Disclaimer: Still not mine… I still want them though!

Chapter Eighteen: The End is Only Another Beginning

Author's Note: Finally, the epilogue that marks the end of this very interesting journey… or does it?

Previously Chapter Seventeen: We Do What We Want

Tony Stark's first act back from the dead might have been to crack a joke – but the second had been to heal an injured Pepper Potts. They might not know just how much Tony had been altered in his trip to the Otherside – but that didn't matter to them because he was back. And he was still Tony.

Life went on as normally as it could in the Tower once Anthony Edward Stark was revived from the dead. With the public and everyone on the outside never knowing that he'd died, Tony was left on how to explain his sudden good health. Additionally, the world was looking to the residents of Avenger's Tower to explain the massive die-off in the areas of the world J.A.R.V.I.S. took out H.Y.D.R.A. in. It was agreed on that they couldn't very well tell the public the truth – it would cause pandemonium and panic.

Less than three days after announcing to the Avengers and Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D. team that he was alive, Tony Stark found himself in the middle of a heated discussion trying to figure out just where everyone stood. No one was really pushing him to explain – they knew that if Tony didn't understand it, they definitely wouldn't – but he felt burdened with the knowledge that one of their fiercest enemies (Loki) wasn't as dead as they'd all been informed. He felt heavy with guilt that he hadn't told Thor the truth especially – but he tried to write that off as not knowing whether or not Frigg had been brought back.

He was very grateful for those three days.

After he'd been pulled away from… celebrating (damn his stamina was now… WHOA) with Pepper, he had been however, hit with the hard questions. Was he going to punish J.A.R.V.I.S.? Would he continue as Iron Man? Would he consider joining The Avengers, officially? What were they going to tell the world? And the list went on, and on, and on. Rhodey was the first to notice the hunching of his shoulders.

"Hey Tones, how you holding up?" Rhodey's soft question nearly shocked Tony out of his skin. Apparently on top of all the new powers and what not, he now had super-hearing. Super everything really. Rhodey should not have been able to surprise him.

He answered once he'd finally recovered from jumping, "You know, now is the time I'd make a crack about having a heart condition – but I guess I never have to worry about that again".

Rhodey looked pained so he ploughed on.

"I mean, I'm good. Really good – I've never felt this good in my life, ya know?"

"So, what's the problem?" Rhodey was nothing if not persistent.

"I don't know, Platypus. I just have this feeling like it's not over…" Tony was forced to trail off as the light of the Bifrost lit up the Tower's landing pad. At least, he assumed it was the Bifrost with the blinding light, tinkling bell sounds, and, oh, the two people now standing on his balcony… well, fuck. The secret was out of the bag now.

Loki the God of Mischief and Queen Frigg of Asgard stood stoically together and Tony Stark just knew it was about to get a whole lot more complicated.

To be continued in: The next story in this series. I already have a few ideas to throw in (like a full explanation of Tony's new powers, why bringing Frigg back was such a big deal, and just how much Tony still cares for the Avengers) but let me know what you would like to see and I will try to work it in! LOVE YOU ALL!