It was a quiet evening in the tower, everyone settling down after dinner, when there was very suddenly, and loudly, a crash somewhere in the mansion. It was sadly becoming almost routine and he didn't need Jarvis to tell him that Thor had arrived.
They moved to their feet, a little wary, and just to be safe Tony firmly pushed Loki back so he was partially hidden, and ignored his glare. They waited… and waited but finally the big blonde horse (which Tony had picked up calling him, and he entirely had Loki to blame for that) came through the door, looking much too excited, "My friends!"
The tone was so loud, so happy that Tony couldn't help being aggravated. "Thor, not that we aren't glad to see you but you're a little late to the party." Tony rubbed the back of his head, wincing, and did his best to look annoyed. Another door demolished. "Where have you been?" Eleven days since Loki had come back to the mansion safe, and it had been harder and harder to dissuade Loki from worrying about Thor, about wondering where he was.
Thor's eyes scanned the room, relieved when they landed on Loki unharmed, but then they turned back to Tony. "I do apologize for my absence, it was… unavoidable."
Loki didn't entirely like that, how quickly he was dismissed. It wasn't as if Thor had missed dinner, he had refused to come back as Loki was tortured. He moved forward to Tony's side, "I was in danger." It hadn't been was he had planned to say, he hadn't meant to sound so needy, though his embarrassment was eased when it caused Tony to shift his body, wrapping an arm around him and pulling him in closer. He tried again, "What was so important that you couldn't come save me. Again."
Thor's face softened and he stepped forward, and before Loki could stop him he was pulled him out of Tony's embrace, his face shoved against Thor's massive chest and hugged tight enough that he couldn't breathe. He let it go on for a few moments before trying to push away, a little lightheaded. Thor let him go all at once and he stumbled, but his brother was there to catch him, a fond smile on his lips. "I forget that you are human now." The amusement slid off and he looked serious, though he again looked over Loki to Tony, "It was for his safety that I could not return."
Tony noticed the pattern too and tilted his head towards Loki, "Tell him, not me." Though he wanted to know what was going on, wanted to control the conversation the grateful look he got from Loki was fairly rare and more than worth it. Thor nodded and dropped his hands on to Loki's shoulders, voice lower, and everyone moved in closer to hear. "Brother, when I arrived back on Asgard the Chitauri were there, they were demanding you as their prisoner."
He backpedalled away from Thor, breathing speeding up in something close to a panic attack, but Tony was there to pull him close and calm him. His voice came out in a squeak, "The Chitauri?"
"Odin told them that he had stripped you of your powers and banished you." He had been looking at his hands but looked up to meet Loki's eyes, "He told them he did not know where you had been sent to and that we had no information about where you are now. They were very agitated and threatened war. Still he did not tell them that he sent you to Earth."
It meant more than the words and Loki could feel a lump in his throat that he struggled to ignore, "He'd risk an attack on Asgard to protect me?"
"He did risk an attack to protect you. He was able to convince them that we did not have any idea where you were, I could not leave because it would have given away your location, so I was forced to stay in Asgard to defend it if need be and to protect you."
It was Clint that finally stepped in, "So does that mean they can't find him either?"
"Yes, father believes that they were able to track and find Loki based on his magical signature and when he took away his magic they were no longer able to see him."
For a moment, a brief moment there was a sharp shock of joy, that meant that the Chitauri had no idea where he was, had very little chance of tracking him down, but it only took a few moments for it to sink it what it really meant. Tony apparently understood too because he reached out, and spoke quickly, "It's okay Loki."
He needed to hear it though, and he knew that his voice begged Thor to tell him different, "So I can't ever had my magic again, they will be able to find me?"
"I believe so brother. Your attack on Earth attracted a lot of attention, and not just from the Chitauri. Father… father implied that until the Chitauri threat could be understood and removed it would be for the best if you remained… where you were."
Natasha made a small sound of acknowledgment. "He knows where he is."
"I believe so. When I returned … I told our mother Loki's whereabouts. I believe I was not as discrete as I thought and he … overheard."
Clint let out a whistle, "Fairly big risk to take."
Loki was already shaking his head, "He truly believes that Odin will not harm me, or wish harm to come to me."
"I believe that because it is true."
It was obviously an old fight but after a moment both brothers seem to let it go and Thor nodded. "So Loki is to stay here on Earth, as he is, until the Chitauri can be dealt with." He tilted his head imploringly, "Stark, I wish to stay in the tower if that is not a problem."
"You're staying here too?"
"Of course brother."
It was almost a heartwarming moment and of all the people to ruin it, Tony would never have expected it to be Steve. His voice as hesitant, but concerned. "So I hate to bring this up but… if it wasn't the Chitauri that were hiding him from being seen from Asgard… who was it?"
It didn't need to be said but into the following silence Tony added the other question that everyone was thinking, he his voice heavy with apprehension, "And are they an enemy or friend?"
Morgan Le Fay wasn't surprised that Doom had sought out Loki, he was, or at least had been a powerful sorcerer and he called to others that wielded magic. She did find it mildly interesting that he had somehow ended up with Earth's warriors, but at least they would increase the chances he would survive. It had been easy to hide him from Asgard, and Heimdall had been more than willing to turn a blind eye to the trickster god's suffering on Earth. She had plans for Loki and they didn't work if he was dead. Powerless he was of no interest to her but someday he would do magic again and then… and then he just might be useful.
Author's Note – That's all that there is, there is no more! Hope you guys enjoyed it!