Disclaimer: All rights belong to Marvel. I own nothing and no profit is being made.
Rating and Warnings: Mature. Contains violence, language, alcohol/drug references, and sexual situations.
Author's Memo: The first chapter of my daemons!AU fic. Artwork for which can be found in my main gallery.
"I knew I'd find you here."
Loki didn't startle at his mother's voice. Of all the people of Asgard only she and Thor still approached him. Still spoke to him. He looked up as she sat in the grass next to him her beautiful nightingale daemon, Hallren, perched on her shoulder.
"How did you know that," he asked as his own daemon, Thazium, peeked out from beneath his legs but did not venture from his hiding spot. "Even Thor has yet to find me here."
Frigg smiled. "Your brother is the one who told me where you were."
Loki looked at her in shock and she patted his hand.
"Thor has been giving you space, Loki," she explained as Hallren nodded his agreement. "He wants to rebuild the relationship you shared but is uncertain of how to do so."
"What he wants is to have back the brother he remembers," Loki snapped hotly, his gaze returning the figures just down the hill. "I am not that man any longer."
Frigg nodded, her gaze following her son's. "I know that, darling, and one day Thor will as well. You do not have to be the brother he remembers, you just have to be his brother."
"But I'm not."
"You are." Frigg looked at him again. "Blood means very little when there is love and part of you still cares for him, Loki. If not you would have bled him on Midgard, not wounded."
Loki frowned, his fingers tangling in Thazium's fur. Weeks earlier he had not had that simple comfort. Thazium had been taken from him, the bond stretched by Thanos with magic far darker than any that Loki would willingly use. It had only been Thor's courage and desire to see them reunited that had brought Thazium back.
"I know your separation from Thazium poisoned your mind," Frigg said softly, her hand curling around Loki's in a mother's gesture of love and comfort. "We all know it now. Even Thor's friends on Midgard."
"Yet I am still a criminal."
"Thor is working on having that changed."
Loki looked at her with wide eyes. "What? Why?" He shook his head. "Why would he
"Because he loves you, Loki." Frigg smiled at her son as she squeezed his hand. "As do I and your Father."
Loki huffed a bit as his gaze slid back to those distant figures. "He should hate me. You should all hate me."
"Is that what you thought would happen? You would return home only to be hated?"
Loki didn't reply because he knew his mother was already aware of the answer. They sat in silence for a while, watching the distant figures, before Hallren spoke.
"Why do you watch them every day?" The nightingale looked at Loki curiously, his sweet voice like one of his many songs.
Loki's hand stopped carding through Thazium's fur, just behind the fox' ears, and he wasn't surprised when Thazium's head turned, muzzle pressing comfortingly into his palm. He didn't want to answer, he wanted to keep this secret, and it was one of the few that remained his and his alone. But when his mother looked at him, her eyes as imploring as her daemon's, he found himself sighing softly.
"They remind me of someone."
Hallren chirped softly, his feathers twitching with excitement. "Someone special?"
Loki couldn't have stopped himself from smiling if he tried. "Yes, Hallren, someone special."
Frigg hummed softly. "Someone on Midgard, darling?"
Loki glanced at her briefly, before his gaze was quickly drawn to the figures again. "Yes," he said softly, memories dancing through his mind's eye as sharply as though they were happening now. "Yes, they were of Midgard."
His heart leapt as he watched an arrow fly.
Clint set his duffle bags down and looked around the rather large room Tony had designated as his. The place was bigger than his previously owned apartment. It even had is own little kitchen and living room. Apparently when Tony Stark created living spaces for his fellow Avengers he'd gone all out.
"Went a little overboard didn't he?"
Clint looked down as Rael emerged from one of the duffle bags, surveying the room with keen eyes. His daemon didn't look impressed though. It took a lot to impress Rael. Clint sighed and scooped his daemon up, lifting Rael so the fisher cat could crawl onto his shoulder. "Tony means well," he said as Rael move so he lay across the back of Clint's shoulders almost like a fur collar, head tucked against Clint's neck. "He just
Clint chuckled as he reached up to scratch under Rael's chin, earning a soft sound of approval from his daemon. "At least it's bigger than our last place."
Rael huffed, nipping lightly at Clint's fingers. "Our last place could have fit in here three times with room to spare."
Clint grinned and nodded his agreement. "At least we don't have to share with Tasha again."
Rael's full body shiver was greatly exaggerated and made Clint chuckle again as he walked over to the wall of windows. "Let's not ever relive those days," the fisher cat replied as he moved so his upper body rest on Clint's head, paws tangling in the archer's hair as he peered out the window and out over the city. "Not that I don't like Tasha and Djinn, it's just that
I don't like living with other people. You're about it."
Clint laughed and shook his head, careful not to dislodge his daemon from his perch. "Love you too, buddy."
Rael made a low sound, a mix between a rumble and a purr, and rubbed his head against Clint's hair. They remained like that for a few minutes before Clint fond himself looking out at the buildings still being rebuilt. They were fewer now but still noticeable, especially to the man who had stood atop one seconds before it had been blown apart. He'd been lucky his arrow had hit below the blast, a few inches higher and he would have plummeted to his death. All because he'd been momentarily distracted. All because Loki had caught his arrow.
A sharp tug on his hair had him yelping in pain and reaching up to pull Rael off his head and shoulder, holding his daemon up in front of his face. "What the hell, Rael?!"
Rael barred his teeth. "You were doing it again."
"Thinking about Loki!"
Clint frowned. "I wasn't. I was thinking of my shot and
"And how he caught it and blah, blah, blah!" Rael's gaze narrowed. "I've heard it. I've also been the one comforting you when you wake up from having nightmares about that psychopath! So, from now on, when I catch you thinking about that no good, rotten, lying rotten bastard I'm gonna hurt you. Then you'll associate him with pain and stopping damn well thinking about him!"
Before Clint could retort there was a loud crash from somewhere outside of his room followed quickly by Tony's shouts.
"DUMMY DROP THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER!"
Without a thought, Clint turned and bolted, lifting Rael to his shoulder as he ran.
Author: End of chapter one. Chapter two is in the works. However I make no promises about when it will be posted.