For Loki, life starts to (somewhat) go back to normal after the six weeks of Thom and Jane bumming off Tony's hypothetical couch.
Loki—reluctant to admit—has grown rather accustomed to Jane rattling around in the kitchen, making coffee, cooking bacon, eggs, and pancakes. Even though the majority is for Thom—Jane is courteous enough to make a portion for him. Loki is also fond of their rare, but intriguing conversations. Jane is a very intelligent woman—a woman who holds an impressive amount of knowledge about the sky, and she tells him things—things that make Loki's head reel.
Different dimensions—life on other planets—wormholes—all these phenomenon Jane believes is entirely possible. So, when Loki goes to challenge her theories, tilting a questioning eyebrow, Jane gives him impossible algorisms and crafty equations that Loki knows he could never in a million years memorize or learn. Her passion and utter determination ignites something within him—respect and understanding—and Loki acknowledges that she's not so bad as he once thought. However, he'll never tell her that.
Thom on the other hand…
Loki can't get a steady grip on that situation. Thom's here—or he's there—being a shadow that Loki can't quite shake; Or he's half naked—walking around in nothing but a towel or a pair of comfy blue jeans that Loki can't help but to find his eyes lingering on the V of Thom's hips, only to look up a second later and have those eyes on him. Satisfied and amused. It infuriates Loki to no end.
He doesn't know if Thom does it on purpose because he's gorgeous and he can—or if it's something else—if he actually—and Loki stomps on the thought immediately, grinding it to dust.
No way in hell, Loki thinks. Not my type, and the image of a cocky, spikey haired, billionaire pops into his mind's eye. Tony he is comfortable with—Tony he knows—
It's safe, Loki surmises, it would be so simple.
But there is a part of him—the sexually frustrated part—that wants to test those blue azure waters, that wants to feel them brush across his skin, but he knows better.
It wouldn't be safe. It wouldn't be simple.
Loki doesn't know how he would know, but he does. There is this undeniable feeling of trepidation and uneasiness that flash red blinking lights at him in warning. Telling him to stay away, that there is nothing but danger and sorrow there, and Loki would be a fool not to listen.
It's 8:30 in the morning and the weather man predicts that today is going to be a stunning sunny day with the high of 77 degrees. The sun is just peaking over the horizon, its light teasing in between the cracks of skyscrapers that litter the area, creating a beautiful glow of orange-yellow light that cascades into in kitchen and living room in warm rays.
Loki lounges peacefully on the couch with coffee in hand and the Chicago Tribune in the other. Loki finds that in every section of the newspaper, Tony ironically makes an appearance. It's either his clothes, or his fancy gadgets, or his behavior that is highlighted in bold black ink and it makes Loki lightly chuckle.
"Oh, something must be really funny to make you laugh like that. What is it? I wanna know too." Jane voices over in the kitchen, apron on and spatula in the ready to flip position.
"It's nothing, really." Loki shakes his head whimsically.
Jane slightly frowns, "Okay then, if you say so." She shrugs and turns back around to the bacon and sausage that perfumes the air. Surely, any moment now he should be—
SUSPISIONS AROUND AN AIR CRAFT THAT LOOKS STRIKINGLY LIKE A…MAN
Loki eyes are immediately caught captive as he regards the article. A picture on the right hand corner depicts an object that Loki guesses is moving far too fast for cameras to capture. Through the blurs, Loki can spot something that resembles a man—kind of—if he squints. Whatever is it—he's never seen anything like it before.
Loki reads down below:
BY CHRISTINE EVERHART
PUBLISHED: MAY 26, 2012
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it a man?
Only some would apparently know, as bystanders reported that something in resemblance to a man has been seen in specific locations such as New York, California, Morocco—and even in our own back yard Chicago!...
Huh? Loki thinks, turning his head and looking out the window for good measure. What he does not expect to see—or even feel—is Thom leaning over his shoulder, appearing to be enthusiastically reading the same article.
It takes all of Loki's will power not to jump or slam his elbow into Thom's nose, as his body's reflexes so desperately want him to. Instead, Loki's mouth thins and he breathes in deeply through his nose.
"Interesting—a flying man." Thom says dazedly, his voice rough from sleep and Loki's limbs seize up as he watches from the corner of his eye how good Thom looks debauched, hair tousled this way and that.
Loki can almost feel where Thom's coarse stubble lies close to his cheek, teasing the possibility of touching, but instead feels the radiating warmth that flows out of Thom's body unto his. It's hot—it's too hot—
Loki stiffly clears his throat and prepares to move into a safe surrounding area where there is less golden skin, warm body heat, and a natural nice smelling aroma that has nothing to do with breakfast meats.
Thom glances sideways at him, as if he just noticed Loki's presences—that he'd been hovering—and asks Loki in a way too serious manner—in a way too intimate sounding manner, "So what do you believe Loki?"
Loki gulps, his name should not sound that— "I don't—I don't believe in things like that." He internally curses himself for sounding so…small.
Thom nods slowly—understandingly, as if taking important information and storing it in his brain for later use. This reaction confuses Loki more—which in response makes him only testier and irritated.
"Do you?" Loki asks defensively, narrowing his eyes, the usual sting back in his voice.
Thom just smiles and says, "I believe things are much more complicated than we know them to be."
Loki's not quite sure who to blame for the fact that Tony's penthouse has become sort of a community rec area that anyone is welcome to come and go as they please.
He comes back from a mid-morning run, sweat dripping down the sides of his face and his legs feeling numbingly good, to see Steve Rogers and Clint Barton—along with another woman who has wavy fiery red hair and pouty lips to match.
Loki takes a big gulp of air, smoothing damp ends of hair away from his forehead as he moves slowly into the living room.
By now, everyone knows that he has arrived. The previous atmosphere— that seemed light and jubilant—turns tense and frigid and the red-haired woman focuses her attention on him. Loki looks right back into those emerald eyes that narrow and pierce right into him—rivaling his own—and Loki communicates his own welcome.
"Loki—your back! Have a good run sweetums?" Tony says, stopping whatever staring contest he and the red head had been competing in.
Loki shrugs dismissively, walking undaunted into the kitchen, pulling out a water bottle from the fridge.
"S'okay," He says around the plastic, giving a soft appreciative groan at the cool water that descends down his throat. His had gone hot about 15 minutes into the run.
"So—is this another work related visit Mr. Rogers and Mr. Barton?" Loki says gingerly, inclining his head towards the red head he asks, "And you would be—?"
"Natasha—Natasha Romanoff." She reveals, and Loki thinks the name highly suits her. Natasha nods her head in a gesture that Loki believes is a non-physical hand shake and he extends the same act of humility towards her as well.
"Please call me Steve—and no we aren't here on the bosses orders—apparently," Steve breaks off, an emotion crosses over his face that Loki can't quite distinguish. "My brother has decided to um—drop by, and I uh—I'm here to see him."
"Oh yes, your brother— I'm starting to see the resemblance." Loki says dryly.
"It's been awhile." Steve sighs wringing his hands together, and Loki amusingly draws up a curious eyebrow.
"You sound thrilled."
"Speaking of goldy-locks," Tony announces, clasping a hard hand on Steve's back that makes him slightly wince, "Where is he?"
"He said something about going to the store to buy pop tarts…over two hours ago."
Quietness fills the room that speaks absolute dread.
"You just let him go." Clint cynically accuses, finally looking in Loki's general direction and Loki just glares at the man who reminds him of a grumpy old cat.
"He's a big boy Mr. Barton—I think if he can travel around South America for five years just fine, he can get around downtown Chicago to buy some fucking pop tarts fantastically. Besides, he has Jane with him. They never seem to go anywhere without one another." Loki misses or chooses to ignore how his voice takes on a slight bitter edge as he puts his water bottle back into the fridge.
"Well I'm off." Loki doesn't bother to look back or wait for a reply as he hastily jogs up the stairs. He doesn't much care for family reunions.
"Sweetums? Anyone else find it alarming that Tony's shacking up with a semi-deranged alien who leveled a small town in New Mexico or is it just me?"
"Shacking up, really Clint? Could you be anymore lame?"
"Technically he's not an alien—he's a god. That's what Fury says at least for the both of them…"
"Oh, fucking fantastic."
"Do you really think we should be talking about this with him still being here? Loki could be listening."
"Natasha—honey— get your cob webs out of a bunch. He's not listening in. Loki thinks that were talking about the least interesting things in the world right now: sea floor spreading, Michael Cera, My Dog Skip, F.R.I.E.N.D.S—see?—all boring."
"Don't say I didn't warn you Stark if you wake up and he's standing over your body with a knife in his hand. I wouldn't blame him."
"Ouch, duly noted."
"By the way—when do you guys think it would be a good time to go out and look for my brother."
"Steve you gotta fix that—My brother—you sound like you're trying to highlight the lie. Really?—the super soldier's never fabricated a simple story before?"
"Simple story? Tony this isn't me telling my mom that I didn't steal any of the cookies from the cookie jar! I am supposed to pretend—for whoever knows how long—that some guy I've just met is my brother and that I have known him my entire life. You just don't lie these things up."
"Sure you can!"
"I'd give him ten more minutes."
When Thor finally arrives—hands filled with bags of every kind of flavored pop tart known to man—the team does not quite know what to make of the Thunderer. What does one assume of a so-called God? Do they have to bow? Do they have to say something like 'your holiness' every time they address Thor?
Clint coughs, clearing his throat, muttering damn under his breath. The guy was bigger than he last remembered. Steve's eyes widen to saucers, whole body tensing, as his spine straightens out before he lifts his weight off the couch. This prompts the rest of them to rise as well.
Thor catches the movement out of the corner of his eye, gazing over in the living room with curious contemplation. Understanding immediately flickers in those azure eyes, and he stoically sets the bags of pop tarts lightly on the black granite counters.
"Ah, you must be the Avengers," The way Thor pronounces the word makes Tony swell up in pride, puffing out his chest, widening the stance of his legs—regular typical male testosterone. Natasha apparently notices and gives him a disbelieving once over.
"I have to say, I have been very eager since my arrival to meet the fair and valiant warriors of Midgard. Stark has already told me a lot about you all—about the powers and talents you process—all very rare and amazing for mortals."
Natasha tilts her head in question at this.
"Oh—I do not mean to offend, in my realm—what is known of Midgard is that the mortals are cut off from the knowledge and power of Yggdrasil. Your people do not know the talents of magic—but have done a satisfactory job of replacing it with your science—at least that what I think it is called…" Thor tappers off for a moment, charmingly musing in his own mind, and Tony chuckles, "Big guy don't worry about it, you're right."
"Oh good," And Thor smiles a cajoling smile that Tony can tell immediately wins the whole team over. Suddenly, everybody's shoulders seem to sag and breath that had unknowingly been held release in a chorus of sighs.
"Forgive me for being rude—my name is Thor Odinson, prince of Asgard along with fellow warrior. It is an honor to finally meet you all, protectors of Midgard." Thor crosses an arm over his chest, bowing in a sign of respect that is familiar to his homeland, but foreign to theirs, and they all look at one another confused at what to do, until Steve decides to bow and of course, as always, they all follow lead.
"I like this guy." Clint announces, really to no one, Tony just speculates he likes to hear himself think. In the background, he can hear Thor laughing.
"It's an honor to meet you too Thor," Steve responds, moving across the living room to extend his hand. "We have heard a lot about you too, from Norse Mythology at least—I thought it was all a sham until about two months ago—turns out your actually real."
Thor takes his hand graciously, giving it a two firm shakes that Steve obviously finds impressive. "I'm Steve Rogers—and apparently your younger brother for however long you plan to stay here on Earth."
"Ah yes, the captain. I am truly sorry for whatever trouble this arrangement must cause you."
Steve shakes his head, mouth forming a stubborn line, "No it's fine. You're in a tricky situation, I can't imagine what it must feel like to have your real younger brother not know who you are—not know anything—" As if sensing the pain and duress the topic brings, Steve drops the subject. "We will work something out." Steve says with a sympathetic pat on the back.
"Look at that! You're already starting to look like bros."
"Shut it Tony."
He obeys with a simple amused nod.
"Well I can't say it's not weird," Clint conveys, coolly walking up to the god that towers over him. "But I can't say it's not cool." He jokes and sticks out his hand. "Clint Barton—nice to meet you Thor."
"The highly skilled archer."
"Hello Thor, I'm Natasha Romanoff." Instead of shaking her hand, Thor brings it to his lips and lightly kisses the soft skin, earning a sight gasp from the archer.
"Milady, you would have to be the skilled assassin."
Natasha nods—face giving nothing away—but her green eyes shine mirthful.
Tony then suddenly remembers Bruce. "Oh yeah—sorry big guy, Bruce couldn't make it. He's dealing with some things right now. He didn't think it would've been the best time—nothing personal."
"Oh, of course."
Tony looks on fondly as they continue to talk, putting his hands in his pockets, thinking how much worse the meeting could have gone, but he's pleased—content.
He just wonders—being the pessimist he is—how long before the charade crumbles? How long before Loki picks up weird vibes and realizes they are not what they seem? How long will it be until he regains his memories—possibly along with his resentment and hate? How long until then, Tony solemnly thinks.
A/N: So it has been awhile readers! So sorry for the delay, so much has happened over the past couple of weeks so I hope you understand. I also hope you like this chapter—I'm trying to have some good development soo yeah…Please review—means the world to me—thank you.