A/N: Little tidbit that takes place a while after Civil War, in the Avengers tower in NYC.
I have Spidey as 16 years old. Not sure if that's right?
When Tony turned from the liquor shelf, bottle in hand, Loki was right behind him. His heart leaped to his throat, his muscles spasmed, and the bottle slid from his hand.
The creep had the decency to catch it with magic, though, and return it to the shelf with a gesture. "Apologies – I startled you."
No shit. "Dude!" He went to his wrist controller and keyed the cameras off. "I told you to call first. Uneasy truce, remember? Uneasy. You can't just show up here like we're bros. We are absolutely not bros."
"Unfortunately I have a need and it's urgent. Is it safe to talk here?"
"What? Yeah, sure, everybody's out. I'm alone today-" At exactly that moment, too-fast steps pattered down the hallway and he remembered: "-…Except for Parker." Before he could ask Loki to disappear for a second, the kid skidded around the corner.
"Oh – hey – sorry, Mr. Stark, I didn't know anybody else was over." Before Tony could make some sort of introduction to smooth things over, he went on: "Hi, I'm Peter."
Loki's lip curled. "A servant? No. Captain America's son?"
"No. I'm Spiderman!" The kid had balls at least.
"I see. That's very nice." Loki ignored him. "Stark, I need help. Thor-"
"And I know who you are. Even without that crazy helmet. Whoa." Parker was coming closer, but he really needed to work on his threatening walk. Loki waved him off again without even looking.
"That's nice as well. Stark: Thor's in trouble. It's going to be all right, I think," he assured fast, "but his idiot friends are one participant short for their rescue plan."
Parker had moved decidedly into their personal space now, acting for all the world like he'd been invited to the damn conversation. "Rescue plan?"
Tony paid him no more attention than Loki had. "Shouldn't it be beneath you to ask help from mere earthlings? Why can't you clean up your own mess?"
Loki shook his head. "Because the king of Asgard can't be seen chopping his way through Vanaheim; that's how wars are started. I need a human. In case it goes wrong, it's got to look like a group of Thor's friends acting without authority." The response was clearly rehearsed, but that didn't mean it was a lie.
"Okay," Tony decided. (It had been too damn long since he'd suited up without worrying about red tape. Vanaheim, whatever that was, would be outside the jurisdiction of the U.N.). "What do you need? I can do it, as long as-"
"You can't." Loki was curt. "We aren't involving Heimdall; the only way I can transport you is dragging you through the ether myself. I won't be able to bring along weapons or armor or frankly even clothes. So I hope Captain Rogers doesn't mind fighting naked."
He blinked. "Seriously?"
Loki rolled his eyes. "I can dress and arm him once we get there, obviously. I can even conjure him something that will approximate the weight of his shield. But yes, I seriously cannot transport your suit in this fashion. Rogers is near enough to an Asgardian in his strength and quality of fighting that he'll be of use to them. You wouldn't."
"Hey-!" the kid chimed in.
Shit. He raised his voice and snapped "Park yourself, Parker!", but it was too late.
"What about me? I can help – and then I get to meet Thor! Let me come!"
"You?" Loki glanced to him for just a second – sizing him up. "What are you going to do – gawk them to death? I want Rogers. Where is he?"
Without any warning Parker shut him up – with a burst of web across the face.
It took Loki half a beat to realize what had happened, and when he did he lost his shit. He clawed at the web frantically and then slashed through it with a glint of silver (a knife? Where had the knife come from, and what kind of knife could cut through Parker's web so easily?). He started to glow. Like, actually giving off light, wind whipping around him… shit, shit, shit. Gathering up power.
Almost before Tony finished the thought he was shoving the kid behind him, glove on, ready to blast with it. He'd read enough Freaky Loki Stories to have a good guess what the problem was. (Was it true he'd somehow given birth to a magic horse once? Somehow Tony had never quite gotten the nerve up to ask Thor.). "No no no! Loki cool it, come on – he's a kid, cool it, he didn't know."
Loki calmed down visibly. As the light faded from him he held up his hands, harmless. "Of course. My apologies."
Tony deactivated the glove and watched it fold back into his watch, trying to restart his breathing. From behind him Parker said: "Hey… I'm sorry."
The kid sounded completely lost and who could blame him. "Mm. Guy's got history," Tony explained – casual, not rocking any boats. "You shouldn't try to gag him."
"Sure, okay." Parker cleared his throat. "Mr. Loki, I'm really sorry. I didn't-"
"Just Loki. No mister. It's all right." Loki was smiling now. Smooth and friendly – too friendly. "That is a fascinating ability you have. Show me more."
The tone boded no good. "Oh, no you don't. Spidey is a sixteen-year-old noob, he is not going with-"
"Hey! Don't call me a noob!"
"What's a noob?" Loki frowned. "I told you, I really want a human for this."
The boy was brave and not too stupid, and Loki decided before long that with his projectile binding powers he'd suit the project much better than Steve Rogers anyway. It took some time to provide assurances that Stark deemed adequate, but eventually he managed to talk the boy into his possession.
The boy was quiet until they reached Asgard. Then, looking up at the unfamiliar brilliance of the Asgardian sky, he said: "You brought those aliens to attack earth."
Loki turned to him, arching eyebrows. "Do you really want to think of me as your enemy right now?" He watched the boy's eyes move, taking in his surroundings. "Come."
The boy followed him, but before long spoke up again. "I just… want to understand."
That was more than anyone else seemed to want, but nevertheless he preferred not to talk about the failed New York Initiative. He just shrugged.
"I mean, you seem like an okay guy…"
"I'm flattered," he said, dry. But the truth was he really did feel a bit gratified; okay guy was one of the more generous characterization he'd heard in recent years. "There was some coercion and some mind control," he said shortly. "Not enough to excuse what I did, but enough, I think, to make it understandable. We don't have time to discuss it now."
"Sure, okay. I get it." The boy hurried to keep pace with him as he swept away faster. "So, um, tell me about Thor's friends."
"They're idiots with heads full of rocks, and they won't like you because you're small and you look weak to the naked eye." He stopped and faced the boy square. "You have my permission to show them otherwise. Shoot your wad all over them and make an impression."
He'd expected the boy to laugh at the vulgarity of what he'd said; Stark would have. But the boy stood wide-eyed and silent – shocked. Hm. "How old are you?" he asked. "Not in numbers; I know you're sixteen. But I forget the human life cycle. Is sixteen a child?"
"No – no!" the boy sputtered. Almost squeaking. "Sixteen's not- it's, I'm not a child. Sixteen is a, a young man. It's, uh, it's when you grow up and make your-"
"Understood. I know your age." Child. No more crudity, and be sure he gets home alive. "Come, I'll introduce you."
Not planning to continue this one, I think. I just liked little Spidey and wanted to write a scene with him.