Chapter 1: Prologue
The lights on the ship flickered around him as he made his way towards the large titan, the tesseract weighed heavily on his mind with every step he took. Why did he take it again? It wasn’t as if he didn’t know they were after him, they had been after him since the failed attack on New York. He couldn’t help the tremble that ran through his body once he finally reached the mad Titan. Thanos was there with his minions shouting something at Thor, Thor whose hands were in chains and was still struggling. Thor who couldn’t help but look at him with concern as he got closer despite his own predicament.
Thanos turned on him demanding the tesseract and Loki had to make a conscious effort to pull his eyes away from Thor and glare at the purple man addressing him. Lie’s were easy, perhaps they would even work this time. Instead Thanos gripped Thor’s head in one of his large hands making it very clear that no amount of talk would make a difference. Carefully he pulled out the tesseract and lifted it up so that Thanos could see it clearly. Thor was shaking and yelling something as the mad titan made his way towards Loki. He was begging Loki to leave to take the tesseract and go, his eye torn between Loki’s face and his hidden belly. He found himself shaking his head as Thanos reached out to grab it from his hand. Thor’s voice was distant to his ears now, begging for him to leave. Just as Thanos was about to grab him he felt the jolt that came from being pulled away. The last thing he heard as the tesseract whisked him away was the final screams of Thor. His Thor, he thought as the he landed hard vision fading to black.
Bruce had been working on a new project in one of the hidden labs at the Avengers compound when out of nowhere Loki came crashing through a time rip and promptly hit his head on the table before being knocked out and hitting the floor. Well he could honestly say this wasn’t how he had expected his day to go.
With a quick glance around the room he made sure that no one else appeared before making his way to the fallen god of mischief. Loki was still alive just knocked out from the fall, so Bruce gingerly picked him up and carried him to one of the nearby containment rooms. This had honestly been the easiest capture of a super villain that he could remember, or was this Loki neutral? The tesseract on the floor next to him made him wary, there had been too many strange events the last couple of weeks. He had honestly lost count, none of them seemed as important in comparison to the death of Tony Stark. Swallowing down the lump in his throat he placed Loki carefully down onto the bed in the tiny room. There were leg and arm restraints on the floor and he carefully attached them to Loki’s hands and feet before adding one of the magic blocking bracers that Tony had left behind.
With a final look at Loki he left the room. He could check in on him in half an hour, he should be awake by then. In the meantime he had work to do
Loki came to slowly trying his best to move and finding it impossible, he tried to summon whatever strength he had left to use his seidr and when that didn’t work either he struggled on the bed while calling out to get his captor’s attention. He felt sick and the thought that he wasn’t even sure the baby was okay made him shout even louder. Loki would kill whoever had locked him up and then he would kill Thanos for what he had done.
The door opened after only a couple minutes of his yelling and the person smiled at him making him struggle more. Why did it have to be the green monster that found him, he would gladly take any of the other Avengers. Instead of yelling and throwing him like a rag doll the beast merely lumbered towards him carefully untying him and handing him a glass of water.
“This is poison, isn’t it?” His voice trembled much to his annoyance though the beast didn’t seem to notice merely smiling kindly at him.
“It’s water, Loki. Now do you think you could tell me what past.” He paused expression distant before adding “ or present you’re from?” Well this certainly wasn’t the beast he remembered, were those glasses on his face? What horrible timeline had he stumbled onto?
“Well in my timeline you’re a blithering idiot.” The beast merely laughed at that shaking his head.
“Not that different from this one then, how did you get the tesseract?”
“I stole it.” He huffed as the beast held his arms down while carefully checking his head for any bumps, only foolish heroes treated people like this. Though he couldn’t say he wanted the rage machine back.
“And why did you come here of all places after stealing it?” He handed him an ice pack while counting to inspect him, it made Loki wonder just how much he could see. With a quick glance down he could see the glamour was still in place though if the beast inspected him any closer he would certainly find out.
“I didn’t exactly have time to find something better.” He made sure to push the large green hands away before they could get any closer. The beast nodded carefully stepping away expression thoughtful.
“Are you planning an attack on New York?”
“Why would I do that again.” The beast actually laughed at his words.
“It sounds like your timeline is similar to this one then. Did Asgard get destroyed?” His voice was low as he turned around as if remembering something horrible. Loki’s mind was racing how could this green beast know about Asgard? Loki fought the lump forming in his throat when he remembered the destruction of his people. Were they all dead now? He had left in such a hurry that he honestly couldn’t be sure of anything. He had done that to them, he had taken the tesseract, he had run away when the mad titan had arrived; he had let Thor die.
He wasn’t even aware he was crying until the green beast handed him a box of tissues. “It happened here too, only you didn’t make it.” His voice was gentle as he awkwardly stood there, clearly not sure if he should hug him or not.
“What else happened here? You’re clearly different.”
The beast went on a long summary of everything that had happened and while Loki was relieved that the timeline he had entered had a dead Thanos though he couldn’t say he was thrilled with the idea that the remaining Asgardians had decided to make midgard there home. Of course they had to pick this desolate place, where he was reviled, even in this timeline.
“And Thor is with them then?” He couldn’t help but ask once the green beast seemed to be finished.
“No Loki, he left earth. I’m not sure exactly where he his.”
“So who is in charge of the Asgardians then?”
“Valkyrie.” At the look on Loki’s face he added “She’s a good leader.” He couldn’t imagine why this Thor would leave his people behind after everything they had gone through though he tried to make his voice even before bringing up the tesseract, the beast seemed to realize what he was thinking because he answered his question before he even asked. “You can take the tesseract and go whenever you feel ready.” With that he unlocked the bracer on his wrist before turning to leave the room. Loki’s mouth dropped. That was far too easy.
Of course that was the moment when the baby decided to kick him hard in the side, making him gasp and clutch his stomach. Loki missed the worried look levelled at him as Bruce placed his hand on his stomach only to feel another kick. He pushed the large green hand away but it was too late, he cursed quietly he had been so close to leaving, there was no way this green beast would let him leave now.
“You’re pregnant?” The confused look on his face made Loki laugh even as he got up and walked towards the door. “Loki I don’t think you should be using the tesseract in your condition, it could hurt the baby. I’m going to get you something to eat and then you can spend the night here and get some rest.” His voice was firm as he shut the door behind him. Loki hoped he was at least going to get a proper room and not this stupid cell, he had seen enough cells to last a lifetime.
Bruce was still dazed by just how strange the day had been, here he had perhaps naively, thought nothing could surprise him anymore. Well he had definitely been wrong, now there was a pregnant god of mischief sleeping in the Avengers compound and a tesseract in his lab. At least maybe he could use some of the power that the tesseract contained to help him out with the last steps of his notes. He had never been very good with tech even with all of Tony’s old notebooks.
Carefully he connected the circuit he had been working on for months the power from the tesseract made the whole room light up and he had to duck when something went flying in his direction. Just as soon as the light had flashed it went out leaving him in complete darkness. The tesseract fell to the floor from its perch and he was just about to consider the test a failure when a familiar voice spoke up from behind him.
“You gave Loki my room.” Bruce couldn’t help but grin as he turned around to see his old friend.
Loki was deep asleep when he heard what sounded like Stark talking, how was he always talking, he grabbed the pillow trying to cover his ears as the voice got closer. Surely death would have shut him up, with that troubling thought he woke up completely only to find a translucent Stark in his room.
“Oh, now sleeping beauty wakes up. Look just because Bruce gave you permission to use my old room doesn't mean it’s suddenly yours. I may be dead.” He looked down at his translucent form before looking back up at Loki. “But this is still my room, and my building.”
“Unbelievable, of course you have nothing better to do then haunt this place.” He was so sick of Avengers. What good were they anyway if they failed so spectacularly at stopping Thanos?
“I’m not a ghost Loki, ghosts don’t exist. I’m an A.I. all my memories brought together to make this.” He gestured at his body before continuing. “Though it’s not as impressive as Vision or even Ultron.” He sighed shaking his head. Loki tried to hide under the blankets hoping that this stupid conversation would just end already. Being haunted would have been preferable.
“Time to get up, Bruce wants to see you in the kitchen, and I want to make sure you didn’t ruin anything.” Much to Loki’s annoyance he pulled the blankets off, if he was a ghost he wouldn’t be able to do that, Loki thought with annoyance as he go up.
“Are you wearing my clothes, did Bruce give you those?” He glanced down at the baggy pyjama pants and now stretched out AC/DC shirt, it had seemed pointless to waste energy on the glamour now that the beast knew. Normally he would have hated wearing such ridiculous clothes though he couldn’t bring himself to care right now. With a dismissive wave he headed for the door. “I can’t believe he let you stretch out one of my favourite shirts, especially when I know there must be maternity clothes in here somewhere.” His voice broke as he finally got quiet, eyes distant. Loki ignored him making his way out the door towards the kitchen.
The beast was making pancakes of all things, when Loki sat down he handed him a cup of tea with a grin.
“Its earl grey, I hope you like it.” Loki sniffed at the tea before taking a sip. He had to admit it tasted good.
“Well it’s time for an intervention.” Stark announced, he truly was just as annoying as the original. “You need to talk to Thor.”
“And what does any of this have to do with Thor, he didn’t even want to stay on earth with you?” Loki tried for annoyance though his stomach was churning making him second guess the pancakes in front of him. If they had found out who the father was things would only get worse. Not like foolish mortals would understand the complexity of their relationship.
“Well he is your brother, and he’s been completely miserable since he took his revenge on Thanos. Doesn't really know what to do with himself to be honest.” Stark was giving him a strange look that he couldn’t decipher. Why was he so unreadable compared to most of his kind?
“He isn’t my brother, and you can't keep me here.”
“So what’s the plan for preventing Loki from getting the tesseract back because he’s sneaking into the lab right now.” Tony’s voice was loud next to his ear jolting him awake. It reminded him of when they had first met and how he had incessantly prodded at him.
“Great. Just when I manage to get some sleep. Why can’t we just let him go again?”
“Because last time he brought an entire fleet of chitauri to earth.”
“Didn’t you and Steve let him go with it when you went back in time, I don’t recall it being a problem then.” Bruce muttered under his breath as he followed the blue figure of Tony out the room.
When they reached the lab Loki was only a little ways ahead of them, at least with him being so far along he couldn’t move as fast. Bruce was just opening the door to the lab when Loki sped up as much as he could in order to grab the tesseract from his work table. He would have gotten it too if Tony hadn’t thrown the bracers around his wrists when he did, they yanked Loki’s hands together causing him to stumble. Bruce was careful to make sure he caught him before he fell. In response he got a menacing glare.
“You can’t keep me here forever.” He sneered at them, which Bruce would probably have found more intimidating if he weren't wearing a maternity gown and fuzzy socks. Where did Tony even find those?
“Your not going to be here forever. Just until we can find a safer way for you to leave.” Bruce looked to Tony for support and got a thumbs up in response. With a sigh he led Loki out the room and back to his new bedroom.
“Can’t I at least have Stark’s room again, all the american memorabilia is making my eyes bleed.” Tony burst out laughing at that shaking his head and pushing Loki into the room.
“Enjoy it, most people would love to see his old room. You’re one of lucky few.” Loki just rolled his eyes before slamming the door shut behind him.
Bruce started walking back to his room hoping that he would finally be able to get some sleep. Tony walked next to him in relative silence until they reached his room, when he spoke up again.
“We need to tell Thor.” While Bruce knew he was right he didn’t have any idea how they would be able to reach him when he was out in the universe. Bruce nodded he was less worried about Loki and more concerned with letting Pepper know about this new Tony, he wasn’t sure what her reaction would be. Tony seemed to be able to read his expression because his relaxed stance got tense as he stepped closer.
“Were not going to tell her, Bruce, I can’t get her hopes up. She needs to be able to grieve and move on. We both know I’m not the same as I was, this is just a collection of memories not the real Tony Stark. Hell I’m more similar to Jarvis then the man I once was.” His expression was distant for a minute before he made eye contact once more. He must have noticed something in Bruce’s eyes because his face got softer once more. “Thank you, I honestly didn’t think you would be able to do this.” He gestured at himself arms wide, Bruce couldn’t help but grin before crushing him in a hug.
“The power in the tesseract helped.” He admitted hugging Tony closer. Tony for his part just let him while he patted his back. The original never would have let him get away with showing this much affection. When they separated Tony winked at him before patting his arm.
“Maybe there is hope for you after all, you will be more than a doctor, you will be a mechanic. Now let's call Thor.”
“Tomorrow, Tony, I need to get some sleep first.” He patted him on the back before heading back to his own bedroom. Hopefully he would be able to get some sleep before anything else happened, he desperately needed it if he was going to be creating a phone that could reach Thor in outer space. How had this become his reality again?
The next morning Bruce made sure to leave some food out for Loki, before locking himself away in the lab. Tony was able to monitor the whole compound and made sure to keep an eye on the pregnant god while they worked on what Bruce could only describe as a walkie talkie. At least that’s what it looked like to him.
“Are you sure this will be able to reach Thor?” He held up the device inspecting it through his glasses. He wasn’t even sure if Thor had a cell phone or not.
“It should as long as he’s close enough to get the signal. There isn’t much we can do if he’s really far away. Of course that won’t matter either if he doesn't have the phone I gave him, but I’m trying to be optimistic.”
They worked in relative silence for a while Bruce only asking questions here and there about how to attach certain pieces. It was much harder with his large green hands so Tony had to do a lot of the more fidgety parts. He hadn’t realized just how much he had missed working alongside his old friend until now.
“All right time to test it out.” Tony grinned dialling a number into the device before holding it up to his ear and waiting for a sign that their hard work had paid off. Sure enough Bruce heard a ring sound and they both waited with bated breath hoping that Thor would answer. It went to the third ring before a familiar voice came through.
“Hello, who is this?” Thor sounded confused, and again Bruce wondered if anyone had ever called him before. Tony nodded to Bruce before handing it over, it would be a lot more confusing if they had to explain how Tony was talking on the phone after Thor had seen him die in battle.
“It’s Bruce, Thor.”
“Bruce! How are you? I’ve been travelling with the guardians, we’ve been going to so many planets. Just yesterday we were attacked by a space slug. Can you imagine? Not too worry though I cut off the monsters head.”
“That’s great Thor, listen I was kind of hoping you could come back to earth.”
“What for, are you under attack?”
“No, not exactly. It’s about Loki actually.” He tried to keep his tone light though the other end went quiet. Bruce was just about to call out his name and make sure he was still there when he spoke up again, voice much quieter than before.
“What about him?”
“He’s here, Thor. At the Avengers compound. Obviously he’s not the same Loki you remember. He’s from a different timeline. He used the tesseract and ended up here. I haven't told anyone else yet, I thought you should be the first to know.” Again he was quiet and Bruce looked to Tony who mouthed the words ‘you got this.’ Bruce waited with baited breath for a couple more minutes before there was a loud click from the other end.
Loki was bored, and without any distractions he was finding it harder and harder not to think about the ship and what he had done. The guilt was overwhelming, if he hadn’t been so selfish the Asgardians would still be alive, Thor would still be alive. He didn’t deserve to be the only one to escape. Tears rolled down his cheeks once more, all this crying was getting tiresome. Stupid hormones. He rubbed angrily at his eyes before pulling himself up. Stark thought he was so clever monitoring his every move. Well he could still go on the internet.
It must have been a couple of hours of trolling people on the internet before he heard footsteps outside the door. Great the green beast had come to fetch him. He made sure to pick up the heaviest book he could find on the American Man’s bookshelf. He was just about to throw it at the person opening the door when he realized it was just an old man.
“Loki?” The man had the same bright blue eyes as the Captain and realization dawned on him. “Why are you in my old room?” His bright eyes trailed down to the prominent belly and Loki couldn’t help but glare at him in disgust.
“What does it look like I’m doing.” He nodded to the computer, eyes never leaving the old man’s face. If he was confused by his presence he didn’t show it just chuckling before stepping into the room and taking the book from Loki’s hand.
“I just came for this, it’s an old photo album.” He grinned eyes on the picture on the cover.
“So I guess the battle with Thanos was much harder on you than everyone else.” Loki nodded to his appearance.
“It was hard, though this was my choice. Congratulations by the way, I remember when I had my first child.” His eyes got distant and Loki tried to sneak away, this was a conversation he could honestly say he never wanted to have.
“Are you from the past, or a different future?”
“I don’t know I just used the tesseract and ended up here, certainly not where I had hoped to be.”
“And the father?”
“Is none of your business.” Loki made sure to shove past him on his way out the door. Stupid Avengers. Why were there so many of them? Though if he had attacked them now he probably would have been successful in conquering earth.
“Oh shit, Steve’s here. I missed him on the camera’s because he still has all the passcodes.” Tony jumped up pulling Bruce up with him. “Your going to have talk to him big green.”
“You don’t want him to know either?”
“I think it’s better we ease him into it, no need to give him a heart attack.” Bruce sighed before walking towards the shared kitchen at least this way he could also grab something to eat.
“Hey Steve, I didn’t know you were planning on visiting today.” He tried to sound as casual as possible.
“I just wanted to pick this up, I couldn’t find it at my place and thought it might be here.” He held up a worn out looking photo album for Bruce to see. “I saw Loki. I didn’t know you two were, well, I’m happy for you.”
“What, no. He’s just staying here while I try to find a way to help him get back. After the baby’s born of course.” Bruce could just imagine Tony laughing from the other room.
“I guess Fury doesn't know he’s here.”
“No one else knows he’s here.” Steve nodded smile bright again.
“Well if you need any help just call me okay. I have a lot of experience with kids.” With that he turned and headed for the door. Bruce walked him out making sure he got into the car okay and watched as he drove off. Once he was out of site Tony walked up next to him, still grinning from ear to ear.
“Better go check on your partner.”
“He’s right here.” He made sure to jab a finger at him almost knocking him over, Tony’s face became serious and he stepped back shaking his head.
“I miss you too Bruce.”
By the gods did he ever hate the Avengers compound he had wandered through the whole thing and found nothing of interest. There had been a couple of funny things hidden under Tony’s bed, but he had been kicked out and banned from entering the A.I.’s room ever again, after he was caught. He had settled for throwing small things at larger things, so far he had broken a number of useless objects.
“Loki stop it or you'll be sent to a timeout in Steve’s room.” The strange blue figure of Stark was glaring at him again from the door. Loki figured he had nothing better to do then watch him on the monitors all around the compound.
“I will gladly leave. If you give me the tesseract.”
“Why do I feel like we’ve had the conversation before? It’s almost like you mention the tesseract every day.” Loki rolled his eyes as he sank deeper into the couch cushions.
“You could at least take these awful things off.” He lifted up his wrists that were still adorned with the bracers.
“Tell you what. You stay on your best behaviour and then we’ll talk about it.” Well he was going to wear this stupid things forever then. Great.
“Oh wow he’s here.” Stark jumped up and headed for the door with a spring in his step. “Come say hello Loki.”
Loki reluctantly dragged himself up shuffling behind Stark towards the main entrance, if it was the old Captain again he was going to push him out of the way and make a run for it. Maybe he would even make it to his car. Anything was better than this.
When they got closer to the door Loki could just make out a large shadow on the other side, heart racing he tried to run but the beast was already behind him and he clasped his arms helping him forward.
“Hey it’s okay Loki, it’s just Thor.” The creature’s voice was soft and he genuinely looked surprised when Loki started to struggle even more. Why couldn’t these idiots understand he didn’t want to see their Thor, he just wanted to leave. This timeline clearly wasn’t working out.
Tony pulled the door open, and there he was, though not how Loki had ever seen him before. This Thor had two eyes and blonde hair in a tangled mess. His beard wasn’t much better and his stomach was as round as Volstagg’s had been. Before he could comment on this Thor’s appalling appearance he was pulled into a hug. At least he smelled the same, he thought as he wrapped his own arms around this Thor. He couldn’t resist placing a kiss to his throat, and for a minute he forgot where he was. Then he pulled away, mismatched eyes looking Loki up and down, as if he still didn’t believe what he saw.
“I can’t believe you're really here. After what happened on the ship I never thought I would see you again.” He quickly wiped at his eyes where Loki had noticed tears forming. “And you’re pregnant.” He nodded to Loki’s belly eyes bright.
“Can’t fool you.” Loki laughed hating everything about this situation the beast and Stark were just watching them from the side like it was the strangest interaction they had ever seen. Loki was willing to agree with them.
“We should celebrate! There’s beer in the fridge right Bruce?” Thor wrapped his arm around Loki pulling him along to the kitchen.
“Yes, but Thor, Loki shouldn’t drink anything in his condition.”
“Of course! He can have juice.” He glared at Thor until he released him and headed for the fridge. “We also have to celebrate Tony. How did you bring him back?” Thor was beaming at the three of them in turn.
“I didn’t bring him back Thor, this is an A.I. version of him.”
“Oh, well it’s still great to see you again.” He lifted the beer in his hand up cheering Stark before taking a long swig.
“Great to see you too, I would raise a glass, but I can’t drink anything like this.” He sounded disappointed and the beast patted him on the back, as Thor shoved a beer in his other hand.
They all headed for the living room and Loki reluctantly followed, juice in hand. He was starting to remember why he had enjoyed the battle on New York so much. Thor patted the spot next to him when he finally reached the living room, and he sat down careful not to get to close. This Thor probably didn’t want him the way that his Thor had. He huffed, sinking into the couch once more, Thor noticed and smiled at him. It was that same stupid look that he used to get whenever he looked at him, and it made a shiver run down his spine. How could this Thor seem so much like the one he had known and yet look so different?
“Can I touch your belly?” He grinned, and before Loki could comprehend the question, he had nodded his head. Thor gently placed his hands on his stomach hands slowly moving until the baby gave a forceful kick and he pulled them back laughing. “He’s strong.”
“How did you know?”
“Just a guess.” His eyes were sparkling and Loki was relieved when he went back to drinking his beer. He was being so obvious. Iit wouldn’t take long for Stark to figure it out. He glanced at the blue man who seemed to be staring longingly at the beer in the beasts hand. Well at least he hadn't’ been caught yet.
“I think it’s time for another.” Thor announced before getting up and heading back for the kitchen. Loki glanced at the other two waiting to see if they would say anything. When he was met with shrugs he got up and followed Thor to the kitchen.
“So are you going to tell me why you decided to leave your people and fool around in other galaxies?” It came out meaner than he had intended, but he just couldn't understand how this Thor could be so similar and yet so different. The Thor he knew would never leave his people to take care of themselves whether Valkyrie was in charge or not.
“They are fine without me. I was never a very good King.” He looked past Loki eyes distant, and he was sure he was remembering Thanos.
“The Thor I knew was a great King. Much better than Odin.” He barked out a laugh at that face warm once more when he looked at him.
“How I have missed you.” He wiped his eyes again before placing two large hands on either side of Loki’s face as if he might disappear. It would be so easy to just step forward and kiss him, his mind could imagine it so clearly. Maybe Thor would even like it.
“I missed you too.” Thor smiled as he stepped even closer, Loki’s mind was racing, maybe he was going to kiss him. He tilted his head up and Thor placed a kiss to his forehead before moving away.
“Do you need more juice?” He asked as he opened the fridge.
“No, I’m good, thanks.” It was hard to hide his annoyance. This was too much like the earlier days when he had been punning after Thor and he had remained oblivious. Loki hated those days. This was exactly why he should have left with the tesseract as soon as he could. He would have avoided all of this nonsense. At least he still had the memories for how he had won him over last time. If he wanted to he could use that to his advantage.
Thor started to walk back to the living room and Loki followed along behind him, already planning ways to get him into bed. He could mess around with this Thor and then leave with the tesseract, maybe this Thor would even let him have it if he could convince him that he was trustworthy.
For the rest of the night Thor did most of the talking, he told them about all the different adventures he had had in space, and how the guardians were doing. They all sounded like weirdo’s to Loki, though he supposed he couldn’t really talk when he was a pregnant giant that looked like an Asgardian. When the talking finally died down he walked with Thor towards his room, waving goodnight to the others. Thor for his part wasn’t even tipsy despite all the beer he had consumed. Loki assumed it was because midgardian beer wasn’t as strong as the mead they were used to.
“Goodnight Loki.” He placed his hand on his shoulder and was about to step away, when Loki found himself blurting out “The baby is yours.” Well he hadn’t intended to say that out loud, cursing under his breath he added. “Well a different Thor’s.” What was he thinking, there was no way that was an acceptable thing to say to your not brother. Thor for his part just look confused, like he was trying to figure out an especially hard riddle.
“You mean we…” He trailed off eyes looking anywhere but at Loki.
“Forget it, I’m from a different timeline. Nothing has to happen in this one.” With a sharp turn he started to walk away, anything to get away from the awkward situation.
“Loki wait! I didn’t mean to upset you. It’s just that I thought I lost you for the… I’m actually not sure how many times I thought you had died. I’m glad you’re here now even if your a different Loki.”
“You can stay with me if you want. Like when we were kids.” His voice sounded so desperate that he couldn’t help but agree. Whatever had happened to the other Loki must have been really hard on him, judging by the drinking and over all state of his appearance.
That night Bruce got the phone call he had been dreading, the remnants of Shield wanting updates on how his work was going. He had never mentioned his work with the A.I. Tony, they merely thought he was working on how to reduce the effects of radiation. The research was interesting though he didn’t like thinking about why they might need it. Wasn’t he planning on taking a break from all this why was he still working on mad experiments? With a sigh he was just about to head for his bedroom when Tony rushed in front of him.
“Bad news big green, the tesseract has started interfering with other things in the lab, I think it opened some kind of worm hole. My scanners couldn’t pick up where it goes to, but I’m sure it’s nowhere good.” He had hardly finished talking before they were both dashing for the lab. Bruce’s heart sank when they walked into what was once his lab, there was a large black hole in the far side and all his research and equipment had been pulled in, leaving the rest of the room empty. Shield would be thrilled.
“Did this just happen?”
“Yeah. I’ve been monitoring this room since I had this form. There was a spike and then the worm hole appeared. I couldn’t locate the tesseract and I certainly wasn’t going near that thing, not after last time. I’ve spent enough time in space.”
Bruce stepped into the room looking around for any sign of the blue cube, after a quick search proved unsuccessful he sighed. Someone, or something had come through the other side and taken it. They might have even left the door open on purpose.
“Tony, do you think this was Thanos?” His voice sounded tired even to his own ears.
“No, it was something else, though it could be one of his lackeys.”
“So if we close it, whoever it was wont be able to come back through?”
“Yes, that’s what happened in New York at least. The only problem is we don’t know who has it now.”
“I’ll go wake up Thor.”
Thank you to everyone that's patiently waited, I hope you enjoy this chapter.
Loki had just managed to drift off to sleep when he heard shouting from the other side of the door. He tried to turn over and bumped into the large sleeping form of Thor, who was still very much asleep. Ignoring the knocking on the door, he reached out and touched his face, his beard was longer than Loki could ever remember it being in the past. He leaned in closer intending to wake him up and make him scare off his obnoxious friends, when Thor wrapped his large arm around him. He ended up pressed right up against him, with his face buried in Loki’s hair.
“Thor, wake up!” He shook him the best he could while being this close. His efforts finally paid off when his mismatched eyes shot open. He looked at him carefully worry evident when he scanned his face. “It’s not me, it’s your friend at the door.” Loki’s voice was harsh even to his own ears. Reluctantly Thor moved away before pulling himself up and heading for the door. Sure enough the green beast was on the other side. They talked in hurried whispers for a couple minutes before Thor nodded and shut the door.
“I have to go close a portal.” He announced as he pulled on his clothes once more and reached for his axe.
“A portal? Do you mean your idiotic friends somehow managed to open a portal with the tesseract?”
“Someone else opened it and took the tesseract with them.”
“Oh great, that’s way better.” Thor shot him an enduring look before heading for the door. “I’m coming with you.” He shouted at the retreating form before getting up as quickly as he could with such a large stomach. There was no way he was letting this Thor die because of him, and his weird addiction to the tesseract.
They both reached the lab at the same time, finding it emitting a blue light. The green beast was typing something up on a tablet and nodding along to something Stark was saying.
“We’re going to have to go through the other side to close it.” The beast announced to them still looking down at the device in his hands.
“I shall go, it won't take long to close it.” Thor announced before stepping towards the door.
“No! You can’t just go wandering into portals, and how exactly is he supposed to get back after closing it.” Thor looked at him as if surprised by his sudden outburst before turning to the other two former Avengers.
“We aren't going to be able to close it right away, we will need to know what’s on the other side first. So it makes more sense to just go through and come right back, that way we know what we're dealing with before we close it.” Stark’s voice was calm and it made Loki grind his teeth even more. The A.I. seemed to catch on because he added. “I’ll be able to see everything that he sees. We want this closed just as much as you do.” Thor interrupted their glaring match by pulling Loki aside.
“All will be well. I have done much harder things in the past, there is no need to worry.” He gently placed a hand on his shoulder as he whispered in his ear. “I love you Loki.” Before he could move away completely Loki pulled him into a kiss. With his eyes closed it all felt so familiar, like he had finally gotten the Thor he had known back. Instead of letting him deepen the kiss though the larger man stepped back, face flushed. It was then that Loki noticed the strange looks being levelled at him by the beast and Stark. Rolling his eyes at them he watched as Thor carefully took the com and headed into the lab. With a finale look at the three of them he vanished into the portal. Loki’s stomach was doing somersaults, if these idiots made a miscalculation he would make sure they would pay. A tiny voice in his head reminded him that he was in fact the one that brought it here and stayed long past the time he should have, but he did his best to ignore it.
The next couple minutes went by slowly, the only interruptions coming from the occasional one sided conversation of Stark, who was giving advice to Thor. When he finally appeared he was dragging something with him. Loki could tell whatever it was had died, even before the beast and Stark opened the door to let him through.
“There are many creatures on the other side like this one. They seem to be guarding something. Probably the tesseract.” Thor addressed his friends looking anywhere but at Loki.
“I captured some images of the structure they’re protecting, it’s probably in there.” Stark threw some images up on the white wall behind them. “See right there, there is a distinct blue light. Either we can take it back or destroy it. I’m voting for both, I’m sick of these stupid stones.” The green beast nodded looking sadly at the A.I. Loki felt certain something more was going on between them though he couldn’t be sure what.
“You do realize that destroying an infinity stone would cause serious harm to the individual dumb enough to try right.” Stark turned on him eyes somehow blazing even through the weird blue aura of his form. Loki actually caught himself taking a step back as Stark advanced on him.
“Why do you think Bruce had to bring back my memories into an A.I.” Loki bumped into the wall having walked as far back as he could, without his magic he knew that if Stark wanted to do something to him he could, the thought unnerved him. Just as Loki was getting ready to attack Thor stepped in between them back to Loki as he addressed Stark.
“He doesn't know about what happened, if he did he wouldn’t say such things.” Thor’s voice was even and it made the A.I. back away. Loki however couldn’t let it slide, no one backed him into a corner without regretting it.
“You got yourself killed and now you want to what, let Thor do it?” Loki knew he had crossed a line the moment the words were out of his mouth but it was far too late to take it back now. Stark didn’t so much as yell he merely turned his attention to Thor ignoring Loki entirely.
“Get rid of your brother now, I don’t care where you take him, I just don’t want to see him here anymore.” With that he stormed out followed by the beast, who barely glanced back at them on his way out.
“You’ve really done it this time, haven't you Loki.” Thor’s voice sounded so tired that he knew it was better not to say anything in his own defence.
Bruce had never seen Tony like this before, sure he had been angry in the past but never this quiet scary anger, that turned into tears once they were alone. He was currently hunched on the bed hands barely hiding his face. The scene broke him and made him question why he had tried so hard to bring him back, promises be damned.
“Tony.” He didn’t know what he planned on saying next and settled for just sitting next to him on the bed. His mind was racing, he had told Loki about Tony’s sacrifice just days ago and he couldn’t help but feel like they were all being manipulated by him now. If only Natasha was here she would have been able to handle it and put him right back in his place.
Carefully he placed a large green hand on Tony’s shaking back, and was surprised by how he leaned into it. It wasn’t long before Tony was pressed right next to his side, it was so similar to how it had felt all those years ago and yet so different. Where he had been warm before he was now cold, and even their close proximity couldn’t dispel the feeling that they were miles apart. It hit him then as it had at Tony’s funeral, he truly was gone. He must have moved or made a distressed sound because Tony turned to look up at him.
“It doesn't feel the same, does it?” He paused obviously deep in thought before adding. “That’s exactly why we can’t tell Pepper. What we are going to do is destroy that tesseract, and then I want you to shut me off. This isn’t what I want for either of us.” He carefully stood on the bed so that they were at eye level before adding. “None of that means we can’t enjoy the time we have together now though.” He winked at Bruce who couldn’t help but gape at him. Of course Tony of all people would be thinking about how much he could do with his current form, A.I. or not.
“You want to fool around one more time before you want me to shut you off?” Even as he said it out loud it sounded crazy.
“It will help you move on, and I want to at least try it once.” Bruce raised an eyebrow but before he could bring up Pepper Tony added. “One last time, what do you say?” Obviously he knew that Tony was just using one of his trusted vice’s to take his mind off of Loki’s harsh words and the annoyance of being in this new form, but even knowing that he couldn’t help but agree. He hadn’t realized just how lonely he had been hiding out in the Avengers compound alone for the last couple of months. Sure people were a lot kinder to him and he accepted himself in a way that he never had in the past but he still felt the loss of two of his closest friends all too strongly.
Tony beamed at him before changing his size so that they were now roughly the same height, before leaning in and kissing him. It still felt cold in a way that it never had before but the movements of his tongue were the same and Bruce found he didn’t mind all that much. After a couple of minutes they pulled away breath coming out ragged.
“Does it feel the same to you?” He couldn’t help but ask before Tony started to trail kisses down his neck.
“Yep, besides you being big and green obviously.” With that he started to unbutton his shirt, before sliding his cool hands under the fabric. Bruce couldn’t help but shiver at the sensation, even as Tony settled on top of him. He pulled him in closer so that they could kiss once more. Everything felt so surreal that he couldn’t help but run his hands all over the other man’s body as if checking to make sure this was really happening. He really was having sex with an A.I. of his best friend, it sounded like the plot of a black mirror episode.
Tony was gradually moving his hips faster and Bruce couldn’t help but moan into his mouth at the friction. He found his hands wandering everywhere, his mind having forgotten the cold sensations as his own body heated up. He was so close when Tony pulled away suddenly, a smile tugging at the corner of his lips as he unbuttoned his pants and pulled them down. Bruce eagerly catching on pulled his own pants off before Tony climbed back on top of him. They had done this many times before in the past but it had never felt like this. As much as the movements were like Tony the cold hard body was still so different. Bruce gasped once more as he started to reach his climax. Tony’s face was flushed if that was even possible, his eyes closed tight and his expression pure bliss. He looked exactly the way Bruce remembered. After a couple more frantic movements they were both coming hard, well at least Bruce was. He could tell Tony had finished even without the normal indication, because his body became heavy and he laid down completely on top of him. Their pounding chest’s rose and fell together and Bruce closed his eyes allowing himself to fully enjoy the moment for what it was, a goodbye.
Thor called an uber with Loki’s help since he still couldn’t figure out how his cellphone worked outside of answering phone calls. They were just about to leave the building when Thor grabbed his arm expression concerned.
“We can’t let anyone see you! Here put this on.” He pulled off his own hoodie and handed it to Loki who couldn’t help but look down at it with disgust.
“I’m not wearing this.” He threw the hoodie back at Thor to further his point before raising his wrists to show the bracers still in place. “If you take these off than I wont need to wear a disguise I can just change my appearance to someone else.” He could of course still change into his female form with them on, but Thor didn’t need to know that.
With a sigh Thor looked between the bracers and Loki’s face trying to decide if he was being played yet again. After a couple of minutes of Loki feigning innocence he shook his head and placed his hands on the bracers deactivating them.
“I’m putting them back on once we get there.”
“Of course.” Loki smiled as he changed into his female form, Thor’s eyes widened mouth falling open. “What. Did you expect me to look like Lady Sif?” She laughed as he tried to think of a witty retort, he had never been good at those.
A honk sounded from the driveway and an elderly man waved at them, large glasses reflecting the porch light and making it hard to see his face. Loki walked around Thor in order to greet him.
“Hi, he has the address but I would really appreciate if we could stop for ice cream first. Pregnancy cravings.” She placed her hands on her large belly while looking as hopeful as possible.
“Of course young lady, my wife used to make me pick up ice cream for her all the time when she was pregnant. She would actually put pickles in it too, I always thought that was a myth.” He laughed eyes bright before gesturing for Loki to hop in, which she did just as Thor reached the car and relayed the address.
Once they were both squeezed into the back of what honestly resembled a boat just as much as a car, Loki started formulating a plan of escape. She was so deep in thought that she didn’t notice the looks that Thor was giving her until the driver spoke up once more.
“So is it your first?” His tone was light and luckily for them his eyes never left the road, otherwise he would have seen the look of horror on Thor’s face.
“Yes, we still don’t know what we’ll name him though.” Loki answered while patting Thor’s thigh, his face turned crimson. Which was something she could honestly say she hadn’t seen in years. Even when they were kids it took a lot to embarrass him, a thrill shot up her spine, maybe she could make this work after all.
“You could always name him after me.” He turned around and winked at them before adding “You don’t hear many people called Stan anymore.” Thor seemed to have finally accepted that he would have to play along and wrapped his arm around her pulling her in closer before speaking up.
“Stan is a great name, don’t you think dear.” Loki couldn’t help but glare at him, they were never going to give such a simple midgardian name to their son. Whoever heard of a King named Stan.
“We’ll keep it in mind.” She relented while moving her hand further up Thor’s thigh if only to see if he would realise her, he didn’t.
“That means no, take it from someone who’s been married for a long time.” He laughed again before pulling into a dairy queen parking lot. Thor levelled her a questioning look but she shrugged him off pulling herself out of the car the best she could with it being so low to the ground.
“Just craving an ice cream.”
“Let me get it for you.” Thor got out as fast as he could nearly falling back into the car in the process. They ended up settling for both walking into the dairy queen together, Thor never taking his eyes off her. The lone person behind the counter looked at them in surprise as they got closer.
“Thor? OMG I never thought I would see Thor, working here!” She fanned herself and Loki couldn’t help but roll her eyes, another day another swooning maiden. How he still got that reaction looking like this she would never understand.
“It’s very nice to meet you.” He tried to kiss her hand but she was flailing so much that he ended up settling for just placing it on the counter. “Can we get two chocolate dipped cones.” When she had calmed down enough she nodded reaching for the cones just as she noticed Loki. Her eyes widened as the cones fell from her hand and broke on the floor.
“I didn’t know you had a girlfriend.” Her voice sounded disappointed as she picked the cones up and carefully put them back. “I’ll be right back, just have to get a new bag.” With that she retreated to the back of the store. Loki couldn’t help but roll her eyes.
“I’m going to the bathroom.” She turned on her heel, but Thor grabbed her hand before she could get far. “What, are you going to come with me?” She arched an eyebrow at him suggestively.
“Yes Loki, I’m not about to let you escape.” Much to her annoyance he followed her into the bathroom only stopping once she entered one of the stalls. “Be quick.”
“You never used to say that.” At least this time he looked surprised before shutting the door in her face.
By the time they had their ice cream their driver had fallen asleep, Thor gently nudged him making him jump as he shouted. “Excelsior!”
Once they were both in the car it was quiet, both of them too focused on their ice cream to talk. It wasn’t till they reached the house that Loki’s stomach dropped.
“Your taking me to the Captain’s house?” The large American flag and white picket fence was a dead give away.
“Yep.” There was that smug smile that Loki hated so much.
“Thank you good sir.” Thor handed some gold coins to their driver who took them confusion clear in his eyes. Loki could just make out his grumblings about exchange rates for gold as he pulled away.
Well great now she would be stuck with the most annoying avenger.
“I hope you know I was only worried about your safety.” She couldn’t help but say as he placed the bracers back in place. “I already saw you die once.” He merely nodded before turning away, but she could tell that the weight of her words had definitely sunk in.
If the outside of the Captain’s house wasn’t small time American enough then the inside certainly was. There were pictures of his days in the army and all his badges and awards, as well as his old shield. The rest of the walls were covered with photos of his family and friends. Loki was just about to snoop around some more when the Captain appeared from the dark hallway.
“Admiring the photos.” He smiled eyes still bright despite the age of the rest of his face.
“You truly lived the American dream.”
“I did.” He looked wistful for a minute before gesturing Loki to a small room down the hallway. It had a single bed and a dresser but not much else inside, at least it wasn’t painted with red stripes. “This is the guest room. I’m right down there if you need anything, or if you decide you want to try and run.” How he still managed to sound commanding Loki could not fathom.
“Did Thor tell you why I had to stay here?” The Captain looked at him clearly not expecting that particular question.
“He told me that he needed help. The rest is his business.” He folded his arms and Loki smiled.
“So he didn’t tell you that Stark is back then? He was the one that wanted me to leave.” Loki’s smile broadened at the look of surprise that the Captain wasn’t able to hide.
“That isn’t possible.” The older man stepped closer while scrutinizing his face. Loki just grinned up at him.
“It is if he’s just a computer, or what did they call it? Artificial Intelligence.” At that the Captain shook his head before looking Loki in the eye once more.
“Goodnight Loki.” With that he turned and left, closing the door behind him. Whether he believed him or not didn’t matter as long as he was conflicted. Loki smiled as he got into the tiny bed. Maybe this wasn’t so bad after all.
Once he arrived back at the compound he couldn't help but break down, Loki's words echoing in his head. He felt certain he was telling the truth, but what that meant now he wasn't sure. After months of thinking he would never see his brother again to suddenly have him back like this was jarring. That wasn't even getting into the fact the child he was carrying was theirs. At first he had brushed it off as more tricks and games, now he wasn't so sure. What if they did have a very different relationship in this other timeline? What did that really mean for him?
By the time he crawled back into bed his mind was racing with so many unanswered questions that it took hours for him to finally fall asleep.
It was almost noon by the time he managed to drag himself out of his bedroom, mind still foggy and hair even more matted then before. He must have looked rough because Tony and Bruce both turned to look at him with expressions of concern.
“Loki give you a hard time?” Tony’s voice was light but Thor could still see the traces of anger in his eyes.
“Yes. But not to worry he is with Steve now.” He tried for a smile but if their expressions where anything to go on he had failed miserably.
“Is something going on, because that kiss yesterday gave me flashbacks to Game of Thrones.”
“Everything is fine, you know how Loki is. It was all just a trick.” He laughed but neither of them looked like they were buying it.
“Please tell me that the baby isn’t yours.” Bruce spoke up even as Tony laughed.
“Come on Bruce, there’s no way it’s his.” Tony paused as both former avengers scrutinized Thor’s face.
He didn’t know what to say, he had never been that good at lying. Unfortunately his silence said enough as Bruce looked away and Tony stared wide eyed at him.
“So this is a Cersei, Jamie thing then. Great, thanks for giving us a heads up.” With that he opened the liquor cabinet and pulled out the largest bottle before pouring himself a generous amount. “Unbelievable.”
“I think maybe we should try to focus on how to get the tesseract back.” Bruce announced trying to change the subject while still not making eye contact with Thor. “Before you got up we did more research on what galaxy the portal opened up in, and we managed to narrow it down at least a little bit. The alien that you brought back isn’t as advanced as some of the other things we have dealt with, so it shouldn’t be that hard to get through their defences.”
“That is great news.” Thor beamed “When shall we attack them?”
Tony took a long look at his glass sighing when he remembered his current predicament as an A.I. before finally looking back at Thor. “I need to work on something that can contain the blast when we destroy it, but you and Bruce may as well go and take it back from them first.”
By the time they were all ready Thor was feeling very antsy, he just wanted to go there and destroy all of them. At least the joy of battle would be able to take his mind off his confused emotions, and the weird looks still being levelled at him by the other two. The last thing he wanted to think about right now was Loki and how he really felt about the whole situation.
The other side of the portal was the same as he remembered it, scattered guards surveying the area and a structure that looked hastily built. Bruce was next to him and he directed them towards it, indicating that the tesseract was indeed inside. Once they got closer the aliens started to form a protective wall, weapons raised.
Thor smiled as he summoned the lighting and felt it crackle through his veins before he levelled it at the approaching aliens. They shrieked falling back, most of them died before they even knew what hit them. Jumping forward he began to hack at whatever was left with his axe, he destroyed the frail structure and sent the remaining aliens running. When he finally turned towards Bruce grinning ear to ear he was surprised by the concerned look on his friends face.
“Did I finish them off to quickly?” Instead of answering Bruce just sighed before entering the now demolished structure, and scooped up the tesseract placing it into the bag he had brought with them. Once he had tied it off they both heard the voice of Tony in their com’s, his voice was concerned and Thor found himself clutching his axe tighter.
“The portal’s closing on this side, you need to hurry up! They must have set a trap that didn’t pick up on our scanners.”
Thor grabbed Bruce’s hand before using his axe to propel them as fast as possible to the closing portal. They were going so fast that he had to close his eyes, it wasn’t until they kept going right by he spot the opening once was that he opened them again. There was nothing there now only the darkness of space.
Bruce was trying his best to stay calm but it was proving very difficult with Thor flying around and Tony yelling in his ear.
“Tony can you slow down for a minute.” He paused before adding “Can you still hear me?”
“Yes, I can still hear you. Bruce are you listening to me? You have to use the tesseract to open the portal again.”
“Yeah, I heard you say that the first time, but neither of us know how to make sure the portal opens where we want it to.” He sighed watching Thor fly off.
“Thor doesn't know either? Didn’t he have it on Asgard for awhile?”
“Yes but he never used it, the only one who used it was Loki.” As much as he hated to admit it Loki might be their best hope for using it successfully.
Tony was quiet for so long that Bruce started to get worried that he had lost communication, but eventually he spoke up.
“You know if I call him and ask for help he might try to use this as a bargaining tool.”
“It’s certainly possible.”
“I’m going to keep you on the line okay, I want to know if anything changes as soon as it does. In the meantime, I guess I’m going to be giving old Steve a call.”
“Listen Tony….. I.”
“I know Bruce, stay on the line okay.” He’s voice faded away just as Thor came to a stop beside him.
“I spotted a large spaceship over there, they were moving slowly but they are headed in our direction. Probably nothing to worry about. So what did Tony say?” Bruce shook his head, of course there were more aliens nearby, just add it to the list of things that they hadn’t been prepared for.
“We agreed to ask Loki for help.” To his surprise Thor just nodded.
Loki was laying on his back in the Captain’s tiny living room, the baby was being especially annoying this morning and it was driving him crazy.
“I get it you're angry, you can stop kicking me now.” He huffed rubbing his belly in the process. Of course the Captain chose that moment to walk into the living room, he flashed him a bright smile before sitting down in the armchair.
“When Peggy was pregnant she would sing to the baby, it always helped calm them down.”
“That’s great, you know what else helps? Magic. But I can’t use that now can I?” He glared at the old avenger wishing that he would just leave him alone. Wasn’t it enough that he had to stay at his house without dealing with all his attempts at help, not like he had ever been pregnant.
“Yeah I’m sure that helps too.” He laughed and Loki was just about to yell at him when his phone started to ring. “Hello.” Whoever it was made his mood change fast as he looked at Loki before getting up and heading for the kitchen where he shut the door.
As carefully as he could he maneuvered to the closed door and pressed his ear to it. The Captain sounded upset as he started to accuse the person on the other end of not telling him the whole story. Definitely talking to Stark then. But why would he call him now? Unless he had done something stupid and gotten Thor stuck out in space. Blood boiling he did his best to sneak back to the couch. He could be wrong, maybe Stark just realized he needed something else from the Captain? Yeah right.
When the Captain returned to his armchair it was with far less humour than before. He looked at Loki as if he couldn’t believe what he was about to say.
“That was Tony.” He sounded so surprised that Loki just waited patiently for him to continue. “ He said that Thor and Bruce went to retrieve the tesseract from an open portal and it closed before they could get out.” He paused again watching Loki’s face closely, he made sure to make it as blank as possible. No need to let the american man know that we was freaking out on the inside.
“Tony’s hoping that you can help.” Loki could tell by the way he was looking at him that he didn’t think he would help without something in return. He felt sick.
“Oh is he, because he sure seemed like he had everything under control last time.”
“You don’t have to come, that’s your choice, but I’m going.” With that he carefully pushed himself up and started to head for the door.
“Wait, I’m coming.” He dragged himself up off the couch and walked to the door as fast as he could. “Just don’t expect my help again.”
“I didn’t expect your help this time.” He smiled wrinkled face bright, Loki wanted to punch him. “Oh and your going to need a disguise, what did you use on your way here?”
Bruce was busy examining the alien structure while they waited, Thor wasn’t sure if he had learned anything or if he was just trying to pass the time. All he knew was that he was bored again, and with nothing to distract him he found his mind wandering back to Loki. What was he going to do about Loki? Would they tell the baby that he was his father? Or maybe Loki would run off again as soon as the baby was born and he would never see either of them again. He decided being a father was definitely preferable to never seeing them again.
He was so deep in thought that he didn’t notice the ship that had finally reached them until they blasted a horn at him. With a jolt he looked up to see a number of canons pointed in his direction.
“We know why you came to our peaceful galaxy Asgardian scum and we won't let you conquer it.” Thor couldn’t help but laugh, did they really think that they were any match in a ship that took an hour to reach them?
At the sound of the voice Bruce reappeared looking confused. “ I thought you said they weren’t dangerous.”
“Their not dangerous look how slow that ship is moving.” As if to prove him wrong they shot one of the canons right at him. Luckily he had his axe in his hand still.
“That looks dangerous to me.” Bruce remarked as Thor hit the canon ball back at them. It broke into one of the sides of the ship causing it to shutter.
Instead of firing more of their cannons the ship got dark as it stopped completely. Thor wanted to assume it was a sign of surrender and he backed away. If they could figure out how to use the tesseract soon then maybe they could avoid another attack all together. It was clear that their weapons weren’t very powerful.
He was about to ask Bruce if he had heard anything from Tony when a small figure emerged from the ship in chains. She was small and looked like a midgardian child, Thor felt sick. Had they captured her?
“Thor, this seems like a trap.” Bruce was closer to his side now, he was just about to grasp his shoulder when he moved away. Trap or not he wasn’t going to let a small child suffer at the hands of these fowl aliens.
“Please help me.” She spoke up when he got closer.
“What did they do to you?” He reached out and snapped the chains off her while waiting for her to reply.
“They captured a bunch of us on the ship.” Her eyes were large as she turned around looking back at the quiet ship.
“Stay here with Bruce I’ll go get them.” He smiled before flying off ignoring the shouts of the other Avenger. Maybe it was a trap? It didn’t seem important if midgardians lives were at stake, especially since they didn’t seem to have very powerful weapons.
Once he made his way into the ship he began a search through the many corridors, everything looked like it had been abandoned a long time ago. It wasn’t until he started to get close to the centre of the craft that he spotted a light. It was dim, just filtering through the bottom of the door and casting eerie shadows onto the walls around him. He was just about to push the door open when something hit the back of his head and engulfed his whole body. A net, great. He started to rip it apart when someone pulled off his helmet and knocked him out.
Bruce was watching the child closely, there was something off about the whole situation. At least he still had the tesseract, and the communicator hadn’t stopped working. It wasn’t until the minutes dragged by and Thor still hadn’t reappeared that he began to get really worried.
“Tony, are you there?”
“Yeah I’m still here. Steve hasn’t arrived yet, I’ll let you know when he has okay.” He paused as if catching the tone in his voice. “Did something happen? Please tell me nothing happened.”
“Thor flew into a rundown spaceship a couple of minutes ago and hasn’t come back yet. It’s probably nothing but something seems off.”
“Just stay where you are, If we can open the portal then we can at least get you out and then worry about where Thor is.” His tone was stiff and Bruce knew he was worried that they would lose the tesseract and any chance of getting back.
“It’s okay Tony, I don’t plan on going anywhere near that ship. Just let me know when Steve gets there.”
The little girl was watching him closely as their conversation ended and it unnerved him even more. He had definitely had enough space travel to last a lifetime.
After a couple more agonising minutes Tony’s voice announced that Steve and Loki had arrived. Bruce let out a breath he hadn’t realized he had been holding in. Soon he would be out of this place.
“Alright, listen closely Bruce, apparently all you have to do is focus while holding the tesseract. I know it sounds too easy right?” Tony’s voice got distant clearly arguing with someone. “Loki says hi, and also that you should imagine the lab and our world in your mind.”
Ignoring the distant sounds of arguing coming from the earpiece, he focused on the lab and where he wanted the portal to open while holding the tesseract. The whole thing seemed silly but he did his best to stay focused, thank god for his years of meditation. He was just about to give up when he felt it heat up in his hand as a low hum started up right next to him. It worked, he could see the lab clearly on the other side.
“Where’s Thor?” Loki shouted at him from the other side of the portal as he stepped through.
“He’s in that ship, that little girl told him there were people trapped on board.” He tried to make his voice calm as Loki approached him, pushing past Tony.
“What little girl?” He glared daggers at all three Avengers in turn.
Bruce turned around just in time to see her running off towards the ship and right into what looked like Thor’s arms. He smiled at them before flying towards the portal’s opening.
“Everything’s fine, they just thought I was a different Asgardian.” He laughed as he stepped through the portal. Bruce couldn’t help the uneasy feeling that he was getting, Tony even seemed to be regarding Thor with scepticism.
That’s when a knife went soaring past him and into Thor’s chest, his eyes got wide and he started to choke before collapsing to his knees. Bruce turned to see Loki hand still outstretched, face twisted. Thor was panting on the ground as he knelt down to check for a pulse, it was there but fading.
Loki may have stabbed Thor many times before in the past, it had always been one of his favourite past times when they were kids. This was different of course he had thrown that knife directly at his heart, there was no coming back from that. And by the look of complete horror that was on his face as the knife hit him he hadn’t been expecting it either. His performance was convincing, Loki did feel sick as the knife sunk in. It felt like he was on the ship again only this time he had been the one to kill Thor instead of Thanos.
The Captain was yelling at him but none of the words registered, all he could do was look at the now collapsed form of Thor on the ground. Of course the beast was trying to save him. Only Stark looked at him as if seeing what had really happened.
“That’s enough Steve.” The Captain looked surprised as he turned his attention away from Loki and back to Stark.
“Tony he just killed him. Or is there something else your not telling me?” The Captain moved away from him now walking towards Stark.
“Really you want to talk about keeping secrets, how about how you never told me about your best friend killing my parents.”
“I don’t mean to interrupt but something is happening to Thor.” The beast was finally calling their attention to the now dead skrull. Loki couldn’t deny the relief he felt at the body no longer resembling Thor.
“See.” Tony gestured at the body looking at the Captain. “They’re shapeshifters which means Thor is still on that ship.” The Captain glanced between him and Stark as if trying to assess what he had just witnessed. Finally he nodded.
“I’m getting to old for this.”
After much debate they finally agreed that Tony would accompany Bruce while the other two remained behind to prevent any other aliens from getting through. Loki had given them a quick explanation of what skrulls were once they insisted that he had to stay behind. At least he seemed happy about having the tesseract back in the lab, even if Steve was the one in possession of it.
“Before we go in, make sure the A.I. your talking to is able to talk into your earpiece as well, because if they can’t then it’s probably not me.” He winked before adding. “If they can turn into an A.I., it seems unlikely. But you never know with aliens, Loki is pregnant after all.”
“I’m not planning on getting separated again but thanks for the heads up.” He smiled at Tony before making his way into the dark ship. The little girl had been nowhere in sight as they had gotten closer which meant she was probably hiding with the rest of them inside the ship.
They made their way down the dark hallway using Tony’s tech to pick up heat sources in the ship and map it out better. It was much easier with a clear map to see any potential traps, and they were able to avoid a number of them on their way towards the skrulls.
“I think I found our lightning friend. Look.” He pulled up the map for Bruce to see and sure enough there was Thor. He looked as if he was tied up in the lower hall past all the skrulls. “It’s not going to be easy.”
“It will probably be easier for them to turn into something that looks like me. Are you sure you’ll be able to tell the difference?”
“Of course I’ll be able to tell the difference, I’m an A.I. plus we have a very close friendship, or have you forgotten?”
“How could I possibly forget.”
They ended up walking for a couple more minutes in relative silence before reaching the room where most of the skrulls were hiding. Tony gestured that he would go in first, the plan was to talk to them and see if they were willing to let their captive go. It wasn’t much of a plan, but if they were just worried about Thor conquering their world then they should be happy about him leaving.
“Hello everyone.” Tony paused and Bruce could hear the sounds of voices murmuring, as if they hadn’t been expecting the sudden appearance of an A.I. He held back a laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation. “Me and my friend here are just coming to get Thor, and then we will be sure to leave. No conquering will take place today.” He smiled and Bruce couldn’t help but shake his head.
“You killed my dad!” It was the little girl from earlier now green and pointy eared like the rest of them. She pointed an accusing finger at Tony and Bruce.
“That was not me, but I am terribly sorry that happened. We have no intention of hurting anyone else we just want to get our friend back.”
“If you didn’t kill him, then who did?” One of the skrulls near the front spoke up now standing in front of the child.
“Someone who was angry that he was impersonating Thor. Tell you what we will forgive you for kidnapping and impersonating him if you forgive us for killing one of you.” The deal sounded lame even to Bruce’s ears and it didn’t take long before various objects were being thrown at them.
“We will never agree to that when your the ones that are defending a murderer.”
“Where not defending a murderer, all were asking is that you release our friend.” Bruce tried to make his voice as placating as possible. It seemed to work because some of them nodded before the same one spoke up once more.
“We will let your friend go, if you give us the murderer.” They exchanged a look, there was no way that they were going to hand over Loki to these aliens especially when he was eight months pregnant. Who knows what they would do to him and the baby if they had the chance.
“Sorry, we can’t do that.” Bruce said looking at Tony who nodded in agreement.
“Then you wont get your friend back.” The skrulls all cheered before advancing on them, Bruce noticed some of them did have weapons while others were just holding random pieces of metal.
Shots started to ring out, lighting up the dark room and making both of them duck for cover. Tony pulled up the map once more and started to silently make a plan for Bruce to sneak past them and break Thor free.
“I can’t leave you here by yourself.”
“I got this, it’s not like their weapons can hit me like this.” He grinned before jumping up and waving at them. The skrulls all turned their attention on Tony as Bruce snuck out from behind his hiding place. One of them almost spotted him but Tony threw an energy blast at them that knocked them out. Bruce wasn’t sure if the blast was from being powered by the tesseract or apart of his Iron Man armour.
By the time he reached the opposite door all the skrulls were chasing a now flying Iron Man down the hallway. Carefully he made his way to the door while checking for any skrulls that might have spotted him. Luckily they were all too distracted to notice. Once he reached the end of the hall he grasped the door intending to just open it and instead ripped it clean off the wall. This really was an old ship.
“Bruce, is that you?” Thor smiled at him clearly unperturbed by his current predicament.
“Yes, but before I untie you, can you tell me about the time we fought in space?” He waited watching as Thor’s face changed from confusion to humour.
“You mean on Sakaar when I beat you easily.” He laughed, and Bruce was sure that this was in fact the real Thor.
“I doubt it was easy, if it happened at all.” He grinned as he started to untie Thor and help him up.
“So did you get the portal open?” Thor asked as he outstretched his arm for his axe.
“Yes, we just have to meet back up with Tony and then we can all go back.”
Thor nodded as he grabbed Bruce’s hand, the other now clutching his axe and pulled them forward. He still hated how sick the quick flight made him feel as they zoomed through the ship. They past a number of skrulls all of which looked angry, a couple shots were fired at them and one of them hit. Bruce could feel it lodge into his arm and his head spun even more. He was sure he would throw up when he finally spotted Tony ahead of them near the portal. Thor grinned next to him before picking up speed and flying through the portal just behind Tony. He collapsed to the ground once Thor had landed, he felt sick and his head was definitely still spinning.
Steve was holding the tesseract carefully while in a deep meditation and Bruce watched as the portal finally closed. He sighed before collapsing completely onto the cool floor.
He noticed right away that the green beast was injured watching him closely as the portal closed. One of the skrulls actually made a shot, though with a target that size, it would be sad if they missed. He stepped closer to them eyes on Thor the whole time, he definitely wasn’t a skrull. A skrull would have looked away at the intensity in his eyes, not Thor though he never backed down. Loki felt elated at the look on the thunderers face as he reached out to touch him, only to be ignored in favour for the beast.
“Bruce!” Thor knelt down next to him just as Stark rushed forward, first aid kit in hand.
They carefully turned him onto his back as Stark examined the wound. Loki could tell that none of them knew how to properly heal it.
“If you take these off I can help you.” He shook the bracers in the Captains face eyes on Thor. The three of them exchanged a look before the Captain unlocked the bracers.
“Make it fast Loki.” The Captain’s voice was tight and full of authority that he begrudgingly obeyed.
Stark for his part was already pulling out tools Loki had never seen before and using a map of the beast’s body to find exactly were the bullet was.
“We should be able to extract it by going through the entrance wound.” He highlighted the map, waiting for Loki to nod.
Silently they worked together as Stark eased out the bullet and Loki did what he could to ease the pain and stop him from bleeding out. Finally the Captain handed Stark a bandage so he could wrap up the beasts arm. Loki let go feeling light headed, he hadn’t planned on using that much energy.
“You can’t just wrap it up and expect it to get better, he will still need around the clock care until his fever drops.”
“No need to worry about that, I’m going to stay with him.” With that Stark jumped up getting one of his many Iron Man suits to zoom past them and fit itself around the beast. The armour gently carried him out the door and towards his bedroom, Stark trailing along behind it. “I’ll be able to tell if anything changes, the rest of you should get some sleep.”
Thor had almost made it to his bedroom when he remembered that they hadn’t put the bracers back on Loki. Who of course had made a dash for the door as soon as Tony was gone. At least Steve had kept the tesseract with him when he left for his own bedroom. Why did it always feel like he had to constantly be watching his not brother in order to avoid disaster?
After a quick look around, he ended up finding him at the gate trying to get it to open. He was just about to throw a knife at the control box when Thor caught his arm mid swing.
“How is it that you always manage to have a knife?”
“I conjure a bunch when I can, just in case.” He sneered pulling his arm free.
“Loki can we talk, before you run off again?” He folded his arms in front of his chest feeling the frustration mounting. Loki merely eyed his posture before lowering his own arms and nodding. “I’ve been thinking about everything you’ve told me, and I want to help you raise the baby.” Loki laughed, though he knew right away that it wasn’t sincere.
“I don’t want your help, you can’t even rule your own people how do you expect to take care of a child?” He knew Loki was trying to hurt him but it didn’t make the words any less painful.
“I did what I could for our people, right now I’m not what they need.” He tried to make his expression as stony as he could but Loki just raised an eyebrow at him.
“Your just scared you're going to let them down again.” His words were so blunt that they actually managed to catch him off guard. Of course he was right how could he face his people after everything that had befallen them at his hands. They had lost their homes, they had lost their families, and then they had watched as their once great King collapsed under his own loneliness and heartbreak. How did you go back to normal after that? How could you expect them to trust you after failing them so completely?
He didn’t even notice the tears on his cheeks until Loki was wiping them off with his long fingers.
“It’s okay to be scared.” His voice was barely above a whisper as he stepped closer and wrapped his arms around him. “I’m terrified.”
The darkness swirled around him making him relive all the worst parts of his life, from his childhood to his accident with gamma radiation. It all culminated the way it always would with the death of Natasha and then Tony. When someone shook him awake relief flooded his body, it was all a dream. He wasn’t dead. For the first time in a long time he felt like that was a good thing.
“Tony.” He reached out and grasped the A.I.’s hand.
“Yeah I’m here. You were shot pretty bad. Luckily for you I have this technology that allows bullets to be removed.” He held up a long pair of tweezers, laughing. “In all fairness Loki helped out too, I guess it was good we kept him around.”
“Yeah, though I’m sure he just wanted to make a run for it once we weren’t looking.” He pulled up the security camera for the front gate. Sure enough Loki was there with Thor they were hugging so tightly that Tony coughed and turned off the camera. “Let’s agree that whatever their up too we won’t watch.” Tony made a face before checking Bruce’s temperature again.
“Good news big green, your temperature is already going down. Now the doctor says you just need to get more sleep.” He grinned pulling up the blankets so they were right under his chin.
“Thanks doc.” He smiled, letting his eyes close once more. This time his dreams were light and blessedly forgetful.
Thor managed to convince Loki to come inside after the sun was long gone and the air had turned brisk. He was still reluctant to let go even as they walked back towards the building arms slung over each others shoulders. It wasn’t unlike anything that they had done when they were children and yet it felt different.
When they reached his bedroom he was about to offer it to Loki so he could sleep alone if he wanted to when a long finger was put against his lips silencing him.
“I want to sleep with you.” He whispered in Thor’s ear before turning around and making himself comfortable on the bed. Thor for his part stood there frozen, his mind was racing and all the things that had been bothering him about their current situation resurfaced. What was he doing? Was he leading Loki on? Would Loki stay if he turned him down? His mind swirled with all the confusing questions. He must have been making a strange face because when Loki finally turned around and looked at him he burst out laughing.
“Is this all a game to you?” He tried and failed to make his voice sound firm.
“No, games are for children.” He winked stretching out his long body across the bed. With a frustrated sigh he threw himself onto the bed next to Loki. If he wanted to sleep then let him sleep. He made sure to turn over so that his back was facing his not brother.
“Don’t you think you should change out of your smelly clothes before going to bed.” There was that voice again, so close to his ear that it sent a shiver down his spine.
“If I smell so bad then why do you want to sleep with me so badly?” He turned over so that they were facing each other glaring at the twinkle in Loki’s eyes. He couldn’t remember the last time he had seen him looking this pleased with himself.
“Good point.” He was just inches away from his face now, that damned twinkle still in his eyes and his mouth was curled up in a smile that Thor was sure he had only ever seen when things were about to go very badly. Usually at his own expense.
Mind still racing he watched as Loki licked his lips and leaned in closer. Just when he was sure that he was going to kiss him again he pulled away expression thoughtful. He was sure that his face was on fire, which really wasn’t something that he had experienced in a long time. What was happening, had a part of him wanted Loki to kiss him again? It hadn’t been that bad the last time it happened, surprising sure but not bad. What was he doing, this had to stop. They couldn’t go any further it was too weird, certainly all the other avengers would think so.
“I’m going to have a shower.” Carefully he pulled himself up off the bed and avoided eye contact. He could feel the intense stare levelled at his back as he closed the bathroom door. Finally being able to breath again he turned on the water and stepped in. Everything was fine, nothing had happened. They would be able to move forward, and it would be just like how it was when they were young. He sighed knowing instantly that that was never going to happen, things would never be as they were. The time of carefree days was long gone, he was about to be a father whether he liked it or not. The only thing he had power over was if he wanted to be with Loki and the child or not.
By the time he walked back into the bedroom in his underclothes Loki was turned away pretending to sleep. He sighed as he sat on the edge of the bed before daring to ask the question that had been making it so hard to sleep the last couple of nights.
“When did it happen?” He wasn’t sure if he was asking about their first time or the baby, all he knew was that he wanted some answers.
“After our mother died.” His voice was so quiet that Thor almost missed his answer. Once the words sunk in though he felt sick, even this Loki still thought of Frigga as his mother. What would she have thought about her first grandchild being both of theirs? The question was so absurd he couldn’t help but laugh. Loki didn’t take kindly to his sudden laughter turning around and glaring daggers at him.
“There’s really nothing funny about it. She died protecting the realm and then in our quest for revenge we ended up having sex.”
“But what about Jane?”
“She had broken up with you a long time before that.” It was said so flippantly that Thor found himself wanting to hear more.
“So we fooled around while attacking dark elves?” Obviously whatever happened in Loki’s timeline was very different from what took place in this one.
“Yes, it was a lot of fun.” Loki beamed up at him. “You should have been there.” At the look of confusion on his face the god of mischief burst out laughing again. Thor wished he could tell if it was the truth or not.
“So when did you get pregnant?”
“On Sakaar, we snuck into one of the Grandmasters rooms and fooled around. You were about to be a gladiator and I was wearing the most expensive clothes as a gift from him.” Thor could tell it must be a good memory because Loki’s smile got even brighter when he added. “You were jealous because the Grandmaster was giving me all these gifts and making me his arm candy. That was a great night.”
He found himself imagining it, Loki must have looked the way she had on their night to Steve’s house only in a beautiful dress. He would have been more toned with cropped hair and hope still left for a better future. Shaking his head he looked down at his now protruding gut and tangled beard, wondering what Loki could possibly see in him now.
Instead of saying anything Loki wrapped his arms around him and pulled him closer. Thor ended up laying awake listening to the sounds of his breath even out as he drifted off to sleep. For the first time since coming back to the avengers compound he wished that he could go back and live in this Loki’s timeline instead.
It felt weird to be spending a night in the avengers compound again, he wasn’t sure why he had been avoiding it, perhaps it made him think to much of the past. Which was something he had been accused of doing far to many times in his life. Having Tony back was even more unexpected, A.I. or not. He was certain that was what Bruce had been working on while he was locked away by himself. Here he was thinking that maybe the big green man had finally started to move on from the losses he had suffered and instead he had just been trying to bring them back. While he couldn’t fault Bruce for wanting Tony back he was certain that it wasn’t something the actual Tony would have wanted. He would have wanted Bruce to move on just as much as Steve did.
Tomorrow he decided he would talk to Bruce about the whole situation and see if he could get him to move forward. Even just moving out of this building and it’s many memories would help.
Thor woke up late again, though this time Loki was still dead asleep next to him. A dark lock of hair in his face and his legs somehow wound around him, trapping him. He sighed, body feeling stiff as he tried to maneuver without waking Loki up. He had almost succeeded when Loki stretched out and pulled him in closer so that his face was pressed against the other man’s chest. He could hear his heartbeat strong and stubborn and he couldn’t help but remember the cold body that he had held all those years ago. How his expression had looked and the sorrow that had filled him. The last of his family now gone, and nothing he could do to change it.
He tried to remain quiet as he pulled Loki closer and let himself enjoy the fact that he was here somehow with him now. If there was one thing he was certain of it was that he was never going to let anything happen to this Loki, he was going to protect him just like he had promised.
“Thor, your crushing me.” Loki’s voice rang out harsh above him and he reluctantly pulled back.
“It’s fine. You really are a mess aren't you.” He reached up rubbing the back of his head and getting stuck in the matted hair. “You really need to get this cut off. I wasn’t going to say anything about the whole homeless look given what happened to Asgard, but it’s time. You need a complete makeover.” Thor grimaced that was definitely something the old Loki would have said.
“Alright. But nothing too drastic, I like how I look.” He grinned running his hands through his thick beard.
Steve got up early, he made sure to make something for breakfast and then made himself comfortable with his morning coffee and a newspaper. He was not looking forward to the conversation that he knew was ahead of him.
Tony was of course the first one to make an appearance in the kitchen, no doubt in order to bring Bruce something to eat in bed.
“Morning Cap. Or I guess I can’t call you that anymore.” He beamed at Steve as he pulled eggs, milk and something in a container out of the fridge.
“Tony, are we going to talk about how no one else knows about you being back.” He slid the paper down onto the table as he gave his full attention to Tony.
“No, we are not going to talk about it.” His back was still turned and Steve decided to try a new tactic.
“The Tony I knew wouldn’t be hiding out here.”
“Well I guess you didn’t know me that well then.” He walked out of the kitchen arms full of food still ignoring him.
“Tony, wait.” He stood up carefully before following the A.I. “I know a lot is going on, I just would have appreciated it if Loki hadn’t been the one to tell me that you were back.”
“Of course that little shit told you.” Steve caught himself right before he could say ‘language’.
“Are you going to tell Pepper and Morgan now that the portal is closed?” At his question Tony stopped abruptly causing Steve to almost walk right into him.
“Steve, I don’t plan on being around much longer. Or have you not figured that out by now. The only reason why I stand before you now is because I left Bruce some notes and he had the tesseract. Once we destroy the tesseract what do you think will happen to me?” He juggled the food in his arms before making a poof noise. “Now be a dear and help me carry this stuff.”
Loki stepped back admiring his work, Thor’s hair was cropped short like it had been on Sakaar, something he hadn’t realized how much he missed. His beard was still long too even though Loki had wanted to cut it shorter.
“Well that’s as good as it gets.” Loki announced much to his annoyance.
“I think I look good.” Thor beamed at him as he got closer to the mirror and admired his shorter hair. “This is a lot less work.”
“Oh please you never took care of it when it was long, that’s what got you into this mess.” At the jab he turned around and proceeded to try and grab a hold of one of the tricksters wrists but he was already running out the bathroom door. Without thinking he chased after him catching him easily, Loki didn’t even put up much of a fight. In the past there would have been screaming and one of them would end up hurting the other.
Before he could let go he found himself being pulled in and kissed. Heart racing he found himself standing rigid, what should he do? If he kissed him back would it only make things worse? Did he even want to? He was just about to deepen it when Loki pulled back eyes dark, any joy that had been there just a minute ago now gone.
“Sorry, I overstepped.” He wiped his mouth before briskly walking towards the door. Thor wasn’t sure what came over him when he reached out grabbing Loki’s hand before he could leave. He had always been to impulsive, he thought idly as he crashed their mouths together. Loki made a funny surprised noise before pulling him even closer. As the kiss deepened he could feel his whole body light up, all the unanswered questions no longer seemed important.
When he ended the kiss they were both breathing hard, still pressed together. Loki had a pleading look in his eyes, that was quickly replaced by something else when they made eye contact. Loki kissed him again after he had caught his breath, while sliding his hand down his thigh. Thor couldn’t help but moan, two could play at this game.
He made sure to push Loki into the wall as he let his own hands roam all over him. By the time he was rubbing the inside of his thighs Loki was shaking. Thor counted it as a victory as he moved his hand upwards finding a prominent bulge. Well that was new. Mind racing he started to rub up and down while kissing his way down Loki’s neck. He couldn’t help but notice the way he would twitch when he sucked a certain spot and ended up stopping there. Just when he was getting into a good rhythm, Loki pulled his hand away panting.
“I want you.” His voice came out barely above a whisper and Thor noticed just how dilated his pupils were. Grabbing his pants he pulled them off faster than Thor thought possible. They were really going to do this then.
Mind foggy he found himself being dragged to the bed, clothes being thrown to the floor along the way. By the time they had reached the bed he was completely naked. He couldn’t help but look around him taking in the sight of his naked brother. He was perched on the end of the bed looking up at him as if he could see the whole world about to become his. In a weird way it reminded him of how the Loki he knew would look at the throne. He smiled up at him from under his eyelashes and Thor knew he was lost to whatever this was.
He leaned forward kissing him again while also pushing him back into the mattress with his own body. Much to his frustration he couldn’t seem to get close enough with their large bellies in the way. It was something so strange and unexpected that he couldn’t help but laugh much to Loki’s annoyance.
“Just hold up my legs, idiot.” Loki glared at him while wrapping them around his waist. From this angle he could see everything much clearer and he couldn’t help but stare. It took Loki shouting at him to move for him to come to his senses.
“You prepared yourself for this?” He found himself asking.
“Yes, never can be to careful. Now would you kindly start moving, this is torture.” Thor grinned at him.
“Of course your highness.” Somehow the glare being levelled at him put him at ease, as he roughly pulled him closer so that their hips could finally meet. The way he slid in so easily sent a shiver down his spine, and he couldn’t help but do it again.
He started up a quick rhythm letting his mind focus on nothing besides the intense pleasure and the desperate moans coming from Loki. Normally he would never go this fast he thought distantly as a crack of lightning sounded from outside the window.
Looking down he couldn't help but notice the blush running up Loki’s whole body as he shook coming between them. The sight made him go impossibly faster as rain started to pour outside and crash into the window. When he came the thunder rumbled in the distant.
They were seated next to Bruce when a storm hit hard, it seemed to come from nowhere and Steve couldn’t help but think of global warming and its disastrous effects. The look on Tony’s face said he believed it to be something completely different. Bruce even started to choke on the pop tart that he had been nibbling on.
“Did I miss something?” He made sure to eye both of them in turn.
“It’s nothing Steve.” Bruce managed to say after he had to stopped coughing.
“We really should tell him Bruce.” Tony turned towards him face stony. “Loki’s kid is Thor’s.” Both of them eyed him waiting for a reaction that he was having a hard time not giving them.
“Tony, I know you're trying to deflect, and it’s not going to work. We need to focus on how were going to get rid of the tesseract.” At his remark the other two former avengers eyed each other clearly communicating something that he couldn’t pick up on. “I understand that the two of you have a very close friendship and it might be hard to talk about.” He paused gauging their reaction just as lightning crackled not that far away.
Tony lost it laughing and shaking his head before unceremoniously getting up and heading for the door.
“Yes me and Bruce are just as close as you and Bucky were.” He pulled the door open and left muttering about how naive Steve could be.
Well that went well, he was going to have to try much harder to get them to address the fact that the sooner the tesseract was gone the better. Nothing good ever came from keeping it around.
Tony liked to think he was finally starting to get used to being an A.I. even if that meant he didn’t need to eat or sleep. It was probably for the best that he couldn’t drink either because that’s all he would be doing if he could. At least the sex was still good even if it had been weird at first. He never would have thought it would have been possible to fool around with the Hulk and survive. He probably shouldn’t be so proud of that.
Yep everything was great as long as you didn’t think about it too hard. Steve of course was making it a lot harder as usual. He was perfectly aware that they would be destroying the tesseract and that he might have to die all over again. That didn’t mean he wanted to think about it constantly. What would happen if he did manage to survive through it, would he finally see his beautiful daughter again? He wanted to desperately, he missed her bright smile and vibrant spirit. And Pepper, what would she say if she knew he was here as an A.I. and he never bothered to tell her. Truthfully he knew that if he did see them he would never choose to leave. It was better this way, they both deserved to move forward, so did Bruce, and yet he still wanted to live. What kind of father could he really be to Morgan as an A.I.? She wouldn’t be able to hug him the way she used too, he wouldn’t be the dad she remembered. There was something so selfish about just showing up in her life again only to leave once more. He couldn’t do that to her.
He rubbed his face sinking back into the couch and looking out the window at the thunder and lightning storm currently happening outside and no doubt in Thor’s bedroom. They really were fucked weren’t they.
Loki was in a great mood as he watched Thor leave for the kitchen to steal what was sure to be a lot of food. Everything was finally starting to go his way, all he had to do now was convince the avengers to give him the tesseract. He would give it back of course right after he used it to restore Asgard. They would bring it back to its former glory and it would be far away from midgard. The palace would be large and the people would be happy and have him to thank for it. He grinned enjoying the image when Thor finally returned arms full.
“I wasn’t sure what you wanted so I brought a little bit of everything. Tony’s going to have to go grocery shopping again soon.” He beamed at Loki when he noticed the look on his face, handing him some food and sitting on the bed.
“Did you end up running into any of your friends?” Loki asked as he took a bite from one of the bagels.
“Tony was in the living room but he didn’t get up when he heard me in the kitchen.” Loki smiled, they definitely knew then. The storm was a dead giveaway. They would be on their toes around him now thinking that he had Thor twisted around his finger.
“What is it?” Thor asked watching his smile broaden.
“I just missed this.” He gestured to the two of them on the bed surrounded by food. Thor laughed kissing his forehead.
Thor managed to avoid the other avengers for most of the day. It wasn’t until Steve knocked on his bedroom door and announced that he had made dinner that they finally left the sanctuary of his room. Loki seemed perfectly happy with the idea of dinner with the others which surprised him. Normally he was the one to drag his brother to things not the other way around.
Did they know about what had happened between him and Loki? He was sure if they did they would bring it up at dinner. He wasn’t looking forward to that conversation.
When they entered the dining room Tony and Bruce were already seated, Tony waved at them expression unreadable. Bruce at least looked better even if he was avoiding eye contact with him. His stomach dropped they definitely knew then.
Before he could say anything Steve entered the room with KFC, which he placed in the middle of the table. Next to him Loki made a face at the brown paper bag.
“I’m not eating that.” He announced before getting up and heading for the kitchen, leaving Thor with the old avengers. They were all eyeing him warily.
“I like your haircut.” Tony finally spoke up.
“Thank you, Loki did it.”
“Yeah I beat he did.” That put an end to the conversation, as they all started to fill their plates with chicken and potatoes. Even Tony absentmindedly filled a plate before handing it to Bruce.
When Loki came back in the room he was carrying a container of ice cream.
“You need to buy more food.” Tony and Bruce eyed each other before Bruce spoke up.
“Yeah I never planned on having this many people over, add it to the list of things we need to do.” His voice sounded tired.
“So I think it’s time we talked about the tesseract and what were going to do with it now.” Steve spoke up in his commanding voice. Thor eyed him warily, he at least didn’t seem to know what was going on. “I think we need to start working on ways to safely destroy it before another portal opens.” Thor nodded along with the other two avengers, Loki silent at his side.
“How long do you think it will take for you to make something that can successfully destroy it without killing everyone?” Loki’s voice was sharp as he ignored Steve and eyed Tony.
“I’m not sure, I tried working on something today but it’s not going to be easy.” He sighed leaning back in his chair.
“Tomorrow we should spend more time trying to work on it, the longer we keep the tesseract the more likely something could go wrong.” Steve announced in his that’s finale tone that Thor had gotten so used to hearing.
Loki grinned next to him slipping a hand under the table and placing it in his own, while keeping his eyes on Tony. Thor knew he was plotting something, and he vowed to figure out what it was as soon as possible.
He got a chance once dinner was over and they were heading back to his old bedroom.
“Loki, I know your up to something. So what is it this time?” He got a broad smile in response.
“We are going to restore Asgard of course.”
“How?” It came out as a whisper as he couldn't help but let his mind wonder to their childhood home and all the things he had lost.
“I have travelled between worlds before Thor, and there is one that would be perfect to start over. No more midgard and our people living in the fields of some random content, but a place were they could be themselves. They would be able to grow everything that they remember from years ago and live in peace.” His words sounded so tempting, surely it was too good to be true. A place like that couldn’t exist otherwise he would have heard of it.
“I know it’s hard to imagine given everything that’s happened, but it is possible. We would just need the tesseract for a short period of time and then it could be destroyed.” Loki looked up at him, eyes bright and he felt his resolve melt away. If there was some way to give their people back something that had been lost then he was willing to try.
“You want to try and convince the others?” Loki beamed at him.
“Leave it to me.”
Tony didn’t realize he had spent the entire night in the lab until someone knocked on the door at nine in the morning. He was still trying to find the right components for a shield that would actually prevent the cube from destroying everything. The fact that he was locked in a lab making a shield not unlike the one his dad made wasn’t lost on him. He had always resented his father for his inattentiveness and now here he was hiding away building things just like him. The apple never fell that far from the tree he supposed. When the knocking started up again he sighed giving up.
“Come in Steve. We may as well chat some more if your going to keep knocking.” To his surprise Loki entered the room instead smile bright. Great he was definitely up to something.
“If you’ve come to make some kind of deal for the tesseract then you can kindly leave now, because I’m not giving it to you.” Loki merely grinned before taking a seat in the chair next to him.
“I came to see what kind of progress you are making.” Well they were off to a good start with the lies then.
“As you can see I haven’t finished anything yet. But feel free to give me any advice you might have on how to destroy infinity stones, not like I’ve done it before.” He turned away facing the tools that he had been working with instead of Loki’s face.
“Listen I’m sorry for what I said, I know you sacrificed a lot.” Tony begrudgingly turned around, Loki looked sincere if that was possible.
“Apology accepted now you may go on your way.” He waved a hand gesturing to the door in the hopes that Loki would listen.
“I know you don’t want to hear this Tony, but I actually have an idea that would benefit us both. All you have to do is listen.” His voice was quiet like he was about to tell him a secret and it unnerved him almost as much as hearing him say his first name. That hadn’t happened before.
“Alright, I’m listening.” He threw his hands back resting his head between them and watching Loki closely.
“It could take you time to find a way to properly destroy the tesseract all the while it would sit in this facility where another portal could open. Next time you might not be so lucky where the portal leads.” Tony couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at that, it was definitely something that had been weighing on his mind. Of course that was precisely why it was kept so far away from the lab.
“Meanwhile the last of the Asgardians live in shacks right here on earth instead of somewhere more suited to them.” He paused again and Tony could honestly say that he hadn’t been expecting that. He couldn’t help but agree that it didn’t really make sense that Asgard was essentially some random village in Norway. Though at least it made more sense then it being in America.
“Where are you going with this?” He found himself asking genuinely interested with what Loki had to say.
“The tesseract can be used to open portals to other worlds, so what better way to relocate Asgard to somewhere more suitable. We would be able to find a new home and you would have more time to work on a way to properly destroy it without fear of a portal opening up in the lab.” Tony sighed it certainly sounded like a good idea, though there was the obvious disadvantage of giving the god of mischief the tesseract again.
“And how would I know for sure you would actually bring it back once Asgard was relocated?” Loki sat back smiling at him, clearly anticipating the question.
“I will not be the only one going, Thor will be there. You could even send Bruce with us if you feel like you need someone else you can trust.”
“How is it that you are still plotting things like this while you are eight months pregnant? You should be relaxing and complaining about how much your feet hurt not planning on relocating an entire group of people.” Loki burst out laughing at that.
“I would love to sit around and do nothing, but it would be irresponsible to leave things the way they are when I could make them better. I want my son to have a better life, he deserves a better life.” Tony watched as Loki gently placed a hand on his stomach, the action was small and yet it reminded him all too clearly of how Pepper had looked when she thought of their baby.
When Loki looked up at him, his eyes were bright emerald and he hated himself for what he was about to agree too.
“I will give Thor the tesseract if you agree to wear the bracers again, oh and we wait till after the baby is born. No need to put either of you at risk.” Loki grinned before shaking his hand. A newborn would make it much harder for Loki to do anything crazy, he would be far too tired from the long nights. Tony could certainly attest to that.
“Wait, slow down. You agreed to give them the tesseract?” Bruce couldn’t believe what he was hearing, had Tony completely lost his mind? “You know Loki will never give it back.”
“He won't have another choice because I’m the only one that will able to take those bracers off him. I’m modifying them, no tesseract no magic. You could also tag along and be my eyes, make sure nothing goes to crazy.” He grinned at Bruce who was starting to have a hard time keeping his temper.
“So you agreed to give him the tesseract and I have to babysit him and Thor. Wow Tony that’s much better.”
“You haven't even heard the best part, he’s not getting it until after the baby’s born, which means we still have time to make something. If we don’t then they take it far away from here until we actually have something that can. We can’t risk more portal’s opening Bruce not with Fury and the rest of Shield watching.”
Of course he was right about that they were lucky that no one had found out about the last portal opening. He knew they would be expecting another phone call on the status of his project on radiation which was something that he had been putting on hold. What was he supposed to tell them? That he had brought Tony Stark back instead.
“Alright, but I’m not going with them. I need to stay here and help you come up with something. Besides my boss won't be thrilled if I just left the project I was supposed to be working on. They probably think I have something to show for my lack of communication this past week.”
“Yeah you should probably call them and make something up before they decide to show up unannounced.” Bruce nodded reluctantly pulling out his phone. They were not going to be pleased.
Thor had been searching for Loki around the compound for what felt like hours, how could he always give him the slip so easily? He was supposed to be talking to Tony, but even the A.I. had been unhelpful saying that he had already left. The way the others were looking at him was keeping him on edge, like they thought he had been tricked into something. He knew they believed that Loki had manipulated him into their current relationship. Why they couldn’t trust that he would understand Loki better than all of them was frustrating. He had spent his whole life with him, he knew when he was being played.
He was so lost in thought that he ran into Steve who was also wandering around the endless hallways. At least Steve was still clueless when it came to his current situation.
“Looking for someone?” Steve asked as Thor steadied him.
“Yes, have you seen Loki?”
“No, sorry. I was actually hoping to talk to Bruce about something before I leave. I feel like both him and Tony are avoiding me. Do you know anything about what’s going on?” When Thor didn’t answer he nodded before continuing. “I’m sure they are both working hard on a way to destroy the tesseract. Could you tell them that I plan to look through the old files on it in order to find out more. Maybe there’s something in there that could help.”
“I’ll make sure to tell them.”
“Thanks, oh and one more thing. They said that you were the father of Loki’s child, that’s not true is it?” Thor swallowed this was his chance to lie, no need to have all his old friends look at him like he was insane.
“No, of course not. That would be crazy.” He laughed as Steve nodded.
“Why would Tony make something like that up?” He sighed shaking his head and heading for the door. “Let them know that I’ll call with any new information I can find.” He added waving as he left. Thor couldn’t believe that it actually worked, maybe Loki was rubbing off on him.
When he finally found Loki she was perched on a chair glued to a computer screen. She didn’t even look up when he entered the room.
“I’ve been looking for you everywhere, Tony said you talked to him.” She merely nodded still looking at the screen. “What are you doing?”
“What does it look like.” Her voice was sharp as she nodded to the computer.
“I can see that your on the computer, I meant what are you looking at?” He ground his teeth as he made his way towards her. The screen was lit up with a google search for how to induce labour. Well he certainly hadn’t been expecting that.
“So the conversation with Tony went well then.”
“Yes, he agreed to let us have the tesseract, but only after this baby is born. Which means the sooner I go into labour the sooner we get to leave this wretched place.” She smiled at the thought, eyes still on the computer screen.
“Loki, I don’t think you can make yourself go into labour.” Of course he didn’t know if that was true or not it just sounded right. His knowledge of pregnancy was very limited.
“It’s close enough to when he’s due that I can actually. Now if only one of these stupid tricks would just work. There’s probably a better way with seidr but I don’t know what it is.” She huffed letting her head rest in one of her hands.
“Well there’s only one more thing left to try besides raspberry tea.” She turned finally looking up at him. Thor wasn’t sure what she was about to propose but judging from the look on her face, it was something that would be more enjoyable then tea. “We are going to have sex.” She announced grabbing his hand and dragging him back to his room.
As soon as the door was closed behind him she was stepping out of her clothes, he couldn’t help but stare. If he thought seeing Loki naked was strange last time it didn’t even come close to seeing her like this. She had a beautiful body that he would never have associated with his not brother.
“Everything okay?” She asked raising an eyebrow at him. He nodded finding it hard to say anything without sounding like a complete idiot. She grinned kissing him hard and pushing her tongue into his mouth. He finally came to his senses and kissed her back wrapping his hands around her and pulling her closer. She seemed so small like this, even with the large belly.
After a couple of minutes of kissing she started to pull down his pants, hands roaming everywhere. He could feel his body light up, what if he accidentally started another storm. Pushing that thought aside he pulled off his own shirt enjoying the way her hands seemed to know exactly what they were doing.
When she finally stepped back he was a mess and rain was already falling hard outside the window, much to his annoyance. He would need to work on a way to control that or it would become a signal to everyone that knew him.
Loki turned away from him making her way to the bed and getting comfortable back still facing him. He felt another surge of excitement as he made his way towards her causing a bolt of lighting to crack outside. With a huff he pushed himself right up against her and started to kiss the back of her neck. She made sure to grab one of his hands and pull it around her placing it on her chest. He groaned as she turned around eyeing him.
“I’m going to move now, so your going to have to give me space.” Her voice was husky and he obeyed reluctantly moving away. At least from this distance he could watch her better.
When she nodded he moved quickly so that his chest was pressed right up against her back. Just as he was about to slide a hand between her legs she turned kissing him hard and pushing back onto him. He couldn’t help but moan at the sudden sensation, moving his hips forward to push completely inside her.
Her breath was coming out ragged as he started to move faster while letting one hand roam her whole body. He ended up settling between her legs rubbing gently as he sped up. She was a complete mess underneath him moans and screams reverberating off the walls. He could barely make out the sound of the thunder outside over her.
“Move faster. I’m soo close.” She begged before sharply kissing him once more, this time she bit his lip drawing blood before pulling away. He groaned tasting his own blood and moving faster. When she came she clenched around him so hard that he couldn’t help but follow.
Slowly he pulled out before laying next to her and pressing them together once more. Her heart was still racing just as fast as his own, and he couldn’t help but grin at the look of utter contentment on her face.
He felt like the phone call was going well, that is until they put him on hold. Now he was anxiously waiting unable to shake the feeling that things were about to get much worse. Just when he was about to put the phone down he heard someone on the other end. The voice sent an instant feeling of dread through his whole body. General Ross, how could it be General Ross? They had never mentioned him before? Did he just join the team when he found out that Bruce was involved? Of course that seemed the most likely reason for his sudden appearance. He always seemed to be keeping tabs on him no matter where he went.
“General Ross, I didn’t know you were involved with the project?” He tried to make his voice as calm as possible hands clammy, this was not going to end well.
“I just recently found out about it through an acquaintance that was concerned about your work ethic.” His tone was full of resentment and Bruce couldn’t help but be reminded of his earlier life when he worked for him.
“Everything is going great, I’ve just been working through a couple minor setbacks.” Like the entire lab being sucked into space.
“Your usual work ethics then, at least this time you can’t turn yourself into a monster.” He paused clearly enjoying the way he could so easily torment him. “I think I will stop by later in the week to make sure you really are working on the project that we have been paying you for. I’m sure you understand that we need results.” He paused again and Bruce found he couldn’t come up with anything constructive to say. Not like there was ever a way to convince General Ross of something. “I’ll see you soon then.” He sounded smug as he hung up the phone.
Mind racing he finally noticed Tony in the doorway, he seemed to catch on that something was wrong because he rushed over.
“It can’t have been that bad, even if they do drop by we’ll just make sure everything is in tip top shape.” Tony grinned at him clearly trying to lift his spirits, when his expression didn’t change he wrapped an arm around his. “Bruce what happened?”
“General Ross is the one that wants to check in on my progress.” His voice sounded defeated even to his own ears.
“Hey it will be fine I’ll coach you through the whole thing, did he say when he’s coming?” Tony started to rub circles on the back of his hand and he felt himself finally start to calm down, the action reminding him all to much of years long past.
“No, just some time later in the week.” He sighed, letting his head drop down onto Tony’s.
“Well we should have a couple of days to get ready.”
They sat like that for a minute, Bruce finally becoming aware of just how stormy it was outside again. He couldn’t help but turn and look at Tony as lighting cracked outside, there was no way it was a coincidence.
“Yeah I know, I came down here when Loki started to get really loud. Turns out he can just turn into a lady.” Bruce honestly didn’t know what to say to that. “What are we going to do with them?”
Loki was exhausted, having lost count of just how many times they had fooled around. Thor having finally gotten up to gorge himself in the kitchen, and maybe bring her back something.
She found herself idly running her hands over her stomach and feeling the baby move when he sensed her seidr around him. She was certain he knew what she wanted and was stubbornly refusing, just like his dad then. Oh how she hated this, just waiting around had always been the worst part of any great plan. At least this Thor was just as good in bed as the other Thor had been. Maybe she would give up and just use the tesseract to jump from timeline to timeline and fool around with all the different Thor’s. The thought was so ridiculous she couldn’t help but laugh.
When Thor returned with everything she had asked for she knew that this was definitely the right choice.
“I don’t think your going to have the baby tonight.” He beamed at her as she devoured one of the large sandwiches he had brought.
“Well we tried.” She winked at him, sure she looked ridiculous with crumbs everywhere.
Thor just grinned at her as he kissed her forehead. She would never admit to anyone just how much that look affected her. She really was in deep.
“Where do we even start when the entire lab is gone?” Bruce was running his hands in his hair as he looked around what was once his lab. The room was completely empty with the exception of the blood, now dried on the floor.
“Were all your notes in this one room?” Tony asked glancing everywhere expression thoughtful.
“Yes, unfortunately. Ross is going to have my head.”
“Wow, we work differently.” He patted Bruce’s back still looking at the empty room. “Don’t worry we’ll come up with some bullshit that he’ll believe, not like he knows anything about the complexities of radiation the way you do.”
“I know you're trying to make me feel better but we don’t even know what we're going to do about the two Asgardians that can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. General Ross isn’t going to let that slide either. Isn’t Loki still a known criminal?”
“He is, though General Ross wouldn’t be the wiser if he looked like a woman. Or anyone else for that matter, besides he thinks he’s died. What we really need to be worried about is making sure Thor knows what is going on so he doesn't start smiting people.” Bruce sighed, getting Thor alone would certainly prove to be a challenge all on it’s own.
“Given that the storm is finally over I’m going to assume that their sleeping, which means we can chat with him tomorrow. For now we should be working on getting something together so it looks like you’ve been productive.” Tony grinned before leaving to get some supplies. It was going to be a long night.
Thor was in a great mood the next morning having slept better than could remember in years. He was just heading back to the kitchen having left Loki to sleep in their bed, when he bumped into Tony.
“We need to talk.” The blue man’s voice was harsh when he pulled him to the side. “Do you know who General Ross is? He was probably at my funeral.”
“There were a lot of people at your funeral.” He paused remembering the many sombre faces. “There was one man that Bruce was avoiding, he had a moustache and very angry eyes.”
“That’s the one. He’s planning on stopping by in a couple of days to check in on how Bruce’s project is going. Of course as you and I both know it went into the portal, so he’s not going to be very happy when he stops by.” Thor nodded still not sure where Tony was going with this.
“Do you want me to attack him if he gets angry?” Tony shook his head sighing.
“No Thor, that’s exactly what I don’t want you to do. No lighting, no flying around and making him more on edge then he already will be. Even if there are many soldiers with him you have to keep to yourself. Do you understand?”
“They’re not coming for Loki are they?”
“No, they won't even know that Loki’s here. The idea is that they check in on the project and then leave. No fights no attacks.” Thor nodded it seemed simple enough, though if they did try to take Loki then he wouldn’t hold back.
“I wont do anything to your visitors, no need to worry. I actually have something I have to tell you too.” Tony raised an eyebrow at him. “It’s a message from Steve. He said he’s going to do some research on how to destroy the tesseract.”
“Well whatever keeps him busy.” Tony grinned before looking past him and making a face. “Looks like your baby mama's here which is my cue to leave.” He waved, quickly stepping around him.
“Running off so soon?” Loki eyed Tony as he tried to walk by. Thor couldn’t help but laugh at the look on his face as he took in Loki’s more feminine form.
“Yep, I’m afraid I have too much work to do, feel free to continue whatever you’ve been doing that causes thunderstorms.” He winked at Loki and she laughed touching his arm and throwing her head back. Tony eyed her more closely and Thor felt the urge to rush forward and separate them.
“You still have some muscle, pretty good for an A.I.” Loki grinned watching Tony laugh.
“Alright that’s enough.” He interjected stepping between them, Tony merely eyed him grin still in place.
“No need to worry big guy, one child is enough for me. Now best be getting back to work.” He waved before heading down the hall, Thor made sure to glare at the back of his head. Beside him Loki ran soothing circles on his arm.
“I love you.” She whispered in his ear.
“Well that’s all I can do with what we have in this lab. Your going to need to go shopping.” Tony announced throwing his arms in the air in surrender.
“Shopping? What do you need that I can just get in a store?” He couldn’t help but ask. At least the lab looked well used again, with papers littering the floor and the desks they had dragged into the room. He had even managed to make some headway on the project for when General Ross came. All in all the last two days hadn’t been that bad.
“Yeah, I’m going to need more cables. You can take Thor with you and get some baby things too. He could probably use a walk.” Tony added already back to the paperwork strewn around him.
“Are you really suggesting I go baby shopping with Thor?” The idea was so strange that he was hoping he had misheard. The amount of media attention they would get would be enough to make him lock himself away in the lab for a couple more months.
“You should make sure to get some of those button up onesies they are very practical.”
They headed for the closest mall much to his annoyance, he had been making a decent amount of progress on recreating his old notes. Worst of all, what if General Ross decided to stop by while they were out. Who would let him in? Loki pretending to be him? He shook his head at the very idea following Thor into the building. He was enjoying himself, waving at all the people that were staring at them. Bruce smiled at the few that waved at him before entering. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad. Hopefully no one would assume that they were adopting a baby together.
He dragged Thor away from the food court and in the direction of the electric store, he could get what Tony needed first and then they could worry about the baby.
Of course as soon as they entered the store everyone turned to look at them, the manager even rushed over.
“Anything you need is on the house. I can’t thank you enough for everything that you did. My wife died, and you brought her back.” She wiped her eyes smiling up at him. “Your a hero.”
“Thank you, but you really don’t need to give us anything for free.” Of course right after he said that Thor dropped something on the ground breaking it. “I guess we’ll take whatever that was.” He sighed before making his way towards the power cables.
Once he had found everything he made his way towards Thor who was still apologising to the owner while signing an autograph. The sight was so ridiculous that he decided to just head for the front and pay so that they could leave. The less time he spent shopping the better.
Thor pulled out a list when they got closer to the baby store showing it to him.
“Tony and Loki made this so we would know what to get.” He grinned handing it to Bruce.
“They made us a list.” Why was he not surprised. Looking over it, he decided that most of it didn’t seem mandatory. “We can’t afford all this stuff, let’s just get the basics and then you can worry about everything else once you go back to Asgard.” Thor nodded following him into the store.
Thor stopped abruptly looking in awe at all the different options, Bruce had to admit it was overwhelming. Where did they even start? He glanced back down at the list deciding that they would need a shopping cart.
He ended up dragging Thor towards the diapers first, that was something they would definitely need. After throwing a couple into the cart they headed for the cribs, Thor eyeing them sceptically.
“These are all awfully small, the bed I had as a child was much larger. Loki even had a gold cradle.”
“I don’t think they sell gold cribs here. Besides if your planning on travelling after the baby is born then it would be silly to buy a crib now. All we need here is a couple of blankets.” He reached out grabbing a couple and added them to the cart.
“Where will the baby sleep then?” Thor looked genuinely confused.
“He can sleep with you until you leave.” It made sense to him but judging from the look on Thor’s face he thought otherwise.
“What if I roll over and crush him.” He looked so concerned that Bruce tried his best to sound reassuring and not laugh.
“If your that concerned we can set up another bed for him.” Thor nodded following him to the next section of the store, the clothing.
“Look at this.” He grinned holding up a jumper with Tony’s signature sunglasses and a phrase that said ‘future billionaire.’
“We’re not getting that, Tony will never let it go.” Thor agreed putting it back on the shelf. They ended up grabbing a couple outfits, Bruce wasn’t really looking at them that closely but Thor seemed to really like them. He was especially fond of one that had tiny hammers all over it.
“We have to get him a tiny hammer to go with it. Then he will be able to smite his enemies.” Thor ran off for the toys quickly finding a plastic hammer and proudly showing it off to Bruce. “Look, it’s perfect.”
“That’s great, I’m sure he will love it. Now we just have to get a diaper bag, change pad and some bottles.”
They managed to get everything except the diaper bag when a sales clerk noticed them amongst all the baby gear. She quickly headed towards them smile bright.
“Are you finding everything okay?”
“Were just trying to decide which bag to get.” Thor beamed at her still eyeing up a couple different options.
“Well, this one is the most popular. It has a built in changing pad that comes out.” She pulled it out showing him all the various compartments. Bruce tried to sneak away before she realized that they were shopping together. The last thing he wanted was to cause a scene.
“Is that the Hulk?” She spotted him and waved. Well shit, he was never that good at hiding like this. Begrudgingly he made his way back towards them.
“It’s so great to meet you! Would you be able to give me an autograph?” She grinned at him face hopeful.
“Of course.” She pulled a pen out of her apron and a piece of paper, handing it to him.
“I didn’t know either of you had kids.” She eyed them each in turn as he signed the paper.
“I’m going to have my first.” Thor beamed at her, Bruce desperately hoped that she wouldn’t ask anymore questions.
“That’s so exciting, a boy I guess.” She asked eyeing their cart full of items.
“Yep.” Thor looked so proud that he felt bad for wishing the conversation would end.
“Who’s the lucky mother?” And there it was the question he was dreading, maybe it would have been better if she did assume they were adopting a baby together.
“She doesn't want to make it public.” Thor said it so matter-of-factly that the sales clerk nodded looking sympathetic.
“That makes sense. Well whoever she is I’m sure she will be a great mother.” He couldn’t help but cough at that, the idea of Loki being a great mother was so strange. They both turned to look at him before Thor spoke up once more.
“I think we have everything we need now, thank you for your help.” She eyed them each before leading the way to the cash register. Bruce was just glad it was all over.
Tony was pretty proud of himself for convincing the others to go out, it had been far too long since any of them had left the compound. He was starting to worry that Bruce would end up spending the rest of his days here. Just because that’s what he planned on doing, didn’t mean he had to follow suit.
He was just finishing some final touches on the shield when Loki knocked on the door. He was back to his old self much to his disappointment. There was something more intriguing about him when he didn’t look the man that had attacked New York. Oh well couldn’t have everything.
“Can I help you, Prince of Lies.” Loki raised an eyebrow at him clearly enjoying the name.
“I just thought maybe you had a reason for sending the others away and keeping me here.”
“No real reason other than the fact I still don’t completely trust you.” He made his way back to his desk leaving the door open for Loki.
“You must get bored spending all your time locked away here.”
“Life can be boring, or whatever this is.” He gestured vaguely at his blue form.
“Is it okay if I ask about your daughter?” Well he hadn’t been expecting that. Whatever game Loki was playing at he couldn’t help but nod. He missed her terribly, and maybe this wasn’t about some grand scheme. Who was he kidding of course it was.
“How old is she?” It was such a random question that he couldn’t help but turn away from his notes to look at Loki. He was seated in the chair normally used by Bruce which meant he sank in it, feet swaying in the air.
“I guess she would be six now.” He made it sound as flippant as possible though of course he knew exactly how old she was and just how many days it had been since he had died.
“That’s a good age, she’ll be going to school then?” He tried to read the other man's face for a tell and much to his annoyance found nothing. Damn Loki would be a good poker player.
“Yeah. Why the sudden interest?”
“Just curious. I’m sorry if I’m overstepping, I know how much she must mean to you. It has to be hard to know that she still thinks your gone.” Loki’s face stayed just as unreadable though Tony could make out sympathy in his voice. Probably faking it.
“If that’s all you want to talk about then there’s the door.” He hated how Loki’s words twisted in him making him rethink everything. A part of him wanted to continue living, even like this. There was nothing he wanted more than to see his daughter again and he knew without a doubt that Loki was using that against him. Probably all a part of some master plan to make him decide to let him keep the tesseract.
“We can talk about something else. I’m sure you have questions you would like to ask me, or is that not why you encouraged them to go?” He gave in, mind jumping to the most insane question. He was morbidly curious about some things though purely for science not for any other reasons.
“What’s better, sex as a man or as a women?” Loki eyed him like he couldn’t believe that’s all he wanted to ask.
“Really, I’m letting you ask me anything and that’s what you decided on.” When he just nodded Loki relented. “Honestly, one isn’t better than the other, it’s just different.”
“Come on, that’s such a non answer.” Loki huffed leaning farther into the huge chair.
“Fine, you really want to know.” He paused for dramatic effect and Tony leaned in closer, enjoying the pure ridiculousness of the conversation. “It depends on who your having sex with.”
“So it’s better as a woman then.”He sighed moving back into his own chair. Judging from the noises Loki was making as a lady she had felt the same way.
“Are you disappointed?”
“No. It’s honestly what I expected.” Chalk one up for Pepper.
The next morning Thor woke up to an empty bed and instantly went into panic mode, had Loki run away for good? He seemed to like all the baby stuff that he had brought back. Maybe he was just in the bathroom and he was overreacting. The feeling in the pit of his stomach said otherwise, but he got up and knocked on the door just in case. When there was no answer he threw on some sweatpants and a t-shirt and ran out of the bedroom.
He ran through most of the building before spotting Tony heading back towards the lab.
“Tony, do you know where Loki is?” His voice came out panicked and the A.I. sighed looking at him.
“Did you really lose him again? Nevermind, I’ll check the front door.” He displayed the front door camera so they could both see. There was no one there.
“Let me look through all of them.” Thor waited as patiently as possible as Tony scrolled through what was quite frankly way too many cameras. After a couple of minutes he shook his head. “I can’t find him anywhere. At least the tesseract is still secure.” Thor hardly felt like that made it any better.
“What do you mean you can’t find him. Isn’t that the point of all the camera’s?”
“Hey, your the one boneing him. You should know where he is.” Thor could feel his temper rising, they were getting nowhere. Loki was probably using his seidr to hide away, when they were younger he would practice all the time. Even Heimdall couldn’t find him when he didn’t want to be found.
Loki had woken up that morning to the feeling of water between her legs, the baby had finally decided to come. There was no way that the Avengers of all people would be delivering her son, she had decided on that the moment she had agreed to stay past his birth.
It took a lot of restraint to remain silent as she dragged herself up and out of bed. If she could just make it to the spot she had picked everything would be fine. Thank the gods they hadn’t made her put those damn bracers back on.
It was early enough that no one was around even the A.I. seemed to be busy, no doubt working on ways to destroy the tesseract. If she gave birth to this baby today then she would be in the clear to leave with it tomorrow. The thought pushed her forward as she made her way to her hiding place, hands grasping for anything that could help her stumble there.
By the time she arrived and closed the door she was so exhausted that all she could do was collapse onto the floor. She stayed like that for a couple of minutes regaining her breath before using her seidr to hide where she was. There was no way she was taking any chances with them finding her.
Once the spell was clearly in place she focused all her energy on the baby, the pain was awful, even worse than being thrown around by the Hulk. She felt sick as she concentrated as hard as she could on using her seidr to help.
For what must have been the hundredth time she cursed the fact that she was in this awful situation. This was not how a future King was supposed to be born. What would her mother say? She could just imagine the look of sorrow on her face at what had befallen her youngest child. The image was so strong she couldn’t help the tears that slipped down her cheeks. All of Asgard had died so that one child could be born. Her mother would be mortified.
Outside she could hear the sound of thunder as she gripped the old bed frame still seated on the floor. The room was dark without any windows but she was certain that Thor had woken up and was searching for her. They would never find her, she thought idly as the contractions worsened.
The hours slipped by as she sat on the cool floor, it could be afternoon now for all she knew. It didn’t matter; all that mattered was delivering this baby. The storm outside had gotten worse if the noises of the rain pounding above her was any indication. She was so exhausted.
Just when she was sure she couldn’t push anymore, he started to cry. Laying back against the bedframe she did her best to check over him with her seidr. He looked back at her eyes bright, becoming quiet as he felt her magic wash over him. She knew it was because he had felt it many times before and recognised it as something that belonged to her.
Carefully she grabbed one of her many conjured knives and cut the umbilical cord. He merely looked up at her in response, eyes as green as her own. She could feel the tears start up once more when she picked him up pressing him close to her. Nothing was ever going to hurt her baby and live to talk about.
Thor was beside himself having spent most of the day searching for Loki, Bruce had done his best to help. But after looking everywhere and finding nothing he felt like the only reasonable explanation was that he was gone. Though of course he didn’t plan on telling Thor that.
He was just about to try to console the Asgardian when Tony came running down the hallway looking frantic.
“It’s go time team. General Ross is here, and he brought a crazy amount of backup. I’m talking an entire army.” Bruce could only gape in horror at that. Had he come to arrest him? He had done that many times in the past.
“Did he look angry?” His voice came out a lot shakier then he had hoped it would.
“He looked the same as always, like he just smelled something bad. Listen Bruce, you're going to have to open the door and let him in.” Tony placed a hand on his bicep clearly trying to be reassuring. “I’m going to be watching the whole thing and contacting you with this.” He placed a small earpiece into his hand. “Been working on it for a while, surprise!” Bruce could only muster a half smile at the gift, nothing would make dealing with General Ross any easier.
“Thanks Tony, well here goes nothing. Hopefully it’s not a long visit.” He trudged away, making sure to take his time to reach the door. He could just barely make out Tony telling Thor to lay low and keep an eye out for Loki encase he really was still around somewhere.
When he reached the door, he couldn’t help but peer through the peephole before opening it. Sure enough a large group of men in army gear stood just behind General Ross. Taking a deep breath he pulled open the door doing his best to smile at the General.
“There you are, I was beginning to wonder if you were here or not. Thought maybe you had fled the country after our phone call.”
“No of course not.” He made sure to open the door wide gesturing for him to come inside. All the men followed behind him and Bruce mentally prepared himself for the worst.
“Lead the way.” He followed close behind him scanning everything around him with disgust. Bruce supposed that it had been awhile since he had bothered cleaning anything. It had been one of the last things on his mind in the past month, but now it seemed really obvious.
By the time they reached the lab his palms were sweaty, even before the accident with gamma radiation he had hated this part. The supervisors were never impressed, being far too fixated on more immediate results.
General Ross scanned his desk with disgust at the amount of stacked papers and the notes scrawled all over the white boards.
“Well make it quick I don’t intend to spend anymore time then I have to here.”
To his disappointment a number of the largest soldiers followed him into the lab rifles at their sides. Doing his best not to wince he went over all his notes outlying just how disastrous the effects of radiation could be and ways to prevent it from getting worse. General Ross didn’t seem impressed in the slightest. It probably didn’t help that the samples he had been working on had all been sucked up in the portal. They never liked anything that they couldn’t see with their own eyes.
“What happened to the samples that were sent to you?” And there it was the question he had been dreading, even going over an answer with Tony hadn’t helped him feel any more ready.
“They were corrupted through some of the tests I had to run.” General Ross did not look impressed by his response as he leaned in closer. It unnerved him how even when he was towering over the General he still managed to terrify him.
“Is that what really happened Dr. Banner?” He did his best to remain calm while holding his ground.
“Yes I’m afraid so.”
“Really, because I have evidence that something much worse happened.” His heart raced as the older man paced around him clearly enjoying this. “We couldn’t help but notice a portal open here, a couple of different times. Do you know anything about that?” He gulped desperately hoping that Tony was listening in.
“Sorry Sir I’m not aware of anything opening or closing here. Your welcome to have a look around.” He did his best to smile, General Ross did not look impressed.
“Search the building.” He waved at the men behind him before turning back to Bruce. “If they find anything I’m going to have to conduct a full investigation. You won't be able to work here anymore. Do you understand?” Bruce merely nodded.
“I should mention that Thor is here right now.” The General smiled at him.
Loki was starving by the time she decided to leave the safety of her hiding place.
The baby had eaten and was sleeping peacefully in her arms when she pushed the door open. He really was beautiful with tufts of blonde hair and vibrant eyes. Thor would love him.
As soon as she closed the door behind her she could tell that something was off. The halls were quiet around her making it easier to hear the quick footsteps on the floor above. She clutched the knife tighter in her other hand as she made her way down the hall. The idea of food was too tempting, besides it wasn’t like she couldn’t just change her appearance. Maybe she would turn into the old American man. They all seemed to adore him.
When she reached the kitchen she ran for the fridge yanking the door open and eating whatever was closest. She was just about to wash an apple in the sink when someone entered the kitchen behind her.
“Who are you?” The voice startled her and she almost dropped the apple before turning around. A soldier, great. She knew she must look terrible, hair matted with sweat and loose fitting clothes hanging off her.
“I’m a friend of Bruce, is everything okay?” She put the apple down on the counter carefully while pressing the baby closer to her chest.
“Maam what are you holding?” He stepped closer to her while lifting up the rifle.
“My baby, is that a problem?” She raised an eyebrow at him as he reached out for the bundle. She smiled waiting for him to just try it. As soon as he touched her baby he would get a knife to the throat. He seemed to pick up on what she was thinking because he stepped away, pulling out a radio.
“We have another person in the facility. White women with a baby. She says she’s a friend of Dr. Banners.” He paused listening to what was probably the General on the other end.
“Your going to have to come with me.” He reached out trying to grab her arm but she slipped to the side pulling out the knife and tossing it at him with her free hand. He fell hard, clutching at his chest in surprise. She sighed stepping forward and pulling it out of him roughly.
“I’m sorry but I’m not going anywhere with you.” She wiped the blade off on his shirt before putting it back in place and walking out of the kitchen. He probably wouldn’t die from it. Probably.
Bruce was standing as still as possible trying to keep his breath even and not loose his temper. General Ross always had that effect on him. He was currently listening to someone on the radio, face looking more and more irritated by the minute.
“Did you plan on telling me that you had another friend here.” Bruce did his best to keep his face blank mind racing, had they found Tony? The General shook his head before speaking into the radio. “Yes, apprehend her. She might have come through the portal.” At that his stomach dropped, if they tried to apprehend Loki then things were about to get much worse. All he could do was wait, heart racing.
The minutes dragged by and General Ross started to get irritated stepping away and shouting into the radio. When he was met with silence he focused his attention back on Bruce.
“Something more is going on. Stay here.” He stepped out of the lab nodding at the two men to stay behind. Neither of them looked too thrilled with this order.
He did his best to look innocent desperately hoping that he wouldn’t need to fight the General again. Come on Loki, please don’t attack any of them.
Tony spoke up in his ear startling him so bad that he had to hide it with a cough.
“So bad news, Loki threw a knife at one of them. I know it’s becoming predictable.” He paused voice getting quiet. “I didn’t realize Ross was that cruel to you. Why didn’t you tell me?” Bruce eyed the men watching him there was no way he could answer a question like that right now.
“We can talk about it later. I told Thor where Loki is so he’s going to try and intercept. If things get any worse I’m going to talk to General Ross. Just sit tight okay, I’ll keep you updated.”
Thor was running as fast as he could, which sadly wasn’t as fast as he used to be able to. Drinking far too much beer would do that, he thought wheezing as he came to a stop near the kitchen. Tony had said she was around here somewhere.
“Loki.” He called out making his way into the kitchen. There was a man on the floor with blood pooling from his chest. He sighed kneeling down and checking how bad the wound was. It hadn’t hit anything that would kill him, though the amount of blood on the floor wasn’t a good sign. He quickly bandaged the midgardian up before leaving the kitchen once more. He should be fine.
“Loki.” He yelled out, voice reverberating down the hall. That’s when he spotted her, hiding behind some old boxes past the stairs. He started to make his way towards her when more soldiers came down the stairs blocking his path. The General was leading them towards him. Loki slid back into the shadows so none of them could see her.
“Did you just say Loki?” General Ross asked eyeing him suspiciously.
“Yeah, that’s uh…. my cat's name?” He knew he would be in serious trouble for that later but General Ross at least seemed to buy it.
“You named your cat after your dead brother?”
“Yes.” The General sighed as if he was dealing with a child before walking closer to him. He couldn’t help but look towards the boxes on the other side of the room where he knew Loki was hiding.
“Do you know anything about a woman staying here? Did she come through the portal?” His eyes were steely when he stared Thor down.
Thor was just about to say no, when a baby started to cry from across the room. His baby was born! Was that why Loki hid herself away? He started to make his way towards the sound but General Ross put a hand on his chest stopping him.
“Check over there.” He nodded towards Loki’s hiding place, Thor’s heart sank.
If it came to it he would fight all of them to keep Loki and their child safe. There was no way he was going to let anything happen this time. He pushed by the General as two of his men pulled a struggling Loki out into the open. She looked exhausted as she tried to push them off her while also holding the baby close. The sight made his blood boil and without thinking he called for his axe. It came within a matter of minutes crashing through a couple walls in the process.
General Ross looked surprised at the sudden change in his appearance and the large axe in his hand.
“You know this woman then?” He asked nodding at his men to bring her closer. She was still struggling but Thor could tell she was too exhausted to do much else.
“Yes, unhand her.” He stepped closer lighting crackling around him. The General seemed to notice the baby Loki was holding and realisation dawned on his face.
“Thor, you can’t just bring people through portals. I know it might seem normal to you but for us it’s an invasion. Listen, you did a lot for this country so I’m willing to make sure she gets through the process as quickly as possible. For now though she will have to come with us in order to clear her.”
“I’m not going with you.” Loki shouted as she renewed her attempts at pulling free to no avail. Thor eyed her trying to communicate through his eyes what he was planning. The old Loki would have understood, and to his relief so did she.
“She’s not going with you, now let her go.” His voice was calm but he made sure to send small bolts of lighting close enough to General Ross making him take a step back.
The older man sighed nodding to the men that were still holding her to lift their weapons. They looked concerned but still followed his orders pointing one of them at the side of her head. Loki nodded to him, it was time.
She ducked pulling out the blade he knew she was hiding and stabbed the man pointing the gun at her. He collapsed, and Thor ran forwards lighting crackling around him and sending any of the other men that tried to get in his way flying. He didn’t plan on killing any of them if he could avoid it. When Thor finally reached her he couldn’t help but look her over. She seemed unhurt just tired much to his relief.
The men still standing eyed their General warily waiting for his next command, Thor could tell they were terrified of him. They had probably all heard about how he had taken Thanos head clean off with the axe he was currently holding.
Loki clutched his side resting her head on his chest breathing heavily, when he turned his attention back to General Ross. The man eyed him clearly angry, but also to wary to give the orders to attack. He knew they would lose. Thor beamed at him when he made the order to lower their weapons.
“I’m going to have to report this Thor, I think it would be best if you make sure she’s gone before they send a much larger team here.” With that he walked back up the stairs all of his men following suit, none of them made eye contact. Even the man that had been stabbed by Loki didn’t speak up. The scene reminded him all too much of when he convinced them to let him bring Loki back to Asgard after he attacked New York. They had been mad then too, but unwilling to argue with the god of thunder.
“I can’t believe you told them that you named your cat Loki.” He chuckled holding her closer. “Do you want to hold him?” Loki was eyeing him with so much adoration that he couldn’t resist kissing her forehead before carefully taking the baby. He was beautiful, Thor couldn’t help but hold him closer. His tiny hands pulled at his beard, making him laugh. He was definitely strong.
Bruce was still waiting patiently just outside the lab when General Ross made his way back towards him. His whole face was tomato red and Bruce knew things were about to get worse. He hoped that it was just over Loki and not the tesseract still hiding in the building.
When his men got closer Bruce couldn’t help but notice the one man clutching his side.
“We’ve found everything we need. I suggest you take some time off Banner, clearly you can’t be trusted to report back everything that’s going on in your own lab.” He tried to shove past him and Bruce found he couldn’t resist shoving him back, making him fall over. General Ross got up and was just about to yell at him when the blue figure of Tony Stark started to head towards them.
“Nice to see you General Ross.” He beamed at the man making him tear his eyes away from Bruce and instead onto the blue man addressing him. “Sorry about all the confusion. I’m afraid Dr. Banner here has been working on other projects.” He gestured down at himself. “You understand I’m sure.” He paused again winking at Bruce. “Oh and one of your men is still in the kitchen, you probably shouldn’t leave without him.” In response General Ross eyed them each in turn before turning back to Bruce.
“You think you can play tricks on me? Tony Stark is dead!”
“Yes, I am. And I’m asking you to leave.” Tony gestured towards the door. Bruce was sure General Ross was on the verge of a heart attack when he stormed to the door ordering some of his men to go and retrieve the man in the kitchen. He sent a menacing look back at him before leaving through the front door.
When Steve arrived back at the old Avengers compound he couldn’t help but notice that things seemed too quiet. Most of the lights were off and it took him awhile to locate Tony and Bruce seated at the kitchen table. Neither one of them was saying much, merely glancing at each other. He couldn’t remember ever seeing Tony like this. Though he supposed this wasn’t really the Tony he had known.
“Everything okay?” They both looked up at him as if seeing him for the first time.
“Oh my god Steve, I get why you didn’t want to sign those damn papers General Ross gave you.” Tony was looking at him recognition clear in his eyes.
“Did he drop by then?” He took a seat at the table across from them still confused about what had happened.
“Yeah, he found out about the portals opening. He was a complete ass to Bruce.” Tony added still not really looking at the green man.
“Oh, well I’m sorry I missed it. Did he find out about Loki?” They both merely nodded faces sombre. He was struck by just how odd it was that Tony finally understood why he hadn’t turned Bucky over because of Loki of all people.
“Hey, it gets better.” He couldn’t help but chuckle when Tony sent him a withering look.
“Just tell us what you discovered about the tesseract.” He smiled at the A.I. before laying the folders down on the table.
Thor sat up for most of the night with the baby so that Loki could sleep. She had passed out as soon as he had helped her to their bed. He couldn’t help but stare at her peaceful face every once in awhile, how she had given birth by herself he couldn’t fathom.
His son was finally asleep too but he found he didn’t want to put him down. He was so tiny and he felt so fragile in his arms, was this how Odin had felt when they were little? He was sure that his mother would have loved her grandson and demanded that she get a turn to hold him as soon as possible.
There was a quiet knock at the door and he got up slowly doing his best not to wake the baby in his arms. Steve was there, and when he saw the baby he beamed at the two of them.
“He was born today then?” He asked leaning in closer to see the tiny face hiding in all the blankets.
“Yes.” Thor announced proudly.
“Congratulations on being an Uncle.” Steve was still looking at the baby so he didn’t notice the way Thor’s face fell.
“I’m his father actually.” It seemed silly to lie now, not when he was so proud of being a father. Steve looked up at him surprise clear on his face, he really had no idea.
“Really, but I thought you said you weren’t his father.”
“I’m sorry, I was lying. He’s my son.” He smiled down at the baby missing the shocked expression on the old man’s face.
“Well in that case I’ll let you get some sleep.” Steve awkwardly turned and headed for his own room as quickly as possible.
Tony waited until after Steve had left to try and get Bruce to talk again, he had been so quiet since General Ross had left. He would be the first to admit he wasn’t good at talking about feelings but this seemed important. How Bruce could never mention how he had been treated by General Ross after finding out that Tony had a good working relationship with him was baffling. They had been very close a couple of years ago, what had happened? Why hadn’t he just said the man was a dick.
“Bruce, are we going to talk about what happened today, or just keep pretending like everything is the same as always?” He got a glare in response as the larger man folded his arms and looked across the room.
“What is there to talk about, you saw everything.”
“We could start with why you never mentioned that he was that much of an ass to you. I never would have put up with him as much as I did if I had known.”
“It’s fine, that’s all in the past now.” He waved a hand still looking anywhere but at Tony’s face. “We should be in the lab adding the finishing touches to the shield so we can destroy the tesseract tomorrow. Steve is right the sooner it’s gone the better.”
Tony ran his hands through his hair, the last thing he wanted to do was destroy the tesseract right now, regardless of what Steve said.
“Your on Steve’s said over this then?” He knew his voice had an edge to it, but hey it was his funeral they were discussing.
“Tony, I’m not on anyone’s side, I’m just terrified that General Ross will find out about it. The sooner it’s out of the picture the better, you even said yourself that you planned on getting rid of it as soon as possible.”
“Yeah I remember what I said, but I’m not ready yet Bruce. I don’t want to die all over again. It wasn’t fun the first time.” Bruce finally turned to look at him before placing a large green hand on his.
“I’m sure we can find a way for you to live without the tesseract.”
“Maybe, but not by tomorrow.” Bruce sighed clearly frustrated.
“In that case I’m going to bed Tony, it’s been a long day. We can come up with a better plan tomorrow.”
Tony watched as he left, the more he thought about staying the more tempting it became. Maybe Loki’s words where messing with his head, but he had already sacrificed everything once. He felt like he deserved to at least try to find something that could make whatever this was better.
He made his way to the lab grabbing the bracers and then headed for the tesseract. By the time he was making his way back to Thor’s room he was really questioning his choices. He was sure the other two would be furious with him, but they still didn’t have something that would definitely work. Besides he had barely managed to hide the glowing cube from General Ross this time never mind doing it again.
Once he reached the door he made himself knock, a deal was a deal. There was no answer at first so he knocked again a little bit louder. The minutes seemed to drag by before the door opened slowly. Loki eyed him warily before noticing the tesseract in his hand. She grinned at him slipping outside the room and closing the door behind her.
“Thor and the baby are sleeping.” She nodded to the now closed door.
“Can you put out your wrists?” He held the bracers out watching as she reluctantly slipped her hands through them. Once they were secure he handed her the tesseract. “Now your going to bring this back as soon as Asgard is relocated, understood.”
“Yes, of course. We can leave tonight.” Her voice was breathless with excitement. He did his best to smile back at her, he might not trust her but he knew he was making the right choice.
“Thank you.” She leaned in closer kissing his cheek much to his surprise.
“Just make sure your gone before tomorrow. I have Thor’s number so I’ll call once we have something that will work.” She nodded heading back into the bedroom.
Later that night he made sure to watch as another portal opened, this time from Thor’s room before closing again.
Bruce woke the next morning and made his way towards the lab skipping breakfast altogether. After the argument they had the night before he just wanted to talk with Tony, maybe he had been overly hurt by the whole General Ross situation. He knew it was naive to think that Tony would understand just how bad it had been when he worked for him, but he felt like he should still be able to notice what an ass the man was on his own.
At least now they could just focus on coming up with something that could sustain the A.I. without relying on the tesseract. He knew Tony was almost finished building the shield, so he could probably start working on it soon.
“Tony.” He called out softly as he pushed the door to the lab open. Sure enough there he was seated at the desk hands busy with something new. Maybe he had already started to create a device to keep his form after the tesseract was gone?
“What are you working on?” He asked as he took a seat in the larger chair.
“Just something that might be able to keep me around a little longer.” He sighed before turning around and eyeing Bruce. “It’s like the longer I’m like this, the more I want to stay. It’s better than nothingness.” He shrugged and Bruce reached out placing a hand over Tony’s.
“We don’t have to destroy the tesseract just yet. Besides Loki just gave birth so he will probably need more time to recover.” Tony eyed him warily at that and he found himself pulling his hand away. “Tell me you didn’t give him the tesseract.”
“They're gone Bruce. Now if General Ross comes back he won't be able to arrest them or get his hands on the tesseract.”
“I thought we were going to talk about what to do next, not just give it to them. Thor is clearly being manipulated by him even if he isn’t a villain anymore. Can you really be sure they will still give it back when the time comes?” He was doing his best to remain calm, it wasn’t even that Tony had given them the tesseract but that he didn’t tell him first. They were supposed to be a team.
“Either they bring it back or Loki lives his whole life without magic, his choice really. At least this way the tesseract is far away from here until we're ready. What if General Ross showed up later today with better men and found it. We didn’t really have any other option.”
“I don’t care about General Ross, I wanted to be able to figure out a plan with you. Instead it feels like you're dragging me along.”
Tony was just about to say something when Steve pushed the door open eyeing them each in turn like they were bickering children.
“My hearing isn’t what it used to be but I could have sworn I heard you say you gave the tesseract to Loki.”
“I did old Stevie, I made the best out of a bad situation. Now if you both have said your piece I would like to have some time to finish this, so we can actually destroy it.” He turned around sharply and Bruce got up heading for the door. He could feel his temper rising, sometimes Tony was impossible.
Of course Valkyrie knew Thor would come back one day, though she never expected him to come back with a new Loki and a baby of all things. Judging from the other Asgardians reactions they didn’t expect it either. Though they were all far more thrilled by the idea then she was. Especially when a beaming Thor had declared he would be speaking on the future of Asgard. She was certain that her services as King were no longer going to be needed, what she didn’t expect was a very different looking Loki to show up before said meeting could take place.
She was dressed in what Valkyrie could honestly say was the tightest most vibrant dress she had ever seen in this new Asgard of mostly thick layers and dull colours. At the sight she instantly found herself on edge. The Loki she had known would never present himself in such a way.
“I just wanted to talk to you in private before the meeting.” She grinned no doubt aware of just how much she was starring.
“Okay, come in.” She yanked the door open roughly and made sure to slam it behind Loki, it seemed smart to keep the slighter women on edge.
“You have a lovely home.” Loki grinned running a long finger over a dusty shelf and eyeing her.
“What do you want?” She grabbed a bottle uncapping it and taking a long drink, if she was going to have this conversation then she was going to need help.
“I just wanted to thank you for how well you’ve taken care of the people of Asgard while Thor was clearly a mess.” She smiled sitting down on the worn out couch.
“Your welcome.” Her head was spinning, and not from the alcohol.
“Since you are the King I wanted you to be the first to know about our plan.” She pulled out a blue cube that Valkyrie instantly recognised as the tesseract. “Were leaving this place.”
“And where are ‘we’ going?” Loki beamed at her holding up the tesseract and opening up a portal right there in her living room. She carefully got closer eyeing the other women warily Loki merely nodded to her from the couch.
She looked through the portal while making sure not turn her back to Loki, the last thing she needed was to be pushed through. To her surprise the fields where lush and green and there was a stream nearby. When she got closer she could even smell familiar wild flowers that she remembered growing in Asgard all those years ago.
“What is this?” She reluctantly stepped away once again looking at Loki. She couldn’t fathom where this world was or why Loki would know about it.
“It’s beautiful isn’t it.” She stood up, placing a hand on her upper arm. “It’s Asgard when she was new, before war and men like Odin.” Her words were said so softly that Valkyrie found herself leaning in closer. “What do you think?”
“I think your crazy, but I’m all for living there if it means getting out of this place.” She did her best to make her voice harsh, there was no way she was going to let Loki see just how much her show had affected her.
Sure enough as if to prove Tony right, General Ross stopped by with a lot more men. Bruce assumed they had noticed the portal that Thor and Loki must have opened the night before to escape. At least that’s what he hoped the reason was for the inspection happening again so soon after the first.
“Hey, I’m sorry Bruce. I know Tony can be a lot sometimes.” Steve eyed him from the other side of the bench they were currently made to wait on. General Ross wasn’t taking any chances with either of them interrupting.
“It’s fine. I don’t want to talk about it right now.” Steve nodded looking sympathetic and reminding Bruce all too much of his days as a councilor after the first snap.
By the time General Ross reapered he was completely on edge, thinking about the notes that Steve had on the tesseract and all the other incriminating things they could have found. Though judging from the look on the General’s face he had been unsuccessful.
“Well it’s all cleared Dr. Banner, though your services on the project will no longer be needed.” He smiled grimly before dumping all his notes at his feet. “Thank you for your time.” He nodded to Steve before walking back towards his parked car. Bruce knew that today would be one of those days were no amount of meditation would be able to quell the rage.
Tony was trying desperately to give Bruce some space, that was until he started to destroy the lab. Now he found himself in the thick of it, doing his best to protect the shield and his other notes from the raging professor.
“Bruce, hey how about you go destroy Thor’s room instead. I kinda need these for later.” He pulled some of his papers away right before the larger man could rip them up. In response he got a murderous glare, so it was definitely like the old Hulk then.
With a finale yell Bruce picked up one of the desks and threw it into the wall sending splinters in every direction. Tony knew that if he had been human he would have been completely covered in them. Thankfully he wasn’t.
Bruce at least seemed to calm down after the desk had shattered as he sank to his knees on the ground still determinedly looking away from Tony.
“Hey, you okay?” So that was probably the dumbest thing he could have said, he had never been the greatest at talking people down. Bruce merely turned and eyed him like he was an idiot, which was fair.
Carefully he walked towards the larger man hands up in surrender eyes never wavering from his. He supposed this was how you would approach a wild animal, not your friend and co-conspirator.
Bruce merely turned away when he got close, eyes facing the destroyed white board on the wall instead of his face. Normally he would never approach him when he was like this but as an A.I. he felt safe enough to wrap his arms around him. When there was no struggle he made himself expand so that his arms reached all the way around him.
“I’m sorry, big guy.” At that Bruce broke down completely, heaving and trying to wipe at his eyes. Well he hadn’t intended to make it worse. “Don’t cry, everything is fine.” Why did it feel like the words were meant for him just as much as Bruce? He couldn’t help but think of that stupid meme of the dog being engulfed in flames while making the same statement. Of course things weren’t fine though maybe they could make the best out of a bad situation.
He pulled back slowly and was just about to get back up when Bruce grabbed his shoulders pulling him back and kissing him. Well he hadn’t expected that, not that he was going to complain it was better then smashing desks. Bruce pushed him back onto the floor as he deepened the kiss, Tony felt a thrill of excitement at the prospect of having sex in the lab. Pepper had never really been into it, though he had managed to convince Bruce a couple of times.
Bruce was just starting to kiss his neck when there was a loud knock at the door, they eyed each other before both turning towards the sound. God damn Steve.
“Bruce I can’t find Tony anywhere, have you seen him?” Sure enough Steve’s voice sounded from the other side of the door. How could a man that old still be so oblivious?
“I’m here, old Steve, no need to fret. Now be on your way.” He yelled at the closed door, if Steve cockblocked him right when it was getting good he was never going to forgive him.
“Oh, well I just got a call from my daughter, she needs help with the kids. So I’m going to spend the rest of the day with them. I’ll be back tomorrow.”
“That’s great go be Grandpa Steven, we’ll see you tomorrow.” He knew he sounded irritated. The mood had definitely been ruined.
They both ended up laying there patiently waiting for the sound of Steve’s footsteps to fade away. When he was finally gone Bruce sighed pulling himself up and off of Tony, much to the A.I.’s annoyance.
“Come on Bruce it was just getting good.” He punched the other man’s arm, hoping for a laugh at least. Instead Bruce shook his head.
“We should probably clean this up.”
“Or we could finish making a mess and then clean up. You could use a good time.” Bruce eyed him, clearly reading something he couldn’t quite hide in his expression. He was just about to bring up all the health benefits when Bruce kissed him again. That was more like it.
He deepened the kiss while rubbing circles into the larger mans back before being roughly thrown down. He couldn’t remember Bruce ever being this aggresive in the past, though admittedly he had only ever had sex with him like this once before.
Bruce was on top of him again kissing him roughly and running his hands all over his body, the sensation was so different and yet so similar. He was never going to get used to the whole being an A.I. thing when it came to this.
He grinned up at Bruce’s face as he yanked off his pants, he looked so determined that Tony found himself fighting the urge to laugh. Instead he settled for pulling at Bruce’s own clothes, wondering if he was actually about to be taken on the floor roughly. There was a first for everything and he had always been an exhibitionist. Imagine the pain in doing this as a human he thought idly as Bruce started to work his way inside with his fingers.
He found himself watching in awe at what was happening, the whole world should know that Tony Stark was so good in bed he could take it from the Hulk. Bruce was still so focused that he decided that it was best not to point it out and instead enjoy the way his whole body felt. Everything was heightened like he was on a drug trip, making the feeling of Bruce finally entering him that much more intense.
He watched the other man’s face as he closed his own eyes and started to move slowly at first and then faster. Bruce looked far more relaxed than he could remember him being since this whole thing started. He grabbed Tony as he continued to move and he found himself closing his own eyes.
The realise didn’t feel the same as an A.I. either, good but not nearly as good as it had been when he was human. Like something more was supposed to happen and didn’t. At least he got to admire Bruce’s face when he came inside him.
Thor gathered all the Asgardians together later that night to make the big announcement. He felt excited by the idea of finally having good news for his people. Valkyrie even looked impressed from her spot in the middle of their makeshift stage. Loki had opted to stay farther back with the baby, no need to overwhelm them too much before the speech had even started.
He nodded to Valkyrie before stepping forward and beaming at everyone, they all looked excited to hear what he had to say.
“I bring you good news tonight my friends and fellow Asgardians, we are going to be leaving for Asgard tomorrow.” He paused the way he remembered Odin would, gauging the looks on their faces. Most of them looked doubtful though that changed when Loki stepped forward and handed him the tesseract. A confused murmur ran through the onlookers at the sight. “This is the space stone and it’s capable of opening a portal that can take us back to Asgard.”
At that they all pushed closer to the stage asking so many questions at once that he found it impossible to hear any of them. Carefully he focused instead on the cube in his hand and the idea of a home long gone. When he opened his eyes the portal was open, clearly showing a beautiful evening in Asgard. The crowd gaped in awe at the sight, one woman even pushed her way to the front and asked if she could get a close look. Thor helped her on the stage and watched as she stepped through the portal eyes bright. When she came back there were tears running down her cheeks.
“How?” She barely managed to ask looking at him as if he was the King that had been promised long ago. He couldn’t help but reach out for Loki and bring him forward so that he was in front of him. They needed to know that he was the one to bring back hope and a chance at a new life.
“Loki brought me the tesseract and showed me what was possible.” At that the chatter intensified, making him raise his voice when he spoke up again. “Of course this isn’t the Loki you remember, he isn’t coming back.” He paused again this time to keep his voice clear and to try and swallow the lump in his throat. “This Loki is from a different timeline than our own.” The women that was still on stage stepped closer eyeing the bundle in Loki’s arms trying to get a better look. They had talked about this, though it didn’t make the next part of the speech any easier. He wasn’t entirely convinced they would accept their relationship or their son but he knew he had to at least give them the chance.
Loki nodded at him still keeping the baby close to his chest and away from the women, much to her annoyance.
“As I’m sure you have noticed this Loki has a child, his name is Magni.” Loki pulled the blanket back in order for them to get a better look. Asgardians started to climb up onto the stage to get a better look at the infant. They all seemed overjoyed by the idea of one of their princes having a child. He hoped that the mood wouldn’t change when he announced the baby was also his. Loki seemed to pick up on his hesitance because he clasped his hand before changing into her female form. Hadn’t he said that he couldn’t change shape while wearing the bracers? He found himself staring at her wrists where they remained in place. Clearly another one of her tricks. She merely squeezed his hand before speaking in a clear voice.
“We plan on raising him together as we are both his parents.” She grinned at him before turning back to the now silent crowd. “You have all suffered far too much in the last couple years and we want to start over, it’s time to build a new Asgard. One where we can all live in peace, that’s what I want for each and everyone of you. Isn’t that what you want?” She paused waiting for their response, he could feel his heart racing as he tried to decipher their faces. Just when he was about to step forward once more, cheers erupted catching him off guard. Loki looked smug like she had never doubted their loyalty as she stepped off the stage and into the crowd. They swarmed her so quickly that he couldn’t help but jump off the stage himself and push his way towards her. He wasn’t sure where this irrational fear of losing her was coming from but he felt much better once he was at her side.
He couldn’t help but notice a couple of older Asgardians staying back and whispering amongst themselves. At least the majority seemed excited by the idea of a new beginning. When they made their way closer to the back of the crowd he made sure to stare them down. A number of them made eye contact for a minute before making there way towards him.
“Your highness, it is so good to have you back.” One of the men shook his hand smiling up at him. The rest stood around eyeing him cautiously.
“It is good to be back, are you not excited by the idea of being able to go back to Asgard?” He couldn’t help but ask before they got the chance to retreat.
“Of course we are. We just didn’t expect to see the second prince again, certainly not like that.” He waved at Loki who was still in her female form and clutching the baby close. Thor could tell that despite her willingness to talk with the people she wasn’t letting any of them get close to Magni.
“You shall get used to it.” He grinned at them before eyeing Loki for a little too long, she really was stunning. Was Valkyrie looking at her too? He sent her a questioning look which was met with a roll of her eyes before she walked off the stage.
“Everything okay?” Loki asked as the remaining Asgardians and aliens returned to their homes.
“Not everyone seems happy to see you again, though Valkyrie certainly is.” Loki burst out laughing at his admission.
“Of course they’re not, I wasn’t exactly popular. Judging from the crowd, most of them at least thought of your Loki as a war hero. Can’t say the same for my people.” Her eyes became distant and Thor knew she was remembering her last day on the ship with them.
“You did what you could.” He tried to pull her closer but she shrugged him off before briskly heading for his cabin with a now crying infant. It was going to be a long night.
Loki barely got any sleep that night and it didn’t have anything to do with his plans for moving whatever they could manage back to Asgard. Instead he found himself up with a crying baby. He was sure if he wasn’t wearing the stupid bracers again he would have been able to find out what was wrong right away instead of trying literally everything. When he finally managed to get Magni to sleep he was exhausted.
Thor’s room was so tiny that only a twin fit inside add the crib in the corner and it meant he could barely walk without bumping into something. The sooner they left for Asgard the better, he would take sleeping outside over this. The whole Korg as a roommate thing had to change too.
He did his best to push Thor towards the wall as he tried to get into the bed waking the larger man. Thor merely smiled at him in that kind understanding way that always managed to make him more irritated.
“It’s your turn next time.” He huffed before collapsing onto the bed. It was so small that Thor was pressed right up against him even though he was hanging off the edge. What kind of tiny midgardian where twin beds made for, probably children.
“Of course your highness.” Thor whispered in his ear making him turn around to glare at him more effectively. As soon as he did however Thor kissed him while pulling him in even closer. Damn him he thought even as he opened his mouth, Thor knew him too well. “Would you like anything else?” He asked as he stuck his hand down Loki’s pants.
“We’ll wake the baby.” He found himself saying while doing his best to ignore his bodies reaction to Thor’s touch.
“Not if your quiet.”
“Me, your the one that starts thunder and lightning storms whenever we have sex.” This time it was Thor’s turn to glare at him.
“No storms tonight.” Of course he had to whisper in his ear again, this time causing a shiver to run down his spine.
“Okay, but I might need to bite your other arm to stay quiet. There is no way I’m waking him up again.” Thor grinned, moving his right arm around him while pulling his pants down with his left. He started up a quick pace right away while kissing the side of his neck, Loki was certain it was a deliberate move. He wanted to claim him so that Valkyrie would back off. It was always so good when he got like this. He couldn’t help but moan only to have Thor cover his mouth gently.
“Be quiet Loki.” In response he bit down on his palm, Thor barely reacted other then to go even faster. He was so close that it only took a couple of minutes for him to come under the sheets, body shaking. He didn’t even realize just how hard he had bitten Thor until he pulled his hand out to reveal rows of dents from his teeth.
“Sorry.” He rubbed his hand trying to smooth out the skin. “Do you want a turn?” He tried to turn around only to give up, he was far too relaxed and exhausted.
“No need to risk a storm, besides your too tired to do anything.” Loki nodded eyelids heavy. He ended up falling asleep in Thor’s arms, which was something he usually tried to avoid.
The next morning all of the remaining Asgardians and random aliens from Sakaar gathered everything they deemed necessary for their trip back home. There was a quiet excitement at what was ahead that even Loki found infectious. As much as he tried to tell himself it was because he had the tesseract and all of Asgard looking up to him, he knew the truth. He finally felt like he had done something good for his people after leaving them to Thanos on the ship. Obviously they weren’t the same people that he had known, but they were similar enough that he could pretend. He knew he was never going back to his old timeline so why not make the most of this one. It was a fresh start and he planned on taking it.
He knew he would have to give the tesseract back. As much as he didn’t want to, there was to much of a risk that Thanos would somehow find his way back to them. For now though he clutched it tightly, so many ruined lives over a simple blue cube. It almost seemed silly when he looked up and saw Thor holding their son, why choose a stone when he could have so much more.
Tony was hoping that it would take Loki at least a couple more days to call and tell them they could come pick up the tesseract. Instead it was a mere two days later when his phone started to ring.
“Tony, we are almost done moving everyone back to Asgard so you should be able to leave for Norway today!” Thor’s voice was excited and he couldn’t help the resentment that boiled in his chest. He would never admit that part of him had even hoped that he would never get the phone call.
“Great, we’ll leave later today.” He hung up the phone, not wanting to hear anymore about how well it must have gone.
“Everything okay?” Bruce was seated next to him in his large desk chair currently working on anything that would help keep him around. It was a desperate attempt he knew, if the two of them hadn’t found anything then there was nothing to find.
“That was thunder thighs, he says we can leave for Norway.” Bruce patted his arm eyes sympathetic.
“We can bring our research with us, we’ll figure something out Tony.”
“As long as we don’t bring Steve along.” He wasn’t sure he could handle the ex Captains selfless attitude right now.
By the time they arrived in Norway it was dark out, at least the flight had been uneventful. Steve had found out and joined them though, much to his initial annoyance. He wasn’t sure he minded as much now, as Steve was able to fly the plane and give them more time to go over their research. They hadn’t found anything new, but he got to stare at Bruce while he tried to desperately go over everything. That was kind of nice.
When they all disembarked they had to walk a ways to reach the area where new Asgard had been located. Tony had no idea where they were and was happy to follow Bruce’s lead. Every step felt like he was getting closer to the nothingness that had engulfed him. How could he possibly choose to die all over again? Ex Cap seemed to notice his current mood because he patted his back with his free hand. The other one was clutching the now finished shield.
“We can always wait a little bit longer until you find something that will work.”
“No we can’t Steve, you know that better than anyone. Just promise me if it comes down to it, you’ll destroy the tesseract.” Steve nodded face grim.
The camp was completely cleared out when they reached it, only Thor, Loki and the baby remaining behind. He couldn’t help but notice when they got closer that the baby was currently wearing an outfit covered in tiny hammers.
“So does he have a name now?” He asked once they were closer.
“His name is Magni son of Thor.” Loki rolled his eyes at the title though Tony could tell he was completely smitten. The bruises all over the side of his neck didn’t help either. How they managed to still mess around with a newborn was beyond him. Probably some weird perk that came with being a viking god.
“That’s a great name.” Steve spoke up, clearly still weirded out by the idea of the baby being Thor’s.
“Can you take these off now.” Loki eyed him while lifting up his wrists. “I know your the only one that can do it.” Tony nodded reaching out and tapping each bracer, with a quiet thud they fell to the grass. He was just starting to wonder if Loki would make a run for it, seeing as Thor had the baby and he had the tesseract. But instead Loki grinned at him and pulled the blue cube out handing it to him. He never thought he would see the day that Loki willingly gave him the tesseract. Maybe miracles where possible.
“We’ll make sure to close it after you.” Steve announced, carefully taking the tesseract from him. He wasn’t taking any chances, Tony couldn’t say he blamed him. He was definitely contemplating pulling a Loki and making a run for it.
“Bye friends.” Thor beamed at the three of them before handing Loki Magni and hugging them each in turn. “It has been great fun protecting midgard with you.”
“Same here.” He found himself saying.
“Good luck with starting a new Asgard, maybe I’ll try to visit one day.” Bruce said eyes bright.
“Make it better than it was.” Steve nodded to Thor before he turned and walked back towards the portal. Loki remained silent at his side eyes fixed on the new Asgard, though he did turn around before walking through. The other two didn’t seem to catch the look Loki flashed at him, instead laughing at Thor’s enthusiastic waving. Had he done something to the tesseract? That would be just like him. Before he could ask Steve, the portal closed.
“Tony, we can spend one night here if you want and destroy it tomorrow.” Bruce eyed him, and Tony hated the glassy look in his eyes. He knew it hadn’t been right to put so much of a burden on Bruce to bring him back. The poor man had been through enough.
“First lets make sure it’s the real thing.” He nodded to Steve who gaped at him before inspecting the cube closer.
“You think Loki switched it? It seems like the real one to me, I mean it closed the portal.” Despite his words Steve eyed the cube suspiciously. After a couple of minutes he shook his head. “You knew didn’t you?” Tony found himself putting his hands up in surrender.
“I didn’t know per-say, Loki just kinda hinted at it.” Steve glared at him in that murderous way he remembered from all those years ago when they first met. Ah old times. “Look maybe we should just try the shield on it, if I disappear then it’s real.” Bruce was shaking his head clearly doing his best to remain calm.
In response, Steve threw the glowing cube to the ground and placed the shield over it, before pushing the button that would detonate it. There was a loud bang and Tony made sure to watch Bruce as he felt himself slipping away. He looked devastated as he rushed forward trying to hold him as he slipped away.
“Goodbye Bruce, thanks for a great time.” His large brown eyes where the last thing he saw.
I hope anyone still reading enjoyed the story, there is just an epilogue left and then it will be done. Thanks for all the kudos and comments.
Bruce felt sick the whole flight home, seeing him die once had been awful enough but twice felt like too much. He knew Tony had tried to make it easier for both of them by lying about the tesseract but that had only proven to make the whole thing worse. He would have liked to have a proper goodbye, even if he knew Tony would never choose that.
Maybe he was being selfish, they had both known this was the only outcome. All those moments where stolen, meant only to help him grieve and move on. Wasn’t that what Tony had said right after he came back. Bruce knew deep down the moment Tony had announced he wouldn’t be seeing Morgan or Pepper that he never really planned to stay.
He was so lost in his grief that Steve had to pat his back to get his attention long after they had landed.
“If you want, you can spend the night in my guest room.”
“Thanks for the offer but I think I need some time alone.” Steve nodded face solemn.
“Okay, but I’ll be checking in on you tomorrow.” He patted his back one last time before heading out. Bruce watched him go thinking about what he was going to do next. He still had all Tony’s notes from the hours he had spent in the lab. Maybe there was something left that he could use to bring him back? For now he decided he needed to get some sleep.
He was dead asleep when a noise startled him awake, he nearly jumped out of bed eyes scanning the dark room. There was no blue figure of Tony like he had hoped, only a tiny flashing light coming from his desk. Carefully, he got up and made his way towards it. Once he got close enough, he realized it was the earpiece that Tony had given him before General Ross arrived. Why would it flash now?
Hands trembling he picked it up and placed it back in his ear. He didn’t know what he expected to happen, it’s not like you could communicate with the dead. Or at least that’s what he thought before a familiar voice spoke up.
“Hey big green.”
“Tony?” His voice was shaky as he did his best to sit down on the edge of the bed.
“Yeah it’s me, well at least my memories, I downloaded them. I know an earpiece is much less cool than the blue body of Tony Stark as an A.I. but we work with what we’ve got, right. Now let’s get back to work on that project. Oh and please tell me your moving out of that depressing ex avengers compound. You’ve spent far too much time there.”
“I promise.” He laughed. “Though you couldn’t exactly stop me if I didn’t.”
“Not the point, seeing real people and not surrounding yourself with work is healthy Bruce we’ve been over this. Life is too short.” He couldn’t help but agree with that.
Chapter 37: Epilogue
5 years later
The magnificent golden palace that Thor could remember all too clearly when he thought back to his days within it’s halls, was impossible to replicate with their limited resources. Though he was pleased with what they had made instead. It was a large wooden structure with doors that opened up on the rolling hills and all the other log homes below. Everyone was welcome inside where they had built a large hall for feasts and what he supposed could be considered a throne room, though he never used it. Valkyrie sat in the chair more than either him or Loki did. She claimed it was because she could store mead in it easily.
Past the feast hall they had stairs leading up to their own private chambers. No one dared use them unless given permission. As he made his way up the stairs, he heard the footsteps of his son who was clearly out of bed. Magni had never been great at following orders, he still couldn’t decide if that was from him or Loki.
“Magni, I know you're supposed to be in bed.” He called out as he reached the top step, sure enough a mop of blonde hair ran at him. He found his legs being hugged tightly making it impossible to move. “You think you can capture Thor that easily.” He laughed lunging and scoping him up easily. “It’s time for bed.”
“Mother said I could stay up and see you if I was good.” He made a face as Thor walked towards his son’s bedroom.”
“Did he now, were you good?”
“Yes, I’m always good.” He tried to straighten up and look as innocent as possible, though the messy hair and wrinkled nightshirt ruined the effect. Thor laughed shaking his head.
“Now I know that’s a lie.”
“I’m not lying, look I’m ready for bed.” He struggled out of Thor’s arms and made a dash for his bed. He made sure to climb into it as quickly as possible before making a big show of pulling the blankets up. “See.” He beamed up at him, Thor couldn’t help but smile back.
“Can you tell me a story?” Thor nodded as he took a seat in the large chair next to the bed.
“Would you like a tale of war or a simple children's story?” Magni usually picked one of his many tales of battle, enjoying the exciting fights between good and evil.
“Can you tell me about my grandparents? I heard some villagers talking about them today, they sounded powerful.” He made sure to make his bright green eyes as big and hopeful as possible. It always worked on him.
“All right.” He reached over and tried to flatten the tangled hair on his son’s head while thinking back. There where so many tales to tell, though he decided it would be best to start from the beginning.
By the time he reached his own room it was late and Loki was fast asleep on top of the blankets clearly too tired to wait for him any longer. He grinned at the peaceful expression on his face and the way his hands rested on his round belly. Thor couldn’t resist kissing his forehead even though he received a glare for it.
“I was sleeping.”
“Where you, because I could have sworn I heard you not to long ago listening in on Magni’s bedtime story.”
“I like listening to you talk about them.” He sat up eyes on his round belly. “They would be proud of you.”
“They would be proud of both of us.” Loki turned to look at him eyes bright.
“Yes I’m sure they would be overjoyed with the news of a second grandchild.” Thor laughed before leaning in for a kiss.
Asgard would never be as it once was, though to him it was better now then he could remember it ever being in the past.