Day Thirteen: Denial
“Oh, god, Loki. It couldn’t have been that bad.”
“I have no quarrel with your race, but I think your mating rituals are primitive and savage.”
“It was just a drink, for a few hours,” Rose pointed out, obviously still trying to keep a straight face. “What happened?”
The last time the daughter of a merchant bought him a drink, it was poisoned. But Rose didn’t have to know that.
“The Lady Debra found that my jacket was unappealing to her tastes,” Loki stated wryly as he picked at his lapels for emphasis. “She felt it her duty to remove it from my person. She went after my shirt next, but at that point I deemed it necessary to remove myself from her presence if I wanted my dignity intact. You can stop laughing now.”
The blonde was making snorting noises at this point, and seemed unwilling to let up, so Loki sighed and sprawled onto the couch.
“I am thrilled to see how much my discomfort pleases you.”
“Oh, c’mon Loki. You picked a bad egg. There are plenty more fish in the sea. Hey, you should meet Rita, she works with the medic section in Torchwood. Nice girl, smart, witty—”
“Rose Tyler, your skills in matchmaking are obvious lacking,” Loki told her as he peeled off his jacket, tossing it over the coffee table. “Stop trying so hard to marry me off. It’s only been four months. Are you truly sick of me already?”
“Wha—no. That’s not . It’s just—”
“You’ve seemed…lonely. I dunno, with my work and all, I thought you could use a little fun. Get out a bit more.”
“I could easily get a pet, if you’re so worried about companionship.”
“That’s not what I mean, Loki,” Rose crossed her arms in front of her as she sat on the arm of the couch.
“Relationships are messy. Trust is too valuable to waste on humans.”
“Well, you trust me, don’t you?”
Loki hesitated for a moment. Oh, this was broaching on dangerous territory.
“Then at some point you’re gonna have to trust other humans,” Rose insisted. “Make yourself useful to us, even.”
A sharp pang went through him as his long-buried doubts and anger surfaced. Of course she would want him to leave at some point. He had hoped the dimension canon would be functional a lot sooner, but he couldn’t lie to himself that he wasn’t getting comfortable in this house. With this golden mortal. And now she expected him—a god by all rights—to be but a servant ant to the rest of them?
“As you wish, Rose.” The tone was deadly calm, but somehow Rose (with her uncanny ability to see right through him at the most inopportune times) caught on.
“Loki.” His eyes flitted to his shin, where Rose had placed a hand. She was always so physical. Loki couldn’t decide whether he liked it or not. “I’m happy to have you here as long as you need to adjust to living on Earth, but I just think you’ll be happier giving yourself a chance to make something of yourself here. I can get you a job at Torchwood if you’re interested, even in the branch offices. You don’t have to stay here. I mean, if you don’t want to.”
Why did she sound like she was afraid he wanted to leave? Oh. Oh.
Interesting, he mused.
“I am happy enough here. For now,” Loki murmured. “Earth can survive without my guidance for a little while longer.”
“Is that so?” Rose giggled.
“Of course,” he said, reaching over and patting the hand on his leg. “You are companionship enough, Rose.” He reveled in the way she suddenly flushed and pulled away.
“But maybe I should get that cat. At least it wouldn’t pester me over the dishes.”