A/N: I'm back guys!
Now something that a lot of you seemed to miss is that at the end of the last chapter I had an author's note saying that that was probably going to be the last chapter… and that the story was pretty much finished…
But since everyone seemed to miss that and keeps asking for updates I will do one more chapter giving a nice conclusion.
I REPEAT THIS IS THE LAST CHAPTER!
(Unless I do a sequel… which I might but not for AGES.)
So without any more blabbing here is the last chapter!
TRIGGER WARNING: There is a panic attack later in the chapter, I apologise if it is inaccurate I did as much research as I could.
Toni awoke with a jerk at the sound of her 5:00 am alarm blaring at her. She heard Pepper groan and cover her ears with one of the pillows on their bed.
"Why do you have to make it so loud?" She question groggily as Toni got out of bed.
"Because if I didn't I would pretend not to hear it and stay in bed." She yawned as she started getting dressed. It had been 3 months now since Loki, supervillain supreme, had whisked them all away to the magical memory land and exposed her most private moments to the whole Avengers team (she was still a bit bitter). Now he had been basically adopted into the Avengers family, without the knowledge of the world of course. He secretly helped on some of their missions and had gradually earned the trust of everyone on the team. He had even started to teach Toni how to do his so called 'magic' every morning.
"You're going to be late if you don't hurry," Pepper commented, staring at the clock, "your lesson starts at 5:15, doesn't it?" she added making sure that that she was correct in her assumption.
"Yeah it does but all I need to do is get dressed and go… Thor insists on making us pop-tarts and coffee for breakfast afterwards," Toni answered zipping up her pants. "I'll see you later." she added moving to kiss Pepper on the forehead before rushing down to the training room. Pepper was right with her prediction and she was 5 minutes late, but only because Dummy was having a malfunction that she had to fix. As she entered the room she saw Loki standing to the side of the room, his emerald eyes narrowed and his slender arms crossed.
"You're late." he said accusingly. Toni shrugged,
"I had an A.I to fix and an archer to save." she said answering his unasked question, Loki adopting a face of sudden understanding.
"Was Dummy going to attempt to extinguish Barton's imaginary fire again?" he asked uncrossing his arms and assuming a more relaxed stance.
"Yes," Toni groaned, "I don't know what I'm going to do about him; he does it at least once every day," she exclaimed face palming. Loki smirked at her, amused by her suffering. "Stop smirking at me." she said without looking up.
"How did you know I was smirking?" he asked his smirk growing to a smile.
"Because I know you and how funny you find my dilemmas," she answered finally looking up at him. "Now are we going to start this lesson or not?" she asked cheekily before sneakily turning Loki's hair blue. This would have been a good plan except Loki had his hair out and noticed immediately.
"Your progress in colour changing is quite spectacular," he said genuinely, waving a hand to revert his hair to its natural raven state, "You should be able to camouflage your suit on missions without using power now." he finished.
"Does this mean we're moving on?" Toni asked excitedly.
"Yes. I'm now going to teach you how to generate a force field around you or someone else." he said moving to the centre of the room. He concentrated and suddenly there was a green energy surrounding him.
Two hours later Toni struggled to stand as she picked long brown strands of hair off her sweat soaked skin.
"Not bad… but a long way off battle ready," Loki commented, he hadn't even broken a sweat Toni noted sulkily. His eyes, faded slightly from their normal vibrant green, showed that she had tired him just a little. Thinking about his eyes reminded Toni of something she never did get to ask Loki.
"Are you ever going to tell them?" she asked casually, leaning against the wall of the training room. He threw a towel at her.
"Tell them what?" He shot back, tying his long hair into a ponytail calmly. Toni waited a few seconds before continuing,
"That it wasn't really you who tried to take over the planet." She finished taking a sip from her water bottle. Loki froze, snapping the hairband he had been holding. Toni panicked for a second, thinking that she had made him mad at her but just as she was about to ask if he was okay he turned to her. Toni was shocked to see his eyes glistening a tiny bit.
"How did you know?" He asked in a measured voice.
"Your eyes…" Toni started hesitantly, "They were blue in all the footage of the attack on Manhattan but every other time I've seen you they're bright green," she said looking down. "And not only were they blue, they were tesseract blue the same as Clint's were when he was under mind control." she finished, looking up to see that Loki was wearing a sad smile.
"You're very clever Toni." Was his only response to her unsaid statement, his voice was thick. Toni walked over to him and took his hand,
"Tell me what happened. Tell me who actually did it." Toni implored looking up into his face. It was the wrong thing to say as Loki started to shake his head.
"I ca... can't." He forced out tears starting to roll down his face, "He'll come back and find me." He continued staring at the ground, disassociating, no longer present in the room. His breath started to quicken as his knees gave way. Toni recognized the symptoms of a panic attack immediately and cursed herself for not being more sensitive of the topic.
"Loki, Loki. It's okay. You're here with me, Toni, in the training room," She said soothingly, rubbing circles on his back. His eyes were closed now and he had adopted the upright foetal position.
"No, NO!" He groaned pulling at his own hair. 'This isn't good' Toni thought. She considered calling for help but she didn't think that Loki would appreciate the others seeing him like this. She looked around the room for anything that could conceivably help the both of them. Her eyes locked on the white chair across the room. It was the chair Loki had given to her to keep her emotions in check while he replayed her memories. They now used it to calm Bruce down again after testing the hulk's capabilities. Toni sprinted across the room and pulled the chair back over to Loki before heaving him into it. Instantly the chair became a dark abyss of various shades of black. Loki slowly stopped shaking and raised his head enough to meet Toni's gaze. His eyes held nothing but sadness and shame.
"What happened?" Toni whipped around to see the rest of the avengers gathered at the door. Loki took one look at them and groaned, the chair darkening several shades further. His body started to pulsate with green energy as he slumped backward in the chair.
"He had a panic attack… I may have set it off," Toni explained hurriedly rushing forward to check his pulse.
"Friend Toni, get back from him, he is projecting his power to the room," Thor yelled worriedly. Just as he said this the room started spinning and they were all lifted up into the air by the strong wind that was blowing. Toni recognized these happenings. Then everything went black.
When Toni came through she found herself on the ground of an unfamiliar terrain. Spikes of azure crystal shot up all over the place. Looking around her she saw the rest of the team starting to stand.
"Thor, where are we?" Toni questioned.
"I believe we are now in one of my brothers memories," he said slowly looking sadly over Toni's shoulder.
"What makes you say…" Toni trailed off as she saw what Thor was looking at.
Loki was tied eagle spread between two of the crystals. Blood dripped down his face, matting his hair. He seemed to be unconscious, his head lolling on his shoulder.
"Thor what should we do?" Steve asked trying to assess the situation. Thor looked between his brother and the team. A troubled expression plaguing his face.
"I do not believe there is much we can do but wait for his magic to release us captain. But I do not think what we are about witness will be pleasant." Thor frowned sadly.
As he said this several strange and alien figures appeared striding purposefully towards Loki's prone form. Two of them carried large trunks behind them and one carried a bucket. One of the figures who seemed to be the leader stepped right up to Loki dousing him with water. Instantly his eyes flew open and he gasped for air, thrashing against his restraints. The leader waited until he stopped moving,
"You took quite a fall," he said amusedly, "luckily we rescued you before you got seriously hurt." He finished mockingly, tapping Loki's cut on his forehead. He flinched away from him.
"Who are you?" Loki growled hoarsely.
"You may call me The Other." He replied simply turning back towards his minions.
"What do you want with me?" Loki asked straining to see what they were discussing.
"Well. You, my child, have an important part to play in Lord Thanos' plan," he said, "He wishes you to be part of his new empire. You only need to comply." He finished, leering at Loki. The Other reached into the crate that his minions had hauled and pulled out a long thin, twisted dagger. It glinted wickedly as he once again drew close to Loki. Loki eyed up the dagger carefully,
"And what does Lord Thanos wish me to do?" Loki drawled sarcastically, attempting to look unaffected. The Other saw through his act instantly.
"It's a very simple task really. All he asks is that you… conquer Midgard," he said, pausing to find the right word. The Avengers except Toni looked shocked.
"I knew it." Toni whispered just loud enough for Thor to hear. He whipped round to face her,
"You knew?" He asked urgently, "How?" Toni glared up at him,
"I guessed because it was obvious that something happened you idiot," she said aggressively. They were face to face before the other team mates acted.
"shh both of you, we can't hear what's happening if you two arguing over who is closer to Loki." Nat scolded them. Still glaring, they stepped away from each other and looked back towards the scene.
Loki appeared to be staring up at the sky.
"No." he said simply, lowering his gaze to meet The Other's eyes defiantly. If The Other was bothered or surprised by his defiance he didn't show it, a grin spreading slowly across his face.
"All the more fun for me." The Other whispered, bringing his face closer to Loki's. "Boys, bring out the instruments." He yelled turning to his followers who eagerly opened the crate and began to pull out… a heater?
"What? Why would they pull out a heater? How will that make him comply?" Bruce asked turning to Thor and Toni questioningly. The two exchanged a glance before Thor started to speak.
"My brother is a Frost Giant." He said simply, turning back as if this explained anything. Toni just stared at him looking as if she regretted letting him explain this.
"Frost Giants are extremely susceptible to heat due to their physiology. Surely you guys must have noticed that the tower is always below a certain temperature? No? Never mind. Point is heat equals pain for Loki. Think heat exhaustion but ten times worse." She said exasperated as she too turned back around to watch the scene.
As it turned out there was not one heater but ten industrial looking heaters that were now set up in a circle around Loki. Already sweat was beginning to drizzle down his body in small rivulets. His skin was also fading from its normal alabaster hue to the deep sapphire that marked his race. His dazed emerald eyes becoming a scarlet red. His breathing grew heavier as the minutes progressed.
"I once heard that the best way to torture a Frost Giant was by burning them, but I thought we'd have some fun before coming to that, don't you agree?" The Other smiled cheerily. "Though I will admit it has taken effect much quicker than expected." He said frowning at how affected Loki was. He had begun to shudder and spasm now, his eyes rolling back into his head.
"I don't like this." Steve said turning away to Toni. "How were you the only one who noticed anything about this?" he beseeched, grabbing her arm and turning her to face him.
"Oh I don't know Cap. Maybe I'm just the only person who pays attention to shit around here." She said sarcastically but with no spite in the words. The silence stretched between them. She eventually shrugged, "We have a lot in common so I made it my business to figure him out." She sighed softly. "I should have been more careful with the topic, I just went right in and asked him with no consideration of any trauma that might have happened, I am a bloody idiot." Toni exclaimed punching one of the azure spikes.
"Feel free to say yes at any time." The Other said bumping the heaters up a level and drawing the attention back to him. Suddenly the world shifted knocking all the avengers to the ground.
"Thor! What the hell just happened?" Nat shouted. The Avengers helped each other to stand and hurriedly looked over to Loki and the aliens to see if they had been impacted.
Nothing appeared to have changed except Loki's condition. His glamour had dropped fully so that only the frost giant remained, his bare chest was coated in what Toni assumed to be vomit and blood from his mouth and nose. He was absolutely drenched in sweat and constant shudders ran through him. Two of the alien minions approached The Other timidly, "Sir, it's been 2 weeks, maybe we should execute plan B." one of them said. The Other looked over at Loki then back to the aliens before him.
"Two weeks!"Clint exclaimed.
"That thing must have been a time jump." Bruce theorised which received an approving nod from both Thor and Toni.
"I don't know about you guys but I don't like the sound of plan B." Clint stated.
"You may be right," The Other sighed, "Let's give him one more chance shall we." He said walking over to Loki. He gestured to one of the other aliens at some sort of control panel, who immediately set to work, turning off all the heaters and activating some sort of cooling system. The cooler atmosphere roused Loki to consciousness.
"Have you had fun these past weeks?" The Other asked gleefully watching Loki struggle to lift his head. Refusing to answer Loki just stared at him sullenly. "I've come to offer you one last chance to join our cause willingly." He said matter of factly. He waited, cocking his head. Loki spat a mixture of blood and vomit in his face. The Other wiped his face, disgusted.
"I'll take that as a no then, well we have no choice but to force you. Thanos does not like to be kept waiting." He whispered something to the minion closest to him. He walked and dug around in the chest.
"Wh…what are you going to do." Loki asked his voice hoarse and broken. The minion returned with…
"That's Loki's sceptre." Nat whispered.
"Do you know what this does?" The Other inquired. Loki just nodded going limp in his restraints. He had given up. As The Other approached with the sceptre outstretched the memory began to fade and crumble around the Avengers. Just before everything turned black Loki looked up to the stars and whispered brokenly,
"I'm sorry Thor."
The memory completely crumbled dumping the team unceremoniously back in the training room. Toni immediately looked over at Loki who was still on the chair (which had thankfully returned to its original white colour). He began to open his eyes and stare in horror at the Avengers. He tried to stand but fell back into the chair as the team ran over to him.
"What did you see?" He demanded grabbing Toni's arm.
"It's fine Loks, no one is judgi-" Toni started
"What did you see?" He growled menacingly. Looking around the circle to direct the question at them to.
"Brother, why did you never tell us that Thanos was the cause, no one would have blamed yo-" Thor comforted,
"Oh god you know." Loki turned away from the faces, not meeting anyone's gaze. The silence in the room was suddenly interrupted by a loud crack. Nat had slapped Loki. He held his face in shock as he looked up at her.
"You owe us an explanation Loki, we trusted you and now we find out that you have been lying to us this whole time. Start talking." She said firmly. He held her gaze for a few seconds before turning away.
"I don't know what there is to tell you clearly just saw everything." He said emotionlessly. Nat stared at him pointedly.
"You know what I mean, why?" Nat said. Loki hesitated, looking around the circle before bringing his eyes to a stop on Toni.
"In case he ever came back." He whispered ashamed. "I didn't want him to think that anyone else knew his master plan in case he decided to tie up loose ends." He rushed frantically. Looking back up once again at the Avengers. "But now that plan has gone to shit." He muttered under his breath but loud enough that the team could hear.
"Language Loki." Steve reprimanded. Everyone stopped and looked questioningly at Steve. Nat face palmed and Toni snorted.
"Cap now is not the time." Toni giggled before looking back to Loki.
"You are in massive trouble for not saying anything and I will let Pepper punish you because she will go absolutely wild when she hears" Toni started. Loki actually looked frightened at the prospect of an angry Pepper chasing him. Toni sighed and placed her hands on either side of the chair. "You have to promise us right here, right now that you will tell us everything." Toni said solemnly. Loki smiled softly and nodded.
"Fine, but I demand food while I do." He demanded like a child. Toni stood up and rolled her eyes,
"Whatever; Thor, you got some pop tarts happening?" Toni asked.
"Of course friend Toni! Always!" Thor exclaimed. Clint hid his snigger as they all turned and walked towards the door of the training room outwardly laughing but internally readying for the storm that had yet to come.
A/N: And it is done!
That is it!
Do not expect any more chapters for this. I may one day do a sequel but if I do it will be in the far off future. For now I am going to be focusing on a harry potter fic that has been rumbling around in my head for ages. If I ever do write a sequel I will post a notice on this fic.
Treat the 'storm to come' as the events of the sequel or the rest of the movies if the sequel never comes.
Thank you all so much for the support over the years, you have been amazing!
So long and farewell! *kiss*
Winter Morning Frost.