Disclaimer: This is a work of FANFICTION, meaning that I do not own The Avengers or any other character from Marvel.

A/N: Hello, my friends. It has been so long since I have written anything for this site. For anyone who has read my other stories, I'm sorry, but I do not know when, or if, I'll return to them. When I saw Thor, I loved it. And I was immediately drawn to the character Loki. I thought about writing a story then, but could not form an adequate idea. When I saw the Avengers, I was instantly struck with inspiration. This is the result of that. I plan to update this as often as possible, but I'm not going to wear myself out like I used to. I hope you all enjoy this.

Redemption

by

I Am Atrocity

Chapter I: The Man Who Would Be King

'He is running from his wildest thoughts. He is running from his everything. He is looking now to find something, hoping he could be saved.'

-The Man Who Would Be King by Iron Maiden.

Loki snarled as he grappled with his older brother atop Stark Tower. Below them, the Chitauri vanguard were delivering a decimating initial assault upon the unsuspecting populace of New York City. Pillars of smoke were already breaking the skyline, and the screams of the innocents could be heard even at this distance.

Sometime during the fight he had lost hold of his spear and was now having to rely solely on his hand-to-hand skills to fend off Thor's attacks. Their fight came to a standstill and Loki glared defiantly at his brother. Inside, it was tearing him apart to be facing Thor. They should be working together, conquering Earth as brothers. Thor's love for humans made that dream near-impossible. Looking back, he could have done things differently. But the past was the past, and there was no going back now.

"Look around you, Loki!" Thor growled, grabbing Loki and holding him in place. "Do you think this chaos will end with your rule?"

Glancing around, taking in the havoc that the Chitauri were wreaking on the mortals, the screams of the mortals as they ran, desperately seeking safety from the invading army, he felt a faint pang of regret. He shoved that aside as best as he could, but he couldn't make it disappear. He looked up into the imploring, pleading eyes of Thor, his brother. "It's too late." he said, despair coloring his tone. "You can't stop it. No one can."

Thor shook his head. "We can, Loki. Together." The hope and pain in Thor's voice cut through Loki like Surtur's blade through snow.

He wanted so desperately to believe him; to believe that he, Loki, could stand by his brother's side again and face a common enemy with matching smiles, like they had so many times in the past. But that dream was beyond his reach. He had made his bed, now he had to lay in it. If he was returned to Asgard, even as a friend, he would be punished. Odin would never allow his crimes to pass without judgement. Attempted genocide, the destruction of the Bifrost, those were no small charges. He would pay for them, with his life most likely. If not his life, then in other, possibly worse, ways. No, he could not go back.

With a flick of his wrist, a small dagger dropped from his sleeve and into his hand. Swift as the lightening that Thor commanded, he plunged the dagger into the Thunder God's side. A second of hesitation saw that the blade didn't pierce as deep as originally intended. Despite that, Thor dropped to one knee, gasping in pain. "Sentiment." he muttered, quietly berating himself for his moment of weakness.

He had come too far to let anything stop him now. The world was at his feet, ready to be ruled. A single leap and he was standing solidly on the back of a passing Chitauri craft. He cast his gaze back to the Tower, seeing his brother rise to his feet and toss his dagger aside. The wound wasn't deep, and would prove to be of little hindrance to Thor. He felt a sense of relief with that knowledge, though he smothered it and ignored it in favor of determination to claim this world as his own.

XXXX

He was back at Stark Tower; how he had gotten their was unclear. The world beyond those walls was chaos. His time out there, amongst the battle, was a blur. He remembered Thor using his lightning to deal a devistating blow to the invading army as they came through the portal. He remember the archer, Barton, attempting to eliminate him with an arrow through his head. He had caught the arrow with little effort, but the explosion that followed was something that he had failed to expect.

Now he was staring down an angry Hulk, with no visible way out. He looked around quickly, his keen eyes scanning the interior for any means of escape. He found none except the opening behind the massive green beast. He cursed silently.

The beast charged at him and a plan formed in his devious mind. He needed to save himself, and in order to do that, he needed to put his new plan in action immediately. "STOP!" He shouted, seeming to startle the Hulk into coming to a halt. "Enough! I surrender."

Hulk tilted his head, unsure of how to proceed. Loki waited, afraid to speak further, lest the beast decide that it was better to just kill him and be done with it. He held his hands up, palms to the sky, to show that he meant no harm. After watching the Hulk tear a path of destruction through the city, he now understood Mr. Stark's faith in the creature. Now, he just needed to get his hands on his spear.

Loki sat down heavily on the short set of stairs behind him and ran his hands through his hair. All the while, the Hulk watched him, body poised to pounce should he make any sudden moves. He was walking on thin ice, and he knew it.

As he sat there, under Banner's watchful eyes, Tony Stark's words echoed inside his head. There's no throne. There is no version of this where you come out on top. Looking at his situation now, he was beginning to see the truth behind those words. Two members of the so-called Avengers had attempted to talk him out of this battle. First, his brother, atop that small cliff in the wilderness; then Stark, here in this very room. He had been warned, and ignored them, all because of his thrice damned pride. Actually, Thor had tried to talk him out of it twice. He had been offered forgiveness by his brother, and twice he had childishly slapped the hand of friendship away. He hoped that Thor still hadn't given up on him.

He looked up at Hulk. "Are you just going to stand there while your friends fight for their lives? Stupid beast." he muttered the last part under his breath. Apparantly the Hulk had heard him though, because the next thing he knew he was in the air and then on the ground with the wind knocked out of him.

He layed there, gasping for breath as Banner marched back the way he had come and rejoined the battle. He wiggled his fingers, testing their responce time. Good, I can still move. He then did a quick check of the rest of his body. Nothing broken. I suppose I should be thankful, that oafish creature could have done much worse.

He struggled to his feet and slowly made his way out onto the balcony where he remembered losing his spear. Upon inspection of the area he discovered that his spear was missing. He looked around desperately, thinking that perhaps he had just overlooked it, unlikely as it was. After further inspection turned out fruitless, he cursed violently under his breath. He looked up to the sky above Stark Tower, seeing Chitauri still coming through the portal. Without that sceptre, I cannot close the gateway.

His gaze followed the beam of light that connected the portal to the Tesseract. He hurried up to the top of the Tower, hoping to find that Selvig had retrieved the sceptre when he had dropped it. However, he found it not in the hands of Eric Selvig, but in the hands of one Natasha Romanoff. "Damn." he whispered.

Fixing a look of calm determination on his face, he approached them casually. He could hear Romanoff speaking to someone. "Guys, I can close the portal." He couldn't hear the other end of the conversation, but whatever was said must not have been good news, because her eyes grew wide and he could easily detect fear within those blue orbs. He tilted his head, wondering what could have possibly frightened the steel-nerved S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.

"What? What did they say?" Selvig asked, voicing Loki's thought exactly.

"There's a nuke head for the city as we speak. Stark is going to try and put it through the portal." She answered. Selvig nodded.

Loki looked around, trying to spy Stark's distinct crimson and gold armor. It took him a moment, but he finally spotted the genius mortal, flying directly at their position, guiding a giant missile with his body.

Stark drew nearer to the Tower. At the last second he was able to turn the missile upward, toward the open portal. Loki held his breath as Iron Man sped into the portal. A sigh of relief followed, not only from himself, but from Romanoff and Selvig as well. Speaking of those two, I am quite surprised that they have not noticed me yet. Foolish mortals. That kind negligence can get you killed.

A moment later the light of an explosion was visible from the other side of the portal and all around the city the Chitauri were falling lifeless. He knew that they needed to close the portal before the explosion poured through, but Natasha seemed to be stalling in hopes that Stark would return through it. They had no time for such risks.

In one fluid movement he stepped forward and slipped the spear from her grasp, lightly nudging her aside. He ignored the protests that followed from Natasha and Selvig. He would deal with them as soon as they were safe. With calm resolve he pushed the tip of the spear into the beam, disrupting it and causing the portal to close. He looked up and smirked as a single small figure fell through the portal just before it closed.

His smirk disappeared when he realized that Stark was not slowing his descent. He cursed that he had no means of flying up there, and hoped that his brother had noticed his falling teammate as well. He was further surprised whe it was Banner, not Thor, that caught Stark and broke his fall.

A small smile lit his face with the knowledge that earth was safe once more, if a little worse for wear. He turned to face the other two atop the Tower, only to come face-to-barrel with Natasha's gun. He raised his hands and smirked. "Don't shoot. I come in peace." She didn't look convinced, her gun not lowering in the slightest. Her eyes flicked sideways and he looked to where they had. Oh. Holding a spear doesn't exactly say 'friendly'.

His fingers opened, letting the spear fall from his grip to clatter on the ground at their feet. He continued to smile as Natasha radioed the rest of the team, informing that she had him in custody. "Um, I'm not in-" He was cut off when the gun disappeared, he was kicked in the leg, dropping him to one knee, and then cuffed. He looked down at the metal shackles in amusement as he climbed back to his feet. "I stand corrected."

XXXX

Humiliation. Annoyance. Amusement. Anger. Joy. Sorrow. He was feeling all of these as he was marched, bound and gagged, sort of, into a clearing in Central Park by Thor. Humiliation, because he was being treated like a common criminal; Annoyance, because the muzzle prevented him from speaking, or breathing through his mouth; Amusement, because the humans were too scared to let him walk on his own, unchained, even though he no longer meant them any harm; Anger, because Thor did not speak in his defence; Joy, because Thor had told him, in secret that he would make sure that he was given fair trial on Asgard, and would speak in his defence, seeing as he had tried to help them at the end; Sorrow, for leaving Midgard with such noticable and painful scars. All this, and more, coursed through him as he stood there, waiting for Thor to say farewell to Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

One by one, they said they're goodbyes, all of them ignoring his presence. He took that short time to study them all, to remember them, the mortals that had all put aside their differences to put a stop to him, the God of Mischief.

Of them all, only a few stood out to him. Bruce Banner had been the only one to actually take him down. His monstrous strength when in his other form was not something Loki wished to ever be on the recieving end of again; he could still feel the bruises from the beast's attack.

Tony Stark had faced him down, even when his suit was damaged and he was without its protection. And making the sacrifice play to save the world. Tony Stark had earned a grudging respect from Loki.

Finally, Natasha Romanoff caught his eye. He strong-willed beauty made him smirk. Very few could manage to effectively sneak up on him, and one of those few was this fiery young woman. Not only had she been able to avoid detection, she was able to actually fool him. The Trickster, tricked. The irony of it was not lost on him.

Further observance was interrupted by Thor, who was now offering him one end of the device designed to transport them back to Asgard using the power of the Tesseract. With a resigned sigh he reached out and took hold of the device. Thor activated it and they were swallowed up by a bright flash.

When Loki opened his eyes, he was standing on the Rainbow Bridge, facing towards the main gates of Asgard. A battalion of guards were present, waiting to escort them to the throne room where Odin waited. All of this for me? I'm flattered. The muzzle hid Loki's smirk.

The long walk up the Bridge seemed to last forever in Loki's eyes, not that he was complaining, every second that he wasn't standing before odin was a seond of precious freedom. He knew that, even with Thor testimony, he would be severely punished for his near destruction of Midgard and the attempted genocide of Jotunheim. There was no denying that he deserved punishment. Maybe, instead of standing around like an idiot, I should have taken the time when no one was looking to slip away. Alas, what's done is done.

The throne room was exactly as he remembered, filled with false friends and naysayers; gods and others that whispered about him behind his back and behind closed doors. As he marched to Odin's throne, he could hear those whispers. Traiter. Monster. Betrayer. Backstabber. Murderer. Liar. Usurper. The cruel names and words of hate passed through countless lips, cutting him deeper than any blade ever could. The only comfort he had was that Thor stood resolutely at his side, a restraining, yet supportive, hand on his shoulder.

The guards spread out in a wide circle around him and his brother, hands resting on their weapons threateningly. If Loki were not bound he would have smiled mockingly at the unnecissary display of aggression. As it was, that smile was hidden and the only evidence of its existence was the slight crinkling around his eyes.

Odin, the Allfather, looked down on him, his one eye revealing no emotion. Oh, joy. He regarded Loki silently, taking stock of the man he had taken and raised as a brother to his own son. Odin still considered Loki his son; a son he still loved, despite his man faults and crimes. He stood. "Loki." The Trickster tilted his head to show that he had heard. "My son, you have been brought here before me to answer for your crimes. They stand as thus: attempted destruction of Jotunheim and its inhabitants, and the resulting destruction of the Bifrost." Technically, that was Thor's doing. "The unrightful claiming of the throne of Asgard." Unrightful? I had every right! You were in the Odinsleep and Thor was in exile. I was next in line! "And the attempted subjugation of Midgard through hostile invasion." Is there a form of invasion that isn't hostile?

All of Loki's responses were internal as he could not speak through the muzzle. Thor, seeming to read his mind, reached up and unclasped it. Protests were heard throughout the hall. Thor met the questioning gaze of Odin. "I promised Loki a fair trial. I will not go back on my word, lest I be called Oathbreaker." Odin seemed to accept this, while some still were unhappy that the usurper, the traiter, was going to be allowed to speak.

Loki silently worked his stiff jaw, easing the dull ache that had settled in. He then met Odin's gaze and smiled. "Hello, father." he put special emphasis on the word, stressing it more than was necessary. "First off, the Bifost, that was my dear Brother here. No offence." he said the last part to Thor, who shook his head. "Of course, I accept that, had I not locked the Bifrost the way I did, Thor would not have had to destroy the Bridge, but I digress. Second. My taking of the throne was completely rightful."

Shouts of outrage erupted within the hall, with many of the Asgardians demanding that he be silenced. Others were arguing that, since he was not Odin's heir, he had no right to the throne. Loki ignored them and continued. "You were in the Odinsleep, Thor was in exile on Midgard. Who was left?" he gestured to himself. "As the second 'son' of Odin, it was my place to step up and rule." He paused and looked at Thor, who was listening to him with a thoughtful expression. "As for the invasion of Midgard, I have no excuse, and will make none, except that I was blinded by jealousy. On multiple occasions, Thor offered me the chance to call it off and return home, here, to Asgard. I wish now that I had accepted." He thought a moment before deciding not to voice the sarcastic query that he had asked in his head earlier. No need to anger them further. "So, of the four crimes you have charged me with, I am guilty of only three, technically two, but I'm partially guilty of the Bifrost."

Thor was confused, Loki hadn't even tried to really defend himself. Was this some ploy? Some scheme to throw them off his true intentions?

Odin peered at Loki in much the same manner as Thor, wondering what Loki could be scheming.

For his part, Loki felt peculiarly light, having admitted his guilt and accepted that he was in the wrong. He now awaited the Allfather's judgement. He was secretly amused by the fact that both Odin and Thor were overthinking his motives. All he wanted was to be able to walk freely without being hunted or shadowed everywhere he went.

Odin finally gave up and sighed. "Loki Odinson," Laufeyson. Loki silently filled in, his inner voice bitter with the words that wanted to stain his tongue. "there are few prisons in all the Nine Realms that can hold you." True... "With that in mind, I hereby sentence you to a place where even your magics cannot save you: the Isle of Silence. In that place, no one will hear your lies."

The small smile on Loki's lips died and he was left in shock, his mouth hanging agape. He tried to form a responce, perhaps a sarcastic comment, but his tongue wouldn not obey him. The Isle of Silence... He had hoped for mercy, but his 'father' had taken away the only thing that gave him real power: his voice.

XXXX

A/N: What do you think? Should I continue? I'm not sure if I was able to portray Loki accurately. He is a complex character, and I have to try and get inside his head. Review please, but no flames;