Prologue

Tony Stark. Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. That's what the public sees.

That's what he WANTS them to see.

The part that he doesn't show, is the vulnerable part, trust issues, weak, everything that he hates and is ashamed of.

When the Avengers use that against him, will he ever recover?

Or will he allways be known as the 'Betrayer' or the 'Enemy'?

As of now, Tony Stark, will forever be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But will he ever fight back?


Chapter 1

Starting my second book!

So happy :)

For first book, here the link (these two stories are NOT connected, there completely separate)

s/9361552/1/The-End-Where-I-Begin

And now, a brief synapsis,

This story is called 'Before the Worst' after my favourite Script song, it's set 100% in Tony Starks Point of View (POV) and its set a month after the Avengers movie finished. The stories basically about Tony Stark, with trust lost, betrayal, and learning to trust again.

Enjoy,

Rachel :)


-Chapter 1-

A month has passed since the Manhattan attack, as it was now known as. A full month of picking up the pieces, of rebuilding the city, of looking for Loki. The God of Mischief had escaped only two weeks after the attack. And no one has heard of him since...


"I'm getting coffee... Starbucks... I'm going to Starbucks" I announced, standing up at turning to the two others, "want anything?" Clint shook his head silently.

At least Bruce had the manners to say "No thank you". Not that I actually cared. We were all just completely wrecked, worn out, exhausted.

This is why I was getting a coffee...from Starbucks. I could easily make one at home of course, but hey, what's the fun in that?


Half an hour later I was paying for my coffee, ignoring the curious stares of the other customers. That was the single one problem I had of being a famous inventor/engineer/avenger billionaire. People tend to take notice when you walk around the place. I quickly paid at the counter and hurried back outside, pulling up my hood. It was very lightly raining, but heavy enough so I wouldn't be looked at strangely for having the hood of my jacket up. And it helped hide my face which, unforcently, was widely known in New York. But hey, that's life for ya.


Taking a sip of my now-cold coffee, I grimaced in disgust. Jeez I hated Starbucks coffee. I decide to walk home, well, as 'Home' as the Avenger tower could be when you shared it with an assassin, an archer, a god, a scientist/hulk and a super soldier. Life around there got pretty interesting... A quick movement caught my eye and I spun around. Nothing. My mind must have been playing tricks on me... But no, another movement out of the corner of my eye. And if you can't trust your own gut instinct, what can you trust? So I turned around and waited.


A second later, a jet black cat came out of an ally, its green eyes sparking against the rapidly fading sun. "A cat" I muttered, "just a cat".

But no, there was something wrong, something... Off about this cat. So I stared at it, taking it its feline qualities. For an ally cat, it was too well fed, yet it wasn't a pet. You could tell that just by looking at it, slightly ruffled up fur, guarded expression, not coming any closer than needed. A bit like myself actually, I realised, before quickly returning my attention to the stray in front of me. But this was no ally cat. He was simply too... Perfect. Well fed, clean, good condition. Not a whisker out of place.

"If you think I'm bringing you home, you've got another think coming" I said, wondering why exactly it was staring at me with its big green eyes... Dangerous green eyes. It was only then I realised, and I dropped the coffee cup in my haste to stumble away.

"It can't be" I muttered, "Loki?"


"Indeed" the cat replied, its body shaping into the God of Lies himself. Black hair and Green eyes. Not black fur and green eyes.

"I was wondering when your figure that out" he mused, grinning to himself.

"What... W-what the hell are you doing here?" I asked, steading myself against the wall.

Loki was here... In New York... Next to me. Well this is awkward.


"What are you doing here?" The God asked back and I rolled my eyes, "I LIVE here Moran. And I asked first".

He smirked at me, suddenly finding my choice of words very amusing.

"We'll I was just seeing the sights. You know, touring" he replied, as if it as the most natural thing ever for a crazy god trying to take over the world to get on a tour bus.

"As a cat?" I asked and he shrugged, "you're doing the same thing now".

"What?" I asked confused.

"Disguises Stark, disguises" he replied, "I was disguised as a cat. You're trying to disguise yourself by hiding your appearance even though it stopped raining 20 minutes ago".It stopped raining? Looking up at the sky, I let my hood fall back. He was right. The sun was back out, just soon enough to disappear into the evening sky.

"Why are you here Loki?" I asked, looking back down at him.

"I thought I already answered that. I'm sightseeing".

"No. You're not. There's no motive to that, there's no reason behind it". He took a dangerous step towards me. A warning.

"Why do I have to have a motive?" He asked his voice velvet-like, barely a whisper.

"Because you're Loki-fucking-Laufeyson" I shouted. Thank god the steered were deserted. "Everything you do has a plan" I continued, "every single tiny little detail has been thought through completely".

"What's stopping me from 'turning over a new leaf' as ye mortals call it?" He asked, his voice threatening. I rolled my eyes at him, "yea. When hell freezes over".

He glared at me, taking another step in my direction, "you should choose you words carefully Stark, they may be your last".

"Save your breath" I told him, "we both know if you wanted to kill me you'd have done it earlier on before I had a chance to blink".

He flatted slightly, "true as that may be , it does not however prevent me from hurting you".

"Why didn't you say so in the first place?" I asked, holding out my hands, "please. Be my guest. At least I won't have to listen to you talk any more".

He glared at me threateningly before stepping forward in one swift movement and punching me in the jaw. My head snapped back with the force. Reaching up and touching my lip, annoyed to find it bleeding, I slowly turned back to him, daring him to go any further. He smirked in triumph and stepped back, "You should learn to watch that mouth of yours Stark, it could lead you into all sorts of trouble".

"Believe me, it already has" I muttered, wincing as in poked at my jaw bone. It was already starting to bruise.

"I would imagine so. Now if you don't mind. I'll be one my way". I stared at him in shock, "what? That's it? You're just going to punch me once and leave? You're not going to cause any trouble or anything?"

His starling green eyes glimmered in the fast fading light, "Trust me Stark; I've already caused more trouble than you can imagine".


Half an hour later, I was still going over his words as I reached the tower. What did he mean by 'more trouble'? It wasn't something that was going to happen, cause he said 'I've already caused'. Which meant he's already done it, already caused me a bucket load of trouble...I was still musing over the possibilities when I made it to the Avengers main floor.

"Hey did ya get t-" Clint started, walking towards me, but then he completely froze, "What the fuck happened to you?" It took me a split second they realise what he was talking about.

"Oh, this?" I asked, tapping my jaw and wincing as it sent a shooting stab of pain through to my skull.

"Jeez, what happened?" Barton asked again. Should I tell him about Loki? No, I decided, it would only worry him.

"Some guy jumped me" I lied, "ran away before I had the chance to see who it was".

"Man that looks bad. Did he take anything?" He asked and I shook my head, "I had nothing on me".

"Oh. That's all right then... Well I mean it's not alright but it's better than if h-".

"Clint" I barked, "calm down. I'm fine".

"Yea, your fine. Cause everyone's fine when they get a busted jaw and a split lip" he mumbled and sighed, heading towards my room, "I'm taking a shower. You need me, you know where I am".

And hopefully, just this once, I would wake up in my bed and realise this was all a dream.


The hot water calmed me down and it was only then I realised I was shaking violently. The God had really got to me hadn't he? Taking deep breaths I let the water run down my face, I had to calm down. Just calm down. Jeez I was messed up. "Get a grip Stark" I muttered, turning off the shower, "It was just a stupid God. That's all. Since when did you ever let Loki get to you?" Never. And that was what scared me…

10 minutes later I was aimlessly pacing my room, thinking over and over the Gods words. "Trust me Stark, I've already caused more trouble than you can imagine". What had he meant? There were no more attacks on Manhattan or on all off America for that matter. And the God was all about destruction and chaos… wasn't he? Maybe he was just trying to… No. He wasn't simply trying to scare me. That would have no motive, no reason behind it. So in his eyes, it would be Pointless. So what had he meant?

"You're going to wear a hole in that carpet if you don't stop" someone said making me jump. I spun around to face Clint standing at the door. Ok, it was just Barton… not a crazed physcopath God. Just Legolas.

"I'm thinking" I explained, half truthfully.

"Right… well, Cap's done making dinner" he said, but it was obvious that he suspected something.

Forcing myself to calm down, I faked a grin, "I'll be there in 2 minutes".

"I'll tell him you're ready in 5 then" Clint replied smirking.

"Right as always feathers".


Quickly drying off my hair with a towel, I stood in front of the mirror. I had to calm down. I was completely tensed up, and with two master assassins who were trained to notice every tiny insignificant little detail, it wouldn't go unnoticed. Deep breaths. Relax. Calm down. Putting on a fake smirk, I walked down to the kitchen. Everyone but Thor was already sitting down. Banner gave a low whistle when he saw me, "who'd you annoy to get that?".

My jaw…right…stick to the plan Stark. "Some guy hit me when I was walking back" I lied. I had to stick to the story I gave Barton.

"And the other guy?" Bruce asked again as I sat down.

I sighed, "Got away before I could properly see him".

"Well, he sure gave some punch" Natasha muttered and I glared at her, "I can fight grand myself thank you".

"Just saying" she continued, "he must have had some fist".

"Yea he did. I should know".

"GUYS" Rogers barked, putting on his official I'm-Captian-America-leader-of-the-Avengers voice as he handed out the plates, "cool it".

"Did you just say 'Cool it'?" I teased, "Awww, Capcicle's all grown up".

He smiled slightly but made no attempt to argue or even glare at me. He couldn't. He was too soft. It was hilarious.


"Hey, where's Point Break?" I asked looking around. We were all more or less finished Capcicle's wonderful meal, and the God still hadn't turned up.

"Thor?" Clint asked and I nodded.

"Asgard" Bruce explained, "Left about an hour ago. Something big came up. Had to leave".

I nodded slowly… Something big came up…

"Loki's probably been found" Natasha muttered and I immediately tensed up. No, calm down. It's just a delusional jerk who things he can rule the world. CALM. DOWN. Forcing myself to relax, I stood up, trying to be as non-conspicuous as possible. "I'm…I got to go" I muttered, bringing my plate into the kitchen before making my way to the lab. Forcently no one questioned me. Unforcently, I could feel their stares burn into my back. They knew something was up. And it was only a matter of time before they found out.


"Hey Jarvis" I muttered, locking the door firmly behind me.

"Good evening sir".

"Hey you know…um…Loki?" I asked.

"Yes sir. Loki Laufeyson. Half God, half Frost Giant. Asgardian Prince. Also known as the God of Mischief or the God of Lies" Jarvis replied and I nodded, "that's the one".

"What about him, sir?"

"…Is there any possibility you could track him?" I asked, "anyway at all?"

"Oh I think that would be rather easy Stark. I'm already here".


Jumping in shock, I turned to find Loki casually sitting on a counter in the corner of the room. "You know I'm seriously starting to think you like me or something, showing up all the time" I said calmly, sitting down at my desk.

He glared at me, "I simply like causing trouble".

"Don't we all know".

"Sir shall I inform the others?" Jarvis interrupted and Loki grinned at me, "Yes , would you care to tell the others that their worst enemy is in one of their own, trusted, team mate's lab?"

"Well when you put it like that" I said, "J, wait a while".

"Are you sure that's such a good idea Sir?" he asked and Loki smirked.

"Smart machine you got yourself there Stark, it knows a bad man when it sees one".

"Jarvis is NOT an it" I said, "Jarvis is a he".

"Oh? And please, enlighten me, what does the name 'Jarvis' stand for?" Loki asked.

"Just A Rather Very Intelligent System" I replied without missing a beat and he frowned.

"Right, so the whole He's The Man That Cant Be Moved Thing? And who's he named after?" the God asked.

My mind flashed back to the time when my father was still alive. Jarvis had been the family Butler. It was who I had named the AI after. Both were helpful. What I failed to tell anyone, was that it was Jarvis who had been driving the night my parents died. I didn't even let Pepper or Happy know. Nor did Rhodey or the team, not to mind anyone else. No one knew.

"Ah, struck a nerve did I?" Loki asked smirking, "come on Stark, tell us all about it".

"What do you want Rudolf?" I asked through gritted teeth.

"I simply want to cause trouble. To you specifically".

"Why me?"

"Because you didn't die".

"Wait" I said smirking, "you want to cause chaos for me cause your pissed I didn't die when you threw me out through that window?"

"Exactly" he said happily, standing up.

"Sir, I believe is on his way" Jarvis said suddenly and I smirked as Loki tensed up.

"What?" I asked, "Scared that the Hulk will find you?"

"I'm not scared of anyone Stark".

"Well then you better get running, cause when Bruce gets mad, he tends to go for the crazy delusional God first and I'm not talking about Thor".

"Just keep your guard up Stark" Loki replied, his eyes shining mischievously, "you never know when someone could just… accidently… kill you".

"Is that a threat?"

"No, that's a promise".

Then he snapped his fingers and he was gone. Just like that. "Sir, is at the door" Jarvis announced a few seconds later. "Yea… let him in" muttered, "and don't you DARE utter a word about Reindeer Games to ANYONE, right?"

"As you wish sir".

"Thanks J".

Little did I know things were about to get a whole lot more interesting around here...


"Hey Brucey" I said cheerfully, grinning at him. All these forced smiles were really wearing me out.

"Tony" he said nodding.

"So what do I owe the pleasure of your company?" I asked, moving around some papers on my desk. Anything to keep busy. Keep busy and I didn't have time to think.

"Oh no reason… just paying a visit" he said breezily but I caught the meaning behind his words.

"I fine Bruce. You got to stop worrying" I said sighing as I turned to him.

He looked down embarrassed, "just worried you know. You seem too… un-Tony like".

"There's a Tony-like trait?" I asked amused and he grinned.

"Yea, someone who talks too much, annoys the hell out of people, and is a complete jerk".

"Harsh Banner, very harsh" I teased, clutching my heart dramatically and he laughed.

"Yea so… you sure your all righted?" he asked, suddenly serious again.

"Course. I got punched once by some maniac, I've taken worse". Hopefully the God could hear me say that.

"Right… it's just… I don't know… Forget it, see ya" Bruce said, walking back to the door.

"Yea… later" I muttered, staring after him.


As if on cue, the second Bruce was out of sight, there was a small flash and Loki appeared back on the counter he was previously sitting on. "Maniac am I?" he asked and I rolled my eyes, not bothering to turn to him, "that was for your benefit, not mine".

"Oh really? So I'm a crazed delusional moran as well am I?" he asked and I turned to face him.

"Yep".

"For someone who talks too much, is a complete Jerk, and annoys the hell out of people, you sure got some nerve" he said.

"So have you showing up here".

"Ah, well, we all do strange and confusing things at time" he replied smirking.

"Yea, and for you its permanent" I muttered and his grin immediately fell.

"I thought I already told you to watch that mouth of yours Stark" he told me, "didn't you learn from the last time?"

"Oh, this old thing?" I asked, tapping my jaw, ignoring the piercing pain that shook through my skull.

He frowned, standing up and taking a step forward, "would you care to have another bruise to match it?"

"And how do you expect me to explain that one to the other Avengers? Some guy magically broke into my lab, hit me once, and then disappeared?"

"Your problem not mine".

"Well It WILL be your problem when I tell your brother your back in New York".

He took a dangerous step forward, glaring with all his might, and WOW, Loki glare was scary. "You'll do good to refrain from bringing Thor into this Stark" he snarled, spitting out my name like it was a bad word, "he's not my brother".

"BUT, you care for him" I pointed out and a second later the God had me pinned to the wall. How is it even humanly possible for someone to move that fast… oh yea, he wasn't a humane was he… Why do all the back guys either have to be Gods or Aliens? It got really annoying sometimes.

"Now listen closely Stark. I hate Thor, Thor loves me. I hate Odin, Thor loves Odin, I hate you, Thor loves you. We have very different likes and tastes on this planet, and that does NOT make me care for him" he whispered. He was warning me, daring me, to go one step forward. And since I'm not the one to follow the rules, I couldn't let him down now could I?

"But you still care for him" I said once again and Loki pulled me back before slamming me against the wall again. And jeez did that hurt.

"I'm telling you Stark. One wrong move and I'll slit your throat".

"Okay, is that a figure of speech or are you actually serious on this?" I asked smirking.

"Oh I'm serious Stark" he said and suddenly he had a knife against my throat. Where the hell did the knife come from?

"One bad word from you, and this could end up getting closer than expected" he said and I grinned at him.

"Fuck you".

Loki glared and pressed the knife future against my throat, enough to cut the skin and cause blood, but not enough to actually kill me.

"You sure you don't want to rethink that?"

"Course not" I replied, way too cheerful for a man about to die, "if I did take it back, what would be the point in arguing".

"You really do have a screwed up mind don't you" he said. It wasn't a question. It was a statement. But I answered it anyway.

"Yes. Yes I do" I replied, "But you're the one with screwed up intentions".

Then suddenly the knife was gone, I was on the floor and he was calmly standing about three meters away.

"Tosú" he muttered before looking back up at me, "well . I'll be on my way".

Then, just like before, he simply vanished, leaving me sitting on the floor in a dazed heap, wondering what the fuck had just happened.

"I hate magic".


Well that's it folks!

Chapter one of 'Before The Worst' now completed!

Thoughts so far? Good? Bad? Don't actually care? (If which you don't, why are you reading this?)

Until number two,

Rachel :)