Disclaimer: I do not own either the Avengers or Supernatural.
Author's Note: You may also find this story on Archive of Our Own and on my deviantART account (I'm theothersarshi there).
This is a long overdue story for a friend. So long overdue that it started off being Supernatural back when there was no hint of the coolness of The Avengers. I'm hoping Loki will save the day for me :P
All you had to do was burn a little.
You looked your enemy squeare in the eye, stood your ground, waited to feel the cold steel, extended your wings wide and burned. The imprint you left was big, dark, wing-shaped. Exactly like the one burned by grace imploding and vanishing with the death of an angel. You burned, cut yourself off from the Angel Network and you played dead like a clever Trickster Archangel.
Gabriel had not quite so much deserted the boys as gently made his way out of the scene and let them decide the history of mankind as God would have wanted it.
When Castiel had thrown up Leviathan and writhed in pain on the shore, shivering from drawback and possession by mystical creature, Gabriel had picked him up, disconnected him from the Angel Network and hidden him. It was the least he could do for a fallen little brother.
Soon they were two not-quite-angels-anymore hiding in houses made by Trickster magic, playing dead, playing guardian angels to two oblivious brothers, playing chess and playing with fire whenever they had to remove the boys from Leviathan or Leviathan from the boys without letting anyone knowing they were there. Gabriel had also suggested playing tonsil hockey to pass the time - but he had been turned down.
All in all, it was an exciting-unexciting life of risking their existence and getting bored during long afternoons, squabling like (human) siblings and drinking funny-named cocktails with umbrellas - but not getting drunk; they were angels, after all - while they went invisible and twisted the space-time continuum to make sure that the boys got out of crap alive and that the world survived just enough so it would be salvageable. It was going swell. Well, swell until this time when Castiel wandered off and got himself discovered by a woman and had to play amnesiac to pretend he had no idea he was alive either. Which meant that Gabriel had rubbed off on him, but also that Gabe was now alone. Which was kind of frustrating when the boys found Cas and Gabe lost hope of Cas returning and their chess match ever finishing.
Then Cas went and got himself possessed by Lucifer who'd ridden Sam right out of the hellhole he'd been cast in (what were the odds) and for some reason neither of the boys could tell. And Bobby was a ghost. So it was about time, Gabe decided, to drop by and admit he was still alive and could help more actively before they were all doomed, when there was a storm as big at the one that had signalled the Word of God being (re-)revealed; and then a man fell out of the sky.
Which was when the oddness started. And it was weird to say that then, after Lucifer and Eve and the Leviathan, but there you go.
It was long before Loki hit the ground that he knew something had gone very, very wrong. Maybe it was the feeling of being ripped inside out and then put back in the wrong order, or maybe it was the fact that he seemed to pass through what was for void what void was for solid steel and concrete. Maybe it was the fact that it seemed to last forever without taking any time.
It all put him in such a state that even if he saw the ground approaching he was in no condition to halt his fall, even if that would mean painfully becoming a pancake once that kilometer between him and the rocks had elapsed. But hey. A kilometer. It would take awhile. Maybe he could recover on the way.
It would be, what? About 20 seconds? He could calculate more thoroughly, considering gravity and the way his clothes helped him slow down, but...
Too tired. Too short a time.
Might as well be a pancake.
And then he realized he wasn't falling quite as fast anymore. In fact, he was slowing down very fast (was there something wrong with that sentence?). He was nearly there. Almost. He turned on his back and lightly landed on the ground, gentle as a feather. Huh. His magic was amazing. He hadn't even felt himself doing something.
And then he saw the guy not far from him approaching, looking somewhat worried. "Are you alright?" he asked. There was something vaguely god-like about him. Also something smelling of burned feathers, for some reason. It reminded Loki of that one time when he'd convinced a chicken it was a phoenix and gotten it to jump in the flames of its own accord. He'd eaten it afterwards. It had been delicious.
"Yes," he said. Maybe it had been the other man's magic that had softened his fall. But who was he? Some local god, perhaps. Or one of those Indian deities, too many to count.
The man extended a hand. "Call me..." Loki grabbed it and pulled himself up. For some reason the short other god looked surprised. "Loki," he said, seriously.
There was a short pause as Loki waited for the man to continue that thought. "What?" he demanded. You didn't just use somebody's name, then stop.
"Loki." The man repeated, looking at him in a weird way. "You know. Norse god."
"Yes," Loki replied. "I do know." He let a bit of chill and frost in the atmosphere to prove that not only did he know, but the other god was an imbecile. It was a gesture he very nearly regretted when the breath was knocked out of his chest by magical effort, but he was Loki and he would stand tall even if it hurt.
"Oh, good." The man grinned at him and wiggled his eyebrows. "And what do I call you?"
There was something odd about the conversation, Loki thought. It was as if they weren't quite connecting somewhere, although he couldn't say exactly where. Maybe the imbecile god was insane. Maybe he was just too tired to see and understand. And he was tired. And in pain. He had been lying down so nicely just a few seconds ago, maybe he could lie down again. He was in no mood for games and could think of no plot that required he give a title instead of a name. So, knowing he would regret it later, he conceded.
"Just call me Loki," he said.
There was another pause in the conversation. "What?" the imbecile god asked.
Let it never be said he was kind to those who saved his life, then. "Are you a complete fool, or are you simply trying my patience?" he snapped.
"You said call you Loki," the imbecile god repeated.
"Oh, for the love of-" Loki said, turning away. He didn't finish the sentence. He didn't have anything he loved right now. And he had no patience. "Goodbye, anonymous imbecile god," he called over his shoulder. Then he went on muttering in a voice just loud enough, hopefully, to be heard. "Kill yourself before you get between my feet and make me stumble. I'd love to have your skin for it and I wouldn't let you die until I made a rug of it."
"Wait, what?" the imbecile god muttered in his own just-loud-enough voice. "Loki! Loki? You can't be Loki, you rat's ass! Get a grip and look at yourself. Tumbling from the sky and nearly smashing your skull against rocks. If you were Loki, you wouldn't just be righting yourself and slowing down. You'd be flying."
Loki had stopped and turned. "You just called me Loki," he pointed out. "And yes, on another day I'd be flying. Provoke me again and you'll be flayed. Alive."
"I didn't call you Loki!"
"Tell me, imbecile god, are you always a virgin because you can't remember ever having sex or because your stupidity is so great no woman would debase herself with you?"
"Oh, come on!" the god said, looking just as frustrated as Loki felt. Maybe he was a mirroring imbecile god with no memory. A monkey crossed with a goldfish. "Let me re-emphasize that for you. I didn't call you Loki. Now, I don't know who you think you are - no, scratch that. I know exactly who you think you are. Because, guess what? You think you're me."
"I am Loki, son of Laufey, raised by Odin with Thor as my so-called brother."
"You don't even know your mythology," the imbecile god sneered. "I am Loki, son of Fárbauti and Laufey. I am jötunn, I am god. I am the father of Hel, and of Fenrir the wolf and the world serpent Jörmungandr is my son as well. I am the father of Nargi and the mother of Sleipnir."
"You know something of my family, imbecile god. Laufey was indeed my father and-"
"Father!" the god sneered. "Father, hear that! Laufey was my mother, you horned pussbag. At least read about the people you impersonate before you go around claiming that you're them to them themselves."
"And you should know better than to believe human-told stories. Laufey, my mother..."
So then the imbecile god broke off cursing in old Norse, Loki cursed him back in the same language and then switched to the even older Norse, which the imbecile god matched curse for curse. So Loki sat down, supposedly in anger, but in truth because it would be tiring to proceed, then turned himself into his jotunn form. It kicked the breath out of his chest again, but it made the imbecile god shut up.
It was funny. Now that he'd been shut up all Loki could think was that this had been a waste of time and he should have simply left.
"You're... not kidding about the Loki thing," the imbecile god said.
"I am not," Loki replied, his usually silver tongue now poisonous.
"Awww." The god looked up towards the skies. "Dad, you just had to go around screwing things to high hell, didn't you?"
"Asgard is not that way," Loki pointed out.
"No, no it isn't," the imbecile god said. "I know this is going to sound migh-ty weird, but you have to trust me when I say that in this world I'm Loki. I can take you to our Asgard and I can introduce you to Thor and Odin as we have them here."
"I'd rather not be introduced," Loki hissed. "And I'd rather you stopped telling others you were me."
"Actually," the imbecile god said. "You've been on earth, you know what it looks like. Do you know anybody here?"
"I do." Curiosity only killed the cat because it was too weak to survive.
"Awesome. You're a clever guy, I know. Mostly because no Loki could ever be stupid. I'll show you around. The thing is, I think you fell from a parallel universe. I've never heard it happen before, but the humans thought of it, which means old dad who made the world did too."
"Fárbauti did not make the world." Loki hadn't bothered to remember the name. "Do you know why? Because he doesn't exist."
"Yeah. I know. I know he didn't make the world and I know he doesn't exist. I invented him. I also invented Laufey. But I wasn't talking about him. Hey, welcome to my world by the way," the imbecile god said. "It seems I have somebody to play with again. Do you play tonsil hockey?"
Loki felt a tingle of recognition in the tone that was said in, even if he didn't know the words.
"You cannot trick the Liesmith," he said. You actually could, but he wasn't about to say it. It sounded much more impressive to put it this way.
"Yeah, actually? You can," the other god said. "But now you're just trying to impress me by saying that."
A small chill rose a single hair at the back of Loki's head. The imbecile god smiled and winked at him. Something was, Loki thought, not entirely right.
Author's Note: Don't forget to review!