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Animal Therapy

Chapter 2

Agent Maria Hill watched in well hidden awe as one of the most impressive staring contests she'd ever seen took place on the monitor before her.

Maria had been a little disbelieving when Fury had told her to call Professor Xavier. All they had on him in their files was that he was a well known telepathic mutant, had a few degrees, and that he ran a school for "the gifted". It was all very vague. But she trusted Fury and despite her recent questioning of his decisions, she believed he knew what he was doing. That is, until Xavier came rolling onto the command deck in a tricked out wheelchair, being pushed by a guy with the fanciest sunglasses she'd ever seen.

That's when she began to question Fury's sanity.

But now, as she watches Xavier calmly stare down one of the most obviously unhinged men she's ever laid eyes on, she can't help but feel some respect. To look into a gaze that dark and smile politely as if exchanging idle chit chat about the weather... Maria had to admit, that took guts.

To her left, Thor leaned anxiously against the console, his eyes fixated on his younger "brother". On her right, straight backed and alert stood who she now knew to be Scott Summers. He seemed rather at ease but she could tell just below the surface, he was waiting for something to go wrong. As if on cue, Summers suddenly shifted forward with a sharp intake of breath.

"Something's happening."

'Finally', Maria thought as she swiftly turned back to the screen. They'd been waiting for over two hours and neither Professor nor God had so much as twitched the entire time.

Loki had slowly tilted his head to the side, eyes still locked on the Professor as a horrible smile crept across his face. It was obvious he was waiting for some kind of reaction as he eyed Xavier. But the older gentleman merely cocked an eyebrow and continued to hold his venomous gaze. Loki's eyes narrowed.

And thus the staring contest continued.

Well then.

They clearly weren't getting out of here anytime soon. Maria reclined in her seat with a sigh. Beside her, the two concerned men shifted into more comfortable positions. This was going to take longer than she'd originally anticipated.

Xavier rolled out an hour and a half later, the very picture of ease. As if he hadn't just participated in a mental pissing contest with the God of Lies. Summers was immediately across the room, leaning down to speak into the older man's ear.

Fury strolled in not a moment later, all intimidating glare and sweeping leather coat. He made a beeline for the two mutants, coming to a stop a mere foot away from the pair. "Well?"

The Professor took a deep breath, gathering himself as he looks up to meet Fury. "Your prisoner is not insane. Just deeply angered by events from his recent past. He is however, unstable, if you catch my meaning. Be sure, you can expect hostile and erratic behavior toward your people. He has a very low opinion of everyone aboard this vessel and will not hesitate to harm them if the opportunity presents itself. He'll try to escape and if he does, he will cause a rather significant amount of damage."

"Well that's just great." Fury snarked as he glared at Thor who, during this little report, had begun to shift from foot to foot, guiltily avoiding eyes. "Alright," Fury continues a little more tamely, "how about you tell us something we don't know."

"To be quite frank Director, your prisoner needs therapy. Extensive psychological therapy." Oh, Professor X is enjoying this. She can just see it in his eyes. The man's deeply amused.

"Therapy? What exactly are you suggesting they do to my brother?" Thor cut in, speaking for the first time since Xavier has arrived. The God is clearly out of his element.

"You're telling me they don't have therapy on Asgard?" Fury asks in disbelief. At the shake of Thor's head Fury sighs and looks up at the ceiling in annoyance. "Why am I not surprised?" he mutters. "And you call yourselves more advanced…"

"Therapy," Cyclops spoke up when it becomes evident no one else was going to, "is usually when someone who has issues, mental or emotional, sits down with an outside party and talks about it. It's sort of a common practice here." he finished lamely.

"Ah, we have no such practice on Asgard. I do not see how this will help my brother through his hatred. For I have attempted to speak with him many a time and he has done naught but become more enraged." Thor, the poor guy, looked a bit hopeless now. Hill casually glanceed at her watch. She really has better things to be doing than feeling bad for the God of Thunder.

"Exactly," Scott agreed, "You need to want to get better for something like that to work, and Loki clearly has no intention toward anything of the sort." He shrugged his shoulders with a quirk of his mouth. "I don't even see why you should bother. I'm sorry Thor but the guy's a lost cause."

"And what exactly am I supposed to do with him then?" Fury demanded. "We can't just keep him here." The Director looked more and more defeated with every passing second. They really shouldn't be dealing with this nonsense.

Maria figured now was as good a time as any to put her two cents in. "You're right sir, we don't have the time, resources, or manpower to keep Loki contained indefinitely. There are much more pressing matters we should be attending to than babysitting a rogue god."

"Perhaps I have a solution you may find acceptable?" Xavier piped up, a small smile on his face. Well this ought to be good.

"I'm all ears." Fury huffed.

"One of the newer additions to my team has just returned from a mission. As of right now, she appears to have a clear schedule for the foreseeable future. If you would like, I could assign her to guard Loki. She would be able to stay here with him and watch over him as need be. I don't think he would respond well to a regular therapist, especially one under your control. But maybe an outsider would be less of a threat to him?" The Professor was looking increasingly pleased with himself. He couldn't possibly be suggesting they get Loki a playmate.

"Professor you can't be serious." Cyclops took the word right out of Maria's mouth.

"Oh I'm but I am."

"That's actually not that bad an idea." Fury muttered and really? He was actually going along with this? And there went any and all faith Maria may have had in their fearless leader. "Who exactly would you be sending and what are her qualifications?"

"Her name is Teigan Lane." Cyclops grouched out. "She's in her early twenties and has only been with us for a short while. However she has proven herself more than capable on several occasions."

"But is she qualified?"

This cannot actually be happening. They are not hiring a mutant to babysit Loki.

"Believe me Director," Xavier leaned forward in his chair, meeting everyone's eyes and pausing, clearly for dramatic effect.

"She's very qualified."

Screw it, Maria thought, we're all going to hell.

AN: Fun Fact - My OC Teigan is named after and dedicated to my new baby cousin. Please Review! Questions, comments and constructive criticism are always welcome! Thanks for reading!