Here is an Avengers short story for the holiday featuring Loki and OC Dianne. Can be read on its own, but if you want to know their backstory, you are welcome to read "Sometimes Being Different is a Good Thing" (I know, I need to think of a shorter title for it) "Altered" and what has been written so far of "Overcome". Also, I do not own anything related to Marvel.

CHAPTER ONE

"No, that one is no good either," Dianne said, eyeing the tree critically.

Loki sighed exasperatedly, "Are any good enough?"

"Of course not, the forest service picked them," Dianne replied, "We wouldn't be having this problem if we went to go get our own tree, out in the forest, like I wanted."

With another sigh, Loki pinched the bridge of his nose. Of course she wasn't going to let him live it down that he refused to go cut down a Christmas tree, one they would have to go a fair distance to get one, and two, why bother wasting all that time to even get a tree when you wouldn't even have it for long? He didn't even want to waste money on one, but Dianne demanded they have one for Christmas. She had to explain the holiday to him anyway for him to understand what it was all about, and even then, still understand the necessity, or appeal, for the tree. He had at least got her to postpone getting one for a few weeks instead of the day after Thanksgiving.

"Alright, I get it, you want to go out and cut down your own tree," Loki said.

"So can we?"

"Fine, we can," Loki agreed with a resigned sigh.

Dianne turned around to her husband and gave him a quick kiss on the lips after wrapping her arms around his shoulders, "Don't worry, it won't be as bad as you think."

"You with a sharp object in your hands always turns out bad," Loki retorted.

Taking a step back, Dianne playfully slapped at his arm, "Does not."

Loki gave her a doubtful look, "You obviously don't remember how…giddy you get with a blade."

"Sharp things are fun!" Dianne said, and rather maniacally.

Already Loki was regretting agreeing to this.


Dianne didn't want to wait until the next day to get their tree, so they went and got the required permit, and headed out that same day, taking her vehicle since it could handle having a tree on top of it. They went quite a ways away from their city of residence, traveling on rural roads where seeing another vehicle would be a miracle, Dianne keeping a sharp eye out for a good tree.

"We're going to be out here for hours aren't we?" Loki asked, glancing over at the speedometer to see they were going hardly ten miles an hour.

"No, I just don't want to chance passing the perfect tree, which is why I'm going slow so you can stop checking every five minutes how fast we're going."

Loki let out an exasperated sigh, leaning back in his seat. So far, this wasn't fun. They continued driving for another fifteen minutes or so, when Dianne suddenly stopped the car.

"Ooh! Look at that one!"

Looking out his side window to where she was pointing, Loki wasn't sure which tree out of the hundreds he saw she was pointing at specifically.

"Looks great, can we get it and out of here?" Loki asked, even though he didn't know which tree she was referring to.

"We'll need to take a closer look of course, and make sure it's short enough because we don't want to leave a tall stump behind or take more than what we really need," Dianne replied, grabbing her backpack with the measuring tape and handsaw inside before hopping out of the car.

Loki got out as well and followed his wife down the hill a short ways before coming to a stop next to the tree she had spotted. She circled it, like a vulture, analyzing it, and after measuring its height, reported to Loki that she found it in good shape and would be the one they'd take. She couldn't help but laugh seeing Loki sigh in relief hearing they were finished. At least with the picking the tree, they still had to get it home.

"Hey, feel lucky that we're not with my parents," Dianne said, "My dad takes forever in choosing one, because he'll look at a few, make note of where they are, and then make a choice out of the…five or so candidates. Me, I find a good one I take it."

"Then I am glad you are not like your father," Loki said.

Dianne smiled and pulled out the saw from the backpack, "So, do you want to do the honors, or shall I?"

"I know how badly you've been wanting to use that, so you may," Loki replied.

She didn't need to be told twice, and after making sure Loki was out of the way, started sawing into the tree. After a few minutes, it finally came down, and was carried up to the car and strapped on top.

"Now it's starting to feel like Christmas," Dianne said.

"What, going out in the freezing cold, cutting down a tree and getting…this stuff all over your hands makes it feel like Christmas?" Loki asked, pulling his fingers apart from where the pitch had stuck them together, "If so, I'm already disliking it."

Dianne slapped a hand over her mouth seeing how much of the tree resin had gotten on his hand, "Whatever you do, don't touch anything with that hand, especially your hair. But no, that's not what I meant."

"Then what did you mean?" Loki asked, using his magic to be rid of this sticky mess, which was taking forever.

"Finally having a tree, it's starting to feel more like Christmas," Dianne replied, "But just wait until we have it up in the house and decorated."

Loki just shrugged. So far he wasn't impressed with this holiday.


Dianne and Loki waited until the next day to put the tree up inside, working on that after breakfast. Dianne instructed Loki on where to put the Christmas tree so it would land in the stand, and had him hold it steady while she tightened the screws to keep it in place.

"Okay…now slowly let go," Dianne instructed.

Loki relinquished his grip on the tree, where he made sure there was no pitch, having learned his lesson yesterday, and slowly backed away. It started to lean, so he grabbed it again. Dianne sighed in frustration before trying again with keeping it in place. They fought with the tree for a good hour before the couple finally ended up victorious.

"Now, decorations," Dianne said, pulling over a box full of lights and ornaments.

"Now?"

"Yes?" Dianne replied, giving Loki her puppy eyes.

Of course, her giving him that look, he couldn't say no. When he tried convincing her to allow him to use his magic to get it done quick, she shot it down right away.

"I would like for us to do this together," Dianne said, wrapping her arms around him in a hug, "Have some holiday bonding time."

Loki smiled endearingly at his wife, "If that is your wish, I will more than happily oblige."


Decorating the tree turned out to be more entertaining than Loki had anticipated. Dianne shared with him many Christmas related stories while they worked, and the two ended up having a tinsel war between each other, since there was some in Dianne's Christmas box and they weren't going to put any on the tree due to having the cat. Loki was allowed to use his magic to quickly clean that mess up before said cat got to any and tried eating it. Even so, Loki was starting to warm up more to the festivities of the Christmas holiday.

"I hope you ended up having some fun today," Dianne said, "I mean, you won the tinsel war so I'm assuming you did."

"I did, but not only because of that," Loki said, stroking his hand along Nelly's head and back as she sat in his lap where he and Dianne were sitting on the floor in front of the tree, "I got to spend precious time with my wife, which makes everything wonderful."

"You know, I do believe I'm getting better at catching what you're fibbing with," Dianne said teasingly, "You and your silver tongue are losing their touch."

"Fib? I wouldn't dare do such a thing," Loki said, the sarcasm noted in his voice, before becoming serious, "Especially not to you. I know you'd find out somehow, and would make me regret it."

"Now I'm not that mean am I?" Dianne asked.

"Well…you do have quite the temper, when you have your fits," Loki said, "I just know how to avoid them…for the most part."

"Yes, I do remember you tossing Nelly into the shower with me that one time," Dianne said, her eyes narrowing slightly, "Not to mention all the times you've taken my clothes and towels when I'm in there."

"What can I say, the end result is always worth it," Loki said with a smirk, "No matter what happens in between."

Dianne reached out with a hand and gave him a slight shove so he rocked over slightly, but enough so that Nelly bolted out of his lap and disappeared under the tree, "You, are a pervert."

"What, like it's my fault that I'm hopelessly attracted to you which thus makes me a pervert?"

"Yes."

Loki just shook his head, a small amused smile on his face, "You are silly."

"You're still a pervert."

"Well then I guess I must live up to your expectations," Loki said, moving to lean over his wife, going in for a kiss despite her leaning back and away, just to mess with him, "But you're not going to make this easy are you?"

"Where's the fun in playing easy?" she retorted with a smirk.

He quickly removed that smug look on her face with a passionate kiss.


The one aspect to this holiday Loki was actually looking forward to was the gifts, and not because he'd get them, he really didn't want anything except to spend the time with his wife, but because he could shower Dianne with the gifts she deserved. Over the past eight months of being married, he'd occasionally, randomly, get her a little something to show his appreciation and love for her, which she appreciated herself, but for Christmas he could give her a ton of things and she couldn't get upset about it. Of course, there was the difficulty of thinking of something to get her, and asking her what she wanted wasn't getting him anywhere. Dianne had no idea what she wanted for Christmas. At least Loki had something in mind for her so he wasn't completely lost which he made on his own time, and even wrapped! Though it was haphazardly and he didn't come out of it completely unscathed, having gotten quite a few paper cuts and accidentally cut himself with the scissors.

Being on the coast, they weren't going to have a white Christmas, unless there was a freak storm, so to make the atmosphere a little more Christmassy, Dianne would play Christmas music during the daytime. At first Loki didn't mind, but as the days wore on, he was starting to feel a little stir crazy from hearing the same songs, over, and over, and over again.

"Can we please turn that off," Loki begged, staring at Dianne's boom box.

"You don't like Christmas music?" Dianne asked, as if she were hurt.

"I am sick and tired of listening to these same songs over and over!" Loki exclaimed, "Good King Wenceslas can take a hike and take Frosty the Snowman with him!"

"Ooookay," Dianne said, pushing the stop button on the player, "I'll find something we haven't listened to."

Loki's eye twitched, "You mean we still have to listen to music?"

"But it's the most wonderful time of the year Loki."

"I hate that song too," Loki hissed.

With a low chuckle, Dianne used her knees to walk across the couch to her husband, draping her arms over his shoulders as she came close to straddling him but left both legs on one side of his legs and just draped herself over him as she gave him a long kiss, "Trust me alright, I have something very different from this choir music."

As she went to pull away, Loki grabbed her around her waist, pinning her back against him, "You think I'm going to let you go that easy?"

"Yes?" Dianne replied uncertainly.

Sliding a hand behind her neck, Loki pulled her face down to his to kiss her. He of course tried to go further in his pursuits, but as he began tugging at her sweater and shirt, trying to remove them, Dianne finally wiggled her way free. Loki glared at her as she sauntered away to grab the music she was referring to earlier. She came back a minute later with a CD in her hand, and Loki slowly moved closer to the end of the couch her music player was at so he could snatch her once she got it started and resume where he had left off. She noticed him moving though, so after hitting the play button, she went to dart off, but Loki was faster, lunging out and wrapping his arms around her waist before pulling back, throwing her down onto the couch cushions with him on top of her.

"Again, you really think you're going to get away easy?"

Dianne rolled her eyes, but Loki took the smile on her face a good sign. As he leaned in to kiss her though, the music started, and he popped his head back up to look over at the music player in confusion.

"This is Christmas music?" he asked.

"Yes," Dianne replied, "It's Trans-Siberian Orchestra, they do Christmas rock style."

Having known Dianne for over a year now, he had gotten used to her taste in music, which was wildly different from what he was used to hearing in Asgard, but at least now he tolerated it. He even was starting to like it a little. He just wasn't expecting a chorus of guitars and bass accompanied by the steady beat of drums to be playing to Christmas music. Needless to say, it was rather catchy, and much better than what they were listening to earlier. Ripping out his hair and teeth and killing the boom box with an axe was much less appealing now.

"Well it certainly is…different," Loki said, "much more tolerable at least. For the first time around."

"But it's Trans-Siberian Orchestra, I could listen to this for days!"

Loki whimpered, "Please no."

"What, you don't like it?"

"Right now it's okay, but a few more repetitions I most likely will not. You do this to torture me don't you?"

"Torture you? Why would I ever do that?"

"Because it's apparently fun for you."

Dianne laughed before propping herself up on her elbows to give him a kiss, "You know, you're so cute when you're scared."

"I am not scared!" Loki said indignantly, sitting up more.

"Okay, nervous then."

"I'm not nervous either!"

"No?" Dianne questioned.

"No," Loki replied.

"You sure?" Dianne asked, a roguish smirk tugging at her lips as her eyes glinted with mischief.

Loki paused. He knew that face led to some…rather terrifying behaviors in his wife. He knew she had this crazy streak in her, which she occasionally indulged in alongside his own mischief, which wasn't so bad then, but when it was towards him, it was scary.

"No, no, no, I know that look," Loki said, "Whatever you're thinking, stop it. No."

Dianne inched a hand towards his side, and Loki instantly knew what she was going for. The one ticklish spot he had that she had accidentally discovered months ago and had exploited ever since just to torture him. Yep, he knew it, she enjoyed that far too much. Jumping up and off the couch, Loki began backing away as she sat all the way up.

"I know what you're doing Dianne, and I said no."

But she wasn't about to listen, and tackled him to the ground.


It was tradition in the Harris's household to open presents Christmas Eve after a large Christmas meal so Dianne was going to carry on tradition, and do just that.

"I thought we were supposed to open presents tomorrow," Loki said when she told him this as he helped Dianne make the dough for their rolls.

"That's what most people usually do," Dianne said, "But like I said, it's been a family tradition to open presents Christmas Eve."

"Here I thought I was caught up with the society norms with this holiday and now you're confusing me," Loki sighed.

"Why are you complaining, you get to open your presents a day early!"

Loki just shrugged, "I could care less, it's not like I wanted anything. Well, nothing material."

Dianne gave Loki a blank stare before shaking her head. She opened her mouth to say something when Loki cut her off.

"I know what you're going to say, you don't need to say it."

Rolling her eyes, she continued mixing the ingredients in the stainless steel bowl. She couldn't help but smile though at the fact that she and Loki were so used to each other already, they both practically knew what the other was thinking. Glancing back up to her husband, her smile changed from an amused one to one of endearment. She loved Loki just as he was, and wouldn't change a single thing about him, she just couldn't help but tease him about some things.

"What?" Loki asked, having looked up and noticed the look she was giving him.

"What what?"

"The look you were giving me."

"Oh, that what," Dianne said, "Just thinking about how much I love you."

Loki smiled, "Ah, well then that's perfectly okay to think."

"What did you think I was thinking?" Dianne asked.

Loki shrugged, "I don't know…maybe concocting some devious plan in your head, like you did the other day."

Dianne snickered. For once she actually won the tickle fight and it was funny seeing Loki on high alert, twitching every time she moved. It wasn't until bedtime that he finally relaxed.

"No, I think I'm out of evil ideas," Dianne joked.

"Well then, I guess I'll have a chance to get you back then."

Dianne laughed, but she didn't realize Loki was being serious, or how soon he was going to strike. Using the one-fourth measuring cup, he scooped up some flour from the container, and sent it showering down onto Dianne's head. She gasped shrilly as she tensed up, watching the flour float down in front of her face. Loki laughed seeing her face, even when her eyes narrowed into a death glare and her jaw clenched.

"You are so dead!" Dianne screeched, lunging across the table at him, her fingers grasping at the air as she tried to grab him.

"But it reminded me of snow, and I know how much you love snow and wished for a white Christmas," Loki said with a wide grin that reminded her very much of the Chesire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.

With a growl, Dianne ran around the table and grabbed the measuring cup from his hand. Loki expected her to just jab him in his side, or on his chest, chew him out for this, but instead she too scooped up the flour and dumped it onto his head.

"How do you like it?" she asked in a huff, but Loki could tell she was trying not to smile.

"Oh, you have no idea what you just started," Loki said with a low chuckle.

A food fight then erupted in the kitchen, Dianne using her flying abilities to flit about the room trying to dodge the food and ingredients laid out on the counters Loki threw at her using his Asgardian magic, as well as grab handfuls of the food to throw back at him. They finally came to a stop ten minutes later after Loki made the flour explode all over the whole kitchen. Dianne coughed from where she and Loki sat on the floor as the flour came floating down from the ceiling.

"Let it snow?" Loki said uncertainly.

"You are so cleaning up this mess," Dianne said, "While I take a shower. I thought you hated that song, by the way."

Loki raised an eyebrow, "Shower?"

"Don't you dare steal the towels either."

Loki laughed, "Oh, I wouldn't dare."

"Well that was an obvious lie," Dianne said blandly.

With another laugh, Loki scooted closer and kissed his wife, despite both of them being covered in flour and he could taste it.

"Go ahead and clean up, I'll clean the mess."

Dianne nodded, and went to get up when Loki grabbed her hand, "Dianne, I love you."

She smiled, "I love you too."

She gave him one more kiss before heading out of the kitchen, leaving a trail of flour on the floor behind her. Loki got to his feet and looked around at the mess. Now to get this cleaned up before Dianne finished with her shower. Thank goodness he had his Asgardian powers again.


Loki did manage to pull of the impossible and got the kitchen cleaned while Dianne showered, and so when she returned she resumed with cooking while Loki took his turn to shower. Once he got back, he went back to helping her cook, and they got everything finished without another incident. Luckily their food fight didn't put too much of a dent in their ingredient supplies that they would have to go without a dish or go to the store to buy more. A shopping trip would be needed soon though.

The two lounged about while the remainder of their dinner cooked, then when the last of it was finished, they sat down at their table and dug into the meal. By the time Loki had finished, he was stuffed to the brim and wishing he hadn't gone for thirds. He never ate a lot anyway, but tonight he definitely overindulged. This meal would be nothing to Thor or Volstagg, they could eat the whole thing and still be hungry. At least Volstagg would.

"Present time," Dianne said as she walked away from the dishwasher after placing her plate and utensils inside, "Come on Loki."

"I'm coming, I'm coming," Loki assured her as he slowly pushed his chair away from the table. Any sudden movements and he expected to lose his dinner he was so full.

Heading into the living room after his wife, he took a seat on the couch as she instructed him to do as she separated the gifts, making his pile, her own, a few that were for the two of them, and there were even a few labeled for Nelly. From Loki.

"Aww, I didn't know you liked her enough to get her gifts," Dianne teased, setting down a small package next to where Nelly was sitting by the Christmas tree, eyeing a sparkly ornament.

"I was tired of her stealing my pens," Loki said, "Why does she like playing with pens anyway?"

"Because they slide across the hardwood floor nicely."

Once the presents were in their designated piles, Dianne took her spot next to her husband, and grabbed the present she got from Olyvia. It was large, circular, and somewhat heavy so she was very curious as to what it may contain. Ripping off the colorful paper, she laughed seeing the assortment of bouncy balls inside.

"I can restart my collection," Dianne laughed.

"You used up your others?"

"Yeah, when we were fighting Thanos," Dianne replied, "So now if there are any more emergencies, I have my ammo."

The two of them opened the present from her parents, which was a set of picture frames, and Dianne knew just what to put in it, and where to put it, the huge blank spot above the television. There was one other present addressed to the both of them, which said it was from just Dianne's mother. Judging from the weight and the size of the gift, Dianne already had a good idea of what it was, and when she pulled out the quilt, she silently congratulated herself for guessing what it was.

With the couch getting covered with the paper, Dianne shoved it off, telling herself she'd clean it up later, only to have Nelly come bounding over from the tree and land in the pile of crinkly paper, attacking it and clearly enjoying the crinkliness of the paper. Dianne couldn't help but laugh, it was very cute and silly.

Going back to their own piles, Loki opened the ones from his in-laws. A fedora from Rosemary, with a note saying she thought it would look cool on him. A series of books from his mother-in-law which he spent a few moments reading the inside cover to see what they were about. And then lastly the present from Olyvia and Steve. On the outside was a card, so he opened it first.

"'Here's something for you to take up a hobby. We all know you need one besides pulling pranks'," Loki read, "Thanks...I guess."

Dianne chuckled, "Open it, let's see what they got you."

Setting the card down, he did just that, carefully pulling apart the wrapping paper as he had done with all the others. Removing the box, he read what it said it was, it being a digital camera.

"Oh wow, that was nice of them" Dianne said, "And it's a good camera too. Now you can join me with my photography."

"Question is…how do you use it?" Loki asked, taking the camera out of the box and looking over it in some trepidation.

"I'll help you figure it out," Dianne said.

She went to grab another of her presents, but she could see Loki still trying to figure out the camera, and she guessed he wouldn't leave it alone until he figured it out. So she went ahead and scooted closer, offering her help with the camera. He caught on quickly, and after running through some things on it, lifted it up and snapped a photo of Dianne.

"I must have a talent for this because my first photo is just beautiful," Loki said, turning the camera so she could see the picture on the back screen, "A masterpiece really."

Dianne smiled and just shook her head. Loki was always finding ways to compliment her. Sometimes she thought he was just trying to butter her up so he could get something.

His last present was the one from Dianne, saving to open it last. It too had an envelope attached, and pulling out the papers inside, found it was a two page back to back letter. He spent a few minutes reading it, a smile spreading across his face as he did so. It was just a little memoir almost of their time together, Dianne saying how lucky she felt to have met him and where their life together has gone. It was very sweet, and brought back some very fond memories. He would have been perfectly happy with getting only this from her, but it came attached to gift. Opening it up, he found an empty photo album, along with a nice black jacket.

"Olyvia and I collaborated," Dianne said as he thumbed through the album to see if there were any photos in there, "So you have something to put your favorite photos in. After you print them out of course."

She added the last part as Loki picked the camera back up and looked for a button of sorts so he was able to get the pictures out. He looked slightly disappointed as he set the camera back down.

"Have you opened my present yet?" Loki asked.

"I was waiting for you to not be preoccupied," Dianne said, grabbing her last gift, which she could hold in the palms of her hands, and set it on her lap as she began to rip away the paper.

The torn away paper revealed a blank box, so she whipped out her pocket knife again to cut the tape holding it closed. Reaching into the tissue paper, she felt something smooth and cold in a spherical shape. Grabbing it, she pulled it out to find it was a snow globe. For the "snowflakes" inside, there was only a little bit of silver glitter, much less than what she normally saw in snow globes and there was absolutely nothing inside.

"Um…thanks?" Dianne said uncertainly, unsure what the point of it was.

Loki chuckled seeing she was confused, "Shake it."

Doing as he said, she gave it a good shake before holding it up in front of her again. Her eyes widened in surprise as her jaw went slack as what she could only describe as holograms of her and Loki appeared in the globe, the silver flakes dancing in their spiral around the globe. It was as if she were watching a film strip of their story, of how they met, fell in love, and came to be where they were today. There were only short "clips" of the events, and lasted five to ten minutes, and once it finished, she had tears in her eyes. It was just…so sweet.

"I love it," Dianne said, setting it down on the coffee table.

She raised a hand to wipe away her tears, but Loki grabbed it before she could do so, and lifted his own hand to brush away the tears.

"I'm glad," Loki said, leaning in and kissing her, "I love you."

"I love you too."

Best Christmas ever.