It was still early morning when Loki teleported everyone back to their base.
“We´ll have to stay here until nightfall.” Fury had told them adamantly. “Once we are back in the hellicarrier you´ll all get your rewards. Until then I´d suggest we get some rest.”
They all felt tired not only physically but emotionally. Not wanting to talk about it they all agreed about getting some rest and scattered to their rooms.
Once in his room Loki removed his armour noticing the hole that the steel tube had made on it. He slid his hand through his abdomen; there was no scar that marked his wound.
He remained pensive contemplating his blood stained clothes for a moment before he decided to finish undressing.
“It was a close call.” He suddenly acknowledges in a whisper. “At least it´s over now. But then why do I feel so restless? Like you didn´t knew … stop dwelling about it there´s nothing you can do about it now.” But he couldn´t help wondering. “Is this how heroes feel when they fail? We are no heroes but we tried to save them … and we failed. We did everything we could but it didn´t matter. I really can´t understand how you´re supposed to do this; day in and day out full of this crap. Why Fury does it? My brother? Why even try?”
As the water spray from the shower reached him he sighed. It was comforting to be able to get rid of all that dirt, sweat and blood.
“And if it that wasn´t enough there´s something else bothering me. That tank … it really wouldn´t had hurt me … much. Maybe the others … Now I wonder if Fury promised Doom something too.” He yawned as he finished dressing himself. “I guess I´ll just have to ask Fury about that …” He yawned again. “But I´d better do that on a clearer head.” He had spent most of his energies during the battle, although he still had some magical jewels to replenish himself he votes against using them. “Just in case of an emergency.” He sank into his bed heavily; within minutes he had fallen asleep.
When he finally woke up it was well past three in the afternoon. He yawned as he sat up in his bed; he didn´t felt any rested. His stomach grumble loudly distracting him of his thoughts. “All right ….” He said to himself in a joking matter. “You first, then Fury.”
“Loki.” Fury acknowledge as he opened his door. “I thought you would drop by. Let me guess; you want to talk about Doom.” He steps aside inviting Loki in.
“Among other stuff.” Loki volunteered.
” Other stuff? Really? Then if you don´t mind I think we might need a drink.” He opened a bottle of gin and poured two glasses. Loki stared at the glass Fury was offering to him for a second before accepting it; he´s rather be having a strong Asgardian mead but this would have to do. He took a sip and savor it; it wouldn´t get him drunk but at least the taste was acceptable.
“So…?” Fury asked as he sat. “What´s on your mind?”
“Why do it? I mean what´s the point?”
“The point of what?” Fury inquired puzzled by his question.
“This sort of missions. Deciding who lives and who dies. How can you reconcile being the good guys and at the same time working with people like Okanjo? People that´s just …” Loki stopped looking for the right word.
“Evil?” Fury suggested.
“Demonic.” Loki finally said.
“Yes … demonic. Sounds appropriate, doesn´t it? Of all people I thought you would appreciate the irony; using fire to put out another fire.”
“We are nothing like him!” Loki raised up angered by the comparison. I … I never was that cruel … not that I remember.” He had killed people, children, but never like that.
“I know.” Fury grimly acknowledged. “People want to think the world is either white or black; but it isn´t. Most of the time you are smacked between gray areas. Good people do wrong things for the right reasons and bad people do good things for the wrong ones. It´s never that simple.” Fury heavily admitted as he finished his drink. He filled it up again immediately as he continued. “You do what you can and hope for the best, and yes; most of the time you end up with nothing but a heartache. But that can´t keep us from trying again and again.”
“Why?” Loki asked in earnest. “Why don´t you just take charge? I´m quite sure SHIELD has enough fire power to do it. Wouldn´t it be better? Safer?”
Fury let out a small laugh. “Safer?” Your father …” Loki scowled at his reference. “I mean Odin has command over the Seven Realms. Are they any safer because of it?”
“At least I never had to deal with someone like Okanjo before.” Loki spat angered.
“Probably not. What we lack in strength we made up with imagination.” Fury offered. “It´s not always our best feature.”
“Is this a joke to you? All those children…? Loki raises his voice crossed.
“No!” Fury yelled back. “Of course not …” He acknowledged dropping his voice down. “I wasn’t expecting that. Either way it´s not the first nor it will be the last time innocents are caught in the crossfire; you should know that.”
“Don´t get her into this.” Loki growled menacingly.
“Why not? After all she’s the reason you are here.” Fury volunteered dryly.
“Don´t” Loki warned him between clenched teeth.
“As you like.” Fury shrugged his shoulders while he brushed Loki´s comment away. “either way you´ll be back with the Avengers by tomorrow. Why dwell on this?”
“Because …” Loki realized he wasn´t entire sure of the reason. “Because … it wasn´t right.”
“No, you are right; it wasn´t. But taking away everyone´s freedom to ensure peace wouldn´t be either. So yes, now and then people like Okanjo will emerge, but that´s why we are here… to send them back to where ever they came from.” Fury took another sip of his drink before adding. “We might not be able to stop everything bad from happening; and frankly I’m not sure we should.”
“What do you mean?” Loki asked baffled.
“Do you want to play God, Loki? Undisputed ruler of Midgard?” Fury asked him deeply interested on his reaction.
“What?” Loki inquired shocked; unsure of how their conversation had come that way. “No!” He answered, somehow he wasn´t surprised by his own answer.
“Why not?” Fury asked calmly.
“Because …” Loki consider it for a moment. “I wouldn´t be any better than Okanjo If I did it. Not by force at least.”
Fury smirked. “We can´t change the world Loki. All we can do is try to keep it in one piece until people change … for the better. “Fury shrugged his shoulders before taking another sip. “At least that´s what I think. It won´t happen in my lifetime; probably not even in yours or maybe it will. Who knows? Now and then people surprise me in the best way.” Fury smiled pleased as he stared directly at Loki.
Loki gave him a quizzical look before realizing what he meant. “I didn´t…”
“Of course you didn´t. That´s what makes it even better.” Fury told him with a big grin. “Who would´ve guess I would be having a philosophical debate about good and evil with the God of Mischief? Not even Odin would´ve seen that coming.”
Loki laughed amused as he raised his glass before ending it. “Probably not.”
“Now that I seem to have put you at ease about this sordid affair; what else is in your mind?” Fury tilted his head inviting Loki to talk.
“Doom … you … promised him something; didn´t you?” Loki asked staring at Fury sternly.
“Yes.” Fury replied dryly and hastily replied before Loki said anything. “but it’s not what you think.”
“It´s not what I think?” Loki spat in outrage. “I´m not even sure I want to know what you could´ve promised him.” He felt betrayed and asked bewildered. “How could you? After what he did …”
Fury leaned forward decisively cutting off Loki´s sentence. “Come down Loki. It´s really not what you think. As a matter of fact, I need to tell you what is it that he wants.” Fury explained dryly.
Loki got up irritated and started pacing around in disbelief nodding his head negatively. Finally, he stopped and looked back at Fury. Frowning still he asked. “All right. What does Doom want?”
“You.” Fury simply stated.
“What?!” Loki yelled shocked. “Are you out of your mind?”
“He just want to talk to you; alone.” Fury added.
“And you went so far as promising him that? You had no right!” Loki reproached angrily.
“Hold down your horses. I didn´t.” Fury volunteered. “I only promised I would try to talk you into it. Nothing more.”
“And he agreed to such terms?” Loki inquired skeptic.
“He did.” Fury asseverated.
“Then you can tell him you tried and failed.” Loki refused adamantly.
“I could.” Fury admitted. “But I think you should talk to him.”
“You can´t possibly be serious about that! I don’t even want to be in the same room with him; less of all talk to him. I don´t know why he shielded us back in Okanjo´s base but that doesn´t excuse what he did.” Loki replied enraged; his fists had clenched so harshly his knuckles had begun to turn white.
“You are right.2 Fury agreed as he step up. “It doesn´t change a thing; but I hate not knowing. And I´m quite sure you hate that too.”
Loki looked at Fury vexed. “Dammit, he´s right! Even if I agreed to, what makes you think he´ll tell me the truth? How can we know this isn´t another one of his traps?”
“Nothing really. I just hope he does.” Fury volunteered soberly. “What do you have to lose?”
“My patience.” Loki growled between his teeth.
Fury laughed as he finished his second glass. “Best case scenario Doom tells you the truth and we know what to expect form him; worst case scenario you beat his ass. Really, what do you have to lose?”
Loki scowled trying to think of an answer but he had none. “All right.” He agreed reluctantly.