Disclaimer: I do not own anything pertaining to The Avengers or any of its associations.

The cell was dank, damp with the water that seeped through the walls from the ground above it, and it made the air heavy and putrid. Loki had grown used to the feel of the wall sticking at his back, as he had known it for months now.

Despite the wetness, his throat was dry, as he was kept muzzled and starved as part of his imprisonment. It was meant to weaken him, both mentally and physically. Starvation was only torture for an immortal such as himself, not a means to kill him.

Perhaps physically it was effective, though Loki was restrained securely enough that he could not hope to test it. His arms were restrained by magically enforced bonds at his back, with only a short length of chain attaching it to the wall. His ankles were bound in the same fashion, though secured to the floor instead.

Though the God of Mischief's tongue was his greatest strength, the muzzle was pointless in his current position. His cell was very secluded, located in such high security that he had no hopes of a soul to manipulate.

In all of Asgard, the only person to make the effort to see him was his brother, Thor. If he could be called such a thing.

The door to his cell only had a small slit at eye level, but was otherwise a thick slab of magically sealed metal he had no hopes of escaping. Loki would hear only the faintest sound of a back coming to rest against the metal, and he would know Thor was on the other side of it.

Thor would often sit there in silence for a long time before speaking. He came only with one of two things, his anger or his guilt.

Today, when Loki heard his brother take his usual position at the door, his companion was his guilt.

''Our father sends his regrets that he has not come to see you,'' Thor said after a while. Inside his cell, Loki rolled his eyes. He had not seen Odin since the day of his trial by the Asgardian court. He knew that Thor pretending that Odin would care enough to even try to make the effort to see him, was more for his own benefit than Loki's.

''I am sorry I failed you, brother,'' Thor said. If Loki could speak, he would not have had a response. It was the same thing he said every time he came, a script he never broke from. Playing and fighting and growing together, and Thor had nothing more to say to him.

''Father is preparing himself for Odinsleep tonight,'' Thor stated suddenly. This was new information, and Loki's head rose from his chest in curiosity. ''I will presume the throne tomorrow.''

Instantly, Loki was filled with rage. It was hot and burning and liquid in his veins. But when he heard Thor stand from his position against the door, he was careful to mask his face when his brother looked at him through the observation slit.

''I cannot unmake our father's fate for you. This imprisonment, I do not think it wrong,'' Thor stated to him. His eyes, always so loving and sincere, met with his brother's. ''But it pains me to see you like this. I can change this, make this more comfortable...''

Loki turned his head away, feigning disappointment, though on the other side of the muzzle, a small smirk was playing on his lips.

''I am sorry, brother. But that is all that I can do. I will see you soon,'' Thor stated, and then he was gone.

Where Loki had seen no light at the end of his imprisonment, there was now an end in sight to it. His brother's weakness for him would result in his return to power, a fair price for him to pay for such a human trait.

Thor came later that night, a few hours after Odin had laid to rest, and brought with him a few Asgardians to help relocate Loki safely and with no incident.

But the few seconds that his restraints were removed to be replaced with ones suitable for transport were enough for him to act. In the confusion of the appearance of projections of himself, the guards fumbled over his restraints, and Loki was free.

It was only as the original form of himself shut the guards and Thor in his abandoned cell that he addressed his brother. He removed the muzzle from his mouth, and met Thor's eyes evenly through the observation slit as he dropped it to the ground.

''To make you king in Odin's place would be the gravest mistake of Asgard,'' Loki said, and though his voice was calm, the words held bite that tore at Thor's insides. ''I once envied your strength. But you are not strong anymore. The humans have taught you their pathetic ways, and you have brought yourself down to their lowly level.''

He started to turn away from the cell then, but then rethought and returned his gaze again to Thor's.

''Do not worry, brother. I will avenge you.''

Author's Note: I was so taken by this movie. I have seen all of the movies that led up to it, and I have read every Black Widow comic that I managed to get my hands on. I just started reading Marvel comics a few months prior to The Avengers, my knowledge is lacking, so please excuse any mistakes. I know my DC a lot better. I am totally in love with Black Widow (I even plan to cosplay her at Comic-Con this year) and after breaking my heart in Thor, and again in this movie, I have fallen head over heels for Loki. The pairing makes so much sense, it's hard to imagine it any other way. Please enjoy my story and review, I hope I do not disappoint ^_^.