Loki was not a happy person.
Currently, and generally, speaking. Mostly because he was currently stuck under the watchful eye of both SHIELD and Thor. Thanks to his past antics, he was forced to deal with reconditioning into a “good guy”, and to do that required training and assistance from SHIELD personnel. ...And Thor.
And the personnel he had to deal with was nothing short of a woman. You. (Name) (Last Name). A level six SHIELD agent with more experience under your belt than Romanoff and Barton combined. Though all your past life stories could never have prepared you for this; Babysitting Loki.
“I still don’t understand why we’re stuck on the same floor.” You grumbled as you sat next to Loki, Tony leaning on the counter across from you both with a smug look on his face.
“Believe it or not, I don’t run a hotel here. The Tower’s not here just to give ten freaks of nature a place to hang out and blow stuff up. As well as drink my liquor and eat my food.” Tony countered, taking a sip of his beer.
“It couldn’t be that difficult to add another floor, human.” Loki snapped, and you nodded in agreement. Tony shrugged again.
“Eh, I guess, but where’s the fun in that?”
“It’d be a lot less painful if you added another floor. If I’m stuck here with my little pet project another week, someone’s going out the window.” You muttered, and Tony snickered at the look on Loki’s face.
“What did you just call me?”
“You heard me, doe eyes.” You said behind your own beer, and the Asgardian growled, glaring icily at you. You just grinned, nudging him playfully. “You know I’m just kidding. Chill out!”
“Don’t do that.”
“Take your own advice, Frost Giant, and cool it. S’too late for you to be bickering with your girlfriend.” Tony mused, and this earned glares from both you and Loki.
“I’m not his girlfriend.”
“I’m not her...you know!”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever. You’re his babysitter, and he’s your whiny little brat. Just sayin’, there’s some chemistry.” Tony reasoned, downing the last of his drink before tossing the bottle away. Even if he was incredibly annoying, you did enjoy his regular evening visits. It helped you loosen up, and you couldn’t have appreciated it more.
Because every night, you went back out on the battlefield.
“Someone with a history like mine, doesn’t have ‘chemistry’ with people anymore.” You joked, and his smirk widened.
“You never know, (Name). I’ve got work to do, so I’m gonna leave you two alone, for now. See you in the morning?”
“Uh-huh. Just keep it PG while I’m gone, got it? I’m lookin’ at you, Lo blow.” Tony called, narrowly avoiding a flash of ice that hit the elevator doors just as they shut. You could see Ton flipping him off from behind the glass as the machine went up.
“That man is the bane of my existence in every sense of the word.” Loki grumbled, hand still tinged with frost from the blast. You chuckled, patting him on the back.
“And yet, here you are, living in the very Tower he built, and you tried to destroy.” You pointed out, and his glare returned to you.
“Don’t remind me.”
“Too late.” You whispered behind your glass, avoiding his stare. You pushed back from the counter, disposing of your bottle as you stretched.
“You’re as ridiculous as Stark, woman.” Loki mumbled, and you giggled, waving your hand while heading for your bedroom.
“I know, but you love me. So it’s okay~” You sang, and you heard him scoff. Oddly enough, he never drank with you or Tony whenever the evening chats came around. Instead, he opted to sit next to you and make bitter commentary. You were just glad he was willing to socialize, even if it was only when you were around.
The last thing you wanted was for him to feel left out. It was the worst feeling in the world, and you knew that better than anyone. Thanks to 20 years of spy work and playing the freak, you’d learned the meaning of “lonely” the hard way.
And every night, you got a sharp reminder.
You exhaled shakily as you shut the door to your room, making a beeline for your medications. Pills to help you slow your thinking, to make you drowsy, and to ease your anxiety. Swallowing thickly, you took the pills into your hand and downed them all, a swig of water to wash them all down.
Sleeping used to be such a great thing, but now it was a challenge to get yourself unconscious, if only for a moment. Nobody else knew about it, of course. No one needed to know about how weak it made you.
You dropped onto the bed, staring up at the ceiling and waiting for the meds to kick in. The drowsiness was already setting in, so maybe you could get a little more sleep tonight. Because, despite all the nightmares and all the rough times, you still believed in luck.
Loki had headed to bed not too long after you. Since his access to the Tower was restricted to only this floor, and of course, the lobby, there wasn’t too much for him to do. So he opted to trudge to his room, swapping his usual armor for something a little more comfortable to sleep in. And then, he was in the bed, ready to call it a day.
That’s when it happened.
The sound of whimpers and muffled words caught his attention, and his eyes slid open. You sounded like you were upset about something. Loki just rolled his eyes, taking the pillow and covering his face with it when the whimpering got louder.
’She’s not my problem. Whatever she’s dealing with, she can handle herself.’ He thought to himself, trying to get back to sleep. Why should he care about some measly SHIELD agent who was nothing but a glorified babysitter? That’s right, he shouldn’t.
”N-No.. please.. “ He heard the slurred words from the other side of the wall, followed by thrashing. A frown crossed his face, despite being hidden under the pillow. You sounded like you were extremely upset about something.
’I still don’t care.’ He thought to himself, turning on his side. Sure, you were nice to him, and you got along fairly well, but you still weren’t his problem.
“...Gods, she doesn’t make this easy.” He grumbled to himself, finally opting to get out of bed and go see what your issue was. He ran a hand through tousled hair, pushing off the mattress and sliding his door open. Your room was right next to his, so with a few steps more, he was right there in your room.
And where should you be but on the floor, thrashing. Now that was strange.
“What in blazes is wrong with you, woman?” Loki demanded, coming to your side in an instant. You didn’t respond, but continued to flail, sobs escaping your lips. He grimaced; You were still asleep. Which meant you were having a nightmare, and judging by the tears streaming down your face, it was a bad one.
“(Name), wake up. You’re making a mess. Wake up.” He ordered you, grabbing your shoulders and shaking you. The sheets were tangled around your feet, keeping you from doing anything too drastic. But in the next moment, your eyes suddenly popped open and you gasped, shooting straight up.
“NO!!” You cried, and Loki released you, staring at you in surprise. You panted heavily, body coated in cold sweat, looking more worse for wear than he’d ever seen from you.
“(Name)...” Was all he managed, lips down turned in a curious frown. You blinked rapidly, glancing at him for only a second.
“S-Sorry, did I wake you up?” You asked, voice hoarse and shaky. You didn’t bother meeting his gaze as you stood, scooping up all the sheets and setting them back on the bed. Loki rose as well, stopping you from your work and making you look up at him.
“What was that?” He questioned you, and your (e/c) eyes turned to your feet.
“I was just.. It was a nightmare. Don’t worry about it.” You assured him, moving to get back in bed. But he stopped you again.
“You were writhing on the floor as if someone had cursed you, and it’s costing me sleep. I think I deserve a little more of an explanation than that.”
“Oh, well, please forgive my nightmares for interrupting your beauty sleep, your Highness.” You snarked despite the quivering in your legs. Loki huffed, his frown deepening.
“That was not a nightmare. I’ve seen those. This was a memory, wasn’t it?” He guessed, and you glared at him.
“That’s none of your business.”
“It is if it’s making you go crazy, like this. What happened to you?” Loki urged, and you fell silent. He sounded, almost, concerned. You were taken aback by this, but you figured you owed him an explanation more than anyone else. You sighed quietly, sinking down on the bed and twirling a strand of (h/c) hair between your fingers.
“I, um.. We both know I’ve got a bit of a history.” You started, staring at the wall across from you. Loki said nothing, only joined you on the bed. “I did a lot of things that have never sat well with me. Sometimes, even though I can pretend to be fine, my mind likes to remind me that I’m really not.”
“So you have, what, flashbacks? You relive whatever you did?”
“Whatever I saw, or learned. Everything.” You admitted with a bitter smile. “I take a lot of meds to beat nights like this, but it’s just not enough. I’ve done a lot of bad in my life, Loki. Way more than you could imagine.” You whispered shakily, burying your face in your hands.
“You think you’ve done wrong? I tried enslaving the entire human race, nearly caused a nuclear apocalypse and then faked my death to try and take over Asgard.”
“How many people died?”
“Too many to count.” He said with a joking grin, and you shook your head with a smile of your own.
“That shouldn’t make me feel better.”
“I figured it would, though. You’re not the only one that’s made mistakes, (Name). We all do. It’s just a matter of accepting them and moving on.” Loki told you, and you looked up at him with a strange expression.
“Did you-- Are you giving me actually sound advice?”
“Is that a problem...?”
“No, not really. Just, coming from the God of Mischief, it’s strange.” You confessed, and he rolled his eyes and stood.
“If it’s really so odd, I might as well just take my leave. You seem well enough.”
“N-No, you don’t have to!” You suddenly caught him, and he turned to look at you again. You averted your gaze again. “I didn’t mean it in a bad way. Besides, it’s not gonna be easy to fall asleep again. It’d be nice to have someone to talk to.”
“If that’s the case, then go speak with Thor, or another person.” He reasoned, but you shook your head, your grip on him tightening ever so slightly. He wasn’t sure what surprised him more; the fact that you were trying to keep him here, or that he wasn’t turning away.
“No, I want to be here with you. Just you.” You murmured, eyes slowly locking with his. And for a second, everything was silent.
“You think I can help you?” He checked with you softly, and you nodded. Loki came back down, rubbing at his eyes tiredly.
“I just want to get sleep.” You mumbled, laying back on the bed and covering your face with your arm. Loki regarded you for a second, and then laid down next to you, propping himself up on his elbow as he watched over you.
“Then, I’ll stay here with you until you fall asleep. Assuming that’s what you want me to do.” He figured, and you nodded again, turning on your side to face him.
“Exactly. For some reason, having you around makes me feel a little safer.” You mumbled honestly, nuzzling into the pillow a little.
“I haven’t the slightest idea why.” He replied with a smirk. You tilted your head, coming closer to him.
“Probably ‘cause you and me are so similar. And because you love me.” You joked, grinning. He shook his head, bringing an arm around your waist and pulling you closer. Instantly your face was more red than the poinsettias Tony had infested the Tower with.
“Perhaps you’re right.” He mused mischievously, and you squeaked when he held you even closer.
“W-Whoa, I was um.. I d-di-”
“Of course you did. Now hush.” He silenced you, moving so that you laid flush against him. “You wanted to sleep, so do it.”
“This wasn’t what I meant, exactly…”
“Wasn’t it? You don’t want anymore nightmares, so I’ll keep them from you.” Loki stated, and you couldn’t help but look up at him. He met your eyes evenly, and he had something strange in his expression. Like he was mischievous, but also something more. Something deeper.
“...You promise?” You asked him, almost silently. He exhaled, giving you a squeeze.
“Fine. Now close your eyes. You’ll sleep well enough tonight.” Loki said with finality, and you couldn’t help the smile that snuck onto your face. You breathed deeply, eyes sliding closed. You leant your head against his chest. Somehow, he made you feel at ease. Even though you both were a little… bad… he made you feel like that was alright. That you could make it better again.
And for the first time in a long time, you had the best night’s sleep of your life.
Until Tony had JARVIS snap pictures with the security cameras.
...Maybe you wouldn’t make things better yet.