He Without Sin

In Which, All Your Screen Time Are Belong To Doom

Loki was angry with Doom.

"Amora is going to kill you."

Correction, the trickster had been angry with Doom, but he seemed to have calmed down and accepted the circumstances since Doom placed the cage in his lab. The magpie was preening it's feathers, seeming unconcerned with what was happening outside it's cage. It was rather convenient that the god needed little to no tending, since he required neither food, nor sleep, nor released any waste to speak of. He wondered about the possibility of keeping Amora in similar accommodations. She would, of course, require a much larger cage and their would be difficulty in getting her into a space caved with enough runes to actually hold her power in check, yet be subtle enough she would not notice before hand.

"She will get over it," Doom replied absentmindedly. He was putting away and sterilizing his instruments. Placing the syringes back in their cases, making notes of the required dosages, and gathering ingredients into the needed locations. Skurge was still mostly conscious a top the work table. "How similar is the physiology of this creature and an Asgardian?"

"Very," Loki replied. "Skurge is only half Asgardian, so less powerful than Thor, but similar enough." Loki stopped his grooming a moment to look at Doom. "That new creation of yours nearly killed him."

"Yes, that was the goal," Doom said.

"To kill him?"

"To nearly kill him," Doom corrected. "That is the solution and destruction to the problem of Svadilfari."

Loki stared at him a moment, but the small avian body could still be seen shivering. Doom removed one of his gauntlets and reached into the cage, stroking his feathers. Loki moved away from the hand and attacked the mortals fingers hard enough to draw blood. "Do not treat me as if I am some pet!"

Doom chuckled. "Of course."

"You are enjoying this!" Loki accused. "You dare mock me--"

"Be at ease, Loki," Doom said. "There is no audience here."

"Be at ease while I am trapped in a cage by a mad man?" Loki asked, voice thick with sarcasm. "And why are you in such a good mood. You are never in a pleasant mood."

"Only because I have not made such progress in some time," Doom replied. He replaced his gauntlet and went back to stand over Skurge. "I have believe I have even found the correct combination and dosage to acquire your brother."

"And how do you intend to test that?" Loki asked. "You cannot do anything more to Skurge until he recovers from what has already been done and I know better than to take anything from you in this state, Victor."

"I will test it on Amora, of course," Doom replied easily. If this worked as well as he was expecting it to, perhaps he would put it into use more often. He could design a rather nice cage for her in the dining room, keep her in enough luxury to quell all her many complaints. Or he could keep her in his throne room.

"Of course you will."

Contemplating, both gods would make lovely accessories to his throne room. The trickster could be perched beside his throne and the goddess could be placed across from the throne. Perhaps he would outfit the magpie with similar luxuries. Something small and gold would look rather fetching against the mostly black and white feathers.

"Skurge might be inclined to do you some injury, as well."

"I do not fear the Enchantress' pet," Doom answered absently. He wondered if Mystique should have a cage as well. Would she feel left out? Would she complain? He certainly wasn't going to let her run if she decided to take issue with the decor.

"I do not feel as if you are much listening to me," Loki said.

Doom set his tools aside and looked to the cage once more. "You are complaining again. Is something the matter?"

"Other than being trapped in this cage?" Loki deadpanned.

"Does that still upset you?" Doom questioned.

"Was I suppose to get over it?"

"I assumed you had," Doom told him. He moved closer to the cage. "Do you wish to see the results of my experiment? Or shall I leave you here to watch over the Enchantress' pet?"

"Are truly going to inist on calling him that?" Loki asked. "If I didn't know better, I'd think you were threatened by him, Victor."

"What need I fear from such a subservient creature?" Victor scoffed.

"What indeed," Loki replied.

Doom made a noise of displeasure. "On second thought, I shall leave you here."

"Oh, do not be cross, Victor," Loki said as the mortal left the lab. The bird's laughter followd him from the room.

Natasha sat silent in the room, watching Director Fury as he turned his back to her. She had finished appraising him of the situation as she knew it, telling him what they knew(suspected) about the invasion and about Loki. She had tried to be as thorough as possible, even though it made her distinctly uncomfortable when he demanded details related to Svadilfari.

She didn't want to admit that a part of her was beginning to sympathize with Loki. What she knew about Loki and Odin brought to mind memories of her own past with the Red Room, but she tried to put those thoughts out of her mind. She waited patiently for his reaction or his orders, whichever would come first.

"What's your assessment of the situation?" Fury asked her, but he didn't turn to her.

"The team seems sympathetic with the new information. Loki told most of this to Stark, I don't know if that was coincidence or if there was something that happened to prompt the information exchange. We also don't know anything about Loki's motivations or what he's doing. I assume that he's working with Amora, but aside from the recent incident, Loki hasn't been seen actively doing anything." Natasha said this apathetically, separating any personal feelings she may have on the matter.

Fury walked to his desk, opening one of the draws. "And what do you make of Loki?"

"We don't know what his plans are or where his loyalties lie," Natasha answered immediately. "He attacked us once on Odin's orders and we don't know that he isn't following Odin's orders now, or that he won't come back on Odin's order if he's taken back to Asgard."

Fury nodded. "I was thinking the same thing." He placed a tranquilizer gun on the table before her. "These were made for taking out the Hulk. They should be strong enough to take out an Asgardian, as well."


"I want Loki brought in and I don't care what you have to do to do it," Fury told her. "If you can do it without Thor knowing, all the better. I'd rather not have two Asgardians to contain, if I don't have to. The rest of the team might be blinded by their sympathies, Barton included, so keep this close to the vest."

"I understand," Natasha replied.

Fury caught her gaze and held it as he questioned, "Do you think you can do it, agent? If you think you're too close to this, I can appoint someone else to the task."

"I'll take care of it," She assured him. She couldn't afford to sympathize with Loki. Her loyalty wasn't actively being questioned as Clint's were, but everyone knew that he was her partner and that their loyalties lied with each other. That meant everyone was waiting either for him to turn her away from Shield or for her to pull him back in. She couldn't afford to be questioned when her loyalty was so tightly tied to his.

"Good," He told her. "Dismissed."

Doom had a lot of work to get done and he finally had the time to get it done. His guest, no matter how pleasurable their company, often caused him to be distracted from his work. Even if, at this moment, his work primary involved seeing to their needs and desires, he still didn't like all the interruptions.

Carefully, he arranged Amora's prone body a top her bed in as comfortable position as he could manage. His drug had worked beautifully, knocking her out within minutes of her ingesting it. He set the empty wine glass on the bedside table. He had an estimation of how long it was likely to work and he would usually take the time to study it's effects more in depth, but he felt in something of a hurry. The goddess was looking weaker than she had at any time under his care and it did cause him some amount of worry. He had already studied the effects it had on Enchatress's pet. That would have to be well enough.

He returned to his lab. Loki was speaking to the pet as he struggled against the restraints. "Calm down, Skurge."

"Who knows what he is doing to her!" Skurge roared.

"You honestly think Amora would be endangered by a mortal?" Loki snorted, the sound very strange from the avian form.

"Look at what he's done to you!"

"You think that I could not get free of this enchantment if I so chose?" Loki asked.

"If you can so easily break free, why do you not?" Skure demanded.

Loki seemed unconcerned by the question. He began to pick and preen at his feathers. "Perhaps I am luring him into a false sense of security."

"Perhaps you are as much a liar as always," Skurge replied.

"Hmm. You'll never know, will you," Loki answered.

Doom chose that moment to walk fully into the room, ignoring the conversation completely. "I was hoping you would still be incoherent so that I could release you," He commented idly. He reached for the substance he'd used earlier, but a much smaller dose. "I will release you once you are more agreeable. I expect that you will do your job and look after your mistress. She is rather exposed at the moment."

"I take it your concoction worked?" Loki questioned.

"Yes. She is resting as we speak," Doom answered as he forced the syringe into Skurge's arms, watching as the fight slowly drained out of him. Once he was certain the drug was taking effect, he began to put away his implements again. "I am going to be away to get this business taking care of."

"And you're going to leave me in a cage while you do so?" Loki questioned.

"The castle will not be left undefended, of course," Doom told him. "Aside from magical defenses, some of which you yourself have contributed, there will be bots left here in case there is trouble. There should not be, but you gods seem to attract... something, no matter what."

"I take offense," Loki called out.

"You may," Doom replied. "I should not be long. A day at most. Amora should be out no more than a few hours at most." He went to press a few buttons on one of his computers as he went on. "Where would you like to be left?"

Loki sighed. "The dinning room. As least there is good scenery to be had."

"You complain, but I rather think you are fond of that cage," Doom mused.

"I rather think you wish me to pluck your eyes out with this beak," Loki replied.

"I will leave something for you. Dried fruit perhaps?"

"If you treat me as a pet once more I will stuff you into this cage, Victor."

Doom made a noise in reply as he finished his typing on the computer. "I may decide to go by Shield and get a sample of Extremis if I've the time."

"Just know that I will not be able to save you if you are endangered," Loki replied.

"I would not risk myself on this venture," Doom scoffed. "That is what I have Doombots for." He lifted the cage.

"Yes, well, be on your way then."

"If you are not in a better mood upon my return, I may decide to inject you with something to force a more acceptable mood."

"I'd like to see you try, Victor."

Doom laughed as he carried the cage into the dinning room, setting it upon the table in the center of the room. "I shall return." He said, then took his leave.

Loki decided sleep would be as good a use of his time as any.

Tony couldn't concentrate. He tried to bury himself in work to get his mind off Loki, but it really wasn't working. He couldn't stop picturing the way Loki looked as he told them about the invasion. That wide eyed, sad look he'd given Thor and the dejection on his face when Thor rejected him. He couldn't stop picturing the alarm and fear on Loki's face both times he'd seen Svadilfari. First at the Stark Industries conference and then when they were at his apartment. He should have known that something was wrong when he saw that look on his face. He'd been terrified and Tony had just...

He slammed the wrench down on the table as he tried to take a deep breath. Loki had even tried to warn him, even though he was clearly afraid of being anywhere he thought Svadilfari might be.

He was worried about Loki. That's what this all boiled down to. He remembered seeing Luna watching Thor from a distance. Loki missed him and now his brother had rejected him just after facing what was probably a literal nightmare for Loki! He just... He needed to talk to him. To say something, anything, that might... fix this. Somehow.

"Jarvis, get the suit ready!" Tony called. He had to at least try to find Loki. If he was lucky, maybe he'd find him at his apartment again. That was the only starting point he really had. Maybe next time he saw him, he could slip a tracker on the guy, just so he'd be easier to keep in touch with.

Mystique was not stupid. The others seemed not to know this, as they thought not telling her that something was going on would convince her that everything was fine.

It wasn't.

She didn't know what was happening back at the castle, but she knew that something must have been going on for them not to have retrieved her. Loki or Amora would have stopped by to at least ask after her if they could and Doom had already proven that if she was away too long he would drag her back by force. Just because they didn't come for her didn't mean that she couldn't leave.

Visiting Charles had been... as awkward as she had expected. She hadn't exactly parted with them on the best of terms and even though Charles was willing as always to forgive her and make up, not everyone was. And interacting with those she had fought when she was with Magneto was not fun either. She was rather glad to be gone.

The tension between her and Cyclops was something she could do without and no amount of peace keeping by Jean could change that. Wolverine was worse, always one threat away from trying to run her through and one snarky comment away from making her try to snap his neck. She knew she couldn't kill him, but the satisfaction was enough temptation. It was a chore, more than a challenge, holding herself back from that. Wolverine really could bring out the worst in her. She outright avoided Beast. She could admit to maybe holding a grudge against him, but at least it wasn't a violent grudge.

There were a few new mutants since the last time she'd seen them, but she really tried to mingle as little as possible. Aside from talking to Charles, who she really had missed somewhat, she tried to avoid all others.

After being on the run from Magneto, she knew how to get from place to place under the radar. It took a bit of time obviously, but before long she was back in New York and back in Loki's apartment. There were still pockets of cash hidden around he place and she had no problem waiting around to find out what was happening. Nearly all of Loki's agents had tried to contact her for one reason or another and she felt that she was able to build a bit of a rapport. FitzSimmons had confirmed that there had been some sort of commotion lately, but not what it was. It was frustrating to say the least.

Of course, getting away from the Institute wasn't her only motive. After she told Charles about what happened between her and Magneto and what Loki told her Magneto's plan seemed to be, he'd seen fit to look into it as well. Charles had decided to tell her what he knew, but he wouldn't help. He seemed to have soured somewhat to the idea of helping humans, but he did say he was willing to help Loki.

She had already changed into the form of Lockley when she stepped out of Loki's apartment. She had to contact Shield and hope that they would actually be useful. She didn't really have much faith in them, but she was following Loki's lead.

"Hey, it's you!"

She stopped in her tracks for just a moment before turning to face the voice, seeing Iron Man hovering not far away.

"Little Miss Lock."

She took a haughty stance as she looked at him. "Iron Man. Odd to see you here."

"Odd to see you here, too," Tony replied. "This isn't your apartment."

Raven raised her eyebrow at that. "And how would you know that, Iron Man?"

"I met the guy that lives here. Quite recently, actually," Tony said.

She narrowed her eyes. "Why? And who do you think lives here?"

Iron Man lifted his face plate as he looked at her. "Wait, do you know him?" He asked., then he shook his head and continued. "No, of course you do. Project Lock, White Mage, the Twins, you all showed up at the same time so of course you know each other. Do you know where he is?"


"I wanna talk to him."

"Well you can clearly see that he's not here," Raven said, beginning to walk away. "And I don't really have time to talk. I've got things to do."

"Things like talk to Shield?" Tony questioned, following after her. She looked at him suspiciously and he took a step back. "I read your file. You've been evacuating every time Doom attacks."

"You plan on following me, don't you?" Raven asked.

"Well I really just want to know if you know where Loki is, but you didn't really answer that when I asked so..."

"If he wanted you to know where he was, don't you think he would have told you?"

"Honestly? No," Tony answered. "He isn't really straight forward that way."

"What, you think you know him?" She asked.

"I'm starting to get the idea," He answered.

"Look," She began, stopping to meet his gaze. "I don't really have time to facilitate your second date. I'm on kind of an unknown deadline here and I need to call Shield."

"By all means." Tony made an allowing gesture.

"I'm not calling them here," She rolled her eyes at his shortsightedness. "I don't want Shield agents all over my apartment."

"Yeah, that's a good point."

"Seriously, are you going to keep following me?" She asked.

"I might, yeah," Tony answered.

Raven heaved a deep sigh. She suffered Iron Man's presence as she put a bit of distance between them and the apartment, all but ignoring him as she did so. Once she felt she was significantly far away, she pulled out her phone to place the call.

"Miss Lockley," Agent Coulson answered right away. "We haven't heard from you in sometime."

"I've been a little out of the loop," She told him. "Things happen, you know how it is."

"I do," He replied.

"My warning this time is a little less precise than usual, but probably time sensitive."

"I'm listening."

"Someone's coming for Magneto," She told him. "Pretty soon, I think, but I really don't have an accurate timeline for it."

"But you know that someone's coming?" Coulson asked for clarification.

"100% certainty," She answered. "It's only the way that I obtained the information that has me uncertain about the time frame. It could be anywhere from an hour to a week, but I wouldn't really wait."

"We'll be on alert. We appreciate the warning, Miss Lockley."

"Show your appreciation by keeping Magneto locked up," She replied sharply. With that, she hung up. She spun around to face Iron Man. "If you're going to follow me, could you at least not do it in you conspicuous looking armor?"

"Alright, alright, geez," Tony replied. He was reasonably sure she didn't want to fight him, so there was no harm in it. "Where we going, anyway?"

Raven sighed heavily. "For food. I kinda just got back and I'm starving. You're paying."


"You're Tony Stark. What else good is letting you follow me around going to do if you won't even feed me?"

It was Tony's turn to sigh. "Fine." He didn't really mind though. This would be a good way to true to pump her for information about Loki. "But I get to pick the place."

Doom makes several stops around the city before he begins his mission of collecting the Thunder God. He has plans that he must prepare for and he does not intend to be caught unaware again when one of his house is endangered.

Doom is usually one to put on a show, but he decides to forgo the spectacle. Whether he wants to or not, he's going to get a fight, but there's no reason he has to drag it out.

He goes straight to Stark Tower, not caring about being recognized or the commotion that he's causing and is surprised, by the time he gets to Stark Tower, of the small reception he receives. Thor and Hawkeye have weapons drawn and Banner is standing behind them, waiting to see whether or not he is needed before unleashing the Hulk. The rest of the Avengers are missing however.

He could fight. The archer is nothing compared to his power and he is certain that the drug he created to incapacitate Thor would work on the doctor as well. It isn't what he wants, though. What he wants is to ascertain Thor's feelings in relation to those in his house, to know whether the god will fight him giving the thunderer to his guest or give in gladly.

"I have come to have words with you, God of Thunder," He said calmly.

"What could you have to say to me, villain?" Thor asked, holding his hammer threateningly.

"Are you not concerned about what has befallen The Enchantress?" Doom asked. "Or your brother?"

"Loki?" Thor questioned. "What have you done with him, you fiend?" The god took a threatening step forward, holding Mjolnir high.

"I am willing to take you to him, if you desire," Doom told him. "If you are willing to come with me alone."

"Yeah, right," Hawkeye spoke up for the first time. "Like we're just going to believe you."

"This has nothing to do with you, archer," Doom snapped.

"Thor, this has to be a trap," Banner spoke up.

"Aye, but I have to know if Loki is alright," Thor told them, lowering his hammer. "It is my fault that he left to be found by this knave and I must make my amends. But I swear," Thor began, tightly gripping his hammer. "If any harm has come to him or I discover you a deceiver..."

"You shall see the God of Mischief," Doom replied. "Now come." Doom began to walk away from the building then and, because he did not trust the heroes not to follow him, he pressed a button to blow up a Doombot hidden nearby, distracting the heroes with the resulting chaos. Another of his Doombots sprang into action grabbing hold of Thor. The god fought of course, causing the beginnings of the Doombot's metal to bend before a needle was jabbed into his arm and he began to slow and finally pass out.

Doom didn't stop in his retreat to watch this struggle and the Doombot followed obediently after him. He made plans to further enhance construction as he left. He removed a device from the folds of his cloak as he went, checking upon the status of his home, seeing all was well. On a whim, he decided to check the tracking bracelets to check upon Mystique, surprised to find that she was nearby.

Well, he was going to keep her away until this was all over, but it would be infinitely safer to have her at home than the last known location of Svadilfari. After instructing his Doombot to head off without him he detoured to her location. He much preferred to have her home, anyway.

"I'm surprised Shield hasn't shown up by now," Raven, still in the form of Lockley, commented. She was well into her meal by now, sitting across from Tony Stark, his Iron Man suit neatly folded into it's suitcase like carrier.

"I had Jarvis block out any cameras we were in sight of along the way," Tony told her. "They can really ruin a good day."

"Most government organizations can," She grumbled.

"Sound like you have some experience with it," He commented.

"I have a lot of bad experiences to date," She returned.

Then a wall at the far side of the restaurant blew open. "Like that?" Tony asked, reaching for his suit.

"Yeah, actually," Raven sighed to herself.

As expected, people had already begun to panic and flood to the exit. When Doom appeared, Raven wasn't even certain whether to be surprised or to think that she should have expected it.

"You showing up to kidnap me is getting a little irritating," Raven told him.

Doom's response was to shoot out the cameras in the room before returning his attention to her. "There, no harm done," He told her. "Now, let us be off. Since you are here, you might as well return with me."

"So, this is weird," Tony said, already having put on his Iron Man suit and now aiming his repulsors at Doom.

Doom spared the hero barely at glance. "What is this?" He asked. "Are you on a date with Iron Man, as well?"

"What?" Tony exclaimed.

"What? No!" Raven replied. "He saw me coming out of Lunatic's place and wouldn't stop following me trying to find out where he was."

"Lunatic, huh?" Tony repeated. "Yeah, that's a good nickname for him."

Doom turned a contemplative look at the other man. "Perhaps I shall take him with me, as well. I'm sure he can be useful for something."

"Um, hello? I'm right here!" Tony yelled.

A blast came from behind him, knocking him into a wall. "Yes, I'm well aware," The voice of Doom answered from behind him. Iron Man looked between them as the second Doom approached.

"Fucking Doombots!" He swore and tried to blast the second, but the first had already approached without his having noticed.

"Wait, wait, wait!" Raven called. She had shifted into her normal appearance and Iron Man was staring at her in a bit of shock.

"Mystique, right? You're... with Doom, too?" Tony asked slowly.

"Can't we just do this the easy way?" Raven asked, looking at Doom. "He already wants to see Lunatic, we don't have to have a long drawn out battle."

Doom let out a sigh. "Very well. I meant this to be a quick trip." He looked at Tony, who had recovered and held one repulsor at both Doom's, not yet sure which, if either, was the real one. "Do you wish to see the god or do you wish to continue this?"

"Um, I'm not going with you, anywhere," Tony said definitively.

Doom nodded, before the Doombot lunged at him. Tony turned his attention to that one, blasting it with it's repulsor just as Doom sent another blast at him and knocked him into another wall. Doom grabbed the front of the suit and began to slam him to the ground, hard. "You see, Mystique, this way is much faster." The arms of the Doombot closed around him and Tony struggled to get lose. "That should hold him for now."

"It won't hold him forever," Raven commented.

"No, but I have already captured Thor and I'm sure once we rejoin with the Doombot that has him, a few threats to the Asgardian should keep him in line nicely." Doom explained.

The Doombot began to follow as Doom and Raven left through the hole Doom created. "You're going to threaten harm to a god?" Raven asked.

"Or I could threaten you, if you would rather," Doom replied easily. "I do not enjoy being questioned."

"I'm just trying to help," She answered.

"Unnecessary," Doom told her. "Just because I have come to take you home does not mean that your comfort is priority during the trip. I am not above exploiting you if need be."

Raven was quiet a moment. "You're not being very comforting right now," She said quietly.

"I am not attempting to be," Doom replied. "You've already made your choice of home, have you not? I do not plan plan to pretend, Mystique."

"You let this guy talk to you like that?" Tony questioned. "Why are you allied?"

"Loki won't let anything happen to me," Raven replied promptly. She slowed slightly so that she was walking beside the Doombot, behind Doom, and dropped her voice. "He's like this, but he does want to keep us safe. I'm sure of it."

"You trust this guy?" He asked incredulously.

"I trust Loki," She replied. "Doom is... reliable."

"That sounds promising," He said sarcastically.

"That isn't the point," she snapped. "Do you want to see Loki or not? Because we're going right to him and it'll be easier not to fight. You get more leniency that way."

"Speaking from experience?"


Tony stared at her a moment. "You haven't been brainwashed by him or something, have you?"

Raven laughed at that. "No, Doom is terrifying. I worry that I'll wake up on an operating table one day and he'll be elbow deep in my organs and I'll have to call for Loki so he can kill him and free me." She paused a moment after that, looking away. "But he's honest about what could happen to me and I've been lied to by enough people that that's important. He might hurt me... but nothing else will. In that way, I really am safe."

"And what will you do when he hurts you?" Tony questioned.

"That's when I call for Loki," She smiled. "You may think yourself an Avenger, but your wrath is nothing compared to that of a god. I've seen one of them fight on my behalf and the other come for me at my call, how can I fear anything knowing that?"

Tony was quiet at that for a moment, contemplative, before he answered. "You really trust Loki that much?"

"I've never trusted anyone more," She answered. "Maybe it's because he's a god."

"Have you decided to come quietly then?" Doom questioned. "Because I can still knock you out if you prefer."

"I'm not fighting," Tony answered. "But I've never gone anywhere quietly."

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.