"What strange magic is this?" Thor asked, and that was when Tony, who'd been sort of hoping against hope up until then realized that yup, they were screwed. Fucked. Done for.
"It's an uh disco ball," he said, and wow, he still got that happy feeling whenever he said something that made Steve's eyes light up. Plus, apparently Pepper had covered disco in her Quick Overview of Things You Missed While You Were Sleeping That Tony Made Me Put Together Because He Is Awesome But Also Very Busy And/Or Lazy And I Am Merely Very Busy.
Natasha frowned. "He turned the sun into a disco ball?"
The first of Loki's troops were coming into view. Their uniforms looked very ... glittery.
"Are we expected to dance?" Steve asked. He looked like he wasn't entirely averse to the idea. Tony decided he hadn't really needed the mental image of Steve doing disco, thank you very much.
"I don't think so, champ. And he probably just made it look like a disco ball, right?"
Thor looked thoughtful, then apologetic. "I fear that I cannot say. Loki is much more knowledgeable on such matters than I am."
"Well, it's ... warm and stuff," Tony said. "So good news: it's only an illusion. And those scary looking guys down there are just ... scary looking guys in really ridiculous uniforms. With big, scary looking guns. We can handle them. Probably."
"Confidence," Natasha said. "Sexy."
"If only you showed any."
Loki was wearing a - it looked a bit like a - or maybe a -
"Brother - " Thor said, because he clearly hadn't read the Big Book of Dealing With Psychotic People in Psychedelic Outfits.
"I'm not your brother," Loki said. "I'm not your friend, I'm not your one-night stand of several hundred nights, I'm not your date to the annual festival to celebrate the Harvest of the Apples and I'm definitely, definitely not your secret lover who you keep sneaking into SHIELD Headquarters."
Tony figured this meant that either (a) Loki totally was all those things (except, possibly, the brother thing, because that sounded vaguely off) or (b) Loki was just trying to screw with their minds by telling the truth.
"What do you want?" Steve asked. Tony'd have thought the army and the guns would have kind of made the answer obvious, but all right, Steve liked to do things by the book.
"Glitter and rollerskating and happiness all around," Loki said. "Oh, and to rule the world."
"You can't rule the world," Steve said, all stern and heroic like. It made Tony feel sort of tingly and warm and fuzzy inside, like if he fell over right now, Steve would probably catch him.
Of course, Tony would do the same for Steve. Not Thor, possibly, because he'd be too heavy, and not Natasha, probably, because in her case, it would be a tactical movement and he'd only get her mad at him for cramping her style. Bruce should be fine, though, as long as he was Bruce.
"Those ... other things are negotiable, though."
Loki scowled. "If I can't rule the world, I'll just let it burn."
"No," Tony said, and Steve glanced at him with a slightly puzzled expression, because obviously, he didn't know where this was going, where this had to be going, and why should he, anyway, he hadn't even been alive when that song had been popular. Well, he'd been alive, but not aware or anything. "No, no, no."
Of course, it wasn't as if Tony had actually lived through the age of disco, but even so.
"Yes," Loki said, and yup, that was the position all right. Surprisingly, it didn't look any less silly when there was an army of expertly trained, armed-to-the-teeth mercenaries behind you doing the exact same thing. "It'll be a DISCO INFERNO!"
"Man, I have some messed up dreams."
"Hm?" Steve asked, which was, all right, not smart, stimulating conversation or anything, but he was big and warm and like a perfect human teddy bear and first thing tomorrow, Tony was going to hunt down That Picture of That One Time and make sure Steve never, ever got to see it.