Chapter 1: Pancakes
Loki raced through the halls of Asgard, his small feet pattering against the golden floors. He had to find Thor, he had to show him what he could do. He turned a corner and almost fell over when his leather clad feet slid across the floor. He stood and swayed for a moment before regaining his balance and continued to run down the corridor.
A few turns later he reached the doors leading to the gardens where he knew Thor was playing with his friends. There were two guards standing on each side of the heavy wooden doors. Loki slowed his pace and walked forwards, a bit weary of the guards.
When he reached the doors he grab hold of one of the handles and pulled with all his might but the doors wouldn't open. The guard on the left eyed the small price, no more than five midgardian years, reached over to open the door.
Loki quickly backed over when he saw the guard move towards him but when the guard opened the door his face lighted up in a bright smile.
"Thank you." He sang and quickly passed through the open door and soon he was running down the paths leading to the large grass field where they used to play. The roads were lined with the most beautiful of flowers but Loki hadn't a second to spare for admiration, he had seen them all hundred of times after all.
When he saw Thor and his friends he increased his speed, almost falling over but too giddy with excitement to care.
"Thor! Thor." He called and his older brother stopped his playing to look over at Loki.
"Loki." Thor boomed, smiling broadly. "What brings you here?"
Loki came to a halt in front of Thor and didn't even spare a moment to catch his breath before he was talking again.
"Look what I can do brother." He brought his small hands together and his face concerted into a grimace of concentration. Thor's other friends had by now joined the two brothers, watching with fascination as Loki screwed his eyes shut even harder.
When he felt a tingling sensation in his belly Loki separated his hands and revealed a bright green flame burning between his palms. With a proud smile he extended his hands towards Thor, almost as if to give him the flame.
"Look. I can conjure fire without wood." Loki was practically bouncing with excitement by now.
Thor didn't move. He was looking hesitantly at Loki as if he didn't know how to react.
"Brother. Is it not remarkable." Loki asked when Thor still didn't do anything.
"Is that magic?" Fandral asked and elbowed Hogun in the side, who nodded slowly.
"Aye." Volstagg said with a laughter and the rest soon followed suit.
The flame in Loki's hands fluttered and disappeared and his smile fell as Thor also joined in with the laugher. He didn't know why they were laughing. Frigga used magic all the time and no one had ever laughed at her. He felt tears burning in the corners of his eyes and he stubbornly brought his hand up to wipe his eyes.
"He cries like a girl as well." Volstagg pointed out and then roared with laughter again. A small sob escaped Loki's lips and soon he was crying openly. Thor stopped laughing and looked at his smaller brother crying. With a scowl on his face he took hold of Loki's arm and dragged him away from the group.
"Quiet brother. You shame me in front of my friends." He hissed and shook Loki. "Loki, cease your crying."
Loki hiccuped once but held back his sobs, not wanting to disappoint his bigger brother. Thor never cried so neither would Loki. He sniffed once and wiped his eyes on his sleeve, still struggling not to cry.
"Sorry." He whispered, looking at Thor's feet instead of meeting his eyes.
"Leave us be Loki." Thor said with a stern voice and Loki nodded. "And stop doing magic. Only women use magic."
Loki nodded once again and Thor walked away. Loki watched as he joined with Fandral, Hogun and Volstagg once again and the three of them ran away, sticks raised as swords in their hands, presumably to annoy Sif.
Loki was left alone that day until supper, spending his day in the crown of one of the large trees lining the large grass field, watching Thor play with his friends and practising his magic. He knew that Thor had told him to stop but maybe if he did something impressive enough Thor would think it amazing.
His brain felt like it had been crushed beneath Mjölner and then put back into his head. Everything was slow and fuzzy and his thoughts rolled by sluggishly. Somewhere to his right a slow beeping sound was heard but it didn't sound like any bird he knew of. Slowly he became aware of more things, the feel of the sheets against his skin, something resting over his top lip, a murmur of voices nearby.
He opened his eyes but quickly shut them when a bright light above him blinded him. More carefully this time he tried again and the fuzzy shape of a lamp came into view. After a few blinks his vision was clear and he found that he was laying down in a bright room with grey walls.
"Look who's decided to join us." A voice said from his left and he slowly turned his head to find the source. The grinning face of one Tony Stark came into view and Loki cursed his existence.
"Hi there sleeping beauty." Tony said and smiled at his own joke. Loki ignored him and turned back to stare at the ceiling, wondering what punishment he was enduring that involved being confined with Stark.
Suddenly the memories of yesterday came crashing down upon him and the despair, anger, hurt and self loathing filled him once more. Closing his eyes he took a deep breath and pushed back every emotion, his mind set to not show one more drop of weakness in front of this mortal.
"Why are you here?" He asked with a sigh. He felt like crap, his whole body hurt and he was tired. He did not have the energy to endure having Stark make jest on his expense.
"JARVIS told me you were waking up so I figured I'd watch." Tony shrugged and leaned back in his chair next to Loki's bed.
No longer wanting to stay in this vulnerable position Loki tried to sit up but Stark stopped him with a hand on his shoulder.
"Woah there. No moving about. Doctors orders."
"Don't touch me mortal!" Loki spat and jerked his shoulder free from Stark's hand. The movement had him turn sideways and an intense pain flared in his abdomen. Gritting his teeth Loki lay back down where he breathed slowly through his nose as the pain ebbed away.
"Told you." Stark pursed his lips and looked at Loki meaningly.
The two sat in silence for a couple of minutes, Loki trying to make Starks head explode be sheer will power and Tony just watching the god with a bemused expression. In reality he was worried for Loki but there was no way he was going to tell him that.
The silence was broken by Banner walking through the door and up to Loki's bed.
"How are you feeling?" He asked the ex-god.
"Fine? You almost killed yourself you know." Tony interjected from his chair.
"Thank you. I had completely forgotten." Loki answered sarcastically and glared at Stark.
"Are you in pain?" Banner asked, trying to get the conversation back on track.
Loki didn't grant that question with an answer.
"Okay. How are your arm?"
"I said I'm fine. I thought your mortal brain could comprehend the meaning of that word but apparently I have once again overestimated your intelligence."
"Hey! No need to get all bitchy." Tony shot him a look. "We're only trying to find out how you're feeling."
"And what interest is that of yours?" Loki fired back, raising an eyebrow.
"You almost killed yourself. Of course that would interest us."
"Don't mock me mortal." Loki hissed through clenched teeth. "None of you care whether I live or not."
"Is that really what you think of us?"
"I don't think. I know."
"And why is that?"
Starks question took him off guard and Loki found that his silver tongue failed him.
"Is it because you think you're a monster? Is that it?" Tony questioned and raised his eyebrows in question. "Is it because you don't think you're weak?"
"Tony." Banner said, trying to stop Tony.
"Is it that your daddy didn't love you enough?"
That one hit harder than the other and Loki turned his head away, his breath hitching a bit. Why was Stark doing this? What had Loki done to deserve this? You're a monster, this is what monsters deserve. A voice whispered in his head and Loki believed it.
"Is it because everyone else think you're something horrible?" Tony continued, his eyes fuming with rage.
"TONY!" Banner called and placed a hand on Tony's shoulder, effectively stopping him. "I think that's enough."
Tony took a few calming breath and sat back down in his chair. "Look, all I'm saying is that we're not like that. We don't care about that. Other people thinking you're a monster doesn't make you a monster. I mean just look at Banner. So with all honestly, why Loki?"
Loki was staring at Stark with wide eyes. Everything he had ever learnt told him that Stark was lying to him, that he didn't really care. But, there was such an brutal honesty in his eyes which Loki couldn't ignore.
"I...I didn't try to kill myself." He managed and swallowed thickly. "I do not wish to die."
"Okay. You don't wanna die. Well that's all I needed to hear. Get well soon." Tony said and walked out of the room.
"He does that. I think he has some limit to how long he can go without being an asshole." Banner said in response to Loki's questioning look. "Now that you know that we do actually care can you please tell me how you feel?"
"My arm hurts." Loki whispered and lifted his bandaged arm an inch or two. "And I could use a glass of water."
Banner gave him a small smile and walked out of the room to fetch some water for Loki. A minute later he was back and handed Loki a plastic cup. Loki eyed it a bit suspiciously but took a mouthful anyway. If they had saved his life before they wouldn't poison his food, would they?
Banner asked a few more questions which Loki tried to answer before he told Loki to get some rest and that he would check up on him in a couple of hours. Banner was just about to walk out the door when he suddenly turned around and said "If you want something you only need call, even if it's just to talk." Before he left Loki alone.
Why Loki would ever want to talk to someone below him was a mystery to him but he appreciated the gesture anyway.
Loki was allowed out of bed the next day and by then it was well know what had happened to him, not just his mental breakdown but everything Tony had heard him say was also know. Discussion to why he had tried to take over earth started up again and people were now questioning whether he could actually be fully blamed. Why Loki hadn't snapped earlier were also a popular subject in conversations.
However Loki had no idea that almost all of the Avengers thoughts were focused on him. He had reverted into his pre breakdown routine of locking himself in his room, trying not to bother anyone, and only leaving to get his wounds redressed and for meals, which he ate in silence.
Early one morning five days after Loki's breakdown Steve was in the kitchen frying pancakes when Loki walked in. He wore a sad expression and was hugging himself as if he was cold. He appeared not to notice Steve and Steve wondered if Loki always looked like this when he thought no one could see him.
Steve cleared his throat and Loki jumped at the sudden sound, the sad expression immediately turned into one of indifference and his hunched posture straightened into his usual proud one.
"Morning." Steve looked at Loki like he was an animal who would run away if he made any sudden movements.
"Good Morrow." Loki said after a moment and walked over to the bread bin where he began making a sandwich. He could feel Steve's eyes on him and briefly wondered what the soldier saw when he looked at him. If he saw the same monster Loki did whenever he looked in the mirror.
"If you want I could make you pancakes." Steve offered, feeling like he was very much walking behind enemy lines.
"Pancakes." Steve repeated and pointed with his spatula at the pancake currently baking in the fryingpan. "I could make you some?"
"I don't need your charity." Loki spat at him and began walking out of the room. How dare the mortal think him so low. He didn't need anyone to help him with anything. He could take care of himself as he had always done. It didn't matter if he had his powers or not, he would not become dependent on anyone else. Never.
"Loki wait." Steve called out after him. "It was just a question. You can say no if you want."
Loki stopped and turned back towards Steve with a glare. After a few seconds he decided that he could at least stay and eat his sandwich, Steve was after all one of the least annoying residents in this building.
When he walked back to where he had left his half made sandwich Steve gave him a smile and then returned to frying his pancakes. Loki continued with his breakfast but was eyeing Steve cautiously the whole time, not really trusting the man. Soon however, after the bread had been toasted, he had to aim all his attention at buttering his toast, which proved harder than expected with your index, middle and ring finger on one of your hands bandaged together.
As the toast slipped out of his grasp for a third time he fully expected Steve to burst out laughing at him, actually he expected him to burst out laughing the first time it happened, and was once again surprised that he didn't hear as much as a giggle. Loki looked over to his left at Steve and saw that the man wasn't even looking at him. He didn't know if he should be grateful or offended at this discovery.
"The offer still stands." Steve said, still not looking at Loki.
Loki looked at the half buttered toast in front of him and then over at Steve's large tower of pancakes and then back down to his toast again. With a sigh he decided that accepting Steve's offering would be the thing that would hurt his pride the least in the end and proceeded to throw his toast in the trash.
"Is that a yes?"
"Aye." Loki sighed and sat down at the kitchen table. The defeated tone in Loki's voice worried Steve. He has seen people looking like Loki when he was in the war, like they had nothing left to live for and no one to spend time with because all they saw themselves as was burdens that they shouldn't force anyone except themselves to carry.
Despite still being mad at Loki for what he did, because horrible life or not enslaving a planet is not the answer, Steve decides that he should at least try and prevent Loki from feeling bad enough to cause such harm to himself again.
Five minutes of silence later the pancakes were done and Steve awkwardly placed a plate in front of Loki, who eyed them suspiciously. Steve sat down opposite him with his own plate and begins to eat.
"Syrup?" He offered after a minute when Loki still hasn't begun eating. "It's good."
Loki took the bottle from Steve's hand and poured some over his pancakes but still didn't make any move towards eating them.
"They're not poisoned. Scouts honor."
Loki gave him a bemused look but the message still seemed to get through and he slowly lifted his fork to take his first bite.
They continued to eat in silence and against all odds Loki actually began to feel almost comfortable in Steve's presence. He wasn't glared at, or ignored, or looked upon with disgust like he had been before his...breakdown as they called it. And even if the reason for Steve's changed opinion about him was pity and that he thought Loki weak it was nice to feel as if he wasn't completely unwanted.
"You look tired." Steve suddenly said and Loki's head snapped up from where he had been staring at his plate. He didn't know if Steve was right, he hadn't dared to look into the mirror, afraid of what he might see. Afraid of not even seeing a monster anymore but instead something weak and small and forgotten. Afraid of seeing himself.
"I...haven't slept well." He admitted but he didn't know why. Why was he admitting how weak he was before Steve?
"Nightmares?" Steve asked and Loki nodded, taking another bite of the pancakes.
"Happens to the best of us." Steve shrugged and...was he saying that he also had nightmares?
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"What is this obsession with me talking about 'it'?" Loki questioned, more than a little annoyed. Why would he talk about 'it'? What was there to say about 'it' that was so interesting to the mortals?
"It helps." Steve answered matter of factly. "Talking helps you cope with what's happened and it makes you feel better."
"I doubt that"
"I can assure you it helps."
Loki gave him a questioning look and continued with his pancakes. Sighing deeply Steve decided to swallow his pride and open up to Loki, for even if Loki didn't trust him he could at least show him that he trusted Loki. And with a deep breath Steve began telling him about how he once was a weak kid from Brooklyn.
When he finished Loki was staring at him with wide eyes,as if not believing that anyone would ever trust him with such knowledge and Steve couldn't help the sadness that overcame him when he looked at Loki. He knew what names Loki goes under, Liesmith and silvertongue, no one trusts a liar.
However when Steve emerged from his thoughts Loki has already recomposed himself and was no poking at his cold pancakes. He has only eaten a bit more than half a pancake but Steve decides not to push.
"I dream about the Chitauri." Loki almost whispered, shoulder hunched and looking very much like he just wanted to disappear through the floor.
"Okay." Was all Steve said, giving Loki the chance to stop talking if he wanted to.
"I didn't wish to conquer your realm." The words were true. Loki didn't want to but he had no choice. He wanted the pain to end and he wanted to be free again. He wanted to feel powerful and not like dirt.
He had said no at first, the first few times the chitauri ordered him to collect the Tesseract., and he took pride in that. But then the threats had started. Threats about ending his life and he felt his resistance weaken and then threats about destroying Asgard if he didn't accept. That threat shouldn't have brought such fear in him but it did. He shouldn't care so much of the place where he was despised for who he was but he did.
And then when the Chitauri told him he could do as he wished with midgard as long as he brought them the Tesseract he accepted. He knew it was wrong, you can't enslave an entire race, but he wanted so badly to be worth something. And as king over an entire planet surely you cannot be worthless.
"Then why did you do it?" Steve asked and his calm sounded forced this time around.
"I didn't wish to die." Loki answered and he knew it was a cowards answer but he couldn't tell Steve about the torture and the threats.
Steve must have heard something in his voice because his answer wasn't what Loki expected.
"It's okay to be scared."
And Loki was scared, but he did not fear what Steve though he feared. Loki did not fear death, quite the opposite he would gladly welcome it, embrace it with open arms. No what Loki feared was not death, Loki feared what followed after death. He feared becoming nothing but a story, fading away with time, forgotten and discarded as nothing but a failure. He could never be remembered as the brother of Thor, for he was not. Neither could he be remembered as the son of Odin, for nor was he that. He was not king nor ruler. He was no great man of wisdom or battle. He was only but a frost giant runt, abandoned for his uselessness and worthlessness. He feared that if he never accomplished anything he wouldn't even be remembered for his failures, for who ponders on mistakes and lost battles? No, Loki wanted to be remembered, and if being remembered as a tyrant, monster and villain was the only way to make sure he was never forgotten, then so be it.
So Loki spat at Steve that he wasn't scared and rushed out of the room, his plate of pancakes thrown across the kitchen. He ran to his room where he kicked over tables and chairs, teared at curtains and bed clothes, crushed bottles and vases before screaming his lungs out. For he couldn't even succeed at being a monster and a villain. He couldn't even enslave a defenseless planet. And now he was more scared than he had ever been before. More scared than when he was hanging from Odin's staff and more scared than when the Chitauri had walked into his prison on their forgotten planet and he knew that all waited beyond this was pain. For who was he now than nothing more than a failure, overshone by every living creature in existence.
Chapter 2: Chocolate bar
Hello, here's the second chapter. It's a day early because I won't be able to upload tomorrow.
Anyway thanks for all the response I've gotten on this :D it's quite amazing
I imagine Loki's about 8 in the Italic piece.
Loki sat in a corner of the library, breathing in the heavy smell of leather that hung in the air. Around him lay books about everything from stories about great warriors and fair maidens to theory about magic. He had been in the library the whole day, reading book upon book, absorbing all the knowledge he could get his hands on.
For as long as he could remember Loki had always wanted to know as much as possible, he wanted to know how everything worked and why it worked like that. The other children in the palace prefered to play and spar but Loki had always found that nothing could capture his attention like a book.
And right now reading what just what he was doing. The book propped up on his knees was about the Yggdrasil and the nine different realms and the pages which Loki's emerald eyes were roaming were about Jötunheim and the Frost Giants. On the left page were a picture of the face of a Jötunn and Loki traced the deep blue lines with his small fingers, feeling both fascination and fear at the thought of these creatures.
Father had told him stories about great warriors of Asgard and how they defeated the devious Frost Giants from Jötunheim and mother sometimes told him that if he didn't do as he was told the Frost Giants would come at night and take him from his bed. He knew that they couldn't do that, Heimdal could see everything and would tell the Allfather if the Frost Giants entered Asgard, but he was still scared sometimes. Those nights he would sneak into Thor's room and sleep in his bed, knowing that if a Frost Giant against all odds came to get Loki Thor would always defend him, because Thor was Loki's friend.
Loki was so engrossed in his book that he didn't notice the door opening, nor the footsteps coming closer.
"Loki!" Odin's voice carried through the library and Loki's head snapped up. He looked around, trying to identify the source of the voice, and saw to his left Odin walk out from behind a shelf.
"Loki?" Odin asked the boy who was frozen in his spot, his book open and pressed hard against his chest. "What are you reading son?" Odin picked up one of the open books that laid on the floor around Loki. This one was about magic and it's practises. Loki looked down in shame, he knew his father didn't like it when Loki practised magic but it was so interesting. He couldn't help himself.
Odin sighed and placed the book on one of the shelves. "What have I told you about magic Loki." He crunched down in front of his adoptive son. "It's not appropriate for little boys to study magic."
"Sorry Father." Loki whispered, not meeting Odin's eye.
"And what is this book Loki." Odin sounded less stern now and when he reached out for the book in Loki's arms Loki slowly handed it over. Odin frowned at the open book in his hands but as soon as he realized what was written on the pages his frown was replaced by an angry scowl.
"Why are you reading about the Frost Giants Loki?" He asked the little boy who curled in on himself.
"I wanted to know more about them father." He whispered, the hands in front of his mouth muffling his words.
"They are monsters and the only thing they wish is to maim, kill and destroy."
"But father!" Loki protested, looking up at Odin with large eyes. "The book said that they are magic and that they build-"
"The book is wrong." Odin took hold of Loki's arm and dragged him into standing position. "You will not read about the Frost Giants any more. Do you understand?"
Loki stubbornly looked down at his feet. He wanted to know more about the Frost Giants, they had magic just like him. And the book said they had great palaces under the ice where they lived. He wondered if the palaces looked like the ones on Asgard and he wanted to know if their magic was the same as his and mothers.
Odin took hold of his other arm and shook him violently. "Do you understand Loki?"
"Good." He stood up and began walking out of the library, his grip on Loki's wrist forcing Loki to follow. "You should be sparing, like Thor, not spending your time here reading. It's not appropriate for a prince to spend his time in the library."
Odin continued to drag Loki after him, who twisted to get out of his father's grip.
"Your ttutor had informed me that you have failed to show up to several of your lessons. This is not acceptable Loki. He has also told me the other children in your age easily defeat you. Why is that Loki."
Loki remained quiet behind Odin, now having accepted that he wouldn't get out of his father's grip.
"Had you attended your lesson the other children wouldn't defeat you. When Thor was your age he won battles with children two years older than himself. You should keep that in mind Loki."
"But father. I do not like sparring. The other children mock me!" Loki protested. They had now reached the training grounds and Loki could hear the clings from blades clashing together.
"They would not if you practised more. If you defeat them Loki they would not dare to mock you Loki." Odin said in a comforting voice but all Loki heard was that he wasn't good enough.
"I think we should increase your training Loki. If you practise more you will soon rise to Thor's level and excel with your skills. How does that sound." Odin looked down at his son who slowly nodded, trying not to let his face show the discomfort he felt. A large knot had formed in his stomach when Odin told him he should train more. His tutor was always mad at him and told him he should try harder.
"Good. Now go and join your friends." Odin opened the door and pushed Loki inside.
"Don't disappoint me son." Was the last Loki heard before the large doors closed behind him.
A week had passed since Steve's failed attempt to get Loki to open up and not much had changed. Loki still avoided almost all contract between him and the rest of the Avengers and the when he did exit his room he stayed mostly quiet.
One thing that had changed was that every morning Loki would join Steve for breakfast, as long as there were no other Avenger there aswell, and they would talk, not about what had happended to Loki or how he felt but talk about everyday things such as the weather and what was happening that day. Steve noticed that for every passing day Loki became more and more comfortable with Steve and that the sudden outbursts of insults became less and less frequent.
He also seemed more comfortable around the other Avengers as long as Steve was there. Oddly enough the only person he refused to so much as insult was Tony, something which puzzled all of them. Bruce suspected it was because it was Tony who had found Loki during his breakdown but they couldn't be sure.
Loki was standing alone in the kitchen, keeping out of the other Avengers' way and debating whether he should take one of Bruce's chocolate bars or not, when a flash of lightning filled the room and a great rumble shook the windows.
When Loki's eyes had accustomed themselves to the sudden change in lightning and he had blinked away the white fuzziness his eyes landed on his own Brother standing on the balcony connected to the kitchen.
The great baboon had a large smile on his lips and as soon as he had opened the door he exclaimed "Brother!" and walked up to embrace Loki in a bone crushing hug.
Loki easily sidestepped Thor and held up a hand to stop him.
"I'm not your brother you great oaf." He spat and the smile on Thor's face lost a bit of its shine.
"Loki, when will you-" He began but stopped when he noticed the bandage on Loki's arm. "What happened to your arm. I demand to know who hurt you brother." He fumed and grabbed hold of Loki's bandaged arm, making Loki cringe with pain.
"Let go of me you asshole!" Loki screamed and in shock over Loki's use of midgardian swears Thor let go.
"Loki. Who did this to you. Give me their name and I shall hunt them down and revenge you."
"I did." Loki spat. "I did this to myself." He was sick of Thor thinking he couldn't defend himself and he was sick of Thor thinking all the problems in the world could be solved with a swing of Mjölner and he was sick of Thor not seeing how much he was hurting. How much every day was a struggle to get through without breaking down into tears, how getting out of bed seemed useless and how making other people hurt was the only way he could feel somewhat better even though guilt would swallow him down a few minutes after his high.
"I took a knife and peeled the skin away from my bones."
Thor looked at Loki with shocked eyes before once again taking hold of Loki.
"Don't trick me brother. I will not listen to your poisonous words. Now tell me." Thor demanded, his nose mere inches from Loki's.
"Hey! Let go of him." Tony's voice came from somewhere on Loki's left but Loki could barely hear it over the roaring in his ears. He felt Thor's hand disappear from his collar and he leaned heavily against the kitchen counter. He smirked at Thor's agitated look even though he felt like curling up in a ball and cry. His own so called brother didn't see how he felt even though they had known each other for over a millenia. Well he shouldn't be so surprised, much of his problems were after all to blame on Thor and him not seeing when he hurt Loki.
"Friend Stark." Thor said seriously. "Someone had harmed my brother, I demand to know who." He had Mjölnir half raised and were pointing a large hand at Loki who was still catching his breath against the kitchen counter.
"It you had listened you would have know." It was now Steve who was talking, his blue eyes drilling holes in Thor's skull.
"Nay. Don't let my brother's silvertongue trick you. He speaks of things most foul." Thor's voice was filled with such certainty that Steve all forgot what he was about to say. Did Thor really not believe Loki, the evidence was right in front of his eyes.
"He could have died." Steve forced out, still shocked over Thor's words.
Loki observed the conversation with a look mixed between awe and disbelief. Was the other's really defending him. Contradicting Thor in favor of him, Loki? No one had ever been on his side in an argument against Thor.
"How are you feeling?" Bruce asked cautiously, placing a hand on Loki's shoulder to steady him. Loki's head snapper around and he flinched away from Bruce.
"Loki?" Bruce asked again, real concern in his eyes. No, no this was all too much. No. He needed to get out of here, fast. Loki quickly backed away from Bruce before spinning around and fleeing the room, almost running straight into Tony while doing so.
"Brother." Thor called out and made to follow Loki but Steve stopped him.
"We need to talk."
Tony, Steve and Thor sat at kitchen table, Thor on one side and Tony and Steve on the other. They had pulled Thor away for a private talk as soon as he had calmed down a little and was now very interested in finding out why Thor had believed Loki was lying.
"Care to tell us why you didn't believe Loki." Stark asked cockily, his arms crossed over his chest.
"Loki is a trickster and a Liesmith." Thor stated confused, as if he couldn't understand how Steve and Tony didn't already know this.
"And that's why you didn't believe him." Steve questioned.
"Aye. He often lie and twist words."
"But why would he lie about this?" Tony raised a questioning eyebrow after Steve's question.
"...I do not know why Loki would tell a lie so foul but-" Thor began but Tony quickly interrupted.
"Maybe because it's the truth. Ever thought of that?"
"Nay, Loki's lies are most convincing. Do not feel shame friends, even the Allfather falls for his tricks."
Tony opened his mouth to say something but Steve spoke before he managed to get a word out of his mouth.
"You said that Loki often lied. Why do you say that?"
"In our youth Loki would often lie and twist words to make people bid his will. Warriors three often fell under the spell of his words and were lured into trouble. Loki always denied tricking them but we could all see through his lies." Thor stated proudly, but his words were tainted with sorrow.
"Aye. Fandral, Volstagg and Hogun. Three of Asgards best warriors and all honorable men."
"And were they friends with Loki."
"Aye." Thor said with a bright smile. "The six of us: I, the Warriors three, lady Sif and Loki went on many great hunting trips. Loki always needed a bit of persuasion but I managed to win him over with my words."
"Hold on." Tony held up his hands in a stopping motion." You're telling me you forced Loki to come with you."
"Nay." Thor looked a bit bothered by Tony's accusation.
"Because it surely sounds like that to me."
"How did the others think of Loki joining you?" Steve asked with a sigh.
"They...were not too pleased." Thor mused, as if he just figured it out. "But they were merry once again when our hunting trips began." He defended.
"It doesn't sound to me as if the others liked Loki too much." Steve stated.
Steve sighed and ran a hand through his hair. This was what he had feared, something he had seen often among people close to bully victims. It's easy to turn a blind eye towards what's happening and pretend it's all fun and games, ignoring the fact that you're seriously hurting someone in the process. And Thor really had a heart too big for his own good, always believing the best in everyone.
"Has it ever occured to you?" Steve began, clasping his hands in front of him and leaning forwards on his elbows. "That the Warriors three were the ones that were really lying and that Loki was actually innocent."
"Friend Steve, the Warriors three are most honorable men-"
"Tell me about Loki's childhood. How was he?" Tony asked out of the blue. Thor smiled widely at the question, happy to change subject.
"He was a child most disobedient. He often went against father's orders. He liked to spend his days in the library instead of training to become a mighty warrior. The other children of his age would often defeat him when sparring. I told him many times that if he spent as much time training for battle as he does reading he would be as skilled as I. Father was often disappointed in Loki for he did not approve of Loki's magic and father often talked to him about it."
"Did Loki have any friends of his own?"
Thor frowned and thought for a moment. "Nay. The other children often made jest upon his behalf. I often told him that if he were to-"
"Yeah yeah, I'm sure you did. And Odin was often disappointed with him?"
"Aye, Loki never wished to become a great warrior."
"And he wasn't allowed to use magic?"
"Magic is not and art suited for the price of Asgard."
"And he's adopted?"
"And he grew up thinking that all the Frost Giant's are monsters that needs to be slayed."
"And all those stories about Loki's children, Sleipnir and so on, are true?"
"And Odin took them away from him?"
"And you seriously wonder why he grew up and became who he is?"
Thor opened his mouth to answer but stopped himself and gave Tony a confused look.
"Aye. Loki is both a traitor to Asgard and a shame-" Thor began but Tony cut him short.
"And big fucking surprise is that? The kid was bullied, told he was a disappointment and that he wasn't allowed to do what he wanted, and then he found out that he was adopted and really the son of Asgard's enemy number one and you all wonder why he fucks things up. And then when he tells you he skinned himself you act like a complete douchebag and tells him he's lying. And then you fucking wonder why he doesn't come running into your arms whenever he sees you? Is it only you or is all of Ass-fucking-gard as blind as moles that they can't see that their own price is hurting that much?" The look Tony was giving Thor would have surely killed him if Thor had been mortal. Thor, on the other hand, looked like he might attack Tony any moment.
"Man of Iron, I will not allow you to speak such lies about my kingdom or my brother." He threatened and Tony let out a humorless laugh.
"You don't even believe it when someone is screaming the truth in your ears. Do you know what your brother told me? Do you know? He told me that he had never had any friends and that he had taken the blame for his own bullies mistakes. He told me that he never was good enough and that no matter what he did you always did it better. He told me he believes his own dad doesn't love him. He told me he was raped, more than once, and that his children then were taken away from him. Loki think he's a monster that deserves to die. He tried to actually rip away his own skin in desperation to not be that monster. Can you get it into your thick fucking skull that the reason he is like this is because you made him this? You and all your asgardian fucking boy band!"
When Tony finished his rant Thor looked like someone had hit him in the face with Mjölnir. The shock on his face is so obvious that it would have been comical if the situation were different but as it is Steve can't even find it in himself to pity Thor for never realising how much he was hurting his so called brother.
"Why has he not told me of this?" Thor asked himself, causing Tony to throw up his hands and almost fall off his chair in frustration.
"Thor. You need to listen to yourself. Have you ever actually listened to anything Loki has ever told you? Or have you just assumed it was lies?" Steve asked calmly.
"...Aye, I think...I do not know." Thor looked up at Steve with such desperation in his eyes that Steve could feel his intestines twist in discomfort.
"How can I get my brothers condolences, friends?"
"Right now, I think you'd do best in leaving him alone and in the future, when he is ready, remember to actually listen to him and try to put yourself in his situation. I know it's hard for you but I honestly believe that having you around right now could only make things worse." Steve sighed. Thor nodded slowly and rose from his seat, looking crestfallen and defeated.
"I shall return to Asgard. Please tell my brother that I solemnly apologize for my wrongdoings."
"You probably should cut down on the brother talk as well." Tony interjected.
"Aye." Thor sighed and walked out on the balcony where he had first arrived. He stood still, waiting, for a moment before a great flash of lightning shot from the sky and swallowed him.
Tony sighed and ran a hand through his hair before standing up and checking his Stark phone. Steve merely sat still for a moment, collecting himself and processing what had just been said. He was both sorry and angry at Thor for not noticing how Loki felt, but he was close to furious to why he Thor would ever believe his friends over his own brother. To Steve, family always came first.
When they excited the kitchen they found that the rest of the towers inhabitants were occupying the living room. Bruce reading in a corner and Clint and Natasha watching Loki who was sitting in one of the recliners, knees drawn to his chest.
"What's he doing here?" Tony asked and jerked his head in Loki's general direction. Loki curled in on himself at these words. He did not wish to be here. He wished to be left alone in his room, there were too much emotions raging inside him at the moment and the last thing he wanted was for the others to see him in such a weak state.
"He's on suicide watch and considering he literally ran away from Thor in blind panic only to lock himself in his room we figured we ought to keep an eye on him." Natasha answered in a voice that said she'd rather clean the entire tower instead of watching Loki and that all this was Loki's fault.
She received a glare from Steve in response as he walked over and sat down on the couch in the seat closest to Loki.
"Well," Tony began, oblivious to the stare down going on between two of his teammates. "Fabio went back to Asgard and won't be returning for a while."
Loki's head shot up from where he had been resting it on his knees when he heard Thor wouldn't be here to bother him. Why had Thor returned? There were only a handful of people who had ever managed to change Thor's mind and the Avengers where neither of them.
"Oh, and he says he's sorry." Tony added as he was walking out of the room, his mind already thinking of how he could incorporate his latest idea with the mark 8 suit.
"What?" Loki snarled, his face scrunched up in disgust.
"Yeah, Thor says he's sorry for being mean to you when you were younger."
"Loki." Steve interrupted. "He sounded like he really meant it."
Loki snarled something in a language Steve assumed where norse and then curled into a little ball again. Hiding his face from the rest of the group. Tony gave Steve a questioning look, to which Steve responded with a shrug, before leaving the room.
Natasha and Clint soon followed him and five minutes later Bruce excused himself, leaving only Steve and Loki in the living room. Loki still hadn't moved, legs drawn to his chest, arms wrapped tightly around them and his forehead resting in his knees, hiding his face from view. He reminded Steve of a scared child hiding in its room. The fact that Loki could look so small and fragile almost frightened Steve.
"Loki?" Steve asked cautiously but the former norse god didn't answer, in fact he didn't move at all. The only indicator that Loki still was alive was the minute movement of his chest when he breathed.
Steve sat there for another five minutes before deciding to leave, figuring that Loki would come around when he was ready. Loki, on the other hand, stayed in the same position for the rest of the day, thinking about what had happened today and why. Why had Steve and Tony talked to Thor? Why had Thor left? How had they managed to convince Thor not to stay? Had they told him everything? Was Thor going to tell everyone back in Asgard? Yes, he probably would and Loki would be even more of an ergi than he already was in the eyes of Asgard.
Inside him sadness, despair, anger and shame fought to take control over him but Loki pushed all of those feelings down, like he always had and always would. Because no one cared and therefore there were no reason for him to behave or feel as if he had someone who cared for him.
He refused to acknowledge the oh so quiet voice telling him that Steve and Tony cared, and so did bruce. Instead he let the other voices take over, the ones who told him not to show weakness, to get up and stop behaving like a child and that he didn't deserve someone who cared for him anyway so why did he even try. It was easier to listen to these, they had followed him for as long as he could recall and they were familiar. Having people asking him whether he was feeling good or not wasn't familiar. Having people defending him wasn't familiar. And having people caring if he hurt himself wasn't familiar.
He hated how much he craved those things, they were all signs of weakness. He didn't need anyone, he was doing perfectly fine on his own. He had always done and would always do. He hated it with all of his heart, but most of all he hated himself for not being brave enough to embrace the unfamiliar.
So Thor has finally made a brief appearance, he will be back for more later :)
Comments are highly appreciated :D
Chapter 3: Coffee
Hello again. I'm sorry it a bit late but I've been busy with other stories and a skating camp. But hey, for some of you it might still be Saturday.
This chapter contains an adaptation of the famous Loki getting his lips sew shut story. It's not the same as the original one and neither is it meant to be, just so you know.
Anyway on with the chapter and thanks for all the amazing response :D
Loki wiped his chin with his sleeve, the cloth comming awat stained by blood. He tired as he had done many times before to open his mouth but the golden thread held his lips firmly shut and his action only caused him to whimper in pain. His fingers came up to feel the stitches, tentatively fingering the thread and pressing at the swollen flesh.
He lay on his large bed, feeling completely miserable. He didn't understand what he had done to deserve this, he did understand how Father could have been so cruel. Words were his only defence and without them he was left completely helpless, exposed to the mockery that would surely follow after this without any kind of shield to protect himself.
It had all started last week, when Sif suddenly came barging into his room, screaming insults at him. Her hair was gone, the famous golden hair that shone as bright as the sun, and Loki had been the one to cut it off. He had been quickly set in front of Father to explain himself and he had pleaded innocent, for he was. He hadn't touched Sif's hair, he would never do such things. 'Liar' had been screamed from left and right and suddenly he found himself on the rainbow bridge, forced to the realms of the dwarves where he should find a replacement for Sif's hair. But without neither gold nor other valuables the only replacement he could afford was black as coal and still cost him his armour and his finest spellbook.
Upon return he had presented Sif with the hair but she had once again called him a liar and the Allfather decided that Loki would have to be punished. There he had stood, in front of Odin and all the wisest men on Asgard, without defence and accused for a crime he didn't commit. From the corner of his eye he had spotted Baldr looking smug and suddenly he knew who had done it. Baldr had always been jealous of Sif's beauty and now that she had lost her hair, even though she was still one of the fairest women in Asgard, she could no longer compete with him. So Loki had told him, he had pointed at Baldr and he had told Father about the real criminal, bur Baldr had denied and Loki was once again shamed as a liar.
To stop him from telling any more lies Odin had decided to sew his lips shut. robbing Loki from his ability to speak. He had fought, he had fought so hard, but the guards had no problem holding him firmly in place as the royal seamstress acquired the golden thread and as Odin enchanted it to ensure Loki couldn't cut it. He had been forced down on a table, his limbs tied to firmly to a corner each and Thor had been told to hold his head still and his jaw closed as the seamstress worked the thread through skin and flesh.
As soon as he had been realised he had fled the courtroom without sparing a thought about how much of a coward he must have looked, all while fighting the tears that threatened to fall. Tears that he was still fighting back.
He didn't understand. What had he done to deserve this. He had told the truth over and over again, something he had been taught was the noble thing to do, the action a true warrior would have taken, and yet no one believed him.
It was not fair! Why did they believe Baldr when he lied, but not Loki when he spoke the truth. Suddenly he felt angry, oh so very angry. Angry with father for believing Baldr but not his own son, angry with Thor for once again siding with his friends instead of his brother and for participating in the punishment without even the smallest protest, angry with Sif for not having any evidence what so ever pointing at him but still accusing Loki because he was known as a trickster. A nickname he had earned through the warriors Three blaming Loki for tricking them into doing things whenever they got caught doing thing they shouldn't do, angry with himself for allowing Asgard to give them that nickname because he thought that if he took the blame they wouldn't hate him anymore.
An urge to destroy welled up within him and he threw himself out of bed and threw the object closest at hand at the mirror opposite his bed. The heavy book easily shattered the glass and Loki threw another book, out of the window this time, shattering this glass as well.
Suddenly exhausted he collapsed back down on his bed and curled up into a little ball. The tears he had been holding back spilled from his eyes and soon Loki found himself crying so hard he couldn't breathe. He felt so ashamed and it hurt so much, not just the stitches but somehow his heart as well. He felt betrayed and unloved. For surely Thor would never receive a punishment like this. No, only Loki. The stain on the otherwise spotless Odin family.
He didn't know for how low he lay there, crying and hiding underneath his covers, but at some point he must have fallen asleep because it stopped hurting and he just felt some kind of numbness.
It had been Steve's idea. At first the others had disagreed, telling him that the idea was a dangerous one and to give Loki that kind of information would only lead to it coming back and biting them in the ass. But Steve had denied, telling them that they could tell Loki whatever they wanted, as long as it was personal. For that was the Idea, to show Loki that they trusted him with something, so he could trust them. To show them that they may be superheroes, but they weren't flawless. The information did have to be something super secret, only previously unknown to Loki. He told him that he had told Loki about his time as nothing but a kid from Brooklyn. He told them that he hadn't told Loki about Peggy or Howard or what had happened after the serum, that was too personal. The others eased up to the Idea, having seen how much it had changed Loki's behaviour around Steve and eventually they agreed.
Bruce went first. Asking Loki to stay after he had changed the dressing around his arm one day. Bruce told Loki about when he first had become the Hulk and how even though he was a monster he had found a purpose.
Clint was next. He told Loki how he loathed fish, and that was it. Steve had been disappointed with him at first but Clint had argued that it was personal information and that if Loki wanted, he could use it against him so Steve let it go, somewhat reluctantly.
Natasha told Loki about one time when she got lost in the woods as a young girl and how she had always felt slightly less comfortable in the forest ever since, especially at night. Loki had told her that he didn't like the dark either, especially not corridors, before freezing up and walking away to not be seen for twenty four hours.
Tony went last, telling Loki about one time when he was young and won a inventors competition only to have his father telling him afterward all the thing he did wrong and what he needed to improve. Tony told the story as if it was something funny, something he could laugh at, but Loki could see the hurt in his eyes. Loki told Tony about when he was young and participated in a sparring tournament and how he managed to end up third place, but since Thor won his tournament Loki didn't even get a well done. He didn't tell Tony of how proud he had been and about how he had kept the little trophy, nor of how devastating it had been for his ten year old self to realize that if he didn't do better at Thor he would never once be the one his father looked at with pride in his eyes.
Upon finishing his story Loki had suddenly gone rigid, once again realizing that he had shown weakness in front of the mortals. He stood up and stammered out an excuse, fleeing and once again locking himself in his room.
He didn't understand. Why were they doing this? Why did they suddenly share this information with him as if he was someone who could be trusted? He wasn't. He was the god of lies, he was Loki silvertongue, he was the liesmith. He was known for his deceit and for his mischief, known for using people's weakness to humiliate and shame them.
What were their purpose with this? What did they want with him? He didn't want to be used again. But that had to be the only reason, people had never trusted him or shown him any kindness without wanting something in return. And he always fell for it. Why did they do this? There must be some ulterior motive. It had to be.
He stayed in his room for one day and one night, gathering strength enough to confront them about their wicked motives. Telling himself over and over again that he had the upperhand in this, he knew their weaknesses and he was still a god, powers or not. The voice in the back of his head kept on telling him he was a coward, by now Thor would have already sought out revenge and Odin would have know their motives from the very beginning. He was just a joke, hiding away in his room like a scared kid.
When he finally emerged he made sure to keep his face impassive and his posture strong, like that of a warrior. He could do this. He headed for the kitchen where he knew Steve would be, frying pancakes like he always did, but when he reached the kitchen he found that Steve was not alone, Tony was there. He felt his resolution weaver for a second before he scoffed at himself, Stark was only a mere mortal, an ant easily crush under a boot.
"Hi Loks, How's it going?" Tony asked while sipping on the midgardian beverage Loki had learned was called coffie.
"That is none of your business." Loki spat in answer.
Tony gave Steve a look, he had really begun to understand what Steve had meant with Loki actin shy. Before his nasty retort Loki's eyes had been darting all over the place and he had, probably unknowingly, been fiddling a bit with the sleeve of this sweater.
Both Steve and Tony turned their eyes at Loki, who really wished he had his armor. At least the horns, they stopped him from feeling so small and insignificant.
"Look, Loki. I actually think it's our business considering you tried to kill yourself and we are trying to make sure you don't do it again." Tony said with an amused look which made Steve want to bang his head against the counter top. These were serious issues Stark, not something to laugh about.
"Why?" Loki quickly shoot back, ignoring once again that the mortals didn't seem to understand that he hadn't tried to kill himself.
"Why we're trying to stop you from killing yourself?"
"Yes why. I am perfectly capable of looking after myself and yet you keep insisting on watching my every woken minute." Loki hissed, glaring at the two avengers in front of him. Tony had forgotten Loki could look so dangerous, he had seemed so fragile lately.
"Loki. We're not saying you're not able to take care of yourself, you're a grown man of course you can take care of yourself." Steve said in a calm voice, hoping to calm Loki down a bit. "We just want to make sure you don't hurt yourself again."
"So you won't die."
"And how does that profit you?"
"It doesn't-. Wait. How does it profit us? Why do you think it profits us?" Steve asked, bemused and horrified at the same time. Did Loki really think they had some kind of motive behind not wanting him to die?
"Why else would you do it? There is nothing you can win on having me alive."
"Because you deserve to live believe it or not Loki. We want you to live. I want, Tony want." Tony nodded at this." And I'm pretty sure Bruce is quite keen on having you alive."
"I don't need your pity." Loki hissed, his eyes narrowed into small slits.
"It's not pity Loki. It's genuine concern. We can all see that you're hurting Loki and we all know what it feels like to hurt. We want to help you feel better Loki. That's all we want." Steve felt like he was pleading when he spoke to Loki. Hoping that the god would believe him. After all they all could relate to Loki on some level. Steve on the bullying, Tony and his father, Bruce had the hulk, all the lives Natasha and Cling had taken. There were of course more problems with Loki but Steve felt like they had something they could build a good foundation on.
"I don't believe you." Loki said, but his words lacked their normal strength. He didn't believe Steve, there were always an alterior motive. There had to be.
"I can't make you believe me Loki. But I can promise you that what I say is the truth."
Loki stared at Steve for a second before quickly looking down at his feet. Steve was so alike Thor, tall, strong and golden. And just like Thor he spoke nothing but the truth, Loki knew this. But he couldn't believe it. There was always a motive, even his Father had a motive for him, or used to have, for whatever he had once been good for didn't matter anymore.
Loki felt as if his world was fraying at the edges and splitting open at the seams. Nothing was as it was supposed to be. There wasn't supposed to be anyone wanting to help him, there weren't supposed to be anyone caring whether or not his heart was aching and whether or not his mind were filled with nothing but darkness. But now there were, and there were more than one person trying to help him, and quite frankly Loki didn't know what to do.
Still keeping his gaze locked on the floor Loki walked over to the table and sat down. He felt so small and so weak accepting Steve's silent offer of help but somewhere in his mind he reasoned that it couldn't get much worse, could it?
Tony shot Steve a confused look as Loki walked over to the kitchen table and sat down. DId this mean Loki believed Steve, or...? Steve just gave him a pleased look and then continued with his pancakes.
Steve felt as if he had accomplished something of great importance. This didn't in any way mean that Loki would get better, but it did mean that he believed Steve when he said that there were no other reason for them to help Loki outside of making Loki feel better. Which was true, at least for him and apparently Tony.
"So...you wanna join me in the lab?" Tony asked after almost ten minutes of silence. Steve's head shot up from where he was still frying pancakes (damn his new metabolism). Surely Tony couldn't mean him, but that meant that he meant...Loki. He turned around and looked at the ex god sitting and painting patterns on the table in front of him. He really did look like a lost boy more than anything sitting as he did. Steve had often hear that he woke mother feelings in girl before his serum and he now wondered if he was feeling something alike, for all he wanted was too scoop Loki up in a hug and hold him until everything was alright..
When Loki hadn't answered after a minute Tony pushed away from the counter he had been leaning against and sat down next to Loki. The trixter seemed to wake up from some kind of trance and he quickly rearranged his features into his normal impassive look.
"What do you want?" He asked, sounding as if he was doing Tony a favour by talking to him.
"I asked if you wanted to join me in the lab. I've got this theory I've been working on about magic and stuff like that and hey, now that I've got an expert here I thought why the hell not." Tony asked with a shrug. When he looked at Loki again he saw a flicker of uncertainty in the ex god's eyes but it was gone before he could blink.
Loki tried desperately to figure out whether Tony was serious or not. Did he really want Loki there. He didn't know anything about the technology on midgard and during the few short months he had been forced to spend here he had barely learnt anything.
Tony looked away and sipped at his cup of coffee, figuring he might have to give Loki some space.
Loki nodded hesitantly once and Tony lit up in a smile.
"Awesome." He said before standing and beginning to walk towards the elevator. Loki quickly rose and followed him, throwing an unsure look at Steve before reminding himself that he was a god and it didn't matter what Steve thought.. He does what he wants.
Tony came stayed at the door and waited for Loki. When the trickster had passed Steve cleared his throath.
"What are you doing.?"
"Hey, I've always wanted to know how magic works?" Tony asked as if it explained everything. "And besides, he's got a really good ass."
"Stark you are not-"
"Chillax mother. I'm not going to molest him. I'm just making sure he doesn't rot locked away in his room. And wasn't this what you wanted. Loki making friends and so one, getting to know us so that we can get to know him. You can thank me later when I've successfully recruited Loki to the avengers without your help." He said with a wink before disappearing down the hallway.
During the following weeks Loki began to spend more and more time with Stak in the lab. He found that he was almost looking forwards towards meeting him each day. Stark was the first person he had met who could match him intellectually, which was surely impressive for a mortal. He found that he sometimes even smiled and at rare times laughed at Stark's humor.
Bruce also joined them sometimes and Loki had begun feeling comfortable around him as well. Bruce was also very clever for a mortal and the three of them often discussed different theories during coffee breaks.
His mornings with Steve had also became more comfortable. He felt as if he didn't have to watch his every move and the voices that mocked him in his head had become quieter. They could talk about almost everything but Loki still firmly said no whenever someone tried to make him open up and talk and an attempt often made him snarl something insulting and lock himself in his room where he would berate himself on his stupid and weak and pathetic he was.
Clin and Natasha was still very much off limits but sometimes when they were all in a group they wouldn't treat him like air, which made Loki's heart clench with something different than pain.
About a month after Loki's confrontation Tony and Loki was once again in the workshop, Stark having talked Loki into putting on a prototype he had designed for a new weapons system for his suit. Tony was currently screwing in what felt like the hundredth tiny little screw that made the glove, if you could call it that, on Loki's hand.
"If you're tricking me Stark I am going to kill you." Loki threatened but it was clear his heart wasn't in it.
"Yeah, well we both know how that worked out last time." Tony mumbled as he tightened the screws one last time. Loki let out a snort and when Tony looked up he could see a small smile on Loki's lips. He mentally high fived himself for being the best amateur counselor there was. Loki did actually seem happier now. There were less insults being shouted and less shuffling about in the background like that one kid in your class that never said a thing and seemed to be almost invisible.
"Done. You can try it now." He said and threw the screwdriver to the side, not caring where it landed and if he would be able to find it again, as Loki rose from his seat and placed himself a meter in front of Tony.
He shot Tony a 'are you really serious with this' look, hiding the nervousness he felt inside. What if Stark was really tricking him?
Tony raised his eyebrows in a daring manner before leaning back and watching the show. He was quite sure Loki would be completely alright and if he wasn't he would just have to shout for Bruce.
Loki planted his feet firmly on the ground before stretch his arm out before him, his hand flexes and fingers spread. He took a calming breath, swallowing the worry inside him, and fired.
The weapon went off as it were supposed to do, it was just that the blast was a little stronger than Tony had first believed. Okay, a little was maybe a bit of an understatement.
The force from the blast made Loki lose his balance and with a hard crash he fell to the floor, taking down an array of little metal pieces, screws, papers and half a banana with him.
Oops. Tony cautiously looked over at where Loki was laying on the floor, glaring at Tony as if trying to kill him with the power of his mind. Well this wasn't good. He needed to fix this, and fast.
"You okay there pal?" He asked and great Tony. Genius move. But the move seemed to have actually worked because Loki's death glare soon changed into a look of confusion.
"Pal?" He asked and frowned as if the word had offended him.
"Yeah, pal, friend, mate. Same thing. Although not the kind of mate you're thinking of. I mean the australian mate, as in friend." Tony explained weakly with a small shrug,
"Really?" Friend? had Tony just called him a friend?
"Sure thing buddy. I don't let anybody borrow my stuff." Tony reached out a hand for Loki to take but the man in question seemed to occupied with something else so Tony took back his hand.
Was Stark really his friend? were the only words rotating around in his head. Did he really have a friend? His own friend, for as far as Loki knew Stark and Thor weren't friends. He had never had a friend of his own before, or a friend at all for that matter.
"Hey, you taking a nap or something?" Tony's voice broke through his thoughts and Loki realised he was still on the floor. He quickly rose and scolded himself for getting stuck in his head. Having a friend shouldn't be such a big deal. Loki didn't need anyone so it didn't matter if he had friends or not. Except it did. It mattered a lot.
Loki could feel the silliest smile ever form on his lips and he fought hard to stop it. Oh by Odin this was embarrassing, he was acting like a child given an extra cake for dessert. He needed to control himself.
He forced down the smile but couldn't stop the bubbly feeling in his stomach and the warmth in his chest, not that he really wanted to.
So this chapter was a bit happier than the others have been, and the chapter will probably continue in this stile. Because I can't just leave Loki all broken and hurting, I love him too much.
Reviews are highly appreciated 3
Chapter 4: Beer
So here is the chapter, a day late but still. This chapter might seem a bit OOC and I apologize for that, but I feel as if Loki really needed to have another breakdown before he could heal. After all everything he has gone through since the first chapter have been strange and new and he's really confused so that's why he's acting all weird and vulnerable and all. Also, I got a bunch of so sweet comments on my author's note chapter and I just awwww'd at the wonder of the amazing readers I've got on this story. Thank you so much for choosing to follow this story :D
Okay now for some WARNINGS: This chapter contains graphic descriptions of RAPE. If you wish to skip that and still read the chapter just skip the italicalised part.
It was well past midnight before Loki moved from his place in the library, a place he had taken after Odin announced that a feast should be held in the honour of Thor and the Warriors Three for slaying their first Bilgesnipe, a killing that wouldn't have been possible without Loki's help.
He had been the one who knew where to find the creature -sure Fandral had an Idea, an idea that was close to completely wrong. He had been the one to singlehandedly distract the creature when it charged upon an unsuspecting Thor. And then, just because he wasn't actively participating in the actual slaying he didn't get any honour. Loki's confusion spell had been disregarded as the simple trick of a coward, a trick that had probably made sure that Thor and the Warriors Three escaped unshamed.
So while the Thor and his friends were praised Loki had escaped to the library where he could sit and calm down. Drowning himself in books and knowledge instead of jealousy and selfpity. Hour upon hour had passed and before Loki knew it the sun had set and the moon had already travelled over more than half the sky.
His footsteps echoed in the empty corridors as he made his way back to his chambers. It wasn't a long walk merely a quarter of an hour, but Loki still made sure to keep his gait quick. He may be the equivelent of 16 midgardian years but that didn't meen he didn't get creeped out when walking through long dark corridors in the middle of the night.
He quickly turned a corner and walked right into something large and solid. He stumbled backwards but before he could fall something grabbed hold of his upper arm and pulled him upright.
"Watch it!" A sour faced guard snarled in Loki's face, but when the guard realised who he was talking to his angry scowl changed into a smirk.
"Well isn't it prince Loki himself."
Loki straightened his back and tilted his head up to look at the guard. "Yes."
"I didn't see you at the feast? May I ask why?" The guard looked down on Loki with a predatory smile, still holding his arm in an iron grip.
Loki glared at the guard, trying not to show the discomfort he felt under his gaze. "I have no interest in such petty matters." He tried to dislodge the guards grip but to no avail.
"Oh so I have heard." The guards smile grew even wider and Loki once again pulled at his arm. He didn't like wherever this was going.
"Little price Loki, spending all his time in the library." The guard continued while beginning to walk towards Loki. Reflectively Loki took a step back, and then another. He was still trying to make the guard release him, twisting and turning his arm. Fear had begun to coil in the pit of his stomach and his eyes were darting around the dark corridor, looking for an escape path.
"Studying magic like a maiden, we should start to call you Princess Loki. For you even battle like a maiden, simple throwing knifes, without honour or glory."
"I demand that you unhand me this instant!" Loki ordered, a hint of panic in his voice. The guard still kept a firm grip on his arm and with Loki's next step back the prince's back hit the golden wall.
The guard took another step forwards, entering Loki's personal space and placing a large hand next to Loki's head. The guard was towering over him by at least one foot and his bulky from made Loki feel tiny in comparison. Loki may be tall but he wasn't strong by any account, his body was slim and lean instead of the body of a warrior, something Loki normally disliked but in this moment absolutely loathed.
"We should treat you like the helpless maiden you really are." The guard almost tenderly stroked a lock of Loki's ink black hair behind his ear.
"Let me go!" Loki placed his hands on the guards chest and pushed with all his might, but with his left upper arm still trapped in the guards grip he couldn't make the man move even the smallest of inches. Panic was bubbling within him and his heartbeat was loud in his ears. He really wanted to get away from here, wanted to just curl up next to mother and father where he was safe.
The guard let out a laugh at his feeble attempt to get free and with the hand that wasn't holding on to Loki with he took hold of Loki's head and forced his head upwards, pressing his own lips to the prince's in the process.
Loki's eyes widened for a short moment before he squeezed them shut and pressed his lips hard together, his right hand coming up to claw and scratch at the guard. NO, no stop. He didn't want this. No please no.
The guard growled and took a firm hold of both of Loki's wrists, bringing them up over his head without releasing Loki's lips. One hand was firmly holding Loki's wrists in place while the other began stroking at his chest. Loki tried to squirm away but the guard didn't allow him much place to move.
When the guard gasped Loki took his chance and bit his bottom lip hard. The guard recoiled and let go of Loki's hands, stumbling backwards in pain. Loki kicked him as hard as he could before taking off in a sprint, nearly falling over in his desperation to get away. The guard set off after him, large hands grabbing at air mere inches from Loki.
Suddenly he heard a triumphant 'ha' from the guard and before his mind could process what it could mean he came to an abrupt stop and landed hard on his back. The guard had caught hold of the back of his tunic.
As he struggled to get his breath back the guard straddled his hips. The guard reached to grab hold of Loki's hands once again but as soon as his hands came close to Loki's wrists Loki let out a scream and punched the guard in the face as hard as he could.
"You little brat" The guard spat and with a quick move seized Loki's wrist in his hands.
"I am the prince! Let me go!" Loki demanded, still struggling under the guard but all he received for answer was a laugh. Through his panicked haze Loki suddenly remembered he still had his magic He forced himself to calm down and focused all his attention inwards but then the guard slowly started to rub his hips against Loki's and. Oh Odin, he could feel the guards erect-. No no please. No he needed to focus. Calm down Loki. Just, ah. He didn't want this, no no. Please no.
The guard once again bent down to kiss him but Loki turned his head away. He could feel tears burn behind his eyes and as the guard breathed a low moan in his ear a choked sob escaped his lips. Why? He just wanted to go to bed. Please someone come and help him.
He had thought about screaming for help but the only ones who could hear him here were the flowers outside the windows. There were no guards here, well one his brain reminded him as the guard nestled his nose in Loki's hair, because there were nothing of value in these corridors. He had never felt so alone.
The guard suddenly lifted his hips and released Loki's wrist and for a millisecond Loki was so happy he could sing but then he was flipped over on his stomach and a large elbow was digging into his back. A calloused hand snaked its way under his tunic and began pulling at his tights.
A new wave of terror crashed over Loki and he no longer cared whether or not his knowledge told him there were no one here to hear him. He screamed.
"NO! HELP ME! SOMEONE HELP ME!" Loki screamed at the top of his lungs hoping desperately that someone, anyone would hear him. "THOR PLEASE HELP ME!"
"Cease your bawling you mewling quim." The guard growled in his ear, still tugging at his tights.
"THOR! PLEASE THOR! HELP!" Why wasn't Thor coming. Thor was always there for him when he needed it. Please Thor just come.
The sound of fabric ripping echoed through the corridor and with horror Loki realised he could feel the cold night air against his backside. A hand stroked his naked skin, his fingers digging into the soft muscle.
"Please stop. I'll do anything you want. Just stop." Loki pleaded. He felt like he was trapped in a nightmare, a nightmare he couldn't wake up from.
The hand disappeared from his arse for a few seconds and when it came back Loki could feel a wet finger probe at his entrance and once again broke down into tears. Please just stop. He would attend every feast ever, he would never set foot inside the library again, he would give up magic if this just stopped. Please.
The finger slipped inside and Loki let out a strangled cry. It hurt it hurt it hurt. His fingers were clawing at the stone floor, seeking for a place to grip so he could escape this. Please stop it hurt.
The finger began moving in and out, forcing a pained whimper out of Loki each time, and soon a second finger breached him. The fingers were scissoring him open and Loki could feel his muscles easing up, making each movement easier . He felt like his own body was betraying him. Why was it allowing this? Why didn't it stop this?
The guard pulled out his fingers and with one hand still placed firmly on Loki's lower back he nudged Loki's legs apart and positioned himself between them. Loki feebly tried to squirm away but he found that he had close to no strength left. What was the point? No one had came to save him and no one would. He was alone.
As he felt the fat head of his rapist cock press against his hole Loki realised the little preparation he had received would be enough but he was still not prepared for the intense burning pain when he was penetrated. He let out another scream and pressed his forehead hard against the floor. He felt like he was being torn apart, like the stiff organ still pressing inside him would never stop going and soon he would be split in two.
But then the guard stopped moving and Loki realised the guard was fully seated inside him. The guard stayed like that for a minute or two but Loki would honestly just have him move. He knew how this worked, if the pain and the shame came now or in a minute didn't change the fact that it would still come.
Finally the guard began moving, first minute trusts that soon turned into a hard pounding, and Loki immediately changed his mind. Please stop. It hurt so much, so very very much. He didn't know what to do with himself, the pain was everywhere. But then the slide of his rapist cock became easier and the pain decreased. He became aware of the large body pressing down on him and the trickle of something warm running down his thighs. It must be blood, his mind told him, making it easier. Good.
He wanted to laugh at the absurdity of his own thoughts but all that came from his mouth was a mix between a sob and a gasp. Tears were still pouring from his eyes and it was getting hard to breathe from the sobs wracking his body.
The guard was still pounding hard into him, grunting in his ear and panting dirty breaths into his hair. Loki gulped down air and soon his sobs had subsided and he had regain control of his breathing. He turned his eyes towards the fingers of his right hand that were laying a feet from his face. He decided to focus on his fingers, to count the small scars his throwing knives had given him over the years, to look at how the small hairs on his hand moved as he was pushed to and fro on the cold stone floor. He ignored the shame and the pain, he ignored the fact that he would never be pure again, he ignore the fact that he felt like was broken and like a mirror the pieces could be glued back together but the cracks would always be there.
After a couple of minutes, or maybe it was hours, Loki could no longer tell, his rapist sped up and his moans became louder. The guard suddenly buried himself deeper into Loki than he had done before and then stopped. For a brief moment Loki wondered what was happening before he could feel something warm being released inside him.
A wave of shame crashed over Loki and all he wanted was to hide. He was defiled, dirty, impure. His rapist crashed down on him but Loki couldn't find it within him to care about how the heavy weight made it hard for him to breathe.
They lay like that for a minute, Loki crying softly and the guard panting, before a raspy voice whispered in Loki's ear.
"You tell no one of this. Do you understand? No one. And if you did no one would believe you, would they? You're the god of mischief and lies. So don't even think about it."
Loki nodded. The guard was right, he wouldn't tell anyone. He was too ashamed to do so. And if he did who would believe him, no one ever believed him.
The guard gave him a pat on his shoulder, as if to praise him for answering correct, before pulling out, tucking himself back in his tights and walking away. Loki was left on the floor.
If Tony were to describe how things were going with Loki he would use the word great. The god was happier and seemed less troubled. He had made friends and even Clint were beginning to open up to him. And really, once you got to know the guy he wasn't half bad. He was funny, even though his humor sometimes were a tad too dark for Tony's comfort. He was inteligente, although sometimes a bit of a smartass. And he was an excellent cook, well maybe not excellent but most certainly better than both him and clint, not that they ever cooked anything or so but still. He could cook.
It wasn't until Bruce had removed the bandage covering Loki's arm that things turned, not so great. Loki had locked himself in his room for two full days without explanation to why and when he finally joined in with reality again he had started wearing long armed sweater, something he had never worn before.
Apparently his scar had been rather nasty, the skin red and uneven, and according to Bruce Loki had looked like he was about to cry when he first saw it. Tony couldn't really comprehend to why this was such a big deal to Loki but apparently it was.
Loki was now almost shy, hesitant where he before had been unwavering, quiet where he had been quick with a snarky remark. He was still spending time around the rest of the inhabitants of the tower but every laugh and smile now seemed a bit forced, as if he was afraid of something but couldn't show it. Even his insults seemed forced.
Loki tugged at the hem of his sweater, making sure you couldn't see the scar. It was ugly, it tainted him, he hated it. He couldn't stand to look at it. When Bruce had removed the wrappings he had been so shocked over how horrible it looked he hadn't been able to move. It had screamed failure at him, reminded him of his real worth and of who he was. An ugly monster. It had dragged forth memories he had away in some remote corner of his mind where they could rot.
But no, he couldn't think about that now. He had friends, he finally had friends. They liked him. He couldn't ruin that with his weakness, they didn't want to listen to him as he whined like a child. It wasn't that hard to ignore the voice in his head screaming at him that he was no one and that they didn't really like him, that they laughed at how pathetic he was as soon he left the room. It wasn't hard. He just refrained from looking at the scar and from showing it to them and everything would be alright. He would have friends and he could be happy.
He was happy, he told himself, he was happy when he could help Tony with his research on magic, or when he could help Steve with dinner and dishes. He was happy when Bruce gave him tips on which book he should read next or whenever Natasha decided to just speak with him. The fact that they sometimes looked at him like there was something wrong with him didn't bother him. He was happy.
"Hey Loks, you alright there buddy?" Tony asked as he sat down in the couch next to him, a bottle of beer in his hand.
"Yeah, fine." Loki forced a smile and tugged at his sleeve again. Tony gave him that look and Loki turned his head away, tears burning behind his eyes. He was so weak now, crying all the time like a mere child. True warriors didn't cry, Thor didn't cry, Odin didn't cry. No, he wasn't going to be weak, at least not when others could see him. He swallowed and forced himself calm.
"Look. Loki," Tony began. "You could talk to us, if you wanted to." He shrugged and took a sip from his beer.
"I thought you talked enough for all of us." Loki replied, trying to sound teasing, but the comment lacked its normal bite.
Tony just tilted his head in a 'yeah I guess you're right' motion before deciding to leave the matter alone. Getting Loki to talk was as impossible as making Fury laugh. He took another sip of his beer and noticed that Loki was once again fingering at his sleeve. He turned on the television and pretended to look at whatever the screen was showing while trying to subtly watch Loki.
The kid looked...sad, really really sad. Tony hadn't seen him look this sad ever before, heck he didn't think he had seen anyone looking this sad ever before. He was just radiating of misery but every time Tony or anyone else looked at him Loki would look perfectly alright, a bit worried sure but otherwise alright. Although lately it was like the fire had burned out inside him. The usually so bright emerald eyes were now a dull green colour and Tony wondered, not for the first time, if Loki could be depressed and if the anger and rage inside him had been the only thing that made him going.
"Tony! Why are there a ton of dishes on the counter?" Steve's irritated call stopped Tony's musing.
"Ask Jarvis." He called back and took another swig of his beer.
"You can't just leave your plates on the counter!"
"Who said anything about me leaving plates on the counter?" He heard Steve groan and grinned, pleased with himself. Steve's military discipline were perfect for getting household chores done, the man couldn't stand dirty dishes or piles of laundry. And since Steve didn't trust the robots enough to let them do the job who were Tony to stop him. Really, he was doing Steve a favour when he left his plates all over the house.
"I'll help you." Loki called from his side and the billionaire gave him a confused look. Loki responded with a smug smile, leaving it to Tony to work out what he meant. In reality he just wanted to be of use, feel as if he was worth something to his friends.
He often helped Steve with the dishes, drying the plates as Steve washed them. They would chat, Steve would smile, Loki would feel happy. He got a pat on his back as he joined Steve in the kitchen and soon they had found their usual routine.
Steve were talking about how the team had thought about going to go and see a movie soon, Loki included, and about how much the movies had changed. In Loki's ears he sounded like the elders in Asgard, talking about how they couldn't understand the youth today. The thought made Loki smile and feeling like the day was a bit brighter he reached for the next plate.
He began wiping the towel over the wet china, careful to make it completely dry before he placed it in the dish rack. He was just about to set the plate aside when he noticed a stain. He wiped with the towel again but the stain was still there. Frowning, he rubbed the towel repeatedly over the spot over and over again but the stain wouldn't give.
'The spot is you' the voice in his head told him. 'It taints the whole plate, just like you tainted Asgard.' Loki shook his head, he shouldn't listen to the voice. He once again tried to rub the spot away. 'A black stain on the white china. Oblivious to how bad it fits in but obvious in its deformity to everyone else'. He let go of the towel and used his nail to scrape at the stain. 'You're the stain Loki. The gray Jötunn among the golden asir. Everyone else saw, everyone but you. Everyone saw how odd you were, how badly you fitted in. Everyone saw the monster. Everyone but you.'
"NO!" Loki threw the plate across the kitchen, shattering it against the wall. He was breathing hard, trying to control the emotions raging inside him, he wanted to smash the whole kitchen, he wanted to kill and burn and destroy, he wanted to curl up under his covers and just cry, he wanted a hug from his Mother.
"Loki?" Steve's head had snapped up at the sound of Loki's sudden outburst. He had watched as Loki had tossed the plate across the kitchen in an explosion of rage and were now watching how Loki stood frozen on the spot, hands fisted so hard his knuckles were turning white and a single tear making its way down his cheek.
"Are you okay?" He asked the ex-god cautiously.
Loki seemed to snap out of some trance, his whole body shivering before he answered.
"Yes." The answer was short and emotionless. "I'll clean it up."
"No, no. Just leave it."
Loki nodded and turned to continue wiping the plates.
"Care to tell me why you threw a plate across the kitchen?"
Loki swallowed, feeling his throat closing up. He was acting like a child again. He needed to stop that.
"No, I- I just. I, no. The-" He began but soon found that he didn't have enough air in his lungs to force out a coherent sentence. He felt a tear leaking from the corner of one of his eyes and furiously wiped it away. He shook his head and swallowed, regaining control of himself. This was embarrassing. He needed to stop being so weak, crying for a plate. Who did that?
Steve watched with a concerned look on his face as Loki pulled himself away from what was probably another breakdown, one that would inevitably happen. Steve only hoped that Loki trusted them enough to rely on them when it happened instead of locking himself in his room. It was clear that Loki needed to let out the emotional tumult inside him but something was holding him back, probably pride.
"It's okay to be angry Loki." Steve's voice was gentle.
"I know that!" Loki snapped back at him, an angry snarl on his face. Steve decided to let the subject go for the time being, he wasn't going to get anywhere this time either. With a quiet sigh he returned to the plates in the sink.
It was a warm summer day, a really warm summer day. One of those days when Tony regretted he hadn't installed that swimming pool outside his penthouse. Natasha was outside sunbathing, looking like she was taken right out of a 40's movie with her bright red hair and her polkadot bikini. Steve were sketching, Bruce reading and him and Clint were having a nice cold beer.
Everyone had quickly removed their t-shirts and shirts, now sitting bare chested and enjoying the sun, everyone except Loki who was wearing his normal long sleeved sweater. He was sitting in the shadow, reading a book in Swedish. Apparently the god understood that launguage, had something to do with the Norse and how they were worshiped in scandinavia and whatnot. Personally Tony thought the language were just consonants forming gibberish, and it sounded as if they were singing when they were talking. Fucking weird.
"Hey Snape!" He called, turning everyone's head towards him except Loki's. "Loks, I'm meaning you." This gave him the desired reaction and Loki looked up from his book. "Come over here, have a beer, or mjod or whatever you guys call it."
Loki hesitated for a second before dog earing his book, good Tony hated that, and walking over. He sat down in one of the deck chairs and grabbed the beer Tony handed him. He took a careful sip and frowned, Mjöd was much sweeter, this tasted almost stale.
"You know I have a pair of shorts if you want to borrow." Tony said and looked at him from over the top of his sunglasses.
Loki turned his head to face Tony but instead his eyes caught hold of Clint's. The master assassin gave him a look that clearly said he didn't want Loki anywhere near him here and Loki quickly looked down. He had apologized to clint, he knew how it felt to have someone in his mind that controlled him but Clint still didn't like him. 'Who likes a monster?' The voice whispered in his ear. No one, Loki answered. No one liked him. He should just sit here and be grateful that they allowed him in their presence.
He shook his head in answer to Tony's question. It wasn't that warm, he could handle it. He tugged at his sleeve to hide his scar, 'no one wants to see that'. Somewhere in his mind he wondered where he had gone from feeling comfortable around Steve, Tony and the others to where he was now. When had he began feeling this self conscious, and when had he begun showing it? Where had things gone wrong?
He took a shaky breath and pushed down his feeling. This was for the better, everyone was happy, Loki had friends. All was well.
The sun was burning down on him, making him sweat and he took another sip of his beer in hope that it would cool him down somewhat. He could feel Tony looking at him and tried to hide how much the sun was bothering him. The sun had always bothered him more than it had Thor or any other asir, something which had greatly irritated him when he was younger. But now that he knew of his true heritage it only served as another reminder of who he was, and what he wasn't.
Loki stayed in the deck chair for another five minutes before deciding that it was simply too hot for him to stay in direct sunlight while wearing what he was wearing. He heaved himself out of the chair, picked up his book and began walking back to his place in the shadow. After a few steps the world began to disappear at the edges and the ground was suddenly tilting rather a lot to the left. He tried to compensate by leaning to the right. There was a high pitched sound ringing in his ears and he couldn't seem to get the world to level.
The last thing he heard before everything turned black was Tony asking him "Loki?" in a surprised voice.
Tony wondered if this was what deja vú felt like as he watched Loki in the hospital bed, once again looking so small and so fragile. Bruce had assured him that there was nothing wrong with Loki,he was just overheated and hadn't had enough to drink and with an IV and a few days of taking things easy he would be just fine.
Still, when Loki had collapsed outside the penthouse Tony couldn't help but feel a like this was a giant step in the wrong direction, couldn't help to feel like when Loki woke up he would once again be the cold, emotionless god.
The team was gathered in the room connected to Loki's, some watching the unconscious ex-god and others resting in the chairs.
"Why didn't he tell us?" Tony asked Steve, his eyes not leaving Loki's prone form.
"No idea." Steve sighed. "He's been acting so odd these past two weeks. It can't just be his scar, it must be something more."
Tony nodded and crossed his arms over his chest. Yeah, this odd behaviour had all begun with the scar. But that couldn't possibly be all. Tony got the feeling that the scar was just the top of the iceberg and if they looked beneath that a whole lot of crap would be welling out, but wasn't that what they wanted? Or would that just make things worse?
"Tony." Steve nudged him with his elbow and Tony turned his head to look at Steve. Steve was looking at Loki and Tony quickly mimicked Steve.
Loki was stirring in his bed, turning his head and flexing his fingers. Before he could properly wake up Bruce was already by his bedside, checking in on readings and the IV.
Tony quickly followed and soon the Avengers had regrouped in Loki's room, Clint closest to the door and Tony more or less right in Loki's face. Natasha sighed and pulled Tony back by grabbing his shirt.
Loki blinked blearily a couple of times before his eyes focused on the people gathered around him. A look of horror crossed his face before he seemed to shrink in on himself, pressing his head hard into the pillow.
"How are you feeling?" Bruce asked, feeling Loki's forehead.
"Well." Loki answered, not meeting Bruce's eyes. Bruce hummed and fished up a little flashlight from his pocket.
"Eyes on my finger please." He commanded. Loki slowly shuffled into a more upright position and then patiently stared at Bruce's finger as he shone the light in Loki's eyes.
"Are you nauseous?" He asked and Loki shook his head. "Well it seems like you managed to avoid a concussion." He told Loki with a small smile. "You got a heat stroke, nothing serious but you need to keep cool for a while. It was probably caused by your clothing and your heritage."
At the mention of his heritage Loki curled in on himself even more, appearing almost ashamed.
"Yeah, your clothes. Why the fuck did you chose those?" Tony quirked an interested eyebrow in Loki's direction. "Long pants and a sweater, real summer clothes."
"I-I." Loki began but Tony interrupted him before he could get a word out.
"I think it has something to do with your scar." He pointed at Loki's arm which the ex god quickly pressed against his chest, hiding the scar.
Tony figured he could go with the same strategy he had done when Loki had woken up after his suicide attempt. It had worked then so why wouldn't it work now?
"You know a scar is nothing to be ashamed of. I mean we all have them. It's a part of being a superhero. Not that you're one right now. But No,I don't actually think it's about your scar. I think this is about something else and I think you should just man up and tell us." Tony continued, inspecting his nails as spoke.
Before he could continue he was yanked away from Loki's bed by an angry Natasha mumbling something in Russian. Tony stumbled a few steps backwards, he looked up and found that both Bruce and Steve was looking at him with horrified expression and that Loki looked so miserable that he looked like he was ready to just lie down and die. Tony gave them all an apologetic look, feeling a bit like a douchebag.
Natasha sat down next to Loki and gathered him in a hug. Loki tensed in Natashas arms and made a half hearted attempt to pull away but Natasha kept her firm grip on the trickster. Loki relaxed and fisted his hands in the soft material of Natasha's cardigan. A small sob escaped Loki, and then another.
Tony stared at the pair with eyes the size of tea cups. What was happening? And what? What?
"Come on, show's over." Cling gestured for the three that wasn't on the bed to leave the room and still in shock Tony was pushed out of the room. The last thing he saw before the door was closed in his face was Loki crying openly into Natasha's chest and Natasha slowly stroking Loki's hair while rocking him back and forth.
I feel bad for making Loki cry but it felt like it was something that needed to happen. I was not sure how to end this and I have some more written but neither of that felt as natural as this ending even thought this ending lacks a lot of explenation. I will try to fit that into next chapter and when the story's done I might post the parts I've chosen not to include :)
So we only have one chapter left now, exciting and a bit sad. Anyway see you next Saturday :D
Comments are highly appreciated.
Chapter 5: Cake
Hello, this is the final chapter *screams internally*. I will post a proper author's note tomorrow because it's three am here and I want to sleep. See you then.
WARNING: talk about RAPE in this chapter as well but nothing graphic. And there is Sleipnir's story in here too, and talk about genocide.
Everything made sense now. Everything! Why he was always second best. Why Odin always looked at him with that look in his eyes. Why people avoided him. All these years, all this time, and there was nothing he could do about it. Everyone else had known, everyone had known what a disgusting monstrous abomination he was. Everyone but him.
A frost giant.
That's what he were, is and are always going to be. A Jötunn from Jötunnheim, a killing monster, never hesitating one second before killing something. Living only to see blood flow and life die.
And on top of that a runt! A disgrace to his biological father as well as his adoptive on because of what he is. And there was nothing at all he could do about it.
Loki sat down on his bed and rested his head in his hands, breathing deeply in order to keep himself in one piece and to stop himself from destroying his chambers, again. He wanted, his mother. No, Frigga. No- his mother, always his mother. But he was afraid that when he looked into her eyes he would see disgust, and horror.
He felt tears prickel in the corners of his eyes and furiously wiped his eyes. He felt so alone and so worthless and so disgusted with himself. His whole life had been a lie, he had never been Odin's son, he had never been Thor's brother, he had never been an Asir. He had never even had a chance of being worthy, of anything.
He felt a tear run down his cheek and once again wiped his eyes, angry at his own weakness. Of course he would never be worthy if he behaved like this. He felt more tear spill from the corners of his eyes and wiped them away as well, but for every tear he removed two others emerged. He soon gave up on trying to hide his weakness and collapse down on his bed, allowing the tears to run freely down his cheeks.
He just wanted his fath-, no Odin, to look at him with pride in his eye for once. Was that really too much to ask. To have Odin speaking the words 'Loki, I'm proud son'. Was it? Was he mad for wishing such a thing?
Didn't he have the opportunity now? Now when there was no Thor around who could outshine him, now that Odin lay resting and Asgard was unprotected, now that he was king.
Now was his chance, he would show them all he was worthy. He would show them that Loki was the rightful king of Asgard.
But how? How could he prove to Father, no Odin, that he was worthy? Loki's lips curled into a wicked smile as the answer revealed itself in his mind. Yes, it was perfect. He would destroy Jötunnheim, erase the frost giants home from existence.
Thor's words echoed in his ears. I'll hunt the monsters down and slay them all. That was exactly what he was going to do, but with more elegance of course. He would use the Bifrost, using its beam to rip the planet apart. He would destroy the race that had been Asgards nemesis for millenias, and he would do it alone. He would succeed where everyone else had failed.
It was easy, he was king and there were no one who could stop him. All he needed to do was to make sure Thor didn't interrupt. The destroyer would be enough to keep his so called 'brother' occupied for long enough. And then he would simply destroy all Jötunns. Simple and eloquent.
Father would be so proud.
Loki had spent little over an hour crying into Natasha's chest, at times wailing in utter despair and at times only whimpering, whispered words of hurt and anguish falling from his tongue. Natasha had sang, songs from her childhood. Foreign phrases dancing in the air, soothing the crying man in her arms.
It had been decided that whatever had happened to Loki it was too big and too severe for any of the Avengers to handle, and Loki was sent to a therapist. At first he had been spitting and sneering that he didn't need therapy, that he was perfectly alright and that if there indeed were any problem with him, which there wasn't, there was no way a simple mortal could help him.
However, Loki's hate couldn't last forever, although it did seem like it at the time being, and soon he warmed up to the therapist. Telling her about his childhood, his attack against earth and the attacks against him, his heritage. And found that even though it hurt to speak about it, he did feel better afterwards. The therapist never ridiculed him or told him to take it as a real man. He found that he could trust her with secrets he had never trusted anyone with ever. And it was nice, to not have to carry all that alone. His world felt brighter and it was easier to breathe, his nightmares became fewer and further apart, he didn't want to hurt and insult everyone he met.
His insult were changed to harmless, although extremely annoying pranks and his cold demeanor softened and he found that he could laugh and smile among people without having someone nagging him at the back of his head that this was all a lie and that they all hated him.
Three months into his therapy Thor reappeared and Loki locked himself in his room for the first time in three months. Thor was still loud and annoying and he took all attention and Loki was forgotten and it hurt again. His therapist had asked more questions about Thor but no matter how much Loki told her about Thor he still wanted to rip the big oaf's head off as soon as he saw him. She suggested family therapy. Loki scoffed. Tony laughed. Thor cheered. The next day the adoptive brothers found themselves in opposite ends of a comfy couch in a family therapist's office. Thor, who still hadn't really understood that all couldn't be solved with him giving his brother a hug and an exchange of apologizes sat with an excited smile on his face. Loki, who had already worked out four plans to kill Thor despite his lack of magic before the therapist had even entered the room, just wanted Thor to go back home.
The therapy had been slow in the beginning, Thor not realizing that treating Loki the way he had could have a connection to how Loki was and felt like now and constantly defending his and other's actions by explaining that this was how everyone was doing, and therefore right. And Loki simply refusing to answer any and all questions without a snappy remark.
This lasted until they came to the story about Sleipnir and Thor told it as if Loki was a weak coward for getting impregnated by the horse and that everything was really a humorous story to tell at feast.
When he told the therapist that he was still ashamed over the fact that Loki had 'lain with a steed' Loki practically explode, screaming at Thor about how it was really a shame that he was so embarrassed over having his brother being raped by a horse. He really apologized for his stupidity over choosing to have his dignity taken by Svaðilfari over death by torture. And not to mention the fact that despite having stopped the giant and saved Freya, the sun and the moon from being taken he was still blamed for all the trouble he caused, and then having to give birth to a foal only to have his child taken away from him to be locked in a stable and ridden by his own grandfather, it must have really pained Thor.
Loki had ended his rant by smashing the glass table in the room and then stormed out, leaving Thor looking after his brother with confusing in his gaze. The therapist had taken her time to properly ask Thor if he had ever tried to put himself in Loki's situation (No) and if he had ever thought about how Loki must feel (No here as well).
Thor had been given the task to think through every scenario he could come up with where Loki had seemed upset in any way, then try to put himself in Loki's seat. How would he feel to have his lips sewn shut while his own people laughed at him? How would he feel to have people making jest at his own children while he himself weren't even allowed to visit them? It wasn't until he asked himself what it would feel like to have to stand alone while his Loki stood on the other side, agreeing with the warriors three and not with his own brother, that Thor truly understood. He felt such anger over not having his brother on his side that he accidentally destroyed one of the man of iron's pads of eye. He understood why Loki hated him so. Loki was always there for Thor, saving him and helping him, even though he would mostly get a laugh out of it too, but most of all Thor could always trust that Loki would side with him. But when he thought back he had never done such a thing for Loki. He was filled with such guilt over which pain Loki must feel and that this kind of pain couldn't be dissipated by a hug and a feast.
So Thor chose his weakest point, words, and used these to apologize to Loki for every time he should have trusted his brother instead of his friends, every time he should have defended Loki when he stood alone against Father and the court of Asgard, every time he should have stopped people from laughing at him but didn't.
Loki had been so shocked over the sincerity of his brother's words and over how much pain and guilt there lay in his eyes that at the end of Thor's speech Loki had hugged him, their first hug for over two years. The two brothers had stayed like that for a long time, simply holding each other and whispering 'I'm sorry' over and over again.
A few week of therapy later Thor had to return to Asgard and when he once again set foot on earth Loki was given his magic back. Tony had been warily at first, thinking that Loki would turn batshit again and fly away on some killing spree. But Loki had simply tested out a few spells, thanked his brother and declined Odin's offer of him returning to Asgard before he walked out of the room to read in the library.
The only real difference from pre-magic Loki to magic Loki was that magic Loki's pranks were much more advanced, such as having left turn to right and right turn to left for an entire day in the tower, causing everyone to get lost, and moving everything five inches to the left so you bumped into everything, although now that Tony thought about it that one might have been done without magic. Apart from that magic Loki was very much as he had always been, well, not always but you know. He still helped Tony in the workshop, he still discussed books with Bruce, he still ate pancakes with Steve and he still drove everyone up the wall with his smug know it all attitude. Even Clint had softened up to Loki when they had bonded over pranks, and then started to prank the others in the tower together.
After some persuasion from Steve, some whining from Tony and with the consent from the other Avengers (and a few threats of removing his sponsoring from Tony but he would never admit to it if asked) Loki became one of them.
Although not officially, that would definitely not go well with anyone's image. Loki was a magic counselor, meaning as soon as soon as Dr Doom, Scarlet witch or Thanos, when he finally attacked (it was quite pathetic, the guy didn't really have an army) he was there to neutralise any spell that had been cast and to make sure that no one was cursed, all under cover of course.
When Natasha, Sunday the eleventh of Mars, walked into the kitchen the last thing she thought she would find was Loki sitting at the kitchen table, spooning in ice cream in his mouth and staring sadly at a small cake in front of him. The cake in question held one candle, not lit, and on the top a few complex runes were painted in frosting.
"I thought you didn't eat ice cream." Natasha commented. The last time he ate it his fingers had turned blue, Loki had been horrified and his therapist had had a field day in how Loki could hate himself so much and still be as narcissistic as he is.
"Well it looks like you were wrong again, no surprise there." He drawled in answer and spooned another chunk of ice cream in his mouth.
Natasha gave him a glare but found that instead of the smug smile Loki usually wore after a comeback the god was sighing into his ice cream. She frowned but decided to wait and see where things were going before making her move.
She opened a cupboard, chose a cup and turned on the coffee maker before once again turning to watch Loki. He was still eating ice cream, his eyes going from looking sadly at the cake to turning to the ice cream and glazing over to turning back to the cake with a sad look once again.
"Feeling okay or do I need to call in your therapist." Natasha didn't show it but she was worried, they had all heard some of Loki's stories, the true ones, not Tony's version, and she couldn't help but feeling bad for Loki. And the stories she had heard were the one Loki had agreed on talking about, which meant they were far from the worst. She should know, both she and Clint had some stories that no one would ever hear.
"'m fine." Loki sighed, looking all but fine. There were no bit to him. Odd he had been fine yesterday. From her experience Loki's mood changes had both disappeared and didn't include this lifeless sadness before.
"Who's the cake for?" Natasha asked, stretching her neck in order to better see the words written on the cake. It had something to do with the cake, she was sure.
Loki looked for a second like he might answer something sarcastic or like he wouldn't answer at all but then he sighed again and took another spoonful.
"It's for Hel" He thought about stopping but by now just talking about it had become second nature to Loki, and besides, he trusted Natasha.
"It's her day of birth. I feel regret over the fact that I never got to meet her, properly."
Natasha took her cup, which were now filled with delicious latte, and slid down into the chair opposite Loki. She stayed quiet and slowly sipped her cup, showing Loki that she was there for him if he wanted it, just like in the hospital room. She really did want to help Loki. She believed in second chances, she didn't know where she would be if Clint and Phil hadn't they offered her a second chance, probably at the bottom of the sea. She thought Loki deserved one after hearing what he had gone through and was trying her hardest to help Loki take full advantage of his second chance. And she wanted to hear about his daughter but no one needed to know that.
"I just miss her." Loki sighed and she could see that the hand gripping the spoon was shaking ever so slightly, and when she looked up Loki looked like he was fighting off tears. "I never got to meet her and I really miss her and it's not fair." His breath hitched once and he brought his had up to wipe the unshed tears from his eyes. Anger was now flashing through Loki's eyes, anger at himself, and Natasha knew she needed to distract him or thing would not end well.
"Hey, it's okay to be sad sometimes." She tried to sound reassuring, she really did, but it came out in her normal monotone voice.
"I'm fine." Loki answered and prodded at the half melted mush of ice cream in the box.
"You sure." She asked, mostly because that's the norm.
"Yeah." Loki told her and Natasha went back to her coffee, not seeing how Loki had stopped to think after his answer, the gears turning quickly in his mind.
It dawned on Loki that he did really feel fine. Sure he was sad now but otherwise he was genuinely happy, only experiencing small periods of self loathing and hatred but otherwise he felt fine. There was no longer a problem to find the energy to get out of bed in the mornings, there was no longer a problem to find the will to force himself through another day, there was no longer a problem to think of Thor, or Odin, or Asgard for that matter.
He smiled a little and gave Hel's cake another look, he would offer Natasha a piece, eat one himself and then leave the cake where everyone could see it and watch them trying to figure out whether it was safe to eat or not. He would be happy on Hel's birthday because that's what Hel would have wanted.
"Yeah I'm fine."
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