Doing a quick rewrite as of 10/4/12 nothing drastic, just paving over a few plotholes, nothing to see here!

please review, it warms my soul with delight!


"His vitals are stable but I'm getting some wild energy spikes from him." Tony sounded dumbfounded. "It's like he's losing control of his magic." The chaos of what had only hours before been Fifth Avenue smoked and reeked around them.

"I thought you hated that word?" The Captain surveyed the clear space which he had told the S.H.I.E.L.D air ambulance to land. He was standing on the upturned undercarriage of a Metropolitain buss, frowning down the wide, empty avenue. Civilians were just beginning to stagger into the street; a car alarm went off as the thick cloud of dust settled.

"Don't have any better word for it, Cap." Iron Man's armor glinted in the grey wash of ruin; he stooped low over Loki's shoulder.

"Loki?" Bruce was using his doctor voice, "Loki, can you open your eyes?" he was still shaky and pale in the wake of his transition back into human form, he had to squint to see well without his glasses and the dust settled on his bare shoulders.

"Can't he just shut it off?"

"You do not understand, Stark." Thor growled, crouched beside where his little brother was lying unconscious on the pavement, "he does not wield his magic as one does a weapon, it is him, drawn straight from the depths of his soul. It keeps him alive."

Loki was still wearing his armor, it seemed to always sparkle into place, immaculately clean and perfectly arranged and no one could figure out how to get it undone. Tony was trying to cut through one of the shoulder fasteners with a laser from one of his gloves.

Loki lay very still, the blade which had struck him down still rose stiffly from his chest, jammed between slats in his armor. It wasn't a big knife, maybe six inches, thrown from the hand of a Chitauri scout. A present for his betrayal. But Thor could not yet see the blackening of the veins around the wound, hadn't noticed the heat rising in his brother's skin or the stiffening of his neck muscles.

There had been three small scale raids since Loki had suddenly appeared in Tony's living room two weeks earlier, all leather and brass and flashing green eyes. No one knew where they were coming from, but their former enemy was able to pinpoint where they would appear every time. He wasn't trusted by any means but he had spoken at length about the mind control devices which these beings had created, and wooed Tony stark with the promise of alien technology and an intimate knowledge of their enemy's capabilities into letting him fight alongside them.

Clint and Natasha were far away on assignment, "Fucking in a yurt," Tony had suggested. So it was only the five of them and when the alarm had clanged that a new portal had opened up in the Upper East Side (exactly where Loki had warned it would) they had allowed him to fulfill the mechanical void left by their only sniper and their only really stealthy team member.

"I have no idea what I'm doing." Bruce admitted shakily. He was wearing only a pair of emergency boxers which Tony kept stashed in some cranny of his body armor. Despite his exposure he handled the pale Asgardian like an orphan in Mumbai.

One hand rested against the side of Loki's neck, monitoring the strange rhythm of his alien heart. Weeks ago he had glanced at the full body MRIs which the two Asgardians had allowed him to take, and the only real information he could immediately glean was definitely not human. "But he needs surgery to remove the knife without his lung collapsing."

There was a metallic clink and the laser in Tony's glove blew out with a puff of smoke, he swore, it had barely made a mark on the brassy metal.

Bruce looked earnestly up at Thor, "we need him to wake up to magic away his armor so I can get the bleeding under control."

Thor nodded and with surprising tenderness he leaned down, threading his fingers through his brother's dark hair, cupping his skull in one massive hand and speaking inaudibly into Loki's ear.

For a split second everyone present was enchanted by the surprising display of filial love. Then Loki's body jerked, his eyes flew open and he gasped for breath.

"Thor?" Loki whispered weakly. The effort of speech jarred the weapon and he grunted in agony. The wound throbbed with unnatural heat and he could feel cold sweat running under his armor. He tossed his head into his brother's thigh, eyes shut tight, sipping weakly at the air.

-Something is wrong, you aren't healing correctly, and we need to get to the wound. Thor said to his brother in whispered Asgardian. Loki blinked at the fog through which his brother's face was swimming, a bright, Aryan blur of gold and tan.

-you'll be alright, he promised, removing his heavy red cape and covering Loki's lower body with it. The fallen prince blinked wearily, eyes a startling shade of green and his armor faded. He collapsed back into the warm asphalt with a pained grunt.

Loki's body held little of the godlike anatomy which his brother flaunted so effortlessly. He was a being of machination and fire and magic and lying exposed and wounded on the black top of Manhattan with all his spells and schemes stripped away he suddenly seemed incredibly vulnerable.

The wound was a mess, black poison poured from a shattered reservoir into his tautly opened skin, staining the blood vessels, and the gleaming layer of sub dermal fat a dark reddish brown.

"I can fly him back to Shield HQ," Tony frowned up at Bruce as he balled up bandages to press against Loki's blood stained chest.

The prince of Asgard screamed and thrashed under the shifting pressure, his fingers dug into Thor's wrist, "the medics are taking too long."

"You'd kill him," Doctor Banner stated plainly, "I don't know how close the knife is to his major thoracic artery. He could be dead in your arms by the time you got there."

Loki stared blankly past them sipping on desperate little gasps of air, his lips were purple. He tossed his head in discomfort and defiance and choked on the sudden thick fluid in his throat.

"Pull him up, get his head elevated."

"His blood pressure's spiking," Tony sounded tense, his suit was outfitted to monitor vital signs, human vital signs, Loki's never made any sense.

Thor dragged his brother into his armored chest, grabbing the red cloak to pull up with his body. Loki thrashed at the sudden jarring movement, throwing his head back to his brother's shoulder, squeezing his eyes shut.

"Pulse is at two twenty!" Bruce frowned down at Iron man's geometric features, then shifted his gaze up to Thor.

"He's fine." Thor smoothed back his brother's dark hair, he was whispering inaudibly into his ear, one big hand across his forehead. There was blood on Loki's mouth, his eyes held none of their usual gleam. He blinked up sadly past the skyscrapers at the fleeting golden sky, pink clouds hung fat against the indigo blanket of dusk, cut through with buildings which the Humans thought were impressive.

-Why aren't I healing? He asked Thor in a desperate whisper, gasping at wet sounding breath.

-There is something on the knife. Was that fear in Thor's voice? The world was going grey.

Loki!

Loki opened his eyes feebly, he hadn't been aware of closing them. Bruce was very close, frowning in concentration as he held white gauze to Loki's bare chest. The stricken Asgardian blinked down at the doctor's hands, big and rough and tan and streaked with dark red blood.

The air was filled with the whine of engines as the shield medical team finally appeared in a dull grey Harrier with a friendly red cross on the side.

He was transfixed for a moment, frowning, he brought one hand to Bruce's wrist. Weak fingers grappled with the doctor's pulling away the gauze so that he could clearly see where the blade sank into his chest. He knitted his brow, breathing gingerly. Blood turned black with poison welled up to start fresh rivulets across his white stomach and Bruce pushed his hand away.

Loki grunted at the sudden renewed pressure, squeezing his eyes shut. Thor was holding his hands back by his head.

"No…" Loki protested weakly, his skinny wrists writhing in the confining grip.

-it's fine you'll be fine, brother, just hold still. But Loki was filled with sudden panic. His body arched and his legs thrashed under the red fabric.

"Get aw-y." he pushed at Thor weakly. A wave of feeble magic pushed ineffectively at Thor's body, tossing his hair in its wake.

-I'm not going anywhere- Thor insisted, clutching the pale hand. But Loki's eyes were wide and crazed by pain and by poison. Loki threw up one weak hand to grapple at his brother's armor.

The medics scrambled over the buckled tarmac with a backboard and serious expressions.

"Stay still," Bruce's big hand held Loki to the ground at his sternum, "you're only making it worse."

"I'm getting some kind of energy spike…" Tony warned.

-GET AWAY FROM ME NOW! He screamed in Asgardian, which to the humans sounded terrifying, an unearthly command that echoed with the promise of Armageddon. He threw his hands back and Thor was thrown backwards by a magical force, Bruce and Tony were thrown onto their backsides and the medics went tumbling.

Loki curled reflexively around the wound, choking and gasping unto the pavement.

"Brother?" Thor sounded strangely young.

"You moron," Loki hissed, "It's Fenric toxin." His delicate hand clutched at the decorative hilt of the throwing knife and before Bruce could stop him he had torn it from where it invaded his body.

There was a sickening pop, and it bled heavily. He screamed and with the lexicons of a thousand worlds to choose from gasped, "Fuck!" into the Earth with a wet cough.

Loki's fingers were slick and red as they sought to cover the wound. He groaned piteously into the warm cement, one thrashing foot tugging down Thor's cape over his hip.

Thor stumbled back, covering his mouth with one hand, all color had drained from his cheeks and his blue eyes were wide with fear.

"Jesus Christ." Bruce breathed, grabbing at Loki's wrist. He pushed aside the Asgardian's hands to cover the wound but found only smooth skin streaked with red. He frowned in wonder as he touched, black veins still rising in a bruised circle around the baby soft skin where the knife had stuck a moment ago.

Tony crouched and picked up the knife, it didn't look like Chitauri workmanship.

"Loki?" Bruce looked up at the pale face but all light had gone out of his green eyes; he gasped at shallow breath through lips still stained red. "Loki if you can hear me I need a sign." Green eyes fluttered then closed. His whole frame slackened in a dead faint against Bruce.

"We need to get him evac'd back to h-q stat!" the Captain ordered as he shepherded the medics towards where Loki lay.

"His pressure's dropping. What's ninety over forty three mean?" Tony asked thin air, "Thor?" he looked up but the Asgardian had vanished. "Shit!" he stepped back to let a petite woman with a yellow spine board get close to the fallen god.

"Don't," Bruce held back one of the EMT's wrists, he was holding a syringe. "No antibiotics, nothing. We have no idea how his system will react to them, just saline and O two."

A thick rope of blood stretched between the Liesmith's face and the pavement as he was tipped into the stretcher, guided by a dozen human hands. There was something crushingly mortal about the way his body fell helpless against gravity.

"Fly ahead with his vitals." Doctor Banner ordered Iron man, "The medical team is flying blind, they have to know everything."

"I'll have Jarvis bring up the three D body scans we took a year ago." They jogged alongside the gurney, Bruce looking flushed but thoroughly calm.

"Good, We'll need chest Xrays and make sure the tower theatre is prepped just in case he wasn't able to magic shut everything, And run a tox screen on that knife, if we know what the poison is we might be able to fight it."

"Yes doctor," Tony said with a sarcastic salute, he kicked off from the ground with a whirr of heat he streaked away between the smoke screened skyscrapers

Bruce touched one white hand as they scampered quickly towards the waiting aircraft, he took the clear IV bag from the small EMT as she fixed a greenish plastic mask over Loki's face. He turned back to watch the captain lope up the gang ramp. Where the fuck was Thor?