AN: Hello! This is my first Avengers fanfic. I tried my best, but english is not my mother language, so please forgive any mistake. I tried really hard to write something good here and I hope you like it. :) Steve/Loki, future slash, some comedy, angst and romance.
This was beta'd by the lovely EsmeAmelia since I first published, some little changes, nothing major!
Disclaimer: I do not own nothing except for this very history.
It was strange, this new world... Almost evil. Not that the other was completely good, for he had learned that evilness lived inside of man, not outside. But still, it was a new, strange and cold world.
Even the words he spoke sounded somehow wrong and misplaced. In fact, he thought as he smiled to himself, that's exactly the perfect word. I'm misplaced. Holding the hot cup of coffee with both hands, he looked at himself in the drink's trembling surface.
Steve wasn't having very much work lately. None actually, since the Avengers were temporarily dismissed and sent to go live their lives until next necessity. But he had no life, no love, no friend and no other job and that left him very upset and unconfortable around himself. What good was a soldier for with no battle to fight? Hell, what good was a super soldier then?
"Thinking about the meaning of life and this stupid little world of yours?" He heard the sound across the kitchen and sighed, feeling mentally exhausted. For a moment Steve forgot that he was, yes, having a battle to fight - but within his walls with a now powerless but very much talking enemy.
"Why don't you try to guess, Loki?" he replied. May God forgive him, but he deeply regretted the moment he offered himself to care, teach and perhaps tame the now deprived of power and imortality Loki. Three days after he welcomed the now human, Steve was already craving for a chance of sending him back to Asgard or wherever he belonged.
Odin presumed it to be a cruel punishment and at the same time a valuable lesson to Loki to strip him of his powers and throw him at the Earth. "You shall learn what is pain, you shall learn what is fear, and I hope from the core of my heart this will teach you to respect the other worlds and to show propper gratitude to your family," Loki had cited upon his arrival, faking a thunder voice and then rolling his eyes.
Thor brought him, expecting that he would be the guardian of Loki, but the ex God of Mischief was quick to assure that he would manage to kill anyone in sight and even himself if he had to stay beside the "phony brother" and "useless godling," amongst other nasty titles.
"I despise you!" he said, spitting from his new human lips just a few inches away from Thor's face. "You are everything I most despise from the family who raised me, you are strong of body, weak of heart and deprived of wits! You are no better than this mediocre and small people, mayhaps worse. I hate you and I rather die the eternal death than live by your side, Thor."
Steve wasn't there but he could imagine how hurt the older god must have felt. A rejection not only from a friend, but from a brother... a blow from the one he helped raise and grew up with. Loki spent a whole week in a cell complaining about everything possible until Cap offered himself and his brand-new-given-by-the-S.H.I.E.L.D. apartment to accommodate and try to show to the Lord of Lies how it was being a human.
Apparently Loki wasn't enjoying himself very much.
"How can you all be so joyful if you go to sleep sore and waste a whole Earthly night sleeping, only to wake up even more tired and ailing?" The slim man streched himself, eyes closed, and moaned a moan that could be either of satisfaction or soreness. Something clenched in Steve's belly with that sound.
"It's the only way we know, Loki. No one ever gets to experience the feeling of self-sufficiency of a god." He blew his coffee a few seconds before sipping it and, noticing it was still too hot, giving a sided-look to Loki. He was still not used with the notions of his frail human body and his state of dress oscilated between "Canada winter" and "California summer." Canada winter was there at that moment, in the form of a sweat pants too big for his thin frame and three different sweaters covering his torso.
"I hate every single part of every single thing of all of this," the deprived god muttered, walking until he sat beside Steve. "The undermost feeling or sound of smell or object." The blond man seized Loki's arm so abruptely he spilled his own coffee down.
"I know it. Every single ear in two miles away know it by now, Loki, there's no need to repeat this endlessly. But that is all you have and will have until your father changes his mind, so you better get used to it and stop crying like a little baby over anything," Steve vented, looking seriously into those dark blue eyes. He would not suffer that much longer; even if he was willing, his mind would not cope with that all day long every day. The two days of infinite complaints proved it.
Loki seemed for the very first time frightened; for a glimpse of second, a blink of an eye, until he would recompose himself. Steve returned to his mind completely and let the other man's arm go, looking down and realized the mess he had made. The dark liquid was spilled all over Loki's thighs and in the space of couch that was between them.
"I'm sorry, go change your pants while I clean it..." he mumbled, putting his cup on the little table in front of him and standing. Loki didn't move, staring his lap idly. "What's wrong?"
"The black water, coffee, you say... It hurts. It hurts differently now from the beginning but it still hurts. It is a quite unpleasant feeling." Something inside Steve's chest sank.
"Oh God, it burned you, Loki... The coffee burned your legs, I'm sorry. Get up and come to the shower." Before Loki stood up, Steve was already dragging him into the bathroom feeling like the worst person in the whole city. State, perhaps.
He grew so impatient that he accidentally hurt the one he should help and protect. What an idiot, idiot, he thought, you scared him and burned him all at the same time. You can hurt him much more than he can hurt you now, you idiot.
"Are you ok?" Steve asked, placing an apathethic Loki near the shower. He shook his shoulders.
"Yes, I suppose, it is bearable." But as he looked up to answer he allowed the soldier to see his eyes full of tears. Steve pulled his pants down at once, making him flinch, opened the shower until the water ran cold, and held tightly to Loki's arm.
"Put your thigh under the water, first the most burned." Loki obeyed, thinking that it was all too strange for his liking.
"I believe it is not so-ARGH!" His hands clenched Steve's arm. "Damned hells, it hurts more! It is worse! Stop it!"
"Keep it there! Or it will hurt more later!" The blond man had to struggle to keep Loki in his place for a few moments, dominating the weaker man soon. His own legs and feet were being soaked in the process. "Now the other leg, Loki."
"I HATE YOU!" Loki screamed like a little child, twitching insanely. "You hurt me, you demented . . . You shall pay for this!"
"I'm sorry!" Steve replied full of remorse. "I never meant it, Loki, it was an accident! Now I'm trying to keep it from getting worse, that's all..."
"I'll crush you like a little bug when I recover my powers, you stupid little useless human." They were breathing heavily and Steve chose to not answer that anymore. It wouldn't take them anywhere, he would not be able to change the accident and Loki would not forgive him so soon.
"At the moment you are just as human as me," he finally said, several minutes later, closing the stream of water and taking his own soaked pants off. Loki stared him red-faced, disheveled and breathless. "Sit." Steve asked, pointing to the toilet. Loki obeyed angrily, starting to shake. It was a hideous feeling, being human.
Running to his bedroom, Steve fetched two towels and two new sweaters to replace the wet ones on Loki's body. Back in the bathroom, the destitute god stripped quickly and put the dry clothing. Steve squatted down and proceed to dry Loki's feet and lower legs silently.
"Now you bow to me?" Loki spoke, looking at the blond with a little twisted smile in his lips. Steve didn'to knew if that was supposed to be good.
"I'm trying to..." he finished and stood up again, throwing the towel away. "...well, amend what I did."
The little smile dissapeared and only Loki's dark blue eyes staring at Steve stood in their place. Cold and confused, they seemed, even lost. The eyes of someone who doesn't know where he belongs, whom he's to love, what he's to do next, where's his real place. Eyes of someone lost in the wilderness of all the dimensions, times and worlds. The sad eyes of a misplaced man.
Next thing Steve knew Loki's fist knocked his mouth.
"Yeah, that was a wonderful idea. Now instead of burned legs, you have burned legs and a hurt hand."
"It was certainly worth it," Loki replied casually, almost smiling. He made a ridiculous picture sitting in the clean space of couch with his legs nude, his chest all clothed and a hand under a bag of frozen peas, but the other man could not laugh at it.
"I said I'm sorry and I am, honestly. I would never hurt you for fun or something like that." Steve took a deep breath before replacing the bag of frozen french fries over his lips. Loki raised a single eyebrown, never breaking eye contact.
"Which means if you needed to, you would?"
"Of course, if you were to become a threat." Steve took the bag away to answer. "But do not even think of provoking me to cause a fight because it won't happen."
"I barely tried and already took you off your balance, annoying you with silly words, you handsome but weak human."
Steve blushed. At the same second he hated himself for doing so and Loki laughed out loud.
"Oh, have we a blushing maiden here?" the pale man joked. "I heard tales of your honor and honesty, but I thought that intercourse after formal wed was an obsolete tradition amongst humans."
Shut up, just shut up, Steve asked mentally, feeling his face and neck burn. Shut up, you nosey!
"Beg your pardon, how insensitive I was. I forgot you are an obsolete man, Captain. Which leads me to another enormous doubt: if you do not amuse yourself with one of the few things truly amusing for animals, how you stand this boring and unbearable Earthling life?"
"There's a lot of nice things to do," the other replied, trying to look calm and secure. In fact, he didn't do anything amusing ever, and that was indeed awkward. "There's television, movies, music, some people enjoy different foods. There's games and internet as well but I'm not familiar with it." Steve was lying, pure and straight, for he didn't go to see movies, disliked television, didn't understand modern music - the only true part was the food one. That he enjoyed.
"Hm, not much interesting. I was right, then. No intercourse, Captain?" Loki asked again, smiling wickedly. Steve gulped, feeling the rubor return, and stood silent. He knew the other man was just trying to tease him; he was widely known for his pleasure of making quarrels. But I will not fall for it.
"This is not of your concern."
Silence. That damned smile was still in Loki's face and eyes.
"What do you think of going out and trying different types of food?" Steve asked, willing to change the subject. It would be good to actually do something fun and get out of that apartment, even if Loki was going to be his companion. And he would see different people and experience different things instead of staying on the couch all day and whining about his new life.
"As long as none of them burn me, I agree. Eating was seldom my favorite activity, as it was not often necessary, but this human entrail needs constant feeding. Too constantly for my liking, in fact..."
"Everything now on will not be of your liking and you will have to accept it. I know it may be hard, but it's not a choice," Steve replied sadly, staring at Loki's tights. Pale and somewhat muscular, but thin as every other part of his body, with two big red stains. He felt like the Hulk compared to the small man.
"I will not remain in this situation for long. And you must-"
"For how much time will you remain human, Loki?" The blond interruped him. Loki seemed deeply ofended.
"How dare you... I-I know not such thing."
"Then you can't say it will be a few weeks. It may be months. Well, it may be years." Loki frowned and crossed his arms, forgetting the little bag of frozen peas. Steve couldn't help but smirk.
"It shan't be years. It shan't take too long."
"Won't it take at least enough time for you to learn to respect humans and other species and valorize your family?" The black haired men gulped in silence, staring at him with hatred. Steve smiled, almost laughing. "It may take a whole century, from my point of view."
Loki stood up and walked away into the bedroom. "Can we simply go to the place where the food will be served?" he asked, his voice fading with the distance. Steve waited for him to put on some proper clothes and Loki reappeared dressed all in black. The few clothes the S.H.I.E.L.D. had provided for him were all ill fitting, too large or to small for his thin and tall body. Still, the black clothing suited him. Then it was Steve's time to go change himself.
Loki sat on the chair that Steve previsouly occupied, putting his hands on the armrest. It was amusing, that Man Out of Time, and would be even more if he never learned how to ignore his teasings. Loki was indeed worried with the amount of time that might take for him to fool the lackwit Odin and regain his power, but he would never admit it loudly.
Steve reminded him of Thor, and that was intensely irritating, though he lacked the arrogance at least. It should not take long until Loki gained the ability to manipulate the super soldier into thinking he has reset his beliefs, but the dark haired man knew any abrupt change would be faced with suspicion. Anyhow, he thought, this human will trust my change when the time is right, and Thor and Odin must follow then. He would not suffer being a mere human for long.
Steve didn't take long to show up at the small livingroom, wearing what seemed to be his unique outfit: white plain shirt and blue jeans. Even the human dressing ways were boring to the eyes of the ex-god.
"Do you have a preference regarding food?" the blond man asked, getting his wallet and keys, and Loki stood up supressing a grimace. The fabric of the pants felt rough against his burned skin.
"I am yet learning how to cope with this new organism and in the cell where I was locked they fed me scraps. I would like a food that is not likely to harm or unbalance me in any way but feels somewhat good."
"Taste," Steve told him nicely. "The food tastes good, not feels. At least nowadays." Loki shook his shoulders again. "The English spoken in here is different and it's different even from what was spoken in my time."
"I believe I have not a fully apropriated instructor then," Loki smiled mean again. "How can I learn the tricks of your world if you do not understand them yourself?"
That hurt, Steve knew, that caught him right in his weeping wound. Nevertheless, he would not give Loki this pleasure and focused in the fact that he was supposed to help and soften that troublemaker.
"Most of the people who fully understand are impatient and arrogant, two things I dislike. I'm sure it will be better if we learn the details about this new generation together." His face was neutral but his clear eyes were almost kind, even hopeful. "And I'm completely sure that it will work out better if we try to do that peacefully."
Dear lord, Loki thought, he truly believes this nonsense. The fact left him without any good answer, gentle or sordid, to give. As Steve opened the door Loki simply followed him and waited.
"This is the first time you are going to the street after your... Change, isn't it?" he asked, walking into the corridor.
"I still remember what a city street looks like, Captain," Loki replied bored. He was not a baby, he would not accept to be treated like one and that imbecile would have to understand it.
"God, look at what you are doing..." Steve said laughing honestly, a rare scene in fact.
"Does not matter! This is delicious," Loki replied with his mouth full of lasagna. Yes, it was indeed delicious, but still Steve was eating the same dish and he han't stained all of his chin and shirt with tomato sauce. He though Loki would be classier than that but he was funnier that way. The thin man even tried to keep himself superior at the beginning of the lunch but apparently gave up at some point.
"I know, right? Italian food is simply great. Soon the waitress will arrive with the cannelloni." Steve felt grateful that Loki was wearing black. His own shirt would be a complete mess if he had not stucked his napkin into his collar. Italian food was not completely strange to him in the past but it soon became one of his favorite things.
"This is beyond great, Captain... It provides me such a sense of contentment and fullness. I was not even aware I needed this food so," Loki moaned low when he was chewing and that sound made Steve slightly unconfortable, even though no one else could hear it.
Loki was himself surprised. Asgardian food was good in its own way but he had never felt that taste and that overwhelming need of eating. The pleasure from doing so was actually surprising and he believed expressing it would made him look more comfortable with the notion of being human in Rogers' eyes.
"That 'need of fullness' is constant in normal people. I don't have it so constantly but I still have to eat good amounts and I enjoy doing so. And please, stop calling me Captain all the time," Steve asked, finishing his own lasagna.
"By what should I call you? Captain is your title." It was hard to understand precisely with the food moving in Loki's mouth but the other man managed it.
"My name. Steve. It can't be that hard." Loki chewed and moaned, swallowed with his eyes closed and stood like that a few moments, considering. His cheeks where starting to get pink.
"Steve. Is this place warmer?" He opened his eyes and stared the blond men. "For I am feeling quite hot."
If that was supposed to be a joke or not, Steve was definitely not sure. But the pink in Loki's face were starting to match the little drops of sweat in his pale forehead. The waitress appeared suddenly with the second order.
"Here is your cannelloni, sir." She placed a big platter and put over the table a rectangular bowl with the little rolls of pasta, cheese, meat and tomato sauce all over it.
"Can you please bring some cold water?" Steve asked worried. Loki was clinging to his own collar and trying to push it away from his neck unconfortably. The waitress nodded and turned her back.
"It may be the food. It may be just you," he said to Loki, trying to transmit security. The other man nodded too and dried his forehead with the sleeve of his blouse.
"I would feel much better with no clothing on," Loki said honestly. He was not used to the changes of temperature of this awkward and weak body.
"You can't do it here, not inside, and it's not polite to take off your shirt in public." The waitress was soon back and the ex-god drank the water as if it were the first glass of his life. Steve asked her to pack the untouched dish and to bring the bill. "We are going home. The burns may also have affected your body temperature."
"Wonderful." Loki smashed the glass on the table, atracting some attention. He forgot for a minute about his burns and his housemate's stupidity. The food was so pleasant he forgot everything else and now it had returned to him as a dark rainy cloud over his head.
They were soon back to the apartment and Steve told him to take another shower, a cold one, preferably. As Loki went into the bathroom he took off his own shirt and stared at the noisy street through the window. At the sidewalk he saw two young women holding hands in front of a store showcase; one of them pointed at something and giggled, and the other held her face kindly and kissed her on the lips.
It was strange, this new world. But it seemed like it could be a little better with a companion.
Next chapter should not take long to come out. Let a review for a needy ficwriter, please?