A/N: I've finished up my semester, so I finally have had time to finish this. I am so sorry for the wait.
Disclaimer: I do not own The Avengers.
Six months later…
"No, Stark, connect the blue wire with the green one, not the red! Do you want to destroy half of your tower?"
"I thought your thing was magic, not mechanics."
"It's all science." Loki countered.
"Asgard, place where magic are science are the same thing, right." Tony said sarcastically.
"Come on you two, you can find something else to argue about later when we're not working with sensitive equipment." Bruce pleaded with the arguing genius and sorcerer, a hint of amusement present in his voice.
The three were in the largest lab in Stark Tower, where Loki spent a great deal of his time when the Avengers were not on duty, and he usually was with Tony and Bruce, who had surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) become close friends with him. Currently they were toying around with a new model of the Iron Man suit, using a combination of Tony's technology and Loki's magic.
Loki and Tony frowned, but complied with Bruce's request.
However, a few minutes later, Jarvis's voice sounded in the room, causing Tony to drop the pair of pliers he was holding. "Sir, Thor is requesting Loki's presence in the main lounge."
"Jarvis, I thought I turned off communications to this room." Tony replied, clearly annoyed.
"My apologies. I'm afraid that Agent Romanoff is able to bypass my systems, giving me no choice in the matter."
Tony frowned deeply. How in the hell did S.H.I.E.L.D. agents manage to override his security measures so easily, no matter how many times he reprogramed things?
"It is apparently urgent."
"Tell him to wait urgently then. We are working." Loki grumbled, turning back to what he had been doing, and Tony gave a light chuckle, remembering saying something similar a couple years ago.
"He says someone called "The All-Father" is here, as well as their mother." Jarvis answered.
Loki froze, his face taking on a hard and mildly cold expression, causing Bruce and Tony to glance at each other. They both knew that look all too well, and they both knew it meant trouble.
"Tell Thor I will be there shortly." Loki said stiffly, turning a stalking out of the room, Tony and Bruce hurrying after him, and both were surprised when he didn't say anything about it.
Upon arriving in the lounge, they found Natasha standing in a corner of the room, with her arms crossed, watching with a slight upturn in her mouth as Thor was hugging a woman with long blonde hair, dressed in a golden, jeweled gown.
Loki froze, and swallowed. "…Mother?"
The woman turned, let go of Thor, and raced over to Loki to crush him in an embrace. "My darling son, I am so sorry. I have missed you so much! I would have come sooner, if circumstances allowed."
The Avengers who were present in the room had never seen the god of mischief Loki simply melt into a hug like he did now, his face taking on an expression of sadness and love, as he wrapped the woman in his own arms.
Meanwhile, Thor had a hard stare fixed on the old man dressed in gold armor standing by the window, which the man met the look with his own stern gaze, with the eye that wasn't covered by a golden eye patch. After a moment, the man spoke. "Thor, Loki, my sons."
The sound of his voice made both brothers visibly stiffen, and Loki slid himself out of his mother's arms.
"What could I possibly have done to get back the title of a son of Odin?" Loki said, his voice mocking.
Before Odin could answer, Frigga spoke, her voice raised. "Tell our sons what you did. What you planned. I promise you do not want me to tell them."
Loki caught on immediately. "You planned this?"
Odin gave a short nod. "I knew you would not be safe on Asgard Loki, but I could not send you here myself. That would turn the people of Asgard against me; they would have believed I was turning a traitor, a murder, loose. So I trusted that Thor would bring you here if I gave you an unfair sentence, disowned you, and continued to blame you for all that happened."
"Why did you not speak of this to me?" Thor asked, frowning dangerously.
"Because none could know of my plans. I did not want to risk Heimdall hearing, and I felt I could not trust him with such a secret. He was among those who would have had Loki executed, despite the proof of manipulation used on him, believing it was best for the realms." Odin's eye came to rest on Loki. "Surely you are aware you were much safer here. There are those on Asgard who would have attempted to assassinate you, punish you further with torture. I could not allow that to happen to you."
Loki ignored Odin, and turned back to Frigga, looking slightly hurt. "Did you know of this?"
Frigga shook her head. "I did not. Your father said nothing of it to me until after your name was cleared."
"My name was- what?" Loki's head snapped back to Odin, and all eyes in the room were now watching the All-Father closely.
"Thanos. He attacked; he had come looking for you. I suspect you knew that he would Loki."
Loki paled slightly. "Yes. But I thought Asgard could defeat him, and I did not speak for fear you would cast me out to fend for myself when I could not."
"I would have done no such thing. Believe that, I beg of you." Odin replied. "Well, we defeated Thanos, and before he was killed I forced him to tell the truth about what he did to you. All of Asgard knows your innocence, all is well, and you can come home now."
"…Home? I haven't had a home in a very long time." Loki muttered.
"From what I've seen Loki, you have made a wonderful home for yourself here." Frigga spoke up, taking her son's hand and smiling warmly.
Loki glanced back at Natasha, Tony, and Bruce, who were still in the room, standing a respectful distance away. "Yes. I suppose I have."
"But, Loki, will you please come back to Asgard, for a little while at least?" Frigga asked, moving her other hand to cup his cheek. "I have missed you both so much. You can return here whenever you wish."
"What proof is there that this is not another lie, another manipulation?" Thor nearly growled at Odin, folding his arms defensively. "I will not allow Loki to be locked up or harmed again."
"Thor, I understand your hesitation, but I promise this is no lie, no trick. You are wanted at home, no one will harm Loki. He has been forgiven, and punished enough. He has changed so much here; he is himself again, and yet better. He will be welcomed home."
"…I wish to return, for a while." Loki finally said quietly. "I will of course want to come back to Earth, I… like it here."
"…If that is what you want brother." Thor replied.
"Thank you." Frigga lead him by towards Odin, and Thor slowly followed, at which point took his hand as well, but both men were clearly anxious to be near Odin.
"Hey! What about my suit Comet?" Tony said anxiously.
"Your suit will have to wait Stark. I will help you with it when I return." Loki answered.
"It's time sensitive stuff, if we don't get to it in the next fifteen minutes, we'll have to start all over." Tony grumbled, starting forward, but was held back by Natasha.
"Then we will start over." Loki growled, his irritation clearly growing.
"Don't push it Tony." Natasha warned.
"Let us go home." Frigga told her husband.
The room disappeared almost instantly, and Thor recognized it as the same spell Loki had used to bring them to Earth, considering the yanking he felt around his neck.
Less than a minute later, the four arrived in the newly rebuilt observatory, which housed a nearly complete replacement Bifrost, but there were four people waiting for them. Sif and the Warriors Three, who all preformed the traditional Asgardian bow in Odin's presence, and then stood and approached Thor.
Frigga gave her sons a smile. "Your father and I will leave you two to your friends."
"Mother-" Loki started, about to ask to come with her.
"I need to make sure everything is ready for the welcome home feast tonight. Besides, you have not seen them in a long time, you should reunite with them. I will have much time with you later." Frigga cut off, standing on her tiptoes to kiss his check, and then she chuckled. "I almost cannot even remember when I was taller than you."
Loki couldn't help but give a small smile as his mother and Odin swept out of the room, back toward the palace. His smile faded when he found Sif standing in front of him.
"Thanos told us what he did to you." She said curtly. "The All-Father has said your actions during your time as our king have been punished enough, but I… I cannot argue with the king. And, well…" She trailed off, deciding not to finish whatever she had been about to say, and extended her hand. "Welcome home, Prince Loki Odinson."
Loki couldn't help letting his mouth open in surprise slightly, but he took Sif's hand and shook it briefly. A second later he received a slap on the back from Volstagg, a clap on the shoulder from Fandral, and a slight nod from Hogun.
"Come on you two, you need to be ready for the feast tonight. You can hardly go in the clothes you were wearing when you left over a year ago!" Volstagg exclaimed.
Loki found himself being lead along by Thor, while the others surrounded them, and they were actually speaking to him, asking him questions, telling him of things that had happened in their absence. And Loki felt a warmth spreading through him, the same warmth he had felt the day he had been truly accepted by the Avengers.
It seemed a century ago since Loki had been in his own room, which, for someone who had lived so long and experienced the passage of time as if it flew by, was a very odd feeling. It had been cleared thoroughly, no dust, clean bed sheets, and all his clothes were in good condition. It had surprised him, but it did seem the ill will towards him was quickly dying out.
The hour was past midnight, and he had changed into his nightclothes, but he hadn't gone to bed. Instead, he stood on the balcony of his room, gazing out over the place that had once been his home, the place he couldn't deny he had missed.
The feast had been surprisingly… pleasant. It was obvious there were still those who felt he could not be trusted, but otherwise, he had been treated with respect and courtesy, some of which was genuine. He had felt welcomed.
Tomorrow, he was to go out riding with Thor, Sif, and the Warriors Three, an invitation that had been extended by Sif. He had promised to walk with his mother tomorrow. And before he had left the feast, Odin had confronted him, and told him he was sorry. Odin had asked his forgiveness, and said he hoped he would earn it. He had told Loki he would not push the matter with him, he would wait and hope the day would come when he and Loki could speak. In all honestly, Loki thought maybe, just maybe, that day would come. That someday he would be able to call Odin father again. It may take a century, but, in his heart of hearts, he wanted it.
Loki breathed the sweet air deeply before he went back inside his room, closing the doors, and finally settling in bed.
For the first time, he believed things would be completely all right.