Chapter One: In which Steve blushes and Tony hates everyone
Ok, so Tony's idea of bringing the avengers to a theme park on Valentine's Day wasn't the best he could come up with. Not by a long shot. But he was bored. Loki hadn't launched an attack on them for a while. Then to add insult to injury, Natasha had to suggest going with their secret valentines to make it more fun. Thor was greatly confused by the concept. "What is the purpose of this midgardian festival?" he boomed curiously. Clint just told him to bring the person he was sleeping with. Disturbingly enough, Thor's eyes immediately brightened in understanding. Tony, distracted by the speed of Steve's All-American blush, didn't object until it was too late. His brain caught up with him only when the last avenger filed out the door. Tony groaned and dropped his head onto the conference table. He was in so much trouble. Who the hell was going to be his secret valentine? And Tony Stark was so not going alone. He would kill himself.
So in answer to his problem, he called Pepper.
"Pepper, be my secret valentine."
"What did you destroy this time, Tony?" she sounded resigned. Tony crossed his arms indignantly, and then realized she couldn't see him over the phone.
"Pepper honey, why do you think I wrecked something every time I call you? I'm honesty hurt."
"My apologies, Mister Stark. What do you need?" there was evident amusement in her voice.
"Well tomorrow's Valentine's day."
"Please don't send any chocolate coated strawberries again." Pepper interrupted. Tony pouted.
"I know, Pep. Trust me; I don't want to see you break out in hives again."
Pepper hummed in agreement. Tony went on.
"Anyway, we're going to an amusement park tomorrow and Natasha said we should bring secret valentines. If you don't come with me, I will literally die. I will totally throw myself out this window right now."
Pepper sighed. "Tony, I have a meeting in Shanghai tomorrow."
"What? How come? It's Valentine's Day! Who's evil enough to make you work on Valen-"
"You, Tony. You're the one who decided to throw his company to his assistant and run off to live with a bunch of superheroes."
Ok, she had a point. Tony couldn't argue with that. There was a pause.
"Just take the captain." Pepper suggested lightly. Tony could practically hear the sound of evil laughter in the background.
"Pepper, Steve and I hate each other." he reminded her.
"It's the holiday of love, Tony. It's the perfect chance to make up with him."
Tony hung up and flung himself onto the bed. He wasn't mad at Pepper, but rather at himself. Because when Pepper had suggested it, a part of his brain, the part containing loneliness and daddy issues, actually threw a party and liked that thought.
"Ugh... I totally need a drink after this."
That night, thunder boomed suspiciously outside the avenger's mansion. Thor looked quite happy when he sat down at the dinner table, took several messy bites and kidnapped their dessert dish before anyone could stop him. The Norse god rushed back up to his room again.
"I have fallen terribly ill, my friend. Please leave me to sleep this off." he said in a muffled voice when Steve went upstairs and asked if he wanted some more beef casserole. Steve came back down with a worried look. Glancing around hesitantly, he leaned toward tony and whispered "Thor is talking to the cheesecake. And giggling to him. And the most amazing thing is he locked the door."
The words didn't really register in Tony's hyperventilating brain. So he just took a sip of wine and answered with a "Good, I don't have to get an eyeful of Asgardian dong tomorrow morning."
Steve dropped his fork and turned crimson within a second. Clint snorted into his drink and Natasha raised an eyebrow. Tony liked to think that was her way of laughing.
"You do know there are other routes, besides going past Thor's room to get downstairs, right?" Bruce asked tentatively.
Tony dismissed the question with a flick of his fork that nearly stabbed Steve in the eye. "This is my house, Banner. Of course I know. But Thor's nudity is kinda like a shot of pure caffeine to the neck, you know what I mean?"
Clint high-fived him across the table. Natasha rolled her eyes and muttered something about men and depravity.
It was Steve's night to do the dishes and Tony dropped his fork under the table as an excuse to linger. He counted to ten crouched behind the table cloth and peeked out after the last avenger pushed their chair in. he banged his head on the ledge when Steve ducked down to raise his eyebrow at tony.
"Not a word." Tony brushed his shirt off and winced. Steve obeyed and began to pile the dishes together. The silence was kind of stony. Tony cleared his throat.
"Look, Rogers." Ok, that came out wrong. "Umm, Steve. Look, tomorrow is basically Valentine's Day and Natasha suggested the whole secret valentine thing. I was thinking since you're obviously going alone and Pepper's busy and I really don't know which underwear model to bring with me-"
"Who told you I was going alone?" Steve's brow arched in an amused sort of way. Tony's brain took five seconds to register that and he turned on his heels and fled before Steve could continue.
Ok, that was embarrassing. Of course Steve had someone. He was so sweet and charming. What girl wouldn't like that? He was so stupid, exposing his weakness like that. This was the reason Tony didn't do relationships. He couldn't handle being rejected. It was horrible for his self esteem.
Predictably, Steve came knocking five minutes later. Tony ignored him and threatened to donate Jarvis to the local college if the AI let Steve in. fifteen minutes of patient knocking later, Steve left. Tony curled up into a ball on the floor of his workshop and cursed his life.
Next morning dawned bright and cheery with clear skies and warm weather. Tony woke up with the taste of unwashed rags in his mouth. Ok, scratch that. There was an actual rag stuffed in his mouth. He hurriedly checked his pant zipper. Thankfully it was closed. Then he remembered drinking a little too much and hugging Dummy and Dummy trying to wipe his tears or something. Tony groaned and picked himself off the floor. He had a bed comfortable enough to make anyone jealous yet he found himself passed out on the floor nearly every night. Tony would be pleasantly surprised if he was ever going to live past fifty.
Nursing the powerful hangover, Tony stumbled down the stairs following the scent of freshly brewed coffee. Thor was up and bustling around in the kitchen. Tony sat down at the kitchen island and nodded to the guy already there.
"Thor, my man. I love you, you know that?" Tony said when Thor handed him a cup of coffee, a glowing smile on his face. Tony envied him sometimes. So carefree and so much time on his hands. He took a sip of his heavenly drink and sighed.
"Coffee brewed by a god, that's something you don't get everyday. Thanks man." he reached over and pinched a piece of bacon from the plate next to him and popped it into his mouth. He chewed twice and froze.
It suddenly registered to him just who was sitting next to him at the kitchen island. Loki smirked and casually blew a little kiss at him. He was wearing one of Thor's huge t-shirts and one pale boney shoulder was visible under the wide collar. Tony, being a man-whore, just couldn't help tracing the graceful arch of his collarbone with his eyes. Then he noticed the hickeys and bite marks. His hung-over brain put two and two together. Tony made a strangled noise and toppled off his stool.
"My friend, are you alright?" Thor peered over at him, one hand around the frying pan. Loki smirked and crossed his ankles. Tony couldn't help but notice he was wearing one or Thor's thunderbolt boxers.
"He's...you're...! Fraternizing with the enemy!" Tony blurted, hands going to his head as a sharp pain flared. Thor looked confused.
"It's Valentine's day is it not? The lady Natasha said to bring a Valentine. Loki is my Valentine."
Tony groaned. Loki's smirk grew wider. He reached down and pressed surprisingly soft fingers against Tony's temples and the pain faded instantly. Tony blinked.
"Ok, let's keep him." he said, dazed. Thor beamed down at the pan.
Steve and Clint wandered in next. Steve did a double take when he spotted Loki, hand going for his shield automatically. Instead, he closed his fist over the plate of omelet Thor just put on the table and chucked the rubbery egg at Loki. The trickster dodged smoothly and the egg flopped to the ground with a wet pop. Thor was annoyed that Steve destroyed his 'love omelets'. Steve blushed and spotted Tony on the ground. His eyes went impossibly wide and he blushed..
Clint didn't even glance at Loki. Instead, he walked over where Tony was still floating in his hangover free bliss, crouched down and tugged on a braid.
"Who would have thought, you look pretty good with pigtails." Clint mused. He grinned as Tony's hands flew to his head and felt the newly grown hair. Loki offered him a conjured mirror. Tony shrieked like a school girl. Clint high-fived Loki. Steve looked between being nervous and trying not to laugh at Tony's shiny new braids and pink bows.
"Brother." it was amazing how Thor could fit so much unspoken feelings into one word. Loki rolled his eyes and snapped his fingers. There was a bright flash like a camera and every phone in a ten-foot radius was sent a photo of Tony's pigtails but when Tony felt his head, the extra hair was gone. Clint looked down at his phone, whooped and ran out the kitchen, cackling. Five seconds later, he came sprinting back with a wild panicked look.
"Loki…Loki…is sitting in…our…" Clint doubled over, wheezing. Everyone in the kitchen rolled their eyes, except Thor and Steve, who still looked mildly nervous. It was evident the avengers didn't function so well without coffee in the morning.
Then Natasha and Bruce came wandering in and Tony got an eyeful of the Hulk's unprotected nether regions as he hulked out. The polka-dot briefs went rip. Steve yelped and slapped a hand over his eyes, cheeks burning red. Clint ducked just in time. Natasha pulled out a gun from somewhere between her thighs. Loki watched this with mild amusement, chin propped on one slender wrist. Thor threw his pan to the side and stepped in front of Loki, shielding his brother with the force of his hideous pink hippo apron. Tony slumped back onto the cold tiles in defeat.
Jesus Christ, why couldn't they just have one normal morning?