‘You’re so different.’ Loki murmured, his hand stroking your face, sliding down your neck and resting in the crook of your collar bone.
You smiled at him, head resting on the pillow as you gazed into his eyes. Smoothing your fingers along his smooth hip, you felt the firmness of his skin, just enjoying the feeling of his body beneath your fingers. 'Different?’ You asked.
Loki propped himself up on his elbow to gaze down at you, taking your hand in his and pressing kisses to each knuckle. 'I’ve told you about my father, bits and pieces.’
'I remember. I don’t know if you want to, err, ruin the mood, I’ll listen to any of your worries though.’
Loki nodded, looking around the candlelit room. 'You’re nothing like he says you should be.’
'People often surprise you when you get to know them, Loki.’
Loki nodded somberly. 'You certainly have.’ He kept your hand by his face, smoothing his thumb across the back of your hand and sighed, closing his eyes. Slowly he shook his head. 'The coronation is the day after tomorrow, my absence will be missed.’
'You tried telling them your concerns?’ You asked.
Loki’s eyes darkened and he pulled away for a moment, 'Let’s not think about that. Let’s… just, just you and I, tonight. Plans are set in motion. One more night, for now.’
'Alright.’ You smiled, reaching up to stroke his cheek, 'Hey, it’s going to be alright, ok?’ You cupped his cheek, sitting up and leaning towards him to kiss him gently. Your lips met his in a soft kiss, angling his face gently so you could deepen the kiss, as Loki sighed into your touch, passion growing between the two of you. Loki rolled over, crawling on top of you…
You were startled from your reverie. What an odd memory to recall, tonight all these years later.
Sitting in your living room, sipping a glass of tea, you gazed out the window, watching heavy sleet outside. It threatened to turn to snow but it wasn’t quite cold enough. Instead it was dangerously icy, horrible conditions for driving and you were thankful you had nowhere to be.
Glancing down the hall, you listened for signs of activity, but nothing stirred. You stifled a yawn, and yet, you weren’t quite ready for sleep. Perhaps you could read. You looked to your bookshelf, there were plenty of available books which called to you, but none in particular drew your interest. There was a restlessness in the air.
Maybe that second cup of coffee at lunch time had been a bad idea.
Making your way to the kitchen you set the kettle on to boil, perhaps more tea would do you good.
As you stood in the kitchen, staring at the kettle – a watched pot never boils – you thought you heard the sound of a car outside. Curious, you made your way towards the front door, peeking out.
Bright lights in the driveway confirmed your suspicion and moments’ later, huddled in the rain, a stranger stood at your door, tapping gently.
To the opposite of common sense, you opened the door a crack. A swirl of green light, vaguely familiar danced across your vision and you blinked, staring at the man.
'Hello.’ The man stammered, against the roar of the storm, 'Please, my vehicle broke down, might I come in from the storm?’
'Yes, perhaps for a cup of tea?’ You offered. Alarm bells rang in your head, but you stepped to the side, ushering the man in. Helping him inside, you stepped to the side and helped him remove his heavy overcoat, clearly expensive and well-made, hanging it on the coat hanger in the hall.
You should never invite a strange man into your house alone at night, a voice in your head screamed. A calm soothing voice quickly answered that you knew this man and he meant no harm, he was merely here for conversation and would be gone shortly. For some reason, the screaming voice was assuaged by this and felt calm.
You smiled at the man, now comforted that the man meant no harm and pleased at the prospect of a late night chat over tea.
'You said something about tea?’ The man asked in a strange yet familiar accent.
'I just set the kettle on to boil.’
He nodded, 'In the kitchen I imagine?’
You nodded, 'Right before you arrived, I’m afraid.’
'Please, lead the way.’
You blinked, 'To the kitchen?’
The man nodded.
'Showing you the kitchen won’t make the kettle boil faster.’
'Perhaps more time has passed than you thought.’ The man flashed a toothy grin, it seemed playful, and again so familiar.
You tried to inspect his face, wanting to examine it for details. To place his hair color, perhaps if he had an angular nose, or perhaps a sharp chin, yet each time you stared for too long you felt the strongest sensation that you were being rude and should look away. He was so mundane, yet you were certain he was handsome, and yet even that you couldn’t be sure of.
Fighting back the urge to sigh, you motioned him to follow you into the kitchen. Just as you reached the kitchen, or perhaps when the man entered, the kettle was at full boil, whistling properly and you blinked. It couldn’t have been that long, could it?
You glanced back at the man and he smiled. Did he have a crooked smile? Or was it perfectly straight?
'I’ll make tea.’ You muttered.
'How can I help?’
You shook your head, 'You’re the guest, just tell me how you like it.’
The man instructed you and you followed his wishes, once more struck by the familiarity of it but many people liked their tea made that way. When each of you had your cups, you invited him to sit in the living room, each at opposite ends of the couch.
Both of you sat in silence and for the first time, the man was no longer smiling. The quiet confidence he had had upon his arrival, from when he first saw you, seemed to have vanished. He shifted in his seat, fidgeting nervously, stirring absently at his tea, gazing around the room, staring a long time at your books, looking at your decorations and always stealing glances at you.
'So.’ You tried to break the awkward silence.
'Yes?’ He perked up, looking at you eagerly.
You took a large sip of tea and swallowed hard before nodding slowly, 'Err, do you have a name?’
The man blinked. 'Tom.’
'Tom. That’s a nice name.’
You smiled thinly, setting your tea back on your knees and staring at it.
Tom looked away.
You looked away, then back at him. You had the distinct impression that he was lying. For some reason, you had the distinct impression that he wanted you to know he was lying. 'So uh Tom…’
“Tom” didn’t respond before remembering that you were addressing him, turning to look back at you, 'Yes?’
'What brings you out here?’
'Searching…’ He trailed off, seeming to struggle for the words.
'Did you lose people in the event?’ You swallowed.
His eyes widened, 'Is that why…?’
'I was… I was one that lost five years.’ You swallowed hard and looked away.
The man nodded, it didn’t feel right calling him Tom when you knew it was a lie. 'I’m so sorry.’
'Thanks. Good thing that got sorted though.’
He chuckled dryly, 'Yes, I suppose so.’
You raised an eyebrow. 'Then everyone was just back.’ Sighing you shook your head, 'Sorry, don’t know why I’m dropping this on you, 'Uh do you want me to get a phone so you can call a mechanic or something?’
'Surely your boyfriend can help?’
You blinked and shook your head, laughing weakly, 'Heh, no sorry. I look after myself, I already met my true love and had my happily ever after. Thanks though.’
The man looked at you confused, 'You what?’
'Listen, I don’t know what your game is, I’m still not sure why I invited a stranger into my house near midnight.’ You shook your head as the voice tried to assure you that it was fine, he would be leaving soon, calm down. 'I don’t know who you are mister, but listen, people just showing up in a person’s house this late at night and asking for tea is weird.’ Your voice started to rise in pitch and volume. You stood up, growing agitated, 'Shit, what is wrong with me.’
The man stood up, 'Listen, I can explain.’
'No, you listen. I don’t know who you are, but you need to leave.’
You and the man turned to look as from the hallway a young girl of about seven stood there in her nightgown, holding a stuffed cat, blinking sleepily, rubbing at her eye. She had long black hair and yawned wide, looking between the two of you very confused.
The man looked at you sharply then back to the girl, 'Who is this?’
Immediately you stepped between your daughter and the man, 'I told you to leave.’
'Mom?’ The little girl repeated, confusion and a bit of fear rising in her voice.
'Rose, honey, go back to bed and call 911.’
'Please don’t.’ The man murmured softly but in a voice that demanded obedience.
To your surprise, Rose didn’t move.
A green shimmer appeared around the man and suddenly before you, after all these years, standing in your living room clear as day.
'Is that Dad?’ Rose asked softly.
You blinked, stepping back into her and gripping her shoulder, taking her hand. With your other hand your reached up to your mouth and bit your fist, feeling a sob rise in your chest. Slowly you shook your head, 'It can’t be.’ You sank to your knees, falling to the floor. 'You were gone for seven years…’
'You truly waited for me all this time?’ Loki asked stepping forward slowly, kneeling down and wrapping his arms around you.
You shook your head, pushing him away. 'How could you do this to me? To us?’ You hugged Rose tightly, sobbing into her shoulder.
Rose peered over at Loki, inspecting him curiously. She looked at him, as angry as she clearly wanted to be, he had abandoned them, you had told them so many good things about him, and only good things, she couldn’t truly be mad.
'My love…’ Loki whispered.
'I heard of your brother on earth…’ You glanced up at him tearfully.
'He tried to kill me after the coronation.’ Loki glanced away, 'Sort of. It’s complicated.’
'I’d rather erm, Rose?’ Loki glanced at your daughter, 'I’m the father?’
You nodded, 'She’s your daughter.’
Tears welled in Loki’s eyes. 'We made her?’
You bit your lip, 'You don’t get to be happy about her yet! You have to explain!’
'I’m trying.’ Loki pleaded, 'I don’t want to tell her all the ugliness, there’s a lot of death.’
'We both were taken away by the event!’
'So was I.’ Loki responded pleadingly.
'The one who caused the event saw to it personally.’
'Oh Loki.’ You rushed to him throwing your arms around his neck and hugging him tightly.
'I was kept away from you, it is only by the most extenuating circumstances that I did not return immediately to your side. For that I am truly and deeply sorry. It will never be enough, and to have missed so much of Rose’s life I will forever be in debt but I wish I could begin to make amends. I have died three times and returned from it, I won’t go into the grizzly details to spare her the grief but I have had, well, I have had some supernatural means keeping me from being the father I would like to have been had I known I was a father.’
Rose’s face softened as she looked at you and then back at Loki, 'Is that true mom?’
'I believe him, with my entire heart.’
Loki knelt down before her, 'Please, can you find it in your heart of hearts to work to begin to forgive me?’
Rose smiled, wrapping her arms around him, 'Yes, I think I can. I’d really like to have a dad.’
'I would love to be a dad.’
Loki scooped her up into his arms and held her, hugging her tight. 'You are a gorgeous little girl, you know that?’
'Thanks, err dad.’
'Loki or dad is fine. I understand if you do not view me as you father, I know my absence will make me have to earn the title.’
You hugged them both, 'It really has been long time no see, huh.’ You leaned against him and rested your cheek on his shoulder. 'Were you using magic to mess with my mind so I’d trust you?’
'I didn’t know if you’d accept me just turning up out of nowhere.’
'So what did you expect?’
'I just had to check up on you. I had to make sure that you were well and had moved on. I didn’t want to uproot your life if you had found happiness without me. I would not begrudge you for finding a loved one without me, it has been many years for a mortal.’ Loki replied sadly.
'I could never. Like I said, I found my true love. Maybe, maybe after Rose graduated high school and things were settled I could look into the dating scene again, but for now?’ You shook your head, 'I’m too hung up on my last love. He was too perfect.’
Loki leaned down and met your lips in a kiss.
'Eww, gross!’ Rose pushed the two of you apart, shoving Loki’s chest away from you. 'No kissing! That’s not going to be a thing between you two now is it?’
'All the time, I hope?’ Loki said, then looked at you.
You grinned, 'Oh yes, all the time.’
Rose rolled her eyes before giggling and poking your nose.