Nick Fury has a decision to make when it comes to Loki. He's not happy about it.

A/N: Written for a prompt on Thor Kinkmeme by Anonymous. (Since the link won't work here, if you wish to go to the original prompt, just ask)

As always, not quite what was asked for but almost ;)

Bigger Picture

By Ligeila

Nick Fury is a big picture type of a man. He is a leader and he knows just how far reaching the consequences of his decisions can be. He knows that sometimes personal sentiment has to be put aside for greater good but he also knows the importance of details and how to stay human. SHIELD is a huge responsibility and although he answers to the Council he knows that in the end he is out in the cold alone. He hates it but he would not have another man do his job and lose the sight of the importance of morality. Nick Fury is not known for compassion. He is known for ruthlessness and decisiveness and maybe, to some, for fairness.

Fury would like to think of himself as fair. As he reads report after report, transcript after transcript and analysis after another he sees the picture forming before him. He doubts that any of the Avengers has put it together yet. Maybe Stark would have the mind to notice if he would care to look, but he doesn't. Maybe Black Widow knows but she will never come forward to suggest any action. What they are seeing with Loki is not a man set out to conquer anything or to rule over anyone. What they are seeing is a man slowly but surely self-destructing and using the world's mightiest heroes to kill himself. You don't subjugate anyone with an army of animated park statues or museum exhibitions.

SHIELD has an armada of psychologists and behaviour analysts to know. It is written in black and white in each document presented to him. Fury almost doesn't need to read them. He has seen this before. Saw it in Korea, in Vietnam, in the Gulf, in Afghanistan and Iraq. The look in the eyes of men who have been taken too far and left alone for too long, many friends and comrades he has lost to that look. Loki has that look.

There were analyses when Loki first showed up with Chitauri in his wake. His highest death-toll to date. These suggested that Loki might have been coerced and not acting of his own volition. These ideas came in later, after many weeks of work for many people. By then Loki had been long gone and Thor never did explain what Asgardian justice had been. Fury thinks he knows by the look of Loki now.

When compared to other super villains who seemed to have become SHIELD's sole jurisdiction then Loki's numbers were not very impressive. He made up with fantastic fear tactics and good speeches but severely lacked on delivery. He didn't kill people. The people who died were those who could or would not be evacuated. Loki always made sure to have a monologue just long enough to give security forces time to get everyone they could to safety. He blew up cars and some shop fronts but in the end these things were all ensured. Loki clearly knew how to work a crowd, how to push just right to piss everyone off and get the maximum effect. He also knew how to create the illusion of villainy.

As of late these speeches had gotten more and more depressing and Loki more and more willing to put himself right in the middle of the fight. Not a good sign. Fury knows from the transcripts of numerous security tapes that Loki in his own and twisted way has begun to say goodbye. Now, Fury has a decision to make, one of personal morality. No one would fault him if he chose to do nothing. To let Loki reach the brink and end it all. It might even be the right thing to do. But he knows that no one has tried to reach Loki in any meaningful way; no one has tried to give the god an alternative to what he has now. He reads the conversations between Loki and Thor, if those can be called 'conversations', and cringes. He too would want to punch Thor. God of Thunder clearly has no idea how to handle his once brother, gives no respect to Loki or his wishes. Fury has tried to make it clear to Thor to stop engaging Loki during their fights because what follows is always so much more destruction than is necessary.

Fury could let these reports stay reports. He could let Loki kill himself and be done with it. But he sees potential; so much would be wasted if a man of Loki's ability would be dead. SHIELD could desperately use someone like him. Fury doesn't create any fantasies. Loki could never be more than a dirty little secret, a deniable asset, but as such all the more valuable. He knows that he could never stop a man like Loki from killing. No doubt there is more blood on Loki's hands than Thor's could ever carry and blood can be washed off only by more blood, Fury knows. He has recruited the Black Widow and Hawkeye after all. And Fury's own hands are far from clean.

Even as he contemplates, Fury knows that he has already made a decision. A team has already been assembled, one of doctors and therapists and God knows who else, ready to take on the madness that is Loki. Now all he has to do is bring Loki in. Easier said than done.

The End.

A/N: … For now. There might be more of this at some point if there's interest, who knows.