Disclaimer: Not mine.

"Are you certain this is the only way?"

Frigga stared at her beloved husband, her words whispered with pleading hope.

Hope for her family.

Hope for forgiveness.

Hope for her son.

"He must pay for the crimes he has committed," Odin said, his voice strong, gaze direct. "He has never been one for brute force, therefore I believe pain as punishment will have no bearing on his conscience. We must employ his own tactics against him."

Thor stood silently behind his parents, his solemn gaze trained on the ground before him. He loved his brother, despite his wrongdoings. He also knew punishment was unavoidable, but his sibling's mind was so warped, so wrapped up in a tangle of resentment and bitter jealousy.

"Please," Frigga murmured, stepping towards her kingly husband, "have mercy on our son."

Odin glanced at her, his expression as stoic as ever before turning towards the guards. "Bring in the prisoner."

The doors at the opposite end of the court opened, the sound of footsteps echoing throughout the empty hall as no more than ten heavily armed guards led a shackled and gagged Loki towards the throne. The God of Mischief was still dressed in his armor, his black hair still slicked back, looking as elegant as always, except for his eyes. Dark circles surrounded the malachite orbs as he glared at the family he grew up with, who supposedly loved him. As the guards forced him to his knees in front of the dais, he clenched his jaw, forcing himself to take meet the gaze of each of them.

With a look, Odin dismissed the guards, leaving the royal family alone. The Allfather rose from the throne, never once removing his stare from his youngest.

"When I discovered you in that temple, so small and left to die alone, I never once hesitated to bring you into our home, to accept you as not only an Asgardian, but as my son. I was not always completely honest with you because I wanted to protect you, but the secrecy came from love and no where else. I have always been proud of you, Loki. You may not have been first to replace me as king, but you have always been my son and I reveled in your accomplishments with magic and during battle. I know you feel yourself slighted in this, but you have blinded yourself with your own misgivings."

The anger in Loki's green eyes slowly dissipated as he listened to Odin, hearing the words he had once craved to hear. For so long he had held such resentment, but perhaps now they could finally reconcile.

"But now," the Allfather continued, "now it is too late. Your heinous crimes far outweigh the mercy I could afford to give you. My once responsible, sensible son has turned into a petty, selfish, cruel child who's fantasies of hurt caused him to nearly destroy two worlds. You have hurt the only people who have ever loved you. I cannot look upon you without feeling disappointed in you. You are a failure, Loki Odinson. You are a monster. You are a killer, and you have betrayed us all. Your lies and trickery have led you down a dark path, one that there is no return from and now you must be punished!"

Loki trembled from the words being thrown at him, having never quite gotten rid of the need to make Odin proud. Finally tearing his gaze from the king, he looked to Thor who refused to stare back at him, instead opting to look straight ahead, while Frigga, his loving mother, tried valiantly to keep the tears from streaming down her cheeks.

He wanted to call out to her, to go to her. She loved him, he knew that. She had always wanted to be honest with him; she never favored Thor, but loved both sons equally. Loki would have never hurt his mother, but, alas, he did anyway.

Perhaps he really was a monster.

As he watched his mother mourn, he noticed someone else come into the room. A tall, cloaked figure glided from the periphery towards him, coming to a stop mere inches from his back.

"You have lost those who cared for you, Loki. Through your lies and deceit, you have ripped away the happiness of mortals and gods alike. Now you must pay. I take from you all your magic! Your lies!"

A bright light flashed before Loki's eyes as he felt the being's hands press against his head, the pressure building until he felt like his skull would give way. A blinding pain spiked along his nerves, causing him to unsuccessfully jerk away from the cruel grasp. His vocal chords strained as he finally let out a pained shout, muffled by the muzzle still covering his mouth. A cold sweat gleaned in the light of the room as his body shuddered violently before collapsing on the ground. Air rushed in and out of his nose as he tried to catch his breath, every fiber of his being trembled with pain, and for a moment he would have preferred to go another round with Banner's 'other guy'.

Loki felt someone grasp his shoulder and forced him back up onto his knees, his dazed stare finally focusing on Odin who had moved to stand directly in front of him.

"Find someone to care for you, Loki. Someone to stand by your side and help you. Find them without lying to them, deceiving them. Care for them as they care for you, and your powers will return to you. Hopefully by then, you will finally realize the damage you have caused to so many, and you will regret your actions."

The cloaked being grabbed hold of Loki's head again, and then everything went black.

A/N: I know this is short, but it's just the beginning. Please be kind and patient, it's been a very long time (years) since I've written anything and it's going to be a bit difficult to get back into the swing of things. I just could not get the idea for this out of my head and hope to be able to provide some enjoyment for other Avengers/Loki fans out there. Usually when I've got a good idea, I update daily, so fingers crossed that I'll be able to keep it up.