S.H.I.E.L.D. was slowly getting back up on their feet. Clint’s leg bounced as he sat with the others and listened to what Fury was saying. He looked around, the doubt on Thor and Bruce’s face were evident, Steve just stared into space and Natasha looked tired. Coulson stood behind Fury, his face also shinny with doubt and uncertainty.
He didn’t know why, but he didn’t believe anything Fury was saying.
“Tony didn’t do this,” he suddenly said. He didn’t know why he said that as suddenly everyone turned their eyes to him. Tony wasn’t someone he called a friend, but he wasn’t someone he’d throw under the bus either. They’ve had their teamwork moments and laughs, so maybe a friendship had begun to bloom between them. He just couldn’t bring himself to believe Tony would ever do something like this. He’s seen first hand how hard Tony fights for this world and he saw it that day. No one can convince him that Tony had pretended to care about all those people injured and trapped because of an attack “he’s” responsible.
“Excuse me?” Fury said in a tone that showed he was in no mood for this.
Clint stopped bouncing his leg and placed his hands on the table and leaned forward.
“Tony wouldn’t do something like this.”
“You’ve seen the evidence, it all points to Stark,” Fury said.
“What? Just because he had the blueprints and the supplies? How is that evidence? Half the people in New York could have more than half of the same supplies!”
“You’re dismissed agent.”
The tension in the air was rising.
“I can’t have someone on the team that will go easy on our enemy. That goes for all of you,” Fury took a step forward and looked around. “If any of you have any lingering feelings for Stark and even think you will hesitant to deliver a blow to him, leave now.”
Clint stood up and looked around.
No one moved.
Clint looked at each and everyone of them. He nodded his head, took one last glance at Fury.
“Miraculously healed, I’m still pondering on that,” Fury said.
Clint turned his back to Fury and walked out.
He was surprised at himself. Out of everyone in that room to stick up to Tony Stark he never would’ve guessed would be him. He began to wonder if Loki did something to him. Loki helped him, healed him, revealed himself to Clint, and left that note for him. Clint pulled out the note from his pocket.
He made his decision.
If it was a trap, well, at least he was walking into it willingly.
Clint packed quickly gathering everything he needed.
Clint whipped around at the sound of his name. Coulson stood in the doorway.
“Take this,” he said and held out his hand. “You guys are going to need someone on the inside.”
Clint took the communication device from Coulson. He looked up. Coulson headed for the door but stopped.
“Make sure you knock when you get there.”
Then he left.
Clint’s head tilted in confusion.
Tony couldn’t sleep. His mind was racing, going over everything that had happened in the past week. Tony closed his eyes and tried to will himself to sleep. He focused on Loki’s soft breathing and warmth beside him. He eventually was able to drift off, the pure exhaustion taking over.
The next morning Tony and Loki sat across from each other at the table with breakfast and coffee.
“Three weeks ago,” Tony suddenly said. Loki didn’t look up. “That was when you came to the party as my date.”
Loki stabbed a piece of scrambled egg and shoved it in his mouth.
“I thought the sex felt a little...different. I mean I was really drunk so I paid no mind.”
Loki’s fork clattered on his plate as he dropped it. “Will you just shut up,” he said as he looked up at Tony, who to his surprise, was smiling. “What’s so funny?”
Tony shrugged. “You were a dude.”
Loki fidgeted in his seat. “Transforming is not easy and you sure as hell wanted to get it on right away! So I might have forgotten to change a few things in the heat of the moment.”
“So, I technically had sex with a women that night?” Loki just stared at him with a blank expression.
“You know I love you, right?”
Loki bowed his head. “Sometimes, I do wonder why.”
Tony reached out and grabbed Loki’s hand. “Don’t ever wonder that again, okay?” Loki looked up at him.
“We can’t keep this baby.”
“We can find a way to protect--”
“No, Tony, that’s not...” Loki slid his hand out of Tony’s and stood up. Tony followed suit.
“Whatever that man wants. Whatever it is that this child will give him he can’t have it. I know what we face if we kill it, but I would rather suffer then let that man touch our child.”
Tony placed his on Loki’s shoulders and ran them down his arms.
“I promise you, I won’t let him touch either of you.”
“You saw his power, what he can do. He’s isolated us from everyone. S.H.I.E.L.D. won’t rest until they have their hands on us. They’re persistent like that.”
“Then maybe we should let them take us.”
Silence lingered in the air as Loki turned his head slightly. “We might be prisoners, but we’d be safe under S.H.I.E.L.D. guarding.”
Loki turned around and looked at Tony. “You did see what he did to S.H.I.E.L.D. did you not?”
“I know what he did, I’m saying that at least with S.H.I.E.L.D. we’d have some layer of protection.”
Loki pondered on this. Tony had a point.
“And how will S.H.I.E.L.D. feel about--”
Tony cut in quickly. “We don’t need to tell them everything. Not as prisoners.”
“What do you propose we do?”
It was two days since Tony and Loki decided to head back to S.H.I.E.L.D....again. Tony was downstairs tidying up the place and ordered Jarvis to lock everything down. He glanced at his suit and then down to his wrist. He couldn’t feel anything from the green snake tattooed on his skin. He wondered if that was a bad sign. He thought back about what Loki said, how maybe one day he might harbor his own source of magic. Now would be a good time for that. Loki was right, his suit wouldn’t always be there to protect him, without it, he was just a man. He might be more than the average man with his intellect, but still a man.
Loki was meanwhile pacing in the living room. He suddenly heard the low rumble of a car approaching. He stopped and listened, slowly making his way towards the window. His worry began to fade when he saw who was coming.
“Oh yeah,” he mumbled. “Forgot about you.”
Tony made his way up two steps at a time when Jarvis informed him someone has arrived. His heart was pounding at the thought of who it might be.
He sure as hell didn’t expect Loki sitting on the couch with Clint, who had his arms crossed with a pout on his face.
Tony stood dumbfounded. “What’s going on?” he finally managed to say.
The pout on Clint’s face just hardened. “This one,” he said as he jabbed his finger at Loki. “told me to come.”
Tony’s eyebrows furrowed.
“I did not,” Loki said with a hint of a laugh in his voice. Tony noticed the small smile on his face. “I simply left a note telling you where we might be.”
Tony and Clint shouted at the same time.
“Thought it would be good to have someone on the inside, figuring that I saved your life, twice might I add, that you’d feel you owed me.”
Clint just stared at him. “I hate you,” he mumbled.
“Loki, do you know how risky that was?”
Loki just shrugged and Tony sighed.
“How’d you even get here?” Tony asked Clint.
“I might’ve...stole a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicopter....and then a few cars....”
“And thats our inside guy?”
“Well, Coulson’s my inside guy.”
“Coulson?” Tony said.
Clint explained what was happening at S.H.I.E.L.D. and how they had no direction in what they were doing. How Fury was acting and most likely that he’s going to send the remaining Avengers after them. When Clint was finished Tony teased him about how he’s the only one that believes him and that it was sweet. Loki laughed at the banter but stepped in when Clint threatened to shoot Tony in the ass with an arrow.
“So what exactly is going on?” Clint asked.
“You’ll know if S.H.I.E.L.D. decides to give us a chance to explain,” Tony said.
“Shall we?” Loki said as he held out his hand. Tony took his hand and waited for Clint, who stared at them. Loki sighed and grabbed the archer by the arm.