So. Kate. Here is part one of MANY MANY MANY.
CRUSHING LONELINESS HAPPENS HERE.
Bruce and Loki, Loki and Bruuuce. <3
Things for Bruce had progressed somewhat .. differently.
He’d been working with SHIELD and the Avengers to learn a different sort of control with Hulk. They’d started to understand what Bruce had been saying all along: that Hulk was definitely his own entity, he didn’t like being yelled at or belittled and, actually, quite liked being useful.
The showers became a more common occurrence.
Loki ate his meals a little more often, even though eating too much made him sleepy and confused. Part of him had hoped that eating more would make him a little stronger, would help him keep track of time. Instead, he started catching himself spending untold hours in a lethargic fugue, sprawled on his back on the cot, slumped against a wall, facedown on the floor. Sometimes he skipped meals, and managed to have a little more energy, enough to think carefully and wonder just what was going into his food.
He still ate sometimes, though. Loki even thought he might be gaining back a little bit of the weight he’d seemed to have lost since he fell from the Bifrost. Loki once tried to go as long as he could without eating, but only managed to go a handful of mealtimes before losing his resolve.
~ ~ ~
Fury walked into the room one day, when Loki was feeling particularly lucid. He still refused to wear armor in Loki’s presence, which infuriated Loki to no end. He was in uniform, true, and wearing a long coat, but Loki gathered that this was more a choice of preference than anything else.
Loki managed to sit up in the cot, leaning back against the wall as he watched the man cross the room and tower over him.
“I think it’s time you answered a few questions, Mr. Odinson,” Fury said firmly.
“Surely you know that I’ll give you nothing but lies,” Loki murmured, meeting Fury’s gaze. “I know Thor’s told you that much about me, if he speaks of me at all.”
“No, he hasn’t,” Fury said quietly. “Your brother wants us to let him visit you. He misses you.” Loki started giggling helplessly, hysteria forcing the laughter from him even as Fury stared disapprovingly down at him. “There’s nothing particularly funny about it, Mr. Odinson.”
“Hilarious,” Loki grinned. “Because you think you can lie to me about Thor, because you think you can deceive me into thinking that he wants to see me. And because even when you’re not lying, you’re perpetuating Odin’s lies.”
“Your father-?” Fury started, and Loki hissed.
“No. Not my father. Has Thor not yet told you?” Loki leaned forward, resting his weight on his hands. “Odin is not my father. Odin found me after sacking Jotunheim, and thought it would be useful to let me live.” Loki’s mouth twisted into something foul. “Thor is not my brother. We’re not even the same species. I am the spawn of monsters, and you would be right to fear me more, human.”
“Thor has spoken to us already about this, Loki.” Fury came closer, actually sat on the foot of the bed, and Loki drew his knees to his chest, watching him warily. “Thor told us what he knew- that you were… adopted. That your parents didn’t tell either one of you until after he was banished to Earth. That you were born on Jotunheim, the same planet you tried to destroy with the Bifrost. He told us everything.”
Loki’s eyes narrowed, and he turned his face away. “Then you must realize the foolishness in trying to tell me that Thor misses a monster who was never his brother.” Fury sat there in silence for a few seconds, watching Loki with an expression that Loki was too weary to try to read. Finally, Fury spoke.
“Where is the cosmic cube?” Loki snorted at the sudden question.
“What does it matter, mortal? It is not yours; it never was. That treasure was won by Odin through battle, it belongs to him.”
“Like you?” Fury asked gently. Loki glared sharply at him. Undeterred, Fury pressed on with, “One of our people has seen it in action before.” Loki thought for a moment, the name he wanted on the tip of his tongue.
“The… Shield-soldier,” he tried. “The one who wears your flag.” Fury’s mouth twitched- it was possibly the closest Loki had seen to an identifiable emotion on the man’s face.
“Yes. He said that when you had it, the Cube… reacted to something, that it behaved the way it did the last time he’d seen it. That it tore a hole in something, and he could see stars on the other side.” Loki shifted uncomfortably, nothing in the man’s words triggering a memory of any kind.
“It was designed to do many things,” he said softly.
“I want to know where you sent it when you opened that hole in reality,” Fury said. Loki fought down a brief sensation of panic at the thought of the Cube floating through the universe, never to be seen again. He rolled his eyes, shrugging as casually as possible.
“Your left desk drawer. In the bottom of Stark’s liquor cabinet. The place where you keep Doctor Banner’s leash.” Loki bared his teeth in an approximation of a smile. “I’m there there are a lot of places you just haven’t looked yet, theoretically speaking.”
“Theoretically speaking,” Fury said in a low, dangerous voice, “just what would it take to make you behave?”
“You could all kill yourselves,” Loki sneered. Fury gazed evenly at him, letting him continue. “Honestly? No lies? There is nothing you can do to me that will make me behave. I care little for whatever tortures your mortal minds have devised- you are all children, and you simply don’t have it in you to break a god.”
You won’t cooperate yet? That’s fine,” Fury said simply, standing back up. He turned towards the door, something inside Loki snapping.
“Don’t turn your back on me, human, don’t you dare-” Loki wasn’t sure how he managed to get onto his feet, much less propel himself across the room. One moment he was barely supporting his own weight, half-curled on the narrow bed. The next he was launching himself at Fury’s back, punching and grasping and clawing.
He barely touched the man before Fury somehow had him on his back, a boot firmly planted on his sternum. Loki howled and struggled, trying to throw Fury’s weight off of him. He gave up in exhaustion after a few seconds, eyes huge as he gasped raggedly for air.
“I know you’re having a hard time accepting this, Mr. Odinson,” Fury said grimly, “but you are in no position to be making threats. We watch your every move, we hear every word you whisper to yourself. This building is going to be your entire world for the rest of your life. The quality of that life… well, that is entirely up to how willing you are to work with us instead of against us.”
Loki growled at him, wolflike and feral, and Fury took his boot off of his chest, leaving the room without another word.
~ ~ ~
One day, instead of leaving the tray of food near the door, the armored guard stepped all the way inside, came up to where Loki was hunched over the edge of the cot with his head in his hands. Loki glanced up at him and saw real contempt in the man’s face.
“You must be new,” Loki said, smiling. “What’s on the menu today?”
“You know, they told me you’d try to talk to me,” he said, brow furrowing. “You probably don’t even recognize me, do you? My kid sister and I were driving on the interstate when you tore it up. You walked right in front of the car and you punched it. The car flipped, and you came over and you smiled at us through the windshield.”
Loki shrugged, glancing down at the tray as the guard continued.
“Put her in the hospital for a month. She still has trouble walkin’, you know.”
“Well,” Loki said thoughtfully. “She doesn’t need to walk in her line of work. All she needs is the ability to lie on her back.” Loki grinned up at the guard, at his dumbfounded expression. “Is this supposed to be chicken? Because I’m sure chicken’s not that color-”
The tray connected with Loki’s face, over and over, and Loki howled, laughing until he choked, coughing up a spray of blood. Loki laughed as other guards rushed in, dragging the furious man back through the door, and bit the first gloved hand that tried to touch him.
~ ~ ~
For a while, Loki felt almost like his real, normal self. No guards came fully into his room at feeding times after that, and the guards who came to take him to the showers began hooking leads into the collar around his neck, keeping him too far away to be touched or attacked again.