Author's Note: Written for Sparx- based on her question about a 4-year-old Loki. The idea got stuck in my head and I decided to try it (hopefully he'll actually be age appropriate). I've left room for more to be added in obviously- this was just a set up. J
Summary: Loki, trickster god extraordinaire, has been tricked! Too bad he won't remember how, where, or what happened to leave Thor and the rest of the Avengers with such a mess.
Verse/Setting: Post Avengers Movie-verse
Disclaimer:
I don't own anything from the movie The Avengers and I'm not making any money from this fic
Warning(s): Very AU; slight spoilers for the movie; mentions spanking


WHAT DID YOU DO NOW???


Odin looked at the goddess in front of him, confusion on his face. "Iðunn, why do you not start from the beginning of your tale and perhaps I will understand what you are telling me?"

The goddess of youth sighed in exasperation, but did as requested. "Your son, Loki, was doing something to the golden apples. I do not know what he was doing, because whatever he did it only affected himself. And he is unable to tell me what he was doing because…." It was here her story faltered and she looked at Odin hesitantly.

Odin felt a strange quiver in his belly at her look, forcing himself to ask. "Because…?"

Sighing, Iðunn turned toward the side of the throne room where his other son Thor had been standing. Grimacing, the god of thunder stepped forward. From behind the large man, a tiny face peered around- revealing a very small child of about 4-years of age. Odin stiffened as he realized just who the small child was.

His irritation lent strength to his voice as he boomed out, "Loki. WHAT DID YOU DO NOW???"

####

In hindsight, he would have never had asked the question in the irritated tone he had- but it had been a long time since he had dealt with children and he was annoyed. Of course his son, now a child, had reacted as he always did when he perceived that he was in BIG trouble- he ran. (Come to think of it, the adult version of his son Loki tended to run a lot too.) Thor was now currently looking for his little brother- and Iðunn was giving him a royal sized headache.

"I TOLD you he could not tell us what happened. He does not REMEMBER what he did let alone what his actions caused. He is- in every way- a child!" the goddess scolded the all-father.

Odin sighed. The situation in Asgard was not peaceful at the moment. Loki had not helped in that matter, but for once Odin could honestly say it was not entirely his youngest son's fault. It was one of the reasons he had returned Loki's powers to him. Of course his youngest had to make him regret his actions.

Odin looked up as Thor returned- without his brother. He didn't have to speak, the question as clear to his son as if he had spoken.

"He somehow made it to the bifrost and tricked Heimdallr into letting him cross- I believe he has made it back into Midgard- Earth…." Thor spoke quickly. It was obvious to everyone present that he wanted to follow his brother as quickly as possible.

"Go, find him…but do not return right away. Until we are able to determine what he has done to himself, he is in danger here. You will be better able to protect him in the realm of the humans. When it is time for you to return, I will find you."

Thor nodded once, quickly, turned and left- running back to the rainbow bridge as soon as he had left his father's sight.

####

"What did you say Jarvis?" Tony asked for clarification, not certain he had heard correctly and hoping he hadn't. He currently was about 30 minutes away from Stark Tower.

There was a portal that opened for a short time near Stark Tower. I am not able to tell who or what came through the portal.
Jarvis repeated the words and Tony's blood ran cold.

Pepper was at the Tower- if any of those creatures from before had found a way to come through, she was in grave danger. If it was his buddy Thor- well it would be the forest all over again, just for the principle of the matter. You don't drop in from alternate dimensions unannounced! It just wasn't polite.

"Ok, well then. Put me through to S.H.I.E.L.D. They probably already have someone on their way, but I'd rather be certain- just in case there are more than one to fight…." Tony blinked as the face of Nick Fury filled one part of his visor. "Well, hello director! Are you aware of the portal that opened over Stark Tower, oh- approximately 10 minutes ago?"

"We are," Fury answered. "I have already requested Black Widow and Hawkeye to rendezvous there. The Captain and Bruce were actually in your area- said something about Shawarma, so they will likely be there to meet you when you arrive. I don't believe I need to tell the five of you to be careful and not destroy too much property?" Fury raised his eyebrow.

Tony chortled. "You know better than that sir. We will contact you with further information when we have it."

It didn't take more than five minutes longer for Tony to reach the tower. He didn't notice anything under attack. Perhaps Thor had just sent them a "package" of some sort. He could see Steve and Bruce on the street below, heading into the building. Natasha and Clint must have been closer than Fury had known, because they were already landing their craft. Well, good then. They could begin their search and investigation as soon as the preliminary's had been taken care of. He carefully landed on his balcony and began his walk toward the office. By the time he reached the door, his Ironman suit had been removed and stored.

He stepped into the office, just as Steve and Bruce stepped out of the elevator and Natasha and Clint came around the corner from the stairwell that went to the roof. He nodded at his teammates before asking, "Jarvis. Where is Pepper?"

Ms. Potts and the child are in the kitchen area. She is making the child something to eat.
Jarvis of course sounded matter of fact.

Tony blinked, then looked at the other four in bafflement. "Child, Jarvis? Um…who is the child? I don't know any children?"

The child that dropped out of the sky and landed on your balcony. Ms. Potts was very upset by the event. She was positive the boy had died. When the child stood up and began crying, she decided he needed looking after.
Tony blinked again. Well, that explained the portal. It still didn't explain WHO the child was. Sighing he looked upward. "Jarvis, do you happen to know WHO the child is?"

"He is Loki." The voice that answered wasn't the one Tony had expected. Whirling toward the familiar voice, his eyebrows shot up as he eyed the last member of their team to arrive. Since they hadn't expected that member to arrive, it was a bit of a surprise to see him.

"Loki???" Tony glanced at the other Avengers in consternation. "Why do I have a feeling the explanation isn't going to be very helpful?"

Tony motioned to Thor and the rest of the team to follow him. "We may as well have something to eat or drink while you explain why Loki is a child."

####

Loki watched the pretty blond lady as she made him something to eat. He didn't know who she was- she told him to call her Pepper- but she felt safe. He'd been so scared when she'd found him, but she'd washed off all the scrapes and put band-aides on them and even kissed each one with a smile and…she was the most wonderful lady in the world.

"When I get old enough- on my next birthday- I will marry you!" he nodded emphatically.

"Well, that is very sweet- but I think you should find a very pretty girl your own age to marry. " She smiled sweetly at him.

Pepper had asked a few questions of the child when he first landed, but it quickly became apparent that he was confused. He'd called himself Loki of all things. Pepper hadn't been directly involved in the last confrontation that Tony had been in, but she did recall that the Loki of that confrontation was an adult. She wondered idly if the child were the Trickster's offspring.

She finished making up the macaroni and cheese, then carefully spooned some onto a plate for the boy and placed it in front of him with a glass of milk. He immediately took a big bite before squealing and spitting it out onto the plate. "It is HOT!" He whined.

"You need to blow on it a little before putting it in your mouth," Pepper grinned at him. "Like this…" she took a spoonful and gently blew on it before holding it out for him to eat. He eyed her uncertainly before eating the spoonful, his eyes widening in pleasure at the taste.

"This is much better than apples!" He declared emphatically, then getting another spoonful of macaroni he held it out to her imperiously- obviously expecting her to blow on it for him. She smirked slightly, but cooperated with him. "You know, it is easier if you do this yourself," she remarked in amusement.

"Ah, but Loki has never been one for doing things the easy way," a voice chuckled behind her. She spun around in surprise, only relaxing once she realized who was in the kitchen with her.

"It isn't nice to sneak up on a girl!" She muttered, before leaning forward to claim a kiss from Tony. She deliberately ignored the "Eeeeews" coming from the four-year-old terror currently eating at the table.

Tony glanced at the kid and snorted. "Give you a few years and you won't find it icky at all- trust me."

Thor turned pale and grimaced, remembering Loki's first trip through puberty. "Odin help us all." He muttered softly. They others eyed him, then the pint-sized mischief maker, suddenly feeling a sense of foreboding.

####

"So, the end result is that your brother is now four-years old; none of you can figure out what he did or how he did it, so he is pretty much stuck a child; and it isn't safe for him to remain in Asgard so Odin has asked for you to remain on earth with him until it is safe for you both to return?" Steve summed up what Thor had just spent 30 minutes telling the rest of the team.

"That would be correct, yes." Thor said.

Tony, shrugged, glancing at Pepper who nodded at him. "Then I guess you will need a place to stay. Lucky for you, this penthouse has many extra rooms. Two of them are yours and the kid's for as long as you need."

Thor looked stunned, but pleased at the offer. "I thank you. I have to admit, I was uncertain about how I would take care of him without shelter…."

"Well, now you do not need to worry about that. I suspect that the team will be reforming very soon. If you are having problems in Asgard, I somehow doubt that those problems will not come down here and bite us on the butt." He glanced at Loki as the child giggled .

"You said butt!" the kid grinned impishly.

"So I did," Tony grinned back, then looked at his other team members. "I have enough rooms for all of you. Of course you do not HAVE to make use of the rooms, but they are there for you. It might be helpful to have a centralized place where we can all get together- that isn't on a big heli-craft." He shrugged. The others nodded and said their thanks, before dispersing to pick their rooms- Pepper showing them the way, while Tony made contact with Fury to let him know what had happened.

####

Several months had gone by, since the pint-sized ball of mischief had landed at Tony's back door- bringing his big brother with him. At first the four other members of the Avengers team had only made occasional use of their rooms, but eventually the one night every other week had turned into one night a week, then several nights a week. They'd all eventually admitted that they were living at Stark Tower and made the appropriate arrangements for mail and such. Tony had thought at first that it would crimp his style and bother him- but he'd discovered to Pepper's amusement, that he missed each and every one of them when they weren't home.

The one who had brought the biggest change to each of their lives was Loki. It was easy to see elements of the adult in the child. But where the adult's tricks and schemes were often vindictive and fueled by jealousy and anger, the youngsters antics were more often based on curiosity and a sense of humor that couldn't be stifled. They had all fallen in love with the child.

Tony stared out the window taking in a deep breath. They were family now. He'd never have thought he'd owe Loki thanks for a prank gone wrong- but he did. Loki's accident was the best thing to have happened to any of them.


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