground, though you caught and righted yourself. You still clutched your floral bag to you, the paper wrapping of the flowers crinkled with your movements. You stumbled through the bush behind him as he single-mindedly surged forward, not bothering to look back at you at all. You looked back and the van had just turned around and went back the way they came. You used your free hand to pull up your long dress and keep your feet visible to you as you walked through rough ground, exposed roots, and felt the rough branches of shrubs scratch your legs exposed by those stupid new sandals. As dirt and pebbles collected in your shoes you cursed listening to that saleswoman with the smiling face of thick makeup and sunny demeanour. “These are not great shoes to be kidnapped in, Jessica” you thought bitterly.
His metal arm pulled you by the wrist and it was growing increasingly painful. You released an involuntary whine when he had twisted his grip on your wrist, and it pinched. He had tensed up a bit and loosened his grip after you gave a few more sharp intakes of breath.
After walking through the bush a short while a garage suddenly came into view. It was hard to see in the settling dusk, but it was an imposing building once your eyes adjusted. Fear crept in. You had been told that you were to be kept alive. But was this your final location? Were you to be given over to whoever controlled this super soldier and issued his orders?
Surprisingly he turned to you and stopped moving. He pulled you so that your right arm was held in his left, side by side, you were pressed against his side, awkwardly and on unstable feet, still pointlessly clutching your tote to your body and your sundress in your hand. He looked into your eyes, illuminated and shadowed by the growing moon light. Half his face was cast in darkness, but the other half was clear. You could see that his eyes had shifted slightly. They were a clear blue and the pupils focused on you in a way that differed significantly from in the van.
He finally spoke after a few seconds that felt like an eternity.
“If you run, I will hunt you. I always finish my mission. If you run, I won’t hesitate.”
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Glorious, Before the Burden - The Light ~ 10
I couldn’t settle after Loki parted from me at my rooms. My hair was still loose, the ache that had built from the weight of having it up for the entirety of our day was gone, and while I DID want to take a bath - my skin felt as though a current was running through it, my veins as if I had a jolt of pure energy - I wanted to DO something. Bathing, resting? Those things could come later, but now? Now I wanted to move or -
Loki had said learning how to handle the blades would mean that I could go where I pleased ALONE, and I had shown a natural aptitude, hadn’t I? I glanced around my room and found nothing that would work for a hidden dagger - wait, I recalled a set of hair picks that my parents had given me during one of their visits - something my father mentioned picking up during one of his own trips outside Asgard.
I found them tucked away with the jewelry that Mother and Father seemed to toss at me every visit. Absently, as though they knew it was expected of them, but not quite sure why. Testing the points, I smiled - they would do well for my purposes. Another thought came to me, my smile growing - twisting half of my hair up, I used the picks to hold the twist in place - dual purpose weaponry - I felt certain that my teacher would approve. The thought of Loki added to the current in my blood - as if the garden beckoned to me with his voice.
The garden, even dappled in early evening darkness, was like balm for whatever was coursing through me and setting me on edge. Breathing in the air, letting the stillness that only seemed to exist here - in this garden - during the hours when night fell on Asgard, settled around me like a soft cloak; it was almost as relaxing as the warmth of “one of my baths”.
I nearly missed the first hint of apples wrapped within the blossoming fragrance of jasmine and wearing leather and sandalwood as cover, were it not for that galbanum - “I’m beginning to think you actually enjoy my company,” I didn’t turn to greet him, not when I was soaking up the feeling of the night and the peace that I yearned for as deeply as I did for home.
“And I’m beginning to think that you don’t listen to me at all,” his voice, so very close, that the hint of his breath caressing the top of my head, past where I had my twisted, pinned knot, didn’t startle me enough to cause a noticeable reaction. “You flirt with danger, Lady Sigyn.”
“I’m armed, my prince,” even as I spoke, I remained focused on the night sky. “I assure you, I listened to you and I took your lessons to heart.”
I knew what was coming - as if here, in the garden, as he’d said he could almost hear me screaming at him to leave his intentions were amplified - I knew he planned to show me just how unprepared I was for an unprovoked attack. My hair picks were in my hands and at his throat even as his were against mine.
“Checkmate?” I asked, and his smile grew. “I did warn you that I was armed, Loki.”
We sat on one of the benches, weapons tucked away, and once again found ourselves chatting.
“I’m impressed,” reluctant and begrudgingly though it was offered, it was still a compliment, of sorts. “Where did you get your -” I had returned my hair ornaments turned weapons to their former place.
“My father brought them to me during a visit.” He nodded. “You said I could go where I pleased once I learned -”
“That I did,” again, reluctant and begrudgingly. “I’m still not comfortable with you going off on your own, Lady Sigyn.” Confused, I waited for him to explain himself, but no explanation came. “Those -” he nodded at my picks, “will come in handy on Midgard.” I smiled. “I will look into having others made.”
“You needn’t go to the trouble,” I could have something commissioned. It wasn’t as if I were without the means. “I can -”
“I will have something made,” forceful and sure, discussion closed, his tone was clear. “I know a bit more about weaponry than you.” He did, but it wasn’t as if I would have gone to a jeweler instead of a blacksmith. “Never fear, I’ll make sure they’re pretty.”
Narrowed eyes and thin lips, I stood up, the garden was losing its appeal. “I think I’m ready to go back in now.”
“I’ve displeased you,” instead of looking abashed, he looked amused. “Is it so wrong to want to give you a weapon that will keep you safe, yet also complement the beauty that it's being added to?” It happened again, the air appeared to have left - but we were still outside - how did he do that?
“You have a silver tongue,” hushed and breathless, as though I had just gone through another round of his knife play exercises. “No wonder they simper and whisper when you walk past.”
His smile grew, blue eyes twinkling in the dim light of the garden. “You still don’t trust me,” swallowing past the dryness that came so quickly when I was in his company, he stared up at me. “Have you ever actually seen me speak to any of these simpering and whispering ladies you keep alluding to?”
Squinting, I tried to recall - had I? “What does that matter?” Why was he - wasn’t I leaving? “I should go -”
Loki was still grinning, and it kept growing. “Yes, you’ve said.” And I had. “Yet, you don’t seem to be moving in that direction.” A challenge, a dare - and the bubble burst.
“You’re correct, my prince.” Happy to hear my voice was back to normal, my head high, I took a deep breath. “Good night, again.” I turned away, but this time it was him who stopped me. A long fingered hand, touching my wrist, and I looked down - my heart pounding.
“I’ll walk you back,” not a question, not a suggestion or an offer - tucking the same hand that he’d stopped me by touching the wrist of in the crook of his arm - he once again chose a pace that was more fit for my stature than his. “I would prefer if you didn’t wander alone, Lady Sigyn, even with your proficiency in -” he took a deep breath and said the one word he had never said in my presence - “please?”
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With her tapeworm's backup, Vee lets Rogue run her through the briefing on Hellman.
It's gonna be complicated, but when is it ever not?
Rogue’s eyes glow blue as she slots the shard, the netrunner — Nix — who shoved it over the table already on his way out.
“Queen of the Afterlife,” Johnny observes. “Who woulda thunk.”
He’s in a weird mood, Vee can tell that much — sulking and pissed and pleased all at once, like Sasha Devon.
“Think she’ll help?” she asks.
Johnny’s still sitting on the table like there wasn’t a perfectly fine bench, and just shrugs. “The Rogue I remember was one cold-ass bitch. But she usually went with her gut. Think she likes you — sent you that text after all.”
Right - the text. The one I didn’t read until it was too late. “Didn’t thank her for that… remind me so I don’t leave without? Don’t wanna piss her off.”
Rather than answering, he gives her a thumbs-up.
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Glorious, Before the Burden - The Light ~ 9
Loki listened to me talk about my home as though I were telling him one of the most incredible and interesting tales he’d ever heard. His attention never wavered, and he only spoke when I faltered - running thin on details or fading out and fearing that I was boring him - then he’d ask me a leading question, wanting to know MORE, always more.
“Why are you so curious about the tiny corner that I spent such a short time of my life in?” I’d earned a break - to refresh my dry throat and to study the prince that seemed so fascinated by me.
He leaned forward to refill the goblet I had once again emptied. “Because you long for it,” his voice, I was learning, was both lyrical and concise. “Though you spent such a short time there, it holds a precious place inside of you, Sigyn.” Our eyes met and his smile was soft - a new expression on a face that I was becoming more familiar with by the second. “So I wish to know more about it.”
I wasn’t sure how to - How would anyone respond to that? “I see,” was all I could manage.
“Do you?” It didn’t sound as challenging or laden with a dare as his other questions had.
“Our trip,” a change of topic, I thought, bursting the tense bubble that would grow around us at unforeseen moments, was the best option. “When should I be prepared to leave?”
“Soon,” he replied, not actually helpful, and he knew it when my eyes dropped to the table. “I want to be sure that you’re ready. Prepared for -”
“What precisely are you so fearful of?” Looking up, I met his gaze full on. “It’s not as if we’re relocating, my prince. We’ll be in Midgard for -” Actually, I had no idea how long we’d be gone for, Frigga hadn’t mentioned the length of our trip.
His smile was the amused one I knew all too well. The one that clearly said ‘you’re nowhere near as clever as me, and we BOTH know it.’ “Yes?” This question was definitely a challenge and a dare. How long were we to be gone, Sigyn? - was the undercurrent.
“Are we to pack everything and live among the Midgardians, Loki?” I tossed back at him. “If so, I do think we’ll be in preparations for a rather long time. After all, I haven’t a clue how to do -” I glanced around and shrugged. “Anything.”
Loki’s eyes were twinkling and his lips were twitching. “You really do think you’re quite clever, don’t you?”
“I KNOW I’m quite clever, actually.” Leaning back, relaxed, I smirked at him. “You believe you are because you have access to information that I don’t, that’s not clever, that’s just rude.”
One perfect eyebrow arched, as he considered my words. “Oh really?” A curt nod was all I’d give him. “Your sharp tongue might just get you in a great deal of trouble one day, Lady Sigyn.”
“Will it?” I asked, sitting up and staring him dead in the eye. “With the Midgardians?”
“Try closer to home.” He leaned forward, his eyes flashing.
Head tilting, I hummed as I contemplated who he could POSSIBLY mean. “Do you think your mother would want to punish me, my prince?”
“I think you’d do well to worry more about who is right in front of you, Sigyn.” I swallowed, not out of fear - the twist in my stomach didn’t feel like fright at all. “Think carefully before you continue to press your luck.”
Biting my lip, I watched his eyes flick down to catch the movement. “Luck?” Blue eyes met mine again. “Am I lucky, Loki?”
“Very,” he murmured. “It’s growing late -” that bubble, it could build and build until somehow even dusk wouldn’t register. “Allow me to walk you back to your rooms.”
By “allow me”, Loki wasn’t asking permission, he was giving me fair warning that he meant to accompany me and would be my very tall and substantial shadow - my new powers of self defense be damned. While we walked, he continued to draw out the conversation, without the underlying challenge and tension.
“Your hair is too heavy piled up,” he’d noticed, no doubt when I nearly collapsed after he forced me through the exercises to learn how to defend myself. “Perhaps if you weave the braids you normally wear together,” he was puzzling out a better option, and before I could give my own ideas - I felt my hair tumble loose. “There’s so much of it -” we were still walking, but I glanced over and saw his hand rise, his fingers reaching out and then they were sliding through the strands. “It feels like silk, how can it be so heavy?”
“You could ask first,” I wasn’t angry, more amused by his curiosity. His eyes met mine and his smirk mirrored my own. “Silk can weigh a great deal if it comes in a bundle, my prince.” His long fingers were still sliding through my hair. “Have you come to any conclusions as to how I should wear my hair while in Midgard?”
He didn’t speak, but as we continued on, he seemed as though his mouth had gone dry - because I did see him lick his lips a time or two, even after he pulled his fingers free of my hair.
By the time we reached my rooms, we had also discussed how - once we arrived in Midgard - we could easily use illusion to change our attire to suit where we chose to tour. Since Frigga wanted the trip to be a gift for me - Loki told me that I was to tell him if I did not find any part we came across appealing and we’d leave.
“Mother wants you to enjoy yourself, Lady Sigyn.” We had finally reached my rooms and a part of me wished we hadn’t. “Since I’ve been there before, don’t be shy, tell me how you find things and I’ll adjust our tour accordingly.”
“Frigga is too kind to me,” I shook my head. “And thank you as well, Loki.” He looked surprised by my gratitude. “You’ve been tasked with taking me to another realm - and we’re practically strangers - after you took it upon yourself to keep me safe while I’ve been wandering all these years.”
“Ah, that,” he seemed to shake off my gratitude like it was nothing. “I - No need to -” He gestured to my door. “I’m sure you’d like to take one of your baths and prepare for your evening.” He started to turn away, but I stopped him by touching his arm.
“Goodnight, my prince.” Loki’s eyes, so blue they almost glowed, met mine, and the soft flare of his nostrils made swallowing hard a necessity.
Jaw clenched so tight I thought for a moment I’d upset him, he murmured his own parting to me, “Sweet dreams, my lady.”
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Glorious, Before the Burden - The Light ~ 8
Loki didn’t take me to the dining hall - instead he took me to his rooms. A place I’d never been, obviously, and I tried to look unimpressed and unsurprised by the table that waited for us on the balcony.
“I thought,” he murmured as he held my chair for me. “That perhaps a change of scenery would do nicely for our first lesson.”
“You’re teaching me Midgardian etiquette?” I glanced down at the table, thinking it looked no different from normal. Looking up, he was smiling and shaking his head. “What?” I didn’t like feeling as though there was a joke that I wasn’t privy to.
Loki took his seat and licked his lips, hungry too I supposed. “No, I’m not teaching you etiquette, Lady Sigyn.” Our gazes met and I wondered why I never noticed how blue his eyes were - “First,” he picked up the pitcher that had been waiting on the table for us and filled our goblets. “We eat. Then, I teach you how to make certain that NO ONE ever tries to do you harm.”
I took a drink, my throat feeling so very dry. “You want to teach me combat?” A hum of confirmation. “Me? Combat?”
“Yes, you.” He started to eat. “Eat up,” he gestured to my own plate. “You’re going to need your strength.” I was sure of it, yet my stomach was twisting with uncertainty.
I couldn’t - though I tried - make our meal last beyond what Loki deemed long enough. Picking at my food, taking small sips, none of it worked. He would give me a look and remind me that I was going to learn, whether we had natural light or he had to create light for us to use.
Finally, my stomach AND my prince, won out. I gave in and admitted I was finished.
“Good,” he pushed away from the table and with a flourish it was gone. Damn it. “Now, come here.” Standing, the chairs vanished as well, leaving us with a bare balcony. “I know you are reluctant, my lady,” a small bow of his head made me sigh. “But, once you become competent in what I plan on showing you, you can wander wherever you wish.”
“Alone?” I countered, chin up, green eyes locking on his blue orbs. A small nod was the answer I received. “Alright.”
Holding his hands out, twin daggers appeared. “Now, do you trust me?” Trick question, I thought, I barely know you! Swallowing hard, I gave a half nod. “Liar.” His smile grew. “You will, soon enough.”
And so began my lessons with Loki for knife play - or combat - however you wish to call it, I suppose.
We worked for hours, until the next meal, which he also insisted on having on his balcony. My gown felt heavier than it was when I put it on that morning, and my hair? Piled high on my head, it weighed more than I did, I would argue.
The table reappeared with the chairs, and once again Loki held my chair for me. I all but fell into it. Pouring my drink for me, he also handed the goblet to me before taking his own seat.
“Are you alright?” I glanced up at him as I drank most of the contents of my glass. Was I alright? How could learning how to handle a dagger wear me so thin? It was a knife, for Odin’s sake. “You look a bit -” he was smirking, and not the least bit flushed.
“You’re enjoying this aren’t you?” Squinting at him as I sat my goblet down, I wanted so badly to go back to my room, soak up to my neck in my bath and let my hair down. “How much more do I have to learn, my prince?”
His eyes almost glowed when I addressed him the way he teased that he preferred me to - his nostrils flared slightly. “Until it becomes as natural to you as your magic, my lady.” And somehow I saw it before it came at me, as if I could read in his face what he was about to try - the dagger appeared in his left hand and was coming at me - and I caught it. And that caused his eyes to widen, I’d surprised him again.
“Like this, my prince?” I was holding his dagger in my hand, and as he’d taught me, I flipped it and handed it to him handle end first. “I believe this is yours.”
“Eat,” he nodded at my plate, taking his knife from me and stowing it again. “We’ll discuss more after.”
Another meal finished, but once we were the table didn’t disappear, only our plates and utensils vanished. Loki refilled our drinks and sat back.
“Since you are such a natural at self protection,” my lips curled around the rim of my goblet. “I thought we could go back to getting to know one another.”
“Ah,” perhaps I’d peaked too soon. “And what precisely should we focus on getting to know about one another, my prince?”
His own smile curved around his goblet rim. “Well, let’s see -” studying me, I felt like fidgeting under the scrutiny. “You’ve been here since you were - how old again?”
“Ten,” I’d lost count of how much time had truly passed by - only that so many had. “I left my home a child. And became a woman here.” Melancholy and wistful, that’s how I sounded.
“Has it truly been that terrible here?” Our eyes met and I shook my head. “Mother thinks of you as a daughter. She’s never shown such preference for another pupil before.”
“Frigga is very dear to me as well,” far warmer than my own mother, but how could I admit to Loki that I didn’t yearn for my family as much as I yearned for the PLACE of my birth? “Without her -” I sighed. “I’m very grateful for everything the Queen has done for me.”
“Are you not curious about anything?” An open invitation to ask Loki a question - what a bounty.
“Why did you finally show yourself in the garden?” It slipped out, before I could actively choose one of the many questions buzzing around my head to ask him. “The first time?”
“To see if you’d show yourself,” fair enough, I suppose. “You didn’t. Why?”
I blushed which only made him more inquisitive and interested. “I thought -” my fingers were tracing the path of the condensation running down my goblet. “That perhaps you were meeting someone.”
“Who would I be meeting in the garden that late at night, Lady Sigyn?” The way he asked it told me he was baiting me, wanting to see how red my face could get.
Fighting the feeling of residual embarrassment from the memory, I met his gaze across the table. “Clearly I assumed you were going to have a tryst, my prince.”
“A tryst?” He looked both shocked, and scandalized - the liar. “And you were prepared to sit in the bushes and do what? Watch?”
A long sigh escaped and I shook my head, “It wasn’t as if I could just vanish at will, my prince. I would have been a captive audience - but not on purpose.”
“And who would this tryst have been with?” It wasn’t even - I inhaled through my nose to fight down the urge to growl at him for pressing on matters that clearly bore no -
“Does it matter?” Loki didn’t answer, expecting an answer. “One of the more than willing ladies that sigh and whimper whenever you walk by, obviously.” I rolled my eyes.
His smirk returned. “Ladies sigh and whimper when I walk by?”
“I thought we were supposed to get to know one another, Loki, I wasn’t aware that this was a mission to stroke your ego.” The smirk grew into a grin. “If it grows any larger, I fear you may not fit through any of the doorways.”
“Perhaps, Lady Sigyn, I’m not looking to have my ego stroked at all,” my mouth went dry and I felt like the air had been sucked out of the - but we weren’t inside so how could that even be? “Tell me about your childhood before you came to live here.” The change of topic made my head spin, but I welcomed the reprieve, and shut my eyes to center myself and regain my composure.
“My home is -”
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Glorious, Before the Burden - The Light ~ 7
While I soaked in the warm water of my chamomile and lavender scented bath, I puzzled out what Loki was alluding to with his mentioning Thor and I during meals. Now that my hair was loose and my scalp was no longer being tortured by the tight braids - and my body was no longer constricted by my gown - I felt more capable of the challenge.
Meals were gregarious when Thor was present - loud and a near feast, even when there was no real reason for celebration - that was just how he was, boisterous. He knew everyone’s name and used those names when he spoke to people. When I first arrived, he zeroed in on my quietness and sought to bring me out of it - usually during meals since that was the only time we were in the same place. Like a sibling, of which I had none, he taunted and teased. At most he hugged me, or put his arm around my shoulders -
“Lady Sigyn,” he’d roar, in his bearish way, “come have a drink with us and tell us how the witchery goes!” I’d roll my eyes, shrug off his arm and beg off from the drink, smiling and laughing at his attempts.
Being cruel to Thor would be like kicking a wolfhound. It wasn’t his fault he was huge and playful - he just WAS. “Thank you for the offer,” I’d murmur, a blush on my face because his voice would carry and draw attention to us. “I think your mother is calling for me,” and I’d go off to Frigga’s side, happy to sit quietly and have my meal before retiring to my rooms - before stealing away to the gardens.
I’d simply seen his invitations as those of a thoughtful brother by proxy. He wanted to include me, he didn’t yank me onto his lap like I’d heard stories told of the wenches and the Warriors Three. Instead he just wanted to make certain I felt welcome, in his own way.
Apparently Loki saw it through a slightly different view. I tried to understand it, but I couldn’t. Jealousy would be my first thought, but that would be ridiculous. Why would Loki be jealous?
After my bath I put on the green nightshift, I considered my choices - reading in the window seat or a walk with my new guard through the gardens. My book lay where he’d set it after he snapped it shut, and I was curious if he’d simply picked up where I’d left off - after all he hadn’t turned the pages while I’d watched him - or if he started fresh? As if he’d spelled it, I had to see - and as I grew closer I was enveloped in the scent of him - apples, jasmine, leather, sandalwood, and that subtle hint of galbanum. Swallowing past the dryness in my mouth, my fingers closed around the leatherbound volume I’d left and he’d picked up - it was warm, as if he’d just left - I let it fall open in my hands, where my ribbon still held my spot and it was if it also bookmarked HIM. I held it up to my face and if the cushion and my reading nook held his scent heavy - the book was a portable version.
I took the book to my bed, my choice made for me. Crawling in and propping myself up against the headboard with my pillows, I started where I left off - letting the fragrance surround me much like my hiding spot in the gardens would. I read until my eyes grew heavy, marking my spot and putting the book carefully beside me on the bed, and sleep came easily - far easier than it had since I’d arrived at ten years old.
I felt far better when morning dawned. A good night’s sleep will do that for a person - at least until they sit up and find that they aren’t alone.
I sighed, there he lounged in my window seat, but at least he brought his own book this time. “Good morning, Loki,” I thought if I greeted him, perhaps he’d take the not so subtle tone of aggravation in my voice and leave - so I could get out of bed without him seeing me in the nightshift he’d chosen.
“I think I prefer it when you address me as your prince,” his eyes stayed on his book, but he sounded amused. “You look far more rested today, Lady Sigyn.”
I propped my pillows up and sat against my headboard, settling in for a visit. “I feel more rested,” I agreed. “Your mother will be expecting me.” I reminded him.
“No,” he shook his head, turning the page of his book. “You and I are spending the day together.” My eyebrow rose at the change in my routine without notice. “I told you, we should get to know one another AND you are ill prepared for another realm without -”
“Yes, you wish to teach me SOMETHING,” interrupting him caused his head to raise from his tome. “You never quite got around to what precisely it is that I’ll be learning from your capable tutelage.” I may have come off sharper than he thought appropriate, since his eyes were narrowing again. “Are you going to illuminate me, MY PRINCE?”
Lips fighting to choose whether he wanted to smirk, smile, or - “You play with fire, Lady Sigyn.”
“Do I?” Studying him, I wondered if he was all that hot? “You seem rather cool, MY PRINCE.”
Letting out a breath that sounded suspiciously like a laugh, his flashing gaze met mine. “You wore the green, I see.”
“I was told it brought out the color of my eyes.” I countered. “I never learned what the blue did - not completely anyway.”
His gaze flickered to my hair, loose around my shoulders. “As if it were kissed by fire,” he murmured, and my breath caught. “Your hair -” his eyes locked on mine again. “When we’re in Midgard, you should wear it up.” I nodded. “It could be a cumbrance, get caught on things, or be used to hold onto you - you haven’t my aptitude for -”
“Quite,” I knew what he meant. I couldn’t just vanish at will. “So I’ll wear my hair up and out of the way.” And so we began our day with Loki telling me how to dress and appear for my first voyage out of Asgard.
“You have to leave,” Loki had discussed everything from my hair to my shoes - I was hungry and I wanted to change for the day. He was still lounging in the window, and raised an eyebrow at my tone. “Loki, I would like to break our fast, and I’d like to change my clothes - at least one of those would require you to leave my rooms.”
He sat and studied me. “You do understand that while we’re in Midgard I will not let you out of my sight.” I stared at him. “Not for a single moment.”
My mouth had dropped open - not a moment alone? “Not even when I’m -” there are certain moments that EVERYONE needs to do on their own. “My prince, surely you know that you cannot follow me EVERYWHERE.”
“Mother insists, Lady Sigyn.” The smile that formed on his lips was pleasant, yet also challenging. Daring me to force the issue, to press back, to argue - to throw another tantrum.
A challenge was it? A dare? Fine. Chin up, shoulders back, I slid out of my bed. Bare feet touching the floor and my moss green shift sliding down my length, I let my loose hair settle down my back. “Fine,” I maintained eye contact. “If Frigga INSISTS, then I suppose you SHOULD learn what I go through to get ready every morning.”
While he acted as my captive audience - I once again chose a gown - this time one of my day and public ones, far more restrictive and constrictive. I also had to choose my undergarments, my shoes, and I had to work literal magic on my hair. Which I did - SLOWLY.
“You said when on Midgard my hair should go up?” I asked, still standing in my nightshift. He nodded. Taking a deep breath, I contemplated all the ways that my hair could go up without it looking ridiculous. And as he watched, up it went. “How’s this?” I turned around and looked over my shoulder at him. “Does this pass your standards, my prince?”
A curt nod and I moved on. He’d dared me - challenged me with the idea that Frigga expected us to never be apart for a moment during our time on Midgard - and so, with my back still turned I let my nightshift drop from my shoulders and pool around my feet. Without looking at him I dressed, skin out, down to my shoes.
“There,” when I finished I faced him. “Does that meet your approval, Loki?”
“I think that’ll do, Lady Sigyn.” His gaze was on mine, and I felt that I might have surprised him for once. “Let’s have something to eat and then -”
“Yes?” I wanted to know what my day would look like, since my routine was broken.
His smile returned. “Then, my lady, your new studies begin.”
“Which are?” But he didn’t answer, instead standing and offering me his arm. His scent - apples, jasmine, leather, sandalwood, and of course, galbanum wrapped around me like a cloak - and I was surprised when he matched his pace to my far shorter stride.
“You’ll see,” was all the answer I received, that and a smirk.
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Glorious, Before the Burden - The Light ~ 6
I went back to my rooms and crawled into bed - fully clothed because I was exhausted. Face first into my pillow, blanket over my head, I fell asleep.
Upon first waking, I had the horrible feeling of not knowing what time it was nor what day - I had turned my head, so my cheek was creased from my pillow and my head was feeling a bit odd from the elaborate braids I’d left my hair up in - and the gown I wore was constrictive - it came back to me. The night, Loki in the garden and Frigga in her rooms - groaning I rolled over and stared up into the darkness. I could make the room alight with as much or as little illumination as I wanted, but I was hoping that I could fall back under - without a trip to the garden with my newly appointed guard.
It wouldn’t happen, I knew, while I stayed fully clothed and with my hair still wound so tight. Perhaps another warm bath - it had helped before - I would just skip the window seat. Sliding out of bed, I felt it again. The chill creeping up my spine, the same chill that I’d felt while reading that caused me to catch sight of Loki in the garden - but my rooms were so dark that I could barely see my own hand in front of my face - how could he see me from that far.
“I don’t need to hide in the bushes to not be seen,” Loki had said when I’d asked him how long he’d been keeping watch for me during my nocturnal wanderings.
Closing my eyes to keep from screaming, I took a deep breath to calm myself and also to add soft light to my rooms. When I reopened them, there he sat in my window seat, reading my book as if it were his right.
“Do you mind?” I stared at him, wondering why he would bother coming to my rooms at all, much less to lurk. “I was preparing to take a bath.”
“Oh, I know,” he didn’t look up, but a lecherous smile started to curl across his lips. “Don’t mind me, Lady Sigyn, do go about your evening routine as if I weren’t here at all.”
Squinting at him, I contemplated tossing something very heavy and very sharp at his head, but I knew that he’d simply evade it - damn him and his abilities. His smile grew and I knew he read me like the book he held in his long fingered hands. “Do you often invite yourself into random women’s rooms and lurk while they’re sleeping?” As I spoke, I chose a gown to change into - I fully intended to take my bath - once he left, obviously.
“Not at all,” he shot back. “Mother insists we travel to Midgard together, so we SHOULD get to know one another, shouldn’t we?” His eyes hadn’t left the pages of my book, but I took note that he also hadn’t turned the page. “The green brings out the color of your eyes -”
I had two shifts on my bed, deciding between the two - a pale green, almost the color of moss through glass and a dark blue that was as if night had been made liquid - when he spoke I looked up expecting to see his head rose up from the position he’d been in since I’d lit the room, but he was in the same position.
“And what does the blue do?” I touched it, while the green was soft and velvety, the blue was silky - after a bath it felt as if I were still soaking.
“It would look like you were cloaked in the night sky, but with your hair -” he stopped, snapping the book shut. “It’s a nightshift, why does it matter?”
“No idea.” I shook off the bubble we’d been in. “You were saying that you came in while I was sleeping because you felt it pertinent to get to know one another before we set off for Midgard?”
Loki hadn’t moved from his reclined position in my window seat - but without the book to study, he was now focused on me, and without the nightshifts, I was now focused on him - and I was unsure if either of us had ever been in such a position.
“Mother has made certain that you learned how to harness your powers,” my head tilted as I listened to him, his voice was almost spellbinding. “No one has thought to teach you how to protect yourself -” I opened my mouth to argue, but he held up one hand and I stopped. “Not illusions or glamour, Lady Sigyn. Those will not always work - especially on Midgard.”
“Have you been?” I sat down on the edge of my bed, beside the gowns I’d laid out. He nodded, face slightly absent - either in memory or thought. “And it’s dangerous?” That wasn’t quite the story that I’d heard. Weren’t we - Asgardians - considered godlike among the Midgardians?
“It can be, especially for anyone who isn’t prepared -” me, clearly. “I think I should teach you -”
“What precisely?” It wasn’t meant as disparagement, simply that I wasn’t entirely certain what Loki wanted to teach me.
Eyes flashing, he stared at me. “Would you prefer to have my brother teach you?” Thor? Why would I want that?
“Thor?” What in the - “Why would Thor teach me anything?” Had Loki gone mad?
“My brother and you -” Thor and I? “You seem very close during meals -” During meals, Thor and I seem close? All the words on their own made sense, but put together -
“Thor and I -” his eyes narrowed and I felt taken aback. “I haven’t a clue what you’re referring to, my prince.” When I addressed him as ‘my prince’ his eyes widened and his nostrils flared.
“I think I should let you have your bath,” suddenly I didn’t want him to go - I wanted to talk, get to know one another more, like he’d offered. “You didn’t rest well last night, Mother told me.” Was that concern I heard in his voice? “If you want to walk out into the garden tonight -”
“I asked her for a guard,” his eyes narrowed again. “I thought you’d rather have YOUR evenings for yourself.”
A curt nod and he bid me goodnight. I was left sitting on my bed, as breathless as if I’d run through the gardens at top speed and no more the wiser for the time I spent in conversation with him. What had he meant about his brother and me? Thor was - well THOR.
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Without Takemura to keep her distracted, Vee gets shit done like a pro, and Johnny covers her six.
There’s a bored-looking huscle in front of the booth again, almost as massive as Shaitan. Joke’s on him: Rogue could kick his ass right through the wall on the other side of the club.
He’s probably got no idea.
“Here to see Rogue,” says Vee, staring him down like he’s not thrice her weight.
She’s getting there: Johnny can’t help but feel proud.
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Disparate Pathways - Chapter 22
Read previous chapters on AO3
Chapter 22 - Consequences
Even though he’d shaken Belle awake gently, she was asleep again before they went even a couple of miles on Interstate-95. He wasn’t really proud of stealing, but Jefferson was glad he’d thought to go back into the room for a blanket before closing it for good. He reached behind him to the back seat, and somehow, one handed, managed to shake the blanket open, and cover Belle with it, all without waking her.
Satisfied, he turned his full attention to the road, and the sparse traffic ahead, and behind him. In a job like his it didn’t do to be completely paranoid, but a little healthy skepticism about safety was often a good thing, especially when you were doing something that you knew was a risky proposition. It wouldn’t be difficult to guess from his previous actions that it was his intention to travel north, so taking I-95 was the obvious choice.
“Key word, ‘obvious,’ Jefferson,” he said quietly, but aloud. What choice did he have? He had to exchange caution for speed to put as much distance between them and Boston as he could in the shortest amount of time. Then he could start fucking around with random directions to lose anyone that might follow on pure speculation and the possibility of finding him.
He hit a bump in the road, and Belle let out a soft little moan. He reached out to pull the blanket back up around her shoulders, and felt the heat streaming from her in spite of the Tylenol he’d given her earlier. Come to think of it, he didn’t feel so good himself. All the more reason to get as far north as quickly as possible. He was determined he would keep Belle safe. Hadn’t he promised as much?
Because of course you did so well the last time.
He gripped the steering wheel harder, painfully hard to try and banish the demon that whispered failure and insecurities into his ear, but he couldn’t banish the memory that went along with it.
”I told you not to call me on this number, Wilson, you ass!” he hissed into the phone. “I mean… way to get your agent killed!”
Different handler, same shit.
He turned away from the others at the bar, others who he was trying to get to trust him, keep it real - keep his cover intact. Drummed into him all through Quantico, the importance of not letting even a hair slip out of place.
“Come on, Jay,” one of those others called out impatiently. He was supposed to be buying another round.
“Jared,” he snarled back in his best, ‘don’t fuck with my name’ attitude. “How many times! Fuck!” and to the phone he grumbled, “Make it quick.”
The bartender came to a stop in front of him, and rolling his eyes at the man, with a quiet, “Mothers huh?” he pointed at the bar, then at himself and the others of his small band.
" I can’t make this quick, Jefferson,” Wilson said, and something in his voice set his teeth on edge. “ I need you to come in.”
He nodded his thanks to the bartender, and tossed a few bills his way as the man set the drinks in front of him, then he pushed the other tumblers toward the others.
“Hang up the phone,” a particularly irritating, wiry little bastard whined. “We’re celebrating.”
"I wouldn’t call if it weren’t serious, I know better, but it’s…"
“I can’t,” he told Whiny, “It’s my P.O.”
If the nearby barkeep caught the slip, he said nothing. Even so Jefferson winced at his own carelessness.
“Ah, tell the motherfucker to go to hell,” another of the small band of thugs advised sagely. “We’ve all been there.”
Jefferson shook his head. “Nah, man,” he frowned and pulled the phone away from his ear, covering what would have been the mouthpiece on any analogue phone. “I gotta take this. I gotta go. I can’t go back inside.”
“Pussy!” the man said, and again Jefferson shook his head.
He pulled out another few bills and tossed them onto the top of the bar, before picking up his glass and tossing back the contents in a single swallow, and then slamming the glass back on the bar, called to the bartender, “When they’re ready,” before he began to push his way through the crowded bar.
“This better be good,” he growled at his handler, pushing open the door and heading out into the crisp, outside air.
"You gotta come in, kid,” Wilson said, and there was that tone again, worry, pain and sympathy all at once. “ I’m sorry… It’s Pricilla…”
And whether it was the alcohol and the fresh air at war, or the feeling of dread that rushed up on him, Jefferson suddenly felt the world spinning.
A shrill sound, loud in his ear - odd, because although he remembered feeling dizzy, a little faint even, he couldn’t recall a ringing in his ears. Other times, yes, but not then. Not when Wilson had been trying so hard not to tell him on the phone that they’d found his wife shot, execution style, beside her abandoned car.
He shook his head. “Don’t go there, Jefferson, just don’t…”
The sound came again, and between deep breathing and talking himself down, he slowly realized that it was the phone that he’d propped in the cup holder beside the half finished bottle of Gatorade that was ringing.
He snatched it up, answering and putting it on speaker.
“Well, well,” the long unheard, and yet chillingly familiar voice purred. “Agent Milnor.”
“Gold,” he managed, without a catch in his voice.
“Indeed,” Gold said.
“Took your fucking time,” he snapped. “I could have been… dying, bleeding out in some forgotten shit hole.”
“But you weren’t,” Gold answered. “Drop the theatrics, Milnor, we both know you’re posturing, and frankly it’s a waste of my time.”
“Oh… oh your time,” Jefferson answered, irritated for real and unwilling not to let Gold know.
“Do you want my help or not?” Gold’s calm was beginning to get at him even more. His head was pounding, his shoulder hurt like fuck, and the last thing he needed was Gold being an utter dick. He already held all the power in this transaction, what more did he want?
“You know I do,” he answered petulantly.
“I’m assuming this has something to do with the Governor’s daughter,” Gold said, amused. “You know, kidnapping her from her kidnappers - that’s rich, even for you.”
“Rescue, Gold…. Rescue,” Jefferson growled, “as you well know. Stop playing games. Are you going to help me or not?”
“The thing about negotiations, dearie, is that they require two interested parties. What you you possibly have that would interest me?”
“Fuck you, Gold, you owe me,” he spat.
“And as I recall, that is a mutual debt,” Gold snarled. “So when all this is said and done, you will still owe me."
Jefferson sighed, weighing up his options. It was a short deliberation. He had none.
“Fine!” he snapped. “What do you want?”
“Ah, no,” Gold returned to his chilling purr. “We can talk terms later, when I have you out of sight.” He paused slightly and then added, “I recognize a desperate soul when I see one.”
“Funny,” Jefferson deadpanned. “Don’t give up the day job.”
“Where are you?”
He winced even as he answered Gold’s question. “95 North.”
He heard, but couldn’t quite decipher the insult Gold threw his way, before he instructed, “Take the next exit.”
“Gold—” Jefferson began, but was cut off immediately. It seemed that Gold wasn’t to be interrupted.
“Keep driving north, and stick to the back roads, and when you get to Maine if there are signs for Dresden, follow them,” he said. “If not, pull in somewhere and text me your location. I’ll call you back with a safe route. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that if you need to stop for anything, pay only with cash.”
“I’m not so green as that any more,” Jefferson answered wearily.
“Excellent,” Gold snarked, “then stop making rookie mistakes. We’ll talk again soon.”
Gold cut the call before Jefferson could answer, and he was left with no other alternative but to pull back into the right late, and signal to take the next exit from the interstate. He tossed the phone back into the center console, and picked up the drink from the cup holder, taking a swig as he made a left turn onto a narrow, empty, country road, and started trying to figure out where the hell they were, and which was was north.
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Glorious, Before the Burden - The Light ~ 5
The only thing more miserable than waking up after a terrible night’s sleep was having to face my queen after my spectacular display of childishness during our private meal. I woke up feeling as if I HAD allowed myself to be trampled by Odin’s horse.
Getting ready took me longer than usual. Not only would I be faced with Frigga’s disappointment, but Loki would be in the background - my princely guard, forced to act as my shadow from the moment I’d arrived. Could my embarrassment grow any further?
Once I deemed myself presentable for my doom, I ventured forth - perhaps this would be the push that would get me sent home? I paled at the realization that if it was - the very shame of it would make my mother disown me and cast me out. Perhaps not the silver lining I wished.
“Sigyn,” Frigga’s greeting drew me out of my dark thoughts. Her tone the same maternal sweetness as ever was. “You look pale, are you not well?” Her brow furrowed with worry and she came closer, staring into my face as if to draw out of my gaze what the cause of my paleness could be - and I feared she just might have that power.
“I’m fine,” I assured her, trying for a smile, but no doubt failing - since her concern lessened not a drop. “I didn’t sleep well.” Honesty, after all, was paramount with my queen.
Frigga smiled kindly at me and patted my hand. “I heard,” of course she had, Loki had no doubt given her a report on my nightly wanderings. She took the same hand she’d patted and once again tucked it into the crook of her arm and started walking. It took me a moment to realize we were headed for her rooms again. “The first time you came here, with your parents, do you recall the visit?”
I thought back, I must have been very young - barely old enough to have a perfect memory. “Vaguely.”
“You were like a beacon,” she smiled. “Bright and glowing,” the table was still waiting, but aside from goblets and a pitcher - nothing else remained from my shame. “I watched you and I knew you had so much potential.”
“Is that why you asked for me to come here?” I’d always wondered why she chose me out of so many. Frigga let me pour our drinks after we sat.
“It’s one of the reasons.” Looking up at her, I knew she noted my curiosity. “I wasn’t the only member of my family who noticed your glow, Sigyn.” She looked like she had a glorious secret and I wished she’d share it. “You needed to come here so I could see how correct I was about your power and your -” Frigga appeared to be searching for the word that best suited what she wanted to convey to me. “Magnetism.”
“And?” Neither of us had taken so much as a sip from our goblets.
Frigga studied me. “Your power is vast, as all magical power is, Sigyn.” I nodded, this was something she told us all. “As for your magnetic pull -” I wondered what she meant, truly. “I’m still waiting to see how that part plays out.”
I waited for her to enlighten me, but that was all she seemed willing to give. “I should ask for a -” forcing down the building sigh, I asked for a companion or guard - “someone to accompany me, should I care to take in a nighttime stroll through the gardens. I’ve been told my wanderings aren’t safe.”
The smile that crept across her mouth looked so much like her son’s that I had a flash of the same sudden stunning that I’d felt in the garden. “He’s right, you know?” Getting no answer from me, a tiny laugh escaped from her mouth. “You’re as stubborn as he is.” Shaking her head with amusement, she agreed to a guard being at my disposal during any wanderings I might wish to make. “It won’t mean that -” but she stopped, her eyes seemed to dance with mirth. “Have you reconsidered accompanying Loki to Midgard?”
I couldn’t stop the sigh this time. I wanted to go, I did, but with HIM? “I do want to see another place -”
“You’re just not sure you want to see it on the arm of my -” her smile widened, “darling and charming son?”
I bit my lip and nodded. “I apologize for any -”
Frigga laughed, finding me funny apparently. “Please, don’t, Sigyn.” She was still smiling when she reached across the table and took my hand. “Never apologize for honesty. Never.” Even with her smile, she was serious. “Loki is -” again she searched for just the right word. “He’s so many things, but he’s not malicious. Go with him, see Midgard.” I took a deep breath and nodded. “Good. I’ll make the arrangements. Now go back to your rooms and rest. You look unwell.”
“Thank you,” I murmured, wondering what I’d just agreed to - a trip to an unknown realm with LOKI of all people.
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Glorious, Before the Burden - The Light ~ 4
I told myself that I would stay away from the garden that night. I would stay in my rooms, take a hot bath, and read until sleep took me. The garden could be Loki’s until Jotunheim took over this realm, I swore to myself. Let him have his pacing and sighing and the glow of the night sky - let him have the soft scent of the flowers and trees - I’d get my peace elsewhere.
Pacing my rooms, I thought of how he’d smirked at me, with his bright eyes and shiny black hair. How DARE he. To make an assumption, based entirely around my parents and THEIR ideals, to pull me out of the equation entirely - he knew NOTHING about me at all. Arrogant, terrible, snotty - I was running out of rude things to say about him.
Growling, I focused on letting my hair down. Soon it was loose, heavy down my back, and then with a sigh the gown was another burden gone. Bare, hair tickling the back of my knees, I moved to the bath. A hot bath, bordering on boiling, relaxes the tension that was coiling inside of me like a venomous snake, scented with chamomile and lavender - both components for a good night’s sleep.
I soaked, my hair swirling around me in the water that rose to just beneath my chin, and I thought of the offer - A trip to Midgard. If only he hadn’t ruined it with his sarcastic rudeness, it would have been a wonderful gift. To see another realm, one so closely aligned to ours, no matter the reasoning behind it - I did want it - if only he hadn’t - and round and round I went.
And I’d just had a tantrum in front of my queen - over her son’s behavior certainly, but still. That was - I sank under the water, almost wishing I could drown myself to keep from facing the embarrassment of my actions.
After my bath I dressed in the softest and silkiest of my nightgowns and picked up the last book that I’d picked from the library. My window seat had a thick cushion, the window lead paned and overlooking the garden - and it was also my favorite reading nook. Tucking my feet under me, I opened my book and got lost in the tale I’d chosen - letting it take me far away from Asgard and my irritation.
Night fell while I read - my book proving an excellent choice to take my mind off things that were better left not dwelling on. A chill ran up my spine, strange since my room was perfectly warm, and I looked up trying to find the source of the cold. The room looked completely empty - because of course it was - I had no attendants and I was alone. Shaking off the feeling of being watched, I tried to go back to my book, but the icy tingle came back and I sighed, shutting my book and glancing out the window into the garden that I suddenly wished I was visiting - and there HE stood.
Loki. Not pacing. Not sighing, that I could see from the angle of my window. Just standing still, dappled in the dim light of the night sky, pale skin and dark hair - eyes locked on my window - the same one I was looking out.
Swallowing so hard I felt like he could hear me, I contemplated hopping down and getting into my bed, but stopped myself. I had done nothing wrong. I was in MY rooms, reading a book, minding my own business. Why should I feel guilty for - what should I feel guilty for? And as if he could HEAR my mental struggle, a smirk came out to play on his lips and he gave a little wave. My eyes narrowed at the impertinence of him.
Huffing out an irritated breath I put my book down and got out of my window seat - stalked to my bed and yanked down the coverings. He could have the damn garden, I thought. He could stand there all night smirking and waving. I got into bed and pulled my blankets up to my chin, feeling none of the calmness I’d worked so hard to achieve with my bath and reading. I’d just go to sleep and - I’d think about what I’d do in the morning.
Sleep wouldn’t come. I lay in my bed, counting everything I could fathom including ways to torture Loki, and I could not under any circumstances find my path to sleep. It had to have been hours since he was in the garden, I told myself. HOURS since he stood there smirking up at me and waving. I really only needed to breathe in the night air and feel the peace and quiet of nothing that seemed to exist ONLY outside the walls.
Needing both sleep and peace, I slipped out of my bed in the dark - feet finding the slippers that I’d left waiting perfectly situated nearby and a cloak to cover my shift, in case I met a guard or someone else along the way. The silence that met me as I left my rooms was wonderful, but only partially what I yearned for, and I pushed on - the garden calling to me as surely as if it were using magic of its own.
The scent of it - apples and jasmine - had my eyes closing and my lips curling in a smile immediately. I wondered, as the soft smell of galbanum met me senses, when it was planted - I couldn’t recall having - WAIT A MINUTE -
My eyes snapped open and Loki was in front of me. “You,” my voice was quiet, since I wasn’t trying to raise an alarm - merely trying to swat an irritant. “Haven’t you annoyed me enough for one day?”
He looked amused and that gave me another rush of aggravation. “I annoy you, why, Lady Sigyn, I’m simply keeping you safe.”
Crossing my arms over my chest, I wondered for a moment if his proclivity for mischief had rendered him insensible. “Pardon?”
A full blown smile broke out on his face and I was rendered stunned - had I ever seen him smile, truly smile before? “Surely, you understand how dangerous it is for an unaccompanied Lady to venture out on her own, even in Asgard?” I waited. “You aren’t a scullery maid, Sigyn, you can’t just run about as if you are.”
“How long?” It dawned on me then - the first time - it wasn’t an accident or because he needed his own time in the garden.
Sighing, a familiar sound since he’d been doing it in this garden since I was ten years old. He looked down, not at me, but at the ground beneath us. “Since the first night you snuck out.” What? I’d only seen him - “I don’t need to hide in the bushes to not be seen, Lady Sigyn.” My eyes went shut again, how stupid could I be?
“Then I apologize for the inconvenience,” I murmured, taking a deep breath. “I’ll ask your mother for a companion -” It would be counter productive, but - When I opened my eyes, Loki’s back was to me. “I -” Another question rose to my lips before I could stop it. “Did you carry me inside?”
“When you fell asleep without warning?” He didn’t wait for me to answer, turning around he stared down at me. “Yes, I did.”
“Without warning?” I was staring up at him, confused. What did he mean?
His hand twitched, coming up as if he was going to touch - but then it dropped again. “You practically scream at me to go away,” his lips quirked. “It’s easy to know when you’re ready to go inside. That night you didn’t give it away.”
“Thank you,” why did I sound so breathless? “I’ll go in now. You shouldn’t have to -”
He nodded, but said nothing. Quiet Loki, so different from - no, he wasn’t. This was the Loki I was used to, just standing closer.
“Good night,” I offered, turning back to go inside.
“Sweet dreams, Lady Sigyn.” I thought I heard him say, but it could have been my imagination.
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Off the Only Path I Knew - Chapter 1 - Roommates
"I invited a few guys from the shinty club over for beers tonight," Jamie Fraser told his roommate. "Ye're welcome to join us."
John Grey looked up from the book he was immersed in and answered distractedly, "Oh, um, maybe. I'll see. I might go visit a friend."
Before Jamie could respond, John's face was buried in his book again. Jamie took a wee glance at the cover and saw that not only was his roommate reading Dante's Inferno, but he was reading it in the original Italian. Jamie shook his head at the sassenach and sat down at his desk. He opened his Advanced Calculus book and notebook but found himself staring blankly at the pages.
John was a good roommate. He was quiet, neat, and polite. He mainly kept to himself and a small group of friends that he never invited to their room. He wasn't a partier, but the few times Jamie had managed to engage John in a conversation outside of vague pleasantries, he found him to be witty and intelligent.
Jamie couldn't tell if John hated him or if John thought that Jamie hated him. It was more likely that it was just John’s British upbringing that caused him to be so stiff and formal, but it was strange to share a living space with someone who didn’t seem interested in getting to know him. His family home was a loud, joyful place, always full of family and friends who had no real sense of personal boundaries or privacy. So he had been thrilled that college meant a break from his meddling sister, his well-meaning but over-involved parents, the constant teasing of his older brother, the pestering of his little brother, and the constant flow of nosey relatives.
He found, however, that he missed the sense of belonging and acceptance. Sharing a space with someone so quiet and unassuming was a wee bit nerve-wracking. He would give anything for a quiet late-night conversation or even a shared meal with someone other than the lads from the shinty club.
Finish Reading on AO3
Tagging @lordjohngreyreadingnook for participation in the Lord John Birthday Event and Lord John AU event (I probably should have done a BINGO card).
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Glorious, Before the Burden - The Light ~3
Frigga’s rooms were much larger than mine, she was the Queen after all, but even with the abundance of space they felt warm and welcoming. As we’d walked to them, my hand tucked into the crook of her arm, flanked by her attendants, she’d asked me questions that she’d skimmed past during the time I’d been in her care.
“Tell me,” she knew how to keep her voice low enough so only the two of us could hear our conversation - a neat trick in the echoey reaches of the halls. “You’ve been with us for so long, my dear, has any of our young men caught your eye?” I shook my head - aside from Loki - and I’d rather allow Sleipnir to trample me than admit my nighttime activities in the garden - there’d been no one. “Not even one of Thor’s warriors?”
“No,” my face was betraying me, the idea of one of THEM. She chuckled. “I’m sorry, I must seem rude.”
“You don’t,” she soothed, smiling as an attendant rushed forward to usher us into the rooms. “You’re honest, that’s a very admirable trait. Your future husband’s family should expect it and revere you for it.” Husband - my chest felt tight. Would I never get to go home again? “Come and sit with me, Sigyn.” The table was set and Loki was waiting - while we all ate in the hall together, usually Thor was present with his group and as boisterous as they were it was easy to get lost in the pandemonium.
I walked to the table and thought that one of Frigga’s attendants would hold my chair, as one was doing so for her, but instead it was Loki who rose and took it in hand. Saying a silent prayer that I wouldn’t stumble or babble - nothing to make a fool of myself in front of both the Queen of Asgard and one of its princes - I took a deep breath and let him help me into my seat.
“Thank you,” I murmured, startled when his scent invaded my senses. Crisp like the green apples that grow in the garden, fragrant like the jasmine blossoms that hid me from view, but also masculine sandalwood and leather - Asgardian leather, of course - with an undercurrent of something exotic like galbanum. My eyes went shut and I swallowed hard, fighting to get my heartbeat to slow down, wondering why it was trying so desperately to pound out of my chest from just the scent of him.
The room was silent when I opened my eyes, Frigga and Loki were staring at one another and I had the uncomfortable feeling that they were having a discussion that only THEY could hear. While I waited for them to finish, I took a long drink from the goblet I was happy to see was already filled and set by my plate. That slight movement forced them to recall that I was present - and so our meal began.
At first we ate, and very little was said. Which was fine with me since I was still trying to understand WHY Loki’s scent was so potent? Surely I’d been close enough to smell him before? I was trying to think of a time - anytime - during my time in Frigga’s care that he and I were pressed into the same group or made to work together, but no - there was nothing.
A horrible thought occurred to me - what if the reason we hadn’t worked together, even though we were so evenly matched, was because he found me repugnant? That was the reason he never noticed me, I realised. It was why only Thor seemed to know my name and why he never spoke to me at all.
“Sigyn?” I looked up from my plate to find Frigga’s smile soft and kind. “I wonder -” my head tilted, waiting for her to ask me for whatever it was she wanted - she was my queen after all. “Would you accompany Loki -” I wasn’t sure I heard her correctly.
“I’m sorry,” interrupting her felt wrong, but I wanted to be certain that I wasn’t hearing things. “Would I accompany who?”
“Me,” Loki’s voice - of course I’d heard it before, but never this close. It sounded like - music. “Mother would like you to accompany me on a visit to Midgard.” My eyes widened beyond anything they’d ever gone before. “If you’d rather not -”
“No, it’s not that -” I’d never gone outside our realm - Midgard was - “Why me?”
Loki smirked, clever and sure. “Well, because Mother thinks that you should see something more of the Nine Realms before you’re put to market.”
From wide to narrow. “Put to market.” My lips pinched. “Is that a joke?”
“No, it’s what they do for all you eligible, marriable ladies, isn’t it?” Clipped and precise, he studied me. “Your parents sent you here to find a husband, Lady Sigyn. Plain and simple. The higher up the social ladder the better.”
“My parents sent me here at the request of Queen Frigga,” I spat back at him. “And I’d rather go to Midgard with a - “ I stood up and glared down at him, the ONLY time I had the height advantage. “An ASS.” Straightening my back and holding my head up, I turned to face Frigga with a forced smile. “Pardon me, my queen, but I think I’d like to be excused. I’m feeling SICK.”
She nodded her assent and I walked out without a backward glance at Loki. Damn him and his quick wit.
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Glorious, Before the Burden- The Light~2
Months passed - then years - I’m told that time goes on differently in different parts of the Nine Realms, but in Asgard it seemed to stretch on and unlike grains of sand in an hour glass it seemed that each grain of sand went separately through the hole marking time’s passage - making it go on and on.
Loki continued to invade the garden - still not seeing or acknowledging me in my tiny spot of peace. Nor did I show myself to him, more comfortable was I to sit and watch him - still pacing and sighing - always needing to let off steam or energy before I would grow so weary I’d fear falling asleep in my hidden spot and like he’d heard my plea - a deep breath and he’d take leave.
Once I’d grown so tired while he paced and had his internal struggle that I couldn’t actually recall the walk back to my rooms - yet I woke up there, still fully dressed with my hair in the complicated braids so popular among our people, yet not at all comfortable for rest - on top of my blankets. Muscle memory, it must have been, I thought, as I undressed and removed the braids - crawling under the blankets to get a little more sleep before I was due to meet Loki and Frigga for another round of magical learning. How else could I explain not remembering walking back to my rooms?
While the others in our group were taught how to harness their innate powers, Loki and I, though not paired together - were working on furthering not only the elemental abilities we were gifted with, but also what would be expected of us by the grace of our birthrights. Loki, son of Odin, a prince of Asgard would be taught how to - well how to lead.
And me? As the daughter of a family line that fell close enough to Odin’s to assure me a very good marriage, I was taught precisely how to rule a household in the same vein that Frigga did - which meant that I was no longer expected to be at her side only during our studies, but also during the rest of the day.
My evenings in the garden became even more necessary for my peace. As time passed, and I grew older - years added to my age with the fanfare afforded the passing of a normal day - until one day Frigga seemed startled by the change in me.
“Sigyn,” her voice was so hushed that even those who had been added to the group - the youngsters - looked up. “You’re a woman now.”
The smile that flitted across my face could have been a butterfly, it had barely left a trace. Yes, I am a woman now. A woman fully grown, and fully learned, I thought. Yet here I stood, no closer to my future than I had been when I arrived as a small scared ten year old. My gowns had changed as I had, subtly and simply. My hair, when I allowed it to hang loose, would hang to past my knees. I hadn’t grown MUCH, still needing to look UP to nearly everyone - Frigga, the other students, Thor, Odin, and most definitely Loki, when he would acknowledge me, rarity though it was.
My parents were frequent visitors. Careful to ask both Odin and Frigga about my progress, and also quick to interrogate me about any possible suitors - but how was I to have any when I spent every hour within arm’s reach of my queen? This never pleased them, and Mother was quick to look peeved and mention to Father that the entire reason for my placement within Odin’s court was to secure - but then they’d notice my avid attention and her mouth would snap shut and away they’d go.
“We really must have -” Frigga stopped and her smile grew. “Loki?” He glanced up from his book, he’d been reclining on the window seat reading and looked confused. “Could you go ask -” and she gave him instructions for a small meal to be sent to her private chambers. “For three, Loki.” He nodded, his eyes never landing on me at all and then left, his book tucked under his arm. “Come,” she pulled my arm under hers, and walked with me to her room. “I think it’s high time you and I had a private chat, Sigyn.”
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Chapter 123: Old Dogs
Goro finds out why the Arasaka surgeons have asked him about 'vanity options'.
Never before had he been asked about cosmetic options when surgeons upgraded his cyberware. Never before now, that is.
Given that Hanako-sama had named Oda as the recipient for the ‘chrome’ she had ordered, this only confirms Goro’s worst assumptions about his former apprentice’s vanity.
They had offered him all of it, which he had accepted.
The cosmetic options, he declined.
“I am not from Kyōto,” he had told them. “It must work, that is all.”
Chapter 124: Ghost Town
Vee and Johnny stop by at the Afterlife for intel on Hellman before heading to Pacifica.
On the way from Vik’s clinic to the samurai’s hideout, she had been too busy not crashing the car into stuff to pay much attention to her surroundings. Now, on the way back, that’s no longer the case, and for the first time she notices how plastered Night City is with ads.
They’re everywhere, trying to grab her attention, trying to get her eddies. Orgiatic makes the jingle go off in her head. If she buys two items from All Foods Limited Edition (40% off), she’ll get one free. There’s a new US Cracks album — Johnny scoffs at that — and EL GUAPO has need for steed. Also, Arasaka home security promises a brighter future, together.
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Tim Drake x FemReader
Summary: The Reader (Y/n) starts to form a crush on Tim, during their time on campus. Y/n tries to distract Tim from his work on cases, and eventually turns into a lot and a lot of a sexy, smutty, Romance✨
During the first 3 weeks back from the holidays. The campus Y/n went to had a few change ups during the summer. What y/n didn’t realise was, she would have to be spending her time in a dorm with a boy!
Y/n didn’t mind if it was some of the jocks and athletes. She didn’t mind that at all. But no, she got in a dorm with one of the Nerdies. It was safe to say she was a little annoyed but she barely raised her attention to it, but was a little surprised to find it was Tim Wayne, or Tim Drake. Or however he would say it.
Tim Drake, the little rich nerdy boy, who’s adopted by the most Famous billionaire playboy, Bruce Wayne.
Y/n would be lying if she said she didn’t fancy his dad. Bruce Wayne was rather good looking. He was absolutely gorgeous in her eyes, she was in awe over his dad. A little weird, yes, and a little to old for her too. But I guess it’s okay to have those little mini fantasies. All girls have them.
But she would also be lying if she said, Tim wasn’t good looking either. Sure he wasn’t the BEST looking guy on earth, but damn was he smart and had good biceps on him. Y/n would always try to have a sneaky peak at them whenever they were in the dorm together, and when he wasn’t looking in her direction but facing the computer. He would sometimes have his sleeves rolled up til the elbow, but even through the shirt you can still see the outline of his defined arms and muscles.
Y/n surprised herself, dreaming about him holding her with his muscly arms and toned legs. She would even imagine how his fingers would deeply plunge into her-
No! Stop it y/n, snap out of it. He’s a nerd!
A sexy smart nerd! She thought, even though while mentally cursing to herself when her daydreams would take over to seriously and too obsessively.
For a popular girl like her. She shouldn’t be dreaming about nerds, sexy nerds, or smart nerds!
Y/n’s type was manly jocks and fit athletes. But for some reason her type has changed. She used to make fun out of nerds or geeks like Tim, never him herself but others like him. And for some reason, he fascinates her. Intrigues her. She has no idea how or why, but he just is.
Maybe some part is because he’s good looking but maybe because he’s not like the others, in the way he does things. He doesn’t act like a nerd but does things nerds do. He goes on his computer and practically puts his interest there and no where else. Not once has y/n see him left his computer or paper work assignments.
Maybe to go for food but that was mainly it. They never really spoked but just concentrated on themselves.
But y/n wanted to change that. She wanted to see if he could hold a conversation.
She laid there on her bed staring up at the ceiling before speaking. “Tim,” she said.
But no answer came. Tim thought he was hearing things. Why would she say my name?He was genuinely confused but ignored it. He was probably hearing things.
Y/n sighed frustratedly. did he just ignore me? She was a little annoyed that he did. Or he might’ve not heard her, maybe she needs to speak more loudly.
“Tim,” she said again, this time loud enough for him to hear her.
Tim nearly jerked at the sound of her voice, yeah, it sounded like one of those little spoiled rich girls who have big houses and shop until hearts content. Well she was popular and rich, not as rich as him though.
Tim raised and furrowed his eyebrows, a little shocked that she would suddenly speak his name. Maybe he wasn’t hearing things. When he turned his head to the side with a ‘Mmm’ for an answer. Y/n saw the side of his little cute confused face. She smiled slightly, happy she’s got his attention before sitting up and walking over to him and his computer, saying “Timmy,” her voice rang through his hears again, so sweet but mean at the same time.
“What?” Was all he replied, baffled as to what she wants.
“Watcha doing,” her voice hanged in the air again.
Why is the most popular girl on campus asking ‘what I’m doing’. Tim found this all to weird. But replied “just a few papers.” He paused “you?”
She wanted to laugh, he was so cute when he was confused. “Ohh, just nothing. Just... really, really bored.” She purred in his ear, a little tinge spark went through his body, making him shiver. Is she horny? No, no she was just asking a question.
As y/n steps closer to Tim about to wrap her arms around his shoulders for whatever reason, he jerks forward looking at her dazed “woah..wha-what are you doing?” He jumped forwards, now fully turning around to look at her.
Y/n just shrugged her shoulders at him “was just wondering what you were doing,” she smiled before walking away to the door opening it, to reveal her friends waiting outside squealing.
Tim sat there in his chair, beyond baffled, eyes wide as he swivelled around to face the computer. What the hell was that.
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Glorious, Before the Burden - The Light~1
He didn’t see me, not the first time, when he crept into the moonlit gardens away from - well everything that I was hiding from too I supposed. I’d found that I could actually hide away into a nook that no one ever noticed, not even during the brightest light of the day and find some semblance of peace. I knew that no one would understand - why would I need PEACE here? Asgard was everything right and beautiful - the palace of Odin and Frigga was a wonderland - and I was not only a welcome guest, but one whom Frigga had requested to be raised at her elbow.
My parents had seen it as something of a coup - an elevation among even the most elite of our people, of which they counted themselves - to have Odin’s own queen to ask for their only child to live and learn at her side. I’d known better than to beg against going. Asking to stay home, to be reared by my own parents, in my own home, after Frigga had requested my presence would not only be seen as ridiculous by my parents, but it would have gone against all etiquette known to the Nine Realms.
And so, at the tender age of ten years old, I’d been bundled off to live under the keen eye of Odin. Under the same roof as his boisterous son Thor and his quieter, yet somehow more playful son Loki - with Frigga taking me carefully under her maternal wing. She truly didn’t offer the same hearth and home to many others. While Thor had a group of three fellows - Volstagg, Fandral, and Hogun - chosen from near and far to train with the more physical Odinson, Loki and I had few others joining us with Frigga. Rarely they lasted, and those who did kept to themselves, or broke off into their own pairs. Sif, chosen to learn with us, broke away and found her place alongside Thor’s group.
Frigga was both soft and nurturing while also a heavy taskmaster. She had seen an aptitude in each of us and expected us to put forth the effort to maximize it. If we weren’t doing our part, working hard and at the level she expected from us, then we could expect to see her disappointment.
The work wasn’t difficult - not for me OR him - but this wasn’t HOME either. I had trouble sleeping. Even if the rooms I’d been given were spacious and gorgeously decorated. Frigga had come to visit them, the evening I’d arrived, to welcome me and to let me know that I could change anything I wished to -
“It’s well within your power, Sigyn.” Her smile was sweet, and she looked as gentle and kind as she always had during the visits my parents had included me in. “All you have to do -”
I shut my eyes and focused, changing the bed hangings from the pale pastels that someone else had chosen to the darkest red I could imagine - like blood from an artery and when I opened my eyes they were just as I’d wanted. “I know,” I murmured and Frigga’s smile grew. “Mother told me that I would stay until -”
Her smile had faltered, just for a moment, but I’d caught it. “You’ll stay, my sweetness, until you’ve learned all I can teach you.” Her tone wasn’t stern, nor were her words said in harshness, but there was something thick that ran through them - something heady that I didn’t quite understand.
And so, as I learned - soaking up the knowledge that Frigga gifted me with like a sponge might water during a bath - but I still had problems sleeping. Unless I could spend time outside, in the dark, in the silence.
The first time, he didn’t notice me - as I said - hidden in my little nook of leaves and fragrant blossoms. I watched him, the quiet, mischievous one. The one more than capable of winning in a battle of wits OR a battle of strength - by utilizing the same tricks. Loki Odinson, an Asgardian prince, and while we were on par in our studies, we were still strangers - months into my stay here.
He wandered the garden, pacing, sighing. I considered, since he was older than I, that perhaps I was destined to see a tryst. That Loki had made an appointment with one of the more than willing ladies I’d noticed taking notice of him - while they all openly gasped and gaped at Thor and his “warriors” - I could see them whisper and bite their lips as Loki walked past, his nose in a book or his eyes focused on something far beyond what was in front of him. If I’d seen them, surely so had he.
While I stayed hidden, wishing beyond belief that I could teleport as he could, at least he stayed alone. Simply wandering the garden, taking in the night, much as I did - perhaps he was having issues sleeping as well.
Loki stayed long past the time when I was growing weary and I was hoping that he’d grow tired soon - if only so I could go inside to my waiting bed - and as though he’d somehow heard my wish he finally took one last deep breath and shook his head, then headed inside. I waited a few extra moments, his room was further along than mine, but I wanted to be certain that he’d gone on before I chanced it - and once I felt I’d given him enough of a head’s start, I left my hidden spot and went inside.
My rooms - I’d swapped out the colors more times than I could count - nothing seemed to fit or made me feel comfortable, were as warm as I could want them. The temperature, like the colors, were controllable by me. My bath was adjacent and I could ask for help from any of those who were tasked with keeping Odin’s realm looking and running smoothly or I could take care of matters myself - the entire point of Frigga’s tutelage was to learn to manage things on my own. Magic wasn’t simply for glamour or illusions. Use it for the purposes it was intended for - to make lives better, easier - not only mine, but others.
And so, I’d learned, through trial and much error, how to dress myself and fix my own hair - Frigga was always available to come help undo anything that I had made a mess of - ready to not only show me where I’d gone wrong, but also how to make sure that I didn’t go wrong in the same way again. Unfortunately there are a vast myriad of ways to go wrong with magic and I felt like I was going to touch upon each one.
As I undressed and took down my hair for bed, I considered the idea that I might have to share my spot in the garden with Loki - a heavy sigh built inside of me. It was the one place I’d found to have for my own - all my own. Crawling into the bed, I appeased myself with the reality that he’d ONLY shown up once - I’d been going there almost nightly for months now. Perhaps that meant that it was a one time visit.
Drifting off, I couldn’t help but think of how he’d looked, with the pale light that lit the garden at night shining down on his pale skin and dark hair. So very different than when we were working with his mother and the others during the day or having dinner in the hall. His skin - I yawned, sleep whispering sweet nothings to draw me under - it looked almost blue.
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To Have a Heart Series Masterlist
Pairing: Commoner/Thief Loki x Princess Reader
Series Warnings: swearing, smut, fluff, two endings (one sad one happy), crimes, alcoholism, drinking, slight angst, mentions of violence, some violence
A princess in search of an adventure meets a thief at a tavern.
This fanfiction is not completed.
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