An AU in which you’re a librarian, and Loki’s fingertips brushing against yours as you take his card makes you blush
(shoutout to @the-emo-asgardian and @is-it-madness for helping me decide to narrate this fic from loki’s point of view! you guys rock!!)
also, as a tom hiddleston fan, “ehehehe” was bound to make an appearance in one of my fics sooner or later. let’s just hope i used it well
Loki watched as the crowd of people you just helped filed out the door, shoving receipts printed with due dates into the spine of their books. He thinks about them, men and women going home to their families with a novel they won’t have the time to even begin, let alone finish. Eight years now, Loki had spent living on Midgard and he still couldn’t understand it. Why would they risk the embarrassment of coming back to the library every week, knowing full well they didn’t do anything with what the building provided them?
Well… probably because the only employee would never say something about it.
You were at the circulation desk now, sighing deeply as you pinch the bridge of your nose. You always did that, Loki had noticed, after you helped large groups. Like any extended period of social interaction made you tired. Loki couldn’t judge you for that. While he was perfectly capable of being charming and outgoing when he needed to be, he didn’t particularly enjoy it.
So he gives you a few minutes, and once you’ve had a sip of water and typed a few words into your computer, he steps towards the desk.
“Hi.” you say, meeting his eyes. Loki nods.
“Hello.” he greets you back.
That was always the extent of your conversations. You would look at Loki with your wide eyes- they really were beautiful, unlike any others he had seen on Midgard. You looked at Loki with such a kindness about you, like you wouldn’t second guess giving him a hug if he started crying right then and there.
Thor would take offense to this. Loki can almost hear his brother’s voice in his head, telling him that it’s better for someone to only look at one person that way.
But the fact you treated all your patrons with a good disposition didn’t make Loki feel like he wasn’t special, or whatever else Thor meant when he was saying things like that. Loki liked knowing there were people like you, who were nice to everyone because there was no reason not to be. It was a type of person Loki had never been around growing up. It was… comforting, to see now.
And besides, you had a sense of humor as well. Loki never confirmed this himself, but you often sent people away from the counter laughing. And there was a face you’d make, one Loki could never look away from. You’d scrunch your nose, then let out a genuine laugh. In a quiet library, you took up all the space.
Your words tear Loki from his thoughts.
“You know…” you hold up one of his books. Othello. “You can buy this book. Or at least renew it, instead of returning it and then checking it out again every week.” your eyes twinkle. Loki finds himself momentarily at a loss for words.
“I could.” he agrees. You lean forward, seemingly eager to hear Loki’s answer. Loki’s eyes scan the small building. You’re alone. He smirks. “But I would hate to bar anyone else from a classic.” he says. You suck in a breath.
“I hate to say it, but no one in this town is going to read Shakespeare. I would know, because I manage the holds list.” you scan the book, the machine next to you making a beeping noise. Loki hums.
“Well.” Loki begins. Your eyebrows raise at the god, an action he often finds himself doing. It’s interesting to see someone else do it. “In that case, I could easily buy the play, yes. But I wouldn’t ever be able to bring myself to. I enjoy the older books. Loose pages, broken spines. They have a certain charm to them.”
You blink, staring at Loki in wonder.
“Yes.” you say, with emphasis. “Oh my gosh, exactly. And, okay please don’t think I’m weird, but the-”
“Smell?” Loki finishes for you. Your smile is contagious, Loki finds the corners of his mouth drifting up, too.
“Yeah! It doesn’t come with new books.” you exclaim. You shrink back. “Sorry.” you say, self consciously. “I don’t know many people who like books the way I do.” Loki watches you pack your excitement away, and for some reason, it weighs on him deep in his chest.
“Don’t apologize.” he tells you. “And now you do. One person who shares your interest is better than none.”
You look at Loki with a sense of amazement, almost like you can’t believe he’s standing in front of you. “Yeah.” you say, your voice sounding lighter than it was before. “It is.”
You shake your head, like you’re breaking yourself out of a daze. “Um, I’ll need your card. To check you out. To check your books out! Not you, I wouldn’t do that.” you knit your eyebrows together in frustration. “Not that I wouldn’t because you’re unattractive or anything- you’re handsome, it’s just that-”
“Here.” Loki’s biting back a laugh now, handing you his library card to put you out of your misery. You seem thankful when he does.
Loki’s fingertips brush your own when you take the piece of plastic from him, and it sends jolts of electricity through his hand. It takes him by surprise, his body reacting so strongly to such a simple touch.
You feel it too: Your breath hitches, barely. It’s nothing another human would be able to detect, but in Loki’s godlike stature, you may as well have gasped out loud.
You retract your hand at what must be a record speed, scanning the card and laying it on the counter so there’s no chance of contact again. You push the books towards Loki.
“Thanks for coming in.” you say. “And for that chat. It was fun.”
“Yes.” Loki says tentatively. He takes the books. “It was.”
With that, Loki turns towards the exit, fully prepared to leave and continue his day as planned.
Loki looked back at you as he was halfway through the door. Your hands were busy, scanning papers and moving pencils in a way that made Loki think you were trying to look occupied as opposed to actually being so.
“I… Pardon me.” Loki steps back towards the counter. You look up at him with wide eyes, a red tint still flushing your cheeks. Loki does his best not to focus on it.
“Returning Othello already?” you ask. “That was fast, even for you.” Loki scoffs.
“No, not quite yet. Listen, I assure you, I am not usually not this forward, but…” Loki’s grip on his stack of books tightens. “Would you like to grab a drink sometime?”
“Hmmm.” you’re holding a pen in your hand, click-click-clicking it as you talk. “You do remember I’m a librarian, right?” your words sound like a rejection, but you’re beaming as you bite your lip.
Loki finds himself smiling back- you’re playing a game. Teasing.
“Ehehehe.” he laughs. “You’re right, how silly of me. Coffee, then?”
Your smile lights up the room as you reach forward, taking Loki’s hand and flattening it out. He feels the dull point of your ballpoint pen as you write your number, as well as your warm breath on his arm. Loki suppresses a shudder- a good kind, from anticipation more than anything else.
“Call me, mister…” your eyes drift to the receipt you had printed just moments before. “Laufeyson.”
“I will.” Loki tells you. He holds up his hand with your writing. “Don’t sweat it.” One of the only Midgardian phrases Loki has picked up on. He hopes it worked, and thinks it does when you roll your eyes.
“Oh my god, you’re jokester. A Trickster, even.” Loki grins. You have no idea. he thinks to himself.
He pushes the glass door open and walks away, his spirits higher than they’d been in, well…
The last eight years.