Title: This Is Your Badness Level 4/4
Warning: Ridiculously fluffy at first. May cause toothache. Bit of angsty stuff too.
Summary: A fill for a prompt on Norsekink. Loki finds himself as the rather reluctant imaginary friend of a 6 year old girl, and even though he's a bit busy letting the frost giants into the weapons vault, and trying to take over Midgard, he keeps getting dragged back into her world. Inspired by the films Lilo & Stitch and Drop Dead Fred.
*~* This Is Your Badness Level *~*
Chapter 4 of 4
Loki lay, unmoving, in the crater his own body had created when the mindless beast had flung him into the floor. The only sounds were his own wheezing breath, his smashed ribs grating inside his chest as his body tried to heal itself, and explosions in the distance as the Chitauri continued to wreck the city outside.
The creature had stalked away, muttering the words Puny God as it left, and Loki hoped he could find the strength to move before it returned. He closed his eyes, and wished he were anywhere but here.
"Loki!" he heard a voice shriek, and then he cried out in pain as a small weight landed on his upper body.
"Amelia," he gasped, as he opened his eyes, and saw the small girl lying on him, hugging her arms tightly around him. "Amelia, please."
"What's wrong?" she said, as she knelt up.
"I'm afraid I'm not very well."
"Your nose is bleeding," Amelia noted, looking at his face. "Did someone hurt you?"
"No, no, I just had a little accident," Loki wheezed. "I'll be fine... if I just lay here on the floor for a while."
"When I get a cut my daddy puts some magic healing stuff on it, and it feels better," Amelia said, then she got up, left the room and came back with a cloth and a small bottle.
"What's that?" Loki asked.
"Magic stuff!" she replied, unscrewing the top, and tipping some of the fluid onto the cloth. "This might sting, but it'll make you better."
Loki flinched as she held the cloth to the cut on his nose, dabbing gently at the blood, then pressing it to a sore spot on his forehead, and again above his eyebrow.
"Thank you," Loki said, as she pulled her hand away, and placed the bloody cloth on the floor.
"Would you like me to read you a story?" Amelia asked.
"I'd like that very much," Loki replied, and as Amelia read him a fairy tale where everyone lived happily ever after, he wondered what would become of him.
He closed his eyes and drifted back, and as he heard footsteps on the stone floor Loki knew he had to move. He had to escape. Even if the plan had failed he couldn't allow himself to be captured.
He painfully turned over, and tried to drag his broken body up the steps, but as he heard voices behind him, and the sound of a bowstring under tension, he knew it was finished, and turned to face his captors.
Loki sat in the Shield cell, a muzzle on his mouth, and shackles round his wrists that bound his magic within his body. He eyed the guards who stood outside with their weapons at the ready, all of them waiting for him to make an unexpected move so they would have an excuse to injure him. He would not give them the pleasure, and instead sat unmoving, maintaining steady eye contact until they were forced to look away.
Stark entered the prison room carrying a device in his hand and chatted idly with the guards for a moment, then one of them opened the cell door, and accompanied him inside.
"How ya doing, big fella? Can I get you anything?" Stark asked, as he waved the device around. "Magazine, book, nasogastric tube? Nope?"
Loki glared up at him.
"Ooooh, if looks could kill I'm pretty sure everyone in New York would be dead round about now with the power of that frown."
Stark brought the device closer to Loki's head, and he flinched away. "You don't need to worry about this, just running a few tests to check the shackles are working properly. It's not like a laser drill or anything, which is a shame."
The device beeped.
"And that is all working perfectly. Well, we are going out for Shawarma, and you are going to stay here and no doubt give everyone stink eye for the rest of the evening," Tony said. "Shame you can't come, I'm sure you'd be delightful company."
Loki sighed as Stark left the cell, closing the door behind him with a heavy metallic click.
"Get some rest," Tony said. "Long trip ahead of you tomorrow."
Loki shot Stark what he hoped was an evil look, but he couldn't stop the small crease of his brow.
"Oh, I guess no one told you yet? Thor's taking you home," Tony said. "Time to face some Asgardian justice, and I bet your dad is gonna be pissed."
Home. Thor was taking him home. He had killed a king, brought Asgard to the brink of war with Jotunheim, and attacked two realms. There could be only one punishment for crimes so severe.
The Frost Giants would want his head, they would threaten war if their demands were not met, and Asgard would call for them to be appeased. After all, what was the life of one Jotun foundling worth compared to the lives of the Aesir who would die in battle, and Loki knew that Odin would be forced to do as they wished. Thor was taking him home to his execution.
Loki closed his eyes and concentrated on the pink room, hoping she would hear his call.
"You don't look well," a small female voice said.
"I am better than earlier," Loki replied, opening his eyes, and finding himself perched on a small white plastic chair, with his knee tucked up into his chest, as Amelia continued to colour a picture of a horse with wings, galloping across the sky.
"My daddy was watching something on TV and he made me come upstairs because it wasn't good for me to see it," Amelia said, looking up from her picture. "Did you do that?"
"I did, yes," Loki sighed.
"Are you king now?"
"No, things didn't work out as I hoped they would," Loki said, looking down as he picked at his thumbnail, and then he whispered, "I'm afraid I might not be able to come back to see you any more."
Amelia looked up, her eyes wide. "Why?"
"My brother is taking me home tomorrow, and I don't know what will happen," Loki said. To tell her the truth, that this time tomorrow he would probably be dead, would be a cruelty, but it would be equally cruel to just vanish from her life without explanation, and leave her feeling like he had abandoned her by choice.
"But… I don't want you to leave me," Amelia said quietly as tears began to well in her eyes. "You might be bad sometimes, but you're my friend."
Loki reached across the table and took her hand in his, fighting to keep control of his emotions, as he said, "My badness level is very high, right up to the tip of my horns. I'm going to be punished for being so bad."
"Your mummy and daddy won't let you out to play any more?"
"Something like that, yes," Loki replied. "But I want you to know that I would never leave you by choice. If I could, I would come to see you every day."
"I won't forget you, if you leave," Amelia said. "I know one day you'll come back."
"I'm afraid that's not going to happen," Loki replied quietly, looking down. "Will you promise me something?"
"Will you promise me that you won't let them change you?" Loki asked. "All the people who pick on you or who are mean to you? Don't let them make you sad."
"You've got to be what you want to be. Don't you ever be like them, all right?" Loki asked desperately. "Promise me, promise me you will grow up and stay just as smart and wonderful as you are now. Tell me you won't let it make you bad."
"I'll be good."
"I-I don't want you to end up like me," Loki stammered. "You don't deserve that."
"I promise I won't be naughty."
"And don't you dare let anyone tell you aren't a princess," he said, with a sad smile.
"But I'm not a princess," Amelia said, her brow creasing with confusion.
"I'm a prince, and that gives me the power to make you a princess," Loki said as he stood. "Kneel before me."
Amelia climbed off her chair, and knelt in front of Loki, he placed his hand on her shoulder, and said, "Amelia, do you swear that you will protect these nine realms?"
He waited for answer, and then whispered, "You are supposed to say 'I swear'"
"Oh, sorry. I swear."
"Do you swear that you will not listen to the nasty things people say about you, and remain forever true to yourself?"
"I swear!" Amelia said, her voice growing louder, and more assured.
"Do you swear that your badness level will stay very low?"
"Then on this day, in the name of Odin all father, I proclaim you Princess Amelia of Midgard. Now arise, princess."
Amelia climbed daintily to her feet and curtsied, and Loki raised his hand to his chest and bowed in return.
"I'm a real live princess now?" Amelia asked.
"Yes you are, and princesses are always kind and good, unlike princes who are sometimes naughty." Loki knelt in front of Amelia again, and said, "I have to go now."
"I don't want you to go," the girl whined. "I want you to stay here with me and be my friend."
"I know darling, but I'm afraid I don't have any choice."
"Noooo," she cried, wrapping her arms around his neck.
"Just close your eyes, and it'll all be over," Loki said, hugging her tightly. "It'll all be over."
He listened as the sound of her sobs faded away, and felt the dragging weight of the shackles around his wrists, as the chain lay on his knee. He opened his eyes, and glared at the guards who were still watching him calmly, as if he had never moved.
His punishment had been decided, and it was not to be execution, although most days Loki wished it had been. He had been taken to a cave and bound to a heavy sandstone rock by unbreakable chains that wrapped tightly around his stomach, and drained away his magic.
He had struggled when the snake first appeared from the roof of the cave, tried to bat it away with his hands as it hovered ominously above and opened its mouth to reveal rows of pointed, hollow fangs.
The first drip of venom onto his hand had shocked him, causing him to snatch his arm back away from the creature, and then he watched with horror as the acid burnt its way through the skin of his palm.
The second drip landed on his cheek, and he whimpered in pain.
The third drip landed in his eye, and he began to scream.
Amelia had been overjoyed when he returned, and as the days of raw agony turned into months, and then years, he spent more time with her, never questioning why she grew no older. She remained unchanged; her hair never got longer, she didn't grow an inch, and she was always in her room no matter what time of day Loki appeared.
Sometimes he would spend hours with her, laughing and reading stories of princes and princesses, of lost and lonely ducklings, and sitting in the garden of her tiny idyllic cottage in the bright sunshine, and then Loki would wake up shivering and alone in the darkness of the cave. Time passed differently when he was with Amelia on Midgard he assumed at first.
"You can stay with me as much as you like, Loki," she smiled. "It's nice here."
"It is lovely here," he replied, as he lay back on the perfect lawn, twirling a blade of grass between his fingertips. "I wish I didn't have to go back."
"You don't have to go back if you don't want to," she replied. "You could stay here with me."
"Oh, I couldn't do that," Loki said, as he sat up. "If my father returned and found the cave empty he would tear the nine realms apart searching for me. He would find me eventually, and I wouldn't risk your safety like that, especially after you've been so kind to me."
"Don't be silly," Amelia laughed. "The cave isn't empty. You're still there, your body anyway."
"Yes, so that means you can stay here as much as you like. You could stay forever if you want."
"I'd like that very much," Loki said, as he wrapped his arms Amelia, and she hugged him tightly back.
Loki was woken by the hiss of the venom dripping on his shoulder as it burnt into his skin with a small plume of smoke. The arms wrapped around his thin chest were his own, and he knew what it meant. He wasn't her friend, she was his.
He closed his eyes, and wished himself back to the pink room.
This fic is now complete. Thank you for the lovely comments people have left :-)