"What are we going to do about the Loki situation?" Fury asked, as The Avengers sat round a large table in the conference room.
"What can we do? Technically he is legally the king now and-" Tony said, then was cut off when Fury slammed his hand down on the table.
"You know damn well he did it with trickery or some kind of mind whammy," Fury shouted.
"We know that yeah, but aren't we on shaky territory, legally, if we take on the sovereign head of another country?"
"You know him better than anyone," Fury said, turning to Steve. "What do you think?"
"I-I don't know," Steve said.
"You don't know?" Fury snapped. "You fought Hitler in World War 2 and you don't know what to do about a dictator?"
"Apart from a few banishings, has he really done anything... bad?" Steve said, shrugging his shoulders.
"Bad?" Fury asked, moving closer. "The Queen of England has been dethroned and is currently living in Asgard. The Prime Minster is a toad in what, by all accounts, is hell."
"I've heard Asgard is a real nice place."
"Nice place? NICE PLACE?" Fury shouted. "Go put your suit on, you're going to London."
The quinjet touched down on the grass to the side of Buckingham palace and sent leaves and dust blowing at the hoards of tourists who waited outside it's fences, all desperate for a glimpse of the new king. The Avengers exited the craft, and assembled on the lawn.
"Come out, come out, wherever you are," Tony said, and Steve glared at him.
"Do you think we need to go knock on the gates?" Clint asked.
"I'm pretty sure he knows we're here," Natasha said, and then there was a flash of green light as Loki appeared before them in full armour and his helmet, and the sight took Steve's breath away.
Ordinarily Loki would have opened his mouth and said something intimidating and laughed like a maniac, but for the first few minutes he was too busy signing autographs, and posing for photos with the people who ran up to him.
"Ladies and gentleman," Loki said, holding his hands up. "Can I please ask you all to move back to a safe distance while I deal with these invaders. Please feel free to take photos and video and post it online as soon as possible. Send them to my official twitter account so I can retweet the best, later."
When Loki was satisfied the public were suitably far away he turned to the Avengers and said, "Good afternoon. You have invaded my country. I'm going to ask you politely to leave. I will ask only once, this is your only opportunity to depart without incident."
"This isn't your country," Natasha shouted.
"I warn you, if you attack me, I will defend myself."
"We didn't come looking for a fight," Steve said. "We came to ask you to leave, peacefully."
"Good Captain, you must know that I cannot do that. My people love me. They want me to rule them."
"Only because you put some brain altering spell on them," Tony said.
"I have no need for tricks, Tin Man," Loki said. "In fact just yesterday I received official requests to help the governments of several countries, who all want to come under my protection. The British Empire is reforming, and soon half the world will be mine."
"That can't be possible," Tony said, sceptically.
"I am the sovereign head of Canada. If I wished I could dismiss the Governor General and rule it myself," Loki threatened, then he smirked and said, "Wouldn't that be nice? I'd be right next door, and I'd have the entire Canadian army at my disposal, since as King of the UK, I am their Commander-in-Chief."
Loki raised his hand, and the Avengers prepared for attack, but then he just smiled, and clicked his fingers.
There was a green flash and an Apache helicopter appeared in the sky, followed by another, then another, and they trained their guns on the Avengers. Loki snapped his fingers again and Challenger 2 tanks began to appear on the lawn, one final snap and several hundred soldiers, all with machines guns, appeared behind him. They quickly moved forward, surrounding Loki, and preparing to shield him from the trespassers.
"Er… Why are the army pointing their weapons at us?" Clint asked. "They should be aiming at him."
"They have sworn their loyalty to me now," Loki said.
"Yeah, cuz you tricked them."
"Oh no, Hawkeye, there are no shenanigans," Loki said, his lips curling up into a smirk. "Those who give respect and loyalty are given it back. My army have sworn to defend me to the death, because I offer them the same promise in return, and might I warn you that any act of aggression against me will be seen as an act of war. I will have no other choice than to use my nuclear weapons against anyone who threatens me, or their country of origin, and we wouldn't want that now, would we?"
"You wouldn't do that," Steve said.
"Would you care to test me?" Loki said, raising an eyebrow.
Tony looked round. They were surrounded on all sides, there were civilians everywhere, and they were in serious danger of starting a war, so he told a lie. "Guys, I just received a transmission. We have orders to head to the US Embassy. Fury wants us there now."
"Yes, yes, run along," Loki said. "You wouldn't want to keep him waiting."
As they walked away Loki grinned, then sent a thought into Steve's head that rang out as clearly as if the words were spoken out loud.
"I will find you tonight. I wish to continue our liaison."
But when Steve turned to question him, Loki was already 50 yards away, being carried triumphantly through the crowd on the shoulders of his men.
Steve had considered telling the others about Loki promising to visit him, but decided against it. Sure, Loki was a tyrannical, despotic ruler of a stolen kingdom, and what he was doing went against everything Steve believed in, but he had really missed him, despite all that.
He missed Loki's laugh, his occasionally strange ways, and the stolen kisses they shared. They hadn't got very much further than that before Loki had left, they had spent hours kissing, and occasionally one of them had been so bold as to touch a little skin, but they were enjoying the leisurely pace of their growing relationship, and neither felt the need to rush it.
Steve was surprisingly nervous as he waited, sat on his bed, still in his uniform, simply because he didn't have any other clothes with him. He would have to sleep naked tonight, which didn't appeal to him a great deal, but at least the room was warm.
"Good evening," Loki said, as he appeared in the room.
"Hi," Steve said, not really knowing what to say. Loki was a king now, regardless of Steve's opinion, and he wondered just how much it had changed him.
"Are you going to sit there staring at me like a goldfish or are you going to kiss me?" Loki asked.
"Am I allowed to?" Steve asked. "It's not every day you get asked to kiss the king of England."
"Of course you are allowed," Loki said, then he smirked and said, "Just as long as you call me 'your majesty' in bed."
"Not 'your royal highness'?" Steve asked, and Loki snickered. "How about 'my lord'?"
"Technically incorrect," Loki said wagging a finger, as he moved forward and put his hands on Steve's shoulders. "How shall I address you?"
"I guess I'll be 'your loyal subject.'"
Loki straddled Steve's thighs, sat on his knees and said, "I prefer 'your obedient servant.'"
"Oh really?" Steve asked, with a sly smile creeping across his face. "You think I'm going to obey you?"
"Oh yes," Loki said, and pushed Steve back on the bed.
"Who would have known someone elses hand would be so much better than your own?" Loki asked as he lay in Steve's bed. "We should do that very much more often."
"For once, I agree with you," Steve said, still feeling slightly overwhelmed.
"That is the first time I have allowed anyone to touch me there, and now I'm wondering why I waited so long. Can we do it again?"
"Give me a few minutes."
"Some super soldier you are," Loki said, then he raised the sheet slightly and said, "Look, look. I am ready again."
"What the hell?" Steve said. "How did you manage that so fast?"
"You forget that I am a god. I have the stamina to match. I'm rather surprised that you do not."
"Maybe I'm holding out."
"It seems a little late for that, after what we have just done."
"You weren't very nice to me today."
"You were wearing the flag of a foreign nation and you were invading my territory. You expect me not to respond?"
"You said you were going to take over Canada."
"That was just a little joke, Captain," Loki said. "You think that the love of the 62 million people in my United Kingdom is not enough for me?"
"They don't love you, not really," Steve said, desperately wanting to add the words "Not like I do" onto the end of his sentence, but then he lost his nerve.
Loki's mouth was drawn into a tight line, he looked away for a moment, and then said, "I think you should leave."
"But this is my room."
"Get out of my country!" Loki hissed at him, and there was a flash of light.
When Steve opened his eyes he was laying, naked, in the lobby of Stark Tower, while a rather bemused cleaner buffed the floor around him.
Loki dressed, then teleported himself home and sulked around the palace, sighing loudly, and wringing his hands together, hoping someone would notice.
"Are you well, my petal?" Frigga asked. "You seem distressed."
"Steve doesn't like me anymore."
"Oh darling, come and give your mother a hug," Frigga said, holding her arms out wide. Loki moved over to her, and gratefully accepted her embrace.
"Have I done the wrong thing, mother?" he asked. "Is ruling this country such a terrible thing to do?"
"Absolutely not, Loki. You are a good boy, and a fine king who cares only for his subjects, and if he can't see that then he is a fool."
"I do care for them. I want them to love me."
"They do love you."
"Steve said that they do not."
"Don't you listen to him, my precious flower," Frigga said, pulling back and grasping Loki's shoulders. "He knows nothing of what it takes to run a kingdom. Your subjects love you."
"Thank you, mother."
"I have some freshly baked Cherry pie in the kitchen," Frigga said. "Would you like some?"
"I-I think pie would be nice."
"Everything is better after pie," she said with a smile, as she wiped his cheeks.
Steve watched the news for the next few weeks, paying special attention to information from the UK, and grabbing any reports SHIELD sent through. He was terrified intelligence would filter through that Loki was secretly beheading people in the gardens, but every single thing said the same thing; the UK was improving in every way.
The rapidly emptying North Sea gas fields had suddenly and inexplicably refilled, and a brand new oil field had been discovered in British waters, which was rather strange as most people claimed it wasn't there before, and it happened the very same day that an oil field under Kuwait suddenly, and unexpectedly, ran dry.
Loki had discovered a new, and completely safe way to increase productivity on the nations power plants ten fold, which meant cheap electricity for all, and enough left over to sell to neighbours for a high price.
The UK started a comprehensive rebuilding programme next, repairing roads, refurbishing dilapidated homes so they could be rented at low cost, and demolishing old, dirty factories and replacing them with clean, efficient manufacturing plants that provided jobs for thousands.
Everyone agreed, the UK economy was booming under Loki's control. They were one of the only countries that wasn't still in the grip of a deep recession, unemployment was at an all time low, crime figures fell dramatically, the public reported that they were happier than they ever had been in living memory, and everyone loved their king.
Fury was still gunning for Loki, wanted him deposed, but received notice that nothing was to be done as yet, simply because the UK was heavily investing a lot of its new found wealth in US companies, and this was having a startling effect on their economy too. Plus there was that big scandal, where a newspaper had hacked an official email account, and discovered that the former queen, who was currently exiled in Asgard, had left Prince Philip, ran off with Odin, and was reportedly having the time of her life...
"I want you to go over to the UK and keep an eye on things," Fury said to Steve in a private meeting.
"Well, for some reason he seems to like you. You would have access to places we could never get," Fury said, and Steve stifled a laugh. "Call it a continuation of the Anglo-American 'special relationship', if you will."
"I'll be honest, sir," Steve said. "I'm not entirely sure I'm in his good books right now. He might not even speak to me."
"Well, you better find a way, because you're going to London tonight."
The American embassy had requested a meeting with Loki, and Steve nervously paced as he waited.
"What are you doing here?" Loki asked, as soon as he entered the room. "Have you come back to upset me further?"
"No, your majesty," Steve said, and Loki eyed him warily. "I've come to apologise for upsetting you."
"It's a little late for that don't you think?"
"I was wrong," Steve said. "I don't support your methods, and I don't agree with what you've done, but I can't deny that you've done it pretty well. I shouldn't have said they don't love you, and I'm really sorry."
"Thank you," Loki said stiffly.
"I brought you a present," Steve said, holding out a small box, tied with a bow.
"What is this?" Loki asked, taking it.
"Why don't you open it and see?"
Loki ripped the packaging open, and revealed a small glass jar half filled with a slightly viscous liquid.
"It's all I could get," Steve said, pulling down his shirt cuffs to cover the goat bite mark shaped bruises on his arms.
"Oh Captain, what a lovely gift. I am truly touched," Loki said, as he opened the jar and sniffed the contents. "It is 100% pure. A very rare, and highly prized, commodity."
"Please tell me sorcerers don't use it to create monsters."
"Of course not, no, good Captain!" Loki said, smiling widely. "We use it to raise the dead."
Steve's trips to London became a regular thing, and half the time he forgot he was supposed to be gathering intel and keeping an eye on things in the UK. Fury kept asking him to write reports on the knowledge he had gained, but Steve doubted he wanted to know that Loki's one weak spot was the fact that he could be reduced to a giggling heap on the floor by tickling him behind his left knee, or that when his hair got wet it would go curly, or that his favourite food was his mothers chocolate cake, which Steve had to admit, was terrific.
He had nothing to write simply because in all the time he had spent in London, he hadn't seen Loki perform a single evil act, apart from the time he made the Household Cavalry perform the dance to Life's A Happy Song from The Muppets with him the palace gardens, and he seemed to spend most of his time secretly granting the wishes of his subjects.
If someone sent him a tweet inviting him to their children's tea party, he would would do his best to show up. If someone complained about the smell of the chemical plant near their home, he would come up with a spell that would make it smell of flowers. If he saw a story in the paper about a young child being distraught because their cat was missing, he would find the kitty and return it home… and in one case return it to life, before returning it home.
"How are your little jaunts to London going?" Tony asked Steve one morning, as they sat drinking coffee in the kitchen of Stark Tower, and Steve shrugged in response.
"I don't think Fury is too happy with my progress."
"What exactly did he send you over there to do? Seduce him?"
"Just to keep an eye on things, check he's not doing anything too bad, maybe negotiate for him leave, if I can."
"Negotiate his pants off, more like."
"Tony!" Steve exclaimed, and felt a blush start to creep up from under his collar, even though he knew Tony was technically right.
"Good afternoon, Captain," Frigga said, when Steve joined her in the shade as they watched Loki run round the palace garden, shrieking with laughter, as he played tag with Sleipnir, the Prince of Wales, in the sunshine. "Isn't it a delightful day? Please, join me."
"It's a gorgeous day, Ma'am, yes," Steve said, as he sat on the wrought iron garden chair.
"Would you care for cake?" Frigga asked, motioning towards carrot cake that stood on a silver stand on the table between them. "I made it fresh this morning."
"I'd love some, thank you," Steve said, and Frigga cut him a generous slice, which she placed on a plate. He took a bite and said, "You make the best cake in the world Ma'am, even better than what my mother used to make."
"Oh, I'm sure that's not true," she said with a smile, "All boys should love their mothers cooking the most."
"My mom did make a pretty mean apple pie," Steve replied, with a smile. "She died not long after I graduated high school."
"Ooooh, so sad, a boy growing up without his mother," she said, placing her hand on her chest and sounding genuinely saddened. "You know, I saw a lovely film last week where a nice young man said 'A boy's best friend is his mother' and I just though that is so true."
Steve almost choked on his cake when he recognised where the quote was from, and then said, "At least Loki has you."
Frigga sighed, and then she said, "I hate to think what would have become of Loki if he had fallen alone, feeling as unloved and alone as he did. I fear he would have become twisted and bitter, and all this would have ended in tragedy and destruction."
"Steve!" Loki shouted across the lawn. "Come play with us!"
"I'll just finish my cake, then I'll be right there," Steve shouted back, and then he laughed as Sleipnir trotted up behind Loki with a hosepipe in his mouth and soaked him.
"I know it must be very strange for you Midgardians, to have someone take over a kingdom," Frigga said, "But let me assure you that is the way it is done in the rest of the realms. Even among the lowest creatures here on Midgard, the Bees for example, it is considered natural for the strongest to rule, even if they have to defeat the previous ruler, but you humans do not do that, and you are very unusual. Do not let that get in the way of what you have together, you are a good match."
"He's not going to try to take over the rest of the planet is he?"
"I think Loki is quite happy with what he has," Frigga replied, then she giggled and said, "Although if things carry on as they are, I suspect he might be invited to rule the rest of this realm."
"Steve!" Loki shouted again. He was holding the hosepipe, drenched from head to food with his hair curling wildly and his thin black tunic clinging to his body. He held the hose pipe up and said, "Don't make squirt you where you sit. I doubt my mother would be happy with you."
Steve turned to Frigga and said, "If you'll excuse me, Ma'am,"
"You are excused," she replied, with a gentle smile. "Now go and enjoy your play time. And Loki don't be rough!"
"I am being good, mother!" Loki shouted back, and then he turned and squirted Sleipnir in the face with the hosepipe at point blank range.
They had been sent upstairs to get dried and changed before dinner, but what was supposed to be a quick shower, had ended up with both of them in the same bath, before falling into bed.
"How does it feel to deflower a king?" Loki asked, his hair still damp and wavy.
"Are you sure you're fully deflowered?" Steve asked.
"I think the second time might have done the trick yes," Loki replied with grin.
"So you don't need a third round, just to make sure?"
"Oh, I never said that," Loki said pulling Steve into his arms again. "You know, you are spending so much time here now we should get you a new name and costume."
"I can't be Captain America anymore?" Steve asked, as he nuzzled the soft skin of Loki's neck.
"Not unless you are willing to be subjugated," Loki said with a laugh. "I'll sit on the throne with you lounging at my feet."
"Maybe I could be Captain Switzerland? That way I'd always be neutral."
"What about Captain Britain?" Loki asked, excitedly. "You could be Captain Britain!"
"I think that name's already taken."
"Oh, what a shame."