This is set pretty soon after the ending of Ragnorok and after the events of Homecoming.
When Peter wakes, he's instantly confused. There's no alarm blaring, no red lights signalling an intrusion and he knows from far too much experience that it wasn't a nightmare that woke him up either. Turning his head to look at the clock, Peter huffs. 11.46. He's barely had an hour of sleep and he's got a calc test tomorrow morning. Typical.
For the next half an hour, Peter tries to get back to sleep but while he wouldn't say his spidey-sense is tingling, he feels like something happened, something important. Peter tells himself he's being ridiculous but eventually, he comes to the conclusion that ignoring the feeling is futile and he's not going to be going back to sleep anytime soon. He might as well at least head to the kitchen and grab some hot coco. He's pretty sure he didn't use up all the marshmallows when trying to get Vision to recreate the chubby bunny challenge.
It's always weird walking around the facility late at night. The lights are set to dim and the halls are quiet, making Peter almost feel like he's an intruder. Which, he's definitely not. Since Aunt May found out about Spider-Man, he's been spending nearly as much time at the facility as he does at home, training and working on upgrades for the suit when Tony has some spare time. He also gets to hang out with Vision sometimes, and Colonel 'Call me Rhodey' Rhodes, who makes some amazing omelettes.
Normally, when Peter goes to the kitchen for a midnight snack the lights are off but as he reaches the room he realises that's not the case now. Maybe Vision was trying out a new recipe? No, there's not enough crashing for that…. Peter slows as he approaches the entrance and peers around the corner. There's a guy there sat at the table, his back facing Peter. He looks like he's wearing a black suit, leading Peter to wonder if he was there for a meeting or something? Sure, it was kind of late, but weirder things had happened that a midnight meeting.
"Are you just going to stand there?"
Peter jumps. The voice sounds posh. British maybe?
"Um, hi. Sorry, to disturb you. I can come back la-"
The words die off Peter's tongue when the man turns. He may only have been seven during the Chitauri invasion but he'll never forget seeing that face on the TV screen, never forget that feeling of absolute panic when he realised that the alien invasion would be nothing like TV had led him to believe.
"Holy shit," he croaks. "You're Loki."
Peter doesn't know what he's more worried about. The fact that Loki is just casually sitting in the kitchen of the supposedly secure Avengers facility or the fact that his spidey-sense is apparently broken because he feels nothing.
"And I presume you are an illegitimate child of Stark's?"
Peter gapes. "I'm not, he's not, I-"
"You stay the hell away from Reindeer Games."
Peter startles at Tony's voice and as his eyes seek out the source, they end up nearly bulging out of his head. Of course, if Loki was here then it made reasonable sense his brother would be too, but that thought had not occurred quickly enough to prepare Peter for the sight of Thor, God of Thunder, standing in front of him in the flesh. Wait, was it flesh or were Gods made out of some kind of otherworldly material?
Material. PJs. Peter was meeting Gods in his freakin' PJs.
"Tony, my brother-"
"Is still on the naughty list as far as I'm concerned. You hear that, Loki? You stay away from the kid. Speaking of, what are you doing up? It's a school night."
Peter barely hears Tony. "It's a pleasure to meet you Thoooh," Peter cuts himself off before he can embarrass himself further. He's pretty sure it'd make a real bad impression to point out the eyepatch he was pretty sure had not existed the last time Thor visited Earth but, oh, look at that, he's caught Peter's mistake anyway. This is turning out great for Peter.
"It is a pleasure to meet you also; I presume you are the Man of Spiders? I see you have noticed my battle wound. I obtained it from a fight with my sister."
Peter blinks. "Your, uh, sister…?"
"That is a story for later," Tony interrupts. His eyes hone in on Peter. "Why are you awake kid? It's supposed to be certain spiderling's bedtime."
"I got woke up and was thirsty," Peter says defensively. Tony sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Grab some water and get back to bed and before you say anything, yes, I will update you with what's going on after school on the condition you get your butt out of here pronto."
With one final glance at Thor and Loki (both of whom looked varying degrees of amused which, geez, that's embarrassing, why did Tony have to choose now to start trying to parent him?), Peter quickly pours himself a glass of water and scurries back to his room. He's not even close to tired now, not that he knows just what woke him in the first place.
He's not exactly ecstatic to have Loki under the same roof as him but he trusts Tony, and now Thor, to stop anything he may be planning. Plus, he can't wait to tell Ned he's just met his favourite superhero.
The next morning, Peter unsurprisingly wakes up late. The kitchen void of any unexpected Gods, Peter eats his cereal alone and meets Happy by the entrance. The man has grudgingly been designation his courier when he stays at the facility and for all that Happy grumbles, Peter knows his day would be far more boring if he didn't get to listen to Peter's retelling of his own.
"Late night kid?" Happy asks in greeting and Peter wonders how he knew before he realises, he's forgotten to brush his hair. Well, too late now.
"Do you know that Thor and Loki are here? Like, the actual Thor and his brother who nearly took over the world but might be okay now? Well, maybe not okay okay but I would hope better and ohmyGodthat'saspaceship."
Happy has to actually grab Peter's backpack to keep him from running towards the massive frickin' spaceship that's just sat outside the facility. That has to be what woke him up last night. The facility has some pretty good soundproofing but there's no way his senses could have ignored it arriving. It's got to be at least half the size of the building, with a shiny coating that Peter would bet doesn't exist on Earth and through the windows, Peter's pretty sure he can make out people. Not just any people though. Asgardians.
"Nu'uh, you're going to school kid. Tony said he'll tell you what's up when you get back. Don't worry, it won't have gone by then. Maybe if you're lucky you'll get a tour."
Even though it physically hurts to turn away from the ship, Peter does, if not without one last, longing glance. It's a good thing that Tony has been pretty good at keeping his promises to Peter lately or Happy wouldn't have stood a chance.
Ned's reaction is everything Peter could have hoped for and more and he has to forcibly stop his best friend following him to the facility like a stray puppy. Peter desperately wants to know what's going on and he has a feeling bringing Ned will just get the both of them sent straight to his room, no questions allowed. It takes promising his best friend that he'll try and get permission to visit that he finally relents and so, it's alone that Peter runs into the facility. As Happy had said, the ship was still there and now he wants answers. There doesn't appear to be anyone around and just as Peter decides that means he can just do his own exploration, it was clearly fair game, FRIDAY's voice stops him in his tracks.
"Boss is currently in the lab but he'll be up shortly. He told me to tell you not to move. Or get any ideas."
Peter huffs, throwing his school bag on the couch. He distracts himself by getting some snacks and he's just finished his second banana when Tony arrives. Peter can't help the droop of his shoulders when he sees that he's alone.
"Gods are busy people kid," Tony says dryly. "Sit down and I'll explain what's going on. Uh buh buh, no questions until I'm done."
Peter's open mouth slams shut. Somewhere along the line, it looks like Tony has learnt how to deal with Peter and his mouth. By the time they're done, Peter decides that's probably a good thing because if he'd interrupted every time he'd had a question, the explanation probably would have lasted to the evening. Even now, Peter's still struggling to wrap his mind around everything. Ragnorok? A secret sister? Bruce Banner staying at the facility?
"You can see him when he's up for guests," Tony says when Peter's leg starts bouncing uncontrollably. "No going looking for him, got it?"
"I wouldn't do that!" Peter argues, even as the other leg starts bouncing too. Tony couldn't get mad for him just talking an extra long walk around the facility, could he…?
"Sure you wouldn't," Tony replies with a deadpan expression. "But as I was saying, Thor and his dear little brother will be staying here too. Now, it's not fair for me to make you stay away while they're here, since I don't know how long it's going to take for them to sort things out, but I want you to be careful Peter. Thor might be convinced his brother's changed but it's clear to me he's more than a little biased in his views. Stay away from Loki Peter and whatever you do, don't talk to him. You've heard what they call him, haven't you?"
"Uh, the trickster?"
"The Lie-Smith. Silver tongue. You can't trust what he says. I don't know what his game-plan is but so long as it doesn't involve Earth, I'm staying out of it and so are you."
"What about the other Asgardians? Are they going to stay here too?"
"A few of them will be staying on the ship, the rest of them will be living in one of my old state houses a few hours away. I hear despite his lack of a hammer, transport isn't so difficult for Thor so he'll be able to keep an eye on them."
"Cool," Peter breathes and Tony rolls his eyes.
"Kids these days, from one fad to the next."
"You're cool too, Tony," Peter says seriously. "But c'mon, Thor's a God. Oh, speaking of, do you think I can bring Ned over to meet him?"
In response, Tony just rolls his eyes again and says, "I'm heading back to the lab."
Well, it's not a no.
In the end, Peter decides not to try his luck and after the next day, where he sees neither Thor, Loki or Professor Banner, he decides to spend the remainder of the week at home with Aunt May. With her working and him now spending more time with Tony and patrolling as Spider-Man, they don't get to spend as much time together. It's for that reason on Saturday, they decide to have a proper day out together; going to see a film and get ice cream. It's as they've just paid for said ice cream that Peter breaks the news that Thor's hanging around on Earth.
In his defence, he hadn't expected her to drop the ice cream.
Of course, that leads him to explain about the others and it's kind of creepy how similar her warning about Loki is to Tony's. Not that he doesn't understand, of course.
One of the clearest memories Peter has from when he was a kid is the Chitauri invasion. He'd been seven at the time and first, he'd thought it the coolest moment of his life. After all, what was better than seeing real-life superheroes battle real-life aliens? That excitement quickly died down as the threat became real and Peter entered the scariest moment of his life. The comics don't focus on what it's like being a civilian in that kind of situation. They don't talk about the panic when your loved one is in a different place but apparently, it doesn't matter because people just keep telling you to leave and find somewhere safe because who knew how far the monsters would get? Sure, there were the Avengers out there to stop them but there was no guarantee they'd be able to save everybody. In fact, they already hadn't.
Ben had assured Peter they would make it, that Aunt May stuck in the hospital would too, but even at seven years old, Peter had known it was an empty promise. His words didn't drown out the panic that surrounded them, the screams that they were all going to die, that the world was ending.
Peter knows that Loki was the leader of the invasion but having done some digging with the help of FRIDAY and Karen, he also knows that Loki hadn't exactly been in his right frame of mind. There had been something called a Terresock, Terresa, a Tesseract or something influencing him. Peter doesn't know the exact details but he knows enough that it's unlikely Loki's going to go on a maniacal rampage again, especially after he just helped Thor and Professor Banner.
And anyway…two royal Gods was better than one.
The next time Peter goes to the compound, it's Tuesday and much to Ned's dismay, he's not with him. Apparently, his mom was getting worried about his sleeping habits and ordering him to get as much rest as possible. Peter feels a little guilty about this since the new dark circles under Ned's eyes have been due to him being more active in his 'guy in the chair' duties. Peter promises that if he does see Thor, he'll record a video message for him, it's the least he can do.
First, though, he has to do his Spanish homework which Peter may or may not have been slacking on thanks to patrol. It doesn't help that Tony has ordered FRIDAY and Karen not to help him anymore and is currently fixing the bug where they had just been telling him all the answers and writing his oral exam material for him. Peter would go back to using google translate but Señora López is freakily good at sussing out who's used it and that's definitely not going to get him a pass.
Peter had been aiming to bug Tony to help him, so it's really not his fault that he just happens to come across Loki first. Like last time, he freezes at the sight of him. It's strange, the kid in him remembers the terror he'd felt during the invasion but the Spider-Man part of him isn't registering Loki as a threat at all. The two sides are at war with each other as he stands there, getting looked at like he's a mouse caught by a cat. Or maybe a spider caught by a cat.
What eats spiders again?
"Hello not-child-of-Stark. You needn't fear me, I've received a very detailed description of what will happen if I even mildly threaten you," Loki says dryly.
"Uh," is all that Peter manages in response. He tells himself it's fine, that Loki's pale, but not that weird kind of blue pale he'd been all those years ago. And that even though it still feels like he could zap Peter with a glance, he just said he's not going to.
"Are all Midgardian children as incompetent as you? It amazes me that you accomplish anything in your short life-spans."
It takes Peter a moment to register he's been insulted and that seems to kick his brain back into gear.
"Hey! Emotional hurt is a thing too and that was rude." The words have only just left his lips when Peter realises his mistake. He's just spoken back to a God, to Loki, who said he wouldn't hurt him but could probably, almost definitely, poof him out of existence if he wanted too…
No magical zaps occur, which is nice, and instead, Loki rolls his eyes heavenward. "Then leave before I cause more trauma to your poor delicate heart." He goes back to whatever he was reading, a book with a deep sapphire cover that looks incredibly old, magical and awesome, and instead of doing the wise thing and following Loki's instruction, Peter stays. Sure, he still has this lingering fear around the God, but growing is intense curiosity.
Besides, Peter really needs help with his homework and let's face it, Tony wasn't going to get him that A.
"So, um, how good are you at languages?"
"You're still here?" Loki sighs and puts down his book. "I can speak over 5000. Why?"
Peter blinks, digests that, and moves on. "Is Spanish one of them?"
Loki snorts. "All of your Midgardian languages are ridiculously similar. It would be embarrassing if I couldn't."
This time, Peter can't tell if he's insulted. "Could you help me with my homework?" He asks before he can decide the answer is probably yes.
Sitting back in his chair, Loki raises an eyebrow. "What will I get in return?"
"Uhh… the satisfaction in knowing you helped me not fail my class?"
"Why would that make me satisfied?" Loki asks bluntly and well, okay. Fair enough. Peter grimaces.
"I have 10 bucks?"
"Show me how you swing from buildings."
That throws Peter for a second. "You mean you want to see my web fluid?"
Loki waves a hand dismissively. "Yes, that thing that allows you to fly through the air. Midgardian science isn't that fascinating but I am led to believe your creation is quite unique. Plus, Stark has banned me from his labs."
If Peter were to guess, he'd say the expression on Loki's face is almost…almost a pout. Slowly, he beings to realise something.
"You're bored, aren't you?"
Loki bristles and Peter wonders if he's made a grave, grave error and that zapping might actually be in his future. Loki doesn't even raise a hand, however, though he says in a terse voice, "Would you not be? Being confined to a single building due to actions you committed when you were not in full control of your own mind? Being treated as if you were still crazed and dangerous simply because at one point in your life, a higher being made you so? They may not have given me the title but here, I am once again a prisoner, not allowed the privilege to even leave this pitiful building. So, yes, I am as you say 'bored'."
Oh. Oh dear. Maybe this is why Tony told Peter to stay away from Loki. He's actually sympathising with the God. He wants to help Loki the same way he helped that duckling that got stuck in a drain.
"I'll show you my web fluid," Peter says decidedly. "And then, we're going to fix your cred."
Loki's eyes narrow onto Peter. "My 'cred'?"
"You know, your reputation. Let's face it, people still see you as a villain thanks to the invasion. Justified since, you know, you hurt a lot of people and caused a lot of damage but you're right, you weren't in control. What we need to show people is what you're like now, now that you're not under control and want to do good!"
"I never said-"
"And I think the best way to do that would be to show you what makes Earth, uh, Midgard so great. If people seeing you do regular human stuff, they'll see you've changed, that you like us now and aren't going to try and become our supreme leader or whatever."
"I wouldn't say I've completely given up on the id-"
"Look," Peter interrupts before Loki convinces him this is a really, really, stupid idea. "You said you were bored, right? And from the looks of things you're going to be here a while. What could it hurt? And hey, this way you could tell me about Asgard! You're a magician, right? You can do magic? I've always wanted to learn about magic."
"I think I preferred it when you could barely speak," Loki says dryly before he huffs. "Fine. I'll indulge you. For now."
Peter grins. "Great! And to start this off, you can help me translate these sentences!"
So I had this idea of Peter bonding with Loki months ago but lost inspiration. Recently, I decided to make a rough plan and came up with this! It's just supposed to be a bit of fun and hopefully I'll be able to update weekly :) I'd also like to know what you think Peter should get Loki to experience :P