He thought he was done with drinking. He had made a point of getting his drinking under control after the Avengers Initiative was established so that he could focus on being part of a team. As a result, whenever the urge to drink began to overcome him, he would either go to his lab and work on his suit or talk to Steve, who made good on the promise he had made to be there for him.
Steve, however, was ironically the cause of the return of his “bad habit”.
Cruel as it was, Tony couldn’t stop himself from blaming Steve. It had all started several weeks ago when Tony had locked himself in his lab to make adjustments to his suit and Clint’s arrows. He had placed a sign dictating “no interruptions” on the entrance to his lab, and Steve had dutifully ignored it. Tony, who had a myriad of feelings for Steve, didn’t stop him. Tony appreciated him, idolized him, and, although he struggled to admit it to himself, still held onto the crush he had developed as a child. Of course, Tony had no intentions of telling the man, and instead stood by his side, watching with a heavy heart as Steve went on, oblivious.
But that particular afternoon Steve had decided that Tony was spending too much time in the lab and not enough doing what Fury called ‘team building exercises’. To be honest, no one really wanted to do the exercises (Clint continuously claimed he was busy and Natasha would hurriedly run off to the gym). But Steve was persistent, and in hopes of convincing the team, went to ask Tony to back him up. The soldier strode in, eying the hanging wires and gadgets scattered around. He cringed at how messy Tony kept his work place and shuffled through metal scraps to get to the futurist. Steve’s words were anything but tactful. “You know, your father was a tidy man.”
Had Tony possessed the same powers as Banner, Steve would no longer be dealing with a short, admittedly angry human scientist, but a raving green Hulk, bent on destroying everything. Tony cleared his throat and continued to work. “Well I’m not my father.”
Steve chuckled. “I can see that.”
Luckily, however, before Steve could say anything else, Thor’s voice was heard booming through the mansion, calling to Steve for help with the stove. Steve immediately left to help his friend, and Tony, watching the door close, threw his wrench on the floor.
Since then Steve had begun to talk about Howard Stark more and more—not at the dinner table with everyone else, but specifically just with Tony. He talked about how wonderful the man was, spoke of his “incomparable genius” (which stung Tony like salt on an open wound), and continuously raving that without him the war would have destroyed the world. Tony was (on occasion) a reasonable man, and understood why Steve was grateful for his father (Howard had, after all, made him into Captain America) but he quickly became tired of hearing ‘Howard invented this to help the world’ or ‘Howard donated this much to some orphanage’, because it made sound like Howard was a God, while Tony was just Tony. Yes, his weapons had led him to being taken hostage, and maybe he didn’t donate to the children’s fund as much as the next rich guy did but it didn’t mean he was the selfish playboy that people considered him to be.
Pepper knew that Tony still had a heart, and in spite of her snarky attitude, Natasha knew that Tony had helped the world.
If only Steve could see that.
So, many months later, having endured Steve’s endless appreciation of Howard, Tony finally broke. It happened during a Stark Industries/SHIELD corporate party with live news coverage. SHIELD and Stark Industries were to announce their new EPA Initiative with new studies, courtesy of Stark and Banner. The press conference happened around 8 p.m. In the panel were the Avengers (minus Thor) and SHIELD scientists. They presented a new machine that would create electricity and manmade gas that could be used as a power source in the United States while still being environmentally friendly. The team members each were asked about their individual opinions on the matter; Natasha claimed it was scientific revolution; Clint sat, awestruck by the greatness of the project. It was Steve’s comment that surprised everyone; “I think it’s wonderful, of course…but this looks like an advancement of Howard Stark’s old prototype.” After which point, Tony promptly stopped listening.
He didn’t know that his father had already created anything similar to this, nor had he seen the original blueprints lying around at Stark Industries. Bruce also seemed taken aback, but smiled and continued to talk about its abilities and benefits. Tony wasn’t listening when Steve continued; “Howard never completed the machine, and I’m glad to see that Tony and Bruce were able to solidify this part of his legacy.” The attendees clapped, Bruce thanked everyone, and the party continued, without Tony.
The bar in the hotel lobby was fairly empty because most of the drinks were in the conference hall, but Tony sat at the bar and ordered a Zombie—a relatively modern and extremely alcoholic drink. Swallowing it heavily, he began to realize how much he really missed drinking. So he drank the Zombie fervently and ordered another, the drink’s promised affect taking over. As he prepared to order a third, he was surprised by a man’s hand rubbing his shoulder.
“Steve?” His mind had already succumbed corpse making drink as he looked to the blonde man behind him.
“A little too much to drink, don’t you think?” The man had an accent—nope, definitely not Steve.
“Depends, what’s a little too much?”
The man chuckled and sat next to him, ordering a glass of champagne. “You know, I really thought that your invention was a great idea.”
Tony lets out a dark, drunken laugh, and lays his head down. “I thought so too, but it looks like my old man beat me again.”
The man tilted his head. “Again? It’s happened before?”
Stark gave a sarcastic laugh. “He’d taken away the person I loved before I was even born!” he exclaimed, and the blonde man raised an eyebrow. “I know how that sounds…but he did, the bastard, and there’s nothing I can do to get him back.” The hand is on him again, rubbing his lower back comfortingly.
“Love comes, and love goes, and someone always gets hurt.”
“Tch, amen to that,” and if Tony is going to be honest with himself, he can’t remember much more than that but sloppy kisses, drunken laughter and going to bed with another man, just to wake up seemingly alone the next morning.
Loki, leaning smugly against a counter, laughs to himself, still amused by how easy it was to enter the party without being noticed. After escaping SHIELD he went out to explore Midgard, still scheming against his adoptive brother. To do this, he once again disguised himself as a SHEILD agent, changing his hair to a curly blonde in exchange for its naturally wavy black. Such a simple change, and yet, it was enough to fool SHEILD.
He entered the party without difficulty, accepting the strange mortal party drinks and watching the Avengers. To his disappointment, Thor did not show up. However, the Iron Man did, with the others in tow, was in fact, in attendance. He rolled his eyes at the invention, deciding smugly that magic is still superior to science. He smirked when Captain America called the device unoriginal, and was even more amused by the disappointed face of the usually cocky Iron Man, failure sliding its coils around his shoulders. He watched (and followed) as Tony slipped away from the conference to drink himself to sleep. That’s when he decided to intervene, hoping to take advantage of the drunken man and retrieve insider Avengers info while his judgment was clouded. He didn’t expect for Tony to kiss him. He didn’t expect to find himself kissing back. He didn’t expect to end up at Tony’s penthouse, his own hotel room lonely and silent without him there.
And so, by midnight he had Tony Stark fast asleep curled around his chest. The God didn’t leave the bed and instead held him as well, sighing deeply in unexpected satisfaction. He lie there, with Tony, more vulnerable than ever, lying unsuspectingly on his chest.
No, Loki had not expected any of this to happen, as he stared at the ceiling of Tony’s bedroom. But, he found himself thinking, as his newfound interest lie sleeping on his chest, it sure is fun to fuck with the avengers.