(This story is on hiatus until further notice. Chapter 16 is an author's note; see for more details.)
A/N: Here I am doing it again! Somebody- you guys, slap me or something- I'm uploading unfinished stories again. And I'm still in the middle of one of my other stories! Ugh, oh well. This is my first straight-up h/c fic. I'll admit there's not much in the way of an actual plot to what I've written so far; it's mostly just an excuse to write the Avengers and Loki in a domestic environment, whilst packing in angst and delicious brofeels along the way (and whump. You guys know I survive off of whump; my evilness knows no bounds! XD). The premise isn't exactly unique, but I hope there's some stuff in here that piques your interest.
As usual, no slash, features Loki, all the Avengers and possibly others in future chapters (haven't decided yet).
Warnings: mentions/memories of past tortures, minimal language, a couple lewd comments from Stark (who else?). The 'M' rating is mostly for the torture stuff.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Avengers, nor Loki, or any of that good stuff, etc.
Pray For Rain
Tony Stark had just dropped something. He wasn't sure what he'd just dropped, because his mind, quite frankly, didn't care at the moment. It fell and clanged on the floor, something metal and heavy- but he paid it no attention.
Thor. It was Thor. Standing in front of him, so suddenly in front of him, as though he'd popped out of nowhere, right into Tony's workshop.
Tony cursed something, but he didn't realize it, he just stared, dumbfounded, blinking.
"Uh," he finally got out.
"Anthony Stark," said Thor, a strangely sad and desperate look on the normally sunny face.
Tony was sitting down. He hadn't been sitting down a second ago, but he was sitting now. Why am I sitting down? So he stood up, slowly approaching the thunderer.
"Uh," he said again. "Did you just-" He whipped his head around. How did he get in here? The workshop- Tony's workshop -in Avengers Tower required a key-code to enter. "How did you get in here?" He asked, trying to regain his normally nonchalant composure.
He looked around again, searching for any holes the god might have made whilst barging in here. The god of thunder wasn't exactly the most patient of people, he might have just lost his patience and-
"I require your help, Stark," said the thunderer, his quieted and slightly quaking voice giving Tony pause.
"Right- Okay. And, uh, it's just 'Tony'." No matter how many times he had told him, it was always, 'Stark', 'Son of Howard', 'Man of Iron', 'Metal Man'- Tony was tired of it ten minutes after he met the blonde god.
Thor hadn't moved. Which was strange, since he normally gave everyone within hugging distance- which was really just everyone within earshot -a crushing embrace that never failed to bruise.
"What with?" Stark asked, trying to go about his business as if nothing strange was happening. He moved things around the work table, not really doing anything, but he suddenly felt the need to look busy. When Thor didn't say anything, he asked again, without looking at the god: "So are you gonna tell me how you got in here, or am I gonna have to guess-"
Tony stopped. Thor had moved. Just one step to the side.
Then Tony realized, he and Thor weren't the only ones in this room.
His head was spinning, his eyes wide, his body rigid. Tony Stark did not like what he was seeing.
"What the f- I- How did-" His mouth was moving but his words weren't working right. Finally, one word made it out that he was actually trying to get out: "Loki?"
Because there before the genius was none other than the god of mischief himself, brother of Thor, trickster extraordinaire, and would-be conqueror of Earth.
"Thor..." Tony was glad his voice was back. "Did you...hit me in the head recently and I don't remember? Because, I'm pretty sure I'm hallucinating your brother. Not the best hallucination, I admit, but who says hallucinations have to be something you want to see-"
"Stark," interrupted Thor, looking like he wanted to step closer to explain, but he remained next to his brother, his hand around the smaller god's arm.
"Please tell me I'm imagining him, Thor..." Tony blinked several times, as though that would make the image before him change.
"You are not imagining him, my friend," said Thor, a sadness still lingering behind cobalt blue eyes.
And suddenly Tony noticed Thor's armor. The thunder god's typically pristine armor was marred by splotches of blood and smeared dirt, and the edges of his red cape were burned. He sported no injuries that Tony could see- Thank God -but he looked as though he had just been through a prolonged battle.
And Loki... What's wrong with his eyes? Stark stared at the trickster, mouth agape. And what the fu-! "Thor." Tony could barely get the name out, he couldn't take his eyes off the dark-haired god.
"Yes, Stark?" Thor said quietly, letting his friend observe at his own pace.
"Why are his lips sewn shut?" It didn't sound like a question, even though it was. Tony realized his voice was an octave higher, but he was surprised he managed to even ask anything at all. "And...his eyes...what's up with..."
Thor was nodding, and Tony kept staring, staring at the enemy he once fought. He doesn't notice that Thor hasn't answered him.
Loki's eyes are white, so white; as though he's blind. And by the way he stares at seemingly nothing, it's a good bet he is. There's an odd spider-like white pattern spread around his eyes, as though someone had spilled some pale liquid on them and he couldn't dry it off. And his lips... Tony can't take his eyes off them. Thread. Black thread. Traces of blood lingering where the string pierced his skin.
"What-" Tony tries to speak, but his throat is suddenly dry.
"I have come to seek asylum for my brother," Thor blurts out.
Tony blinked rapidly, still unable to tear his gaze from the as-yet unmoving trickster god. "Uh-huh," the billionaire says blankly, not really listening.
The blonde puts an arm around his younger brother, to which the younger moves his head slightly, as if to acknowledge the movement.
While Thor is wearing his usual armor, Loki is wearing a plain grey long-sleeved shirt- quite torn and frayed around the edges -and a pair of dark trousers in a similar condition. He wears no shoes.
"Stark!" bellows Thor, and Tony jumps and jerks his head to him. "I apologize for my abruptness...and," he hesitates, looking to his brother, who still hasn't moved, "I know you may not wish to offer us aid."
Tony stares at the two, body and mind feeling heavy suddenly. "Well... I didn't say that. Actually I... don't think I've said much of anything yet," he smirked. Stark knew he was a talker, being quiet was not his thing.
Thor gave a small smile in return- a very small smile, and the sight of something so withered on a face so accustomed to bright, sunny smiles... It didn't look right.
"Are you..? What's going on?" Tony asks, completely forgetting whatever Thor had said earlier.
The thunderer doesn't seem to notice either, "I have come to Earth to ask asylum for my brother."
Tony furrows his brow, "I'm sorry, what?"
Thor sighs, "May we..." he looks around, "discuss this in a more comfortable venue?"
"Oh," Stark's eyebrows go up. "Oh sure, uh..." He scratches the back of his head, looking around. "Yeah, sure. Upstairs."
The ride up the tower is one of the strangest Tony has ever been on. Why didn't I build bigger elevators?
Thor had led his, apparently, blind and gagged brother onto the elevator, not saying a word the whole way.
"So...Loki..." Stark couldn't help it, the quiet was unnerving him. It didn't occur to him that Loki couldn't answer. "Having fun your second time in my tower?" It was almost a perverse question, Tony knew, but he just said whatever first popped in his head.
Loki said nothing, as predicted, but Thor said something he wasn't expecting. "He cannot hear you."
What? "What?" He is not about to tell me-
"Loki is..." Thor stared at the opposite wall, his face purposefully away from the inventor. "Loki cannot hear, either..."
Tony swallowed. He didn't say anything, he couldn't say anything.
The trickster's face was somber, blank; head tilted down. White eyes half-lidded staring at the floor- staring at nothing. He leaned on Thor and Thor kept a protective arm around his shoulders.
The air was too close in here. Tony wanted out. He wanted to get off on this floor, he wanted the infernal moving contraption to stop. But most of all, he wanted his mind to stop thinking. Stop thinking about what all this means. Stop thinking about what it might be like to-
Why did I have to make such a tall building? He was busy cursing his ego when the metal doors slid open.
A/N: This is a shorter chapter than the later ones. As I said, not much plot in this story outside of Loki and the Avengers interacting socially and trying to help him recover. Other than that, there's ridiculous amounts of brotherly Thor and Loki huggles (yes, that's hugs and snuggles together, you know you love that word), so if you don't like that- run while you still can!
I'll be uploading chapter 2 tomorrow, however, whenever I'm in the middle of one of my other stories, this one will take a backseat so I won't get behind on updating the others. I'm afraid that means updates for this one might be sporadic- although gaps between chapters will be no longer than a month (I'm hoping).