A/N: I simply couldn’t pass that prompt without at least trying to write it. I know it’s not much and I think this story deserves a solid chapter fic, but I still like it that way.
Please excuse any mistakes (my eyes can’t catch everything and reading this again will only make me claw my eyes out in frustration).
I sincerely hope the person who has published the request will like it.
Midnight in Asgard
The first time it happens, Lucy’s foolishly shrugged it off, assuming it was only a dream, which was kind of stupid, considering she wasn’t even sitting or laying anywhere when it happened.
Then again no one should expect her to believe she really ended up where she did. On the other hand one would think that finding herself not on a rooftop of her apartment building, but on a glowing bridge gods only know how high above something that look suspiciously like a mix of every galaxy in the entire universe in a blink of an eye would make her reconsider that statement or find it at least strange.
After all she never possessed a very rampant imagination. And a common sense, if we’re at that.
But speculations aside, the fact remains that the first time she thought it a dream, so she wasn’t overly concerned with her safety, assuming (as pretty much everyone else would) that in a dream nothing can really happen to her. Not that it can justify her moronic idea to jump of said glowing bridge and see what happens next.
Well, thank whoever was keeping an eye for her that someone caught her midair before she killed herself, through looking at her saviour’s angry and uncanny handsome face – Were man even supposed to look like that? – was giving her serious second thoughts about the thanking part.
“Are you insane, woman?!”
Yes, thank God indeed.
The second time she was only mildly surprised to find herself next to Loki in the very same spot on the very same glowing bridge – the Rainbow Bridge, as Loki told her it was called during their previous meeting – and this time she’s slowly coming to a conclusion that it’s quite possibly not a dream.
Loki hasn’t even flinched at her sudden appearance at his side, calmly reading a book that looks thousands years old, and only looks up at her, when she was already burning a hole in the side of his face for at least ten minutes.
“Quit staring,” he commands more than says and resumes his reading, as if it was normal for people to appear from thin air.
Lucy turns her eyes away, but she keeps stealing glances and after another ten minutes, he snaps his book shut with a rather unappealing grimace on his face.
“What, pray tell, do you find so interesting about me that you can’t keep your eyes elsewhere?” He asks lifting one eyebrow which makes him look cute, as disturbing as it may seem.
“Nothing,” she lies smoothly and gives him a once over for good measure and to irk him a bit. “I’m just wondering if it’s just me, or is it not considered strange for someone to appear somewhere just like that in a blink of an eye?”
If the eyebrow-lift was disturbing, his smirk makes her subconsciously think about running away as far as possible.
“So it is normal here?”
His smirk turns into a smile.
“Do you know any other word besides ‘maybe’?”
Even before he opens his mouth, Lucy is pretty sure she knows what she is going to hear.
The nerve of that man is impossible!
“Okay, fine. Be a prick, if you want. See if I care,” she says with a murderous glare sent his way. She hears him snort and all things considered, it’s a miracle she hasn’t acted on instinct. Shoving people off the bridges was never a good way to make friends; through she doesn’t know it from her own experience and is tempted to try.
They’re quiet for a while. Loki’s returned to his book, a half-smile playing on his lips, while Lucy’s brain is trying to comprehend, what is going on.
Being rational and all that jazz, she decides to list all the things she has been doing before both her trips. The answer is simple – she was standing on the rooftop, looking at the night sky. Nothing special, nothing out of ordinary. But she is here, so it means there must have been something that she can’t pin-point which makes both those situations special.
She hears a heavy sigh on her right and turns to see Loki rolling his eyes in exasperation.
“Ask before you hurt yourself, mortal.” His face expresses deep suffering, as if he is asking himself over and over again why he is even bothering to talk with an idiot like her. This makes her hands itch to slap him.
“Very funny,” she answers instead. “I know what your name is and where we are. Kind of. What I don’t know is how have I ended up here? And how can I go back? How is it possible that I’m here that long now, but the last time it was only a few minutes before I was back on my rooftop?”
“What were you doing on a rooftop?” He asks and she can’t keep a low growl of irritation from escaping her lips.
“Seriously? From all the things I just said, you consider this to be the most important one?” She deadpans fixing him with a sceptical look.
“You’re one of the most impatient creatures I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet,” he snarls. “As for your question, I just thought it rather interesting. I do not often meet women who like to spend their time on rooftops.”
“Well, good for you.” She really doesn’t like this guy and the feeling seems mutual, but as sad as it is, he’s the only person she met so far who may know what’s going on. “Now, do you know the answers or…”
“If you keep on interrupting me, you’ll never find out,” he interrupts her mid-sentence and for a few seconds she’s toying with the idea of pointing out who is interrupting who, but decides to keep her mouth shut in the end. No need to make the guy angry, after all. “Now, as far as I can tell, you’re a mortal, probably from Midgard – or Earth, as you mortals like to call it – judging by your poor taste in clothing.”
“Better look at yourself,” she mutters under her breath, a bright red blush covering her cheeks. She’s wearing a rather old, washed-out t-shirt and a way too big pair of equally old sweatpants, but that doesn’t mean she’ll listen to a fashion advice from a guy in a fucking amour, for crying out loud!
“And the manner you speak in is also suggesting that much.” He brushes her off as if she has never said anything, which only confirms that he’s a prick, a bipolar one at that. “I’m not sure as to how you can manage interdimensional travel without the aid of Bifrost. You’re not a sorceress by any chance, are you?”
“Do I look like one?”
She isn’t sure if she should feel offended or not.
“And what about the time span?” She asks when it’s obvious he’s not going to continue the subject on his own.
“Maybe you can wish yourself in and out.”
“Yeah, because I’m having the time of my life here.” Her sarcasm makes him smirk. “And what is this Bifrost?”
He gives her a look that clearly suggests he thinks she’s seriously retarded.
“It’s a bridge between realms.”
“Care to elaborate?”
“You wouldn’t understand and it’s not important.” The hard edge in his voice suggests he’s not going to tell her anything, so she changes the topic.
“Then how can I go back to my… realm, was it?”
“Try willing yourself out.”
“I thought we’ve already established that I’m not able to do it.”
“That’s why I said ‘try’.”
And here comes his you’re-an-idiot voice again, she thinks with the roll of her eyes.
“Before I try to do your hocus-pocus, may I ask you where am I? In which realm?”
“You’ve landed yourself in Asgard. Now close your eyes.” That name rings a bell, but she’s not sure in which church exactly and it’s not as if she has a lot of time to think about it, because Loki’s voice makes her focus on task at hand again. “I said ‘close your eyes’, not ‘start staring’.”
She sends him a death glare, but does as he says.
“Try to imagine this roof of yours.”
She tries to do it, squeezing her eyes until all she can see are colourful dots, but when nothing happens for a while, she’s frustrated with herself.
“It doesn’t work,” she says and when she hears no response, she opens her eyes only to find herself back on the cluttered rooftop.
Lucy runs to the staircase, promising to herself she’ll never come up here again.
Out of curiosity, she googles ‘Asgard’ and her jaw drops down on the floor, because it’s not possible that she’s really visited the Eternal City from Norse Mythology (twice!) and don’t even get her started about her companion, even if she can’t stop herself from thinking that ‘God of Sulking’ would fit him better.
The third time is more of a planned visit than anything else. She doesn’t want to admit it, but all those Norse Myths she’s been reading made her curious.
With wary, measured steps she makes her way up the stairs. When she’s on the roof, she closes her eyes and waits, but nothing happens. She looks at her watch and thinks it’s maybe too early and so she decides to wait for a while.
When her watch shows midnight, she closes her eyes and sighs deeply, deciding to go back to her apartment and to forget about the whole situation, but when she opens them again she’s on the Rainbow Bridge and it makes her so happy, she almost jumps up in delight. Almost, because she is all alone and her heart sinks a bit in disappointment. Lucy was never a huge fan of lying, especially to herself, so she can reluctantly admit she wanted to meet Loki again. She’s not sure why, because even if he’s probably the most beautiful man she’d seen in her life yet, he’s still a prick and there’s absolutely nothing to like about him. Or so she tells herself.
She stands there for a while before deciding that it’s do or die and moving in the direction of the city. The first thing she notices, is that people here are taller, even if it’s not a huge accomplishment to be taller than her, because she is average being barely five foot seven inches tall. The second one is that everything everywhere is golden and probably made of gold. There’s a lot of green too – a colour that reminds her of Loki’s eyes.
She isn’t sure how long has she been wondering around the breathtaking city, but her sightseeing ends, when she bumps into a mountain of a man. Seriously, the guy has shoulders like a four-door wardrobe and one of his arms is probably as massive as her thighs combined.
The impact throws her off-balance and to the ground. It is really good that the guy turns out to be nicer than he looks.
“Are you all right, my lady?” He helps her to her feet and it is then when she spots four people behind him – three men and one woman – who are looking at her with obvious curiosity.
“Yeah, I’m good. Thanks for asking,” she answers, dusting herself off.
“If you don’t mind me asking, my lady, what brings you to the training grounds? You do not look like a warrior.”
“I wasn’t intending to end up here,” she answers truthfully.
“And where were you intending to go?”
“I don’t know,” she says, feeling like a moron. What was she looking for, really? And more precisely, what was she thinking? She is in a foreign realm and she is walking around without the care in the world.
She has thrown the poor guy a bit off, because he blinks a few times with a rather confused expression, before asking her another question.
“What’s your name, my lady? If you got lost, let me and my fair comrades escort you home.” He smiles at her and she thinks he looks a bit like an outgrown golden retriever puppy.
“Lucy Hale and I don’t think it’s possible.” At his questioning look, she smiles lightly. The guy is really a boy in a body of a man. “I’m not exactly from here.”
“Which is the understatement of this century.” Her smile only grows when she hears a now-familiar voice.
“And hello to you too, Loki.” She turns around to face him and the smile gets stuck on her face.
Loki is shirtless and wet, his skin glistering in the sun, and she’s full aware she’s ogling him like a sex-deprived woman, but she can’t help it
Bad Lucy, bad, she mentally scolds herself, but her eyes remain fixated on his chest. Oh boy, you have it bad, Hale.
“You know Lady Hale, brother?”
She isn’t all that shocked to learn she is standing next to Thor, the Norse God of Thunder. Really, after magically ending up in another realm thrice, there’s probably nothing that can surprise her anymore.
“I’ve the misfortune to meet her, yes,” Loki answers with a smirk and Lucy snorts in a very unladylike way. It’s really good to know Loki is as charming as always.
“Are you planning to introduce her to Mother and Father?”
She doesn’t get why Loki suddenly turns brick-red. Well, not until he explains it and then she’s red all over and praying to every deity in existence to let the ground under her feet part and swallow her whole.
“I am not courting her, brother.”
The silence which follows his confession is awkward to say the least. She can’t believe someone could have thought that she’s in a relationship with this bastard. It’s too ridiculous. Then again Thor doesn’t seem like the most intelligent person around.
She steals a shy glance in Loki’s direction. If looks could kill, Thor would have been a very dead man by now.
“We shall depart and leave you alone. It was a pleasure to meet you, Lady Hale.” Thor bows and a part of Lucy expects to have him running for the hills in fear (which is kind of funny, because he’s at least two times bigger than Loki) with his companions close behind. As it is, he just calmly turns around and soon is gone from sight.
When she faces Loki again, he’s fully dressed in his golden amour, one eyebrow lifted in a questioning way.
“What?” She asks defensively, her neck and ears growing hot.
“Don’t mind Thor. He’s as subtle as a bull in a china shop.” She chuckles at his use of an obviously Midgarian idiom, but doesn’t comment on it further. “I shall escort you back to the bridge.”
He offers her his arm and there’s only that much she can do not to flush like a teenager while she takes it.
She loses count somewhere around her twentieth visit or she is just not bothering anymore. It becomes her daily routine – she thinks about Loki and Asgard all day long and then she’s up on the roof at midnight, ignoring her roommate’s questions about her strange behaviour. She doesn’t want to dwell about it herself, because the more she thinks the more concerned with her mixed feelings she becomes. So she tries to occupy herself with other things. Like the wonders of Asgard, for example.
The realm is truly magnificent. The air seems clearer, the colours more vibrant, and the smells more enchanting and when Loki takes her to his secret place in one of the many forests, she’s less than eager to leave this place again. She’s reluctant to admit it, but she’s having time of her life, even if her companion’s bored face says he would probably like to do something else right now.
Maybe that’s why Lucy thinks it a mere delusion, when one day she catches a glimpse of sorrow in Loki’s eyes when they part ways on the bridge.
Her father dies, so she catches a plane to her hometown, forgetting about her midnight meetings for the time being.
When she’s back on the rooftop after two weeks of absence and is transported to Asgard, she’s greeted by a very angry looking Loki.
“Where the hell have you been?!” He shouts at her, his cheeks red with fury. His magic is cracking and hissing in the air around him. Lucy takes a few steps back, almost falling from the damned bridge in the process.
She’s terrified. Really truly terrified. She’s never seen him that angry before.
“I… I was…,” she shutters, trying to form an intelligent answer, but nothing sounds good. She should have let him know and looking at his distress, she feels so utterly stupid and selfish. She wants to cry.
“You what? You weren’t thinking? Well, that is quite obvious!” He’s advancing on her, his eyes a dazing shade of emerald green, until her back hits one of the pillars of the gate which separates the city from the bridge. “I thought you responsible, but you are nothing but a child! Even my oaf of a brother has enough common sense to inform someone when he is leaving, so I am asking you what an excuse for your lack of responsibility is.”
His voice is far calmer now, but there’s something that wasn’t there before. Her eyes widen slightly, when she’s finally able to identify it, but she simply cannot believe it. It’s not possible that he was worried about her, but on the other hand his eyes tell it all – the gentleness and such deep sadness in them are almost enough to cut her heart in two.
“I’m sorry,” she whispers, bringing her shaking hands up to caress his face, the lines and shadows familiar, but so much more evident, because of the troubled state of his mind. She half-expects him to withdraw, but he does nothing of that sort. He sighs deeply, welcoming her touch. When he looks at her a moment later, his eyes are travelling from her lips to her eyes and back again, as if asking for her permission. She bits her lower lip and nods.
Their first kiss is delicate, his lips gently brushing hers, giving a silent promise of more to come. After a few minutes of this seemingly endless torture, her head feels unnaturally light and heavy at the same time, but it’s not the end. Lucy yelps in surprise, when she feels his tongue at the corner of her mouth and she can feel him smile briefly, before she can think no more.
Once, such a long time ago, it seems, she was but a shell of a being. Her life was so meaningless, so vain and she haven’t had strength to do anything about it. She was just existing, day by day, month after month and year after year, not even daring to dream about having her own fairytale. She never thought herself to be a romantic, but it seems she was wrong, for now she’s sure she’s finally whole. The empty jar of her heart is slowly filling up and it makes her wish that this moment will last forever.
She doesn’t want to think about the fact that her life is no fairytale and she’s neither a princess nor a damsel in distress.
They don’t talk after breaking the kiss. Her eyes are closed, but a few tears escape and fall down her cheeks. Loki wipes them off with his thumbs and places butterfly kisses in their wake. It feels too good to be true.
When she opens her eyes a moment later, she collapses on the ground. She’s on her roof again and her heart is screaming in agony.
The next evening she stands at the top of the stairs, hands trembling and heart beating furiously. She longs to see him and wants to run as far as her legs can carry her at the same time.
She loves him, that much is clear, but she’s also aware that this will end sooner or later. She’s afraid of letting herself love him, even if it’s beyond her power to control her feelings. He’s a prince from another realm and as cheesy as it sounds, she’s just an average mortal girl who doesn’t belong in his world.
It’s good he’s here when she appears on the bridge. His arms are warm and bring the feeling of safety, but she can’t shake off the nagging thought that it’s not going to last.
“You should stay here,” he murmurs in her hair, holding her even closer. “Father will find a way to let you stay. Hell, I’ll shake the universe to make sure you will remain by my side. Just please, please stay with me, Lucy…”
“I can’t,” she says in a broken voice after a while. “I can’t stay, but gods help me, I want to, so damn much…”
The second kiss they share is bittersweet. Her tears mixing with the faint taste of mead lingering on his lips. She doesn’t want to let go, not in a million years, but she knows it’s not healthy for them and the longer she’s here the harder it is to remember all the important reasons to go home.
Foreheads touching, they look into each other’s eyes. Loki brings one of her hands to his lips and places a gentle kiss on her knuckles.
“I’ll find a way to be with you,” he says in a quiet, even voice. “Never doubt that I will.”
She smiles through tears and kisses him one last time before she wills herself back, a whispered ‘I love you’ loud and clear in her ears.
It has been a year since their last meeting and she’s back on her feet. She still misses him sometimes, but not as much as she used to and she’s not moping around anymore, which is surely a huge step forward.
She almost forgets about his promise.
Almost, because one day she runs to the coffee shop to buy herself some lunch and coffee in-between classes and she collides with someone on her way in. She loses her footing and if not for this guy’s quick reflex, she would have been making fast friends with the snow-covered ground.
“I’m so sorry! I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
She looks up to flash the poor guy a smile and to say it’s okay, but no sound can leave her throat when her eyes lock with the guy’s ever-green ones. The colour and the almond shape are painfully familiar.
“Loki…” Her voice is barely above a whisper, but he hears her anyway and gives her a strange look.
“How do you know my name?”
She blinks, shocked beyond belief with a question ‘How?’ briefly crossing her mind.
“I guess you remind me of a friend who has the same name,” she half-lies, smiling despite herself.
“Well, it’s nice to know not only my parents are that sadistic. At least I’m not the one who needs to deal with thorsday and thortilla jokes,” he says with a wink and she blushes, overwhelmed with happiness, because it’s a dream coming true and she can feel tears in her eyes.
He’s found her. He’s really done it.
“Would you like some coffee?” He asks with hope shining in his eyes.
Her heart is beating loudly in her ears, when she smiles at him again.
“I would love to.”
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