A Big City
"Why did you do such a thing!" Tony Stark was practically screaming. "You were the one that warned us not to talk to him!"
"I am his brother! I will not have him treated like an animal." Roared Thor.
Flustered, Stark snapped at the hulking god. "He makes an effort to remind you at every chance that he is not your brother! He has disowned you. Why do you insist upon holding on to something that you are better off getting rid of?"
"Gentlemen," Fury interrupted the escalating tension. "Can we focus on the matter at hand? We cannot afford to let Loki walk about for longer than we already have. He is getting farther away as we speak. Now, Thor, where is he most likely to seek refuge?"
Thor heaved a sigh and rubbed his chin. "I cannot say. He has not spent much time here to know where he would be safe. It is most likely that he has hidden himself in the populated areas of this city."/
"Damn, I hate crowds." I muttered to myself. I was so excited to visit a big city during my college visitations but I forgot how much of a small town girl I was. The bustle and noise and sheer size of everything makes me nervous. I was visiting my aunt while I looked at a nearby college. She suggested that my uncle and I go sightseeing while their newborn baby slept. I agreed but secretly hoped that we would be able to steer clear of the recent damage to the city. To my surprise, everyone appeared to be mostly unaffected by recent events. Not even the newspapers had anything about it in them anymore./
"The whole city is populated!" Argued Banner looking like the god was getting on his nerves. "That hardly narrows it down."
"He would avoid anywhere he would consider uncultured. He prefers the higher classes of people. Perhaps he would visit the lavish establishments of this realm as he thinks them more worthy." Thor knew his brother. He was not likely to be found too easily./
I liked art as much as the next person, but something about a few splashes of color with no form just doesn't appeal to my creative side. However, I was having a very good time watching the people in the gallery and their overreactions to each successive amorphous blob of paint. There was one though, that I had been watching for a while now. He seemed to refuse to react like the others. He simply stood in front of a purple and maroon canvas looking pensive. My uncle was saying something about the effects of color on emotion. Normally I would be interested, but there was something about the unusually tall man that I found vaguely familiar. The feeling grew into a foreboding as my uncle and I moved to inspect another canvas./
She was watching him still. Loki could feel her glances like a cold breeze on his neck. He was certain she didn't recognize the disgraced god. Otherwise she would have told the man she was with. She intrigued him. No one else in this city ever took note of others. He was effectively invisible with his long dark coat and nondescript manner. He looked like any other regular patron of the gallery.
He would be safe till he could think of another place to go. He knew the Avengers would be after him, and he knew that if he stayed here, they would find him. But he was at a loss of where else to go. He did wish that mortal would stop looking though./
Why did he look so familiar? I puzzled over this even as my uncle and I moved out of sight to inspect an unusual sculpture.
If Thor wasn't conspicuous before, he certainly was now, he had been stuffed into an oversized gray suit and was looking almost as uncomfortable as Bruce. "Fury says we're ready." Announced Natasha. She was wearing a dark red dress that was distracting both Tony and Clint. "Remember," grunted Barton, trying to hide his sideways glances with purpose, "we don't want to startle anyone and cause a scene. Just get Loki back here as cleanly as possible."
"So much for not causing a scene." grumbled Tony. Of course they were recognized the moment they stepped into the gallery. There were those that left as quickly as possible and there were those that rushed the team for autographs. Chaos had officially erupted. Fury was busy yelling at the small crowd and Bruce was taking deep breaths.
Imbecile. You knew this would happen. Loki cursed himself. It was only a matter of time. He knew he should have moved sooner. Now he was trapped in the barren gallery while the Avengers waded through a small mob. At least, he had a chance to plan a quick escape. He headed toward the back of the gallery casting a small spell as he did. His doppelgänger would still be looking at the painting by the time the Avengers managed to push through the crowd.
I hated waiting. I was kind of nervous waiting by myself in a large city. I had seen enough of those terrifying news stories on television. My brain was coming up with the worst possible scenarios now. Please hurry. I thought with a tinge of embarrassment. My uncle had gone to the restroom.
There was some commotion at the front of the gallery but I didn't want to leave the relative vicinity of my uncle. Everyone in the gallery had moved to go see what was happening. Oh please hurry up!/
Thor was the first to see Loki. The doppelgänger Loki had created turned to smile mischievously at him. Thor pushed through the crowd and the others followed. When Thor reached for the image, it disappeared into a puff of golden light. "Curse his deceptions." he muttered. "He's already gone."
Loki was getting frustrated. He was running out of time. Thor had already discovered the doppelgänger and he had yet to formulate an alternate route. He would have teleported out if he had the energy. No, he just needed more time. Another distraction. He reached the very back of the building and looked around. That damn girl was still here. But the man she was with was no where to be seen.
"Loki!" Thor was too close for comfort. Despite the spell he had created to hide himself from the mortals, Loki knew his brother would find him. And it worked best in large crowds. The only other person near him was the girl. She was staring again./
The tall man from before came barreling from the front. I thought it strange that he would be the only one avoiding the excitement. Then again, I thought, I am too. He looked a little panicked and this panicked me in turn.
My brain started racing through all the violent news stories. Maybe he was the cause of the commotion. Then it struck me. I knew why I felt like I recognized him. He looked remarkably like the so called god that had destroyed the city. But I decided that it was highly unlikely that I would ever see anyone of any importance. I liked leading my mundane little life. Nothing ever happened to me.