Loki breathed out with satisfaction. An insanely dangerous smile tugged at his lips. "How do you feel, Anthony?" he asked silkily, running a forefinger along the ruffled hairline.
"Good. Never felt better actually." His victim shrugged. Everything was perfect, everything had remained just the same. Except this obvious change in eye-color.
"I like your eyes." Loki whispered, leaning closer, his own pupils dilated.
"Hm." Tony purred, running a thumb over the thin bottom lip before him. "Just my eyes? That's not enough…"
He wasn't sure anymore.
He must have lost the ability to recognize the difference between wrong and right somewhere, at someplace unknown. He must have stopped to perceive this ever so thin, glittering line long time ago.
And he finally realized what he had to do. It was not right. But at the same time, it was not wrong either. It just did not matter anymore.
And so he landed slowly, almost softly, on the destined ground. And with the last moment of clarity gone, he let go of the suit. He looked up, his eyes fluttering slightly in the late-afternoon sun. Just this thin barrier of red-orange and golden rays of light stood between them now. And the wind, fresh and strong up here on the roof.
Then he finally met those eyes: sharp, with a glint of madness, the green shimmering in the sunlight.
And he finally met the embrace, as sweet and as ultimate as death itself.
Yes, perhaps he was wrong.
And perhaps Loki was right.
"Lay the damn thing down!" Tony shouted, his voice rasping and desperate. And yes, pleading somewhere deep inside, but no, he would never let it show.
Eyes glittering with a mad fury, so hopeless it burned a hole through human hearts, shot in his direction. A twisted, distorted smile touched Loki's lips and widened his eyes.
"Why, dearest?" The words came as nothing less than a hiss. A seethed whisper accentuated the last one. And it had the exact effect the Trickster had hoped for. A thread of pain shot through Tony's whole being, so strong it could be seen in his weary eyes.
A droplet of sweat trickled down Loki's cheekbone and framed his graceful jaw as he loomed over Tony, the Tesseract grasped firmly in his hand.
A tear, maybe? Tony dared hope as the burning sensation radiating from the Cube ran through his chest. He looked down, studying the changing colors inside the thing.
"It is poisoning your mind. It is…" Tony whispered carefully. Too carefully, he knew. "It's separated us. Can't you see?" He pressed, risking one step closer. His skin felt as though as catching on fire. He tried not to wince.
Yes, it was always that thing, the Tesseract, that stood between them, the thing that seemed to be Loki's ultimate desire. Tony shuddered, holding a faint breath. How could he possibly compete with such a power? With such a beauty? Unlimited, they said…
"I've been a fool to believe otherwise." He concluded then, strangely expressionless. He sensed his eyes and soul being consumed by the heat, by the endless, whirling light inside…
"What do you believe, Tony?" A rasp sounded above him as the intense light vanished into the air. And he was free to look into the green orbs again.
"Loki, let me - " What? What was it? Did it matter at all?
"See, dear? It is too powerful. Too hurtful." A quiet murmur poured over Tony's face. And he could not face it all any longer. He let his eyes slide shut, saying nothing.
"Only the strong ones can resist." Loki declared sweetly, brushing a thumb over Tony's cheek to collect a single droplet. Sweat? Or a tear?
"Only the strong ones…"
There he was.
Flash of light. Blinding blaze and another portion of the Chitauri - five of them this time - fell down, burned to the bone.
The creepy smell of smoking flesh threatened Loki's nostrils but he did not care. Most likely, he did not even notice. Another swing of the scepter, another spin of his slender body, another shower of dark blood; the droplets spraying his face. The taste of it was disgusting beyond reason, but he simply did not care. He was just too busy slaying his allies.
Until they lay all dead. The entire regiment – all of them just distorted greyish, smelly corpses. Their bloody guts and limbs lay about the otherwise empty street.
Loki's nostrils dilated. He sank to the ground, and landed on his knee. Supporting himself with the scepter, he just stared into the broken asphalt and breathed frantically, the droplets of cold sweat dripping from his chin, lips and the tip of his nose.
Yes, he did it. He annihilated the last bits of his feared army. And he did not care.
The sounds of helicopters were approaching gradually. Soon, he found himself in the middle of several light cones at once. Some pathetic words were shouted at him.
But he did not care. Not anymore.
Since Tony Stark lay in deep coma - Loki did not even know where - nothing mattered.
He just wanted to see him. He just could not deny that truth anymore. Gritting his teeth furiously, he hit the ground with his fist, creating another crack in the surface.
How could I let it get this far?
He screamed. The windows broke and exploded. The rain of shattered glass poured over him and the mayhem around.
Stop making me feel this way…
He did not know why, but he just had to. He had to turn and look at the top of the stairway.
Anyone else who attended the gala, however – to Tony's great bewilderment – just continued their lively and superficial chatter; easy, light-hearted, joyful… The music did not stop as he just had to turn around and look at the man. Their former enemy, the potentially greatest nemesis of this world…
Just strutting down the stairs in the sassiest way possible.
Never tearing his venomous green stare off Tony, Loki just snatched a glass of champagne from a passing by waiter and continued his elegant, yet determined walk. Not appearing to notice him, the people around the Trickster made space swiftly and naturally, as if the whole scene had been rehearsed a hundred times over. Tony blinked a few times and smelled at his own champagne casually, unsure whether it all hadn't been just his imagination.
But then the two mischievous eyes stood right before him, burning and laughing, sneering and tantalizing, two flaming green fires, deep and clear like a pair of polished emeralds.
"What do you want?" Tony asked at last, and dropped his gaze, unable to withstand this strange tension. Something did not feel right about Loki's expression. Tony just knew it. He didn't know how, but he just –
"Just a bit of fun." The emerald-eyed monster smiled sweetly.
"Ah. And I'm supposed to grant it?" Tony stated calmly, looking up again and leaning lazily against the counter, mixing the sparkling liquid in his glass. "Or what?" He added when the green stare shifted a bit more to the curious and challenging mode.
"To the mighty Avengers." Loki said, rising his glass. Just so.
This made Tony frown with suspicion. "Oh. How kind-hearted of you." He replied casually and lifted up his glass, too. The soft, clinging sound followed. "To you, my friend." Tony intoned then, tilting his head to the side and narrowing his eyes. "To you being nice and good today."
"Aww." Loki pouted.
And the lights flickered as the Stark Tower shook and pounded with the sudden explosion of the upper stories.
The water gushed out of the fire sprinklers and rained over them. The music trailed away.
And Tony closed his eyes slowly and leaned his head against the breastbone of the soon-to-be-Avenger before him as the people went mad.
Happy birthday, Felifay!
Also - I own nothing.
Tony yawned as he was slowly making his way to the wide black sofa in the center of the room. He looked around then and scratched his head, his fingers struggling to get through the tousled hair. His other hand landed automatically on the faintly glowing arc reactor.
Yes, he seemed to be still alive.
"Hm." He snorted in surprise, one dark eyebrow rising up upon spotting an unfinished glass of whiskey on the table. What must have happened last night to make him give up on his last drink? Whatever the reason, it did not matter now since he could not recall the event anyway. And so he fell onto the sofa and grabbed the glass. He shook the liquid inside and smelled it for a moment. Then he took the remote control and switched on the big LCD on the wall before him.
He trembled with a start as the room and his skull were instantly flooded with the unforgettable sound of "Gangnam Style".
So it's still among the top charts? Just… How is the guy doing it? Tony frowned in wonderment, his eyes fixed firmly on the dancing Korean, and sipped mindlessly at his whiskey.
"I still don't quite comprehend why this particular song is so popular." The ever so familiar, comforting, but at the same time disturbing voice intoned from behind. "Could you please enlighten me?"
Tony frowned even more and cleared his throat. While taking the next sip, he turned the sound down and tried to figure out: first, what possibly was the right answer to that question and second, what the hell was Loki Laufeyson doing in his apartment.
"Well, that's actually the question. No one really knows, I guess. And maybe… maybe that's the actual reason." He thought aloud in the end, and decided to turn his head after the voice. And what he saw was the said Trickster standing at the side of the sofa, wiping his face with a big, white towel. His long raven hair was stuck to his skin as it happened to be completely wet. Tiny rivulets of water were running down the pale shoulder and dripping from the bent elbow.
A wide-eyed surprise replaced the deep frown on Tony's face. Then his eyebrows went down a fraction and twirled lightly. "You're naked." Tony observed and brought the glass to his lips again.
Loki stopped wiping his face and shrugged. "Well, I have just taken a shower, so… yes, I happen to be." He explained cheerfully, looked down on himself and removed the towel to completely reveal his bare skin. Tony choked into his glass.
"What?" Loki smiled, faking a mild surprise. "Never seen a Frost Giant's crotch?" he asked roguishly. Then he furrowed his forehead in thought and brought the towel back to his skin. "No, of course you haven't. How could you, right?"
"Ah – " Tony mouthed blankly.
"Never mind, my dear." Loki chirped as he strode to the counter. The ringing and clinking of glass followed then. "What do you eat for breakfast? Oh and – the birthday party was quite remarkable. For mortals, I mean." He added promptly and turned back to Tony, pouring himself a glass of whiskey, too; the towel draped over his shoulder.
"For mortals?" Tony protested, glaring over the sofa's backrest. "What do you mean?!"
"Aww. Nothing bad, Anthony. It was fun, and that's what counts, right?"
"Yes. But somehow… I don't remember inviting you." Tony wondered then, resting his arm on the top of the backrest.
"A detail." Loki rolled his eyes.
"Well, but quite an important one." The scientist objected.
"Yes. But let's face the truth, my friend." The Trickster's eyebrows went up as he looked into his glass. "It was a boredom fair until I showed up." He stated then and finished the drink. Then he left the glass spinning on the counter. "You're welcome." He gave a wink and walked away.