Loki knows something was the up the moment he arrives to find Tony sporting his toothiest grin since the wedding. It is never a good sign when Tony Stark starts off any amount of manuel labor with a smile, but Loki ignores it for now, choosing instead to focus on the task at hand. Some Somali pirates have managed to get their hands on a shipment of biochemicals and the results of such a happening are looking to be less than desirable for most of Africa's coast.
It is only later, once they are all having a drink, recovering just as much from the mission as from Tony's suggested extreme waterskiing, that Loki realizes the true intent behind that grin.
"Sooooo...Loki. Lokeh! The Lokemeister if you will."
Loki glances up at Stark, feeling his stomach drop, whatever this is, it cannot be good.
"I've been reading up on some norse mythology as of late, you know, stories from the really good old days with you and your brother."
Thor perks up at this. "And what pray tell, have you read about us?"
Loki shuts his eyes, and sighs. Thor is an optimist and an idiot. He thinks Tony is smiling like this because of pride or awe at some dashing feat they had performed long ago, but Loki knows better, it is his job after all, he isthe smart one.
"Oh, just the one where you lost your hammer and the both of you," He wiggles his two fingers at Thor and Loki and widens his already impossible grin, "had to dress up in drag and seduce some monster king to get it back."
There is a collective snort from everyone but Thor and Loki at this. Even Stevefinds the humor in Tony's words.
Thor's grin falls and he crosses his arms defensively, looking away. "We were young then." He coughs. "It was a long time ago."
"Apparently not long enough Shakespeare."
Thor scowls. "I know not why you insist on calling me by that title Tony Stark. I do not wield a spear nor do I make a habit of shaking."
Loki rolls his eyes at this.
Natasha is the next to speak, sipping demurely from her drink as she eyes the two gods before her. "Speaking of myths, there's something I've been meaning to ask you ever since you've joined the team. What's all this about Sleipner then? Was he a pet or did you really?"
Tony frowns. "Whose Sleipner?" He asks, genuinely curious.
It takes a fraction of a second for Loki to process the implications of this sentence. It takes less time than that for him to spot an opportunity. Apparently Stark hasn't done his research thoroughly enough, Loki will have to take it upon himself to educate him.
Thor, familiar with the machinations of his brother, wisely bites his tongue when he spots the telltale gleam of mischief in his brother's eyes.
Loki leans back, hoping that Natasha will serve as a suitable partner for this particular endeavor. "Are you sure you want to hear the story? It's such a long and tiresome one, full of wall and rocks."
"And male pregnancies." Natasha says, sipping her vodka.
There is a moment of silence where Loki flushes a particularly unpleasant shade of red.
Then Tony says: "What?
Natasha ignores him and continues. "The story goes that you turned into a horse and lured that giant's horse away, then later you gave birth to an eight legged foal. Is that true or have the passing years skewed it a bit?"
"He gave birth to a what?" Tony's voice sounds pained.
Loki smirks at the paling Tony, deciding it has been a long time since he has had some real fun with his lies.
"An eight legged foal Stark. An octofoal if you will." He leans back and sniffs primly. "It was the hardest experience of my life."
Tony looks at Thor for confirmation that the words coming out of Loki's mouth are simply not true, but all he gets from the god of thunder is a grave nod and a suppressed giggle.
Natasha smiles and raises her glass to her lips. "Ah the hardships of motherhood, thank god I've never had to endure them myself." She smiles around the rim of her glass. "And how, might I ask, did this eight legged foal come to be conceived?"
Thor sinks comfortably into his seat, fully prepared for what is to come. The rest of the men look pale, their faces wane in the firelight.
Loki crosses his legs and bats a limp-wristed hand at her. "He was a very strapping young steed, all muscle from working the fields. We had relations with each other of course." He takes a long moment to fix Tony with a knowing stare. "Of the sexualkind."
Tony blanches and Natasha titters gently. "Tell me all the dirty details."
Both Steve and Clint have taken to burying themselves in their glasses, trying, Loki supposes, to drink the knowledge away.
Bruce just sits, as imperturbable as ever, watching Tony's struggle with amusement. He is no stranger to grotesque genetic impossibilities, nor is he unfamiliar with the annoying prod of Tony's constant curiosity and demand.
Loki grins. "Of course darling."
Twenty minutes later both Clint and Steve have passed out on their table, a parade of empty bottles before them. Bruce had long since grown bored of watching Tony squirm and had quietly excused himself during Loki's gory description of the first few months of pregnancy.
Natasha, who has drunk everyone else under the table, remains unaffected, her eyes lit with the same smug satisfaction as Loki's while she regards the now green tinged Tony Stark.
"And you can imagine how surprised the midwives were when the foal turned out to have eight legs." He fans himself. "Oh the pain I had to go through."
Natasha hums in solemn commiseration, her lips twitching slightly as Tony gags.
"Excuse me," The billionaire playboy philanthropist says, no longer able to suffer through the pain of discovery. "I think I need to go...die...or something."
As soon as the door has shut behind them Natasha and Loki burst into fits of laughter, the staccato of their giggles underscored by the rolling rhythm of Thor's chuckle.
"Thank you for playing along." Loki manages after a bit, looking appreciatively towards Natasha.
She waves her hand in dismissal. "The pleasure was all mine. You have no idea how long I've been waiting to get one over on Stark."
Thor smiles. "Good job Brother, I was beginning to think you had lost your zeal for tricks and mischief, but clearly I was mistaken."
Loki smacks his brother on the arm good-naturedly. "Be mindful of what you say Thor. Do not prod the pride of the Trickster King lest you yourself become one of my targets."
Thor raises his hands in surrender and they both share a laugh at the nostalgic warmth of their antics.
Natasha regards them for a moment before her eyes trail curiously over Loki's midriff. "Did you really?"
Thor looks offended and Loki just snorts. "Of course not. Sleipner is indeed a creature of my making but I did not bring him into the world in the way which you mortals produce your young."
"So that entire story...?"
Loki sniffs. "I am called the Liesmith for a reason." Thor nods.
Natasha smirks. "Wicked."
"Tony, I have something important to tell you."
Tony looks up at his wife expectantly. He could use some good news after that horrible experience back in Somalia with Loki and his...
Pepper considers herself to be very tolerant wife to deal with the shenanigans of Tony Stark, but even she feels a nerve being struck when Tony gags at the first mention of their unborn child.