He Without Sin

In Which, Agents of Shield

Loki remained unseen until the next morning, when he walked into the dinning room in female form. He joined Victor and Raven at the table. "Where is Amora?"

"Gone," Victor answered. "She said that she was going after Skurge."

Loki nodded. "Her champion. She left him behind to guard her homestead and he is not a man defeated easily. Someone must want to keep her away, so we should be on guard."

"Speaking of, Trickster, do you intend to let us in on your plans?" Victor questioned.

"It isn't a solid plan just yet and I haven't put together all the pieces," Loki told them.

"Come on, Lunatic!" Raven said. "Show us your thinking process!"

Loki was quite as he took a sip from his glass of wine, picking at a few pieces of fruit on his plate. "I want to work on preventative measures for the upcoming invasion. A way to go to them before they come to us, or to attack them before they touch the surface. Jane Foster was working on replicating the Bifrost and her work looked sound enough when I read through it last night, if a bit flawed. She was going to Stark for funding, but after the incident days ago, I doubt he remembers her request. Between the two of you, I'm sure you can tackle this task," He said to Victor.

"You think I cannot complete this task on my own?" Victor questioned.

"I think you'll be too busy to put your full focus into it," Loki replied. "Shield has been blocking her attempts to further her research. If we reach out to her, the funding will catch her attention and the promise of unmonitored progress will bring her here. I will leave it to you to reach out to her. I assume you can act in a professional capacity long enough to do so."

"What significance is this woman? Surely there are others?"

"One, she is leading in this particular field, and two, she belongs to my brother. One way or another, she will be pulled into this conflict. She was before and handled herself well enough, and she kept as calm as could be expected during the Extremis incident. She is a worthy woman."

Victor was silent in a way that Loki knew meant he was pouting. Loki smirked.

"There is also Extremis. I'll need you to look into it. We may have to look to Shield for the information, but it is imperative that we have counter measures for it. Also, Pepper Potts, CEO of Stark Industries, was injected with it and if Tony Stark cannot, I want you to stabilize it."

"You have a lot of plans in place," Victor said.

"I have a lot of potential plans," Loki corrected. "These scraps are not a plan. I have to retrieve my scepter from Shield before that becomes a problem, as well." Loki lost herself in thought a little longer. "We cannot avoid contact with The Avengers forever. Stark knows who I am and I am uncertain whether or not he has made mention of that. When Amora returns I can have her reach out to Captain American... There's a chance the agents I once had control over would be willing to help if I can find the right approach... We could always use more hands..."

"On that note," Raven interrupted. "There is something I've been meaning to mention. About other mutants that might be willing to help us."

Loki smiled at her. "Oh? Do tell, Raven."

"Can I talk to you, Thor?" Natasha asked as she entered the room. The god was seated on the couch beside Steve and Clint, and he immediately stood upon hearing the voice of his fellow warrior. Since Tony and Bruce's return trip to Malibu, the Avengers had been spending a bit more time together in the tower. The other two continued with what they were doing as Thor approached the spy.

"Lady Natasha!" He bellowed. "What do you wish to talk about?"

"I haven't seen Svadilfari since that incident with Doom. Do you know where he went?"

"Ah, yes!" Thor answered. "He said that he was going to lure Amora away from this realm so that we could perhaps speak to Loki alone."

"And you haven't heard from him since?"


Natasha was quiet a moment as she watched him closely, scrutinizing. "Doesn't something strike you as odd about him, Thor?"


"He almost killed Doom."

"A misunderstanding, he assured me," Thor said. "It is uncommon to spare one's enemies. An admirable trait to be sure! But one that is unique to Midgard. The All-father is not known for his mercy."

"He seemed pretty focused on getting to Loki."

"Tis what the All-father sent him to do."

"Nothing about his behavior seems strange to you?" Natasha pushed. "What about when he worked with Loki before? How was he then?"

"I do not know," Thor told her. "When the All-father sent Loki to aid Svadilfari, he forbid him from returning until the wall was complete. They were given a deadline so that they did not get distracted from their work and since they did not complete their task in time, Svadilfari was forbidden to return to Asgard, and Loki was not much interested in speaking on their time away."

"That didn't seem odd to you?"

"There were many things that Loki did not speak of. Our father often had him do things that he was not to tell the rest of us and Loki was never the talkative type. I thought nothing else of it."

Natasha frowned at that. "Why would the All-father forbid his return?"

"Svadilfari asked for many things when we intially tried to negotiate," Thor explained. "Among those things was the hand of Freiya, goddess of beauty, magic, and a true treasure of Asgard. It was only once Loki was sent to negotiate that he changed his mind and insisted upon having his help as his price for the building and the All-father didn't want to encourage him to request anything more."

"Nothing seemed off about that, Thor?" Natasha questioned.

"If you mean to say something, Lady Natasha, I would rather you speak plainly."

"I don't trust him," She stated plainly.

"He has done nothing wrong."

"I trust my instincts," She told him.

"And I trust my father," Thor replied before walking off.

Once Thor had left the room, Clint turned to her. "You really think there's something off about that guy?"

She nodded, but her gaze was still on Thor. "There's something more to this story and I want to find out what it is."

Alright. Tony could admit it to himself if not out loud. Trying to deal with Extremis was not as easy as he expected it to be. A few solid days of working on it and that was the only thing he could say for sure. It wasn't the same as the formula he had worked on years ago and he wasn't making as much progress as he wanted.

He slumped down over the desk as he waited for Jarvis to finish the test he had running and his eyes immediately drifted to the satchel at the end of the table. There wasn't anything he could do until the test were done, so there wasn't any reason he couldn't take a break. He reached into the bag and took out the blue box. "Which one is this Jarvis?"

"According to Mr. Odinson, lies that the younger Odinson has told," Jarvis answered.

He reached into the box and pulled out a handful of paper scrapes. He lined them up on the table as he read them over.

"You are not my brother."

"Your kind was meant to kneel."

"I come with glad tidings of a world made free."

"I will give you the Tesseract."

"What's this?" He picked up the scrap of paper that mentioned the Tesseract. He turned it over, mildly surprised to see that there was writing on the back. "I wish to rule their world." He looked back at the front where the text had changed. "I will open a portal for you."

"These are lies, right? About the invasion," Tony murmured to himself as he reached into the box again. "So who are you talking to?"

"I am the God of Lies!"

"They will kneel before me!"

"They are nothing compared to us."

"Thor will come." Abruptly, that scrap of paper erupted into flames and disappeared. He looked at the other scrapes of paper, their text now changed. They all read the same thing. "Thor will come." "Thor will come." "Thor will come." "Thor will come." Without Tony touching it, the green box fell onto it's side and a single scrap of paper fell out. It was larger than the others, written in elegant script that looked like what he assumed Loki's hand writing would, stained with what he could only assume was blood and tears. "Thor didn't come."

Tony stared at that for a long time, tentatively reaching out to touch it. He didn't know anything about having a brother or siblings at all, but he imagined that the amount of emotion he read from the text alone left something to be said about them. He had no idea what was between Loki and Thor, but he guessed an immortal brotherhood would be hard to break. It was already clear that Thor cared about Loki and this proved that Loki still cared, too. So why was he hiding from him? Well, he was maybe a villain right now... and that weird Sadil-guy was around and Loki didn't seem to want to get anywhere near him.

"Sir, the test are complete," Jarvis announced.

"Alright." Tony got up. "Bring up the results Jarv."

This was a risk. This was a great risk. But Loki needed information and it would be a lot easier this way than trying to get it from Shield, if they even had it.

Loki had spent the previous day giving Victor and Raven the full account of the attack that happened at Stark Industries. Victor wanted to get a hold of the samples Shield took of the Extremis serum and Norns knew that it should be kept out of Shield's reach as long as possible. How they went about that was up for debate, however, and if Shield failed at keeping the soldiers and mutants contained, then they needed not to be implicated. He had enough bad associations as it was.

Loki was a villain. There was little he could do to make the mortals think otherwise. Luna, however, was a question, and one person held a potential answer. Loki very much needed to know whether or not Tony had given Shield that answer.

Tony Stark had been rather good about finding Luna before, so Loki didn't feel the need to do anything more than wait. She was sitting outside as normal, two drinks on the table, one in front of her and one across, when Iron Man slid into the seat across from her. "Didn't think I'd be coming across you again," He said.

"That is what I used to think of you, but you proved to be a very persistent man," Luna responded.

Tony took hold of the drink in front of him, taking a healthy swing. "I could say the same thing about you."

"Could you?" Luna questioned.

"Yeah, the only question is why." Tony leaned forward, careful not to rest the full weight from the Iron Man suit on the table. "You're trying very hard to do something here and I can't figure out your game."

"Can't you?" Luna also leaned forward. "I thought that I was rather straight forward with you, Iron Man."


"Stark," Loki replied with a smirk.

"I wouldn't call this being straight forward," Tony said as he looked her up and down before catching her eyes.

"I told you that I wasn't what you see," Luna responded. "And that the truth would scare you off."

"Well, you're wrong about one of those things," Tony informed her. "And I told you that I wanted to pick you apart. Now there are just more pieces."

Luna looked momentarily surprised at that before covering it with a blank expression. "That isn't why I'm here, Stark."

"Why are you here?"

"I had a question to ask you."

"You and me both," Tony laughed. "So, shoot."

Luna gave him a flat look. "Did you tell them?" She asked. "About me?"

Tony hesitated and looked away a moment. "No, I didn't. You probably should tell me why that's a good thing."

"I've already told you that, haven't I?"

"You aren't really the best at explaining things."

"Now isn't really the best time, Stark." Luna's expression became serious. "I'm not willing to risk being around any of you as long as he is here." With that Luna stood, but Tony reached out to grab her hand before she could disappear.

"You mean that Saddle guy?" Tony questioned. "What is up with him anyway?"

Luna almost laughed at that, but the momentary amusement from the joke was quickly overwhelmed by fear. "Svadilfari," She whispered. "You would do best to be wary around him, Stark. Do not show weakness." Luna slipped from his hold and soon disappeared.

It was a nondescript building. The street lights surrounding the building were out, casting thick shadows and darkness over the area. Clint kept to the shadows as he hesitantly approached the building, looking around every few steps. He wasn't certain why he was doing this, why he would respond to a mysterious summons instead of telling Shield was beyond him. Call him curious, he guessed.

He entered the building bow drawn, advancing slowly. There were too many open entrances for his liking and the place was too big to really scout around. Anyone who knew he was coming had enough room to evade him if they wanted. He heard the soft sound of footsteps and turned quickly, a twitch away from firing an arrow in someone's eye socket, only to find himself on the other end of a familiar gun.

"Clint Barton," She acknowledged, but didn't put away her fire arm.

"Melinda May?" His response was more question than confirmation. "Are you the one who--"

"No," She answered quickly. Nodding at him, she pointed her weapon away as she tentatively approached and he did the same, moving until they were back to back. They moved forward slowly until they heard a clamor behind them and they both turned, weapons first, finding two very surprised and young agents staring at them.

"Uh, Hello." One of them said.

"Who are you?" Melinda demanded.

"Oh! Oh! You're! She's!" The girl turned to the equally excited boy at her side.

"The Cavalry!" The boy finished.

"Don't call me that!" Melinda narrowed her eyes and took a step closer. "Who. Are you?"

"Oh! He's Fittz."

"She's Simmons."

"What are you doing here?" Clint questioned.

"Probably the same thing we're all doing here," Answered Grant Ward as he stepped into the room from a different entrance. "I'm surprised that you don't recognize them. I recognize all of you."

"I have no idea what you mean," Melinda responded curtly.

"That's probably what you told them, but you know that won't work on us, right?" Grant said. "I mean, we all have first hand knowledge."

Melinda turned her gun toward him.

"Hey, let's all calm down!" The group jumped at the sound of an unknown voice and lights turned on in the center of the room. A young woman with brown hair sat at a table in the center of the room, a laptop open before her as she watched them. Immediately a bow and a gun were trained on her. She raised her hands in the air. "Try not to be so hostile!"

"Who are you?" Melinda demanded.

"Call me Skye," She said. "And before you ask, yes, I'm the one that invited you here."

"How did you get access to Shield?" Melinda demanded.

"That's not as important as how I got access to you, is it?" Skye asked. "The five of you have something in common that is very interesting to me." She turned back to her computer and typed quickly before turning the screen to face them. Five separate windows were open on the screen, each one showing information on the present Shield agents. "Shield thought that the five of you were dead, fears that you're under the influence of alien forces, and trust you less than they trust civilians. And you know whose fault that is?"

"Loki's," Clint answered.

"No. It's Shield's," Skye said. "Shield is the one that sent you through re-education and Shield is the reason why other worldly forces arrived in the first place."

"That's classified information," Melinda objected.

"Not so classified, now," Skye said.

"Not that this isn't interesting," Ward began, "But what did you actually call us here for?"

"Because I need you."

"Us? Specifically?" Simmons questioned.

"What could you want with us?" Fitz added.

"Well first off, you five answered my call. That tells that you aren't the good little agents Shield wants you to be. Which is good!" Skye told them before they protested. "After what Shield did to you, it's only right that you doubt them a little. And that's also why I need you five. You were under the control of another person and Shield has the item that made that happen under their possession. They have that item and they question your loyalty. Those two things don't really seem like a good idea, do they?"

"And talking to you is?" Clint questioned.

"Do you really think that Shield should have that in their possession?" Skye inquired.

"I don't think anyone should, but I trust shield to keep it contained," Melinda said.

Skye shrugged. "I wouldn't, and I don't really think that you do either." Slowly, she stood up, holding out a small stack of business cards as she approached them. "Loki took control of you but he never hurt you."

"He took over my mind!" Clint yelled.

"So does Shield, but at least Loki gave it back to you afterwards. Does Shield give you that courtesy?" She looked at them one by one. "I don't know what Shield has done for you before this or what it means to you. I'm just stating the facts as I see them. Food for thought. And once you're ready for another meal," She held out the cards. "You can call me."

"You think we're going to let you leave?" Grant asked. "With what you know?"

She smiled at them. "I'll leave my number on the table." The lights went out once more and everyone jumped, drawing weapons, but when the light returned moments after, she was gone, the stack of business cards left on the table.

"Well, what do we do now?" Simmons asked.

"I know what we shouldn't do," Grant said. "We shouldn't tell Shield. Not after what happened the last time they saw fit to question us."

Melinda put her weapon away as she approached the table. The laptop was still there as were the business cards. "I know what I'm going to do," She told them. "I'm going to find out who that was and what they want."

Skye watched from the doorway a moment before ducking out. She skin flashed blue for a single moment before Raven shifted form and quickly made her way out through the shadows.

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