Toni saw no reason for Pepper to be giving her those odd little disapproving looks tonight. As compared to her usual, the mad inventress was being quite well-behaved, even wearing a tailored, elegant black blazer over a blouse that would otherwise have been a rather whorish ensemble. She was at this ridiculous gala and not wearing something very nearly slinky that was, if only to the well-trained eye, elegantly designed very much for convenience of a certain sort: that had to count for something.
So what if it happened to be late evening and she was still wearing sunglasses. It was all harmless eccentricity––as compared to the photo opportunities that might have been gained from Toni’s infamous wandering eyes.
Not that they had been wandering much lately: hardly at all. If Toni bothered to think much on it, she started to get uncomfortable. It wasn’t as though she were involved involved with anyone. Not really. Surely not. No matter how lovely those miles of curves, dressed in dark green and black and gold, or undressed, looked curled up in her bed, on her couch in front of a fireplace, or against her side where they lay on the rug catching their breath.
No matter that those miles of curves and the goddess they belonged to had been MIA for over three weeks now.
Toni shook her head sharply to clear it and turned to call over her shoulder at the bartender, “Another scotch, please. I’m starving.” The devil-may care edge of her smile was determined, and she was trying to think of some way, any way to make it clear she was absolutely not sulking.
“Well, you hardly look it, unlike half of the skeletal models in the room,” said a low, cultured voice at her side––closer than she recalled anyone having been just a moment before.
Toni’s head snapped around and she tipped her sunglasses down her nose a bit to get a better look at the man. Her mouth went dry.
He was tall, and narrow of build, with legs for miles and the sort of smile that could charm a snake into trying to lie on Eve’s behalf by claiming that it had been the one biting the apple, not her. He had cheekbones that had to indicate viking heritage, though his polished voice sounded like something else, something more familiar. He had long dark hair, swept back in a way that shouldn’t have been as attractive as it was. “Good evening, Lady Stark,” he said, in velvet-and gravel tones. And his eyes were very, very green. His smile took on a very familiar curve.
Toni’s eyes widened as it sunk in. “My god, you’re a man.”
Loki laughed, and it was the same laugh, just in a different octave. “Well, how kind of you to notice.” Light and airy, imperturbable and silk-smooth as ever.
All at once, Toni wanted to touch, and find out what other noises were the same. She accepted her glass of scotch from the bartender when he brought it, and swirled the amber-gold liquid thoughtfully, not taking her eyes off the goddess of mischief. “You do make it look good, honey.”
There was the look: hungry and thoughtful and intent. “Would you care to dance, my lady?” He extended a hand.
“Well, I did only just settle in with this-” Just as Toni held up the glass, Loki snatched it, and drained it quickly, eyes not leaving hers, though Toni’s stare flicked down to watch Loki’s tongue dart out to get the last drop from his lips. The lips weren’t the same, but the way they moved was and that thought sent Toni’s mind straight into the gutter, never to rise again.
“Dance with me,” Loki insisted, offering a hand again.
Toni took it. “Shall I lead?”
The goddess in elegant gentleman’s clothes laughed softly, and leaned in close to whisper, in her more usual voice, “Not tonight, darling––at least, not yet.”
And Tony found herself pulled onto the dance floor in time for a tango to start. “You? Tango? I didn’t think Vikings were known for that.”
“I’ve picked up a few things, meeting you in places like this,” Loki remarked, and pulled her very close indeed. “But can you keep up?”
Toni’s smile shone like a knife, but sharper. “Can you?” As the first few steps began, her leg slid, caressed really, along his. The look in those green eyes in response was inspiration to take it still further, especially as one of those clever, long-fingered hands settled under her blazer just a few inches, to where her blouse was actually backless, and traced distracting shapes across her skin.
By the time the dance ended, they were both of them breathing hard.
“Time to go, I think,” Toni breathed, her face flushed and her pupils very wide.
“My thoughts exactly.” He was in no better shape, only with more a veneer of composure keeping his expression calm, thanks to centuries of well-practiced self-control, and self-restraint.
Toni always felt absurdly proud, and a little awed, when she was able to crack and all that reserve like so much glass when she wanted to, and when Loki let her. She rested a hand on her lover’s new face. “Think we can make it somewhere unnoticed?”
“For the time being, dear, your wish is my command,” Loki purred.
“I wish I had you pinned against the wall of my penthouse, then,” Toni purred, as they moved closer, a slower song allowing them the excuse while they surreptitiously made their way toward the edge of the dance floor and the possibility of escape. “Where have you been, anyway?”
“Exploring a number of possibilities,” Loki answered, without answering. For the first time that evening, the goddess sounded tired. “None of them simple, but perhaps...”
“Perhaps?” Toni prompted.
The goddess of mischief looked down at her, oddly tender: distant and intimate all at once. “I did miss you.”
Toni swallowed thickly, her hands pressing harder, wanting to sink in like vice-grips, but not quite daring. Don’t get attached, had been her mantra for over three months now––out of six since she first found herself in bed with a goddess. At some point it had started alternating between Don’t get attached and Goddamit, I warned you not to get attached, which was even worse. Toni ignored both for now, shoving them away in favor of impulse, and a flash of something disconcertingly like need. “Let’s get out of here, then, darling. I’m not inclined to share your presence with anyone else at the moment.” There was a rough edge there, like the unexpected coppery tang of metal or blood, in an otherwise sweet dessert.
Loki’s breath hitched, just for a moment, and his grip around the inventress’ waist tightened, even as they stepped away from the dance floor. A few people stared. Toni couldn’t care less. “Well, now you mention it,” he murmured, and smiled playfully, then let her go with reluctance. They slipped through the crowd: Loki with the ease of a shadow, and Tony with the fire-and-wine smile of a practiced con artist. They convened in the hall outside the main showroom, and Toni pressed the goddess of lies against the nearest wall before she could stop and think.
Looking surprised, but oddly charmed, Loki murmured, “And here I thought you wanted me in your penthouse.”
“Yes. You.” She looked him up and down, head to toe, with open appreciation. “You’re gorgeous, and another time, I’d love to get my hands on this and explore all of the subtle and not so subtle differences,” she said, pressing close, her hands sliding down Loki’s chest and sides, down further to settle on his hips. Loki’s male form felt lovely enough under her hands: all firm and sleek, wiry muscle: just with more smooth and flat planes than the goddess’ usual shape. But she craved. She needed. “Loki, I missed you. Just you. I’d like to have you yourself tonight––please.”
Those green eyes were wide open for a moment, surprised and almost vulnerable, then they closed as Loki’s head bent closer, and he caught Toni’s lips in a kiss: hungry and slow, savoring her like the taste of her was better than breathing ever could be.
Toni kissed back, arms settling across Loki’s shoulders as the increasing familiar sensation of weightlessness she associated with these little teleportations settled in, accompanied by the decidedly odd, somewhat tingly sensation of Loki changing shape in her arms.
Then Toni felt a floor beneath her feet again, and found she still had Loki against a wall, but the lips against hers were a little softer, and fuller. Those flat planes were now sleek curves, and they felt perfect under her hands. She broke the kiss to get a good look, and smiled up at her lover’s face. “Perfect,” Toni breathed.
The goddess of mischief smiled an odd, crooked smile as her lovers hand caressed her face. Leaning into the touch like a cat, Loki replied, “Yes, darling. Yes you are.” She kissed the tender skin of Toni’s wrist where the veins were close to the surface and smiled when it made the inventress shiver.
Toni’s breath caught. “Coming from a goddess, that’s really something.”
“You’re that, too,” Loki countered easily, those deceptively slender arms––stronger than steel when they needed to be, but gentle now––pulling her closer. “You’re truly astonishing.”
“For a mortal?” Toni challenged.
“For anyone,” Loki said, and swallowed thickly, looking uncertain if only for a moment, then merely questioning. “Do you want to stay that way?”
“Astonishing? I hope so.”
The goddess shook her head. “Mortal.”
Toni’s eyes widened. “Uhm. What?”
“I––I want more time with you than... than you are likely to live, if you do stay mortal,” Loki said, her eyes very dark, expression too old for how smooth and ageless her face appeared.
Struck speechless, Toni could only stare, and ask again, a bit unsteadily, “What?”
“I wouldn’t-” Loki’s eyes squeezed shut. “You would be under no obligation to spend that time with me, even if-”
The goddess’ eyes fell open.
“Just don’t... I...” Toni’s brow furrowed and she pressed her brow against Loki’s in an effort to sooth the whirlwind thoughts behind it. “I didn’t even know you loved me too, and I’ve been-” She clapped a hand over her mouth, swearing quietly behind it.
Loki’s eyes were very wide, wide open. “Pardon?”
“You never said anything about that did you?” Toni sighed.
“I was hoping it was heavily implied,” Loki rasped, almost affronted.
Toni glanced up then, swallowing thickly. “Then I think we’re both in trouble.”
“Oh?” The goddess’ expression abruptly masked.
“Because I love you too, you insane evil-villain bitch,” Toni deadpanned.
Loki snorted, the mask shattering in favor of an incandescently happy, dazzling and vicious smile. “Oh, because that’s certainly the way to-” The goddess was cut off abruptly by a slow, searching kiss that soon had her feeling all but boneless, caught between the heat of Toni Stark and the cooler surface of the wall at her back.
After savoring the ability to shut up the goddess of mischief for a long few moments, Toni gently broke away. “At least I’ve said it,” she challenged, fierce and hungry.
The goddess shivered, a matching gleam of challenge in her eyes. “You insane, bizarre and contrary human being,” she countered. “And to think I’m in love with you.”
Grinning widely, Toni spared a glance for Loki’s clothing post-transformation and snorted to find it the same suit, but tailored to those all too fine curves. “Off with the suit.”
“Isn’t that my line?” the goddess teased, even as she tugged at her green silk tie neatly, removing it seemingly without haste. “Dear Lady of Iron?”
“Good though it looks on you in either shape, I prefer you without it,” Toni said simply.
“Then work for it,” Loki challenged, and bit her lip when she felt Tony’s hands roam up under her suit jacket, over the smooth white linen shirt to cup her breasts through the fabric.
Toni kissed her, then, and for a long while, the only sounds between them were low and passionate, or else soft and whispering: either hungry words, or the sounds of fabric sliding to the floor.