Summary: It was only three weeks into the new academic year at Bifrost University, and Thor Odinson had already lost his brother. What were his parents going to say?
A/N: Okay, this is just a sneak preview for a much longer University AU with all the Avengers characters. It will probably be Tony/Loki, and it will be posted soon. Look out for it!
A young man, around nineteen years old with dark brown hair falling down to his shoulders, walked purposefully through the crowd of other students around him. He had to get to his room soon, so that he could start on that paper he had to do. Nine pages long, too. Bloody lecturers.
He heard vague shouts behind him, as well as irritable complaints and muttered threats. Probably just some fresher late for a lecture.
"Loki!" A voice boomed from behind him as a hand clamped down on his shoulder. He whipped round, and struggled to keep his mouth closed. Standing there was a huge man -easily a whole head taller than him- with tangled blond hair and a relieved expression that slowly turned suspicious the longer he stared at him.
"You are not Loki." The giant said, his tone confused.
"Um…no?" He was trying not to offend the man who looked like he could probably snap him into many pieces without much effort.
"Why are you not Loki?" He had no answer to that one, so thought it best to simply stare at the blond, bewildered. The man, who looked like some sort of Saxon invader, frowned for a moment before shoving past him swiftly.
His head snapped around, just in time to see the man grab someone else, this time with shorter black hair, and give him a cursory glance, before shaking his head and hurrying on.
"Loki! Where are you, brother? Looookiiii!" His yells echoed down the corridor.
He blinked, slowly. That had been unexpected.
"Loki!" Thor cried joyfully as he skidded around a corner.
The couple who had recently been engaged in very intimate relations against a wall looked at him, both angry and bemused. But more bemused. The rest of the corridor was empty.
Thor blushed a bright shade of crimson. "You, err…haven't seen my brother, have you? Quite tall, black hair, black greatcoat?" The silence continued. He coughed uncomfortably. "Clearly you haven't. Sorry about that. I'll just… be on my way then."
He coughed again, and hurried away. Never again would he rush around a corner unless first making sure exactly what was there.
He took back that promise a couple of days later, after he had been given strange looks and eventually dragged to the counselor by some worried yearmates. Which was ridiculous. Peeking suspiciously around corners before advancing was most definitely not a sign of paranoia.
"…and so, as we can see, this account clearly shows the importance that the ceremonial mead played in the – Odinson, what are you doing?"
Heads turned. Thor Odinson was standing with his hands flat on the window, gazing out of it with an intensity rarely found when one was looking out onto an empty courtyard.
"Odinson…?" The lecturer's tentative enquiry was ignored.
Thor's eyes narrowed, then widened again. He bolted out of the classroom, shouting loud enough to bring curious heads out of the surrounding rooms.
"You stay in that tree, brother! I will get you down! Stay there, Loki!"
His classmates were left staring at the swinging door. Five minutes later he returned, head hanging dejectedly. His brother had been gone by the time he had reached the tree.
"Hey, hey Thor! Look at this great photo I just took!" Clint ran up to him, grinning and waving the camera around wildly. Thor wasn't an expert on technology, but even he was pretty sure it wouldn't survive if it was thrown that far. Clint could throw far. This he knew.
He took a look at the picture. It was nice, of Phil (he tried not to call him 'Son of Coul' because he wasn't sure anyone appreciated the joke anymore) and Natasha and Darcy and Jane, all lined up with their arms around each other. Their expression varied, but the overall picture was good, even if Natasha did look like she wanted to kill people. They were standing with their backs to the building, and he could see other people in the background. And in the corner, smirking from a distance, was…
"LOKI?" Thor's yell made Clint yelp (No! It was a shout! He would never be so unmanly!) and almost fall over as Thor pushed past him.
"Jesus Christ!" He grumbled, picking himself up. "I hope that wherever 'Low-key' is, he's thinking of the poor victims of Thor's abuse in his chase for him."
Thor's shouts faded into the distance. "Why do you run from me, brother?"
People were giving him strange looks as he walked past them, but Thor didn't care. He could hum if he wanted to! There was no law against it. And he knew. Before he had gone to Bifrost he had made his brother check up on all the local rules and laws, both on and off campus, to see if there were any ridiculous ones, like against humming. Or eating Cornish pasties on a Tuesday. Or drinking at a public water fountain if you had eaten onions in the past 36 hours. That last one made sense, but it was still annoying. Everyone in Thor's family liked onions.
Yeah. People stared when you hummed and occasionally broke into song. About tomatoes. So what if he liked tomatoes? This place was so judgmental. God. And he was walking past street performers, too! How come people didn't look weirded out when they saw human statues, but they did when they saw blond university students (at least 6'5") walking past singing about tomatoes and carrying a huge bag of red meat? Steve said they were going to have a barbecue.
The human statues were cool, though. They were all in grey clothing and they had painted their skin as well, and were standing absolutely still. Thor could never stand that still. He was a little way past them at this point, but he was still thinking of them. The second one had been really big, almost as big as Thor himself, and he wondered if he played sport. The fourth and fifth had been particularly still, but the seventh had trembled slightly, and the last one had looked like his brother. Wait…
The bag of meat fell to the floor with a wet squelch as Thor bolted back down the street.
Thor sat on the river bank, his arms resting on his knees and his head hanging glumly. He still couldn't find his brother. It had been an entire month. He would have to tell his parents soon. He had managed to put it off so far by saying that Loki was busy whenever they conversed on Skype, but that wouldn't work for much longer. They were going to be so angry. Hell, Thor was angry at himself! He was supposed to look after his little brother, not lose him! He sighed bitterly. He was an awful big brother.
The day was beautiful as well, as if to mock him. The birds were singing cheerfully, the water swirled lazily, the willows tumbled off the bank, the kingfishers swooped around and Loki punted down the river in a small green boat.
"Mmm?" Thor looked up from his massive plate of food at Darcy, who was staring across the courtyard at someone over by the science block.
"Is that... No, it couldn't be."
"It's just...that guy kind of matches your description of your brother."
Thor sighed. "Darcy, I have searched all over campus for him. If he was here, I would have found him by now."
"I know, I know, but..."
"For God's sake..." Once something caught Darcy's interest, she was like a dog with a bone. Thor turned to look at the figure she had indicated. Actually, it did look quite like Loki. Okay, a lot like Loki. But Loki wasn't here, he'd looked all over the university...
Thor stuffed the last of his hamburger into his mouth and stood up. No harm in trying. He just wouldn't be so...enthusiastic about it this time.
He headed over to where the guy was standing. He did look remarkably like Loki - tall and lanky, with long dark hair, leaning nonchalantly against the wall in exactly the same way his little brother did. But Thor firmly refused to get his hopes up, for fear of being disappointed yet again.
"Um, excuse me?" He tapped on the student's shoulder, careful not to be too rough. His mother had always said when he was little that he didn't know his own strength; something that had often resulted in Loki gaining a few bruises. Luckily, his brother had soon learnt to slip out of his grasp like a little snake. Just like he'd done this time.
"Hi, I was just wondering if..." But that was as far as Thor got before the guy turned around.
"LOOOOKIIIIIIII!" Thor threw his arms around his little brother and squeezed him tight in a crushing bear hug. Loki struggled to breathe and nearly asphyxiated before Thor finally released him, his broad grin fading to a look of chastisement, and launched into a veritable torrent of words.
"Oh my God Loki don't ever do that to me again I was so scared what would I have told Mum and Dad why did you wander off I spent like a month looking for you also I made some new friends but that's not important now what is important is that you're safe and you're never ever going to - Loki?"
Loki was doubled over, tears practically streaming down his face as he laughed. Thor stood there, bemused, for half a minute until Loki composed himself and straightened up. The two brothers looked at each other in silence for a moment.
"Mm? What is it?"
"Isn't that Thor chasing after the weird guy who lives in the attic?"
Darcy followed the line of Jane's pointing finger and abruptly dropped her sandwich. "Oh my God. That is the funniest thing I have seen all week. Look at their hair flying in the wind! It's like Loréal Bifrost. Guys, come look at this!"
The others all gathered round to watch Loki sprinting as fast as his legs would carry him away from his big brother, who was shouting so many different expletives that Darcy was surprised the air hadn't turned blue.
So yeah. Look out for the longer fic. Coming soon.