The six of them entered Odin’s throne room at the far end, knowing they had a long walk ahead of them, but they had barely got halfway when Odin’s voice echoed through the chamber.
‘No, just Sigyn.’
Loki’s hand tightened on hers, glaring at Odin although they were too far away for it to have any effect. Sigyn took a deep breath and let go of his hand, realising he was reluctant, and swallowed her fear. She had a feeling she knew what was coming. If Odin thought her unsuitable for Loki when she was an Asgardian warrior he definitely wouldn’t think her suitable as a human teacher, not that it mattered now, for Loki was neither an Asgardian, or prince, and she was more than happy to point that out. Odin wasn’t her king anymore.
‘We’ll be right outside.’ He assured her as Thor and the others turned to leave. She nodded but didn’t reply. Instead she set her shoulders, raised her chin and walked towards the throne.
Odin leant forward as she approached, not quite believing his eye. This was definitely Sigyn, shorter, more petite, her hair a deeper red, but her nonetheless, and dressed in Loki’s regalia. She carried herself confidently, no hesitation, and he had to admire her for that, but when she reached the bottom of the stairs she didn’t curtsey to him, she just looked.
‘Lady Sigyn.’ He addressed her.
‘Your Majesty.’ She bowed her head.
‘I must say, when I heard of your return I thought it a trick, some ruse to get my attention.’
‘Not a ruse but it still seems to have done so.’
‘Indeed it has. Tell me, how is it you come to stand before me now? I quite remember your funeral.’
‘I don’t know the how’s or why’s, just that it is.’
He nodded and stood. ‘And you sought Loki out?’
‘Not at all. Fate brought us together. I didn’t know who I once was until a few days ago.’
‘Fascinating.’ He continued down the steps slowly. ‘And Loki, did he recognise you?’
She shook her head. ‘It was only once I dreamt it and told him that it became clear.’
‘He knew from the moment he saw me, apparently.’
He said nothing as he came down the rest of the stairs, stopping before her and looking down. ‘I have a proposition for you.’
‘Is it going to be “you’re not good enough” again? Because that’s not going to work this time.’
‘It is not.’
He walked around her, speaking as he did so. ‘Loki is banished from Asgard, he is no longer a prince of my realm, and he is paying his penance as a member of The Avengers, but he is still immortal, and you, are not.’
‘Good. Then my proposition is this.’ He came back around before her and held in his hand a golden apple. ‘Take the apple, become immortal once more, and this time be more careful. Your untimely death hurt him greatly.’
She stared at the apple in disbelief then up at the King. ‘You want me to take one of the golden apples?’
‘I want you to eat it.’
‘Now, when you return to Midgard, it matters not, but ensure you do. You were perhaps the best thing ever to happen to Loki, and your return into his life could not be more timely. He needs you, perhaps more than you realise, and with you beside him he may find his way once more.’
‘I don’t know what to say.’ She said hesitantly.
‘Say nothing, just take the apple and live your life together. He remains the God of Mischief, and you return as the Goddess of Fidelity. All I ask is that you help keep him on the right path.’ She just stared at him, not knowing what to say. He gave her a small smile, raised her hand and placed the apple in it. ‘I would like to think this gift may go some way to making up to Loki all that passed between us.’ She nodded, looking down at his hand over hers, holding the apple in her palm. ‘Go now, Sigyn.’
‘Thank you.’ She said quietly.
The large golden doors opened and Loki’s head turned at the sound, seeing Sigyn coming through them looking slightly dazed. He was with her in an instant, the others staying back to give them privacy.
‘What did he say?’
‘He gave us a gift.’ She said, raising her hand to show him the apple.
‘He gave you that?’ Loki said in surprise.
‘He gave it to us, to help make amends. On the proviso I keep you in line.’ She looked at him as she said the last.
‘Good luck.’ Fandral snorted.
‘For her I will endeavour to behave.’ Loki promised.
‘And that we will believe when we see it.’ Sif replied.