Author: Mechanical Infection PM
After Loki's latest scheme to slay his brother fails due to a change of heart all who he involved in his scheme set out to seek vengeance against him and Thor. Loki and Thor alongside the rest of The Avengers must set things right before Earth is destroyed. Along the way Loki and Thor patch things up. Better summary and warnings inside.Rated: Fiction T - English - Loki & Thor - Chapters: 15 - Words: 83,575 - Reviews: 23 - Favs: 26 - Follows: 26 - Updated: 05-15-13 - Published: 06-15-12 - id: 8221535
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They had returned to the helicarrier that floated above the city of Detroit hoping to use satellites to track down the Kingpin's escape car. Tony had logged into his system the warehouse's coordinates and with them they would be able to lock into a satellite and get video feedback.
On the ride back Loki had been quiet, lost in a pensive state as he looked over the Avengers. A thought occurred to him and while he was determined to carry it out he knew he would have to wait to find out where the Kingpin had been hiding. It was at that moment he cursed under his breath. Tony had told them all to leave the one crystal they had in their position in the mansion, which, could have been used to track down the second one. It would have been easier since that crystal was closer than before and he doubted the Kingpin would have escaped the city. If anything he was sure the man was hiding somewhere in the city, seeking shelter in the city he so foolishly thought he had under his thumb.
Once at the helicarrier Loki let everyone else leave the jet first and watched their movements. He made sure none of them limped or had any visible bruises. As he watched them he remembered what he had muttered when he had hugged Jan and while he felt no shame in what he had said he felt raw and exposed.
As Loki walked he lowered his gaze as he crossed his arms. Lost in his thoughts, thinking of the injuries they had been exposed to and the terror of any of them getting killed needlessly because of a mess he created, a problem he had set forth and was now burdening his brother and his friends with. He seemed to be good at that. Causing trouble and then having others clean up his messes for him but he was determined to clean up this mess no matter what and if he had no other choice but to turn himself in to Karnilla he would do so.
A set of fingers crawled under his hair and gently scratched his scalp. He loved that sensation and knew of only one person who knew exactly what spots made him shake his leg like a puppy so it was no surprise to him when he lifted his gaze, turned to his side and saw Thor happily walking beside him as he scratched him.
Thor had that warm smile that made him all the more lovable displayed for the world to see but mostly for him and it made Loki smile as well. Ocean blue eyes so proudly and lovingly scanning every part of him and while it made him feel a little flushed he enjoyed it. It was as if Thor was twelve years old and Loki was eight once more and his older brother looked after him and paid attention to him.
Loki was not ever going to admit it out loud but he relished that sort of attention. It was far deeper than making his enemies or those he considered less than himself kneel before him and tremble in fear. Sure, it gave him a sense of rush and importance but at the realization that what he was feeling at the moment surpassed even that, well, he did not have a problem with it at all.
The group walked towards the inside of the helicarrier and Loki and the rest of them, safe for Natasha and Clint, wondered if this was the same helicarrier that was almost destroyed or if SHIELD had an arsenal of them at their disposal. Neither would surprise them but they still wondered.
Loki sighed as he walked among the Avengers and felt the cold stare of SHIELD operatives staring, not in surprise or dismissively but scowling at him. He felt every narrow eye piercing through him like needles. At any other moment he would have felt the need to hide inside himself and shut his mind to the current situation but he kept his mind at ease as he felt Thor wrap one of his massive arms around his shoulders and draw him closer to himself. It was also reassuring how the rest of the group seemed to have slowed their pace down and formed a circle around him, some making contact with him, if only slightly. Both corners of Loki's mouth lifted slightly as he analyzed their actions and drew his attention to the warmth in the pit of his stomach. It was a great sensation and he reveled in the fact that the cold in his stomach which had made itself a home in him for thousands of years had vanished.
Eventually they made their way to the command center where Fury and Hill stood in the middle going over some documents. Fury handed the documents to Hill and the woman dismissed herself. As she walked away, obviously with orders from the director, she turned her eyes to Loki and he turned his towards her. More cold and distant eyes, it felt worse than being scowled or disciplined. As his focus on the agent blurred out he heard the director's loud and strong voice but he kept staring in the direction of the door Hill had left through. His mind was blank but his eyes held within him every emotion his face and body did not display.
Once again fingers crawled under his hair and finger nails gently scratched behind his ear. A smaller hand had placed itself on his upper right arm and as he looked he saw Jan's hand. She was looking at the director and paying attention though his conversation was more between him and Tony but the group paid close attention. Bruce had idly taken three steps back and was now about two to three inches in front of Loki. Had they noticed his distemper? How?
Loki then looked down at his booted feet and noticed his hands fidgeting at his sides. He did that. That and several other things like pacing when he was nervous or uncomfortable but the fidgeting was the most obvious, they had seen it when they interacted with him over a year ago. But was it so obvious that Jan and Bruce noticed even while barely paying attention to him? He could understand Thor knowing by instinct. He was very well aware of Thor knowing every little mania he had as he knew all of Thor's but these mortals behaved as Thor did.
Fury and Tony's conversation turned technical and as much as Loki had learned in a few short weeks he was still not up to par with the knowledge Tony or Bruce or Hank possessed. If his mind were at ease he would have been paying very close attention to every word that had been exchanged between the two men but at the moment it just so happened that his entire mind was uneasy and not focusing on anything in particular.
Tony lowered his tone and slightly turned his head towards the group but to Loki it seemed like Tony was looking straight at him. How he wished he could read lips. Fury then followed suit and stared directly at the group as well. There was no emotion or reaction from the director but it still made Loki feel uncomfortable, judged and dissected.
"Loki," Loki's mind focused once more as a soft toned voice called out his name. He focused on Natasha as she dug deep into his eyes searching for something. Comfort? A form of reassurance? Perhaps it was both. "Come on. These two are gonna be a while. They're tracking the car."
Natasha walked slowly towards the same direction of the door Hill had walked through and Loki's stomach tightened as the tense knots squeezed themselves. Natasha punched in a set of numbers on the keypad next to the door and as a hissing sound was emitted from the door it slid open and the tension in Loki's stomach made its way to his shoulders but he continued to follow Natasha while Clint and Jan followed him.
There was a long hallway but instead of walking on Natasha quickly made a right turn and punched in more numbers on a different keypad attached to a different door. As it opened Loki laid his eyes on a small room fitted with two sofas, a small coffee table and some papers idly placed upon the table. The room was small and it had the feeling of a waiting room with the exception of magazines, pictures on the wall and some plants for decoration. In front of one of the sofas was a wall sized window that overlooked the center that they had just been in. Loki could see several agents walking through, some with documents while others chatted with each other. He could also see his brother speaking with Bruce and the rest of the team. Further ahead he saw Tony and Fury working with some computer screens most likely tracking down the Kingpin.
"Feel better?" Natasha asked as she sat down on one of the sofas, Clint sitting beside her and Jan taking a spot on the other sofa as both could only seat two people at a time. Loki nodded; it was an empty nod as he looked around the room and took in every detail. It was a small room and while he had no preference to either small or spacious rooms he felt a bit calmer and the tension in his stomach slowly diminished.
"C'mon sport, have a seat." Jan said as she smiled.
Loki drew in a deep breath and let every ounce of tension out of his body as he exhaled. He quietly made his way across the room and sat down next to Jan. She had not addressed him as "sport" before but it was just as calming as when Tony, Bruce, Hank or Steve did it. It felt like a cool balm on burnt flesh.
"You looked a little tense back there. Thought maybe prying you away from the rest of the crowd would calm you down." Natasha confessed as she looked at him.
Loki remained quiet, taken aback that they had noticed his tension when he himself had not really acknowledged it. He was aware that the prying eyes, as Natasha said, of the rest of the occupants of the helicarrier had made him uncomfortable but he had failed to notice just how uncomfortable he had been.
"Hey, don't worry so much. Sure, they're kind of giving you the evil eye and it might take some time for a lot of people to come to terms with you being here with us but they'll come around. You'll see." Clint said while Natasha and Jan nodded.
"I know." Loki finally answered.
"Well, I've got a feeling there is a lunch room around here or a kitchen or something with food or snacks in it. I'm gonna search for it. I'll be back in a few minutes." Jan cheerily said as she stood up and headed out of the room. Clint volunteered to go with her since he knew she would get lost and he was particular when it came to his snacks.
Natasha looked over at Loki as Clint left, he seemed out of his element and concerned but most of all he seemed uncomfortable though she was not going to blame him. She had noticed the looks the other people gave him and she was certain those same piercing looks had been haunting him his entire life by the way he tried to conceal himself from them and the fidgeting.
"So you thought it was a good idea to just pick someone from our database and go in without really reading through the database?" Fury asked as he looked to Tony.
"Uh—well, sort of." Tony answered.
"That was stupid!"
"Loki warned him but he wouldn't listen." Hank just had to take that opportunity to both burn Tony for his mistake and to get a laugh. The rest of the team laughed as well however the director remained stoic and expressionless to the ordeal.
"With the exception of Thor, because we already know his answer, what happens after you get the crystals returned to their rightful owner?"
"Well, we carry on as usual." Bruce answered before Tony could.
"Let me rephrase that question. What will happen with little brother? There is no way in hell he'll be able to run around in the general populace without someone trying to either kill him or assault him for what he did back in New York."
"So far he's been more than okay staying within the mansion and let's be honest he knows what you're implying very well. Only times he left the mansion were with us in a group. He'll be fine." Tony said, he sounded sincere and sure of what he was answering but a part of him seemed to question it.
"There are forgiving people out there. Hell, we forgave him, even Clint did. We just need to remain positive." Steve, ever so cheerful and full of pep Steve, answered. His wide smile made the rest of the team feel at ease and confident with their decisions.
"Well, as long as you know what you're doing." Fury said as he pointed to the small room that Jan, Natasha and Clint had taken Loki to so he could feel more at ease. Apparently Loki had turned Clint into a small dog and Clint was now gnawing at his sleeves, Jan was laughing and Natasha was trying to restrain both Loki and Clint while she laughed.
Tony gathered Loki had done so because Clint teased him. Ever since both of them had sat down and spoke Clint took to either joining him and Jan in pranks or teasing Loki, all in good fun and Loki never seemed aggravated by it for he knew Clint meant no offense in it.
The group looked on and watched as Clint managed to pull Loki right off the sofa and was now pulling on his hair while Loki tried to push him away. All the while Jan and Natasha had given up trying to pull them apart and just watched them as they laughed. Clint was then shoved aside but rather than giving up he licked the side of Loki's face while Loki screamed loudly and Jan and Natasha laughed even more.
Steve chuckled as he crossed his arms and looked on while Tony placed a hand on the director's shoulder and said in a teasing tone, "Oh, don't worry, dear. We know what we're doing."
Tracking the car was a tad more difficult to do, which surprised Tony seeing as how SHIELD had an unlimited amount of resources. Still, he knew Kingpin was not going to leave the state much less the city but he was feeling restless. He wanted the crystals all found so they could go back to their "normal" lives with their newest addition.
As Tony watched the screen the rest of the group had gone into the small room where Jan, Natasha, Clint, who had been turned back into a human and Loki were waiting for news of the car.
Tony had turned around to see Thor and Steve slowly walking towards the room but before the thunderer could get far Tony walked up to him and stopped him. There was a nagging question in the back of his head and he needed to clear his mind of said question.
"Thor, I have to know. Back in New York, a year ago, sure the aliens put up a pretty good fight but despite everything I sort of feel like your brother wasn't—was he giving 100% back then? Because what we saw tonight was…unnerving."
"You are referring to his power, are you not?" Thor asked and Tony could not help but notice a bit of a smirk on the elder god.
"Yes, I am." As Tony answered Steve looked on also wanting to hear what Thor would have to say.
"No. His heart was not in the battle. In fact, only two people have been privy to watching my brother unleash his full power, his full potential of his magical abilities. I who stand before you and one whose very body and soul no longer exists in any plane, realm or location. Everything you have bared witness to has not been the peak of what Loki can do once he has completely unleashed himself. Admittedly, tonight's display was more than what he gave back in New York."
With that Thor gave Tony and Steve a devilish smile and walked on to join Loki and the rest of the team. Tony and Steve were left behind with mouths agape and eyes wide.
"Well," Tony started, "thank God he's with us now."
"Yeah." Steve said as he watched Loki in the room. A year ago he did fear him although he tried his hardest not to show any signs of it but before tonight his fear of him had gone along with resentment. If there was one thing that distinguished Steve from the rest of the group was that he did not grow to hate Loki. He merely resented the acts of which the younger god had been a guilty party to. Tonight as he watched his now ally he felt a bit of that fear growing back.
Steve tried to push it back shamefully admitting that the reason for the fear to sprout once more was due to the fact that if a year ago this god was not giving his all in the battle he was afraid to find out what the god of mischief was actually capable of. This was accentuated by Thor's behavior. As he looked at Thor walking away he noticed a steady step, his bearded chin held high and shoulders straight. Was it pride? Still, Steve shook any negativity. Had Loki intended them any harm he would not have risked his life saving his brother or Jan. He would not have participated in the fight against the Kingpin's assailants either. His train of thought was suddenly cut short by Tony.
"Let's…try not to piss off baby brother."
"Oh, definitely." Steve quickly retorted as they both began to walk back to the group. There was nothing they could do at the moment so indulging in some snacks and coffee was the best thing they could do at the moment.
As the three men entered the room they were greeted by the rest of the group and there they remained for a few minutes. Twenty-one minutes to be exact. An agent rushed into the room and informed them that the director wanted to see them. Each of them eagerly stood and followed the agent with high hopes that the car had been tracked and was now found. Loki was even more eager. He wanted this problem to be solved as soon as possible; he wanted this situation to go away lest it brings more aches to his brother and to his friends. Friends that he wished would not have to endure injury nor risk their lives over a situation he created and for this he felt genuine remorse and guilt.
"You need to tell me what went wrong. How did this guy manage to walk around sounding and looking like the Vulture when the actual Vulture is sitting in one of SHIELD's playpens?!" Kingpin's voice was raspy. He had been yelling at his crew for a while, more specifically at Jigsaw. The Kingpin's massive body wracked in angry tremors as he remembered how the price for the unusual yet useless crystal had skyrocketed to amounts he never even dreamed of reaching. His first reaction was to throw the crystal into the river that flowed by the city but he had to admit that the Avengers showing up and showing a particular interest in the crystal was odd enough for him not to have thrown the crystal away.
"The money from that crystal was going to rocket us up the food chain! No more gangster sub-mafia acts for us—but no, your gross incompetence had to get in the way of our goals!" Kingpin yelled as he pointed at his gathered men.
All of them either looked down or straight at him but Jigsaw stood defiant in the face of accusation. He balled up his fists turning his knuckles white as he suppressed his anger. Jigsaw hated when things went awry but more specifically he hated being pointed out and scolded as if he was no more than a mere spit of a child. He furrowed his brow, narrowed his eyes and listened but more specifically he let the gears in his mind tick away as he formulated different scenarios in which to put the Avengers in as payback for the mishap which now bellowed and pointed at him.
"How about you stop yelling like a little girl who had her pigtails yanked and formulate a plan?" Jigsaw dared to belittle the angry Kingpin. The men behind Jigsaw gasped and shifted about in their feet.
"How dare you…"
"If the Avengers have shown interest in this crystal perhaps it's safe to assume they'll be back and this time around they may push ever harder to get their hands on the crystal. We all know you won't be leaving the city. First of all everyone knows you are far too stubborn to run away with your tail between your legs and second you have nowhere to run away to." Jigsaw said as he firmly looked at Kingpin. His intentions were to set forth a plan not to insult although his manner of speaking and the chosen words could have been said to have been better worded but he went forth. "They will be back and we must be ready for them!"
Kingpin remained silent and watchful. In his mind he knew Jigsaw was right and as much as he wanted to put a bullet in his head he had to admit that Jigsaw had the expertise and the knowhow to prevent the Avengers from walking away with his meal ticket. The massive man placed both hands behind his back and slowly walked up to Jigsaw.
The group of men behind Jigsaw took a step back but watched on as the massive criminal stood next to Jigsaw and said in a low voice, "Gather your best men, I want the best to be there when these latex sportin' clowns show up at my front door to take them out." Kingpin grabbed Jigsaw by the nape of his neck and drew him closer to him as he began to scream into his ear, "And by 'take them out' I mean kill them!"