"TONY!" Eli screamed as her friend disappeared into the portal. "TONY!"
"The only one you should care about is me!" Loki yelled at the brunette. Angrily, Eli locked her blue eyes onto the fallen god.
"I could never care or love someone that didn't take my life or feelings into consideration!" Eli yelled back. "I could never love you!"
There was a poignant silence. Eli told herself that she would wait for Tony, but when she looked back to Loki her resolve broke. Eli walked back to Loki and knelt by his side. She pushed her hair to the side, and kissed him. It was sweet and tender. It lingered for only moments. "That's probably the last nice thing that will ever happen to you now…" Eli whispered.
Eli then returned to her spot on the balcony and watched for Tony. There was still no sign of him. Pepper entered her mind, and tears began to fall down Eli's cheeks. The little brunette felt like such a Mary Sue, with all of the crying she had done. It was just like the time when Tony went missing for six months. Pepper was going to be heart broken, and all Eli had done for the past three days was fight with Tony. Eli's knees buckled and sobbed when she saw the portal close with no sign of Tony.
Large tears fell from Eli's eyes when Tony reappeared through the portal, but Eli's horror wasn't over. Tony looked completely unresponsive and he wasn't slowing down. Eli watched on her hands and knees as Tony plummeted to the Earth in what seemed like slow motion.
Eli jumped when the Hulk sped like a bullet toward Tony, catching him and breaking his fall. Eli laughed out sobs.
"Natasha!" Eli yelled up to her friend. "Natasha! Is he alright? Is Tony okay?"
Natasha's head popped out over the ledge with her hand to her ear and was silent for several moments. There was a sudden roar from the Hulk, and Natasha spoke, "Don't worry, Eli," Natasha smiled. "Tony's okay." Bruce Banner had just became Eli's favorite person. "I'll be down in a moment, don't move."
Eli looked back at Loki, and forced herself to look away. She wiped the tears from her eyes and walked to the landing pad. Carefully, Eli sat on the ledge as the rest of her heroes made their way up to the building.
Thor was carrying Steve and Tony was carrying Clint when they flew up to Stark Tower. The Hulk jumped up into the building like he had before. Tony was the only one that hesitated before entering the building.
After a while, Eli heard the Ironman suit walk towards her. She looked up as Tony sat down next to her. There was no judgment in Tony's eyes, but there was a questioning look in them. Eli knew that Tony knew what happened between her and Loki.
"So…" Tony started awkwardly. Eli laughed.
"I'm glad your safe," Eli started, "but that doesn't mean I'm going to apologize." Tony laughed next to her.
"Let's just agree that Pepper was right," Tony shook his head with mirth. Eli nodded in agreement. "Do you love him?"
Eli was surprised by Tony's forwardness. "It's complicated. I want to forgive him for everything he's done, but I can't. Because there are other people I love more in the world. It's funny, because if you had asked me that three days ago, I would have told you it's impossible to fall in love with someone that fast, but I would have been wrong…
"Tony, it was like something was making me fall-" Eli stopped. "It doesn't matter. All that matters now is the future and moving on."
"How are you going to go on about that?" Tony asked looking at his fiancée's adoptive daughter.
"Well, for starters, I'm going to invite all of the Avengers to my recital." Tony laughed at Eli.
"Even you, Tony," Eli kissed Tony on the cheek before carefully getting up from the ledge. She walked back into the penthouse, and approached the just changed Bruce Banner, who was pulling his belt tighter. Eli hugged him and whispered, "Thank you," in his ear. Eli avoided looking at Loki at all costs as she hugged each of the Avengers.
Eli headed to the kitchen, where she started eating an apple while looking for something more to eat. She was starving. Clint walked into the kitchen. He looked tired. Being under a magical spell must have sucked.
"You look like shit," Eli said tossing her apple to him. He took a gracious bite before tossing it back.
"Thanks," he said sarcastically. "You should go to the schwarma shop with everyone."
"Someone has to stay and watch Loki," Eli stated the obvious. "You had to fight an army, and I was a damsel in distress. By the way, how in the living hell did you not see me? I was standing strapped to a wall fifteen feet away from gods battling it out on the balcony!"
"Whoa, there psycho," Clint held his hands up, "we were in the heat of battle, and besides, you were eventually rescued. And, I'm going to watch Loki as the others go out. I offered to make up for…"
"Clint, let me do this," Eli said softly. "You need a break from him. I'm sure there are S.H.I.E.L.D agents on there way as we speak. I won't be alone with him for long. Not only that both Jarvis and Jarvette will be watching if anything happens. I'll be fine. You go get some food in your system."
It took Eli another five minutes to get Clint to go with the other Avengers, and it took even longer for her to get all of them to leave her alone with the would be king. In the end, she had to threaten them with "psycho" mutant powers. Mutant abilities she knew she had no strength to muster.
Eli leaned against the far wall as Loki sat on the stairs. It had been nearly ten minutes, and all they had done was stare at each other. Eli wished she could use her mutant abilities to see into his mind. He couldn't speak, because he was muzzled.
"If we had met differently, or before all of this," Eli motioned around her, "I would have helped you. I would probably have helped you now, and took you somewhere where you could rest without anyone finding you. I would nurse you back to health, and when you were ready to strike back…I would have helped you win the Earth."
Eli smiled somberly, before looking down. She was forcing tears away. "If you hadn't killed Phil, I would be helping you right now. You have a lot of power over me."
The brunette turned away and walked toward the balcony and turned on him. "Loki," she whispered his name, Loki's eyes widened as she said it. It was the first time she had said it since they had met. "You've changed my life so much. I'm not entirely sure if it's for the better."
Eli stared at Loki until his shoulders made a sighing a sighing movement. He then lifted his cuffed hands and motioned her to come to him. She went to him immediately. Eli sat down next to the man that she refused to love. A notion that she knew was impossible.
Loki pulled his green cape from his shoulders and gave it to Eli. The brunette held it close to her chest. There was something important in him giving it to her, she just knew it. Eli leaned into Loki, and kissed him over his mask. It would be her parting gift to him.
Eli could hear the sounds of jets arriving at Stark Tower, so she quickly moved to hid the green cape in her room. Eli shut her bedroom door with a click as Nick Fury and Maria Hill walked into the penthouse.
"Everyone went to eat shawarma," Eli said. "Whatever that is. They'll be back soon, if you want me to get you anything." Fury looked between Eli and Loki. He shook his head. Maria stood confused for a moment, but then shook it off.
"Where have you been?" Maria asked.
"Tied to a wall," Eli said simply. "Your team failed to notice. I've been standing out there all day." Eli motioned to her black dress. It was weathered and torn even worse than when she left the Helicarrier, and there was no fixing her tights. "I do believe compensation is in order."
Fury stared at her blankly. "You are relieved of your duty. Go take a nap or something."
"As much as I love sleep, I was thinking of a something a little more promotion…or demotion based. Depending on how you look at it."
"Hill, would you put in Miss Kornelia Potts into books as someone who should be considered to be a suitable candidate to be a pathologist for the Chitauri." Fury said with a frown. Eli didn't take it to hard. Fury was always frowning.
"Yes, sir," Maria said, and then walked off.
"We are going to have a nice, long talk before you are even considered," Fury said. "I hope you know that."
Eli nodded and waved as she went back to the kitchen. She sat in there until her heroes came back. When they did, she went back into the living area. She had already missed a lot of the conversation. Fury was being surprisingly cooperative, given that he wasn't calling the shots.
"Then, it's settled," Fury finalized. "Thor, you will take Loki, and the Tesseract with you back to Asgard." Everyone nodded. Eli made sure not to say anything stupid. "After that, I don't care what you do as long as you stay out of trouble." Fury looked directly at Eli; she almost stuck her tongue out at him.
"If it's all the same to everyone," Eli said with a smile, "I call the shower first."
There was a void in Eli as she showered. It was growing with every passing moment. It was like it was consuming her, and at a rate that was worrying. Mechanically, Eli dressed in her custom black skinny jeans and blue blouse, and slipped on a pair of black Converse. The next thing Eli knew, she was staring Loki in the eyes and blue light consumed the two Asgardians and they were gone. Eli's brown hair blew back from the after shock of their departure.
Eli hugged Bruce again, before he and Tony drove off, probably back to the Tower. Tony was thinking of letting Bruce live with them if he wanted to. Eli then waved at the rest of the Avengers as they left. Eli only lingered for a few more seconds, before she too left the area.
"Jarvette," Eli spoke aloud.
"Yes, Miss," Jarvette's voice said from Eli's silver watch.
"What do you think of pirates?" Eli said with a grin. "I've heard some very interesting things about them."
"What are you looking for particularly, Miss?"
"For now," Eli smiled wider, "I want you compiling all pirate folklore, and compare it to the mythologies and folklore of other cultures. If the Vikings were right about Odin being real, can you imagine some of the pirating artifacts out there. Simply amazing.
"Oh, but first, would you play the piece that I have to play at my recital. As a refresher of course."
A somber tune began to play, and as it crescendoed the tone of the music changed to something that inspired hope in Eli. She wasn't sure what that hope was, but Eli would hold onto it for as long as possible.