Chapter 13: Escape from Asgard

"So what Son of Odin, come to gloat have you then?"

Loki's voice was low and cold; full of scorn and hostility. Thor could barely make out his brother in the darkness of the dungeon cell, the rattling of the chains the only indication that Loki had been restrained in the shadowed corner of the stone room.

It had been twelve hours since the former God of Lies and Mischief was dragged forcibly to his cell and bound to its walls by thick rusty shackles and chains. He hadn't expected to be handled delicately, nevertheless he was bitterly resentful to the Warriors Three for their treatment of him, and especially Sif, who Loki could sense - even in the darkness of the dungeon- bore a wide grin as she snapped the chains shut around his wrists and ankles. Whether they were aware of Loki's sudden mortality was irrelevant, Loki thought, they would have chosen to bind him nonetheless if for nothing else but the pleasure in stringing him down like an animal.

And these were the people he once called friends.

The time spent in the dungeon had already been laborious for Loki. Being purged of his Jotunn lineage, he felt the cold like he had never felt as a child of the winter. It was like needles, piercing at his flesh, and his body screamed with the spread of the fiery chill. The once god struggled with the vulnerabilities connected to that of a mortal body - the pains of hunger, of exhaustion and tiredness of a body begging for rest and recovery, the weighted chains upon his limbs burying themselves into his delicate skin cutting into his flesh. It all made Loki all the more resentful and bitter.

Thor remained silent as he cautiously paced into the cell, Mjolnir dormant and held at his side like an extension of the thunderer's arm. Slowly his eyes adjusted, and he could see the raven haired man stripped of everything but his leather pants, his skin prickled from the cold, body covered in blotches of multi-coloured bruises, chains tangled around his limbs to keep him from moving more than three feet from the wall.

Thor couldn't help furrowing his eyebrows, looking upon Loki with obvious pity and concern.

Loki snarled at the expression upon Thor's face, "How dare you pity me!" breathing heavily, his chest rising and falling furiously, "I pity you! Even in this despicable state, you are far more pathetic than I. You are a cowering submissive dog! An arrogant savage with a crown placed upon his head not through his worth or earning, but because his father is the King, and who better fitted to a throne of the undeserving and arrogant than..."

Loki gasped, his words swiftly halted as Thor lunged forward towards him, dropping his hammer in his wake. He prepared his body for the lashing that was forthcoming, Loki well aware that his words consistently had the result of receiving a rise out of Thor, and despite his mortal form, it was foolish to suppose Thor would react any differently to being taunted.

Loki froze as the blonde god wrapped his hands around the shackles of his left wrist; waiting with gritted teeth for the agonising surge of pain that would follow. No words could describe his shock as the sounds of metal breaking echoed through the cell, and he realised as Thor moved to the shackles on his right wrist and then to his ankles, that the other was releasing him.

"What... are you doing you fool?" Loki stuttered.

Ignoring the question, Thor grabbed Loki by the shoulders and lifted him to his feet. "follow me" he commanded, turning to grab Mjolnir and departing the cell, leaving no opportunity for Loki to object.

Shakily rising to his feet, Loki followed obediently, his silver tongue abnormally silent in his mouth.

Surprise barely described how he felt at the present moment. In the hours spent chained in the dungeons Loki had come to accept the unavoidable truth, the fact that after all that had transpired, Loki's ties to Asgard (well, any that had survived until recent) were now utterly severed and bridges burned beyond repair. From the very beginning, he had used and manipulated those around him to his own ends. Even way before the void, he manipulated Thor to prove a point. Now his misdeeds following his fall were all out in the open: his allegiance to Thanos, the feigned invasion of Midgard, the deal behind it, the ultimate agenda. And through it all Thor had been at the centre. The fondness of his fake brother had been the mischief makers' main tool to weave and the thunder god must have known this, realised it, and overcome with resentment at its truth. Yet through all the deception, lies and betrayal, here he was, leading Loki away from the chains he so justly deserved.

The god and the mortal walked briskly from the dungeons and into the palace hallways in silence. Loki instantly noticed the lack of guards stationed in their route. Normally they would have passed several guards to the entry of the dungeons and several more through the palace halls. A result of the recent siege in Asgard, Loki thought, or perhaps this was Thor's doing. It did not escape his attention that Thor's body was tense and anxious, obviously Thor's decision to intervene in Loki's imprisonment did not have open assent.

Loki paused, contemplating whether to ask Thor if he was leading him to his death. A private execution by the one he so consistently wronged. But even Loki could not believe Thor to be so callous. No, the thunderer was not leading Loki to his death. So what was his plan then? He pondered. Was this Thor's attempt at a rescue? Was Thor so foolish as to believe Loki had the choice to flee. There was no place he would be safe. It would be pointless to remain on Asgard, sooner or later he would be located and dragged back to the chains, or worse so, to the guillotine. It was suicide to venture to Jotunheim. He would be executed on Midgard and that left no other realm where a mortal could survive the long term against the hostile inhabitants or that which weren't allied with Asgard and would promptly expedite him back to face justice. Outside the nine realms, well, the unknown was just as dangerous.

Loki knew there was no place for him, as a mortal man, to run. He was also certain Thor must know this as well, so where then was he leading him?

Soon Loki found himself on the southern edges of the palace, overlooking the grassy fields and eternal springs. It was from the high vantage point that he could see the destruction that had been wrought upon the kingdom. The very balcony where he stood was in tatters, no longer a safe barrier along their edges to prevent a painful, or in the case of Loki's mortality, deadly drop. The fields were still smoking and small flames still burnt in patches; bodies of Aesir warriors and alien soldiers were still scattered across the once lush green but now red stained grassy plains.

Staring at what had been wrought, Loki hadn't noticed until a hard hand grabbed his shoulder and turned him around, that there waiting in the shadows was Queen Frigga.

Frigga's expression was hard and her eyes full of resolve, contrasting the uncertain and wide eyed expression of Loki.

"My Quee..." Loki managed before the palm of the woman standing before him slapped him passionately across the face. Frigga let Loki look upon her stern expression, allowing the act to sink in along with the hurt in her eyes, before she leant forward and took the man into her embrace. She kissed both his cheeks slowly and then turned to Thor, pointing to an object in the corner alcove of the balcony.

"Thor," she said with a shaky voice, "that is for you. I have some clothes in there for your brother, best he put them on now."

Thor did as he was requested, setting his hammer down, and retrieving the large brown sling bag, opening it to reveal a green lace shirt and boots Loki recognised as his clothing. Thor handed Loki his garments and threw the bag and its remaining contents over his shoulder.

Loki watched as Frigga walked across to Thor's side, embracing him, kissing his cheeks in motherly affection. Thor returned the sentiment before returning Mjolnir to his side.

The confusion of the situation finally caught up with Loki and he frowned, irritated and frustrated, enquiring, "Would someone be so kind as to explain what is happening?"

"Quiet Loki." Came Frigga's curt reply, "And put on your clothes."

Loki sighed, but did as he was told. Frigga then moved to have her back to Loki and reached into her pocket. Loki could not see what she handed to Thor, but he watched and heard the discussion between them with intense concentration.

"Is this it then?" Thor asked, grasping something in his free hand away from Loki's sight.

"Yes. You can feel it can't you?" Frigga asked.

Thor nodded.

"Good. You will need to concentrate on the exact moment we discussed. And remember what I told you."

"Yes mother."

Once Loki was dressed Frigga called him over, moving him to stand beside Thor. Loki saw how Thor held something in his hand beside him. It was small, small enough to be shielded completely from his eyes in Thor's closed fist. Before Loki could voice his frustrations at being kept in the dark, Frigga grabbed his hand nearest to Thor's fist that was grasping the mystery object and wrapped the two together.

Loki's first reaction was to try and withdraw his hand, but Frigga held the two in place, forcing Loki's palm to grasp Thor's fist, ordering as she held tightly, "Loki, remain still and hold tight to your brother" before stepping back away from her sons. Instantly, Loki felt a surge course throughout his body and gasped. Beside him, he could feel Thor do the same. Around the two, everything began to shift and change like they were watching the world on rewind from inside a protective bubble. They watched as the grassy fields before then turned from a graveyard to an epic battle scene; the balcony they stood transforming from ruin to its former golden glory.

The world finally slowing down and resuming the normal flow of time, Loki caught his breath and looked around unbelieving that he had been transported back to when Thanos had begun the assault on Asgard. At the front of the balcony where he and Thor stood were a line of sorcerers of the golden Kingdom, working to deflect the barrage of attacks from the Chitauri ships.

Examining around him and spotting what he was searching for, Thor quickly approached one of the magic defenders Loki instantly recognised as Asgard's alchemist. Loki also noticed Thor discretely, and failing to hide it from Loki's attention, slip something into his pocket from the hand Loki held onto before their time jump.

"My Prince? Why are you here? Aren't you needed on the battlefield?" The alchemist asked slightly startled.

"My friend," Thor addressed the mage, "We need you to send us to Midgard."

Thor turned leading the mage to where Loki stood. The alchemist joined them voicing his confusion, "Now, my Prince? In the heat of battle. You are sorely needed here. And such magic will completely drain me, I will not be able to assist in defending the palace."

Thor nodded his resolve. "Yes, now. I command it. There is no time for questions."

Thor furrowed his brow in resolve and looked sternly at the magic wielder. Relenting, the alchemist sighed and nodded his agreement before raising his hands to wield the required magic.

"Where to on Midgard my Prince?"

"Where I first arrived after I was banished from Asgard."

After a few moments the two were gone from the balcony, the mage falling to his knees in exhaustion. Turning once more to the raging battle, he watched the work of his fellow sorcerers before him, trying frantically to regain his strength to assist them. Too late did the alchemist react as he saw a projectile from the Chitauri ships breach the magic barrier and hurtle itself towards the balcony.

It was night time on Earth when Thor and Loki arrived. Dust and dirt in the air greeted their arrival, so too did the cold dark of the barren desert, the moon and stars their only beacons of light.

Sparing Loki a momentary glance, his expression solemn and gaze distant, Thor turned and began walking towards to what Loki could recognise in the distance as the faint glow of artificial lights. Most likely, he deduced, a small settlement of humans.

Loki was no simpleton. He knew exactly what Thor had in his possession. He did not know how Thor, or Frigga for that matter, came into possession of the Time Gem -did they acquire it before the invasion? did they know what Loki was planning? and if they did, why didn't they stop him? - but at this moment those perplexing questions did not overly concern him. Right now, priority number one was the Time Gem itself.

"Thor, give it to me!" Loki demanded. Thor came to a halt turning to face the other, the moonlight illuminating the deep frown upon his face.

Loki approached the thunderer, his own frown and glare matching Thor's, "I know what it is that you possess. And I demand that you give it to me."

"No Loki." Came the short and curt answer.

If Loki were not a mere feeble mortal, he would of struck Thor from behind sharply across the head and just simply taken what he wanted from him. But he knew his limitations and unfortunately that option was not available.

"Are you so idiotic that you do not see the opportunity before us. With the Time Gem we can go back to when all this started. We can stop Thanos invading Asgard." Loki intentionally omitting the words, we can prevent me from becoming mortal, but Thor knew Loki well enough to know that is what he really meant.

"We cannot interfere with the events of the past brother."

Loki snorted, "We have already done so by travelling like we did here."

"No" Thor argued, "We were meant to be here."

"You are talking nonsense!" Loki spat walking towards Thor until he was an arm's length away, "give me the gem Thor."

"No. And it is the last I will hear of it." Thor snapped turning his back to Loki and resuming his trek to the distant town.

Loki let out an inhuman yell before charging forward to strike at Thor from behind, only to be greeted by the thunderer's forearm whirling around and smacking him to the ground. Thor stepped above Loki leaning down to effortlessly with a signal hand pull the thrashing raven haired man by the front of his shirt to bring them face to face.

Thor bared his teeth liked a feral creature, "You dare attack me after all I've done! Do you not comprehend what it means for me to be here!" his screams bringing Loki's attacks to a sudden halt, "I have defied the command of the Royal Court to have you executed. Yes Loki, I speak no lies, you were to be executed on the morn. By freeing you I have abandoned my right to the throne. My treason forbids my return to Asgard. I shall never be able to return to our home." Dropping Loki to the ground in a heap and turning his back once more, sighing heavily before he spoke, "And you are mortal now. You will live a mortal life and then I will have to live with the repercussions of your offenses."

Loki hissed a venomous growl, returning to his feet to confront the other, "This is so typical of the beloved prince of Asgard. I am the one fated to die a mortal and yet you make this all about you and what you will endure."

Ignoring the way Thor's hand gripped tighter around his hammer Loki persisted, "You have always abstracted attention from me. Even in our youth you complained of the pressure of being heir to the throne, the expectations of Father and of Asgard, yet there I stood in the shadows reminded every day of my shortcomings compared to my glorious brother."

In his rant Loki had rounded Thor and now stood before the other in arms reach.

"And what would you have had me do. I was but a child Loki!" Thor yelled.

"And so was I!" If Thor had noticed the tears swell up in the corners of Loki's eyes, he did not react to them, allowing Loki to continue to speak.

"And you would have known if you ever bothered to take notice of someone other than yourself."

"So what do you want Loki. An apology? I have conveyed such regrets once before which only resulted in you trying to kill me."

Loki scoffed, "Yes, and I remember your words clearly. 'Whatever I have done to wrong you.' How could you possibly be sorry when you don't even know for what you are apologising for!"

Thor moved his free hand towards Loki forcing the other to flinch in concern, "Yet still," the blonde god began in a calmer voice as he grasped Loki's neck gently, "I apologised brother. But they are mere words. I may not have stood beside you like I should when were young, but I have defended and believed in you despite everything you have done. And I am still here brother."

A soft laugh escaped Loki's lips, "I have not asked you to be."

"You do not have to. I am your brother, it is my place."

Loki's expression darkened as he pulled away from Thor's hand, "You are not my brother."

Thor's face hardened in turn, "Not by blood, but I am by choice."

"Choice" Loki murmured with disgust under his breath, "Well that is a privilege that I have never had Odinson."

"You lie Loki, even to yourself." Thor said which instantly garnered a hateful glare from Loki, who moved to speak, but Thor continued before his brother could lash out his objection, "It was your choices that lead you to this."

Loki felt his stomach turn in fury at the accusation, "Was it my choice then to be trapped in the void, facing unending torment and anguish, powerless to end it! Did I have a choice in making the deal that I did? I could have endured that torture until there was nothing left of me, and then the Mad Titan would have returned for me, and used me all the same. It mattered not whether I had something to garner from the arrangement, I had no choice in my actions, I could only decide the time and my degree of sanity when they were to be carried out."

Thor shook his head, "I do not speak of your choice to suffer in the void brother. But it was your choice not to tell anyone of the deal you made, and..." the god hesitated momentarily, deciding to speak the words that caused his pause , "... and it was your choice to let go."

"What?" Loki said narrowing his eyes.

"You are the one that let go that day on the Bifrost Loki. I did not toss you into an abyss, brother."

Loki grimaced, "Did your father tell you that? You are so misguided and easily manipulated you accept anything he tells as true, even if you saw otherwise with your own eyes."

Tony was on the approach to Stark Tower, dawn on the verge of breaking over the city, when JARVIS relayed new information from his portal detection system.

"Where was the anomaly?" he asked mid way reading through the data streaming across his HUD.

"New Mexico Sir" his AI answered, "about four hours flight time from here. Half that if you travel at the thrusters full capacity.

Tony considered the location to be too much a coincidence to ignore.

"Same place Thor first landed?"

"It would appear so Sir."

Tony knew he had an injured team mate to attend to and a cure to develop, but something told him if he wanted answers he would find them in New Mexico, and luckily he had someone more qualified than himself in biological science to fill his shoes.

"JARVIS, inform Bruce of the new information. Keep the others in the dark. Tell him I am going to need him to start working on a cure for Clint. I will drop him the sample then we are heading to New Mexico."

"I have already prepared a flight plan Sir."

Dawn broke over the desert as Thor and Loki marched towards the rural town in Galisteo, New Mexico, trekking in a tense silence following their passionate conversation.

Uneasy silence had settled between them shortly after Thor blamed Loki for releasing his grip that terrible day so long ago in Asgard, as they hung helplessly from the Bifrost, plunging himself into the void. Loki denied the incident fervently. Thor wondered just how lost his brother had become to believe his own lies so deeply, and whether there was truly any way to bring him back from that.

The small town had barely awoken when Thor and Loki strolled into its streets. In his first visit, Thor made his presence known without a care as to the people noticing him. Now, he marched silently, avoiding traffic, Loki following, as he searched for a specific place. It wasn't long before he found what he was looking for, the stores in the miniature settlement being few in number helping with his search.

Thor turned to Loki and signalled the man to follow as he approached a store thats storefront sign read, 'Jenna's Clothing, Shoes and Accessories' entering the glass doors like any other average customer.

"Shop keep," Thor yelled when no one greeted his entry, "my comrade and I require clothing."

Looking slightly startled from the yell, a young thinly framed woman wearing a tight fitted singlet and shorts, suitable for the desert heat, with her long hair in a ponytail came from the back of the store room to answer. "I am sorry Sir but we aren't open until... whoa..." she faltered, "what the hell are you wearing?"

Thor smiled wide in greeting and noticed how the woman's, whose name tag read Anne, eyes drifted down to notice with wide eyed caution the hammer in Thor's left hand.

"Do not fear my Lady. I am merely a customer seeking to obtain some garments."

Anne looked behind the armoured red cloaked man to Loki, who was standing behind his larger comrade with his arms crossed and eyes glaring at her, "Ah ha. Um, we still do not open until nine."

"Might I beseech you, " Thor pleaded, "to make an exception. This is an urgent circumstance."

Anne examined the two men in front of her before responding, "I bet."

Sighing and surrendering to the puppy dog eyes of the blonde man she conceded after tentative deliberation, "Fine, ok. Let me know if there is anything you'd like to try on."

"Many thanks." Thor replied with a bow turning to Loki and directing, "brother, find some clothing for yourself to wear so we can blend in and travel unnoticed."

Loki rolled his eyes but did as he was told. He knew that between himself and Thor, Thor was not the unwelcomed one here on Midgard. So it would serve him best that they attract the least amount of attention possible.

Loki was the first to find suitable attire, Thor taking a bit longer to find clothing his size. Loki chose a plain green shirt and black jeans, Thor going for blue jeans and a tight red shirt. Loki rolled his eyes at the thunderer's choice of colouring, Thor doing the same at Loki.

When it came to paying, Thor dug deep into his bag, Anne grimacing at the material of the bag which she could tell was obviously made of animal skin. The shop assistant's face contorting further at the currency produced by the blonde man.

"Um, I'm sorry, cash or credit only." As she eyed the four golden pebbles on the counter.

"I'm sorry," Thor explained, "We only have gold to exchange for the clothes."

In the background, Loki was rubbing his thumb and forefinger on the bridge of his nose.

Anne brought a magnet from underneath the counter and held it above the golden stones noting how they didn't stick.

"Tell you what," she said, "I'll pay for your clothes in exchange for these." Anne offered pointing at the golden currency. Well, she thought, this could well be her college intuition if they were legit. It was no more than a gamble than the lottery. And screw her boss if they were real! That guy is a pervert who won't stop staring at her ass.

Thor took Anne's hand in his grasp, "Thank you my Lady" he smiled and pressed a kiss to her hand. Anne laughed pulling her hand back watching as the two strange men exited the store.

Thor returned the bag to his shoulder, the contents substantially heavier with Mjolnir and both men's Asgardian clothing inside.

"Where to now Thor?" Loki asked disdainfully, "since we look like humans are we to toil in the dirt like one. Hmm, find a trade and work for the rest of my life? Is that your brilliant plan?"

Thor rolled his eyes at Loki and walked off in search again. Loki followed close behind, off put by the dirty humans who were now scattered throughout the town streets. They came to a stop once Thor located a familiar restaurant.

Heading inside with Loki in tow Thor looked around at the small number of morning customers, his eyes settling on a familiar face at the counter.

Approaching the bearded well rounded man Thor tapped him on his shoulder asking, "My friend, do you remember me from some time back? I attended these premises with friends I am now seeking to reunite with."

The man looked at Thor with a puzzled expression, "Well I'll be" came a voice from behind the counter, "I remember you! " the waitress exclaimed, "You're the guy who 'ere fought that alien robot! You remember him don't ya Jared."

The man seated at the counter eyes shot open wide, "Yes!" leaping from his stool to passionately shake Thor's hand. "You're our town's hero my boy."

Thor's smile grew so wide it overtook half his face, while behind him Loki scoffed in disgust, to the ignorance of the people around him gathering about the blonde man. Unable to bear any more of this repulsive display, he slipped out of the restaurant, hearing Thor questioning his admirers as he left something concerning the location of a woman named Jane Foster.

"The champion of insects" Loki snarled under his breath.

Turning his sight to the people around him Loki held back a sickened scowl. Here he was, a former god, at the level of mortals. What cruel mockery was his fortune that he was to live and die as a creature he once so easily found dispensable. Lost in his own thoughts, Loki did not even notice the booming sound of repulsors flying overhead.

Colonel James Rhodes was under radio silence when the mobile telecommunication of his suit began ringing. The Colonial was accustomed to sudden shocks in his line of work, which made him ever more thankful that he wouldn't need to worry too much (life threatening amounts anyway) about small scale explosives in the field thanks to being War Machine, yet despite his extensive experience in loud abrupt and unexpected noises, Rhodes found himself startled to the point of letting out a quiet yelp.

Gritting his teeth, he took the call.


"Hello, is this Colonial Rhodes?"

Immediately James did not recognise the voice and went on the defensive.

"Who is this? How did you get this number? This is a secret US military line and unauthorised use will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law -"

"Whoa, Colonial" the voice interrupted, "It's me Bruce. And JARVIS game me this number."

"Banner? But how did JARVIS - " James let his teeth grit even tighter, "Dammit Tony!" he let out to himself before continuing, "Look Dr Banner, I am not exactly in the most secure position right now -"

"I wouldn't be calling if I didn't think it was an emergency."

Sighing, Rhodes said, "Ok, I am listening."

That is when Bruce informed Colonial James Rhodes, best friend of Tony Stark, about the siege at the SHIELD New York base, the unfortunate condition of Hawkeye, and the doctor's concern about Iron Man flying off to New Mexico to investigate a 'portal occurrence' as the man described it, which followed another extensive explanation of their 'portal detection device'.

It wouldn't take long for the Colonial to arrange a leave of absence from his current deployment in Peru. The maoist guerrilla insurgents would have to wait.

If it wasn't for JARVIS scanning the area of any sign of a Norse God, Tony would not have even spared a second glance at the black haired man standing outside a small restaurant in the tiny rural town. Despite his AI confirming , according to facial recognition software, it was a ninety five percent chance that the green shirted man was indeed the super-villain Loki, even Tony was hesitant to believe Loki would be simply standing there leaning casually in New Mexico wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

"Are you sure JARVIS?" Tony asked.

"As sure as I can be with the data at hand Sir."

"Well then, let's go pay tall, dark and evil a visit" Tony stated redirecting his trajectory towards the ground.

The first thing that grabbed Loki's attention was the noise. Turning his eyes to the source, he realised too late, thanks to the glare of the blazing sun, that Iron Man was on a decent and headed straight for him. His first reaction was to try and take cover inside the restaurant, but his feet just would not carry him fast enough, and before he could pull open those damned glass doors Iron Man had flown down and grabbed Loki's arm and taken back off into the sky.

Author's note

I am so sorry for the slow update everyone. To be honest I had major writer's block and just couldn't figure out how I wanted this story to run from where I had left it. After writing this chapter a few times, then screaming at it to kneel, this is the end result. I decided to put in a lot of event which will lead to more exciting chapters ahead!

I'd like to thank everyone who reviewed my last chapter. Much love! Also thank you to jaquelinelittle who left a lot of chapter by chapter feedback. I am sorry that I couldn't reply to your reviews as it was a guest sign in, but regarding some of your comments (also guys please feel free to not read this enormous A/N and I'm sorry for making it so long!):

Chapter 2

- in relation to travelling between the realms, in my little universe I consider travelling between Asgard to Midgard to be a lot more difficult that say Asgard to Jotunheim. I kind of put Earth on a completely different metaphysical plane that the immortal realms, and although they are all linked through Yggdrasil, Earth is still on a different plane of existence which is why magic isn't as prominent here as it is in the other realms. So it is harder, but possible, so you need people like the alchemist to do it. In 'Thor' Loki showed us he could at least project himself to Midgard, and I think he could probably make the leap, but he just doesn't want to since he is selfish and would rather have someone else completely drain themselves doing so.

Chapter 3

- although Loki's high scale assault in New York would have been plastered all over the news, I think SHIELD still would not have gone public with Asgard just yet. Aliens yes, but not immortal gods. That's why I have written Loki's apology directed at SHIELD and the Avengers. Plus the public outcry if Loki is behind it and walking free after everything would make a public apology unadvisable.

Chapter 4

- when I wrote 'castrated' I meant figuratively. I would hate a neutered LokI!

- I try to remember that Asagrd sees Jotunheim as abhorrent monsters, so destroying Jotunheim would, compared to conquering Earth and murdering humans was the lesser of two evil deeds. Both evil, but after Jotunheim everyone assumed Loki dead and surely people in Asgard would be quite rattled to hear Loki alive and causing destruction in Midgard. As an Aesir citizen I would question whether my king lied the whole time about Loki's death.

Chapter 7

- I guess Loki wasn't just taken straight back to Asgard because they didn't know how badly hurt he was, or whether they could move him, or whether he was Loki at all (or dead).

- I think Bruce would feel comfortable with the containment area. He avoids high population areas due to the fear of hulking out, so it is like a safety net, despite the fact that it is useless if he is a few floors away.

Chapter 10

- I think Loki can also heal others- but he is selfish, so he rarely does so.

- Nice comment - ' Well, so? Somebody dropped a nuke on New York without his consent, and only Stark saved the town.' Burn!

Chapter 11

- I have written it so the Chitauri are outside the nine realms until they invade. Like the Skrulls, and outside Heimdell's gaze. I am not sure if this is right, but it explains why he can't see them. Then again, Thor knew about the Chitauri in the Avengers. Not sure how he got the knowledge in Avengers, I am guessing an out-of-the-nine-realms informant.

- In my story Thanos and the Other can wield magic just as powerful as Loki. I think he could be able to teach them to block Heimdell's gaze, even from a large army, if Thanos had the resources to enhance his magic (which, being Thanos, I assumed he did on his way to Asgard).