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i wouldn't mind dying with you

Chapter Text

Loki opened his eyes with a shuddering gasp. He sat up instantly, scanning his surroundings.

The undead shuffled around him, tortured souls moaned and groaned from all sides, what fun. Loki rubbed his neck carefully, wincing. His hands still shook in fear, the ghost pain of being in His grasp lingered still. Loki swallowed thickly, getting to his feet.

Behind him, he heard the unmistakable sound of horses galloping, though, something was slightly off. Turning around, Loki saw two horsemen and their companions, the horses. One horse was missing half of its face, its eye socket seemingly staring at him. Almost all of the other horse’s skin was charred beyond belief. The first horseman had a hole in his head, the other, a hole in his stomach. How charming.

“Our queen wishes to speak to you.” One of them spoke gruffly, the other one jabbing Loki with the butt of his spear. The prince glared distastefully at the two. “Marvelous.” He rolled his eyes.

“You should be grateful,” Head hole hissed, “Queen Hela only speaks to those she deems worthy.”

“Lucky me.” Loki sighed. With a final jab from that painfully annoying spear, they began their trek towards the rather intimidating castle.

xxx

“Brother dearest,” Hela purred, “What brings you to my realm?”

Loki looked up at her, she was sitting on a throne adorned by skulls, some Asgardian no doubt, while stroking Fenris.

“Well for one, I’m dead.” He replied flatly.

Hela narrowed her eyes. Before Loki could even blink, she was standing before him. The prince stumbled back, glaring at her.

“Oh don’t be a baby,” She rolled her eyes, “Come here.”

Hesitating, Loki took a step forwards, not trusting her at all. Hela reached out her hand and placed it on his neck. It took every last bit of willpower Loki had not to flinch away, he didn’t want anyone touching his neck.

Loki almost had to do a double take when he looked upon his sister’s face, was that concern?

“Who did this?” She demanded, a low growl in her voice as she examined his bruised and broken neck.

“The Mad Titan.” Loki replied, hating how weak and afraid he sounded.

Hela turned around, enraged. “Thanos,” She hissed. Loki blinked, “You know him?”

“Know him?” The queen laughed, “Darling, he was obsessed with me, might still be to be honest.”

“What?”

“Yes yes, he used to send me offerings, souls he’s harvested, truly horrible if you ask me. He offered them in exchange for my hand in marriage. I’d rather die than marry someone like that.”

“Someone who slaughters innocents?”

“Someone that egotistical,” Hela replied, “That Titan is full of himself. Believes himself to be some type of saviour just because he kills planets for fun.” She scoffed.

There was an uncomfortable bout of silence. “Sister…” Loki started wearily. “I need your help-”

“No.”

“But you don’t even know what I was going to ask-”

“You were going to ask me to aid you in killing the mad titan.” She replied, looking bored.

“You just went on a rant talking about how much you despise him!” Loki cried indignantly, “Why wouldn’t you want to kill him?!”

“There’s nothing I’d truly gain,” She explained, as if it were the most simple thing in the world. Loki took a deep breath, composing himself.

“If you aid me-us,” He corrected himself, “No matter what you desire, it shall be given to you.”

Hela narrowed her eyes once more, staring right into Loki’s own. Gods, she was creepy.

The goddess swallowed thickly, looking to be contemplating something in her head. She looked up to Fenris, as if he would begin to speak at any moment, giving her the advice she needed.

“...Kill me.” She said finally.

Loki furrowed his brow, “What?”

“After we kill the Mad Titan,” Hela explained, “I want you to kill me.”

Loki bit his lip wearily, trying to think of any way Hela could doublecross them. He found none. “Alright…” He agreed hesitantly. “Alright.”

“Very well,” Hela sighed, “I’ll help you and our idiot brother.”

“And his friends.” Loki supplied.

“I killed his friends.”

“He has more.”

“Of course he does.”

xxx

“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” Loki asked skeptically, following her as the trekked through Helheim.

Hela glared back at him. “Of course I do.”

They continued to walk in silence for a couple of minutes.

“So, brother, tell me about yourself.”

“Well for one thing, I’m not truly your brother.” Loki started. Hela looked back at him, confused. “I’m Laufey’s son.”

Hela stopped in her tracks. “You’re a frost giant?” She asked. Loki nodded.

“You don’t look very… giant.” Fenris snorted, “Quite small actually, even for Asgardians. You look like you haven’t eaten on months.”

“I’m a runt." Loki glared at her, “that’s why Laufey abandoned me.” He explained, teeth gritted. “Ah,” Hela nodded, starting to walk again.

“So Odin took you because…”

“Because he wanted to use me as a bargaining chip.” Loki replied, hurt evident in his voice.

“So you just grew up on Asgard as a Jotun? Must have sucked even worse than being a regular child on Asgard.”

“Well... I didn’t know I was a frost giant, Odin never told me.”

“Of course he didn’t,” Hela let out a breathless laugh, “Are you sure you’re the God of Lies? Odin would make a much better fit.” Loki chuckled.

And for a moment, the two forgot about everything that had happened. About Ragnarok, about Odin being a snivelling liar, about their respective “deaths”. They forgot everything and actually seemed to… enjoy each other's company.

“Hela?” Loki furrowed his brow. The goddess had stopped dead in her tracks. Please don’t turn around and attack me, that is the last thing I need right now. “Is all well?”

“There’s been a disturbance…” Hela started wearily, “In the balance. It’s… billions of souls… gone.” She tried to explain.

“Then the Titan has achieved his goal.” Loki replied, lump in his throat. Thor…

“Well we can still kill him… Avenge the universe perhaps?”

“You just want me to kill you.” Loki replied. Hela didn’t deny anything.

They continued for what felt like eternity, not that Loki was going to say anything.

“We’re here.” Hela stated, stopping in front of… more open land. Loki looked over at her, not at all amused. “Honestly sister, I’m normally all for practical jokes, but in case you haven’t noticed, there’s a mass murderer on the loose.”

“Stick out your hand you oaf.” She rolled her eyes. Loki looked at her, unsure of what to do. He reached his hand out carefully, fully expecting Fenris to bite it off… or something like that.

Loki’s eyes widened. “It’s a portal.” He remarked.

Very observant,” Hela teased, and Loki could swear Fenris was laughing at him. He glared daggers at the two.

“Well let’s get a move on, we don’t want to delay things anymore than we have to.”

And with that, Hela pushed him through the portal.

Chapter Text

There was a solemn air hanging over the remains of the Avengers. It weighed down on them, as if it was pushing them into the ground. No one dared speak a word, in fear of breaking the eery and fragile silence that had settled over them. They remained impassive, feeling as if both seconds and centuries were passing by in one big blur.

Thanos had won.

In other words, they had lost. The Mad Titan had beaten them with ease. This was something new, something none of them had ever wished to experience. They never lost. It was as simple as that. They were the good guys. The heroes who prevailed against all odds. The heroes never lost, everyone knew that. Well, everyone except for Thanos apparently.

Steve sighed loudly, feeling pure exhaustion overwhelming him. He put his head in his hands, feeling as if his whole world was crumbling around him, and sadly, that quite literally was the case.

Bucky…

After everything the captain had fought for, after everything he’d lost, his best friend had slipped through his fingers once more.

“Steve,” Natasha started, voice lacking it’s commanding edge, “There’s an incoming ship that’s about to dock. Probably in a few minutes. They haven’t made any attempt to attack, but they also haven’t tried to communicate with us.”

Steve contemplated the possibilities of the ship being a hostile. There wasn’t really much chance of that happening. The whole universe had just been reduced to half of itself, now was no time to invade. Then again… Ravagers did like to take advantage of chaos…

He vaguely heard the sound of ship engines whirring outside before going to join the others in the investigation of the possible threat.

xxx

Rocket’s ears perked up immediately at the sight of the ship. He felt a relieved smile creep onto his face. That was his ship. All he could think of in that moment was his team members. Echoes of Quill’s dumb music rang through his mind, making his heart race even faster, worry settling in his bones.

Turning his head, the raccoon noticed the Avengers in their battle stance, prepared to attack the docking ship.

“No wait!” He cried, still holding Groot’s video game close. They all turned to look at him, not lowering their guards.

“What is it?” Natasha asked, looking down at the raccoon.

“That’s the guardian’s ship,” Thor answered before he got the chance to answer. “The rabbit’s team and my saviours.”

They lowered their weapons at that, still maintaining their weary glare as the ship continued its descent.

The ship made contact with the ground, making a loud thud. Rocket could feel his heart beating.

The raccoon felt both hope and dread blooming in his chest. His team was here, but how many had disappeared? How many of them had been victims of Thanos’s cruel decision? He couldn’t bear the thought.

Slowly, as if just to antagonize him, the doors opened, creaking groaning like the piece of shit doors they were. Only to reveal… Nebula. The alien woman stood tall, although looking disheveled. Rocket narrowed his eyes. She had been MIA for months, he had no idea what she was doing here.

The anxiety in his chest only grew more. Where was the rest of his team?

Thor furrowed his brow, “Who are you?” He called, stepping forward defensively.

Nebula stepped off the ship, “I am Nebula, sister of Gamora,” She looked over her shoulder back into the ship.

Thor looked down at Rocket, “Does she speak the truth?” He questioned. Rocket nodded.

“But she’s blue.”

“Adopted,” Rocket supplied, though, why Nebula was blue was the smallest concern of his. A pang of hurt flashed across Thor’s face.

“Nebula…” Rocket took a tentative step forward as she looked down at him, “Where is everyone?”

Sadness flashed across her face for only a moment before vanishing. “The Guardians are gone.” She spoke softly, “...I’m sorry.” She said, the words feeling strange on her tongue.

And just like that, Rocket’s world collapsed.

The raccoon fell to his knees. There was no way. No way that he was the only one left. This must have been Nebula’s sick idea of a joke. Deep in his mind though, he knew she’d never do that. “All of them? The- The snap took all of them?”

Nebula shook her head. “Gamora… Was taken to Vormir… in exchange for my life… Thanos sacrificed her for the soul stone”

Rocket felt as if his throat was closing up. Unbridled rage towards the Titan bubbled in his chest. He pushed it down grudgingly, anger would get him nowhere.

“I’m sorry too… she was your sister.” He replied, voice shaking. Nebula nodded solemnly, before turning towards the Avengers. They eyed her wearily as she stared back, unfazed. Her wide eyes studied them each individually, not blinking once.

“I have something for you.” She told them abruptly, turning around and walking back inside the ship. The Avengers watched, perplexed, still not trusting her. What could she possibly have for them after the literal end of half of the universe?

Moments later, she returned, one arm slung underneath…

Tony.

Steve let out a breathless laugh, it had been so long since he had seen that face. But… oh god he looked bad. His face was covered in bruises and cuts, sweat and dried blood in his hair. His facial expression was that of a broken man, and his feet moved slowly as he clutched his side.

“Tony!” Bruce cried out, a look of relief upon the scientist’s face.

Rhodey was the first at his side, carefully holding his best friend in a tight hug. Nebula stepped back after making sure Rhodey was supporting the Billionaire fully.

“Hey honey bear,” Tony chuckled, patting Rhodey on the back. “I see this time you rode in the fun vee.”

“Shut up Idiot.” The colonel whispered.

The remaining Avengers swarmed the Billionaire as Rocket and Nebula watched from afar.

“You brought him all the way from Titan without killing him?” Rocket asked her skeptically.

“He lost his intern,” She supplied, “I think it’s the way terran’s say ‘son’,” She explained to the confused Raccoon. “After that, he was pretty quiet.”

Rocket nodded.

“Good to have you back,” Natasha smiled, Tony grinned, tired eyes creasing. “It’s been a while Goldilocks.” He teased, seeing her hair.

“Stark,” Thor put a hand on Tony’s shoulder, “It is good to see you.” The god smiled.

“Glad you’re okay Pointbreak.” The billionaire smiled before his eyes zeroed in on the hero standing at the back.

“Steve…” He started, and you could feel the tension rising, “I’m glad you survived.” He stated simply.

Steve smiled softly, before confusion took over his features, “But-”

“I’m not mad,” Tony shook his head, “Not right now anyways. After everything that just happened… Our dramatic boy band break up is the least of my concerns.” The billionaire said, Steve chuckled.

Tony looked around, at everyone around him. “Is this everyone?” His expression quickly changed to that of dread. “Barnes? T’Challa? Vis? Wanda? Sam?”

Steve shook his head solemnly.

“Oh god, Clint?” He asked, eyes widening.

“We don’t know, I haven’t been able to get into contact with him.” Natasha told him, eyes downcast.

“What about Sam’s friend, little guy, was actually pretty funny?”

“No word from him or his associates.”

“Oh god.” Tony felt like everything that could have gone wrong had done just that, “Oh god.”

“Tony,” Bruce started wearily, “Where’s Peter? And Stephen?”

Tony’s whole demeanour crumbled. He took in a shuddering breath. “The- The snap took both of them.”

Steve wasn’t sure who either of those people were, but if they had fought against Thanos and were important to Tony, then he would mourn them all the same.

Bruce put a hand on the Billionaire’s shoulder, “I’m so sorry.” He comforted. Tony simply nodded.

They stood in silence for a few minutes, just standing together and feeling one another’s presence.

“We should go back to the palace,” Natasha suggested, already turning around. The Avengers nodded.

“Pretty nice hideout you got here,” Tony said, chuckling and then wincing, holding his side tighter. Rhodey flicked him in the forehead while Natasha rolled her eyes.

It was at that moment, that the god of mischief himself appeared out of thin air, fell to his hands and knees, and threw up.

“What was that!?” He seethed at the woman behind him, who had also seemed to appear out of nowhere. She was pale with long dark hair, much like Loki’s and a regal air surrounding her. She merely shrugged, “Portals on Helheim are different than in any other realms.”

He gave her a withering glare, before standing on unsteady feet.

The Avengers watched with varying degrees of surprise.

“Brother?” Thor asked, eyes wide as he took a tentative step forwards.

Loki froze, head snapping up to look at him. “Thor…” He breathed out, “You’re alive-”

That was all he could manage before he was swept into a hug, Thor’s arms wrapped tightly around him. Normally, Loki wasn’t one for sentiment, but this was different. He had died. He had thought his own brother dead as well. More than that, he had died at the hands of the man who had caused him so much pain and strife for years. Loki had never experienced fear like that until he felt the cold unforgiving metal of the infinity gauntlet wrapped around his neck. The trickster returned the hug with a ferocity he didn’t know he even had, burying his head in Thor’s shoulder.

“Oh please,” Hela rolled her eyes, “Cut the drama.”

“Loki what is she doing here?” Came Bruce’s voice from the crowd of Avengers. They turned to look at him.

“You know that chick?” Tony asked.

“That’s their sister, the one who destroyed Asgard.” The scientist explained, watching her with weary eyes.

“She what?

“Glad to see my reputation exceeds me.” Hela grinned.

“Brother…” Thor started, “What is she doing here? How are you here? Thanos killed you.” The shock of seeing Loki alive was wearing off, now Thor was more angry than relieved. “Never mind, I should be used to you faking your death, this is my fault for trusting you.”

“No!” Loki cried, “No Thor. I did die. I-” Loki faltered, a stricken expression upon his face. “I…” Biting his lip, Loki looked to the ground.

“You don’t look like it.” Thor mumbled, anger and distrust still upon his face. Loki clenched his fist tightly, gritting his teeth and feeling the skin break where his nails dug in. The blood felt warm on his cold fingers.

Taking a shaky breath, Loki waved his hand, letting his spell fall away. Letting his illusion go.

Thor’s eyes widened. Without the illusion, he could see the extent of Loki’s injuries. The cuts, on his skin, his pale pallor, the bloodshot eyes, but worst of all, his bruised and broken neck.

“Oh Loki,” Thor started, an unmeasurable sadness in his eyes. Loki hadn’t wanted to reveal this, he had wanted to keep his injuries away from prying eyes. The last thing he needed was people feeling sympathy for him. But Loki had lost much of his carefully mended trust with Thor, therefore he needed to show Thor that he wasn’t lying.

Loki glared at him, “I don’t want your pity.”

“Oh quit being such a prideful brat.” Hela groaned.

“Can someone please tell me what’s going on?” Tony asked, watching the siblings interact. The Avengers all looked like lost sheep.

“I’d like to know as well,” Thor said, staring at Loki. The trickster hated the way his brother was looking at him.

“After… After Thanos attacked and I… died… My soul was sent to Helheim, where she was.” Loki looked back at Hela, “We made a deal of sorts, and she helped me escape Helheim.”

“And the details of the deal?” Thor urged, trying to get answers from his brother.

“Not important,” Loki waved him off hastily. Thor frowned.

“So let me get this right, you have a secret crazy sister who destroyed your planet, and Thanos killed your crazy brother, and then crazy sister helped crazy brother escape hell because they made a shady deal?”

“Except Loki’s not crazy.” Bruce said, offering a small smile towards the god of mischief. Loki smiled back, though his was a bit more creepy. The god was glad to see that Bruce had survived. Loki looked at the group of people before him, scanning intensely. He pursed his lips, she wasn’t there.

“Last we saw her, she was escaping with our remaining citizens,” Thor said, as if he could read Loki’s mind. “We’re hoping for the best.” The thunderer told him. Loki nodded tightly. As much as he hated to admit it, he had become disgustingly close to the Revengers.

“Who?” Tony asked as everyone watched the brothers confusedly.

“A teammate of ours,” Bruce explained, a sadness in his eyes, “We haven’t heard from her since Thanos attacked our ship.”

The was a moment of silence after that, no one quite knowing how to respond.

“So you both came back from the dead?” Steve asked, breaking the silence as he watched Thor’s two siblings closely.

“Not me darling.” Hela grinned creepily once more, “I can’t die, I’m the goddess of death.”

“Of course you are,” Tony said, “Can’t be something nice like flowers, no, it’s death.”

“So Loki made a literal deal with the devil?”

“Basically.”

Chapter Text

“And just what do you think you’re doing?” Loki asked, narrowing his eyes at the Avengers. Said group, was splayed out in the royal palaces’ couches, looking as if they were ready to lay down and die, which was probably true.

“It’s called resting you freak of nature,” Rocket groaned, “We’re tired.”

“How aren’t you tired,” Tony asked the God of Mischief, “You literally died.”

Loki tensed at the inventors’ words, but tried to keep his cool all the same. He took a breath. “Admittedly,” He started, “I would like to rest, and going through that rather hellish portal wasn’t at all amusing,” He shot a glare towards Hela who smiled devilishly in return, “But I’d much rather defeat Him.” Loki replied. Nobody missed the amount of malice used when speaking of the Mad Titan.

“That sounds fun and all,” Tony said, groaning as he stood, “But I would really like to get rid of this gaping hole in my side,” He hissed in pain as he tried to hobble away. Nebula rolled her eyes, already standing up to help him.

“If you couldn’t walk by yourself on the ship what makes you think you can walk by yourself here?” She asked him annoyedly, slinging an arm underneath one of his own.

“Gravity?”

“The gravity’s the same in both places idiot,” She sighed.

“Well excuse me and my planet for not having advanced space travel.”

Their bickering could be heard all the way down the halls as they made their way to the medical wing.

“She really likes him huh?” Rocket asked, watching them leave. Many of the Avengers looked over at him confusedly.

“It looks like she just barely tolerates him,” Rhodey replied, “Though with Tony that’s normal.”

“Nah,” Rocket shook his head, “Not being stabbed by Nebula after talking to her for more than ten seconds is like, the highest form of compliments.”

“Sounds a lot like some people I know,” Thor said, looking directly at his two siblings standing beside him. Loki had the urge to stick out his tongue, but figured he was too mature for that. He settled for grinning at Thor while flipping one of his daggers. Thor scowled, though he couldn’t hide the amusement in his eyes. Hela was ignoring both of them.

“So what, half the population goes out like a lantern and you all come to your castle to sit on your asses?” She asked, looking at the Avengers as if they were insects that needed to be crushed.

“Hey there girl-satan,” Rocket said, waving his paw in the air to get her attention, “Why the hell do you care?”

Hela let out an amused huff of air at the nickname. “In all honesty, I don’t.” She replied indifferently, “But if we’re going to do this we might as well get it over with. The longer I’m around mortals the more I wither.”

Loki snickered while Thor rolled his eyes. Bruce looked uncomfortable, but not as much as the rest of the Terrans, having already been exposed to Hela’s crude nature.

“Well Tony’s still getting patched up, so are Widow and Okoye, and us mortals need rest. Unless you’d like us to fight the biggest bad guy there is on no hours of sleep, it’s probably a good idea to wait.” Steve told the goddess, definitely unnerved by her presence.

“You mortals are so fragile and needy,” Hela groaned. She looked over to Thor, “Brother dearest… All the beings in the universe to befriend and you choose them?”

“Well miss high and mighty,” A new voice chirped up, “Why didn’t you defeat Thanos before he killed everyone?”

Everyone looked over to see Shuri sitting on one of the back couches staring straight at Hela. The goddess looked her up and down.

“What would I have gained besides a couple of scratches? I’m no hero darling, I fight only for myself.” Hela grinned sadistically. Most people tried to look away, she gave off really bad psycho killer vibes, and no one wanted to be one of her randomized kills.

“And what’s so different now?” The princess asked skeptically.

“Well now, now I have something to gain.” She looked over at Loki, smiling at him so creepily it sent shivers down his spine. Thor looked back and forth between the two of them as he frowned. “But that’s not important.”

“Seems a bit conceited and arrogant but go off I guess.” Shuri shrugged. Hela grinned once more. It seemed the princess’s antics amused her.

“I like that one.” She said, pointing at the Wakandan princess, “That one you can keep,” She told Thor. He scowled annoyedly while Shuri laughed.

“Enough pointless banter,” Loki interrupted, “How long do you plan on waiting? Not to agree with my sister but I’d much rather get this over with.” Hela scoffed but nodded all the same.

“We’ll stay the night.” Steve decided, standing up. “If that’s not a problem with you, your highness.” He said, looking over at Shuri.

“Not at all Captain,” She smiled, “We have rooms for all of you. Each room holds four beds so you can group off on your own.”

“Thank you very much princess- er queen Shuri.” The captain nodded. “Just for efficiency I’ll divide you into your groups.” He stated, “If that’s alright with everyone.”

They all nodded.

“Rhodey, you Tony, uh… Nebula and Rocket can be one room once he’s back from medical. I’ll room with Nat. Bruce, you can room with the Asgardians, if you don’t mind.” He said, looking over wearily at Hela and Loki. Bruce frowned at the goddess.

“I won’t sleep if that makes you squeamish mortals feel any better.” She told them.

“No, why would knowing you’ll be awake while we aren’t make us feel any better?” Rocket questioned, looking at her as if she had killed his dog. She laughed.

“I’m sure there’s at least one more room for just Hela, if she’d prefer.” Shuri said, earning a relieved glance from Bruce.

“Thank you your highness. Bruce you don’t mind sleeping with Loki?” Steve asked, still unnerved by the god’s presence. Bruce smiled over at Loki

“I don’t actually,” He said and Steve wondered how Bruce even felt remotely comfortable with his sleeping arrangements.

“Okay then.” The captain clapped his hands together. “Get a good rest team. We’ve got… well we’ve got quite the day ahead of us.”

Normally, they’d sit together. Laugh and have drinks, tell dumb stories. (Pretty much every single story except the time in Budapest) But tonight… tonight was a solemn night. The drinking could wait until after they won.

xxx

Loki was back in his grasp. Back in his grasp and he couldn’t breathe. He could not breathe.

Need air. Need air. Need air. Need air. Need air.

This time was different, Loki couldn’t speak. There was no way for him to even gasp out a single syllable. The Mad Titan’s grip was too tight.

But Loki didn’t die. The grip got tighter and tighter. It hurt more and more. He could feel everything breaking. Hear the snapping inside his head. It was agonizing.

But he still wouldn’t die.

please, he loathed, please let me die.

Nothing. The pain got worse and for every second that he stared at the Titan’s menacing face he felt less and less okay.

Loki felt his mind drift subconsciously to the goddess of death.

sister, end my suffering. welcome me into your realm I beg you.

please….

xxx

“You won’t die if you jump you know.” A voice called. Loki looked over sharply, narrowing his eyes.

“I’m aware,” He hissed, looking over angrily at Hela. She rolled her eyes, walking right up close and leaning on the balcony railing beside him. Loki looked back down at the ground far down underneath them. The stars shining in the sky made Wakanda look beautiful, he had to admit.

“Oh please brother, you don’t have to be so prickly all the time. We were getting along swimmingly back in Helheim.” She told him, looking over at him. He pursed his lips.

“We weren’t getting along ‘swimmingly’, I was simply making conversation.” He replied, not returning her gaze.

“So? Make conversation now.” Hela shrugged nonchalantly. Loki scowled and turned his head even more to the right.

“What are you doing up anyways?” He asked her, still avoiding eye contact.

“Did you really think I was going to sleep? We’re gods brother dearest, we don’t need to sleep as much as the er… mortals.” She said the word mortals as if she had tasted something sour. Her hate for humans almost amused Loki. “But what about you, my fellow Odin’s kin? Or not really I guess…”

Loki turned his head to glare at her, “It was nothing. Simply insomnia gripping me once more.”

“Like Hel I believe that.” She rolled her eyes once more. “I’m not sure if it was the whole dying thing but you aren’t exactly amazing at lying. Not to make any assumptions but that's probably not good for the literal god of lies.”

Loki frowned at her words, hoping she was exaggerating. Lying was something he prided himself in. If he truly had lost his skill… well he’d need to work on rebuilding it. At this point… his lies were pretty much all he had. Sure, his siblings and Bruce were there, but he couldn’t rely on them for much. Or… it was more that he didn’t want to rely on them. Soon enough they’d be gone. They'd all leave in due time. If he got too accustomed, it would only hurt more. Besides, Asgard was gone, and he had no idea whether Brunnhilde was even alive or not. More than anything, he needed to rely on his lies and magic.

It was at that moment that Loki froze. Eyes widening in surprise. He could feel it, just barely. Someone was in his mind. Going through his thoughts and memories. Their presence was faint, and very well masked. Just not enough to hide from him.

“What in Hel’s name are you doing in my head!?” Loki snarled, turning so him whole body was facing Hela. He had already summoned his daggers. One brandished in each hand as glared at his sister.

But Hela didn’t react, not even flinch. She had an emotionless expression on her face. “Nightmare.” She said calmly, tone even. Loki felt rage growing inside of him. “You were plagued by Nightmares, that’s why you’re awake.”

“That,” Loki seethed, “Is none of your business.”

“But it’s true.”

Loki said nothing, shoulders still shaking with rage. Anger was a constant for him, something he had grown accustomed to, but he didn’t think he’d ever gotten quite this upset this fast.

Hela, albeit only for a short period of time, had been in his head. Mages, unlike non-magic users, could quite literally organize their thoughts. Could place individual memories in individual places. Loki had always had a need to separate the good from the bad, the moderately bad from the very bad. It helped clear his thoughts, helped keep him sane. But what that meant, is that when Hela and snuck her ugly little conscience inside, she had easily found a nice organized pile of absolutely horrid memories sitting right in front of her. And it didn’t take long to go through them. One could absorb millions of memories and thoughts in mere seconds. Loki had always found that helpful, but now, he was wishing more than anything that it wasn’t a thing.

“We’re going to kill him.”

Loki looked up at his sister, confusion etched into his features. He was still infuriated, but he knew how to contain it. He had spent centuries learning how to perfect keeping his emotions in check. Perfecting ways to bury his feelings until he forgot about them. One might not exactly call it a healthy method, but frankly, Loki didn’t give a damn.

"What?"

“Thanos.” She said, features softening only slightly when he flinched at the name. “We’re going to destroy his very essence.”

Chapter Text

“So where exactly are we going?”

Loki looked over at his sister, who was, admittedly, much taller than him. Even without her… horns, she still towered over him. She met his gaze.

“To kill the Mad Titan, please keep up brother dearest.” She replied, looking back to the path ahead of them.

The Avengers, unofficial members included, were trekking further behind them. They had began their journey at the break of dawn, not entirely sure what was happening, but veins fueled with adrenaline and the lust for revenge. All Hela had told them was to follow her, and then they had been off, walking towards what seemed like nothing.

Loki scowled at her, but he couldn’t help but feel a slight sense of endearment at the playful banter. Sure, he had a sibling, but Thor wasn’t quite like him. The snide remarks and clever insults, those were quite possibly the one thing the two brothers’ relationship lacked. Admittedly, and thankfully, Hela managed to fill that tiny place.

“Yes but where?” He questioned. “How are we expected to find him by just walking around aimlessly?”

“We’re following his scent.” She said simply.

“Like canines?”

“Like professionals.” Hela corrected. “The titan reeks of death. The stench is impossible to ignore.”

“Reeks of death?” Loki repeated, brow raised with a slight smile, “Are you not the goddess of death?”

“I don’t slaughter innocents,” She sniffed, head tilted up in what could only be described as disgust towards the Titan. “I may be the goddess of death but I don’t kill just because I can.”

“And all those people on Asgard? Did they not count?” He demanded, and he couldn’t help but let some hostility slip. Sister or not, she attacked his kingdom, his home even. Perhaps Loki imagined it, but she seemed to hesitate at his words, eyes falling to the ground. She pursed her lips.

“Believe me or don’t, I couldn’t care less, but I did not venture into Asgard with the intention to kill.” She replied, voice sounding sincere, something Loki had not heard until then.

“You killed Thor’s friends,” He noted, “Seconds after you arrived.”

She furrowed her brow, “Those who question or threaten royalty were immediately sentenced to death… Does Asgard no longer follow that law?”

She looked… almost hesitant. Another thing Loki was just then seeing for the first time. He almost felt bad for her. She had been raised as a killer, slaughtering alongside her father, and then locked away when Odin grew tired of her. He couldn’t place the blame entirely on her, she hadn’t really done anything to deserve being locked away. In theory, anyways.

“Those who threaten royalty are normally sentenced to something of lesser punishment, a couple centuries in a rehabilitation camp, maybe a millenium if the threat is serious enough.” He told her, voice softer.

“Oh.”

They walked for many hours after that, making amble conversation, mostly getting to know each other. Which, in all honesty, Loki found a bit humorous. Nearly a year and a half ago, she had been trying to kill him, eradicate him and his team, might be a better way to phrase it, and there they were, making small talk.

Finally, they arrived at the first portal. Once again, it was just an open space, but this time around, Loki knew better.

He took a step back, watching Hela with narrowed eyes, as they waited for the others to catch up.

“What’s with the standing around? Are we lost?” Tony asked, only half-joking as he approached.

“No we’re at our first stop.” The goddess of death informed them.

“And the reason why Reindeer Games looks like he wouldn’t touch you with a thirty nine and a half foot pole?”

“I pushed him in last time,” She shrugged. Loki scowled even deeper.

“Pushed him into what exactly?” Natasha asked skeptically, staring around at the open plaines surrounding them.

“Take a step forward darling, I’ll show you,” Hela replied, smirking at the agent. Natasha smiled back, winking in the process. Steve gave her a questionable look.

“It’s a portal.” Loki said flatly, shoving his arm out into thin air. The Avengers watched as it disappeared.

“Like in a video game?”

“No like in real life.”

xxx

The first portal led them to Vanaheim, nothing too strange about that. Other than the millweed beasts that seemed intent on making their trip even harder.

The millweed beasts were highly territorial, and it seemed magic pollution in Vanaheim had pushed them out of their natural reserves and out into the outskirts of the realm. Unfortunately enough, the Avengers and other had stumbled across one on their journey.

Millweed beasts were large, green and blue creatures. They had an almost transparent skin, that made them look like large moving bowls of gelatin. Their eyes were a murky yellow, and flowers, along with millweed of course, grew upon their backs. They had short but wide snouts with tiny ears and a mouth full of non-predatory teeth. Herbivores. Their legs were short and stout, and they weighed quite a bit.

“What the hell is that!?” Tony cried, already readying his repulsors. Rhodey stood beside him, doing the same.

Don’t!
Loki hissed quickly moving in front of the whole group. The beast snarled at them, scraping at the ground and grinding its teeth. The Avengers gave Loki a confused look, and didn’t lower their weapons at all. The god clenched his jaw, annoyed at their antics. Earthlings are always so quick to fight, they never think first.

Loki relaxed his stance slightly, facing the beast directly. He let his shoulders loosen and exhaled deeply, a wispy fog of green coming out of his mouth in the process. The god raised his hands, hovering them right over the fog, and that seemed to be enough to contain it. Slowly, and gently, he walked over to the millweeder.

“Is he crazy!? That thing’s going to eat him alive!”

“It’s a herbivore, Tony, look at it’s teeth.”

Loki tried to tune them out. Carefully, he raised the wisp of magic to his lips, and blew a small stream of air. The magic, now being able to move freely, cascaded all over the beasts’ body. It calmed in seconds, looking at Loki with its’ murky eyes. He smiled.

“Thank you for letting us pass.” He whispered, and then continued walking, not looking to see if the others were following.

Hela watched him walk away, a small smile on her face. “How interesting.”

xxx

Night fell quickly, and despite Loki and Hela’s protests, they set up camp to rest.

While the humans, Nebula, and Rocket slept, the three Asgardian siblings sat by the fire.

“So just how much older than us are you?” Thor questioned, prodding at the kindle with a smaller stick.

“Just over six-thousand years.” Hela replied curtly.

What?

Both Thor and Loki’s eyes widened, no aesir should have been able to live for so long. Lest they feed off of Idunn’s apples, as Odin did, for example.

“Odin allowed you to take one of Idunn’s apples?” Loki asked, brow furrowed.

“Gods no,” She shook her head, “We all know that selfish old fool would never share something like that.”

“So how then?” Thor questioned, eyes widening as the entirety of the twig he was holding caught flame. He made a noise of distress and hurriedly chucked it into the fire.

“In Hel,” The goddess started, stifling a laugh at her brother’s antics, “you cease to age.” She explained.

“Oh,” Loki nodded. “You’ve been there for quite some time then…”

“Well let’s see… Thor, you’re around one thousand three hundred, and you, Loki, are about nine hundred and fifty… Give or take. And I’m seven thousand five hundred.” She muttered quietly, seeming to be doing the mental math. “Thousands of years yes.” She replied curtly, looking to have given up on actually calculating it all.

“Seven thousand five hundred…” Thor repeated. “You’re old enough to be our grandmother!”

“Watch it,” Hela growled, and Loki chuckled lightly.

They sat in silence for a few minutes, fire crackling at their feet, before Hela stood.

“Where are you going?” Loki asked her, looking up as she stretched out her legs.

“Well someone has to map out our journey.” She said, promptly walking away and over to one of the unoccupied tents.

The silence returned, and the two brothers sat absentmindedly.

“I’m sorry for… you know.” Loki coughed awkwardly, pointing towards his neck. “And the tesseract…”

Thor’s features softened.

“You know, I don’t think you have to apologize for faking your death if you didn’t fake it.” He smiled ruefully, and Loki shot him a smaller smile. “And I’m not too bothered by the tesseract thing.” He admitted. Loki’s brow furrowed.

“You’re not?”

“Nope,” Thor shook his head, “It just proves you care about me.” He quipped.

“What?” Loki questioned, lips pursed distastefully.

“You were willing to give up an infinity stone for me. You were practically bawling!”

“I was not-”

“Admit it, I’m your favourite brother.” Thor said, grinning. Loki rolled his eyes.

“You’re my only brother, Thor.” He replied.

“Which makes me your favourite by default.”

“And my least favourite.”

Thor cried indignantly at that, and Loki had to keep himself from both smiling and laughing.

They lapsed into another silence at that, although, this one seemed more comfortable.

Loki looked up at the stars, and then to the tent Hela was currently occupying.

A light source from inside the tent illuminated its whole and Hela’s silhouette stood out fiercely in contrast to the ugly orange fabric.

The Trickster felt a fondness he didn’t know he had swell in his chest. He smiled almost hesitantly.

Having siblings wasn’t as bad as everyone made it seem.