Thick, heavy, nothingness. Muffled sounds, the faintest sense of movement. A smothering numbness, weighing your limbs down. Your thoughts are vague, your mind drifting amidst the swirling tides of darkness that hold you.
Perhaps...perhaps this is...how it would feel...to just...just...fall. To fall...into Yggdrasil? How would that feel?
There's a tendril of sound, off somewhere in the distance. Nothing more than a whisper, teasing at the edge of your hearing.
Yggdrasil. The world...tree? Yes. What was the story...that he would tell? Father? Father... Once, in the beginning... a flower. Yggdrasil's flower... It- it blossomed.
The noise seems to grow slightly louder. It's pressing on your ears, now, a babble of clarity intruding upon the dark peace that clouds your mind.
The...flower...rain...flower. It blossomed. Father... Father said so. It blossomed to such perfection that...
The sound is aggravating now, accompanied by a faint sense of movement. You are unable to block it out. It pierces into your mind, disrupting the winding flow of your thoughts.
So...perfect that... Time... You're struggling, trying to focus on the story, but it's slipping away, back into the recess of your mind, taking the image of your father with you. Time claimed it...as its...own. And...declared that...
The darkness is losing its warmth. It grows colder and colder, until the numbing shroud of shadows leaves you completely as you're hit with a blast of arctic temperatures. Your eyes fly open, revealing a strange, blurred world that shifts and wavers in an array of colors. Oh, Norns, the chill. You try to take a breath but you can't; your mouth fills with what you realize is water, cold water. You thrash furiously, propelling yourself to the surface. Sputtering and gulping in air, you blink the water out of your eyes and look around, squinting in the bright light.
Lyssa stands not too far off, doubled over on the shore with a few hazy figures, clutching her stomach. A brief rush of fear touches you, before you realize that she's laughing, tears of hysteria running down her face. You look around.
You're- in the waters of Asgard? You can see the palace off in the distance, the skyline of the realm glittering in the crystalline light. The stars are muffled by a brilliant morning sky, and a breeze teases the waves up to higher crests. The wind is positively frigid against your face. The Bifrost is farther off. It looks nearly clear in the light, stretching majestically out over the waters. Your bare foot brushes something slick, and, realizing that you're only in the water neck-deep, you stand and begin to slowly make your way to the shoreline.
Lyssa is still laughing, and to her side you can see a sniggering Eira, a bemused Loki, and Thor, who is currently wading out to assist you. When you're roughly waist-deep, you meet him and he offers you his hand, but you slip as you reach for it, and fall face-first back into the water. Thor simply picks you up and places you back on your feet. As you near the shore, you release Thor's arm and stagger past Eira and Loki to where Lyssa stands.
"WHAT IN THE NAME OF THE NINE REALMS DROVE YOU TO DO THIS?"
Lyssa only laughs harder, immune to your rage. "Sister... maybe you should refrain... from the Allfather's ale... if you are unable... to exercise restraint... in how much you consume." She's gasping for breath, her cheeks a brilliant red.
"Your sister sought us out in a state of worry when she was unable to wake you, _____," Thor says.
"A state of aggravation would be a more accurate description," Loki interjects.
"Aye. Your servingwoman, -Eira, is it?- found you lying upon the floor of your chamber, unconscious. When Lyssa and Eira failed to wake you, they came to us for assistance. It was my brother who thought that this might bring you to consciousness."
You turn to glare at Loki, all too aware of the way your nightdress clings to you. "And what if it hadn't? Would you have let me drown in my slumber?" He smirks.
"A daughter of Vanaheim, with claims to the Water Faction nonetheless, drown? Unlikely. The water could harm you no more than you could harm me."
Without hesitation, you mentally reach for the currents of energy that flow through you. Before Loki can so much as raise an eyebrow, you're twisting through the air, brushing past the ever-present void of nothingness that looms in the pathways of Yggdrasil. Before you reappear behind him, you reach out in a sudden impulse. It is done in less than a second. You know that he couldn't have felt anything, but there is no surprise in his eyes when he turns around and sees you standing there, one of his throwing knives in your right hand and a single lock of raven hair in your left. You offer him the knife, hilt first.
"This is yours."
For a moment everyone is completely still, the only movement coming from the severed lock of Loki's hair that you hold in your hand. It flutters against the confines of your fist, caught up in the chilled breeze that sweeps over the waters from the space beyond the Bifrost. The expression on Loki's face is unfathomable, and you wonder if perhaps you've gone too far, if perhaps the cutting of a strand of Odinson hair is punishable by death.
But then the corners of his mouth twitch and he slowly smiles. And oh, Norns, that smile. It's sly and mischievous and enough to melt the icy wastes of Jotunheim. You are no stranger to love, or lust, or seduction, but for the first time in your life, you feel vulnerable to the emotions that so many others dedicate their existence to finding. Something inside you quivers, as you stand there, soaking wet and shivering. Loki reaches out to take the knife from you, but the blade passes straight through his hand. He disappears into rays of light at the same time that you feel something solid behind your back, something solid and then the faintest prick of cold metal at the nape of your neck.
"Did you wish to test your immunity to Asgardian weaponry, as well?" His voice comes from behind you, smooth and mocking. The smile is gone from Thor's face in an instant.
"Brother, I will not allow you to so blatantly threaten-"
"It's only a bit of fun, really." There's the sound of his laugh, and he shifts, bringing his chest pressed more closely to your back. The metal is lifted from your skin as he reaches around to hold the dagger upright before you. The blade shimmers, and, with a glimmer of soft green light, is replaced with a white, star-shaped flower. It glows faintly with something akin to starlight, and the scalloped petals are just barely edged with black. A nightlily.
You grab Loki's hand and practically throw yourself onto the footpaths of Yggdrasil, dragging him along as far backwards as you are able to travel before he pulls off of the path, unceremoniously dumping the both of you back into the waters of Asgard.