He learned quickly that when one was made simply of flesh and bones, one did not toy openly with certain people. There were many such people he discovered early on, as a young and impressionable nobody without a penny to his name. But soon the copper flowed freely, as one too many men in the dark alleyways of Gotham made the mistake of trying to make use of his 'pretty face'. Rumor grew, and a reputation slowly followed, dogging after his footsteps like a wayward phantom.
But unlike others he dichotomized early. His face took on the likeness of many names, and his true appearance slowly became lost to but a rare few as his aliases were plunged into the very lucrative business of knowing things. He was good at that business, and it became clear very quickly that he was better at it than everyone else from the sheer surprise of the onlookers at how fast the wildfire of his underground fame spread.
Some of his names gained enemies, as names usually do when they become too important. But a voice is harder to trace in a city like Gotham than one might think. Regardless of money or resources, the end of their murderous hunt for his shadowed steps always ended the same: with an empty room and a heartfelt note of warning. Loki of all people was far too cunning to be foiled, and slowly his fellow dwellers of the underbelly of Gotham began to realize it.
I'm watching. he would always write. And he found it amusing as the upper echelon of Gotham, to which his name had trickled through the webs of conspiracy they thought they spun, slowly began to spend more time looking over their shoulders with wary glances. They knew The Batman watched from a shadowed lofty perch by night when all of their games were afoot, but now there was a new fear that walked among them in the daylight, clawing out their secrets from their silk-lined pockets, making them uneasy.
Only one man knew his real name, and he feared no evil to come of it. Irony, the policeman had told him at first, for he had heard the stories long ago. Planned irony, that he should call himself Loki, God of Mischief. But the Commissioner was too prudent a man to waste an opportunity, even if he didn't know the gruesome details of how it was one. He never asked Loki how he knew the things he knew, and Loki, to date, never asked for protection. So, as with the strange relationship between the Commissioner and the caped crusader, they let themselves alone to their own business, only calling on one another when it was beneficial.
But for Loki, there was another strange satisfaction he got with working with the very police who were hounding down the shadows in search of his "other selves". After all, working for the Commissioner would have been far more taxing if he'd used a false name; he was indeed in contact with the man most often. And something prideful in him just couldn't stand the thought of someone calling him by the wrong name so often, especially if he was of value.
Or perhaps it was just Gordon's way about things that made Loki feel that way; for he had no trouble at all with the name he'd fed the un-weaned businessmen of Gotham's highest towers being said repeatedly. And part of that was probably the sheer gratification of watching unsuspecting mortals eat up his lies like they were milk to the babe soul. Even when Gordon needed him, he did not sink so low as to bear his soul in his eyes, like many men did when Loki's "business advising" came calling. And most often their bared souls revealed greed, ravenous enough to make them trust the King of All Lies without question.
But Norman Danvers was not the God of Mischief or the King of All Lies. Norman Danvers was a councilor to the great and the stupid, and had even risen so far as to fool the almighty Bruce Wayne, whose secrets he also knew under another name. But his lips remained thin around those veiled observations, because there would never be a high enough bidder for his knowledge when Bruce Wayne's loyalty could at some point be possible.
But Loki did not belittle himself to think he was giving allegiance to lesser men, even when giving "council". Merely, he was making arrangements to assure that however long his stay on Midgard was, it would be secure and a comfortable level of safe.
At least, he thought so. Until another kingly trickster came calling.