Hey, have any of you wondered what would happen if, after the events in The Avengers, some sort of shenanigans ensued, in which Loki is somehow ejected from Asgard and left in the capable yet frustrated hands of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Well, considering just how many fics there are about Loki being taken in by the Avengers and becoming friends with them, chances are that some of you have.
I don’t want to say that those stories are bad—they’re more numerous than anything—so much as they’re a little repetitive. Though each of these fics give a different take on going about Loki’s reformation and can be very insightful, they can get old really fast. Because there’s just that many of them. Mikkeneko, however, puts a really different spin on it, and her story A Villain State of Mind is by far one of the best character studies I’ve read about Loki. The summary goes as follows:
To no one’s pleasure, Loki ends up stranded in SHIELD custody after the events of The Avengers. Wary of Loki’s dangerous abilities, Nick Fury calls in the favor of an old friend to help him keep this new threat under control—but can even the formidable Professor X save Loki from himself?
Probably one of the reasons A Villain State of Mind is so insightful is because it’s literally about a telepath helping Loki deal with his issues. My biggest complaint about this is that because Loki doesn’t consent to Xavier reading his mind, the story does have mind rape. At the very least, Loki is not happy about such a violation, but that’s all the more credit I can give the fic on that issue.
Throughout the course of the nine chapters, Loki starts to form a bond with Xavier and even begins to regard him as a father figure, going so far to wish that Xavier had been the one to find him as an infant. Xavier, in turn, is reminded by his own failings with Mystique when confronted with Loki’s issues. This comes to light when Xavier sees Loki in his true Frost Giant form and remarks on how similar the two look. Xavier tells Loki about how it was wrong that he acted ashamed of Mystique’s true form and that she is beautiful. He uses this analogy to tell Loki that he doesn’t think being a Frost Giant automatically makes Loki a monster.
Xavier only has around a week or so of helping Loki overcome his internal conflict and attempt to rehabilitate him. As such, when the story concludes, we never find out whether or not Loki changes his ways. It ends with a very possible chance of redemption for Loki, but as Xavier says, he and the Trickster only knew each other for about a week and that the threat of a relapse is nowhere near gone.
While the story does have a plot and many subplots going on, the majority of it is just Loki and Xavier sitting in a room talking to each other. That said, it is still a fascinating read. Be sure to check it out on ff.net here or on AO3 here.