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Loki had this notion in his head. His and Stark’s relationship was based solely on the physical pleasure that they both gained. Their borderline-toxic behavior also didn’t deter the other. To put it simply, they were a match made in Hel. They were bent and damaged, but their chips and grooved fitted perfect with the other.

This is why, throughout the months, Loki denied that he had feelings for Stark. Feelings that went deeper than just lust or anger. He had always felt possessive of his partners, but last week had tilted his world on its head. He wasn’t furious at Stark for trying to bed another man. He was jealous. And no longer after battles did he feel indifferent. He longed to heal Anthony. One too many times, he had to stop himself from yelling at the mortal for his recklessness.

Loki was smart enough to not even try and convince himself that this wasn’t real. He was emotionally attached to this mortal, there was no going around it. But Loki didn’t dare say anything. He couldn’t let himself.

He didn’t concern himself, pondering whether or not his feelings were mutual. Part of him didn’t want to know. Part of him didn’t care to know. In Loki’s opinion, love was a weakness. It was easily exploited, as he had done many times with his enemies. It also made people soft. Just look at Thor. He was head over heels for that ‘Jane’ woman, and what happens? He left for what they deem a ‘short’ trip on Asgard, only to come back 3 years later and find her with another man.

That was another thing entirely. Anthony was a mortal. He created faster, he lived faster. He aged faster. Even if Loki pursued a serious relationship, Tony would be gone in less than 50 years. That was equivalent to maybe one of Loki’s own.

The god was lost in thought, staring out of the window as his finger rubbed back and forth against his lip. The tower had been empty all day, Loki knew not where the team had gone. And he didn’t care. He just perched himself on Tony’s couch and thought.

The fluorescent lights flicked on as the elevator dinged, its doors opening to reveal his mortal. Anthony looked weary as he crossed the room, tossing the jacket of his suit towards the kitchen and heading towards Loki.

He paused when he noticed the god and Loki looked at him with a blank face. He sighed. The mortal knew that a telltale sign of Loki running high on emotions was his lack thereof. A blank face meant a full mind. He sat carefully on the other side of the sofa. “I didn’t expect to see you so soon.” In the week that Loki had been gone (he had stormed off in a fit of jealous anger, but he wouldn’t admit that anytime soon), Tony’s voice had recovered from its previous abuse, losing its hoarse croak. Loki didn’t feel one ounce of regret over his abuse, but he did regret leaving. His feelings wanted to talk with Tony about what had happened. “Or in the tower.”

Loki blinked at him.

“We have rules, Loki. You’re not supposed to be here. We could be caught.”

“You tried to sleep with another man. There are rules about that.” He responded.

“That’s different.”

“How so?”

Tony paused. “Because that was in the mansion, and not in the tower.”

Loki snorted. “Of course you bend the rules to be convenient for you.”

“Fuck off, you hypocrite. You do the same thing!” The mortal glared at him with those dark eyes. “Listen, it’s been a long day and I’d rather not get into a screaming match with you.”

They sat in silence. Loki continued to rub his lip and stare into space, and Tony twiddled his thumbs.
“Look,” The genius started, “I’m sorry I did that. For what it’s worth. We’ve been pretty intense lately, so I tested the limits. Obviously, I crossed a line. And I’m not just apologizing because you shredded my vocal cords with your dick.”

The god feigned indifference and turned to face the windows again.

“I’m trying to say sorry, asshole. And I don’t know how to make it up to you, other than fucking you but I don’t think that would help in this situation.” Tony shifted closer. “Can’t you, I don’t know, sense my genuity? You’re the god of lies, right? So can’t you tell that I’m not lying?”

Loki knew Tony wasn’t lying, he had sensed that all right, but he couldn’t say for sure if he was telling the truth. There were ways to lie without lying, he should know. He pursed his lips. “I cannot tell.” He admitted.

“So magic something up.” The other whined.

Loki mulled over the idea for a moment. “An empathetic bond would suit your needs. However, it is not something to take lately. It is extremely powerful and must wear off over time, from minutes to weeks. And it would not just reveal how genuine you are, it would tell me every emotion you feel, no matter how small.” He warned.
Tony shrugged, bouncing even closer on the couch. “Who gives a shit? If it keeps you from moping around like a sad little kitten, then I’m fine with it.”

Loki did not like explaining magic to those who don’t understand. He did not see the point if everything he said would just go in one ear and right out the other. So with bitter determination, he turned back to his mortal and held his hands up, his magic flowing out of his palms and engulfing the mortal. His magic pulsed, and pulsed again, when finally red leaked out of Tony’s body. It trailed like a mist to the middle of the floor, where it formed a perfect red copy of Stark. Loki’s own formed quickly next to it, the god being used to summoning his other selves.

Anthony was gaping at the two figures, standing close and looking like Christmas. “Are you certain you want to do this?” Loki tested. Tony didn’t even look at him as he started nodding furiously. Loki didn’t waste any time.

The first thing that hit him was the scent. Pure Stark. Everything that made the man what he was. The musk of his natural body, his cologne and soaps, and deodorants, the cool smell of energy and the bitter smell of metal.

The emotions followed in suite. Churning guilt was the first and foremost thing in the pit of Loki’s stomach. So, so much guilt. And bitterness. And desperation. Hope was dancing on the sides and it hurt. So he was truly regretting his previous affair? Good. He dug deeper.

Loki struggled to breathe, he didn’t want to breathe. He wanted to paint himself a martyr and shape the future. He wanted to be a god. Loki had to shake his head. These were Tony’s emotions. His feelings, not Loki’s own. He glanced over at the mortal.

Tony’s eyes had snapped shut as soon as they had absorbed each other. Tony struggled to swim through the fear, the panic, the anguish that lashed out at him in a hurricane of emotions. He could feel the need for acceptance buried deep in Loki’s person and then… Then, right there. He could feel the emotions directed at him. Lust was a given. The possessiveness wasn’t unusual, but then Tony froze. Protectiveness. Fierce, caring , protection. It was surrounded in inky black weakness with a hard shell of ‘No’. Tony didn’t know how to explain that feeling other than just the word ‘no’ over and over again. It wasn’t quite denial. It wasn’t quite anything at all.

Tony came to himself rather slowly. He found Loki still next to him, staring, and he had a faint red halo around his head. Tony opened his mouth before he closed it again. “You know,” He stated, “It isn’t weak to love someone.”

Loki frowned, not at all surprised by the mortal finding those hidden emotions. “On the contrary.”

“Yeah? How?”

Loki didn’t meet Tony’s eyes. “You would make me weak, Anthony. My ambition, my malevolence, would be smothered in my attempts to please you. My enemies would be all too eager to get their hands on you if they knew. I’ve done it myself. I’ve held daggers against a few innocent wives before, and even fewer felt that blade across their neck. I know how this works, Anthony, for I have been on the other side of it. I see nothing good can come of it.”

“Well… I’m not a damsel in distress. I’m willing to try it.” The mortal admitted. He leaned forward and slid his lips against Loki’s. The god remained unresponsive and stiff, a first in their affair, but it didn’t deter the mortal. “You know… we could burn worlds together, Loki.”

And with that, Loki grabbed Tony’s collar and smashed their lips together in a fierce kiss. He hurriedly pushed Tony back against the couch and managed, “I forgive you.”