Robbing a bank was generally below Loki's dignity, but the Avengers had been very close behind him for the past week, and he needed some resources to give himself some breathing room. And besides, why would humans stick all of their money in one place if they weren't asking someone to steal it?
"Hey! Over here!" Loki looked up to see a short stocky blond human waving at him. He didn't look like SHIELD, and thus could be ignored.
But the human did not pick up on this hint. "Sherlock, I've been waiting for you. Why did you want me to meet you here? Something about Irene Adler?"
"I don't know who you are referring to, but you seem to have the wrong person," Loki said coldly. The man was standing a little too close in his personal space.
The human said, "Yes, very funny Sherlock, you're a master of disguise, but I can still tell it's you. Where are you going? Wait, it's not polite to cut in front of people in line like that. Get back here!"
Meanwhile, on the SHIELD's plane:
Thor said, "I have great experience in seeing through my brother's disguises, and this is not him. I am sorry, Tony."
Tony Stark scowled. "But he was standing outside that bank! And his face is different, but he moves just the way Loki does!"
Clint said, "Yeah, and he had trouble figuring out about human things, like asking what Facebook was."
"I don't really understand Facebook either," Steve admitted.
Sherlock said, "Not surprising, you originate from a different time, don't you? I peg the forties or so. And you shouldn't be prancing around in a metal suit with that heart condition" he pointed at Tony, "and you are one to talk about not being human" he pointed at Thor, "And you," he said to Clint, "are clearly harboring some deep trauma concerning me or the person you think I am, connected to whenever I move my arm it this way—look at you twitch. It's rather amusing."
Bruce said what they were all thinking, "Are you sure he isn't Loki, Thor?"
Thor frowned. "Almost sure. Probably."
Loki shoved his way in front of the teller's counter. "You can skip the cash, I'm interested in bank account numbers."
The human following him yammered, "That's not funny, Sherlock, you're scaring the poor woman."
Loki pulled out is scepter and pointed it at the shocked woman.
"Sherlock, what have I told you about the first rule of weapon safety? Don't point it if you won't use it!" To Loki's astonishment, the human's hand shot out with incredible speed and slapped the specter out of his hands. "Bad Sherlock! Sorry about that, ma'am, he suffers from an antisocial behavioral disorder. And he's an ass."
Snarling, Loki raised a frost covered hand.
But before the human turned into a popsicle, his ice smashed into a giant hammer. The ice and hammer went flying in Loki's direction, hitting him in the chest.
Thor's hand went to his side, where his hammer was no longer at his belt. "Pardon me for a moment, friends, my hammer has disappeared again."
"Again?" Clint asked.
"Yes, ever since Father declared that anyone worthy of the power of Thor could have it, it appears that there are a number of people in this world besides myself who are sometimes worthy of that power. Mjolnir often leaves on its own to go to them."
"That sounds very annoying. In the middle of a battle, and wham, there goes your hammer. Performance failure," Tony said, sounding more amused than sympathetic. "Can't you do something about that?"
"I appreciate your desire to help, but it is not necessary. The last person to receive my hammer was a fifteen year old boy trying to protect his sister from some marauding Syrian soldiers. If Mjolnir is occasionally more dearly needed in another place, who am I stand in its way?"
"That's very noble of you, Thor," Steve said.
"Also, I am told by Jane that by doing this I demonstrate new depths of emotional maturity, which is frigid."
"You mean cool," Bruce said.
"As Darcy Lewis says, positively below freezing. Now I must go to see if the person who has my hammer requires rescuing."
Sherlock said, "I can tell from the way you're holding the paper that you have a case file. Bring it over here so I can look at it. I could help you solve the case, you know."
Clint glared as he moved the report further away. "Shut up, Loki."
"I'm not Loki. And if I wanted to get out of this glass case, I could do it easily."
"Sure, you think you're such a mastermind."
"I'm serious. The keypad comes out when you touch the bottom of the right corner, right here." The front of the cage slid open. Sherlock said, "The password was 'thorisawesome.'"
Clint sighed. "I knew we shouldn't have let Thor install an emergency escape door, not even after the third time Loki locked him in there."
Thor flung to door open as he shouted, "Wait! He's not Loki!" The Norse god entered the room in a flat run, followed by a short blond man.
"I'd kind of got that," Clint admitted. "Loki would never have been able to type in that password without projectile vomiting."
Thor said, "We have the real Loki in custody, and Fury is helping me arrange transportation."
"I see you have your hammer back," Clint said.
Thor patted Mjolnir. "Yes, but the heroic John Watson had already taken down the bad guy when I arrived."
John said, "I'm sorry for taking your hammer again. I don't know why it keeps popping up around me."
"Mjolnir likes you, John Watson."
Sherlock waved. "Oh, hello John. Do you know who these people are?"
"They're the Avengers."
"Don't tell me you've never heard of superheroes? SHIELD? Aliens invaded New York, is any of this ringing a bell?"
"That sounds like the sort of useless fact I would have deleted from my memory."
"Of course it is."
"At the moment they seem to be kidnappers, and badly dressed ones too."
Moving closer to Sherlock, John hissed, "I don't think you should complain too loudly, Sherlock, did you forget that you're in this country illegally?"
"What, Mycroft still hasn't straightened out that ridiculous thing with my visa being revoked?"
"No, that's why you came here under a false name. I think you should leave while everyone is still being nice and apologetic."
On cue, Thor said, "We are extremely sorry for the inconvenience we have caused you, Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Tony has these free gift certificates that he wants me to give you." Clint, who had overheard the whispered conversation but didn't particularly care, merely smirked.
Accepting the gift certificates to a few thousand dollars' worth of Stark products and some free shawarma, John said, "Thanks for babysitting Sherlock while I was gone."
Thor said, "It is not a problem, John Watson. I hope we might have an opportunity to meet again, now that I have learned we have mutual friends."
Mutual friends? Who? John thought, but was quickly distracted by trying to stop Sherlock from stealing Clint's case files.
Meanwhile, down a back alley in New York:
"Long time no see, Rene!"
"Darling cousin!" Irene Adler kissed Natasha on both cheeks.
"So what happened to your dear old abusive alcoholic of an uncle?"
"He sold me to a brainwashing assassination program as a child. I tracked him down to a rundown bar with one of my current colleagues and we roughed him up a bit before handing him over to the CIA."
"The CIA? Oh, you certainly have reformed, Nat. I almost didn't believe it."
"Let's just say it's best I have no official knowledge of what happened to my uncle on your side of the family. Although I will say that I think bottom of Morecambe Bay is too good for your father; they do horrible things to child molesters in prison these days."
"Sure, but mother dearest would have gotten off with a sob story."
"Point taken, point taken. I'm not about to judge you; I couldn't bring myself to hand my least favorite trainer over to justice—he had to 'resist arrest'. So, met any terrorist leaders recently I should know about?"
"Only for you, cuz, will I tell you, didn't-hear-it-from-me, that someone on your no-fly list might be trying to sneak into New York this weekend under a fake ID reading 'Theodore Bahar.' I only let trade secrets slip for family. That and the disgusting fool spilled barbeque sauce on my veil when he tried to kiss me."
"Mm, I've found that lime juice works wonders on red stains. The best part is, if you carry it around in your purse you can also use it as an interrogation device."
"I'm more fond of electricity myself. A girl likes to sparkle. Now, on to the more personal business of catching up."
"You do understand that where I live, what name I'm under, and my current job are all off limits."
"Yes, of course darling, but I have more important questions. Have you gotten anywhere with that muscular archer with the bright blue eyes?"
"Relationships between coworkers are always messy, Irene."
"Oh, but don't tell me you haven't looked. Even I have looked, and I'm not usually inclined that way."
"Really? But word on the street has it that a gentleman with the last name H-O-L-M-E-S might have made you reconsider."
"Mycroft? He's too short."
"Don't play dumb, cousin, spill. Or would you rather let the rumor mill have its way?"
"I think I need a few drinks in me before we start talking about this. Is there a bar in town which hasn't banned one of us?"
"I have some dirt on the owner of the One-Legged Lady, which is close enough."
"Then to the nearest taxi! Buy me enough drinks and maybe I'll tell you about some private funding parties held by a politician whose been giving SHIELD grief. Oh, and don't think you've successfully distracted me from Hawkeye either."
"It's good to see you again, cousin."
"You too, Nat."