Title: Redemption
Author: Kipli
Email: kiplific
Fandom: Marvel's The Avengers 2012
Pairing: Tony Stark/Loki
Status: Complete
Rating: NC-17/M
Warnings: Light Hurt/Comfort. Light Angst. Fluffy happy endings.
Word Count: ~27,500
Summary: Set just after the film. Loki is banished from Asgard and stripped of his powers as punishment for his actions against Midgard. However even if Stark accepts being Loki's steward, can he manage to keep him safe from the Chitauri?
Disclaimer: Not my 'verse, I just play with them.
Beta: Pixelin & Mareel 3
Dedication: For Pixelin
Notes: First attempt in this fandom. I had been looking for something in character and properly full of fluff and a genuine relationship. When I didn't find exactly what I wanted, this happened. Leave it to Loki to tempt me into writing fic again. I never imagined I could pull off writing action adventure sequences. This fic has been such an intense ride to write. Please be kind, review, and hopefully enjoy!

"And what am I to do with you now, brother?" came Thor's booming voice.

The rock of a man stood with arms crossed. His tone was firm and direct, with more than a hint of anger and frustration, but there was a softness that he never seemed able to let go of when speaking with his brother. He cared for him, of that Loki was certain. The only reason he was here - back in his old quarters in Asgard and delicately perched upon the edge of the bed – was because of Thor. If not for this man he would be dead or the very least at the 'mercy' of SHIELD.

However, he rather wished he were dead at this point. He knew neither Thor nor Odin would kill him. He knew it was unlikely they would torture or harm him. He was instead likely faced with imprisonment, with little means of escape, for the rest of his natural life which was quite long indeed. He was in no mood for a lecture from Thor or the man's attempts at reaching him emotionally. Loki was mentally switched off. He was exhausted. He was deflated. He sat on the end of the bed with his legs folded in front of him staring at his hands in his lap, utterly oblivious to Thor as he went on and on about responsibility and trust, family and honor. He had no interest in discussing his reasons with Thor. He did not need to be lectured about the meaning of life from a man such as his so-called brother. Perhaps if Odin had come… but his 'father' had not seen him since his return. For the last week he has seen no one but Thor. Neither parent-that-would-call-him-son bothered to see him. The ostracization hurt more than he'd care to dwell on but truly what did he expect? This was not his home. These were not his people. The man prattling on was not his brother. He clenched his fists and let the anger and bitterness swell inside of him, focusing on it as a balm to his hurt pride.

"Do you even listen to me?" Thor demanded, picking his lean brother up off the bed by his shoulders.

Loki's gaze was rather bored and uninterested as it met Thor's eyes. "What do you want of me?"

Thor gave the man a shake and then tossed him back down onto the end of the bed. Loki merely bounced twice and collected himself. Thor bellowed at his nonplused brother, "I would have you speak! I would have you explain your heart and your mind. I would have you moved by what you have done and the pain you have inflicted not only on the people of Midgard but on your own honor and the honor of your family-"

Loki interrupted with a snide but soft spoken, "I have no family." Loki collected himself back into his previous position, folding his legs underneath himself as if he had not been manhandled by Thor.

"You are wrong. We do not disown you, not even now as you worked against us. You are and will forever be my brother. Nothing in all the realms will change this fact. I know you see slights from me and father but they are not as you imagine them to be."

Loki's gaze returned to his hands and he went quiet once more. He ignored Thor and his returning to the subject of family honor and ties. No words could change the fact that he was not Asgardian. He was not one of them. For this, and for so many reasons, he was not respected, not noticed, not treated as an equal. His bitterness swelled again but his inner musings were cut short as a few key words from Thor broke through to recognition. Loki's gaze jerked up as Thor continued on with a firm, suddenly decided tone, "Banishment is the only way to attempt to teach you humility and humanity. I fear leaving you here would only push you further into despair and misery and I cannot see my brotherlost to such dark thoughts forever. Father has chosen me to see to your punishment and I will carry on his wisdom."

The doors opened with a thunderous clap as two rows of guards marched within. Loki was instantly on his feet as the locked Tesseract was carried within his chambers. "Banishment?" he couldn't help but wonder, his now wide eyes looking to Thor.

Thor gave a grim nod as the guards came to an abrupt stop to his sides. He stepped forward to stand face to face with his brother. He spoke in a softer tone for Loki's ears only, "I learned much in my time as a mortal. You too will find your true path. I will not see you lock yourself away in your mind and grow mad over the years to come. I give you this chance, brother of mine. Redeem your honor. Reclaim your rightful Odinson name. Reform your heart and mind."

Loki could only stare with wide eyes at Thor. Banishment? All this time Thor had wanted nothing but to take Loki back home and now he was to be banished? Whatever was the reason for… Then his thoughts leapt forward and he exclaimed, "You will strip me of my powers." It was not a question.

Thor nodded all the same and reached to the Tesseract glowing blue beside them. "I give you one choice, brother. I will send you anywhere in all the realms but this one. Choose your fate wisely."

Loki's heart hammered in his chest. Banishment? Stripped of his abilities to protect himself? There was not a place in all the realms where he would be safe. The Chitauri were even now hunting him down for his failure. The Frost Giants would no more accept him than the Chitauri. Where could he possibly be safe but here locked away? He had not thought of this eventuality. He had not planned. He had not thought Thor or Odin so cruel. Do they not realize he will be hunted the moment he's banished?

Thor's look softened as he saw the flash of fear over his brother's features. "You are still my brother, Loki. They may look for you but they will not harm you." Then his tone turned hard as he added, "For long."

So he would have some protection from afar? Still there were other unpleasantries to consider. Lodging. Food. Safety from those not Chitauri. He had no friends, certainly none off realm.

"Your choice, Loki, or I will make it for you," Thor insisted. He placed a hand on the Tesseract and the other on Loki's chest, waiting to enact the spell.

What realm was there but Midgard? Yet he could not hope to hide there from SHIELD or any other malicious entities. Thor's watchful eye would make certain all would know where he was placed. They would come for him. So what if he went to them first? None of them could truly be trusted but he needed someone who would let him hide in peace. Well certainly he was not going to that big green behemoth. His muscles still ached from the pummeling. Romanoff and Barton would likely slit his throat the moment they glimpsed him. Rogers was the perfect little good soldier boy but if someone ordered him to hand Loki over he would do it in an instant. That would only leave...