When Loki was seventeen, he almost died. It had come out that Loki was a cast off from the gang, the Jotuns, and that Odin had taken him in without telling Loki of his origins (bastard had probably wanted to use him against the Asgardians’ rival gang leader, Laufey). His gang, the Asgardians, turned on him and beat him within an inch of his life before his brother (foster, foster, he isn’t really your brother, he never was!!) broke it up. His father (the bastard wasn’t really his father! he was a liar! liar, liar, liar!!) had visited him in the hospital.
“I can do it, father,” Loki whispered, trying not to let the seed of hope grow in his chest.
“No, Loki,” Odin shook his head and left. The little seed of hope and compassion that had lingered died. Loki’s face hardened.
In his neighborhood, those who weren’t ganged up didn’t survive long, but he’d be damned if he was going to join a gang after being betrayed by the people he thought of as family for all his life. In the gangs, family was everything. Loki apparently didn’t cut it.
The more he dwelled on it, the more his resolve hardened. If he left things the way they were, he was dead man. But if he played the rival gangs off each other... he could survive. Loki knew the streets better than anyone in the city; he knew ways to get through any territory regardless of the gang that had claimed it without getting caught.
He could do it; he could survive.