The entire Malibu house was under constant surveillance; JARVIS controlled the entire system, and knew everything that happened within its walls. Anyone who entered, anyone who exited – whether they came and went by the approved routes or not, JARVIS noted and logged their passing.
Subsequently, Tony was well-used to the feeling of being watched: it was a steady pressure against the back of his skull, and he held it there as a comfort. He might have programmed JARVIS with as many human characteristics as possible, including sarcasm, but he was still a computer. JARVIS didn't have moods to be adjusted for or to predict (badly), JARVIS didn't refuse to do as he was told or have feelings to hurt when Tony ignored him, JARVIS didn't have needs. JARVIS, as far as Tony was concerned, was nigh on the perfect companion for a playboy billionaire-turned-superhero (although JARVIS debated his use of the word 'superhero' because, as he pointed out, Tony himself was in no way 'superhuman'. Tony had responded that neither was Batman – who, according to JARVIS, was a highly-skilled vigilante, rather than a superhero. The argument had ended with Tony sulking and calling Happy to sooth his ego.)
It was strange, then, when the hairs on the back of his neck prickled and stood on end; it was almost as if the surveillance had taken on a threatening edge. Tony paused, and slowly did a sweep of his living room. There was nothing out-of-place, nothing indicative of a hostile presence in his house. Unless he counted the dark, sharp-edged figure that he could see out of the corner of his eye.
"Loki," he said, without turning. The trickster would only disappear again if he didn't want to be seen.
"If you didn't want me here, you wouldn't continue to fill your house with so many shiny surfaces," Loki replied, sliding into Tony's frontal vision. He would never get used to the way that Loki's reflection in his window was partially transparent.
"I'm hardly going to redesign my entire house just for you," Tony said. "Your ego would never survive the implications."
"You would," Loki said, picking up an ornament from Tony's cabinet and examining it with detached interest. "If your vanity could suffer the removal of your plethora of mirrors. You'd have to find something else to fill your day." He glanced over, and noted the way that the corners of Tony's mouth turned down with amusement. “I suppose that 'vain' is not the best term,” he allowed. “Better - narcissistic.”
“Please,” Tony said. “I've been called worse.”
“As have I,” Loki said.
Tony moved away, turning to head out of the living room and leave Loki behind; a flicker, and his image was sliding across every reflective surface, caught in them as if Loki was truly in the room. Tony could see him on the gleam on the metal rails surrounding the staircase, and in the glass of the tabletop, and in the sheen of the coffee maker as he passed through the kitchen.
“Seriously,” he scowled, “don't you have anything better to do than stalk me through my own house? You're not even really here, for chrissake.”
“Of course I am,” Loki said, appearing in the mirror behind Tony when he flicked on the bathroom light. “At least, all of your senses tell you that I am.”
He trailed his fingers across the bottom of Tony's neck, where the flesh spread out across his shoulders; Tony felt them as smooth, cool points of pressure that flared goosebumps over his skin. Loki watched as the hairs stood on end, examining it as if Tony's reactions were a scientific experiment. The thought ran hot and cold from the base of his spine upwards.
“You react to me,” Loki said, “as if I were physically in the same space as you.” He lowered his head, and blew gently at the back of Tony's ear, where his jaw met his neck. It was harder to suppress a shudder this time, Tony feeling the muscles in his fingers stutter and contract as he fumbled the cap from the toothpaste. Loki glanced up at him, smirking; Tony was certain that he had caught the movement, and cursed him internally.
He broke his gaze to look down at the sink, and when he looked back up, Loki was gone. He brushed his teeth in silent, furious annoyance, scrubbing hard and brief across the smooth surface and catching his gums roughly. Even after he had rinsed his mouth, it still tasted vaguely metallic.
Loki was standing near the reflection of his dresser, still carrying the ornament from downstairs. Tony pinched the corners of his mouth and tugged them down in a half-scowl; he stepped forwards, towards Loki and towards the dresser, saying,
"Put that down, for God's sake -"
only to find that ornament was still in its place on its polished holder, even though Loki was turning its reflection over and over between his fingers.
(Part of his mind kicked and screamed at the sight, because it couldn't be real, it couldn't; there was something so wrong and foreign and alien about Loki that Tony couldn't put down to the vague solution of a culture so advanced that this was its technology. There were things that Loki did that were so far beyond Tony's comprehension that 'magic' was the only term that fit. It tasted acrid and bitter at the back of his mouth, like too much adrenaline and needle-thin fear in the base of his stomach.)
“I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt, here,” he said, “and assume that you're stalking me for reasons other than boredom.”
“You should never offer me the benefit of the doubt,” Loki said, flashing him a look laden with amusement. “Surely my dearest brother has reached that part of the master-class by now?”
Tony scowled at him, and Loki huffed out a laugh, small and elegant and almost painfully mocking. His breath steamed across the ornament like fog.
“But you're right,” Loki said. “And wrong, simultaneously.” His eyes were now less amused and more predatory, a strange hunger gleaming even through the separation of reflection.
Tony ignored him, because he couldn't think of anything else to do, and turned to get into bed, tugging his t-shirt over his head and dropping it at the foot. He had only just lain down on top of the covers when he felt Loki's breath against the curve of his ear, and remembered the seven-foot-square mirror he had over his bed.
“I am here because I'm bored,” Loki said, his voice low and dragging across Tony's skin. “And you provide the most delicious entertainment.”
Loki's eyes caught Tony's, as if Loki were looking up from Tony's side into their reflections; Tony watched, his mouth getting steadily drier, as Loki slid his hand down Tony's chest, his thumb dragging the vertical from his sternum to his groin. He could see Loki's hand push beneath the waistband of his trousers, could feel his fingers stroke along his cock and drag his nails over the sensitive flesh of his balls; but if he looked too carefully in his peripheral vision, he could see that he was, physically, entirely alone. The conflict of sensations versus vision clawed at his brain, and he closed his eyes.
It was then that Loki kissed him, biting into Tony's mouth; and Tony recognised the possessive strain that never failed to get him hard even as he railed against it. The kiss turned hard, teeth coming into play as Loki drew circles around Tony's navel.
"Tease," Tony gasped, lips moving slick against Loki's jaw as he turned his head, not opening his eyes. If he didn't open his eyes, then he couldn't see the absence that Loki formed above him.
He dragged his teeth down Loki's pale skin to latch his teeth on his neck, and sucked. Loki swore in a language Tony didn't understand, and Tony could feel him hardening as he slid a hand over Loki's crotch.
"Would you rather be fucking me?" he asked, politeness almost cynical, knowing that Tony's entire being vibrated with want at the words.
"Yes," he snarled, free hand gripping Loki's hip and dragging him forwards.
"Ask nicely," Loki said, firmly, wrapping his hand around Tony's wrist and stopping his movements.
Tony's breath fell from his lips like a sob against Loki's skin. "Fuck you,” he said. “Fuck you.”
“I thought that was the point,” Loki said, dragging the tip of his nose down the side of Tony's so that they shared the same breath.
“I won't,” Tony said, twisting his head so that they weren't face-to-face any more. Loki licked a long, hot stripe up the side of his neck, and bit the curve of his ear. “I won't - beg.”
“Now,” Loki said, his voice heavy with arousal and sardonic amusement, “who said anything about begging? All I'm asking for is a few manners.”
“No,” Tony said, stubbornness kicking in. “No. I want -” He opened his eyes, and saw the back of Loki's head reflected down at him from where he was kneeling astride Tony's hips. “I want you actually here,” Tony said. “I know you can do that. I know you can. So – stop fucking around.”
He saw Loki move, shift so that he was braced on his forearms either side of Tony's head; and then the sight was obscured by Loki's face, smirking down at him. Tony looked over his body, saw where his fingers were curled into the fabric of Loki's trousers. The way that sensation and sight lined up sent a thrill rippling through him in a way that should have been entirely embarrassing, considering how the two were never in contention in any other facet of Tony's life; instead, all he could focus on was the not-enough drag of fabric across his erection, and the depths of Loki's pupils, blown wide so that his irises were a thin outline of green.
“Yes,” he said, pushing his head up and back to press his lips against Loki's and slide his tongue into his mouth. Loki pushed back against him, forcing his mouth open wider to allow Loki to suck on Tony's tongue and twist his own around it, cool and wet and entirely sordid.
Tony's fingers tightened hard enough to bruise, tugging Loki's hip down to his own, to rub more glorious friction against his aching erection and the steadily-growing damp patch in the cotton of his trousers; Loki went willingly enough, his own erection hard and hot next to Tony's. Tony groaned into Loki's mouth and moved one hand to press into the small of his back, fingers curling around his arse and rubbing along the crease; the other twisted into Loki's hair, tugging until Loki moaned and dragged his fingernails down Tony's scalp, thrusting down against Tony's crotch.
“Fuck,” Tony said, his voice broken and little more than breath, lips dragging spit-slick against Loki's mouth.
“This,” Tony said. “This is enough. Fuck.”
“That,” Loki said, rolling his hips and dragging something akin to a whine out of Tony, “I shall take as a compliment.”
“Better fucking,” Tony said. “Haven't – Christ – come in my pants -”
“Since you were fourteen,” Loki said, “and Nancy McGyver let you finger her in the girls' toilet of the cinema.”
“Get out of my head,” Tony growled, tugging sharply on Loki's hair. Loki's expression flickered towards almost unattainably aroused, so far that it almost looked blissed, and he grinned down at Tony.
“So interesting,” he said, and Tony yanked on his hair again, fingers of his other hand digging welts into Loki's skin; Loki went with the action, tilting his head back to expose the long, pale line of his throat, and pushed his own fingers into the column of Tony's windpipe.
Tony gasped against the sensation, feeling the pressure-pain stab hard against his arousal, building it almost exponentially as heat unfurled from the base of his spine. Loki's rhythm dissolved, their joint movements failing almost entirely in coordination as they rutted against each other, the fabric of their clothing dragging over sensitive, burning flesh.
He only registered that he came first because his hand was sliding, fingers slack, out of Loki's hair whilst he was still moving; face dropping to press against the curve of Tony's neck, alongside his fingers, Loki thrust against him only a few more times before further wetness joined the rapidly-spreading damp patch of Tony's trousers, and Loki's hand finally released his throat.
“Jesus Christ,” he said, mostly to himself and not entirely aware of speaking. His fingers were still mostly in Loki's hair, rubbing small, aborted circles against his scalp. Loki was pressing into the movement, lethargically manoeuvring himself so that he was spread almost entirely over Tony's body; a dead weight on his chest that Tony, who had never enjoyed curling up with anyone that he'd brought home, found strangely comforting.
“I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I am no longer bored,” Loki said, his voice muffled and slurred, slightly, against Tony's skin.
“Flattery will get you nowhere,” Tony said.
“Already where I want to be,” Loki replied; Tony could feel the gentle brush of his eyelashes tickling against his skin, counterpoint to the condensation of his breath as Loki slid carelessly towards sleep.