Hey friends!

Here is a response to a prompt posted to the Loki/Jane community payheravisit on livejournal (the fic can also be found there, along with a lot of other great L/J stuff!). Our friend Selenite posted this request, a fic based on or inspired by the song "Man of the Dark" by Jorn Lande. Please read the lyrics and/or listen to the song-it's really great and inspired me to write this...thingy. ^.^

For now I intend for this to be a oneshot, but I may consider continuing it or adding onto it in some way at a later time! It is yet another Avenger-verse fic (won't we all be going fic-bananas after actually seeing the film?)!

Hope you enjoy, and I disclaim, of course, anything related to Thor or the Avengers!

It was dark. So dark that even his preternatural vision had a difficult time piercing through it. So dark that for several minutes he did not know which direction he was going, what the strange soft feeling beneath his feet was, or where the wet stinging sensation that lashed against his face was originating from.

Loki bit his lips against the pain that enveloped his body.

He was tired and injured, beaten in more ways than one, but he would not stop.

He ran. Ran through the bright, sterile halls of the medical facility he had awakened in, ran past the guards with their guns, chest heaving and eyes wild.

Ran until he was met with steely blue gaze of his brother.

He'd resorted to using what little energy for magic he had left, fleeing the SHIELD-infested building and landing in the cold sands of the desert outside.

And he continued to run.

He blinked then, his eyes fighting to focus against the blackness. His tongue ran across his bottom lip and realized it was not dry; the stinging feeling in his face was rain, lashing at him cold and angry. Thunder rolled over the desert and Loki knew that such storms were not entirely common for Midgaard's dry regions; Thor was in the air, searching for him, desperate and enraged.

It had been Thor that had caused him such injury, Thor that had brought him down so hard during his battle against SHIELD's recruited 'saviors'. He had been met with difficulty by their collective efforts, but it had been the raw power of Mjolnir that had finally broken through his defenses, that had overwhelmed the tesseract's power and sent him reeling in agony.

It had been Thor that had seen fit to ensure he would not get back up. That he would not continue to fight, or in Thor's own words, "…continue to threaten this world of mortals…."….

Could Thor not see that he did not intend to threaten them, but liberate them?

Could none of them see?

Blood was in his mouth, internal injuries suffered from Mjolnir's blows doing their damage as he refused to rest. The sands under his bare feet were soaked through and he stumbled through them, nearly tripping and sinking several times. Faint lights glittered in the distance, a beacon of hope for his aching chest (and legs, and arms, and…). Lights meant a town. And a town meant buildings behind which he could hide…no, not hide-he would never hide from anyone- merely breathe, rest, recuperate.

He would regain his strength and then return to finish the fools….

It did not matter that they had taken then tesseract from him, that they had defeated his army and destroyed his staff…

He would return. He would fight. And he would win.

As soon as he….

The loose, soggy ground beneath him gave way as he neared a protrusion of boulders, his numb legs failing him and sending his weary, half-naked body falling into the wet dirt. He spat the blood in his mouth into the accursed ground and moved to lift himself against a rock, his muscles on fire and his senses dulling quickly.

Loki stared into the darkness, the rain falling heavy now, and if he were a sentimental type of person he would wonder if Thor was becoming fearful for him, or, perhaps, even remorseful…

It burned to breathe, and the air around him seemed to move as wind gusted about, whipping his long hair into his face. In the distance he could make out a strange rumble; not thunder, he concluded, but a machine…

Very likely Stark, bolting through the desert in his ridiculous armor (Loki would not admit that the man's ingenuity rather impressed him a bit…no, he would never admit to such a thing….), but, as it grew closer, he realized it was too loud and abrasive to be the same type of technology.

Loki listened, his tired eyes closing and his body threatening to shut down from his exertion. If Thor and the others were to find him now, he would have no way of fighting them. They would take him again, lock him away in their facility and shove those wretched needles into his arms again, all in the name of "helping him to heal".

His head rolled slightly as exhaustion combined with lingering rage.

He refused to believe that the mortals that had thwarted him had any interest whatsoever in his wellbeing. Thor was surely being vengeful at this point; he would stand back and let the humans study him like one of their mysterious science projects.

And Loki would admit that he could not blame his brother for wishing such pain and shame on him; after all, he did want to see the Thunderer battered and bleeding at his feet. It was only fair, right?

A bitter smile creased his face in the cold, wet dark. His thoughts were running away with him now. His mind was failing him when it was truly the only thing he had left to his advantage….

Bright lights flooded his eyes even through the closed lids. The rumble was excruciating in its volume now, and he groaned weakly (pathetically) at it.

And then it fell silent.

He shivered slightly and wondered when he had become cold. Was such a thing even possible for him, being born of and naturally adapted to the frozen and desolate wastes of Jotunheim?

His teeth chattered as his eyes cracked open against the bright light.

Surely his injuries were to blame for such a phenomenon…

Something suddenly blotted out the light, casting a shadow across him. A face came to peer down at his, and he struggled to focus to see it.

A voice in the background caught his ears:

"Um, Jane, that's obviously not Thor. Erik said the compound was further north…."

Loki bit his lip, his eyes shooting open and a rush of energy seeing his vision sharpening slightly. The woman kneeling in front of him was the woman….

Thor's woman.

His head ached when she shouted back at her companion.

"I know that, Darcy! We can't just leave him here; he's hurt!" Loki shifted against the pain and tried his best to glare at her coldly when she turned back to face him. "Are you okay? What happened to you?"

He smiled then, amused despite it all. The fool knew that Thor was on Earth, but she apparently did not know why.

He watched as she moved to reach out to his face.

"Don't touch me."

The hand at his forehead stalled, frozen, for just a moment. Loki stared into her curious, determined gaze and wondered if he could summon the power to overwhelm this pathetic little human, maybe even use her to….

The hand moved again, landed on his head.

He shivered out of instinct, and then blinked, his brows furrowing in massive confusion. Her hand was warm. So warm that it rushed through him, from his head to his chest to his feet, effectively destroying the cold that numbed him.

He struggled away from her hand, angry at her boldness, disoriented by the effect of her touch.

"I said don't…"

"Shut up, you're feverish."

Loki closed his mouth.

Blinked again.

Wondered why he could not find the rest of the words to snap at her.

The girl by the vehicle shouted then, renewing his frustration.

"Should I call Erik?"

The one he knew to be Jane whirled back again, her hand not leaving his face.

"Yeah. Get him to call that 'Coulson' guy."

Loki sat up straighter against the boulder, clarity trying to reclaim its place in his foggy mind, but fighting in obvious vain.

The man known as Coulson was a SHIELD operative. If they gave away his location…

"Don't. Leave me here." He whispered, coherent but still exhausted.

Thor's little pet stubbornly shook her head at him.

"I don't think so. You're bleeding. Everywhere. We're getting you help."

He snarled at her then, angry and desperate to get them away.

To get away himself.

His hand lashed out, grabbing her by the throat, pulling her close to his face and finding her wide, shocked eyes in the dark shadow of her body.

"Get away from me before I kill you."

He could hear Darcy mumbling, speaking to someone on her device. He sighed, his fingers loosening around Jane's neck and his head bumping against the rock behind it.

He did not have the strength to kill the girl who was surely giving their position to Selvig, nor enough to snap the neck in his hand.

He could feel her pulse in his palm and he narrowed his eyes at her.

She watched him, quiet and strangely calm.

Loki blinked lazily but did not remove his fingers from her throat. She in turn had only moved to slide her hand from his forehead to his cheek, a thumb running across a stitched gash gently.

He looked down to watch her settle fully on her knees before him, and then back up to see her meet his tired, angry eyes squarely.

"You're not going to kill me. And we're not going anywhere until we get you some help."

Loki felt his jaw lock and he swallowed thickly, the taste of blood on his tongue.

The muscles of his arm finally burned and failed, his hand falling from her throat. She did not move. As the girl called Darcy dimmed the lights on the truck, Loki found himself cast back into full darkness, the rain still falling around them.

He could still make out the silhouette of the woman who sat on her knees between his legs, silent and patient and unafraid.

Her hand remained on his cheek, its warmth a reminder of her existence as the cold wind blew around them.

Loki sighed again, anger giving way to defeat.

The warm thumb rubbed across his injury, so soft that he felt no pain. He tilted his head, watching her with a growing sense of curiosity.

Defeat was much less difficult to succumb to this time.