Loki had spent a few months now within the Avengers Tower, fighting alongside the heroes of earth.
It was his sentence, his punishment that Odin had passed on to him. To live and fight with his enemies, and not being able to let anything bad happen to them, through direct, indirect or absence of action.
It was truly troublesome.
Well, in the beginning it had been, until he had gotten fascinated by the one and only Anthony Stark.
A mortal with a brilliant mind, a sharp tongue and plenty of ways to please him.
What was even more fascinating though was that Stark had actually come to like him, and he the mortal.
And for all that it was worth he really intended to keep him.
They were, oddly enough, content with their constant game of push and pull, god versus mortal, science versus magic, up to the point that they actually managed to merge the later two.
It was brilliant to have someone who could keep up with his minds working, and someone who was actually able to beat him at chess.
Until his past caught up with him.
They had anticipated it. They had prepared as good and much as they could for Thanos arrival, but it hadn't been good enough.
Thanos arrived on earth, and he had brought havoc.
It took all but a few hours for him to catch the Captain, Widow and Hawkeye, the Hulk got shoved into a portal, Thor was unconscious and bound.
And Stark, well, he himself and Stark now stood before Thanos, and it took a lot of him not to tremble of his memories, the last time it had him, but his human though was still grinning.
Suit less and grinning at the mad titan, the thing that will destroy this world, and, how does he do that?!
How can he still grin?
"Kneel, mortal and I might let you live. Your Weapons proved useful. Kneel and you may receive mercy." Thanos spoke, and Loki wanted to yell at Tony to do as it says, but of course, Tony wouldn't be Tony if he would do as he is told.
"Yeah, no, don't think you got the memo, Scarface, but Stark Industries has been out of the Weapons business for a while now."
"I said, kneel!" the Titan bellowed.
Stark grinned and raised his chin, "Nah, don't feel like it."
Does this man have no self preservation?
Was he suicidal?!
Of course he was, it was Tony Stark, but seriously?!
Thanos in turn snarled, stepped forward to Tony, and he reached out, grabbing the glowing metal circle in Stark's chest and pulled.
Loki yelled, Tony let out a hoarse scream as the metal left his body with a wet, sucking 'pop' and Thanos laughed and threw the construction aside, turning to face Loki.
Then, suddenly, Tony's cries and ragged breathing turned into giggles.
Manic giggles, and then the man looked right over Thanos shoulder.
"You have a visitor, Scarface, and she looks pissed." he cackled, and Loki froze.
There, behind Thanos she stood tall, graceful, all beauty and terror in one.
The Titan whirled around, and his face softened when he saw her, it wasn't a pretty thing.
"Mistress, have you-"
"Silence, fool. What have you done?" she hissed, striding straight past Thanos to Tony, the goons holding him vanishing, and Tony falling onto the ground with a grunt.
"My poor, clever, dearest merchant.", she spoke, softly, oh so softly, "Has he hurt you?"
Loki wasn't sure how to react to the fact that Mistress Death was holding his mortal, cooing at him as a mother would to her child. He wanted to yell at Tony to run, to hide, and he wanted to get her away from him, but really, what he wanted most was to know what by the nine was happening!
"Just a little," Tony rasped, standing up, the reactor was back in his chest, no wounds to be seen, "I thought we broke up after Afghanistan?" And now Loki knew his action of choice, gape.
"Afghanistan?" she asked, combing Tony's hair down with her fingers, caressing his cheek, "Don't be silly, Afghanistan was lovely. Now, "she turned around, hooking her arm into Tony's, facing a completely flabbergasted Thanos, and Loki, and Avengers, and Chitauri.
Everyone was completely, entirely and utterly shocked, "what do you suggest we do with these annoying critters?"
Tony tilted his head, "Maybe just-" and snipped his finger.
She smiled, lifted her hand and snipped her finger, everyone, but the Avengers disappeared. Every Chitauri, every ship, Thanos, and the Other.
"Not Loki!" Tony whined, making his best impression yet of a pouting three year old whose toy go taken away. .
"Oh, you like him? He did quite a mess before." she mused, cocking her head, looking at him.
"No, I like him, he's good, great in fact, especially in bed, you should see him. Please, if you wouldn't mind?"
Death smiled at Tony, and she loved how he just knew her and her power and wasn't afraid.
"In fact, it would be brilliant if you could give me some extra time with him? Without the aging problem? It'd be a hassle to reprogram the Extremis."
"Of course, darling. Do you mind if I'd visit any time soon?"
"How about breakfast? Steve makes some mean pancakes."
And the Mistress laughed, waved her hand and vanished.
Promptly Loki reappeared, and fell to his knees gasping.
"What was that?!" he rasped as Tony helped him up, the Avengers standing around them.
"Oh, Lady Death thought you're a nuisance. I assured her you're not. Welcome back to the living."