This Could Be the End of Everything

Bifurcation

Aunt May and Peter had waited for him. He had ridden home with Thor’s vision on him till he got too far for his sight. Then a storm followed him, as if to show he would never truly leave his side. Loki couldn’t help the warmth he felt knowing the storm was Thor’s. Loki wasn’t sure what would await him if he truly was the Loki they all believed him to be. He had wanted to be good, someone to be loved. He had found it in this house, but now it seemed to slip away. He felt the centuries fabled to be his age and wasn’t sure what to do with the exhaustion. Peter walked over to Loki, a hand on his shoulder. He, in turn, looked up and met his eyes.

“Will I always be able to come home?” he could barely form that sentence. It wasn’t exactly what he wanted to say but it would have to do. He wanted to scream his denial, to put off the realization for as long as he could. He wanted to cry his fears and insecurities in their arms. He wanted to break everything in sight for his need to feel strong and in control. He could only say that sentence though. He could only convey this in his monotone, all the emotions falling flat, too many to truly feel. Peter felt all of it through that question, the lack of emotions showing all at the same time.

“You belong here.” No time limit, no exceptions. He belonged. Unconditionally he was loved here. Thunder sounded over the house. Thor, the one person he had no ties to and yet he felt a bond, a curse, a promise. Aunt May was watching the boys whisper to one another. It dawned on her that perhaps a sibling was all he needed. A friend that he could count on in things that she herself could not help with. Her title, gender, and age all went against her when it came to understanding and getting him to talk. He needs someone else. Someone to help him see. She smiles proudly at the two, Loki cracking a smile from his bland state he came in the house as. These were her boys. Loki and Peter were and will always be her children. She walks over to the teens and brings their heads down to hug them. They laugh, telling her she was embarrassing.

“Oh for heaven’s sakes, can a woman not hug her boys without hassle?” she swats at them. Loki dodges easy with mocking laughter. Peter took his with a good natured flinch. “It is a school night, you two need to head to bed now.” Peter groans leaning toward the stairs.

“We are seniors Aunt May. I don’t think we need to be told to go to bed anymore.” She puts her hands on her hips, challenging the two to disobey. Loki smirks at Peter and stretches.

“You know, I am so tired all of a sudden. Aunt May, you are filled with great ideas.” He gives a fake yawn and walks up the stairs.

“See Peter, Loki understands. My house, my rules. Now off to bed with you, scoot.” Peter huffs at his situation. He was sure Loki just got a gold star from her.

“Cheeky mother hugger.” Peter grumbles as he heads to his room. Loki was tossing a glow ball in the air. Peter notices him chew on his lip, eyes not focused on the ball, looking threw it instead. Peter sighs, the kid really needed to stay out of his head. “How was your talk with Thor?” Loki catches the ball, the lights going off. He gives it a firm squeeze and just watches it in his grip. He was squeezing hard with eyebrows knitted together.

“His obsession with his brother is projected onto me. Even if I am his brother, what am I supposed to do? I am Loki Silvertongue.” He fades off as he says the last name. Peter sits on the bed next to him.

“You don’t have to do anything but it doesn’t hurt to make new friends, expand your family outside of me and Aunt May.” Loki shrugs never taking his eyes off the lights. “No one can force you into anything. If you don’t want to be his brother you don’t have to.” Loki sighs.

“I am… curious, for lack of better wording. I am not quite clear on my thoughts right now toward him either. I feel as if I am missing something. That I am in the dark despite the fact that I am surrounded by light. I also don’t feel safe with him.” Loki glares when the ball turns off again. Peter lays down, shoulder to shoulder with him. They just stare at the ceiling in contemplative silence. Peter sees his friend’s discomfort. The well-hidden fear behind his brother’s nonchalant exterior.

"You really don't want to know your past." Loki shakes his head decisively. "Why not give him a chance though? He cares about you a lot. Despite the rough start." Loki huffs at the understatement. A dim shadow of apprehension clouds his eyes.

"I don't want to face all the darkness I know that will come with it. My slate is clean now. I can be whoever I want to be without anyone judging, without fear." Peter nods understanding. Loki decides his fate no one else. All he can do is stand by him with whatever he decides. The thunder sounded distant by this time. It was getting late and Loki guessed Thor was going to sleep. The rain outside fell lazily causing Loki to get just as sleepy. He stretches like a cat on its back and turns on his side to Peter. “When it all falls apart and you can’t even recognize me, will we still be brothers?” Peter turns on his side to face the teen. He seemed so innocent at first. Youth and innocence go hand and hand yet he now lays here with the shadow of a tortured soul deep in his eyes. Peter playfully flicks his head. Loki looks at him, mockingly offended.

“For your intelligence level, you ask stupid questions. Brothers don’t just stop being brothers when crap hits the fan.” Loki nods. He was still thinking on everything, always in his head. Peter pokes his cheek. “Stay out of your head. You have more to pay attention to out here.” Loki pokes him back.

“I will stay out of my head, but you have to start letting me in.” Peter bites his lip. Of course he was going to make it into a deal. Peter nods, despite everything in his head screaming no. Loki hops up, content with the night’s ending. Loki walks out of the room, leaving Peter to brood his decision. Tomorrow everything changes. Tomorrow, Loki begins his redemption. A task just for him, but whoever decides to look on, he will challenge them to say anything against him. He comes into his room, stripping to get into his night clothes. He turns on his Christmas lights then turns off his lamp, it was dimmer than usual. He noticed several of the lights had stopped working. Aunt May said there wasn’t much life left to it. It had been abused a lot in its many years but Loki saw what little light was left. It could still shine. This glow was dimming though. He wondered if he could change the bulbs but realized it couldn’t be done without the proper tools. “The wires are still good. No point giving up on something if its core is still good. You will shine again. I will just have to find someone who can help.” Loki gets into bed, hoping for a dreamless night for once. He counted the bulbs in place of sheep, starting over after twenty three. He lost count of how many cycles he had gone through, but his breathing started to even out and his eyes closed mid count. The light grew brighter in his mind’s eye. It turned golden and gave off a warmth that was all encompassing. He felt his eyes open, the glow faded into a dimly lit room. The ceiling was high with few torches to light it. He walked forward to a blue box. It was glowing a frosty gleam. He stood for a moment, shaking his head, his breathing labored. His hands shook as his fingers brush the handle. He felt a cold grip the tips of his fingers going to his palms as he picked it up. He watched as a blue tint fogs over his skin. It was slow moving in its concurring of his pale complexion.

“Stop,” the voice rang through the hall, despite the words being clipped from its source. Loki pauses, the cold inching its way over his body.

“Am I cursed?” his voice low, an attempt to control his frantic energy. A no reached his ears and he was able to control his breathing if only for a second. Another realization dawning on him. He sets down the box, not turning to face the man. “Then what am I?” it took a moment for an answer. It came gentle, searching.

“You are my son.” His hands finally leave the handles to descend slowly to his side. His breathing was his now. Controlled. He turns slowly to reveal to the man the blue skin that was now in place over his pale. His eyes shown red in the reflection of the metal as he turned. He stood tall, demanding.

“What more than that?” He growls in a whisper that carried down to the man with a golden eye patch. He stood in a manner appropriate for a king as Loki walked the distance toward him words of accusation spoken in the calmest of manner. The quiet before a storm. “The casket wasn’t the only thing you took from Jotunheim that day was it?” he waits till Loki was at the foot of the stairs. He looked up to the old god, eyes filled with confusion, want, fear, and something that was forming with each word. Hate. He whispered no with sadness on its edge.

“In the aftermath of the battle I went into the temple and I found a baby.” Cries echo in Loki’s dream that caused him to be filled with the realization of abandonment. “Small, for a giants offspring. Abandoned, suffering and left to die. Laufey’s son” he told this story like many before Loki had listened to. Under the veil of storytelling, the king sounded as if he was trying to explain the sad truth of a tragedy. Loki turned his head echoing the last two words spoken. He burned his tongue. Out of place, wrong. He jerks his head back, hoping her heard wrong. The silver haired man nods “Yes.” As his breathing picks up he feels his mind running, trying to grab something, anything to explain this away. All he could do was ask why?

“You were knee deep in Jotun blood. Why would you take me?”

“You were an innocent child-” more was to be said but Loki whispered no in defiance of the truth.

“You took me for a purpose. What was it?” his voice grew slightly louder searching for an answer. The man in front of Loki looked at him with an eye filled with guilt and apology. Loki couldn’t contain his betrayal and let it out in an agonizing plea. “Tell me.” The scream seemed to have spurred the king’s tongue.

“I thought we could unite our kingdoms one day and bring about an alliance, bring about permanent peace through you.” With each word Loki’s face showed his pain and confusion. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He breathes out his confusion, egging on the man. “But those plans no longer matter.” He can barely look at the man in front of him.

“So I am no more than another stolen relic,” he looks anywhere but at him for longer than a few seconds, tears clear in his voice. “Locked up here until you might have use of me?” the king’s answer came quick.

“You twist my words.” Loki was quicker in his frantic state.

“If you had told me what I was from the beginning… Why didn’t you?” Louder and louder he gets. The man keeps his calm tone.

“You are my son. I only wanted to protect you from the truth.” His mouth turns to a grimace, a tear at the corner of his eyes. A feeling of disgust hits him. Disgust for himself. He stutters his words in an emotional effort to let it out. To know the truth for once in his life.

“What? That I am a monster that parents tell their children about at night?” his hurt turns to hate, now fully formed in his heart. The man turns his head, seeing the loss he is having from telling the truth. Lies, everything was lies. “You know it all makes sense now. Why you favored Thor. All. These. Years. Because no matter how much you claimed to love me, you couldn’t have a Frost Giant sitting on the throne of Asgard.” As he speaks, Loki closes the distance. With each step the man seems to grow weaker till by the end he was on the floor reaching for his claimed to be son. Once the man’s eyes close, body limp in a deep sleep Loki’s hatred falls on its weak pillars to be replaced by worry. Hate pulled under it, ready to form again as he kneels beside him. He couldn’t bring himself to touch him. “Guards? Guards please come help.” He hollers, emotions coming under his control once more. As the guards enter, he feels himself be pulled up to watch the scene from above. He watched as the dream Loki backs away to let the guards take him. A monster? He was a horror story to be told to the people he lived with. The scene fades out till he starts hearing a low buzz that got louder. A dream, no, a memory. The buzzing kept going till he felt hands be placed on his hip and shoulder, shaking him awake.

“Loki, get up, we are going to be late for school.” Loki jerks from the rough treatment but instinctually flips out of bed to gather his clothes. Peter was a storm running through the house to get ready. Monday madness he guessed. While he got ready in a flurry of mindless motions, Loki forgot his dream. Peter came in the bathroom, grabbing his hand. “Put it in a ponytail Loki, we have to go.” Loki grabs a rubber band from his book bag and runs after Peter who had both their breakfast and lunch in his hands. Aunt May waves them off and Loki grabs Peter’s hand. He takes a few breathes, Peter freaking out about being late. He raises his head in a smirk.

“I’ll drive.” Peter was struck hard by realization and follows Loki down the street and in an alley. Loki presses the keys and his bike was resting at the darkest corner of the area. They climb on, Loki putting on his helmet and telling Peter to hang on. He flicks his wrist with the key and presses the button. Kicking the clutch down into first gear, he drives off into the street and down the road. Peter hid his face from the wind, watching the city fly by in bursts. Red lights being the only thing to slow Loki down. He yells from behind the thin frame.

“Where did you learn how to ride anyways?” He shrugs.

“A guy gave some tips and I just figured it out from there.” Loki was, for the most part, unaffected by the traffic. He got them to school with the last bus on their heels. He pulls behind the school and puts the bike next to a tree far off in the back, not leaving his bike being discovered to chance. He lets Peter get off first then swings his leg over with ease. Peter laughs, body humming from the ride.

“Never ridden a bike before.” Loki snorts, pressing the button watching the bike hide in its surroundings. They walk into the building, heading to their respective lockers. Gwen was waiting by Peter’s, leaning against the metal with her copy of The Great Gatsby in hand. Loki gives a fleeting smile, letting the complicated couple talk. His dream was creeping on him, much like the blue on his hands did. He opens his locker, watching his hands as he grabs the books needed till lunch. He closes the locker as the warning bell sounds, watching Gwen and Peter walk off together. He turns back to the hand still on the locker. He stares at it, willing it to turn blue. He holds his breath in his intensity but nothing happens. He gulps in air and leans his head on the locker dropping his bag to the floor. A hiccup of a laugh escapes him. He must be crazy. The smile dies quickly, leaving him cold.

“I’m a monster.” A whisper in the empty hall. The late bell sounds and Loki can’t bring himself to care. He thinks of Peter and he hopes his absence brings worry. If he worries then he couldn’t be a monster. That was what his thoughts tried to force into sound logic. He blows out a tired breath and picks up his bag. He throws it over his shoulder with difficulty and straggles to class, interrupting the teacher in her lecture of today’s chapter.

“Nice of you to join us Mr. Silvertongue. Please take your seat.” He drops his bag loudly making a few heads turn. Two of them being Gwen and Peter. Gwen mouths ‘what’s wrong’ Peter’s eyes echoing the same question. Loki just shrugs and pulls his hood up over his head. He play with the half glove that was part of the sleeves and pulls a thread out. They were worried. It helped the tightness in his chest but not fully. That man was his supposed father and all the words Loki had screamed seemed like the only logical explanation. Why did things have to fall apart so quickly? He felt the two look at him throughout class but never met them. He just dissected that dream till there was nothing left. If that man had led an assault on Jotuns then it was only logical to think Thor would do the same if he hadn’t already. Loki felt an itch in his legs. They wanted to move, jumping up when the bell rang. The next class didn’t help that itch. It just got worse. He had to go. He had to talk to him. Find the truth. He tasted copper. His lip stung from the deep cut he chewed. Loki drank it in. Could monsters feel pain? Peter nudged him in Chemistry but he just gave him a wave. Peter slumped in his seat, Loki’s actions being painfully familiar. After calculus, The boys head to theater class. He thought Loki would come out of his head, it was his favorite class. He took a seat in the back of the three rows of the auditorium the class took up instead of dragging Peter to the front like usual. He takes a seat next to him, watching as he goes through his bag to take out headphones. He had plugged one in when Peter snatched it. Loki gave a glare but just put his feet up on the seat in front of him hiding behind his knees. The teacher claps her hand from her place on the stage.

“Last week I told you we would move on from plots to characters. We all know the basic plots and understand the sub genera that easily branches from the major plots. Now we need characters. We acted out stereotypes to go with the scene for sake of understanding each theme. Now we need to explore three dimensional character traits. Is every main character a good person?” there was an echo of no’s, Peter notices a twitch from the corner of his eye. “Is every villain completely bad? Can a character escape its stereotype?” A boy raises his hand.

“What do you mean? We all know it’s up to the writer so technically they can’t.” the teacher nods in understanding throwing her hands out for her next line.

“Life is a stage. We all know that saying. Are we free to escape a certain title or perception?” A brunette girl shoots her hand up.

“We can’t always change what people think. We can still not be what they perceive though. In the end, though, what is the point if you are damned either way?” The teacher snaps her finger.

“You are leading us into a great debate. This could help with our assignment. I want you all to think of a monster, it can be human or mythical.” She pauses. “Can your monster change? What limitations do they need to conquer? What led people to believe this? I’ll give you five minutes to think through this. It’s not permanent, just an exercise for a scene you all will write later.” The teacher walks over to the piano, playing the keys as the others talk. It was a barrage of teen voices, trying to be heard over the others while the teacher plays a beautiful ballad in the background. Peter’s senses were over loaded but thought over the topic as he watched Loki.

“Are you going to stare all day?” Peter snorts.

“If you don’t talk to me, yea. What happened? You seemed fine last night.” Loki sighed despite himself. Lie, tell the truth, deny? Telling the truth seemed like he would seal his fate. That he was a monster and a bastard son. He looked to Peter longingly. He could be seen as a monster too, but he never gave anyone reason to believe he was so why did he feel he was?

“Have you ever been called a monster?” Peter jumps at the question. He looks over at the teacher before he speaks.

“Loki, the Daily Bugle calls me a menace every day. A monster is a common word thrown around. I don’t care though. They can say what they want but I am me and I do whatever I want. It just so happened that I want to help people.” That was it. Don’t worry about what others say and it will work out. Could it be that easy? Loki puts his feet down, sitting up straight. “I saw tear stains on your face when I woke you up this morning. You looked in pain. Did you have a nightmare?” Loki answers as the teacher draws the attention on stage once more.

“Something like that.” They all gave their monsters. It ranged from thug to a wild beast with four heads. The class laughed and debated while Loki sat in awe. A girl even described a disgusting beast as cute. The teacher looked past the first few rows to look at Peter and Loki.

“Do you boys have one?” Peter jerked at being noticed. He wasn’t exactly good in the arts. Loki cleared his throat.

“A man who was a monster by birth to another nation was stolen as a relic, raised with lies of who he was. He was something the nation hated so fiercely they tried to wipe them out. When he came to know his lineage all the lies flew to him causing him to act the monster part when he believed himself to be right in his own eyes.” It was different the the rest. a pause filling the room. Loki waited with bated breath wanting to see what the students would think.

“Sounds like the guy needs a hug.” The class yelps into laughter; Loki grit his teeth toward the lack of seriousness.

“Perhaps your character should think about the people he was with. Does anyone see him for him and not the monster he was born as?” Loki shrugs. The teacher hums. “Figure that out. This sounds like a good story. Maybe your character just needs to trust someone who says what he wants to hear instead of dissecting everything.” It didn’t seem like much help. He was already planning on talking to Thor. “Can I see you after class Loki?” he nods, the bell ringing. Teachers seemed to have a knack for knowing when it would ring even without a clock. The students leave, Peter gesturing that he would wait for him outside so they could go to lunch together. Loki walks to the front, his feet dragging a little. The teacher had started playing again. She scoots over letting Loki take a seat next to her.

“Did I do something wrong Mrs. Belle?” she shakes her head.

“I once read a script written by a student. It was beautiful in its simplicity. Her character was a vampire, the kind that look half bat. He was a master pianist who never left his castle, content with playing in the dark till his body wastes away into oblivion.” She plays a few keys, Loki following her hands. Has he played before? “That is until a wandering merchant came to his castle and asked for shelter. The vampire gave him the shelter and food he needed while he hid deep within the darkest parts of him home, to not harm his guest. The man leaves with his life and a nights rest, thanking him from the other side of a door that led to the room of the piano. He knew he was the monster the villagers spoke of, but from then on he spoke only kind words about the vampire. Was he a monster or a good man?” Loki taps a key. It rang throughout the auditorium till he lifted his finger.

“He was a good man.” it was sad, that the vampire didn’t get a happy ending. Why couldn’t he just leave? “He should have lived though. Instead of hiding. Vampires have power. He could have ruled over them and forced them into submission so he could live without fear.” He taps a few more keys making a pretty jingle. His eyes grow in wonder.

“They would have been right though. He just wanted to play his music and his heart was kind. He didn’t want to be part of a world that hated him. The last line was my favorite though. A whisper from behind the door. The vampire had said ‘I will now live happily, knowing that this world still has good hearts that see for what things truly are.’ It wasn’t die, but live with the knowledge that someone cared. A stranger, who I believe if the story continued, would have become a friend.” Loki played notes that flowed from his fingertips. It was a lullaby to his body, relaxing against better judgment.

“It’s a fairy tale.” Even still, it felt nice to hear. The teacher hands him two slips of paper.

“Off to lunch now, you can stay an extra few minutes with Peter since he is waiting for you.” Loki gives her a look. She winks.

“Woman’s intuition. Isn’t it funny how things seem to happen so perfectly sometimes?” she goes back to playing, a burst of flirtatious notes that as Loki closes the door, adopt a more melancholy string of keys. Peter was sitting outside the door on his skateboard. Loki smirks and heads off toward the lunch room with the papers in his hand. Peter takes one when he catches up.

“How perfect. I’m starved.” The air had lifted and even smelled nicer. As if Loki’s mood had poisoned the air around them. They didn’t address the shift, they didn’t need to.


He had skipped gym again, faking an injury he claimed was acting up from his wounds that had been gone since last week. Peter glares a warning at his dear, mischievous brother. He waves him of, giving a challenging smile that Peter answered with a look that screamed ‘I will find you, don’t do anything stupid.’ To be fair, he wasn’t hoping this would end up badly. He only wanted to address Thor but he wasn’t sure given the past incidences between him and the group who are presently still watching him. They didn’t seem stupid enough to give weapons to someone they think is a dangerous villain without keeping tabs on him. Loki looks around the back of the school before he presses the button. The bike materializes as Loki runs to it, not wanting to waste time. The helmet slides on with ease and the bike purrs under his hands. He looks to the button that looks oddly like Tony’s arc reactor on his suit. He presses it and stiffens when he feels the bike lift in the air. His helmet hit a branch while Loki kicks the clutch to get into first gear. He shakes his head and pulls the handle toward him. As he leaves the school, a few students were pointing at him, yelling who this man was. Loki smirks and kicks the speed up while using the clutch to get to appropriate gears. By the time he got the Tower in his sights, he was pushing past two hundred miles per hour. He was breathing hard, yelling occasionally when he had to make a turn to get around bigger cars. Many people stared and took pictures but his identity was safe thanks to the helmet. He slowed down as he got to the building. Loki stood on the pedals and jerked back with all his weight, hard and fast. Just before he hit the building, the polarity switched to the side of the building to let Loki scale it no differently than the road. He was blinded by the sun’s rays against the building’s windows. The glass was a reflection of the strength in its light as it reflected back at him. He had to squint to see the landing area for Stark’s Iron Man suit. It was easier to get back onto normal ground. When the tires touched down, he turned off the bike and took out the keys, his helmet still on as he walked into the Tower. The three Avengers were gathered around the big screen with video game station controllers. Steve was more into the brawl then he would have believed possible given his age. Loki took off his helmet, now inside, and sets it on the floor next to, what he now believes is, the flying hero entrance. Tony groans as his mechanical hero falls off the side of the levitating stage. Steve gave a hoot in triumph but almost curses when a green figure sends him flying. He then looks to address the surprise guest.

"Are you still doing ok Loki? we were not expecting you." Thor accidentally elbows him as they duke it out between their characters once Steve respawned with his last life used. The camera zoomed in on them fighting close combat. Thor stands when he finally won the match. the characters clapping for his character, stats popping up.

"I would like a private audience with Thor.” Said god places a hand on Steve’s shoulder, an honorable fight now ended. Loki turns to the elevator, letting the blond follow with an aura of curiosity. As soon as the doors close, putting them in a box of privacy, Loki turns to him. “Did you know I was Jotun?” Thor jumps and turns sharply.

“So you remember everything?” Loki shakes his head, telling Thor of the dream till the doors open once more. Thor leads him to what Loki deems a sitting room. They sit opposite each other on lavish couches laced with red and gold. Thor thought through the dream as he reclined in his seat, legs spread. Loki had crossed his left over his right, back straight. Polar opposites thinking of the same thing, minds coming to different conclusions. Thor spoke first. “I found out after you fell. I did not understand why father thought you shouldn’t know if you were family either way. I love you still. My eyes would look upon you no differently if you appeared to me as Jotun.” Loki was calculating as he watched his reaction. He had sat forward with earnest, blue eyes looking straight into his. He could not find a hint of a lie in the bright blue.

“Why did I leave if you love me so?” Thor shook his head.

“I couldn’t figure that out myself. I have always loved you, never have I thought myself better. Sure we fought, but we always went back to one another, any bruises, physical or emotional, forgotten.” Loki hums.

“Perhaps they were not truly forgotten.” Thor nods, his mind going to centuries back, trying to find a fight that could have carried over. “Perhaps, I saw everything a lie. My whole life was a lie. In a way, I still live a lie.” His eyes lock with Loki’s. He understood what he was hinting at.

“Brother, whatever life you live now is not a lie, but another book to be written. If you can trust nothing, not even my love for you, then trust what you have found. I love you enough that… I will step aside as your brother if you ask it of me.” His eyes grew dark, the light of the sun being blocked by a storm. He wasn’t sure if he had that right. He wasn’t the Loki from before, yet he is still given power over his past without punishment. Loki shook his head, he had to know who he was to him before he could command such a thing.

“Show me your love. You said you would help catch the pieces of me that fall, don’t lie to be.” Thor stands, almost offended, but takes the few strides to sit by Loki instead.

“You will always have it. Just promise you won’t lie to me either.” Loki was a liar. A trickster. Could he defy his birthright? His past? Loki lowers his head but Thor lifts his gaze back up. Loki’s phone rings in his pocket. He averts his eyes to look at the caller id and sees Peter’s half hidden face behind his hand. He snorts at the memory of trying to get his picture. He slides his thumb and holds the phone to his ear, grabbing Thor’s arm when he made to get up.

“Hello Peter, I apologize for leaving like that but I simply had to get something settled.” Loki stills his tongue to listen on the other end. His back goes straighter and Thor noticed the tension of muscles. He knew this position. Loki adopted it when he spoke of particularly tricky escapades he needed Loki’s help with. “I will be right there.” Loki turns to Thor as he puts the phone back. He takes a deep breath to let out as he spoke. “I shall never hurt you intentionally as the Loki you deal with now.” Thor seemed unsatisfied with the dodgy answer but lets it go. He nods with a grimace, playing with a strand of Loki’s hair that didn’t make it into his ponytail. He smirks.

“Good look for you, it's honest. Not so stiff as what you used to do.” Loki gently swats his hand away, earning a snort from the older man. “I will accept your terms. Will I see you again soon?” Loki shrugs, getting up.

“Peter is going after a few thugs and wants to meet inside the bell tower at the big church. You can see it from here apparently.” He shrugs again, thinking there can’t be that many churches that big. Thor stands as well to walk Loki out. “Would you really be ok if I didn’t want to see you again?” Thor doesn’t look at Loki as they enter the elevator.

“I have said goodbye to you so many times that I am at the point where I just beg you to leave me for the last time. I don’t know how many more times I can let you go.” Loki wondered at Thor. He was so selfless for him when it came down to it. If he truly got on better without him, all he wishes is to not have to be mocked by seeing what he can’t have. The elevator dings for the voices of the Steve and Tony to hit them full force. Tony was now fighting with a pink blob while Steve attempted to fight with a woman who just turned into a different character. Loki walks to grab his helmet and bag, placing the helmet on his head before he steps out again. A helicopter was circling the tower. The side read Daily Bugle. He groans, wondering how long they had been there, the Tower’s heroes unaffected by the news crew. Thor walks out with Loki and watches as he mounts the bike. “Be careful out there.” As he starts the bike, Loki lifts the visor.

“You won’t have to say bye to me anytime soon Thor. I need answers that only you can provide.” He slides the visor down, kicking into first gear. He growls the engine before he launches the bike right off the landing pad to fall free to the ground. The power of the jump caused the bike to glide forward and as he went lower, he landed on a building with the levitation engines barely keeping their strength to not crash. He shifts the bike into second then third gear as he hops off the building to glide to the next, the landing being easier to control. He uses this method till he had too big a gap. He was now in fourth gear as he glides into traffic on the freeway. It was rush hour and Loki was thankful to be over top all the cars. He watched the helicopter as he continued his drive to the bell tower, driving up the side of the building to park his bike on the roof. He looked to the helicopter, then up the tower. “Rapunzel, let down your hair.” It took a moment, but a web finally shot out and he flew into the air almost hitting the large bell as he landed. The day was barely over and Peter was in full hero mode. Loki steps over to Peter, who was playing with the echo the bell gave off when he yelled.

“Do I need a code name now too? I refuse any title that has man or boy on the end.” Peter snorts under his mask putting his hands up signaling he did not know.

“That is for you to figure out. Till then I name you sidekick one.” Loki feels a headache coming on. Peter’s hand cups his right ear. The police scanner going off. He listens while Loki guesses what the threat was. Peter steps out of the bell he and Loki had their rendezvous in, pointing ahead. “Ravencroft institute has a riot breaking out. It is right across the bay.” Loki walks up as he puts his belt on he had stuffed into his bag this morning, the light of the low sun being blocked by the helicopter.

“I can get there with you even if they sealed off the bridge but what are we supposed to do?” Peter listens to the head piece.

“Get the civilians out. Be careful, a while back I had to stop a guy named Carnage infecting everyone. The most dangerous villains are in there, but I haven’t got many others besides Dr. Conners.” Loki nods as Peter webs a line down to the roof of the church. “Be careful Loki, I can’t always be beside you if it is anything like last time.” Loki slides down the web and jumps on his bike. Peter swings off and Loki speeds behind him, wasting no time to get to gear six. He almost passed Peter twice as he weaved through traffic. The cars were stopped and the closer they got to the bridge the more people he saw running to get a look at the island. Loki saw the smoke rising against the near setting sun. The ball of fire only adding to the blaze it hid behind. Even from here Loki could hear the screams echo across the water. Peter had approached a cop, asking how many civilians were still stuck on the island.

“Six Spiderman. We have S.W.A.T coming in soon.” Peter hops off.

“Don’t worry too much officer, we will handle this, ain’t that right sidekick one?” Peter yells obnoxiously. Loki growls, a few of the onlookers whispering about a new sidekick for Spiderman. Loki got off his purring bike and walked over to an officer’s car. He looks in and grabs two walkie-talkies before the cop could grab him. He tosses one to Peter.

“Use your spider sense to identify where they all are and we can grab them as we deal with the inmates.” He mounts his bike once more and zooms over the barriers, out of sight before Peter could catch up. The walkie-talkie cackles from its spot on his hip.

“There is a woman to your left. Go down the parking lot and she is running from a pair of inmates.” Loki tilts his bike to the left, not slowing from his fifth gear speed. Over the hum of the bike he heard a woman scream. Once he passed a group of cars his eyes land on said woman in a lab coat. He turns, legs about to skim the pavement. He races toward her as she dives out of the way. He squeezes the front brake, arms tensing. Once his back wheel kicked up he used his weight to do a one eighty. His wheel hits the guy in the face, his jaw breaking. His momentum kept going as his wheel collides in the other’s gut, sending him flying into a car. He lets the brake loose, skidding to the side. Once stopped he finds the woman on the ground, shoulder length hair a mess, eyes wide. He holds out his hand and she gets up to grab it. He helps her on the back and drives her to the bridge. “Head back to the mainland. Officers are waiting to help you.” He watched her go, Peter coming over with a male doctor. He lets go and the man takes off running in a frenzy. “Here is a map I grabbed.” Peter webs two spots on the map for Loki to go to. He lays the map on his bike and they separate. The fire has grown, lighting the blackened sky in an angry red. Ash started to fall in black snow the smoke starting to cloud his vision. He enter the building through a gaping hole. His bike glides over easy. Loki continues through the halls, slowing to first gear. His eyes look at each sign then down to the map, moving to where Peter had last seen them all. He turns the final left and slams the brakes. His wheels squeal painfully in his ears. The handles jerk one way despite his hold and the bike flies to the side. Loki falls the opposite way and skids down the hall right into the fire. His body rolls thru the flames till his back connects with a metal beam. He coughs, spit coming out from his wail of pain. The flames lapped at his clothes, fighting to get to his skin. Loki forces himself on his feet and dives out the last of the flames rolling on the tile to stop the flames. Loki flinches at a shrill scream. He sees an inmate stab a man in the gut a woman screeching from behind. Loki pulls himself up and grabs a knife. He sprints forward and drives the metal through the thigh. The inmate screams, Loki grabbing another knife and slashing his inner wrist to make him drop the knife. He takes his other knife as the woman begs for her life.

“I’m here to get you out. I am helping Spiderman evacuate you both.” When he grabs the man’s arm to help him get out, he begs him for help.

“Please, I brought my daughter to work. i beg you, get her for me.” Loki groans at the ridiculousness of it all. He follows the directions by the workers so they get to the front faster. As they turn the corner to the lobby, five inmates come charging. Loki drops the man and takes a knife in both hands. He charges them, ducking down to swipe at the legs of the first two, coming up to slice up the arms of the next two. The last one was big and punched Loki as he spun to gain his balance. Loki flew and hits a potted plant letting out a groan. The man pound his fist, twisting his writs for another beat down. Loki stands quickly, once the room stopped spinning. the mammoth runs at him, Loki jumping in the air to skim over him. Once on the other side of the brute, Loki takes out two knives for each hand and lets them fly. the man turns to be hit by every one. he falls in pain. Loki grabs all four and slices his legs to ribbons, making sure he doesn't get up again. he screamed in agony, Loki deaf to his wails. He then grabs the doctor once more, running the best he can under the weight. The woman opens the door for them and he runs with the man toward the bridge. Peter was nowhere in sight as he gave the man to the woman. She sits him down, pointing back inside for a turned over wheelchair that was just inside the door. Loki jogs to grab it but is grabbed by another inmate. A knife goes for his shoulder but Loki ducks forward, the force of the knife going into the helmet. He then uppercuts the man his grip still on the knife. He flew out the door, the knife being dislodged, leaving a gaping hole in the side. Loki takes it off to look it over. His eyes dart to the side to see another charge him. He swings his helmet directly at his face, hearing a crack from both helmet and man. He sighs at the he crack from front to back and tosses it, the thing falling in half on impact, visor still in tact. He hums an idea and grabs it. The visor was connected by a round piece of metal to the helmet, it still holding it shape. He walks back to the two, wheelchair in one hand, sliding the visor ring on with the other. It fit perfectly. The two look strangely at the makeshift mask. He let's them leave, S.W.A.T on its way. Loki looks back to the building, wondering where Peter was. He needed to find him, otherwise he would never find the girl. He was about to search the building when a red blur flew past him, a guard in his arms. He let him go, turning to Loki.

“A man brought his daughter, we need to find her.” He nods.

“Follow me, she is trapped by the fire in the guard’s monitor room. Loki nods, running with Peter in the flames. It was in the center of the building. Loki felt the heat painfully on his skin, seeing burns forming from the holes in his shirt. He grit his teeth as he followed Peter till they got to iron bars, keeping them from the building behind it. Peter growls as he looks for another way. Loki saw the ventilation shaft on the floor. He kicks it with all the strength he could muster, bending it inward. He rips it off and goes in, seeing the flames from outside light the small expanse. Loki crawls the short distance out, Peter following at a faster crawl. Loki takes off, sensing the inmates that were sprinting toward the center building. Peter broke from Loki and started webbing the many bodies charging them. “Get the girl, I will buy you time.” Loki picks up his pace and gets ready to ram his body through the small window. Just before he hit the building, he balled up midair and flew through the glass. It took his breath away, not breaking easily. A scream fills the tiny box. Loki turns his head from his place on the floor. He felt the cuts but he refused to pay them any attention.

“Come with me, I will take you to your father.” She looks at him with watery eyes.

"I wanna go home." Loki nods encouragingly.

"Believe me, I do too." She gets up, tear stains down her face. Loki takes her in his arms whispering it will be ok. She hides her face in his shoulder, holding his neck. Loki hops up and launches himself through the window, nearly hitting an inmate. Peter was being circled and Loki could do nothing. Then he remembered the keys. He grabbed them from his pocket, giving the guy a roundhouse kick. There was one more button Tony made. He presses it and starts screaming as he runs away. A few got sidetracked and followed him. Peter screams, launching himself in the air to catch up. Loki dives to the side when he sensed a hand try and grab him. He lands in a crouch, his hand keeping her face in his shoulder. The sound of a motor roars through the crowd and Loki looks to see his bike riding toward him. It took out every inmate that didn’t get out of the way and parks itself in front of him. It was caked with blood and the yellow cloth of their uniform. Peter webs two men who had guns and lands next to Loki. He hands the kid to her.

“You can get out faster than me. I’ll follow.” Peter screams no, but Loki hops on his bike and rides back through the inmates, hitting less this time. He drives through the doors on the other side, deeper into the building. The group follows him, Peter swinging over the roof unable to be followed. He rides through the destruction and chaos inside the building till the mob behind him grew silent. He slows to a crawl and strains his ear. There was nothing. Not even a whisper. Even this part of the institute started to be clear of anything from the riot. It was as if they chose not to come down here. Loki rolls the right handle and continues to the emergency exit on his map. It was charred and bloodied but he could still make things out, filling in blanks from memory. The closer he got to the exit, he felt a cold start to creep down his neck. This cold felt familiar. He looks to his left, his gut screaming at him something was there. A door, probably six inches thick in steel by the looks of it. There was a slide to allow food through. His curiosity was banging on his head to look through the slide, his fingers touching it just barely. He slides it slowly, the darkness inside making it hard to make anything out. He searches the depths, his skin crawling at the endless expanse of nothing before him. A breeze hits him, something was moving fast. Before he could close it, crazed blue eyes locked with his. He was frozen, his mind searching everything in his mind to figure out where he has seen them before. They go up to be replaced by a bloody sneer. The lips move in soundless words, Loki straining to hear, his instincts screaming for him to run. Once they finish their mantra a cackling laugh hits his ears. Loki slams it shut but screams at what he sees. His hand was turning blue, the color crawling like insects till it starts to cover him. His lungs let out another breath for a scream. He jumps on the bike, wanting nothing more than to get out. Something was following him, he felt the thundering steps under his bike. He shifts his weight back to slam through the door in a wheelie. The smoke filled air greets his lungs, heat once again on his skin with no warmth penetrating the cold blue that has now encompassed his body. Loki turns his head as he turns right to get to the bridge. A huge lizard was plowing through the now opened door and straight toward him. Loki kicks the gears up as fast as his bike allowed but the lizard had grabbed his back tire, sending him flying. He goes into a ball but instead of hitting pavement, his body is encompassed in ice as he slides in the cocoon. He stretches his body, the ice breaking and faces the monster. Loki takes out a knife, the thing being made longer by more ice coming from his very being. The lizard charges him and he sees something in his eyes as he slices the usual areas. Its eyes are clouded with a murky green. He looks over the body and sees his slices have already been healed. If his face wasn’t blue, he would have been deathly pale with dread.

“You will die, innocent one.” It growled. Loki grasps his sword of ice and charges, jumping in the air to drive it toward its heart. The lizard dodges and hits him with his tail. Loki flies and hits the ground with a heart stopping thud. He feels blood in his mouth but spits it out.

“That was a nice love tap for a disgusting creature such as yourself.” He crawls to his feet, the knife gone. He grabs two and starts throwing them for the eyes and throat. One hits the throat and skims the side of its face. It lets out a scream of anger and tries to grab Loki. He slides through its legs, using two daggers to stab its feet as deep as he can. Another growl of pain and the tail swings up to slam down. Loki didn’t have time to dodge, attempting to grab it to slow it down. Once his hands make contact with the flesh, the tail starts turning black. The lizard screams and tries to take its tail back but Loki holds on, the tail coming off and him rolling away with it. Loki throws the appendage away in disgust. He hears a crash and sees that the tail had frozen solid. “I froze him.” Loki looks at his hands then back at the monster trying to kill him. Peter had said this was a man named Dr. Connors. Sighing in frustration he calls out to the lizard. Begging Dr. Connors to wake up. Loki gets a growl from the beast instead, the eyes still covered in the green liquid. Loki resigns himself to running, his keys still in the bike behind the beast. He knew he couldn’t outrun it, but he hoped to see Peter before he got caught. He cleared the building to see the bridge just as he was grabbed. It wasn’t just Peter he saw halfway across the bridge. He had met up with the three Avengers. They look back to see Lizardman holding Loki in a bone crushing embrace. He sees Thor twirl Mjolnir and launch himself forward. He was just about to clear the bridge when the same green fog in the doctor's eyes forms as a barrier in front, keeping Thor out. A notion crossed Loki’s mind. He was going to die here. He felt that realization fill his body as he feels a few ribs crack. He hears Thor scream for him as more blood comes out of his mouth. He didn’t want to die. Loki felt darkness cloud his mind as he lost the last breath of air he had. He wanted to bathe in life’s light. All that was left was fire of destruction and the black smoke destroying his vision of anything around him. Deep within Loki, he felt something warm. As his consciousness faded, his heart being a small pump as his life bleeds out of him, he hears her. The woman from his dream calls to him. He wanders the farthest reaches of his soul and finds her shrouded in gold, her smile filling him with purpose. She holds out her hand. Loki takes it an energy so wild and pure rushing through him till it was physical.

“You know my magic, you know my light. Call to it my son.” Her words push him out and into the heat of the deadly fire. His body was near death. Words fill his head, moving to his mouth till they roll off his tongue. It was a murmur under his breath a light green and gold filling his eyes as he speaks.

“forsja minn be

Gefa hugr kraptr eda zili” a light fills Loki to the point he was glowing like a beacon, his skin turning back to its marble hue. The lizard screamed and backed away shielding his eyes. Loki drops to the ground, his toes just above the surface. Peter, flanked by the rest of the heroes stood in awe as his wounds begin to heal. Thor yells for his brother, but Loki continues his mantra.

“Fa dyr hugr

Loekr vatn

Vandr geta pva

Kveykva nyta” he had turned toward the lizard and the light that gathered around Loki moved in streams toward the beast. He fought the light but it merely moved aside like splashed water to go back and enter his body through the eyes. His hands come over his eyes as the light fills his being. Loki lowers to the ground on his knees. The lizard changed to be replaced by the doctor within. They both fell to the ground unconscious, the barrier gone. Thor and Peter were the first by his side, the police pulling up behind them. Peter turns to Thor.

“We have to go, it is getting late and we aren’t the kind to stay behind for publicity.” Thor nods, barely able to pull his hands away. Peter noticed groaning at his idea. “I will sneak you in my room but you have to promise to go when I say. You can’t stay the night, even though I am sure Loki has plenty of questions.” Thor moves away faster now with the promise. Peter picks Loki up, the visor cracked, about to fall off. Peter webs off toward home, ignoring the sirens and news crew. They had to get home, they had to have just one moment to think. Peter looked back only when they cleared the bridge and he swore he saw a face form in the clouds of smoke the firemen only just started putting out. He shakes his head, blaming it on the insanely late night and continues home, dreading the reunion with Aunt May.


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