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Mother, I’m frightened of this thunder and lightning

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He finds the godling perched on a mountaintop, gazing out across the horizon. Everyone who's anyone in their business had felt him the moment he materialized in their speck of the cosmos. The amount of chaos coiled in him is breathtaking. Crowley is truly envious of the brat.

“Hello, sweetie,” he says, announcing himself with a flair even the Winchesters might have appreciated.

The godling ignores him.

Crowley frowns, crossing his arms across his meatsuit’s chest. “Well, now, that’s just rude,” he mutters. He stares at the godling’s back for a moment, waiting. “Hello,” he repeats. “I’m the King of Hell, Lord of Deals – I can help you own this rock if you want.” For a price, of course. He learned his lesson about doing things from the goodness of his heart with the Winchesters.

“I neither need nor want your aid,” the godling drawls. His voice is flat and cold, and there’s so much malice threaded through the words that Crowley shivers deep inside, in all that’s left of what he was before Hell.

“You won’t get this world without me,” Crowley blusters through the fear. He went toe-to-toe with an angel hopped up on leviathans – this is just some child from another realm.

The godling turns his head, glancing over his shoulder. “I don’t want this world, little thing,” he says, gaze flicking up and down Crowley before he looks back at the sky.

“Then… why are you here?” Crowley asks.

The godling laughs, and dread crawls along Crowley’s meatsuit’s spine. There is something terrifying in that laugh, something that reminds Crowley of the knowledge that while Death was chained for the moment, eventually the chain would rust.

Who - what - is this child? Crowley had thought his kind just another breed of pagans, and Lucifer tore his way through those. Easy as demons, easy as humans.

“I’m here to play,” the godling says, “and to rest.”

Crowley has rarely been speechless. Staring at the godling, though, he can’t think of a thing to say.

After a few seconds, the godling asks, “Is the pool of power on this rock so small you came to beg me for an alliance?” He scoffs. “I grow less enamored of this world all the time.”

“Oy!” Crowley exclaims. “That’s my rock you’re insulting.”

But the godling is right. Crowley blinks at him, realizing that’s why he’d come here. Lucifer is caged, Castiel MIA, and the Winchesters back on their righteous crusade. The angels are confined to Heaven when not on specially mandated missions, and Crowley doesn’t even know who took over the reins there. Death reclaimed all the Horsemen rings and went back to wherever he was when not chained by fallen angels or itty bitty mortal men who really hadn’t the least idea what they were doing.

Out of everyone on Earth, in Hell, or in Heaven that Crowley has access to, this godling is the most powerful, and Crowley has no clue how to use him.

“Keep your rock,” the godling says, “but get off my mountain.”

“Right then,” Crowley murmurs. He is not a moron, and he decides to get while the getting is good.

He might come up with a better plan, figure out what the godling really wants. Maybe. But maybe he doesn’t really want the godling’s soul. There’s something off with the boy.

Yeah. Better to leave that one alone. Never let it be said Crowley doesn’t learn.

.

(Loki watches the sun set, rise, and set again before he moves. The Asgardians do not yet know he is no longer in their cell. The Midgardians do not yet know he’s returned.

His ‘allies’ will realize soon enough he’s free, and he already knows they’re on the way.

There is nowhere for him to go. No world that will take him. No one in any realm who wants him, or cares for him, or will help him.

He is so tired.

Between one breath and the next, someone is beside him, the only herald a flutter of wings. Loki flinches away, instantly crouched with knives in both hands.

“Hey, kiddo,” the man says, shadow-wings on his back and a chocolate bar in his hand. “We’ve got some things in common, you know.”

“I don’t know,” Loki hisses. “Who are you?”

The man smiles, small and warm. “I used to go by Loki,” he says. “A few other things, too.”

Narrowing his eyes, Loki rises to his full height, towering over the stranger. “Explain,” he demands.

Instead, the man holds out the candy. “Want some?” he asks cheerfully.

Loki is never at a loss of words, but staring down at the little, winged man, his tongue loses its way. After a long, painfully silent moment, he pathetically says, “What?”

“Look, kid, I know that family’s a bitch. Trust me, do I know that.” He tears a piece of the chocolate bar off and shoves it into his mouth, continuing to speak even while he chews. “And it seems to me that you’re at a bit of a loss for the moment, with nowhere to go and no one to turn to. I was like that once, a very long time ago.”

“I am a thousand years old,” Loki interrupts, grimacing at the pieces of chocolate on the man’s lips.

The man laughs, free and loud. “Oh, little boy, I am so much older than that,” he chortles. “I was ancient when Ymir crawled out of the mud.”

Loki winces at the blasphemy, and the man holds out the chocolate again. “Take some,” he entreats, face serious. “I mean it. I don’t know what your plan is, if you even have one. But you’re alone. And I’m alone.” He shrugs. “I don’t know if that All-Father fucker named you after me, or I took the name from you. But we both have family troubles, and we’re both embodiments of trickery, so.”

There has been no one Loki could actually trust for a long time. He had no true friends in Asgard, forever Thor’s little tag-along. Then the Chitauri and their lord, pulling him from the abyssal void – seeming to be saviors, but so far from that.

He is so tired.

Loki slowly reaches for the chocolate.)