Loki could feel his so-called father’s gaze upon him, crawling up his skin, seeing through him. He refused to meet Odin’s eye, afraid of what he’d see there; the disappointment he already knew was present, but was afraid of confirming. “Would you have me executed, father?” He asked bitterly. “Are you regretting having stolen this relic? I am but the son of your enemy. What use am I to you alive?”
Odin frowned, shaking his head slowly. “Loki, I will never regret raising you as my own son. However, my own feelings cannot change your actions, which I don’t approve of.”
The God of Trickery laughed a humorless laugh, finally meeting his father’s gaze. “What then? Will you kill me? Would you have me locked in a cage for the rest of my life?”
Odin turned to the window, clasping his hands behind his back as he observed the Asgardian skies. There was a stretch of silence before he finally spoke, his voice hard. “No.” Taking a few steps closer to his adoptive son, he stood at his full height. “I’m going to grant you a chance to redeem yourself; to learn responsibility that Thor, too, had to learn.”
Loki hadn’t a chance to speak before his armor was torn from his body and everything faded into darkness.
Loki opened his eyes, disoriented and confused. He felt…warm. And exhausted. And shockingly fragile. He sat up, realizing he had been lying in a public park in what looked like New York. With a glance at the skyline, he saw the Stark Tower and suppressed a groan. Of all places Odin could have sent him, he chose the one place Loki would never willingly return to.
There was something horribly, grossly wrong.
Loki looked down at his clothes and realized that they were what a mere mortal would wear. They held no regality. Plain shirt and a pair of black jeans. With a confused frown, he attempted to summon his armor, but nothing happened. He felt none of his familiar magic.
And that’s when he realized exactly what Odin had meant by ‘learning responsibility like Thor had’. He was a mortal; weak, fragile, and powerless. He sat on the grass, trying to let the revelation sink in. He honestly had no clue whether to feel angry or devastated. It felt as though a piece of his soul had been stolen, like something was missing. From him. He was incomplete.
Resigned, he stood from the grass and moved to an empty park bench, leaning back and pulling his knees to his chest. Anger and betrayal, he decided, were the two emotions at the forefront of his mind. He was nothing without his magic, and Odin must have known that. Now, as he sat in his pathetic mortal clothes in a pathetic mortal world, he tried to plan out what his next move was.
It was pretty obvious what it had to be, though, even if the former-god didn’t like it. He’d been stripped of his powers and his dignity—his pride was the only thing that still had to go. And he knew exactly how to remedy that. That is, if his brother could even forgive him for all that he’d done. As much as it pained him to do so, he was willing to meet Thor half way.
He sat for another ten minutes trying his hardest to overcome his pride.
No, he wasn’t moping.
With a resigned groan, he stood and began walking. With every step he took, he tried convincing himself to turn back. He could totally find a better option. He remained steadfast, though, until Stark Tower was just ahead of him, shining in the sunlight like a beacon of hope and hopelessness. He reached a tall gate with a camera and a set of buttons, seemingly acting as his last obstacle before coming to his goal. The buttons had small labels, designating the type of visit. ‘Press interview’, ‘delivery’, ‘meeting’, and ‘personal’; Loki hesitated before pressing ‘personal’, listening to a short beep before a small screen lit up, Tony Stark’s incredulous face appearing. “Okay…right. Look, I’m sort of hung-over right now, so I think…I think I’m mistaking you for someone else.” The man said, trying to get his eyes into focus.
Loki smirked, shaking his head slightly. “I don’t think you’re mistaking me for anyone, Mr. Stark. But don’t worry; I’m not going to kill you.”
Talking to a small screen was…weird to say the least.
“Right. Uh…right.” Tony seemed to have some issues figuring out what was going on, rubbing the bridge of his nose.
“Look, can I come in? I have matters to discuss. I must speak with Tho- my brother.”
Stark took a breath in, closed his eyes, and then glanced at Loki again. Finally, there was a buzz above the ex-god and the gate opened slowly. “I’m only doing this because you could just teleport in anyway, so I’m staying on your good side.”
The screen flashed to black and Loki pushed his way through the gate, looking up at the building in front of him. Stark was wrong about the teleportation, but he let it go. There would be time for explanations when he was sure they weren’t going to kill him on sight.
He made his way up the well-manicured driveway and to the front door where Mr. Stark was leaning against the doorframe, sunglasses concealing his eyes. “I would have thought you’d be wearing your metal armor.” The Asgardian said simply as he approached the shorter man.
“I could say the same about you. Your ensemble seems a bit…casual today.”
Loki nearly bristled at the comment, but shrugged it off. “Might I ask where my brother is?”
“He should be here any-” the sound of heavy footsteps could be heard in the hallway and soon, Thor emerged, stopping in his tracks when he saw his brother.
The god looked at his younger brother, disbelief in his eyes. “How did you escape?!” He nearly yelled, causing Tony to visibly flinch.
“I didn’t escape,” Loki said defensively, “This is my punishment! Father stripped me of my powers and sent me here, much like he did you. I’m stuck here.”
The God of Thunder took a moment to process the information he’d just been given, scanning his brother’s eyes for any trace of a trick. After a few tense moments, he breathed out and launched himself forward, engulfing Loki in an eager embrace. “I am happy to hear this, brother! You are welcome here.”
Tony took this moment to interject, raising an eyebrow at the taller blond. “Uh, shouldn’t you be asking before inviting people into my tower? And in case you’ve forgotten, your brother attempted to kill the entire team, and succeeded in murdering many more S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. I don’t know how comfortable anyone around here is going to be with someone like that living under the same roof as them!” his voice became gradually louder until he seemed to remember his hangover, rubbing his eyes briefly.
“I would appreciate it if you didn’t speak as though I wasn’t here, Mr. Stark.” Loki said irritably, taking a few step towards him. “And don’t speak as though you know all of the details! You don’t!”
“I may not know your side of the story, Loki,” the brunette spat, “But I do know that because of you, Phil Coulson is in the hospital, barely hanging on. I know that you possessed one of my teammates, forcing him to kill. I know that you’ve cost the city of New York millions of dollars in repairs. So excuse me for weighing what I know against your side of the story.”
“Listen, mortal, you couldn’t possibly fathom my side of the story. You think I was the one in charge? Think again! I was taking orders in order to protect my own life, so-”
Loki was admittedly not expecting Tony Stark’s fist to come into contact with his nose. Stumbling backwards, hands going to his face, he glared up at the offender. “Yeah, well, last time I checked, you’re mortal now, too.”
Tony turned to walk back inside, but Thor grabbed his shoulder roughly. “Mind your actions, Man of Iron! I understand your hostility towards my brother, but at this moment he is helpless and trying to make amends for his previous wrong-doings.”
It was obvious Thor didn’t want to turn his brother away, and it was understandable. Loki was finally trying to reach out to him, and it wasn’t outside the realm of possibilities that they could repair their relationship. Tony understood this, and looked over to the God of Mischief, who was holding a blood-coated hand to his nose. “Look.” He began, taking his sunglasses of and perching them atop his head. “Even if you manage to convince me, there are still four other people living in the mansion that you’re going to have to talk to. Not only that, but S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t going to let a war criminal, mortal or not, frolic around town. Nick Fury is going to demand more severe consequences than having your magic taken away. I don’t know how these things work on Asgard, but here on Earth, when you murder someone, you get locked up in a tiny jail cell for a very long time.”
Thor thought for a moment, hand tightening around Mjӧlnir. “I will go to Asgard and speak to my father. I will be back shortly. Can I trust my brother in your hands?”
Tony raised an eyebrow before nodding, replacing his sunglasses. “I’m willing to stand down if he is.” Thor seemed satisfied with this answer, and was swinging Mjӧlnir, leaving with a boom of thunder. Stark looked over to the demoted god, whose hand was still held firmly against his nose. Blood dripped onto the ground, and he almost felt sorry for Loki.
It would probably help if the god hadn’t murdered some of his colleagues.
Finally, he sighed and motioned for Loki to enter the mansion. “Let’s get you some ice for your face.”
The taller man followed Tony in silence, ego bruised and head aching. He wouldn’t know what to say, in any case. ‘So how’s the fighting evil?’, ‘This is a lovely home, I didn’t get a good look at it before I threw you from a window.’ No, those probably wouldn’t go over very well with Mr. Stark.
When they finally reached the kitchen, Tony pointed to one of the stools around the island counter while he grabbed a paper towel and held it under the faucet. Walking around to stand in front of the god, he kept his face emotionless. “Here, move your hand. I can’t tell what kind of damage I did until this blood is gone.” Loki did so, reluctantly. He would be lying if he said he didn’t expect the billionaire to be rougher than he needed to. However, Tony was surprisingly…gentle. “Well, I didn’t manage to break anything. It’s kind of a shame, really. It’s not every day you get the opportunity to punch the God of Mischief in the face. It would be so much better if I could say I broke his nose.”
“I assure you, this is grounds enough for bragging.” Loki sniffed, trying to ascertain whether or not he was still bleeding, and watched as his host moved to the freezer and pulled out a handful of ice cubes, wrapping them in a dish towel.
“Hold that on your face.”
Loki looked skeptical. “And what is that going to accomplish? Trying to remind me of my heritage?”
“Um…no?” Tony paused, confused. “It’ll help with the pain. That is, unless you want to sit there the way it is. It’s your face.” The Asgardian snatched the homemade ice pack, looking like a pouting five year old. Tony smirked briefly, but soon realized who was sitting in front of him. Masking his emotions, he sat on the stool next to Loki and looked him in the eyes. “I need to know, on the off chance that you end up living under my roof, that you aren’t going to go off on a killing spree the second you get your powers back. Besides Thor, I’m the only one who isn’t going to try and kill you without a second glance, so you’d better be honest with me.”
“I mean no harm to the humans, not anymore. I don’t think you listened very well when I said I was taking orders. While I will happily admit that tricks and mischief are my specialties, I don’t take an immense amount of satisfaction out of killing.”
“You seemed pretty satisfied last time I checked.” There was a dangerous tone in Tony’s voice, and he pretended that he didn’t notice the way his eyes began to tear up when he thought of all the lives lost in the fight against Loki.
“That was…it was different. I couldn’t possibly expect you to understand half of what was going on with the Tesseract, but I truly have no wish to do any more harm.”
“You’re the God of Lies. How do I know you aren’t scheming something right at this very moment?”
Loki adjusted the ice pack and drew his lips together. “Tell me, Stark, do you know what it’s like to be overlooked by your father for someone else? To feel obligated to do everything in your power to make him notice you, regardless of whether or not it’s destructive? My life has been full of disappointment and the inability to live up to the expectations set by Thor. My previous actions were those of a son trying to get his father to notice him for the first time.”
Tony nodded, though Loki wasn’t looking at him. The god, instead, was looking at the countertop, free hand fidgeting uncomfortably in his lap. “Actually, I do get it. The father situation, I mean. My father wasn’t exactly the greatest role model. Only, instead of a brother, I had science to compete with. And science never loses.”
He hadn’t actually intended to say that out loud. Once it was out there in the open, he once again realized that this was Loki he was sitting with and wished he could take the words back. He cleared his throat, standing abruptly. He didn’t want to admit that he and Loki were alike, and it was easy to see how the Asgardian had become so…well, so fucked up. Grabbing a soda out of the fridge, he decided it was time for a subject change. “So let’s say you do gain the approval of everyone in this house. Are you prepared for what S.H.I.E.L.D. might do to you? I don’t think Nick Fury is the type of person to forgive so easily. Like, have you ever seen a movie called Pulp Fiction?” Loki shook his head. “Well, he’s like this guy in that movie who shoots people and…well, no, the guy in the movie actually ends up being a pretty forgiving character in the end. My point here is, you destroyed his helicarrier and killed his agents. He probably won’t be as forgiving as everyone else.”
Loki set his ice pack on the counter and smiled a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes. “I can’t say I’d blame him. I never thought the All-Father would give me this punishment, so I suppose I was prepared for something more severe. If Mr. Fury wishes that I get put in a prison, I won’t argue.”
Tony was massively thankful when he heard Thor return with a boom, because he was getting way too close to understanding the man sitting across from him. And that probably wouldn’t be a good thing. He wasn’t at his best, in the first place. He could most likely still be considered drunk, if not buzzed, and he was liable to do something stupid. Like invite Loki into his home.
“I am happy to see the both of you alive!” Thor said, clapping Loki on the back, not noticing when his brother flinched away from the contact. “I have spoken to my father, and he has explained the situation to me.”
“Is he going to force me to play nice with his youngest?” Tony asked, scoffing slightly.
“He says that it is entirely up to you mortals as to whether or not you would like to provide shelter for Loki. As he puts it, it is part of the learning experience.”
Loki stood from his stool, looking from his brother to Tony. “I can see that this is going to be far more trouble than it’s worth. I’m sure I’ll be able to find another home to live in.” He turned towards the hallway, ready to leave as quickly as he could, realizing how bad of an idea it was to show up there in the first place. Before he could take more than two steps, though, he felt a hand on his shoulder and turned around.
“Look,” Tony began, looking entirely unsure of what he was doing. “I’m not saying that I trust you completely, but I think it’s safe to say that you don’t want to slip cyanide into our orange juice. I’d be willing to set you up with a room here, and since I own the building, it’ll be pretty hard for the rest of the team to object. With Thor to watch over you, you won’t be able to do anything excessively evil. There would be rules, though. A lot of rules. You’d be like a preteen with overbearing parents. Is that agreeable to you?”
Tony had no idea what he was doing, but the words were spilling out of his mouth before he even had a chance to think about it. Something about Loki’s demeanor—mixed with the influence of alcohol and the fact that they actually had something in common—made him sympathize with the god. Even if it was only a little bit.
And hey, no one ever said that Tony Stark was a man who thinks things through.
Loki, in turn, straightened. “I don’t find it disagreeable.”
Thor grinned, wrapping both men in his arms, laughing jovially. “Then it is settled! I thank you for this grand opportunity, Tony Stark! And I am truly happy to have you here, brother! I hope we can once again be a family.” Tony opened his mouth to say something when he heard a click of a gun being cocked, and he immediately disengaged from the embrace and turned to see the offender.
Natasha stood near the door, gun pointed at Loki’s head. It was amazing how menacing she still managed to look when in jeans and a tank top. “What is he doing here?” She asked, venom pouring from every syllable. She certainly was living up to her title.
Tony stepped in front of the god, though he was substantially shorter, and put his hands up. “Natasha, stand down. It’s alright.” She made no move to put her gun away, and Tony let out an impatient sigh. “Loki isn’t here to hurt anyone; he’s officially as mortal as you or me. Well, mostly you.”
The red-head seemed to relax, but she kept the gun trained in front of her. “How do I know he isn’t possessing you? Just like he was with Clint.” Okay, so if Loki was a touchy subject for her, they were going to go through hell trying to convince Agent Barton, but they’d cross that bridge when they got there.
If they got there.
“It’s physically impossible for him to possess me because of the arc reactor. Believe me, he tried.” Tony tapped the circle of light through his shirt. “I’m using my own free will here, Tasha, and I would appreciate it if you just trusted me and put the gun down.”
Finally, she seemed convinced and slowly, hesitantly, set her gun to the side. “You didn’t answer my question. What is he doing here?”
Thor, seemingly oblivious to the hostility in Natasha’s voice, stepped to the front of the trio and smiled. “He is here to make amends for his wrong-doings and serve his punishment as a mortal, and Tony has agreed to let him stay here!”
The thunder god’s excitement was lost on Agent Romanov, who simply looked incredulous. She almost looked like she’d been betrayed by a loved one, staring open-mouthed at Tony, not quite believing. “Why would you agree to that, Tony? He may be human, but that doesn’t mean he’s harmless. Even humans are capable of murder. Just because he has no magic doesn’t mean he isn’t going to try and kill us all as we sleep.”
“I know it may seem far-fetched, but can you just trust me here? I…for some reason, I actually trust him,” Tony couldn’t believe he was actually saying that out loud in front of Loki. It’s not like the Asgardian needed an extra ego boost or anything. “And I’m prepared to take full responsibility for any of his actions.”
Oh god, what was he signing himself up for? He almost wished he had the ability to take the words back, but a look at Thor convinced him otherwise.
“The Man of Iron will not be taking sole responsibility!” The blond said proudly. “Loki is my brother, and I will take responsibility as well.”
“Can I speak for myself?” Loki asked irritably, glaring mostly at his brother. “I know the things I’ve done have been wrong, and I’ve given you no reason not to shoot me right now. But I’m not going to kill anyone. If anything, I just want to be on my best behavior so that I can get my powers back and return to Asgard. Once I get my powers returned to me, it’s doubtful that you’ll ever see me again.”
Natasha took a calming breath in before letting it out in a huff. “Let the record show that I will not hesitate to shoot if you do something out of line. I’m not happy about it, and I would prefer it if you kept your distance. But if Tony and Thor are willing to be your keepers, then I have no right to stop them.” She sent Loki one last look of distaste before turning on her heel and leaving the scene, leaving the trio to process the situation.
“Well, there’s one down, three to go.” Tony muttered, wondering what the hell he’d gotten himself in to. He wasn’t Loki’s ‘keeper’. If anything, he was like…a landlord slash probation officer. “Jesus Christ, this is probably the worst day I could have chosen to have a hangover.” He grabbed his can of soda off the counter, taking a huge gulp.
“Thank you, Tony.” Thor said, smiling gratefully.
“Yeah, well,” Tony looked at Loki, “Don’t make me regret it.”
Loki would never admit it, but he actually felt a sense of happiness; a sense of being wanted. Of being trusted. Trust wasn’t something he was given very often, seeing as how he was the God of Lies, and he’d forgotten how important it could be. “I assure you, I will be on my best behavior.”
Tony crossed his arms, leaning against the counter. “Okay, ground rules. You won’t leave the house without an escort. Other than your escort, one other Avenger will know where you’re going to be at all times. At least one other Avenger. Don’t touch my alcohol.” Tony nodded at his words, pointing at Loki. “That’s a big one. Don’t touch my stuff. Don’t break my stuff. That’s a no-no. Anything to add here, Thor?”
“I would advise against pranking, brother. We can revisit this rule once my friends are certain to laugh, but as it stands currently, they’re liable to kill you.”
“Right, that sounds good.” Tony agreed. “Uh…let’s see. I guess the biggest thing here is, just don’t be a dick. If I think of anything else, I’ll be sure to tell you. For now, I guess we should give you a room. And then call the team over for a little chat.”
Steve was the first to make a move after Tony finished speaking, nearly knocking over the coffee table that separated them. The team was gathered around on the couch as Tony explained the situation. “Do you hear yourself right now, Stark? Think about what you’re asking us to do!” The soldier said, fierce blue eyes shining with rage.
“I have thought about what I’m asking, Cap, and I think you guys need to trust me on this.”
Bruce cleared his throat, shaking his head. “I’m going to have to agree with Steve on this one, Tony. This is Loki we’re talking about. We have no way of knowing if he’s telling the truth or not, and I don’t know if I’d be comfortable having him so close to the team’s secrets. We’d be left vulnerable if he decided to go back to his old ways.”
Tony looked irritated, clenching his fists at his sides. “What about you, Clint? Any kind words to say?” he asked sarcastically.
“Actually…I wouldn’t mind that much. If he stayed here.” At these words, most of the team looked at him in shock. They were probably expecting him to be furious at Tony for even suggesting it, especially since all Loki had put him through. He appeared calm, though. “I mean, I’m not going to be his BFF, and there will be no sleepovers and painting each other’s nails. I’m just thinking…if he were to go back to being all evil, wouldn’t it be better to have him close by? I, for one, would be thrilled to have the opportunity to get first blood.”
Natasha, who’d been quiet until that point, uncrossed her legs and leaned forward. “Are you sure, Clint?” She asked quietly, barely loud enough for the rest of the team to hear. “You know what he did to you.”
“Yeah, and I’m not forgiving him.” Clint explained defensively. “I’d just rather have him under the watch of the six of us rather than having him in some dilapidated apartment complex where he could hurt innocents.”
“Well, that’s four against two.” Tony said, feeling very self-satisfied as he looked over at Bruce and Steve. “Anything to add to your arguments here, fellas?”
Steve didn’t look the least bit happy, but he knew when arguing was futile. “I expect him to be a model house mate if he’s going to be living here. He needs just as much responsibility as everyone else.”
“That can easily be arranged.” Thor agreed, the glimmer of hope once again returning to his eyes.
Bruce sighed, clearly resigned. “I don’t want him in my lab.” He said, referring to the R&D floor right underneath Tony’s. “I don’t particularly want him anywhere near me, but I’m willing to compromise.”
Tony nodded, rubbing his hands together. “I’m so happy we’re all able to agree on this. So, how about we bring in the guest of honor? Thor, would you go fetch your brother?” He was verging on panic-mode, if he was being honest with himself. His team—his friends—were putting their faith in him, and it would be his fault if any of them got hurt. It would be his stupidity that allowed it. He could only imagine the guilt he’d feel if he was woken one night by the screams of his friends as they were murdered. He severely hoped he was making the right choice.
Well, too late to go back now, in any case.
Thor re-entered the room, ushering Loki in front of him. The dark-haired brother looked uncomfortable being the center of attention, but he tried to keep his emotions masked. No one was pointing any weapons at him yet, so he counted that as a good thing. “You’re officially our house-mate.” Tony said, smiling weakly, though no one noticed. “Do you have anything to say that might make them feel a bit better about this situation?”
Loki cleared his throat, rubbing his arm awkwardly. “I truthfully do not wish for any trouble. I will attempt to stay out of everyone’s way, and I thank you for your reluctant hospitality.”
After that, the others filed out pretty quickly, choosing not to stay around for any small talk. Steve was the first to go, nodding at Tony on his way out. He was soon followed by Natasha and Clint who wanted to get some training in before the day was over. Bruce made the excuse that he had to check on a very important time-sensitive experiment, but at least had the courtesy to smile at Tony and the two gods before exiting.
“I feel that that went about as well as could have been expected.” Tony grumbled, falling backwards onto the couch, closing his eyes. His head was still killing him, and he mainly just wanted to take a few sleeping pills and jump right into bed.
“Thank you, again.” Loki said quietly, sitting in one of the recliner chairs. Tony didn’t have to open his eyes to know that he was sitting straight, looking like he belonged in a museum curator convention or something. “You didn’t have to do this. I would have blamed you if you’d turned me away.”
“Brother, I would have found accommodations for you.” Thor assured, setting Mjӧlnir on the floor beside his feet. “You would never have had to do this on your own.”
“And at least this way,” Tony added, “we can keep an eye on you. Make sure you aren’t doing any nefarious planning.”
There was a stretch of silence as Tony absorbed the situation. He was lying on his couch with a beast of a hangover, after just inviting a criminal, slash god, slash sorcerer into his home, in the company of two Asgardians, one of which was delighted and jubilant, and the other slightly less so.
Yes, the billionaire thought, his life was so full of fuck.
“Right,” he said, standing quickly and ignoring the head rush that came immediately afterwards, “I’m going to let you two have some brotherly bonding, uh, time, so I’ll be in my room if anyone needs me. Please, don’t need me.”
In the hallway, he ran a hand through his hair before he reached the elevator. “JARVIS, do you think I’m making a mistake?” he asked as the doors glided close.
Out of all calculated outcomes to this situation, it’s impossible for me to say, sir.
“Well that’s helpful.” Tony muttered. “JARVIS, I want to know when Loki leaves the premises, unless accompanied by me. Block his access from the R&D floors, with extra security on Bruce’s lab.”
Doing so as we speak, sir. Anything else?
“I suppose we’re going to have to call Fury at some point.” A groan. “No, scratch that. That’s something that needs to be done when I don’t feel like I’m dying from alcohol poisoning.”
The elevator doors slid open, and Tony made his way down the hall to his room. “To sleep or not to sleep?” He asked himself, eying the bed. It was only the afternoon, after all, and if he fell asleep now, his entire sleep schedule would be fucked.
Or, fucked-er than it already was.
He finally settled on taking out his tablet to edit some designs, leaning back against his headboard. However, his plans to not-sleep became harder and harder to stick to as his vision began to swim and his work began to blur. He realized he was fighting a losing battle and set his tablet aside, letting sleep take him.
Loki stared out of the window of the room he’d been given, trying to get over his pride. While he felt no hostility towards the mortals at this point, it was still hard to sink so low as to ask them for assistance. It was easy to see they weren’t very happy about it, either, and he couldn’t get over the feeling that he was intruding—that he was an unwanted addition. It felt too familiar to him. After all, he’d spent most of his life on Asgard feeling similar, if not in a more subtle way.
He thought back to when he’d fallen from the Bifrost and spent what had felt like an eternity drifting, powerless to stop. That’s when he arrived and took Loki in, making him feel accepted and useful. When he’d been asked to lead the Chitauri army and return with the Tesseract, he wasn’t in a very good state of mind, and he could only think of the people who should have loved him but had betrayed him. His father passed him over for the throne; Loki would show him how capable he was of ruling. Thor had shown certain affection for Earth; Loki would show him what it felt like to lose. And He had been so kind; it only seemed like the logical thing to do.
Retrospectively, Loki realized that there was a lot he’d overlooked simply for the satisfaction of being wanted. He felt ashamed—not only of himself and his actions, but for ever thinking the way he did when he first attacked Earth.
So he could honestly say that he wasn’t lying when he’d told Mr. Stark that he’d willingly take whatever punishment SHIELD had for him.
Well, except death. He wouldn’t be so cool with that and would probably (definitely) put up a fight.
There was a knock at the door and Loki turned from the window at the sound. “It’s unlocked.” He called, just loudly enough to be heard. He was expecting it to either be Thor or Tony, but he was surprised to see Captain Rogers instead. The soldier didn’t look particularly murderous, but that didn’t stop Loki from tensing visibly.
“I’m not here to beat you up.” Steve said, putting his hands up. “I just want to talk.”
“I’m not really in a position to refuse.” The god said, once again turning to the widow, putting his elbows on the edge. He felt Rogers do the same, but didn’t look over.
“You have to understand, we’ve spent far too much time trying to stop you and prevent you from killing any more people.” A bird flew across a backdrop of blue sky, and Steve paused, choosing his words carefully. “It’s hard for us to trust you. You’re the God of Lies. I’m here to tell you right now that if you are lying to us about reasons for staying here and you attempt to harm any one of my team mates, I won’t hesitate to kill you. You’re walking on thin ice here, but I…well, I’m willing to give you a chance. People can change. I know that more than anyone. Power corrupts, and Thor has told of stories of when you weren’t so, you know, evil. I’m willing to give you a second chance if you’re willing to give me your word that you won’t hurt anyone.”
Steve put his hand out and Loki took it hesitantly, unsure of whether or not it was a trick. “What’s the catch?”
“There is no catch. As long as you try to stay on your best behavior, I’ll try my best to keep my suspicions to a minimum.”
Steve smiled as he shook Loki’s hand, his entire demeanor different than it had been earlier. “You have my word that I shall be on my best behavior. As I told Agent Romanov earlier, I just want to earn my powers back and return to Asgard. I wish for no more trouble.”
“Sounds good.” The blond said, nodding. “I’ll send Thor to get you when dinner’s ready.”
Tony woke gradually, thanking all of the gods that his headache had diminished substantially. He yawned, stretching before hopping out of bed. “JARVIS, start the shower please.” He said through another yawn. The thing he hated most about taking naps in the middle of the day was the fact that it left him yawning and drowsy for a while afterwards.
Pulling his clothes off, Tony tossed them haphazardly around the bathroom before stepping into the shower. His head may have felt better, but he was still in the ‘shower-food-water-coffee’ stage of getting over his hangover. Sometimes he wondered why he didn’t just quit drinking alcohol.
But then he remembered: it’s alcohol.
After fifteen minutes of hot-water-bliss, he stepped out and grabbed a towel from the rack, wrapping it around his waist before making his way into his bedroom, shaking his hair slightly. He had just opened the top drawer of his dresser when his bedroom door opened.
Loki stepped in, plate of food in hand, not yet noticing the state of undress Tony was in. When he finally looked up, his face turned a bright shade of red and he immediately looked at anything else in the room, nearly dropping the plate. “I’m, uh, sorry, Mr. Stark.” He said, the words coming out in a rush. “Captain Rogers thought you would still be hung-over, so he told me to bring you some food so I’ll just, er, leave it here.” He set it on top of one of the shelves before practically fleeing the room, slamming the door behind him.
Tony couldn’t help but smirk, and he knew he’d never let Loki live it down, if only to see him turn that shade of red again. Maybe Loki would actually be kind of fun to live with. In a scary ‘we’ve-tried-to-kill-each-other’ kind of way.