I really think you should be telling yourself that, sweetheart.
Loki followed Betty with his eyes,” While I would prefer you remain here, I would not deny the child her sleep. Please return when she is comfortable, I believe Anthony will be more…pliable with his better half present.” He nodded to her, a short approximation of a bow and quirked a slight smile.
Turning back to Tony, Loki laughed,”Impenetrable? My, they’re just letting anyone throw that word around now days.” Internally, Loki was pleased he had managed to outwit JARVIS, and accepted some pride from Tony’s words. The god watched the couple’s interaction and noted Stark’s hesitation,”I assure you, I have come alone and…” a quick flash of power and a twist of his wrist and Loki’s staff vanished,”…unarmed.” He held his hands, palm up, in a show of innocence.
“May we sit?” Loki took a place on the couch before Tony could answer,”My proposal is a simple one, and you are not a dull man so I shall be brief. You wife was correct in her accusation that a group so ‘mediocre’ had…I fail to recall her phrasing…let’s say, defeated me earlier this year. The Avengers, if you must be called that, are extraordinary and could do a great deal of good in this world. However, your organization seems to think that it requires some colossal disaster or hmm, an invasion of some kind, before taking action. Certainly, your…team could accomplish great things for this world even without a provocative antagonist?”
Betty sighed, turning around and glaring at Loki. “Unfortunately, you’re not leaving me much of a choice.” She said, sitting in the corner of the couch and cradling Maria back in her arms. “I think I’ll just stay here, for now.” She wasn’t about to leave the baby alone while Loki was in the area, and if he wouldn’t let her stay with the baby, Maria would have to stay with her. “Please, don’t let me interrupt you.”
“Anthony! How delightful of you to finally join us! Though must you be so crass? There is a lady present,” Loki tilted his head toward Betty, but gave no ground to the couple.
The god had tensed when Tony entered the room, and he now attempted to regain his languid pose, a frosty smile on his pale face and a hand tight around the bladed staff. “The Lady Stark and I were simply getting acquainted in your absence, and while I concede to you that she is a fine woman and mother besides; her impertinence rivals your own and several times already was I tempted to rescind my promise that no harm should come to her. I would recommend your advising her to hold her tongue, or at the very least, be wary of the comments it sends forth.”
Loki raised an eyebrow in response,” I shall decline your refreshments, Lady Stark has previously offered. And I’ll admit my disappointment in your surprise. As I have already said, Asgard holds no promise for me at the present time and escaping was of little difficulty. I return to Earth to discuss with you and your colleagues, an arrangement.”
“Tony…”Betty smirked slightly, kissing his cheek as he moved to step in front of Maria. “What took you so long, I thought I was gonna be stuck trying to figure out how to work your armor on my own.” She sighed, glaring at Loki and letting out a slightly laugh. “I assure you, my husband has absolutely no control over my tongue, I’ll do with it as I wish.”
Lending him a glare, she backed up a few steps to move for the couch. “Well. Since my husband is here now, I don’t see much of a reason to stay. Unless you’re that insistent on my company.” She said curtly, “But my baby is missing out on sleep.”
Loki barked out a loud mirthless laugh. “Oh how I am continually reminded of the ignorance of this planet! You say you have done nothing to deserve this? You need do nothing! Your very existence is a plague upon the universe. The human pestilence…I mean to aid you all, help you to become better under my rule and you insist on your mediocrity! I do not act superior, I AM superior, in every way. Your kind does not ask a hound its thoughts before collaring it, nor do you appreciate your world for what it gives you. You continually take and destroy and to what end?”
Straightening to his full height, Loki gripped his staff tightly,”You are so tiny. Were it not detrimental to my plans, I would kill you without thought,” the god smiled, “Your attempt to bargain is amusing, but it is ineffectual. I shall cross whom I like, when I like and this world has never known a wrath like mine.”
Betty blinked a few times when he laughed, frowning deeply and watching him as he spoke. “Mediocrity.” She said, raising an eyebrow and tilting her head. “Funny how a group of people so mediocre kicked your ass the first time around.” She muttered, leveling another glare at him and shaking her head. “You know why you’ll never be superior, Loki?” She said, backing up a few steps. “Your ego. You let it get in your way. Its blocking you from thinking on your feet because you’re so concerned with not failing.” She said, “You need to re-prioritize.” She muttered, pausing and telling herself that Tony would come through the doors at any moment.
“We’ve seen some bad times already.” She said, looking him over wearily. “Trust me, I’ve gone through a few rounds of torture myself. So has Tony. And however much wrath you think you have, we’ll weather through it. So you’d better rethink your actions, before you do something you can’t take back.”
Loki frowned at her words, his brow coming together, cool your jets? Then after, his green eyes flashed at the casual term of endearment, “I have restrained myself thus far, Lady Stark, from harming either you or your daughter, but know, I will not be spoken to as though I am an impatient child.”
Standing smoothly, the god stalked toward her, “You have my congratulations for your apparently flawless relationship with that impetuous man-child, Stark. But I will gladly kill him if he crosses me again. He is undeserving of your affection and your praise, as you are undeserving of this child who would grow, loving you unconditionally.That child in your arms is the only being in this room worthy of any love, and she will, I do not doubt, ultimately mature out of that worth into another sniveling, selfish, unkind, bestial human like all the others in this foul realm!”
Loki had closed the distance between them, firmly grasping Betty’s chin in his hand and forcing her eyes up to his. His touch was icy, and, looking closely, one might have seen a speck of red in his fierce gaze.
“Am I understood?”
“If you don’t wish to be spoken to like a child, then my suggestion is you don’t act like one.” She said, keeping her tone even and calm, despite the slight panic edging through her subconscious. Holding Maria protectively against her chest, she held her ground, watching him as he stalked towards her.
Clenching her teeth, she listened to him speak, glaring back into his eyes as he held her chin. Raising it defiantly, she searched his eyes for a moment and frowned. “Neither I, nor my child have done anything to deserve this sort of treatment.” She said, holding her ground as her instincts told her to back up. “I’m sorry that you’ve been hurt before, but you cannot walk around acting like everyone else is beneath you. I don’t know what’s convinced you that this world is an awful one, but I can assure you I’m raising my daughter to understand that you can be strong, and kind at the same time. And that she doesn’t need to stand down to people who use fear to control.” She said, “Now if your issue is with my husband, keep it with my husband. The only thing you’ll accomplish here is bringing such an intense wrath down upon your head, you won’t know what hit you.” She said, pulling her chin from his hand. “I won’t cross you if you don’t cross me. Understood?”