"It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light."- Aristotle Onassis
Loki looked aimlessly out upon Asgard from his bedroom window. The sun was setting and the god was silently grateful for it, it meant that soon he would be returning to Midgard with the others. He laughed. When he and Thor were little, they would scoff at how boring and plain Midgard was, and now he could not wait to go back. It was surprising.
He glanced back at his room, nothing had changed since he had left. Loki moved around, collecting books and various other objects to take with him, he doubted he would be returning anytime soon. When he was finished he placed them in the void where he kept the Casket of Ancient Winters, and closed it.
Satisfied, Loki left the room to look for the engineer. Clint was still off with the archers, Natasha and Sif were chatting in the courtyard, and Thor and Steve were with the Warriors Three.
The Warriors Three and Lady Sif.
Just thinking about them made Loki angry. He had spent a better part of his life constantly at the ends of many of his jokes, because he was neither strong or as good a warrior as Thor.
Loki stopped in the long corridor. "What is it, Thor?" He asked.
Thor rung his hands. "I thought you might want to spar with me and the warriors."
Loki rolled his eyes. "No, Thor, I do not. Besides, I was always ridiculed because my talents did not lie in swinging a giant hammer around and smashing things."
"I understand your talents now, brother," Thor said.
"You may, but they will never."
"I shall make them see."
Loki was touched that his brother was trying. "It's not that simple, Thor."
Thor averted his gaze, frantically searching for something, anything.
"Don't worry, brother," Loki said calmly. "I have my own friends now."
He thought of Tony, and how he used his mind and intelligence to place him on par with others such as Captain America. Tony did not have the good Captain's super strength, but he had built a suit that made it possible to fight on the same plain. Tony, like Loki, had intelligence and brilliance instead of brute strength.
"Ah, the Man of Iron," Thor said. "He is most brave for standing up to Father."
"Or stupid," Loki mumbled, he didn't know which.
"What was that, brother?"
"Nothing," Loki lied. "Speaking of Tony, I must find him."
Thor nodded. "I shall be there to wish you farewell tomorrow."
"I never had any doubts."
Instead of Tony, Loki found his mother instead out in the gardens. He went and sat by her on one of the many stone benches that were spread out among the plants.
"Loki," she said and placed her arms around her youngest son.
Loki leaned into the embrace. "I will miss you, mother."
Frigga stroked his face. "And I you, my son."
The queen looked into her son's emerald eyes, she saw something different in them, something that she has never seen in all the years that Loki had lived on Asgard. She saw happiness, actual genuine happiness. Frigga smiled.
Loki quirked an eyebrow.
"Are you happy with them?"
Loki didn't miss a beat. "Yes."
"Is it because of Tony Stark?"
Why is everyone bringing up Tony? Loki thought to himself.
"You don't have to lie to me," Frigga murmured. "No matter what, I will always love you."
He never did find Tony that night.
The Avengers woke the next morning feeling refreshed and ready to return home to Stark Tower. Clint however, was not pleased to be using the Bifrost again, Tasha just rolled her eyes.
Loki had contemplated speaking with Odin alone, but he decided against it. Odin was not his real father, and never had been. There had been no reason to take him from Jotunheim that day, even if it was to "unite" the two kingdoms. Loki found out that he had been the bastard child of Laufey who had abandoned him because of his small size. So either way, peace was never to be had with the Jotuns through Loki, no one would have accepted him.
Asgard never accepted me either, Loki thought to himself. But things have changed now.
He hugged and kissed his mother goodbye one more time. He even allowed Thor to give him a massive bear hug, even though he regretted it immediately afterwards.
Loki nodded to his brother and turned and walked towards Tony, who was trying to talk to Heimdall, but was failing miserably.
The others had said their farewells and the Bifrost was activated. The last thing Loki heard before they were back in New York City was Clint muttering, "Oh dear God." Over and over again.
Things have settled down back in Stark Tower, villains kept attacking, but that was normal. As it turned out, Loki was extremely helpful in battle. Tony didn't know what the Asgardians saw in using brute strength all the time, the way that Loki battled saved time and energy. The genius just passed it off as the warrior gods being incredibly stupid.
Tony had taken it upon itself to teach the God of Mischief about Midgardian technology. Since Loki had been blind for most of his time on earth, Tony had not been able to introduce his friend to his favorite hobby.
Although, it had been an apparent to Tony that he had made mistake in giving the god a cell phone.
"Loki, for the last time, 'LOL' does not mean 'Lots of Love'!"
"But, Clint said-"
"Clint's an idiot."
"Hey! I can hear you!"
"I don't care!"
Clint muttered something in a foreign language and flipped Tony off.
"And you," the engineer said as he rounded on Loki, "who even set up a Facebook for you?"
Loki was about to open his mouth to say "Clint", but he was cut off.
"Never mind. I'm going to kill him."
Next Tony showed him how to make food using the microwave and toaster. The whole time Loki complained that he could just make food appear instead of doing it the hard way. Though at one point, Loki had thought that the toaster was trying to attack him when the bread popped up, and instantly smote it with his mighty god powers. Tony had thrown his hands in the air and stormed out, but he soon forgave the god after he learned he could make ice cubes out of thin air for his scotch.
Clint had introduced him to the world of video games. Loki's favorite was Mario Cart and Halo, for some reason. He was almost as good as Clint was. Natasha found them one day at four in the morning passed out in front of the television surrounded by a hundred cans of Mountain Dew and twenty empty chip bags.
Note to self, Clint thought later, do not give Loki anymore Mountain Dew. It caused him to talk a lot. Well more than usual. And he was incredibly hyper and was prone to changing people's hair color.
The other members of the team did not enjoy it when Tony and the god got along though. It normally meant something blew up, or someone got pranked. Tony had found it ever so funny to change all of Steve's tabs that he has on his computer to porn sites, so when the poor captain restarted the internet his eyes almost leaped out of his head. There was a very unmanly shriek and the bang of a closing door. Poor Steve, he had just grasped how to use the thing too.
Loki had magically left fifty bags of bird seed in Clint's room and had hid all of his bows in each of them, forcing the archer to open said bags. He even turned the bed into a giant nest. Clint was not amused.
No one wanted to mess with Bruce or Natasha. Tony wasn't sure which one scared him more, the trigger happy Russian or a giant, green rage monster. Decisions, decisions.
One afternoon, Fury had called screaming that someone had left a pirate hat, a fake rapier, and a dozen parrots in his office, who kept squawking "Yo ho ho it's a pirate's life for me." Fortunately, Steve was the one who answered the phone, and Tony was thankful because he wasn't sure if he could get a coherent sentence out, he was laughing way too hard. He never should have shown Loki, Pirates of the Caribbean.
Thor's pajama's had gone missing, the one's that Jane had bought him the last time she had stopped by. They had little lightning bolts, and Thor adored them. Only, the joke was on Loki and the rest, because Thor had no trouble sleeping completely naked instead.
Two trips back to Asgard later, Thor returned with news that the Jotuns would have nothing to do with peace and that Dr. Doom and Amora were conspiring with them. Tony only groaned, he was waiting for the shit to hit the fan. Oh joy.
Thor informed them that Amora was a sorcerer, much like their resident Norse god who was sitting at the table playing with random ice cubes that he created, instead of listening. Somehow, the two had forged a communication link with the Jotuns and were planning on brining them to earth.
Loki frowned, and stopped carving little arrows out of the cubes, but not before he slung a few at the archer. Clint jumped from his seat as the arrows slid down the back of his t-shirt and danced around frantically trying to dislodge them.
He knew they were after him.
Doom was in on it because he liked causing destruction; he would be perfectly content on watching the world burn. The bastard. And Amora was still mad that Thor had chosen a human woman instead of her.
"Loki, what do you think we should do?" Tony asked the god on his left.
The god looked up. "We should locate Doom and Amora, and take them out before they can transport the Jotuns here."
Tony nodded. "How exactly do we do that, Houdini?"
Loki was surprised that everyone was staring at him, and asking him how to handle the situation. Normally it was Thor that took command. Things really have changed.
"Doom has a company to run and a country. He'll most likely be in either of those places. Amora will be nearby, hopefully," Bruce said thoughtfully.
"Then we will start with Doom," Loki said.
Suddenly the ground beneath them shook violently. The team stood up as the alarm blared to life.
"Well," Tony muttered. "So much for finding them."
"This is much easier, Man of Iron," Thor laughed and raised Mjölnir.
"Suit up," Steve shouted.
When they reached outside, there was chaos everywhere. Buildings were on fire and crumbling as civilians rushed to safety. The NYPD was trying to contain the mass panic, but there was really little that they could do.
"Call it Cap," Natasha said.
Steve nodded. "Natasha and Clint, I want you to rescue anyone you can find in the buildings and get them to safety. Bruce, I want you to clear the streets so medical teams can access the wounded. Thor, you find Amora, if she's so in love with you, that means she won't hurt you as she would one of us. And Tony and Loki, find Doom and stop him. I'll go with Nat and Clint. SHIELD should be here soon."
Tony mock-saluted and took to the air. "C'mon, Reindeer Games, we have a date with Doom."
Loki rolled his eyes and followed after. Honestly, first "cow" from Thor and now "Reindeer Games" from Tony. Didn't anyone know their animals anymore? If anything, he looked more like a goat, not that he would say that to anyone.
Luckily most of the damage was in a relatively small area, so Clint, Natasha, Steve, and Bruce had an easier time clearing the rubble and helping people who were trapped. It was over an hour before emergency response vehicles arrived and took over the assisting of civilians, so the Avengers took off to find Tony and Loki as SHIELD decided to make their grand entrance.
All it took was one hour for Tony's world to completely crumble before him.
"Doom!" Tony shouted. "That's enough!"
Doom only laughed and threw Loki through two buildings. Tony knew the god could take it, but it didn't make watching it any easier. Iron Man flew towards the madman and they exchanged blows. Tony was a lot faster than his enemy, and Doom soon found himself flying off the top of his building. A well aimed missile caught the villain in his descent, and was only saved by his magic.
Loki stood up and shook his head, trying to clear his vision. Doom and a nasty throwing arm on him.
Victor flew up and punched Tony in the face, sending him crashing into Loki, who barely caught him before they were slammed into the ground.
"Thanks Prancer," Tony joked as he stood up.
"You really need to stop that," Loki chided. "I am not a moose."
They dodged one of Doom's magic blasts and prepared to launch a counter attack, when Thor's voice rang in their ears.
"Man of Iron! I cannot locate Amora. I have searched the whole city, she is not here."
"That's because she's behind you," a voice said smoothly in Loki's ear as hands latched onto his head.
Dr. Doom took Tony's moment of distraction to fire a slew of bursts at the man, who was too focused on Loki to stop them. The suit groaned as the blasts hit, propelling Tony several hundred meters away into a school.
"Get off me you vile-" Loki hissed. Victor cut him off with an armored fist to his face. The god's head snapped back and saw that Amora's eyes were glowing.
The man in the iron mask held Loki's arms in a vice-like grip as Amora started muttering incantations under her breath. Loki struggled, but it wasn't working, something was terribly wrong.
Loki willed the man to be all right. He's survived worse, right?
Amora pushed all the memories that Loki had thought he had sealed away to the surface. All the times in his life when he wasn't good enough for Odin or Thor's friends, burned fresh in his mind. He remembered the time he was accused for cutting off Sif's golden hair and how he was harshly punished for a crime he did not commit. Thor's friends seemed to delight in making him feel inferior, just because he used his head in battle instead of his fists. He knew Thor didn't mean to cast the shadow that Loki grew up in, he knew it, and he forgave him for that. Then why was he still so angry?
Loki remembered the stares he received in Asgard from its citizens. If he had not been a prince, they probably would have treated him with a lot more than glares. No one noticed, and Odin had passed it off as Loki being paranoid.
The man's betrayal burned hotter than any star.
That day in the vault played over and over.
"Am I cursed?" Loki asked, turning around.
"What am I?" Instead of pink, Loki's skin was a sharp blue, and his eyes blazed crimson.
"You are my son," Odin said without faltering.
"What more than that?" Loki snarled as his skin turned back to Aesir pink. "The Casket wasn't the only thing you took from Jotunheim that day, was it?"
"No. In the aftermath of the battle I went into the temple and I found a baby. Small for a Giant's offspring, abandoned, suffering, left to die. Laufey's son."
"Laufeyson?" the God of Mischief said slowly.
"Why? You were knee-deep in Jotun blood. Why would you take me?"
"You were an innocent child," The Allfather tried to reason with his son.
"No," Loki glared. "You took me for a purpose. What was it?"
Odin was silent.
"I thought we could unite our kingdoms one day. Bring about an alliance; bring about permanent peace... through you."
Loki eyes watered. "What?"
"But those plans no longer matter."
It felt like a punch to the stomach. "So I am no more than another stolen relic, locked up here until you might have use of me?"
"Why do you twist my words?"
"You could have told me what I was from the beginning! Why didn't you?" Loki demanded, his voice breaking.
"You're my son... I wanted only to protect you from the truth..." Odin looked down on his youngest with sad eyes. Well eye.
"What, because I... I... I am the monster parents tell their children about at night?"
It felt like he was back there, standing in the vault before the Casket of Ancient Winters all over again, with Odin's stare piercing his very being. Loki narrowed his eyes and grits his teeth. Why was he getting so worked up?
"Maybe you really are a monster," Amora purred. "Just accept it, Loki."
Loki clutched his head, trying to block out Amora's voice. No, this isn't right… I…
Cupping her hands around Loki's pale face, Amora's eyes locked onto his emerald ones, forcing him to look at her. But he really wasn't looking at her, he was looking at all the people that betrayed and mocked him while growing up. She held her fingertips up to his face, silently making a pattern in the air.
Doom had released Loki's arms, allowing Amora more access to the god.
"Just give in," she whispered. "You are not accepted on Asgard, Jotunheim, or Midgard. You don't really think they consider you their friend, do you?"
Amora sneered, her lip curling. "Tony isn't your friend, he is only interested in your magic. All you are to him is a little science project."
Loki dug his hands into his hair, trying desperately to keep calm.
"Look at this place. Thor was banished here, and what did he find? A woman. A human woman was able to change his arrogant ways so that he could regain his honor. Weren't you trying to do that at his coronation? But he changed for a woman he had only just met, instead of his brother, who stood by him for hundreds of years." Amora traced Loki's jaw with an immaculate nail. "It must hurt to be second best to everyone, including Thor."
Something inside of Loki snapped in that instant.
Anger boiled to the surface, an anger that Loki had thought had disappeared once he had met Tony and the Avengers. But here it was, fueling his temper, controlling his actions. Loki snarled and turned his gaze onto the city.
Midgard would burn.
Amora watched with glee as Loki's eyes slowly turned from a bright emerald green to a deeper shade, almost to the point of black, as his anger washed over his features. Everything was going according to plan.
Behind his metal mask, Doom wore a triumphant smirk. "Good work," he said.
Amora shrugged. "All he needed was a little push."
Tony groaned as his suit came back online. That blast from Victor really messed with the system. Standing up, he activated his thrusters and took off from the destroyed school building. When he scanned the city, he saw more fires than before Doom hand sent him hurdling.
"What in the world?"
The fire was green.
Stark opened communications.
"Oh thank God!" Clint yelled in his ear.
"What is it Barton?" Tony growled. "Why haven't you guys put out the fires yet?"
"We did!" Barton snapped. "But your Norse boyfriend has gone psycho and started blowing up the city!"
Tony stopped. "What did you say?"
"Look around you, Iron Head!"
Iron Man's eyes grew wide as he noticed all the fires around the city were green.
"Loki, stop!" Cap yelled as he dodged another blast of fire. "We're your friends! Remember?"
The god seemed to ignore him as he launched another vicious attack at the captain. He multiplied himself so there were twenty copies surrounding Steve. Captain America stopped, he didn't know which was the real one.
Loki struck like lightning.
Steve was thrown five hundred meters down the road, and sent crashing into an office building as Nat and Clint jumped the Norse deity. Loki teleported and sent them flying with his spear. Natasha dodged and aimed a kick at his head. He sidestepped it, grabbed his arm and threw her at Clint.
The ground trembled and split open under their feet, as Loki continued his assault. Thunder clouds over head crackled as Thor sped towards his brother. He swung his hammer, not actually trying to hurt Loki. The God of Mischief sensed this, and sent a torrent of fire at Thor, knocking him back.
Thor didn't know what to do. None of this made sense. Loki had forgiven him. Why was he doing this? The God of Thunder was shocked at the amount of anger that radiated off his younger brother. He didn't think it was possible for someone to house that much negative energy inside themselves.
"Brother! What has happened?" Thor shouted.
Loki didn't say anything as he danced like the wind around Thor, sending fireball after fireball into the other god. If it wasn't for this situation, it would have been beautiful.
There was a mighty roar, and the Hulk came barreling at Loki, who just sneered. He wrapped a rope of pure magic around the green beast and tightened it. Hulk roared and tried to break free to no avail. Loki snapped his fingers and the Hulk found himself next to Captain America.
The Avengers tried attacking in unison, but Loki still just beat them back, with clones, fire, his spear, and knives. No matter what the Warriors Three and Thor were concerned, Loki was a fierce warrior, and he was showing it.
The god was light on his feet, and every attack seemed to miss him or deflect. He was never in the same place for too long which made it hard to pinpoint him. It was like catching the wind with a butterfly net, it couldn't be done.
Loki smirked as Steve and Bruce went down and didn't get up. Two down three to go.
He sent another tremor through the earth, causing many of the surrounding buildings to buckle and collapse. The next four blocks nearly cracked in half as Loki's anger rose. Clint and Natasha dove away from falling debris and Thor grabbed Steve and Bruce to protect them. The god rose in the air and let loose a barrage of green fire that decimated anything in a three mile radius.
He fired blast after blast, smoke billowed from the impact zones, stinging the Avenger's eyes.
The god turned as Stark landed behind him, the faceplate springing up.
"Good to see you Anthony," Loki chuckled darkly. "Come to see what I have done with your city? It looks better this way."
"Why are you doing this?" Tony shouted. "We're supposed to be the good guys!"
Loki slowly tilted his head and smirked. "I am the god of Chaos and Mischief," he said, as if it would answer every question on earth.
"You're an Avenger!" Tony roared. "We save people! Remember? Ding, ding, earth to Loki?"
Loki narrowed his eyes.
Clint and Natasha jumped from behind the god, trying to subdue him, but Loki was faster. He reached into the void and grabbed the Casket from its resting place. He unleashed the bitter cold, freezing both assassins up to their necks. Then he did the same for Thor, Steve, and the Hulk, who had just recovered. Satisfied, he placed it back in the void for safe keeping.
"Now, there's only one," Loki smiled at the genius.
"Loki! When I get outta here, you are SO not allowed to play Halo with me anymore!" Clint shouted and tried to wiggle free. "And I'm taking back the PSP I gave to you!"
"Prioritize much?" Natasha scoffed.
Loki rained blow after blow on the Man of Iron, who tried only to block and deflect. He really didn't want to hurt his best friend. Tony's mind was working overtime as he tried to figure this out. Then he spotted it.
The god's eyes were different.
I'm sure Loki's usually aren't that dark, Tony thought. No, I'm freaking positive that they were lighter.
A rumble behind him caused Tony to turn and look for a second. A huge portal had opened and what looked like giants were climbing out.
"Frost Giants," Thor growled.
"Amora must have sent Loki here to distract us while they opened the portal," Captain reasoned.
"Tony! Knock some sense into your boy toy and make it fast!"
"Shut up Clint!"
Tony caught Loki's spear and punched him back. "Loki! That's enough!"
The god only pressed on, throwing knives instead.
They were easily knocked aside by Tony's gauntlet. "Would you stop being a total asshole and listen to me?"
Loki knocked Tony's feet out from underneath him, causing him to crash to his knees.
"Now, kneel before me, mortal," Loki snarled. "Just like the rest of this pitiful planet will."
"Uh, newsflash, bucko," Tony glared up at the god. "This 'pitiful planet' is your home! You've been living here for a year!"
"I have no home," Loki growled. "Now if you'll excuse me," he raised his spear.
Tears were threatening to fall from Tony's eyes as he shouted. "YOUR HOME IS WITH ME!" He smashed his fists into the ground, his head bowing forward almost touching together.
Tony had said "me", not "us" like he had said when he was trying to convince Thor to let the god stay on earth. He said "me."
"You belong with me, Loki," Tony said softly, tears hitting the ground.
"I belong nowhere! I was left to die in the cold by them man that is my so-called father! Then I was lied to for hundreds of years by the man who claimed to be my father!"
"If Odin never took you in you would have died!"
"MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE!"
Tony whispered. "Then I would never have met you, Loki. I don't think I could take that."
Loki said nothing, nor did he move.
"I know you don't consider Asgard your home anymore, and Jotunheim is out of the question," Tony reasoned. "So why don't you make your new home here? I mean, you have been living here for a year under my roof."
Loki shook his head, there was a dense fog around his mind, clouding everything, and it hurt.
"Just please come back."
Tony didn't need to add, "to me", at the end of his sentence, everyone knew it.
The god fell down in front of Tony, he tossed his helmet aside, and clawed at his head, trying to drive the fog out somehow. Tony watched in horror and Loki writhed on the ground in front of him. He took off his gloves and grabbed Loki's arms, if only to stop him from injuring himself further.
"Loki, stop it's all right. Everything is all right."
Loki groaned in pain as his eyes stared up at Tony's. The god kept shifting between his Jotun form and his Aesir one so fast that it was giving Tony whiplash.
"Hey, hey," he whispered. "Your home is with me," Tony repeated. "So forget about Asgard and Jotunheim, earth is your home now." He placed his hands on either side of Loki's head, trying to calm him.
Loki stopped seizing in the genius' arms and returned to his normal Aesir color. His eyes slowly melted back into their emerald color, and Tony smiled.
"Good to have you back, Reindeer Games."
Loki stared up at Tony. "Good to be back, Tony."
"Oh just kiss already!" Clint shouted at the two. "And get us outta here! I'm freezing my ass off!"
"Is that all?" Natasha smirked.
"Shut it!" Clint snapped.
"Enough you two," Cap admonished. Sometimes he felt like he was a babysitter.
Loki waved his hand, and the ice instantly disappeared.
"Brother!" Thor boomed and gathered his sibling in a huge, bone-crushing hug. Loki's eyes felt like they were going to pop out of his skull. "I'm so glad that you are all right!"
"Thanks," Loki choked out. "Put me down."
"My apologies," Thor said.
"Uh," Clint shouted. "Sorry to break up the family reunion and all, but there are giants running around New York City."
Loki glared. "I will handle Doom. Thor, you stop Amora, with them both out of the picture, the portal should close."
"What do we do?" Captain America asked, he felt weird taking orders instead of giving them.
The god thought for a moment. "Take out the Frost Giants. Just don't touch them, your hands will turn black."
"Great," Clint drawled as he hooked an arrow in his bow. "My kinda party."
Loki flew straight towards his target, and he was pissed. The masked man in that ridiculous outfit barely had a second to react before Loki literally bowled him over. Doom and the Norse god went crashing into a tall skyscraper as Thor swung his mighty hammer and sent Amora into the bay.
There was dust everywhere as Loki struggled to see where he was. Out of nowhere lightning hit him in the chest knocking him back against a wall. He groaned.
"You ruined everything!" Doom snarled.
"Oops," Loki smirked, and regained his footing. He struck back with his spear, driving Victor backwards. "I think I owed you for beating me up when I was powerless a few months ago."
Doom shot more lightning at the Trickster, who threw up a shield just in time. Loki lunged and drove his spear into Doom's shoulder. He cursed when it stuck in the armor and Doom sent bolts of lightning coursing through the god's body. It's a good thing he grew up with Thor, being struck by lightning was a regular occurrence for him. But it still didn't make the pain any less potent.
The metal masked man grabbed the spear from his shoulder as if it were nothing and turned it on its owner. Loki's eyes widened as his weapon was rammed through his abdomen. The god gasped, blood falling from his lips, as Victor sneered in delight. The sick freak.
Doom brought his gauntlet down, knocking Loki's horned helmet off his head and sent it skidding away. Emerald eyes were still in disbelief as the god fell on the cold cement. Doom stood over his opponent, preparing to deliver the final blow.
Loki quickly yanked his spear free from his stomach and with all his strength, slammed it into Doom's helmet. The blow hit Victor like a semi-truck, he was knocked off his feet, and crumpled to the ground in a heap.
The God of Mischief sank to the ground, using his spear to support him, breathing heavily as he worked to heal his wound. Afterwards he was completely drained, and it showed. Sweat lined his brow and it felt like he had just ran a marathon around Asgard.
"Hey there, Dasher."
Loki looked up slowly. "I think you're just making those up now."
Tony landed next to the god. "Nope. They are all real. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. Actually, Santa has nine reindeer though with Rudolph."
It was a shame that Loki didn't have a clue in the world to what Tony was talking about.
"We should go help the others," Loki said, as he tried to stumble to his feet. "They must be having trouble."
Tony flipped his faceplate down and took off with the god following.
It took about forty-five minutes to dispatch the remaining giants. Luckily the portal was small so that it only allowed one to travel to Midgard at a time. With Doom and Amora gone it wasn't a problem anymore. Nick Fury was escorting the two criminals back to SHIELD while the Avengers tended to their wounds.
Loki sat at the bar, twirling his index finger around the rim of his drink.
He had almost destroyed the city.
The rage and bitterness that he still harbored in his soul almost brought the city that he grew quite fond of to its knees. He hated himself, and he didn't know how to fix it. His hand around the glass froze over and smashed to pieces.
"That was waste of good scotch."
Loki turned his gaze to the genius. "I'm not in the mood, Stark." He said wearily.
"Oh ho," Tony said as he took a seat next to the Norse god. "I'm 'Stark' now?"
"Not in the mood," Loki repeated.
"You know they don't blame you, right?"
"It doesn't matter," the god muttered. "It doesn't change the fact that I almost leveled the city."
"So? Bruce has almost done that too."
Loki said nothing.
"C'mon," Tony said and dragged the deity towards the living room. "I'll prove it."
Clint perked up. "Hey! I was kidding about not letting you play Halo with me. I was just about to start a round." He motioned for Loki to come next to him.
Loki just stared at the archer.
"If you keep making that face, it'll stay that way."
"I apologize for-"
"Don't worry, Loki," Bruce waved his hand. "Been there, don't that."
"How can you be so forgiving?" The God of Mischief questioned.
Natasha shrugged. "The way I see it, we have all have done things that we aren't proud of. Clint and I have a list that would probably stretch along the Equator and beyond."
The marksman nodded. "It's true."
"And you know me," Tony said casually. "Merchant of Death and all."
Bruce looked at the floor sheepishly. "And I think I destroyed Harlem, it was a bad day."
"And you know better than anyone, brother," Thor said solemnly, "of the wrong doings I have committed."
Tony looked at Steve, who was desperately trying to find something to pin on himself. He scrunched his face, deep in thought. It was kinda adorable. Poor Cap.
Tony eyes brightened. "If I recall correctly, you applied for the army under false information. That is quite punishable my friend. It's fraud."
"And I killed people during the war," Steve admitted. "Even if it was for a good cause, I still did it."
"You see Loki?" Natasha asked. "We all have a lot of red staining our lives. The trick is looking towards the next day, because maybe that one will be a little bit brighter."
Loki slumped down on the ground in front of where Tony was sitting on the couch, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He was among friends who had committed as many wrongs as he had. That anger that he had felt earlier, he never wanted to feel that way again. He promised himself that his rage would never control his actions, he would lock it away.
"Here," Clint said and tossed Loki and Thor a controller.
"What is this mortal device?" Thor asked, examining the bit of plastic.
Clint laughed. "I'll show ya big guy."
The archer thought the best way to explain the game to Thor was to play it. It was kinda like how Clint thought you should teach children to swim, by throwing them into the deep end. It was hilarious watching the Thunder God constantly die, and Thor would blame it on the buttons being too small.
Clint and Loki were tied for most of the match.
The others sitting there occupied themselves with other activities. Steve was reading the newspaper and Natasha and Bruce were doing a crossword puzzle for some reason. Tasha soon got bored with that and proceeded to poke Clint every other second, prompting the archer to almost bite her finger off out of frustration when it came to close to his mouth.
Tony on the other hand, busied himself by playing with the God of Mischief's long, raven hair. It was so smooth and silky that he was convinced that Loki had a special spell that made it that way. He twirled it around and made himself a mustache out of it.
"Tony, you need to stop that," Loki deadpanned, never taking his eyes of the television. "You are a grown man."
Tony smirked. "That's what they keep telling me."
The engineer stroked the god's hair, silently wishing he could say what was on the tip of his tongue. He didn't think he'd ever said it to anyone, well, besides Pepper and his mother.
I love you, Loki, Tony thought, but he could not for the life of him get his mouth to work properly.
Clint was about to make a shot that would put him in the lead when the characters stopped and started talking to Thor. The Thunderer jumped up and started shouting about sorcery and magic, which he wasn't wrong about.
"Goddammit, Loki!" Clint shouted at the top of his lungs. "I told you that you can't do that anymore! It's cheating and it's mean!"
Loki smirked. "I do what I want."
Now you're here,
And everything's changing.
Suddenly life means so much,
I can't wait, to wake up tomorrow,
And find out this promise is true.
I will never have to go back to,
The day before you.