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stay with me, baby (i'm the fella you came in with)

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The moment Odin banished his first born, Loki pledged vengeance upon his father's House. He stood beside Heimdall, watching his beloved beneath the ever vigilant eyes of the Gatekeeper himself, and plotted against the man who raised him and the mother who loved him. The All-Father should have known; if forced to choose between Asgard and his brother, the choice would be the easiest decision the Trickster could ever make.

Especially after Loki learned the circumstances of his birth, the truth of his heritage, and by extension, the dishonesty of his parents.

It had been easy smuggling the Frost Giants into Asgard, just in time for Thor's coronation. Heimdall might see all, but there are still alleys and crevices the Gatekeeper's eyes do not reach. Loki has long walked the paths unknown, clad in a cloak of stars, and all it took was a little push in the right direction for the Frost Giants to enter the House of Odin and meet their fate at the hands of the Destroyer. That had not been a slight against Thor himself, but a warning to the All-Father and his legions: you are not safe, even in your own home.

Loki did not expect Thor to storm Jotunheim and the Frost Giant stronghold, challenging Laufey on Jotun soil, but his brother had always been brash and wrathful. Thor was nothing more than a petulant child with an attitude of entitlement stemming from his privileged birth. And watching him decimate Laufey's palace guards with the mighty hammer? Loki would have lied if he said his skin didn't thrum and heat up at the sight, as if it would eventually vibrate right off his bones. He had to swallow down his words, and he set aside the looks and laughter Thor triumphantly sent his way, hiding them in the special place nothing, not even the ice flowing through his veins and the blackness lurking ever closer to the boundaries of his heart, could reach.

If there was one thing in the world and the rest of the Nine Realms that Loki truly, without a doubt, loved, it would be Thor. For all his faults, Thor is a good man. Underneath the selfishness and the penchant for carelessness with those he held most dear, Thor is nothing but sunshine. He's golden and bright, the kind of light that shines no matter how thick and impenetrable the dark. His washed-out blue eyes cause Loki's heart to crash to a halt, his lips pulled in a smile make his knees go weak, and Loki longs for the large, strong, capable hands to touch him. Every atom, molecule within him strains for Thor, just a glimmer of his smile or a haze of blond hair.

Honestly, Loki's obsession with his brother started at an early age. Loki plainly remembers watching Thor, Sif, and the Warriors Three training with the two palace arms masters in the fields in the fourth ring of the palace grounds. Thor could not have been more than a child, hardly a man with the ungainly balance and too long limbs of a youth. And yet, he moved with his sword as fluidly as water over the stones in the brooks. Nothing hindered his actions, and he sliced the air like he was born to do just that. Loki would sit on the sidelines, destined for something else, something more covert, sinister, but it didn't stop him from staring longingly. It got to the point where Loki would purposefully miss his lessons, evading his teachers until they realized it was pointless to hold him down. He made up the studies in the evenings, on his own, but those few hours when the sun was at its highest peaks, and Thor's sword echoed against Volstagg's shield...this was Loki's favorite part of the day.

Thor never said anything about Loki's daily visits until much later, but he knew his brother watched him. Everyone did. It's hard not to notice the tiny sliver of shadow sliding out from behind the warrior's dormitories, taking the same place beneath the fence day after day. After awhile, Thor urged him to come out, join them, don't be afraid, but Loki never touched a sword. He was always the studious one. Steel didn't call to him like it did to his brother, and Thor was fine with that. Secretly, though his words spoke differently, Thor didn't want to see Loki take him up on his goading. A sword didn't belong in Loki's hands. His hands were far more attuned to the art of magic and the science of illusion.

But Loki continued to watch Thor.

And Thor fought on, ever knowing his brother's eyes never left his back.

The first time Thor kisses Loki, it's a cold morning in the dead of winter and Loki is sixteen, Thor one and twenty. The sea has slowed to a sluggish crawl, never fully freezing because it would take an attack from Frost Giants to ever cause that great body of water to stop its crashing, and the trees are bare. The entirety of Asgard's population slows down, too. No longer do the errand boys sprint through the columns of the palace. No longer do the farmers slave away in the fields, or herd their sheep along the hills. Everyone cowers near their fires, blow on their hands, and try to imagine a day when the sun shone unencumbered.

It has long been Loki's practice to walk through the palace grounds, organizing his thoughts as the morning light crests the tips of the trees. His boots crunch against the frosty grass and he draws his cloak ever tighter around him. Only the palace guards are awake at this time, and they watch him with careful eyes. He smirks at them as he passes into the halls of his home, daring them to comment on his early activities. They do not know where he has been. They do not know the things he has seen and the things he has already done in his first sixteen years. If they did, they would probably bar his entry on principal alone. But they do not, and Loki passes unhindered into the hall of his father.

The hall is silent as Loki passes through on the way to his chambers. He has no more than an hour before he is expected at breakfast, and the rest of the palace is waking with the morning light. He steps around some servants who hurry to acknowledge him before continuing on with their tasks, and continues on. He's nearly to his door when Loki hears the clatter of steel against steel, the excited rumble of voices echoing off the halls, and the hearty laughter of eager warriors readying for battle.

Thor, always shining and bright even so early in the morning, rounds the corner, closely followed by the Lady Sif and the Warriors Three. They're clad in battle dress, armor strapped firmly to their bodies, weapons sharpened and sheathed. Volstagg, Fandral, and Hogun pass without pause, practically ignoring the dark-haired prince. Lady Sif, still sore over the misunderstanding regarding her formerly golden tresses, glares at him with distrust and follows her comrades, leaving Odin's sons to talk.

As far as Loki knows, Thor was not supposed to be sent into battle for quite some time. The realms were at peace, for the moment, and there had been no word from the stationed battalions throughout the kingdom of any emergency or beacon for help. So, unless Thor is going to the practice ring with full metal and armor, then something is going on, something Loki isn't privy to.

He won't lie. His small obsession with his brother stemming from childhood fascination had grown, morphed into something deeper and stronger than mere curiosity. Now, he follows the line of Thor's back through a crowd, the lip of the goblet against his mouth, the swish of tongue to catch the last drops of wine.

Loki knows it's not one sided. Thor has been watching him, too. Loki is the Trickster, hiding things and keeping out of sight is one of his many talents. When Thor tries to hide the way his eyes follow his younger brother, how he cannot help but run his hands over Loki's shoulders as he attempts his own weapon wielding. It sends gooseflesh rippling up and down his arms, makes him shiver when he feels the sure, strong grip across his back or notices how his brother's eyes follow the sway of his hips and the graceful lines of Loki's fingers upon the pages of the books he reads in place of any swords he might swing.

"Brother," Loki greets him. "I was not aware our warriors were required for any morning exercises." He stands straight and tall, as tall as one as young as he and still growing can stand, and watches Thor pause beside him. The eldest Odinson nods for the Warriors Three and Sif to move on, meet him below, and he pauses beside his brother. Thor crowds in close, so close that Loki can feel warm breath upon his ear.

"Father has asked me to bring him the claw of a White Bear," Thor explains. Loki nods; quests are not uncommon for young warriors to earn their battlements and experience. Thor has already completed two quests, the last one which Odin judged him worthy for carrying Mjolnir. The hammer itself hangs loose from his belt at this very moment, eager for the heat of battle once more. "We leave immediately."

"A White Bear?" Loki can't help the confusion. "You're going to Nilfheim?" He glances back over his shoulder. "With just the Three and Sif?"

Thor can't help but laugh into Loki's skin, warm breath playing across his bare neck. "It wouldn't be a proper quest if I had an entire battalion rallied behind me. What glory is there in being safe?"

Loki understands it Rationally, he does, but he also understands that quests and missions into realms where the sons of Odin might not be the most welcome are incredibly dangerous. No matter how resilient the Aesir are, they are not immortal. He has seen Thor come home from battle and quests with more wounds than he can count, so he is worried. Of course he is worried.

"I just don't want you to get hurt," Loki whispers. He doesn't want to show Thor how vulnerable the idea of Thor in danger makes him, but Loki is also not above using his own wiles to get what he wants. He fists his hands in Thor's sleeve, skims the pads of his fingers over the fabric to Thor's heated bare skin, to his neck. "Not when..." And his eyes tip to Thor's mouth, take in the spit-slick skin and the flush blossoming over his cheeks.

Thor is a warrior, so when he wants, he can move quicker than most. At first, Loki is pressed against him with his hands all over, and the next second, Thor is flipping them around with Loki's back against his bedroom door, and Thor's body aligned at every single inch with Loki's. Chest to chest, hips to hips... Loki can feel Thor's every line match his. Including pressing their groins together, where Loki's cock is stirring embarrassingly.

"Loki," Thor hisses, breath tight against Loki's cheek. "I know when you are up to one of your tricks, brother." He leans apart, features softening. "I also know you do not want me to go because you, perhaps, fear for me?" His expression is one of hope intermingled with a little apprehension. Loki's answer might not be one he wants to hear.

"It is true," Loki admits, caught in his lies and worry. "I do fear for you. This is a dangerous thing our Father asks." Looking back, he will remember this moment as the moment the seed against Odin is sewn in his breast. After coming into the knowledge of his true heritage, years from now, he will understand that a man who can send a son into battle and danger is not the kind of father he would want anyway. That doesn't stop the hurt that bleeds over the edges of his heart, filling him with such violent fury that he will soon try to unravel the whole of the Aesir and their realm. But now, in this moment, Loki is just consumed with care and anxiety for the brother he loves and the man he might come to love.

"Do you doubt me?"

"No," Loki immediately answers, shaking his head. And he doesn't. He knows Thor can take care of himself.

"But you're still afraid," Thor observes. His fingers stroke over Loki's arms. "You need not be afraid, Loki. I will return." Thor leans forward, lips barely brushing his brothers, and impresses it again. "I will return."

And, before Loki can reply or assure himself, Thor's mouth is on his, Thor's hand on his back with the other on his cheek, and he is giving Loki his very first kiss. It's common knowledge the women of the court love Thor; he's handsome, self-assured, battle tested, and now, it's even more obvious. His mouth moves over Loki's with sure experience and drags his brother under. Loki pushes back against the door, but brings Thor with him. He fits himself against the older Aesir and presses his fingers into his sides. If he could get closer, he would.

Thor tastes like bread, cheese, and whatever else is left over from his breakfast. His tongue parts Loki's lips, sure and strong, and Loki just lets him. He can't help but moan when Thor takes his lower lip in between his teeth and chews, light and startling.

When they part, Thor looks triumphant while Loki doesn't know what to say. It's rare that he's without words, but Thor's kiss has done the practically impossible and rendered him speechless.

"Brother, have heart, and be ready," Thor instructs. He plays light kisses over Loki's cheeks, nose, and another on his mouth. "I will return, and when I do, I'll have you." With a twist of his hips, Thor lines his cock up with Loki's, only thick fabric separating them, and twists. The friction is good, too good, and Loki cries out. He thrusts instinctually, and moans the lack of heat when Thor begins to move away. "In that room behind you, in your bed, you'll be mine."

Loki hisses when Thor's lips graze his neck, his ear, and then he's gone, heading towards the others. Loki watches him go, fingers tracing the path of Thor's mouth on his skin. Thor has effectively replaced most of Loki's worry with sudden anticipation. Now, instead of his demise, Loki can only think and ponder what will happen when Thor returns to him.

It's two moons before Thor returns, weary and worn from his travels. The Three and Sif look tired but excitable. Their quest has been a success; Thor has managed to bring back the White Bear's head as well as the claw. Odin is understandably proud, and pats Thor on the back. He is a proud father, and his court knows it. They celebrate Thor's victorious arrival with a great feast. The beer and mead flow, they roast fine boars, and the hall is filled to the brim with drunken louts and their laughter.

It's nights like these that Loki despises. His father is drunk, his mother has already excused herself, and his brother is targeted by nearly everyone looking to gain some kind of influence or favor. The Warriors Three have already consumed their weight in ale, and Sif is fending off the advances of several lords under the spell of her powerful charms. Loki, as always, has managed to carve out a niche of the party where none dare tread. He is not the first born, destined to be King of all the Nine Realms, and he is not the victorious warrior here either. This is a feast that willingly ignores him, and Loki has made peace with it. He is not the one they're looking for. He's the one they've put in the corner, and he uses the opportunity to sneak out of the hall and find his way past the unconscious partiers in the hall to his chambers.

He had foolishly hoped Thor would keep his promise; Loki's blood had thrummed with it the entire night upon his return, but alas, it looks like he might find other sources of entertainment tonight.

Loki doesn't let himself feel the near crippling disappointment that comes with Thor's broken promise. He's felt it all before. This isn't the first time Thor has broken his word to his little brother, but it is the first time Loki was hoping for something so...

It doesn't matter. He shuts himself in his room and dresses for bed.

Loki's only wearing breeches, shivering slightly against the cold, when he is interrupted in stoking the fire by a knock on the door. He's only been in his room a few moments, but he leaves the poker in the fire pit, and goes to answer it. It could not be his father or mother; they had retired before he with smiles as Frigga supported an intoxicated Odin back to their chambers. Perhaps it was a woman? He chuckles to himself, dismisses the thought, and opens the door a crack before the bottom of his stomach falls to his feet.

Thor takes up all the space in the doorway. He is dressed in his ceremonial robes, hair pulled back by a leather thong, and his sleeves are shoved up his powerful forearms. He's positively leering at Loki, his gaze dark and hooded.

Loki cannot help the smile that spreads across his face, and he simply steps aside, widening the doorway to let Thor into his room.

Later, when Thor has Loki on his knees, face pressed down into the mattress, his full and flushed cock thrusting in and out of his little brother's ass, Loki cries out in triumph. He knew it would be like this, so powerful and thrilling. As he is pushed further and further down, his hand frantic on himself, he admits he never wants this to end. He doesn't ever want to give this up, and he doesn't mean to.

It wasn't long before Thor and Loki were sharing Loki's chambers.

They had become inseparable. It wasn't long before murmurs of marriage rumbled through the halls, even coming up during family meals. Frigga and Odin were not blind to the events unfolding in their house. Frigga knew the hearts of her two sons just like she knew her own, and it was not difficult for the Queen to suss out what was actually going on.

It isn't long after that that Odin conferences with his eldest. A King needs a Queen, the All-Father tells him as they stroll through the courtyard. Or, in Thor's case, a Consort, a partner. Someone to share the burden with, someone he trusts to advise him in the dead of night when the plague of worry sets upon him and he cannot sleep. A King needs children, Odin reminds him, and offers his own council the subject, but Thor can barely comprehend making Loki his, truly and forever, much less endeavor a way to sire an heir.

Not long after that, at the height of Spring when all of Asgard is in full bloom and the dead mood of winter has faded into memory, Thor and Loki Odinson fast their hands together, joining their hearts and bodies to one another for the rest of time. There are many, many in attendance, and they all cheer when Thor, so golden and perfect, lays his hand upon his brother's pale cheek, and kisses him as a husband should kiss his husband.

Loki tries to hide the blush, but finds his cannot. Nor, in reality, does he want to. It's his wedding day; he should be allowed to blush if he wants.

It's their first night together as a married pair. For their wedding trip, they've chosen to visit Loki's favorite retreat in Alfenheim, but for now, they are restricted to the boundaries of propriety and must spend the night in their own home. The next morning, they'll meet their father and mother and have the proper royal send-off with the entire court waving them off into bliss. But for now, it's just them, together at last, with the roaring fire behind and a soft, expansive bed calling their names.

Loki's hair isn't long enough for the traditional braids, so it's unbound around his pale face. He's wearing the garments of a groom, but colored in his favorite green to distinguish himself from his now-husband. Thor wears a similar ensemble, but brown and steel, the color of the earth he's sworn to protect and the steel he protects it with. His golden hair is free and his beard has been well groomed. He hasn't stopped smiling since the ceremony.

"It's over, brother," Loki remarks, stepping forward and twining his fingers in the thick folds of Thor's shirt. "We are married."

Thor hums at the contact. "You are my husband. My consort," Thor insists. He loves the way it makes Loki look, the words sparking something so dark and hot in the eyes. He licks his lips and Thor follows it with his stare. He can practically feel the wet streak Loki's tongue would leave behind on his skin. "Now and forever."

Loki nods in agreement, smiling sultry and smooth, taking in the way Thor's breathing has sped up, the way his skin blooms red beneath his collar.

"I am your consort in title, Thor," Loki agrees. "Now, let me be your wife." And he hitches his fingers in Thor's belt, falls to his knees, and begins undoing the leather round his husband's waist.

It's easy to unbuckle and strap the ceremonial garments once you're motivated enough. And Loki is very motivated. He has the pants undone and half slid down Thor's massive thighs. For a second, all he can ponder is the way those thighs will feel around his waist later, but now, he had better focus on the task at hand.

Thor's cock is gorgeous. It's thick, red, and perfect. Loki bends and tastes along the slit, just the tip, where a small bead of precome has gathered. It's salty, bitter, but Loki doesn't mind. In fact, if he admits it to himself, he rather enjoys it. All of it. When he takes Thor into his mouth, a little at a time, and the rest into his hand, he cannot help but think he wouldn't mind remaining on his knees for the rest of his life. Not that he would ever tell Thor that. The man is too full of himself as it is, but Loki isn't above debasing himself for his husband's pleasure. He is a Prince, on his knees, and that makes this so, so dirty. Filthy, he tells himself, squirming as his own throbbing dick presses against the tight breeches.

Loki begins a gentle suction as he works more and more into his mouth, filling him to capacity and a little beyond. He brings a warm hand up to touch and stroke Thor's heavy balls, maybe dip the end of a finger into Thor's hole.

Thor unravels above him, moaning and hissing, trying to keep his hips steady. He threads his fingers through Loki's thick straight hair, and pulls him down, thrusting up into his throat.

Loki relaxes his mouth and tries to let as much of Thor inside him. He wants Thor to hurt him, to use him, to make him take as much as he can and whatever he can't. Loki reaches down, grips the back of Thor's thighs, and lets his new husband ride his mouth.

"Loki...gods, your mouth...that's it, let me in, brother," Thor gasps. "Open your throat for me..." He thrusts in deep, loving the way Loki's tongue maps out the thick vein on the underside of his cock. Loki watches him with bright blue eyes beneath heavy lashes and he stares up at him, more than content in his subservience. Thor has never seen him look so perfect.

When Thor comes, it's with a low moan. He tightens his grip in Loki's hair, holds him still, and comes down his throat. He's oversensitive, but the feel of Loki's throat and mouth nursing him, swallowing around the head of his cock is too good to pass up, so he lets Loki milk him soft until he has to let him go.

Thor tugs his new husband up and drags him into a kiss, licking at his own taste on Loki's lips, loving the filthy way his mouth tastes. Loki, teetering on the edge of orgasm, groans at the brief but inconsistent contact of Thor's hips against his persistent erection. Instead of complaining, however, or demanding attention, he lets Thor direct him to the premade bed. He doesn't look, but at the insistent push of Thor's hand at his shoulder, he tumbles backwards onto the thick blankets. He bounces merrily and props himself up on his elbows, watching Thor disrobe for him.

Then Thor is upon him and everything is a sudden mess of hands and lips and hot tongues and mouths and flushed skin to skin.

And love, so much love.

The first time Loki meets the Avengers, it's Thor's idea. Why he ever agreed to become part of their little team, Loki has no idea, but his beloved would be effectively "moving" to Earth, so the Trickster wasn't about to let him go off alone. Not after last time. Loki is strong, considers himself strong, but he would not survive another separation as pivotal as the one Odin forced them into. To be parted would mean Loki's death, and he's very fond of being alive, thank you very much.

Upon descending to Midgard via the Bifrost, Loki and Thor are immediately greeted by a man calling himself "Agent Coulson". He seems quite the formidable warrior, hardly blinks an eye at Thor's weaponry (or Loki's lack thereof), and directs them to a metal vehicle called an "automobile". (Thor had explained the steel beasts, but Loki finds them confining and uncomfortable; he cannot wait to be free of it.) The automobile takes them to a greater mode of transport that will enable them to fly across land, and Loki cannot help but be charmed at the tiny human need for contraptions like this. If they had merely stayed in touch with their heritage, they could be flying across land with the aid of magic. Instead, they'd let magic and sorcery fall into the waste of history, replaced by their own arrogance and crooked logic.

Finally, after hours, Loki and Thor are escorted to a steel and glass building emblazoned with the name Stark. Agent Coulson, in his ever efficient manner, explains the need for a "cover", or a false identity to mask their true purpose. S.H.I.E.L.D., as this organization called themselves, required a certain amount of anonymity to conduct its work (namely, the Avengers Project). The cover allowed them more freedom than they would have had they made their presence known. After the explanation, Loki admits his own admiration for the organization. They're operating on a level of deceit he had not expected of these humans. He is reluctantly impressed, but keeps this to himself.

The two men are sequestered in a sparse conference room. There are no windows, meaning they are in the internal part of the building, and there is only a long table surrounded by plush chairs. Agent Coulson motions for them to sit, and while Thor welcomes the brief respite to rest himself, Loki maintains a staunch stance beside his shoulder, ever watchful in these unfamiliar surroundings. He doesn't know these humans like Thor does. He doesn't trust them. He will not turn his back to them.

The door Coulson left through opens once more, but it's not the black clad agent that returns. It's a small woman with dark hair, thick banded spectacles perched on her nose, and very full lips quirked into a smile. Thor obviously recognizes her by the way he stands and moves towards her. Loki remains where he is.

The woman calls out the door, "Found 'em!" and is immediately embraced by a grinning god of thunder. She is a small woman; Thor lifts her easily from the ground and clasps her tight.

"Darcy!" he cries, broad grin showing his teeth. "I had not thought to see you here so far from your appointment."

She giggles, an infernal sound Loki tells himself, and returns the hug, not quite as forcefully.

"We moved here when you went back up the rainbow bridge thingy," she answers, a little out of breath. "Jane and Erik are here, too."

As if summoned by the girl's words, another human woman enters the room. She is less excitable than her friend, but she still cannot help lighting up at the sight of Thor. Loki, still remaining at the end of the table, welcomes the quick jolt of recognition he feels flicker through his mind. He knows this woman. She had been the one to initially find his husband in the desert after Odin had banished him from Asgard. At first, she had harmed him with her contraption, but she had sought him medical help and in the end helped him come back home. In the span of those three days, if he recalls correctly (and he does), she developed quite the assembly of feelings for his brother. Lust, desire, friendship, and something resembling love swirls in her breast even now, flaring to life at the sight of her very own beloved.

Loki would be enraged if he didn't find it so heartbreakingly hilarious. The humans have a saying: what you don't know cannot hurt you. Loki has heard this in his wanderings before, but has never seen it played out so dramatically before his very eyes. Jane is mooning over Thor right in front of him, and cannot bear to lift the veil of attraction long enough to see that Thor is not hers, never will be, and never really was.

The Trickster knows he should not bait her. He knows that he should not bring it up, mention it in any way, or use it to his advantage. He is not worried about Thor's fidelity to him. His brother would never betray their union for a mere human female, or anyone for that matter. They are bonded, truly, one and the same, and can never be parted. Especially not for a puny wretch like her.

However, this is an opportunity he cannot pass up. He is sure Thor knows of her devotion to him, but wisely says nothing. Even now, he refrains from touching her beyond the customary kiss upon her knuckles. He has made this gesture a hundred times, a thousand times, amongst the ladies in Odin's court. It is a formality, but a respectful one. To him, this is a far less enthusiastic gesture than the one he exchanged with Darcy (he had greeted her like a soldier greeting a fellow comrade, like he greets the Warriors Three and Sif...nothing but camaraderie and friendship). It is not meant romantically, but the light in Jane's eyes, sparkling there just beneath the surface, says volumes. She has taken it much more differently than intended, and Thor cannot see the love (love, Loki scoffs) even now taking hold in her heart.

Loki never fancied himself a cruel man. Even when Thor was at his most intolerable, when they were younger, he never retaliated out of cruelty. It was always out of self-preservation, perhaps to make them realize that the little brother, the youngest, had claws. That he didn't just lie down and take it. He can admit to himself that he had been cruel with Odin during Thor's banishment, that confronting him in such a way in the belly of the palace, forcing his "father" into the Odinsleep, had been cruel. But he'd been so angry then, still felt that flicker of rage temper in his breast.

Now, though, he had the urge to be cruel. He wants to smack the feelings of love Jane stokes in her heart down, wants to make her see that Thor is his and no one else's. Not even the Earth's, when it came down to it. Thor did not belong here, and he did not belong with Jane.

But instead, he smiles and offers his hand, and shakes it as he has seen the mortals do. Even propriety cannot force him to lay lips upon her flesh.

"It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Foster," Loki purrs, watching color flush in her cheeks.

"You're Loki?"

"I am," he answers.

"You sent that giant robot to kill us!" Darcy exclaims, immediately remembering the carnage wrought by the Odin's Destroyer, the very guard of the Ice Giant Casket.

He doesn't apologize. Instead, he says, "Yes. I regret if anyone was harmed, but sending my father's soldier was necessary."

"Necessary?" Jane asks incredulously, eyebrows furrowing in anger. Her tiny little hands tighten into what she thinks are threatening fists. "You realized you put a lot of people in danger? You could have killed someone! You almost killed Thor!"

Loki does feel a stab of guilt at that. He had not sent the soldier in an effort to murder his brother.

"And yet, my brother still lives," Loki snarks, watching the lines form between Jane's eyebrows. If there is someone he does not need to explain himself to, that someone is the female scientist. How could she understand the All-Father's ways? Thor has been proving himself his entire life; proving himself the warrior, the capable son, the compassionate and strong leader and ruler. However, to teach him a lesson, Odin forced him into banishment, broke his spirits, stripped his power, and forced him to rebuild. Earn the honor back. Loki simply gave Thor the opportunity to do so. He could never explain this to Jane or Darcy or anyone standing in this room because, as far as they're concerned, Loki is the villain of this story, and always will be.

Jane looks ready to yell, scream, and kick, but Coulson silences any protests with an even look, and checks his watch.

"Doctor Foster," he reminds her, "The events that occurred in Puente Antiguo are well documented and sealed. As you well know, there were no casualties and any damage to the town was rectified." Jane harrumphs and ungracefully plops into a rolling chair. She crosses her arms over her chest, and slouches down until she's a hostile blob of human instead of a world renowned astrophysicist.

Darcy rolls her eyes and sits next to her boss and friend. "Don't take it personally, guys. She's still a little P.O.ed about what went down." Darcy removes her glasses and cleans the lenses on the end of her cardigan before replacing them. "We're super excited you're both here, aren't we, Jane?"

Jane mutters something and continues to pout. She's super mature like that.

Coulson dutifully ignores Jane's antics, and checks his watch again.

"As soon as the rest of the team arrives, we'll introduce everyone and begin the briefing." Coulson motions to the chairs nearest Thor and Loki. "Would you gentlemen like a seat? Are you hungry? Thirsty?"

Thor and Loki arrange themselves together, but decline any sustenance. Loki knows they will take supper together, and discuss the changes and events of the day. It has been their way since their courtship began; it seems that Thor thrives on Loki's analysis of his battles, and Loki secretly preens at having Thor's undivided attention.

It's not long before the rest of the "team", as Agent Coulson calls them, make their way into the conference room. Thor stands once more, ready to welcome his new teammates, but Loki keeps his seat. He can just as easily evaluate these men (and woman, as Agent Coulson informed him on the ride over; how intriguing that an Earth woman could muster the strength to fight beside a god such as Thor) from his seat.

Agent Coulson introduces Captain Steve Rogers, Anthony Stark, Clint Barton, Doctor Bruce Banner, and Natasha Romanov. From what Loki can already glean from their sheer collective presence, they are all powerful warriors in their own right. Steve Rogers is not what he appears, though he does seem formidable enough in his strong stance and unfaltering gaze. Anthony ("Blegh, it's Tony, Coulson.") Stark is human, but reeks of fire and metal. Loki can make out the glow of bright blue from beneath his shirt and allows himself a moment to ponder the missing heartbeat before moving on. Clint Barton is a human as well, but Loki senses a dark past that birthed a born and bloodied fighter. Natasha Romanov is the same; she is not a simple daisy to be plucked and cherished between the pages of a book, kept away from the evils of the world around them. She is not to be underestimated, Loki decides.

However, Loki decides Doctor Bruce Banner has got to be the most intriguing and dangerous character in the room. His human shell is fragile and fraying around the edges; edges where green light is leaking through, where the menacing spirit of pure and righteous rage is pacing like a panther in a cage. Loki can sense two minds, two spirits inhabiting one body, and is surprised he only hears one heartbeat; he had expected two. Bruce Banner has captured Loki's attention, and the Trickster decides immediately to study as much of Bruce as he can while he has the chance. He has not seen anything quite like him before, and he cannot pass up this opportunity.

His mind can sometimes wander, which is why Loki misses the introduction of Colonel Nicholas Fury, the newest and last guest to arrive in the room. He is a striking man, to be sure, but there is nothing especially remarkable about him. He is as battle-hardened as they come, but other than experience in the field and the loyalty of his men, there is nothing particularly interesting about him. Perhaps that is why he is in charge of this organization; he has the most level head in the entire building.

"Take a seat, everybody," Fury greets, and sits at the head of the table. Thor and Loki are to his right, Jane and Darcy to his left, and the rest of the Avengers (and Coulson) taking up chairs where they can get them around the table. This places Doctor Banner at Loki's elbow, and he resolves to speak with the man as soon as the meeting is adjourned.

Fury clears his throat before he speaks.

"In 1945, the second World War was winding down," Fury begins, ignoring the grimace of remembrance flashing across Steve's face, "and the terrorist organization called HYRDRA had managed to formulate new and dangerous weapons unlike anything mankind had seen before or since. They had trained warheads upon various world cities, including New York and Washington DC, and were very nearly successful in ending life on this planet, as we know it."

Fury pauses, letting his words sink in. Loki does not know of this HYDRA, or these events the Colonel speaks of, but he will endeavor to find out.

"It was in the nick of time that one of our own dismantled their operation and derailed their plans," Fury explains further. He smiles briefly, a grin of gratitude and acknowledgement of Steve's actions and sacrifice. Because he had sacrificed, more than he should have had to. However, the moment is fleeting, and Fury's mouth morphs into a frown before continuing. "But it was too close a call. One single change in events could have had two major US cities, then the rest of the world, going up in smoke. So it was time to put together a team to fight back should the Earth ever be in such dire danger again."

He gestures to those around him. "For nearly fifty years, SHIELD has been keeping track of different men and women around the world. These people have been special or singular in some way, but it's only until now that we've found a group of people strong enough to take on the likes of HYDRA again, should they resurface, or any threat the bad guys can muster." Another pause. "That's you guys."

The first to speak is Tony. "Aw, I knew I was special."

Fury rolls his eye, and points at Coulson. "Stark. Don't forget, I can have Coulson tase you anytime I want. So shut it."

Darcy snorts, hastily changing anything resembling a laugh into a cough, but Tony flicks her arm anyway and grins when she yelps. Loki leans forward, dropping his chin onto a hand as he watches these two interact. Despite the age disparity and what he knows of modern day humans and their poor ideas of propriety, the Trickster notices the crackle of tension between the two filtering through their playful banter. He wonders if Colonel Fury, the All-Seeing Cyclops of SHIELD, is aware these two are involved? Loki files the tidbit away. It's always useful to have information on those around you, even those who are supposed to be your teammates. He is nothing if not constantly prepared.

The meeting continues with Coulson handing out training schedules, both individual and team. Loki notices even he has been assigned a slot (even though he has never actually agreed to participate in this little club), but is unsurprised to discover he is sparring his husband. Honestly, he doesn't mind. What Thor has in strength Loki makes up for in wiles and magic, and he figures he can simply vanish when he doesn't feel like participating anymore. Of course, that would disappoint Thor, and Loki feels as if he's done enough of that to last a lifetime.

There isn't very much to cover in this preliminary meeting; the team has not yet trained together, so they are still functioning as seven distinct beings rather than one undefeatable gauntlet. This is scheduled to be rectified in the morning, but as Fury hints, it's getting late and it's best if the team is well rested for tomorrow's events.

As they all rise, Fury gestures towards Coulson, and says, "Loki, Thor, Agent Coulson will direct you both to your quarters. We've had Housekeeping set up a couple of rooms in the team dormitories upstairs for you."

Thor stops and remarks, puzzled, "Rooms? But we only require one room, Colonel."

Fury pauses, as do the rest of the Avengers. Some, like Natasha and Coulson, are not quite paying attention as they discuss various training needs for the upcoming week, but Jane is especially interested in Thor's words. Probably because it's Thor speaking, Loki surmises unkindly.

"But there's two of you," Fury continues dumbly, not quite grasping it.

"Yes, Colonel," Loki intervenes because he can see Thor not understanding Fury's lack of understanding. His brother-husband has not been to Midgard as many times as Loki has, and is not as familiar with their customs. "We require a only a single room for we share one bed."

Darcy throws up a hand, and exclaims, "Hold on, wait just one cotton pickin' minute!"

Tony follows up with, "Are you two doin' it? Cuz that's pretty kinky, you being brothers and all."

Darcy slaps him upside the back of the head. "'Doin' it?' Really? What are you, ten?"

Tony leers are her, and makes some comment about ten relating to the length of his penis, but it's swallowed up in the rest of the team firing questions at the two Asgardians.

"Are you two...involved?" That's from Bruce.

"But aren't you brothers?" That's Steve, who still hasn't quite grasped the sex politics of the twenty-first century, much less having to incorporate the strange ways of Asgard into the mix.

"We are," Thor answers truthfully. He does not elaborate on this; he could further explain that Loki and he are not related by blood but rather by time and mutual love and respect, but Thor would not see the reason to. And Loki is enjoying this too damn much to come to his rescue, so he lets them assume the worst. And they do.

"Dude," Clint huffs. "That's kinda fucked up, you ask me."

"Nobody asked you, Clint," Natasha mutters. But she does look...uncomfortable, and those that know the Black Widow know she does not exhibit emotion. Like, at all.

"" That little heart-broken whimper is from Jane, and it's Loki's favorite because she's packed so much feeling and hurt into those two brittle words. She's crushed, and Loki cannot help but feel glad. "I thought..."

"Isn't this something you might have thought we should know?" Fury near-yells, face blooming in anger. His blush is mighty difficult to discern through his dark complexion, but Loki can sense the rising pressure in his veins. He can't help if he finds this hysterical.

Thor clearly does not understand the outrage (Fury), confusion/disgust (pretty much everyone), and is strangely proud of the dirty looks Tony is giving them, so he tries to clear up any misunderstandings.

"My friends," he attempts to cajole them into something resembling calm. "Loki and I are involved, as you say, yes. But it is nothing sordid or wrong." Loki wants to kiss his husband right this very second, in front of everyone, for assuming the best in his new comrades. Unlike the bitterness coating Loki's heart, Thor is still pure enough to assume his teammates are in an uproar because they think Thor may somehow be disrespecting Loki with the nature of their relationship. He doesn't want them to think he might in any way disrespect his brother, which is incredibly sweet and loving of him. Loki will never, ever divulge the way his heart sort of melted in that moment, for pure love of his brother and husband.

With this reassurance, there seems to be a collective sigh of relief. Most attribute it to a mistake in translation (though this is impossible since there are no translation problems whatsoever). After all, what could 'involved' mean on Asgard, provided it doesn't consist of illicit sexy-times between brothers? Loki is fascinated by the thoughts running through these mortals' heads.

He does, however, want to break something when he sees the bright flash of hope once again spring up within Jane. Will nothing discourage this woman? Does she still assume she holds some sort of sway over Thor's heart?

"It is nothing sordid," Loki answers, nodding. "We are not clandestine lovers."

The team seems eager to laugh off the tension, at least until Loki continues with, "Thor and I are married. He is my husband, and I am his."

Loki can't help but laugh at the looks on their faces, the exclamations, as he takes Thor's large hand in his, the gesture unmistakable.

So, maybe, Loki could get used to this. It could be fun, after all.