Author's Note: I know, I know, it's been like three decades and a half since I last updated like, anything. But it's here now, Daddy. And I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOU! So, enjoy this chapter.
(PlushChrome here! It's partially my fault, I took off for a month on vacation, so I couldn't help her get over her writer's block. Then when I came back, I introduced her to Sherlock, which I had started watching on my vacation. Now we're both hooked and spent most of our time watching the show and, of course, reading Sherlock fanfiction. XD So yeah, my bad.)
I BELIEVE IN SHERLOCK!
(Yes. Thank you. See, we've discovered that not only am I the Tony to her Bruce, the Shawn to her Gus, and the Gibbs to her DiNozzo, I am also the Sherlock to her Watson. And yes, I know that such a statement comes across as rather arrogant, but I figure if anyone can, it's me. XD So there.)
We're also book-verse, not only Sherlock-verse. I wonder if we're also Robert Downy Jr. And Jude Law... We should watch that.
(For the record, I still haven't fulfilled my promise and read the books. But I believe my blogger. ANYWAY. If I am Iron Man, Iron Man is Robert Downey Jr, RDJ is Holmes, and Holmes is me, then I am everyone together. I am the eggman. We are the eggmen. I am the Walrus! Coo-coo-ca-choo!)
ANYWAY! Read on, spirit! READ ON!
They had been working for around six hours and Tony was very impressed by Loki's skill. For one thing, the mage was surprisingly helpful on the whole science front. He was innovative and incredibly intelligent, and it didn't take long for him to figure out technology and how things worked.
For another thing, Loki functioned incredibly well for someone who was so obviously exhausted. He stumbled every now and again, tended to tune Tony out, and his hands shook so badly that Tony had to take charge of the blowtorch and watch as Loki's second degree burns faded within a matter of minutes, but other than that Loki did great. Then again, Tony figured that the trickster probably had a lot of experience.
They managed to adjust the scanners to pick up high levels of magic, and even got it so that Tony could tell Loki's ordinary magic from outside sources. It was quite interesting to see the design of Stark Tower on the computer, dark green right over the workshop to signify Loki's magic as the young god made a flame dance on his hand.
"You know, that's uh, pretty cool," Tony remarked. "But isn't that draining?"
"No, small spells are not that impairing," Loki said, defusing the flame by fisting his hand. "Only the stronger ones tire me out, and even then only in frequent use. Things like teleportation, conjuring, and healing others."
"Huh," Tony said thoughtfully. "I will keep that in mind. Still, I think you might wanna hold off on all that magic until you get a good nights rest before you pass out."
"I will not..." Loki sighed as his lie was cut off again. "It would take a little more to make me faint, Stark." He corrected himself with a frown. "I have survived worse than a few sleepless nights."
"Undoubtedly," Tony rolled his eyes. "But it's still hardly healthy."
Loki didn't argue the fact and turned back to the screen. The kid really did look horrible, but Tony was no Bruce, and he couldn't just send him to bed. Not to mention, Loki would probably point out that it was hypocritical of him to do so when, if it wasn't for Bruce and JARVIS, Tony himself would probably never sleep. Plus, there was no bed in the lounge...
Tony frowned at his own lack of hospitality and made a mental note to tell JARVIS to tell Pepper to get a bed in the lounge. He would get an entirely new room, except that he got the feeling that Loki actually rather liked the lounge, and enjoyed that the room was now classified as his.
"Your magic is green," Tony said, gesturing. "You know, for obvious reasons. The green cape and all being the most obvious. Since Amora also has a strange green fetish though, I did face a minor problem in color coordinating the magical signatures. So I made her color yellow, like her hair."
"Her hair is blonde," Loki pointed out. "Not yellow."
"Same difference," Tony argued. "Blonde is just one step away from yellow. I thought about making her signature pink because she kind of reminds me of those waitresses you see in truck-stop diners who always gossip and chew bubble-gum, and most bubble-gum is pink and stuff. But that uh... It seemed kinda vague, so I just went with yellow."
"Not to interrupt," JARVIS said before Tony could keep rambling. "But Captain Rogers has called a team meeting."
"So?" Tony scoffed as he adjusted the scope of his scanner to cover some of the buildings around the Tower.
"So 'team' means you as well," JARVIS said calmly. "And I am sure he would be most displeased if you do not come down, and we do not want to cause a scene in front of the guests."
"Okay, first of all, Jane and Belleview can more than stomach it," Tony pointed out. "Belleview takes everything in his stride, and it's not like Jane can slap you anyway, or would dare to slap me because, as we all know, I am Iron Man. Second of all, this isn't Steve's Tower and he can't just order me around willy-nilly because I do what I want, and I never voted for him to be captain anyway, that was Fury's verdict. Tell him that Lokes and I are involved in important science stuff that he wouldn't get."
Loki raised his eyebrows and turned back to the chart silently, as if to say 'I just live here'. Tony glared at him for a second before turning back to his schematics, mentally pleading that Steve would just leave him out of it for now. He was tired and cranky and didn't like being told what to do.
"Sir, I'm afraid he's most insistent," JARVIS said. "He says that it concerns Sir Loki, and that he would like your assistance with leading the meeting."
Tony frowned in surprise. Steve had said that? Captain America? Great. Just great, now he had to go because Cap was being all weird and nice.
"Okay, fine," Tony sighed. "If he can't handle it, I guess I'll come up and hold the fort with Bruce and stuff."
He couldn't expect the poor scientist to handle Janey, Cap, Tasha, Clint, Thor, and the weirdly compliant Belleview all by himself. Plus, Bruce would stick up for Loki by himself, and if Jane freaked again Tony would have to be there to talk down the Hulk.
"C'mon, Lokes," Tony called as he started walking to the door.
"Hmm?" Loki said distractedly. Tony turned back to see that Loki was looking at the computer monitor and adjusting things carefully, clearly not paying attention anymore.
"I said come along," Tony told him with a huff. "Didn't you hear what J just said about a team meeting?"
"Yes I did," Loki answered unconcernedly. "Sir JARVIS said that the good captain was calling a team meeting, and that the soldier would appreciate your assistance in his efforts. What, pray tell, does that have to do with me?"
"He said we'd be talking about you," Tony pointed out. "If I knew a bunch of people were gathering around to gossip about me, I would definitely show up."
"I am not a member of the team," Loki said, sighing and tugging at his hair like Tony noticed he often did when he was thinking. "It would be intruding."
"News flash, none of us are really official," Tony told the god as he leaned against the wall. "At least, I was never really confirmed as an Avenger, and I know for a fact that your bro never did the legal work. Even Bruce is labeled a 'consultant', because SHIELD has commitment issues and problems with talent."
"Talent," Loki repeated with a wry smile. "Yes, Dr. Banner has plenty of talent by himself, not to mention the monster. Now why would you fear a man that is smarter than you, and also much stronger than you?"
"Okay, stop deviating," Tony said. "I think you should come upstairs with me, because this is my workshop and I decide who comes in and goes out. And I think you should come to the meeting with me, and if Steve or any of the others have any problems... it's my Tower."
"Is that your answer to everything?" Loki asked, seeming frustrated at Tony calling him out, or maybe just at the fact that he hadn't pulled it off. "It's my home and my stuff?"
"Yeah," Tony responded shamelessly. "Just like your answer for everything is 'well it clearly doesn't matter.'"
"That is not my answer for – oh forget it," Loki started, glaring at Tony and crossing his arms over his chest. "Why do I even bother? I suppose if I must I will go to your ridiculous meeting. But do not expect me to play nice. I have had a long week."
"I never said to play nice," Tony scoffed. "I actually don't approve of toning it down, just ask Bruce. Personally, I think it'd be better if we all just said what we thought."
"That is a lie," Loki remarked with a smirk. "You hardly ever really speak your mind, and would hate it if everyone else did besides."
"I speak my mind often," Tony protested.
"Only when it is unimportant."
Tony couldn't argue that point, and felt incredibly annoyed at the fact. The only thing he could think of saying was 'oh yeah? Well you do it too.' And that wasn't exactly going to help anything. Instead of answering, Tony just turned, walked out the sliding doors and looked over his shoulder to make sure that Loki followed him. Which the mage did with a sigh and a roll of the eyes. Man, the kid had an attitude sometimes.
Team meetings were sort of hated and rarely called, so Bruce figured Steve must've thought of something pretty big or important. Considering what was going on, Bruce wasn't really surprised; they had all been doing a lot of thinking ever since the confession.
The sun was rising outside of the living room window and Bruce yawned and thought about making coffee but decided against it. Natasha and Steve were the only others in the room, but the rest would come soon and JARVIS would make up the coffee in around an hour, if he kept to the schedule. Bruce wondered if Jane and Belleview had been invited to the meeting and opened his mouth to ask Steve when the door swung open and the two scientists entered, looking confused.
"What is this about?" Jane asked automatically. "Did something happen?"
"No, everything's..." Steve started, pausing and frowning. "Well, we'd better just wait for the others, but nothing's seriously wrong."
Oh. This had 'bad' written all over it. Bruce grimaced, hoping that Tony would show up to this meeting. He'd been keeping the Other Guy at bay for the past few days – Had it really been a few days? – and Tony always managed to calm him down. If this was some big thing, he'd need to keep a cool head. Bruce liked the others, but they always acted like he was going to explode. When they weren't actually causing the trouble, that is.
Right on cue, Clint jumped out of a heating vent with a bang and landed on the coffee table right in front of Bruce.
"Oh," The archer said as Bruce gasped and put his head in his hands. "Sorry Bruce, erm... You okay? You're not gonna...?"
"No," Bruce said through gritted teeth. "No, I'm fine. You've gotta stop doing that, there are civilians in this building alone."
"Right, yeah, sorry," Clint said awkwardly. He took a breath and then jumped off of the coffee table and swung onto the fireplace mantel, perching on top of it. "Hey, Tasha. Did your new exercise work out well."
Natasha rolled her eyes. "Have you been hanging out with that vigilante again?" She asked dryly.
"Clint, you have to be more careful," Steve cut in, frowning. "Let's not take any unnecessary risks."
"I agree," said Belleview, sitting down on the loveseat with Jane. "Except, this is Avengers Tower we're talking about. Unnecessary risks are sort of... I mean that..."
"You guys get a permission slip from Fury to be here?" Clint interrupted, narrowing his eyes at the newcomers.
"I've been read in," Belleview said with an easy smile that dissolved as he looked around the room. "Where's Stark and Thor? Aren't they coming?"
"JARVIS said Stark would show," Steve answered. "With Loki. I'm guessing that Thor got a little lost in the Tower or is having some trouble with an elevator or something like that, but he should be coming too."
Bruce noticed how he skimmed over the 'with Loki' part, nervously shifting his weight like he was waiting for an explosion. Bruce glanced at Jane, who looked like she had tuned out of the conversation at 'Where's Thor?' considering that she was looking around like Thor would pop out of nowhere, biting her lip hopefully. Clint stifled a laugh and Natasha raised her eyebrows at the woman coolly.
The door swung open and Tony strode in, Loki at his heels. The young god looked positively ghastly, and Tony looked like he was getting there. Bruce pursed his lips at the two of them, wondering if they had been up all night.
"Sorry I'm late, I had to have JARVIS prepare coffee for my arrival" Tony said flippantly as he walked over to the bar and, sure enough, poured three cups of coffee. "And I got tangled up in science stuff, Bruce decided he wanted to do some boring thing instead of help. I had to recruit someone else," he gestured to Loki. "who is actually not completely horrible and early eighth century-esque like I thought he would be. So... You still get coffee." Tony pointed to Bruce. "Even though you wouldn't help me trace magical signals. Because Lokes here actually worked out and-"
"You're rambling, Stark," Loki cut in, hiding a yawn behind his hand.
Tony threw him an annoyed look. "You ramble all the time," He pointed out. "Stop being a hypocrite. Whoa," He looked up at Belleview and Jane. "Okay, I guess as long as we're taking non-members we might as well go the whole nine yards. Shouldn't one of you be taking notes?"
Bruce smiled at the banter, and at the fact that Tony handed him the coffee cup and sat on the arm of his chair like getting too close wouldn't likely cause his immediate death. Loki leaned against the wall, glancing around and anxiously drumming his fingers on the mug he was holding. Probably wondering where Thor was.
"Okay," Steve said, glancing at the door and then over to Loki with a little worried frown himself. "I guess we'll just get started. I'm sure Thor will be here soon."
"COMRADES!" Thor shouted as he strode into the room, looking like he just woke up. "So sorry. I just woke up. Brother!" He beamed at Loki, who shifted nervously at the unexpected attention. Thor rushed over and looked like he was going to give Loki a hug before noticing his coffee cup. He settled for grasping Loki's shoulder, still grinning like an idiot, and Loki looked even more nervous and a little embarrassed.
"Did you sleep well, Brother?" Thor asked cheerfully.
"I didn't sleep," Loki said automatically.
"We were too busy," Tony interrupted. "With sciency magical stuff? Yeah, we were tracing an-"
"If it's not too much trouble, I'd like to start the meeting," Steve interrupted Tony's interruption.
"Yeah, I think that'd be good," Bruce muttered, glancing at where Thor was looking disappointedly at Loki, who was turning a shade of red.
"Of course," Thor said, blinking and turning to Steve with a slow-coming smile. "Of course. What urgent matter arises, friend Cap?"
Steve paused for a second at the nickname before the corner of his mouth turned up and he began the meeting. "Alright," He said. "First things first, I'd like to formally recognize that as far as the incident with New York goes, Loki is considered not guilty. I'm sure that would stand up in any court proceedings here on Earth."
"Depends on who they get for defense," Tony stated. When everyone looked at him, he shrugged. "What?" he said. "A lawyer can make anything sound true if he wants it enough."
"Anyway," Steve frowned at Tony before taking a breath and continuing. "I was doing a lot of thinking last night, and it occurred to me that... New York wasn't the only... incident."
Everyone paused and thought about this for a second. Bruce was a little startled, because he hadn't really thought about that. Apparently neither had anyone else, because they all looked just as surprised as he did. Loki himself raised his eyebrows like this hadn't occured to him.
"Oh yeah," Jane said slowly. "I forgot about that. How could I forget about that?"
"Perception filter?" Tony suggested.
"What?" Steve asked,
"Sorry," Tony said. "Been watching too much sci-fi. Though, it does bring to mind something that's been bugging me about the entire Loki debacle anyway. Perception."
"What do you mean?" Bruce asked.
"I mean, nothing is the way it seems if you look at it from a different perspective. Think about New York. All we saw was a guy in green and golden horns- that's you-" Here he nudged Loki with his elbow. "Coming through a portal and hypnotizing Hawkeye- That's you-" Here he pointed at Clint.
"We all know our own roles, Stark," Natasha said boredly.
"Right," Tony said. "But we only saw what we saw. We didn't know a single thing about the Chitauri. In fact, most of us didn't even know about Asgard. Our reactions were dependent on our perception. So the question is-"
"The question is when are you ever gonna let someone else talk," Hawkeye muttered.
Tony shot him a teasing glare. "The question is," he continued pointedly. "What was your perception, Lokes? About New Mexico, I mean?"
"Dry, dreary," Loki said sarcastically. "Generally horrid. Then again, I'm not too fond of Earth in general. Can you be a little more specific, Stark?"
"New Mexico isn't horrid," Jane frowned, glaring at Loki.
"That's beside the point," Steve cut in. "I can see where Tony was going and actually, that's what I wanted to ask. You know, not in that many words." He smiled a little.
"Aw, Cap," Tony smiled. "You just made a joke! You know, not in a very funny way..."
"Getting back to the point," Bruce pressed. "Loki's take on the whole incident with that metal thing... pretty much all of it, really. And you knew what he was talking about, Loki."
"Of course I knew," Loki said. "Take the loopholes you find. Anyway, it's all Thor's fault in the first place."
"Wha-" Thor looked surprised. "Me? I didn't send the Destroyer to New Mexico!"
"Yes, but you waged the war that got us there," Loki said.
"From the beginning, remember?" Tony spoke up. "Bunch of clueless mortals here, remember?"
"Fine," Loki said with a long-suffering sigh. "It all started during the coronation."
"I was going to be king," Thor inputted with a smile that made Jane swoon.
"Yes, yes," Loki continued, waving a dismissive hand to Thor, who looked pleased with the addition. "Thor was going to be crowned king over the whole realm, with some power over the rest of the Nine."
"Oh gosh," Clint spoke up. "Thor? Controlling this realm?" He pretended to shudder. "That is scary. And I faced those extortionists with the old Hydra stuff over in Hong Kong."
"A traitor to the crown interrupted the ceremony before I could be crowned," Thor said. "Attempting to steal the Casket of Ancient Winters."
"That's a very powerful item formally belonging to the Frost Giants," Loki explained at everyone's confused looks.
"We foiled their plans with ease," Thor grinned.
"Relative ease," Loki corrected. "However, despite the relative ease with which we defeated the intruders, we still went down to the volt to see things for ourselves. 'We' meaning Thor, Odin, and myself. Nothing was stolen, no one died except the Frost Giants, and Father was convinced that there was nothing to be done. Asgard had a treaty with Jotunheim that was beneficial to both realms and kept us from war. Thor was displeased."
"They had gotten in," Thor huffed. "Others could follow."
"So my dear brother and four of his closest friends- they're all just like him, by the way- decided to go into Jotunheim, alone, and wage war against the entire army of Frost Giants."
"Gold star, Thor," Tony said. "That was sarcastic. You don't get a gold star. Even I'm not that impulsive."
"Yeah, I'm starting to see where things are going," Clint said.
"And it was all despite our... Odin's direct orders to just leave things," Loki said.
"You agreed to come," Thor remarked, turning his head to the side.
"Yes," Loki said with a frown. "I did. Six against a thousand are better odds than five against a thousand. And you never did learn how to watch your back. What was I supposed to do? Stay behind and then have your little friends come back and tell us that... Anyway. We went to Jotunheim. And actually, we nearly avoided fighting altogether because the king, Laufey, told us he would give us a chance to just go home."
"But you didn't," Belleview cut in, nodding. "You guys decided to fight."
"Actually," Thor spoke up, looking embarrassed. "Loki took him up on his offer. He even managed to get me to turn and walk away, but... One of them insulted me, and I rather foolishly attacked them, forcing the others to fight as well."
Loki looked surprised, but nodded. "Yes, and we fought for a while, but eventually had to flee. Fandral - one of Thor's friends – had gotten injured and there were just too many."
"Loki managed to convince me of that as well," Thor said with a grin. "He saved all of our lives."
Everyone glanced involuntarily at Loki, who bit his lower lip and pointedly ignored them as Thor continued, not having noticed the exchange.
"I was also told," Thor said proudly. "That he actually had informed a guard of our whereabouts to ensure our safety. That's why Father came."
"Wait, your father?" Clint said. "You're skipping things."
"Thor, let me tell it," Loki said. "So, we were running from the Frost Giants and we came to a dead end, the Frost Giants surrounded us and we all assumed the battle was lost. But, as Thor said, I had informed a palace guard of our little adventure and told him to get Odin. He caught up, we were saved and we all went home. Thor was angry."
"What was he angry about?" Steve asked.
"He was going through a stage," Loki said boredly. "Thought he knew best, he was upset that Daddy-Dearest had to come and dig him out of his trouble in front of the entire Frost Giant army."
It was Thor's turn to blush.
"Wow," Natasha said. "He rebelled by attacking a realm and starting a war."
"Most kids just steal cars," Tony noted.
"Or elephants," Clint said. Everyone looked at him. "What?" He defended. "We were in a circus, Barney was bored... whatever. We took what was available to us."
"Not the last time you were involved in an elephant-heist," Natasha said. "Remember Bombay?"
"Oh, you brought that up," Clint said with a glare. "Promise breaker."
Natasha scoffed, Clint folded his arms and pouted, and everyone stared for a moment.
"And then," Loki continued. "Some things were said, insults were thrown back and forth and Thor got himself banished to... I'm leaving something out."
Thor looked at him. "What are you leaving out?" He asked. "That's all that happened."
"No, no," Loki said with a hesitant sigh. "The point of this story is to grant perception. Something important happened, I just... I don't want to... well, you know!"
"Okay," Jane said. "Let's make it easier. What happened that was important?"
"Not sure that helps the mood," Tony muttered.
Loki did indeed look frustrated as he supplied the answer automatically. "One of the Frost Giants grasped my arm during the fight," He said. "And cracked the armor. It was supposed to burn me, but instead... I reacted to it in a different manner."
"Did you jump up and down and sing Wheels on the Bus?" Tony asked.
"What?" Loki asked, looking at Tony in bewilderment.
"Just trying to lighten the mood," Tony said. "Continue?"
Loki frowned down at the table, obviously trying to pick up his train of thought. "Where was I... Ah. Um, I sort of... morphed to blue."
"So I was close," Tony said. "Wait, you what?"
"My skin, the skin on my arm," Loki sighed, biting his lip again. "It turned blue, like the Frost Giants. They have blue colored skin and I reacted to it, turning blue myself. Not entirely, just my arm and it faded within a couple seconds, but..."
"Frost Giants have blue skin?" Jane demanded.
"Yes, they do," Loki answered with a nod.
"Was it your magical energy?" Bruce asked.
"No," Loki looked at him, a little surprised. "Why would you ask that?"
"It seems like something magic related," Bruce said with a sigh. "I mean, you can control your appearance, I thought maybe it was like that. Your magic responding to... I don't know."
"That is actually a fairly intelligent conclusion," Loki noted. "However, magic that you place is usually controlled, and I have no knowledge of a spell that actually alters temperature to touch. But that's what happened. I didn't have a lot of time to think on the subject before we were running for our lives, but it made an impact. There was no reason I should have reacted like that. After Thor was banished, I wasn't sure what to do. But then I remembered that... someone I had known had been disguised. She posed as an Aesir and was actually a Jotun."
Thor's eyes tightened and Bruce wondered about the story behind that one. It seemed to him like Loki's whole life was just story after story of things that no one wanted to talk about. The subject of this person was obviously a painful one, as Loki was staring at the floor and frowning.
"When it was suspected," Loki continued. "They took her down to the cellar and had her touch the Casket of Ancient Winters, because it has a magic in it that Jotuns respond to. So I went down to the cellar to... test things. And I was."
"... Was?" Steve said after a second.
"A Frost Giant," Loki said, gritting his teeth. "I was a Frost Giant."
"I thought you were Thor's brother," Clint said.
"He's adopted," Natasha remembered. "He said." She nodded to Thor.
Loki nodded, still not looking at them. Thor glanced around before changing the subject. "Meanwhile, here on Midgard," he said. "I had met Jane, and Darcy and Eric. Apparently, Jane had some grievance with SHIELD and stolen research papers."
"Yeah, that was an interesting assignment," Clint chuckled. "Thor comes charging to the rescue, showing up as 'Donald Blake' to try and steal the papers and the Hammer. Coulson let him think it worked."
"You were not deceived?" Thor asked in surprise. "I thought I did very well!"
"Dude, I almost put an arrow through your thick skull," Clint said with a snicker.
Loki also laughed. "I wish I had seen that," he stated. "Not because it would have hurt, mind you, but because you both would have been surprised; Thor because hello, arrow out of nowhere! And you, Barton, because it would not have even done anything."
"What'd'ya know," Tony noted. "He spirals like me!"
"I was mortal," Thor remarked. "It probably would've hurt."
"You were hit by a car," Loki said. "Twice. Hard. And it did not affect you in the slightest. Obviously, Odin didn't want you hurt on your little time-out. It's the thought that counts, after all."
"Anyway, Loki actually visited me in the SHIELD base," Thor said. "Told me that Father was dead and-"
"Wait, hold it," Belleview said, holding up his hands to stop Thor. "One second Loki's finding out about his adoption and the next second he's telling you that Odin's dead?"
"Thor got ahead of me in his story," Loki explained. "Very little actually happened here on Midgard."
"But a lot of stuff happened," Jane noted.
"Yes, but no one wants to hear the stories of Thor getting drunk with Selvig and falling in love with you," Loki said bluntly.
Jane looked slightly hurt, but nodded after a moment. "I suppose you're right," she said. "That is more for just us."
"Ugh, sappy," Clint groaned. Natasha elbowed him.
"But drunk stories are hilarious," Tony said. "And it would be very interesting to see what it would take to get Thor drunk. Him and Cap. No fair."
Everyone rolled their eyes. Even Loki, before he continued. "Anyway," he said. "I had confronted Odin about my parentage... More like, he was there and confronted me about it. He admitted that I was a Frost Giant that he found in the war. Actually, I was the son of the Jotun king, Laufey. He told me that he had taken me back to Asgard to raise me 'properly' and disguised me, using his magic to make me take the form of an Aesir." His tone was bitter as he said this, especially when he came to the word "properly," which escaped no ones notice. Even Tony had nothing to say.
"No lies or left out truths escape my notice, and I sensed that he wasn't telling me the whole story," Loki continued. "So I demanded that he did and my dear father informed me that he brought me to Asgard in the hopes that one day I could be used to repair the relationship with Jotunheim."
"Ouch," said Clint.
"Because kidnapping the heir to the throne is great for repairing friendships," Tony said sarcastically. "This Odin guy doesn't appear to be as smart as everyone thinks."
Thor looked properly shocked while Loki tried to hide his smirk.
"Helblindi is older," He remarked. "So I wasn't the heir. And apparently, I'd been left in the cold, abandoned because of my size."
"Odin tell you that?" Tony asked with a scoff. "Because that guy is a liar."
"Yes, but it's not that hard to believe," Loki said indifferently. "Most Jotun are considerably larger. I'm small for an Aesir, let alone a Frost Giant."
"Well, either Odin lied to you again," Tony said. "Or he did you a favor by taking you from that other dude."
"Tony," Bruce said. "Not helping."
"Right," Tony said. "Continue."
"Well, after this little admission," Loki said, scoffing out the word 'admission' with the same bitterness that he'd used on the word 'properly.' "I sort of lost it and shouted at him-"
"Understandable," Clint noted.
"If you would all cease interrupting," Loki glared. "I could finish much quicker. I shouted at Odin, he fell into the Odin sleep – which was a necessary thing that he does about once every year or so, he never sleeps otherwise-"
"Wait, what?" Belleview spoke up.
"I said he never slept otherwise, idiot, keep up," Loki said. "And stop interrupting me!"
"Wish I could get away with that," Tony noted. "Powernap once a year, stop having to worry about what to tell Pepper when she asks me when I last slept..." He saw Loki's glare. "Sorry, go ahead," He said, leaning back in his chair with a smirk and waving his hand for Loki to continue.
"Odin fell into the blasted Odin-sleep while I was shouting at him," Loki continued, obviously getting frustrated. "I thought he had a heart attack or something before I realized what it was and guess what? Thor was banished! So, I was left the entire kingdom on the brink of war while I was trying to deal with the staggering news that everything I ever thought I knew about myself was a lie. To make matters worse there were the southern rebellions and the fire that made me relocate near on a thousand peasants and reaffirming the negations with Alfheim and the ball and watching Thor's little escapades... Basically, I had a lot on my plate."
"Boy, I'll say," Steve ejaculated in surprise.
"At least I didn't have to deal with an identity crisis," Tony said. "You know, back in the day, when I took over the company."
"Well, I went a little mad," Loki said. "Not mad as in 'insane,' that came later. Just very stressed. And Thor was sitting there drinking coffee like an idiot and falling in love as punishment, while his friends tried to convince me that as temporary king, I must somehow have the power to break Odin's enchantment and bring Thor back. I tried to tell them I couldn't, but they didn't believe me and committed high treason for the second time in as many days. Now-"
"Wait wait wait," Clint said. "High treason?"
"Well, they disobeyed a direct order from the king and started war with the Jotuns," Bruce said, removing his glasses while he spoke. "So, what did they do?" He asked, turning back to Loki.
"They went to Midgard," Loki said, running his hand tiredly through his hair. "When I told them to just leave it, and I told Heimdall to leave it, they took the Rainbow Bridge to Midgard. Heimdall controls the passages between the world, only I and a few others knew other routes and he let them through. They decided that if I wasn't going to bring Thor back, that they would. And he would come and kick me off of the throne and everything would be better. They told Thor that... That I was committing treason and that I... stole the throne and was on some kind of power trip."
"That doesn't even make any sense!" Clint said indignantly, seeming to catch himself and frowning. "I mean, I still hate you, but that's kind of stupid."
"You believed that?" Natasha asked Thor, raising her eyebrows.
Thor hung his head in shame. "I'm afraid I did," he said.
"In his defense, he was going through a stage," Loki said. "At that age, every teenager would believe his friends over his family."
"It all seems so stupid now," Thor sighed. "I'm sorry, Loki."
"Yes, well," Loki sighed. "You don't have to keep apologizing about everything, it's not like it matters."
"Well, obviously," Tony scoffed sarcastically. "Because it wouldn't hurt that your brother thinks you're a traitor to the crown who's trying to undermine the realm you've been raised in. That obviously wouldn't matter at all."
"I didn't say it didn't affect me," Loki snapped. "I just said it didn't matter. And regardless of my feelings on the matter, it happened. So I told the Destroyer – No, wait, I missed something again."
"Man, it really must've been a stressful time," Tony noted. "If you're forgetting whole pieces of it."
"Back in the SHIELD base," Loki said. "I did go to see Thor and that was not one of my fondest moments, but I thought it was necessary. See, Thor wasn't getting punished."
"Yes he was," Jane interrupted. "He got banished! Odin took the hammer, sent him here all alone with no idea what to do! You don't call that punishment?"
"Sent to Midgard, the most peaceful realm there is," Loki said impatiently. "I had been fine with letting him sit and simmer for as long as it took, but he needed to learn his lesson quickly so he could come reclaim the throne. I really hadn't been trained for that sort of thing, I was more the court jester type."
"No!" Thor said angrily, "Court jester!? You are a prince of Asgard! A king among men! Why, I would never be able to even sort of assume the throne without your guidance! You are my right hand! When you were gone I was practically useless, ask anyone!"
"Valhalla, Thor, do you ever shut up!?" Loki exclaimed, his face a mixture of surprise, embarrassment, and amusement.
"A king among men!" Thor repeated sulkily, sitting back in his seat.
Loki blinked. "Continuing," He said, still red in the face. "I told him that Fath... that Odin was dead so that he would actually stop and think about things, and then I left that situation and soon went back to Asgard to deal with that fire. Later, where I left off, when Thor's little friends decided to up and commit treason and tell Thor all those hateful lies, I sent the Destroyer to stop them from coming back. This is where I actually started going mad. See, I told him to keep them in Midgard by any means necessary and when he started firing at houses and everything, I didn't really care. As long as he didn't kill anyone, I was fine."
"Fine with good people's houses burning," Jane said. "It didn't matter to you?"
"I was a little bit preoccupied with running a realm," Loki said. "I was keeping a close eye on things. The Destroyer was commanded by instruction and I'd ordered it not to kill, but I was on call to make sure that things didn't get too out of hand. Thor has a tendency of doing that. Anyway, Thor came up, acting all high and mighty and told me to take my anger out on him, so I backhanded him with the Destroyer."
"Backhanded him?" Jane repeated. "You tried to kill him!"
"What?" Loki said, looking a little bewildered. "No I didn't. Do not be ridiculous. As we already established, he wasn't fully mortal and Asgardians heal very quickly. You had more chance of killing him than I did, after all, you hit him twice with a vehicle. Anyway, it wouldn't have killed Stark or Barton or any other mortal, so even if he had been mortal it would not have done very much. I didn't kill anyone then. You are so over-dramatic!"
"Well, thank Odin You're above all that," Tony muttered. This caused some pause, as so far he had appeared to be completely on Loki's side.
"Getting back on topic," Belleview said as Loki opened his mouth to snap at Tony. "You backhanded Thor."
"Right," Loki said, clenching his teeth. "I backhanded him and accidently knocked him unconscious. That was a bit of a shock. I hadn't expected the house to be there. When he came back to consciousness, Thor broke the Destroyer and he and the others were going to come back to Asgard to fight me. And then I lost it. I let the Frost Giants into Asgard, earning their trust by telling them that I was the one who had let them in the first time."
"Were you?" Natasha asked curiously.
"Actually, no," Loki said. "But it was an easy enough lie. I'm used to being viewed as treacherous. You know, Liesmith, Silvertongue... Not to mention everything happening with Thor and Odin and the throne, half of Asgard thought I was somehow behind it all."
"Media coverage," Tony stated. "It's all about the print. Or, the parchment, I guess? How do they go about reporting the news on Asgard?"
"Heralders," Loki said absently. "Once I had shown the Frost Giants the way into Asgard and earned their trust, I went and froze Heimdall with ice for committing high treason. This would also keep Thor and the others from returning too early and hindering my plans. I then went to wait, invisible, in the chamber where Odin slept."
"What was the goal behind this?" Steve wondered. "What were you hoping to accomplish?"
Loki sighed and rolled his eyes. "I wanted to be able to kill Laufey when he arrived to kill Odin, thus ending the war once and for all and it might possibly have had something to do with my stress at the throne, worry over my brother, and anger at Laufey for supposedly abandoning me in the first place. However, all this would have been much more interesting if you had let me tell the story in my own way, instead of forcing a monotonous answer by asking me point blank. Now if you are all finished interrupting me, perhaps the very end will still have some semblance of finesse."
"What's the point of making it dramatic?" Steve demanded. "You're as bad as Stark."
Tony, who had just opened his mouth to explain why it was better if told in a dramatic fashion, shut his mouth with an indignant look at Cap, tilting his head and quirking an eyebrow.
"The point is that it's much more interesting," Loki answered. "And a lot more fun. Anyway, it was a dramatic tale and should be told dramatically. How else would one go about telling a tale? Now if I may continue!"
"Fine, alright," Steve said with a sigh. "Go ahead and finish."
"I waited for Laufey to come and attack," Loki said, rubbing his eyes tiredly. "Which he did. Before he could do much more than knock my mother... Frigga, I mean, away from my father. Then, before Laufey could do anything else, I killed him."
"You killed your father," Belleview said with a nod.
"He wasn't my father," Loki sighed. "Neither of them were ever my father, I am neither Laufeyson or Odinson."
"Which is why JARVIS refers to him by his first name," Tony cut in. "We dealt with that like, the very first night. You guys are so behind the times."
"Guys," Steve said exasperatedly. "Let him continue."
"Right, sorry," Belleview said.
"After I killed Laufey, Thor burst in," Loki said. "And he exposed the fact that I let the Frost Giants in and I left to go and destroy Jotunheim. No!" He held up a hand to stop Jane from interrupting. "I went to destroy Jotunheim using the Rainbow Bridge because, frankly, I went insane. Thor came to stop me and told me that I couldn't just destroy an entire realm, we fought, the Bifrost was breaking, and then Thor stopped it by breaking the bridge leading to it and stopping the whole thing, cutting off Asgard from the other realms. Except, of course, for the secret ways. However, when the Bifrost broke it launched both of us over the edge of the bridge. We would've both plummeted into the Void if not for the fact that Odin came to the Bridge and caught us."
"The Void?" Steve wondered.
"A seemingly endless expanse of space," Loki explained. "Away from the Nine Realms and into the depths of the universe. Like I was saying, Odin caught us both, but I let go and committed suicide. End of story."
"End of... wait," Clint protested. "How could you have committed suicide and still be alive?"
"It's... happened," Bruce said under his breath.
"I have also heard of such things," Tony said.
"Oh wow," Belleview muttered with sympathy. "Three people in the room. Hmm."
"You should not be here," Tony said with a scowl, pointing an accusing finger at Belleview. "Because I for one, never signed any papers. And as you're SHIELD, no offense to the ninjas, actually, yes, offense to the ninjas. Or at least one of them. Natashalie over there is proof enough. You can't trust SHIELD. So, leave?"
"What? No," Belleview said. "Fury told me to stay. No paperwork, promise," Here he crossed his heart like an eight-year-old. "I'm just saying that it's... You know. A bit... Nothing. I'm staying here or there will be paperwork. I bunch of paperwork."
"Fine," Tony said, narrowing his eyes. "Besides, I just said that I'd heard of it. Not that I'd actually done it."
"Now that that's out of the way," Loki spoke up. "I'm assuming that was all, Good Captain?"
"Uh, yeah, for the most part," Steve said with a sigh. "One thing. How did you get out of the Void?"
"Fell into the Homeworld," Loki said with a sigh. "Had a few rows with them, came to Midgard via the Tesseract, and now we've caught up to what you all already know. The base, the Helicarrior, New York... Are we done here?"
"He needs to go to bed," Tony inputted, pointing at Loki before checking his watch. "And I've got a meeting in like, half an hour."
"I'm..." Loki looked extremely annoyed as his lie caught off yet again. "I will live. It hardly-"
"If you say it doesn't matter," Thor growled. "I will... Backhand you so hard."
Loki actually let out a laugh, clear and loud. Everyone paused in surprise before smiling themselves.
The mood changed immediately after this, and the meeting was unofficially over. As everyone left; Tony for a meeting, Clint and Natasha to spar in the training room, Bruce to the kitchens and Steve to the library, Thor and Loki stayed behind.
Jane paused, clearly wanting to speak to Thor, before biting her lip and turning to Belleview. "I believe you said you were interested in astrophysics?" She asked.
"Yes, actually," Belleview nodded.
"Then do you think you could come look at some papers?" Jane asked. "See, there's a common anomaly down in Cardiff, and I..." She trailed off and glanced to where Thor and Loki were talking happily. "I could use a new perspective," she finished.
"Sure thing," Belleview nodded. "It would be my honor."
As Jane and Belleview headed off together, Loki and Thor were laughing over an old joke they had shared
"I really am sorry," Thor said, becoming serious once again.
"Oh, for Norns sake," Loki groaned. "You don't need to keep apologizing!"
"Yes, but-" Thor started.
"I forgive you," Loki interrupted. "There, I said it. I forgive you. You know I mean it, too. Thor Odinson, you idiot, believe me when I say: I forgive you!"
"Brother," Thor said with a huge grin. "You mean it!"
Loki couldn't help but smile himself. "Aye, I mean it," He said. "... Brother."
Tony's meeting had gone fairly well, though he had been bored throughout the whole thing. Now, as it was over, he walked through the building towards the elevators, sending Happy a text to let him know to meet him in the garage.
Stepping into the elevator, he put his phone away and pressed the button for the garage.
"Hold it, please!" He heard someone call. "Hold the elevator!"
Reaching out, he stopped the doors as a young harried-looking business woman rushed in, struggling with some papers and pushing her glasses up her nose. "Thank you," she said breathlessly right before she dropped all her papers.
The elevator doors closed and Tony bent over to pick up the papers. "Sounds like you need a vacation," he joked. But when he stood up, the young business woman had changed. The glasses had disappeared, and the suit had changed into a green dress, while her blonde hair had come out of the bun and now fell down to her waist. And Amora smiled.
"You mortals are always so easy to catch unawares," she triumphed. "Just a little bit of camouflage, a change in lipstick, a different hairstyle... and here we are, alone in the lift. Shall we talk?"
Without pressing any buttons, the elevator stopped.
"You know," Tony said. "There are other ways to reach me. You could call ahead, set up an appointment, I might have been able to pencil you in, say, in early January."
"Oh, but this is so much more fun!" Amora said. "See, I wanted to personally congratulate you on your success in getting Loki to set up those charms. He can be rather hard to persuade, I'm told."
"He volunteered," Tony said. "And maybe you're just bat-crazy and don't know how to ask nicely."
"SILENCE!" Amora screamed suddenly, anger and malice flashing in her scarily green eyes.
Tony managed to reign in his desire to flinch at her sudden shift in mood. Bipolar, he guessed. Or borderline, maybe. Either way, she was dangerous.
She took a few deep breaths and closed her eyes before taking a step back and smiling her crazy smile at Tony. "I have a problem," she said.
"You're telling me," Tony responded.
She shot him a glare and continued. "My problem," she said. "Is that nothing I try seems to work. I just can't make Thor see reason!"
"Reason, huh?" Tony said with a nod. "Yeah, I can see where you'd have a problem with that."
"I tried to get to him through my mother, through the kingdom, and through his own brother, but my beloved simply refuses to see! It's that Jane's fault! She has blinded him with her charms!"
"Yeah, that's it," Tony muttered.
"But I just can't get close to him!" She cried out. "And now I can't even send forces into your tower, due to Loki and his charms!" She spit Loki's name venomously.
"Yeah, well, like I said, maybe you could set up an appointment-"
"FOOLISH MORTAL!" Amora screeched, green magic flaring around her hands for a second before she took a deep breath. "Perhaps if I raise the stakes, they'll come out and play. After all, you can't stay in your tower forever."
She closed her eyes, the green pulsing all around her, and Tony was struck by an odd feeling in his gut. At first it wasn't unpleasant, but then it started to burn, spreading to his chest and up his throat. Tony doubled over, his hands reaching for the Arc Reactor. The fire seemed to double, and Tony let out a groan as his knees hit the floor.
Amora's bright green boots walked closer to him. "Now to test it," She said slowly. "How do you feel?"
"Like I'm on fire," Tony heard himself answer unwillingly, through his deep breathing. He was struck by fear as he realized what had just happened. He was cursed now too, with the same affliction as Loki.
"Tell Thor he knows where to find me," Amora said, smiling down at him and laughing. Then she was gone.
So, I hope you enjoyed that. We only spiraled a little bit, every so now and again, and we didn't break the fourth wall when we had the opportunity to do so, so I'm pretty pleased with it. Plus, Loki is adorable. He doesn't take well to compliments. BTdubs, quite a bit of this was written by PlushChrome, because I forgot to do the disclaimers at the top.
(I didn't write most of it. Only some of it. And I consulted with the Tony parts. Heh. I'm a consulting detective. XD Heh heh.)
Yes, thank you, Plushie, for that input. Also! I do not own Marvel or any of the characters except for Belleview, who still has a point... We just haven't gotten there yet. Look forward to the next chapter, which will hopefully come out sometime before 2015.
(Yes, Belleview is very important! We wrote him into existence for a reason, a very important reason, that we will reveal in the next chapter! Are you curious? Are you excited? Are you absolutely DYING to find out what it is? WELL, HA! You have to wait. XD So sorry.)
Just because you're bored, you don't have to torture the readers.
(And who else am I supposed to torture?)
Me. Like always. XD Anyway. Follow, favorite, and review. Then, watch for those updates. And I will catch. You. Later.
(No you won't!)