Title: Faithful Sigyn
Characters: Sigyn, Loki, mention of Odin
Word Count: 961
Summary: Sigyn is a badass. A screw destiny take on the binding of Loki and the coming of Ragnarok.
Warnings: Since this takes place after the binding of Loki, reference is made to many of the horrible things that happened then. So, potential trigger warning for torture, murder, child abuse, and gore.
She dreams in blood colors: red and brown and black and the dark, clotted color that looks nothing like wine.
It was not so, in the beginning. In the first days, weeks, perhaps even months in the dark tomb of the earth, Sigyn did not sleep. She held the bowl, and when it was full, she watched her husband writhe in the guts of their dead son.
There was nothing to say, so they didn’t speak. Silver-tongued Loki was silent, and faithful Sigyn (meek Sigyn who had defied all the Aesir when she claimed the bowl and chose her place) stayed at his side. For a long time, they did not even look at each other.
But it couldn’t last. Given long enough, even the most terrible pain becomes monotonous. Time passed, an unknown amount, and Sigyn emptied the bowl, refilled it, emptied it again. And Loki said, “Do you remember—” His voice broke around the words, too long unused. He coughed, a trickle of blood staining his chin, and it looked nothing like wine. He tried again. “Do you remember,” he said, “how Narvi used to sing in the tub?”
She looked at the chains that bound him, but no tears came to her eyes. She said, “Yes. I remember.”
Even that is long ago now. They learned to speak again. In the dark, buried in the earth, they told each other stories about what it was like to be alive. The memorized each other. When even telling their own stories became too monotonous, they told each other’s.
And Sigyn learned to sleep again. Loki, too, but it was more difficult for her. She had to be certain the bowl would not tip, that it would not fill, that the snake would not move. In the first weeks, she would never even have imagined attempting it. But eternity had dulled even the most unspeakable things.
So now she sleeps, sometimes. She stands still as a carven image, the bowl steady in her hands, and she dreams in blood colors, dark against the backs of her eyelids.
For the first time, she asks him about Ragnarok.
As a child, she had known only the furthest rumors of the word. It was a strange formless thing, a grown-up thing which her father seemed, to her young mind, overly concerned with. She saw no need to be troubled about large words and possibilities.
By the time she had grown to adulthood, there was more to the rumors, and her father made less effort to hide them. A wall was built. Valhalla began gathering in earnest, both weapons and warriors. Thor was gone more often than not, away in the east, hunting giants. Loki still laughed, but there was something hunted in his eyes.
Perhaps, she realizes now, she had seen the signs more clearly than she gave herself credit for. She always was her mother’s daughter. Perhaps she had been trying to save him.
She remembers her father’s answer, the one and only time she asked him about Ragnarok. “You needn’t fear, daughter,” he had said. “No harm will come to you.” She had understood his meaning well enough. Then, she had been glad. It took the sharpest edge off of the fear, and left only cold, wordless dread behind.
But now. Now she is less satisfied with platitudes. She has no place for dread or fear. She is less certain, even, that Ragnarok would be such a bad thing.
She looks at her husband, wrapped in the guts of their son. Now, she wants all the stories.
And Loki tells her. They know each other, now, as perfectly as any two people can: which is to say, in bits and pieces, half-remembered stories and exaggerations. Loki has no illusions about wanting to spare her. He watched the spark of pain and anger in her eyes turn to slow-kindled hate long ago. His own spark feels burnt out, but hers has not dimmed. He watches her, in the dark, as her eyes reflect the prophecies he shares, and he thinks that Odin may have made a mistake.
He tells her this, too, and she smiles.
Sigyn’s dreams are clearer now. Still in blood colors, but she can understand them. They speak to her in the voices of the dead.
Loki has told her everything. Sigyn knows all the stories, all the prophecies. She knows all the ways the world will end. She does not figure in any of them.
She considers this, remembering her father’s words so long ago (her father, the king, the murderer of her children—she hardly knows how to think of him anymore). The snake moves, a slight, sinuous curve, and a drop falls, splat!, against the slow-corroding stone of her bowl. Loki is drowsing, but not asleep.
Sigyn coughs, a faint sound to catch his attention, and says, “These are magical bonds, that hold the snake, and you?” (She does not say, “And Narvi.”)
Loki blinks slowly at her. “Yes. But the runes hold me powerless. You know I can’t—”
She cuts him off. “I didn’t say you.”
His eyes open wide, a slow, dangerous smile spreading across his lips. It is almost like the old days, before the hunted look took up permanent residence in his eyes: the days when he smiled and laughed and stole without a care, his form shifting like water, never the same and always beautiful. It leaves her breathless.
There is no place for her in the prophecies, and this is not the appointed time. Sigyn has decided she doesn’t care. A fire burns in her belly, her son’s guts cold on the rock. She meets Loki smile for smile.
“Teach me the words,” she says.