By The Willow Shade

A summoning gone surprisingly right leads a wayward god and a teenage girl down a road neither imagined they would walk, sparking an unlikely apprenticeship and an even unlikelier friendship. But can either survive when faced with the scrutiny and interference of misunderstanding minds?


3. Chapter 2

    When Loki had left Willow after that afternoon’s lesson to return to Asgard, he had every intention of finishing the book he had begun to read that morning in the hours left before he would have to make an appearance at dinner; instead he found himself mediating an argument between Thor and several of the men that made up the king’s council. He truly wondered how long they would be able to hold their positions whenever Odin passed on the throne now that Thor wasn’t the oblivious, battle-obsessed idiot he once was.

By the end of it Loki had been so fed up, he went straight to the kitchens and barked an order to have his meal sent to his chambers before retiring there himself, leaving Thor to make his excuses for him in the dining hall. He had just managed to calm down when he received a summons from Odin, only to be scolded and berated the moment he set foot in the king’s hall. Once that was over he left the room seemingly calm - though he was positively seething inside - and, deciding that he didn’t want to be in the Realm Eternal for a moment longer, snuck off to Midgard again.


    He hadn’t really intended to visit Willow again; he sort of just... ended up there. After making himself comfortable on her bed he had begun checking her homework - knowing all too well neither of her parents ever did - and was about halfway through before he realised what he was doing. By the Norns; I’ve gone domestic. He thought with a snort. He had almost finished with the last one when Willow walked into the room and provided him with the one bit of company he actually wanted.

The girl never failed to lift his mood. Part of him thought it probably had a lot to do with the fact that she so obviously adored him; she interestedly hung onto his every word as he spoke, admired his skills to a degree that greatly agreed with his ego, and dove into his teachings with an enthusiasm that made his heart swell with pride.


    The fact that she didn’t mindlessly fawn over him helped too. Willow had never cared that he was a prince or a god; all she saw was a person she liked who had much to teach her.


    When he left her late into the night, after indulging her with a few stories (and expertly avoiding explaining the last thing he had said to her that afternoon; it was much more fun to keep her guessing), he had retired to a house he kept for himself about an hour away from Willow’s to sleep, after checking to see that all his wards were still in place.

The next morning when he awoke, Loki grabbed the cellphone he’d acquired for the sole reason of communicating with Willow and sent her a quick text informing her where he would meet her for breakfast - and steadfastly pretending he wasn’t treating her just to make sure she actually ate - before taking a shower and heading out.



    “So, let me get this straight...” Willow began through a mouthful of bacon as they sat in a diner. “You skip dinner once and you get a lecture, but Thor trashes the place on several occasions and no-one bats an eye? That’s total bull.”


    “Don’t speak with your mouth full, Willow.” The tall, casually dressed raven haired female sat across from the girl scolded.

Loki always opted for shapeshifting into a woman when he went out in public with Willow; partly so he wouldn’t be recognised by anyone connected to his brother, but mostly to avoid the stares he got from people seeing a grown man hanging out with a teenaged girl he clearly wasn’t related to. The double standard annoyed them both to no end, but what could they do?


    Willow swallowed then stuck her tongue out at Loki and she scoffed. “Yes, that’s very mature.”


    “Fuck it.” Willow replied with a shrug.


    “Such a refined young lady.” Loki said sarcastically and Willow laughed.



    After they’d finished eating they went straight to the supermarket and slowly made their way through the aisles, with Loki unconsciously making sure the cart had plenty of healthier food options to balance the multitude of junk food Willow was so fond of. Once the food was paid for Loki drove (a skill he had yet to share with Willow no matter how many times she asked) to Willow’s house. They noticed her mother’s car was gone but her father’s was still there, and Loki groaned slightly; she truly hated dealing with the man when his wife wasn’t home.

Grabbing as many bags as they could carry (and could get away with carrying in his current form without arousing suspicion); Loki followed Willow up to the front door and into the house. They had been setting their purchases down on the kitchen floor to be sorted later and had just turned to get the rest from the car when Willow’s father walked in.


    “Oh. Good morning, Laurie; I didn’t know you were coming by.” He greeted Loki, eyeing her in a way that made her skin crawl with revulsion.


    “She was just helping me get food.” Willow said, managing to keep her voice even while Loki gave her father a barely-there smile of faked politeness, then turned to Loki. “And we should get the rest.”


    “Need a hand?” Her father asked.


    “That’s quite alright.” Loki replied politely then moved to walk past him and out of the room.


    “You sure?” Willow’s father insisted, stepping closer to Loki, and it was all she could do not to grimace in disgust at the proximity.


    “We’ve got it, dad.” Willow replied somewhat pointedly.


    “Well, alright; just trying to help.” Her father said with a laugh, stepping out of the way.


    We will see how eager you are to ‘help’ when I rid you of your hands. Loki thought viciously as she walked out of the house and towards the car, closely followed by a fuming Willow.


    “Un-fucking-believable!” Willow hissed angrily as she grabbed more bags out of the trunk. “Every gods damned time!”


    “There is no point dwelling on it, lítið einn.” Loki soothed, keeping her own anger deep inside.


    Willow took a deep breath. “How do you do it?”


    “Practise.” Loki replied as they walked back into the house. “Much practise.”


    Once the groceries had been sorted and put away, Willow and Loki retreated to the safety of Loki’s house - having gotten permission to do so from Willow’s father while he had been too distracted staring at Loki’s ass - and spent the rest of the morning practising a few simple spells. After lunch Willow had commandeered Loki’s laptop (which he had gotten on a whim and hadn’t actually used much) and began downloading music onto it; filling it with a random selection ranging from Mastodon and Helloween to Laura Pausini, Wumpscut and ABBA, along with operas and classical pieces. It always amused the Trickster how eclectic the girl’s taste in music was; she seemed content to listen to just about anything except for country music, which she hated with a passion.


    “Hey, Loki; can I ask you something?” Willow asked as she ‘introduced him to the wonders of Faun’, in her own words.


    “You just did.” Loki replied with a smirk from his spot on the couch; his eyes closed as he enjoyed the music.


    “Ha, ha.” Willow said sarcastically. “I’m serious.”


    Loki opened his eyes and grinned at her. “Ask away, but if it is personal, it will cost you a day.”


    “Fine.” Willow agreed, her curiosity being too much for her to bother trying to negotiate and Loki gestured at her to continue. “Why do you stick around?”


    “We have a deal.” Loki replied simply.


    “Yeah; for you to teach me magick. I mean... well, this.” Willow said, gesturing around them. “Our deal said nothing about you hanging out with me, or buying me food, or listening to me whining about stuff.”


    Loki looked up at the ceiling and was silent for a while then he looked back down at her. “Why did you summon me?”


    “To see if I could?” Willow’s answer came out more like a question and Loki gave her a look. She bit her bottom lip and pulled her knees up to her chest, hugging them. “I needed someone to talk to. Someone who wouldn’t judge me for being a freak.” She admitted quietly.



    Loki wrapped an arm around her shoulders and pulled her to his side, which she responded to by leaning into him and wrapping her arms around his middle. “And that, dear girl, is why.”


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