A/N: Hey, everyone! Long time, no see. ^_^;; College has sucked up a lot of my free time over the past few months, but I'm on summer vacation now so here is a new fanfic for you all to enjoy! :D I saw The Avengers two times last week (once on Monday and once on Friday), and I have been absolutely OBSESSED with Loki's character since I saw it the first time. I randomly got an idea for this fanfic while I was at work last night, bored out of my mind, so I thought it couldn't hurt to write it down and see how it goes. I have no idea right now how many chapters this story is going to be, but I predict somewhere around five or six, depending on how long I decide to make each chapter.
Rated M for sex in later chapters. Please read and review!
Asgard. It was a home that Loki had long since believed he would never lay eyes upon again. There were so many good memories in this place: playing in the sprawling courtyards with his brother, great feasts held for all to enjoy, where he would laugh and make merry with all of Thor's warrior friends, sitting in the library night after night and studying ways to better his magic. Such bittersweet memories they were…
Now, Loki was viewing his home not as Loki Odinson, the youngest son of the All-Father, but as Loki Laufeyson, the son of a frost giant: a monster. Above all, though, he was viewing it as a petty criminal, chained and prevented from saying so much as a single word by the awful, uncomfortable gag over his mouth. He turned his green gaze toward Thor as he led him to the throne room, and he couldn't help but entertain thoughts of what his punishment might be. Would he be thrown into exile until the end of time, or would he be sentenced to death?
Well, I will find out soon enough, I suppose.
As they approached Odin's throne, one of the guards tailing them forced Loki to his knees and he glared silently at him before looking up at the king who had raised him from infancy. The expression on the All-Father's face was grim but not angry, and that unsettled the trickster to no end. What was he thinking?
"Loki," Odin said finally, "you break my heart. I thought you were dead; we all thought you were dead. Yet discovering you were alive, only to find out that you were attacking Earth with an alien army… It pains me."
Loki clenched his fists and wanted nothing more than to yell at him, but the gag left him with no choice but to remain silent.
"In the wake of what has happened, and taking into consideration all that you did here in Asgard before this incident occurred, you have left me with no other choice. Loki, the punishment for your actions… is death."
A poisonous silence fell over the throne room, and Loki's eyes widened just slightly. He had seen it coming, but even so, he didn't want to die. He cringed when the guard holding him down grabbed him roughly by the arm and yanked him to his feet, presumably to drag him off to the dungeons where he would then be executed.
Thor's sudden outburst shocked everyone, and Loki's eyes flicked toward him warily.
"Loki doesn't need to die, Father," Thor began, taking a few steps forward. His blue eyes were intense, and his words genuinely surprised Loki. Why was Thor defending him even after all of the trouble he had put him through on Earth?
Odin's eyebrows raised with interest and he leaned forward slightly in his throne, staring Thor down as though demanding further explanation. That was all the god of thunder needed to continue, turning his head to look at the little brother he had loved all his life.
"It is true that Loki has been led astray and was misguided in his actions on Earth, but the same can be said for myself, when I acted so rashly and charged into Jotunheim without your permission. You sent me into exile in the human realm, and I learned much during my time there, both about the humans and about who I am. I think, perhaps, if you made him experience the same, he could change."
Thor's expression was hopeful then, and he could tell that his father was seriously considering his proposal of what to do with Loki.
"Please, Father. Give him a chance to redeem himself, just as you did for me."
Odin heaved a great sigh and nodded his head, a faint smile making the wrinkles under his eyes more apparent. "Very well. Loki, I will grant you this one chance. If you are able to live amongst the humans and have truly changed your ways in a year's time, then you will be allowed to return here to Asgard and live amongst us once more, as family. However, if you are unable to do this, and Heimdall tells me that no change has been made, you will never again be able to return here. Nod your head if you understand, my son."
Loki hated the conditions of his return to the "normalcy" of being an Asgardian prince. Earth had done nothing good for him since he was first introduced to it, and who he was would no doubt come back to haunt him if he tried interacting with anyone while he was there, but what choice did he have? It was a better alternative than death, at least. He looked away momentarily before locking gazes with the All-Father and giving a slight nod of his head.
Odin seemed pleased and almost surprised by his cooperation. "Good. Well, then—"
"Hold, Father. If it is alright, I would like to have a word with my brother in private before he must go. Do I have permission to remove the mask?"
"Yes… but do not tarry long, Thor. His hourglass empties little by little with each moment that is wasted here."
"I know. Come; walk with me, brother." Thor walked out of the throne room via one of the side exits and Loki followed, suspicious about what Thor wanted to speak to him about. Once they were alone in one of the castle's large dining halls, Thor stopped and walked over to him, reaching behind his head and unbuckling the infernal mask that was keeping him from saying anything. When it was finally gone, Loki sighed and brought both bound hands up to rub at his cheeks, opening and closing his jaw slowly. The mask had been uncomfortably tight.
"You might have put that damn thing on me a little more loosely, Thor," he said calmly, lowering his hands. "My lips were nearly going numb."
"Is everything a joke to you?"
"Well, I wouldn't say that…" Loki shrugged and looked Thor right in the eyes, wondering just how far he could push him.
Thor let out an exasperated sigh and shook his head, crossing his arms and frowning deeply at him. "I could see in your eyes that you had questions back there, Loki. Speak them now, if you must."
"Alright, then. My question is quite simply this: why?"
"Why did you convince Father to spare me? I have wronged Asgard, Earth, you… After all I have done, why would you even consider giving me a second chance?"
"Because you are my brother, and as much as you hate to see it, I love you as such. You have been by my side since childhood, Loki. I can't just give up on you."
"I am not your brother, Thor; we've been over this. You know very well what I really am…"
"Yes, I know, but it changes nothing. We were raised as brothers, as family, and I never turn my back on those I care about."
Loki didn't know what to say. Thor's words struck him deep, and his brow furrowed with sadness. He had always told himself that any endearment Thor sent his way was falsified, but now he wasn't so sure. Was it possible that Thor was as good a liar as he was; as Odin was? It's very possible. If I was lied to all of those years about what I really am, then lying to me about this should be even easier for them. Well, I'm not going to fall for it. Not again. Thor took a step forward; Loki took a small step back. Even so, Thor continued to move toward him until there was very little distance between them and he rested his hands on both of the dark-haired god's shoulders, smiling at him.
"I know you can atone for your misguided actions, Loki. If I did not believe that with every fiber of my being, I would never have suggested it to Father. I know you are bitter towards him for keeping the truth from you, and I know you told me on Earth that you always felt like you were living in my shadow… but the truth is, Father does love us both equally. After you fell into that abyss, he and Mother mourned your death for months. We all mourned you…"
"Why are you telling me this now?"
"So you know that when you succeed in this task Father has given you, you will have a home to return to and a family that loves you."
Loki said nothing, absently looking at one of Thor's large hands and frowning thoughtfully. He couldn't trust his brother's words, and it showed… but Thor wasn't pushing him on it.
"Come," Thor said after a few moments. "We must return before Father sends a guard to find you." The two brothers walked side-by-side back to Odin's throne room, and they both stood before him. Even as he stood there, the inner workings of Loki's clever mind were turning and turning. He would play along with this farce for now… but in the end, the joke would be on Odin and all of Asgard. When he returned after one year, he would bring a glorified fire storm upon his old home, and the All-Father would pay for neglecting him all of those years and permanently placing him in Thor's shadow his entire life. Odin and Thor would both fall, and Loki would be king. Then, once he was king, it was only a matter of time before Earth paid for its "hospitality," too. For now, he needed to regain everyone's trust so their suspicions wouldn't be upon him.
As such, when he finally spoke, it was innocent and unassuming. As far as anyone was concerned, his mind was completely devoid of schemes of any kind… but his nickname wasn't Silver Tongue for nothing.
"Will my banishment be under the same condition as Thor's was?" he questioned, green eyes focused solely on Odin and demanding a straight answer.
"Yes. Your power will be stripped from you and you will be forced to live as an ordinary human during the time you are there."
"Very well… I am ready to leave now, Father."
"We will be watching you every step of the way, Loki," their mother interjected suddenly. "We will anxiously await your hopeful return in a year's time."
Loki had only enough time to offer her a brief smile before he was being ejected from Asgard via one of the several, smaller pathways that were a now a necessity ever since the Rainbow Bridge had been shattered by Thor. As he fell, he felt the magic within him weakening until it was no more, and the shock that came from it was overwhelming.
Everything went black.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of "Redemption"! :) Please feel free to leave a review if you liked it; maybe give me some suggestions on what to include in future chapters. See you next chapter! ;D