The first time it happens, Loki is leaning on the counter with the entertainment section in one hand and a hot mug of cocoa in the other. Tony’s doing something that involves a blowtorch with the microwave, Bruce is trying to ignore him in favor of toast, Thor’s snores can be heard from the second floor, Natasha is scanning the pantry for something that doesn’t need the microwave, and Clint is chilling on top of the refrigerator(ha). It’s an ordinary Saturday morning minus blood. Natasha decides she misses the blood and is about to start when Steve walks through the entrance of the kitchen with a white box under his arm.
Tony flips up his welding mask.
“Hey Cap’. When’d you leave?”
“Some of us like getting up early on a Saturday.”
Tony snorts and resumes doing things to the microwave that will probably blow up in his face later. Steve ignores him and walks up to Loki, holding the box in front of him.
“Hey Loki, remember that bakery we used to go to on the way back from the used book store? The one with the blue sign and had a big black and white cake with cartoon Dalmatians on the display window?”
Loki sets down his cocoa and stares up at Steve with wide eyes.
“That bakery shut down months ago.”
“Yeah, turns out they re-opened somewhere south. It took a while but I finally found it.”
Loki eyes the box in Steve’s hands and takes it when it’s offered to him. Inside is a baker’s dozen of chocolate chunk cookies. Loki makes a sort of squee-like sound.
“How did you?”
“It wasn’t easy.”
“This is incredible”
Clint watches from the fridge and is about to yell at them to get a room when Loki presses a kiss to Steve’s cheek and takes a bite out of one the cookies (it’s still warm, Norns help him).
Everyone pretty much stares at the them and Steve has a hand over his cheek and an odd blank stare on his face. Loki licks the runny chocolate off his fingers nonchalantly, and is halfway though his second cookie when he notices everyone.
“Cookie?” he says as he holds the box up to them. “You can all share one…except for Captain Rogers because he bought them and he still hasn’t told me where the new location is.”
“That is so not the point…” Clint deadpans.
Loki glances around the room. A light blush creeps on to Steve’s face and he’s still got a hand over his cheek. Loki sighs.
“Fine, two. But you will keep this quiet from Thor or I may end up with none for myself.”
He finishes the cookie and sets the box down to drink from his cocoa.
Later, Tony pulls Loki aside to teach him the finer nuances of why kissing people in public is not proper decorum. Loki reminds him that welding, shooting guns, and sitting in high places are not exactly proper decorum either. The conversation lasts two hours and a chair. Loki explains that he finally gets it and presses his lips to Tony’s. Tony yells at him for being a tease and leaves the room. Comes back. Picks up the half-burnt microwave, huffs, and leaves the room again.
And while most everyone decided to leave the kitchen after the first hour of Tony’s rant, Steve was still frozen on the spot where Loki left him. Hand on his cheek and a blush on his face. Loki decides it would be mean not to acknowledge his honest mistake(because if he was going to be mean about something it would be on purpose dammit).
“Forgive me Captain Rogers, I really had no idea my actions would elicit such a response from you.”
Steve does… pretty much nothing.
Loki decides he’ll snap out of it in time and sets two cookies and a glass of milk on the counter in front of his un-moving teammate.
“Ah well, don’t worry. Next time, I’ll make sure I know what’s coming.”
And he does.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Loki is surprised to find the Avengers on the living room floor sorting through several cardboard boxes of shiny objects. Tony is about to walk past him, looking dishevelled and covered in motor oil and luminous goo when he sees them as well.
“Whoa. How long was I asleep for?”
Bruce laughs as he picks up a decorative star topper.
“It’s still July Tony. Don’t worry, I think we would’ve missed the incessant chatter.”
Tony frowns and points at Loki.
“You guys have the god of incessant chatter in your presence.”
“I suggest you take that back Stark, or you really might end up taking a nap for a few months… in a hospital bed.”
Tony mock laughs at him and Loki sticks out his tongue before sitting next to Steve on the floor.
Steve watches him pick up the Christmas ornaments with delicate grace. His fingers graze the edges of a small glass ball with a pine tree painted on the side. He can hear Bruce and Natasha explain to Tony how they found all these antique decorations on sale at a store somewhere and then something, Thor, something… something? He wasn’t listening.
“I remember this tradition.”
Steve realizes he was talking to Thor.
“What tradition Brother?” Thor looks up from what he was doing.
Loki digs through the box in front of him and finds a postcard with a family next to a warm fire and Christmas tree. He points at the tree.
“Remember when the mortals would set up these trees in their homes as a reminder of life that endures through the harsh winter? It is a symbol of hope and of spring, is it not?”
“Yes. I remember as well. During those times, they would hold glorious feasts to commemorate the end of a year.”
“We still do that Thor. In fact we celebrate twice near the end of the year. Most of us do. Okay, it depends on who’s celebrating.”
“For a genius, you seem to have a habit of correcting yourself Stark.”
Clint snickered. Thor picked up a snow-globe.
“Warrior of Iron, what sorcery powers this ball of glass? Is it also suffering from connection error as the picture box is fond of doing? Why do these white bits hover over the image?”
“It’s powered by the magic of nothing Thor. Magic doesn’t exist.” Loki gave him a pointed look. “Look, there’s water under the glass. The white bits float around and make it look like it’s snowing. See?”
Tony shook the snow-globe and gave it back to Thor.
“That is ingenious! Brother! Come have a look at this!”
Loki, however, seemed preoccupied with some glass mistletoe. It was covered in a thin layer of dust and had a loop of string around the end to hang it with.
“This takes me back.”
Steve stared at Loki, unsure.
“Hey wasn’t there that one story where you killed Balder with mistletoe?” Bruce asked.
Thor and Loki looked at him confused.
“Enlighten us Banner.”
“The story goes that Frigga, concerned for her son’s safety, made everything… ever, promise not to hurt Balder. Everything except the mistletoe, since it was so small and insignificant that she missed it. Meanwhile, Balder was near invincible because of the promise that nothing would hurt him, so everyone amused themselves by throwing random objects at him. Loki, that’s you, found out about the thing with the mistletoe and made a dart out of it, gave it to Balder’s blind brother Hodr and it struck him in the heart and killed him.”
Thor blinked. Loki looked at him.
“The story certainly has changed since I first told it.”
“Wait, you told that story”
“Something like that.”
“My brother is a master storyteller! You should hear the one about the hero Helgi son of Hjörvarð, slayer of Hunding and his lover the Valkyrie!”
“I don’t know Thor, perhaps they’d rather hear the tale of the time you went to Jotunheim and Father wouldn’t give you a ride to shore. Or maybe the one where you lost Mjolnir to Thrymm?”
“BROTHER YOU SWORE—“
“I also lie. It’s a bad habit. Am I right Captain?”
Steve was still staring at Loki though. It was actually starting to make Loki a bit uncomfortable.
“Captain?” Loki snapped his fingers in front of Steve. “Are you alright?”
Steve grabbed the mistletoe from Loki and held it over them as he kissed him on the forehead.
The room fell silent. Loki felt a blush coming on. Steve seemed to realize what just happened and turned away, rubbing the back of his neck. Thor looked angry enough for the both of them.
“Um… it’s… tradition?”
“Captain… may I speak to you in the kitchen?”
“YOU WILL DO NO SUCH TH—“
But they had already left. Magic was probably involved, but Steve decided not to think about that.
Loki was staring at him, but he didn’t look offended or embarrassed. Just curious.
“Why did you kiss me?”
“I-It’s a… tradition. Um, yeah. People are supposed to kiss under the mistletoe” Steve pointed to the ornament that was still in his hand.
And then Loki laughed right out of nowhere, and Steve laughed with him and all the awkwardness melted away. Steve decided not to question it.
“D-did you *wheeze* see the look on their faces?”
Loki was biting his fist and laughing into the table. Steve couldn’t help but laugh harder.
“Stark-Stark looked ready to throw himself off a bridge!”
“Norns help me. Thor”
“Oh God, he’s going to kill me isn’t he?” Steve said in between gasps for air.
Loki calmed himself down and looked Steve in the eyes.
“Yes.” And then exploded in a fit of giggles.
“Hey! Hey this isn’t- this- this isn’t funny Loki!”
“It’s hilarious!” Loki keened.
And Steve gave in and laughed along because Loki was right.
It took five minutes for them to finally calm down.
Steve stared at the mistletoe decoration on the table. Loki sat opposite him.
“You know what? We should do this again.” He stated simply.
Loki stared at him for a moment, smiled, and magicked two cans of soda.
“I there was a reason I liked you Captain.”
Steve smiled and accepted the soda.
“But we’re gonna have to let Thor in on it or he might actually kill me, you know?”
woooooooo... yeah. I cannot believe this took as long as it did. sorry
Clint rounded the halls of the mansion and stopped at the living room where Steve was watching TV.
“WHERE’S YOUR BOYFRIEND?!”
“Huh? I don’t have a—“
“Whatever, just, WHERE IS HE?!”
Steve paused his movie and walked over to Clint.
“Calm down. Tell me what happened.”
“Guess what’s in my room?”
“AN ELEPHANT! THERE’S AN FUCKING ELEPHANT IN MY FUCKING ROOM!”
Clint looked ready to give up on finding Loki and take his anger out on Steve instead when the man in question walked in with a basin of pink water.
“YOU!!” Clint yelled pointing at Loki.
“Me.” Loki replied.
Steve held Clint back by his shirt collar when the latter tried to attack Loki.
“WHY DID YOU PUT A GODDAMNED ELEPHANT IN MY ROOM?!”
“I did not damn the creature. On the contrary, I thought he would be quite happy in your care.”
Clint tried to charge at him again. Steve put some distance between them and pulled Loki into a one-armed hug. Clint did not know what to think of this.
“Look Clint, we’re a team now, and teammates don’t blame each other without reason.”
“What?! But- but he just admitted it!”
Steve sighed, pulled Loki a bit closer and asked.
“Loki, don’t take this the wrong way, but there’s an elephant in Clint’s room—“
“Literally or figuratively?”
“Literally probably, otherwise I don’t think he’d be so mad. Anyway, and I’m not saying you had any part in it, do you happen to know how that happened?”
“Yes. I put it in there because I thought it would be funny. And guess what, it was funny.” Loki said cheerfully.
Clint looked like he wanted to strangle something.
“See? What I tell ya? You really should try giving people the benefit of the doubt.”
“Wh- BUT HE JUST ADMITTED IT AGAIN! WHAT THE HELL STEVE?!”
“Clint! This is getting old. Loki had nothing to do with it so leave him alone.”
“Actually I had everything to do with it.”
“Sorry you had to see all that Loki.”
“It’s quite understandable Captain Rogers, I can’t imagine how hard it must be to navigate his quarters with that elephant in his room and all.”
Clint made a long high pitched whiny noise and felt like crying.
“Well, you wanna stay and watch a movie with me? Tony told me to watch it, said it was a classic. It’s about this group of people who can go into dreams.”
“Perhaps later darling, I’m busy dying Fury’s hair pink.” He gestured to the basin in his hands.
“Alright lovebug, stay out of trouble then.”
Steve gave Loki a quick peck on the lips and waved as Loki left the room. He turned to face Clint.
“You know what? I think Loki and I are really starting to get along.”
There was a long awkward pause after that, awkward for Clint anyway.
After about five minutes Clint spun on his heel and left the room quietly.
Steve went back to watching his movie when he heard a strained yell.
“TASHA!! LOKI BROKE STEVE!!!”
Then breaking glass and Thor’s laughter and Steve’s laughter too because that was just amazing.
Almost as good as when they did it to Tony actually, and he didn’t spoil it by accidentally laughing this time either, and really it was their fault for insisting that he was little more than the unassuming boy-scout with no sense of humor. That’ll show them.
Though, he’d still have to talk to Loki about making sure the elephant got out of Clint’s room safely. And then it hit him.
Dye Fury’s hair pink.
You probably won't get the pink hair joke until you watch this video.