She lost count of how many days she had been at sea. Memories of her feet on solid ground and of her home were slipping further and further from her mind, the farther away the longboat carried her.
Farther away from England. Farther away from her family and from God.
She was bone thin and starving. She had been diminished to a piece of property and was near hopeless. Yet her suffering had not tested her faith. She still prayed to God every night. Prayed for Him to follow her North. She hoped that He could still hear her. She could still feel Him, but He had stopped answering her.
She looked to the night sky and in her mind’s eye she envisioned the pagan God Thor, seated up there somewhere. The striking of his mighty hammer deafening, sending sparks flying down through the cloud cover, and lighting up the sky. The grand production of it acting as an unholy barrier between her here on the Earth, and Christ, in Heaven.
The heathen she had come to know as ‘Ivar’ hissed from the bench, not three feet from where she was chained. He stayed close to her, especially at night. Blue eyes never seemed to leave her.
Observing. Following. Burning.
She continued whispering her prayers. Her back resting against the mast and her neck craned skyward. Her brown eyes remaining lidded, she paid the heathen little mind.
He had torn her away from her home. She wasn’t going to let him tear her away from her conversations with God.
“I am warning you, pet.” he growled.
Just as her own, his voice was hoarse and strained from hours spent wretching into the sea. Yet strained as it was, the tone was still strong and commanding and it made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, sending a chill right through her. The reaction not entirely a product of fear, it was something more.
The sensation fastly transformed into an all enveloping warmth that spread from her cheeks, down her neck and across her chest before settling in between her legs. As if the words that rolled off of his tongue had reached out and licked at her body like a flame.
Her face went red with her sinful thoughts. She made a silent apology to God and a quick amen, then laid down and curled into herself on the deck. The air was frigid and it was impossible to get comfortable. The damp splintered wood irritated her skin, causing tiny scratches and red bumps to raise up on her arms and legs.
“Are you cold, pet?” his voice now soft and quiet, whispering just loud enough to be heard above the sound of the waves slapping up against the side of the boat.
Her voice being too weak to make an audible response, instead she lay silent and shook her head. She did not want to turn and look upon his face. Seeing the flush there would just spur him on to torture and tease her relentlessly. She hated him.
“I can hear your teeth chattering.”
She clenched her jaw to still the sound and wrapped her arms tighter around herself in attempt to get warmer.
“If I come closer and share my blanket with you, are you going to be naughty again?”
She peered at him over her shoulder, contemplating her answer. If he tried anything again, she knew she would resist. In the moonlight, she studied his face and tried to gage his intentions.
“I won’t touch you again, don’t worry.” He sighed. Using his strong arms to grip the wooden bench, he lowering himself to the deck and scooted his body up behind hers without even having her answer yet. His chest flush to her back, she stared forward avoiding his eyes as he wrapped the damp fur around their bodies. It was itchy and smelled like an animal but she was freezing and couldn’t complain.
“Our journey is coming to an end little one, soon we will be on dry land again. Soon we will be home.” he murmured into her hair and pulled her in closer.
Closing her eyes she tried to relax and forget she was in the arms of the enemy. Tried to fall fast asleep to forget how good it felt. Maybe when she awoke, she could tell herself she missed home and actually believe it. No wonder God had stopped answering her. She lay happily with the Devil.
Loki studied the woman in front of him. He realised that the power she
held was great, greater than he wanted to admit. Not only were her skills on
the battlefield remarkable, but her brilliance was intriguing. She posed a
threat, unless she was made to be an ally. Loki wiped his shock and anger away,
made a welcoming hand gesture and laughed: “My plan.”
“Indeed”, Y/N replied, “Let’s think this through. You’ve
got Thor banished, locked up in Midgard. Without Heimdall, he won’t return. If
you tell him to close the Bifrost, which, I suppose, you will right after our
conversation, Thor cannot return until you allow it. As for Odin… well, he
will awake sometime. What is it you want to do with the sceptre you’re wielding
in this limited time?”
“Asgard would have crumbled beneath the pressure of war, if Thor
had taken the throne, we’d be having an eye to eye with Jotunheim this very
second! By banishing Thor, I can delay his reign enough to fix the mistakes my
brother has made”, Loki answered, raising his voice just a little.
“That sounds”, Y/N made an amused expression, “Very
heroic. However, you wanted him to make that mistake, did you not? Without your
little spell, he would not have entered Jotunheim in the first place. Loki,
remember the talk we had just before the ceremony? On the terrace. You know I
share your concerns regarding Thor. If I wanted to betray you, I could have
done that by now multiple times. I could have warned Heimdall, the All-father
on that evening. I could have gone to Heimdall after discovering your actions
today, and I could have let him hear you. I did not do that. Why is that?”
Loki pressed his lips together before he raised his eyebrows: “I’m
sure you will tell me right about now.”
“Because I’m interested to see your strategy”, Y/N elaborated,
“and we have stood aside each other for a long time now. As said, I won’t
kneel to you, but I will assist you.”
“What makes you believe I need your assistance?”, he asked in
a dismissive voice.
“You may not need it now”, Y/N replied, “But if your plan
were to fail and Thor to survive, then you might want to know a few people you
can trust, as Asgard will chase you.”
“You’d become a traitor for that?”,
he asked amusedly and dismissively at the same time.
“Not really”, Y/N shrugged, “I can’t become what I already
“A traitor?”, he huffed, “Do you truly know what that
“Loki, I am not from Asgard”, Y/N reminded him, “I chose
to join the Gods that rule over my realm. For many, that would be treason. Furthermore,
I never told Odin of your plans, which is a direct violation of my oath as his
warrior. Are you blind to see you’re not the only one who works…
“And what is your goal? The throne? Power?”, he asked with an
“I am not interested in the throne. What I want, however, is to
prove them wrong”, Y/N hissed, “Your birth right was to be king, my
birth right was to be burned in a sacrificial ritual!” Y/N turned her head
away: “I do not know how much you know about Vanaheim, but some of them worship
their ancestors as superior gods. Every 100 years, a child chosen by the eldest
is burned during a sacrificial ritual. I was that child. My mentor, who had
seen my talents, who had given me the power of Yggdrasil - she didn’t want to
lose me. So she made me lie to my parents to lead them into a trap. She killed
them, escaped with me. We went into hiding for so long. Until I was strong
enough, old enough to join Asgard’s army.”
Loki’s gaze searched for Y/N’s eyes: “And why are you telling me
Y/N laughed dryly: “I’ve lied long enough, did I not? No, I thought
it was only fair for you to know me, my history, if we work together. Helgunn,
that’s how my parents called me. Y/N L/N was the name I took on whilst hiding. I’ve
never returned to Vanaheim in all these years you have known me, because all
that awaits me is a nation that once wanted to see me burn.”
“And that’s why you’re here”, Loki concluded, “To prove
them that you were strong enough to survive.”
“I am here”, Y/N nodded, “To prove them that I do not
need their dead’s blessings to be worthy.”
“Joining Asgard’s army might just be the one thing they call
unworthy”, Loki stated flatly.
“I’d call my affiliation a lot more… ambiguous than that”,
Y/N retorted with a dry smile on her lips, “Asgard has the fighting spirit
Vanaheim has been lacking. And, frankly, the resources my realm never
“Fine then”, Loki reached out to Y/N’s hand, “Under the
terms that I will kill you if you tried to betray me, we have a deal.”
“Under the terms that I will put up a fight”, Y/N specified.
“You’re talking to a god, remember?”, he asked with a grin.
“You’re talking to a warrior”, Y/N replied flatly.
“Alright”, Loki took Y/N’s hand: “We have a deal,
When walking to her chambers, Y/N thought about the plan Loki had told
her after their handshake. It was a risky one, Y/N thought. There were too many
variables, especially Heimdall was a danger. Y/N sat on her bed, staring at the
wall. Her sword lay in her hands as she thought about the next moves. Y/N knew
that Odin was out of the game for several days if not weeks, and, considering
what Frigga had said, maybe forever. Thor, on the other hand, was the big X in
the equation. Somehow, Y/N doubted he’d let him be locked up without his powers
on Midgard forever. Though he had always had a thing for Midgard, he was too
obsessed with his own greatness, with his own power to miss out on it. And the
throne, how he adored the sceptre of Odin. Chances were that his friends, Sif,
Fandral and the others would disobey royal orders again to go to Earth to help
Thor find his hammer and get his powers back. That hammer was the loose end in
the plan as no one really knew how it defined ‘worthiness’. Y/N sighted quietly
and opened her drawer with her weapons. She took them out, one by one, and
started to clean and sharpen them. Not only did that kill time, it also served
a practical purpose in case of an imminent fight.
“I didn’t tell you the entire plan before”, Loki announced the
following night when they met near a cave next to a pond at the edge of Asgard,
where it was easy to block Heimdall from seeing them.
Y/N’s face didn’t change: “To be honest, I am not surprised. You
always keep secrets.”
“No, not really. I mean, I do. But that’s different. I… adapted
the plan”, Y/N could see the dark smile on his face, “After
discovering my past.”
“So what’s the adaption? Do you want the frost giants to take over
Asgard, rule over them and force the nine realms into submission?”, Y/N
Loki laughed amused: “I am no madman.”
“Sometimes, it does feel like it”, Y/N commented dryly.
“Brilliance is often confused with insanity”, he replied,
“But no, that is not the adaption. If anything, it’s quite the opposite. I
will lure Laufey into Odin’s chamber where they will attempt to kill him. However,
I will kill them before they do. Their infiltration will be the deceptive story
that I need to destroy Jotunheim and every single being in it.” His voice
became determined, somewhat bitter. Driven.
“You want to destroy an entire realm?”, Y/N asked with a
“Jotunheim holds no value to me, or Asgard. Its existence is a
sheer… waste of nerves”, Loki replied without a single emotion reflected
on his face.
“I do not weep over a species I grew up fearing”, Y/N retorted
quietly, “But remember that killing them won’t wipe your history. It may
give you the illusion of redemption, but it will still be there. Watching my
parents die didn’t wipe the memories of them telling me my only purpose was to
die for them.”
Loki’s eyes changed to something much darker, something, Y/N had never
seen before but that second he struggled to find words when hearing the truth
from Odin: “Yes. However, I am so familiar with illusions that sometimes,
they just become the truth.”
“You did not grow up in Jotunheim. Their customs are unfamiliar to
you, their deeds not yours. Just because you have the same capability of them
does not make you the same”, Y/N stated quietly, unsure of what to say.
“Doesn’t it? If it didn’t, why did Odin want to save me from the truth? Being from
Jotunheim isn’t like being from Vanaheim. The frost giants might just be the
only thing Asgard and Vanaheim hate equally - the feared monster, lurking
behind the corner”, Loki’s voice had a calm bitterness to it that startled
“You can try to run”, Y/N spoke softly, “But you cannot
outrun your true nature. You can only accept it.”
“And even if I accepted this”, Loki turned towards her,
revealing his appearance of a frost giant, “How do you expect people to
Y/N pressed her lips together and took his hand: “Loki, Asgard was
built on the principal of tolerance. Whether they like it or not, they will
have to accept it. And I… how can’t I accept a foreigner when I myself am
one? The most realms of the nine are not that different, Midgard, Asgard,
Vanaheim, Jotunheim - so many ideological differences were created by ourselves.
I don’t care whether you are an Asgardian or a frost giant, we’re just as
different, no matter what you are.”
“When I fought you in the hall that day”, Loki spoke whilst
looking at her hand in his, “I knew that you were unlike the rest. For a
warrior, you are truly remarkable.”
Y/N huffed sarcastically: “For a god and prince, you are
“Excuse me, but that was supposed to be a compliment”, he
retorted with a faint smile.
“Unnatural to hear that from you, considering you called me
wretched creature about 24 hours ago”, Y/N replied amusedly.
“You threatened me” he defended himself.
“I saw right through you, I did not threaten you”, Y/N
“Well, I’d say I am not used to that very thing”, he replied
with a grin.
“Well, I’d say you better get used to it quickly”, Y/N
suggested, “I don’t intend to run away just yet.”
“Very well, Y/N. I shall be your companion, then”, Loki stated
“I won’t disappoint you”, Y/N promised impishly.
“Till now”, he replied, “I can’t remember you ever
You tried not to be annoyed, as he was right after all. Seoul after sunset was fun, but after two in the morning, it was all grayed out corners and the smell of soju on greasy tongues. You shouldn’t have stayed over at the guys place so late, but there was something about them that made your usually in tune internal clock shut down. With them, your mind became so filled with laughter and comfort, it was hard to imagine having to rip yourself from their dorm and stumble back home to your lonely flat.
(Almost) all of the boys offered you their beds, but you refused, claiming you’d be absolutely fine on the sofa.
“You could have Yoongi-hyung’s bed. He sleeps on the sofa all the time anyway,” Jimin suggested.
The tall mage pulled his gaze from the sunlight just peeking over the mountains to look back at the approaching dwarf. Despite the frigid mountain air, Varric still had an impressive expanse of chest hair on display. Anders wondered how he could stand the cold.
“The same could be said of you,” he pointed out, smiling at his friend.
“Yeah, well,” Varric hedged, as always, brushing aside any talk of himself. He strode up and rested his arms on the stone railing beside the mage and looked out at rows of tents in the valley below.
Anders rested his hands on the chill stone and looked as well. For a few minutes, comfortable silence passed between them, a cold breeze ruffling their hair and the feathers on Anders’ coat. He really needed to get a new coat…
“You know, a lot of ‘em are here because of you.”
“What?” Anders glanced down and Varric gestured to people camping below.
“Down there. You know how many mages flock to join the Inquisition every day?”
What is the greatest thing you can experience? It is the hour of your greatest contempt. The hour in which even your happiness becomes loathsome to you, and so also your reason and virtue. The hour when you say: What good is my happiness? It is poverty and filth and wretched contentment. But my happiness should justify existence itself! The hour when you say: What good is my reason? Does it long for knowledge as the lion for his prey? It is poverty and filth and wretched contentment! The hour when you say: What good is my virtue? It has not yet driven me mad! How weary I am of my good and my evil! It is all poverty and filth and wretched contentment! The hour when you say: What good is my justice? I do not see that I am filled with fire and burning coals. But the just are filled with fire and burning coals! The hour when you say: What good is my pity? Is not pity the cross on which he is nailed who loves man? But my pity is no crucifixion!
Bailey’s night started off terrible. Her only dress from her now deceased parents had been torn to shreds by her stepsisters, she’d been forced to clean the rest of the house and the bakery again, even though she’d cleaned both almost an hour before. “Wretched servant girls” weren’t permissible (by their standards) to go even though all of the kingdoms had been invited. Supposedly the prince was going to be officially courted.
She wanted to go, really she did. But instead her bad luck had gotten the best of here and she’d split a whole thing of flour while sleeping. If only her parents were there, her brother. She didn’t quite know where he went. Tired, she ran out to the garden and cried. And the rest, well that was unexplainable.
But soon she was decorated in a soft cerulean gown, a sweetheart neckline with black beading that grew heavily spaced at the top of her skirt but closer near the bottom. Adorned with a black mask with the blue glint to it and black heels, she stood atop of the stairs. Her brown curls spilled over her shoulders, though the front was pulled away from her face.
The trumpets blared and she was just presented as a Lady. All eyes turned towards her, and she felt her cheeks flare with warmth as they continued to stare well after it was required. Women seemed to shoot her glares, others stood in awe. Men’s eyes grew wide, many smiling dreamily up at the mystery girl.