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Chapter table of contents Chapter table of contents

1. A Young God stands in His Bedroom2. Dave Strider: Distract3. Steve Rogers: make Friends4. All points Red and also Stressful5. Session Five6. The home of Bets and Strings7. Connections8. Conversation Client9. Tony: be Confused10. A job in the Life the James Buchanan Barnes11. Commence12. Eridan: Fall13. Eridan: make Friends? / Roxy: LIGHTHOUSE14. Tony: Investigate15. Karkat: Overthink16. Fuchsia Purple17. The succession (Presumptive)18. The heir (Apparent)19. Three-Dimensional Chess20. Arrival21. Oh Captain, my Captain22. Backstage Pass23. Every Hands top top Deck24. Suspicions25. A voidlight; avoid light26. Native the soil Up27. Parks and Recollections28. The One-Eyed guy Is King29. And also Pretty Maids all In A Row30. Skaia is Dead; long Live Skaia31. 22113535541135422331213434314332. Is This much more Than friend Bargained for Yet33. Hide and also Seek34. Stay Alive35. I"m The just Friend That provides You Cry36. Meanwhile37. Seek and also You chandelier Find38. All around Me Are familiar Faces39. (Lean Not) top top Your very own Understanding40. Miss Communication41. Brand-new York, brand-new York42. Forgiveness43. One for The Money44. 2 For The Show45. Three To get Ready46. Space You Ready?47. Are You prepared Let"s Go48. Don"t prevent Me Now49. Difficult Cut50. Subterfuge51. Opposable Thumbs52. Run Hal Run53. Oh Be Careful little Eyes What you See54. This civilization Is Not supposed For You55. We Never record A Break around Here56. Priests and Beggars Looking as much as Heaven native T...57. Is anyone Listening?58. End My Head In A Landslide59. Nobody said It to be Easy60. If You desire To save What you Love61. Things are Shaping as much as Be nice Odd62. No One ever before Said that It would Be This Hard63. Questions Of Science64. As Loud as My Heart65. High-quality Mistakes66. I miss out on The Days once I Pretended67. Ns Was Gonna say Something That"ll resolve All Our...68. Stand Proud (Part One)69. Stand Proud (Part Two)70. Was standing Proud (Part Three)71. INTERMISSION I72. Hal Strider"s friends To opponents Speedrun73. The Angel and The flow of Stars74. The angel of Death and also The Old guy of The Sea75. Panic, Panic, scare People!76. The Best-Laid Plans77. Family members Matters78. Mechanism Error79. Shonen run Beatdown80. Electrical Love81. Heart82. Roadside Attraction83. For this reason What Did i Miss?84. Welcome Home85. Movers and also Shakers86. The Maiden In The highest Room that The Tallest T...87. And In The End, If i Don"t make It ~ above The List,...88. Atomic Blue89. I Was just An just Child of The Universe, and T...90. I"m here At The start Of The End; Oh, The E...91. Deathchild92. Anathema93. INTERMISSION II94. Hospital Flowers95. Phagocytosis (Part One)96. Phagocytosis (Part Two)97. Phagocytosis (Part Three)98. Friction


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Five god rent a level in Manhattan. The sounded choose the begin of a poor joke.

You are watching: A lullaby for gods

In i m sorry Loki Silvertongue is no the only lost god who drops to a people that isn’t his own.


Hi, future-author here. I originally started this fic as a funny without plot piece throughout 2016, however a couple of chapters in, I thought up the a plot. Years later on (and a 2 year hiatus in between) us now have the existing state that this work. I sincerely apologize because that the wordcount, and I hope new readers gain their stay here.

This fic has actually a component / arc structure, so here"s a handy guide:

PART ONE: conference FIVE- chapter 1 - 10


PART THREE: riot TENDENCY- chapter 23 - 30




PART SIX: new WORLD stimulate (PART ONE)- chapter 72 - 92


(PART TWO)- thing 94 - ONGOING

Chapter Text


part ONE: session FIVE

He start the level just in time for something come shatter. It’s complied with by Jade’s loud, indignant, “John!” and also a door slams open as wind races previous it, rushes down the stairs, overcome him and also slips out the still-open prior door, delivering the sound of laughter with it.

Loki doesn’t sigh. That does close the door behind him.

One that the doors in the hallway opens and also the landlady pokes her head out. She looks up, then turns to him. She smiles. He offers a little one back.

Jade is cursing upstairs.

“Another prank?”

There’s a shriek.

“Yes,” that says. “Although ns am rather curious regarding what he’s excellent this time come warrant such a response.”

Mrs. Harrison chuckles. “As long as you repaint or fix the walls if he’s done anything come them.”

“Then i hope it will certainly not come to that,” Loki says, “Since John will certainly perhaps…see it fit to give the décor his own brand that improvement.”

The old lady renders a face.

Loki inclines his head slightly prior to making his means up the stairs. The door come his flat is open, and also from wherein he is, he can see something sticky and also pink splattered anywhere the carpet. Jade is quiet yelling.

John is definitely cleaning the chaos up as soon as he it s okay home.

He pauses by the doorway to see Jade sit on the floor v her hair, ears, shoulders and arms covered in whatever the pink goo her brother has produced is. Climbed is alongside her, gloves on, trying to take the end as lot of the mess together possible.

Jade’s previously mentioned ears – the dog ones – flick earlier as she hisses once Rose coincidentally pulls the end her hair in addition to the pink goo.

Rose sighs, place the goo and also hair in the plastic bag next to her, and also looks up at Loki. She inclines she head politely. “Welcome back, Loki.”

Jade looks increase too, she annoyed expression clearing up because that a moment as she gives a little wave. “Heya,” she says. She pulls a little of hardened goo and takes her hair through it. She hisses again.

“I to be going come kill him,” Jade says through clenched teeth as she tosses the gunk right into the plastic. Rose hums. “It’ll it is in a simply death, it’ll stick,” Jade says.

“What did your brother perform this time?” Loki finally asks, crossing his arms and leaning ~ above the doorframe.

“Tripwire,” Jade says, “Connected come a bucket of…this – ” she flaps she arms uselessly to indicate the difficult pink goo anywhere her shirt. Few of it drips come the carpet. Nobody however John is going come clean that, Loki’s making certain of it. “ – that was held on the ceiling.”

Loki looks up. True enough, yes sir an i rejected bucket hosted only by a bunch of special strings attached to a miniature pulley system.

“He calls the Tubby Custard,” increased adds.

Jade snorts. Loki frowns, confused, yet doesn’t seek it.

“I think the just hot gum.”

“Where did he even uncover hot gum?” Jade seethes. She allows out a cry as an additional lock of hair comes away v the goo.

“Factories, i assume,” climbed says. “He has actually unlimited access to the city.”

“So carry out I,” Jade says. “I’m making certain he to know that.”

“Did the teletubbies puke in below or something.”

All the them rotate to the hallway, where Dave stands through a plastic bag from among 7-elevens around. Loki tracks the rapid movement of his eye from behind his shades together he absorbs the carpet, Jade and Rose and then the ceiling.

“Egbert?” he asks.

The girl nod.

“Hot gum,” increased repeats.

“Ugh.” Dave’s nose scrunches up. “That’s nasty.”

“He is clean this increase alone,” Loki says. The edge of Dave’s mouth elevator just very slightly.

“I’m making the pay.” Jade goes right back to seething. She crosses her arms, no caring around the chaos on the sleeves. The shirt is destroyed anyway.

Dave moves previous Loki, offering him a little nod, and also makes certain not to step on any of the gum top top the floor. One puddle makes him large his legs as well much and he nearly imbalances, yet he easily moves his feet and also he steadies. Loki quiet doesn’t relocate from the doorway.

“I’m walking to walk all around Earth and also destroy every little thing that has to do v Ghostbusters.”

Dave’s head swivels to she direction. Rose is smiling. Loki allows out an amused huff, lips turning up. He does love Jade’s typical streak as soon as she’s pushed.

“Aw, man, you gonna rest his little nerdy ghostbusting heart,” Dave says. “Can you really look at that bucktoothed puppy face and also kick it?”

“I will certainly knock those buckteeth the end at this point, i swear come god.”

Dave snickers. “I’m staying out that this.”

Rose hums again. “Neutral.”

They all rotate to Loki. The god straightens and follows Dave’s example of maneuvering roughly the gum puddles, other than with much more grace than the younger man. He no imbalance also once.

“So long as he pipeline me and also mine out of it.”

Jade grins and also raises an eyebrow. “And if he doesn’t?”

“He will certainly be eat nothing but cake because that a week.”

Rose’s head snaps up. Dave look at disgusted. Jade throws her head ago and cackles.

“Dude.” Dave adjusts his sunglasses. His mouth twitches and his shoulders shake, trying to suppress a laugh. “Harsh.”

“It will certainly be Betty Crocker.”

Jade laughs harder. That a good thing she near-immortal, or else she would have suffocated.


He had actually let go and also he had actually fallen. Fallen and fallen and also fallen because that such a lengthy time the he’d forgotten what breathing to be like and if he also remembered just how to do it. If he needed it. (It felt like he didn’t. He no feel choose he essential to see either when whatever was just dark dark dark black black black color empty nothingness this is where you belong in the empty in the naught what room you doing here small princeling)

And climate something had actually reached out. Tendrils. Tendrils that magic, faint, but he had known, in a small moment that lucidity, that whatever it led to, it was powerful. And it startled that so much in his nothingness-not-existence where every little thing was empty and also there was nothing, that the mere presence of something had his instinct rearing, screaming DANGER and GET far and he was pressed through a suffocating require to gain somewhere safe the he thrashed. Clawed right into his core, right into his magic, right into the something of nothing and willed himself to it is in somewhere an extremely far away. As much away as he deserve to from whatever it was the was surrounding him –

The concrete was hard as his spine slammed against it. Loki’s back arched and he let out a cry the pain, eyes screwing shut together everything crashed against his senses. The emotion of small pricks almost everywhere his exposed skin, end his face; the chill the was progressively seeping right into the leather armor he to be wearing; the horrible, horrible smell that too countless things at once; his blood roaring in his ear from his head gaining knocked top top the ground; and also pain, everywhere, every at once, his spine, his back, his limbs, all twisted in methods they do not do it be, and also warmth pooling underneath him till he realized the the warmth was from his very own blood.

He had stayed there till he happen out.

The next time the woken up, he had actually taken a couple of minutes to it is registered that over him to be Sky, below him to be Ground, the autumn of water fallout’s on him to be Rain and the it was cold.

The sky was the darker shade of blue the pre-dawn. He tried to relocate his limbs and found that they had actually righted themselves. There to be still blood under him, but it to be no much longer warm and most that it had actually been washed away by the rain.

For the first time in years, Loki sat up. He took the time to watch his surroundings, Alley, and after ~ a couple of minutes of struggling to stand, he settled for sustaining his body weight on the wall beside him. That hobbled come the mouth the the alley and looked around, thanking the Norns that there to be no one around to view him in such a state.

His storage was tho a little fuzzy, still dredging chin up whatever void it’d made decision to hole in when he to be still floating in nothing, but he could identify the he remained in a person city. Midgard.

Finding himself too worn down to it is in displeased by his location, he racked up his brain on the finest course that action. A pulse of magic aided him adjust his clothes, do his head spin because that a moment, yet he managed. The unsteadily walked under overhangs, still utilizing walls to support himself, and found a hotel. Thankfully, he had enough magic to falsify a card and let the an equipment accept it. Top top a whim, the booked for a week, as it would certainly be a problem to continuously shot to uncover shelter.

He broke down on the bed that his room, not bothering to clean increase or adjust his clothes. He didn’t wake up up because that at the very least three days.

Once he to be functioning and his brain didn’t feel favor it to be stuck under lots of ice, the assessed his situation, trying an extremely hard to save his discomfort of being on Midgard from affecting his decision. Cloaking self from Heimdall’s sight was done as soon as he had actually his magic properly returned, although the act had probably shed its to plan effect because he’d been on planet for an ext than 24 hrs uncloaked. So much though, no one had come because that him (no one will come because that him, bastard child - ) and if he relocated fast sufficient he might be able to evade additional surveillance.

Midgard was also vast, and also unfamiliar to Asgardians. It was, strategically speaking, the perfect ar to hide.

And because his safety and security was his top priority – his just priority, as he still needed to sort the rest out – it would certainly be much more favorable for him to stay.

He did. Falsifying more information was easy enough, and he bounced from human being to human being who to be kind sufficient to offer aid to a bewildered stranger, taking benefit of said kindness, till he was able to clear up himself in a small, however polished and furnished flat under a Mrs. Harrison. The first few months that not drawing attention to self were easy, as he spent many of his time recovering the remainder of his magic and learning whatever he could around Midgard. History alone was a vast topic come cover.

And then, 4 months and also thirteen days due to the fact that Loki fell to Earth, he felt it.

Magic. Overwhelming, an effective magic that tainted the wind itself, making it suffocating for him come breathe for a couple of hours, but the people hadn’t noticed. In fact, they seemed to it is in breathing much better despite the polluted Manhattan air roughly them.

A couple of weeks later, the news even reported the the air to be observed to have a huge amount of pollution lifted indigenous it, and the toxicity was lessened significantly. And if that didn’t raise alert bells in Loki’s head, climate the emotion of that powerful magic obtaining closer was.

It no in the basic area, that lot he knew. The was more than likely on one more island, yet it was moving, and also it was moving fast. The magic around the air to be condensing though. The results still lasted, and also it showed up to have bought the planet’s poisoned air some time prior to it turn deadly, number of centuries in ~ most, however the magic itself was gathering. It had been scattered from its resource and currently said source was recovering and moving.

Towards wherein Loki was. Scarily fast.

He can not think of anyone in Asgard whom he personally knew that managed the winds. Or even had magic this powerful sufficient to affect the waiting itself. Magic was no looked at in pleasant light in the realm Eternal.

Was the it, then? walk the AllFather send someone with association come Asgard that knew magic, incredibly an effective magic, come hunt that down? someone he didn’t recognize so the he had actually no idea exactly how he can exploit their weaknesses?

He set up more cloaking and protection wards roughly the flat that night. It never hurt to be careful. There was a opportunity that the new mage had less endure than Loki, or the they weren’t here for him at all. Midgard to be a loud small realm and also attracted all kinds that trouble.

He discussed moving urban for a while, but decided that the finest move would certainly be to remain put. He to be as hidden as anyone in the Nine might – he was cloaked against Heimdall, for Odin’s benefits – and if that moved, if that exposed self or also showed the slightest action of running, that would draw attention to himself.

Two work later, the magic was definitely in the city. Loki stayed in his flat.

It to be a week prior to he determined it wasn’t trying to find him. That wasn’t also doing anything the remotely looked favor it was scouring. It to be just…moving. From location to place. Restless.

And he was likewise running out of food, and so as not to freak anyone out or alert the of his presence, he had actually to walk.

That was just how he met john Egbert.

The young had practically barreled into him on his means back come his flat, and Loki confirmed that he to be neither Asgardian no one after the god that mischief. For one, he to be dressed in a man outfit the was blue every over and a very impractical windsock hoodie. The was also looking for world named Jade, Dave and Rose.

Loki had actually told him he knew nobody of them and brushed the boy aside.

“You felt choose magic,” John had actually said. Loki quit in his tracks. “I believed you could be them.”

For the next few days, John complied with him approximately like a puppy, and also Loki had threatened the with death several times if he no going to stop. John had blinked and also laughed in ~ the threats. As soon as Loki tried to slam the door in his face, man turned into wind itself and let himself within the flat anyway.

That was once the keeping-out wards acquired put up. John required to hanging external his door, befriending the remainder of the building’s occupants in the process, and also hovering outside his window. When asked if he had anything far better to do, man shrugged.

“Not really. Ns don’t know where the others are. I can’t feeling them. And this isn’t my universe,” the said. Then changed his glasses. “At the very least I think that not. I mean, I definitely remember planet being destroyed.”

That had actually piqued Loki’s interest. Yet John was still unwelcome. And also still infuriatingly outside of his level every time.

Whenever that went because that a supply operation (Oh, just how the mighty have fallen. Once, he had gone the end of his home to hunt, to conquer, and also now that was obtaining out of his residence to walk to Walmart to pick up a box of tea, a carton of eggs, and a box of milk.), man tagged along. They attractive attention because of the boy’s man outfit, but after the first minutes that shock, everyone just offered them a vast berth.

John helped with the shopping, surprisingly. And also looked at the cake box (Betty Crocker, Loki noted) choose they to be the most disgusting point he’d ever laid his eyes on.

Eventually, shopping-helping turn to helping Loki the end with number of Midgardian points he didn’t quite get, like bulk of the realm’s digital appliances, clothes (the casual component of it), pop culture references and food. That microwaves were evil and also that he essential to get a real oven was among John’s an initial lessons.

Since the boy couldn’t quite help with a lot of stuff in the level with the wards, a variety of those to be taken under (just the people that preserved him out, actually).

Loki couldn’t remember when John actually moved in. That figured it was sometime approximately his neighbors started calling the boy his little mutant brothers (the black hair and mischievous disposition, apparently), and then his landlady said that he had actually to put the boy on the lease if he to be sticking around.

The remainder just fell into place after that.

Six months and also twelve job after Loki fell, another burst the magic fell to Midgard. Man disappeared for a while and also returned v who he presented to Loki as his twin sister, Jade.

(“Twin paradox sister, i think?”)

A month after ~ that, the magic pulse to be stronger, and this time the twins came ago with another collection of siblings. Dave and also Rose.

(“Paradox ectobiological twin,” climbed said.

“Slime sister,” Dave said.)

They to be curious children, every one of whom harbored magic cores near parallel come his own. Pull on in childish outfits. And could fly. And had somehow declared his flat for your own. Loki had actually been too busy being fascinated by lock to an alert that lock camped out in his life room every night, and also that John’s presence during shopping runs had actually turned to four teenagers following him to Walmart.

Mrs. Harrison, once again, mentioned the lease.

Still, there to be something come be got here. This lot magic in these children who happened to fall under his roof – if he were to be friends through them, should the require arise, lock could help him. They appeared to it is in loyal.

When they to be asked what kind of mages castle were and also where they had actually come indigenous (Loki included them come the rent, that was just fair), John had actually made a face.

“M’not a mage,” he’d said, “I’m an Heir.”

Loki increased an eyebrow.

“It’s a title,” rose explained. “Each of us have actually titles correlating come our class and aspect, which indicates what we deserve to do as god tiers.”

It figured. Of course they were gods.

“I’m an heir of Breath,” man said. Loki’s mind settled the implications. That explained the magic in the wind once he dropped to Earth.

“Witch the Space.”

“Knight that Time.”

“I am a Seer of Light.”

“We’re from…another universe, you can say,” Jade said. “Another reality. This is definitely not our earth. It feels different. We’re out of place, the same time not.”

Loki’d watched stranger. And the ide of various other realities wasn’t foreign to him. A lot of books on magic had actually proposed the theory of travel to various other realities by complex spells.

“What about you, what are you?” Dave asked, straight-faced.

Loki’s lips twitched. “The God that Mischief.”

Dave’s eyes widened behind his shades – Loki can see the clearly. His vision wasn’t together weak together humans’ tended to it is in – and also Dave leaned ago slightly. The god grinned. At least someone recognized him.


Five god rent a level in Manhattan. The sounded like the start of a bad joke.


John does clean the end the gum out of the carpet. Nobody helps him.

The following morning, Dave stomps out of the bathroom there is no a shirt, hold a dryer in one hand with coco powdered milk almost everywhere his face. He doesn’t have his shades once he stomps into the kitchen, whereby Rose and Loki space making breakfast since it was your turn.

John grins, climbing out the his chair while Dave throws the dryer at him. John turns to wind before it have the right to hit him, the course, and also escapes with the open windows, cackling.

Jade chooses this minute to go into the kitchen, fresh dressed, spring smug as all hell.

Dave is still glaring at where Egbert was. That straightens after a moment and tries to wipe the powder off of him.

“Ghostbusters goes?” Jade asks together she opens up the fridge, not even looking at Dave.

He renders a tiny angry noise and gives a stiff nod. “Ghostbusters goes.”

Well, if the Avengers suddenly uncover themselves ~ above a mission to uncover where every one of the absent Ghostbusters merchandise have actually gone, Loki isn’t interfering as lengthy as no Dave or Jade obtain caught.


Tony distinct stares at the reports top top the screen. The team – Avengers, whatever, they will do just gotten together to stop that one insane Amo-something lady who had a point for Thor and also they no really have a time to argue about group surname – had actually been referred to as in once S.H.I.E.L.D got enormous readings of energy from all over the globe, too quick to be caught by groups of agents that were getting here via quinjet. By the moment the agents had gotten there, there was one more energy spike across the world and also there to be nothing they can find to show what had caused it.

So the Avengers (minus Thor; Asgard business) were assembled to check out if lock could catch whatever that was. Lock couldn’t. That moved way too fast.

When the team had been lugged in for debriefing, the damage caused through the energy spikes was…

“You’re serious, right?” Tony turns to Nick Fury, that is living up to his name as he tries come drill right into Tony’s head with his solitary eye.

Clint is snickering. Also Steve looks favor he wants to laugh.

For some reason, the Avengers had actually unknowingly assembled to prevent the global destruction that Ghostbusters DVDs and also several various other merch. And failed, that course.


The critical time Loki had gone together with them on one excursion, the was when they’d all complained about camping in the living room and fighting each various other for the couch, and also so to remedy this, they all went the end to purchase beds. Since none of the youngsters were acquainted with this Manhattan, Loki had actually taken lock out, noted they no wear your ridiculous pajamas. Castle were an ext than happy to comply.

Jade still wore a black and also blue dress that had actually stars top top it. But it to be a action down indigenous god tier clothes. (Also, Loki was fond the dressing come impress. Jade being his favorite started beforehand on.)

They’d obtained the beds after four hours walking about the mall and for the first time in history, Loki felt the tremendous strain of gift a parent. A parental to god-children. One of whom would certainly suddenly start talking and also not stop, another who would laugh at the strangest things ever, another who wanted to do a residence at the pet shop, and the last who was very sewing the voice of reason out of every one of them.

“We can take some time come wind down from…everything we’ve to be through. Overstimulation once you’re offered to so little can make one’s psychological state a little frazzled,” Rose had said. Loki’d taken that. Therefore he permit them be.

Except once they gained home, they were arguing around rooms again.

The flat only had one guest room, and also it would certainly not fit 4 beds, and nobody want to it is in roommates through John Egbert when he was overexcited around being alive and being top top Earth and also was in the mood for pranks.

Loki rented the various other unit. With permission, Jade renovated.

As because that other exterior walks, they’d relegated chores. The upside of having actually four brand-new wards was the Loki no longer had to walk shopping himself. Therefore supply run was commonly down come Rose and also Jade, since if Dave did it, there would certainly be an excess of apple juice; if it was John, lock wouldn’t have anything to execute with Betty Crocker. Frankly, the boys were useless.

Every now and also then, Loki saw the library come borrow books. A couple of weeks right into the kids staying at his flat, climbed started comes with.

Today, though, everybody’s determined to come with him. It’s been nine months since Loki fell, around five due to the fact that John come , three since Jade and two since Dave and also Rose. Everyone still isn’t very great with handling Earth, largely due to culture shock (“How carry out they not have sylladexes?”), and also every now and also then, anyone looks at the sky like they’re expecting something to autumn out that it. For different reasons, of course.

Also, over there is the truth that a month ago, Amora had come with a Chitauri military that arrived via Tesseract. They to be lucky enough to not have their level destroyed. (Also, Loki had a difficult time telling all of them to remain down, due to the fact that so lot was walk wrong.)

Everyone’s jumpy. The kids might have actually abandonment issues. So Loki doesn’t error them for adhering to him in an honest-to-god line to the library.

They’re largely quiet, thankfully. He provides his way to the now-familiar background section and pulls the end a few books. Climbed is in she usual beanbag chair by the kid’s ar no one yes, really uses. Jade is browsing the books and also has favored to sit in front of a shelf, a dog publication opened to a page of a large white hound; she look at wistful and also the ear on height of she head space drooping. Dave has a stack of magazines and newspapers and also goes over to sit alongside his sister, claiming a red beanbag. Man is quiet browsing.

A minute later, Jade grabs a bright eco-friendly bean bag and also sits alongside the fair-haired siblings.

After half an hour, John claims the blue one and also grabs among Dave’s magazines.

Dave very closely kicks a dark eco-friendly beanbag towards Loki’s direction. The ignores it.

Loki borrows one book on Egyptian arts history, climbed borrows two on mythology and one top top fantasy fiction and Dave tries to borrow the entire plethora that magazines and newspapers he is chosen. He’s no allowed. He settles for one of those ‘year in review’ books.

They go for having lunch in a small café. They do a spectacle that themselves once Dave all of sudden transitions from talk to ranting come rapping and also then Jade beginning drumming to win on the table. John sings a tune and also Rose harmonizes. Loki leans his head top top the glass that the window they’re seated beside and also looks in ~ the sky as the starts to rain. The kids don’t avoid singing.

He wonders where throughout being really upset to really exhausted did he resign himself to the fate that living and also putting up through these self-made gods, yet he’s no complaining. They’re kind kids, and they have no qualms v trickery or magic. And also they would be an advantage to his side.

The library outings end up being frequent because then. Loki go not have actually to contact them, since everyone keeps a schedule of when he walk there and they gain themselves ready and tag along. Somewhere along the way, that starts to it is in a ritual. At specifically three in the afternoon top top a Thursday, every one of them walk to the library and read till dinner. Afterwards, there’s a hit to watch if lock eat the end or have actually dinner in ~ home. (The struggle mostly consists of rock-paper-scissors, winner obtaining three. V Loki continually conjuring credit transaction cards, they didn’t have to worry about money.)


Dave Strider reads and also reads and also reads. Magazines, newspapers, almanacs, Guinness document books, year books, and also every now and then he reads one or 2 of Loki’s chosen history books or asks for the cliff notes version of it.

“This universe’s timeline is different,” the says. “I deserve to feel it. I simply want to know everything about it. And – that 2012. My planet didn’t get to live past 2009. Ns wanna know.”

So the reads. And also he thinks it’s a little rad that mutants take it on a totality new an interpretation in this universe other than simply a couple of extra appendages, or a absence of melanin, or various eye shade (or blood color, he thinks and tries not to dwell ~ above it), and that lock aren’t as despised together he’d expected them to be. He finds the Avengers a little funny, because – okay, as far as man outfits go, god tier pajamas were certainly topnotch, yet at least they were comfy.

He reads articles about the new York invasion, around survivor accounts, about the supervisor friends and also the heartwarming story of family members being separated and thought dead and also reunions.

(And he tries no to think the what these world have gone through is nothing compared come what he and also his friend have. Nothing compared to gift thirteen and watching as meteors rained down the sky and knowing that there to be nothing you can do however save yourself. That everyone in your city to be doomed. Nothing compared to the Reckoning destroying your whole planet. Nothing compared to years and also years and years of jumping around time until you didn’t understand what came an initial and what came after. Nothing compared to never getting to speak goodbye to her parents and meeting a version of them the wasn’t yes, really them. Nothing contrasted to seeing her friends die over and over again and remembering. Nothing compared to universes destroyed and also scratched and put with each other wrong left and also right. Nothing nothing nothing –

Dave Strider tries not to it is in selfish. But he’s tired. And also he’s angry. And also he’s lost in a brand-new universe that isn’t his home and will never be his home and also he doesn’t recognize what come do. He no know exactly how to be angry. His Bro never ever taught him. His Bro teach him how to not to be anything other than a warrior elevated for a battlefield.)

He finds that he no quite care if he is a little careless through his sunglasses as long as he is in the flat. He’s had actually doubts the Loki’s had actually super-vision for a while, and also when it to be confirmed, over there wasn’t yes, really anything to it is in done about it. His friends have seen more than red eyes. (Like him, bleeding on the floor, dying, fighting, crying, being a generally pathetic mess who couldn’t store himself native flinching at any time he opened the refrigerator or the cooktop or the cupboard, jumping around puppets, crying end a dead brother-father who he no love but didn’t hate.)

He the town hall the news and also doesn’t ask whenever Loki keeps to the residence whenever there’s news of Thor gift on Earth, or if the sharper god feeling his presence. Dave knows a point or two about fathers you could never please. About brothers who shone therefore bright that you didn’t notification you to be drowning in your shadow until you couldn’t breathe.

(None of lock asked either, but during the first few times the they acquired confused, Rose had actually whispered the Thor is Loki’s brother. The god confirmed in a short, clipped “Yes.”)

He tries to make himself comfortable and he finds fun and laughs as soon as he wants to since he knows how vital that is now. The still records himself placing on that empty face, but when he feels like laughing his head off at something, he no hesitate. This people is safe together it deserve to be. This is a world without the Game. This is a brand-new life.

Dave Strider is working difficult on being happy.


John Egbert doesn’t sleep so much nowadays.

He doesn’t require to. That hasn’t essential to for a very long time. The job he passed away on that quest bed was the critical time he had ever needed sleep. (And if he thanks Vriska because that making his demise as painless as possible, nobody needs to know.)

But it’s no so much as he doesn’t need to as much as he additionally doesn’t desire to. Due to the fact that if he does, climate he deserve to see the – have the right to see the Condesce getting here in her ship when his friends fall over and also kill each other, can see Jade getting crushed by her very own tower, can see Dave acquiring stabbed twice, deserve to see Karkat fall in the lava, deserve to see Terezi and also Gamzee choke and also claw at each other, can see increased die saying goodbye to her mother, can see Roxy cry due to the fact that she feel so, for this reason alone, have the right to see Dirk blame self for every little thing that has actually happened.

And john – John has messed increase so much. Terezi had actually instructed that on what to change, and also he walk that, however somewhere along the means of it actually working and also going well, Vriska alive and Gamzee subdued and also everyone an excellent and well on the meteor and also on the way to fighting mr English and Jack Noir and also the Batterwitch, they’d struggle a rip and suddenly everything was blinding and also he was falling, falling, falling and then scattering right into the wind he really was, right prior to he struggle the ground.

Suddenly planet was well again. That was approximately him. It to be dirty and it was hot, but it to be Earth.

But it no his Earth. He to be lucky sufficient to monitor instinct and also hone in top top the nearest allude of magic at the time, i m sorry turned out to it is in the God that Mischief that was currently their sort-of guardian.

He doesn’t recognize where the others are and also is thankful that Dave, Jade and Rose are right here with him. He is thankful Loki is letting them stay. To be fair, that was rather desperate and also clingy as soon as he very first fell around here.

He notices the Dave is make the efforts to record up where this planet was different and also where you will do it left the off because it’s to be years since 2009. He reads along as soon as he’s bored. The thinks the with just a couple of alterations, this would have been whereby their earth was.

This earth is fascinating, and also he’s glad the the Ghostbusters still exist in this universe, however is bummed that he’d pissed his friends sufficient that castle wiped the end every solitary one (he checked and climate sulked) that its merchandise. He numbers he had it coming. However he was getting restless. He can only pace and also look in ~ the sky waiting for something, anything, to loss out of that (the Condesce’s army, the Reckoning, mr English, Jack Noir) before he acquired stir crazy and decided to relieve stress and anxiety by setting up a couple of good pranks.

That was a perk that living v Loki. God the Mischief, and John’s brand-new hero beside Colonel Sassacre, and he was entirely fine through playing a good joke or two.

Sometimes man thinks Loki is as lost as that is. It is okay. At the very least they were all lost together. He had actually a feeling the rather were lost too. None belonged come this world. This was just a tiny safehouse because that them.

The whole Amora deal freaked him the end for a while (the Condescension, the Condescension, the Condescension is here) and he’d turned come wind the minute the others, and a few civilians they’d operation into, were safe. He didn’t materialize for around two days. Then Jade dragged the to your living room and distracted him with the Avengers. She chosen Iron Man. He favored the Hulk. Dave shrugged. Rose said she would have cheered for Amora if the Enchantress hadn’t ruined the structures near them, so if Loki was an Avenger then he’d be she favorite. Loki snorted. (And john is so onto the ‘secret’ great he’s giving Rose. He simply knows it. Two magic-loving nerds nerding the out. That loves castle both.)

John periodically goes out at nights, flying unseen throughout the skies of brand-new York, simply taking whatever in. Occasionally he no return because that days, although he provides sure that everyone knows he is going come a…it’s certainly not a roadtrip, but it’s a an international travel because that days top top end. No everyone deserve to fly around unseen prefer him. Loki quiet loves his seclusion. So they don’t push.

He doesn’t tell them he is been about Stark tower much more than 3 times. Jade would certainly love the place.


Rose Lalonde sees.

It’s difficult not to; it’s her job, it’s she title. However being on this brand-new Earth has actually made points overwhelming.

She have the right to see the – Light, Fortune, Fate – all roughly them; about everyone who they happen on the streets; roughly their neighbors; approximately the kids that run and stick your hands right into unsuspecting pockets. So lot light, swirling in and also out and also around their heads. Part have had actually Fortune smile on them, others have actually not.

Where in the meteor, the just thing she can do was sense and see which food of action would lug out the most favorable result, right here on this brand-new Earth, she deserve to see fortune chin on the beings that inhabit it. She think it is due to the fact that of the video game – she was a necessary asset in order for their sessions come strategize, however it can not be giving her everyone fate-reading since that wasn’t necessary. However as a Seer, it should be in her capacity, and now that they to be out, here it was.

Sometimes she understands why Loki likes come hole self up in your flat.

It’s a little mercy the she can only feeling her companions’ fates, Loki’s included. That might be something afforded to god – to creatures so lengthy lived and with so vast a range that anything and everything could impact their fortunes. She stays in the house and only walk out when necessary, and preferably with her friends.

None that them have actually been an extremely smiled-upon by fate. Every one of them had lost miscellaneous – them in the game, and also Loki somewhere at some point he go not want to say. Increased does not press. Rose will not press. Above all, she understands the pang the loss.

Loki is a curious creature, and she to know he is not lying once he insurance claims he is the God of Mischief. The comes with various other titles, she has read that much – God that Lies, the Deceit; Bringer the Ragnarok; mom of Monsters; God of Fire. However also, it comes with an additional side to the coin – God that Life, that Mind; Bringer of Beginnings; Bringer the Fate. A deciding element for the scale of Fortune to tip. That is, in his own way, their counterpart in this universe – they lugged the finish of the universe through them and also were tasked to birth a new one; that is to be the bringer that Ragnarok, the cleansing the everything prior to the cosmos starts all over again, or the one to ensure that is never brought back, or even that it never pertains to pass.

If over there is something Rose has actually learned from the Game, the is that fate is never ever set, no for as lengthy as civilization pull their own strings.

Loki hasn’t had actually much favor in the department, because that everyone appears to want to pull his strings because that him, and maybe that is the source of the heavy cloud the drowning about him. They all have actually that exact same cloud approximately them. Jade hides it v her smile. Man hides it through his pranks. Dave hides it behind his aviators and that mask which has been crafted from birth. Rose goes around her day and also avoids the as much as possible. She does no talk around her mother, she does no talk about Kanaya, she does not talk about the friend she misses dearly and also the hope that she will check out them again. (If they landed here and also found every other, what to be the odds of everyone being may be to find themselves as well?)

Loki is prefer her. He doesn’t talk either, however there is that somber gait to him, the hint that he might have when walked prefer a prince, but was currently nothing an ext than a runaway, scarred by also much and also wary of also many. Rose sees the purple lights, numerous, swarming him whenever they clock the news and he records sight that Thor.

When, one night, she catches him watching the so late news around another strike taken treatment of by the Avengers, she asks the why. She doesn’t suppose him to answer, that course. Yet she knows Loki have the right to sense her ability to see and knows that also if both the them didn’t want secrets out in the open, she would know. She might see. That is no something she deserve to turn off uneven she wanted to it is in blinded, and also even then, Terezi to be a an effective seer regardless of her absence of sight.

“He is mine brother and at the exact same time, that is not,” Loki says. The doesn’t turn to her. “I loved him.” climbed looks down. “I quiet do.”

The violet swirls that betrayal pulse and brighten. And then they’re joined by gold. By blue. So lot blue that it drowns out the rest of it. The hefty cloud lifts for a moment, and then it handle again.

Rose nods and doesn’t pry. At the an extremely least she knows that Loki is fiercely loyal, until you provide him a factor not come be.

She no sleep well either. An ext than as soon as she’s caught John paris out, restless, and also she doesn’t speak to him the end on the or phone call the others. It is his choice to tell. She knows the restlessness and she knows the they’re all unable come sleep because that the same reason. Man was additionally there v her as soon as they uncovered their parents dead.

(She wishes she never ever meets Jack Noir again. Because that both their sakes.)

Their resident cheater is additionally on the no-sleep bandwagon, therefore she asks if he would be ready to provide magic lessons.

He gets this look at in his eyes that she reads together suspicion, sadness, laced through curiosity, and also a childish, childish hope. Rose practically reaches out and tells him she being an extremely sincere, due to the fact that she knows the look of denial everywhere. (Remembers that from the time she was mocked by her peers because of her love for the uncanny, the occult, the fantastical and also the magical. And also then she mistook her mother’s actions for mockery together well. She tries not to think around that.)

To her surprise, he agrees.

So they practice. Initially, that course, Loki asks she what she currently knows and discusses theory. She shows him her knitting needles, conjures fire and also fires a couple of shots the break a few glasses.

“Wands space often poor conductors that seiðr.” He says as that inspects she knitting needles. “Mostly because magic isn’t so much as a thing to be control, but much more of a part of one’s make-up. Using a funnel would certainly be most ineffective in making use of a waterfall to placed out a fire.”

He no sound condescending. Nor does the look it. The is stating facts and Rose is glad that she will likewise find no josh here. “Take man Egbert, for example. His seiðr is an ext attuned come wind, and also according come him, it took him a when to grasp it – entailing a many threats come his life – and also that is understandable. The was need that allowed him come learn, and he did therefore wonderfully. Yet the core principle is that you are magic. John is as one v the wind as it is through him. That is why he have the right to so easily come to be it.”

Rose considers this. “So need to I great it, ns can become light?”

“John is an succession of Breath. To mine understanding, an heir becomes. that is much easier for him. You are a Seer.” that does that little smile that he gets when something genuinely fascinates him. “And you have actually seen plenty, increased Lalonde. Her wands room not conduits, they are fetters.” the tilts his head, and in the dim light, increased thinks the green of his irises glow. “You have seen far past anyone should.”

Rose’s breath hitches together she thinks Grimdark. Maybe the is still festering under her skin. Come to think that it, she doesn’t recognize how they got rid of it, and also she’s to be wielding magic ever due to the fact that the game started and also broke the rule of truth as she knew it.

You are magic.

DNA codes deserve to hardly it is in rewritten when they’ve to be woven into your blood and also flesh.

“I deserve to feel it,” Loki says. He’s turned away towards the window. “It is a powerful, powerful thing. Wherever did you find it?”

Rose licks she lips and draws in a breath.

“Sometimes magic can be enhanced, if that does no clash v your very own seiðr,” Loki says, “Like a new limb.”

She exhales shakily. “I to be desperate.” rose doesn’t look up. He doesn’t say anything. “And angry. He killed my mother.”

Loki doesn’t answer. She notices he’s fairly still.

Then he nods. He turns earlier to her and also continues to talk about theory like they hadn’t talked about anything else at all. He says that many of she magic is instinctual (like the rest of them), and that is good. Instinct is a good place to discover from. However most the instinct is likewise to destroy and also to protect. Struggle or flight.

He teaches she a couple of spells and also begins her through runework. By the end of the week, she knows just how to cure scrapes and also burns. It’s rather useful.


Jade Harley have the right to feel the revolve of this Earth, the bowl so really slowly shifting and also breathing, have the right to feel the reassuring of the wound that its pollution whenever her brothers spreads his magic to the winds, have the right to feel all of the eye of so numerous other creatures in an are on it, and also it feel wrong.

It’s no home. It will never be home. But Jade doesn’t have almost everywhere to go. (And wasn’t the ironic, that she could go precise anywhere. She lives and also breathes and is room itself, and also somehow that’s not sufficient for her to run run run.)

She doesn’t want to be fickle, she yes, really doesn’t, but she’s grown up in one island every by herself, and also then all of sudden she was through her friends, and also then they to be ripped native her, again and again and also again and suddenly she’s earlier on Earth, with so numerous people, but none the them room the ones she’s looking for and also she doesn’t favor it. Doesn’t prefer being surrounding by so plenty of strangers when the ones she desires to it is in with space either dead or no here.

She doesn’t desire to be ungrateful, but she just misses everybody.

She misses Becquerel, and that’s a little funny since they’re one now. However she misses his companionship, she misses playing v him. She misses she guns and also she misses she gardens and also she misses her science experiments in she labs and also god, she just wants to walk home.

But her earth is destroyed. Perhaps this was a consolation indigenous the Game, due to the fact that they’d wrecked it as finest as castle can. (Three or maybe also four sessions converging, and that was never claimed to happen. But then everyone on every session was very eager come raise their center fingers to the skies too, so perhaps their inherent stubbornness promoted that. She doesn’t remorse it. She simply regrets they’re not here and there’s nothing she have the right to do around it.)

They’re all out of ar here. It’s not their universe, and also there room niches shaped like them but not quite. Favor a shirts that’s just a size smaller. That doesn’t fairly fit, or the does if you force it, however it’s uncomfortable.

She make the efforts her ideal though. She tries come fit in here. She it s okay a bit of fun picking from her alchemized dresses stored in she sylladex and also looking fairly fabulous. (She’d seen Loki’s approving smile. If world were going to stare, she was going to make it worth your while.) She reads gardening books and wishes their level had a backyard, however it doesn’t, so she simply buys a few pots and also sets them the end on the window sill. She pauses by pet stores and also thinks about Becquerel, yet there’s a warmth in she chest that reminds she he’s not rather gone, and also that as with before, the was always going to it is in there. Bec’s constantly been there for her.

She buys it s her a flute and also relearns her means around it. She walks about the city, even if that by herself, to see the soil she knows as well as herself. She feels its every change and breath v her heartbeat, she’s entitled come at least walking approximately to see it herself. It takes she a when to obtain her bearings ~ above where whatever is, yet after a couple of weeks of walking, she confident enough to teleport from one street to the one throughout it, native one structure to another, and then indigenous Manhattan come Chicago and also then earlier to their apartment.

Once, she goes under at night come fetch herself a glass of milk and finds Loki and Rose ~ above the couch both illustration sigils in the air, leaving light in the wake up of their fingers and also forming beautiful runes. Rose’s were violet and Loki’s to be green.

She stop by the stairs, however they don’t show up to it is in bothered by her presence. Rose supplies her a tiny smile and also Loki nods in acknowledgement. Figuring this no the weirdest thing she’s watched in her life, she makes her way to the kitchen, gets she glass milk and then returns to the life room.

Rose is quiet drawing, although Loki has actually paused and also is spring at she runes. Rose draws a circle, and then looks at Loki. That nods. She draws a line and then –

Jade nearly drops the glass the milk. Rose isn’t top top the couch anymore. The violet runework has disappeared too, in ~ the same time she did.

Loki smiles at the where rose was sitting and then erases his own runework v a flick the his hand. “Good,” the says.

“This isn’t permanent, is it?” yes Rose’s voice wherein she was just sitting a few seconds ago. Jade feeling for she presence and also is relieved to uncover that Rose’s works with have continued to be unchanged.

“It is not. Although i think us will have that lesson for one more night. Girlfriend have tired your seiðr enough.” Loki is drawing sigils in eco-friendly light again, over the spot where Rose had actually sat. When he’s finished, climbed flickers earlier into presence again. Jade mouths a small, “Whoa.”

Rose yawns and nods. “I do feel tired.”

Jade takes a gulp from she glass and asks, “Was that an invisibility spell?”

Rose smiles and also nods. “It was,” Loki says. “One the the an easy cloaking practices for young magic workers.”

“I had asked because that lessons,” rose says. “I saw an chance to discover from the greatest sorcerer in every one of the nine and took it.”

“You’ve to be reading.” Loki offers her a look Jade can’t fairly read, but Rose appears confident.

“Small facts,” she says. “Nothing else.”

The god doesn’t remove his gaze from her for a when before transforming away and also leaning back into the couch. Jade renders a note to not review Norse mythology without Loki’s permission. That stuff was more than likely like the tabloid gossip the Asgard.

Rose turns to Jade. “You know, the is also very skilled in skywalking.”

Loki offers her one more look, yet there’s no venom behind it. That looks away after a second.

“Skywalking?” Jade asks.

“It’s similar to your teleporting,” rose says. “But the scope is wider. Planets. Realms. Galaxies. The entirety of the Yggdrasil in a few steps.”

She’ll have actually to gain on reading up on what Yggdrasil is. Loki there is no reacted. Must be a go-zone with reading.

Jade’s ear perk up with the point out of realms and galaxies though. The most she’s teleported has been world to planet, and also even then it takes concentration. Galaxies and Realms in a couple of steps? the sounded handy and also fun.

“Skywalking is come me what manipulating an are is because that you, Jade,” Loki says.

“He is labelled skies Walker,” rose adds.

Jade blinks. “Isn’t the – ”

“Where perform you think the surname Luke Skywalker is from?”

Jade mouths an additional “Whoa.” and also then complies with it through a “Loki Sky-Walker. Oh.” She transforms to the god, that looks a small amused however tired.

Rose looks at him too. He level it v a glare that softens after ~ a minute.

“Can girlfriend teach me?” Jade asks. Climbed grins.

Loki sighs. Still, he nods.

Jade transforms to rose this time. “Rose, you just took my childhood and made it much more awesome.”


Loki is the boy of none and the brother of (Thor) nobody.

He is a monster, a liar, a fugitive, and also an unwanted son.

Although, somehow, his brand-new charges beg to differ.

Loki sits at the dinner table and also nobody screams or yells as soon as the apples unexpectedly sprout legs and run. They every jump; Dave leans back until his ago is pressed against his chair, Rose’s eye go large and watch fascinated through the tiny legs, Jade instantly starts chasing one and once she catches it, she cooes over just how cute it is, and also John is beside himself with excitement, yelling, “How walk you do that?!”

Nobody tells him his magic is the end of place, or that it is abhorrent, or deceitful, or evil, or disgraceful. Castle think the magnificent and also wonderful. Spectacular. Miscellaneous to it is in shared and also reveled with. If that has any kind of doubt of the seiðr the flows v their veins, it is moments favor this that he convinces him that he is amongst people who love magic as much as that does. Who are magic themselves.

It’s…it suspends his feeling of normality, for a small while. However then man pulls pranks and nobody hates him for it, Dave reads and nobody berates him for such ‘effeminate behavior’, increased asks him come teach her magic and also Jade asks him come teach her to skywalk. What Asgard loathes and despises, lock embrace.

He think they would never fit there. Neither would certainly he. But they right here, in this little self-made home of theirs that’s a pretty small flat in Manhattan.

He likes it an ext than he thinks he should.

To them, he is no a monster. They speak they’ve checked out worse. Climbed says she’s to be one. They’re not in a place to judge.

(“I plan the eradication of an entire race.”

“You planned,” Dave says. “We wiped out our own planet.”

“By accident,” man says.

“But human being died.” Dave shrugs. “All friend did was plan. We actually executed and also we didn’t even plan squat.”

Rose helpfully says, “I’ve had actually real demons under mine skin.”)

To them, he is not a liar. Greatly for absence of trying, due to the fact that there is a Seer under your roof. Lying kind of loses its intended result when stated Seeing isn’t even a learned art one deserve to merely cloak themselves from, however an innate ability as natural as breathing itself. He doesn’t lie since he doesn’t require to. Rose does not need to pry, she never does. She just sees, and also Loki is helpless versus it. The chafes versus him, enrages the sometimes, however Lalonde no pry. She never ever does and she never will. She doesn’t tell and she asks if she desires to know. Lalonde respects him. And also he’s thankful because that that.

To them, he is not a fugitive. He’s just someone who needs a safehouse. A sanctuary. Someday he will certainly tell them, because there is no allude in maintaining secrets once it is ceiling to see, yet it is his story come tell and also Rose go not provide it out if he does no speak of it. Yet one day. At some point he’ll explain. And he wishes they don’t turn their deals with away prefer his not-friends.

(“It’s choose we’re all on witness defense program,” Dave says.

John sits up. “Hey, aren’t we type of fugitives come the Batterwitch too?”)

To them, that is not an unwanted son. The is someone who deserves much better than what he has actually lived through. Whether or not the denial is his fault does not matter.

(“We don’t really have actually fathers in the…conventional way,” rose says.

“I was on one island, alone for many of my life,” Jade says.

“Actually, ns think the just one who had a normal connection with his dad is John,” Dave says. “I recognize a point or two about shitty bros…dads. Ns am never calling him that to his face. Oh my god. Yet technically, he’s my dad. That is a monster fucking thought to have. I never ever want come think about that again. Jegus.”)

To Rose and Jade, that is a teacher. To John, he is a fellow prankster. To Dave, that is a fellow wayward.

To them, that is a guardian, a survivor, a friend.

It do not do it matter, because Loki doesn’t have friends. Except it walk matter.

It matters because they know he’s magic and it doesn’t make him less of a person, they recognize he’s not below for a great reason and also it doesn’t do him much less of a friend, they know he’s done bad things and also it doesn’t make him a monster, they know he’s a disappointment and also it doesn’t journey them away.

It drives him insane. However he doesn’t kick them out of the house.

See more: Which Of The Following Is A Difference Between Plants And Fungi?

Dave argues they make a assistance group. John chucks the couch’s throw pillow in ~ his head and says, “We already are a assistance group.”

Five gods rent a level in Manhattan. It ends up being a makeshift support network.