Loki lay awake with warmth at his back and doubt in his stomach.
When would Tony discover he hadn't wanted him? When would he decide that he was weak? Maybe he thought that already.
Loki felt the body heat radiate off the man behind him and briefly wished he knew how to touch people. One would think it a simple thing, reaching out and putting a hand on someone; but the distance between his skin and everyone elses had always seemed so far, so uncrossable. Well, maybe not always. He used to touch Thor, the easy touches that come with having a brother-- Having thought he had a brother, he corrected himself.
When he was younger he had spent more time than he liked to admit trying to get the simple assurance that could come with an act as small as a pat on the shoulder. Any child would want such things from a father, he reminded himself. There had never been outright cruel rejection; but he had often felt rebuffed none the less. Now he knew why. Odin had probably been disgusted by him on some level.
Loki pushed against the solidness behind him ever so softly, intent upon not waking him. Tony wouldn't pull away if he was asleep. It was pleasant, to be against someone, and he focused on the sensation, knowing his enjoyment probably made him needy, knowing anyone who had judged him weak or womanly would feel vindicated and validated by it. He clenched his jaw and decided not to leave yet as he had planned. He would not act to live up to the unobtainable approval of fools. He was far past believing that any of them could see him for his true worth, his true power. He fisted up the sheets in his hands and took in a furious breath, pinching the inside of a cheek with his sharp teeth.
Loki flinched in surprise at an arm winding around his waist and the feeling of breath on his ear.
"Morning lie-smith, plotting my demise?" Tony gave a quick nip at his pale ear and a blunt, groggy slap to his hip.
"Well," Tony continued, his voice filled with gravelly sleep, "try not to kill me before I get my morning coffee." He sounded only amused, not derisive.
"I shall surely try to avoid it," Loki said, slipping from his private thoughts into the easy bantering that always seemed to accompany Tony Stark.
Tony rolled on his back, taking his warm hands with him.
"So, curly hair, huh?"
"Yours. It's curly. It hadn't occurred to me that Gods used product... Well, I use it, so, maybe close enough?" Tony let out a small self satisfied sound.
Loki reflected that the last time someone had seen his hair so undone, it had probably been Frigga.
"More like wavy, really," he decided to correct, and felt a light tug on a strand of hair in response.
"Tell that to this Shirley Temple curl."
Loki briefly paused to consider whether he should pretend he knew what that was,
"What is this you speak of?" and then decided against it.
"This." Tony tried and failed to bring the twist of dark hair into the God's field of vision.
"No, no." Loki dismissed the effort. "What is a Shirley Temple?"
"Not really a thing, for starters. More of a who. She was a sickly sweet little starlet from way back when. Famous for her curly hair."
"So you're comparing my visage to that of a 'sickly sweet little starlet'?" Loki cocked an eyebrow in warning.
Tony chuckled softly. "No. But you can be my little starlet if you want to be." He teased.
"How benevolent of you," Loki said, voice filled with false awe.
"Yes, I'd say it is. I'm truly pure of heart and generous of spirit. Ask anyone, really."
"Mayhap I shall simply trust your word,"
The trickster rolled onto his back.
"So, Anthony Stark, when is food brought to us? You spoke of a need for coffee, where are your servants?"
"Breakfast doesn't come to us, we go to breakfast,"
Loki frowned in sincere confusion.
"But why? Are you receiving guests to dine this morning?"
"No. It's just not my staff's job to bring me breakfast in bed."
"Are they lazy? You shouldn't allow that."
"Nope. Just not their job. you know, you really couldn't be more of a little piece of monarchy if you tried."
"Then I would suggest beginning to pander to me immediately." Loki nodded his head in confirmation of his own suggestion.
"I could bother Pep for it, But last time I tried that I ended up with eggs on my head."
Loki smiled at the image.
"Do you have..." He paused in recollection, "...What you call pizza?" His eyes took on a hopeful glint.
"Not usually breakfast food, but I've ingested worse first thing in the morning. I could order it," Tony offered.
"Aye. That would be wise. I am quite famished."
Tony leaned over and pulled something that fit well into his palm back into bed with him and proceeded to poke at it. Loki peered at the small thing with interest.
"What are you doing?"
"Is that a mobile phone, like you explained?"
"Among its many attributes, yes."
"What attribute are you using now?" The God squinted at the long screen.
"The internet." Tony held it closer to the other, enjoying the chance to explain tech, no matter how simple.
"It knows your fingers. Does it only respond to you?"
"No. It's a surface acoustic wave system. There are two transducers along the X and Y axis of the glass; on the glass are reflectors that reflect an electrical signal from one transducer to the other. The receiving one tells if the wave's been disturbed and locates it. It'll respond to anyone's fingers."
Loki sucked in his cheeks and lifted his brow in doubt and confusion.
"Here, c'mon, try it." Tony pushed the phone towards him. "Pick a topping. Just touch the box next to what you want."
Loki bit a thin lip.
"I liked the little fish."
"I believe so."
"Go for it."
Loki poked gently at the screen, his face lighting up when the box turned blue.
"I would like to try pineapple."
"Those two things probably shouldn't mix."
"Savory and sweet flavors are often complimentary."
"Whatever you say." Tony shrugged and tucked an arm behind his head.
"Soo... If Thor finds out about this, whose head is getting flattened by Mjollner? Mine? Yours? Both? How do your people take to the whole gay sex thing? From what I can tell your brother's values could be called pretty Norse. Is that basically Asgard's thing?"
"He'd most likely smash yours. To an Asgardian, you've thoroughly degraded me. At most, he would be disapointed in me. Many would expect this behavior of someone like me." Loki ran his hand up and down the screen, still enjoying making the page move.
Tony quirked one brown eye brow.
"Ah. So have I been debauched, or only you?" he asked through a lascivious smile.
"Only me, since I let you penetrate me. You would just be considered to have taken your pleasure through dominance in our coupling."
"Asgard sounds suspiciously like jail to me."
The sleek black phone in Loki's hands lit up with a small buzz, causing the god to flinch in surprise and then glare briefly at the screen.
Tony leaned into to read the incoming message.
"Pizza's here," he announced, and swung his legs off the bed, fumbling for his boxers.
"Are you planning on greeting this pizza bearer with only your bed clothes to cover you?" Loki asked skeptically.
"No," Tony began, but was interrupted by his own amusement, "Pizza bearer? That's cute. Try delivery boy instead next time though. Actually...Better yet, don't."
"Do I amuse you, Stark?" Loki asked with warning in his stare.
"I don't associate with people who don't amuse me," Tony retorted as he made his way to the bedroom door.
"So you are receiving the-- delivery boy," Loki pronounced the last two words pointedly, "in only the barest of undergarments?"
"Nope, again. I'm receiving Pepper in only the barest of undergarments."
"She will not toss the meal on you?" Loki sounded vaguely hopeful that he might get to witness such an event.
"No. This is within the rules. We've come to an agreement: I don't make her come into my room when I've got someone in bed, and she doesn't quit."
Tony opened the door and leaned out, appearing to be conversing.
Loki tried to quiet a vaguely uncomfortable sensation in his gut and wondered whether the mortal had the gall to be ashamed of having him in his bed.
Tony interrupted his thoughts by hefting two large boxes back into the room.
"How many you must have brought to your bed, that Lady Potts has developed such a strict edict."
"Ah..." Tony rubbed the back of his head, half amused at his sexual etiquette faux-pas. "It takes enough, let's leave it at that. No need to descend into irreparable awkwardness."
"You have asked me if your seed could make me with child. I wouldn't have thought awkwardness would irk you."
"First of all, I have never referred to my stuff as 'seed'." He placed the pizza boxes on the edge of the bed. "Second of all, that was an attempt at being responsible, I'm up on my Norse mythology. And lastly, I've already payed my dues for that line of questioning. Do you have any idea how disarmingly charming I had to be to keep you from bashing my brains in?"
"I was there. And there is quite a bit amiss between Midgardian tales and the truths of Asgard, in case you hadn't noticed the obvious discrepancies."
"I certainly have. I'm also pretty sure there's a discrepancy between the Asgardian tales of Asgard and the truths of Asgard," Tony admitted and flipped open the Dominoes box to reveal their hot, savory and sweet breakfast. "Eat up."
"Where are my clothes?"
"The wash. Why?" Tony asked as he propped himself back against the expensive satiny pillows. "I ordered two pizzas and I expect help eating them."
"I only wished to dress. Were you planning on us eating fully bare?" The god gestured to his own lap, covered only by sheets.
Tony twisted awkwardly over the edge of the bed and resurfaced to reach out with a button down dress shirt hanging from two crooked fingers in offering.
"Just borrow this." He gave a convincing smile. "Royal blue, bet it does wonders for your skin tone."
Loki gave the garment a sidelong glance, tracing the fabric with appraising green eyes.
"I am taller than you, Anthony. That will barely cover me."
Tony just raised both eyebrows and smiled wider in response.
Loki stared back silently for a few seconds and then slipped his fingers past Tony's into the folded collar.
"Lech," he said simply, clearly free of actual rebuke. The god slipped the shirt over his shoulders and slid in his long arms, looking down to button it up and tried not to smile openly.
"Hey," the billionaire shrugged, "If you're that attached to your modesty, I will provide you with undergarments (of my choosing, just so we're clear), but under my roof, I absolutely draw the line at pants."
Loki looked up with an expression stuck somewhere between amusement and disapproval as he folded in the very top button.
"I think I shall decline that offer.
I don't understand why Midgardians have chosen to abandon the tunic. One of your better clothing ideas, really."
"We haven't totally abandoned it." Tony reached forward and popped open the top two buttons with a practiced flick of the wrist. "I can think of several otherwise fairly normal people who are pretty dedicated to the look. Phone, if you don't mind."
"Phone?" Loki asked as he looked down and raised an eyebrow at his newly exposed collar bone.
"Hand it here. I'm saving it from a greasy death."
"Oh." Loki dropped the gadget into the others' waiting hand.
Tony smiled at the screen, having noted that Loki had still been playing with the Dominoes website, having made a design with the selectable blue boxes. It looked a little bit like a rune, he thought, and hoped Stark phones couldn't be used for magic.
Loki leaned over the pizza box to peal out a slice with a serious helping of fish and tropical fruit. He seemed to be displeased by having to eat with his hands and grimaced haughtily at the string of cheese that wouldn't detach from the pizza's main body.
Tony twirled the errant cheese around his index finger and offered the appendage with a bawdy wiggle of his eyebrows.
Loki couldn't help but chuckle as he accepted the offer and wrapped his mouth briefly around the digit.
"You are just lewd," he said, managing to sound like he had never once participated in anything but the chastest of activities, as Tony reached for his own piece of pizza.
"Hey now," Tony frowned with mock seriousness, "That was downright chivalrous."
Loki took an awkward first bite of the pizza.
"Regretting that topping choice?"
"Quite the contrary. I find it delightful. It's just...messy."
"Try folding it then."
"I can handle my own breakfast, Anthony."
Tony held up his hands in surrender and lay back.
The two sat in silence for a few moments. Tony picked the pineapple off his piece and Loki munched diligently on his own. Loki confirmed that he thoroughly enjoyed pizza, and decided that silence was not his friend that morning. His inner monologue seemed to slip in unwelcome when the room was quiet. He peered at the human from the corner of his eye and noted that he seemed perfectly content with the moment. His body didn't show any typical signs of subterfuge or discomfort.
Seeming to sense the eyes on him, Tony looked up from dissecting his pizza.
His face lit up with an idea and he quickly finished chewing. Tony bit his thumbnail contemplatively and slowly swiveled his head, surveying his own room.
"...How receptive would you be to being my second opinion on the design in here?"
Loki's forehead furrowed at the odd non-sequitur.
"You would owe me a debt for a task so very daunting as giving an opinion."
"Point taken. Here," he patted the spot on the bed beside him, "Look from this angle."
The God of Mischief repositioned himself up by the pillows and looked to his host expectantly.
"So, I just remodeled in here. I like it. Especially the steel for some of these surfaces. Not only is it nice to look at, but, well, Hell breaks loose in the tower every time I turn my head and I was tired of replacing the marble. Honestly, if I decide this is my style, I'll probably do up the common room more like this. Your brother seems to respond to emotional stimuli with shouting and slamming his hands on the nearest hard surface, as I'm sure you've noticed.
Pep says I've made it impersonal and Steve just doesn't understand modern aesthetics. You'd think an artist would be better at that sort of thing... Anyways, thoughts?"
Loki pursed his lips at the layout of the room.
"I like it. It is regal. Not impersonal really, just clean."
"Glad someone agrees with me." Tony smiled. "Now, if anyone criticizes it I can tell them that I have divine authority on the matter."
"You're the one who just admitted I know style. Don't blame me for taking it to heart. I have to take advantage of the fact that you haven't learned how to avoid feeding my ego yet. And it's true, anyway; I know what looks good. I was right about the shirt, by the way," he said and quickly ran a hand over where crisp fabric met thinly muscled thigh. "I have good taste."
Loki felt his throat tighten.
"So, Stark," Loki began, diverting himself from his own internal workings, "I know how you shall repay this great debt you incurred with the matter of your room."
"Yah?" Tony smirked. "How?"
"Show me more of this internet."
"The internet?" He paused, appearing as if he didn't know whether to be disappointed that he'd misinterpreted what was to come, or excited at the prospect, then appeared to decide on excited. "Now there's a debt I'm glad to pay." Tony reached out to pull open his bedside table and produced a thin black laptop with a large Stark International insignia emblazoned on the top. "C'mere, you're too far away. We don't want you getting a chill, with the way you've refused to dress appropriately. It's scandalous, really."
Loki slid his body closer to Tony's with an amused glare. The genius tossed his half eaten pizza slice on to the box and wiped his hands on the sheets. He set the slender computer on Loki's lap and snaked one arm around his waist so as to more easily place both hands on to the sensitive keyboard.
Loki didn't fight the pull of the arm flexing in adjustment of the computer.
One of Tony's hands came to rest absent-mindedly on Loki's thigh, fingers drumming gently in wait as the system booted, and with the warmth pressed so easily against him, Loki felt... wanted.