Chapter 1

Human behave yourself,

You have burst out at the seams

Let it all fall out, open your mouth

Often I lie wide awake,

Think of things I can make

But I don't seem to have the parts to build them...

It hadn't been an easy task, escaping what those around him called 'justice.' Anyone who didn't know him intimately would think he had improvised at the last second, in an act of pure cunning. But Loki had a fail-safe planned during the entire battle in Manhattan. He knew that if he created a safety net, it would drain much of his magic from him and that could cost him in battle. However, he also knew that if his Chitauri army was defeated, that he would be taken back to Asgard to be punished severely for his crimes. And who would beg mercy for a monster?

The plan itself was fairly simple. He had made a copy of himself. One of miraged flesh that was capable of speech. Thor never had been able to tell the difference between one of his illusions and the real thing. But then again, Thor could never tell when anything wasn't real, like his twisted idea that he could love someone of Midgard. Loki knew better. They were both leagues above any of the humans that lived on this planet. Thor was meant to be a king, not a glorified guardian for those as weak-minded as humanity. Loki knew this to be true, yet he also knew that Thor was not as clever as he was, and so Thor had taken into his custody a clone. The trickster only wished that he could have been there to see the look on his brother's face when it had dissipated upon arrival at the Bifrost.

With the last of his magic, he had changed his appearance to that of a Midgardian. He was still the same height and just as lean as he was in his previous form. The real differences were in his face. His bone structure had become more square, no longer the long elegance that it normally was. Instead of his long, black locks, he had gone for a more modern look (by Midgardian standards) with hair that was medium-length, a mop of black curls. His nose had become slightly wider but his complexion stayed the same. When he had left the Stark building, he had stolen some clothes from the drawers of Iron Man himself. It had taken him a few minutes to find something besides suits and band t-shirts. He went to a mirror to examine his work. The plain black t-shirt fit snug onto his frame perfectly. The jeans he had grabbed however, were a bit short. They hung almost an inch above his ankle. But no matter. It wasn't as though he were going anywhere important. Just running away for his freedom, that's all.

He leaned in towards the mirror and stroked his newly formed chin. It had a tiny bit of stubble. Loki supposed he was what some would call 'classically handsome.' The corners of his mouth slipped into a smirk. The fools. How could they honestly believe that they could capture him? His moment ended suddenly when he realized something very crucial to his disguise: his eyes. They were the same as they normally were. The same shape, same color, same... everything! He snarled at his own reflection for the incompetence. If anyone of the Avengers came within five feet of him, they would surely be able to tell! Especially Thor or the archer, whose mind he had haunted. Loki began looting through all the drawers in Stark's bedroom. He had to find something there, perhaps the ridiculous sunwear that humans always wore. He found a pair of metal eyeglasses in a drawer that contained a variety of items and decided those would work. He put them on and squinted. Everything was slightly blurred, but not to the point of being incapacitated. While heading to the stairs, he threw on some ridiculous-looking sandals, because he was certain that most people on Midgard didn't walk through a busy city barefoot.

After going down what seemed like a hundred flights of stairs (Loki had lost count) he ran into a police officer. He froze, reaching deep within him for a magic that wasn't there and for a moment began to feel a sense of panic. The officer made a gesture towards him. Not one of apprehension or deceit, but of concern.

"Sir, the exit is this way! Are ya hurt at all?" The man's accent was very New York. Loki blinked several times, before coming to his senses and shaking his head. "Then come on, you'll be safe out this way."

Loki exited through a heavy metal door that was labeled for emergency use only. There was no longer any chaos. People were emerging from restaurants, bookstores, and all the other places they had sought refuge. He moved forward into the forming crowds as to not look strange. At that moment, he felt that his brother and his friends had found his decoy. When the Avengers emerged from the building, the people burst into applause and cries of thanks. Loki did nothing. He watched intensely as his double, who had his hands tied and mouth gagged, was lead by Thor towards an awaiting aircraft. No doubt to speak to the human he took orders from asking to take Loki to Asgard instead. Loki sneered. Given the choice, he would have rather been taken to a human prison. He knew that his brother was delusioned that Odin would be kind with his judgment. He watched the aircraft fade into the distance. Even after, the crowd still cheered.

Despite his initial fears that he wouldn't fit the part of a Midgardian, or even be able to find food, the city was actually the ideal place for him to be at the moment. Due to the immense damage the battle had caused, there were many people without shelter. The city had opened up a few places for people to stay. One of them was a high school gymnasium that was filled with cots for the homeless to sleep on. The locker room showers were available for use at any time and there were small meals provided in the cafeteria. What surprised Loki is that this was all free. Even the people there that tended to them worked as volunteers. In a sad thought, he realized that he hadn't been treated so kindly in quite a long time. He tried to be as quiet and self-contained as possible. The humans who had lost their homes were incredibly friendly to one another. He was often asked what he had lost in the chaos that took place only a few days before. Loki would always give the same reply: "Everything."

Loki had been incredibly weakened after the battle. To anyone there, he would seem perfectly healthy. But being as healthy as a human was weak in itself. He had never been this drained of power before and wondered how long it would take before he would be able to be himself again. Loki pushed the thought from his mind. It would be unwise to return to his Asgardian form so soon. Surely the Avengers were still looking for him? He had heard no news of his escape. It was probably withheld from the populous in order to uphold the current good image of the government and to prevent any panic. With each passing day, Loki found himself bored. He wandered around the city aimlessly during daytime while at nighttime, all he could think about was the overwhelming feeling of failure that lurked in his heart.

On one particular day, nearly a month after the whole 'battle-for-earth' thing, Loki found himself walking down a now familiar street and into a coffee shop. The man at the counter greeted him.

"What's up, Lo'," he said with a smile.

Loki merely nodded, giving a small smile in return. The shopkeepers of the area were used to the people displaced by the recent disaster coming in to relax. Loki had no money and therefore never purchased anything, but he enjoyed coming here because the reading material was freshly cycled out every Thursday night. He bent down to look at the spines of the books. He decided that "Clean Power: An Upcoming Future For Mankind" sounded better than "Twilight: Breaking Dawn." He sat down and began reading, without bothering to look at the cover. When he was about fifteen pages in, someone sat down in the seat across from his table.

"How do you like it so far?" a very familiar voice said. Loki tore his eyes from the printed words and peered over the book. He was face to face with Tony Stark. The goateed man just leaned back, smugly.

"I heard the guy that wrote it is unparalleled in intellect. A genius, I guess you could say." Loki just stared at him, feeling his cheeks burn. Surely this was a jest at him? Stark must have known who he was. This was too much of a coincidence. Stark took Loki's silence as ignorance. He cleared his throat.

"It's me. You know. Tony Stark? Billionaire, philanthropist..." he awkwardly scratched at the back of his neck. "Sooo... you come here often?"

"I come every Thursday to partake in the literature so graciously lent free of charge." Loki decided to play along. Maybe his disguise really was fooling Stark. The other man leaned forward, putting his elbows on the table.

"Are you from around here?" he inquired, curiously.

"I don't see how that is any of your business." Loki's brow knit in annoyance. Maybe if he pushed a bit, the idiot would leave. "I hardly know you or know why you are here bothering me for the matter." He opened the book once more and pretended to be interested in it.

"Well I was on my way to meet a group of friends at the Shawarma joint next door. It's kind of our get-together spot." He scratched at his goatee.

"And what exactly does that have to do with me?"

"As I was walking by I saw someone gorgeous so I came in."

"Oh? What a pity you missed said person. Next time don't stop to bother me with your trivialities." Loki continued to stare at the same sentence.

"That's the thing. I'm talking to the person right now." The man leaned in on his hand, his eyes half-lidded. Loki's eyes widened. Was this really happening? Was he actually being hit on by one of his enemies? The god stifled the urge to laugh. He was about to reply with some sort of rude remark, when he saw something horrifying through the window. Thor and Bruce Banner were walking down the street towards the cafe. Stark must have noticed the change in Loki's demeanor, and turned around to see exactly what he was staring at.

"Oh, my friends are here!" he must have assumed that Loki was starstruck, because within a moment he was hanging out the coffee shop door motioning for his allies to join him. The hairs on the back of Loki's neck stood on end. He knew that his brother would recognize him. When Tony turned around, the chair Loki had been sitting in was empty. He looked around and saw that the door to the men's restroom was closing.

Loki closed the stall and locked it. He attempted to reach into himself to gain enough magic to teleport. There was none. He thought about just staying there until they left, but he couldn't risk going out there again. Loki looked around for an option. Above the toilet was a small window. It would have to do. He stood on the toilet seat and pulled himself up into the window. When he got halfway through, he couldn't fit anymore. Either his pants were stuck on something or his hips were too wide. He idly wondered if he had gotten fat. Behind him, he heard a door open and close. He began to pull himself more desperately. What if someone found him like this? He would have to explain himself. They would think he had stolen or something worse. Loki tried to look back to see what exactly was the problem, when he heard someone cough in front of him. He slowly turned to look. Tony Stark was standing in the alleyway, a bemused look on his face.

"I've had people run from my advances before, but never this desperately." He said. Loki felt humiliated. "But then again, if it were me you were running from, you would have just used the front door. So you must have been running from someone else. Oh, I dunno... one of my buddies, perhaps?" This was it. This was the end. Loki felt utterly horrified that he was going to be caught this way, hanging out the window of a bathroom.

"But I'll tell you what. Since I haven't heard of any super villains on the loose I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and let you go. But on one condition." He leaned forward so that he was close enough to whisper. "You have to go on a date with me."

Loki's face flared red. "E-Excuse me? I'd rather choke and die on my mother's own-"

"Okay, then. I guess I will go get my friends to help you get out of here, and then we'll see what's going on with-"

"OKAY. All right." Loki swallowed, his face still red. "I'll go on a... date with you." Tony Stark gave a big smile before walking closer to the window. He took a pocket-knife out of his jeans and cut Loki's belt loop free of the window's lock. The billionaire then put his arm's under Loki's armpits and pulled him free of the window. When Loki's feet landed, they were in a compromising position that had Tony grinning. Loki pushed him away and began brushing himself off.

"I'll pick you up in front of this place tomorrow, got it? I'm thinking... six o'clock? And don't try to skip out on our date, either. Or I'll have my entire team out looking for you." He pointed a finger at Loki, who sneered. "See you then..." he paused, indicating he wanted Loki to give his name.

"Loren." He said.

"Loren." Tony smiled. He then turned heel and walked out of the alley towards the restaurant he told his friends he would be at momentarily. Loki watched him leave, wondering what sort of horrible mess he had just signed himself up for.

Author's Note: Oh man, Oh man. I have been on such a Loki binge it's not even funny. My Tumblr is exploding. I attempted drawing him the other day and it didn't go well. I've had this story floating around in my head since I first saw Avengers, so here we go.

The lyrics in the beginning are from the song "Human" by Ellie Goulding.

Hopefully I can update more this week when I'm not working.

Thanks for reading! :)