This first one is new in the sense that I'm the only one who's read it. I was looking through my old notes and I found this, I think you'll see what I discounted it. The story ended up going in a differnt direction.

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Steve adjusted his belt nervously, smoothing down his Asgarian tunic as he did so. The clothing wasn't uncomfortable, but it wasn't what he was used to wearing. It was the situation that made the slight sweat bead on the back of his neck. There were people who had once been worshipped as gods, and look what he was doing!

"Captain, are you nervous?" Banner asked with a hint of teasing.

Steve shrugged. "This is not my usual thing. You nervous?"

"Terrified." Banner smiled wryly, twisting his hands. Steve glanced at his team; they all looked fairly nervous. And it really was no wonder.

Sif and Fandrel came into the room, and the team gave them their full attention.

"Well?" Pepper asked.

"The council has heard your request," Sif answered. "They are surprised, to say the least."

"Did they come to a decision?" Steve asked.

Sif glanced at Fandrel, who was giving Romanoff a wide, inviting grin. Sif punched his shoulder hard.

"Ow!" he cried. "What was that for?"

"You know exactly what that was for."

Fandrel rolled his eyes. "All I was doing was-"

"Shut up," Sif said crisply, and Fandrel, rubbing his shoulder, complied. Sif shrugged apologetically at Romanoff and turned back to Steve. "They wish to speak with you."

Steve swallowed nervously. "All of us, or-"

"Just you," Sif confirmed. "You are the leader."

"Right." Steve closed his eyes briefly to take a deliberate, deep breath and then nodded.

"Sheesh, Cap, you're going to talk to a bunch of highly powerful demigods, not to your funeral. Lighten up," Stark said, slapping Steve on the back, but his grin was forced.

"Yeah, yeah, you're hilarious," Steve muttered as he followed Sif and Fandrel out of the room and to the vaulted hall where the council waited. Steve felt his nervousness increase. Thor was in the hall, and he shared a glance with Steve. Odin stood on a great stone dais and stamped the butt of his spear against the floor.

As if I wasn't nervous enough already, Steve thought as the echo rang in his ears.

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This scene I loved for the interactions, but I didn't want to have this sort of sadness/hopelessness at the end of the fic, I wanted to have more of a hopeful ending than this provided, so I cut it.

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Loki stared at the floor. He would have to request a bucket of water so that he could clean up this room. He could only do so much with dry rags. Given the state of the city, it wasn't surprising that nobody had put him in a room that didn't have that much mud tracked over the floor. But he didn't want to live in dirt. If he had magic-

"Don't," he told himself softly as the rage, loss, sorrow and fear welled in him. "What is done cannot be undone."

He looked up as the door opened, and blanked out his face as Njord entered. Volstagg stood just outside the door, looking like he wanted to protest as Njord shut it. The councillor looked down at Loki with thinly disguised disgust.

"You have played your game well, trickster."

Loki remained silent.

"I would ask you what enchantments you put on the heroes from Midgard to make them fight so much for you, but I already had them checked for spells. So how did you do it? Convince those whose home you wracked so much ruin upon to want you?"

Loki considered the question. Why did the Avengers want him? What had made them care about his fate? "I don't know."

Njord snorted. "Whatever it is you did, they will see you for what you are soon enough."

"And what is that?" Loki challenged quickly. "What am I?"

"A monster. A murderer. You may have convinced them that you are something else. You may have even convinced yourself. But you are black of heart, and that will never change. You will always be a demon, and the universe will never be clean until the filth like you is purged from it."

Loki held Njord's gaze steadily, still keeping all emotion from his face. The old warrior's words bounced around Loki's brain. "Why? Why must that be my fate? Why can't I choose to be something else?"

"A sickness cannot change into something that is good."

"Certainly not," Loki responded, "when he is told he is nothing but a sickness."

Njord smirked wryly. He walked back to the door and knocked once. Volstagg let him out. When the councillor was gone, Loki looked out the window to the distant sunset.

"You're wrong," he whispered. "I am not a monster. I am not a sickness. I can change." He closed his eyes and breathed deeper. Louder, more firm, he said it again. "I can change. I will change."

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This one got cut just because I didn't like how it turned out.

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"Thor, it's okay. We both know that I'll be well cared for on earth," Loki said softly as Thor paced around the room, struggling to contain his anger. "It may even be better for me. I won't be reminded of what I have become."

Thor sat down beside him. "How can you be so calm?"

"One of us has to be." Loki studied his brother. "I'm not angry. This is going to be good. I can start over. The people of earth don't know me. To them, I'll be a child. I can grow up again and this time, I can make the right choices."

"I am angry," Thor muttered. "Njord is a pig-headed- What else can I do?"

"Find excuses to come to earth."

Thor managed a small smile. "I will."

Loki contemplated him a moment and then nodded. He grinned and chuckled. "So I had a thought. Now that I'll be living on earth, and it's clear that I've had crappy family relationships, do you think Fury will let me become an Avenger?"

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That's all, forever. Hope you enjoyed it! I should be able to start posting my AU spinoff, Whether by Life or Death on February first.