A/N. This takes place somewhere after the first Avengers film and before shit hits the fan.

You had lived in Stark Tower now for almost 8 months. Thor had lived in the tower for 7 months. Loki had been here for 5 months. It had been a long 5 months. When the God of Thunder had officially moved in, it had been almost surreal. Having a klutzy god under ones roof was sure to keep you on your toes.

Thor's first screw up had been when a blackout had swept over New York. He tried to fix the problem by sending a massive thunderbolt into the fuse box. It had taken four days to fix. Then he dropped his hammer and put the west lift out of order. Thirteen doors, seven coffee makers, forty windows and seventeen fuses later you had all but given up hope of a peaceful life.

Then Loki arrived.

There had been a vote, to which the answer had been a firm 'no', but he moved in anyway. Thor was vague with the reason why, but from what you could work out something had happened on Asguard and it was affecting the God of Mischief in a bad way.

For the first few days Loki had slunk around the tower in the shadows, not speaking to anyone and not making eye contact. Not that anyone had wanted to speak to him. Or acknowledge him. Everyone had hoped that if they ignored him he would just go away.

He did not.

The days stretched into weeks, and the weeks stretched into months. Loki was still there and he was still…. forlorn?

As much as you didn't want to acknowledge his problems, you knew what plagued him. You yourself had gone through it when the portals had opened in the sky.

"He opened them."

You bounced a tennis ball against the wall of your bedroom, ignoring the voice that came from the bunk above you.

"It's his fault you went through what you did."

You bounced the ball a little harder, still ignoring the voice.

"He opened those portals and killed thousands. He killed your parents."

"Yes, I am aware." You snapped, bouncing the ball a little too hard and failing to catch it. It hit the bunk above you and the owner of the voice hissed, recoiling from your peripheral.

"You did that on purpose!"

"I assure you my dear, it was quite accidental." You sighed and stood up to fetch the ball. As you passed the ladder to the top bunk you reached out and patted your companions back. Her tails twitched back and reached up to caress your cheek.

"I don't mean to upset you. I just want to make sure you know who you're feeling sorry for."

"Trust me, I know." You flop down on your bunk and Chi-Chi dangles her head over yours. Her tongue flicks your nose gently and her yellow eyes seem to stare into your soul. For a snake, she was overly affectionate.

Tony had had issued with you moving into Stark Tower. Nine issues to be exact: Chi-Chi your 5-foot ball python, your monitor lizard, three dogs, two cats and two macaws had to come with you. Pepper and Nat had eventually swayed his mind. Your nine companions were impeccably well behaved and, with the exception of Chi-Chi, offered company to the other residents. Thor was especially fond of your Jack Russel, Buster.

This was your 'superpower'; you could talk to animals. 'Dolittle' was your unofficial nickname in the press and you hated it. Doctor Dolittle was a fictional character. You were not and talking to animals was nowhere near as fun as the films had made out. You scarcely ventured outside as all you could hear was the chatter of the birds and the whispers of the sewer rats. But you did have your uses. When the portals had opened in the sky you had called upon the rats to lead the people to safety and to then help in the clean-up effort. The birds had shielding people from the worst of it and dogs had led people out of unstable buildings. One of the dogs had come across Steve, which is when the Avengers found out about you. Twelve months and many meetings later, you were a fully-fledged avenger.

"I'm going to talk to him." you decided, gently pushing Chi-Chi aside and standing up.

"You're an idiot."

You waved the comment off and began your wondering through the tower. There wasn't really any way to know where Loki was. He kept to himself and you weren't even 100% sure which room was his. Did he even have a room? Maybe he lived in the broom closet.

You chuckled to yourself as the doors to the communal kitchen whooshed open. You waved a greeting to Clint, who was sprawled across several bar stools reading the paper. "Have you seen our resident goth?"

Clint shook his head. "I haven't really been looking. Why do you care?"

You shrugged, filling a thermal flask with freshly brewed coffee. "Just curious. Wondered if he had seen any of the cats recently." It wasn't a lie. Since Loki had come your two cats, Pharrah and Beerious, had rarely been seen. You had a sneaking suspicion that they were keeping him company.

"Have you tried the helipad?"

You glanced up to find one of your Macaw's perched on a hanging light fitting. "Why would they be up there?"

"Why would they be where?" Clint lowered his paper in confusion, shaking his head when he realised that Jasper was perched above him. "That's just weird."

"I don't know, but Lily and I saw him up there when we came back a few hours ago."

You thanked him and headed towards the elevator, keying in the combo for the helipad. It takes a few minutes to traverse the height of the building and you take a moment to take in the New York skyline. It's certainly better than the towns of Texas that you were used to.

The doors to the lift opened and you stepped out into the airlock system. There were happy purrs from your feet as Pharrah and Beerious stood and stretched from their spot behind a planter. You scratched them both behind their ears and smiled. "What are you two doing all the way up here?"

"Keeping an eye on our new housemate." Beerious purred. "He's an odd one. Loves solitude but he'll tolerate us."

"He's out there behind that pillar." Pharrah flicked her eyes and you felt your stomach roll. Of course Loki had managed to find the most remote part of the building. You thanked the two of them and stepped out onto the helipad.

The wind was cold and hard and whipped your hair a hundred different ways. You clutched the thermal flask close to your chest and pattered towards the pillar in question. Poking your head around confirmed that the God of Mischief was indeed sat on the edge, feet dangling 55 storeys above the street.

"Loki?" you called out, one hand maintaining a white-knuckle grip on the pillar. Loki didn't respond, either because the wind stole your voice or because he didn't care. You tried again. "Loki!"

Loki twitched his head and glanced at you out the corner of his eye.

"I brought you coffee!"

The God ignored you and you swallowed the lump in your throat as you sat on the ledge and started scooting your way towards him. Your stomach rolled and you refused to look down as you navigated the 5 foot wide ledge.

Once you were close enough you brandished the thermal flask. Loki looked at it as though it was poison. The ledge here was more sheltered so you didn't need to shout at him anymore. "Coffee." You reiterated, jiggling the flask at him. "I'm not sure how you take it, so there's only a splash of milk in it. You don't strike me as the sugar type."

Loki turned his head away and you carefully placed the flask next to him.

"Jasper tells me you've been out here for a few hours. Aren't you cold?"

No response.

"I'm not sure how you Asgardians feel the cold. Although you're technically a Frost Giant, right? So I guess the cold doesn't bother you so much."

Loki showed no sign that he had heard you, or that he cared to.

"Beerious and Pharrah are quite fond of you. They say that you tolerate them." You sighed as the God continued to ignore you. "I know you're grieving."

Loki's right eye twitched and his brow tightened, although he still refused to look at you or acknowledge you.

"I don't know who you lost, but I know what you're feeling. I lost my parents last year. It's a horrible feeling, but if you talk to someone you can feel a little better."

Loki continued to ignore you but his face was starting to contort with a new emotion. You weren't quite sure if he was about to start crying or throw you from the ledge, so you decided it was possibly time to leave.

"Well, I'm on floor nineteen if you need to talk. Return the flask if you remember. Tony gets pissy about those things."

You left Loki on the ledge and returned to your room. You repeated yourself over the next week, taking a flask of coffee to Loki on that ledge every day. Each day you'd tell him that you were there to listen to him, and every day he would ignore you. On the fourth day you asked Thor about it, but his gently reminded you that it was Loki's business, not his and not yours. If Loki didn't want to tell you then that was that.

"You're a fool." Chi-Chi declared as you made your way to the lift on the eighth day. She was fed up of you going out on the ledge with a guy who might very well push you, so today she was accompanying you. She was wound tightly around your waist, her head draped over your shoulder. "He wants nothing to do with you, yet you run to talk to him every day. Have you considered that maybe he just doesn't like you?"

"If he didn't want the company he'd move to a new spot." You said firmly. "Or he'd send a hologram."

"How do you know he's not?"

You shrugged, but in reality you had patted his shoulder yesterday before leaving him be. It had been because you'd felt a little giddy when you'd stood up, but it was nice to know that he was actually there.

As you make your way to the pillar today you are surprised to find that Loki isn't sat so far around today. In fact, he's sat so close that you don't need to make your way out onto the ledge at all today. "Morning!" you greeted cheerfully, plonking yourself down on the floor next to him.

Chi-Chi uncurled her lower half and wrapped it around a tethering bolt, rooting the two of you firmly to the ground.

Loki noticed her and raised an eyebrow in surprise. "That's a snake." He said evenly and your heart skipped a beat. After eight days he had finally acknowledged that you were there!

"This is Chi-Chi." You said enthusiastically. "She says hello."

"No, I don't."

"She doesn't." Loki smirked.

Your heart skipped another beat. "You can hear her?"

"No, but I can see her body language. I've spent time as several animals. I know them well."

"That's cool!" you gushed, acutely aware that you sounded like an overexcited school girl. "Do you have a favourite animal?"

Loki frowned at you and you felt a blush rising on your cheeks.

"Sorry. I've just never heard you say so much. Well, not in quite a while anyway. I'm not sure if you really remember me."

Loki chuckled dryly. "Y/N. I threw you from the roof of a 26 storey building and several pigeons caught you half way down."

"That's me!" you laughed. He wasn't wrong.

"Why are you here?"

"I told you. I know how to deal with grief and I want to help you."

Loki laughed, but this was a laughter full of self-hatred and anger. "Help me? Help me? Please, you only want to help yourself. Whatever you think you feel for me is mere loathing, masked by something else. You're not here for me."

"I'm not obligated to come here, you know. I'm here because I know that you hurt and I don't want other people going through what I went thought."

"You're mortal. Everyone goes through what you're feeling. You're not special."

Loki's words sting but you know he's right. You also know that the second stage of grief is anger. Hopefully this is that, and not just Loki being Loki.

"You're right, humans do know grief well. But something tells me that you're people don't. So speaking to someone could help."

"Go away." Loki said quietly, sneering at you as though you were dog faeces on his boot. "I don't want your company. I don't want to be here."

"Yet here you are; stuck on Earth with me for company." You force a smile, knowing that it's grief speaking and not really him. "Who did you lose?"

"It's none of your business."

"I lost both my parents." You press. "My mum died when her office building collapsed. My dad died from smoke inhalation from the fires. They're both buried in one of those mass memorial things the other side of Central Park. Is whoever you lost buried?"

"It's none of your business." Loki growled, his hands balling into fists.

Sensing that you're about to take a tumble to the world below, you decided to take your leave. You stand and Chi-Chi unravels from around your waist. "It's not your fault, you know? Whatever happened to whoever you lost wasn't your fault."

Loki's gaze remained fixed on the horizon and you weren't sure if he'd heard you.

"I'll stay here for a while." Chi-Chi decided, slithering a little close to him. "Have a few words cold-blooded to cold-blooded."

You wave her off and head back to the elevator, collecting the cats on the way. "He was crying yesterday." Pharrah states as the lift doors close behind you.

"Pretty sure he was crying just now." Beerious sighs. "Such a strange creature."

Chi-Chi returns two days later but tells you nothing. "I gave him my word, I'm sorry. You should talk to him again. He's missed your company."

"He really hasn't." you laugh. "I'm sure the last two days have been very peaceful on that ledge."

"He's been in his room." Chi-Chi stated, slithering in under her duvet on the top bunk. "Thor payed him a visit yesterday. They're still very close. Thor said it wasn't his fault either and he really started crying. You're on the right path if you want to help him."

You wonder if she's delusional, but take her advice anyway and seek him out that afternoon. He hasn't returned to the ledge and he's not in the kitchen, lounge or training room. You'd try his room but you still aren't really sure where that is. A tip from Pharrah points you in the direction of the small library on floor 20. Sure enough you find him sat on a small couch, reading a history book on Latin America.

"I didn't know you could read." You joke as you cross the room to sit next to him.

Loki doesn't look up but his brow furrows as he frowns at the pages. "I didn't know you were welcome in my company again."

You shrug and nudge his shoulder gently. He doesn't move and you bounce off his shoulder. It actually stings your arm.

"You are truly very annoying." Loki sighs and snaps the book closed. "What do you want?"

"To help you."

"Hilarious."

"It's true."

"No, you've come to pry."

"Only to try and help you heal."

"Then you're going to run back to all your little Avenger friends and have a good gossip at my expense."

You laugh lightly. "I'm not in the habit of gossiping. Besides, half of them are on a mission in Dubai. Clint sleeps most of the day and Thor is a bit of a night owl. Not the best of company."

"You pets then."

"It's not in animal nature to gossip." You shrug. "They tend to stop listening and wander off." You wonder briefly if you should put a comforting hand on Loki's shoulder. You immediately think better of it and maintain your distance. "I genuinely just want to help you. I've been where you are and I know that you will eat yourself from the inside out with guilt until there's nothing left. I don't want to see anyone suffer in that way, not even a genocidal maniac like yourself."

Loki scoffs in distaste. "I'm not a genocidal maniac."

"You unleashed space-beasts on New York with the sole purpose of slaughtering thousands." You fix Loki with an unimpressed stare. "That's genocidal mania."

"If I tell you what happened, will you leave me alone?"

"Yes."

"Promise?"

"Promise."

Loki sighs, head thumping back against the wall behind him. "Then I shall tell you."