an idle hour book

anonymous asked:

“I’m pregnant logyn

Sigyn idled away the hours with a book in her lap. She’d barely managed to finish a page the whole day and was about to make another valiant attempt at concentration when there was a sharp rap at the door.

“My lady, would you care to prepare for dinner?” a handmaid queried nervously, her eyes darting about in search of Sigyn’s mercurial husband.

“Very well,” Sigyn sighed finally abandoning her book.

Honestly, she had no appetite but to forgo the meal would garner suspicion, perhaps even offence from the royal family. Technically she was a member of said family, but she and Loki had only been married a few short seasons, and it seemed to be a marriage of convenience more than anything else. Except…

Sigyn sighed again as the handmaid forced her into more appropriate evening wear, her hands straying to her stomach as the handmaid cinched the waist a little tighter. She let out a shaky breath and dismissed the servant, taking a minute to centre herself before leaving her chambers.

She managed to focus enough to find her way to the dining hall without wandering off but as soon as the first course was put in front of her Sigyn began pushing her food around, her own thoughts almost loud enough to drown out the table conversation. Almost.

“You cannot keep shirking your responsibilities, Thor,” Odin reprimanded. “When you are king you will need to oversee the council meetings and you would do well to start attending them now to get a better grasp of the politics involved.”

“Bah! What need have I for politics? I have never faced a problem that could not be solved with a swing of my mighty hammer,” the elder prince bragged as he quaffed a pint of ale.

“As eloquent as ever, Thor,” Loki drawled, his voice tight and cold. “It’s hard to see why father would be concerned that he made the wrong choice in successor.”

“Jealously does not become you, brother,” Thor growled, his grip on his mug tightening.

“I am not jealous, I have no interest in the crown.”

“So you keep saying,” Thor interrupted.

“It is a burden, and as such should treated seriously. And as you seem incapable of dedicating yourself to anything that requires an ounce of decorum or intelligence I am simply weeping for the future of Asgard.”

“That is enough,” Odin warned, but it went unheeded.

Sigyn rubbed her temple as a dull pain grew into a throbbing headache as the grown men seated around her continued to bicker. She spared a glance in Queen Frigga’s direction, the woman offering her a sympathetic smile before diving into the fray herself, trying in vain to calm the fraying tempers.

Sigyn tried to tune out the arguing but it was of no use, they seemed to only get louder the more Sigyn wished them to be silent. Eventually something had to give.

“I’M PREGNANT!” Sigyn shouted over the ruckus, jumping to her feet so suddenly she sent dinnerware flying. “I’m pregnant,” she repeated to the now deathly silent room. “And I find I have no appetite. If you’ll excuse me.”  

Sigyn was mortified at her outburst, but if meant having an excuse to dine alone she’d plead her belly every night of her pregnancy.

The moment she was safely ensconced in her bedchambers she undressed, ridding herself of the restrictive corset first. It was all in her head for the most part, as she was months away from showing, but she just didn’t feel comfortable with her clothing being pulled so tightly over her belly. She sighed and fell against the doorway of her dressing room, rubbing circles over her belly as she tried not to think about the complicated home life she would be bringing a child into.

That was how Loki found her several minutes later, and he watched entranced as her hand moved over her still flat belly, humming softly to their unborn child.

“Pregnant?” he asked redundantly when Sigyn noticed his intrusion.

“Yes, Eir confirmed it this morning,” Sigyn advised as she returned to her place on the lounge, opening her book to the marked page as a way of avoiding further conversation with the husband she barely knew.

“Pregnant,” Loki muttered to himself as he took a seat at the opposite end of the couch, carefully avoiding making contact with her outstretched legs. They sat in awkward silence for some time before Loki couldn’t stand it any longer. “Are you sure you are not hungry? I could send for something,” he offered, his voice wavering with an uncertainty that Sigyn had never heard from him before, so she took pity on him.

“Eir gave me some herbal tea to help with the nausea. Perhaps you could prepare me a cup?” she suggested, pointing to the small box next to her favoured tea set.

“Of course,” Loki replied enthusiastically, magically changing his clothes to something less formal as he crossed the room to move a kettle of water over the flames of their hearth.

Sigyn smiled to herself as Loki went about preparing her tea, handing her the steaming cup with such reverence it made her heart ache. They sat in a more companionable silence for the next few hours, each reading their own book, before retiring to their marriage bed, Loki’s arms wrapping around Sigyn’s belly as they drifted off to sleep.

9

The Sensualities of Winter Solstice   

(Johnlock, 4700 words, M)

A bitter argument, a hot bath, the scents of lavender and cinnamon rising from warm skin, and apologies that change everything on the longest night of the year.

The pang returned as Sherlock undressed, the bathroom tiles slicked with moisture, the cold December air that seeped through the ill-fitting windowpanes mixing with the warm steam from the bath.

The shirt grazed off Sherlock’s shoulders onto the floor, his trousers collapsed next, pants and socks peeled away.

Now he stood naked, curve of flank and bumps of spine flashing in a corner of the mirror. He glanced up, the tired face staring at him in the glass momentarily unfamiliar.

He slid the mirror to the side to banish his reflection, exposing the contents of the cabinet. His eyes flicked over razor and tubes and bottles, landing on a slender glass vial. He picked it up, read the label. Lavender essential oil.

He almost smiled. It was John’s, one of his ridiculous bath products. John had always been one for long soaks, complete with oils and candles.

He turned the vial in his fingers, screwed off the cap, sniffed. It was a pleasant scent, evoking summer sun and droning bees, hot flagstones and a cool, purple-shadowed bedroom.

It was a scent that sometimes clung to John’s dressing gown as he walked by rubbing his damp hair with a towel, yawning, announcing he was going to turn in for the night. Lavender was supposed to help you relax, sleep.

Tonight, Sherlock would welcome a deep rest. He tipped a few drops of oil into the bath, then twisted the taps shut, slow drips from the lip of the faucet punctuating the sudden silence.

He lifted a foot over the side of the tub, eased it into the water, his fingers curling as the heat engulfed his ankle and calf. It felt good, the hot bite on his skin, the sharp sting as he gingerly lowered his body.

He let out a long sigh, stretching out, thighs sinking under the surface, his head resting against the wall. He closed his eyes and tried to clear his mind, tried to let thoughts ripple by unnoticed, but the argument with John lingered, persistent, replaying in his mind.

The entire situation had escalated out of proportion, a quarrel about Sherlock’s rudeness snowballing into a heated row about his arrogance, thoughtless behavior, and lack of empathy.

He pictured John’s tight smile – the one that didn’t reach his eyes and meant he was biting back rage – and recalled his last words: “You don’t ever feel anything, do you?”

Sherlock had flinched inwardly but did not reply, and John had turned away, his back rigid.

He pushed the scene away again, refocused on his breath. In… Out… In… Out…

Tender flesh reddened, a fine sweat beaded his brow and upper lip. Heat and lavender twined around him, lulling him into a drowsy state, transporting him back to a long ago summer in his grandmother’s garden.

He’d been innocent once, unsullied before the lure of chemicals and crime took hold, was once able to idle away hours with an adventure book or a magnifying glass, studying plants and insects and sea shells.

Somewhere along the way that curious little boy had calloused over into an arrogant man, contemptuous, brilliant, isolated.

Sherlock opened his eyes, regret flooding through him. He hadn’t always been alone. There was John.

John whistling up the stairs, biting through toast, tapping away on his laptop, asking the right questions to stimulate his mind, John glaring, laughing, swearing, smiling. John, who might not come back.

Read more on AO3 at the link above