Imagine being an Avenger and always making it a point to wear gloves in public. On missions, to meetings, even when you run errands. No matter the weather, you have your trusty gloves on.

The other Avengers initially thought it was weird that you even wore gloves in the summertime. “Aren’t you hot?” You’d always shrug.

Now, they just accept it as your trademark.

Truth is, nothing is hiding beneath those gloves but manicures that you’ve worked very hard on. Besides, you can’t help but find a strange amusement in keeping a “secret” from the rest of the squad, regardless of how major or minor.

One day, you’re in the privacy of your room and take your gloves off and set them in their own resting place. You hear a knock at your door and go to answer it. It’s a warm day, so you leave your gloves, deciding you’ll just have to hide your hands strategically.

When you open the door, Loki is standing there. You talk like nothing is out of the ordinary, but you could swear he’s been gradually shifting closer as the conversation continues.

Just before he leaves, he takes a hand that you’ve been hiding behind your back to kiss it.

You still try in vain to somehow keep your secret, but Loki still sees the bright pink nail polish you’ve chosen for the day.

“So, this is what you’ve been hiding.”

Shyly, you respond, “What’s life without a little mystery?”

He smirks at you before returning his attention back to your painted fingernails, mesmerized. Whether by the manicure itself or by having learned your “secret,” you can’t tell. You don’t care.

“Why do you hide your hands? They’re lovely.”

You shrug, biting your lip. “Just a little private reminder to myself. I’m a lady first, and an Avenger second.”

Loki kisses your hand once more, promising that he won’t tell anyone about your personal “reminders.”

Non tutto quel ch’è oro brilla,
Ne gli erranti sono perduti;
Il vecchio ch’è forte non s’aggrinza,
Le radici profonde non gelano.
Dalle ceneri rinascerà un fuoco,
L’ombra sprigionerà una scintilla;
Nuova sarà la lama ora rotta,
E re quei ch’è senza corona.

-“Il Signore degli Anelli, La compagnia dell’anello”, J.R.R. Tolkien