“Well that’s embarrassing.”
“What Tony?” Pepper asks, glancing up at him from across the room.
“He’s finally realized that he has neglected one person while arranging the sleeping quarters.”
“Yeah thanks JARVIS, shut up please.”
Pepper frowns. “Who’d you forget?”
“Reindeer Games.” Tony says.
“Master Loki.” JARVIS says.
“Oh…can’t he just bed with Thor?”
“Yeah if he were, like, five and Thor wasn’t already planning on spending the night with a certain astronomer.”
“Ah…well that’s always awkward…maybe he could room with one of the others?”
“Like who? Clint? That’ll cockblock him from sneaking into Natasha’s room. Steve? Yeah, maybe if he likes being woken up by the sound of breaking sandbags. Bruce? He could possibly lose control in his sleep and pound Loki into the ground again.”
“Why not just room him in one of the guest bedrooms?”
Tony shakes his head. “The thing is Peps, I’ve been getting some very ugly duckling vibes from Reindeer Games. I mean, the guy just screams insecurity complex, and I get the feeling that he doesn’t exactly feel welcomed into our little group.”
“So I kinda wanted to make his first night sleeping over at HQ you know, special.” Tony looks sheepish and Pepper is reminded of all of the reasons she fell in love with Tony Stark.
“Cause you know how special first times are, don’t you?” He recovers his usually cocky composure and smirks, reminding Pepper of all the reasons she will never tell him why she fell in love with him. “Anyway, I figure he’ll see that everybody else gets their own little personalized rooms, and wonder why his is so…not.”
It’s true, Pepper realizes, that Tony has made sure each Avenger’s room holds its own personal flare.
Clint’s is the barracks of a soldier, a strange hybrid between an armory and a luxury bedroom. Tony had placed it carefully so that its panoramic balcony looked down at a few targets placed on a nearby roof.
Natasha’s is painted black and red, sleekly designed with easy access to vents and the anyone-but-Natasha proof fire escape that stretches down the back of the tower like a steal spider web.
Bruce’s room is like some sort of green science hippy paradise, complete with bean bag chair, chemical mixing station and piped in ocean noises.
Steve’s star spangled room connects directly to the gym, giving him easy access during his nightly workouts.
And Thor’s Viking themed abode lies directly beneath the lightening rod, with a door giving easy access to the roof and telescope Tony had set up there.
“You really are quite the softy aren’t you?”
Tony flushes. “Well…”
“I’m sure you’ll figure something out baby, after all, you’re genius billionaire philanthropist Tony Stark.” Pepper wonders if she’ll regret stroking Tony’s already bloated ego as she watches him inflate at her words.
“Actually!” Tony says. “I think I do have an idea.”
“And what would that be?”
Tony grins at her. “You’ll see.”
The team arrives back at Avenger’s Tower exhausted. They had not considered the amount that Tony’s ironclad presence (put on Honey Moon leave by the rest of the team) actually assistes in their world saving endeavors and how much it would be sorely missed.
But they have averted yet another crisis with one less member than usual and have come out no worse for wear, if not a little more tired than usual.
Each member retires to their already familiar rooms, leaving their newest addition to linger awkwardly in foyer. Loki is about to leave when Tony approaches him; grinning wide and Loki can’t help but feel a bit of trepidation.
“What is that expression you wear Stark?”
“My people call it a shit eating grin.”
Loki frowns. “Why on earth would you-“
Wordlessly, Tony leads Loki up to his living area and motions towards the newly redecorated main area.
Before him is the indent his own body had left in the floor so long ago, now padded down with bedding patterned with what Loki recognizes to be reindeer.
“Have a good night’s sleep Reindeer Games.”
As Loki lies awake in his patronizing little hollow, he stares at the ceiling and wonders why, instead of humiliated, he feels so damn happy.