ATTENTION, EVERYONE: YOU. ARE. AWESOME. PEOPLE. Thank you so, so, so, sooo much for all your ah-mazing reviews! :D
Pretty much all of you got it in an instant, but for the sake of those who didn't, the song Loki was singing in the previous chapter was "My Heart Will Go On" From the Titanic. I'm sure he sounded beautiful xD
Sorry for the late update, but it was Thanksgiving weekend, and on top of that, my birthday. So I was a bit busy. But now I'm back on track, and hopefully updates will be every Saturday or Sunday, with exceptions.
That all said, please enjoy, you fabulous people, you! :)
It was surprising enough that the two women Steve found in the lobby knew Thor, but to meet the God of Thunder's girlfriend, now, of all times, just seemed too coincidental. Not to mention a little weird and confusing...Was Thor even allowedto have girlfriend? Wasn't he a Prince, or something? Doesn't that typically mean that his parents get to choose his romantic interest for him?
After hearing Darcy cough, the Captain realized that he had been spacing out, and adjusted that with a shake of his head. He handed the boxes he had caught from Jane back to the stunned woman, and gave Darcy a pressing look, since asking for information from the girlfriend in question seemed like it might be difficult, on account of her far-off gaze.
"I'm sorry, could you elaborate on that?" He asked carefully, referring to Darcy's comment about a romantic reunion.
"Sure." Said Darcy, hitching up her boxes with difficulty, "Thor is Jane's super-hot, mythological boyfriend who she met up with in New Mexico. He recently got transferred 'cause of his job, (or whatever excuse I'm supposed to give) and, until now, we had no idea he was here: Our new apartment building. Haha, lucky you, huh, Jane? You get to live in the same building as him. Pre-tty scandalous."
Jane had been unresponsive, and her eyes had glistened over. But as soon as Darcy's words worked their way into her blank mind, it was all she cared about to get to Thor's apartment as soon as humanly possible. With a startling eagerness, Jane burst to life and shoved the boxes she previously thought so precious into Darcy's face with her excitement, and whipped right back around to face Steve, not noticing the crashing sound her intern made when she hit the ground.
"Can you take us to his apartment?" She all but demanded, the grin on her face close to breaking her skin.
"I-I don't really know if he's in his apartment," Steve stuttered, looking a little unhinged by Jane's exuberant reaction. And there seemed to be something else in his expression: Like the hesitancy to mention something important, "You see...Uhm, well...You know, maybe now wouldn't be the best time to go see him..."
Steve really needed to learn how to hide his emotions better, because alarm had struck up on Jane's face like a flare when she saw the concern on his face.
"Why, what's wrong?" She demanded instantly.
Steve glanced at the ground and shifted his weight, "Uhm, well...He busted a pipe, and-"
"And he's not in his apartment?" Asked Darcy, still gathering the odd gadgets that fell out of the boxes from when she fell (was pushed), "Shouldn't he, I dunno, be dealing with that?"
"Yes." Said Steve, gesturing to Darcy in a logical tone. Then his face fell again, "Except, uhm...It's not really that simple, see..."
His voice trailed off. Maybe it would be better just to show them what happened with Loki...But then the image of the Trickster God serenading love songs with his hand in a sink came to mind, and Steve came to the conclusion that it might be better for their sanity if he just told them, instead.
"You know Thor's kid brother?" He said at length, dropping his hands to his side in a defeated manner.
Jane's eyebrow twitched as she tried to recall who Steve was talking about. She had once seen Thor standing next to a pale, lanky man with black hair. He looked nothing like Thor, and yet he was introduced as his brother. Oh, but what was his name, again? It started with an L, didn't it?
"Luuucy?" Said Jane, articulating sounds more than trying to make a sincere guess at his name. The sound of Darcy snorting behind her was enough to know that she was wrong. And, ladies and gentlemen, Jane's "Looking like a moron" points just sky-rocketed. It's a new record, folks...
"Loki." Corrected Steve kindly, doing Jane the grace of not mentioning her interesting guess, as the woman did her best not to blush at the mistake, "Yes, so you do kind of know him. Well, uhm...He's...I'm really sure how it happened, but-"
"Please. I'm on the edge of my seat." Said Darcy flatly as she closed up the last of the boxes. Jane gave the woman a look over her shoulder before turning back at Steve, who's beating-around-the-bush facade had deflated with the comment. He stared at Darcy, who puckered her lips at him, then decided he didn't like her too much and finished his sentence to Jane, instead.
"Loki's hand is stuck to the sink. I'm not quite sure how that happened, so don't ask. He told me Thor left him there to go get help, but I haven't been able to find him, and, quite frankly, I'm not sure if Loki's doing okay. He was singing when I last left him, so I think he's starting to snap."
The Captain finished with his voice drifting off, and closed his mouth tightly, as if regretting his choice to blurt out the information like that. He assessed any changes in his current companions, and, as expected, both women looked like their brains just popped. Darcy was first to react as she pushed herself back off the ground, the boxes teetering in her arms.
"What?" Was all she asked, and yet it seemed to be enough to get Jane's mind back to functioning, and send her off like a firecracker.
"Can you take me there?" She questioned feverishly, plowing over Darcy's comment. Steve, once more, was rattled by her sudden energy, but nodded nonetheless.
"Y-yeah, just over here..." He pointed toward the staircase, and, as if her life depended on it, Jane hurried off, leaving Darcy behind with her mouth gaping open and the boxes threatening to slip again.
"What, really?-!" She called after them as Steve flashed her an apologetic look and followed, "Dude, at least tell me what he was singing! Guys? Come on, I wanna see a karaoke God trapped to a sink! Hello?...Ah, screw you two. I'm gonna go get a free muffin."
And with that, Darcy left the boxes in the lobby and stormed out the door.
It didn't take long for Jane and Steve to get to the apartment, and it took an even shorter amount of time for Jane to barge in, trying not to slip on the wet floor, and hurry over to the bathroom with a million thoughts flying around in her head.
Many times since Thor had been uprooted from New Mexico and transferred to who-knows-where, Jane had daydreamed of how they would be re-united. She went through many scenarios, all taking place in different settings, but more or less ending the same way: Passionate kissing, whispered sweet nothings, and maybe Thor would carry her off to Rio.
But, though she was certain she had ruled out every possible situation, Jane somehow managed to miss this one. And when she reached the bathroom, she had to watch expectancy after expectancy fall from her fantasies as she took in the situation unfolding...Well, for all it wasn't, at least it would be as memorable as she dreamed it up to be. Just maybe not for the right reasons.
"Okay, okay! One more try!" Pepper shouted, slathering butter all over the area of pipe surrounding Loki's already greasy fingers, "Here we go! One, two-!"
"FOR ODIN'S SAKE, THOR! LEARN TO COUNT!" Loki shrieked as Thor lunged forward and began yanking him violently backwards. The sharp pain caught the God of Mischief completely off guard, and made him flail his legs in surprise, the force of which caused water to shoot up all over Pepper, who let out a loud swear and stumbled backward into the bathtub.
"YOU SHOULD NOT USE FATHER'S NAME IN SUCH A WAY!" Thor screamed back, refusing to relent in his tugging. He tensed all his great muscles, making Loki stiffen in fear, and pulled back with as much force as he could muster. Which, as predictable, was a little too much.
Loki was free but, at the same time, in no greater position. The two brothers flew two feet back and into the wall, letting out a resonating slamming noise, and making the entire apartment shudder at the impact. Jane jumped at the noise, and Tony, who was standing next to her by her place in the doorway, began to clap and hoot.
"H-how long has this been going on for?-!" Steve demanded, leaning over the stunned Jane to catch Tony's attention. Tony, who seemed unsurprised by the two new spectators, shrugged and tilted his head in the Captain's direction.
"About thirty minutes, or something." He replied, before straightening up and throwing a fist in the air as Pepper pulled herself from the bathtub, looking highly disgruntled, "Go, Pepper! Show 'em what Tony's girl can bring!"
"SHUTUP, STARK!" Pepper barked back, making Tony burst out laughing as she grabbed the shower curtain and began laboriously pulling herself upright, slipping from time to time.
While all this was going on, Loki and Thor were being fully blasted by the water from the pipe. Loki tried to lamely ward it off with the arm that wasn't nearly dislocated, and Thor, confused, tried to figure out how to get them out of their position. Unable to watch, anymore, Steve took pity on them and pushed past the laughing billionaire, and the dumbstruck scientist in order to grab Thor by the bicep and heave him out of the way of the water. Once the God was standing, he clapped Steve on the shoulder before doubling over, panting.
"Thank you, Steve Rogers." Said Thor with a nod and a dry swallow. He took a moment to regain his breath, then stood to face the Captain as he tugged up his dripping, wet pants, "I think now would be a good time to say that this...was not how I intended to spend my day..."
Steve let out an empty laugh and nodded, feeling that everyone in the room could agree with that. He looked down at Loki, who, previously on Thor's lap, had tipped over onto the floor when Thor stood up, and now had his head submersed in the water. Steve was going to let him get up on his own, when he realized that Loki was making no effort to breathe.
He quickly darted down at took Loki by the arm, making the God let out a loud whine of pain when he was lifted.
"Stop! Stop! Don't touch it!" Loki snapped, jerking his arm away from Steve as he scrambled to get up on his own. He looked completely mad as he surveyed them all, grabbing at his arm: His hair was matted and askew, his green button-up was untucked and open in some places, and his already wide eyes were wild as they finally came to rest on Thor.
Discovering who the focus was on, the God of Thunder instantly held his hands up and gave a wide, charming smile.
"Loooook, Loki, you are free!" He cheered cautiously, making his hands dance from side to side in a happy manner.
"OH, JOY." Said Loki in the least joyful voice he could conjure.
"Loki!" Pepper gasped, re-obtaining her balance. She walked over to the God and put a hand on his back, despite the homicidal glint in his eye that he was forced to hide when looking at her, "Are you okay? Let me see your wrist."
Loki used his good hand to hold the injured one up, and the entire room hissed between their teeth when they saw the raw, bloodied mark left by the pipe. Loki, on the other hand, only regarded it with slight distaste, and looked over at Thor with the glare still hidden in his gaze.
"I hope you got plenty of sleep last night, brother, because I intend to prevent you from ever doing so, again." He said factually. While Thor fumbled for something to say, Loki let his eyes flicker over Thor's shoulder and was the first to notice Jane's presence. His expression, if anything, became more pleasant at this discovery, and he gave her a polite smile.
"Ah, what a pleasant surprise. It is good to see you, Lady Foster, very good. Ah, now, if you will all excuse me, I need a moment to recollect myself before we lose our precious God of Thunder to a death most miserable." Loki nodded at everyone with a smile, making a point of skipping over Thor, then pushed past the barrier of people to get out of the bathroom and kick up a storm of angry swears just before he left the apartment.
Thor gazed after him, but once Loki was gone, the frozen scientist in the doorway was all he could stare at. Jane opened her mouth to say something, then closed it again and pointed toward the door.
"Wanna grab coffee, tomorrow?" She asked.
"Yes, that would be nice." Thor replied evenly. Jane nodded once, then waved to everyone stiffly before making her way out the door, mentally punching herself for a thousand different things. The room watched her go, then Tony slipped his hands into his pockets and made a clicking sound with his mouth.
"So, uh...I'll call the plumber, then?" He suggested with a beaming white grin.
"Hilarious." Pepper growled, pushing past him on her way out. Thor and Steve exchanged glances, then followed after her, leaving Tony standing, perfectly dry, in the doorway with his arms out defensively.
"Just a friendly suggestion!" He called after them. He paused a few moments, staring at the pipe, then chuckled deeply to himself and followed after the group with the intention to offer them all a much-needed martini.
Five hours later, all Thor had was an odd feeling in his stomach, a light buzz from Tony's alcohol, a damaged apartment, and thousands of dollars in expense estimations. On top of all this, he also had an injured little brother who tricks people into pain and suffering for his own entertainment, and happened to have a nasty grudge on his older brother...All in all, it was going to be a long week...
The front door clicked when it shut after the plumber, as if enunciating Thor's trapped situation. He let his broad hand rest on the doorknob, feeling the tension rise up in his body, then glanced over his shoulder, where the source of his uneasiness was occupied with bandaging his wrist, looking perfectly placid as he did so.
Thor flinched inwardly at the sight, and Loki's alarming lack of reaction, then let his hand slide from the door and fall to his side. After a few moments of deep thought, he let out a small breath, then made for the kitchen, taking care to keep his vision downcast when he passed the couch.
Loki glanced up to watch him go, pausing his task of wrapping the cut that rimmed his hand. There was the sound of pots being moved about from the kitchen, giving Loki the hint that Thor was putting things away as procrastination before coming out to face his brother. It made him scoff a little, and shake his head as he finished up the bandaging.
When the clanging noises subsided, heavy, sluggish footsteps were heard coming back to the living room. Thor appeared in the doorway of the kitchen with the biggest look of shame Loki had ever seen on his bold and daring older brother. The God of Mischief looked up attentively at him, making Thor let out the kind of sigh that goes with initiating a difficult discussion.
"Loki, I know you are upset," He started in a dog-handed tone, "but trust me when I say that I did not intend for any of this to happen, nor did I mean to injure you in any way."
Loki raised his good hand to rub his shoulder tenderly, which was sore and bruised from the tugging, then passed Thor a look that made the older of the two clench his jaw in guilt. It was the pout of innocence. Oh, the pout of innocence.
"I do not understand, brother, why I am constantly getting mixed up in your recklessness." Said Loki in his soft, easily endearing voice, "And why, also, I am the one who pays the physical price for them, whereas you end up healthy as an ox."
"It is because you are fragile and meek, brother!" Said Thor with a nervous laugh. He could tell by Loki's blank stare that perhaps that wasn't the best thing to say, but moved past it with a cough, "But perhaps you should stay clear of me when I have a temper, Loki. I have often warned you that it is unwise to be in my presence at such times."
"Then who will clean up your messes?" Challenged Loki, wincing as he eased himself back against the cushions of the sofa, "Mother isn't around to spoil you any longer, dear brother."
"I never asked you to fill mother's place." Said Thor, furrowing his eyebrows a little at the spoil comment, and then frowning, as well, when he realized what Loki was implying, "You are not the one who is supposed to care for me. Did you forget who is the eldest, here? It is my sworn duty to see you are safe, and well."
Loki took a moment to assess his battered body, his aching shoulder, and his bloody wrist, then turned his gaze back to Thor and smiled, "You're doing a splendid job."
"Come now, Loki, do not be hurtful." Said Thor softly, taking deep offense by the sarcasm, "I am doing the best that I can, you know...Unfortunately, and I realize this, my best is not as good as it could be when it comes to the gentler aspects of caring for a person. For instance, pulling your arm out of its socket may not have been the best way to go about things..."
Loki laughed, and ran his fingers through his hair, "No, maybe not."
A hint of a smile pushed Thor's frown up, just as the sound of whistling could be heard from the kitchen. The God of Thunder took a lasting look at his little brother, then pushed himself off the door frame of the kitchen, where had been standing, and retreated into the kitchen. Loki paid no attention to his exit, and instead tried to calm the stinging sensation shooting up the length of his arm.
When he looked up again, some moments later, he wasn't expecting to see Thor standing in front of him with a steaming mug in his hand.
"Hot chocolate." Said Thor, offering the drink to his little brother in a ceremoniously apologetic way, "It is the last packet, and I figured you would want it after your encounter with the water."
Loki hesitated, analyzing the gift, then reached out slowly with his good hand, noting how his damp shirt rubbed against his skin uncomfortably as took the peace offering from Thor. He peered down into the mug, and was met with a frothy smiley face made up with mini-marshmallows.
Loki let out a laugh at the sight, and glanced up at Thor as he took a sip from the warm liquid, "That's cute, brother, I will at least give you that."
"Then I am forgiven?" Thor replied with the same laugh, tucking his hands in his pockets. Loki swallowed and lowered the mug to his lap, feeling the heat from the cup warm his chilled body. He nodded his head back and forth in a contemplative manner, then looked back up at him blankly.
"If you promise not to bring Jane back to the apartment at any time that I'm home, I will call it fair." He negotiated. Thor considered, then nodded.
"That can be done...Just try not to be at home, too often." He added, giving Loki a pointed look before breaking into a joking grin. Loki shrugged with his uninjured shoulder, turning Thor's grin to a laugh, then took another content sip from his drink as his older brother sat next to him with a smile.
Thor could be a moron at times, but he certainly made excellent hot chocolate to make up for it.
Next: Annoying author thing.