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Definitely A Bad Idea

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“Bruce! Hey, my buddy,” said Tony, throwing his arm over Bruce’s shoulder, “Got any plans for this evening?”

“Um, I don’t think so,” Bruce slipped out from under Tony’s arm and glanced at him nervously, “Why?”

“I was just thinking of going out. Want to come with me?”

“That doesn’t sound like a good idea.”

“No, no, it’ll be great. Come on, you haven’t left the Tower in days.”

“And there’s a reason for that.”

“Oh, come on, you’re being melodramatic. You’ll be fine.”

“On a night out with Tony Stark? I doubt it.”

“Hey, it won’t be that bad. I won’t even make you drink. Promise.”

“Then why make me come at all?”

“It’ll be good for you. You might even have fun.”

“I doubt it. That still doesn’t explain why you want me to come.”

“For the joy of your company.”

“Very funny, Tony. What is it really?”

“Hey, I was being serious. That’s it. That’s why I want you to come out with me. I’m not joking.”

“Come on, tell me the truth.”

“I was. That was it. The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Go on. Please. I won’t make you do anything you don’t want to. You just have to come with me.”

“And babysit you? Is that what this is? You want me to look after you whilst you get wasted?”

“What? Of course not. That’s ridiculous. I don’t need looking after, I’m Iron Man.”

“Tell me the truth and I’ll come with you.”

“Fine,” Tony sighed deeply, “Fury said I can’t go out unless I take you with me.”

“He said- what? Why?”

“Apparently Thor got in touch. Something about Loki escaping. Anyway, you know how Fury is – he thinks I’m a liability and that Loki might attack me if I go out alone.”

“And you still want to go out? Tony, it’s a terrible idea.”

“Oh, go on. Loki’s not going to attack us, especially after what happened last time. I don’t think he’s in a hurry to cross you again.”

“It’s an unnecessary risk.”

“It’s not a risk! Nothing’s going to happen!”

“Absolutely not, I’m not doing it.”

“But you promised! I told you the truth, you said you’d come with me if I told you the truth.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t think it’d be something like this. It’s dangerous, Tony.”

“It’s not! It’s not. It’s not dangerous. Not at all. Fury’s just overreacting.”

“I’m not going to be your bodyguard, Tony.”

“I’m not asking you to! I just want you to come out and watch me have fun. You might even enjoy yourself.”

“I don’t think I will.”

“Well, you’re not going to have fun here, either. Go on, for me.”

“Tony.”

“I thought we were friends.”

“We are, but that doesn’t-”

“Well, friends don’t make friends stay in on a Friday night.”

“If I go with you, will you stop annoying me?”

“Annoying? Me? I’m not annoying. Who’s annoying? Not me. Not annoying at all. Annoying is the last thing I am.”

“Okay, fine, I’ll go with you. Just stop saying annoying.”

 

Bruce leant against a wall, sighing as he watched Tony flirting with yet another attractive woman. His only pick up line - “I am Iron Man” - was far less effective than Tony seemed to think it should be. Amazingly, given the amount of alcohol he had drunk, Tony was still upright and vaguely forming almost-coherent sentences. Bruce was contemplating intervening and taking Tony home whilst he could still walk when he noticed that both Tony and the woman he was flirting with had vanished. Swearing under his breath, Bruce scanned the bar for them, barely noticing the drunk who had just collided with him.

“Brucey,” slurred Tony, grabbing his arm to stay upright, “I think... I think ‘s time to go.”

“I agree. Come on, let’s go whilst you’re still conscious.”

“Okay, okay, less go. Thisiss my friend... what was your name? Lisa? Laura?”

“Close enough,” said the black-haired woman Bruce had watched Tony flirting with at the bar, smiling, “Louise.”

“Nice to meet you,” Bruce said, amazed that an apparently sober woman was interested in Tony in his current state, “Come on, Tony, let’s get you home.”

“Right, right, let’s go. You coming?”

“Oh, no. You’re not bringing her.”

“But I want to.”

“No way. What would Pepper say?”

“Bru-uce. Go on.”

“Nope. I’m not letting you.”

“Fine, then. I’ll juss stay here,” said Tony, trying to pull away from Bruce.

“All right, she can come with us.”

Bruce hooked Tony’s arm around his shoulder, figuring that he’d probably be too comatose by the time they got back to the Tower to do anything anyway.

Bruce was wrong. Safely back at the Tower, Tony wasted no time dragging Lisa-Laura-Louise off to his bedroom, ignoring Bruce’s protests. Bruce contemplated following them, or calling Pepper, but eventually decided it was Tony’s problem, not his.

 

Tony, meanwhile, was enjoying his problem.

“Your eyes,” he muttered, staring into them as he kissed her, “They’re very...”

“Beautiful?” she suggested, slipping her hands under his shirt.

“Odd.”

“Oh?” she said, pushing his hands back onto her waist.

“Not in a bad way,” he added hastily, his voice slightly muffled by his shirt.

“In a good way?” she asked, throwing his shirt onto the floor.

“They seem... familiar.”

“Well, I’m sure you’ve had a lot of girls with green eyes,” she said, grinning mischievously.

“Maybe.”

He paused for a moment, then shook his head.

“Never mind,” he said, pushing her down against the bed, “I’m just being silly.”

“I forgive you,” she whispered into his ear.

“Tha-” he broke off as she rolled him over onto his back and held him down with surprising strength.

“Shh,” she said, pressing one finger against his lips, “I just want to look at this,” she added, tapping the arc reactor in his chest.

“Um, I really wouldn’t- No, please don’t take it out.”

“Why?” she asked, pausing with her hand on the reactor.

“It’s just... not a good idea, okay? Look, don’t touch.”

“All right,” she said, leaning in close to it, her hand hovering just above it.

“How does it work?”

“It’s kind of complicated. I don’t know if you’d follow it.”

“What does it do? Why do you need it?”

“Well, basically, it’s keeping me alive. But it also powers the Iron Man suit.”

“So you’d die if I took it out?”

“Not immediately, but yeah. So I’d appreciate it if you didn’t.”

She nodded silently, still staring intently into the reactor, as if that could unravel its secrets.

“So, are you done looking?”

“For now,” she said, smiling and standing up, “I’ll see you again, Tony Stark.”

“Hey, where are you going?”

“Goodbye.” She smiled at him as she left him, lying confused on the bed.

 

“Ow, my head,” groaned Tony, squinting into the light, “Jarvis, turn it off.”

“I’m afraid I am incapable of turning off the sun, sir.”

“Then close the drapes. I’m trying to sleep.”

“Tony, it’s midday,” said another voice, “You need to get up.”

“Why?” asked Tony, wondering who would be so cruel.

“Oh, dear. You’ve really outdone yourself this time,” sighed Bruce, pulling Tony out of bed, “Come on, you need some breakfast.”

 

“What happened last night?” asked Bruce as Tony sipped his coffee.

“Not so loud,” winced Tony, “Use your indoor voice.”

“Boy, you are hungover. What happened to that girl?”

“She left.”

“I saw. Why’d she leave so soon?”

“She only want to see this,” he said, tapping his chest, “Weird, I know.”

“Oh. Do you think she might be a Loki’s spy?”

“More likely one of Fury’s agents.”

“Probably. Well, at least you didn’t sleep with her.”

“Oh, yeah, that’s a real bonus.”

Tony spent the day trying to distract Bruce from talking about the previous night. Loathe as he was to admit it, it had been a bad idea. Although his headache had faded a bit by the evening, he decided it would probably be a good idea to get an early night. As he walked into his room, he noticed the woman lying on the bed with a mixture of surprise and annoyance.

“Hello, Mr Stark,” she said, smiling seductively.

“What are you doing here?” he asked angrily, “I thought you got what you came for.”

“Oh, come on, now. I was just curious.”

“I’m not in the mood for your games. What is it this time? Want to examine my suits? Interview Jarvis?”

“Don’t be so suspicious. I just want to finish what we started.”

“You weren’t so keen last night.”

“I’m fickle.”

“Yeah, well, so am I. All I want to do now is sleep.”

“You can sleep later.”

Tony sighed, sitting down on the bed.

“Go away,” he said, “I’ve got a headache.”

“Are you sure?” she asked, sliding over to him and placing a cold hand on his forehead.

“Hey, what are you- What did you just do?”

“Nothing.”

“But my head-”

“Oh, of course, I magically cured your headache,” she said, not a trace of sarcasm in her voice.

“Fine,” said Tony.

“So?” she asked, moving closer.

“No. Absolutely not. I’m nowhere near drunk enough.”

“I’m hurt,” she sighed slightly, her breath tickling Tony’s lips.

“I’m taken,” he replied, not moving, “Who are you?”

“No one special.”

“Who do you work for?”

“Myself.”

“Can I have a straight answer?”

“Definitely not.”

She cut off his next question with an almost violent kiss, pushing him down onto his back.

“No, no, no,” said Tony, pulling away, “Not happening. Nuh-uh.”

“Oh really?” she asked, raising one eyebrow and grinning wickedly, “Because I think it is.”

She kissed him again, and the last of his self-control melted away.

“Fine,” he sighed, hands moving greedily across her body, “But you’d better not be teasing me this time.”

She smiled slightly, and sat up, pulling her shirt over her head.

“How’s that for teasing?” she asked, sliding off of the bed and standing up.

“Are you leaving again?” he said, sitting up, “If you’re leaving again, I’m actually going to break something.”

“Would I do a thing like that?”

“Yes,” said Tony, sitting up, “You’re impossible.”

“You hardly know me,” she said, slipping out of her skirt.

“If you’re leaving, you should probably put your clothes back on.”

“Do you want me to put my clothes on?” she asked, pushing him back down onto his back and straddling his chest.

“Not particularly.”

“Then stop talking.”

“Fine, th-”

He broke off as she kissed him again.

“You know,” he said, as she started to move her kisses along his jaw, “Perhaps my clothes should come off too.”

“Shh,” she replied, pulling his shirt up to kiss around the reactor, “You talk far too much.”

“No, I don’t. Every word I say is valuable.”

“You certainly have a high opinion of yourself.”

“Justifiably,” he said as she pulled his shirt over his head, “I’m pretty amazing.”

“You’re hardly a god,” she said, pausing to raise an eyebrow at him.

“I have some godlike qualities.”

“Like what?” she asked, unbuttoning his trousers.

“Godlike beauty.”

“I’m amazed you can fit through doors with such an inflated ego.”

“The others do their best to puncture it.”

“Good on them,” she said, pulling away to slip his trousers off of his legs.

“My ego is very important.”

“I’m sure you think so.”

“It’s really very delicate.”

“Of course it is,” she said, kissing him again to cut off his reply, “Quiet, now.”

“Whatever you say,” he muttered into her mouth.

Chapter Text

 Tony woke up as the first rays of light came through the window. He glanced over at the sleeping woman, noticing how peaceful and innocent she looked. He laughed quietly as he remembered how far from innocent she was awake. Brushing her long black hair off of one pale shoulder, he shook her gently awake.

“Hey,” he said, “Wake up.”

She rolled over, groaning, and Tony froze in shock as her saw her – no, his – face.

“Loki! What- Why- What are you doing? Where’s-”

“Huh?” asked Loki, sitting up, “What happen-” He broke off, looking down and realising what had, in fact, happened, “Oh. Um. Well. I can explain-”

“I’m waiting. This had better be fucking good.”

“Okay,” he said, pulling the covers around himself and looking slightly desperate, “Well. I think you can pretty much guess... I have certain... abilities.”

“So you turned into a woman and seduced me?”

“More or less, yes.”

“To get a look at the arc reactor?”

“Initially.”

“And what was this?”

“Curiosity.”

“Cur- Man, that’s fucking weird.”

“Right. Well. You probably shouldn’t mention this. Especially to Thor.”

“Oh, I wasn’t thinking of it. No way. This stays between us.”

“Good,” Loki said, grinning slyly before vanishing into thin air.

 

Bruce found Tony in his workshop later, working on his suit and muttering to himself.

“Are you all right?” he asked.

“Fine, fine.”

“You don’t look fine.”

“I’m fine.”

“Are you sure?”

Tony didn’t reply.

“Look, what happened last night? I heard... Well...”

“Nothing. A mistake. I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Was it her? What’s-her-name, L-something?”

“Well... Yeah, I guess.”

“What happened? Did you...?”

Tony didn’t reply.

“And... that was the mistake?” Bruce paused for a moment, “Or was it something else?”

Tony stayed resolutely silent.

“Fine, then. Don’t tell me.”

He waited for a moment, then left, shaking his head. Tony waited until he was sure he’d left before leaving the suit and collapsing into a chair, his arms folded on the desk and his face buried in his arms.

“Rough day, huh?”

“What do you want, Barton?” said Tony, not looking up.

“Nothing. Just making conversation.”

“Go away.”

“I heard you got laid last night.”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“What’s wrong? Chick turn out to be a dude?”

Tony paused for a moment, then looked up.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” he repeated.

“Ah,” said Clint, nodding understandingly, “That sucks.”

“You have no idea,” Tony sighed, dropping his head back onto his arms.

 

A few weeks later, Tony stumbled into his bedroom, slightly drunk, in the early hours of the morning, and collapsed on his bed only to have it give a slightly muffled ouch .

“Jarvis, lights,” he groaned, sitting up and sighing when he saw who was lying on the bed.

“Hello, Stark.” Loki grinned in a startlingly predatory fashion and stretching out luxuriously.

What are you doing here? That’s my bed.

“You didn’t mind so much last time.”

“Last time, I didn’t know you were Loki.”

“Would you prefer it if I weren’t?” His whole body shimmered, a golden haze obscuring it and then vanishing to reveal the woman Tony most regretted ever having slept with.

“No, no, turn back, please,” Tony said, massaging his temples and trying desperately to think of some way to get a crazy demigod out of his bedroom.

“Better?”

“What-” Tony looked up at Loki and then away again, “Some clothes might be a good idea.”

“Spoilsport.”

“Look, no offence, but I really don’t want you in my bedroom.”

“Oh, Stark, I’m wounded.”

“Could you just... leave? Please?”

Loki contemplated the thought for a few seconds, before grinning and vanishing. Tony stood still, staring at the bed, for a few moments, before shaking his head slightly and turning away. He undressed quickly and collapsed into the bed again, trying to banish all thoughts of Loki from his mind – especially the thought of him lying naked in his bed. Sighing, he rolled over, only to collide with someone lying next to him.

“Oh, god. I thought you left.”

“I came back.”

Tony groaned before asking, “Why?”

“I changed my mind.”

“Look, I told you, I’m not interested.”

“I couldn’t care less about what you’re interested in, Stark.”

“Okay, right, well, that’s creepy,” said Tony, sitting up and edging away from Loki, “And rape. Seriously, do you not have rape where you come from? Because it’s really not a good thing.”

Tony waited for Loki to reply. And waited a bit longer.

“Jarvis, lights,” he said, checking that Loki was still there, “Um. Are you all right?”

“I’m fine,” replied Loki, pushing himself up into a sitting position and resolutely looking away from Tony.

“You sure? You’re acting all... weird.”

Loki stared intently at Tony for a moment, looking slightly confused, before looking back down at his lap. Just before he looked away, Tony thought he saw a satisfied expression on Loki’s face, but decided he must have imagined it.

“It’s nothing,” said Loki, turning his back to Tony.

Tony contemplated just leaving him there, but decided that was harsh, even though Loki was supposedly his enemy.

“Hey,” said Tony, placing a tentative hand on Loki’s back, “You can tell me. What’s the problem?”

Loki pulled his knees up against his chest and buried his face in them, remaining silent.

“Go on. Just tell me what’s wrong.”

“You,” said Loki, his voice muffled by his knees.

“Oh, come on, don’t be so childish. What did I do?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Fine, then,” said Tony abruptly, “Leave.”

“Wait, no-” Loki looked up at him, a panicked expression on his face, “I don’t want to go.”

“Then stop being an asshole and tell me what’s wrong with you.”

“I-” Loki paused for a moment, glancing away from him, “I am ashamed.”

“Why?”

“Because-” Loki broke off and turned to Tony, grabbing him by the shoulders.

“Ow, that-” winced Tony, flinching away slightly.

“I want you, Stark,” said Loki, staring at Tony with an intensity that scared him.

“Well, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’m a pretty attractive guy.”

“Look at you,” Loki smiled slightly, scanning Tony’s face, “You’re so afraid.”

“Afraid? Nope, not me. A little freaked out, maybe.”

“Too afraid to admit the truth.”

“What truth? Who’s afraid of the truth? Are you still talking about me?”

“You want me too. I can see it in your eyes.”

“Loki, this is ridiculous. You’re my enemy. This is just... It’s probably in the top ten of the most stupid things I’ve ever done. That’s a pretty elite list.”

“I won’t tell if you don’t,” Loki said, grinning mischievously.

“Oh, now we’re being satirical?”

“You’re right,” said Loki, turning suddenly, “There are far better things we could be doing.”

“Like wha-”

Loki cut Tony off with an almost vicious kiss, catching his lower lip between his teeth and biting. Tony pulled away, startled, raising a hand to his mouth

“Okay, seriously, this is a really bad idea,” he said, looking down at the smear of blood on his fingers.

“So what?” Loki asked, raising one eyebrow.

Tony looked at him and every reason to stay away from Loki flooded out of his brain to be replaced by thoughts of how attractive Loki looked when he did that.

“I am so going to regret this,” he said, sighing, as he leaned to kiss Loki again.

“I’ll make it worth your while,” Loki promised, pulling Tony’s shirt off and throwing it in the general direction of the door.

“Tony, we need to-” Bruce was cut off by Tony’s shirt hitting him squarely in the face as he entered the room. Loki gave Tony a panicked look and vanished just as Bruce removed the shirt from his face and gave Tony an aggrieved look.

“Do you have to hurl your clothes at me?”

“It’s your animal magnetism, Brucey. It’s out of control.”

“Very funny, Tony.”

“I just can’t help myself. So, you wanted to talk?”

“Yeah, I- Wow, that thing is really bright.”

“Should I put my shirt back on? Am I distracting you?”

“No- I mean, don’t worry- I just- How does it work?”

“Is that really something you want me to explain at three in the morning?”

“Well... yeah. Kind of.”

“I’m not explaining the arc reactor to you at three in the morning. No way.”

“Tell me later, then,” sighed Bruce, giving the reactor one last covetous look.

“Hey, my eyes are up here.”

“Go to bed, Tony,” said Bruce, rolling his eyes.

“Wait, you didn’t tell me what you wanted to talk about.”

“It can wait till the morning.”

“It is the morning.”

“Go to sleep.”

Bruce left, shaking his head.

“Asshole,” muttered Tony as he climbed into bed.

“I heard that,” called Bruce from outside the door.

“No, you didn’t.”

Chapter Text

 “Avengers,” said Fury, strolling into the kitchen-cum-dining-room of the Avengers’ Tower, “We have a problem.”

“And you felt the need to drop into here and tell us because...?” asked Tony from the counter, a bowl of half-eaten cereal in his hand.

“I need you to be ready in an hour,” continued Fury, ignoring Tony, “Natasha, get the others and bring them here.”

Natasha nodded and left the room. Typically, she was already fully dressed, whilst everyone else was pretending that Thor’s pyjamas weren’t patterned with pink bunny rabbits.

“So, what happened?” asked Tony, breaking into the awkward silence.

“I’ll tell you when the others get here,” replied Fury in the vaguely annoyed tone he always used with Tony.

“Right,” said Tony, fiddling with his spoon and looking around at the others. Fury was dressed in his usual black leather – Tony wondered whether he had an entire wardrobe full of identical outfits – but everyone else was still in their pyjamas. Steve was wearing a star-spangled set, bought for him by Tony, who had promptly destroyed all his other pairs when he refused to wear them. Thor’s pyjamas were also a gift from Tony, but much more gladly accepted. Tony himself was wearing Iron Man pyjamas, which he had bought as soon as he had discovered they existed and which no one could discourage him from wearing every night.

Natasha returned to the room, followed by Bruce, who was resplendent in purple silk pyjamas.

“Where’s Bar-Ow,” Tony broke off as Clint dropped out of the ceiling onto his head.

“Was that really necessary?” he asked, rubbing his head, “That hurt. A lot. I’ve probably got brain damage.”

“What’s the problem, then?” asked Steve, cutting off Tony’s complaints.

“Loki.”

In the moment’s silence that followed, Tony sighed exasperatedly.

“What’s he done this time?” he asked.

Fury turned so he was addressing Tony directly.

“He kidnapped Ms. Potts.”

Tony froze for a moment, then started swearing under his breath.

“That son of a- Where are they?”

“About two miles away.”

“Give Jarvis the coordinates.”

Fury grabbed Tony’s arm as he tried to walk past, stopping him from leaving.

“Don’t do anything stupid,” he said, before releasing him. Tony left the room without replying.

 

Tony was the first to arrive at the abandoned building Loki was hiding out in.

“Hello?” he called out, his voice echoing slightly inside the building, which had apparently been used to store toilet paper, “Loki? Pepper? Anyone home?”

He spotted movement on the other side of the warehouse and headed straight for it.

“Tony?” asked Pepper, coming out from behind a pile of 12-packs of toilet paper.

“Pepper? Where’s Loki?”

“I don’t know, I think he left.”

“Okay, then, why aren’t you tied up? And why didn’t you leave?”

“I... I don’t know, I just assumed... I didn’t...”

“Right. The others will be here soon. You go outside and wait for them, and I’ll look for Loki.”

“Oka- Wait, what? You’re going to look for him? Why?”

“Look, just go outside, okay? I’ll handle this.”

“Can’t we just leave? Why do you have to look for him?”

“Less talking, more leaving,” said Tony, spinning her round so she was facing the exit and giving her a gentle push.

Pepper looked back at Tony, sighed, then left, shaking her head.

 

“Loki? I know you can hear me. Come on, this is getting boring.”

Tony wandered aimlessly around the warehouse, occasionally calling for Loki, and wondering if this wasn’t at least slightly ridiculous.

“Did someone call?”

Tony spun around to see Loki lounging in a pile of toilet rolls.

“Classy,” he snorted.

Loki smiled, and somehow contrived to get up gracefully and walk over to Tony in one fluid movement.

“So, Stark,” he hissed in Tony’s ear, wrapping one arm around his waist, “Ready to... reconsider?”

“Oh, you think this will persuade me?” asked Tony, pulling away, “This is exactly why it’s a bad idea.”

“Oh?”

“Come on, you’re not an idiot. You’re my enemy, and you’re pretty much completely insane, in an I-love-murdering-innocent-people kind of way.”

“So?”

“So if you’re going round murdering innocent people, I have to stop you. We’re going to end up fighting.”

“I fail to see your point.”

“Well, basically, if you want us to... do whatever it is you want, you’ve got to stop trying to take over the world, or whatever your next dumb plan is.”

“So... if I come over to your side...”

Tony paused for a moment, staring at Loki.

“Wait,” he said, “Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”

“Maybe.”

“You want to... join the Avengers?”

“Perhaps I do,” said Loki, smiling enigmatically.

“Right. Well. I don’t think Fury will be too happy.”

“You mean... You’re really going to...?”

“Why not? It’ll certainly annoy the others, at least. Probably be worth it, just for Fury’s reaction.”

“He’s really not going to like this, is he?”

“Yeah, he’ll probably want to torture you or something.”

“Oh.”

Loki was silent for a moment.

“Um, do you think you could persuade him to skip the torture?” he asked, giving Tony a pleading look, which he tried unsuccessfully to ignore.

“I’ll see what I can do,” he sighed, “Come on, let’s get out of here.”

 

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, Stark?” Fury was not impressed by Tony’s latest misdemeanor.

“Well, he wanted to join us, so I thought why not? Free wizard.”

“This is not a laughing matter. Loki is a serious liability.”

“Right, I know, I get that. Look, I’ll handle it. He’s my responsibility now.”

“You make sure you do. If this goes wrong, it’ll be on your head.”

“Okay, okay. So this is settled, then?”

“Yes, it is. You get to keep your pet. Just make sure you keep him under control.”

“I will, I will. Not sure he’d appreciate a leash, though.”

Fury just gave him a look that clearly said You’re not as funny as you think you are. Possibly in ten-foot letters. Tony just snorted and walked out past where Loki was waiting.

“So?” asked Loki, casually catching up with him and keeping pace.

“We’re good to go. Tell me, would you consider wearing a leash? It might help your case.”

“Absolutely not.”

“You sure?”

“Definitely.”

“I don’t know, it might go with the whole leather-and-horns thing you’ve got going on.”

“You mock me, Stark.”

“Me? Mock? Never.”

 

“So, this is where you live? Work?” asked Loki, peering with great interest into the bathroom of the Avengers Tower.

“Not exactly, no. That’s where I pee.”

“Oh. So, is here where you work?”

“Nope, that’s where we eat.”

“Oh. Where do you work, then?”

“You know how I told you Fury doesn’t trust you and thinks this whole thing is a terrible idea?”

“Yes?”

“Somehow I think he wouldn’t approve of you having access to our work.”

“Well, surely you trust me enough to show me some of your work?”

“I’m not saying I don’t trust you. I’m saying I really don’t want Fury to kick my ass.”

“It could be our little secret.”

“Fury would know.”

“Oh, come on. How could he?”

“Fury always knows.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“You can never be too careful. Well, when it comes to Fury, at least.”

Loki just snorted, unconvinced.

“I’m hurt,” said Tony, pulling a shocked expression, “It’s almost as if you only want me for my work.”

“Wouldn’t that be terrible?” replied Loki, smiling enigmatically.

Tony paused for a moment, gently shaking his head.

“Are you ever going to make sense?” he asked.

“Probably not.”

 

“So, what’s the deal with you and Loki?” asked Bruce casually, watching Tony make minor adjustments to his suits.

“To be honest, I don’t even know.”

“Why’d you bring him here?”

“I guess... I felt sorry for him. It- I don’t really- It doesn’t make sense, now I think about it.”

“Loki certainly seems to resist simplicity.”

“You can say that again. I haven’t even seen him since he came here.”

“I don’t think anyone has. He’s just shut himself up in his room.”

“What, for two weeks?”

“Not so different from you.”

“Hey, I’m doing work.”

“Right. So what do you think he’s doing?”

“What, you think he’s working on an evil plot?”

“He’s in the perfect place to do it.”

“So this was all an elaborate plan to get in here and then lock himself up in his room?”

“Maybe. He’s right in the middle of our home, Tony. Who knows what he could be planning?”

“Something terrible, no doubt,” said Tony, staring distractedly at his suit and fiddling absent-mindedly with a spanner.

Bruce watched him for a moment, then sighed.

“What did you do?” he asked, sounding slightly exasperated.

“Nothing. I don’t know. It’s complicated.”

“Fine, then. Tell me when you’ve figured it out.”

“Don’t hold your breath.”

Tony watched Bruce leave, and stared at the door for a moment after he’d left before returning to his work. He fiddled with a couple of wires, then cursed as the whole workshop was suddenly plunged into almost absolute darkness.

“Jarvis, lights.”

No reply.

“Jarvis, turn on the lights.”

Deafening silence from the household AI.

“Okay, let’s try this manually, then,” he muttered to himself, getting up and feeling his way across the workshop, “Do I even have a manual light switch?”

He froze as he was grabbed from behind, a hand clamping down over his mouth.

“I took the liberty of disabling your electronic servant,” Loki’s voice hissed in his ear, “Just to give us a little... privacy.”

“You know,” said Tony, just about managing to talk through Loki’s hand, “I rather think you’ve been giving me mixed signals lately.”

“How so?” asked Loki, slipping his hand off of Tony’s mouth.

“Well, basically with everything you’re doing. I’m not sure what you mean to gain by seducing someone, inviting yourself into their house, and then locking yourself up for a fortnight.”

“My motives would be obscure to a mortal such as yourself.”

“That’s very charming. You know, I’m not sure I want you here any more. I’m sure Fury will be delighted to hear you’re moving out.”

“Oh,” Loki paused for a moment, apparently thinking, “I’ve done something wrong, haven’t I?”

“You could say that,” agreed Tony, twisting around in Loki’s slackened grip.

He could just about make out his face in the darkness, staring intently at him.

“So...?” Tony said eventually, just to break the silence.

“What should I do now?”

“What do you want to do?”

Loki appeared to contemplate this for a moment.

“I see,” he said, nodding.

“You do?” Tony asked, raising one eyebrow even though he knew Loki couldn’t see him.

Loki slipped his hands further around Tony, pulling him in closer, until Tony could feel his breath on his lips.

“Yes,” he said, so quietly that Tony felt the word rather than heard it.

He pressed his lips gently against Tony’s, in a touch so soft it could barely be called a kiss.

“Okay, so, this is better,” said Tony, his voice sounding unnaturally loud.

Loki smiled, then kissed him again, more passionately. His hands slid possessively over Tony’s body as he explored his mouth with his tongue. Tony pulled away slightly, trying to breathe, and Loki moved his kisses to his throat. He thought about resisting, for a moment, mentally running through all the reasons why this was a bad idea, but eventually decided it was easier just to give in. Slipping his hand into Loki’s hair, he dragged his mouth back onto his. Loki let out a soft moan as Tony slid his other hand down his chest and across his stomach, slipping it under the waistband of his trousers.

“What are you wearing?” he asked, pulling away slightly.

“Hasn’t the time for that sort of question passed?” replied Loki teasingly.

“Are you actually wearing sweatpants?” asked Tony incredulously, starting to laugh.

“So what if I am?”

Tony tried to reply, but couldn’t force the words out through his laughter.

“What’s so funny?” asked Loki crossly.

“It-You-” Tony collapsed into fits of giggles, unable to articulate the sheer hilarity of the situation.

The lights flickered on to reveal Loki, arms crossed over a grey tracksuit, his thunderous expression rendered hilarious by his simply ridiculous outfit. Tony took one glance and doubled over, wheezing with laughter.

“Are you quite done?”

“Jarvis,” gasped Tony, leaning against the desk and looking carefully away from Loki, trying to stifle his laughter, “Please tell me you’re recording this.”

“What’s going on do- Oh.”

Tony looked up to see Bruce in the doorway, fighting to keep a grin off of his face. He glanced over at Loki, who gave him one last glare before vanishing into thin air.

“Oops,” he said.

“Well, now we know why he wouldn’t come out,” said Bruce, grinning widely.

Tony gave him one look and burst out laughing again.