~oChapter One Blooper!o~
Loki blinked in mild surprise to see those present when he arrived on Midgard. He blinked again to see that Thor was unconscious at his feet with two thin wires that extended from clips at his chest to a plastic thing held by a young woman. He couldn't help but smile as he walked over to her.
"May I know the name of the woman who, I believe, electrocuted my brother?" he asked, gently taking her hand and raising it so that he could press his lips to her knuckles when she answered.
"Darcy Lewis," she answered.
"Lady Darcy," Loki said, and kissed her hand. "I thank you. Thor was long overdue a humbling."
Darcy, having officially had enough surprises for one evening, fainted.
~oChapter Two Blooper!o~
Loki sighed, then blinked as he saw a figure approaching. "It can't be," he breathed.
"Loki?" Darcy asked.
He blinked. "It's... my mother," he answered, and scrambled to his feet so that he could magic himself down to her.
"Can I meet her?" Darcy asked, also climbing to her feet.
Loki looked at Darcy like she was a fool, and blinked. "No," he said frankly, and then vanished from the rooftop.
~oChapter Three Blooper!o~
"He committed a crime! He's in jail!" Erik objected when Jane started talking about rescuing Thor after he'd brought her back from the crater site.
"I can't just leave him there!" Jane objected right back.
"You didn't see what I saw!"
"You saw my brother acting like the violent, entitled ass he has always been, and then yelling at the sky like a child denied his favourite toy when he failed to lift Mjolnir, correct?" Loki interjected.
Jane did an excellent impression of a gasping fish as she tried – and failed – to find some answer to that other than 'yes'.
~oChapter Four Blooper!o~
"This tiny mortal felled the mighty Thor?" Fandral asked, clearly incredulous. "How?"
Loki summoned Darcy's taser from the breakfast table and placed it in her hand.
She the pointed it at Fandral and fired it.
He fell to the ground twitching, just as Thor had done.
"That's how," Darcy said smugly.
~oChapter Five Blooper!o~
"What are you doing here?" Jane demanded.
"Inviting these two out for a drink," Clint answered with a smirk.
"Darcy isn't old enough to -" Jane started.
"I'm twenty-three, Mom," Darcy cut in.
"Shield stole my equipment!" Jane objected.
"Shield isn't taking me out for drinks," Darcy countered, her tone much more calm and reasonable than Jane's. "Agent Barton works for Shield, yes, but he isn't the guy who gave the order to have your stuff hauled. More to the point he's a handsome guy who's offered to buy me at least one alcoholic drink tonight."
"If it makes you feel better," Clint said, interrupting the two women before it could become a full-on cat-fight. "Shield will probably mostly move out by the end of the week, give you back all your stuff and probably offer you more steady funding for your research than you currently have."
Jane blinked, her ire short-circuited but by no means permanently diffused. "Really?" she asked, clearly sceptical.
"Probably," Clint answered. "You'd have to talk to Agent Coulson to know for sure. So," he said, turning back to Darcy and Loki. "The pub at eight?"
"We'll see you there," Loki agreed.
Clint nodded, hauled himself up into the driver seat, and with a last wave he took off.
"What was that?" Jane asked, turning on Darcy and Loki both.
"I met Agent Barton when Loki and me went to get Thor back," Darcy lied with an absent shrug. "While they talked, so did we. He's a nice guy, despite working for the super-secret organisation that has currently confiscated your research."
~oChapter Six Blooper!o~
Loki quipped with a small, crooked smile. "As much as I love Thor, there are days when I want nothing more than to use a brick to crack his skull open."
"I know the feeling," Clint commiserated as he finally opened one of the beers he'd brought, silently offering a second one to Loki (who took it, by the way). "I care about my brother – he's my brother, can't really do anything less – but I haven't actually talked to him since I was a teenager. Good chance he's dead or in prison, now that I think about it."
Clint nodded, and together they each took a pull of their beers.
Loki coughed at the burn and drew back the bottle. "What is that?" he demanded.
Clint smirked. "Not what the label says, that's for sure. Brewed it myself," he answered.
"Ah," Loki said. "Moonshine. Thank you for the warning, Agent Barton."
Clint's laughter roared out across the stillness of the sleepy little New Mexico town. He'd pulled one on the god of mischief. How many people could say that?
~oChapter Seven Blooper!o~
"And what about Thor and Loki?" Erik asked lowly.
"Up to them," was Coulson's quick response. "Shield is aware that both are princes to another... realm. Though of course we will be watching while they are here. Any further details would be need to be discussed privately before you could be let in on it. Though a decision as soon as possible would be preferable," Agent Coulson answered formally, his face betraying no preference towards whatever answer he might receive.
Loki hummed, and conjured a coin which he flicked high into the air, caught, and slammed onto the back of his opposite hand without looking. Then he peeked. "My answer is 'yes'," he said, vanishing the coin. "Though of course, there are details that will need to be discussed."
~oChapter Eight Deleted Scene!o~
"...and then Clint scolded Coulson for not knowing his pop-culture," Loki said with a smile. "I was waiting for him to break out into song."
Natasha chuckled at the recounting of Loki's recruitment as she raised her glass to her lips and took a sip.
"Oh yeah," Clint said with a snort, and proceeded to prove that he actually had a fairly good voice for song. "I'll be there for you."
"When the rain starts to pour," Loki sung back.
Natasha couldn't help it. She snorted, and the liquid she had been drinking shot out through her nose. She then proceeded to crack up as her now ex-boyfriend sang the Friends Theme with the god of mischief in the middle of the cafeteria. As her laughter got louder, so did their singing.
"Are you all drunk?!" Fury demanded when he marched up to them.
"Sober," Clint answered.
"Just high on life and good company, Director Fury," Loki added. "Cheer up," he advised. "The world isn't ending today and no one is asking you to change a baby's nappy."
Natasha burst out laughing again at the mental image of Director Fury changing a baby's nappy – mentally factoring in every nappy-changing horror story she'd ever heard. She didn't stop laughing even when she fell out of her chair.
~oBecause YOU ASKED FOR IT!o~
Coulson's status, as it pertained to Captain America, was one of his defining characteristics to those who knew him. As such, even though the man was the best handler, the least flap-able agent that Shield had, he was still visibly near to swooning as he told Romanoff, Barton and Loki about his hero being thawed out and awake at last.
"May I be permitted to meet him?" Loki asked.
Coulson blinked in mild surprise. "Well, he's part of the Avengers Initiative as well," he answered, "so you'll probably have to at some point."
"The sooner, the better," Loki said flatly.
"Well, he's on base," Coulson offered. "Wouldn't have pegged you as one to be interested in America's first home-grown hero."
Loki snorted indelicately. "I have reasons."
Barton and Romanoff had watched the exchange carefully. Coulson was a little off his game due to exposure to his boyhood hero. Life-long hero. Whatever. But they noticed.
"Can we meet the guy too?" Clint asked with a glance at Natasha.
"Yeah," she agreed. "After all, we're part of the Initiative as well. Better if we can get a feel for the guy before we have to work with him."
Loki smirked as he caught on. "We might as well all meet him at once," he suggested. "I'm sure that three people wouldn't be too many for him to handle, even after seventy years on ice."
Coulson wrote a series of digits down on a piece of paper and slid it across the table.
Floor of the base and the room he was in.
Loki nodded in silent gratitude, and rose from the table. He'd finished his lunch already. Natasha and Clint quickly moved to follow him.
Coulson was left behind, sighing over being this close to his hero. And not quite having the courage to go and speak to him...
"Captain Steven Rogers?" Loki asked when he'd opened the door of the room Coulson's note had indicated, and found it occupied by one man only.
One man having a go at what appeared to be his third punching bag.
"That's me," the blonde agreed, and stopped punching so that he could face whoever these new people were.
Loki slapped the man across the face. Right cheek. Open palm.
Steve worked his jaw. "What did I ever do to you?" he asked, confused.
"Oh no," Loki answered. "I promised Margaret Carter I'd pass on the message."
Steve blinked. "Peggy?" he asked. "You know Peggy?"
Behind Loki, Clint and Natasha bit down on their lips to stop the laughter from coming out.
"Knew," Loki corrected. "She's been dead for some time, Captain. You daughter, on the other hand, is still alive and well, even if she is going grey."
Steve choked. "My -?!"
Loki nodded. "More to the point, Captain, my granddaughter," Loki informed the man.
"And therapist," Clint quipped, finally unable to hold it in completely. It was just too much. "Don't forget that."
"And a much better therapist than Sigmund Freud was," Loki returned easily. "Though he had his merits, and was certainly good for a laugh when I needed one."
Steve frowned. "I'm... confused," he admitted.
Natasha, of all people, took pity on him. "Captain, this is Loki of Asgard. He was... around before your plane went down, and likely won't age in our lifetimes," she explained.
"Margaret was my daughter," Loki stated. "You left her pregnant. I was the one to help her raise her baby girl, when it should have been you." He breathed deeply. "The only reason I'm not exercising my fatherly prerogative to string you up on the flag pole by your entrails is that Margaret made me promise that, if there ever came a day when you and I met, I was to slap you for her and leave it at that. I may be the god of lies and mischief, but I am not an oath-breaker. Especially not where it concerns my girls."
"Right..." Steve said softly as he tried to absorb all of that.
"You're getting off lightly man," Clint informed him. Then he smirked. "Quite the slap though," he complimented. "That's gonna colour up real nice."
"I have a daughter..." Steve said softly.
Loki smirked. "She's older than you are now, since you thawed out to be the same age you were at the moment you were frozen, and she's … now, what was the word they used for 'lesbian' back in the war era?"
"They had one?" Clint asked, surprised.
"I think it was 'lesbian'," Natasha offered wryly. "Unless you're looking for a derogatory term."
Loki shook his head.
Steve fainted. Knees just buckled and he fell forward on his already abused face.
The two agents and one Jotun looked down at the fallen man, then looked at each other, then all burst out laughing.