We spent the next day showing Freya, and to a lesser extent Balder, around the city. We did the touristy things. We also made a point of taking her to the movie theater so she would get the experience. She was delighted to see the Protector's movie that was currently in theaters and was excited when she realized that Loki and I were actually in the movie. We showed her Superhero Musical when we got home that afternoon to make sure she saw the original before she went home. She had seen the play version with us on Vanahala, but she was excited to see the original.
Most of the supers had to spend a long time getting ready that afternoon and evening. The four of us didn't and we got to enjoy a nice quiet afternoon instead. It was way more fun watching everyone else get ready. About a half-hour before we had to leave for the ball, Loki and I used magic to create outfits for our four-some. Tony growled at me later when he found out we had used magic to get ready instead of dressing the human way.
I don't know how Loki managed to convince me to wear a Vanahalan style dress for the event, especially when Freya was wearing an Earthen style ball gown and the boys were in tuxedos. It was only because it was my favorite gown from Vanahala that he even managed to convince me to wear it. It was the dress that I wore for the soulbond ceremony, a dark blue gown with golden sparkles throughout, looking like stars that were falling into the border of golden sparkles at the bottom of the dress. It was gorgeous, extremely flattering, and fit me like a glove. My mask for the ball was the same dark blue, with a golden border. It was fastened with magic, so I didn't have to worry about it not fitting, falling off, or messing up my hair. Loki also did some tricky little piece of magic so the soulbond marks on both of our arms glowed lightly.
"What are you up to, Trickster?" I asked him. He'd done one too many little odd things over the past couple of days.
"I just wish for my lady to look her best for the ball," he protested a little too innocently.
I was distracted from questioning him further by my helpless brother coming into the commonroom demanding that I tie his tie for him. I sighed, stepped up onto a box made of air so I could reach properly, and tied my silly brother's bowtie for him. Soon there was a line of helpless boys behind him, begging for my help. I rolled my eyes, but helped them with their ties and making sure they were presentable.
Superior himself did the final inspections of everyone before he led the procession of supers. The ball was being held in a gorgeous ballroom across the street from the compound. The ballroom had been built here years ago expressly for this purpose. Part of the tradition of the ball was the procession of all of the supers across the street, lead by Superior. The press took pictures and the procession was broadcast live on TV.
Superior made a speech once we were all inside, welcoming everyone to the ball and thanking them all for their generosity. All of the proceeds went to various charities around the city. There was also a silent auction for the charities as well.
The ballroom was gorgeous and exquisite. I grinned when I saw it. It was just how I remembered it being every year.
I saw a familiar wig of black hair in the crowd and dragged Loki over to see William. "Nice to see you here," I greeted him. Names were not supposed to be said here. It was tradition, though our superhero names were valid.
"It is a pleasure to see you as well, Lady Sigyn, Loki," he replied. "You look lovely tonight, Lady Sigyn," he added with a smile.
"Yes, my darling does look ravishing tonight," Loki added.
"Thank you both," I accepted the compliment tonight, though I usually didn't. Tonight was different. I had made a special effort tonight.
We left William shortly. We had other socializing to do. There was a little girl who was here with her parents who came up to me to tell me I was her hero. I chatted with her for a little while and gave her an autograph.
"Would you like to dance?" Loki asked as the musicians started to play the preamble, the announcement that the dances were about to begin. I nodded.
"Of course," I replied. He offered me his hand in formal Vanahalan escort. I placed my hand on his and we were among the first out on the dance floor.
We had so much fun dancing and socializing the night away. Everyone was so beautiful in their fancy dress. "May I have this dance, Sig?" a voice asked between dances. I looked to see who it was. It was Tony. While it usually would have been embarrassing to dance with my brother at a ball, it was tradition. Our parents had made us dance at least one dance together every year we had attended the ball.
"Of course, Atlas," I replied. "If you'll kindly excuse me," I said to Loki.
"Of course, my lady," he replied. I took Tony's hand and let him lead me onto the dance floor. Loki and Jason were right behind us. Tony was shocked that Loki had asked Jason to be his partner for this dance. So were some of the people in the crowd. Loki's grace made up for Jason's inexperience, though, and their dance ended up being one of the popular video clips from the evening. Tony and I danced, both reminiscing about dances in the past that our parents had made us do. I briefly thought I saw a glimpse of mom in the crowd, in the fancy red dress she always wore to the ball, but that was impossible.
I also danced with Jason at one point during the evening, as well as with William and a few others who asked for a dance. Balder asked for one as well.
"Are you two having fun?" I asked while we twirled around the floor. I hadn't seen much of them during the ball.
"Very much so, little sister," he replied with a grin. Loki was dancing this one with Freya.
Shortly before midnight Superior stood back up on the platform that held the microphone. "It is now time for the super's waltz. I invite every super in attendance tonight out on the dance floor," he announced.
The supers all found our partners and made our way onto the dance floor. We had warned Balder and Freya, and told them that for tonight's purpose they were supers, so they joined us on the dance floor. We all took our positions in a giant circle around the edge of the dance floor. I grinned up at Loki. I had been waiting for years to be able to do this. There were flashes of light from the cameras in the crowd and the news crews had video trained on all of us. This was one of the highlights, if not the highlight of the evening.
Soon the music began and after a few beats, the dancing began. It started with the basic steps, a simple pattern that the rookies would continue. Those of us with more experience soon broke off, twirling in a more graceful complicated pattern in a smaller circle a couple paces inside the original circle. After one circuit around the dance floor of the more complicated pattern, the most experienced dancers broke off into one final smaller circle of an extremely complicated, fancy twirling pattern in the middle of the floor.
/Ready?/ Loki asked after the second circuit of the new pattern. I took a breath and nodded. The two of us twirled alone to the exact middle of the floor for one final pattern of the dance. The crowd gasped. The other three patterns were common and happened every year. This one was new and we were the only ones practiced enough to pull it off. The crowd knew the dance, and knew that this pattern was new.
We had been practicing for a month, though, and were both good dancers to begin with, so we survived the dance, twirling with grace and a smoothness that the crowd envied. I knew that this would be the clip that was shown all over the news and TV for weeks from this night.
I was laughing in joy and excitement for the dance and sharing this fun with Loki.
The music came abruptly to an end. All of the dancers paused at the same moment. They were expecting it. I hadn't, but managed to avoid losing my footing. All of the couples turned to face myself and Loki, drawing the attention of everyone gathered to us. I gasped when Loki dropped gracefully to one knee in front of me, and pulled a ring box from his pocket, opening it to display a gorgeous diamond ring in a silver setting. The room was dead silent. It seemed that everyone had been expecting this but me.
"I never thought in all of my life that I would ever find the person who I was meant to be with, would ever find my soul mate. I thought I would never find true happiness; that I was doomed to spend all of my days as the youngest prince, worthless in my Father's eyes. You have proven me wrong on all of those points time and time again. You have lit up my life, my world, my entire being, since the moment I first met you. You have made me happier in the time that I have known you than I have ever felt in my entire life, and it is my heart's truest desire to spend every single moment of the rest of my life giving you the same happiness. With that in mind, I have one question for you, my darling: Kathryn Elizabeth Sigyn Avalon, will you do me the honor of being my wife?" Loki asked, loudly enough to have been heard by the entire room, even if the room hadn't been so silent. I saw the moment of fear in his eyes as well as the excitement and joy. I felt the excitement like a spark, my heart racing.
"Yes!" I managed to get out through my feelings of joy and excitement. Loki vanished the promise ring on my finger and replaced it with the engagement ring in one movement as he stood to kiss me. I wrapped my arms around his neck, letting him lift me onto my toes as I kissed him deeply. The crowd roared in cheers and applause as we kissed.
We had to break the kiss too soon so we could get congratulations from our friends and family. "Congratulation, imp," Tony grinned at me.
"You knew!" I accused him when I saw his grin. He nodded and pulled me into a hug.
"We all knew. Loverboy asked for dad's permission yesterday when we were at the cemetery," Tony told me while he was hugging me.
"That's what he was up to," I grumbled. I thought he had been up to something. Tony laughed.
"That's also why Ball, Freya, and William are here," Tony laughed. "The hardest part was keeping the secret from you," Tony let me go and pushed me toward the next will wisher, who happened to be Balder. Ball swung me up into a bone-crushing hug. As he swung me around, I caught a glimpse of my parents in the crowd. They were hazy, not quite real, but they were here. They both smiled and waved before they vanished. They had seen.
"Congratulations, sister!" Balder boomed, drawing me back to the present.. I laughed, knowing that he wished me well so wholeheartedly, even though he couldn't possibly know exactly what had just happened.
"Thanks, Ball," I replied, laughing at his enthusiasm. It took forever to get through all of the well wishers, but we finally got through them all and made our escape back to the compound before anyone else found us.
"Did you enjoy the ball?" Loki asked casually as we walked back across the street to the compound. He slipped off his tuxedo jacket and helped me put it on. I smiled at him; he was always the gentleman. The TV crews were still following us, too, so that would be on the air at some point too.
"It was perfect," I replied, wrapping an arm around his waist.
"I am glad to hear it,"
"And your surprise was perfect too. The ring is lovely," I added now that I could properly admire the gorgeous ring he had picked out. "When did you find it?" I asked. He was rarely separated from me.
"The night Tony and I went on patrol together. Your brother pretended not to be pleased to go ring shopping with me. The store was quite amused to have two supers ring shopping in costume. I am glad they kept their word and did not tell anyone of my purchase. I did wish to surprise you,"
"You succeeded. It was most impressive,"
"It was a close thing. You are too curious for your own good, and can see through my...misdirections... better than almost anyone else," he laughed.
"By misdirections, you mean lies," I returned the laughter.
"Lies? My lady wounds me!" he exclaimed, pretending to be offended.
"You are a creature made entirely of silliness," I laughed at him and his mock offense.
"Chaos and mischief, love," he corrected automatically, as we walked inside the compound. I kicked off my heels the second we were safely away from the prying eyes of the press. I vanished them, so I didn't have to carry them upstairs. "Oh, I forgot to tell you, the ring is enchanted,"
"Naturally," I replied dryly, earning myself a chuckle. "What did you do to it?" I looked over the ring and kept getting too distracted by how pretty it was to see the enchantment.
"Nothing fancy. I just made it so it cannot be forcibly removed, or broken. We do not exactly have the safest line of work and I knew you would hate for something to happen to it,"
"You are welcome, darling," he lifted my left hand and kissed my ring.
"I love you,"
"I love you too,"
"I should hope so. You did just ask me to marry you in front of our friends and family, and on live television," I replied with a grin.
"Did you expect me to do it in a small manner?" he asked with a grin.
"Not at all, Trickster,"