Disclaimer: I do not own Avengers or anything else that I recognizable.
A/N: Here it is. The Epilogue. I hope that you have all enjoyed this story, and I would like to thank everyone that left a review, or favorited this story. I hope that this chapter ends things well. Enjoy.
I Am Atrocity
Epilogue: We Are One
'We walk alone in the unknown, we live to win another victory. We are the young dying sons, we live to change the face of history. Don't be afraid, it's the price we pay. The only easy day was yesterday. So hear our voice, we have a choice. It's time to face it. We are one, we will stand together. Number one! The chosen ones. We are one, we will fight forever. We are one and we won't die young! We are the bold united souls, we live to win another victory. Our sacred scars show who we are, they tell the story of our memories. Don't be afraid, it's the price we pay. The only easy day was yesterday. So hear our voice, we have a choice. It's time to face it. We are one!'
- We Are One by 12 Stones.
Loki walked down the the streets of Asgard, dressed in his casual clothing of a dark green tunic and his usual black pants and boots. He had a determined look on his face. He neared the gates of the city and smiled when he saw Sleipnir waiting just inside the gate. He walked up to the great eight-legged horse and gently stroked his mane and patted his neck. "Hey there, Sleipnir, my bonny boy. Ready for a short ride?"
The horse tossed his head and made a consenting sound. Loki smiled and put his foot in the stirrup, then mounted the saddle. He took a moment to adjust himself, then tapped his heels lightly, sending Sleipnir into a trot. They moved across the Bridge at a steady pace, in no real hurry to reach the Bifrost.
He was going to retrieve the Tesseract from earth, a task he had volunteered for. He looked backwards at the city behind him, seeing the damage that had been done in the battle. He could also see countless individuals moving about, either gathering the dead Chitauri, or helping with the repairs that had already begun. Up near the top of the palace, he could see a figure flying about, carrying large pieces of materials to repair the palace with. It was Tony in his Iron Man armor.
All of the Avengers had opted to stay and help out in any way they could, Tony with repairs, Bruce with the wounded, Thor was helping keep order while Odin was still recovering in the medical wing of the palace, which had not been damaged during the battle. Both Steve and Clint had been moved there as well. As expected, they had woken that morning, but Bruce had forced them to remain on bed-rest for a while longer, much to their displeasure. Natasha was going around with Sif and inspecting the areas around the palace, making notes of what materials they would need and documenting the damage done.
He reached the Bifrost and dismounted. He approached the ever-vigilant and stoic guardian with a smile. "Good Heimdall-"
"You aren't dressed properly," Heimdall cut him off.
Loki froze, confused, and cocked his head. "I'm sorry?"
Heimdall met his eyes. "You are going to Midgard. You need to dress like a mortal, so as not to draw too much attention to yourself."
Loki looked down at himself and let out a huff. He cocked his head. "Perhaps, but I haven't tried to blend in before, so why start now?"
Heimdall looked as though he wanted to roll his eyes, but seemed to retrain the action. Instead he turned to enter the Bifrost, with Loki following behind with a smirk on his face. He stood in front of the portal and waited with his hands on his hips. He did not carry his Scepter, having decided to store it away like he had done the Casket of Ancient Winters before, so as to not have to carry it at all times.
The portal flared to life, and Loki was surrounded by light as he was pulled into the opening. After the usual blur of color, he landed, once again, in the park in New York. He sighed, looking around as people shied away, some pointing and whispering to each other in hushed voices. He ignored the looks he received and teleported himself to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s New York base. He appeared in the control room, directly in front of Nick Fury, who did not so much as flinch at his sudden arrival, merely blinked his good eye twice. "I assume all went well, then?" Fury asked.
Loki frowned, having been expecting more of a response. "As well as could be expected," Loki told him. "We defeated Thanos, but Rogers and Barton were injured. We also have extensive repairs to see to, which is why I have come for the Tesseract."
Fury nodded and began to walk from the room. Loki followed close behind. They went down, into the bunker and stopped before the blank wall that hid the secret storage room where the Tesseract was being kept. Fury went through the long security process and the door hissed open. Loki walked inside, seeing the glowing cube sitting exactly where he had left it the last time he had been in the room.
He stepped up to its pedestal and looked down at it. He knew that he would have to return the power that it had lent him, but, for some reason, he hesitated. He could feeling that power flowing through him at that very moment, pulsing in time with his own heartbeat, reaching to every inch of his being, making him feel like he could do anything, like he was fully alive. He looked at the Cube, wondering why he must return that power. Why couldn't he keep it?
His hand began to shake and he clenched his fist. He knew why. It was for that very reason right there. If he did not return it, he would not want to ever give it up, he would become reliant on it, and then he would want more, and more, and eventually, like Thanos, he would go mad with power and become something he never wanted to be: a monster. He had made an oath, that he would give back the power given to him once Thanos was dead. He was dead, and the time had come to honor that oath.
He summoned his Scepter and raised it toward the Tesseract. He stilled for a moment longer, unsure, then the Scepter's stone pulsed, as though the Scepter were willing him on. He sighed and pressed the tip of the Scepter to the Tesseract.
He felt the raw power of the Tesseract enter his body as his eyes changed from their normal blue-green to black, then to pale blue. His body filled with warmth, but not the fire-like pain that he had been expecting. A soft, feminine laugh echoed through his mind, confusing him. "Loki, welcome back," the Tesseract greeted him. "You have returned to me, as you promised you would. I had faith in you, and am glad to see that it was not misplaced."
Loki thought of the moment before, when he had hesitated. I almost did not.
"I know, Loki, I know. But, you saw passed your own greed and into your heart, and here you are. Power corrupts all who wield it, just in different ways. It was lucky that you only had my power for a short time, otherwise, we may have lost you. But that does not matter any longer. Your return has assured me of that."
So, what happens now?
"I will take the power I lent you back into myself, and you will return the both of us to Asgard, where we belong. Too long have dwelled upon this world, far from my home, I long to return."
Asgard was greatly damaged in the battle, and I know that my Father will seek your power to rebuild it again.
"I will lend my power to the restoration of Asgard, just as I did for the Bifrost. You father, Odin, has always honored his oath and only used my power to build, never to destroy, and then returned it to me. I do not seek destruction, but Thanos had to be stopped before he destroyed all. I have no regrets."
Nor do I.
"Let us depart."
Loki felt the power exit from him, taking with it the power that had been granted to him. He sighed and reached inward, feeling his own magic once more, but there was a bit of the Tesseract's power still within him. He furrowed his brow in confusion. "A gift I give to you, for all that you've done..." A faint whisper said in his ear. The Scepter pulsed again and Loki smiled down at it. "Thank you."
He reached out and took hold of the Tesseract, lifting it from the surface that it had rested on. He turned around to find Fury waiting with an empty silver briefcase in his hand. He held it open for Loki and the Asgardian Prince gently placed the Tesseract inside the slot provided. He closed and sealed the case, then took hold of the handle. He nodded to Fury and walked past him, the briefcase in his hand, teleporting from the hallway outside, back to the park.
Again, his sudden appearance did not go unnoticed. He smirked and looked up at the sky. "Heimdall, open the Bifrost!"
A bright beam of light came down and swallowed him up, lifting him away from the Earth as the mortals looked on in silent fear and awe.
He reappeared in the Bifrost's main chamber and nodded to Heimdall before heading back outside. He placed the briefcase in the saddlebag that had been provided and then mounted the horse. "Feel like running, Sleipnir?"
Sleipnir whinnied and reared, then took off into a gallop, eight hooves pounding in rhythm over the Bridge. They rode all the way to the palace courtyard, where Thor was waiting for them. Loki dismounted gracefully and withdrew the briefcase that held the Tesseract. He walked over to Thor and held it out to him. Thor looked at it and took it with a grateful nod. "Thank you, brother. Did you have any trouble?"
Loki shook his head. "None."
Thor nodded. "Good." The two walked into the throne room, where repairs were already underway on the pillars. Loki's eyes fell on the Throne, still sitting at the far end of the room, untouched, unharmed. He had a strange feeling about that. "Odd, that with all of the destruction done here, the Throne was untouched," he said, his eyes still on the golden chair.
"A sign, my brother," Thor said, smiling. "A sign that Asgard will endure."
"Until Ragnarök come," Loki added.
Thor nodded. "Yes, until Ragnarök come..." he trailed off thoughtfully, worrying Loki slightly.
"Is there something wrong, brother?" the Trickster asked.
Thor looked at him in confusion, then shook his head. "No, no. Just thinking."
"Norns help us," Loki sighed dramatically.
Thor pushed him, laughing. "Now, now, brother, you aren't the only one that can come up with brilliant ideas, you know."
Loki held up a finger. "True, but, mine tend to be the only ones that actually work." Thor shook his head and did not counter those words. Loki looked passed the Throne, up toward the stairs that led to the royal quarters. "Have you checked our rooms yet?"
"What was the damage?"
"Only mother and father's rooms were damaged."
Loki nodded, and started in that direction. "I'm going to my room for a bit. I'll see you later, Thor."
Thor nodded and Loki set off. He climbed the stairs and made his way down the hall to his door. He pushed it open and stepped into the darkness. He waved his hand and the torches around the room flared to life, illuminating the entire space.
The room was exactly as he had left it, not a single item out of place. He walked over to his desk and looked down at what lay there. There was a thick tome, detailing the basics and theories of sustaining flight with magic. He had been trying to achieve this goal before the whole Jotunheim Incident. He ran his fingers over the hard leather cover and traced the intricate gold designs there. He moved on from the desk over to his bookshelf, which was stuffed full of tomes like the one that was on his desk, some about magic, others about history, and others simply tales of great warriors from ages past, both Asgardian and Midgardian. He lifted one from the shelf and ran his hand over the cover, looking at the runes inlayed there, and the design beneath them. It was a text about the Nine Realms, and their histories. The design was a golden tree, Yggdrasil, the Tree of the World. As he looked at it, taking in the golden lines that made up the branches and the roots, an idea began to form in his head.
He placed the book back on the shelf and turned to leave his room. He hurried out of the palace and out into the sprawling gardens, using the entrance closest to his destination, which was through the area that housed the tree that he had been imprisoned in. He barely cast a glance at it as he passed, but froze when he saw a familiar head of red hair. Natasha was sitting, looking up at the tree, appearing to be in thought. She had not noticed him.
Loki sighed and continued walking. He soon entered a different part of the garden, one where the trees were much older. He approached the most ancient of them and waited for the tree's keeper to appear. A moment passed before a young-looking, beautiful blonde woman with soft, yet wise blue eyes stepped out of the surrounding foliage. "Loki," she greeted in her soft voice.
Loki inclined his head to her in respect. "Idunn."
"What brings you to my garden, my Prince?" Idunn asked, looking at him inquiringly.
Loki sighed. "I need one of your apples, Idunn."
Idunn studied him closely, looking into his eyes, trying to judge his intentions. After a long moment of silence, she turned to the ancient tree and reached up to its branches, plucking one of the sweet, succulent, golden-yellow skinned apples from its place. She turned back to him and walked directly up to him. She held out the apple, and Loki closed his hand over it, waiting for her to release it from her grip. She met his eyes again, seeming to search once more, then she nodded and released the apple. Loki nodded his thanks and left the way he had come.
Johann walked out of the medical wing, having just finished his final check up of Clint Barton, and walked out of the palace. He made his way through the streets, passing many Asgardians that were hard at work preparing to repair the city.
He made it to his home, not far from the palace, finding it, surprisingly, still intact, and entered. He walked to his bedroom, and knelt in front of a locked chest, resting his hands on the lid. He undid the lock and set it aside, then prepared to open the chest.
He lifted the lid slowly, then gazed down at the contents of the chest. He reached in and lifted out the black leather outfit, and his eyes fell on the symbol emblazoned on the upper arms. A red skull with tentacles coming off of it. He ran his fingers over it and sighed.
When he had first awoken here, on Asgard, he had not remembered much, and had not for many years to come. When he looked in the mirror, he saw the new, healthy flesh that had been magically grown over his badly scarred face, but he would always get flashes of a man with a red, skull-like head and face staring back at him. It had been years before the memories came back to him and he remembered who he was: Johann Schmidt, head of HYDRA, Hitler's secret research division, born in a small village in Germany to Hermann and Martha Schmidt. His mother had died giving birth to him. His father had been enraged and tried to drown him, but was stopped by the doctor that had delivered him. The next day, his father had committed suicide. He had grown up in an orphanage until he was seven, when he had run away. Then he went to the reformatory until he was nine, and he ran away again. The rest of his childhood was spent either on the streets as a thief and beggar, or in prison.
When he was a young man, he had taken his first life. Her name had been Esther, and she was the daughter of a Jewish shopkeeper that he had worked for at the time. During a Nazi riot in Berlin, the shopkeeper had asked him to protect Esther, and he had done so, but in a fit of rage, he had killed her. He had fled the scene after taking all of the money from the shop's register, horrified by what he had done. But he felt a strange elation at having killed a human being.
Years later, when the Nazi party had risen to power in Germany, he had been working in a hotel as a bell boy. One day, the head of the Third Reich, Adolf Hitler, had checked into the hotel for the night. He had been charged with the duty of bringing refreshments up to the Führer. During that meeting, Hitler had taken him under his wing, making him his right-hand. He had taken up training him personally, once his subordinates proved to not be up to the task, and gifted him with a mask, a life-like, red skull. From that day on, he was known as the Red Skull and was answerable only to Hitler himself.
For years he had spread fear through the Allied forces, a source of great pride for Hitler. Hitler had financed the construction of secret bases throughout Europe for him, founding HYDRA to exercise his desire for power and creation of new, powerful weapons of war. During this time, he kidnapped and killed several of Hitler's advisers, until he was the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany. It was around this time that Hitler began to fear him and seek ways to remove him. When he had heard of Dr. Abraham Erskine's super soldier serum, he had sought out the Doctor and forced him to give him the serum. The serum had made him stronger, but had burned away his skin, leaving him with a red, skull-like face. He had then discarded the mask that Hitler had given him, instead having one made that was a life-like rendition of his original face. Seeing what he had become, Hitler revoked him of his SS status and sent him into his secret bases as the head of HYDRA, an exile, because he no longer resembled Hitler's idea of Aryan perfection.
Well, that was all he really remembered anyway.
He clenched his fist, and let the uniform fall back into the trunk, then locked it again. He would rise to power again, but not yet.
He walked over to the mirror that hung on the wall, and gazed his reflection. His fingers came up to touch his face, feeling the skin underneath them. The Asgardians had healed him, restored him, and he had lived amongst them, as a god, for over seventy years.
He had barely controlled himself when he had laid eyes on Captain Rogers again after so long, but he had managed and had managed to stay out of the way and out of sight during their time on Earth, until the battle. He had been surprised to see how much the world had changed since the last time he had been there, and he had felt a strange sense of satisfaction when he had learned that Hitler had been defeated in the war. He had felt the old, familiar urge to try and take over the world again, but had dismissed the idea, remembering that Loki, who was greatly stronger than he was, had tried and failed. As he had seen during the battle, the Avengers were not a team to be trifled with lightly. He had long harbored a desire to rule Asgard, but he knew that Odin could crush him easily. Not to say that that idea had been discarded, no, merely set aside for now, until the time was right.
He walked over to a large wardrobe that was taller than he was and opened the doors. He pushed his clothing to the sides and place his hands on the back wall, giving it a firm push. With a light scraping sound, the back panel slid aside and revealed a small staircase that led down. He came to what appeared to be a plain stone wall and gave it an even firmer push, and it too slid open with a louder scraping noise. Beyond this was a dimly lit room with a desk and wall of diagrams off to one side. Several black cases sitting stacked against one wall, with large S.H.I.E.L.D. emblems emblazoned on the sides.
He went to the desk and opened one of the drawers and pulled out what appeared to be a pair of simple metal cuffs. He placed them on the desk and began to gather various tools from around the room. He had work to do.
Loki came to stand behind Natasha, who was still sitting in front of his tree. "What brings you here?" he asked, looking up at the branches that he had long inhabited, wondering if she knew where she was.
Natasha looked up at him and smiled. She was glad that they were out here, away from everyone else, where she could discard the mask and let herself show her emotions freely. "I don't know, but it's peaceful here. That, and I feel safe here."
Loki looked down at her and raised and eyebrow at this. "Safe? How so?"
Natasha sighed and looked back to the tree. "This tree saved my life," she told him, making his cock his head in confusion. "During the battle, when the ship was destroyed, a piece of the debris was about to kill me, but the branches stopped it and kept it from hurting me."
Loki turned his eyes back to the tree in wonder. "How?" was all he asked.
Natasha shrugged. "I don't know, but, your father seems to think that some of your magic still empowers the tree, left over from when you were trapped inside."
Loki nodded. So, she did know what tree this was. "I see. Well," he lowered himself down next to her, "then I owe it thanks and eternal gratitude."
Natasha smiled at him and leaned into him, placing her head on his shoulder. Loki's arm went around her and he leaned his own head down to rest atop hers. After a long moment of comfortable silence, Loki spoke again. "I have something for you, Natasha."
Natasha leaned back as Loki took his arm from around her shoulders and looked up at him. "What is it?"
Loki smiled and laughed nervously, averting his eyes downward. "Well, it's a...it's a gift. A very special one." Natasha silently urged him to continue, curious as to what gift Loki was going to give her. He lifted his other hand, that had remained out of sight by his side, and revealed a golden apple. She gazed at it in wonder, then looked up to Loki again, not understanding. "This is an Apple of Idunn. They only grow here on Asgard, in Idunn's garden. These apples are what give us our eternal youth and vigour. We all eventually grow old, like my father has, but it takes many thousands of years, so long as we eat these apples once a year. If given to a mortal, they will become like us." He reached up and cupped her cheek. "Natasha, I love you more than I have ever loved anything or anyone, and I could not bear to see you go from me, and would like to offer you the chance to stay here, on Asgard, with me." He offered her the Apple silently, his eyes betraying his fear that she would refuse.
Natasha was stunned. Of everything that she had expected, this was not it. She looked at the Apple that Loki held out to her, wanting so desperately to take it, yet part of her was afraid. If she took it, she would become immortal, like Loki, but she would have to watch all of her friends die as mortals. She knew that Loki was offering her this because he felt that same fear for her. He did not want to have to see her die, as an old woman, down on Earth, when she could stay here with him, as a goddess, forever.
Loki saw her hesitation and assumed that she did not wish for this gift. He sighed and let his eyes drop, feeling a cold, heavy weight grow in his chest. His hand began to drop, but was stopped when a smaller hand closed around his. He looked back up slowly, to find Natasha smiling at him through teary eyes. Slowly, she took the Apple from his grasp and brought it to herself. She prepared to take a bite. "Natasha." She stopped, and her eyes sought his. "Don't do this, unless it is what you truly want. I only want you to be happy, so don't do this for my sake."
Natasha stared him in the eye for a moment longer, then sunk her teeth into the soft, sweet Apple. She chewed, and swallowed the first bite, then repeated the process until all that was left was the core. She let the core drop, feeling strange. Then she seemed to glow lightly, and she gasped. Loki watched on, knowing that she was alright, having seen this once before when they had given Johann his first Apple, he also knew that she would feel rejuvenated when the glow had faded and the power of the Apple to seed in her. It would take a while for her body to adjust and reconfigure itself from human to goddess, but she would be stronger and healthier for it; not that she wasn't already, but she would soon be far superior to any mortal on Earth, near the speed and strength of Captain Rogers, just without the physical growth.
A short time later, the glow faded back into the skin and she smiled at him, then moved toward him, bringing her mouth up to his in an impassioned kiss. Loki wrapped his arms around her, feeling the heaviness in his chest disappear. He now felt light and full of joy. "I'm yours, Loki, and you're mine, forever," she whispered against his lips.
Loki smiled into the kiss, then pulled back just enough to whisper back. "We are one, now, until Ragnarök come."
Loki entered the healing room a short time later, with Natasha in tow. He made his way toward the cubical-like room that Clint was in. He stepped up to the curtained off area and listened, seeing if there was anyone else in the room with Clint. When he was greeted with only silence, he pulled the curtain back, letting Natasha enter first, then followed after her.
Clint was laying on a small bed, made for only one person, and staring up at the ceiling with a bored expression. At the soft rustling sound made by the curtains when they were move, he looked up at them, his eyes showing surprise. "Natasha? Loki?"
Natasha smiled and rushed forward to give Clint a hug, while Loki walked behind her with a smirk. "How are you feeling, Clint?" Natasha asked, her voice calm and even, but still with a hint of worry.
Clint gave her a smile. "I feel fine, actually. But, those damned magic doctors won't let me leave until tomorrow." He seemed irked by this. "I slept pretty well though, for once." He met Loki's eyes as he said this and Loki raised an inquisitive brow at him. Clint sighed and turned to Natasha, who was standing beside Loki at the bedside. "Hey. Nat, can you give me and Loki a moment. I want to talk to him...In private."
Natasha looked between the two most important men in her life, her eyes unsure, given their past history. After a long moment of deliberation, she nodded and turned around, exiting out of the cubical saying that she was going to go check in on Steve.
As soon as she was gone Clint turned his keen eyes to Loki. "So, word on the ward is that you saved me." Loki nodded, not sure where this was leading. "Why?"
Loki's eyes widened a bit at the sudden question. He studied Clint, and found him to be genuinely curious as to Loki's answer. Loki sighed. "Why wouldn't I?"
Clint snorted. "Oh, please. After all the hell I've given you since you came back to Earth, I wouldn't have put it past you to just let me die. I would expect it actually."
Loki frowned. "You still think so little of me? That I would let a man, an ally, die over some petty grudge. You wound me, Agent Barton."
Clint shook his head. "I don't get you. One minute you're a royal prick, and then the next you're reasonable, sensitive guy. I don't get it."
Loki smirked. "Come now, Agent Barton, you should know by now that there is more than one side to a coin. Not everything is black and white, right or wrong. There is more to everyone and everything than what meets the eye."
Clint tilted his head. "I suppose you're right." He paused. "But, seriously, why did you save me?"
Loki sighed and walked over to lean on the table that sat against the wall in the cubical. "It's not really that complicated. Natasha hold you dear to her heart. You and I may not be friends, but she and you are, and I could not, in good conscience, have let you die when I had the power to save you."
Clint nodded. "So, it was all for Natasha's sake?"
Loki nodded. "Yes. Though, I suppose that there was a bit of a debt to be paid."
Clint cocked his head. "Debt?"
"You kept your word and protected Natasha, just like I asked. I owed you for that. And, I guess it could be seen as my way of saying sorry for turning you on your friends before." Loki shrugged.
"When you put it like that, I can see your point," Clint conceded.
"I'll be honest. I didn't think that I would be able to repair the damage in time," Loki admitted. "Do you remember anything?"
Clint scrunched up his face in thought. "Sort of. It's all vague and blurry, but one instance stands out clearly." He met Loki's eyes. "I remember seeing angels." He looked as if this were the most absurd thing ever. "Wierd, huh. I mean, you hear stories about people claiming to see a long black tunnel with a white light at the end, and you hear voices calling out to you. Some say that that is just hospital lights and the doctors talking to you. But this, this was different..." he trailed off, unsure.
Loki sighed and nodded. "It was the Valkyries." Clint looked up at him in confusion. Loki explained. "They are the warrior maidens of Valhalla. They come to collect the souls of warriors that have fallen in battle and take them to the Golden Hall. They bear a startling resemblance to the 'angels' that you mortals speak of and depict in your architecture and art. They had come to take you to Valhalla, but I was just able to pull you back from death and restore you to life."
"So they were real?" Clint asked.
"Very real," Loki assured. "Don't worry. You haven't gone mad."
Clint gave an exaggerated sigh. "Well, that's a relief. I was hoping to not have something in common with you. Glad to see that I'm still in the clear." He smirked to show that he was joking. "But, in all seriousness," he held his hand out to Loki, "thank you."
Loki nodded and reached out, clasping the archer's hand firmly. "Don't mention it."
XXXX One Week Later.
Clint hugged Natasha hard, the red-haired woman returned the embrace just as hard. After a moment, they stepped back from each other. Clint looked down at her with a bit of a smirk on his lips. "You take care of yourself, Nat. Alright?"
Natasha nodded. "You too."
Clint looked over her shoulder at Loki and motioned the Trickster forward. Loki stepped up to stand beside Natasha. Clint extended his hand to Loki, who smiled and took it, shaking it firmly. "You take care of her. If you don't, I still have an arrow with your name on it," Clint said, only half joking.
Loki's smile did not falter. "I would expect nothing less, Agent Barton."
Clint nodded and released his hand. He then stepped back to stand with the rest of those returning to Earth. Tony, Bruce and Steve. Tony was not wearing his armor, and instead was carrying a silver briefcase in his hand. He looked at Loki and Natasha, and winked. "Hey, promise me that you guys won't forget about us up here in the clouds. And make sure you come and visit sometime. Stark Tower is always open to you and I promise not to rent out your room." He seemed to have an afterthought. "Oh, and we had better get invitations to the wedding!" Natasha glared at Tony and flipped him off. Tony laughed and shook his head. "Sorry, honey, that's Loki's job." He winked again. Natasha was barely able to keep the blush from her face. "Oh, and speaking of which, I hope the rooms are soundproofed here!"
Natasha's eyes grew wide, realizing what he meant, and that line in the letter he had left suddenly making sense. She could not control her blush this time, and Loki didn't help by chuckling and smirking at her.
Loki raised a hand in farewell to Tony and the billionaire returned it with a sloppy offhanded salute.
Bruce and Steve said their goodbyes and Heimdall opened the Bifrost, letting the portal pull them in and send them far, across the stars to Earth, back home. Natasha watched them go, sadly. Loki put his arm around her and pulled her close. "Don't worry, Min Kjære, we'll see them again." He looked down at her. "After all, there is still that wedding idea that Tony mentioned." He smiled teasingly.
She blushed again, smiled and smacked him on the chest. "Don't get ahead of yourself there, Odinson, you still have to ask me, you know."
Loki smirked, "All in good time," he whispered.
Natasha looked up at him, not having caught exactly what he had said. "What?"
Loki acted surprised. "Hm? What? I didn't say anything."
"Yes you did," she pressed.
Loki shook his head and pulled Natasha closer to him as they turned to head back to the city. He helped her mount his black horse, Odin was riding Sleipnir, and then mounted behind her, one hand taking up the reigns, and the other coming to rest on her flat stomach for support. He leaned in close to her ear and whispered, his warm breath on her cool skin sending a shiver down her spine. "Ty vyvdesh' za menya, Natasha? Budete li vy moim? Navsegda?"
Natasha gasped and turned her head around to look at him, finding him smiling softly, but uncertainly down at her. She let her lips quirk a bit, smirking lightly. "Vse v svoye vremya."
Loki laughed, while Natasha continued to smirk. He spurred the horse into a canter and they set off, back to Asgard with the rest of Loki's family.
A/N: And that's that. The End. I hope you all enjoyed this, and ask that you all leave a review, it would be greatly appreciated to hear what you thought, so long as it isn't a flame.
I have an idea for a possible sequel, but no promises. I know that it would be cruel to leave it here, what with Schmidt's reveal and such. I'll try, that's all I can say. I won't push it and try to force a story into existence.
P.S.: Yes, that last bit of the chapter is a homage to Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. I love that movie, almost as much as the first one...Robert Downey Jr. is a genius. Simple as that. I also made a reference to War Horse in this chapter. Did anyone catch it?
I made a song list to act as the soundtrack to this story, it is written below.
We Are One - 12 Stones (Main Theme)
Burn - Alkaline Trio
Misery's Crown - Dark Tranquility
Enemy Sex - Evergreen Terrace
I - Tyr (Loki's Theme)
Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd
El Mañana - Gorillaz
Destroyer of the Universe - Amon Amarth
In My Tears - Emigrate
Twisted Mind - Avantasia
Brother My Brother - Blessid Union of Souls
Dead Flowers - Demon Hunter
It Was You - 12 Stones (Loki and Natasha's Theme)
Symphony of Life - Avantasia (Natasha's Theme)
Gravemakers and Gunslingers - Coheed and Cambria
Another Hero Lost - Shadows Fall
Bulletproof - 12 Stones
Loki's Lullaby - Kate Mann
I honestly did not think that Soundgarden's 'Live to Rise' was theme song material, and would have chosen 'We Are One' by 12 Stones instead, that is why I put it as the main theme for my story. I had to think very carefully for Loki's Theme, Natasha's Theme and the love theme, but I like my choices.
Ty vyvdesh' za menya, Natasha? Budete li vy moim? Navsegda - 'Will you marry me, Natasha? Will you be mine? Forever?' (Russian)
Vse v svoye vremya - 'All in good time.' (Russian)
Again: THANK YOU ALL FOR READING!
Until next time.