A/N: Heyo, MCU fans! Ever since Ragnarok, this is the scene I was dying to see in Infinity War but...it...never...happened... So I wrote this fic instead. I hope you enjoy it.
Trust My Rage
Loki steeled himself and approached the building at 177A Breeker Street. The last time he'd been here had been under less than ideal circumstances and he had no idea what would happen. Strange wouldn't be too pleased to see him again, that was for sure.
But he wasn't going to walk away this time. Heimdall had given his life to send Loki and the Hulk to Earth. As for Thor…they might disagree at times – okay, most of the time – but they were still brothers. And right now, Thor needed him.
Loki was raising his fist to knock when the door swung open and Tony Stark stood there in regular clothes. A dozen emotions flitted across his face and he finally settled on rage. His hand shot out, clad in his Iron Man gauntlet, and grabbed Loki by the throat, slamming him into the wall.
"Give me one reason I shouldn't kill you," Stark growled.
Loki had to force himself not to resort to trickery as he usually would. "One reason's…all I need," he managed to gasp out.
"Stark." Dr. Strange took a step forward. "We have bigger problems to deal with if you haven't noticed."
Loki scrabbled at Stark's hand, wincing. For several seconds, he thought Stark would ignore Strange and strangle him anyway. But then he let go and Loki gasped, his throat raw and bruised. As he was getting his breath back, he realized Stark and Strange weren't the only ones here to greet him. There was also Romanoff, her hair dyed blond, and looking like a single twitch from him would send her into battle mode. Barton had an arrow nocked and aimed at his head.
Welcome to Earth.
"This had better be a damn good reason," Stark said.
Loki knew it had been a bad idea to come. Thor had assured him it would be okay, but Thor wasn't here. He might never see his brother again. The thought hardened his resolve. He'd changed a lot since he had last encountered the Avengers and though he wasn't sure yet whether it was a good change or a bad one, there was no going back.
"Thanos is coming," he said.
Stark looked like he'd been slapped. He exchanged a look with Strange. "You worked for Thanos."
"I did," Loki admitted. "But as you well remember, things didn't exactly work out."
"Speak for yourself," Barton said.
"I assure you, there is no love lost between us. I want to see Thanos dead."
"Why should we believe you?" Romanoff said. "At this point, you've caused more trouble than you're worth."
"She's got a point," Stark said. "The Battle of New York. Hundreds dead. But it's all okay now, isn't it, because woop-dee-doo, you've changed. We can all just forget about that little incident."
Loki winced. "I don't care what you think of me, Stark. But before I ended up here, I was on a ship carrying refugees after Asgard was destroyed. It was Thor's idea to come to Earth. And then we were attacked."
He could see in Stark's expression that he didn't believe him. "And Thor?"
"Thor is probably dead." He didn't realize until that moment how much those words would hurt.
"So we're supposed to trust you? We're supposed to forget everything you did?" Barton didn't look like he would be lowering the bow any time soon. Of course. He probably hadn't forgotten the time Loki had used the scepter on him.
"Oh, but you don't need to trust me," Loki said. "What you need to do is trust that Thanos is coming. He seeks the Infinity Stones and the Avengers are the only ones who can stop him. If my brother is dead, it is because of him. So don't trust me, Stark. Trust in my hatred for Thanos. Trust my rage."
Loki realized he'd balled his hands into fists. He and the Avengers might not see eye to eye, but he wasn't doing this for himself. Not anymore.
He was doing this for Thor.
"What's going on?"
Loki looked past Stark and saw Banner coming into the room. He had on a change of clothes and his hair was wet.
When Banner saw him, he said, "Oh, hey, Loki. I didn't know you got off the ship."
"Wait, so you were on the same ship?" Barton said.
"Yeah, at least until Thanos attacked." Banner glanced at Barton with his bow and Stark with the gauntlet, and added, "Loki's cool now, by the way. I think."
Stark exchanged a glance with Barton. "Bruce, can I have a word? If he moves, shoot him," he added to Barton as he and Banner stepped into the next room.
"Gladly," Barton said.
"Okay, I'm not sure I heard right, but he's cool now?" Tony said as soon as the door closed.
"Yeah," Bruce said. "I think he and Thor reconciled or something. It's kind of a long story, but basically we all ended up on this weird planet, Thor and I fought – I won, obviously – and then we all escaped and went to Asgard where Thor had to fight his evil sister and then Loki showed up and helped load the refugees onto the ship before resurrecting this really bad god and blowing up Asgard."
Tony wasn't even sure what to say to that. "And that's supposed to reassure me?"
"Yeah, now that I say it out loud, it does sound pretty bad. The whole blowing up Asgard thing was Thor's idea, actually. My point is, whatever Loki's done, we can trust him on this. When Thanos comes, we'll need all the help we can get."
Tony hated to admit it, but he was right.
They stood in awkward silence, no one moving, Barton's arrow still aimed at Loki and Loki had no doubt Barton would shoot him if he gave him the excuse.
Somewhere, a grandfather clock boomed fifteen past the hour.
"Don't tell me you're still sore about that." Damn it. So Strange had noticed Loki avoiding his gaze. But it certainly wasn't out of shame or sheepishness. It was just that Loki was dying to get payback but sucking the wizard into one of his illusions would conflict with what he was trying to accomplish here.
"Obviously not," Loki muttered.
"You are one of the greatest threats to Earth. I was only performing my duty as Sorcerer Supreme."
Loki gritted his teeth. "It was a bit excessive."
"Of all the dimensions I could have sent you, it was hardly the worst."
"It wasn't the most comfortable, either."
"I'm sorry, next time I'll send you to the dimension of fluffy bunnies and tea. Or do you prefer beer?"
"Thirty minutes," Loki hissed. "You left me falling for thirty minutes." If Barton didn't shoot him, he would definitely have to get him back for that.
But before the argument could escalate any further, the door opened and Stark and Banner returned. They didn't seem to notice the tension between Loki and Strange.
Stark walked up to Loki until their faces were too close for comfort, but Loki didn't back down. Stark's jaw was tight, his mouth a thin line.
"In light of our circumstances, we could use someone with insight into Thanos' agenda. Welcome to the team." At Stark's words, Romanoff and Barton exchanged a look and Barton finally lowered the bow.
"But if you do anything to jeopardize this team or our mission, I'll kill you myself," Stark added.
Loki let out a breath as Stark turned away and he smirked. He wouldn't have expected anything less.