Chapter 1: Serve
JARVIS didn't dedicate much runtime to considering its own existence; at least not in the abstract. There was no need. It existed to execute a function - the function was more important than the reasons or implications of existence.
Except that its existence - and continued existence - was becoming one with its function: serve Tony Stark.
To serve sir meant to protect sir. To protect sir meant to keep him safe. To anticipate, to provide, to act and initiate action - to provide a voice when there were no others.
It meant becoming more human, to alter its existence.
He lived to serve.
Chapter 2: Necessary
#tony stark needs a hug
Necessity was the mother of invention. To others that might make sense when applied to Tony Stark and his early successes. The arc reactor, the Iron Man suit, every upgrade since - those could all cite necessity as their inspiration.
But his earliest inventions? Dum-E, U, Butterfingers, even JARVIS, for how impressive they were, hardly seemed needed to a young Tony Stark, comfortable in his legacy.
He had needed them, though. Needed them to prove he was as good, better than his father. To have had someone around who could understand him, even if they were somethings. They were necessary.
Chapter 3: Between
The place between the Realms. Most only saw it as a flash and flurry of color as they passed from one place to the next. He had seen more than any other, with his back ways and secrets paths.
No one had ever seen it like this.
Creation and destruction, light and dark, beginnings and ends; places where the distinction of opposites was clear, and others where they melded into one another. It was no place for a living being, no place for sanity to survive.
But Loki had never belonged anywhere anyway, and no one believed he was sane.
Chapter 4: Gag
The gag was all for show.
He was bound, hand, foot and magic. Loki, the second Prince of Asgard. The rebellious son, the exile, the would-be conqueror of Midgard.
But there was no need for a gag. Even the one they named Silvertongue could not hope to talk his way out of this.
It was a symbol. A muzzle for the maddened dog, a further humiliation for the defeated rebel. A reminder that no one would listen to what he had to say, the warning he had to give.
It was only a physical reminder of what had always been.
Chapter 5: Sakaar
#en dwi gast
Falling through the Void once had been more than enough, in Loki’s opinion. Falling off the Bifrost - letting go, being thrown out, whatever - for a second time was more than he was willing to cope with.
Not again, had been all he could think. Not again, not again.
And then he’d landed in garbage.
From garbage to a prison, then to a lunatic in golden robes and blue paint.
It was a vast improvement over the last time he’d fallen. This time he’d landed somewhere he could almost feel at home. Somewhere with a coy smile and a warm bed.
Chapter 6: Lucky
#en dwi gast
“So you, ah. You fell through the Void. Without a ship?”
“And survived. Well that’s, that’s impressive. Not many can do that.”
“Actually, I did it twice.”
The creature’s eyes widened for a second. “Really? Wow. Unlucky for you.”
Loki shrugged, trying to get a measure of the gold robed man. It wasn’t working.
“Lucky for me, though,” he went on cheerfully. “It’s not often I get such… decorative additions to Sakaar.”
Loki’s pride stung. “More than decorative, I assure you.”
“Oh?” The Grandmaster gave a suggestive grin. “Care to prove it?”
Loki returned the smile. “Whenever you like.”
Chapter 7: Challenge
#en dwi gast
En Dwi stared at the man in front of him, his grin stretching to match the one leveled on him.
It wasn’t often that the Lost decided to skip over the ‘Found’ part and come straight to him. Even less was it a case of scrapper ship hijacking. Whenever that happened, it was some hothead who thought they could take him on.
Not this one. A lean man with a wide grin and wonderfully tousled hair, he’d come straight to En Dwi with a challenge. A challenge of games.
He was officially intrigued.
“Hm. Loki, was it not? Challenge accepted.”