Loki's world was a kaleidoscope. Everything was spinning, nothing fit together, and black blots were invading his vision. He tried to look at Thor, but Thanos was holding his throat much too tight. Instead he mustered one, final breath.
"You," he made direct eye contact with Thanos. "Will never be…a god."
Thanos cocked his head.
Then Loki lost all sense of being.
Loki gasped, trying to find her bearings. She didn't know where she was, or how long she'd been there. She fell to her knees before her vision came back.
Squinting, she tried to figure herself out, remember who she was.
I am Loki.
God of Mischief.
Goddess of Stories.
My home was destroyed by my sister I didn't know I had, like, yesterday.
My father died a few days before that.
My mother has been gone a few years now.
And my brother is probably dead now too.
"Great." She muttered to herself. "Great, Loki, thanks for the reminder."
But, she thought. Aren't I dead too? Have I not just had my neck snapped by that blundering purple onion?
And this isn't Valhalla, nor is it Helheim.
"Midgard…?" she said. It was more of a question than anything else.
Loki finally understood. Just yesterday, she had killed Hela. And what was Hela the goddess of? Death.
So, I can't die.
Which means Thor can't either.
She got to her feet, arms out so as to steady herself. She made to walk forward and get on with it.
But she didn't know what she was getting on with.
Loki looked down at herself. Her hair hung forward, greasy and grimy. Her clothes were scorched, yet ice cold. It was only then that she noticed her hands. They were blue as a spring sky, and Loki was willing to bet the rest of her body was too.
She shut her eyes, erasing her verdigris. When she opened them, her skin was back to normal.
She turned, observing her surroundings. Her cloak had been ripped off somehow, and the ground was dented where she'd fallen. Wherever that was.
Thinking about it, Loki decided she was definitely on Midgard. But she could count the number of buildings still standing on one hand.
Something had definitely happened whilst she'd been unconscious.
Loki wandered the streets, thinking things over. She literally had no plan whatsoever. She was pretty sure she was in New York but had no way of telling where. She didn't know anyone but the Avengers and, even if she did bump into them, that would only make her situation worse. If they recognised her, they'd probably get rid of her. If not, they wouldn't even think to talk to her.
"Wow, I'm screwed."
She let out an involuntary sob and sat down in the middle of the street. There she stayed for what felt like hours, face in her hands, trying with all her might not to cry, and failing miserably.
"What the shit?"
Oh. Oh no.
Loki recognised that voice all too well.
"I don't think she's in the mood."
"Well, obviously not, Wong, she's an emotional wreck."
She knew the second voice there. It belonged to the bastard who'd cursed to fall for half an hour just weeks ago.
She didn't know the other one, though.
"You guys realise she can hear you? Do any of you know what sensitivity is?"
"Not the answer I wanted."
Loki had nearly had it. She thought Bruce Banner was never coming back. She thought it was Hulk for life now. Evidently not.
She rubbed her eyes furiously before looking up.
"Oh, so now you're responding?"
"What?" Stark rolled his eyes before crouching down. His expression softened somewhat. "What's wrong?"
He doesn't recognise me then.
"Uh, nothing. Just lost everything, I'm fine."
Stark squinted. "What do you mean by that?"
Loki was about to reply, but Banner interjected.
"Wait, wait, hold up. Haven't I seen you somewhere?"
"Well, I live in New York, so it's possible."
Banner wasn't convinced. "But why are you wearing that?"
"It's a free country."
"But aren't those Loki's clothes that he was wearing, like, fifteen minutes ago?"
Loki gulped. "Who's Loki?"
Banner stared. He quite clearly didn't believe her but was getting weird looks from Stark and the other two men now.
"So, what's your name then?"
"L-" Loki gasped. She nearly blew it right there and then. "Leia."
"Leia what?" asked Stark.
Loki panicked, saying the first sound to come out of her mouth. "Hiddleston."
What the hell, Loki? What the hell kinda surname is that?
"Oh, right." Stark seemed satisfied, if not cautious. "Well, Leia, I'm sure you know who I am."
"Tony Stark," she said, trying to keep the dryness out of her voice.
"I'm Doctor Strange," said the man with the cape.
Oh, so that's what he's called.
"I'm Wong," said the shorter man, who seemed to be a companion to Strange.
"Right," she breathed.
Banner began to speak. "My name's-"
A loud boom interrupted him, coming from around the corner.
"Stay here!" ordered Stark as the four men ran towards the noise.
"But I can help!" Loki yelled, but to no avail. Nobody had heard her.