Avengers © Marvel. Although, if someone wants to gift me Loki (or Hawkeye, or Stark, or really any of the males in this movie) I will gladly send you my address.
AN: This is how I imagine the shift between Avengers and Thor 2 going, assuming they make Loki into a good guy. It's a theory I've been kicking around with Curse, and we think it works. Of course, we're insane, so we can make anything work.
The Order in Chaos
Oddly enough, it's Clint who makes the request. Almost the instant they bring Loki in, Clint is in Fury's office demanding they keep the trickster for a while. Tony and Natasha stick around outside the office for that one – it's too funny hearing Fury have a stroke. Unbelievably, though, Clint gets his way. They set an unusually calm Loki up in a cell. Clint is the one who straps him down, the same way he was. Clint is the one who stands guard by the cell door, despite Thor offering to do it numerous times.
Four hours later, Loki goes from complacent prisoner to a crack addict in withdraw. He screams and pulls at the restraints, but he's pinned down too well to do anything. Thor worries that Loki will use his magic to escape, but he doesn't even try. Clint doesn't seem bothered. He simply slips inside the room and locks it from the inside. He doesn't let Thor in – or anyone else. Natasha stands outside the door, arms crossed over her chest and face composed, but Tony knows she's worried.
If anything happens to Clint, she's going to bust down that door and kill Loki, and no one is going to stop her, not even Thor.
When the screams and the curses finally stop, Clint pulls up a chair and sits calmly beside him. The trickster breathes heavily, almost panting, before finally evening his breaths and opening his eyes. His gaze flickers to Clint, and his entire body stiffens. Clint smiles faintly.
"The coming down sucks."
Loki just stares at him for a moment. "I suppose this happened to you?"
Clint tilts his head to the side. "How much do you remember?"
"Enough. What I have done to you, and parts of what happened in the city." Now he's refusing to look at the archer. "I think I hurt Thor."
"Nah. Tried to a couple of times, but from what I've heard that's nothing new. Thor's a brick – he can handle it." The lighthearted reassurance seems to work. A small smile appears on Loki's face before it vanishes completely.
"How did you know?"
"After the battle, I recognized that look. I knew you were about to crash. Didn't know how long you could keep yourself together, so I didn't think it'd be a good idea to send you back so soon." He looks back at the door. "I should probably go inform the others. At least Tasha. She's probably getting ready to break down the door." He stands to leave, but Loki's voice stops him.
"Will you come back?"
Clint nods. "Of course." With that he leaves the room. Natasha waits for him outside. He smiles at her. "See? All in one piece, no worries."
Natasha rolls her eyes. "If I knew you were suicidal – "
"You love me and you know it."
Loki stays in his cell for two weeks. He's kept mostly chained, but Clint lets him go every time he comes to visit and chains him again when he's forced to leave. The others come to visit him as well. Next to Clint, Tony is his most frequent visitor. The Captain comes by when the others do, probably to make sure they stay safe. Thor is forbidden access. Bruce comes by once. He doesn't say much, simply makes sure the restraints aren't chafing his wrists and leaves. Natasha is different.
He looks up at her. "I didn't expect to see you."
Natasha shrugs and takes a seat. Loki can faintly remember being in a similar position with her. "Clint told me what happened. He said none of this is your fault."
Loki chuckles. "Oh, I highly doubt I'm not at all to blame." he says bitterly.
"Clint says you're not. I believe him."
"So why are you here?"
She tilts her head to the side. When she speaks, her voice is flat, but her eyes show her turmoil. "I won't lay a finger on Barton, not until I make him kill you – slowly, intimately, in every way he knows you fear. Then I'll let him wake just long enough to see his good work, and when he screams I'll split his skull."
Loki's eyes are wide. "That sounds like something I would say to Sif." Natasha arches an eyebrow. Loki elaborates. "When we were children, Sif and I would see who could come up with the best threats. Needless to say, we got creative after a while."
There's a faint smile on her face. "Sounds like a game Clint and I play. In our off-time, we stalk each other through the compound with paintball guns. Whoever scores the first hit wins." Loki doesn't quite get the concept of paintball guns, but he can understand enough. His face lights up.
"Always." Natasha's smile fades. "We get vicious with our fights, enough to scare the other agents, but we never mean any of it."
Suddenly Loki understands what she's after. "Sif and I never meant it either." he says quietly. Natasha nods acceptance. It's all she needs to know.
The conversation turns to safer things until Natasha is summoned by Fury. Clint waits for her outside. He smiles. "He pass your test?"
"Yep." Natasha flashes him a smirk and walks off. Clint easily falls into step beside her. "I think the whole team is warming up to him." Clint nods.
"I just wanted to make sure he isn't screwing us over."
"You can tell?"
Natasha nods. "I've heard him lie and forced him to tell the truth. I can tell now. He's being honest." She glances at him. "Is he that important to you?"
"Getting there." Clint nods. "We've been through the same thing. I understand him. I understand you now." He nudges her with his shoulder.
That statement startles her, but she simply nods and enters Fury's office alone. Clint returns to his post at Loki's cell.
After those two weeks, Loki is brought before Fury and Hill. The Avengers are there, scattered about the small room. It's the first time Thor has seen his brother since the battle. The madness that has colored his actions is finally gone, replaced by something that almost resembles fear. His hands are cuffed behind his back, but he is not gagged at least.
Thor wants to go to him, but refrains. There will be time for reunions later. For now, it's enough that Loki is safe.
Fury begins the meeting. "Agent Barton tells me you were under the Tesseract's control as much as he was. Is that true?"
Loki nods. "It is."
"I don't think I believe you." Fury leans forward over his desk. "You are a liar by nature. How can I trust anything you have to say?"
Loki shrugs as best as he can. "Do you have a knife?"
Natasha produces a knife. "What do you want with it?"
Understanding flashes across Thor's face. "Give it to me, Natasha. Clint, will you undo Loki's cuffs for a moment?" Clint does as he's asked. Hill automatically draws her weapon, but Loki simply holds out his hand. Thor approaches him and cuts open his palm. He then turns the knife on his own hand. They clasp their bloody hands together.
"Loki, do you swear to tell only the truth for the next two hours?"
For a moment, their hands glow. Thor backs away, and Clint replaces the cuffs. Unnoticed, he slips a tissue into Loki's injured hand. The trickster curls his fingers around it. Fury looks at them. "What that just a pretty show?"
"You have two hours to question him and be sure of his answers." Thor replies tersely. Fury nods.
"Were you under the control of the Tesseract?"
"Yes." Loki replies.
Fury nods. "Are you remorseful of what happened here?"
"What I can remember of it." Loki admits. "Like Agent Barton, my memories are fragmented. What I can remember, I regret." He offers a faint smirk. "I would rather have torn Asgard to the ground."
"That is definitely true." Thor murmurs.
Fury ignores him. "So, what, you like Earth more than Asgard – more than home?"
"Asgard is not my home." Loki sighs. "I have a personal grudge against Asgard and Jotunheimr. What do I care for Earth? Rule as revenge only makes sense if the people I'm ruling have wronged me, don't you think?"
Tony chuckles. "Better watch it, Reindeer Games, you almost sound sane." he teases. Bruce smirks at that, and Natasha chuckles. Clint and Loki exchange identical confused looks. Loki shrugs, and Clint rolls his eyes.
Hill stares at them. "Do you like him, Agent Barton?"
"He grows on you." Clint replies. "Kind of like a fungus." Loki protests, and Thor explodes into laughter.
Hill's next words abruptly sober everyone in the room.
"He killed Agent Coulson, or have you forgotten that?" she snaps. Her attention snaps to Loki. "You don't deserve our pity. You deserve to die for what you did."
"What about Clint?" Thor protests. "He was in the same position as my brother – does he deserve to die?"
"Anyone who says yes to that will answer to me." Natasha growls, arms crossed over her chest. Hill glares at her.
"Director Fury, they have all been compromised." Fury knows what Hill is about to do, but he doesn't stop her. He simply watches with interest as Hill draws a knife and goes after Loki. The trickster backs up, eyes wide, either unable or unwilling to defend himself. Before anyone else can react, Clint and Natasha move.
Natasha grabs Loki by the arm and pulls him behind her, drawing her gun in the process. Clint grabs Hill's wrist, takes the knife from her, and presses it against her throat, all in one smooth motion. He smiles faintly.
"I'd like to keep him alive for a while, Agent Hill."
"That brings up an interesting question." Steve says, speaking up for the first time. "Why did you kill Coulson, or is that one of those things you can't remember?"
Loki looks away. "It was my one moment of clarity."
"And you used it to kill Coulson?"
The trickster looks him dead in the eye. "You needed the push." he says softly. "I couldn't just say it wasn't me; there wasn't enough time to explain and you wouldn't have believed me. So I made sure you'd come after me instead."
"Desperate times call for desperate measures, I suppose." Bruce says.
Steve snorts. "I don't think I've ever been that desperate."
"You're also a hero, Cap." Tony says flatly. "No one else here is. We all have blood on our hands." He examines Loki for a moment. "Let him stay with us. They say there's nothing more dangerous than an enemy with nothing to lose. Let's give him something."
Thor brightened considerably. "We can give him a home here, with us."
Fury simply stares at Tony. "What if I don't want to do that?"
Tony looks pointedly at Clint and Natasha. Clint still has Hill at knife point. Natasha's gun is aimed at the ground, but Loki is still protectively sheltered behind her. "You don't have a choice. They've already done it. He's Thor's brother, Clint and Natasha's friend; I like him, Bruce likes him, and Cap will probably like him once he gets that stick out of his ass." Steve opened his mouth to retort, but Tony overrode him.
"We've already adopted him. The only thing you can do is make it official."
Thor spoke up. "I would watch out for him, Director. I would be responsible for him."
"No need." Fury replies. "If Loki turns on us, Agent Barton really will shoot him in the eye." He fixes Loki with that one-eyed stare. "If you turn, Barton will be the least of your worries. Consider yourself a probationary Avenger, Loki Odinson."
Hill protests, but Clint lets her go. He turns and removes the cuffs from Loki's wrists. The trickster nods to him thankfully. Natasha and Clint flank him as the others join them outside of Fury's office. Tony grins. "Still want that drink?" he offers.
Loki smiles. "Please."
"Sweet. Party at my place!"
Steve shakes his head, but follows them anyway. Fury watches them go. His assassins walk on either side of Loki, providing a barrier against a suddenly excited Tony. The others simply fall into step with them. They are a unit now, and now they have one new member. He smiles.
"Did I satisfy your curiosity, sir?" Hill asks.
Hill shakes her head. "I still say this is a terrible mistake." she says. "Loki can't be trusted."
"Perhaps, but it's a mistake we have to make." Fury agrees. "You remember what happened when Barton decided to adopt Romanov."
Hill smiles. "I figured Romanov would have killed him in his sleep."
"And yet, she's one of our best. Give it time, Agent Hill. Maybe Barton can win Loki over after all."
An: I hope you guys like this. It's the longest one-shot I have ever written. Stand back and stare in awe.