Disclaimer: Of course I do not own the Avengers or the characters, only my ideas.

Hello readers. Thank you so much for visiting my story. I do hope you like the first of hopefully many chapters. Firstly, I am being completely upfront and saying this won't be a slash story. There are a lot of wonderful slash stories and mine just won't be heading in that direction. This story will explore Thor and Loki's relationship after the Avengers movie and will eventually lead to the involvement of all the Avengers and also the Thor characters. The story is movie verse, so I apologise if the characters are not comic based.

So without further ado, enjoy! Oh and if you like, please send me a quick review ;)

Chapter 1: Aftermath

To say he was not warmly welcomed upon his return to Asgard would be a gross understatement if there ever was one. Unfortunately for Loki to answer the question of 'why' with it 'seemed like a good idea at the time' was not going to suffice with the King of Asgard. Who would have thought someone with only one eye could stare so harshly with burning anger that the gaze felt like it had left a severe scorch mark.

Loki always thought he was destined for something greater than the life that had been thrust upon him in Asgard. He felt it deep beneath his flesh. A burning feeling of desire to be revered; a name spoken throughout the ages. He wanted so deeply to sit upon the throne of Asgard. To be a great king to its people. To be denied that which he knew he could become only because he wasn't first born - preposterous Aesir tradition.

Despite his animosity, there were no other options to rule available to Loki. No other fate for which he could make. He was Loki Odinson, second born son to the King of Asgard. There was no throne for him to sit upon. Destiny decided he would not rule. It was and always would be Thor's birth right.

Then, one day all his internal anguish from constantly questioning himself his whole life suddenly made sense. Odin revealed his origins and nothing else had felt more true.

He never fit into this so called family engrossed around him, because this was not his family. Not his kin. Not his blood. All his life he thought there was something wrong with him; a flaw, a mischance of his conception. Growing up he always felt like a piece that didn't quite fit and though hard as he tried he couldn't make himself fit. And by the Gods of old, he did try. He spent his life trying to win his father's graces. He wasn't a warrior, so he studied harder than any sorcerer of Asgard and became the most talented in the realm as wielder of magicks. Conjuring spells that even baffled the elders of the Golden Kingdom. But that wasn't enough.

So as he matured the more fragile god yielded and became determined to be like Thor. He trained to be a warrior. To wield a blade. To take lives in battle and defend his home. But Loki didn't have the physical strengths and endurance to fight in combat like his brother, charging in with brute strength as his advantage. He utilised what he had, he used his intellect and cunning. He became a fighter, a killer. But still - it wasn't enough. It wasn't honourable. He didn't stare his enemies in the face, but deceived and stabbed them in the back. It escaped Loki why his victories never made the Allfather proud.

But all that didn't matter anymore. Loki surrendered all strive to be accepted. It was a fools errand. Loki was no fool.

It was some time before Thor could bring his brother before the Allfather. A captive in Midgard of the Avengers while weeks passed and the tesseract was converted into a teleporter. So when Thor finally brought his brother before Odin to answer for his crimes, Loki's tongue was uncharacteristically silent, despite finally being relieved of his metal muzzle.

What could the illegitimate son really say to the interrogatory? Did these mewls expect an apology for Loki only doing what he was destined to do? He was born to lead. So if he could not be king of Asgard, then he would rule over Midgard - a realm shattered by its own inhabitants. The mortals are weak and corrupt. They needed a leader to rule them, to control them. The mortals will be their own downfall as they fight and war amongst themselves. He was only going to bring order. Their freedom is an illusion. They will never be free; slave to their own self destructiveness, temptations and indulgences.

"Loki!" Odin bellowed; a fierce tempter in his voice to his obstinate son. "Answer me!"

But Loki did not, just stared wickedly at his father from beneath his brow. His head was lowered, but he did not look away. He stood ever defiant in the face of the all powerful Odin King of Asgard.

Thor stood to his brother's side, no words escaping his lips as they stayed frozen, slightly ajar in dread. In his mind the thunder god pleaded with Loki to answer their father. To beseech forgiveness. To repent his misgivings. Then, Odin may be merciful. May forgive Loki and give him a second chance in Asgard, in this family. Thor was disappointed in Loki for being so defiant, but not surprised. Loki showed no regret for his actions on Midgard during his captivity by the Avengers. Why would he repent now?

The awkward silence was finally broken with a exasperated Odin, "Remove him from my sight! Confine him to his quarters and guard all exits."

The guards of Asgard did not hesitate and moved to apprehend Loki, two of the six surrounding him grasping Loki's biceps and dragging him away. Loki didn't resist, just smirking at Odin as the guards removed the God of Mischief from the throne room. In the background, Frigga sat still in the Queen's throne. Eyes full of fogged sadness. But she did not utter a word. Did not object to her husband's command. She knew her place at her king's side - even if it meant her son was incarcerated. Loki was not of her womb, but she had raised him from a baby. Watched him grow. Loved him unconditionally. Her heart clenched and choked with distraught.

Odin could see the despair in his wife and first son's expressions. The raw emotions plain on their faces. It was a hard burden to be the king in times such as this. The imposer of justice and punishment, even to his own.

"Thor," Odin began, catching the attention of his son who sharply twisted his eyes back before his father, diverting them from his brother who was disappearing out the doorway to the throne room.

Thor stood quiet for a second before he looked to his father with an obedient gaze. "I would have words with you about your brother." Odin's voice now low and solemn.

"Yes father."

o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o

"Well I am not advanced in the criminal justice system of Asgard, but I hope there is some sort of eternal torment inflicted on the crazy son of a bitch." Tony Stark had no jest in his words. He whole heartedly hoped there was a lot of pain awaiting Loki's return home.

"Whatever they have planned for him, I am sure it is a lot worse than anything we could have done to him." Bruce remarked followed by a slight shrug. After all, what else was going to happen to Loki? America's justice system didn't uphold executions, and could they actually execute a God. Nevertheless, he was sure his friend wanted to give it a try.

"I don't know," Tony contemplated, "I can think of a few things which would have made high and mighty very uncomfortable." Tony's eyes shifted into the top left corners of his sockets as he let his imagination run wild.

Bruce just kept silent, sipping at his coffee, ineptly eyeing Tony as the man was surely dissecting Loki in his mind. Bruce was never a violent or sadistic person. The Other Guy was. But not him. Loki may have been the most evil thing ever to grace Earth, but even Loki couldn't bring Bruce to malevolence. Perhaps tha is why he despised turning into the Other Guy so much. The Hulk was everything Bruce was not. Yet, he was inside him all the time. Waiting, dormant, until Bruce unleashed the darkness within. It was no wonder he had so much trouble sleeping at night- being so uncomfortable in his own skin.

As much as he revelled in the intellectual banter with the comical billionaire in the mornings, secretly Bruce just couldn't wait to get back to his lab and continue his work. He could lose himself in his lab and almost forget about the raging green monster. Almost. But he indulged Tony and every morning met with him at the Stark Industries executive office for a morning coffee before work. It was the least he could do for his friend who had given him a job where he didn't need to worry about becoming a lab experiment by the government. Tony had promised that Stark Industries was impenetrable, and he already had S.H.I.E.L.D's backing to have Banner the company's head of research and development. It felt surreal to not have to be in hiding anymore. To not have to constantly look over his shoulder to see if he was being followed. He still looked over his shoulder by habit though- but now the only thing lurking behind him were lab assistants. It was more than he ever dared to wish for. An 'almost' normal life. Well, as normal as he could ever have. And it was all thanks to Anthony Stark.

"But considering all possibilities," Tony contemplated leaning forward onto the square glass table to the scientist across from him, the leather seat making a slight screech noise against his sleek grey pants, "nothing would compare to your thrashing session. I am still chipping away pieces of god from my floors."

Bruce grimaced. Despite how much the others in his team glorified him for the Hulk's actions, it made Bruce shudder. "Yes, well. The Other Guy plays rough."

Tony snickered, but didn't force the praise. After the weeks of getting to know his fellow avenger, he knew Bruce's attitude to the Hulk's actions. Tony didn't agree with his perspective, Loki deserved much more a thousand times over than the Hulk had inflicted, but he respected his friend's opinions.

"Almighty, well partner this meeting is adjourned. I have an actual meeting to attend ten minutes ago which I must be fashionably late for." Tony mused standing to attention, his coffee cup making the glass chime as he placed it on the table for his many assistants to attend to. Bruce followed suit rising to shake his friend's hand.

"Working on anything good today?" Tony asked as he brushed down his black business shirt once he finished the manly shake.

"Still fine tuning the radiation characteristics of the tesseract and the data from when Thor first landed in New Mexico. There could be a correlation between the two energies, which while can't be recreated here on earth, being able to identify would definitely assist if we ever want to monitor on a global scale for any portals opening again between our worlds." Bruce explained, always justifying everything he spends his time on during business hours in Stark Industries. While Tony never questioned his work, nor what he dedicated his time on; Tony knew the man wouldn't squander the good money the company was paying him, Bruce saw Tony not only as his friend, but also his boss, and addressed him as such when it came to his work.

"Great." Tony smirked. "An Asgard alarm. And here I thought we were going to have to ask those pesky Gods to start wearing tracking bracelets." Bruce let out a slight laugh.

"Ah!" Tony perked, "Made you laugh. I win." Bruce just smiled as his friend turned with a wave over his shoulder and left. Tony really was an amusing character- once you got past the ego.

o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o.o

Considering all possibilities for his incarceration, Loki was actually relieved that Odin confined him to is quarters and not the Asgardian prisons. Maybe his father feared that Loki would befall some harm from his fellow inmates if left in a confined space with the prince (or former prince) of Asgard? Like Loki could not handle a handful of cretins. No matter. His old room was infinitely better than a dungeon cell so he didn't give the query any more thought.

The first difference Loki noticed was the large window to his room facing the shimmering city of Asgard had a slight opaque veil completely encasing its surface on the outside. A shield. The Allfather planned ahead.

When the guards arrived at Loki's room, trudging inside, relinquishing their grip on him and turning without a word to close the door behind them, Loki heard the distinct grind of metal on metal against his closed door. The guards obviously boarding the only entry and exit to the room. Loki couldn't hear the steadfast guards of Asgard outside his room, but he knew they were there. They would stand day and night guarding their prisoner.

So, that left Loki with nothing but a bed and a desk to keep himself entertained. Joy.

Hours passed and Loki considered perhaps he should sleep, that his captures had no plans to question with him further this day. Just as he was about to commit himself to rest, the door scratched with the sound of metal. Slowly opening to allow a metal shoulder clasping a red cape move inside the room.

Loki watched from the end of his bed as Thor entered and the door closed and locked behind him. The thunder god stood silent for a moment, his eyes never leaving his brother's gaze. Loki was the first to stare away, his head turning downward so his eyes stared at the floor.

Thor walked over to his brother who still wore the same clothes he had when he brought him back to Asgard. He had hoped Loki would of felt some sort of comfort returning to his old room and would have changed into more casual Asgardian attire. Maybe the feeling of grandeur would start to break down that wall Loki had built to shut out his family.

"Brother." Thor greeted as he came to a stop beside Loki seated on the edge of his bed, his arms leaning against his legs. Loki simply frowned with distaste his eyes centred to the floor.

Thor felt utterly disheartened. How could he help Loki if all his brother did was push him away. His body slumped and shoulders lowered with heavy weight. Without another word, he moved toward the bed and sat beside his brother, leaning against himself in the same position. Loki stayed still, not giving Thor the satisfaction of making him move with his sentiments.

A few minutes past with the only sound that echoed through the room was the whisper of breaths; Loki's heated with anger and Thor's deep with despair.

Not shifting his eyes to the man beside him Thor uttered, "Father requested I inform him of everything that transpired on Earth." Loki did not even flinch.

Thor now turned to gaze upon his brother's face, waiting and praying for any reaction, "I told him all that I knew. But not which I do not know."

Loki's thoughts sparked. As much as he desired to snapped back at Thor to his idiotic statement, 'of course you cannot tell the Allfather that which you do not know!' he instead remained silent. Steadfast.

Thor's eyes stared deeply at his brother, pleading, begging, "Loki, I beg of you. Tell me what happened before you travelled to Midgard. Why did you align yourself with the Chitauri? Did something happen to you after you fell through the black hole?"

The young prince of Asgard didn't respond. He even stopped blinking now. The only movements were his chest as he took in composed breaths of air.

"Loki, please!" Thor pleaded now placing his hand upon Loki's shoulder. Grasping at the clothes like his touch would be a connection to finally reach through to his brother.

Loki snapped. Forcefully standing and pulling away from Thor he spat, "Do not touch me!"

Thor stood, hands out in pleading, "Brother, just talk to me."

"And what would you have me say Thor Odinson?" Loki hissed, venom spilling out in his voice, "That I was manipulated and corrupted by the Chitauri warlords? That I became twisted and evil while I was lost to darkness and emptiness. That inside I regret all my actions and secretly long to be a devoted son to the Allfather." Loki was now descending upon his brother, a dark glare spread cross his face, voice spiteful and full of anger, "I may be the God of Lies, but even I cannot weave such falsities! No Thor, you will not hear that which you so desperately crave. It was me! It was all me. My plan! My desires! I would have watched Midgard burn to ashes if I could not have conquered it!"

Loki's words stung deep in Thor chest, "You do not mean what you say." It was almost as if Thor was trying to convince himself more than Loki.

"Don't I?" Loki posed.

Thor hesitated for a moment. Fear and doubt boiling inside him. But he would not let it consume him. People can change. Gods can change. He changed... and so could Loki.

Clenching his fists then releasing, a defiant frown spreading across his face Thor declared, "No. No you don't. And I won't give up on you brother."

Loki's scoffed at the stubborn naivety of the man standing before him, "Then, my dear brother," the last word being said with such distaste and loathing as Loki's tone could muster, "you will finally know how it feels to want and be among the unachieved."

Thor sighed, "Maybe so. But I could not live with myself if I did not try."

Loki smirked, "Always so valiant to the very end. You really think you can keep me here future King of Asgard? No, I will escape. And you will wish you had disposed of me when you had the chance."

With that, Loki turned away from Thor and returned to his position on the bed, his face becoming hard and cold once more, devoid of any emotion or feeling. Thor stood silent for a moment observing his brother with pity, sadness, but most of all - fear. Fear of what the Allfather would do should he be aware of Loki's threats. Fear that Loki's words were a solemn promise of things to come. But also fear, that despite all his hope, despite all the efforts to save his brother, Loki was truly lost and what sat before him was nothing but a dark shadow of the person he once knew and loved. Sighing heavily, Thor took his leave.

For a while, Loki did not move. He stayed, slouching over the bed, his elbows resting on his legs and his head drooped towards the floor. After a while, he closed his eyes and just focused on his breathing. Then he suddenly started to giggle. Then laugh. He had to move his hand up to his mouth to muzzle the noise. Through all the cackling and gasps of air Loki didn't realise before it was look late to hold it back that a tear had swelled up at the side of his left eye and escaped, skidding down upon his cheek then to his chin. Quickly wiping the streak away from existence then pretending it didn't happen, Loki composed himself and returned to silence as his room faded into the darkness of the night.