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The End of Asgard as We Know It

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Cassie stumbled as she came to a sudden stop in an extravagant room. She looked up at a tall man with no hair in heavy armor. "You're not Heimdall."

"No, Heimdall ran away before he could be arrested for negligence of duty. I'm Skurge." He looked her up and down in a way that would have made her want to cover herself with her arms 2 years before. "Odin told me to bring you in. So, uh... who are you?"

"Not anyone you have to worry about, Skurge. Nice name, by the way. I'm gonna assume I gotta go that way." She tightened her hold on her bag and headed for the giant golden golden city. 

"Oh, but I'm supposed to announce you. That's... that's my job."

She turned to him and sighed. "Odin told you to open the bridge and let me come here, right? So, he's expecting me. So, you don't need to announce me, right?" She could see the wheels turning slowly in Skurge's head, so she just smiled at him and turned back around. He ran after her.

"Yeah, but it's my job. Odin said-"

She flipped around on him and sighed. "Fine! You wanna announce me, then you're gonna do it properly. I am Project Kind experiment number four five two, daughter of the Red Skull: Johann Schmidt, hence denominated Joanna Schmidt. Also called Cassandra Campbell, the Red Queen. Friend to Thor Odinson and former wife of Loki Laufeyson, chosen son of the Allfather, Odin." She said, quickly, before adding. "Of Midgard." She smiled at him before heading across the bridge toward the city. As she approached the center of the city, Cassie came upon a large statue of Loki. She chuckled as she passed it, Skurge following behind her. She pushed slowly through a small crowd in an outdoor market area, which opened up into a courtyard, where 'Odin' was lying across a chair being fed grapes.

"Behold! Uh, the Red experiment number four five... uh, Johann Campbell... widow of Prince Loki of..." Skurge called out, causing 'Odin' to sit up and shoo his servants away. 

Cassie smiled and bowed before the king. "Cassie Campbell, my lord. Avenger and unwilling Midgardian wife of Loki."

'Odin' smiled slightly at that. "I'm eager to speak with you, Lady Cassie. Please, accompany me to the throne room." He put his hand out and picked her up, pulling her toward the Great Hall. "She's fine. Leave us." 'Odin' ordered the guards as he sat on the throne. As soon as they were alone in the throne room, Loki shimmered into being on the throne. "You should kneel. It is customary."

"Anything to get me on my knees before you, huh, Loki?"

"It is my favorite place to have you, Cassie." He sat forward and took a deep breath as his eyes analyzed everything about her. "Where have you been? I've been looking for you for months."

"You must've been frantically scouring Earth for me... between commissioning giant statues of yourself and having beautiful women feed you grapes."

"There's also a play. It's a little over-acted in the finale, but worth a watch." He smiled. "I did look. It's like you just ceased to be. Then, suddenly, Huginn shows up, says you're in New York and requesting passage to Asgard. I'm not so naive as to think you're here for me, though I do expect to reap the benefits of your presence. So... why have you come to Asgard and where were you previously?"

"I wish you had looked harder, Loki. I ceased to be, because I had my mind erased. I had a whole new life implanted into my head. I was a SHIELD agent for the last 3 months. All because Barton didn't like that I was sleeping with Steve."

Loki scoffed. "I do remember that I suggested you were sleeping your way through the Avengers, but I wasn't serious."

"Oh, he really didn't like that I fucked you. I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back. After what you did to Faye, I suppose I'm a bit of a mess to fall into bed with you, but... I'm not the same woman you pulled out from under the lab table. I know what you did, but it doesn't affect me as it did back then."

"Is that your way of saying that you forgive me, my Queen?"

She shook her head. "Of course not. I would never let you out that easily. You are a terrible, disgusting Jotun who makes his fun with lies and mischief."

"Take care with your words, woman. I am king here."

"Oh, for how long, though? How long do you think it would take me to convince your people of the truth?" She asked, her eyebrow raising.

"As soon as the words left your mouth, I'd have you executed." He threatened.

"You'd try." She said, her eyes going cold.

Loki glared down at her for a minute, before smirking. "I missed you."

"I know you did. So, where's Thor? Can't imagine he'd sit idly while you erect monuments to your greatness."

"No, just the last great act of Loki of Asgard. The ultimate sacrifice I gave on Svartlfheim."

"But it's fake." She moved up the stairs to lean against the armrest of the throne. "Did Thor not tell people that you were alive? That the thing on Svartlfheim was an illusion and you came to take me within months of your so-called death? Sif knew."

"Ah! Well, Thor only shared the truth with Sif, the Warriors Three and myself. He seemed to think that the people would be wary if they knew I was still alive. Odin agreed, of course, that it was better to let all of Asgard believe me dead." He reached out and grabbed a strand of her hair. "I don't like it."

"Me, either. I probably should have dyed it before I came, but time was short."

"Allow me." He whispered, running his fingers through her hair. He brought her hair around her shoulders so that she could see her hair was blond again. "That's better. Now... why was time short? What brings you to Asgard?" 

"Infinity Stones. I'm here to research. Thor told me about the library, said it made the Library of Congress look like a Barnes and Noble." 

"Infinity Stones? Thor's off looking for those, isn't he?" Loki asked.

"You don't know? What, did he go straight from Midgard to-"

"No, he came back, but I... didn't much listen to what he was saying. I was mostly planning an orgy at the time."

"I really don't want to imagine you, as Odin, in an orgy." She said, looking amused and only a bit disgusted. 

"It was fairly tasteful, I promise." 

"'Orgy' and 'tasteful' are contrary ideas, Loki."

"You're right. It was disgusting." He whispered, staring into her eyes as his hands were twisting her hair between his fingers. "I'll take you to the library. We can research together."

"I feel like we wouldn't get much researching done together, but if you show me to the books-"

"Can you read Asgardian?" 

"I can figure it out. I've got a book."

"Your quaint little Viking runes book?" He fisted his hands in her hair and pulled her close to him. "You know I can help you faster and more accurately than that book. All I ask is that you give me what we both know you want, anyway."

"I told you, I'm with Steve." She whispered as his lips inched closer to hers.

"And I told you that I'm the King... and you can claim to be my former wife as much as you care to, but I have never consented to disparateness."

"Loki... your claim has been removed from my body." She reached up and pulled down her shirt collar.

"But, we were declared married, Joanna. Your scars may be gone but I will never let you go. I can still put all manner of other marks on your body to make sure everyone knows you belong to me." 

"You know my name. You'll use it." She growled.

"Make me."

"Do you really want to start this fight, God of Lies?"

"God, yes." He whispered, pulling her head to crash his lips against hers.

She leaned into it, her hands grasping at his armor as his fingers twisted painfully in her hair. She moaned, but pulled away, her green eyes darkened a bit with lust. "Not here."

"What do you mean, 'not here'?"

"You disrespect Odin every day by wearing his face, I'll not help you disrespect him further by defiling his throne."

"If you think I haven't already defiled this throne, many times over, while wearing Odin's face, then you are-"

"Not with me."

"You've never even met Odin!" Loki pulled away and threw his arms up in exasperation. "Why do you care if I disrespect-"

"Because you might be a power-hungry, contrary little shit, but I am not, and when Thor returns, sees what you've done with the place and figures out that you are not his beloved father, I want there to be no reason for Mjolnir to make acquaintance with the inside of my skull."

Loki rolled his eyes. "Fine. I'll have the guards get you a bedchamber near mine."

"Near the library, thank you. I'd like to spend as little time possible traveling the halls."

"That is on the complete opposite side of the castle! You expect me to... I'm the King! You really think I'll walk all that way just for-for some tiny Midgardian bitch who thinks herself better than-" Cassie raised an eyebrow at him but said nothing. "Of course I will. Look to the lengths I've gone to have you in the past."

"I think you like the chase more than you like actually having me." She said, heading toward the giant door out of the throne room.

"You are very wrong about that, my Queen. I would've stopped caring years ago, if it were just about the chase. No, it's not the chase I care for, it's you." 

"Oh, Loki, don't." She dismissed. 

"What? Are you saying that I can't have feelings?"

Cassie stopped, her hands going to her hips. Loki turned to her. "I'm saying that you raped, tortured and manipulated me for years and you've only stopped because I learned to fight back. It wasn't very long ago that you broke me out of cryo and had someone read the words that you thought would allow you to control me. You did that because you care?"

"I did that because I wanted you by my side, no matter the means, but you've got so headstrong of late that-"

"I've truly blossomed into a Midgardian fit for being queen." 

Loki chuckled, slightly. "You're right. Frigga was headstrong, as well."

Cassie started toward the door, again. "Don't tell me I remind you of your mother, Loki. That's just weird." 

"You remind me of my wife. You'd be a fine queen." Loki said, transforming into Odin again as they approached the door.

"I am a fine queen." She whispered as the door opened to reveal two guards. 

"Please, take our Midgardian guest to the empty bedchamber closest the Library. Have the girls run her a bath and set out some new robes for her. Red, wasn't it?"

"I appreciate the offer, my lord, but I do have a change of clothes with me."

"Nonsense! You're on Asgard! You'll dress as an Asgardian. Robes of red and of green."

"Green?" She turned to 'Odin' with her eyebrow raised.

"My dear, departed son, your husband Loki, was very fond of that color. He would have loved to see you dressed in the wardrobe of an Asgardian woman, in his favorite color."

"I'll be wearing red, then." She whispered, as she started to follow one of the guards.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The room was extravagant, as she was certain everything in the castle was. The bed had too many pillows and the sheets looked like she'd get lost in them. She pulled all but two pillows off and pushed the sheets to the foot of the bed, before tossing her bag on the mattress and unzipping it. She set up a scanner to take atmospheric readings and hopped on the bed. She pulled out the ICD and turned it on. "This better work, Tony." She muttered to herself as the Stark logo rotated on the screen. She hit the green phone icon and waited as the screen flashed 'Establishing Connection' for several minutes before 'Connected' and Tony's face appeared on the screen. "Holy shit. It worked."

"Of course, it works. So, how's Asgard?"

"Golden. Like, literally, everything is made of gold. It's gorgeous but it's the kind of opulence that you would say is a bit much."

"Is that a dig at my style? Really?"

"Oh, come on, Boss. Your shit is over-the-top and you know it." Cassie smiled. "How's New York? I miss it, already."

"Well, Parker is an annoying little shit who can't seem to realize he's still a kid, but he's good for boots on the ground. I am actually on my way to a fund-raising tour through Asia." He twisted, moving the ICD around him so she could see he was on his private jet. "So I left New York to the other ones."

"They have names, you know?"

"I'm sure they do. Do I know them? No. Do I care to learn?"

"No. Okay. So... what are you fund-raising for?"

"I dunno. Something Pepper thought was important. Breast cancer or babies or babies with cancer. I wasn't paying attention."

Cassie chuckled. "You should be nicer to Peter. He saved me. You know he did."

"Yeah, well, he's acting too big for his britches and he needs to calm the hell down. He's strong and fast and smart, but he doesn't know how to make the hard choices. And he's a kid! I wouldn't want him to have to make the hard choices."

"Look, Tony. He's 15, not 5. He's a good guy and the most intelligent kid I've ever met and he wants to do the right thing. Tony, he became super and he didn't hide like I did. He didn't become a villain. He donned the fucking suit and went to work helping people. Cut him some slack."

"I have cut him slack, but he's too... he wants to do the big stuff now, but he's not ready for it."

"And how's he supposed to get ready? I mean, if all he ever does is web-up muggers and find kidnapped women, how's he supposed to get ready for the big fights?"

"Simulators." Tony answered, quickly.

"Right." A knock came to her door so she smiled at Tony. "I gotta go. Gotta take a bath, get dressed real pretty. There's a feast in my honor tonight. So, there's that. Oh, uh..." She stood, heading for the door. "Thor's not here. He's searching for the Stones on his own. So... there's that. I'll call tomorrow."

"You better. See ya tomorrow, kid."

"Goodbye, boss." He just nodded before the screen went black.

Cassie bathed in a tub that smelled of vanilla and lavender and put on a dress of flowing red and cream-colored fabric. She let the servant women braid her hair and then let them lead her to the dining hall. 'Odin' waved her over to his table, where she took the seat next to him. "How did you tell that brainless dolt Skurge to announce you?" He whispered to her.

She chuckled. "Project Kind experiment number four fifty two, daughter of the Red Skull: Johann Schmidt, hence denominated Joanna Schmidt. Also called Cassandra Campbell, the Red Queen. Friend to Thor Odinson and former wife of Loki Laufeyson, chosen son of the Allfather, Odin... of Midgard." 

"Well, that's a mouthful. No wonder he couldn't keep it straight." 'Odin' said, standing. "Pray keep your voices down as I announce our guest. Project Kind experiment number four hundred and fifty-two, the daughter of Johann Schmidt: the Red Skull. Joanna Schmidt, also called Cassandra Campbell, the Red Queen. Teammate of my dear son, Thor, and wife of my chosen son, the late Loki of Asgard. Our guest... Cassie, of Midgard." She stood and waved at the hall before sitting back down. 'Odin' sat back down, too. "I do enjoy that 'Chosen Son' thing."

"I thought you would." She whispered. 

"After dinner-" 'Odin' started, but Cassie shook her head.

"No. After dinner, you can show me to the Library so I can start researching."

'Odin' sighed. "Of course." 

~~~~~~~~~~~

The library was bigger than she ever imagined, even with Thor's description. She turned in a circle, awing at the tall bookshelves and the many levels of the huge room. "You won't be able to read any of them." Loki appeared beside her as her fingers ran across the spines of the leather-bound books. His voice was a bit singsong.

"I told you, I'll figure it out."

"If you won't allow me to translate for you, at least take a few days for me to teach you how to read it, yourself."

"Well, I don't know how much teaching would get done... between your jokes and you pawing at me like a lecher." 

"I'm not a lecher, I'm your husband. I'm allowed to paw." He smirked at her. "I promise to keep my hands to myself while I teach you. All right?"

"Fine. Tomorrow?"

"Shall we retire to your chambers?" Loki asked, hopefully.

"Fine."

"Good. I'm already there." He shimmered away, and she headed out of the Library. She pushed the door open and shook her head at him. He was comfortably sitting on the bed. "You know this isn't going to be like last time we were together, don't you?"

"Of course not. You're king of Asgard. I wouldn't dream of trying to dominate you here." 

He smiled and stood, striding easily to her and pulling the straps of her dress down her arms. The dress fell to her feet and she looked up at him. "You should have worn the green one."

"You would have liked that too much. I'm not here to make you happy, Loki."

"Oh, but you will." He ran his hands down her arms and grasped them, maneuvering her to toss her onto the bed. "You will make me very happy."

She rolled backward on the giant bed, grabbing Loki's shoulders and rolling on top of him. "Don't think I'm gonna make this so easy for you. We might not be playing fem-dom on Asgard, but I'm not kneeling for you."

"I think you will. And even if you don't..." He twisted them, slamming her backwards into the pillows. "You're still going to choke on my cock."

"I never choke." She whispered, proudly, pulling his armor up and over his head. Loki finished pulling his armor and clothing off and she brought her hands up to caress his abs. "Fuck, Loki. How do you maintain this while lounging around eating grapes and watching theater?" 

He just chuckled and ran his hand from her navel to her breast, rolling it in his palm. She closed her eyes and sighed, happily. "I do so enjoy that look on your face. Reminds me of Joanna, our first time in New York while we waited for Stark and Barton to find a good laboratory."

Her eyes popped open. "You get me pregnant, I'm gonna kick your ass, Laufeyson. You pull out, you hear me?"

"I thought you wanted kids."

"That was 3 mes ago, keep up. If I got pregnant now, it'd ruin all my plans for being a badass superspy. It's not what I want, anymore, so if you cum inside me I'll make sure that you never have that pleasure again."

"What, of cumming inside you?" He asked, his tone amused.

"Of cumming, period." She leaned down and grabbed his dick through his pants, making him grunt. "I'll tear it off with my bare hand. Understand?"

He gave a huffing breath and nodded. "Yes. I understand." She released him and he leaned over her again. "I prefer my seed to adorn your face, anyway."

She grabbed the back of his neck and pulled him down for a rough kiss, using her heels to push his pants down his legs. His mouth attached to her neck, teeth scraping against her skin as his fingertips dug into her sides and hips. "Fuck." She whispered, blissfully.

"How long's it been, Cassandra?" He asked, licking his way down her collarbone to lap at the valley between her breasts. "How long since someone made you scream in pleasure?"

Cassie tried to vocalize about her night with Chloe in the Jane Hotel. She tried to tell him about her night with Steve before Natasha took her, but the answer that left her lips was, "Chelsea. The condo in Chelsea."

"When you rode my face like a whore and screamed my name with your little spy friend on the other side of the building? You haven't had any since that?" He dragged his tongue across her nipple and sucked it between his lips.

"That's not what you asked." She moaned, burying her hand in his hair.

"What do you mean?" He looked up at her.

"Oh, you piece of shit, you're gonna make me spell it out?" Her words were breathy and halted as she held back her moans. 

"You know, English isn't my first language." He mumbled against her skin.

"Mine, either." She whispered, rolling them so that she was on top again. "No one can make me scream and shudder like you can, Loki. Not Steve, not Clint, not Coulson's little spy... and Coulson, bless his soul, I thought he was good when I was a virgin, but dear God, no one's ever made me shake like you." She bit at his neck and rolled her hips against him. "I didn't know an orgasm could be so powerful until you edged me for hours before you let me cum. Your power, your stamina, the hot-and-cold of you... fuck, Loki, there is just something amazing about fucking you."

She leaned down next to his ear and whispered, "And you've got a praise kink, so all I have to do is tell you how great you are and you're hard as stone." 

"Praise kink?" His eyebrows raised as he looked up at her.

"That thing where I tell you that how fucking prodigious you are in bed and it makes you harder than before." She reached down and wrapped her hand around his length, giving it light pump.

"That's a kink? I thought everyone got horny hearing how amazing they are."

"Nope. Just freaks like you."

He reached forward and dipped his fingers between her lips, feeling the wetness there. "I seem to remember you loved hearing me praise the taste of you and how unbelievable you are with your mouth."

"Fine. Freaks like us." She confirmed, leaning back to give him better access to her. He took the hint and twisted his hand to push two fingers inside of her. "Fuck, Loki. Harder." He smirked as he pumped his fingers into her with more strength. She rubbed herself against him, her eyes closing in ecstasy. 

"Ready for something more substantial, my queen?"

"Oh, God, yes." She rolled sideways, lying on her back and pulling him on top of her. He slipped easily between her legs and grasped his cock at the base, sliding the head along her lips to spread her wetness around. She couldn't hold back the moan that tore from her as he sunk halfway into her. He pulled back and slammed his hips forward, his fingertips digging into her hips as she grabbed his shoulders. 

He leaned forward, burying his face in her neck. His hands slid up her back and held her to him. "You're the only one for me, too." He moaned, taking up a steady pace and kissing her neck. "All these Asgardian women lining up to lay with Odin, none hold a candle to you." He groaned into her neck as she wrapped her legs around him and changed the angle he was hitting. "Not one of the hundreds of women I've been with, none of them have felt a fraction as marvelous as you. The muscles in your cunt are the strongest I've ever felt. How they grab my cock with such vigor..." They both moaned, a rush of heat adding to her wetness as he praised her. "The other women, they amounted to no better than my hand." 

"Steve was better than the others... but everyone else... I've learned to fake it well." 

"You've never needed to fabricate with me." He said it like a statement, but it was a question. 'Have you faked an orgasm with me?'

"Never. God, I've never needed to." She responded, shaking her head. "You're too much... too good." 

"Your words seem to be failing you, Cassandr-ah!" He groaned as she squeezed him with her inner muscles. "That's not fair."

"Oh, you don't like a bit of mischief?" She chuckled, a bit breathless.

"Oh, you know I do." He grabbed her shoulder and began to hammer into her. 

"Fuck! Yes! Gah... oh, God."

"Love it when you call... hn... me that." As her body tensed from her sudden orgasm, Loki pulled back and finished himself off with several pumps of his right hand down his length. She sat forward, covering the head of him with her mouth as he shot semen down her throat. They collapsed to the bed together and breathed heavily as they stared at the stone ceiling. "I could go again."

"No." She answered, simply. 

He nodded. "All right. Understandable. Tomorrow, I'll teach you Asgardian runes."

"Honestly, how close did the Vikings come to your language? Runic Norse, about equivalent?"

"I don't know. Your Runic Norse didn't clue you into the fact that I'd claimed you as my wife, did it?" He sat up, leaning on his right arm, and looked down at her. "You walked around with my marriage proposal etched into your chest for a year before I came back and told you what it meant."

"I'm sorry, but 'Bearer of the children of Loki, God of Lies' didn't come up in my translation." She sighed. "And that wasn't a proposal, Loki, it was a coercion." 

"More of a mandate." He smiled then flopped down next to her again. "We'll work on it tomorrow." He reached over and placed a hand on her shoulder. "I'm elated that you're here."

"I know." She whispered, turning over grabbing one of the pillows. "You'll have to go and be Odin again soon, Loki. Might want to compose yourself." 

"I was hoping to sleep beside you, my wife."

"Don't you think someone will notice the Allfather is missing?"

Loki sighed and sat up. "I hate that you are so often right."

"Suck it up. You asked to be king. You fought and 'died' for it." She looked up at him, bunching the pillow up and shoving it under her head.

"Indeed." Loki sighed, grabbing his clothes. "Tomorrow. Library. And then a bit of theater?"

"I'm not here for theater."

"You're not here for sex, either, but here we are." 

"Maybe. But I've got to get research done."

Loki rolled his eyes as he pulled his armor over his head. "Yes. The Infinity Stones. Of course." Loki smiled as he turned back to her, pulling his hair to rest on his back. "Have you ever seen the Tesseract? It's in the vault. You can research it up close."

"I've seen the Mind Stone, which was in your little scepter." Cassie grabbed the blanket and pulled it across her body, not bothering to put her clothes back on. 

Loki chuckled. "Right. Tomorrow."

"You don't need to keep repeating yourself. I'll still be here tomorrow."

"Good." He walked toward the door, disguising himself as a guard as he opened it. "Tomorrow." He said, before disappearing out the door.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She spent the next several weeks in the library, taking breaks when Loki wore her down and spending her nights with him in her bed. Cassie was halfway through a manuscript detailing the creation of the Mind Stone when thudding footsteps echoed through the library. She looked up to see Thor approaching, Loki being dragged by his hair behind him. "Thor! You're back !" She said, standing.

"Cassie. How did you get here?"

She raised an eyebrow and looked pointedly behind him. "Loki was in charge. All I had to do was ask."

"You knew he stole the throne."

"I tried to tell you. You didn't believe me."

"You should have persisted!"

"Right, and ruin Christmas by explaining that Loki told me about it when I was Joanna and I didn't tell anybody after I got back from Austria because I was in a free-fall breakdown and after that, we had Ultron to worry about? Because bringing up Ultron is a surefire way to kill any party."

"This is more important than your party!" Thor stepped forward, intimidatingly, but Cassie didn't back down.

"That party was about family, Swayze! If you still consider me a sister, you will understand that it may not have been important to anyone else, but it was important to me. And Loki might be a self-obsessed crumb, but he hasn't been a terrible king. Asgard has been fairly happy with his rule."

"Are you defending him? Why are you defending- Loki's enchanted you again."

"Have not!" Loki stepped to Thor's side. "She came here on her own, she's stayed on her own. I haven't enchanted her in years."

"Yeah. Since before Sokovia, right?"

"Right."

"Anyway, Thor. He hasn't been a terrible king. Ask around."

"Oh, yes. Asgard's enemies love Loki as king. Do you know how much discord Odin's very presence keeps at bay?"

"Okay, I get it, but he's been king for, what, 4 years? That's nothing to you guys. That's a presidential term. How much do you really think he fucked up in 4 years?"

"We'll see when we get Father home."

"We're going to Earth. I thought you might like to come." Loki said, softly.

"Oh, yeah. Just let me run to get changed."

"No need." Loki said, as their clothes shifted from traditional Asgardian garb and armor to a black suit and tie, a jean jacket over a hoodie and baggy jeans, and a green tank top and hip-hugger jeans with black stiletto boots. Mjolnir suddenly changed to look like an umbrella.

She looked down, then tossed a glare to the God of Mischief. "Really, Loki?"

"What? You'll blend right in in New York, I'm positive."

"Where's my bra?"

"You haven't worn one the entire time you've been here."

"Because Asgardian women don't know what bras even are. Americans do. Do you really want every man we pass to be staring at my chest? I thought you the possessive type."

"You-" He sighed and a bra appeared in the illusion. "You still don't actually have a bra on."

"But it looks like I'm wearing one so that'll keep people from talking shit." 

Thor's eyebrows tucked together. "Why are you speaking to him like that? Like you're friends?"

Cassie and Loki exchanged a look, then Cassie shrugged. "Oh, uh, SHIELD messed with my brain so my memories are kinda wonky. So, while I know that he's an irredeemable piece of shit, I'm able to deal with him without an emotional response. So we've been able to talk and he is a brilliant conversationalist." She answered, walking away toward the library doors.

"Yes, talking is the one thing Loki excels at. Must be why he does so incessantly."

"'Incessantly'. That's such a big word for you, Thor." Loki teased.

A shrill whistle went across the air. "Boys! Come on." Cassie called from halfway down the stairs.

"Coming!" Loki called.

Thor's eyebrows came together in confusion again as Loki rushed after her. "It won't work." Thor caught up with the trickster easily.

"What won't work?"

"Whatever scheme you think you're running on her. She lost her memories, not her sense."

Loki smiled, turning to Thor as they quickly descended the staircase. "I'm not scheming. For once, I've no plans, no tricks. I'm simply spending time with her while she's here on Asgard doing her research and hoping that she'll choose to stay with me afterward based purely on the merits of my personality."

"I wasn't aware you had a personality, Loki."

"Me? The entirety of your personality lies in Mjolnir." Loki shot back. 

By the time they caught up with her, Cassie was at the Bifrost arguing with Skurge. "Have you forgotten who I am? Friend of Thor, wife of Loki. You know... Loki, who was pretending to be Odin, who gave you this position? You've already forgotten that Loki was Odin, haven't you?"

"I... uh..."

"Just open the damn bridge to Midgard, you dumbbell!" 

"Skurge. What are you thinking of? Open the Bifrost." Loki demanded. Skurge nodded and twisted the sword in the pedestal. 

"Where you picked me up would be just fine." Cassie said, as the portal opened and she smiled. "See you on the other side." She jumped into the portal and relished the sight of space passing by her. 

She looked up at Clint's building, then moved on, walking to the end of the alley. "Where'd you leave Father?" Thor demanded as he and Loki appeared and the Bifrost disappeared.

Loki followed Cassie to the end of the alley. "This is Clinton's building?" She nodded. "We can walk from here."

The three of them stared at the bulldozers demolishing the building that used to be Shady Acres Rest Home, none of them quite sure what to say. "I swear I left him right here." Loki finally spoke up.

"Right here on the sidewalk, or right there where the building's being demolished?" Thor asked, his hand tightening on the umbrella's handle. "Great planning."

"How was I supposed to know? I can't see into the future. I'm not a witch."

"No? Then, why do you dress like one?" Thor indicated his black clothing.

"Hey."

"You look fine." Cassie comforted, patting his shoulder. 

"Ask him." A female voice whispered behind them.

Two women walked up, holding their phones up. "Um, hi! Would you mind taking a picture with us?" The second one gushed at Thor.

"Oh, sure." Thor answered, causing Loki to roll his eyes. "Start figuring out where he is." He smiled at the camera phone.

"Sorry to hear that Jane dumped you." The woman said as she walked away with her friend.

"She didn't dump me, you know." Thor said, stepping back up to Loki and Cassie. "I dumped her. It was a mutual dumping."

"Whoa, what is..." Cassie looked at Loki's feet as a swirl of orange light appeared. 

"What's this? Wh-what are you doing?" 

"This isn't me." Loki's eyes went wide before he disappeared. 

"Loki?" Thor asked, poking the ground where the Jotun used to stand. 

Cassie leaned down and picked up a small card with elegant lettering on it. "177A Bleecker Street." Her shoulders slumped as she handed the card to Thor. "I know where he is." 

"What is this? Where is he?"

"There's a guy... a surgeon named Strange who lives in Greenwich Village. He's... complicated. Let's grab a cab." She stepped to the street and put her hand up.