Tony sat in the interrogation room where so many of the people he himself had brought in sat. His bandaged right hand was cuffed to the metal table in front of him. His face throbbed where he was sure was swollen and bruised, as was most of his body. He knew eventually in the end the outcome would have been something similar to this, but not to this extent. He glanced at the camera in the corner of the ceiling and wondered how many people were watching him. Coming up with theories to help figure out a logical explanation to everything that's happened. Tony looked down at the mark on the inside of his left wrist. It was that of a small green snake. His mind drifted back to the night he was given it.
Tony didn't look up when the door opened, closed, and the man who walked in took a seat.
"I'm going to ask you a question and you're going to give me a straight answer," Nick Fury said as he placed arms on the table. Tony glanced up into the man's single eye. He was in no mood for Tony's usual bullshit he put up with.
"How long have you been working with the enemy?"
Tony couldn't help but let out a strangled laugh. It was the best he could do to not say something that would make the ditch he's in right now a crater. He looked at Fury, whose solid glance never faltered. Tony bit his lip as he remained silent.
"It all points to you Stark. We went through your computers and it was all there. Blueprints, material, everything. There's no smooth talking your way out of this one."
Tony had to bite his tongue to stop the rage boiling up inside him from exploding into words he'd regret.
"This was not me," he said simply.
"Barton's in the ICU because of you."
"This was not me."
"People are dead because of you."
"It wasn't me!" Tony shouted as he slammed his first on the table. The noise vibrated in the room as the two men glared at each other.
"One thing I don't understand, though, is how one God of Mischief fits into all this. Care to explain? Starting with that mark on your arm." Fury eyed the snake mark on Tony's inner wrist.
Tony unclenched his fist and slide his hand off the table.
"You better start talking Stark," Fury's patience was running thin.
"I've already said all I'm going to say."
Fury eyed him and nodded. "Very well then," he said and stood up as two men walked in. "Take him down into holding." Fury gave him one last look. "Lock him up with the other one."
Tony's body ached as he was shoved roughly into a holding container. They could've at least removed the cuffs that encased his wrists. He glared at the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo engraved on them.
"Company? For me?" said a tired voice. Tony looked up and saw Loki sitting on the ground looking exhausted. "Look, you're friend gave me a gift," he said as he raised his arms. His entire forearms, including his hands were encased in the experiment Bruce had been working on for the past six months.
"Completely cuts off my power."
Tony walked over to Loki and could see the bruising on his face. He took a seat next to Loki and sighed. "Right now, I don't think I have any friends."
"Welcome to my world."
Tony let out a small laugh. He looked around the glass container and was happy no one was there, however people could still be watching from the other room. He wondered who was piled around the screen, this was probably much more interesting then the interrogation room.
"So they don't believe you?"
"I only spoke to Fury, no idea how the others are taking it."
Loki turned towards Tony. "He doesn't believe you."
Tony shook his head. "Nope, whoever the hell is framing me knew exactly what they were doing. Got pass all my security, into my files, everything. No matter how you look at it, I am responsible for all of this."
They sat in silence.
"Why don't you suspect me?" Loki suddenly asked. "With all the time we spent together I could've easily done all of that."
If Tony was caught off guard by this, he didn't show it. "I trust you," he simply said.
"Do I need a reason?"
"You mortals usually need a reason for everything."
"How's because I love you?" Tony smiled a little as Loki turned away. Was the blush he saw?
"Love. You humans think that's a reason for everything."
"Sometimes, love, really, is all you need," Tony said as he leaned in and planted a kiss on Loki's cheek.
Loki gestured towards the camera. "Kiss me in front of an audience probably won't help your case."
"I don't think anything can help me."
The door behind them opened. Tony craned his neck to see who walked in. Steve Rogers walked slowly to the edge of the container cell as Tony stood up to face him. They didn't speak at first, just studied each other with their eyes. Except for a few scratches that will probably be gone by tonight and the anguished look on the Captain's face, Tony figured Steve made it out okay.
"How's Barton?" Tony said to break the silence.
Steve shrugged his shoulders. "He'll live. The surgery went well. It's going to be a while before he's back on his feet but he's going to be okay in the long run."
Tony nodded slowly.
"Tony what the hell's going on?" Steve asked. "Bombs going off, systems frying, you being marked as a traitor. I don't get it."
"Neither do I but whoever's framing me really wants to see me crash and burn."
Tony saw it. It was only there for a split second but he saw it. The doubt in Steve's eyes.
"You know this wasn't me," Tony was hesitant, "right?"
Steve broke his eye contact with Tony and shifted in place.
"Trust is such a delicate thing." Loki cut in. "How far could you stretch it until it snaps?" Loki looked up from his seat at the Captain. "Don't waste your time Tony."
"Who the hell are you to talk about trust?" Steve snapped at Loki.
Tony took a step back and turned his back to the Captain.
"If you doubt me," Tony rubbed his face with his cuffed hands. "If you doubt me then everyone does."
Loki watched Tony carefully. He has seen many emotions from Tony. He's seen Tony hurt, but never like this. When Tony turned back Loki could see the hopelessness in his eyes.
Steve was about to say something but was cut off as the power died. In darkness for only a few seconds before the backup lights popped on. However, those didn't last long as they too shut down.
"What the hell?" Steve muttered.
Loki could feel his energy returning to him as he glanced down. Whatever was happening affected all power sources. Gathering magic in his hands he broke free of his binds. He grabbed Tony and did the same for him.
"Let's go," he said. Loki raised his hand and the glass shattered all around them.
The building shook as an explosion went off on one of the lower floors.
"Tony!" Steve shouted as Loki crumbled the side of the building, the sunlight flooded the room. "Don't do this Tony, it's only going to make things worse!"
Tony turned to Steve.
"I'm sorry," he said.
After that, he was gone.
Loki knelt down in front of where Tony sat and placed his hand upon his cheek. Tony could feel the fatigue leaving his body as the tendrils of Loki's magic flooded his body. The snake on his wrist began to pulse and welcome the feeling. Tony closed his eyes and bowed his head.
"What do we do now?" Tony asked in a low voice. Loki stood up and walked a few feet from him. His gaze falling on the ocean below. He walked to the edge of the cliff and listened to the waves crashing below.
"For me, the usual would just be going on with my business," he turned to Tony, "but that's not an option."
Tony looked up as Loki turned around, although healed and back to perfect health Tony looked tired and weary.
"So, I suppose we'll have to prove you're not to one behind all this."
Tony looked away from Loki and to the snake on his wrist. He fingered it gently and said, "We don't even know who is."
Tony will never be able to process how he got here. To lay in bed with one of their most wanted enemies. Of course he'll remember the rough start, but how it all smoothed down into something neither of them quite understood is all a blur. They had just clicked. Tony knew he was probably an idiot to trust Loki at all, but somehow he just knew when Loki was lying and telling the truth. Maybe it was because Tony lied to others so much too that he can just tell, or Loki wanted him to know. Wanted his trust. Who had ever trusted the Father of Lies before anyway?
Despite how he got here, here he was. In bed (naked) with Loki curled up beside him, his arm wrapped around to god. He wished it could just be like this forever. He knew eventually S.H.I.E.L.D would find out and God only knows how that'll go, but he also thought about how everyone would take him sleeping with a guy. Minus the fact it's Loki. All his life it's been women, women, women. Suddenly Loki comes along and he doesn't even take a time to say, 'hey, this is a dude.'
Maybe he's not into guys, just Loki. He'd have to see. Check out Steve, maybe Clint, see if he feels anything rumble inside him.
Tony let out a small laugh and began to run his fingers up and down the length of Loki's arm.
"That's what I do though."
"Well, then stop over analyzing things." Loki cracked one eye open.
"How do you even know what I'm thinking, let alone over analyzing?"
Loki raised his right hand and began to trace the circle that was his arc reactor. "Your breaths become long and deep and your heart picks up just a fraction."
Tony brought up his left hand and laced his fingers with Loki's right. They laid like that for a while, the glow of Tony's arc reactor the only light in the room. Loki suddenly shifted and sat up looking over Tony. Despite the lack of light Tony could see worry in the gods brow.
"Looks like I'm not the only one thinking," he said as he got up on his elbows.
Loki began to trace his fingers along the arc reactor again. "I worry about you," he said in a small voice. Tony grabbed his hand and sat up beside Loki. Tony was going to say something sarcastic because this was Loki, but when he got closer he could really see the worry in Loki's eyes.
"Hey," he said. "There's nothing to worry about."
"One day you're going to be in danger and the suit won't be enough. One day you might not even have that suit of yours."
Tony knew that wasn't all. Tony was a human and Loki was a god, immortal until struck down. The fact that Loki was thinking so far ahead into the future really brought the light down upon what they had. Loki was in for the long run. Tony cupped Loki's cheek and raised his head so they were looking each other in the eyes.
"One day maybe, but not today. Time is tricky. So lets enjoy now," he said with a small smile.
The worry still lingered in Loki's eyes. "Do you trust me Tony?"
"Look at where we are, if I didn't do you think we would've gotten this far?" Tony said as he leaned in and planted a kiss on Loki's lips.
"So, you trust me?" Loki questioned again when they pulled apart.
Tony let out a laugh. "Yes, Loki, I trust you."
"Then will you allow me to do something?"
Tony raised a questioning brow. "What is it?"
Loki took Tony's left wrist into both his hands and turned it over to reveal the smooth skin. He began to trace circles over Tony's pulse.
"If you're ever in danger, if you're ever without your suit, this will help you. It's a link to my magic."
"A link?" Tony asked, he looked down and could see a small image begin to form. He felt the spot begin to warm up as well with an energy. "You're giving me your magic?"
"In a sense. Of course you won't be able to do anything even close to what I can do until..."
Tony looked up. "Until what?"
"Magic, Tony, is not as easily explainable as your science. One day you might harbor magic of your own."
Tony watched as the image became a solid green snake. He could feel Loki's energy tracing its way up his arm and throughout the rest of his body. It was comforting.
The cool ocean breeze along the back of Tony's neck brought him out of the memory and back to the hell he was currently in.
"Where do we even start?" he asked.
"Well, I suspect you'll need some things."
Tony looked up at Loki. "You want to go back?"
"The Iron Man lacks his iron and I thought you'd want that talking guy."
Loki raised his hand a twirled his finger in the air as if signifying the space. "The voice in your house who listens to you."
"S.H.I.E.L.D. was all over my computers before we got out. The chances that they haven't raided my place by now are slim. The thought of their hands on my suits makes me sick."
They stood in silence, each with thoughts running through their heads. Then, something to Loki didn't make sense.
"How did they know to look into your computers? With all the mayhem going on, everyone bloody and battered, why take the time to break past your security and check your files. Even if there was evidence in the debris that pointed to you, they had your files cracked within a day's time."
Tony processed what Loki had just said. The reason S.H.I.E.L.D. had gotten into his file so fast was because whoever put those files there had weakened the security significantly and left it permeable just for them. Though, what Loki said was true. What made S.H.I.E.L.D. immediately go there? Confrontation, let alone to an ally, was more of Fury's thing.
"You think whoever did this is in S.H.I.E.L.D.?" Tony said standing up.
"Or has someone placed there."
"So, what do we do?"
"Get back into S.H.I.E.L.D."
"Loki, their security-"
"They were just attacked, the chances of them being up and running is slim. Most of their forces are down anyway. We're not attacking, we're going in, grabbing what we need and we're out."
Tony let out a deep sigh as he stared Loki in the eyes. He was right, this would be their only chance with S.H.I.E.L.D. as weak as they are right now. He still didn't like it.
"Fine," he said. "How are we going to do this?"
"Why, we're going to walk right through the front door," Loki said with his signature smirk.
Agent Coulson carefully stepped over the glass that littered the floor. He looked at the remains of the holding container where Tony Stark and Loki were no more than two hours ago. He looked up to where the camera hung. He had been the only one there. The only one to see the affection shared between them. For that he felt a strange sense of relief. With everything going on they didn’t need the fact that Tony was probably in a relationship with the enemy on their shoulders right now. Coulson would keep it to himself for now. He adjusted the sling around his neck and shifted his right shoulder, wincing in pain at the movement of his broken arm. This was the worse damage S.H.I.E.L.D. has faced in a long time, if an enemy decided to attack them now it would be all over. Or if any more explosions went off.
Coulson was on the Helicarrier when it had all begun. The whole craft shook from the shock wave as the first explosion went off at the edge of the city. Everything began to move fast after that, people running around, getting sent out to check things out. Two more explosions went off and things began to go wrong, but it wasn’t until the explosion on the Helicarrier when everything collapsed.
The Avengers were off in the city evacuating and protecting the people, so S.H.I.E.L.D. was on their own, or so they thought.
Alarms blared and sparks flew as the Helicarrier began to fall. Fury was shouting orders at an attempt to get the craft on its backup engines, but they were shot. Whoever planted those bombs knew what they were doing. Everyone braced themselves on whatever they could for impact with the ocean.
No one expected the God of Mischief, bloody and bruised, to appear.
The Helicarrier lurched as it slowed down and began to level. It would’ve been a relatively smooth landing considering, if another explosion didn’t go off towards the back.
The Helicarrier hit the water and it began to rush into the control room. Coulson grabbed onto whatever he could, just now realizing his arm was broken from the harsh fall he took when the explosion went off. He glanced at his enemy best he could as the salt water hit his eyes. Loki was down on his knees with his palms pressed against the floor, the water up to his neck.
Then they were under, but not for long. As fast as the water came it in began to rush out as the Helicarrier was raised to the surface.
Everything was still.
Coulson pulled himself up and looked towards the center of the control room where Loki still knelt. Coulson could see the the god breathing heavily as the the blood dripped down his face.
Everyone began to rise, hoping that it was the end and no more explosions would go off. Coulson watched as Fury approached the god. They exchanged a few words and then Loki collapsed.
Coulson thought now, perhaps he had a better understanding of why Loki saved them. He made his way out of the room and headed to the medical bay.
Loki wasn’t kidding when he meant they walk right through the front doors. Tony held onto Loki’s sleeve as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents bustled by them. Tony made sure not to bump into anyone, he wasn’t sure what extent Loki’s cloaking went to. Following Loki, he was quite surprised that Loki knew where to go, who knows how many times he’s walked these halls invisible. Tony bumped into Loki when he came to a sudden halt.
“What’s wrong?” he asked before he looked at what was in front of them. “Fuck.”
The explosion that had gone off that allowed them to escape was planted in Tony’s place in S.H.I.E.L.D.
There was nothing more than a crater and reminisce of what looked like some sort of technology. He looked around and could see some remains of suits he had here. Tony ran a hand through his hair and began to pace.
“Who the fuck is doing this?!” he suddenly shouted. “I know I’ve done a lot of shit in my life. I know I’ve pissed people the fuck off, but enough to do this to me?”
Tony continued his rant which started to go off into nonsense. Loki can begin to feel his magic stir in the link they shared, so Loki walked up to him and grabbed his wrists before something happened.
“Tony, Tony, stop! Look at me,” he said. Tony looked up. “We’re going to figure this out, okay?” Tony began to argue about having no leads and no ideas, but Loki gave him a rough shake.
“We’ll think of something, now I know this can’t be the only place you worked.”
Tony began to calm down. “Can you get us to California?” he asked. Loki nodded.
“But first,” Tony said quickly. “Can you do something?”
Loki knew what Tony wanted. “I saved him once, along with a lot of other people.”
“Please,” Tony said. “Please.”
Natasha sat beside Clint’s bed. Her hand resting on top of his. Most of his face was covered by the respirator that was helping him breathe. His face was bruised, like everyones quite literally.
“Hey,” said a voice from the doorway. Natasha looked up and saw Coulson standing there. “How is he?”
Natasha sighed. “The same, they said he’ll be out for a few days. To help with his recovery.”
Coulson grabbed a chair and brought it to the other side of the bed.
“How’s your arm?” she asked. Coulson shrugged.
“Compared to most people, I got off easy,” he looked at Natasha, “How are you doing?”
“I’m fine,” she shrugged, “sore all over but fine.” She looked towards Clint. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him.
Loki watched from the edge of the bed. He was beginning to wonder when he became a healer instead of a mischief creator. He slid pass Coulson and placed a hand on the side of Clint’s face and closed his eyes. The sudden gasp startled everyone in the room, even Loki who jumped a bit. He quickly got out of the way as Coulson and Natasha jumped up and nurses rushed in to remove the breathing tube. Coughing, Clint was helped up into a sitting position and given a cup of water. He blinked rapidly and looked in Loki’s direction. Loki revealed himself just to him. He saw Clint’s eyes widen immediately and Loki quickly placed a finger over his lips and let out a quiet shh.
People were speaking to him but Clint ignored them, he was too transfixed on the Trickster at the end of his bed. He knew nobody else could see him, but why? Why would he show himself to only him? It had to mean something.
Then Clint remembered.
Loki was the reason he was alive in the first place.
The Trickster had helped him and now it looks like he helped him again, but why?
It was a long day with doctors poking at him and calling it a miracle, he was fine. He was tired and worn out, but he was physically healthy after merely a few days ago his insides were mush. He was alone after he finally convinced Natasha to go home and get something to eat and some rest. He lay in his bed and went over everything Coulson had told him about what happened. How Tony was responsible for this. How he got out with Loki.
As Coulson told him this something just didn’t feel right about it. He could even tell Coulson harbored some doubt in his words. There was definitely more to this then S.H.I.E.L.D. knew. None of it made sense.
He hadn’t told anyone about Loki, who if he was here it was possible Tony was here too. Despite who he was the guy did save his life twice, so Clint felt he owed it to him to follow the simple request.
Clint just couldn’t figure out why.
Why show yourself if you didn’t want anyone to know you were there? Loki wanted Clint to know for a reason.
What that reason was, Clint couldn’t imagine. He turned over on his side and adjusted his pillow. He heard a weird crunching noise, like paper. He reached into his pillow case and pulled out a folded note. There was a single word on it written in a very cursive script.
Tony would never admit how wonderful it was to hear JARVIS’ voice welcome him into his house. Seeing his place here untouched made him feel a little better, but also told him how damaged S.H.I.E.L.D. was that they haven’t gotten men out here to secure the place yet. He immediately ran downstairs to where the older models of his suits were. Loki followed.
Loki watched as Tony did his thing. Gathered what he needed, gave JARVIS some orders, checked his suits.
“We probably can’t stay long, JARVIS download all files onto my portable system and get the suit updated. We might have some time before S.H.I.E.L.D. gets here, but we have no idea when. Who knows, even the guy behind all this might show up.”
“That’s already happened,” said a voice from behind.
Tony’s head snapped up from his computer and Loki whipped around. There stood a man, looking as ordinary as possible. He wore black pants with black boots along with a white v-neck shirt topped with a navy-blue overcoat. He had short brown hair and a bit of a stubble, but it was his eyes, that caused Loki to take a single step back.
His yellow eyes shone like the sun and bore into Loki’s own green ones.
The three men stood in the silence.
It was Tony who straightened up and broke it.
“Who are you?” he said. The man smiled and took a few steps closer. Loki moved into the space between the man and Tony. He stopped walking.
“Is protecting people your new thing Loki? You’ve been doing it a lot lately.”
“Who are you?” Loki asked this time.
“Does it matter?”
“Considering you literally just destroyed my life, I think yeah, it fucking matters!” Tony said as he came around the table. Loki held out his arm slightly to stop Tony from approaching anymore. They knew nothing of this man and from just what they’ve seen he’s capable of more than they could possibly imagine.
“Ah, yes,” he said. “simple that was really. You see though as much as it may seem like it, it’s not all about you, Stark.”
The smile never left the man’s face. “Name’s Casimir.”
The tension in the room was suffocating and the smile on this man’s face made Tony’s blood boil. Who was this man and what did he want? Tony didn’t know it and it seemed like Loki didn’t either. To them he was a nobody.
Well, not anymore.
“So, who exactly are you?” Tony was getting tired of the question but he wanted an answer. The man, Casimir lifted his hand. Tony jumped as a small explosion went off on his desk. Loki moved but in a flash he was slammed up against the wall, a hand wrapped around his neck.
This man was fast and strong.
“Ah, ah, don’t move Stark.” Casimir said holding a hand up to Tony.
“What are you a mutant or something?” Tony asked, he was getting a bit frantic now. Nothing made sense right now.
“Mutant, no. My origins are unimportant to you,” he turned to Loki. “Making bombs was quite fun, usually I just do it on my own but as you see I needed to frame Tony.”
“Why is that?” Loki said through gritted teeth. “What do you need Tony for?”
Casimir shrugged. “Boredom, but I don’t need Tony for anything, he’s done his job. Now it’s your turn.”
Loki looked at Casimir in confusion. With his free hand Casimir placed it upon Loki’s abdomen.
“When the time is right, I’ll be there,” he said with a sick grin.
Tony thought he was confused before but now he was flat out lost like one would not believe. He took a deep breath and tried to calm his racing heart. “What the fuck are you talking about?”
Casimir turned to Tony, his grin remained. “You don’t know?” He turned back to Loki. “You haven’t told him?”
Loki’s face scrunched up in pain as he tried to pull the hand from his neck.
“Hah, Loki, Loki, three weeks and you haven’t thought of a way to break the news?”
Loki’s face fell. How did he know? How did man even know how long?
“Things got a bit crazy as you can see,” the god retorted.
“The fuck is goin’ on?!” Tony shouted. He was done with being in the dark. He wanted answers to his fucking questions now.
“Your boyfriend is with child, Stark.”
Tony didn’t know anymore. He felt like he was losing his mind. Maybe he was. Maybe this wasn’t really and he was drooling in some hospital, but he knew that wasn’t true. This was all very real.
Casimir turned back to Loki. “You carry this baby full-term, and when the time is right, I will come.”
“What do want with it?” Loki asked.
“Time, Loki, all in due time,” he released Loki and stepped back. “Kill the child, and I’ll be sure Tony and you live the rest of your lives in a torturous hell.”
Then he was gone. As fast as he was there he was gone.
Loki slid down and sat on the floor, bringing his knees to his chest. Tony walked over to him and sat down across from him. “You’re pregnant?” he asked.
“Yes,” Loki said in a small voice.
Tony nodded. He had to remind himself that Loki was a god, Loki wasn’t like humans, Loki was different and can do things.
“Were you ever going to tell me?”
Loki looked up at Tony. Tony had never seen Loki so lost.
“You were going to kill it.” It wasn’t a question. “Why would you still not tell me?”
“Ignorance is bliss. Isn’t that what they say?”
Tony could shout. Could start to yell about how Loki should’ve told him, how it was his child too and that he had a say in its life. But he didn’t, he was too tired. Too fucking worn out by everything that still made no sense.
“Why does he want our child?”
Loki shook his head. “Why is he doing anything that he’s doing?”
Tony sighed. They had a shit load of questions and not a single answer. Tony scooted over next to Loki and wrapped his arm around his shoulder.
They decided to stay there for the night. Loki sat on the couch in some of Tony’s clothes, the man had insisted he get out of that armour. He turned his head as Tony walked up from his lab.
“We have him on camera,” he said. Loki looked at him questionably. “The security cameras caught everything. We can show it S.H.I.E.L.D.”
“That might be what he wants. Even if we did and S.H.I.E.L.D. believed it what good would it do? They can’t help us.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Why would they want to help me?”
“You saved a lot of people on the Helicarrier.”
“One right does not fix all the wrongs.”
“No,” Tony said and took a seat on the couch, “but it’s a start.”
Loki shook his head. “I am not--”
“I’m not saying to join our boy-band of heros, you probably won’t even be offered.”
Loki sighed, “They’re not going to just start trusting me.”
“And if they don’t they’re in their right minds.” Loki rolled his eyes.
“And they’re going to trust you again with all the shit piled against you?” Tony shrugged.
“Let’s get some rest and we’ll talk more in the morning, okay?” Tony said as he stood up.
“I’m sorry, Tony.”
Tony watched as Loki’s eyes began to fill with tears. Tony grabbed Loki’s hands and hoisted him up off the couch and hugged him.
“I love you, okay? And nothing’s going to change that. Am I mad you didn’t tell me about this kid, yeah I am a little.” Tony said. “Now we just have to work through this together, okay?”
Loki wrapped his arms around Tony. “I love you,” he whispered into the crook of Tony’s neck.
They stood like that and enjoyed the small moment of peace they had.
They knew it wouldn't last long, a lot of shit was coming their way, but they embraced the moment here and now.
Because that’s all they had right now.
S.H.I.E.L.D. was slowly getting back up on their feet. Clint’s leg bounced as he sat with the others and listened to what Fury was saying. He looked around, the doubt on Thor and Bruce’s face were evident, Steve just stared into space and Natasha looked tired. Coulson stood behind Fury, his face also shinny with doubt and uncertainty.
He didn’t know why, but he didn’t believe anything Fury was saying.
“Tony didn’t do this,” he suddenly said. He didn’t know why he said that as suddenly everyone turned their eyes to him. Tony wasn’t someone he called a friend, but he wasn’t someone he’d throw under the bus either. They’ve had their teamwork moments and laughs, so maybe a friendship had begun to bloom between them. He just couldn’t bring himself to believe Tony would ever do something like this. He’s seen first hand how hard Tony fights for this world and he saw it that day. No one can convince him that Tony had pretended to care about all those people injured and trapped because of an attack “he’s” responsible.
“Excuse me?” Fury said in a tone that showed he was in no mood for this.
Clint stopped bouncing his leg and placed his hands on the table and leaned forward.
“Tony wouldn’t do something like this.”
“You’ve seen the evidence, it all points to Stark,” Fury said.
“What? Just because he had the blueprints and the supplies? How is that evidence? Half the people in New York could have more than half of the same supplies!”
“You’re dismissed agent.”
The tension in the air was rising.
“I can’t have someone on the team that will go easy on our enemy. That goes for all of you,” Fury took a step forward and looked around. “If any of you have any lingering feelings for Stark and even think you will hesitant to deliver a blow to him, leave now.”
Clint stood up and looked around.
No one moved.
Clint looked at each and everyone of them. He nodded his head, took one last glance at Fury.
“Miraculously healed, I’m still pondering on that,” Fury said.
Clint turned his back to Fury and walked out.
He was surprised at himself. Out of everyone in that room to stick up to Tony Stark he never would’ve guessed would be him. He began to wonder if Loki did something to him. Loki helped him, healed him, revealed himself to Clint, and left that note for him. Clint pulled out the note from his pocket.
He made his decision.
If it was a trap, well, at least he was walking into it willingly.
Clint packed quickly gathering everything he needed.
Clint whipped around at the sound of his name. Coulson stood in the doorway.
“Take this,” he said and held out his hand. “You guys are going to need someone on the inside.”
Clint took the communication device from Coulson. He looked up. Coulson headed for the door but stopped.
“Make sure you knock when you get there.”
Then he left.
Clint’s head tilted in confusion.
Tony couldn’t sleep. His mind was racing, going over everything that had happened in the past week. Tony closed his eyes and tried to will himself to sleep. He focused on Loki’s soft breathing and warmth beside him. He eventually was able to drift off, the pure exhaustion taking over.
The next morning Tony and Loki sat across from each other at the table with breakfast and coffee.
“Three weeks ago,” Tony suddenly said. Loki didn’t look up. “That was when you came to the party as my date.”
Loki stabbed a piece of scrambled egg and shoved it in his mouth.
“I thought the sex felt a little...different. I mean I was really drunk so I paid no mind.”
Loki’s fork clattered on his plate as he dropped it. “Will you just shut up,” he said as he looked up at Tony, who to his surprise, was smiling. “What’s so funny?”
Tony shrugged. “You were a dude.”
Loki fidgeted in his seat. “Transforming is not easy and you sure as hell wanted to get it on right away! So I might have forgotten to change a few things in the heat of the moment.”
“So, I technically had sex with a women that night?” Loki just stared at him with a blank expression.
“You know I love you, right?”
Loki bowed his head. “Sometimes, I do wonder why.”
Tony reached out and grabbed Loki’s hand. “Don’t ever wonder that again, okay?” Loki looked up at him.
“We can’t keep this baby.”
“We can find a way to protect--”
“No, Tony, that’s not...” Loki slid his hand out of Tony’s and stood up. Tony followed suit.
“Whatever that man wants. Whatever it is that this child will give him he can’t have it. I know what we face if we kill it, but I would rather suffer then let that man touch our child.”
Tony placed his on Loki’s shoulders and ran them down his arms.
“I promise you, I won’t let him touch either of you.”
“You saw his power, what he can do. He’s isolated us from everyone. S.H.I.E.L.D. won’t rest until they have their hands on us. They’re persistent like that.”
“Then maybe we should let them take us.”
Silence lingered in the air as Loki turned his head slightly. “We might be prisoners, but we’d be safe under S.H.I.E.L.D. guarding.”
Loki turned around and looked at Tony. “You did see what he did to S.H.I.E.L.D. did you not?”
“I know what he did, I’m saying that at least with S.H.I.E.L.D. we’d have some layer of protection.”
Loki pondered on this. Tony had a point.
“And how will S.H.I.E.L.D. feel about--”
Tony cut in quickly. “We don’t need to tell them everything. Not as prisoners.”
“What do you propose we do?”
It was two days since Tony and Loki decided to head back to S.H.I.E.L.D....again. Tony was downstairs tidying up the place and ordered Jarvis to lock everything down. He glanced at his suit and then down to his wrist. He couldn’t feel anything from the green snake tattooed on his skin. He wondered if that was a bad sign. He thought back about what Loki said, how maybe one day he might harbor his own source of magic. Now would be a good time for that. Loki was right, his suit wouldn’t always be there to protect him, without it, he was just a man. He might be more than the average man with his intellect, but still a man.
Loki was meanwhile pacing in the living room. He suddenly heard the low rumble of a car approaching. He stopped and listened, slowly making his way towards the window. His worry began to fade when he saw who was coming.
“Oh yeah,” he mumbled. “Forgot about you.”
Tony made his way up two steps at a time when Jarvis informed him someone has arrived. His heart was pounding at the thought of who it might be.
He sure as hell didn’t expect Loki sitting on the couch with Clint, who had his arms crossed with a pout on his face.
Tony stood dumbfounded. “What’s going on?” he finally managed to say.
The pout on Clint’s face just hardened. “This one,” he said as he jabbed his finger at Loki. “told me to come.”
Tony’s eyebrows furrowed.
“I did not,” Loki said with a hint of a laugh in his voice. Tony noticed the small smile on his face. “I simply left a note telling you where we might be.”
Tony and Clint shouted at the same time.
“Thought it would be good to have someone on the inside, figuring that I saved your life, twice might I add, that you’d feel you owed me.”
Clint just stared at him. “I hate you,” he mumbled.
“Loki, do you know how risky that was?”
Loki just shrugged and Tony sighed.
“How’d you even get here?” Tony asked Clint.
“I might’ve...stole a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicopter....and then a few cars....”
“And thats our inside guy?”
“Well, Coulson’s my inside guy.”
“Coulson?” Tony said.
Clint explained what was happening at S.H.I.E.L.D. and how they had no direction in what they were doing. How Fury was acting and most likely that he’s going to send the remaining Avengers after them. When Clint was finished Tony teased him about how he’s the only one that believes him and that it was sweet. Loki laughed at the banter but stepped in when Clint threatened to shoot Tony in the ass with an arrow.
“So what exactly is going on?” Clint asked.
“You’ll know if S.H.I.E.L.D. decides to give us a chance to explain,” Tony said.
“Shall we?” Loki said as he held out his hand. Tony took his hand and waited for Clint, who stared at them. Loki sighed and grabbed the archer by the arm.
The air was tense. Suffocating.
Tony, Loki and Clint sat on one side of a table and Fury and Coulson on the other with the Avengers lining the wall. Thor stared at Loki with those longing and pleading eyes. Thor desperately wanted to understand his brother. Steve watched Tony feeling all but guilty at harboring doubt against his friend.
Clint squirmed under the death glare Natasha was giving him and Bruce fidgeted awkwardly, wanting to excuse himself but damn too curious to leave.
Everything got a little worse after the video ended.
Tony had forgotten to delete the audio.
“OH! That’s why you said to knock first!” Clint suddenly burst out and pointed to Coulson. Coulson shook his head and Fury rubbed his temples.
“Casimir,” Fury mumbled. “Bruce,” Fury turned to the scientist. “we’re going to need you.”
“Excuse me?” Bruce said with a slight shake in his voice. He didn’t like he suddenly was part of this in a deeper way.
Tony eyed Fury.
“You know who he is.”
It wasn’t a question.
Fury suddenly looked weary.
“What do you know?” Tony said his voice stern.
Shockingly Fury didn’t lash out at this, but answered.
“Casimir was exposed to high levels of gamma radiation. Unlike others who have been exposed he didn’t...change,” he glanced quickly at Bruce. “He was the only one who was exposed without the usual and known side effects. In other words, he was a success.”
“Another one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s experiments?” Bruce said.
“Volunteer,” Fury corrected. “Casimir was always a strange boy, engulfed in history and prophecies and destinies, all of that-”
All eyes turned to Loki. Who looked like he was going to be sick.
Luckily Steve whipped the trash can around just in time for Loki. Tony stood up next to him and rubbed circles on his back. Loki let out a moan. Thor took a step forward and hesitantly placed a hand on Loki’s shoulder.
Loki scrunched his eyes shut. When he finally opened his eyes he looked up at Thor. The hate Thor used to see now was replaced with something he could not place.
“We’re going to need your help Thor,” he said.
Tony was annoyed that Fury still wasn’t telling them everything about Casimir, but he was grateful for his apology. How often does one Nick Fury apologize for calling you a traitor? Tony also didn’t like the fact that him and Loki weren’t allowed to leave the mansion, but he knew it was for the best. Oh, and there was also the fact that Loki was keeping him in the dark about something as well, but after being threatened several times by Loki he let it slide, for now.
But that didn’t stop Tony from asking indirectly.
“So where’d you send Thor? He was so eager to help I feel you’ll be taking advantage of him,” Tony said as he turned away from the window. Loki sat on the couch, a stack of books piled on the floor.
“I take advantage of most people, you should know that.”
Tony took a seat on the couch. “You think you’ll find the answer in some books?”
Loki slammed the book he was flipping through shut. “Casimir got his information from somewhere, books are a good place to start.”
“We don’t even know what that information is we’re looking for.”
Tony watched Loki closely.
“Please, tell me Loki, what do you think it is...”
“If what Fury said was true, that Casimir was into prophecies and destinies, then whatever he wants with us, with our child has to be a part of that, of something. And if it is...”
The words didn’t need to be spoken.
Tony sat there, his mind taking in this possible hunch as reality. If what Loki thinks they’re involved in is true...
Then maybe there is no avoiding it.
“Teach me magic.”
Loki’s head snapped up to Tony. “Excuse me?”
“Teach me how to do magic.”
“Tony, I told you--”
“But there has to be a way, just, something, tips, anything for me to get to it or something.”
Loki saw the determination in Tony’s eyes.
“Fine,” Loki said. Tony cheered but Loki halted his celebration. “But you have to do everything the way I say it.” Tony just nodded and sweared he’d be a good student. Loki had his doubts.
It was weird how easily Loki integrated with everyone. There were still S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who were skeptical, but all of the Avengers just passed him like he’d been there all along.
“Is there a reason we’re here?” Tony asked. Loki had brought him to the training room, where Steve was currently beating a punching bag.
Loki stood with his arms crossed and gestured with his chin towards Steve.
Tony shrugged in a ‘what’ motion. Loki rolled his eyes.
“Rekindle yourselves,” he said.
Tony just stared at him blankly.
Loki gave him a hard shove that knocked him down. He fell with a loud bang and groaned.
“What the hell?!” he shouted but when he turned back Loki was gone.
“Hey,” Tony looked up to Steve towering over him. He held out his hand.
Tony took it and hoisted himself up. “Thanks.”
“No problem.” Steve shifted on his feet. “Hey, Tony.”
“I’m sorry, for ever doubting you.”
Tony just shrugged. “It’s cool, nothing big.”
“Nothing big? Tony, I thought tha--”
“Hey,” Tony cut him off and placed a hand and Steve’s shoulder, and smiled at the super-solider. He could feel the tension ease off of Steve as a small smile took shape on his lips.
All was forgiven.
“So, you and Loki?”
Tony laughed awkwardly. This was the first time anyone had mentioned it. “Yeeeah.”
“And with a child on the way...”
Tony didn’t know what to say so his awkward laugh got a bit more awkward.
It took Tony a good thirty minutes before he found Loki with Bruce in his lab. Loki was wearing a pair of goggles as he stood over Bruce as they were both watching something foaming.
“You two look like you’ve become buddies. What was up with peacemaker back there?” Tony asked as he leaned in the doorway. Bruce paid no mind to him and Loki glanced up.
“I hear that clearing the air between friends after a misunderstanding is healthy.”
“And you’re all about healthy relationships.”
Bruce looked up now. “I don’t anyone in this place even knows what a healthy relationship consists of.”
There was silence. Then all three men shrugged.
“Okay,” Bruce said as he finished up with whatever he was working on. “Shall we begin?”
“Sounds good to me,” Loki said as he removed his goggles.
“Begin what?” Tony asked.
Tony stared up at the ceiling. Well, in the direction of it.
“Do we rea--” He was cut off from a harsh shush to his left.
“You wanted to learn magic, being able to relax your body is part of the process,” Loki said in a low voice.
They were in the dark, which was slightly illuminated by Tony’s arc reactor, in a dance room Tony didn’t even knew the mansion had. Tony, Bruce and Loki each laid arms width apart on a yoga mat. Tony listened as Bruce gave instructions on how to breath and to relax. Tony wasn’t a zen guy, he was the guy that sat in the same position hunched over work for hours on end. He let out an audible sigh directed towards Loki and closed his eyes. He listened to what Bruce had to say. Deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth. Let everything drop, he felt his jaw unclench, his forehead relax along with his shoulders.
His body began to relax.
He felt a stirring inside himself. It was faint but it was warm and very...
Suddenly the lights snapped on.
“Heeeey, I was beginning to get somewhere,” he said as he leaned up on his elbow.
“Sorry,” Bruce apologized. “We were at it for a good hour or so and Loki...” he motioned towards to the god.
“Over an hour?” Tony sure as hell didn’t feel like he was laying there for over an hour, he turned to Loki were he heard steady breathing.
He was fast asleep.
“Is he going to be okay?” Bruce asked as he made his way over to Tony.
Tony looked over Loki. He wasn’t sure about the answer to that.
“A lots been going on, he just needs some rest,” he turned to Bruce. “Thank you...for caring. I’m actually surprised with how everyone’s so...okay with him.”
“It’s a little weird, not going to lie. I think people are trying to figure you out a bit first,” Tony chuckled. “But I think we all knew there was this side to Loki, I mean with all the stories Thor would tell us, it’s hard to think that, despite everything that’s happened to him, how he used to be would be completely gone.”
“Yeah...Wait. What stories?”
“If you had ever decided to join us for dinner once in awhile, Thor always had a new tale to tell us.”
Tony turned back to Loki and watched his chest rise and fall.
“You did good Tony, maybe all he needed to change that dark path he was on was a hug.”
Tony smirked. “Oh, I gave him more then a hug.”
Bruce’s face fell. “TMI Tony, TMI.”
Tony laughed as he leaned over to wake Loki up.
After Tony's little meditation session and getting Loki into bed, he called for a gathering.
"Thanks for coming," Tony said as he stood infront of his couch which the Avengers were piled on. Except Thor who was pushed onto the floor and Coulson who willingly stood.
"Why have you called us here? Loki, is he alright?" Thor asked from his spot on the floor.
"He's fine," Tony assured him. "He's sleeping."
Thor looked upset. When Loki had said he would need his help he was overly eager to lend it, but Loki has yet to give him a task.
Tony rubbed his hands together. Nervous? Him? He was the man who practically lived with a camera and people watching him all his life, yet here, in front of his...friends he felt his heart begin to pick up and he shifted in place.
"I want to thank you guys," he said.
"Why?" Natasha asked. "We locked you up, marked you as a traitor and almost came after you."
"Well, yeah, and you're all dicks for that," Tony said.
"I never thought you were a traitor!" Clint said as his hand shot up in the air. "And Coulson kinda had a hunch you weren't."
"But that's not what I'm thanking you for. I'm thanking you for...accepting me...and Loki."
Everyone shifted a little and their eyes looked around. There was silence before Coulson cleared his throat.
"I'm glad, didn't want to have to carry that knowledge on my shoulders alone." All eyes turned to him.
"You knew?" Tony asked.
"I saw the little action when you two were in containment."
Tony mouthed an oh.
Clint smirked. "Did you two get it on in the glass containment?"
"No! I pecked him on the cheek," said Tony as he shifted in place again crossing his arms.
"What I'd like to know," Natasha said. "is the whole pregnancy thing."
"I do not wish to speak or hear of my brothers...intimate actions," Thor said.
The room fell silent once more.
That was the elephant in the room. Or rather the entire mansion along with S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ. Mostly everyone knew that Loki was pregnant with Tony's kid but no one ever spoke about it. At least not out loud. Not much of anything was really spoken of. Fury had taken control once he discovered Casimir was behind all of this and whatever it was he was doing, he hasn't asked any of the Avengers for assistance yet. Only Bruce, who even hasn't been called to do much of anything yet.
So everyone has been hanging out at the mansion.
Perhaps enjoying the calm before the storm.
"Ummm," Tony mumbled.
"I'm a god, we can do things like that," a voice said from behind Tony.
Loki pushed off the doorway and made his way besides Tony. "Having a party without me?"
"Thor's a god too," Clint said. "So, can he get knocked up?"
"Watch what you say Eye of a Hawk," Thor said.
"Enjoy your nap?" Bruce cut in hoping to change the subject.
Loki smiled and answered. "In fact I did, it was much needed."
"Brother," Thor said as he stood up. "how do you fair?"
Loki didn't miss his eyes flicker to his stomach, as did most of the eyes in the room.
"I'm fine," he said sharper than he meant it. Tony wrapped his arm around Loki and gave his shoulder a small squeeze. Loki watched Thor stand there as if waiting for something. He sighed. "I know you are eager to help Thor, but I was wrong."
"Whatever it is you need, do not be hesitant to ask."
"We're all here to help." Steve said as he stood up. Bruce, Clint and Natasha nodded and mimicked the Captain. Loki looked around him. Those who were once his enemy, who he once fought to kill, were here now, ready to put their lives on the line for him.
Loki let out a shallow laugh. "There's nothing anything you could do," he said in a low voice and shrugged out of Tony's arm and headed back to the room.
Tony watched as Loki shut the door quietly.
"We'll leave you two alone," Coulson said as he made his way out. The others looked back at Tony, each indicating that they understood.
"Take care of him," Thor said giving Tony's shoulder a tight squeeze.
Tony nodded and scratched the back of his head.
"Loki," he said as he knocked on the door. He opened it slowly and peeked inside.
Loki was sitting up against the headboard with his face buried in his knees. Tony climbed onto the bed and made his way over. "Hey," he said quietly.
Loki lifted his face, his eye red and puffy from tears. "Why do they want to help me?"
Tony sat up next to Loki and pulled him into his arms. "Because that's what friends do."
"I don't deserve it. How many times have I tried to kill them? Kill you? How can they so easily accept me?"
Tony rubbed circles on Loki's back. "It's just...it's hard to explain."
Loki sniffed. "You good guys are so confusing."
You can do it.
It's up to you.
Choose the path.
You are the change.
Loki's eyes snapped open. He was covered in sweat with a heavy arm over his chest. His stomach began to churn, he threw Tony's arm off of him and ran to the bathroom.
He groaned as he leaned back against the wall. Loki had been hoping he wouldn't be a victim of the horrid of morning sickness, but as usual, things didn't go in Loki's favor. He heard shuffling in the room and soon felt a hand on his shoulder. He opened his eyes and looked at Tony who was crouched down in front of him. Tony had a look of understanding in his eyes as he ran his hand up and down Loki's arm in a soothing motion. Loki leaned into the touch.
"I'll make some breakfast," Tony said in a quiet voice.
Loki watched him leave and just continued to sit on the cool, tiled floor.
After brushing his teeth he exited the bathroom and his stomach did a slight flip at the smell of eggs and toast, but not enough to cause him to go rushing back.
He took a seat across from Tony at the island, who nudged a glass of ice water and toast towards him. Loki smiled as he took a sip from the crisp, cold water.
"This is nice," Tony said.
"This," Tony gestured around them. "this...domestic style. I was never one for settling down but turns out it's nice. And also that, you know, we don't have to hide."
Loki just looked at him with a look.
"You like being domestic?"
"Oh, my," Loki said as he placed down his glass. He leaned across the island and nipped at Tony's ear. He whispered in his sly, chilling voice, "Perhaps I should bring back the memories of how we began."
A shiver ran down Tony's spine as a smile graced his face. "Yes, the beginning was quite...rough."
"Rough is too subtle a word," Loki said as he ran his tongue along Tony's ear.
Tony grabbed Loki's face and pulled him into a kiss. Their tongues fought for control, clashing and getting tangled together. Tony hasn't tasted Loki with this much passion since everything went to shit. It's been too long. He needed him.
The sound of glass hitting the floor escaped his ears and he pulled Loki down onto the island. He straddled him and leaned his face into the crook of Loki's neck, taking in his scent. Loki moaned in pleasure as he clawed at Tony's back. Tony went to pull Loki's boxers down when his hand graced along Loki's abdomen. At that moment he remembered and the fire extinguished inside him.
"What?" Loki said in a breathy voice at Tony's sudden stillness.
Tony looked down at Loki's stomach and sat up straight on top of the god. "I can't," he said in a quiet voice.
Loki let out a humorless laugh. "What?" he said as he got up on his elbows.
Tony got off of Loki and was careful not to step on any broken glass.
"I can't, you're pregnant."
Loki sat up on the island and hung his legs over the side. "So?"
Tony rubbed his arm. "It's just weird," he avoided Loki's eyes. "I just I can't." He began to walk away.
"I have to get...dressed."
With that Tony disappeared into their room leaving a confused Loki alone on the island surrounded by shattered glass and food.
Steve found Tony on the roof later that day. He said nothing as he leaned next to him and looked over the city that has changed so much to him.
“Here to talk to me? Did Loki send you?”
Steve shrugged. “Loki’s been with Bruce all day talking his ear off and mentioned the little incident this morning in more detail then Bruce probably would’ve wanted.”
Tony scratched the back of his head and avoided eye contact with Steve.
“Talk to me Tony, are you okay?”
Tony let out a sigh. “My life was practically destroyed because some ass was bored, turns out he’s some psycho who was one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s people exposed to that goddamn gamma shit. On top of that, Fury’s not telling me shit and keeping me practically locked up and cut off. Would anyone be okay after all that?”
“Um, well,” Steve said. “First off, you’ve only been here for three days. Second, no, anyone wouldn’t be okay after all that, but since when are any of us anyone? And finally, that’s not what’s bothering you.”
Steve studied Tony and waited.
He did not expect to see Tony’s eyes fill with tears.
“I sometimes think that things would’ve been better off if Loki killed the kid and never told me about it and I fucking hate myself that that thought even crossed my mind but,” he looked towards Steve as the tears began to fall, “I’m not ready to be a dad. And not just that but this crazy fucker wants my child for who the fuck knows why. Possibly for some psycho destiny thing and I can’t do anything to protect Loki or the kid because I’m a fucking weakling if I don’t have that suit on!”
“Hey,” Steve said as he placed a hand on Tony’s shoulder who quickly shrugged it off and began to walk away. “Hey!” Steve said as he grabbed Tony and pulled him into a hug.
“You are not weak, do you hear me? I’ve been there and trust me you are far from it.”
He held Tony for a little more until the other man stopped shaking. He then pushed him back so he could see the man’s now red and tear-streaked face.
“I’m not going to lie to you Tony and tell you everything’s going to be alright, that we’ll figure it out, but I can tell you one thing. Everyone here will be fighting for you. For Loki. And for that kid. We’re not going to let that...fucker...get his hands on any of you.”
Tony sniffed and soon a small smile slid on his face. He looked up at Steve. “You said fucker.”
“My mouth tastes bad now.”
Tony let out a chuckle and whipped his eyes.
Loki sat across from Bruce and twiddled tweezers between his fingers.
“Something else bothering you?” Bruce asked. A strange bond had formed between them rather quickly, perhaps the mutual understanding of feeling that neither of them belongs anywhere. Bruce hid it well, but he was quite shocked at everything that’s happened with Loki. Everyone was. It was a side of Loki that Thor had spoken about, but all were skeptical about. To actually see it, to think that this man who killed without hesitation, who had crazy written all over him, would end up bunking with them and spilling out his feelings towards him.
It was weird.
But they dealt with weird most of the time anyway.
Loki sighed and placed the tweezers down. “I feel I’m forgetting something. Like I was told something, something important, but I just can’t remember.”
“Try not to think about it. It’ll probably come back to you when you least expect it, like when you’re changing the toilet paper or something.”
Loki raised an eyebrow. Bruce shrugged.
“It’s just not like me, I don’t forget things. Least of all important things.”
“What is like you?”
Bruce set down what he was working on and wheeled his chair towards Loki.
“One minute the other guy is smashing you into the streets of New York and the next me and you are chatting like old college roommates. So, maybe what I’m asking is...who are you?”
Loki looked down from Bruce. Who was he? He was Loki...wasn’t he?
He was the son of Odin.
Until he found out the truth.
He was an outcast, a fallen king, set on ruling Midgard.
Until the Avengers stopped him.
He was a villain of Earth.
Until Tony entered his life.
Now he’s what?
“I don’t know,” he said with just a hint of a tremor in his voice. “I feel like a domestic housewife.”
Bruce laughed. “What?”
A small smile graced Loki’s lips. “Tony. Said he was beginning to like this domestic way of life, this calm living.”
“I can totally picture you in an apron with a feather duster.”
Loki flicked a cotton ball at him.
“Hey, I think I know just what you need.”
“Are you sure this is okay?” Clint whispered over to Bruce. “I mean, the guy’s pregnant, shouldn’t he be like relaxing and watching soap operas or something?”
“This isn’t exactly a normal pregnancy Clint,” Natasha said as she balanced on the back two feet of her chair.
“But why me?”
“Because you’re here and free,” Bruce said as he took a seat.
“But so is Natasha!”
“What’s wrong little birdie?” Loki said as he leaned over the rope of the ring. “Scared I might clip your wings?”
“...” Clint turned back to Bruce and Natasha. “If Tony comes after me you better fucking defend me.” He made his way over to the ring.
“Should I like avoid your stomach or something? Are you sure this is okay for you to be doing?”
“I am a god, who knows magic. Trust me when I tell you my child is safe.”
“Why should I trust you, your day job is deceiving people,” Clint said as he took a fighting stance.
Loki smirked. “Have a little faith, I saved your life.”
Clint smirked right back and they began.
Can you hear me?
Wake up buddy
The words sounded distance as Clint felt a cool hand tapping his cheek. He opened his eyes to see Bruce kneeling over him with Natasha behind him. Clint groaned as he squeezed his eyes shut. His head felt like it was going to split in half.
“What happened?” he groaned.
“You slipped and knocked your head on the post,” Bruce said simply.
“Slipped? I don’t slip,” he said as he sat up slowly the pounding in his head increasing. Natasha handed him an ice pack. He looked up and saw Loki sitting up against another post with a towel stained red up to his face.
“What happened to you?” Clint asked.
“As you slipped and flailed uncontrollably you kicked me in the face,” Loki removed the towel to see if his nose stopped bleeding.
Clint just laughed as Loki smiled.
Loki moaned as he opened the door to the room him and Tony share. His body ached as he made his way to the couch and his nose still throbbed. They’ve been here three days and still no word from Fury or anyone. It was almost like this life threatening situation wasn’t going on. His hand traveled down to his stomach, his magic still swirling around in its protection spell. Today felt good, Bruce was right, that was just what he needed. He needed to be up and moving again. However, he knew as the pregnancy progressed he’d have to be careful.
There was a soft knock at the door.
Loki hesitated before saying, “It’s opened.”
Whoever it was, opened the door slowly. Very slowly, as if hesitant.
That was explained when Thor’s head popped into view.
Loki sat up on the couch and waited.
Thor came in slowly, Loki gestured to the couch and Thor took a seat beside him.
It was silent for a couple of minutes before Thor spoke.
“I am sorry brother, but I have found nothing.”
“It’s alright, it was a long shot,” Loki paused. “Thank you...”
“Of course, but perhaps, if we spoke to...,” Thor knew better. “the Allfather.”
“No,” Loki quickly said.
“I said no!” It was harsher than it should’ve been but Loki did not want Odin involved in any of this. That was the last man he wanted to face.
“Perhaps it’s not what you think Loki. Maybe it is not a prophecy or a destiny,” Thor said as he leaned forward on his knees.
“Then why does this man want my child.”
Thor didn’t get to answer when Tony burst into the room.
“It’s alright, he was just leaving,” Loki said.
Thor stood up and placed his hand on Loki’s shoulder.
“Don’t give up hope, brother.”
After Thor left Tony stood across from Loki awkwardly. “Hey,” he mumbled.
Tony walked up to Loki. “Listen about this morning...”
“Shhh, it’s alright,” Loki said as he grabbed Tony’s hand and stood up. “Come, I need to take a shower.”
Tony smiled and pulled Loki into a kiss.
He was surrounded by a fog. He couldn't feel the ground beneath his feet but he walked forward. Soon voices began to fill the air.
You are the change.
Loki’s eyes shot open and he sat up panting. He placed a hand over his mouth and took deep breaths, willing the nausea to go away.
“Hey, you okay?” Tony asked as he sat up and began rubbing circles along his back.
Loki nodded. “Yeah, just a, just a nightmare.” Tony watched him with concerned eyes.
Tony wrapped him arms around them as they slowly laid down together. Even with Tony’s warm arms wrapped around him and the soft glow of the arc reactor by him, he couldn’t help but feel a sliver of fear from the words that had been spoken in his dream.
It was two months of nothingness. Casimir had whipped himself off the map and Fury had come up with nothing. It truly was the calm before the storm and if it remained this way it would be another six months before Casimir showed himself. S.H.I.E.L.D. was up and running fully again, construction finally done much to Coulson's happiness.
Aside from the lurking threat, everything was going well.
Except for Loki.
He hasn't been sleeping properly since the beginning of these nightmares. Which frustrates Tony that he won't talk about them.
Loki laid on the exam table as Bruce took some blood, just as a precaution. Beside him Tony was flexing his hand.
A soft, gold light began to surround Tony's hand. It didn't last long, but the fact was that it had been there.
"Yes," Tony hissed.
Loki smiled. Tony has been moving along with his magic. He's not able to do much, but he's beginning to be able to draw it out easier with each passing day. Next step will be how to form the magic into something offensive or defensive.
"All done." Bruce said as he whipped Loki's arm with an alcohol cloth. "I'll just run basic tests, make sure everything's okay."
"Thank you," Tony said as he helped Loki off the table.
"No problem, if there's anything else you need don't hesitate to ask."
"Do you want to talk about it?" Tony asked as he ran his hand through Loki's hair. They lay together in their bed. Tony's reactor being the only source of light.
"There's nothing more to tell. It's the same every night," said Loki. "They just...get clearer."
"How clear are they now?"
"It's almost like I just need a pair of glasses before I can see."
Tony held Loki closer to him.
Loki was too. Nowadays, Loki was always worried. The calmness of everything frightened him. Casimir was out there, waiting. It wasn't only that. It was also that fact that after a solid two months, still no one had figured out why.
Why Casimir wanted this child.
And that was what frightened Loki the most.
Loki didn't realize he had fallen asleep until the fog rose up around him.
In front of him it began to stir.
To come alive.
And for the first time.
The fog took shape before him.
It was simply the shallow shape of a man.
"I've been here many times. Hearing voices."
It did not speak but Loki heard its voice.
Three voices as one.
We have come upon you.
So you can bring back the order.
"Order of what?"
Loki stared at the figure before him.
It must be restored.
If you do not.
The end of time will come.
Yggdrasil will be destroyed.
Loki's eyes widened at those words.
"That's impossible. There's nothing that can bring down Yggdrasil."
There will be.
Forced into life.
Destined to destroy.
Loki's hand went to his abdomen.
Loki's voice became very quiet.
Casimir must be stopped.
"You know...about Casimir?"
Casimir was a child.
A child just like yours.
Forced into life.
"Why did you let this happen? You control destiny, do you not?"
A humans free will.
Can overpower us.
Has many paths.
You must choose.
Loki was hesitant, his hand remaining on his abdomen.
"And what...are my choices?"
The figure before him began to disperse and suddenly Loki was engulfed by the fog.
He saw his choices.
And he knew which he had to take no matter the consequences.
He knew as much as it pained him.
As much as it broke his heart.
He knew which path to take.
Loki awoke slowly. He was conscious for a while but it took him time before he could open his eyes. Steady beeping reached his ears as well as the hum of machines. He opened his eyes and found he was no longer in his bed in Tony's arms.
He recognized the room as one in the recovery wards in S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ's. He blinked and looked around. The room was empty. He placed his hand upon his abdomen, his throat beginning to get tight at what was to come.
Either for someone.
Or for the pain.
One was bound to come.
It was just a matter of time.
"Loki?" he heard his name said. He looked towards the door and saw Tony and Steve.
Tony was by his bedside with his arms wrapped around him before he could blink. "Thank god you're okay."
"What happened?" Loki asked, his voice raw.
"You were in a coma for nine days," Steve said as he stood on the other side of the bed and handed Loki a cup of water. Loki knew that his "dream" was responsible. He took a sip of water as he turned to Tony who had tears shining in his eyes, but a relieved smile on his face.
Loki's heart broke.
"Tony," he said in a small voice. "I'm sorry."
Tears began to stream down his face.
There was silence before Steve said he'd give them some privacy.
"Loki," Tony took his face in his hands. "What's wrong? What is it?"
Loki felt an ache in his stomach. The tears continued to fall as he tried to speak.
"I'm sorry Tony...I had to. I had to set things...things right. I'm sorry."
Tony grabbed Loki by the shoulder.
The pain in his stomach began to grow.
"Slow down, take a breath," Tony said. "Now tell me what happened."
Loki cringed as the pain just continued to increase. He looked up at Tony.
"I killed him."
Tony just stared at Loki. He was confused, he didn't understand. Before he could even wrap his head around anything Loki let out a yelp of pain.
The sheets began to stain with red.
Everything that happened next was just a blur.
For Tony and Loki.
To Tony, nothing made sense anymore. His world has come crumbling down and there was nothing he or anybody can do about it. He didn't blame Loki for any of it. It just seemed they both got a shit hand in the game known as life. His face was buried in his hands as the snake on his arm began to burn. It one quick fluid motion and with a flash of gold, Tony stood up and swung at the wall behind him.
The wall crumbled and cracked around his hand. The golden light that encased his hand faded and the snake stopped burning. He sat back down as Clint entered the hall. He glanced at the wall, then at Tony.
"How is he?" he asked.
"Loki will be fine," Tony said staring at nothing.
Clint hesitated before he asked his next question. "And the kid?"
"Dead." Tony said in a monotone voice.
Clint watched Tony carefully and took a sat next to him.
"I'm sorry," he said. Tony stood up and stretched out his shoulders.
"I'm going for a walk. Do me a favor and make sure no one tries to find me."
"Tony shouldn't yo-"
"I need to be alone, Clint," was all Tony said as he turned the corner and left Clint's view.
Tony didn't go for a walk in the end. Instead he found himself in the dance room. He sat cross legged and took deep breaths. The light glow of gold found its way around his hands again. He hasn't told Loki about his progress, about what he can do now. Not that he was being secretive, it just, never seemed to be the right time to bring it up. Though, he could feel it now, his magic.
His mind began to race with everything that has happened. He could feel his emotions beginning to stir and his magic growing.
Next thing he knew the sound of breaking glass entered his ears as the mirrors shattered to the floor.
He sat a stared at the shards on the floor. His own shattered and misplaced face staring back.
He held out his hand and little by little the mirrors became whole again.
But not Tony.
An ache in his abdomen was the first thing that came to Loki's senses. He knew why, he remembered everything. He opened his eyes and blinked against the bright lights. He watched the ceiling as he waited for his eyes to clear.
"Didn't expect you to wake so soon," said a voice.
Loki turned to the unfamiliar voice. He scrunched his face.
The agent let out a little laugh, "Yeah," he said.
"Last person...I'd expect at my bedside," Loki said as he tried to sit up.
"Hey," Coulson got out of his seat and placed a hand on Loki's shoulder. "you should take it easy."
Loki settled back down. "Why are you here?" Where's Tony?
"Bruce wanted someone to be here when you woke up."
Loki just mouthed an Oh, but Coulson knew better.
"Tony went for a walk."
The was awkward silence. Loki almost wished that Thor would come charging in asking him if he was alright and if he could do anything.
Soon the awkwardness went away and it became a more of an understanding silence. Loki stared at the ceiling as Coulson flipped through a magazine, which Loki could've sworn he caught Steve on the cover of.
His hand itched to touch his abdomen, but he fought it. He could feel the emptiness where his and Tony's child used to be growing. He felt a lump in his throat and the ceiling became blurry again. He gave in, placing his hand upon his abdomen, the full force of what he had done struck him. He had taken the life of his child, the child that should never have been.
"Hey," Coulson said in a low voice. "Do you want me to find Tony?"
Loki dared not speak, he simply nodded.
He didn't know how long he was alone before he felt another presence in the room. He took a deep breath and tried to calm his racing heart. He turned to the window.
Casimir was looking out of it.
"You think you can simply erase me?"
Loki watched him. The man wasn't the same as he when they met at Tony's. Although looking no different, he seemed older.
"You never existed." Loki said.
Casimir turned to him.
"I'm here now, aren't I? I've been with S.H.I.E.L.D. Interacted with people and caused a difference in this world. Why should I be erased because of their mistake?"
"Who exactly are they?" Loki asked as he tried to sit up.
"They are simply beings of the universe. There since the beginning of time. They are just there, understood."
Casimir walked to the edge of the bed and watched Loki. "The fact they physically showed themselves to you," he let out a hollow laugh, "Yggdrasil truly was in danger."
Loki looked away from him. "Why did you want my child?" He needed to know.
"You already know."
"I want to hear it from you!" Loki snapped.
Casimir smiled. "To bring the end of all the realms."
"And what would you have accomplished from that?"
"Your child, would've been the new Yggdrasil and I would've been the new Allfather. All would've been mine."
It was Loki's turn to let out a hollow laugh. "So all this. For world domination?"
"You once went to great lengths yourself to rule, no?"
Loki's jaw tightened. "I'm not that person anymore."
"Ah, yes. The mortal has done quite the tune up on you. Does he still love you? You have killed his child."
"Which reminds me, when will you be dead."
Casimir's hand was around Loki's neck before he could inhale. He was slammed against the headboard of the bed as Casimir straddled him.
"Oh, dear, Loki. I still have six months before I expire. Me, you, and your little tech boyfriend are going to have so much fun."
Black spots began to dance along Loki's vision. He was too weak for all this right now, he had no strength after all his body's been through.
Suddenly Loki heard a roar and felt Casimir get yanked off of him roughly. His lungs burned and he coughed as air rushed back into him. He looked up and was faced with a green back.
"Bruce," he said in a raw voice. He watched as the Hulk went in for another blow.
However, Casimir was no weakling as Hulk was flung out of the building through the wall.
"No one will interfere with my plans for you!" Casimir said as he grabbed Loki from the collar and mimicked what he did to the Hulk.
Mustering up the little strength he had left as he fell, Loki was able to materialize his common clothes and muster up a bit of a healing spell.
He was caught, rather roughly, by the Hulk and tossed beside him. Loki stood up slowly and muttered a thanks to the beast. They both looked up where they had fallen at Casimir who was glaring down at them. His yellow eyes burning.
His head suddenly snapped forward as Loki saw the familiar shape of Mjolnir appear, then return back into the building. How his head didn't fall off, let alone his neck break, would forever be a mystery to Loki.
Casimir was batted out of the building and Hulk jumped up and punched him a few hundred yards away.
"Loki!" Loki looked up and saw Thor coming towards him, he couldn't help but stumble as the Hulk landed beside him and shook the ground. Luckily Thor was there to catch him.
Loki didn't fight him.
"Are you alright?" Thor asked concerned.
"I'll live." Loki said as he braced himself against Thor.
In the corner of his eye he saw a small, orange sphere.
He knew immediately what it was.
"Look out!" he shouted.
The explosion erupted and shook the earth.
Loki hit the ground hard. His vision was blurred and there was nothing but ringing in his ears.
Thor and Hulk were both gone from his sight.
He let out a yell of pain.
God or not, the pain was unbearable and he didn't have enough magic to help himself. The ringing in his ears began to subside as he heard footsteps approaching him. Not taking a chance, he did his best to roll over and try to stand, but heavy boot slammed down on his back and he yelped in pain.
"Your friends can't save you," huffed Casimir. He knelt down and planted his knee in Loki's back and he grabbed a fistful of hair. "You are Loki, the god of mischief. You are chaos. A life of peace does not exist for you. Your life will always be filled with pain and sadness and horrors!"
Casimir slammed Loki's face hard into the ground, a sickening laugh escaped his lips.
"And I'm one of those horrors."
"And I'm going to be one of yours. Now get the fuck off my boyfriend."
Loki was engulfed in a golden light as he felt the weight of Casimir be lifted off of him. He felt a gentle hand on his neck. He looked up and saw Tony.
"Everything's going to be alright, I promise." Tony said with a smile.
Loki didn't like it.
"Tony what are you going to do?"
"What I have to," he knelt down and kissed Loki. He handed him something, too. "Keep it safe. I love you," he said.
He stood up and said to Steve, "Take care of him."
"Tony?" Loki said as he tried to sit up. Steve grabbed Loki, forcefully, but gently.
Loki sat there as his eyes widened. Tony was glowing. He could feel the power, the magic radiating off of him. How? How was this possible. Tony was no where near this level of experience yet.
What was he doing?
Casimir was shouting something, but Loki was to transfixed on Tony.
Tony raised his hand and a look of horror appeared on Casimir's face. The two were engulfed in light and when it faded, they were gone.
Loki stared on in disbelief. He looked down to see what he was clutching.
It was the arc reactor.
Tony's arc reactor.
"Tony?" Loki said in a small voice. He looked up to where he last saw the man he loved. "Tony?" he said again.
He felt tears slide down his burned face before he passed out from pain, exhaustion, and sorrow.
Chapter 11: Epilogue
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
4 months later
Bruce thanked JARVIS as he entered into the box filled mansion. He looked around, everything was packed and ready for storage. He could hear the sound of music playing from the lab as he made his way downstairs.
The music got louder, he recognized it as The Legacy by Black Veiled Brides, a band Tony made him listen to once.
Unlike upstairs, this room was not packed. In fact, Bruce could see Loki, his hair pulled back into a ponytail, busy at work as sparks flew from whatever he was working on at his desk.
“Mute.” Bruce said as the room became silent except for Loki’s tool, which soon turned off due to the lack of music. Loki turned around to see who his intruder was but smiled when he saw Bruce. Lifting his steampunk goggles to his forehead he addressed Bruce.
“Hey, what’s up?”
“Well, Thor, Clint and Steve are outside with a truck ready to take all this stuff to storage, but...” Bruce looked around.
Loki cringed. “Everything else is packed, I swear.”
“Loki, we need to pack this up too.” Bruce said as he gestured around him.
Loki sighed as he wiped his hands on a rag. “All this,” he said as he copied Bruce. “Is going back to New York.”
Bruce looked at him in disbelief.
“I’m working on something.”
Bruce let out his own sigh this time. “Loki, we’ve talked about this...”
“I can’t just let Tony’s work, Tony’s legacy sit in a box and gather dust! He wouldn’t want that and you know it. Technology is meant to grow, to advance and I’m the only one that can...” He paused and grabbed something off of the table that was now precious to him in more than one way.
His voice became small. “Tony gave this to me for a reason.”
Bruce watched Loki carefully. Instead of arguing he asked, “What are you working on?”
Loki smiled, a genuine and proud smile.
“Well, you didn’t think I would spend the rest of my days sitting around a living a life did you?”
Bruce furrowed his brows.
“Soon, I will be beside you guys on the frontlines.”
There was a crack behind Loki as sparks flew.
“Replacing soon with eventually.”
Bruce didn’t bring up the fact that Loki could already do this. Could fight like he always fought, with magic, but since the whole incident with Tony, he refused to even hear the word. He blamed himself for what happened.
Two sets of footsteps were heard as Thor and Steve appeared on the stairs.
“Hey, we good to go? Clint getting twitchy and wants to get tacos,” Steve said, his face holding a bit of concern seeing the lab remained. His heart ached a bit when his eyes fell across the Iron Man suits.
“Brother, this was to be packed like the rest of the rooms.”
“And it will be,” Loki said as he made his way towards the stairs. “Just all of this isn’t going to storage. So you can take all of the boxes upstairs and take them to S.H.I.E.L.D. I’m going to get cleaned up then I will work on this room.”
Loki placed the arc reactor down and made his way past the three men and left them standing there in slight confusion. Bruce sighed and scratched the back of his head.
Thor walked over to the table and looked at what Loki was working on.
“My brother it not the person he used to be,” he said as he picked up what appeared to be a rough sketch of something.
Bruce and Steve came beside him.
“I wish he hadn't given up hope. Tony could still be out there.”
“Considering all he’s been through, at least he’s not in bed anymore. As for Tony, well...” Steve said. It was true. Tony had just...disappeared. There was no solid evidence he was dead.
But Loki wouldn’t hear any of it. Maybe it was a way to cope with all the remaining unanswered questions. Whatever it was, Loki was recovering in his own way.
“True, but now I feel he’s working himself out.” Bruce grabbed another sheet of paper and studied it.
He let out a slight laugh.
“What’s this look like to you?” he said as he handed Steve the paper he picked up. Steve glanced at the sketch. It took him a minute or two to figure out what it was then he looked up at Bruce in disbelief, Thor took the sheet from him.
“How does he even know how to...”
“If I’m positive on anything about my brother, it’s that he’s a quick learner.”
“From magic to tech. Think he’ll mingle them?” Steve asked.
“I guess we’ll just have to wait and see,” said Bruce. “Come on, lets get those boxes in the truck.”
The three men left the lab to go and haul all of the boxes out of the house.
There was a rustling on the table where Loki had been working. A small, golden snake slithered across towards the arc reactor.
It’s blood red eyes studied the device that had kept Tony alive, and then it faded into nothingness.
To be continued...