"Is this some new, weird thing you're getting into? I mean... You know you can tell me if it is, right? I won't judge."
"How would this be weird?"
"Some people might think so."
"Some people are weird, then."
"No argument there."
Tony felt fingers adjusting the hair on the back of his head, pulling it free.
"It is a blindfold, Stark. A very simple, practical item with a very simple, practical purpose. I fail to see the weirdness of it."
"You know what? For a very imaginative guy, you are surprisingly unimaginative sometimes."
In the silence that followed, Tony felt warmth as Loki moved closer to his back, hands placing themselves on his hipbones to pull him in. Warm breath touched his neck and the surprise made him flinch, but just slightly.
"Is that so?" The tone of the voice now made Tony swallow. "And yet, here I am, imagining all the ways I can prove you wrong."
"All of them? Really?"
"I could. But it would take a while, and we have someplace we need to be at the moment."
"I thought it would be obvious, given the blindfold, but I suppose you are just a bit too imaginative." Loki's smile was colouring his words. "It is meant to be a surprise, Anthony."
"Oh." It sunk in a bit. "Oh! I see. Or, you know, I don't, but -"
Sharp teeth nipped at his neck, and made his words turn into a whine.
"I could gag you as well, you know?"
He just swallowed. Again. It was actually turning into a more and more frequent part of his side of their communication.
”Well, then.” Loki moved around to stand in front of him. ”Hold on to me, Stark. Hard as you can. I would rather not arrive only to find that I have lost you along the way.”
What? No... Wait... Uh-oh.
Tony quickly got his arms around Loki's waist. He was back in the black-jeans-green-t-shirt-combo, so there was less of him to reach around, at least. Then he felt Loki's arms around his shoulders, holding him painfully close. But he didn't even consider complaining.
Suddenly, pressing his face against Loki's chest, he was even happy about the blindfold.
Around him, the world turned itself inside out in a sickening way, made even worse by the way his own body somehow seemed to turn inside out, the other way around, at the same time.
Fuck blindfolds! This was weird!
When the world, and his body, were back roughly the way they had been, Tony stayed with his arms around Loki, as he adjusted to what had just happened. He felt a strong wind on his face, and wondered where in the world Loki might have taken him.
Then fingers moved over his head, untied the piece of black cloth, and freed him of it.
Blinking in the sudden daylight, Tony quickly realized that they hadn't traveled very far, after all. They hadn't even left the Tower; they were just on top of it. Wind was pulling at him, the city seemed to spin around them, and he was still very unwilling to let go of the steady body in front of him.
"We could have taken the stairs up here, you know."
"Just a bit of fun, really." Loki was brushing hair out of his face to grin at him. "Besides, that would have told you where we were going. Or would you have preferred the stairs, blindfolded?"
Tony considered this. "Point taken." He shrugged. "But my own roof still doesn't feel like a surprise, really."
"It's not. This is."
Loki's hands came up to close gently around his head, to tilt it back until he was looking straight up into the blue sky, feathery clouds drifting by. Nothing surprising about that, either. Just when Tony was about to point this out, he felt an odd, tingling, almost stinging sensation where Loki's skin touched his.
And then, he really was surprised.
High above them, very high, he could now make out a pattern among the clouds. Smooth lines of green light, in a very familiar colour, were spun into what almost resembled a spider web. Although there were no straight lines in it; it was all spirals and curves and circles inside circles, binding each other into shapes that made his head spin even more.
It was very Loki. And, also...
"That is fucking beautiful."
"Why, thank you." One of Loki's thumbs gently caressed his cheek. "Beauty is not the purpose of it, however."
"I guessed as much." He frowned up at the web. "It's a barrier, isn't it?"
"Yes. The point where I opened the portal, it is a weak spot in this world now. It might attract attackers. I have done what I can to mend the tear. Reinforce it, even. And if something still get's through this? Well, then I will know of it, at least."
Tony had never been completely sure about Loki's promise to help undo what he had done to Earth in his attempt to rule the place. Like he was never completely sure about anything that had to do with Loki, really. But he had hoped for the best.
Even Steve seemed to have gotten his hopes up. After Tony had given him his overdue thank you, Loki had taken the Captain aside for a long conversation about things that the Avengers, and SHIELD, needed to know about defending the world against what might be out there.
Going into that, Steve looked reserved and sceptical. Coming out, he radiated resolve. And he had even given Loki's hand a steady, heartfelt shake before leaving in a hurry.
So, now Tony wasn't the only one putting at least some measure trust in Loki. No matter how small.
But that didn't really help Tony's peace of mind. After all, Steve was not nearly as much a lost cause as Tony was beginning to understand that he was himself.
He knew it in the mornings. When he woke up to see Loki still asleep beside him. That sharp, intense face, when softened by sleep, looked a lot like, well, basically an angel's. Even though Tony knew this was nowhere near the truth of what was hidden behind it, those were the moments when he could stand to be honest with himself about the effect Loki was having on him.
(I've fallen. I've fallen hard. And I sure as hell can't get up. I just have to hope that nothing will turn out to be broken. And that no-one will kick me while I'm down...)
The rest of the time? Well, he pretty much tried to pretend he didn't know about those thoughts.
And in a way, it was easy. Even with the secrets and hiding all over and done with, everything was in mostly the same casual way it had been. Like he'd let in a stray cat. One that came and went as it pleased, showed up for food or affection, might scratch the furniture, and never hesitated to wander off to do it's own thing. Whatever that might be. Tony never asked.
He didn't feel like he had to. As long as Loki came back. And he did. A lot more often, too, now that there was no danger in staying. And Tony didn't mind the casual. He liked casual.
It was just those moments in the morning...
Tony blinked up at the green, curving pattern in the sky, until Loki's hands fell down to rest on his shoulders. When they left his skin, the pattern disappeared again. Tony tipped his head back, and met Loki's gaze.
"Well done. I was surprised."
"Really? I was afraid I was beginning to lose my touch. Unimaginative, did you say?"
"I wasn't talking about magic then, though, was I?"
"You are saying that I still need to prove you wrong?"
"I really hate it when I turn out to be wrong. So, you know, it always takes a fair bit of work to convince me of it."
"Oh, Anthony." As a grin spread over Loki's face, his arms found their way around Tony's body again, drawing him into an almost crushing embrace. "Oh, you foolish creature. By now, you should know better than to challenge me. You really, really should."
And then the void once again sucked Tony in, and violently spat him back out.
When it did so this time, the back of his head hit something solid. Not hard enough to hurt, but it was still a shock in his confused, dazed state. He hadn't even had a warning this time, after all, and the effects of the teleportation were even worse now, probably accumulative.
Before he had found the nerves and the muscles needed to open his eyes, he could feel the blindfold come back on. And then there was really no need to keep trying. But, of course, he did anyway.
Movement coming back into his legs, he tried to find a foothold on something, move himself back, sit up straighter, but everything under him was soft and shifted, moving slightly with him. What the hell?
Hands caught his wrists, lifting them and pressing them to the solid surface he was half resting against. A smooth, cool surface. And when the hands let him go, he was inexplicably still stuck to that surface, some force holding him in place, even though he felt nothing on his skin. What the hell?
His mind felt like a bunch of small animals scrabbling around, running in circles, trying to find a way out. Tony forced himself to take a deep breath, calm down just a bit, and tried to form an internal image of his situation. It all slowly added up as his focus returned.
Of course. Of fucking course. He should have guessed.
Tony was on the bed. Shoulders on pillows, head against the headboard which something (probably more magic) had bound his hands to.
"Loki?" He hated the quaver that managed to find it's way into his voice.
"I am right here."
The words touched his mouth as breath, and made Tony flinch. Loki had to be on all fours over his body, his face right in front of his own. And he had had no idea.
"But what is this, then?" Loki's lips brushed against his. "Trembling and shivering already? Prepared to admit to being wrong so soon? This is hardly what I would call 'a fair bit of work'. I must say, I am slightly dissappointed."
Tony turned his head away from the smiling lips. He knew they were; he could feel it by the smooth tension in them.
"I admit nothing, damn it!"
"Ah, yes, that's more like what I was expecting."
Then the mouth Tony had turned away from moved in to touch his ear instead. Breath sending more shivers over his skin, and when the tip of a tongue traced the shell of it he felt goosebumps travel all the way down that side of his body.
He was starting to breathe faster. Damn! Not being able to see, to prepare for anything that was coming, it was already making him feel vulnerable. And he was still wearing all his clothes.
But of course, as if he had heard his thoughts, that was when Loki moved back, settling himself over Tony's thighs, and started to slide his fingers in under Tony's t-shirt, pushing the hem of it up untill his stomach and chest were exposed. A fingertip traced the arc reactor, and as always, anyone coming in contact with it made him nervous as hell. He tried to hide the tension, but when he seconds later felt teeth catching his left nipple, he really couldn't hide anything at all anymore. With a groan he tried lifting his back from the mattress, following the pull of those teeth.
Using his bound arms to pull himself up, he noticed something odd. Whatever was holding him, it didn't resist his movements like a physical bond would have. It didn't chafe or put a stress on muscles and tendons. It was just like the air was holding him in place. Tony realized he could fight himself sick if he felt like it, trying to get away from that, and still not feel a thing on his wrists, no risk of hurting what was after all a fragile part of him.
Well, how about that? Pretty fucking impressive. Actually.
Not that he was ready to admit it.
Loki's tongue lapped at his nipple then, almost soothing, before he moved away.
Tony's shoes were removed, as well as his socks. His pants were unbottoned and slowly pulled off him, along with his underwear, so that, apart from the t-shirt bunched up by his armpits, he was all naked. And the jeansclad legs he could feel on the outside of his own when Loki straddled his thighs again, told him he was the only one undressed.
Somehow, that made it a lot worse.
He was left to wait a while for what would come next. He tried to prepare for anything, refused to let Loki surprise him again.
Then a slow caress of light fingers traveled down the sides of his chest, ribs, and stomach. And he choked out a startled shout.
The stinging, burning, tingling, freezing sensation was not new to him. He knew what that was. But it still surprised him.
He knew it was Loki's blue fingers trailing over him, but Tony had only seen him turn into his jötun form when he had been drunk enough to lose control. Loki wasn't drunk now. And he sure wasn't out of control. And still, there it was.
As they had before, the cold fingers did something to his skin besides chilling it. Something about it made all his nerves stand at attention, made him so sensitive it had his brain working overtime. It wasn't really made for this amout of sensory information.
Combined with the temperature, the intimate touch, his blindness, his fettered arms, it was a disaster waiting to happen.
The hands and fingers stayed away from his cock, never even getting very close, but moved all over the rest of him, in differing patterns and preassures.
Pretty soon, Tony had no idea what was pleasure and what was pain. The soft caress of a full palm down the inside of a thigh might have him moaning in glorious chills, while a single fingertip pressed against his hip a few moments too long could have him in gasping agony. And a thousand other variations inbetween.
Every time he was touched, he got more sensitive, until Loki almost didn't have to apply his fingers to him at all. The chill his skin radiated was in some spots enough to make Tony yell out loud.
That was when Loki finally decided to do what Tony had dreaded since the start.
Fingertips slid over the underside of his shaft, and it was enough to make him whine and whimper, pulling at his bonds. He wasn't even sure if he was moving away or searching for more, but Loki would have none of it either way. Weighing down Tony's thighs, Loki gave a soft laugh.
”There is no shame in admitting you were wrong, Anthony. Do it, and I stop.”
”I. Admit. Nothing.” He had to wring the words out of himself this time, but he did it, and he was insanely proud.
For about a second.
Before Loki touched him again, carefully closing his hand around him.
By the third featherlike stroke of those horribly wonderful, amazingly awful fingers he was crying behind the blindfold. Helplessly lost.
(Yeah, well, obviously, sometimes even Tony Stark cries. Let's just leave it at that, shall we?)
He was so hard that it was hurting him all by itself, and the fingers were making him sensitive enough to almost feel the atoms in the fucking air brushing by, but the touch was still far too light to get him even near climax.
When the fingers let him go, the feel and sounds of movement were so distant he couldn't make out the meaning, until his legs were spread apart. And a single, slick, icy finger gently found its way into him.
It almost made his head explode, his body tremble to pieces, his mind throw in the towel and just give up.
He lasted about three seconds of it.
"I can't! Please. Can't. Take. Any. More!" He was pantning out words one at a time. "Loki! Goddamnit! Stop! You're killing me! Oh, god, please! No. More!”
"Such sweet begging." Loki's voice was a pleased purr, the finger still inside Tony. "That is not what I want, however, and you know it. You have to say it, Stark."
By now, Tony was almost choking on his own breathing, trying to figure out how to use his mouth and lungs simultaneously. He was sure he had done it before, a lot, without any effort. Now it was damn near impossible.
"Wrong!" He finally managed to cough it out. "I was wrong!"
The finger was removed at once, making Tony cry even harder with sheer relief.
And then, a mouth that felt impossibly hot compared to the frosty touch from before, closed around his cock. A hand, just as warm, joined its movement, steady and firm, and in less than a minute, it made Tony's universe implode, turn inside out, and spit him out into a completely other void than the one made by magic.
He must have been out of it for a while, because when he came to again the blindfold was gone, he was free, and curled up against Loki, head on the junction between shoulder and chest. Loki's arms were around him. Tony lifted his head, felt the wet of tears against the green cloth under his face, but he didn't even care that Loki would see that he had cried. Loki already had to know it, anyway.
Loki's face showed the smile of a dragon curled around its treasure hoard. His eyes were all bright sparkle. He wasn't even slightly blue.
”How did you do that?” Tony's voice was an exhausted moan. ”With the fingers?”
”A little something I have been working on.” Loki held up one hand, fingers spread, for Tony to see. After a moment it slowly turned blue, from the fingertips down, stayed like that for a few seconds, and then it turned smooth and pale again. ”I thought it might be useful. And as it turned out, I was right. Again.”
Tony stared at the hand, and then at the smug face. ”I'll never challenge you again.”
”Oh, but you will.” Loki stretched his neck to kiss Tony's head. ”This will pale in your mind, sooner than you think, and you will imagine that it was not so bad, after all. And then you will come looking for other ways to test me. And I will teach you the same lesson again – but with other methods, of course – and then it will all repeat itself again.”
Tony swallowed. As usual. ”That... Actually sounds like something I would do.”
”Yes.” A pleased little sigh in his hair. ”It does. You foolish, stubborn, impossible, perfect creature. And I would have it no other way.
And then Tony finally admitted it. It wasn't early morning, Loki looked nothing at all like an angel, and he still let himself think it.
He had fallen, hard, and he was never getting back up.