The New York City sky looked dreary and gray as Emily shifted in her spot at a crosswalk, surrounded by a large group of people, all going the same direction she was. She rubbed her gloved hands together before she cupped them around her face and blew into the fabric, hoping to make herself warmer by doing so. The multiple sounds of crunching slush and ice sounded as the light changed and they were all able to cross the street, making Emily bob and weave around people so as not to bump into anyone as best as possible. Once she was safely across the street she adjusted the dark green scarf she wore around her neck and kept her head ducked low as she turned into one of the many entrances of Central Park.
She always enjoyed her weekly walk through the park, no matter the time of year. It made her happy that the cold weather tended to make the park less crowded than usual as she continued to walk her favorite path that would lead her to a large empty field of grass that held her favorite shade tree. When she got there Emily's brown eyes lit up at the blanket of snow that sparkled and shimmered on the ground, untouched by others trampling through it. When she eyed her spot under her tree, she made her way to it and cleared a space from the snow, so she could sit on the ground comfortably. Once Emily was curled up on the ground against the side of the tree, she pulled a book from her knapsack and began to read. There's nothing like spending the first couple of hours reading under my tree after a whole week at work.
Emily got lost in the pages of her book until she noticed she kept sniffling from the cold and was wiping her nose against her heavy coat, which made her loop up to see the sky had turned to twilight. "Shit!" She growled as she bookmarked the page she left off from and stiffly stood as she shoved the book into her bag. "Davis is going to wonder where the hell I am." She made her way back to the path when a flash of white light made her shield her eyes. "What the hell was that?" She looked around, blinking black spots from her vision when she noticed there was a huge circle in the field that was now completely free of snow and in the center of it, lay a man wearing green and gold.
After a few long minutes, Loki staggered to his feet. He was badly bleeding from a wound in his side, but he couldn't think about that right now. They will be right behind me... was the thought that drove him forward. He kept looking over his shoulder and ended up colliding with something. The force was enough to knock him down in his weakened state. His vision blurred, but as it cleared, he started to see that it was a person he had run into.
Emily's eyes widened at the sight of the man that seemed to be wearing some sort of medieval armor. "Are you alright?" she questioned, slightly panicked. "You... you're hurt."
"Watch where you're going!" He snapped, but when he tried to stand he staggered and fell to his knees. Curse my broken magic... he silently sighed, then tried to stand again.
"Let me help you." Emily reached out and held the man by his elbow and helped him to his feet. "You need to go to a hospital."
He tried to pull away from her, but that pulled at the injury in his side and the pain nearly dropped him to his knees again. "No... hospitals." He managed to tell her. "Just need... to rest..."
Emily looked around and searched the area they stood in, before she took a deep breath. "I'm going to regret this, but my apartment is only two blocks away. Do you think you could make it?"
"I don't have much of a choice." He admitted, and set a very slow pace as he started to walk. He pushed himself to go faster, but his body couldn't handle it, no matter how hard he willed it to.
"It's not far," she encouraged as she moved to hold him against her side, taking part of his weight. Damn he's heavy! Emily huffed as they exited the park and made a left, glad that the throng of people had thinned in the early evening due to the cold.
Loki stumbled along with her, keeping all of his focus on staying upright and moving forward as they walked. "How... much... further?" He asked her when he faintly realized they had stopped for the third time.
Emily double checked where they were as they stood at a crosswalk. "One more block. My apartment is at the end of the next street."
"Can't... need to rest..." He panted, not sure he could make it that far. He didn't need to look to know he was leaving a trail of blood from his side as they walked.
A look of worry and panic filled Emily's face. "We are almost there. I would carry you if I could, but you're too heavy." She watched as the man she held onto continued to get paler by the second, which made her dig into her pocket for her cellphone, having no choice. Her bloody fingers tapped on the buttons as fast as she could, then held it to her ear. "C'mon Davis, please be home..."
After a few rings, the line finally picked up. "Hello? Emily?"
"Thank god," she sighed, "Hey, I'm at the other end of the block, just on the other side of the crosswalk. I need your help."
"I will be there in five minutes." They promised her, then the line disconnected.
"Just leave me here, no one else needs to be involved." Loki muttered and pulled away from her.
Emily tightened her grip on him and pulled him flush against her side once more. "If I let go of you, you're going to collapse," she argued as she looked down the street. It wasn't long until she saw the bright blonde hair of her roommate Mary Davis as she ran towards her. "Hurry!" she yelled.
"What the hell, Em?" She asked as she ran up and saw all the blood. "I will call an ambulance..." She said, and took her phone out.
She quickly shook her head. "He doesn't want to go to a hospital. You're in nursing school, can you help him?" Emily leaned against the building they stood next to and let the man lean heavily against her. "I found him in the park... he just appeared like this... I couldn't leave him Mary."
"Em... fine, but you better damn well give me an explanation afterward." She said, then helped support the man's weight. "Come on, we need to hurry. I can already tell he's lost too much blood."
Emily helped Mary adjust to holding part of his weight as she pressed her hand to his side, trying to stem the flow of blood that left his body. Both of them quickly crossed the street and got to the entrance of the apartment complex. Emily used her cleanest hand to punch in the button combination that would allow them entry, then opened the door. "I am suddenly glad that we live on the first floor," she huffed, then felt as the man became heavier. "I think he's lost consciousness."
She looked over and sighed. "He did. With how blood he's lost, I don't know that I can help..." she said, growing very worried. She helped to get him inside and into the kitchen. "Help me lay him on the tiles, then I need all the rags and towels you have, and warm water."
Emily slowly helped Mary Kay him flat on his back. "I think it's just a gash in his side," she said before she dashed out of the kitchen and down the hall to retrieve what her friend had asked for.
Mary hesitated, then started removing the armour he wore. Once she had his top opened and saw the degree of his injuries, her nursing instincts took over. She cleaned him up the best she could when Emily returned with what she'd asked for and found several injuries along his chest and stomach. She focused on his side though as it was easily the worst of the injuries. "He needs stitches or skin glue, which would probably be best..."
"Do you have any in your med kit?" Emily asked as she looked over the shirtless man that was laid on their kitchen floor. "He said all he needed was rest... looks like he'll need a lot more than that."
"With this level of injury, he was likely in shock. I wouldn't put much thought into anything he may have said." She said truthfully. "If I don't have any in my bag, I know for sure I have skin glue in my emergency kit under my bed." ."
Emily stood and grabbed Mary's bag off the table and handed it to her. "I'm going to go wash my hands, then get your emergency kit just to be safe," she stated, then stood and walked down the hall and into the bathroom.
Mary kept one hand on the wound to keep the bleeding slow, and searched through her bag with the other. "I only have a suture kit in this one, but I'll need the other suture kit and the glue from my emergency kit." She called out to Emily.
After her hands were washed she went into Mary's bedroom and grabbed her kit before she returned to the kitchen. "Need anything else?"
Mary took the kit and pulled out the glue first. "I need answers..." she said as she started gluing the wound closed. It was too big of an opening for the glue to be completely effective, but it held it enough for her to suture it properly.
Emily sighed as she pulled her dark hair from its ponytail. "I went to the park, like I do every Friday, and was reading under the tree. It got later than I realized and was fixing to head home when a flash of light blinded me. Then there he was, laying in an almost perfect circle of dead grass. However he landed, melted the snow around him."
Mary looked up at Emily before moving on to one of the smaller gashes on his stomach. "What you're saying sounds impossible, you know that, right?" She asked, concerned. "I'll finish getting him patched up, then we need to call the police or something..."...
"It sounds impossible, sure. But... my boss is the richest man on the planet and flies around in a suit so I've recently accepted a few things," she countered.
"Maybe you should call him then? He has a full medical team that could handle this better than I can. He can also contain this guy if he's dangerous..." Mary pointed out..
Emily looked at her phone, which sat on the kitchen table. "Do you think he would actually help?" she asked.
"I don't know, but what you described certainly sounds kind of... alien." Mary admitted. "Wasn't there something about a circle left in the ground in New Mexico just before things went weird?"
She nodded. "I saw it on the news." Emily reached for her phone and scrolled through her contacts before she stopped on Mr. Stark. "Here goes nothing," she commented, then pressed the button to dial.
"Hi Emily, I hope you aren't calling in to quit already." Stark greeted when he answered the phone.
A small smile was brought to her face at the sound of Tony's voice. "No Mr. Stark. I'm actually calling to see if you could help me out?" she asked.
"Good, I actually kind of like you." He admitted. "As much as I would love to help, I'm a little tied up right now. Call the tower and they will get you whatever you need." He told her, then the line disconnected.
Emily sighed and stared at the phone. "Apparently he's not close enough to help. He said to call the tower."
"Call someone... these injuries are from some kind of blade so he must have been in one hell of a fight. We don't need to get caught in the middle of... whatever he's involved in." Mary said truthfully, but the color drained from her face when the man started to regain consciousness.
"Do you think we can move him to the futon in the spare room for now while I try to figure out who to call? I don't want to put him in any danger by calling the wrong people," Emily answered.
"No, we really can't move him. I don't have any way of checking his internal injuries and I'd be shocked if he doesn't have any." Mary said truthfully.
"Where am I?" Loki muttered, coming around more, but still weak and disoriented.
Emily got out of the kitchen chair and removed her coat before she gently placed it under his head. "You're at our apartment. My friend cleaned up your wounds as best she can with what we have."
He blinked a few times in an attempt to clear his vision. "Help me up and I'll be on my way." He told Emily as firmly as he was able to.
She shook her head. "I don't think so. I'm sorry, but you're too injured to move right now," she said softly. "Mary stitched your side up and if you move too much it'll bust back open."
"I can't stay here... not safe." He mumbled. "I have to get somewhere he can't see me." He told her, trying to convey the urgency he felt.
Emily furrowed her brow. "You're safe here. As safe as we can make you anyway. Nobody saw me bring you here. It's almost midnight now."
"He can still see me." He muttered, then tried to get up on his own, but didn't make it very far. "Just help me up!" He demanded.
"I want to help you, but I don't know how," Emily admitted as she gently pressed him back down to the tile. "Who is after you?"
"The whole army is after me?" He gave a soft grunt when his back hit the tile. "Where am I? This is Alfheim, isn't it?"
"You're on earth," she said to him quietly, daring to brush his hair from his eyes, noticing he had blood in his hair. "Mary did you check his head for a wound?"
"There isn't a surface wound, but there could be internal damage. He's also lost too much blood. In the hospital, he would be receiving donor blood right now. That level of loss can also make a person very delusional." Mary explained, not overly worried about the way he seemed paranoid.
"I'm not delusional!" Loki snapped at them. "You just don't understand...""
"Shh," Emily soothes as she rubbed his bare arm, trying her best to keep him calm. "We will help you as best as we can," she assured, just as a pounding knock sounded at the door.
Mary jumped at the sudden noise. "Keep him quiet while I answer the door." She told Emily. She grabbed the apron and even gloves, and pulled them on to hide the blood, then opened the door just a crack to see who was there.
On the other side of the door, Thor stood, hammer in hand. He was out of breath as he ran a hand through his hair to get it out of his face. "Evening. I am Thor," he statuses breathlessly. "Could you allow me to come in?"
Mary just stood there for a moment, speechless. "Are you looking for Stark's tower? I can give you directions..." she finally managed to say.
He shook his head. "I'm here for my brother."
"It's just me and my female roommate who live here..." she replied, wording it specifically so she was being honest with him.
Thor sighed and narrowed his eyes. "I am sorry, but I am not in a gaming mood. I know he is here."
Mary looked away, definitely a bit scared. "Could you at least tell us what's going on? I don't have a clue about what we've stumbled into." She said truthfully.
"I can explain everything to you, but not in the hallway," Thor said quietly. "Please let me through."
Mary nodded and turned around, leading him to the kitchen. "Em... this is... Thor..." she said softly, then saw some fresh blood on the floor. "I need my other suture kit, he ripped a stitch." She said, kneeling down to look at the man's side.
Thor shut the door quietly behind him before he followed the young woman. When he saw Loki lying on the floor, heavily injured, he held in a gasp. "I've never seen him hurt this badly. I was on my way to take him home to Asgard when I was thwarted by some cloaked men. They took Loki from me and I was trying to track them down when Heimdall told me he was back here on Midgard."
Emily let out a breath she didn't realize she was holding as she opened the latch to Mary's emergency kit and gave her another pack of sutures. "He's very badly injured," she said softly, "But we're doing our best to help him."
"I am in your debt ladies, truely," Thor states as he sat in the open kitchen chair, placing his hammer on the table.
Mary took the kit, then quickly stood up and stepped back. "This is Loki? The one attacked the city?" She asked, then shook her head. "Take him. We don't want any part of this." She told Thor.
Emily looked at Thor, then at Mary. "Mary, if we don't help him, he'll die. If I have to badly stitch him up myself, I will," she said pleadingly.
Thor placed his hand over his brother's chest. "I do not feel his magic. It is not a good sign. I beg of you ladies, he needs help direly."
Mary sighed, then returned to Loki's side and replaced the ripped stitches. "Fine, but as soon as he is strong enough to leave, he goes." She insisted.
"Thank you," Thor said with a relieved sigh. "I do not know why these men took him from me, nor how they found us within the bifrost, but it looks like they want him dead."
"They nearly succeeded. I'm still surprised he's survived this long, especially with how much blood he lost." Mary admitted. Once she was satisfied with the stitches, she stood up and walked to the sink to wash her hands. hands.
Thor nodded in agreement. "If he was human, he would be dead."
"There isn't much more I can do at the moment other than monitor him. I need to change out of these bloody clothes, then I'll clean him up the best I can." She said, not overly happy, but still going to do a good job. "I will also bring some blankets, his skin feels like ice."
Emily sighed as she sat beside Loki and watched his breathing. It was shallow though it was even. "Do you think he will recover?"
"Both of you have done a wonderful job. I am indebted to you both for helping him, truely," Thor said quietly. "Do you mind if I stay here until he is stable?"
"Honestly, I don't know if he will even make it through the night." Mary told Emily, then turned to Thor. "All we can offer you is the couch. We don't have extra bedrooms." She told him.
Thor nodded. "The couch will be plenty if you will allow my company. I can stay up and watch over him."
Emily smiled at Thor, then looked down at Loki. "I'm going to try and get some of the blood out of his hair," she said quietly then stood and went to the sink to wet a rag.
Mary simply nodded then left to change her clothes. She returned in a pair of pajamas a few minutes later. She laid a pillow and blanket on the couch, and brought an extra blanket for Loki. "I will get some extra supplies in the morning, but for tonight, I think we will just have to keep him here in the kitchen." She told both.
"Thank you again, both of you," Thor said tiredly.
"You're welcome Thor," Emily replied and patted his shoulder. She then sat back down beside Loki and gently began to wipe at his hairline, trying to remove the dried blood.
"We will take care of him the best we can. You ensure no harm comes to us and your debt will be repaid." Mary told Thor. She looked through her med bag and grabbed a packet of wipes and sat down beside Loki. "Use one of these, they are made to clean blood." She told Emily.
Emily nodded, took it from her, then began wiping around his hair and face. "I feel bad for him. This shouldn't happen to anyone."
"A hospital with a doctor can help him more than I can..." Mary pointed out. "Do you think your boss has scanning equipment we could use?" She asked, worried about internal damage.
"I could contact Miss Potts and ask her. I would have to look up her number though," Emily answered. "I only have Tony's in my phone."
"Do you think they would allow a no questions asked deal? They won't just let us walk in there with... him." She said, keeping her focus on cleaning around the wounds.
Emily shrugged. "I could talk to the man of iron," Thor stated suddenly.
"He's out of town... you would have to talk to Pepper," Emily explained.
"I have met Lady Pepper as well, I do not mind to speak to her," Thor replied.
"You two can work that out first thing in the morning then. If they agree, we will find a way to safely move him." Mary told them.
Emily nodded, then yawned before she stood and threw away the wipes and rag she used. "I'm going to bed. I will call the tower in the morning. I hope he makes it."
"Goodnight Em." Mary said. She stood up and washed her hands before going to the coffee pot to turn it on. "You can get some sleep as well, I'll be up to watch over him." She told Thor.
Thor yawned but didn't move from his spot. "Are you sure?" He asked softly.
"Yes. The time it would take to wake me... it's just better if I stay awake." Mary replied.
He sighed and stood before he removed his cape and draped it over the chair, then unclipped and removed his armored vest, revealing his bare chest underneath. "I will be on the couch," he said quietly.
That's more than enough shirtless guys for one night. She silently complained. When the coffee was done, she poured herself a cup then sat on the kitchen floor and sipped the bitter, black coffee.
Thor nodded to her then walked into the living room and laid on the couch. "I hope you live brother," he murmured as he drifted off to sleep.