This story takes places September 2012, approximately four months after the Battle of New York. It assumes that all movies after The Avengers (2012) have not occurred and that Thor did not take Loki back to Asgard as transpires at the end of said film. I do not own the Avengers, I just write about them.


CHAPTER ONE

"...and with all your crimes against humanity, the council, who stand before you as a liaison of the United Nations in this unprecedented intergalactic trial, have come to find Loki Laufeyson of Asgard guilty of manslaughter along with destruction of property, threatening the safety of the human race, inciting an intergalactic war…"

The list continued on as the spectators in the courtroom held their breath in anticipation. Among those were the Avengers, Earth's mightiest heroes, who were seated behind the defense team. While they had no hand in providing Loki any defense, Thor wished to be close to his brother which meant everyone was going to be sitting with him.

The last four months had been a blur for everyone on the team. The month of May had brought the Battle of New York and all the trouble that came with bringing Loki down. While the day had ended in victory, the journey had only begun for the group who was riding high off their first victory as a team.

First, it had been the question of what to do with Loki now that he was in custody. Thor, being the forgiving man that he was, had vouched for his brother with the promise to return him to Asgard where he would be trialed by the Asgardian justice system, which Thor promised to be "just and honorable." Most of the team favored this plan if just to get the villainous god off of their planet, but the CIA in conjunction with SHIELD had demanded that Loki be tried on Earth. In a matter of days, Nick Fury had arrived to the front door of Stark's Malibu mansion, which had been serving as the Avengers headquarters until the tower was renovated, to share that the United Nations had been called to construct a new form of trial seeing that there had never before been an Alien threat of such caliber on Earth.

Thor had immediately reached for Mjonir in protest. It took Steve and Tony in the Iron Man suit to get him to stand down.

"I understand he is your brother, Thor," Fury said, taking a cautionary step forward, "but what is done is done. He declared war when he killed innocent people and he will be tried here on Earth. I am asking for all of your help to bring him to justice."

Clint had immediately volunteered and Tony had promised that both his and Banner's services were at SHIELD's disposal. Bruce, at the time, had been keeping his distance from the team as a safety precaution. He was convinced that his time during the Battle of New York had been a fluke and was determined to be in full control by the time he fought side by side with his teammates again.

Fuming, Thor had left the living room, escaping to the basement where his temporary living quarters were. Steve had run after him but quickly resurfaced to announce that the god had flown out through the car hangar doors. They didn't see him again until trials began almost two weeks later. Although Fury was fearful that Thor would not hesitate to cause a commotion in the courtroom, the god stayed silent and observant through every trial.

Second was the question of how to best keep Loki locked up for what was seemingly going to be a long time. Bruce, once he had deemed himself fit to return, had personally reached out to Thor for help on the construction of such a cell. With his knowledge of Loki's abilities and word from Banner that the space would be comfortable as it was practical as a prison, a cell in the basement of SHIELD's New York facility was made. The team originally had no access to the cell other than Banner in the event that maintenance was needed. After a few thunderstorms and choice words from Thor that left even Tony with his jaw on the floor, the team had been allowed visiting hours. Unsurprisingly, Thor was the only one that had ever been down to visit.

It had been months of trials, first hand accounts from the Avengers, SHIELD agents, civilians, photographic and scientific evidence, videos- countless amounts of evidence that painted Loki as the villain they had all seen back when everything began.

Clint was having the hardest time since he was often brought in for questioning about his time under Loki's control. There were nights the others could hear crying coming from his room. As a team, they never addressed it but Clint found it comforting when he would wake up in the morning to find a pitcher of coffee already made on the counter or a box of Dunkin' Donuts with his name scribbled on the box.

The part that was making the trials longer was the lack of understanding of how the universe was much bigger than planet Earth. Thor had spoken in court on several occasions explaining the nine realms as had Dr. Erik Selvig and Dr. Jane Foster. Bruce and Tony had even done a presentation on the tesseract and the power it possessed. But even after all this time, a verdict had yet to be made.

Until today.

Steve kept side-eyeing Thor nervously while Tony was whispering to Bruce on the other side. Clint was wringing out his hands over and over again in his lap, looking at anything but the trial in motion. Natasha had both her arms crossed as she stared directly at Loki, looking less of a god now in his black jumpsuit with chains binding his hands and legs. His hair had grown out in his months in prison which accented Loki's thin face, a possible indication of his lack of nutrition. However, Natasha was most drawn in by his eyes. Recalling their encounter back on the hellicarrier, she remembered a ferocity and unhinged energy that haunted her for sometime after the fact. Now, there was nothing but a man who looked as though he would happily accept death.

How she hadn't noticed before was beyond her but it tied into the the third problem everyone had been facing about Loki- something was different about the man.

Since his capture in Stark Tower, Loki had been slow to rise until there was no rise at all. Reports from agents keeping watch at his cell had reported minimal to no talking and a lack of motivation to eat or sleep. Even Thor, who was weary to share about his visits when Clint or Tony were in the room, had mentioned that his younger brother seemed unrecognizable.

The judge cleared her throat, bringing the room once again to a buzzing silence. Clint instinctively grabbed Natasha's hand and felt her squeeze back in response.

"Today we set the stage for how we conduct diplomacy as it moves into realms we have to comprehend. For the crimes previously stated, the international court finds the defendant guilt and sentences Loki of Asgard to death."

Thor immediately shouted in protest but he was drowned out by the ruckus that ensued. The media was clamoring for a photo opportunity as they spewed questions left and right at the god of mischief. The security guards were holding back spectators as they hurled insults at the 'alien terrorist' that had destroyed Manhattan only four months ago. Behind the defense team the Avengers were on their feet, trying to hold back the god of thunder who was rushing towards the stand..

That is all of them except Natasha- who stood watching as the Norse god stood with no expression on his face. Instead, he bowed his head to the floor and silently waited for his escort off the floor.

Something was wrong.