Chapter 5

“Loki, cut it out!”
Frin had said it at least ten times in the last half hour. Enough times to get the feeling of having an annoying little brother tagging along.
From the moment Loki stepped into the small grocery store, he displayed a stream of insulting pranks to show his superiority over the human race. That, or he just liked to joke around. Considering that option, Frin reminded herself that Loki did not have his addition of Mischief for nothing
His latest prank was nearly giving old Mrs. Peach a heart attack by creating a long row of imaginary ants, walking in a straight line over the red apples she was about to take.

Frin was glad she was almost done with her shopping. She grabbed his arm and yanked him in the direction of the cash registry.
“I'm never taking you shopping again,” she mumbled, while choosing a bread and some oven buns.”
“This is a fascinating experience.” He actually had the nerve to be pleased with himself.
Frin dreaded the next day, when they had to go shop for clothes. She had no energy left to do that now. Perhaps it was a good idea to just send him over there by himself. There was only one boutique in town, so there wasn't very much damage he could do, right?

After paying for the food, she would make him repay her somehow, they walked back to her house.
People stared. There were some people on the road, a little more than a few hours ago, when the storm had hit. But they all stared.
Frin knew their faces, not all their names, but the faces she knew. Mr. Vent, who fixed bikes and cars in his garage. Mrs. Temple, her hair always wrapped in curlers.
The kids from number seven, pausing their play to stare. Of course, they were girls, so that could easily be explained. Unless he was pulling one of his pranks on her and she was unknowingly wearing a pink wig.
Loki ignored everyone. He walked, or more accurate, strolled along, being his amazing self. An amazing alien, with dreamy green eyes, in a suit.

Her mind flashed back to the moment she crashed into him when he saved her from an involuntary bath. It had felt better than it probably should have. Maybe she could be a bit more clumsy in the future, let him catch her more often.
She really had to take her mind of the whole toughing idea. It wasn't good for her heart.

“What did you mean, by me having Asgardian blood? How can that be? I mean, I was found at the doorstep of an orphanage when I was two. Don't you like kids up there?”
“I said you had Asgardian blood, not that you were from Asgard. You are probably a halfblood. One of us coming here, seducing your mother.”
“You make it sound like a Greek tragedy. Do you guys do that often?”
He glared at her and she shrugged. “The Greek gods did it all the time, lot of demigods in the mythology books.”
“I am not a Greek god.”
She giggled at that. “So, my dad bailed and my mom decided after two years she didn't want me anymore. Is there any way I can get in touch with the guy up there?” She pointed at the clouds above her head and this time he followed the line of her finger.
With a swift gesture, he pushed her hand a few inches down, until she was pointing towards the rooftop of Mrs. Tildik's building.
“Asgard is over there.” He didn't answer her question.
“How do you know?” She furrowed her eyebrow and squinted, but saw nothing.
“I can tell,” he simply said. “It could be your mother, though. I have heard stories about Gná. She travels a lot, after all.”
Frin thought about it. About legends and stories. The stories she read about, the stories she really shouldn't mention. Did he know? Could there be truth in them? If so, where in Asgard's time line was Loki now?

Thinking about the strange offspring the Loki from mythology had, Frin decided she'd rather not know. So she changed the subject and asked: “What do you want for dinner?”
Wait, she wasn't going to cook for him, was she? Crap, too late.
He seemed to ponder for a moment and then said: “I will leave it up to you. I will not expect a banquet.”
“Good, cause you won't get one.” Heaving a deep sigh, she added: “I really wish you had your powers. Conjuring a meal must be so much easier than cooking one.”
A grin spread on his face and again she was struck by the lessening of his arrogance when they were alone together.

She prepared a simple meal of macaroni with salad on the side. He didn't compliment her, but than again, she did not expect him to. He didn't complain either, so she was content.
Of course he left the dishes for her. She would have to do something about that soon. Make a schedule or something. If he wanted to stay there, he would have to do his share.

After dinner they sat on the couch. Frin was flipping through the channels on TV, but there was nothing on. Nothing that could rival looking at the stunning man next to her.
She could wake up any minute now, all this would be a dream and it would simply be a boring Friday all over again. So, if this was a dream, it didn't matter what she said to him, right? She could ask him anything. Well, not exactly everything. There were some things even her dream-dignity did not allow for.

At last she settled for a relatively safe subject. “What did you do?”
Again he seemed to be able to read her mind, knowing exactly what she was referring to.
“Nothing too drastic, actually. It was merely the last of a line of... slightly misunderstood jests. I tricked Thor into throwing Mjölnir through Frigg's chamber. Needless to say she did not like the damage done to her belongings.
Before that, I hid Odin's staff. It was where he left it of course. Like I could move it without having him know. I merely hid it for his eyes. It was quite hilarious.”
Frin had to fight to hide a smile. She had had a taste of Loki's schemes for just a few hours today and already she had wished him miles away on numerous occasions. She could understand all to well the level of tolerance that Odin would have to have to endure him.
“Is this the first time you were banished?”
“To Midgard? Yes. He tried different worlds, but apparently this is the only one in which he can take away my powers.”
“Your rod.”
“No, I don't need my rod for my magic. But it would serve me here.”

She looked at him and let her mind wonder a bit. It would be a shame to see him out of the suit the next day. But at least people would stop staring. Maybe.
“You can take of your shoes, they look kind of uncomfortable.”
“I like my boots better,” he amended, and did as she suggested.

Seeing him so down to Earth, with his sleeves rolled up and his toes only clad in socks, he looked so... so... so human. There really was no other word for it.
His eyes locked with hers. It was easy to forget the rest of the world like this.
Barely conscious, she pressed the off-button on her remote, shutting off all sound, except for the evening birds near the kitchen window.
Her couch was small, like everything else in her small house. She barely had to move to touch him. They were already toughing, she noticed. His legs were impossibly long, so his knees stood out to the side. Her legs were there.
All of a sudden that tiny space near her knee felt like it was on fire. Her breath caught, her heartbeat faltered and she leaned forward.

It was stupid, she didn't think, couldn't think. Her muscles acted on their own, she was helpless against them. His eyes came closer, hers shut down and she did the one thing she most definitely should not have done.
She kissed him.

It was short, barely a few seconds. His lips touched his, her eyes shot open and she moved back like she got burned.
“Oh shit,” she uttered and then she jumped of the couch as fast as she could manage. She ran to her bedroom and locked herself in.