I just like how his face seems to be the face of “are you fucking kidding me”
He probably has had to make that face a lot at Loki over the years
"Look, Thor, you’re an uncle now!" *neigh*
I just like how his face seems to be the face of “are you fucking kidding me”
He probably has had to make that face a lot at Loki over the years
"Look, Thor, you’re an uncle now!" *neigh*
The touch of a finger down a young woman’s spine- the heat of a mouth against a soldier’s hip- a hand carefully ruffling the hair of an immigrant child.
These and a thousand other times he nudges them, lets a little bit of his innate nature into the humans, chaos magic unraveling DNA and weaving it into new and exciting things. He likes them, he always has, in the way some humans have always liked cats or birds or other beautiful and interesting animals. He remembers all the stories of how they suffered, their soft bodies and agile minds no match against the cruelty and ice of Jotunheim, and imagines all the new and exciting strengths and abilities they will develop thanks to his (meddling, interference) guidance.
((Although there IS that one picture I posted yesterday of Sif clearly thinking Kid Loki is the cutest lil bastard in the room, so pretend that picture is here with this writing. And basically- yeah.))
There is a time, then they are both young, that Sif sees Thor’s little brother not as an annoyance or an unwelcome tagalong but as an equal, as her opposite. That time is very short- Thor starts courting her in his own rough, teenaged way, and even though he manages to be awkward and arrogant in turns she is charmed into lifelong friendship. By that point, however, Loki has started a campaign of teasing and mean-spirited pranking against her. Thor tolerates it until Loki simply goes too far.
Sif’s hair of gold sits uneasily on her head when she sees the miserable, hopeful glances Loki shoots his way, and her stomach turns when Loki is punished for his prank, when she sees his eyes, for a moment, the miserable desperate hope that turns wild and hurt but still, horribly, hopeful as the needle pierces Loki’s lip and the first bloody stitch is made.
The hair turns black within half a day and the knot in Sif’s gut eases a little, and disappears when she sees Loki a few weeks later, the scars already fading. He keeps a respectful distance and a part of Sif regrets never seeing his smile again.
~ ~ ~
Sif’s first thought upon seeing Loki after his rebirth is that he is so small and soft and young; she doesn’t think she has ever seen him so young. He looks directly at her when they meet and a part of her is angry that he should have done everything he’s done, every crime he’s committed against Asgard, against her, and yet now he stands, free of the burden of guilt for his sins.
And then he smiles at her and it is a more joyful, more open smile than she has ever seen on his face, he is equal parts awed and intimidated by her but he doesn’t know that she hates him, doesn’t know why she hates him, and he finds her wonderful. Sif sees the bond of love between Loki and Thor, sees Thor’s guidance and affection, visible in a way Odin’s never was, and Sif wonders who, exactly, she is helping by nursing old wounds.
~ ~ ~
Sif cannot help but notice that a second childhood has been good to Loki. She remembers seeing him very little as a child, and vaguely recalls that he was possibly sickly. She remembers Thor dragging her up to a cold, dark bedroom and a pale face gazing anxiously up at her from a bed and the way he angled every part of himself towards Thor, as if he were a struggling plant granted only a few minutes of sunshine every day.
This Loki is healthy- even leaning a little towards chubby at times, thanks to Volstagg’s insistence that he is not just welcome but totally required to attend meals with his huge family once a week. This Loki is playful and well-intended, even if he does not always understand that some behavior is unacceptable. This Loki stumbles over his words around her and always has something sweet to say to her and once gives her a bouquet of wildflowers and weeds, bound together with a red silk ribbon.
Sif thinks that she sees, for the first time, the Loki that Thor has always loved, even at opposite sides of the battlefield. Sif thinks it is entirely possible that she loves the little bastard, too.
~ ~ ~
Her relationship with Thor is complicated; they have had centuries to be friends, to be warriors, to experiment with being lovers. She and Thor spend more time together, it seems, not as warriors but as friends who seem to use a lot of time and energy watching over an overly rambunctious child. She and Thor know it is foolishness to try to change their relationship, that they have something good and worthy between them, and it is utterly foolish to kiss him, even once.
It is even more foolish to kiss him in a hallway just outside Loki’s room, and even though she sees the swift movement of a fleeing boy through the barely open door, she thinks very little of it.
Until the pranks start again. They are not as ambitious or mean-spirited in this iteration, but something about it doesn’t sit well with either her or Thor. Thor is more hurt and confused than Sif is, and Sif talks him down from the idea that Loki should be punished, to nip this in the bud before it escalates.
Instead, she and Thor sit down with him one evening, Loki’s eyes darting nervously between them as Sif asks him, quietly, why he’s changed the way he treats her, if it’s because he no longer likes her.
This new child, to whom lies are no longer second nature, gets flustered and fists his coverlet into bunches before the words burst out of him, a barely contained flood.
“I don’t want Thor to go away,” he says quietly, tears standing in his worried green eyes, “I don’t want him to get married to you- you’ll take him away and I’ll be alone, I don’t want Thor to stop loving me and I thought if you didn’t like us anymore he would stay, I didn’t mean to make you sad, Sif, I just- I just don’t-”
Loki cannot continue because Thor has snatched him up and is holding him to his chest and promising that he would never leave Loki, that he will always love Loki, and Sif finds herself with her hand on Thor’s shoulder and her other hand on Loki’s, promising the same things.
Sif looks back on their lives and wonders how much might have been prevented, if this conversation had happened the first time around.
((Basically… because of the earlier John-Cusak-is-Bruce thing. Only this also makes me sad and makes me want to write Martian Child/Avengers fic also.))
Thor moves into the Avengers headquarters in New York and Loki literally cannot stay away, might actually die if he’s not allowed to stay with Thor. Many of Thor’s friends are still awkward around Loki, can still remember Old Loki, but enough of them are tolerant enough that Loki doesn’t just lurk in Thor’s room all day. Sometimes the Richards are there with their children, and Loki likes that because he actually gets along pretty well with Franklin, when they’re not fighting over whether Thor could beat Franklin’s mom in a fight.
(Privately, to himself, Loki thinks Mrs. Richards probably would beat Thor, but he must never ever admit it to Franklin, not even once.)
Sometimes the Young Avengers are there, too, and Loki likes them even if they’re too busy being cool and teenagers to really want to hang out with him. They’re generally nice to him, though, and eventually Loki plans on working up enough courage to ask Billy if, maybe, possibly, Billy could help Loki learn (or relearn?) some magic.
The Cages, especially Jessica, seem intent on teaching Loki how to change a diaper, but Loki is, frankly, terrified of Dani. She’s all soft and breakable and precious, and every time Loki picks her up he is gripped with a sudden fear of turning into the Human Torch. Logan informs Loki that this is a normal reaction to holding the baby.
And even though Peter doesn’t actually live there, he’s over there all the time. Sometimes he takes Loki to the park, both of them in street clothes and pretending to be normal, and once he buys Loki hot dogs and eats them on a roof with Loki, their legs dangling over the people far below. He likes to tell Loki that Loki is special, that he’s been given a great gift, that it’s up to Loki to use that gift responsibly.
Sometimes Loki wants to say something sarcastic, point out how much being “responsible” ends up with good people like the Avengers hobbling home with poor reputations and broken bones and missing friends. Every time he wants to, though, he thinks of Thor, and of Peter, and of their friends who already know what being “responsible” costs, and thinks even if it IS stupid, he knows it makes them proud to do it, proud to see it. And Loki leans against Peter and says nothing, but thinks about how he doesn’t mind being stupid if it makes Thor proud to be his brother or Peter proud to be his friend.
There’s usually some kind of emergency, maybe every few days or so, that requires the Avengers to resolve it or at least show up. Thor bans Loki from tagging along, after what happened at the Latverian peace talks, but there’s usually a handful of Avengers staying behind, anyway. Loki does try to be good when Thor is gone, but sometimes he can’t help himself. It’s just too tempting to sneak into people’s rooms to see if they have any ghosts or pets or secret robots or Skrulls, it’s just way too tempting to go into Tony’s workshop and see if he can make his own robotic Loki-Suit.
Tony is banned from watching Loki after Thor and Steve and Logan and some of Logan’s family come home and find Loki duct-taped to a wall in the workshop with a dozen issues of Popular Mechanics in arm’s reach. Somehow, Loki thinks (as he is being peeled off of the wall) that perhaps that was Tony’s grand scheme all along.
Someone (Loki thinks it is Tony’s friend Jarvis or Tony’s friend Pepper or, possibly, both) comes up with the idea to give Loki something to do when he is bored, and Tony and Steve show up one day, each carrying a ten-gallon bucket full of Legos. Loki, who’s never owned a toy before this moment, picks a brick up and puzzles over it for a moment before asking, shyly, what they’re for.
“They’re for building things,” Steve explains, and he and Tony spend the afternoon with Loki, building little houses and towers. Soon they have a little city at their feet, and Loki is gripped with the sudden urge to be a Godzilla monster. Steve, Loki is delighted to learn, is also a natural Godzilla monster, and between the two of them they utterly defeat Gundam Tony.
Thor, for his part, loves to hear the story of their ultimate battle, and helps Loki build a Lego model of Asgard. It takes all night, and it is a bit lopsided, but Thor hugs Loki tightly to his side and kisses his cheek and Loki is grinning too hard to point out the mistakes they made.
~ ~ ~
One morning Thor wakes Loki early and tells him that he will be gone for a few days, that most of the Avengers will be traveling to another planet, that it is an emergency and that he has to go. Loki tries not to yawn and climbs impatiently into Thor’s arms and asks why he can’t come along, just this once. Thor sighs and for a moment he looks sad, and Loki regrets making him feel as sad as he looks before Thor shakes his head firmly, patting Loki on the shoulder.
He makes sure that Loki knows that he loves him and that Loki knows to go downstairs to Doctor Banner’s laboratory, since Bruce is the only Avenger who currently lives there full-time and won’t be traveling with the rest of them. Loki tries not to feel scared and tries not to imagine waiting here forever, Thor and all his friends never to return, and Thor brushes a tear off of Loki’s cheek and tells him not to do anything dangerous while he’s gone.
Loki drags his Legos down to Bruce’s lab and starts building a wall around himself. Bruce glances over at him every few minutes, visibly nervous. Loki tries not to look up at him, because he’s pretty sure that Bruce is one of Those Guys, who only see Loki as the Bad Old Loki he was before. He’s pretty sure that Bruce thinks Loki is going to snap and do something bad to everyone, or maybe even is really Old Loki in disguise, and Loki has already had too close a brush with crying today to want to try for another.
The Legos are starting to get high- maybe halfway up to his elbows- before Bruce comes over with an organic gluten-free juicebox in one hand and a book about how to care for children if you’re an idiot clutched tightly in the other.
“Here,” Bruce says awkwardly, holding the juicebox out at him. Loki puzzles it out, decides how the little plastic straw is supposed to go, and drinks it, peering up at Bruce.
“Thank you,” Loki says, because Thor says he should always be polite. Bruce clears his throat, gesturing at the Legos.
“What are you building?” he asks, and Loki squints up at him. Most of the time people describe Bruce as being really, really smart, but even Thor knows a wall when he sees one.
“It’s Legos,” Loki says, taking another sip of his juice. “I wanna see how high I can make the wall.”
“Ah,” Bruce says, picking up a loose Lego brick and turning it over in his hand the way Loki did a few days ago, when he first got them. “Well- they’re pretty small, and they could get lodged in your throat, so don’t put any in your mouth, alright? Are you sure you’re even old enough to be playing with those?”
Loki is startled at the mental visual, looking down at his Legos before looking back up at Bruce. “The box says it’s for kids three and older,” Loki says slowly, and wonders if Bruce has ever been in the same room with a kid before.
“Right, right,” Bruce says, still sounding nervous. “Also, hey, you don’t have to stay in this corner the whole time, okay? As long as I can see you from where I’m working, you can move around, there’s a desk you could use. And as long as you don’t touch… anything.” He smiles at Loki, and it’s a painful, awkward thing, but Loki likes it anyways.
“Okay,” Loki agrees, moving his Legos over to the free desk. He builds some of a boat until it’s boring, and then he wanders over to see what Bruce is doing. Bruce is engrossed in his work, so much so that he doesn’t notice Loki reading over his shoulder (and wondering what half of it meant) and doesn’t notice when Loki starts fiddling with some extra cables left over from the latest machine or another that Bruce has built down here. Loki wraps them around his skinny torso, criss-crossing them over his chest in a vague X.
Bruce does notice when Loki jumps out at him from behind his desk, hands outstretched and chirping, “Look! I’m an X-man!”
“Jesus, kid,” Bruce breathes out, covering his face with his hand for a moment. Loki’s smile falters, because it’s starting to look like this is going to be a very boring, very lonely few days for him. “Look, I know the lab isn’t exactly kid-friendly, but this is just… no.” Bruce sighs, massaging the bridge of his nose. “Tell you what, Loki, why don’t I call Peter up and have him bring us a pizza, alright? Then he can hang out with you until you’re… tired, okay?”
“Peter went with everybody else to outer space,” Loki says in a small voice. Bruce opens one eye to look at him.
“Do you have any objections to being watched by the Runaways?”
“They ran away,” Loki mutters miserably.
“Well- okay, how about the X-men? You like them, don’t you?” Bruce even tries to smile again. “Most of them are good with kids, considering most of them practically are kids themselves-”
“Half of them went to space with Logan,” Loki starts, his voice thick with emotion because he does like them and doesn’t want them to be in space doing dangerous things. “And the rest of them are fighting some guy in an alternate universe, Logan told me.”
“Okay- oh, shit, don’t cry,” Bruce says, looking more nervous than ever. “I’m absolutely sure that everybody is going to be fine, Loki. You don’t need to- please don’t cry, alright?”
“I’m not crying,” Loki says in the tiniest voice yet. They both stand in awkward silence for a moment, before Loki says, quietly, “Steve makes Tony put a dollar in the swear jar when he says that.”
“What- oh,” Bruce says, blinking owlishly for a moment before he leans down with that little smile, only now it’s not awkward, not even a little bit. “Would you like to know a secret, Loki?”
Loki perks up instantly, wiping his face on his sleeve. “Y-yeah, what is it?”
“Steve only makes Tony do it. You know Clint says that word all the time, and Steve never makes him put any money in the jar, right?” Loki gapes at the revelation, nodding slightly. Bruce’s smile widens. “And I know you’ve heard Logan drop the F-bomb without even having to put a nickel in the jar.”
Loki laughs a little, grinning because it’s a little embarrassing to remember that. “But- how come Tony has to do it, then?”
Bruce gives him a conspiratorial little wink. “Because, deep down, beneath the supersoldier serum and the patriotism and the years of public service- deep down, Steve Rogers likes messing with Tony’s head just a little bit.”
Loki doesn’t understand, not really, but Bruce walks him up to the kitchens and they make a pretty good pepperoni pizza, between the two of them, and there’s enough leftover from lunch that they can eat it again for dinner.
~ ~ ~
It’s almost ten at night when Bruce looks up from his work and glances over at Loki, who is curled up on top of his Lego desk and aimlessly hitting two Legos together, and asks when Loki’s bedtime is.
“I don’t have a bed time, I’m not a little kid,” Loki yawns, rubbing his face. Bruce looks pretty skeptical, though, and then Loki adds, “Well. Not really. Just Thor tells me to go to bed and I do it coz he’s nice and all.”
“Ah. I can see the difference,” Bruce says drily, and Loki would totally make a sarcastic comment but a big yawn ruins the moment. “Well, come on, Loki. Let’s… get you in bed, then.” Bruce gets up, helping Loki down from the desk.
He just sort of points Loki in the direction of Thor’s room and lets Loki decide if he needs to brush his teeth and wear pajamas. After completing both tasks, Loki wanders back in search of Bruce, who is back at his workstation. Bruce notices Loki after a minute, looking perplexed.
“Aren’t you going to bed?” he asks, and Loki nods. Bruce stares at him, confused, before saying, “Well… goodnight, Loki.”
“Aren’t you going to bed too?” Loki asks, shuffling his feet. “Only- Thor stays with me in case of bad dreams,” he admits, and Bruce looks pained for a moment.
“I… alright,” he sighs, scrubbing a hand against his rough five o’clock shadow. “Um… hey, tell you what. Why don’t we… uh… sleep in the living room tonight?”
“What like… a sleepover?” Loki asks slowly, tilting his head to the side. “Franklin and Valeria had a sleepover here last month when their Mom and Dad were on that lecture thing. Everybody had popcorn and watched movies.” Bruce looks like he is beginning to regret the suggestion, but he nods.
“Yeah, just like that. Only without all the people, the popcorn, and the movies.” Loki pulls a face.
“How about half as much popcorn and only two movies?” he tries, because a sleepover is pretty pointless if you sleep the whole way through.
“How about no. Loki, I’ve got work to do in the morning, and-” Bruce cuts himself off, staring at Loki as if he’s seeing something he’s never seen before. “…tell you what, we’ll have a real sleepover with popcorn and movies and, I don’t know… boardgames, whatever, but we’ll do it tomorrow so we can have more time to plan it, okay? It’s already pretty late and I’m pretty tired,” he adds, ushering Loki out of the lab.
Bruce flops down onto the massive couch and Loki curls up on an armchair and Bruce folds his glasses and puts them in a case, placing the case on the coffee table. Loki does try to sleep, but it’s too quiet. He thinks about Thor and all of Thor’s friends, and about how sometimes people just disappear and never come back, and he definitely doesn’t start sniffling.
“…Loki, are you awake?” Bruce mutters from his couch, and Loki makes a small noise that could mean anything. “Try to get some sleep. You’ll make yourself sick if you worry about things.”
“Bruce?” Loki raises his head, blinking in the darkness. “Can I sleep with you?”
Bruce doesn’t say anything for a while, but when he does he sounds pretty resigned. “If you must.” Loki clambers over and tucks himself against Bruce’s side and it’s nothing at all like being with Thor, but it’s still nice. Loki yawns again, pawing at Bruce’s chest.
“Good god, Loki, what is it?” the man asks, sounding bewildered.
“Tell me a story?” Loki murmurs. “Thor tells me stories.” Bruce is very quiet for a moment, but after a minute or two he pulls his arm around Loki’s shoulders.
“Okay… okay. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away-”
“That’s Star Wars,” Loki says, a little too severely. “We watched that last week when it was movie night.”
“Who’s telling the story, kid, you or me?” Bruce asks, almost sounding amused. “This is a true story, not just a movie.”
“Is it really?” Loki feels pretty doubtful, but Bruce’s hand brushes through Loki’s hair and maybe it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not.
“It is mostly true,” Bruce assures him. “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a planet called Sakaar. And on that planet, there was a beautiful princess.”
“Like Leia?” Loki asks sleepily, his eyes too heavy to keep open. Bruce squeezes him a little.
“Better than Leia.”
~ ~ ~
By the time Thor and his friends are back, three days later, Loki and Bruce have achieved Total Couch Fort. Loki is proud to show everyone how far along he is into Bruce’s copy of Complete Works of JRR Tolkien, and Bruce has even managed to get a little work done. Thor learns how to spend the next thirty-six hours with Loki bodily attached to his side.
Thor and Tony and Steve start to apologize to Bruce for making them watch Loki for so long, but he shushes them with that awkward little smile of his.
“It was nice,” he says, escaping to his lab before anyone can try to make him spend any more time with people- but not before giving Loki a wink and mouthing the words swear jar at him from across the room.
((Fic based off the above picture… and, okay, it’s very AU, like an AU where stuff like Fear Itself and Journey Into Mystery probably didn’t happen. And… yeah, tags, what are those, i don’t even know. And I can’t figure out how to put in the Read More right now, so here, it’s all in a quote.)
The first time, the dream descends upon him while he is still walking the streets of Paris, homeless and friendless and barely making enough money to survive. His name is Serrure and he is still small and powerless, still barely fending off the older, stronger teens and men in the backstreets and alleys. He curls up in a nook, high in an old wall, and sleeps easily, knowing that his little spot is hard to find and takes a bit of climbing to reach.
He opens his eyes and sees a room like a dungeon from one of the old films he’s seen, a cloaked man in an iron mask standing over him. He is tied down, and he hears his voice- his own, yes, but deeper, older, and strangely hoarse.
“Victor…?” he asks, somehow sure of the man’s name. “Wh-what… is this? What are you doing?” The masked man ignores his questions, lowering something that glints in the harsh light. Serrure hears himself whimper, hears the masked man mutter to himself in a language that is both familiar and unfamiliar, and for one excruciating moment he feels something sharp, it’s cutting into the flesh of his arm and he screams and struggles and his vision goes white with the pain of it-
Serrure opens his eyes to comforting darkness, shoves the knuckles of his dirty little fist against his mouth and sobs, small and alone but whole and unbroken. After that night, his dreams are filled with atrocity and guilt, and he learns to survive off coffee and to put sleep off until he is simply too exhausted to dream.
~ ~ ~
Things change. His name is Loki now, and he is no longer alone- Thor is with him, the best big brother he could ever imagine. He doesn’t understand how he could have forgotten that someone like Thor loved him and cared for him, and he is overjoyed to discover that he loves and cares for Thor, too.
Loki sleeps easily nowadays, as if discovering his place in the world was enough to make the nightmares about that dark, hidden past evaporate. Loki begins to think that there is a bright, wonderful future for him somewhere in that bright, wonderful new world he’s found.
Loki opens his eyes and sees the room that is also a dungeon, also a laboratory, also a surgery. He sees himself in ragged pieces around him- hands in a jar, a heart in another. He sees, to one side, an entire head, looking as if it were torn roughly from his shoulders, a meaty spinal column protruding from the mess of a neck. His own face, looking haggard, eyes closed as if in sleep, hair and eyebrows missing. There are… markings? Tattoos? They curl across his scalp, and he wonders if they’re under his hair now, wonders why he never looked.
The masked man- Victor, Loki knows, even if he doesn’t remember why- stands over him, adjusting a strap on his left wrist. Loki realizes that he doesn’t quite feel his right arm, not at all, and he sees tools- saws, hooks, blades- all covered in blood, his blood, and Loki knows a moment of perfect, utter terror.
“Please,” he says softly, even though it’s never made a difference in any of these nightmares, even though none of his sobbing or begging has ever stayed Victor’s hand. “Please don’t- please, please don’t…”
It is not enough to stop Victor from using a scalpel, delicate and tiny in his huge, gauntleted hands, to deftly slice into the flesh under his eye. Loki sees him put the eye in a jar of some kind of liquid, sees the scalpel grow huge in the sight of his remaining eye before it all goes dark, not black but a burning, screaming red-
Thor is awake when Loki sneaks into his room and crawls into his bed, but he says nothing, merely makes room for his little brother. Loki presses his face into Thor’s side and tries not to cry, the soothing weight and heat of Thor’s hand against his back. Loki doesn’t have any unpleasant dreams the rest of that night, and Thor never says anything about his brother being a baby, being a coward. When it happens again, and again, and again, Thor simply starts going to bed with an extra pillow for Loki.
~ ~ ~
Thor is grumbling because he is being made to attend some sort of Midgardian political function, grumbling because he will be made to interact civilly with people he has faced off against in battle, grumbling because he is being made to wear a fashionable Midgardian tuxedo for the event. To make it a little more bearable, Thor has asked to bring his friends and his brother along as well, and when Loki steps out wearing a little tux, the smaller match to Thor’s, the Warriors Three can’t help but congratulate him on wearing it well, Sif herself cracks the tiniest of smiles, and Thor picks him up, swinging him into the air and laughing at his charming little brother.
Loki laughs, because it’s hard not to be sucked into the beaming grin on Thor’s face, and makes half-hearted threats that (almost) no-one believes anymore.
The event is supremely boring, because Thor, his friend Tony (who Loki likes but does not trust), his friend Steve (who Loki trusts but isn’t sure if he likes), and his friend Peter (who Loki adores) have all made Loki swear not to cause any mischief. But that is like asking the wind not to blow, or asking the tide not to rise, and Loki sneaks off the first chance he gets. There is a buffet table, and Loki wants the petit fors, and he knows Tony will try to eat them all if Loki doesn’t get there first. That doesn’t even take the force of food-consumption that is Volstagg into account.
Loki is popping the first (or fifth, who’s counting?) little pastry into his mouth when he feels, rather than sees, a man come up behind him, sees the shadow on the table, and he turns, ready to give Thor’s friend a cheeky little grin.
The man is taller and broader than he is in Loki’s nightmares, but he wears the same mask. Loki’s eyes widen, he backs against the table, he can feel the blood rushing to his face even as the dark eyes, barely visible in the shadows of the mask, fix him with the same cold, analyzing stare Loki remembers from the worst of his dreams.
“Who are you?” the man- Victor, his name is Victor and he’s real, he’s real- asks, taking a step forward, that hateful cloak billowing, and Loki knows, he knows Victor will touch him, and just as surely he knows that he will scream when he is touched, that he is only not-screaming because he is simply too terrified to breathe-
“Doom, you can’t just leave a peace conference when Latveria is the main-” Thor’s friend Steve bursts in, looking annoyed, but when he sees Loki he stops looking annoyed, he looks furious. Thor follows, and when he sees Loki he zeroes in on him, scooping him into his arms and giving Victor a calculating look, a look that could melt steel. Steve is speaking harshly to Victor now, standing between him and Loki, and Thor is asking him, in a completely unsubtle tone, if he’s alright, if that man said anything to him, if he’s touched him, if he’s hurt him.
Things become strange after that- the building rumbles, the foundations and walls crack, man-shaped robots start attacking Thor’s friends- and Thor has to leave Loki for a while, fighting the robots (Doombots, someone snarls, and Loki thinks the name is appropriate) but Loki is alright, because Thor left him with Volstagg and with Thor’s friend Peter, who is still in his tuxedo and is not wearing his mask. And Peter looks at him and seems to see something, because Peter reaches over and ruffles Loki’s hair and asks if Loki’s going to be okay.
“No,” Loki says softly, only it’s more of a strangled sob when it passes his lips, and Peter gives him an awkward little hug and Volstagg wraps the both of them in his arms and lifts them bodily from the ground. The fight ends and Victor flees and Thor takes Loki home, looking distant and thoughtful as he presses a kiss into the top of Loki’s head.
Later, when he is in his own clothes and he is in his own room and Sif has already stopped by to tell him, in soft tones he doesn’t remember ever hearing from her before, that if he needs someone to talk to that she might be willing to listen while she is training or practicing her swordsmanship, Loki sits in front of a mirror, eyes wide. He leans close and parts his hair with his fingertips until he finds the familiar curve of the black swirl he’d seen tattooed onto the skin of the decapitated Other Loki in his nightmares.
Loki hears someone shriek as if from far away, and Sif is back, suddenly, and her hair smells like fresh flowers and sunshine and promises never broken, and he finds that he is crying, and that she is doing what she can to soothe him but it isn’t until Thor takes him and tells him that he is safe that the shrieking stops and Loki, relieved, tucks his face against Thor’s neck. He hears Thor speaking in low tones to Sif, but he does not care to listen. He is with his brother and Thor wouldn’t let anything happen to Loki, not ever.
Loki opens his eyes and Victor is standing over him, not touching him or cutting him open, but staring down at him with the same calculating look he gave him before. Loki knows he is terrified, knows that he looks terrified, just as he knows that in tonight’s dream he is dying already, that his body from the waist down is simply gone, his torn insides exposed to the air.
Victor leans down and stares into Loki’s eyes and he whispers, slowly, “Loki?”
Loki cannot scream, cannot breathe properly, not with his diaphragm and part of one lung simply gone, but his mouth sags open and he makes an awful rasping sound and tears stream down the sides of his face. And Victor looks like he is about to say something awful, but instead he merely runs a cold metal hand over what’s left of Loki’s chest, his fingertips dancing across the hollow of Loki’s throat, his thumb trailing over Loki’s trembling lower lip, and Loki wants to cry out for Thor, because Thor would protect him, wouldn’t let this man touch him, wouldn’t let him do the things he’s done.
And the miracle that never happens in these nightmares comes true. The walls come tumbling down and people are rushing into the room and Victor is surrounded and Thor is there and he roars pure fury at Victor and there is a great clash of movement and sound and then Thor is back, he is cradling the broken Other Loki the way he cradled Loki earlier. And Loki buries his face against Thor’s neck again and he can’t speak but he mouths his brother’s name away, and Thor’s hand is warm against his back and it’s the last thing he knows.
Loki wakes up with a soft, mewling cry, and Sif is there, shushing him, tucking him back into bed.
“Where’s Thor?” Loki asks, half-asleep, and Sif runs her fingers through his hair and tells him that Thor is taking care of something on Midgard, but that he will be home and that right soon. Loki manages, somehow, to crawl into her lap, and Sif actually allows it, humming a song that Loki does not remember but thinks might be a lullabye.
Including Clint, Janet, Steve, Bruce, Tony, Thor
but where is Natasha and Hank?
This is so awesome I can’t.
I love this.
Bruce is the only one with his back to us and I think that’s just so appropriate. <3333
I like Bruce’s sandals. I just wanna pet him argh.
(via actualjo)Source: marvelstuffoverload
Awwww, Killian was like, “Aw, dat man sadface, no toys” and made a cooing sad noise.
I think they’re really missing out on Hulk Toys, because at least one baby I know would love some, and runs screaming in when Avengers: EMH comes on because he wants to watch the “Hulk Show.”
(via actualjo)Source: kneel4justice