I don't own Loki. If I did, he would have a better hat. I don't own Marvel. If I did, Coulson would be alive. I don't own New York, or there would be a building with 'STARK' on the side. And I don't own the world, or it would be a chaotic mess and self-distruct. Just assume I don't own anything. (Including the picture)
So, Thor hard a big 'I told you so' moment after the battle of New York. When Thor had taken the tesseract back to Asguard, and the trussed-up Loki, everybody had been there waiting for him. There had been a long and stressful walk up to the judgement room where Loki's trial would be, and Thor could feel his younger brother trembling, cold, and clammy. He was putting on a brave face though, looking straight ahead, and acting as if he was non-plussed. Odin had taken one look at the defiant and surly Loki, looked at his queen Frigga, then glanced back at Thor.
"This is not the Loki I know. What has been done to him?" he had demanded, and in the ominous silence that ensued, everybody craned for a better look, and Thor admitted that Loki had not been his usual self lately. Suddenly, Thor felt very guilty for all that he had inflicted on his brother.
Turned out that Loki wasn't having such a great day either.
Instead of willingly joining the chitauri, as it was assumed, it was revealed that Loki had fallen into their midst and taken prisoner. Sort of forced into the army, like it was done on Midguard. He returned later that week with Loki, but without the tesseract.
It was awkward. Clint stared at Loki evilly, Tony kept looking pointedly at his new window, and at the floor. Instead of making a full repair, he had fixed the floor, but put a small bronze plack where the hulk had smashed Loki around. 'A God was bullied here,' it read. They had stared at Loki, hostility welling up into the silence.
"Told you so." Thor had yelled, gleefully, "He's NOT evil! The glow-stick of destiny was at it again!"
And so here they were now. 5 months later. Clint and Loki were now best friends. They had bonded over the shared traumatizing experience of mind-hijacking-crud, a shared love of pranks, and the fact that they just both ended up in trouble a lot. Everybody had forgiven Loki of his crimes, and his name was cleared on Earth. Fury and SHIELD thought that, if Loki was here anyway, they might as well just have him play back-up singer in the boy band, so he had joined the Avengers. Everybody was good again, though it had taken a long while.
And then it struck them.
Then it hit them, one at a time, in their own sort of way. With Natasha, it was a accident of walking into the wrong room, and finding the god curled up on his bed, hair in his face, the teddy bear that he denied he had tucked under his arm, and the pillows of his bed strewn everywhere. With Tony, it was coming home and finding both previous Asguard inhabitants MarioKart racing. (Loki lapping Thor for the second time) For Bruce, it was when Loki had delivered a small, shy, smile for the first time in his time on Midgard. For Clint, it was when he had almost ninja-kicked Loki when he dropped upside form the vents and yelled, 'BOO!" in Clint's face. For Steve it was when Loki was trying to look at Steve's drawing notebook and pretending that he wasn't. And for Pepper it was when she came downstairs as 2:00 AM to find Loki on the couch, wearing a onsie, and clutching warm milk, just staring into the twisting flames in the fireplace.
Yeah, it really hit them.
Loki was one of them now.
And he was adorable.
He didn't do it on purpose, just would look at someone sideways with a goofy grin on his face, and his hair falling on his eyes. The person/victim receiving the look would feel an obscene parental urge to tuck the hair behind Loki's ears, and smile warmly at him. Or Loki would be in the middle of a battle, twirling his spear, and taking out the bad guy, and everybody would be thought-screaming, 'IT'S NOT SAFE HERE! RUN AWAY NOW!" or, 'YOU COVER ME, I'M GETTING LOKI TO SAFETY!' At one point in a fight with AIM mutants, Steve had actually suggested that Loki should get back into cover. Loki had delivered a scathing look at Steve, then proceeded to win the battle for them, muttering about 'Gosh-Darn-70's' that nobody really wanted to know about.
It was true though. Without the surly arrogance that had clung the mind-jacked Loki like a cape, all the Avengers could really relate to Thor's side of the story now. There was ambition, some hot-headed-ness, and other such traits, sure, and Loki was by no means a cuddly bunny, but there was a mischievous childlike air to him that just projected innocence and cheer.
Not everybody had the same optimistic views of Loki, though. The council, for one, the mysterious We-want-you-to-nuke-New-York-right-now-because-we- say-so-Furry council, didn't trust Loki at all.
God of tricks, right?
But nobody that really knew him saw that side. Nobody who really knew Loki looked at Loki anymore, immediately thinking 'Traitor.' And nobody who really knew Loki mistrusted him anymore. Loki found it gratifying, and found himself considering the Avengers family, or at least part of the group. The Avenger's saw Loki the same way, and Thor was positively glowing because Loki had called him 'Brother' the other day, for the first time since they were children.
So, in short, Loki was a good boy now. The Hulk wasn't threatening the safety of everybody anymore. Tony had been pacified, and even removed the plack at the accidental-heart-melting antics of their resident trickster god. The council was trying to complain, but nobody cared. The answering machines rang through every time, and the death stares that the had councilman gave only worked on the screen.
And that was about when the pranks started.
If I get enough reader interest, I will continue with this. If not, it makes an okay stand alone. Reviews fuel the Loki-generating-story-machine in the back.