“Good evening, my friends.”
Loki’s always had a weakness for dramatic entrances. Well, technically, they had made an entrance and Loki had been waiting, lying on the couch, nibbling on some exquisite fruit.
The reactions were hilarious and Loki was a friend of good entertainment.
“You son of a bitch! You’re supposed to be dead!”
“How did you get here?”
Shock, confusion and bewilderment. A feast. While taking another bite of that juicy fruit Loki watched amusedly how they instinctively went into battle position. How cute. Shouldn’t they be over this? He was lying on the couch, in everyday clothes, that should show that he wasn’t here to start a fight. “I am one of these creatures that are annoyingly hard to kill. Like you. Why don’t you take a seat? I’m here to have a little talk.”
The Captain stepped forward, wearing the same look on his face as always and Loki wanted to yawn. No, today would be a start to their everlasting friendship. “There is nothing for us to talk about.”
“Oh, come on. I’m your guest. Be polite. I was chosen to be the messenger, I didn’t volunteer. Considering our history I thought it would be better if somebody else showed up, but I got outvoted. Can you believe that? A bunch of villains and we’re seriously voting on shit. Democracy is ruining everything. I wanted to send Kilgrave, but you can’t get that guy to do what you want… Anyway, I’ve lost my train of thought. Oh, right, I am here to deliver a message. An invitation.”
Sitting up Loki took in their reactions. Barton looked like he was ready to kill him. They would have to work on that. Or not. Doom wanted to kill Loki on regular basis and they got along perfectly. The Captain was distrustful and mostly confused. The girl was interested and the Falcon was looking at the Captain to find out what he was supposed to think.
They would have to get new outfits. Seriously, they were looking ridiculous.
“What kind of an invitation?” The girl was taking a step forward, tilting her head, but Loki was looking at her hands. Ready at any time to throw something at him. Voluntarily or involuntarily. Loki had done his homework, the girl had no control over her powers whatsoever. A diamond in the rough. Loki would have a lot of fun forming it.
“Wanda, stay away. That guy is lethal.” Barton sneered, the Widow nodded and Loki was getting bored. “Little Hawk, if I wanted to gut any of you, I would have already done that. I’m here with the best intentions. The invitation. A handful of likeminded people and I meet every week to play a very entertaining game you call poker. A way to unwind after stressful days and to engage in interesting conversations and it is always very funny to see the Red Skull lament about the good old times.”
The Captain flinched and Loki smiled. “Oh, he is very eager to see you again, my dear.”
And there it was, the stern, unyielding expression. “Are you threatening us?”
By the Nornes, this was exactly why Loki hadn’t wanted to be the one showing up here. The Kingpin owed him a drink. Or several.
Putting away the core of the fruit Loki leaned back and crossed his arms behind his head. “Me threatening you? What a silly thought. I’m here to offer you a courtesy. Me and my… friends would be too much of a word… allies like to watch you and during the last week we became admirers. To a varying degree. I believe your work is very sloppy and lacks creativity, but Osborn is impressed. Whatever. Poker, cigars and cocktails. Next week, 138th Varick Street, New York City. We’d prefer it if you got there on your own, but considering your current… predicament… We might send you a teleporter. Which would be me, because as much as Doom and the other mortals like to show off, they are more or less useless…”
“Wait a second…” Strangely enough the Falcon was the only one not too shocked to speak. “Did you just tell us where you guys meet? The place we’ve been trying to find for months? And now you just tell us? Are you crazy?”
“By the Nornes, is it so hard to understand? We should have sent Mordo, he speaks idiot so much better than I do… I’m not telling you. I am inviting you. To… hang out. We took a vote and the majority was of the opinion that you earned yourself a place.”
The Widow held her head up high and Loki would have to poison her drink. Yeah, that was against the rules, but hey, where was the fun in that? “Why are you inviting us? Shouldn’t you make your traps a little more difficult to figure out?”
They were really trying to give Loki a headache. He was definitely going to complain about the voting process. It simply wasn’t fair that Loki’s vote wasn’t worth more than Doom’s. Loki was a god after all. “It’s like talking to Thor… I’ll try to use short and easy words. Invitation. We want to welcome you to the club, so to speak.”
“It’s not a real club. Just a figure of speech. We like to unwind, relax and enjoy each other’s company. You’d fit in well.”
Finally the Captain was able to talk again and Loki clearly didn’t understand what the Red Skull saw in him. “Fit in well with whom? With you?”
“The bad guys. The villains.” Not the terms that Loki preferred, but it seemed like he had to make it clear.
Okay, maybe it had been a good idea to send him. Their expressions were to die for. All six of them had the very same. Wide eyes, open mouths. Gaping like fish. Almost too good to be true. “Don’t look so shocked. Yes, it took you a while to come around, but you did it and we don’t hold a grudge. We’re all trying to kill each other on a daily basis. You just pay for a round of whiskey and everything will be fine.”
“We’re not the bad guys!”
Now that was a harsh reaction from the girl. That was going to be ton of work for Loki. Who else was supposed to teach her? Doom. That guy could hardly get a cup of coffee to levitate. Amateur… “It’s okay, darling. I didn’t want to label you, I was just trying to come up with a term that wouldn’t confuse you.”
The Captain was stepping forward again, trying to show off his so great masculinity. “You’re going to leave now. We’re not interested in one of your… jests.”
“You’re not obligated to anything. I was just here to bring you the invitation. Doom is going to be so disappointed. He was eager to hear your stories. The Mandarin is especially interested in how you left the Man of Iron to die in Siberia. Me too actually. A bit sloppy like I’ve already said. We can work on that.”
That little comment made the Captain’s face white as chalk and the other one stepped forward. The one Loki didn’t know, the Ant. “Seriously, what do you want from us?”
“I am so tired of repeating myself. Accept the invitation or don’t.”
“Why on earth should be want to play poker or drink cocktails with you and your… allies?” The Falcon was spitting out these words, the disgust was clearly audible and Loki was starting to get pissed off. He was being gracious here after all. “Because you are like us now. Sloppy and uncreative, but we seem to have the same principles.”
“Like killing the Avengers.”
“We are the Avengers!”
“No, you are not, but we definitely need to get you guys a new name. Octavius suggested ‘The Sinister Six’. He is such an idiot…”
“Shut up, you bastard.” Barton walked up to him and dared to grab Loki at his shirt. Death wish. “We’ve kicked your ass before and we will do it again. We’ll take out every single one of your friends. Now piss off and don’t dare to insult us again.”
No, he couldn’t seriously… No, nobody could be that stupid. Loki’s eyes wandered from face to face and the confusion and the anger wouldn’t leave. Why not? No. Seriously? “Wait a second… you guys still think you are the heroes?”
Nobody was answering him, but it was a very expressive silence.
“Wow… I always knew the Hawk was stupid, but this… you leave me speechless.”
Barton was getting annoying, so Loki shoved him away and several guns were suddenly pointed at him. Didn’t prove anything, Mordo threatened to kill him two times a day.
“How would you even think that we’re… villains?” The girl seemed downright traumatised by what Loki was stating and Loki was facing a trauma too. He was going to lose his mind over this.
“Okay, let’s do a quick summary, maybe then you’ll see where I’m coming from. You acted against the will of millions of people and scared them out of their tiny little, mortal minds. You’ve killed innocent people, violated countless laws and fought the heroes who vowed to protect the innocent and abide the laws. You even crippled one of them. How are you the good guys?” Leaning back Loki crossed his arms and waited for their reactions.
All he got was stuttering and then…
“The accords were supposed to control us and stop us from protecting the…”
Before the Captain could finish his phrase Loki was lying on the couch with laughter. He couldn’t remember laughing so hard in centuries. Tears were coming to his eyes, because this was perfect. They had voted over this. They had watched the fight on television and placed bets and now it turned out… Hilarious…
Wiping the tears away Loki was struggling to sit back up, one hand on his stomach, it was starting to hurt from all the laughter. “This is great… you fight the Avengers for your right to kill people without getting persecuted for it… but you are the heroes… God, this is so much better than Doom claiming he’s not in love with that blonde woman. Or Kilgrave saying that Jones doesn’t have any kind of influence on him. Or me saying that I hate Thor…”
“We didn’t hurt anybody!”
The second Loki had thought he was able to calm down… There was no way he was going to get his fit under control. “Stop it. I can’t…”
“They wanted to force us to…”
Biting his lip Loki made a vague gesture with his hand, indicating them to shut up. After clearing his throat Loki rubbed both hands over his face to get rid of the rest of his tears. “Oh, this was glorious. Thank you so much. Unfortunately we won’t see each other Friday night, but thanks to you I’m going to have the best story to tell.” Standing up Loki teleported away, still chuckling under his breath. “Think they are the heroes…”