The first time they meet, it goes like this: Loki trips (again) on the hem of his (too long and ridiculous) black cape, and he doesn’t bother biting the (very long, varied and energetic) string of expletives that come to his mouth about the (mother-coveting, incestuous) guy who designed this (life-endangering monstrosity of a) costume. It’s not that he enjoys taking other people’s work apart (much) but he is supposed to dance in this, not stand still, and he’d like to do so without risking breaking his neck at every step, thank you very much. So he (loudly) voices his disagreement with the (very poor) artistic choices and (very calmly) shakes out of his garb, stating that he will not come near the stage again until something is done about his outfit.
And just like that, Tony Stark enters his life.
It’s not so much that Tony has a secret passion for the logistic of stage costuming and more that he wants to piss his father off that got him into his latest project.
Quite honestly, he likes machinery and wire circuits much more than he likes fabrics, but he doesn’t like the idea of spending all his life ruling an empire of weaponry he really, really doesn’t care about (he does care about said empire’s current ruler though, enough so that he’s gotten himself into a two years apprenticeship just to annoy him).
Anyway, the point is somehow, Tony has landed himself in this semi-underground project, a sort of modern ballet that may or may not be a gender-swapped version of the Swan Lake.
If he is to be quite honest, he’s got to admit it’s not a bad thing in itself.
He gets to meet lots of people who never heard his father’s name, for one. People here don’t expect anything of him (which makes it easy to impress the props department with his knowledge of electrical wiring and his idea to make better effects without exploding their budget).
And then there’s this weird (if important, as he will realize later) night when the guy who landed the role of the Prince Swan trips on his cape and (cliché of all clichés) lands directly in his arms.
There is a long, loud sentence involving someone who sucks on cocks and their mother (or possibly their mother’s cock, it’s not like Tony’s really paying attention) and then the guy rights himself. He’s got a good three inches on Tony and looks pale, probably running low on sleep like everyone here. His dark (maybe black but it’s hard to tell in this light) hair is pushed back on his neck… his eyes are still hidden though, concealed by shadows until someone turns a spot and Tony can see exactly how green they are.
“Holy fucking God,” he breathes out.
“Not on the first date, and you may call me Loki, since we will apparently work together a lot in the upcoming days.”
That’s right, Tony’s supposed to make him a new costume. Why he was chosen remains a mystery to him, but he was and now he’s both thankful for it and nervous at the thought of somehow fucking it up.
He is half lost in concepts, calculating how to make the thing as swan-like as possible without impeding movement or hiding too much of Loki, and then how to adapt the costume into something that is background-dancers-suitable, when he realizes Loki is staring at him with an eyebrow raised.
“Yeah,” he says, “okay. In that case, you can call me Tony.”
Loki nods but he doesn’t smile, and Tony feels a rush of adrenaline at working with someone expecting something of him that no-one ever thought to ask before.
Tony isn’t really fond of fabric or costumes, but this Loki is issuing a challenge here, and he’s damned if he’s going to let it go unanswered.
For Thor, things start like this: he comes home from the gym on a Monday night, expecting to find the usual Monday night setting: Loki defrosting pizza and cursing their ancient microwave for being inefficient, music gently pulsing in the kitchen while Fenrir, happy to be home after a long day of sitting in the corner of a theatre, lounges on the carpet between the sofa and the TV.
What Thor finds instead is an empty apartment and four boxes of Chinese takeout waiting for him on the kitchenette table, along with a note:
Costume problem potentially solved. Emergency measuring tonight. Put boxes two minutes in the microwave. I trust you not to burn anything down, do not disappoint me.
Thor checks the boxes and smiles when he sees it’s all noodles: Loki didn’t forget it’s the only Chinese food Thor really likes.
He re-heats his meal (without burning anything) and eats it while watching a football game on the TV (normally, it would have been Loki’s turn to pick the program, but he’s not there and Thor enjoys not having to watch one of those boring movies tonight) and waiting for his brother.
By the time he finally goes to bed, well past midnight, Loki still hasn’t come home.