Jane and Thor didn’t see heads or tails of Loki for three days. They were fairly sure he slept most of the first day. The second day, Loki’s car was gone from the driveway, along with several Tupperware containers of food from the fridge. Tony appeared unaffected, though he did get strangely quiet whenever Jane brought up the dinner party. He would say he had a good time and poke fun at her for trying to set him up with her boyfriend’s brother, but wouldn’t say anything more about what happened or why he disappeared so suddenly. It wasn’t until Jane pestered Thor on the evening of the second day that she found out what had happened. She didn’t talk to Thor for the rest of the evening, even refusing to acknowledge him when he came to bed. Thor had no idea what he did wrong, of course, but she felt good punishing him.
On the morning of the third day, Jane had had enough. She sent Loki a text message. ‘Sorry your brother is a big dumb. Quit using up all the tissues and lotion in your apartment. It’s Tony’s day off. Here’s his number. Go have fun.’
Loki raised an eyebrow as his phone beeped. He pulled himself out of bed and went to retrieve it from his computer desk in the living room. He was glad he wasn’t drinking anything when he read the text message, because he would have spit it out. He grinned widely. He had no idea how Thor had managed to land a girl like Jane. Seriously. What intelligent woman would admit that her boyfriend is an idiot to his brother, and then go right on dating him?
Loki shook his head. He added Tony’s number to his phone, and then stared at the screen, trying to decide what to text. Unable to think of anything, he put it down and got a beer out of the fridge. After considering it for another couple minutes, he typed something, sending it before he could regret it. ‘So are you going to finish what you started or not, Stark?’
It was less than a minute later when his phone buzzed. ‘who is this and how did u get my number?’
Loki rolled his eyes, but grinned as he typed a response. ‘Relax, Tony. It’s Loki. Jane gave me your number.’
‘how do I know youre not lying?’
‘I suppose you don’t. I am the God of Lies and Mischief, after all.’
On the other side of town, Tony smirked at his phone. He was still in bed, as was usual on his day off. He had been awake for hours, but hadn’t gotten the inspiration to actually move before his phone had started buzzing. When he wasn’t in the lab, he really didn’t know what to do with himself. Perhaps Loki could provide a distraction, at least for today. ‘well, my gorgeous god of mischief, would u do me the great honor of having brunch with a miserable mortal like myself?’
‘Oh, I don’t know. It’s a long way down from Asgard for some petty Midgardian.’
‘i think u missed the r in pretty there.’
Loki snorted. Still as conceited as ever, it appeared. ‘Haha. Very funny. In all seriousness though, are you asking me out on a date, Tony?’
‘if it quacks like a duck. why does it matter?’
‘Just didn’t peg you as the type to properly court someone before you fuck them.’
Tony smirked. It wasn’t really funny beyond the bluntness of it, but for some reason that alone was extremely amusing. ‘i have no idea what youre talking about. u shouldn’t believe everything you read in gossip rags, odinson. i am romantic as fuck.’
Tony stared at the phone for a moment. He had been joking. He really wasn’t the romantic type, as Pepper would be quick to tell anyone who would listen. But he also wasn’t one to back down from a challenge... ‘maybe i will. my place. two hours. get the address from jane, i dont know it. come prepared to be fully and properly romanced.’
‘I’m looking forward to it.’ Loki was highly skeptical of anything relation to Tony Stark and actual romance. But if Tony wanted to play that game, by god he would play it.
Tony stared at the message on his phone. What the hell did he just get himself into? He got drunk, had sex, and then Pepper took out the trash in the morning. That was how his sex life worked. There was no romance. He wasn’t even sure he know how to romance someone. He needed help. He considered asking Pepper, but immediately dismissed the thought because that would create unnecessary drama. So he went to his next closest friend. He dialed the number, put it on speaker, and started digging through the fridge.
It rang several times before the colonel picked up. “Stark, why are you calling me before ten am on a Saturday?”
Tony grinned. “Good morning, Rhodey. How’s it going back on the Pacific coast?”
“I wouldn’t know, I’m still in bed.” There was the squeak of springs as Rhodey sat up.
“So I have a question.” Tony sniffed a carton of milk before grimacing and tossing it in the trash.
“What question could possibly be so important that you had to wake me up to ask it?”
Tony closed his fridge, having found no edible food. He was going to have to go shopping then. "What do people normally do on dates?”
Rhodey laughed heartily. “What, are you writing a romance novel or something?”
“I’m being serious, Rhodes.” Tony leaned against the counter and began writing out a shopping list on his tablet.
“Don’t tell me the great Tony Stark is actually going on a date?
Tony shrugged. “Guilty as charged.”
“I’ll contact the press.”
Tony rolled his eyes. “You’re so funny. I’m being serious here, dude. If you won’t help me, I’ll contact Pepper.”
“Wait, it’s not Pep?”
Tony snorted. He shut down the shopping list and pulled up a recipe app and started flipping. “Rhodey, think with your brain for a second. If Pepper and I were going on a date, she would have it planned out before she even mentioned anything. And then if she mentioned it, it would be telling me what to wear.”
“Well sorry I’m still half asleep, Child Genius.” Rhodey laughed. “So let me clear this up. You are calling me to ask for advice for a date that is not with your girlfriend-”
“Pepper is not my ‘girlfriend’.” Tony snapped. “She’s my former PA and current Co-CEO. That’s it.”
“Whatever.” Tony could practically hear Rhodey rolling his eyes. “So if not Pepper, who’s the lucky lady?”
Tony hesitated. He considered correcting him, but couldn’t figure out how to both do that and sound sarcastic. “None of your business, that’s who.”
“Did I detect a note of hesitation there, Stark?”
“Are you going to help me, or what, Rhodey?” He was regretting not calling Pepper every passing second. No, scratch that. Pepper would say all this, and worse. He was regretting not calling Jane every passing second. At least she would have some fathom of an idea what Loki’s likes and dislikes were.
“Dude, I can’t help you if you don’t tell me who it is. What are their likes and dislikes?’
“I really don’t know." Tony sighed. He had stayed up until dawn talking to Loki about his past, but when he really thought about it, all he really knew about the guy was that he liked vanilla vodka. He added that to the shopping list.
Rhodey scoffed. “Okay, have you already asked her or what? I at least need to know what the framework is.”
“They’re coming over to my place in a few hours for brunch.”
Tony could hear Rhodey run a hand over his face. “Okay, if it’s the first date, you’ve already made a terrible mistake. First dates should be dinner at a fancy restaurant or something. Brunch at home is really fucking domestic, Stark.”
Tony shrugged. “Well, I guess you could technically say it’s not a first date?”
“Hook-ups in bars don’t count as dates.”
Tony sighed. “You know what, screw this. I’m hanging up now.”
“Don’t you dare, Stark. I’m interested now. If you hang up, I will fly out to New Mexico and walk in on your date just to find out who this mystery woman is.”
Tony rolled his eyes. Screw this secretive crap. He needed help. “Okay, you know that woman I’m assigned to be helping, Jane Foster?”
“I thought you told me she was taken?”
“She is.” Tony rolled his eyes. “It’s not with her, you moron.”
Rhodey sighed through his nose. “Okay. What about her?”
“The person in question is her boyfriend’s brother. We met at a dinner party, and kind of stayed up until dawn drinking and talking.” Tony actually cringed. Okay wow, that sounded really, really mushy and romantic. Rhodey didn’t speak for a time. Tony looked questioningly at the phone. “You still there, Rhodes?”
“Did you say brother, Stark?”
Tony rolled his eyes. Of course that was what he picked up on, and not that he met the guy in the most awkward way on the planet. “Yeah, I did. You got a problem with it, Rhodes?”
“Uh, no!” Rhodey punctuated his statement with awkward laughter. “Just didn’t know you swung that way, Stark.”
“I don’t like narrowing my playing field.”
Rhodey laughed at that. “Okay then. You do realize that I’m a bad person to call for advice on how to impress a guy, right?”
Tony rolled his eyes. “I’m not trying to impress him.”
“Tony, trying to impress someone is kinda what the entire concept of a date is about.”
“I mean, I am. But n-no, I’m not. I mean. It’s...It’s a joke date.” Tony stammered. God, he needed a drink. What was he even saying anymore? And why the hell was he stammering?
Rhodey snorted. “Never thought I’d see the day when you’re stuttering over someone, Stark.”
“Shut up before I have to punch you.”
Rhodey laughed. “Um. Well if it’s a joke, I would suggest going all-out. Cutesie shit, you know. Hearts and flowers and romantic comedies and the whole nine yards. If he has anything in common with you at all, he should get a kick out of that.”
Tony nodded. He could tell that Rhodey felt about as awkward about the whole situation as he did. “Actually, that’s really helpful.”
“Well, I’m glad I could help.”
Tony cleared his throat. “I’m just. Going to hang up now. Before this conversation gets more awkward.”
“You do that.”
“Have a nice day.”
"I want to be the best man at the wedding." Rhodey broke down laughing.
Tony hung up the phone, rolling his eyes. He looked at his shopping list. So far, he had Vanilla Vodka and bread. That sounded like a productive breakfast. He sighed through his nose. Cutesie, huh? He could do cutesie. He grinned, an idea striking him. He pulled out his phone, typing out a quick message to Loki. 'Hey, I should've asked earlier, are you allergic to anything?'
'Latex. But I seriously doubt that that's relevant, as I don't think they even sell latex condoms anymore.'
Tony snorted. Okay, as long as he wasn't allergic to anything... He flipped back to the breakfast recipes. Yes. Yes, that would work well. He copied and pasted the list of ingredients, added a few side things of his own, and grinned. Yes, that would work very well.