[Author Note/Warning: Attempted suicide in the prologue ONLY. All of my knowledge of the Avengers comes from the movies and what information I have gathered on the internet. This is set in the movie-verse with an AU twist after I spent a day thinking 'What would happen if Loki didn't go completely bat-shit when he fell from the Bifrost?' And then proceeded to spend two hours in the FrostIron tag on tumblr. There are dabbling of information from norse mythology and the comic books as well, but only where the holes needed to be filled in. Otherwise it's all movie-verse. A big thank you to Josh, Rei, and ElrueFaerie for all their support and encouragement as this story took over my life for the past few weeks and caused me to see the movie 4 times for notes... *cough*

There is torture at the end of chapter seven. It's not too much, but it is somewhat graphic and can be skipped if you are so inclined. However, you will miss a few points on Aiden's character and a realization on Loki's part.

DISCLAIMER: I do not own The Avengers, its characters, or it's backstory. This is not for Profit, I just like to write.]

Prologue

~~~/~~~/~~~

Loki's teeth clenched in determination, one hand clutching his bloody side as his feet pounded beneath him, running across the chunks of floating rocks and jumping from cluster to cluster. The deranged creatures, the Chitauri, were after his blood, his head. Or worse, they planned to drag him back to their leader's little messenger, the masked six-fingered freak, the Other.

The fall into the abyss had been unpleasant at best, but it had put certain things into perspective. He had been power-hungry. He realized that now. First his plan had worked and he was proven right that Thor was not ready for the throne, but it all came crashing down around him when his heritage was discovered, crushing any hope that he could measure up to his brother like a normal sibling. Then to be so nicely handed the throne of Asgard barely a moment later and given all the power but none of the respect had been the last straw of his sanity. The realization that he had gone a touch bat-shit didn't change what Odin had done to him by keeping him as some horrific creature forever destined to stand in his so-called brother's shadow. No, he would still not forgive them their trespasses, but he realized that the attempted genocide of his own people (however much he hated them) was just as wrong as Thor said it was.

A shot from the Chitauri's energy weapons to his left jarred him from his thoughts and made him shift instinctively, but instead of moving to the next cluster (an obvious move), he shifted his center of gravity and slid under the rock he had been on and dropped down to the one below.

When he had landed in this barren gathering of rocks he had thought the Other and his animalistic people as barely a threat. He could wipe them out quickly and easily. He had done little to fight them when then came to where he had landed, thus he had been taken for a bit of healing before the Other had made his intentions known.

~~~/~~~/~~~

Aiden Christiansen looked up at the sky, the beautiful blue sky of New York City, New York. He had come to the big city, where his Aunt Helena lived in hopes that it would make the pain a little bit less. The pain of loss. His wife and his daughter, lost to what the authorities were calling a terrorist attack. But he knew better, he was there. The suit had seemed made of metal and molten lava and it had leveled their little town in New Mexico and vaporized his wife and daughter. Yes, vaporized. He had watched them die while he had gotten 'lucky' and had been shot back into the fridge of his restaurant.

Lucky. He about punched the government official that had told him that. If he had been lucky then he would have been able to protect them. Instead, he was just a pathetic human, nothing special. He didn't want anything more to do with this world if it meant that he was stuck here with no possible way to avenge them, to kill whoever had sent that thing, to torment them as he was tormented now. He stepped up on the ledge, dark hair moving lightly across his face as his blue eyes looked down at the cars moving twenty floors below.

~~~/~~~/~~~

He nearly stumbled on the next landing but managed to keep it together, he needed to create the portal just right. It couldn't be open long enough for them to try to get through after him; it had to be small so only he could get through, no extras. He gripped his side tighter, his fingers just barely holding onto the magic suppressor to keep it from activating all the way. The Other had stabbed it into his side just before his escape as a way of making him easier to… handle. He couldn't hold out much longer though, so he was just going to need to chance it. With a movement and a few words he propelled himself off the next bit of rock and straight into a portal bound for Earth.

The moment of free falling that followed allowed his mind to glance back at what had made him run. The Other had shown him the army, a vast force just waiting to take up arms to destroy the Earth and reduce it to nothing but a barren wasteland. Sure, he didn't particularly like humans, he thought they were pathetic and for the most part easily manipulated, but he didn't want them wiped out. The Other had offered him the lead, to take their forces and use them to destroy and enslave the humans that had taken his brother from him, before moving to take back Asgard. He had refused. Then the torture had begun.

~~~/~~~/~~~

Aiden let his arms fan out and he sighed softly at the feel of the chilled fall air across his body, rolling over him and wrapping around him before moving on. It felt good up here, like nothing could touch him. He felt free of the shackles of being human and the pain it brought. Tears brimmed at his eyes as he thought about seeing Melony and Chelsea again, after stealing them from him surely the after-life would not deny him seeing them again.

Looking down he took a deep breath and leaned forward once… Then back. Then again, and this time he didn't go back. He fell forward, the free fall took his breath away and he clung to the thought that this world would be that much better with one less weak little man in it.

~~~/~~~/~~~

Loki gasped as he came through the other side of the portal and the street of concrete and people came rushing up at him. With the last of his available magic, most of it being tucked away by the inhibitor he could no longer stop, he slowed his fall. He staggered as he landed, wincing at the strain it put on his right leg that had already been weakened by a blow to the knee, but stayed upright. He ignored the humans gasping and quibbling around him and staggered away. He shoved a man aside and quickly moved out of the crowd and limped around the corner of an alleyway before slumping just long enough to get his breath and bearings.

~~~/~~~/~~~

Aiden landed and gave a cry of pain, his head colliding against the ground with a sickening thunk and his left arm, ribs, and right leg screaming at him. His world spun out of control but one thought did register; if he could feel pain, he was still alive. He almost cried just because of that. His only thought was to get up and go back up, to try again. He got to a seated position after some time, pain thrumming through him, before he opened his eyes and froze.

This was not New York. Fuck, this wasn't earth! It looked like he was in space, the blackened sky encircling him and stars flickering brightly. He gasped for breath and tried to turn. Too quick, he swayed, but caught himself on his good arm as his vision sloshed about. He swallowed down the bile in his throat and looked up as a shadow fell over him. He stared in shock and disbelief, unable to speak or move at the creature that tilted its head at him.

The masked face looked him over before a toothy, terrifying smile moved over the pale lips and a hissing voice said, "You will do."

He blacked out at that point.

~~~/~~~/~~~

Loki groaned as fingers pressed into the wound on his left side where the suppressor had been stabbed, then wrenched back with a cry of pain. So far all his attempts at removing the device had resulted in burns, cuts, sharp loss of his abilities that reduced him to an almost human state, and electric shocks that made his body twist in pain. He growled in frustration and forced himself to pull his hand away and leave it alone. The inhibitor wasn't going anywhere, not now at least, and he needed connections. He needed a place to stay, people. He grit his teeth and closed his eyes tightly. He was actually going to have to rely on the pathetic humans of this world.

He didn't have a choice though. So if he was going to find the tesseract, he would make sure the ones he was forced to rely on at least worshiped him, and owed him a debt or several. Straightening himself he cast a light spell to clean away the majority of the blood and conjured something to place in the wound for the time being. He would heal it over once he had a warded building secured. He had left one in Norway some time ago, along with a certain Norwegian gentleman. With a slanted grin he twisted his hand and was teleported away from the glittering light of New York and to the ice-covered region.