Loki wakes to find himself sprawled over a slumbering human.
For a moment, he’s simply confused. He can’t recall what trick he could have been playing that would require him to take a human to bed.
Then he remembers the rainbow bridge.
Anguish hits him like a physical blow. The tears flow, but Loki doesn’t notice them. He feels broken. The grief clouds his head, fills his lungs. Breathing is agony.
Two arms wrap around him and Loki finds himself embraced.
“Hey, um, sorry about breaking the guy code, but it sounds like you could really use a hug.” Xander says, hoping the guy isn’t about to tear out his spleen and beat him to death with it. But the guy sounded so heartbreakingly miserable, and Xander has never been good about watching other people suffer.
Besides, his best friends are touchy-feely girls, it’s second nature to comfort vie huggage.
Loki, drowning in his grief as he is, finds it in himself to feel offended. How dare this human pity him? He reaches for his magic, ready and willing to strike the mortal dead when the sensation of his magic registers.
Magic is weaved into the very fabric of reality. Every time he reaches for it, he’s reaching within the confines of his branch of the tree of life. Mapping out and becoming familiar enough with with his plane of existence is part of what gives him the ability to alter it the way he does.
So when he reaches for his magic, he knows-down to the most basic components of his soul- that this is not where he belongs.
This is not his plane. It is not the reality he hails from.
The shock of it saves the mortals life.
“ Who are you?” Loki demands, reaching forward and wrapping his hand around the mortals neck.
“ Xander, Xander Harris.” Xander blurts, wishing it had sounded less squeaky and more like James Bond. But hey, hand on his neck, totally squeaking worthy and so of the bad. Hopefully the guy was just freaking out and not evil and about to kill him.
“ What is this place? Where did I land?” Loki shouts, trying to master himself and his panic. He remembers falling. The chaos of the rainbow bridge tearing at his body. The painful horror of it all. It’s a miracle he’s alive.
The moral flinches slightly, but at least the answers are forthcoming.
“ This is my house, and you landed on the floor of a demon portal. I couldn’t leave you where you could of gotten eaten! This is Sunnydale!” Xander says, coming to the slow realization that he should have probably taken the guy from a hell dimension to Giles, or at least Oz’s werewolf cage, instead of taking him home. In his defense he had been very tired. And carrying the guy had made that worse, it wasn’t like he was small, or light. He was kind of impressed with himself that he’d managed it at all.” And how do you put that helmet thing on? It took me forever to take it off.”
“ Where is my helm?” Loki asked slowly. The rage in his eyes come through completely clear.
Xander pointed to the ground. It’s not like he’d actually left the room since he’d carried the guy upstairs. He’d basically just keeled over once he was sure the horns wouldn’t stab him in his sleep.
“ You dare disrespect-” Loki begins threateningly, but he’s interrupted by the door slamming open.
Xander can only stare in horror when his dad bursts in, roaring,“Boy, do you know how hungover I am!”
Then the scene he bursts into registers. He watches his dad slowly turn a purple color and it dawns on him that his dad has just walked into Xander being straddled by a guy in a really weird outfit. Xander takes a moment to pity himself. Somehow, he just knows that his parents aren’t the ‘it’s okay to be gay’ type. Even if he’s not actually gay. There is going to be no convincing them otherwise now.
“ You stupid bastards, keep it down!” His mother chimes in, coming up behind his dad and freezing once she sees the guy draped over him.
It only lasts a few second. They start yelling, dual hangovers seemingly forgotten.
“He’s a fucking fag!”
“ This is all you fault-”
“ You’re the one with the fruity uncle!”
Loki watches them scream at each other in disgust. This time he ignores the odd sensation of his magic and reaches forward to twist reality. He turns the screeching mortals into rats.
Xander kind of gapes for a moment, disbelieving.”Did you just turn my parent’s into rats?”
“ Vermin should know it’s place.” Loki says with a wicked smirk.
“ Please turn them back.” Xander says, faintly.”I’d rather not be an orphan right now.”
Loki arches an eyebrow at the request. It’s clear that the rabid animals he’s just turned into a form better suiting their nature are not good parents. If anything, the human should be thanking him for his new freedom.
“They hurt you.” Loki says, it’s not a question. But he’s clearly waiting for an answer all the same.
For a moment, Xander considers lying. It’s more habit than anything else. Deny, deny, deny, is the motto he’s been taught when asked about how his parents treat him. Technically there’s food in the fridge, and a roof over his head. He’s fine. They’re never gonna win any parenting awards, but it really could be worse.
Then Loki squeezes the hand around Xander's throat in warning. He is not called the Lord of lies for nothing. Lies and deceit are his domain just as much as thunder and lightning are Thors. He has a special gift with them, a knowing that sinks into his bones.
It’s why he’s always doubted his father's affections. It’s why he could never believe he was truly a part of Asgard's royal family. Why he’d never trusted it when his parents called him son. Because he wasn’t. Odin had lied to him for a very long time. And some part of Loki had known.
He’d just chosen to hope. He’d been a fool.
Xander babbles, he doesn’t know what else to do.
“Sometimes, you know, when they’re really drunk, or not drunk enough. But it’s really only sometimes. Mostly there’s just yelling and name calling. They throw stuff a lot, so I got good at ducking early in life. I get more bruises from patrol. Please turn them back. It’s really hard for teenagers to get a job.”
Loki stared at the mortal curiously.
“Do you not wish to seek vengeance? They are your parent’s after all. Your blood kin. They are supposed to care for you, and yet they abuse you.”
“They’re my parents. I know they aren’t good at the whole parenting thing, but no one deserves to live life as a rat. Not even rats really deserve rat-Dom.”
“You... are a fool.” Loki says slowly, because the mortal in not lying to him. He really believes his words. Xander Harris is far too kind for his own good. As he’d already shown by bringing Loki into his dwelling without knowing anything about him.
If he’d known what he was bringing home with him, Loki’s sure Xander Harris would have left him where he landed.
“ Well yeah.” Xander agrees,” ..everybody knows that. I could totally do the court jester thing. It’s like a fact of life. Buffy’s strong, Willows smart, and I’m an idiot.”
Loki found himself snorting.
“ And what would I gain should I turn them back? At least this form assures me of their silence.”
Xander blinks at the guy, he knows he’s going to regret this, but it’s not like he has a lot of choice in the matter.” What do you want.”
“ My name is Loki, prince of Asgard. And you will take me to the site in which you found me.”
He does, after all, have vengeance to enact. Foolish mortals are of very little consequence.