Title: Six hugs a day keeps the doctor away Chapter 5 of 5
Warnings: The odd naughty word
NOTE: Yes, this is the final chapter!
Six hugs a day keeps the doctor away
Chapter 5 of 5
"I have your metal man!" the alien leader shouted, as he pulled Tony in front of him and held a laser weapon to his head. "I will kill him if you do not surrender."
"What the hell?" Steve asked, as he looked up and saw Tony clad only in the boots and gloves of his armour, and his regular clothes. "How did that happen?"
"That dullard," Loki hissed as he appeared by Steve's side. "I told him he was not ready to use his magic in battle."
"Magic?" Steve asked.
"Stark has never quite mastered the art of teleporting and keeping all of his clothes on."
"He teleported out of his suit?"
"Not all of it," Loki replied. "It appears he still has his boots on."
"Hawkeye, have you got a clear shot?" Steve asked.
"If you don't mind me shooting him through Tony, then yup," Clint's voice came over the comm.
"I'd rather have Stark left alive, please."
"Shame," Clint replied, as he whacked an alien in the face with his bow. "Give me a minute. I need to get a better angle, and I'm kinda busy right now."
Loki was about to suggest that he would teleport up to their position, when the Hulk appeared behind him, dragging the battered body of an alien soldier along the ground, and let out an enormous snort.
"Do you mind?" Loki said, casting an evil look towards the Hulk, as he brushed his shoulder.
Hulk looked at the alien holding Tony captive and growled, then he raised his hand and blasted a huge ball of green flames down the street as he let out a mighty howl of anger.
"Move! Move!" Steve shouted, as the Hulk roared and conjured flames into his hand again.
"Get down," Loki shrieked, as he barrelled into Clint, who was making his way down to their position, and bundled him behind an overturned car.
"Why the hell did you teach Hulk magic?" Clint shouted, as he peered over the car, watching Hulk smash the remaining soldiers, and send fireballs streaking across the street.
"I taught him nothing of the sort!" Loki snapped back. "Only a fool would teach an out of control creature how to shoot fire!"
"Then who did?"
"You will only need one guess. Who among us has no eyebrows?"
"Tony, you idiot!" Clint said, as he turned to look down the street.
Thor landed beside the car, and watched as the Hulk continued his assault upon the aliens. "Loki, when did you teach Banner magic?"
"Why does everyone keep blaming me?" Loki shrieked, as Steve and Natasha ran across the battlefield and skidded to a halt behind the car. "Blame Stark. I had no hand in this."
"Stark must be a great teacher if he instructed Banner on the magical arts," Thor said, as the Hulk created a magical clone of himself, which he sent running around the last few soldiers. "He is very competent for one who has so little training."
"Stark couldn't train someone to that level of proficiency if his life depended on it," Loki sneered at the sleight that Tony was somehow better than him. "Banner must have a natural aptitude for magic."
The Hulk roared once more, running with long bouncing strides, then he vanished, and reappeared clinging to the side of a building. He vanished again, and reappeared clinging to a different building, teleporting the full length of the street in short bursts in a matter of seconds.
"He's going for Tony!" Natasha shouted, as the Hulk appeared behind the alien leader, and snapped its neck with one swift flick of his wrist.
Tony turned as the alien crumpled to the floor, and said, "Thanks, big guy."
The Hulk roared in his face, almost deafening him, then vanished again leaving Tony stood alone on the diner roof, and appeared back in the street below, sending a giant ball of flames into an empty store front, and rampaging his way between the overturned cars.
"How the hell are we going to calm him down?" Steve asked.
"I believe I may be the only one who could attempt such a task," Loki replied.
"Nay, brother," Thor said. "Banner has injured you before. I shall attempt to calm him."
"Yes, because you can neutralise a magical attack now?"
"Then step aside, and let me do it."
Thor sighed slightly, and moved to allow Loki to step from behind the car.
"Holy shit!" Clint exclaimed, as the Hulk's image shimmered as he bounced down the street and a little blue Wizard hat with white stars and moons appeared on his head. "Did you do that?"
"Me?" Loki asked, pulling his most innocent face. "Why would you think I would do such a… oh OK, yes it was me. Don't you think he suits it?"
The Hulk stopped, and ripped the hat off his head, only for another one to appear. He ripped that hat off too, and then another appeared on his head, and Loki started to laugh.
"Is that really a good idea?" Steve asked, as the Hulk stood roaring in the street, trying to rip reappearing hats off his head. "You're just making him even more angry."
"I think it's a wonderful idea," Loki replied with a grin, and then waved his hand, and a red robe appeared on Hulk's body.
"Yeah, before he was just angry, now he's really pissed off," Clint added, as Hulk teleported around the street punching cars, and throwing wreckage through shop windows. "Good luck with calming him down."
Loki walked calmly, his hands clasped behind his back, to where Hulk was stood.
"Banner!" Loki shouted. "You must calm yourself."
The Hulk turned and roared in Loki's face, then conjured a menacing flame in his hand.
"You really can be the most vile creature at times," Loki said as he wiped his face. "Where have your manners gone?"
"Yes, yes," Loki snapped. "Hulk smash! Hulk burn! Hulk need to CHILL OUT!"
Hulk threw his head back, howled loudly, then he raised his arm and backhanded Loki across the face, sending him flying through a store window.
Loki lay still for a moment, surrounded by shards of broken glass and overturned clothes rails, then climbed unsteadily to his feet, and moved back out into the street, clutching his side as he stepped out.
"Banner!" Loki shouted. "You must calm down, and stop being so ridiculously rude."
Hulk roared again, then blasted Loki with bright green flames. Loki raised his arms and used his deflection spell so the inferno curled around his body, leaving him unharmed.
"Loki!" Thor shouted in the distance, and as Loki turned, Hulk grabbed him by the foot and flung him like a rag doll into the tarmac.
"Not again," Loki gasped as he lay in the dent in the floor for a moment, while the Hulk growled angrily above him. He dragged himself painfully to his feet again, and went to speak, but the air around him shimmered, and he suddenly found himself staring up at the grinning Hulk from a position close to the floor.
"Oh that's just wonderful," Loki squeaked indignantly, as he twitched his little rabbit nose, and thumped his long back legs on the ground before transforming himself back into his normal body.
"Right, you asked for this," Loki said, as threw himself at the Hulk, and wrapped his arms around him.
Hulk looked down for a moment as Loki grasped his arms around his waist, and pressed his face into his stomach, then hummed quietly as he gently ran his hand down the Hulk's back.
"See, this isn't so bad is it?" Loki asked, as the Hulk snorted, and slowly placed his hands on Loki's shoulders.
As he held on Loki could hear the hammering heart rate inside Hulk's chest begin to slow, and then felt his body start to grow smaller under his embrace, until finally he was holding Banner, who was now swamped by the red robe the red robe the Hulk had been wearing.
"Well, that went better than anticipated," Loki said, as he pulled out of the embrace, coughed and spat out a mouthful of blood on the floor.
"Better?" Bruce asked. "It looks like you've been hit by a truck."
"Can someone help me down?" Tony shouted from the diner roof. "I'm trapped up here with a dead alien and its head is the wrong way round. It's kinda freaking me out."
Loki looked up, to see Tony perched dangerously on the edge of the roof, then teleported up to his side, grabbed his shoulder, and teleported them both down into the street below.
"Thanks, man," Tony said, as he dragged Loki into a tight hug.
"Stark," Loki choked out. "Stark, you are crushing my broken ribs."
Tony released him quickly, but kept one arm round his shoulders. "Sorry. You OK?"
"Just a little pneumothorax," Loki wheezed. "Nothing a chest tube won't fix."
"Brother, you are injured," Thor shouted as he arrived by Loki's side.
"I'm fine," Loki said, as he leant over and placed his hands on his knees, drawing in a few raspy breaths. "My magic is already healing the worst of it."
"We will hold a feast when we arrive back at the tower," Thor announced loudly. "This has been a most glorious triumph in battle!"
"Feast?" Natasha asked, as the rest of the Avengers arrived. "I could really go for some pizza."
"Tales will be told for a thousands years of how you calmed the savage monster, brother," Thor said triumphantly, as he slapped Loki on the back roughly, and caused him to wince in pain.
"Hey, I'm stood right here you know," Bruce protested.
"My apologies Banner, I did not mean to offend you."
"A little less of the 'monster' talk would be good."
"Very well, from now on I shall only refer to him as a beast, creature or brute," Thor announced happily.
"Can we go home now?" Loki whined. "I really need to sit down."
"Of course, Loki," Thor said, helping him to straighten up, and placing a hand under his arm to help him stand.
"I have this overwhelming feeling," Tony announced, as he smiled happily.
"What is it?" Clint asked. "The urge for Shawarma?"
"It's just this sudden urge… Group hug, you guys!" Tony said, as he pulled Steve and Loki towards him. "Group hug!"
"I'm really sorry," Bruce said, as he cleaned the cut on Loki nose.
"You have nothing to apologise for, my magic has healed the worst of my injuries, and the rest will heal when I replenish my energy," Loki replied. "Besides, it's Stark's fault. He should never have given you instruction on how to perform magic."
"What can we do about it?" Bruce asked. "How am I supposed to control it? I can barely control the other guy as it is, so I don't think I'll be able to stop him if he decides to shoot fireballs again."
"There are healers on Asgard who would be able to remove the memory from your mind, but the problem will be getting Stark to stop trying to teach it all over again. He can be very impulsive at times."
"I noticed today that the first thing he wanted was a hug. Looks like you have quite the epidemic on your hands there."
"It's an epidemic that has no symptoms other than happiness," Loki replied. "A hug is one of the few cure for sadness that has no side effects."
"So you're going to keep talking to Tony?"
"Of course. Why shouldn't I?"
"I really don't approve of you lying to him," Bruce said, and Loki went to speak, but Bruce interrupted him, "If it's doing more good than harm, then I guess you can carry on."
"Thank you for your permission," Loki said, "but I wasn't going to stop anyway."
Tony wandered into the kitchen later that evening, once he'd put his armour back together, to get another celebratory beer from the refrigerator, and was surprised to find Loki sitting at the table with an almost empty pizza box in front of him.
"Hey," Tony said.
"You OK now?" Tony asked, as he popped the cap off his beer.
"I'm fine, it's just superficial wounds," Loki replied. "I need to eat to allow my body to finish healing itself."
"I'm sorry about the whole teleporting thing," Tony said. "If I hadn't done that the Hulk wouldn't have lost his mind, and you wouldn't have been smashed… again."
"I taught you magic in the hopes that you would have some method of defending yourself should you ever find yourself in trouble without your armour," Loki said. "You never should have shared that knowledge. It was meant for you, and you alone."
"What are we going to do about him?"
"He has agreed to accompany me to Asgard where the mind healers will remove the memory from his mind," Loki replied. "Of course, all that will be pointless if you attempt to teach him again."
"I promise I'll never breathe a word about magic to him ever again."
"I hope you will be able to keep that promise," Loki said, "because apparently even Banner has more self control than you do."
"Hey, that's unfair!" Tony complained.
"Unfair?" Loki asked, as he raised his eyebrow. "Who was the one who broke their promise to me about not using magic on the battle field, approximately 25 minutes after they made it?"
"OK, OK, I admit I messed up, but I will do my best not to do it again."
"I will believe it when I see it."
There was a slightly awkward silence for a moment as Tony took a drink from his beer, then he said, "So... You wanna watch a film or something?"
"Can I bring my pizza with me?"
Loki shoved the remains of his pizza slice into his mouth, then turned around and picked up four pizza boxes from kitchen counter, and followed Tony to the lounge.
After they finished Dead Poet's Society Loki started to cry, and lied about how his father had never supported him when he wanted to learn magic, and instead he had sent him away to live with the trolls in the hope that it would make him a man, and all he really wanted to do was make his father proud of him.
Tony gave Loki a hug and decided to tell him about his dad.
NOTE: I am currently working on the next part of this series. I should be ready to post it at the end of september :-)