With a myriad of writers, artists, and editors - and directors, now that we're getting decent movie and television renditions - actual rights are a nightmare when you go near a comic book universe. Suffice it to say that Marvel Entertainment LLC owns all of the property printed in their comics, along with the television and movie adaptations of said same property. Not mine, don't sue, and so forth and so on.Summary:
Loki has a cunning, cunning plan for her future. It would appear, though, that Amora is even more cunning. But is Loki willing to pay what Amora's requesting for her services?Joe's Note:
Considering trying to send physical gifts to people I mostly know online would be awkward and kinda weird, I decided to do fun little fanfic gifts this year. So I sent out a list of random quippy ‘ship names to several friends - plus Lexi - and asked them to pick one. Some were probably common and easy to figure out, while others are a bit more exotic. I neither confirmed nor denied suspicions about who some of them might be until after they picked… and then wrote what they asked for.
"So tell me, darling… what's it like to be a king without a crown?"
Peering back over her shoulder, Loki Laufeyjarson eyed the blonde who had invaded her personal space for a moment before turning her attention back to the feast hall, leaning back into the slender arms now wrapped around her shoulders. "Surprisingly liberating. Whenever I want the power? It's right at my fingertips." Snapping said fingers, she formed one of the bracers from Odin's armor around her forearm, and then dispelled it just as quickly. "The rest of the time? 'The Allfather wishes to be alone in his chambers right now', and I'm… free. To be whoever I wish to be. No responsibilities or expectations. Why I didn't think of this decades ago, I have no idea."
Amora let out a throaty laugh at that, briefly drawing the attention of the revelers nearest to them. Much to Loki's amusement, though, the Asgardians soon returned to what they were doing. After all, the seiðkona's predilections were widely enough known that the sight of her draping herself all over a beautiful, curvaceous woman would be a surprise to few. If only they knew, Loki mused. "I'd blame it on you being male and therefore inherently foolish, but I've never been entirely certain of exactly what you are. Inside or out, for that matter."
"I am… born to rule. Everything else is secondary." It was an excellent deflection from a question that Loki herself didn't rightly know the answer to. While she had been raised as a male by Odin and Frigg… a prince of Asgard… Odin had also been under the impression that the warrior Odin had crossed swords with in Jötunheimr had been the infamous Laufey, leader of the jötnar. It hadn't been until Loki's journey to Jötunheimr as a part of her scheme to destroy it that she'd discovered that Odin had indeed fought her father… the frost giant Fárbauti. Fárbauti, husband of Laufey, who was the ruler of the realm.
That revelation had sparked a mental debate that Loki had been struggling with ever since. While she'd slipped between the two genders as needed in the past, she'd never felt any uncertainty as to which one was rightfully hers. Which was 'home'. After meeting Fárbauti and Laufey, though? It made her wonder… if Odin couldn't even tell the gender of his opponents apart, was it sensible to believe that he could sex a child of that species properly? And if he couldn't tell a child's gender properly, how could Odin be counted on to craft an appropriate face for Loki using his seiðr? Was Loki in fact male at the end of the day? Or was that just one more lie from a childhood rife with them?
A pair of teeth tugging gently on the shell of her right ear pulled Loki from her thoughts. "You know, I've been wondering ever since the Convergence… to what end?" Circling around, Amora slid into Loki's lap and met the dark-haired ásynja's gaze. "To what end is this little scheme? You can't possibly think that you'll fool all of Asgard forever. Or that 'Odin's grieving' will be able to last forever. What's your endgame here, Loki?"
"It's so simple that I imagine even my bro… even Thor could have thought of it." Leaning back in her seat, Loki smiled widely as she began ticking points off on her fingers. "First? I'm going to pardon myself. Or rather, Odin is going to pardon Loki Laufeyjardóttir." At Amora's questioning look, she shrugged. "I've actually gotten rather attached to this form in the past few months. After that, though… given that Thor has made it quite clear that he would rather remain on Midgard with his mortal friends and paramour than rule? Who else would Odin leave Hliðskjálf to when he passes on?"
Much to her surprise, Amora regarded her with the same sort of look that Loki usually reserved for when Thor said something impossibly stupid. "Váli? Tyr? Heimdallr? Sif? Me? Anyone other than the person who tried to commit genocide twice over?"
Loki frowned as she realized that her companion did in fact have a very valid point indeed. "Perhaps I should arrange some sort of suitably heroic return to the public eye? Allow myself to be recaptured afterward, then pardoned, then be named Odin's heir? No, trying to 'save' Odin from Fárbauti ended terribly for me. Fool me twice and all. Hmm." As Loki pondered that, Amora merely sat there placidly upon her lap, the blonde's arms looped around Loki's neck as she whistled an unknown tune softly. After nearly a minute, Loki began to feel as if she was missing something… which perhaps she was, given that she was in the company of the only Asgardian close to being as sneaky as she was. "Did you have an idea then, Amora?"
"Yes and no." Amora slid her hands forward to rest on Loki's shoulders before trailing them downward to the exposed tops of the brunette's breasts. As the blonde dipped the fingers of one hand into Loki's bountiful cleavage, the ásynja could feel seiðr being worked as her companion created something out of nothing. Therefore, Loki wasn't surprised in the least when Amora's formerly empty fingers emerged from between her breasts holding… a sprig of very familiar green leaves. The soft hiss it evoked made Amora's eyes light up. "I was wondering if you'd remember what it looked like. It hasn't grown here in my lifetime, after all. Ever since your… fun… with Höðr and Baldr."
'Fun'. An interesting euphemism for her part in the death of two of Odin and Frigg's sons. But while Loki hadn't seen mistilteinn in quite some time, that didn't mean she didn't remember it well. It was hard to forget something you'd used to kill a god, after all. The real question was… "Where did you get that? And what are you planning?"
"Midgard. Unlike you and Thor, some of us can manage to visit it without causing an interplanetary incident. According to the lovely young girl who sold me this, their planet is home to almost a thousand different species of 'mistletoe' and dozens of cultures have customs involving it." Raising her hand, Amora let the mistletoe dangle over Loki's head as she leaned forward slightly. "Would you like to hear about my favorite one?"
What this had to do with her plans for ruling Asgard, Loki had no idea. But since Amora was clearly going somewhere useful with this, or at least thought she was… "Do tell."
Amora waggled the mistletoe back and forth, drawing Loki's gaze upward to it. "Mortals hang this in their houses, usually in a doorway. If a young man catches a girl he fancies underneath it, he can request a kiss."
Ah. So that was her angle, then. Loki could still remember a nearly two decade long stretch a century or so ago, where Amora had done her best to catch the eye - and heart - of the presumptive heir to the throne. To call the whole thing embarrassing would have been exceptionally polite, as would saying it ended badly for Amora. And now that someone else was angling to ascend the throne in Thor's place, here she was, up to her old tricks again. There was one key difference between then and now, though: Loki and Amora actually liked each other. In a friendly sense if nothing more; they'd been close companions ever since Amora reached an age where tongues wouldn't wag about her being seen with Loki frequently. If not for Sigyn, perhaps they would have even become more than friends at some point.
That particular barrier was gone now, though. Evidently having one's husband convicted of treason was considered ample grounds for divorce in Asgard, and Sigyn had taken advantage of Loki's imprisonment to be rid of her once and for all. Loki sometimes found herself wondering what the true reason was, given that Sigyn had stood beside her through a wide variety of treasonous behavior in the past. Perhaps her antics on Midgard? The attempted genocide of the jötnar? Or maybe Sigyn was a bit like Amora, and hadn't been able to handle the demotion from 'wife of the prince' to 'wife of the traitorous jötunn'? Whatever the reason, she was gone now and that left Loki free to consider the offer before her.
Given that this whole phase of her life was about second chances and new beginnings? Loki actually was in fact considering it. After all, they'd always had a certain level of respect and affection for each other, being a pair of seiðkonur in a world that glorified brawn over brains and swords over sorcery. Not to mention that Amora was one of the few people that Loki considered an intellectual equal, and the only one she found capable of matching her cunning. And then there was the fact that Amora was one of the - if not the - most beautiful women in all of Asgard. Loki had watched the blonde blossom over the years, to the point of eclipsing her own wife, but had stuck by Sigyn just as Sigyn had stuck by her. Now, though? They would look ridiculously beautiful together atop Hliðskjálf, Loki mused…
In the end, Loki decided… why not see where this took her? She stood to gain a lot from allying with Amora - intelligence, cunning, additional and varying magical knowledge, a second warm body for when Loki and Odin needed to appear simultaneously - with very little risk of loss. If the blonde overstepped her boundaries or went rogue on Loki? The young Vanaþegn was powerful and talented, but hardly a match for Loki herself. Hopefully that very knowledge would keep her from doing something ill-advised in the first place. After all, uxoricide was generally frowned upon even if one was the Queen of Asgard. Leaning her head back, Loki eyed the mistletoe for a few seconds before returning her gaze to Amora. "Well, it would appear you've caught the girl you fancy beneath your mistletoe. Are you going to request a kiss?"
"Why? After all, you're the one who'd rule in Odin's place with me beside you as your Frigg. Wouldn't that make you the young man in this situation, and me the girl he fancies?"
"…surely you jest. You don't seduce someone halfway and then demand they turn around and finish your job by seducing you. I thought you fancied yourself the 'Enchantress'? Shouldn't you know how this game works?"
"Oh, very well." Bespelling the mistletoe to hover in the air above them, Amora leaned forward and tenderly took Loki's face between her hands, drawing the brunette in to a slow and sensual kiss. When they parted, Amora gave Loki a second, more playful kiss on the tip of her nose before shooting a glance back over her shoulder. "As delightful as I usually find a noisy hall full of brutes indulging in mead and roast meat to be… perhaps this would be a good time to take our discussion somewhere a bit more private?"
Resting her hands on Amora's hips, Loki gently slid the blonde off her lap before rising to her feet. "If I'm going to be taken off somewhere private by Amora the Enchantress, I sincerely hope there will be more than just 'discussion' going on when we get there…"
Amora laughed as she invaded Loki's personal space again, pressing a series of small kisses up the taller woman's neck before whispering in your ear. "I think you'll discover that I can be quite the… cunning linguist."