Author Note: Hello, dear readers. Please allow me to begin by saying that this is not your average Loki fic. It is backwards, honestly. We start out with gentleman Loki and will eventually get God of Evil Loki. Even when he is "human" he will have his personality quirks, but he's more mischievous than evil overlord. Pairing him with an OC may also not be the most popular of decisions, but in this circumstance, I really feel like there is little other choice.

The title will make sense later. Especially if you listen to the song by the Gaslight Anthem of the same name.

This is just the intro, setting the stage and all that. Next chapter will be longer!

Enjoy! Please R&R!

Disclaimer: I do not own anything. Loki, Thor, The Avengers, etc all belong to Marvel. I only own Alice (and you won't meet her until the next chapter).


Punishment.

The word greeted Loki the moment he was taken from Stark tower. It followed him through time and space, through the abyss, and finally came to echo off the walls of his Asgardian prison. Nothing seemed quite cruel enough a fate for the God of Mischief. It made Loki smirk every time he heard them debating. For each plan they began to make, he easily thought of an escape. After all, the God of Mischief was nothing if not cunning. He had little worry that he would be able to outwit them all and avoid any punishment they threw at him.

That is, until his actual sentencing. On that day, he was sat in front of the High Council of Asgard, who were all seated behind their tall golden table, his once-father sitting proudest and tallest on his chair of honor. And yet, under that proud exterior, Loki could tell Odin was cringing at the thought of having to publicly embarrass his family like this. This brought a certain bit of pride to Loki, and Odin saw it.

Good, he thought. Let him see what he has made me, and the power I have gained without the help of the "great" Odin.

Loki was made to kneel before the counsel at his brother's hand, as if he were inferior to these gutless elders. He could overthrow them in mere minutes given the proper means. However, he had no time to dwell on such things, as Odin had just cleared his throat, preparing to sentence his adopted son to whatever "punishment" the council had come up with.

A bit of shifting earned Loki a tight squeeze to the shoulder from his brother- no, not his brother. They had never been brothers.

"It will be alright brother," Thor promised. "After you are punished you will be welcomed back to Asgard. We will have a royal feast…be a family again."

"Your dreams of family are all for naught," Loki hissed. "We were never a family. I was simply your shadow."

Thor's face darkened, but he did not have a chance to retaliate as Odin began to speak.

"Loki of Asgard," Odin began, only to be cut off by a snort from Loki. Glowering down at the dark haired boy, Odin continued. "Loki of Asgard, the council has come to a decision as to what punishment you shall receive for your heinous crimes against both Asgard and Midgard."

Smirking, Loki looked up at the elders with his chin held high. What was the worst they could do? Banish him? As if that would matter. He supposed they could strip him of his power, as his father had done to Thor, but he would still know who he was, his birthright to rule all the pathetic humans of Midgard, and no matter where he was banished to, Loki knew he could find a way to regain his power.

"As punishment for such," the All-Father went on, you will be stripped of your power, your memories will be taken, and you shall be forced to live on Earth as a mortal. You will have no recollection of ever being Loki of Asgard…or my son."

That, Loki had to admit, he was not expecting. He had no out for that.

"Father!" Thor objected. "Father you cannot do this. He is my brother!"

But Odin was having none of it. He held up a hand to silence his son's outburst. Beside him, Thor shook with rage as the council descended from their table.

It took no time for the Elders to get to work, he was promptly stripped of his power, felt it drain from his fingers and into an emerald ring. His garb changed promptly as well, the armor was stripped away and he was left in his black tunic and trousers. Memories would be the last to go, disappearing as he made his inevitable plummet toward Earth.

A procession led him to where the great bridge once stood. Thor was fuming, and Loki vaguely noticed that two of his warrior friends were holding him back, making sure that he didn't run to his brother's rescue at the last moment.

After a moment's hesitation, Odin sighed.

"I am so sorry…my son," he apologized, but Loki was having none of it.

"You're not my father," Loki spat. "Stop pretending to love me as your own."

Hurt showed on Odin's old face, but he didn't seem as hesitant to begin chanting now, saying the spell that would damn Loki to live a mortal life on Earth. Thor began howling again, spewing empty promises to come and save him, to make sure he was not alone. Loki knew, especially now, that this could never be.

Something near fear flickered in the back of Loki's mind. Though he wasn't one to give up, he didn't see much getting out of this. Disdainfully, his gaze fell to the floor, which was when a green glint caught his eye. The ring…he still had the ring. It would contain all his memories, his power, and Odin had forgotten to take it from him.

Now if he could just remember one thing, it had to be the importance of that ring. If he could just-

The chanting was coming to a close now and Loki prepared himself for the end, for mortality, for punishment. A scepter touched his head and he went spiraling into the abyss.

Glimpses of his life flashed before his eyes, of his accomplishments, his short fallings, living in the shadow of his brother. But it was all slowly fading, slowly being sucked away by the ring. It was almost healing, in a way. Perhaps this new life wouldn't be so bad…

He scoffed at the very notion that a mortal life could ever be acceptable. A God in his own right, Loki was meant to be worshipped, not turned mortal by someone who had never understood him, never would understand him.

The Earth was nearing now, rushing up to meet him. He could see blue oceans, quickly morphing into a vast green stretch of land, getting closer by the second.

Loki Laufeyson collided harshly with the Earth and everything went black. By the time he awoke, he would believe his past to be a bad dream. That is, if he could recall anything at all.