It's loooong. I like it, too. The wait was insane, and I revised the ending over Christmas, so I do apologize for all of that false hope.
I do hope you like this one.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Avengers. I do own Lily. Stitch, stitch, stitch.
Outside of the Shawarma joint, there was a decently sized curb. When the owners of the restaurant kindly asked us to leave, we didn't make it much further than said curb.
Considering that it looked like some form of closing time and Thor annihilated their napkin dispenser, we didn't argue with them. Tony didn't even pull the superhero card.
I was momentarily proud of him; proud enough to let him sit down and pout on the sidewalk.
Naturally, we followed suit. We all sat there on the pavement, falling backwards one by one. We were all eventually stretched out, making mundane comments about clouds.
It was maybe an hour. Occasionally, Tony would mumble something or kick Thor a little bit. But for the most part, we stayed quiet.
That was, until the sky darkened enough for us to notice. Then we took notice of time.
The conversation went something like:
"God, my back hurts."
"Holy Hell, we've been out here too long."
"Really, guys, we should be getting back before people see us."
"Yeah. Wait, did you just call me a… a… 'bra'?"
"Calm down, Steve. It's just slang."
"Is baby brother still secure over there?"
"Relax, Barton. He's handcuffed and muzzled."
"Handcuffed? Where's the key to that?"
"I have it, obviously, considering I own the handcuffs."
"That's fairly logical, but shouldn't we give the key to whoever's least likely to set him free?"
"Are you saying I'm liable to set him free?"
"No, I just think Lily should take them. I mean, he stabbed her. Come on."
"He mind-washed Barton."
"How do we know he still isn't mind-washING Barton?"
"Whatever. Lily, you get to drive Loki."
"Well, I think Clint could handle th-,"
"WHAT RITUALS ARE WE PLANNING TO COMMENCE AT THE TOWER?"
"I think that was a joke actually. Was that a joke, Thor?"
"So, what rituals do you do on Asgard for fun?"
"Apparently, they throw babies."
Thor's face palm was almost audible.
"That's too hardcore for me."
"What are we doing tomorrow, anyway?"
"Uh, tomorrow we're shooting Loki back up into the sky. Right?"
"Great. Then we can all get back to our normal lives."
Normal lives. Right.
Wonder what that involves for me now.
A rubbing alcohol pad, a bowl of soapy water, a towel, a spool of thread, and a needle were laid out in front of me.
"Staring down the needle won't blunt it," Bruce smiled, gently spinning in circles on a swivel chair.
Tony had suggested I get stitched up in one of the labs, seeing as they're harder for Thor to find. So we'd gone, and after Bruce collected the supplies, I prepared myself.
Twenty minutes into looking at everything, I thought I was ready. Thought.
I looked at the very red bandage. And back to the needle. And the bandage.
Bruce smiled, "Finally."
He stood up from the chair and walked over to the table I was sitting at, immediately pulling on gloves. "Latex allergy?" he asked, noticing the way I cringed.
"No, they're just… squeaky. That's all," I said, feeling a sickness build in my gut.
"Squeaky. Right," his eyebrows raised as he gently peeled off my bandage.
I looked down at it full on. The cut was so deep and bloodied. It needed at least forty stitches. Maybe more. Hopefully Bruce likes me enough to tie it up in thirty.
He washed all the dried blood off to get a better look, and finally, he clicked his tongue. "I'm thinking fifty stitches."
I could literally feel the shift in my blood pressure. "Fifty?"
He gave me a worried glance. "I'm afraid so."
The second the needle touched me, I jumped. It didn't even enter my skin.
"Let me give you the shot," Bruce pleaded, looking up from my leg, "I can give you enough that you won't even go under."
I automatically shot down the thought of a painkiller. Seriously. I felt like such a whining bitch every time I even considered it.
But I was so tired of being tough.
"Well…" I started, my voice catching in my throat.
He sighed in relief, "Great, I already measured it out." He grabbed a syringe from the table over. "Just give me the word."
I pointedly ignored his lack of faith in me and bit down on my lip. Screw it. "Go."
The sting of the needle was the last thing I remembered feeling for a while. At first I fought the sleepy feeling, but I gave in to after a few minutes. The entire experience faded out from there.
I was conscious, however, of a few small bits of conversation.
"I keep thinking of b-words," I said, my head a little dazed.
"Yeah, like a… like bellybutton. And balloons. Butterfinger. Barrel rolls. Border Collies. And uh, bellybutton. I like that one."
"Are you thinking of bad b-words?" he asked with a questioning smile.
"No, no, no. That would be bad."
And a few minutes later.
"Hey, Bru-uce?" I almost hiccupped.
"Where are- what are, we… going to?"
His face fell a little bit, "I'm not sure, Lily."
"I think you'll find it out."
"And why's that?" he said, completely absorbed in the stitching process.
"Because you're smarter than all of us put together."
And the memory fades from there.
I did go under from the medicine, and when I came back up from it, I wasn't in a lab.
It was a warm bed, and not an experiment table. It was the same bed I slept in last night, considering the blood stain on the sheet from a soaked bandage. With less than a little reasoning, I knew I passed out on the lab table, and Bruce was generally perfect, so he carried me up here. Why wouldn't he?
The clock read 9:37, which seemed to me a reasonable bed time. It was just my luck that I was waking up.
I found a sweater and a pair of pajama bottoms in my bathroom, which had to be Natasha's. Her height was much better suited to mine. I found it sweet how she'd softened up to me. It wasn't perfectly blatant all the time, but I knew she cared about me.
The stitches in my leg were perfect looking, with even spacing and a shiny thread. Hardly any blood came out of the wound in the shower, which was a welcome change.
I wasn't tripping over the hems of Nat's pants either, and her sweater was just itchy enough to be comfortable.
The sleeping situation was an interesting one. Tony had crashed on a guest bed, as had Thor. Natasha claimed a room instantly, as did Clint, and Steve just took whatever he was given.
The hallway was full of muffled snoring noises. Still, I didn't see Bruce. Unless Clint and Natasha had migrated into one room, which I doubted at this point of mock casualty in their relationship, someone was missing.
"Hey, Jarvis?" I whispered, careful not to wake anyone.
"Where did Bru- Dr. Banner go?"
"He is still in the lab, ma'am. Shall I send for him?"
"No, no, no! It's ok. Just don't let him stay up too late," I smiled.
The room next to mine was unoccupied, or at least no one was currently asleep in there. I had enough sense to know that Bruce would stay there.
There. Not here.
Maybe he's just distancing himself, and maybe he has been all along. He doesn't seem to be the type that gets attached.
Maybe he doesn't like me, or he's never liked me.
Which wouldn't explain waiting thirty sleepless hours just to talk to the intern. Or every kiss on the forehead. Or, of course, those gorgeous stitches.
He has to like me. To some extent or degree.
I just hope it's enough to make him stay.
Being a person with more emotional problems than money, my grand philosophy on wine is quite simply, the cheaper the better. In the Tower, the cheapest bottle of wine (by my less than expert estimation) was a bottle of Rose '82 that cost about a month of my rent.
The God of Lies was sitting on the balcony letting his legs dangle haphazardly. His right hand was cuffed to a support beam, making him unable to move very well. I patted my pocket, making sure I was still the keeper of that key.
"Alcohol is one of the least effective means of coping with unwanted emotions," he said, not even looking back at me.
"It seems to work for me," I mumbled, filling up my glass.
"I never said it does not work, it is just not the best option," he said, full of womanly sass.
I smirked at his attempt at a conversation, but automatically declined. "I'm not talking to you about it, if that's what you want."
"No need. I can read your mind."
So there's no way around it. Why not?
"Want a drink?"
"Whatever you're having."
I got out another wine glass and filled it to the brim.
"I see you're using contractions," I said, noticing his use of 'you're'.
"Using what?" he asked, raising his eyebrows as I walked towards him.
I completely forgot I was having a conversation with an alien. "Contractions. When you join two words together. It's a little informal for you."
"I do believe my grammar is suffering," he frowned.
"Well, the wine's not gonna help that," I said, handing him his glass and sitting down on the ledge.
We sat in silence for awhile, not looking at each other. Occasionally one of us would have a sip of wine or scratch our necks.
It felt strange sitting next to a mass-murderer and not being petrified.
"Do you honestly believe he would leave you?" he finally asked, smirking that horrible smirk that made me want to slap him.
I groaned internally. Being reduced to talking out your feelings with a pathological liar is never comforting. "I'm still not going to talk to you about it."
"That's reasonable, considering I kill people," he shrugged. "But honestly?" he looked back at me, raising his eyebrows.
I gave him a very pointed look.
He rolled his eyes. "I disagree."
"Please stop doing that," I said, closing my eyes to hold myself back from slapping him.
"Reading my mind. What else would it be?"
"Having all the right answers, maybe? But I can't stop either."
"There has to be a way to stop it from happening."
"I cannot just turn it off, as much as I'd like to, considering what humans think about in their spare time," he mumbled the last bit.
"Yes, you can. I've been in your head, too," I challenged, taking another sip of wine.
"You're lying. Since when do you do that?" he squinted at me.
"I'm not lying."
"And you're doing it again. Am I rubbing off on you?"
"No, I haven't started killing people."
He smiled at this, but ultimately explained his point. "Yes, you've seen little bits of my vast and complicated mind, but nothing that detailed," he used his hands to demonstrate just how vast and complicated his mind was.
"You play lute."
"I am horrible at it," he frowned.
I reached for the bottle. "Can I ask you a question?"
"A query for a query?" he looked more excited now, probably because he found a way to use 'query' in a Midgardian conversation.
I thought over his proposal. "Only if you give good answers."
"Fair enough. Go on."
"Why did you save me?" I asked, enunciating each word.
His eyes rolled into the back of his head. "Because I pity your abhorrent mortal childhood. My turn?"
I sighed, ignoring how sarcastic his reply was. What was I expecting? "Go ahead."
"Do you think I'm lying?"
"Yes." Hell yes.
"Fine," he said, looking completely defeated.
"Should we try again?"
"And expect different results?"
I ignored him the best I could. "Can I ask why you won't tell me?" I looked at him, trying to gage his reaction.
He swallowed and smiled, "You might very well jump off this ledge."
No answer then.
"Then where did you learn to hack elevators? And fire safety systems?"
His eyes went shifty. "I do what I have to."
Ignoring the horrifying connotations of that statement, I swallowed deeply. "Loki, I-uh- saw myself drowning in a dream, before the basement situation."
"I know you did," his expression didn't waver.
"Can you explain it?"
"Again, you'd jump off that ledge."
"Pfft, you'd save me," I smiled.
"You've made me pathetic, Coulson," he smiled weakly.
I noticed his expression quickly, "You know why it happened, don't you?"
He looked away from me very pointedly. "I'm not positive." Imagine that.
My heartbeat got a little faster at the thought of an answer. "So you can't be positive I'll kill myself."
"I'm still not going to tell you."
"I can beg."
"It won't help."
"I didn't really think it would."
He sighed deeply. "You're barely even afraid of me."
I let myself grin, if barely, "When you're handcuffed to a beam and calling yourself pathetic, no."
"I'm still scary though. Look at this hair," he smoothed it down, wiggling an eyebrow.
"I think it could become a trend," I smiled, imagining Thor curling the backs of his hair up, and burning himself in the process.
With that, I took a better look out the window at my surroundings. I didn't try to remember the last time I was on a ledge of Stark Tower, but I did nonetheless.
The city looked so much better at night. Everything looked better at night. The lights were new, and they were beautiful, but they couldn't compare to the stars I grew up with.
"I find it interesting how you miss the night sky," Loki said, gazing at the pitch black scene.
"Sorry," he smiled sheepishly, "Asgard has better stars anyway."
"It's October, right?" I said while counting on my fingers, halfway ashamed of myself for not keeping track. The breeze seemed October to me.
"I honestly couldn't care less about the Midgardian calendar," Loki said, sounding downright prissy.
"What's Asgard's calendar like?"
"You would need at least two more bottles to begin to comprehend the Asgardian datebook."
"Right then. Let's not."
"It's better that way."
"I bet Orion is out," I grinned. Orion was always Phil's favorite, seeing as he couldn't remember any others.
"Not with these lights."
"It's a shame."
"Give me a moment," he smiled.
And in the moment I gave him, Loki caused a blackout of the entire city with a single snap. NYC was completely black, no lights, no reflections- nothing. Of course, being self sustained, I figured Tony's Tower would stay lit, but Loki got it out, too.
"Whoah, Loki, how did you-," I started, not being able to take in the darkness around me.
I could barely see anything, apart from the headlights in the street below. The ledge was barely visible, so I pulled my legs back onto the balcony.
"It's better not to ask. They'll find out how to fix things in a few hours, which is plenty of time for your eyes to adjust."
The two words you don't say to a super-villain.
He shrugged, "Why thank me? These stars are horribly dull."
"Well, not just the stars. I mean, not dropping me off the tower, and saving me from the worm, and stabbing me in the leg instead of the chest. It's all very nice of you, in perspective."
"Nice? A human has called me nice. I think I should write this down."
"Don't flatter yourself. You still stabbed me," I mumbled.
"Thank you, then. For calling me nice. And for the wine. The wine is good."
Slowly, I began to see the stars. One at a time at first, and then in clusters.
Cassiopeia first, then Andromeda, and I even found Perseus, though the Empire State Building was blocking most of him.
Seeing stars in New York City must've caused the tectonic plates of my head to shift. I realized how wrong this all was; how this conversation shouldn't be happening.
But hell if I was going to stop it.
"I deserve to know why you saved me," I said, finishing my glass, "I mean, you hate the people that would be upset if you hadn't, you CERTAINLY don't have a crush on me, and you're not gaining anything from keeping me alive. Are you?"
"What is a crush?" his face twisted into a confused expression.
"A romantic interest," I copied his Old English accent.
"Ha. In your dreams."
"That too! I have these stupid dreams about your childhood. Why? Please. I'll leave you alone from now on," I pleaded, not adding that he was relatively easy to stay away from.
He looked slightly scared, "Oh goodness, don't leave me alone. I can't stand these people."
"Okay then, I won't leave you alone. Just tell me."
"Promise me something."
"Anything," I rushed out, before fully considering the statement. "Well, not anything, considering it's you."
"Promise you won't hurt yourself, you won't hurt me, and you won't tell anyone."
Easy enough. "I promise." Bruce doesn't count.
He almost hissed. "You can't tell Bruce."
Bruce cares about me more than I care about me. "I can't do that."
"Fine. You can tell him."
"Thank you. You are aware there are security cameras everywhere, right?"
"I disabled them hours ago."
"Then I promise."
"Well. I guess I can tell you."
"Yes, you can."
"I could wait…"
"FOR GOD'S SAKE TELL ME NOW."
"Ehehe, this is entertaining. So much for alcohol being a depressant. It's like insanity in one glass for you."
"Please. Just. Tell me."
"Fine," he breathed out, "Okay. Well. Where do I start? Um, when I did what I did to you in the cell, it didn't happen the way I would've liked. Good thing I turned the cameras off. That sounded suggestive," he said, furrowing his brow.
"In your dreams."
He ignored my statement and continued, "Anyway, it didn't work right. And I still don't know why, considering you aren't special or anything."
"Charming." Of course, living with these people, there aren't many chances for you to feel special.
"Perhaps I am out of practice. Nonetheless, the process was ruined, which let you see, as you know, parts of my mind," he fumbled through the story making unnecessary stops.
"Just get to it."
"As I was saying, before you rudely interrupted me, you saw parts of my mind. And that should never happen. Getting onto the parts you don't know, it didn't work on my part either," he said, crossing his legs and pouring himself another glass of wine.
"So you didn't see my past?"
"Oh no," he laughed, "I saw your past. Every little detail."
I grimaced, "Sorry about that."
He shrugged, "It is what it is."
"You can go on," I said, hoping to change the subject.
"I'll go on when I want to go on."
"What went wrong?" I asked, ignoring his sassy comments.
"Going by the query for a query deal, I can ask you eleven questions now."
"I'll stop," I swallowed deeply.
"Anyway, when I performed my trick on you in the cell room, another lewd statement, I saw more than your past." His expression was so loaded with sadness and regret and lament and horrible, terrible, awful things.
The adjectives running through my mind were the first indication I'd taken in enough alcohol.
"More than my past? What more is there to see?" I quizzed, my mind still spinning, partly from thinking, partly from wine.
It couldn't happen. It's not in any way logical.
"Yes," he answered before I could ask him. "I saw it."
I scooted against the nearest wall, even if I could barely see it. "What did you see?"
"Well, I saw you drowning, and you happened to see that one too," he said, smiling at the way I backed away from him.
"How…?" I mustered, barely forming words.
"I have no idea. Again, you aren't special, so it's completely illogical for this to have happened."
The insult didn't register the second time. Nothing registered at all.
"Mainly though, I saw you sitting on this ledge next to me. You had the key in your right pocket, and I had the opportunity to take it."
I instantly reached into my pocket for the key, and froze a second later.
He walked –sashayed, more accurately- away from the ledge.
"You were focusing a little too hard on those sea monsters in the stars, plus the wine, so I just snatched it here." He kneeled down and placed the key back in my palm. Gently, he folded each of my fingers over it.
"You're allowed to be mad at me, Lily. But you won't regret this in the future, I promise. I would know."
He winked lightly.
I blinked once, and he was there.
I blinked again, and he was gone.
I closed my eyes, and I never wanted to open them again.
Please wait a little bit before you hate me for this plot twist. I promise it will work itself out:)
And if Loki saw Lily's future, I'm thinking this makes him like the Doctor. *Imagines a gorgeous cross-breed of Tom Hiddleston and David Tennant* AW YISSS.
The chapter title, you ask? Another thinly veiled Florence reference. This one is perhaps a little bit more obscure.
As for the disappointment in the inevitable ending of this story, considering this plot twist, we still have some juicyness to get into.
Don't hate me,