Disclaimer: Don't own anything!

AN: Yes, I have indeed started another Thor-story and hopefully, it will be different from my other one, but still filled with angst and drama. I can only hope this will be enjoyed as well and please, let me know what you think of this first chapter!

~ Start Over Again ~

Chapter 1

Anthony Stark was confused. He was used to these kind of situations - battling monsters and villains had become his second job - and this monster was much like those before. It - or was it a he? - was as tall as a house, with four long legs and tentacle-like arms. Only it did not have hands. In stead it had sharp, menacing claws. However, the beast might be large and strong, it lacked speed and a certain intellect.

This was not what confused Tony though. The fact that Thor's evil brother was fighting alongside them was. The black haired God of Mischief had come to their aid at a certain point, a spear in his left hand and his green eyes focused solely on killing the beast. There simply had not been time to question Loki's motives and for the moment, Tony was grateful for his assistance. The beast might be dumb; it was still putting up one hell of a fight.

Tony had barely thought this when one of the beast's legs kicked out and hit him square in the chest. If he had not been wearing his iron suit, he would have died from the blow alone. In stead, the Iron Man catapulted back and landed forcefully on the ground a short distance away. Tony groaned as he pushed himself up into sitting position, his world spinning before his eyes as he tasted his last meal in his mouth. He quickly swallowed away the bile and stood, waiting for his weapon-system to reboot.

It had been one hell of a kick.

The beast had been fired at multiple timed already, but it had only experienced the bullets and small missile as a tickle. Its skin seemed almost impenetrable and Tony cursed under his breath. At least the beast was beginning to show signs of fatigue as it stumbled dangerously to its right where the Captain and Hawkeye were fiercely attacking it. Thor was flinging his hammer at its legs and Loki was about to plant his spear in one of the beast's tentacle-like arms.

It was then that Tony witnessed one of Thor's more effective blows. The beast staggered back, confused and in pain. It spread its arms and continued to turn to its left where only Loki stood, the spear ready in his hands to be used. For the first time in hours, the beast showed a swiftness in his movements as a claw shot forward, planting itself in Loki's chest.

The God of Mischief gasped in shock and Thor roared with fury.

Tony's weapon-system returned online and he didn't hesitate. Firing everything he still had left, he watched the beast's downfall. They finally had the upper hand and Tony fired his last round. He barely had time to witness the beast's last breath as his gaze was instantly drawn to the two Godly brothers.

-o-o-

His heart skipped a beat, but Thor managed to recollect his wits. He raced towards Loki, his eyes wide when noticing the crimson blood flowing effortlessly from a deep chest wound. He reached his brother just in time to prevent him from falling down and his two broad arms wrapped themselves around Loki's thin figure. Together, they dropped to the floor, but Thor made sure his brother never hit the actual cold ground.

Pulling Loki closer to his chest, Thor faint relief wash over him when seeing Loki's hazy eyes fall upon his face. Loki's chest was barely rising and falling as he gasped for breath, but Thor was just happy that his brother was still conscious.

"Loki," he sighed, his eyes traveling towards the gaping wound, "brother." He pushed aside some of Loki's black hair and found his skin surprisingly hot. Loki's eyes fluttered shut for a moment, but Thor would not allow him to slip away from him. "Brother, you must focus. everything will be all right. We have faced worse."

Loki's hand suddenly grasped Thor's arm, his eyes widening in agony. If Thor didn't know any better, he could have sworn he was watching Loki's skin turn paler with every passing second. His lips began to appear blue and Thor sensed his temperature again with the palm of his hand. He was burning. Small drops of blood trickled down Loki's lips and chin as he coughed violently.

"Don't try to speak," Thor understood what his brother was trying to do, "save your strength."

He had forgotten about his fellow Avengers, but Steve's voice brought Thor back to reality. Quickly, the blonde God turned to look at the beast to find it laying dead a short distance away. It looked so small right now, but still deadly and Thor focused back onto his brother's too pale face.

"Thor?" Steve voiced his name again.

The God of Thunder shifted his gaze away from his brother to the Captain. "We must help him," he said, feeling Loki's trembling body in his arms, "as quickly as possible."

"We can't take him to a hospital," Tony noted, only his face visible as his iron mask had fallen back, "but we can take him back to my mansion. There's room enough and Bruce might be able to help him."

Thor's eyebrows shot up. "Can you not help him? Are you not a scientist?"

"I specialize in a different kind of science, I'm afraid," Tony chuckled humorlessly. He took a step forward and Thor felt Loki cringe back slightly. He had never before seen his brother like this. Not this ill and certainly not this scared. Focusing back on Loki's now dull green eyes, Thor smiled reassuringly. "We are going to help you." He carefully slid a hand underneath Loki's back and picked him up with strange ease.

Loki groaned in pain, his breath hitching within his chest as more blood oozed from the wound. Something was wrong, terribly wrong, for Thor knew that Loki should already be showing signs of healing. He was a God after all and they healed quickly after receiving battle wounds. In this case, however, Loki seemed to be fading.

And fading quickly.