Not that you’d planned it to be a late night, but it was well past midnight by the time you actually managed to get to bed. Dinner with Loki had been pleasant enough, and afterwards he’d even helped clean up a bit (which meant leaving everything in the sink and leaving you to clean about half of it before giving up for the night). This being your first night back in your apartment, it did feel a little weird after all the time you’d spent in Asgard. Since you didn’t have much of a past, Asgard felt like more of a home than this place did, and it was more than just having been there longer.
Something about Asgard felt right. It felt natural to you, as if you’d spent most of your life there. But how could that be? You knew a lot about the Nine Realms, and you understood lore like not even a historian who had spent his whole life studying it. You still held to the hope that somehow while finding answers to everything that was going on, you would find your own answers.
Loki and your sleeping arrangements that night were as they had been the last time you’d been here. You had your own room, and Loki had the guest room (unless of course he wanted the couch again…you hadn’t really asked). You made sure the door to your room was completely closed before you undressed and pulled on a pair of shorts and loose t-shirt and climbed into bed. Though you liked being in your own room with your own things, there was a part of you that missed being in Asgard, and a very small part that missed having Loki so close. Nothing had ever happened and even at your closest you were never inappropriate, but there had been a certain sense of comfort having him so near. You felt safe with Loki around, though you weren’t going to admit that to him. To Loki, information like that was as good as a weapon he could wield again you, and for as much as you might have trusted him, it wasn’t that much.
It was a little while before you actually fell asleep, listening to the old furnace come on and slowly heat the apartment. It was close to being winter now, and you wondered what winter was like in Asgard. Beautiful, no doubt. Perhaps Loki could show you someday.
It was quite a while after she had gone to bed before Loki did. He stayed awake in the quiet apartment, reading or pacing slowly, lost in his thoughts. It would not be long before he once again had his scepter, and then…then his plans could proceed. Everything had been put on hold the moment she had appeared in the Abyss – and it had taken everything in Loki’s power not to harm her. He was so close to having what he’d always wanted, and yet this one girl could ruin it all.
Loki paused from his pacing and looked down the hall at her bedroom door. There was still a chance that she could get in the way again, but Loki was careful. Truthfully, he didn’t want to have to stop her. He liked her, and if he could keep her away from his plans enough to not remove her entirely, then he would offer her to stay in Asgard with him. He saw how much she liked it there. And he saw how much she liked him.
But how much? If she found out…her convictions were strong, and clearly she was not corrupt. She followed her heart and doing what she believed to be right, despite the bantering and teasing she provided. If she found out too much too soon, she would turn again him, and despite the difficulty it might be to Loki, he would treat her as an enemy.
He gave a heavy sigh as he turned his gaze away from her room. The scepter. He needed to focus on that right now. The girl with no memory would always be second to his plans. He had spent too long and given too much to throw it all away for such a beautiful, charming, and sometimes annoying girl like her.
His pacing continued as he walked further and further into the darkness of the small apartment. He needed time to be apart from her to gather his thoughts and again confirm his plans. The longer he was with her, the more he became distracted. But he couldn’t simply leave her. He needed to make sure she would be safe, and that she would retrieve his scepter from Stark. If only Loki could somehow steal away a few hours without her…a few hours was all he would need.
You had only been asleep for a few hours when I woke, suddenly thirsty, coughing, and in desperate need of a glass of water. Softly hacking and coughing your way to the kitchen, you found a glass and filled it quickly, the cool fluid easing your irritated throat. It wasn’t until after you’d had a second drink that you noticed Loki standing a few feet away, watching you from the darkness. You nearly dropped the glass in fright as you coughed while drinking.
“Loki,” you managed to sputter, your cheeks red as you continued coughing and gingerly set the glass down before it had a chance to slip through your fingers. “If you’re intending to frighten me to death you could at least wait until I’ve gotten your scepter for you,” you joked as you cleared your throat one last time. “Otherwise you’ll have been wasting your time.”
Loki stepped slowly into the light of the kitchen, his dark silhouette illuminated by the light and he had the appearance of the angel of death (that was about the only way to put it) as he looked at you with a blank stare. “I did not mean to startle you, ________,” he replied softly, his words slow and tender. “I am sorry if I did.”
You paused for a moment as you held his gaze. There were few times that Loki was ever this…gentle and kind to you. Something was on his mind, but what? You cleared your throat one last time and gave a soft laugh. “It’s alright,” you replied. “There’s nothing that makes a person feel more alive than seeing a mysterious figure standing in their dark apartment as their choking down a glass of water. Glad I can finally scratch that one off my bucket list.” Sarcasm – the world’s best defense/conversation filler/excuse/comeback.
Loki gave a slight nod, apparently relieved that I wasn’t angry for having been startled. “I thought you had gone to bed already.”
You nodded slowly. “Yeah I did, but I just needed a drink,” you answered as you dumped what little water was left in the glass down the drain. “Why are you still awake?” you inquired.
Loki shrugged slightly as he leaned his wrists against the counter. “Time feels different here for me, and that can make it difficult to rest,” he answered.
“Like jet lag?”
Loki paused for a moment before nodding slowly. “Yes, that Midgardian phrase is a decent enough representation.”
You nodded in understanding as you set the glass by the sink with all the rest of the dishes from dinner that you had yet to clean. The thought crossed your mind to just clean them now, but you were still tired, and with Stark’s party tomorrow, you would need to be well rested if you intended to walk out of there with Loki’s scepter.
You ran your fingers along the edge the counter for a moment, a little reluctant to go back to bed seeing as Loki was still awake. “Have you ever tried smoked gouda cheese?” you asked – an absolutely random question but it was a question that had just suddenly come to mind and you were too tired and too bored to not ask.
Loki’s brow furrowed, as he clearly saw no point to the question, but at least indulged you an answer. “No…is that something you like?”
You nodded slowly. “It’s pretty good, if you get it fresh enough,” you answered. How did you even know that? What time in your life had you ever even had smoked Gouda cheese to begin with? “I wish I could find it again.”
“You don’t think you could find it here?” Loki asked. This was a weird night. Not only were you trying to have a conversation about cheese, Loki was actually indulging you to continue the conversation. Why? Surely he could not be that interested. Then again at three in the morning, this was probably about as advanced of a conversation as the two of you were likely to have.
You shrugged as you leaned forward against the counter and ran your fingers through your hair again. “Sure, if I looked hard enough,” you answered tiredly. “It’s really common in like Italy – Rome, Venice, Florence…it’s everywhere. What I’d give to have some.”
Loki gave a slight pause. “It wouldn’t be hard for me to bring you some,” he offered kindly.
Hands still in your hair, you looked back up at him. “Are you serious?” you asked, your eyes wide. Why was Loki being so kind? This wasn’t like him…
Loki nodded. “I could be gone and return in a few hours with no trouble, and you could have your smoked cheese,” he paused. “But I’d only go if you want.”
“I’d love you if you did,” you replied without hesitation. Whatever reason for Loki’s kindness, you weren’t going to turn down him being your errand boy for a few hours. “But if you’re going soon, be back before night. I’ll need you around when I go back to Stark Tower.”
Loki nodded quickly as he smirked and came over to you, leaning close. “I’ll be back in plenty of time,” he whispered. “You’ll hardly notice that I’m gone.”
You turned your face towards him and stared into his green eyes. “I might notice a little,” you whispered back. You were dangerously close – noses nearly touching; only a few inches separated your lips from his. Just one slight move could bring you together…or separate you.
Loki gave his usual mischievous grin as he slowly leaned away from you. “Get some rest while I’m gone,” he said as he stepped away. “I will return here soon.”