The moment Loki walked into their apartment he knew something was wrong. Something was watching, listening, no doubt making notes to use against them. He could sense the power in the air despite the many spells he had put up. He hadn’t even considered the thing could be spying on them somehow, using whatever means it had to do so.
She got up from the couch as he came through the door and she came to him with a smile on her face. She was serious yet pleased to see him, she always was, and as she greeted him, going on tiptoes for a kiss he held her on her feet with his hands on her elbows. This was not good, this was a blatant display of the fact he had feelings for her, and it put her at risk. He had to get her safe.
‘Is something wrong?’ She asked as he walked away from her.
‘Nothing wrong.’ He said harshly as he went to the kitchen, placing the papers from Tony on the cabinet.
‘Any luck with the science bros?’ She asked as her smile slipped slightly. ‘That’s what Darcy calls them.’
‘They are still working on various lines of enquiry.’
‘Nothing’s instant.’ She shrugged. ‘I was hoping we could stay home tonight. There’s something we need to talk about.’ She suggested.
‘I doubt it is of great importance, or you would tell me now.’
She frowned at his response. ‘Actually it is, but it’s not the kind of thing we can rush. You have to trust me on this.’ She said firmly.
He drew in a deep breath through his nose and schooled his face to one of disdain, his eyes cold and uncaring, a mask he had hoped never to wear again. ‘And why would I do that?’ He turned to face her.
Sigyn actually jumped, Loki seemed to have changed in the blink of an eye, cruel and cold. ‘Because, that’s what we do, that’s what we’ve always done.’
‘And you believed it would be that way again?’ He said in surprise. ‘You poor, deluded girl.’
Sigyn paused before she answered, unsure if she had missed something, said something wrong, but she was sure she hadn’t. Whatever was going on was with him. ‘What are you talking about?’
‘I am talking about the fact you are, as of this moment, of no more use to me.’ He stalked towards her. ‘It was fun, while it lasted, but this is much bigger than a slightly magical Midgardian can be of any use for. You may take your leave.’
‘I may…what?’ She said more out of surprise than anything else. She was starting to think she misheard him.
‘You are dismissed. Return to that second rate school for misfits like yourself, go back to your dull little life, being excited by Shakespeare and books. Pretend we never met, as shall I.’
‘Are you…are you kidding?’ She said as anger leapt inside her, hoping she was right but suddenly thinking she might not be. ‘After all of this, after all we have been through, both now and in the past, you just want me to walk?’
‘Walk, run, I care not. Just, leave.’ He watched as her eyes grew confused, then angry, the fire in her that he loved coming to the surface. He could see her grind her teeth, swallow what was no doubt hurt and fury. His ruse was working, but it broke his heart.
‘You are honestly willing to just throw this away? Everything we’ve been through, when I was Sigyn before…’
‘But you’re not Sigyn!’ He yelled in her face and she flinched in fear. ‘You have been a very pretty distraction, our past enabling me to use you perhaps better than I had imagined, but how could I ever replace a goddess with a Midgardian?’ He snarled. ‘You think I would waste a favour with Idunn for you? You believed everything I said to you? About us marrying? Having children? I would not lower myself to more than an affair, and you are barely worthy of that.’
Sigyn’s heart ached, a cold pit starting in her stomach, and she took a step back from him as she fought against her own body as it tried to make her cry.
‘You know, I should have expected this. Once a liar, always a liar. You can’t help it. I wonder if you’ve ever meant a single word you said to anyone. You must have made Frigga so proud!’ She spun on her heel and slammed the door behind her.
Loki let out a shuddering breath and closed his eyes. This was for the best, this was to protect her. Whoever or whatever was watching them could never know just how much she meant to him, could never know he would sacrifice himself a million times and more for her, as he just had. She would get over this, eventually, she would find someone to love her, maybe even as much as he did, and she would live a nice life without him, but with him she was at risk, and it was one he wasn’t willing to take.
The first sob left Sigyn’s throat as she stalked down the corridor, tears leaking from the corners of her eyes as she brought up the details for a taxi service on her Stark Phone and booked a car for as soon as possible back to Westchester. She would ask Tony to send her things on. There was nothing she needed immediately that she didn’t have as close to a replacement for at X-Manor. She waited by the main doors, watching for the cab, relieved when no one passed by or found her. She just wanted to be left alone.
The last thing she did, as the cab arrived, was to send Tony a brief message. She left the Stark Phone on the side, taking one last look at the photo of she and Loki from their date, before walking out the door.
She got halfway down the path when it happened. The air to her right shimmered and she had a moment to realise she could feel magic before a portal opened, showing a forest on the other side. She knew enough to not trust it, and set off towards the cab at a run, but it was too little, too late. Something grabbed her, hauling her off the ground, she took in a breath, prepared to scream, but she didn’t get even a peep out before she was first surrounded, then engulfed by, darkness.
Tony picked up his message ten minutes later. He read it twice while he tried to figure out what it meant.
~ Tony, I’ve gone back to X-Manor. Will be in touch. Maia.
Nothing else, no further details. And she signed it Maia? That was…odd.
‘FRIDAY, locate Maia.’ He asked as he walked across the lab, lifting the goggles he had on off his face.
‘Ms Tomson is no longer within the compound, Boss.’
‘What about Loki?’
‘He’s in their apartment.’
‘Okay, locate Maia’s phone.’
‘It’s in the foyer.’
‘In the foyer?’ He started for the door. ‘Bring up all the security footage for the foyer and entrance. Send them to me as soon as it’s compiled.’
‘Sure thing, Boss.’
Tony ran to the foyer and found the phone on a side table, not a sign of Maia, or Sigyn, or whatever she was going by, anywhere. His next stop was their apartment.
He banged on the door and after a moment Loki opened it. He looked fine, turned out well, hair neatly brushed, just as he had when he left the lab.
‘Can I help you, Anthony?’ He asked simply.
“What did you do?’ He pushed past him and waved Sigyn’s phone at him. ‘What did you say?’
‘You’ve seen her?’ Loki asked worriedly. After what he said she should have left.
‘No. She messaged me to say she’s gone back to Xavier’s and she’ll be in touch. That’s it, phone left in the lobby.’
Loki sighed in relief. She was gone, and whatever it was that had been watching them seemed to have left too. ‘I sent her home.’ Loki said quietly.
‘Because it is unsafe for her here.’ Loki walked back into the room, closing the door. ‘When I arrived back something was watching us. With everything else we have discovered I could not allow whatever it was to realise she could be used as a pawn.’
‘Oh God, you said something stupid.’ Tony pinched the bridge of his nose.
‘I said what I had to to get her to leave.’
‘You lied to her.’
‘I lied more than I have ever felt the need to.’
‘Just what did you say?’ Tony said angrily.
Loki swallowed hard enough for Tony to see. ‘I told her she meant nothing to me.’
‘You’re a dick.’
‘I did what I had to.’
‘You don’t seem so cut up about it.’ Tony shoved his shoulders. He knew there was no way he could beat Loki, if it came to a fight, but he had no right to hurt Sigyn like that, not when it wasn’t true.
‘You think I don’t care?’ Loki said angrily. ‘I died today when she walked out the door. Every word I said cut me like a knife, but she is safe. What I feel matters not.’
‘What about how she feels? You’ve probably broken the poor kid’s heart!’
‘And my heart breaks too, but it is for…’
‘The best? That’s bullshit!’ Tony shoved him again. ‘You’re an emotionless, uncaring…’
‘Do not dare to tell me I do not care!’ Loki yelled and his illusion broke. His cheeks were tear streaked, his eyes red and his hair unkempt as though he had been running his hands into it. ‘I care about her more than my own life, which was why I had to make her go. I would not risk her, I could not. She had to go and would not have if I only asked.’
‘Boss?’ FRIDAY interrupted.
‘You’re going to want to see this.’
Tony raised Sigyn’s Stark Phone and flicked it with his wrist, bringing up first her background picture of the two of them, which made Loki’s heart hurt all the more to see her smiling so warmly at the camera as he kissed her cheek, then changed to show two security camera footages, one from inside the foyer, of Sigyn using the phone before putting it on the table, then a camera from outside showing a cab arriving. The camera view from inside then changed to an outside view of the doors and showed Sigyn wipe at her cheeks as she set off down the path. She walked out of view of the camera footage and the taxi driver was checking his phone, his head down, then glanced up, and around, as though he had missed something. FRIDAY sped up the feed, showing the driver wait another ten minutes before driving away.
‘FRIDAY, where’s the feed from the path to the driveway?’
‘Interrupted.’ The feed changed to show static, almost twenty full minutes of it.
‘Where is she?’ Loki whispered.
‘Good question.’ Tony whipped the footage from the outside doors back again, hoping to find anything, playing it over and over.
‘There.’ Loki pointed to the bottom left corner. ‘In the glass beside the door, something lights up the area.’
Tony zoomed in on the reflection and replayed it slowly, the angle showing the edge of the path where it met the grass, and it lit up, just as Loki said. Something dark moved over it and out of shot, then back again, and the light flickered off.
‘A portal.’ Loki said, understanding.
‘Something took her.’ Tony looked at him, eyes burning furiously. ‘This is your fault, you ass. If you’d kept her here she’d have been safe. You put her in this danger.’
‘I am well aware.’ Loki growled angrily. ‘But whoever has taken her will wish they hadn’t.’