Disclaimer: All original characters and such belong to Marvel or whoever…

Summary: Loki's a scary guy, and everybody else is kneeling, but sometimes practical concerns get in the way of obeying a violent sociopath. A ridiculous thing that my brain did.

Chronology: That part in The Avengers when Loki's in Germany. Yep.

Pairings: None for the moment

Rating: T for extreme cautiousness

Author's Note: If, even just a week ago, someone had told me that I would be writing a superhero-type fanfiction, even a ridiculous little oneshot like this, I would have laughed them off the planet. I've never enjoyed superheroes or comics, but I let my friend talk me into going to see The Avengers with her and I have to admit that I was actually impressed and I did actually enjoy myself. And then this morning, because of a conversation I was having, my brain did a thing and this happened. Sooo…yeah.

Kneeling Isn't An Option

"I knew I should've gone the other way," Sarah hissed under her breath, grabbing her friend's arm as the panicked waves of partygoers thrashed around them, their black suits and jewel-toned dresses creating a cacophony of light and dark and fluttering fabric as manifestations of the man with the spear materialized around the group in the plaza, forcibly herding everyone together.

"There was a dead security guard down that hallway," Kayla responded in the same kind of hushed, uncertain voice. "For all we knew there was an ambush waiting to happen inside."

The two girls managed to stay at the edge of the group, somehow avoiding the gaze of the mad man and his clones as the two of them stepped behind a tree, wordlessly expressing gratitude that they had both worn dark-colored dresses to the event – they blended somewhat into the night. "I don't like this," Sarah whispered. "This is very bad."

"Very extremely not good?" Kayla whispered back.

Sarah rolled her eyes at the ill-timed Doctor Who reference.


"Don't worry about it. I just wish I understood more German than 'schnell' and 'dummkopf'…"

They waited, motionless, watching as the other party guests stood in a frightened, huddled mass.

"This is the last time I break from the itinerary on a study abroad trip, no matter how many ridiculously talented actors are going to be there," Kayla whispered.

Sarah nodded, opening her mouth as though to whisper a reply, when a male voice cut harshly through the air.

"Kneel before me," the man in green robes instructed, his eyes sharp and focused and what little light there was in the plaza glinting sharply off his gold helmet.

Everyone simply stared, uncertain what had just happened and what was happening now. The utter unfeasibility of it all seemed to slow time.

"I said…KNEEL!"

The last word exploded in the air like a bullet, and in waves people all around began to drop to their knees, staring up at this impossibility of a man.

Behind the tree, the two university girls held their breath and waited.

The man started down the steps and into the kneeling crowd, something like a subtle smirk creeping across his face. "Is this not simpler?" he asked, moving slowly between the members of the crowd. "Is this not your natural state?"

Sarah bit her lip, trying to decide how it was that everyone could understand what he was saying. She heard English, but the people in the plaza seemed to be hearing their own native language.

"It's the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation," he continued, his voice an eerie calm.

Suddenly, he turned, and the two students realized that he had spotted them. There was no chance to think before he raised his staff and shouted, "You! Why do you not kneel? Join your kind and be ruled!"

They froze.

"Reveal yourselves and KNEEL!"

They flinched involuntarily at the harsh noise and stepped reluctantly from the tree, exchanging glances filled with something like desperation and possibly fear.

"Kneel," he repeated, the word filled with poison, as he strode towards them, his cape billowing menacingly with each step.

There was a moment of tense silence before Kayla suddenly uttered, "Can't."

The man stopped, and Sarah looked over at her friend.

"You can't?" he asked, condescension in every syllable.

"Nope," she replied.

"And why is that?" came his cold reply.

"Bike accident. Yesterday. Crashed. My knees are killing me." Kayla stared straight at the man.

Without prompting, Sarah suddenly broke in. "Yeah, it was bad. She's gonna have epic scars."

The two of them nodded vehemently as the man with spear stared incredulously. Beats of silence stretched on, and he seemed to have no idea what to do with the act of practical defiance.

"Everybody run!" they suddenly yelled, and the square erupted into chaos.