Loki, the Undying

Rated: T

Summary: [Set immediately after Infinity War, Spoilers inside.] After his encounter with Thanos, Loki is found adrift in space. After finding that he is too late to attempt to help Thor save the universe, he is determined to find out the fate of his brother. After all, Loki is still the God of Mischief, and he may have a few, albeit drastic, tricks up his sleeve.

000

No matter how hard he tried, Loki was unable to escape the repeated repulsor blasts aimed at his chest. Despite the hits being relatively low energy, leading him to believe that Stark was running on empty, he was rather sure he felt a sickening crack in his chest. Just what he needed: another place to divert his limited magic.

Loki grit his teeth and struggled to dive out of the way. It wasn't until a blue woman grabbed Stark's arm that he had the opportunity. He found cover behind a now vacated table and peaked below it, looking for Cass.

The bitch was getting a drink at the bar and ignoring him entirely!

"Are you just really going to let me get attacked?!" He shouted over the chaos. She glanced over her shoulder and raised her glass. Loki snarled and forced himself to stand, pulling whatever energy he could into a dagger. He held it out, but knew that once he let go, that it. He probably couldn't summon up another one.

"So many people—so many good people—and you—you—" Stark couldn't seem to find the words. He held his arm out, but the blue woman was telling him to back off.

"—arm down or I'll—"

"Don't you think I know that—" Loki snapped, rubbing his chest with his free hand.

"—I'll put you where you belong—"

The woman had apparently had enough. In a quick moment, she twisted Stark's arm away, flipped him around, and then swept his legs out from under him. She pinned him down, subduing him just as bar patrons started to circle with their weapons.

"I've got him," the woman shouted, though no one put down their weapons. Loki wasn't at all surprised to find so many firearms on a planet filled with farmers. "Too much to drink."

"We're gonna have to get the Enforcers down here," the bartender warned, putting his own weapon down, "he damaged the wall!"

Loki rolled his eyes. Of course the bartender would be more concerned about a broken wall than an injured patron. He took a step towards Stark, who was sending a slew of insults his way, but the blue woman was quick to draw a weapon and turn on it him. He thought it over a moment and then set his dagger on the table next to him, raising his hands in surrender.

"I just want to talk," he said.

"Yeah? I don't think he does."

"Please—I imagine we have some common interests—"

"—I have nothing in common with you—"

"Thanos?" Loki asked, raising a brow. At the name, Stark immediately stopped his struggling.

"Yeah, Thanos, you know, your boss," Stark spat out. The woman glared at Loki after Stark spoke, putting a bit more pressure on the trigger.

Loki clenched his jaw and flicked his eyes over the woman to Cass, who was sipping a cocktail. She gave him a little wave before resting her chin in her hand, watching the scene unfold. He swore that if there was a way to make her stay dead, he was going to find it.

"No, Thanos, the villain who slaughtered Asgardians and tried to kill Thor in front of me. I don't work for him—I—" he nervously touched his neck before quickly dropping his arm. "Look, Stark, I want to rule things, not kill half the universe."

"Just half the city of New York, where I lived with—"

Loki groaned and put his head back. He looked over at the bartender. "How much to keep anyone from coming down here. It's a bar fight. We'll pay for the damages?"

"We will?" Cass asked form her spot at the bar. Loki glared at her.

"Yes, we will. We don't want any more of a scene than we've already caused, do we?"

Cass scowled and shook her head. She reached into her back pocked and pulled out her currency card. She slid it across the bartender, who took it from her. In return, the bartender gave a nod to the patrons still standing by with weapons drawn. They seemed wary, but eventually backed down and returned to their seats.

"Stark, I know we have a rather bad history—"

"—the understatement of the—"

"But please. I tried to stop Thanos, I did. Thor did too—and clearly he failed. I don't know if anything can be done, but I have to try. If you're stuck here in space without any of your other Avenger friends, then I imagine that you're going to need as much help as you can get," Loki said, hoping his pleading would work. He may not have wanted to grovel to the human, but he was a good actor. He could play the kicked puppy if he needed to (and to be fair, he was really feeling like one at the moment.)

The blue woman looked down at Stark. "He's right. Two of us can't do anything against him. We couldn't do anything the last time. If he really did try to stop Thanos and lived—we could use that."

"He could be lying—he probably is lying. That's what he does!"

Well, Loki obviously couldn't refute that.

"I just want to talk," Loki repeated, "preferably over a strong drink or five."

An hour later, the four of them were sitting around a table in the back corner of the bar, racking up a tab on the old Cassiopeia's currency card.

"You think that there are still Avengers on Earth?" Loki asked over this third drink and a plate of crispy, leafy snacks. Apparently, the planet ate a lot of vegetables, even at the bar. "All things considered?"

Stark was furiously shoving the crisps in his mouth like he hadn't eaten in days. Loki wondered how his fragile human body had even managed to survive so long—he wasn't even wearing his suit. He supposed it had to do with the woman, Nebula, and her familiarity with humans—apparently she even knew another one who had been traveling with her sister.

"Statistically speaking, yeah. Unless…. Well, unless he wiped the planet out while trying to take the last gem. I guess if that's the case…." He slowed long enough to shake his head and chug his drink. He winced at the taste, not being familiar with alien alcohol, and set his glass back down. He nodded over to Cass, who was looking at him over the rim of her sunglasses. "Anyhow, what's your deal, Cory Hart—what's your beef in the game?"

She shrugged. "I'm just along for the ride."

Stark laughed in fake belief, "oh, yeah, 'cause who doesn't want to go fight a guy who commands death."

"He doesn't command Death."

"Yeah, says someone who hasn't faced him," Stark said and raised his glass.

Cass shrugged. "Well, I guess I'm just the bank then. Any of you have money?"

Loki and Stark both looked away. Nebula's mouth twitched.

"Well, anyhow, what's our next step here? We're putting together a crack team—what are we, the, uh, Revengers?—and….. Great. Now what?" Stark asked as he finished his drink and waved down the server for another. They had kept Cass's card so she really was paying for everything.

"I suppose I thought I would find Thor. But, to be frank, that was more because I wanted to know if he was alive than any real plan. I am… open to suggestions," Loki replied. He rubbed his chest again, feeling the ache from Stark's repulsor blasts. He was in no condition to go into battle at the moment and—

"I say we find Thanos and take the stones back."

Loki practically spit out his drink. "You what?"

Stark went off on a train about getting the stones back, using their power to reverse Thanos's work then possibly destroying the stones. He laid out his rationalization in his usual snarky way, but Loki only bothered to half listen. He clenched his jaw and stared down at his glass.

Mortals. They always made things sound so easy.

Loki understood that Stark had fought Thanos with a gang of plucky outlaws and that he witnessed all of them disappear before his eyes. Loki, on the other hand, watched Thanos slaughter Asgardians in the most brutal of ways—Asgardians who, as a whole, were stronger than the five people with Stark.

"Stark, you do realize that the stones are only wieldable when they're contained, correct? Thanos destroyed their shells and now, without knowing how they were contain in the first place, we can't hope to just… take one," Loki said, earning him a glare in return.

"Well, Reindeer Games, you do realize you're looking at a super genius, right? We just need to build new containers. We have pretty thorough research on both the Tesseract and the Stick of Destiny on Earth—and Strange—" Stark paused long enough to squeeze his eyes shut, "—well, maybe there's someone on Earth who knows the details of the Time Stone. If now, then I guess we're gonna have to steal the whole damn gauntlet. We aren't exactly on a time crunch now, so we have time to think up a plan and gather the heroes or whatever."

Loki fell silent and chewed the inside of his lip. Finally, he shrugged. "I suppose that if… If Thor is alive, we may be able to count on him to be able to wield the gauntlet as a last effort. I imagine it's incredibly powerful and won't obey just anyone's whim."

Stark snorted. "So at least you're willing to admit that you're not worthy."

"I'm just not suicidal," Loki replied and down the last of his drink, slamming the glass on the table roughly.

"So this place," Cass finally interjected, reclining in her chair. She had been silent for the majority of the conversation, her gaze switching between the two men, possibly preparing to stop a fight if it were to break out again. "Earth? Where exactly is it?"

000

"I do sincerely apologize madam, but I cannot accept less than fifty dens."

"Fifty-! Are you insane? I was on Conwa just the other week and they were selling these for twenty!"

Loki raised a brow and gave the woman—woman was a loose term, he only got lucky in his guess with the large, lizard like creature—a condescending look. With some of his customers, he remained polite. With this one, it seemed that the snootier he came off, the better. The creature clearly enjoyed pretending they were high class and the more pretentious he was, the more he drew her into him.

"I assure you, they were not. Perhaps some… knock off? There are only one-hundred of these chalices in the galaxy, and I heard that a crate of them suffered destruction on their way to Katz, where they were destined for the planet's Supreme Leader's home. There can't be more than seventy left now! Look, you can see the maker's mark right here." He turned over the silver cup to show a small squiggle on the bottom.

The woman ooh'd and aww'd, and finally, she walked away with a set and Loki was one hundred dens richer.

The cup was a cup. The marking was something he etched in with his dagger. But hey, whatever convinced people to pay him—he'd take it. His duty, after wall, was to use his wonderful silver tongue to try to move as much of Cass's gathered loot as possible. After nearly an entire day of selling, he had done rather well, selling off almost half of the inventory.

As lowly as it was, he actually somewhat enjoyed the simple merchant life. Kylepo sat napping in the shade of their booth, though he sometimes went off to explore, occasionally bringing back a child trailing behind and a frantic parent chasing them. Loki swore the cat knew to go off and do it when no one had stopped at their booth for a while.

Loki had quickly found that trying to sell to the locals was useless. They were accustomed to travelers coming in and out, trying to sell overpriced knickknacks. The handful of people who were passing through for refueling or trading, however, were much easier to swindle. He admittedly enjoyed the attention he brought on himself, and he had a smug smile about the three pieces of paper in his pocket—papers with lovely young ladies' names and room numbers.

He practically felt like his old self—well, his old self off of Asgard and, perhaps, on Sakaar. Still. He was content.

"I think I should see about restocking," Loki mused as he waved down one of the walking vendors selling some sort of sweet meat on a stick. He bought two, sent the man away, and gave one of Kylepo. "I imagine we will get a rush right before dinner as people leave their rooms to walk about. Watch the table, won't you?"

The feline gave a pleased meow as he started to pull the meat off the stick. Loki gave a half smile and accepted that as his confirmation. He left their booth from the back and slipped between the small area between their stall and the next stall to walk down the main drag. He placed his hands behind his back idly as he strolled down the way, which was becoming slowly more crowded with people. He had seen much of what everyone had to offer already, but it was relaxing to just observe everyone and everything in their peaceful surroundings.

Loki turned and headed to where Cass had parked their vehicle. He hadn't seen the woman all day, but she was, presumably, closing out Cassiopeia's bank account and then going with Stark and Nebula to the laboratory. They had decided that they would simply walk in—behind Cass, who had taken on the form of one of the workers. To do so, however, she needed time to scout out a person and learn their mannerisms. She could only copy someone she had seen before, as it turned out.

He was quite content to have a day away from her. He had not yet come to terms with her essentially kidnapping him (yes, she did pull him from the vast expanse of space…) and keeping him hostage in a farm house for a month.

As he pulled the last create from the back of the truck, one in which he hadn't opened as it was already loaded on when she pulled the vehicle up to the house, he realized that his path to forgiveness was a very long one.

Loki set the top of the crate on the truck bed and stared down at the contents of the long box. He clenched his jaw and swallowed hard before kneeling down to go through the items.

Asgardian weapons.

Asgardian armor.

Asgardian clothing.

Asgardian toys.

Had Cass pulled these off of the bodies of his people? Even if they weren't really his people, they were in the end. They fought together. They (mostly) died together. There weren't any Asgardians left, except for the few that had been stationed on other realms during the Fall. The things, these innocuous items, were all that were left of those people.

And she had scavenged them off their corpses. Those poor souls, who didn't receive the funeral rites they were owed, couldn't even have their dignity preserved in death.

It was clear to Loki that he had not yet dealt with his grief as he stared down at the items in the crate. He had not yet accepted the part that he may have ultimately played in Asgard's demise. He was not yet ready to move on and let go of the people he may or may not have been able to save.

He felt a swell of magic surge up inside of him, and when he closed the crate once more—his hands trembling in anger and agony-it was empty.

000

Author's Notes: I'm sure it's the fact that I'm tired, but I actually got a bit emotional writing the end of this! I don't know if came across though, ugh. I want this story to be a Loki-development story and not just "Loki and Tony: Space D&D!" Also, I do want to make it clear that the reader probably shouldn't really like Cass—they should be annoyed, aggravated, and possibly angry with her. Loki is, after all. She isn't supposed to be likable.

Zblue: Thank you for your review! Tony will be very prominent from here on out =)

KnightLawn: Thank you for reviewing! I appreciate it!

SummerMistedD: Tony is going to be an interesting character to write do to a lot of internal dilemmas going on, haha!

Chibitamaora: I'm taking theories and ideas I have about the next movie and working them in… So who knows, maybe I'll come close on some things!

TheAngelicPyro: I appreciate your pun ;) thank you for reviewing!

Victoria: thank you for your review!

Rowanoak: Thanks for your review! I hope you'll continue reading!

ACVideoDepot: I hope it wasn't lackluster. Tony is in a 'weird place' mentally. And physically. He needs all the help he can get to get home.

xXCinderzXx: I imagine there will be other people who have similar reactions if they see Loki again, haha! I imagine tony would have been a lot *worse* if Loki had turned up on earth first and not in space.

Whirlwind421: Loki in mythology has, uh, quite the connection with animals, haha! I figured he needed a companion who would just like him for him. Even if it was an animal. Haha!

Fan-de-carlisle-cullen: Tony came soooo dang close in the movie. Stupid Starlord. With a good crew (and Loki) maybe he can finish the job!

Gelado Pocket-mouse: thank you for reviewing! I hope you will stick with me as the story progresses!

MidnightLokiLover: Thank you so much! I have found I enjoy writing for male characters more than female, so I'm having a lot of fun with Loki. Also, I feel like a lot of people enjoy seeing him be a bit more on the serious side, especially when it comes to introspective review, which I prefer to write. Thanks for your review!

OtherwordlyStarlight: I do know that Loki said he didn't want to rule in Thor, however I feel that after everything he's been through and survived, he does now want to rule—or at least convined himself he was owed that. (He did suggest to Thor that they take over Sakaar, after all.) He has gone through a great deal of emotional trauma and rejection, and I don't think he's recovered from that, so he seeks to prove himself a god in other ways—hence ruling. As far as the All Tongue—for the purpose of this story, there are things that even the ancient language can't pick up. There are some things that aren't meant to be translated, but I can't go into that further at the moment. You'll see what I mean by the end of the story ;). Thank you for your reviews! I appreciate someone who is paying attention to the details!

Thank you everyone for your reviews! I am getting a bit slower on the updates due to some other projects due, but I will still aim to update at least once a week!

Ever Your Servant,

A.F