Silence filled the hall as the prince and his son stared each other down. Palace guards did their best to avoid the scene as they tried to pass discreetly. Their avoidance wouldn't have made much of a difference though, Loki and Peter were too focused on the other and the words just said to pay them any mind.

Loki felt the regret from his words before he saw the hurt flash across Peter's face, those emotional brown eyes widening and watering up.


"I never asked you to be my dad." The boy cut him off, head bowing. "I never asked for any of this. You're the one that took me out of the orphanage on Midgard, you're the one who decided you wanted to be a parent. If you're regretting it so much now, then why not put me back there? Go on, abandon me again! Just like you do every month when you leave with Uncle Thor! It's not like you've been around me long enough to miss me!"

"That's not true-"

"If this is how my life is supposed to be, I wish you never would have met my mom in the first place!" Before Loki could even fully process those words, Peter turned on his heel and ran down the hall as fast as he could. Loki watched him go, knowing that he should follow, that he should step up as a parent and prove Peter wrong, but he couldn't move. His feet felt glued to the spot.

His fists curled as he felt his anger rising, anger at himself for not being better, at Thor for demanding so many trips to battle, at Odin for leaving the mess of a war in a galaxy nowhere near their reign for his sons to clean up, a part even unjustly aimed at Peter for not letting him properly explain.

He released his fists with a frustrated yell, power surging out of him and ripping a nearby tapestry. He was too on edge to finish talking to Peter now, knowing it would only lead to more fighting and yelling. But... he was in perfect condition to speak with his father on the matter. He had been petitioning him to come home for the last two months after their initial assignment was finished, only to be kept out there for longer.

Now that he was home, he had no intention of leaving Peter again anytime soon.


Peter ran into his room, his door slamming behind him. He gasped in deep breaths as he tried to calm his anger, bad things happened when he lost control and he just had his room repaired.

He fell into his bed, muffling his scream into his pillow as the tears finally leaked out of his eyes. He clung to the green fabric of the pillow, holding it against his chest. It was an item he had swiped from his dad's room the first week he had been gone and Peter's need to be near him again was too strong. It no longer had the comforting smell of cool mint and leather that was Loki, it was no longer an item to comfort him and protect him from nightmares as his dad's scent usually did. Now it was just a green pillow. Just as Loki was just a man.

Deep down Peter knew that what his dad did was important, that it was the Allfather that sent him and Uncle Thor away. But hearing Loki threaten to bring him back to Midgard if he didn't drop the attitude, that he had never planned to be a father... It hurt. The fact that it was the truth as well made it all the more painful.

So Peter laid there, crying into something that should have been a comfort to him.

He wasn't sure how long he stayed there before the idea hit him, stopping his tears. He realized that the idea was petty, and he would definitely be in a huge amount of trouble if caught... But if Loki didn't plan to be a father, then why not fix his burden and leave?

Pushing himself up, he quickly grabbed a bag and began stuffing his clothes into it. He knew that Heimdall was in a meeting with the Allfather at the moment, so he had a small window to work with while the Gatekeeper was preoccupied. And if Loki hadn't made his appearance by now, then he wouldn't until dinner.

As he pulled open the drawer that kept his shirts, Peter's hand froze. Tucked neatly in the corner was a stuffed wolf, Loki's first gift to him after he returned from a mission with Thor. Peter had kept it close throughout his childhood, especially after moving into the palace. It was scary for him in his new room, and while his dad would carry him to his room most nights, he was also gone a lot and left Peter alone. The stuffed wolf protected him from the monsters in the dark...

The wolf had stayed on his bed until his thirteenth birthday. The Allfather normally ignored Peter's existence (under orders from Loki) but he had visited that night and told him to get rid of the toy or he would himself. Peter had been distraught, but knew that he'd never see it again if he didn't comply.

Staring at it now, Peter held a small debate with himself before stuffing it into his bag as well.

After making sure he grabbed enough shirts, he gave a quick once over to his room. Seeing nothing of importance left behind, he left.

Sneaking out of the palace was easier than he anticipated. The royal family would be in their meeting still, as well as Lady Sif, the Warriors Three, and Heimdall - essentially anyone with the power of stopping him. Maids and guards paid him no mind, used to his packed picnics to out of the city. To them, this looked like another normal trip, they probably wouldn't even remember seeing him when Loki started asking.

The hard part was how to leave Asgard... He couldn't take the Bifrost, because that would alert Heimdall who would just follow his movements and bring him back at the first opportunity. He wasn't fully confident in his ability to use his father's passages... but that seemed to be his only option.

Loki had shown him the cave once when he was much smaller. Peter had begged to know how it worked, and Loki had eventually told him. So if he wasn't meant to use the cave... it wasn't technically his fault.

He just hoped he could remember everything that Loki told him.

"It's okay," He told himself, "you've got this." Taking a deep breath when he reached the cave, Peter held his hand against the wall and let the little magic he could control flow through him. He cleared his mind of everything except Midgard, the city of New York. It was where he had come from, so it seemed like a good place to go. The walls sparked to life around him, colors swirling around and in front of him. As he kept walking, the wind picked up, pushing him forward to the back of the cave. Peter felt a pinch of fear grip him, that maybe this wasn't his best idea. He had no idea how to return should something happen... But it was too late to back out, his body being sucked into the bright light in front of him.

He let out a small scream as he found himself free-falling for a moment, before landing heavily on solid ground.

He stared with wide eyes at the green grass beneath his hands, taking in the new smells and sounds around him. He had done it... He was on Midgard.

"Are you okay?" A voice called from above him. He looked up to see a woman with red hair staring at him in worry, going to kneel down next to him. "I heard you yell, it sounded bad."

Peter gulped as he glanced over her shoulder to a man with a funny-shaped beard and mustache who was watching the scene curiously before looking back to her. He gave an awkward smile before pushing himself to sit up. "Y-Yeah, sorry about that. I just... fell."

She nodded, taking the information as she stood and offered her hand to him. "Try to be more careful next time, alright?"

He took her hand gratefully, letting her help to pull him up. "Yes, ma'am. I'm sorry to worry you-" As he was at full height, his bag fell off his back and spilled his clothes out on the ground. Peter froze, his eyes wide as he quickly looked at the couple, taking in the growing worry on their faces. He knelt back down and shoved his clothes back in. "I'm so sorry, I-I don't get out much, so I'm pretty clumsy. I'm sorry to bother you, I'll just be going now."

He yanked the drawstrings closed and was about to make a hasty retreat when he felt a warm hand on his arm. His head snapped back to see the man holding onto him, his eyebrows pushed together and brown eyes analyzing him. "Kid... If you're in some kind of trouble, if that's why you tripped in front of us, you don't have to hide it. We can help you."

"N-No, no trouble at all!" Peter's eyes shot around the area, seeing that they were in some sort of park, children playing and people walking. The passerbys were starting to take notice of them though, and Peter really didn't want that. "I'm just going to leave now, sorry again...!"

He pulled his arm back and took off running down one of the sidewalk trails. First five minutes on Midgard and he was already causing trouble... That was the last thing he needed.

Once he was sure he was far enough away, he slowed down to take in his surroundings. He had run to the edge of the park, seeing the tall buildings through the little trees left. The sounds were much louder now as well, people yelling and strange engine noises. Peter's already high adrenaline rose even higher as he neared the street, his heart hammering in his ears as he caught a glimpse of one of the metal carriages that made such a loud and strange noise. It could go so fast...! Much faster than any horse he's ever seen before! Fast enough he wasn't exactly sure how he'd cross the... street? Was this a Midgardian street? It was so different from what was on Asgard. But he could see people on the other side, so he knew it had to be possible... Maybe the strange carriages would stop once he was in front of them.

Taking a deep breath, Peter adjusted his bag and started walking to the edge of the sidewalk. He was about to step off of the raised ledge when a familiar warm hand was grabbing his arm again.

"Okay, kid... Stepping out into traffic is not a good way to show you don't need serious help."

Peter turned to see the man from before, looking winded, as the woman came running up from behind him. Had they run to stop him from stepping out? "But..." He looked back across the street, "How do I get over there then?"

The couple shared a look, worry clear on their faces. It was obvious that Peter wasn't doing a very good job of blending in...

"The crosswalk...?" The man supplied, an eyebrow raised before the woman hit his arm.

"Sweetie," She leaned forward a bit, his hands going to her knees. "If you need it, we are qualified to help you. You just need to tell us what's wrong."

"Nothing's wrong...!" Their looks of disbelief told him that he answered too quickly and was too high-pitched. He cleared his throat and looked away from them. "Really, nothing's wrong. I'm just... exploring. This is the first time I've been away from home... I have all these clothes packed because I don't know how long it'll be before my dad or uncle find me, since I had a fight with my dad right before I left... he probably won't notice I left for a while."

"That's all great or whatever," The man's arms crossed, "but it doesn't explain why you almost took a stroll into traffic."

"I told you, I've never left home before."

"They don't have cars or crosswalks where you're from?"

"Nope. I thought I made that obvious?" Peter frowned at the man, his patience starting to wear thin. The man saved him from potentially getting hurt, great, but he didn't have to talk down to him.

Their shared look was much more confused this time. Not wanting to continue this for much longer, he shifted on his feet, "Listen, thanks for the save with the... traffic? But I really want to get going now. So if you could just tell me what a crosswalk looks like, I'll be on my way."

"Oh, the press would love that story. 'Tony Stark leaves foreign runaway child to fend for himself in New York City.' Yeah, not happening." Peter opened his mouth to argue, but the man pinned him with a look. "Do you even have money? That's in our currency?"

That promptly made Peter's mouth close, looking down at his feet.

"Listen, here's how this is going to go. You're going to come to the tower with us, make sure you're safe, and then if everything turns out fine we'll call your dad or uncle or whoever to let them know you're safe."

Peter seriously doubted that this man had the ability to call Loki, but he couldn't really see any way out of this situation. People were starting to stare again, and he wanted to avoid their eyes at all costs... "Fine, let's just get out of here. I don't like everyone staring..."

The man glanced around, seeming to just notice all the people watching. He raised his watch up and pressed a button on it before placing a hand on Peter's back and leading him down the sidewalk. "The car will be here in a minute if Happy's still awake. What's your name by the way? I didn't catch it between all the times I saved you."

"I didn't throw it, and you only saved me once."

"In the park I-"

"I still face planted on the ground. I was definitely not saved from that." The two looked at each other, a challenge in Peter's eyes and almost daring glee in the man's.

"I'm Pepper," The woman intervened before things could escalate between the males. Peter turned to her with a smile.

"Peter; it's nice to meet you."

"It's nice to meet you as well. And in case you didn't know, Mr. Hero over there's name is Tony."

The man, Tony, scoffed as Peter laughed a bit, feeling a sense of ease around the two now. While he still didn't know these people that well, he could tell that they didn't mean him any harm; they genuinely seemed like they wanted to help him. But he would have to leave them before Loki found him... He hated to see what his dad would do if he thought they had kidnapped him or something.

A car pulled next to them, the window rolling down and a man leaning over to look at them. "Who's the kid?"

"This is Peter," Pepper introduced, "And he'll be coming back to the Tower with us. Peter, this is Happy, our Head of Security."

"So we're just taking random kids you find in the park home with you now?" Happy looked between them all, an eyebrow raised. "As Head of Security, I have to point out that this isn't very safe. Especially for you two."

"What's a kid going to do, Happy? You don't think you can handle one child?" Tony asked as he climbed into the front passenger seat. Pepper opened the back door and gestured for Peter to go in.

"Of course I can handle him! I'm just saying...!"

Peter couldn't help but laugh as the two bickered, remembering the many similar situations between his dad and uncle. It was such a familiar and comforting feeling, listening to them argue. It made him nostalgic and miss those moments they shared... A part of him wished he hadn't been so cold to Loki when he had come home; that if he would've just welcomed him like normal then they'd be sitting around together, joking with Thor while Loki reviewed Peter's magic practice.

He missed his dad.

But there was nothing he could do about that now, so he would pretend to still be mad until there was something he could do. Perhaps if he hugged Loki as soon as he saw him, crying, then he wouldn't be in as much trouble as he no doubt was.

A soft hand placed itself on his shoulder, pulling him out of his thoughts. He blinked as he looked up at Pepper's concerned eyes.

"Are you alright, Peter? You looked like you were about to cry just then..."

"Oh, did I?" He chuckled awkwardly as he looked away. "Sorry about that, just... thinking."

"About your family?" He sent her a questioning gaze to which she smiled sadly. "I know the look."

Peter kinda shrugged, looking out the window. "I was... unfair to my dad before I left. He had been gone a long time, and it wasn't his fault that the Allfather sent him and my uncle away to fight his stupid wars... He just came back and I wouldn't stop provoking him. He threatened to send me back here, that he never planned on being a dad. So I decided to follow through with his threat and came here. I have family... somewhere... That's what child services said when my dad came to get me anyway, that my stepdad had a brother who would've taken me. I thought I might try to find them, but... I don't even know their names." He sighed as his shoulders dropped, "This was a stupid idea... and now I have to wait for them to realize I'm gone and come find me. Since I took the back way out, Heimdall won't be able to see where I am. Who knows how long it'll take my dad to come get me."

The vehicle was silent for a time, everyone absorbing what he had just said, but then the hand on his shoulder gave a gentle squeeze. "I promise you that we'll do everything we can to get you back to your dad, or even find your uncle for you if you still want that? It shouldn't be hard for Jarvis, right?"

Tony had turned his head to the side to listen to the pair in the back, nodding along as he sniffed and looked forward. "Yeah, just a simple DNA scan and background search, twenty minutes. Tops."

Peter nodded, more to himself than to them. He doubted they'd truly be able to help him, the Allfather made sure that Peter knew his Midgardian blood was far less advanced than the Asgardians. His private lessons stressed how Midgardians were tiny and incompetent, purposefully letting him know that he would always be inferior because of that half of himself. So unless Odin was wrong, then these people really couldn't do much.

He managed to cheer up a bit for the rest of the ride to their tower, participating in some of the banter between Tony and Happy. Being the son of Loki, Peter was able to keep up with Tony's quick retorts, shocking the small group with his witty replies. Peter could see the light in Tony's eyes at the idea of a worthy opponent.

Pulling into the tower, Peter felt a strong sense of wonder at it. It was different from the other buildings around it, taller and shinier. The name 'Stark' was printed at the top, and Peter was fairly certain that was Tony's family name... How powerful was Tony to have his own tower with his name on it? Was he some type of Midgardian royalty? He certainly acted like it... But at the same time, he didn't; the Allfather would never be caught walking around a park with the common folk, especially not in clothes that matched with the commoners. His grandmother would though... She loved walking with her people and learning about their struggles.

"C'mon, kid," Tony smacked his shoulder as he walked past him, "More people will stare at you the longer you stand there. I know you're probably not used to such large buildings and all, but we don't want to make it too obvious that you're a foreigner."

Peter pouted at him, hurrying to fall into step with Tony. "Actually, I'm more used to the buildings being gold. I was just kinda amazed at how... plain yours looked." It was a lie, obviously. But he didn't need to know that.

Plus the dirty look that Tony sent Peter was definitely worth any white lie he came up with.

"No," Pepper sighed as she walked up behind them, "You cannot make the Tower gold, Tony."

"I think I'm going to turn the Tower gold."


Peter chuckled at them as his curious eyes scanned the extravagant foyer they entered in, the many people dressed in clothing much fancier than what Peter and the others were wearing. He felt something he hadn't in a long time... underdressed. But Tony and Pepper didn't seem to mind as they just strolled along to a pair of metal doors that opened at their arrival, Peter awkwardly shuffling in after them.

"Jarvis," Tony said as the doors closed behind them, "We're going to do a DNA scan once we get to the workshop, so have everything set up for me."

"Right away, sir."

Peter jumped a bit, eyes wide as he looked around the metal box they were in. He didn't see anyone else, no other person that voice could have belonged to. But when he heard Tony chuckle, looking over to see that even Pepper was smiling, he knew that this disembodied voice was common for them.

"Yeah," Tony started, hiding his amusement behind a cough, "Jarvis has that effect on newcomers. You'll get used to him. Though, I'm kinda shocked," There was a ding as the metal doors opened again. Tony got out first, but he walked backwards to talk to Peter, "They don't have artificial intelligence where you're from with all those gold buildings?"

"I'm pretty sure my grandfather would say I'm artificial enough for the whole kingdom." It was meant as a joke, Peter laughed at his own expense, but a look at his companions told him they didn't seem to think it was as funny as him. If Peter wasn't so good at reading emotions and hidden glances, he'd have missed the way Tony's eyes darkened. But the man turned around to walk normally, hiding the emotion from the group.

"Gramps doesn't like you too much, huh?"

"He thinks I was a mistake to take in, told my dad that I didn't belong there. The first time I met him he said that my dad should have left me in the orphanage; he would have sent me back if my grandmother and dad didn't stick up for me." Peter smiled faintly as he looked down at his feet, "Dad said he'd leave and never come back if the Allfather tried to take me away, and my grandmother had helped my dad raise me in secret for seven years so she didn't want us to disappear... She backed us up, made sure I got an education, that I got a place to stay in the palace. He may not care for a lot of people, but the Allfather does love his queen, so he let me stay. Though he never held back from telling me just what he thought of me and my Midgardian blood..."

There was a beat of silence before Tony patted his shoulder. "Sorry, kid."

Peter shrugged, meeting his eyes. "When you grow up with someone like him, you get used to it pretty quickly. Besides, my dad, uncle, and grandmother love me enough to make up for him."

Pepper smiled at him, both of her hands going onto his shoulders as they walked into Tony's office, "It's good that you have them. It sounds like they have good taste." She winked at him and he giggled.

"Now," Tony took their attention again, "Jarvis will scan you to get a sample of your DNA so we can find your family here. It'll be painless and over in less than a minute."

Peter nodded as he went to the spot on the floor that was indicated to him, his nerves starting to build up. Odin had seemed so sure that Midgardians weren't as advanced in technology as them, so this DNA scan wouldn't be high-tech enough to tell he wasn't fully Midgardian... Hopefully. His grandmother told him that, even though the Royal family had visited Midgard before and were revered as gods, stories of them and their kind had far since faded into legends and myths. He wasn't sure how they'd react knowing that they weren't the same species.

A blue light came down from the ceiling, engulfing him and twirling around him. Peter started at it, staring with wide eyes at the place it came from above him. "So cool..."

Just as quickly as it had come, the light shut off, the disembodied voice from earlier coming through. "The scan has been completed. I will begin processing the data and searching records now."

"Thank you, Jarvis." Tony leaned up against his desk, picking a random object off it and tossing it between his hands. "Now we let him do his thing, and you'll know all that you want to about your Midgardian bloodline. Though before I give it to you... just, tell me what the hell does Midgardian mean? You've used it a couple times, but it's not a race I'm familiar with. Jarvis ran a search in the background about it and all he came up with was a magazine and an anglicized old Norse legend. And I seriously doubt you were talking about your 'magazine blood' earlier."

Peter took a deep breath, his hands fidgeting with his sleeves as he avoided the suddenly steeled gaze of Tony. Out of everything he was worried about, it never occurred to him that Midgardians didn't call themselves that... Or, for that matter, how strange it would be for them with him saying that he was only half of their race. But Tony seemed more advanced than the others, he could be able to handle the fact that Peter wasn't one of his kind.

Before he could reach a decision, whether to come clean to Tony and Pepper, another woman interrupted.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Stark, but Agent Coulson is here to see you; he says it's urgent."

Tony rolled his eyes, suppressing a groan in a way that threatened a laugh to escape from Peter. "It's always urgent with him. Tell him I'm not in, that I'm away in the Bahamas or something."

"When you try the same excuse every time," A new voice said, a man walking in behind the woman, "they aren't really that believable anymore."

"Phil," Pepper smiled in greeting, nodding her head to him warmly. "I'd hate to keep you waiting, but we are in the middle of something here..."

He smiled back, with just a touch of regret in his eyes. "I'm sorry, but it really is urgent this time. There was a blip on our scanners earlier today and we really need Stark to look at it. It could be a matter of Earth protection."

"Great..." Tony sighed, pushing off the desk. He tossed the knick-knack to Peter, some kind of ball made with rubber strings. "Wait here, kid. We aren't done yet."

Peter watched them go, closing the door behind. He fiddled with the ball in his hands for a time, wondering if he should just try to make his escape now and not deal with this mess. He was sure the Allfather wouldn't be happy with him revealing himself to the Midgardians... With that thought, even his dad would probably be upset about it.

Letting out a groan, Peter started pacing the room. He could try to leave? Find a way to sneak out of the room without being caught and make a run for the ground floor. There had to be a set of stairs somewhere instead of the metal box he came up in.

His mind made up, Peter went to put the rubber ball back on Tony's desk, feeling only a little regret, when the door opened again. He stiffened, afraid he'd been caught, when a voice he didn't know shouted in surprise.

"What the hell are you doing in here?"

Peter blinked, turning to see a very angry-looking man marching towards him, a hand reaching out for him. "Uh, Tony told me to wait here for-"

"You honestly think I'll believe that? That you're on a first-name basis with Tony Stark and he just left you in his office alone?" The man grabbed the shoulder fabric of his shirt and started pulling him along. "This is why I hate field trips...! All these kids thinking they can get away with anything they want just because they're from some fancy school! Back in my day, if I ever tried something as stupid as that, I'd be arrested! Tony Stark isn't what he used to be... Letting kids get away with stuff..."

Peter zoned the man out, looking around the area for Tony or Pepper, or even Happy. He wanted to leave, but not with this angry man! Who knew where he was being taken! The floor was empty of the three adults though, just a few lower-class workers watching them with curiosity. Peter blushed and ducked his head; just what he wanted... more attention.

"Harrington!" The man suddenly shouted, causing Peter to jump and look up. Ahead of them was a group of other Midgardians that looked about his age, as well as a few adults. Peter's eyes widened, was he going to be put with a group of mortals his age and left? Was he being sent to an orphanage? Oh, his dad was going to kill him...

The group turned to see Peter and the man, confused expressions coming over the adults. "Yes?"

"I found one of your kids in Mr. Stark's office! Keep a better eye on them next time or I'm kicking him out!" The man let go of Peter, shoving him towards the group before leaving as fast as he had come, ignoring the hesitant calls from the man Peter assumed was named Harrington.

It was quiet for a time as Peter awkwardly shifted, looking over to the group with a shy smile and a little wave. "Uh... hi?"

"Hi..." Harrington's eyes glanced around before looking back to Peter. "So uh... You're not in my class."

"N-no... I was in a um... a meeting with Tony when he stepped out and that man saw me, I think he must have thought snuck into his office." Peter saw how some of their eyes widened at that, feeling the blush darken on his face. "I'll- I'll just go. I can go back, I'm sorry to bother you."

"No," Harrington offered a small smile, making a welcoming gesture to the other students. "If he catches you again, I'm sure it'll lead to a lot of trouble for you. You can stay with us for now, Mr. Stark will probably come looking for you once he realizes you're missing."

Peter glanced at the others again before swallowing thickly. He had a point... Peter really didn't run into that angry man again. With a reluctant sigh, he nodded. The group seemed happy about it, the other teenagers especially. They seemed to want to talk to him, but Harrington told them to leave him alone unless they wanted to stay after class for a week helping him clean the classroom.

The group carried on with their tour, and surprisingly, Peter actually found it interesting. Apparently Tony was the previous CEO (whatever that meant) to one of the biggest technology companies on Midgard (which Peter now knew the mortals called Earth). Tony was claimed to be one of the smartest people on Earth as well, and that he only hired the best to work for him. Then he became even more famous when he built a suit of iron that let him fly and defeat all sorts of bad guys.

He was a hero that helped people.

Peter smiled at that idea. It suited him.

As they continued through the tour, Peter taking in all the information and Midgardian technology he could, he noticed a pair of boys to the back of the group. He watched them from the corner of his eye, his curiosity peaked by their exchange.

One of the two seemed to be teasing the other, bigger one. The bigger boy had his arms tucked around himself, head down, trying to avoid the other boy as much as he could but still getting cornered by him. Peter's advanced hearing picked up the insults, picked up the taunting and humiliation.

He wasn't well-versed in Midgardian customs, their exchange could simply be a normal thing between these humans. But Peter was well-versed in bullying and shaming, and there was nothing he hated more.

Hanging back a bit in the group as they walked, Peter was soon walking alongside the two. The bully hadn't noticed him yet, but the other did, his head lifting slightly in curiosity. The change in posture caught the bully's attention, his back straightening as he turned to see Peter. The boy's entire demeanor changed, putting on a large and very fake smile, eyes filling with arrogance, and shoulders relaxing.

"Hey, you're the kid that was meeting with Tony Stark. That's awesome, man."

Peter nodded a bit, a polite smile on his face. "Thank you, I've heard it's a cool thing. Though you have to excuse me, I'm not from around here, but I just have to know... Is it normal?"

The other boy's head lowered again, but they both had confused expressions. "Is what normal?"

"Being a complete ass." The smile dropped, Peter's eyes turning cold. Though a smirk did work its way back to his face at the surprised looks from the two. "I mean, that's what you are, right? What else could you be but an ass for insulting someone about their weight? Even the bullies where I'm from don't stoop so low."

"How dare you-"

"To be honest," Peter interrupted, looking around the hallway nonchalantly, "I don't think Tony would really support this kind of behavior either. Do you?"

The bully's mouth hung open for a second, eyes wide. It seemed he wasn't used to people talking back to him. But then his mouth clicked shut, his eyebrows narrowing, and he let out a huff before stomping back to the group; Peter laughing quietly as he watched him go.

"Hey, um..." The other boy started, voice meek and hesitant, "Thank you for that."

"No problem," Peter offered him a smile. "He seemed like he needed to get knocked down a peg or two. I'm Peter by the way."

"I'm Ned," A smile making its way across his face. "And yeah, Flash is a bully that cares about no one but himself."

"His name's Flash?" Peter laughed a bit, "No wonder he acts like that, his parents screwed everyone over when they gave him that name."

Ned laughed as well, his posture starting to relax. Peter hung with him throughout the tour, Ned explaining a lot of the science behind Tony's inventions that they were allowed to see and Peter being surprised that he could understand it. The science of the humans was almost the same as the Asgardians, just under different names. It was incredible... Odin was wrong.

It was fun. Peter had never spent time around others his age before, from the main lack of teenagers in the palace. But Ned was easy to get along with even with Peter's lack of experience interacting with teenagers; the two of them clicked in a way that Peter hadn't felt in a long time. It filled a void in his chest; even if he didn't understand the many references Ned made, Peter still was able to laugh when Ned would freak out over the smallest of things. With promises to "properly educate" Peter, Ned continued his references.

It had been quite a while since Peter had joined the group of students when they arrived at a display of spiders. A part of him was surprised that Tony hadn't come looking for him, after all, he did tell Peter to wait in his office. But Peter was unconcerned as he stared at the arachnids, listening to the tour guide explain how they would hopefully help impact humanity one day.

"So cool..." He heard Ned whisper, Peter turning to respond when he felt something on his hand.

He just looked down to see a spider crawling on him before a very familiar noise came from behind him. There was a blast of cold air, Peter's spine straightening and his eyes widening as he slowly turned around, barely registering the sting on his hand.

There, a green portal behind him and highlighting the angry frown on his face, was Loki.

The students all gasped and backed away from him, Ned reaching out for Peter's arm to pull him back, but froze when Loki turned to pin him with a glare. Peter was quick to get in front of Ned; though he craved to show his dad the fire he showed Flash for messing with his new friend, Peter could manage no more than a sheepish grin and wave while under that deadly stare.

"Hi, dad..."

Loki said nothing, his eyes giving away nothing. He simply stood aside and pointed towards the portal, and Peter knew then that he was in more trouble than he anticipated. He sent an apologetic look to Ned before hurrying into his dad's portal.

A part of him realized as he shifted through space, he left his bag in Tony's office... He was probably never going to see his stuffed wolf again.

He stumbled onto the other side of the portal, nearly falling to his knees if his dad's cold hand hadn't held onto his arm. Peter swallowed thickly as he kept his head down, letting his mind adjust to the shift it just went through so that the world would stop spinning.

"Peter," Loki started, his voice low and deadly, "What were you thinking? Traveling to Midgard through one of the back ways? I showed you that passage for emergencies only! But instead, you use it just to be spiteful! You could have been hurt! You could have lost concentration and been dumped on a world too dangerous for you, what if you were in trouble and I wouldn't have known! I wouldn't have made it in time to save you!"

There was a layer of desperation in Loki's voice that Peter felt guilty over, but his head was spinning too fast for him to really truly think on it. Was it not supposed to slow down with time?

"And furthermore, you picked one of the most dangerous cities on Midgard! They aren't strong enough to kill you, I know that much, but they could cause serious harm if they wanted." Cold hands gripped his shoulders, Loki kneeling in front of him to be on eye-level. "Look at me, Peter, let me know that you understand this was wrong! I know I hurt you, but this was not the way to handle it! Look at me!"

Peter tried, really he did, but his eyes wouldn't focus, and he could barely register his mind enough to make his body move. Darkness was creeping in faster than he would have expected, a soft groan the only warning Loki had before his legs went out and he was sent into the pit of unconsciousness.

Loki's eyes widened, his arms wrapping around his son before he could hit the floor. The worry he felt before for Peter's well-being tripled into panic for this unknown cause of unconsciousness. He lifted Peter, quickly rushing from the room and heading to the Healers.

A part of his mind remembered to send out illusions of himself to his mother and Thor, letting them know what had happened.

He made it to the healing room in record time, demanding their attention as he set Peter on the bed of the Soul Forge. Eir seemed surprised but quickly called the others into work on the young prince.

Loki stood by the wall, watching with worried eyes as the Soul Forge began to work. What had happened to him while on Midgard? He was fairly certain that nothing there would be able to kill Peter, half-blooded though he may be. Could he have been wrong? There had been rumors throughout the Nine Realms that the mortals of Midgard were advancing faster than they ever had. Some were sure it wouldn't be long until they began space travel. Could they have advanced far enough to be a real threat to Peter?

Frigga and Thor joined him shortly before Peter's diagnosis was shown, his mother grabbing onto his arm as they watched the verdict.

As the molecular structure of Peter's body filled the space above him, Loki and Thor swore, one quiet and one loud, as their mother sucked in a gasp.

There was an infection that was spreading all over Peter's body, from his toes to his head. The infection covered almost all of his molecular structure to the point where there was hardly any golden dust left visible.

"Eir," Frigga called, her eyes still glued to her grandson's infection, "What is this? How can we heal him?"

"I..." The Healer hesitated, her eyes wide as well, "I have never seen anything like this in all my time as a Healer. I will do what I can, exhaust every resource available to me before I am able to give you a definitive answer."

Loki tore his eyes away from the infection, looking down at the pained face of his son. Sweat had broken out over his skin, his eyebrows pushed together in a clear sign of distress, quiet whimpers coming from his parted lips.

"This is my fault..." Loki murmured, ignoring the hands of his mother and brother. "If I wouldn't have yelled at him, he wouldn't have thought it necessary to run away. This never would have happened if I had just denied father and stayed with him as he wanted of me. The war was over so long ago... I could have come home then, ignored the Allfather's orders. His anger is nothing compared to Peter's wellness."

"Loki, my son," Frigga sighed, her warm hand rubbing his arm while the other cupped his cheek and brought him to face her. "You mustn't blame your absence for this. Thoughts like those will do no one any good. We must concentrate on helping Peter now, then the two of you can have your long-awaited talk to straighten things out." She patted his cheek before nodding to Thor, "I will go consult my books, see if I can find anything to help him."

The brothers nodded mutely as she left, leaving them alone in the silence of the Healers.

"Where was he?" Thor finally asked, his voice unusually quiet. "Was he in danger? Has Midgard become dangerous for him?"

Loki shook his head, swallowing as he recalled the scene he teleported into. "No... He was fine. There was a group of other children about his age that he was with. I scared them when I arrived, one trying to pull Peter back... But when I was about to attack him, Peter guarded him, stood in front of the boy, and protected him from me. His only distress seemed to be from me... There were no other threats that I could tell of."

"It must have been something from before you arrived then... I will go investigate, make them tell me what they did to him-"

"No." Loki sighed, his head bowing, "Leave them. Peter seemed to take a fondness for the Midgardians, he would never forgive you if you attacked them."

Thor considered it, crossing his arms as he began to pace. "Then how will we discover what happened to him?"

"He will awaken," Loki's voice was low as he lifted his head just enough to see Peter. "That I am sure of. And then he will tell me everything that happened."

Despite his verbal confidence, Loki felt his hope fading as the hours passed with no improvement and a rising fever. He stayed by Peter's side through the night and ignored Odin's calls for him and Thor. Word would have reached him by now of Peter's... adventure and Loki knew he would take the opportunity to send Peter back. As well as wanting to send him back into another war despite their earlier conversation of Loki no longer doing his dirty work so far from home.

With his fever continuing to rise, Peter had to be placed into a special care room where the Healers and his mother used their magic and abilities in an attempt to bring his temperature down. But it just seemed to make him worse...

Loki was at his wit's end, preparing himself to go to Midgard with Thor to find out just what happened, when the fever broke and Peter woke up. The wave of relief that had washed over Loki was stronger than anything he had felt before - aside from the time the Frost Giants had taken Peter hostage after making him think he was dead.

But when Peter opened his eyes, it was like everything melted away.

"Dad...?" His weak voice asked, face buried in Loki's shoulder and body wrapped in his arms.

Loki swallowed thickly, taking a deep breath to compose himself before pulling back. "You had us all worried, it's unlike you to get sick so suddenly and so severely. Thor nearly went to Midgard to find out what they did to you."

"No...!" Peter pushed himself to sit up, eyes wide with panic. "Please, they didn't do anything...! I'm not sure why I got sick, but it wasn't the humans!"

"Calm yourself, child." Loki's hand went to his shoulder, gently pushing him back down to the bed. "Your mortal friends are safe... as long as you tell me what happened."

The anxiety that had started to leave Peter's face was back in full effect, his eyes averting to look down at his lap. Loki's hand slid from his shoulder to the back of his neck, his thumb just under his chin and lifting his head back up. "What I told you yesterday morning was wrong as well, and I cannot apologize enough for it. You are the greatest thing that's happened to me, I never want to lose you. I am so sorry that I hurt you... that I let my emotions get the better of me. But I know you know it was wrong to run away like that. You've always said the universe would be a better place if everyone just talked out their problems, but how can we talk about this if you aren't here to talk? And then using my passageways by yourself? I'm honestly not sure how you actually made it to Midgard, especially in one piece. When I found you were gone and Heimdall couldn't see you, I had never been so scared in my life. What if something happened to you? I don't know what I'd do with myself if you were gone... And then you got sick. Even the Healers weren't sure what caused your infection. Do you have any idea how terrifying it is to not be able to watch the most important person to you possibly dying and not even the best Healers know what to do? Knowing that there was nothing I could do to stop the pain you were feeling? I hope that you never experience what I did. And I never want to again either. So in order to make sure that doesn't happen, I have to know what happened on Midgard that made you sick, Peter."

The boy let out a sigh, his shoulders slumping as he tilted his head back down. Loki had a point, and as much as he wanted to keep his adventure to himself, he knew it would be best to tell him. So he recounted the story, telling his dad about Tony and Pepper and Happy and Ned, he told him about the park and weird vehicles and riding in a metal box in one of the coolest buildings he'd ever seen. And when he went on to tell him of the technology in Stark Tower, he paused for a second, looking at his dad with the brightest eyes.

"The Allfather used to tell me that the Midgardians were stupid, that they were so far behind us and so primitive. He made them out to be a step above animals, dad... But they aren't." Peter let out a nervous laugh, his energy bubbling up as he recounted the inventions he'd seen. "They're so smart. Tony is the smartest person on Midgard they said, he created a suit of armor that lets him fly and he fights bad guys; a mortal that acts like uncle Thor! And even the others Midgardians that are my age knew about the science behind Tony's inventions! My Midgardian blood isn't a hindrance to me...! It's not dirty-"

"What?" Peter had never seen his dad's eyes narrow so quickly before, causing his breath to catch in his chest.


"Peter," That low voice was dangerous, Peter knew someone was in trouble and he wasn't sure who... "Did Odin tell you that your Midgardian blood was dirty?"

A hesitant nod was his response, and Loki let out an aggravated breath as he abruptly stood up and began to pace. Peter watched him, hands fidgeting with his clothes. "I'm sorry..."

"No. Do not apologize. None of this is on you. I knew father didn't like the mortals, but to tell you..."

"He didn't really... I- He..." Peter swallowed as he glanced up at him. "The Allfather didn't go out of his way to talk to me. But he did heavily influence my tutors..."

Loki sighed, running a hand through his hair as he went back to Peter's bedside, wrapping his arms around Peter. "Your Midgardian blood is not dirty. I didn't know your mother for long, but I do know she was a strong woman and would not hesitate to fight Odin for what he said."


"I would not have chosen her if she was any less."

Peter smiled a bit as he leaned his head against Loki's shoulder. He couldn't remember the last time they had relaxed together like this... No arguing, no rushing off to fight in wars that had nothing to do with him, no royal standards to live by. Just a father and son. It felt nice...

But all too soon, Loki pulled away, looking him in the eyes and hands going to his shoulders. "I promise that things are going to get better. I spoke with Odin yesterday, telling him that I wasn't going to be fighting his battles so far from Asgard now; that I am going to be staying home a lot more so that I can help teach you. I'll speak with him again about your tutors as well, hire some that teach you properly in my absence. And maybe... someday in the future, we can go back to Midgard together. Let you get to know your other half better."


Loki smiled, nodding his head and pressing his forehead against Peter's. "Really."

Peter felt a warmth spreading through his chest as he closed his eyes and leaned against his father, enjoying the happiness. Things were finally looking up for him, working out in a way he had long since lost hope for.

But there was a new problem that decided to show up and he wasn't sure how to tell Loki. His dad's new schedule wasn't the only change happening in their family... The newly super-enhanced hearing and sight made sure of that.

Peter felt a giddiness building up in him, eager to see what else had changed about him.

A/N: Poll time! While I have a few ideas for the Asgardian Peter story arc, there's also an idea building for a chapter with No Way Home spoilers after the emotional damage that caused me. I realize not everyone has seen NWH yet so I'd hate for them to miss out on a chapter because of that... So you get to decide!

A new chapter that contains spoilers but released sooner.

Or two new chapters, one with spoilers and one with the Asgardian Peter, that takes longer to release but gives people who haven't seen NWH the ability to read a new chapter.

There may also be little chapters strewn throughout, stories with 1000 or less words because the ideas can't fit into actual chapters. I definitely have a few of those... But please let me know what you'd prefer, or I'm going to stick to posting one chapter at a time.

I hope you all enjoyed this chapter and love Asgardian Peter as much as I do! I tried keeping Peter as true to his character as I could while also changing what would be different under his circumstances. Growing up as Loki's son, he'd definitely have a smart mouth, but I think Odin would also give him trauma and conditioning. Hopefully I was able to merge them all together...

The room was dark, the only light coming from a dull blue glow in the center. A DNA strand was highlighted in front of Tony, while a video clip of a man coming and leaving with Peter through what could only be a portal played on a screen next to it.

Tony stared, running a hand through his hair. "Jarvis, run testing again."

"Sir, I've been running the same test for the last two days... I don't think it's going to change this time."

Tony let out a sigh, pushing back in his chair and looking up at the ceiling. "Huh... I can hardly believe it. I knew there was something about the kid, but... For him to be part alien? That's... it's insane."

"So your technology really could detect that." A voice spoke from behind him, Tony jerking as he twisted around to see.

"Holy shi-" Tony's hand went over his heart, staring with wide eyes as Peter stood behind him.

"I need your help."