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You Catch Me As My Tears Fall

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“Tony!” Loki emitted a whine, crossing his arms in annoyance. Tony didn’t look up from his paperwork, but gave a small smile.

“Ah-hum?” The engineer sounded amused. Loki huffed.

“You’re not listening!” The god sounded frustrated, the barest hint of annoyance breaking into his tone. Tony finally looked up.

“What did you say?” Tony gave one of his famous wide-mouthed grins. Loki narrowed his eyes.

“I want to go home.”

Tony sighed, laying down his StarkPad.

“I know. But it’s only been two days since you woke up. I don’t want you hurting yourself.” A sly grin crept onto Loki’s face.

“You are worried about me?”

Tony turned an exasperated gaze on Loki. “Yes, I’m worried about you. You were in a magical coma for fifteen days. If that doesn’t give me the right to be worried, nothing does.” Loki stared with wide eyes. Tony looked up from his work, meeting them.

“Now that’s verging on creepy.”

Loki continued to stare. “Sorry.” His tone suggested that he was all but. Tony sat aside the pad with a sigh, and moved onto the bed alongside Loki, pulling the god into a hug, pressing a kiss to the dark hair.

“I’d thought I’d lost you. I don’t ever want to go through that again. So allow me to mollycoddle you.” Tony ended with finality. Loki huffed a laugh into the engineer’s chest.

“I’ll be good.” Loki promised. Tony raised an eyebrow.

“And that’ll last all of a day.”

Loki grinned. “I said I didn’t lie to you.” Tony pointed to Loki’s hands.

“You’re crossing your fingers.” Loki stared at them in mock exasperation.

“Damn it.”

o0o

Steve paced outside, Natasha and Bruce rested against each other. Charles was reading a hospital magazine, waiting for Erik to return from the canteen. Clint and Coulson had mysteriously disappeared.

Natasha had grinned when they left. Charles had turned bright red.

“Do you think we should go in there?” Steve gestured towards the door. “I mean, he did help us. We owe him a thank you.” Charles shrugged, just a twitch of the shoulders.

“I still don’t trust him. He’s a supervillain from a different realm. The only reason we’ve never had to go up against him is because Tony always managed to delay us. What if he turns on us? I don’t particularly want to get my throat slit in the middle of the night. I can’t get a read on him at all. Where his mind should be, I just get interference. I can’t trust him He’s not trustworthy.” Charles’s low voice was raw, but calm. Natasha nodded from where she was lounging on Bruce.

“I agree. He’s fifth on SHIELD’s most wanted. We can’t just let him into our lives like he isn’t dangerous. I know Tony seems to be in love with him. But his eyesight is tinted. He’s a threat.” Steve nodded slowly.

“I’d been having the same thoughts. But he could be an asset to us, especially now we don’t have Thor.”

“Where has he gone?” Bruce asked, his voice soft.

“Back to Asgard. Tony won’t let him back on the team, whether Loki is on the team or not. Not after what Thor did.” Steve replied, rubbing his forehead with the back of his hand. “But back to the point, Loki could be a huge asset to us. But he is a threat. I can’t ignore that. We can’t ignore that. The world knows who he is. It would not only be incriminating for us, affiliating with a supervillain. And however much Tony says Loki won’t double cross us, Tony is biased. We can’t take anything he says seriously into account.” They all looked at each other, their faces grim.

“We need to talk to Fury.” Steve nodded.

“I’ll get onto him. He needs to be informed of Tony and Loki’s relationship. He knows Thor attacked Tony, but he isn’t aware of Loki. He needs to know. He takes the decision.”

o0o

Tony snored, his head lolling on his shoulder, his legs splayed out in front of him. Loki watched him, his head resting on the soft pillow. His hand was laced with Tony’s calloused one, slowing rubbing circles into the engineer’s palm.

He, Loki, had been in the same position Tony had been in only days ago. Except Tony had gone. Tony hadn’t run away.

And Loki still couldn’t understand why.

He was faulty. There was no other way to phrase it. He was manipulative. He lied. He cheated. He backstabbed. He succumbed to jealousy oh too easily. He didn’t share. He had a problem with authority. Everyone he loved got hurt. Got broken.

And Tony loved him.

Loki gave a small smile, eyes still on the sleeping man. Tony wasn’t perfect either. But their faults – and there were many of them – complimented each other. They balanced each other out.

He’d never thought that he’d find someone who he’d love. And love him back. Tony had always been there, the steady constant in the chaos of his life on Asgard. Whenever things got too much, he’d just seek Tony out, and they would watch cheesy films and eat ice-cream until the early hours of the morning, when they’d finally fall asleep, curled up against each other. Loki had once spent a full month on Midgard, with Tony. He had pulled one prank too far, and had changed Thor, The Warrior’s Three, and Sif, into pigeons.

He hadn’t stayed around too find out the consequences.

He’d enrolled in High School. He and Tony had waltzed through life, drinking and laughing and trying to hook up with girls.

It hadn’t lasted.

Odin had searched Asgard, and all the other realms to find a way to undo Loki’s magic. As soon as the magic had been reversed, Odin had sent the 5 warriors to Midgard to bring Loki home. Tony had tried punching. It hadn’t worked.

Tony stirred in his sleep, murmuring something intelligible. Loki’s emerald eyes flittered over Tony’s face, watching every emotion play out, frowning at the creases in Tony’s forehead. He wanted to brush away the frowns, to ease the pain that caused them. He raised Tony’s hand to his lips, and pressed a soft kiss to it. Tony tensed, and bleary brown eyes focused on Loki. The god gave a hesitant smile.

“Let’s go home.”

 

 

Chapter Text

Loki stared around the lounge, taking in all the little details. He could see the green of Central Park from the window, the green against the grey. Loki pressed a palm to the window, almost as if he could touch the world below. The soft blue glow was almost beneath him, changed from the Stark to just the A. 

Tony walked up behind him, wrapping his arms around the god’s waist. He rested his head against Loki’s shoulder, pressing a kiss to the pale neck.

“How do you like it?” Loki shifted in Tony’s grasp, turning to look at the brown-haired inventor.

“How do I like what?” His voice was laced in curiosity.

“The Avengers Mansion. Does it meet your impeccable standards?”

Loki grinned into Tony’s hair. “At least the walls are not white. That would be unbearable.”

 Tony gave a rough laughter, before replying snidely, “I was never a fan of white.”

“Far too ostentatious for Mr. Stark.” JARVIS chimed in, sarcasm dripping from his every word. Tony glared at the room.

Thank you, JARVIS.” Loki threw back his head and laughed.

“Him, I like.” Tony peered up at the dark-haired Aesir, and pressed a soft kiss to his neck. Loki looked down at Tony, dipping his head to meet Tony’s mouth. The engineer moaned into the god’s mouth, curling his hand around the dark hair. Loki smiled into the kiss, slowly drawing back.

“Won’t the rest be on their way up now?” Loki smirked, raising an eyebrow. Tony groaned.

“Suppose so. Though why they can’t just bugger off to their own rooms is completely beyond me.” Tony untangled himself from the tall god, heading over to the sofa.

“Why do you think they want to talk to us? They have had every opportunity to in the last few days.” Loki settled himself next to Tony, curling his feet up underneath himself.

“Dunno. But they’re all batshit crazy, so expect the unexpected.” Tony shrugged. Loki giggled into the inventor’s shoulder.

The silence was broken, the lift opening, announcing the arrival of the rest of the Avengers. Their eyes widened slightly at the sight of Tony and the god (except Natasha. Because she didn’t seem to have emotions). Steve walked over to the pair, steeling himself.

“Thank you. But that sentence seemed to have an inevitable and there. ” Steve blushed slightly, clearing his throat.

“We never really got round to actually talking last time you were here. We would like the opportunity to get to know you better.” Loki still kept his face expressionless.

“Considering your reactions to me when you walked in, I’m assuming you still think that I’m only here to cause trouble.” Loki’s mouth upturned into a sneer. “I’m the God of Lies. It’s my trade. Don’t think you can lie to me, because I assure you, you can’t.”

 Tony leaned forward, something blazing in his eyes.

“Steve?” His voice was hard. Steve seemed to get pale, grasping around for the right words.

“It’s just... Loki is still on the SHIELD wanted list. We couldn’t just ignore that.” Charles chimed in. Tony shifted his glare to the telepath. Charles seemed to shrink backwards.

“Tony. We had to. It’s protocol. Director Fury has been informed.”

Tony jumped up, standing almost nose to nose with Steve. Loki wrapped his arms around the inventor, trying to pull him away from the blonde.

“Tony. Tony, it’s not worth it. Just leave it.” Tony allowed himself to be led away, fire still burning in his eyes.

“Why weren’t we informed?” Coulson spoke up from the corner of the room. His expression was bland, the archer’s behind him furious.

“So what are you and Director Fury going to do then? Drag him off and lock him up? He has had every opportunity to hurt us. And he hasn’t. Or is it that you think he doesn’t love Tony? Tony can’t be trusted because he’s biased?” Clint’s voice was harsh. Loki stared at the pair of them, his eyes widening in shock. A low voice sounded from the back of the group.

“I agree with Clint. Had I been in Loki’s position, it would have been all too easy to dispose of you earlier. I trust him.” Erik stepped through the group, making his way over to the stunned engineer and god. The SHIELD agents followed.

“I’m not letting him being taken away. They’ve just got each other back. Fury can try whatever he wants, but we’ll be standing in his way.” Shocked faces stared back, Charles’ pale.

“Erik...” The telepath started. Erik cut him off harshly.

“You are a telepath, Charles. Surely you can see that he means no harm towards us. I don’t think he ever did, except to maybe Thor.” Erik’s voice was expressionless, eyes devoid of any emotion. Charles winced, eyes facing downwards.

“I can’t read him Erik. It makes me nervous. And given his previous history...” Charles trailed off, his voice small.

An alarm went off from somewhere below them, alerting them.

“Sir, Director Fury is trying to gain access to the penthouse. Shall I allow him up?” JARVIS asked, his tone one of bored curiosity.

“Is he accompanied, JARVIS?” Loki asked, his voice low.

“No, Mr Laufeyson. He is unaccompanied.” The AI responded, somewhat warmly. Tony nodded to himself.

“Send him up JARVIS.”

“Certainly Sir.”

The door opened after a few moments, revealing the tall Director. He scanned the room with his eye, coming to rest on the god.

“I heard you were here. To what do we owe the pleasure?” Fury asked, his voice heavy with sarcasm. Loki smirked.

“I was enjoying quality time with my boyfriend, until we were so rudely interrupted.” Came the calm reply. Fury’s eye widened only marginally.

“What is your purpose on Earth, Mr Odinson?” Loki’s face became taut.

“Laufeyson. It seems I am not a son of Odin after all.” Tony turned to Loki, confusion written on his face. He opened his mouth to speak, but was quickly cut off by Fury.

“You may give Stark some mumbo-jumbo crap about being good. But I do not buy it.”

 Loki narrowed his eyes at Fury. “I care not for what you believe. I have never tried to persuade Tony I am good, and neither he nor I pretend otherwise. So I would advise you, Director Fury, to not meddle.” Fury and Loki both stood tall, neither of them breaking gaze.

Fury nodded, almost unpercetibaly.

“I trust, Mr. Stark, that you will keep your newest pet under control.” He swept out of the room, leaving a trail of silence behind him.

 

Chapter Text

Loki pulled his feet up beneath himself, leaning back into the pillows. The rest of the Avengers were still outside, the raised voices still resonating through the closed door. He could hear Tony, still persistently assuring that Loki wasn’t going to harm them. Loki closed his eyes, breathing out slowly.

He wasn’t good. He couldn’t be. He tried to be, he’d tried so much back in Asgard. He’d tried so hard for Tony. He wanted to be worth the trust Tony placed in him. But the All-Father had been correct. He couldn’t be trusted. He was the son of a Frost Giant.

He was a Frost Giant.

He was the monster under the bed. The type of monsters mothers told their children about as bedtime stories. Frost Giants weren’t good. They couldn’t change. They were ice-cold, unfeeling.

That was Loki.

Steve was right. He wasn’t trustworthy. He had betrayed his realm. He had betrayed his father, his brother. If he was capable of that, then surely he would feel no remorse about hurting these Avengers? Admittedly, he’d never been in battle against them. Tony had seen to that. He had no wish to harm them, but he would feel no regret either. So what did that make him?

The voices died down, silence washing over the penthouse. Loki sighed, resting his head further into the pillow. The door opened, a slight squeak of the hinges.

“Loki?” Tony’s voice was soft. Loki opened his eyes a fraction, peering at the engineer. Tony settled into the bed next to the god, absently stroking the long, dark hair. Brown eyes met emerald.

“They won’t give you any more trouble.” Tony promised. Loki brought his eyes down.

“Maybe they are right.”

Tony stared at the god open-mouthed.

“What do you mean, maybe they are right?” Loki kept his eyes firmly down.

“Maybe I cannot be trusted.” His voice was small.

“Loki. You have always promised you’d never lie to me. Please stop it.” Tony’s voice had taken on a hard edge.

“I am not lying. I would never lie to you.” Loki sat up, glaring at the shorter man. “How could you think that?”

“Because I’ve never heard you talk such crap. I’ve known you since childhood, Loki.” Tony’s tone was calm, but strained anger was starting to seep through.

“I am not who you think I am Stark. I deserve not to be trusted!” Loki thrust himself off the bed, stalking towards the door. Tony grabbed him by the wrist, holding him back. “Let go of me!” Loki snarled, a cold fire in his eyes.

“I know everything about you. Everything. So don’t give me that.”

Loki gave a desperate smile. “I have not been honest with you. I am sorry.” He prised himself from Tony’s vice grip, taking a couple of steps back. Tony stepped forward, but Loki held out a hand.

“Please.” Tony hesitated, then slowly nodded. Loki closed his eyes, letting out a small breath. A static sensation swept over him, the room suddenly warming up. He opened his eyes, locking eyes with Tony’s wide brown ones.

“I am a monster, Tony. I told you I was adopted. I was taken from Jotunheim. I am the son of Laufey, King of the Frost Giants.” Loki gave a hollow, broken, bitter laugh. “I’m a monster.”

“No. You’re not.” Loki’s red eyes widened slightly, his mouth opening. Tony beat him to it. “You’re beautiful.” Loki shook his head.

“I’m repulsive.” Tony was suddenly in front of him, pressing his hands to Loki’s face.

“I don’t care if you are blue, pale, purple with yellow spots. You’ll always be beautiful to me.” Tony whispered, pressing his lips to Loki’s patterned ones. “I love you. Don’t forget that.”

Loki rested his forehead against Tony’s, grasping the smaller man tightly to himself.

“You won’t ever abandon me? Over this?” Loki voice was muffled and broken. Tony rubbed circles into the raven hair, hugging the god closely.

“Never.” Tony pressed a small kiss to Loki’s temple. “Is this why Odin preferred Thor? Because you were a Frost Giant?” Loki’s head nudged against Tony’s shoulder. “I’ve never abandoned you. Not when I knew you’d tried to destroy Jotunheim. Not when you came to me all those times Odin chose Thor, not when Thor bullied you. And I wouldn’t ever leave you because you are a different race. Because, you were already a different race to me. Aesir, Jotun, not much difference.” Loki snorted into Tony’s t-shirt. When the god drew back, his emerald eyes were locked on Tony.

“Will you... Will you tell the others?” He whispered. Tony shook his head.

“Not if you don’t want me to.” Loki took a deep, steadying breath.

“I would like them to know. I do not wish for an experience when I would have to reveal my true self, and give them all heart attacks.” Tony chuckled.

“That would be funny though.” He holds out a hand for the green eyed man. “Time to go face your demons.” Loki grasped the calloused hand inside his.

“Time to go face my demons.”

 

o0o

 

The Avengers were spread out, but firmly in two different camps.

Camp One: Loki is still evil.

Camp Two: Chillax and trust the God.

The stifling silence had been hanging over them, unwelcome, until Stark made his entrance, towing Loki along with him. All eyes were upon them, following their trail across the lounge. Loki took a deep breath, letting the static sensation wash over him again.

When he opened his eyes, seven pairs of wide, shocked eyes awaited him.

“This is my true self. I am a Jotun. I, like all other children of Asgard, have been brought up to despise all Jotuns and what they stand for.” His voice hitched a little at the end. “Not even Thor knows about this. This is something great I am trusting you all with. I would never show this side of myself to anyone willingly unless I trusted them. All I ask is that you trust me in return.” Loki’s blood red eyes scanned the room. No-one said anything, the minutes dragging by. Slowly, Steve stood, and walked to towards the ice-blue god.

“Welcome to the Avengers.”

Chapter Text

Sif landed on the dusty road, blue sky above her, a golden sun hazy. She blinked, taking in her surroundings, shielding her eyes with her hand. Buildings grew out of the horizon, their outlines blurred. The sight tugged on her memory. She had been here once before, whilst looking for Thor. Once again she was in search of the blonde warrior. But for different reasons. The first time was to get rid of Loki.

This time it was to find him.

 

o0o

 

“Loooooki?” A wail echoed around the apartment, bouncing off walls. The dark haired god quirked his lips, but didn’t raise his gaze from Paper Towns.

“Looooooooooki!” The whine came again, this time nearer.

“Yes, Tony?” Loki replied, hardly raising his voice. His answer was the padding of feet, moving down the wooden corridor towards him. Tony ran into the room, his face lighting up when spotting the taller man.

“I found you!” Tony’s enthusiasm bubbled over, and he launched himself at Loki. Loki glanced at the engineer, before returning to his book.

“I wasn’t aware I was lost.” Came the measured reply. Tony grinned, and placed a kiss on Loki’s temple.

“You weren’t. I just wanted to see you.”

 Loki kept his gaze off Tony. “You’re the one that wanted to go play in your lab.” Tony winced slightly.

“Sorry. It was only meant to be quick, but more things kept on getting in the way, and... Oh, coffee!” Tony made to grab the mug on the table, but Loki got there first, holding it firmly out of his reach.

“I think you’ve already had enough caffeine.”

 Tony pulled a face, locking doe eyes onto Loki’s emerald ones.

“Please?”

Loki shook his head. “No. I’m not having you up all night like an overexcited 5 year old at Christmas.”

Tony grimaced.

“You’re no fun.” Tony moaned, crossing his arms. Loki tossed the book aside, and settled himself on Tony’s lap. He bit lightly at Tony’s ear, drawing a moan from the smaller man.

“No fun, am I?” Pressing a kiss to Tony’s jugular. “We will have to see about that then, won’t we?”

Tony grinned, leaning up to press his mouth to the gods. “You’ll have to prove your worth. I have high standards, Mr Laufeyson.”

“I sincerely hope you do, Mr Stark.” Loki leaned into the kiss, running his hands through Tony’s messing brown hair. Tony rested his hands on Loki’s waist, pulling the god as close as possible to him.

“Ahem?” An embarrassed cough sounded from behind them. Loki snarled, whirling round to face the intruder. Clint raised his hands, taking a small step back.

“Woah, tiger! Easy!”

Tony glared at the archer. “He’s not a dog, Clint.”

Clint grinned, holding his hands behind his back.

“I know. And much fun though it is to watch you two make out, I’m afraid Loki has a visitor.”

 Loki’s bottle green eyes turned confused. “I have a visitor?”

Clint nodded, his head bobbing up and down.“Yep di do dah. Two.”

“Who are they?”

“Now, promise not to get mad?” Loki’s eyes glinted. “I thought not. It’s some Asgardian. Goes by the name of Sif?” Loki stood up, and raked a hand through his raven locks.

“Why would Sif be on Midgard? To see me?” Loki whirled to face Tony. “How did she even get here? And you said two. Who’s the other?”

“This is the awkward one.” Tony glared, standing up and lacing his hand in Loki’s.

“Go on.” Clint sighed.

“It’s Thor.”

 

o0o

 

Sif glanced around the open space, lingering on each of the hostile faces. Some were wary, some calm, some downright angry. She swore she even heard the metal-mover snarl.

Thor moved behind her, tense. The last time he had been here, he had let his emotions get out of control. He had just felt the overwhelming need to protect his younger brother, the younger brother who he’d believed had died. He just didn’t want Loki to make the mistake of trying to mean something to Stark. Stark’s history proceeded him. Look at the way his relationship had gone with the Lady Potts. If he didn’t love the Lady Potts, then what chance did Loki have?

“Now, you didn’t start the party without me, did you?” Stark’s voice snapped him out of his thoughts. He looked happy, apart from the cold look his was given him. Barton followed him, giving Thor the same frosty glare. Loki finished the train, his movements defensive. He refused to even return Thor’s gaze.

“Brother!” Thor exclaimed, but was cut off by a hand on his throat.

Do not call me that again.” A hiss was at his ear, pale hands on his throat. Loki still didn’t meet his gaze, but allowed himself to be led away by Stark and Lehnsherr. Stark was muttering in Loki’s ear, and the Aesir’s posture relaxed in his grip.

“What is it that brings you here, Sif?” The question was flung at her.

“The All-Father requests your presence.” She commanded, her voice calm and strong. Loki laughed, the noise brittle and hollow.

“He requests me? He honestly thinks that he can snap his fingers and I will come to his call? I am not some stinking mutt. The All-Father lost all power over me when he let me fall from the Bi-frost. He cannot control me as my leader, nor as my father, for he is neither.” The words were sharp, metallic. Poison.

“Loki? Why do you say the All-Father is not your father? You are my brother, and we must bow to the respect and command of our parents.”

Loki finally trained his sharp eyes on Thor.

“You are no more my brother than Sleipnir is.” The gaze was unflinching. Thor moved towards Loki, his hand outstretched. Stark stepped in front of Loki, protecting him. Thor trained his sight on Stark, the inventor’s gaze resilient.

“What have you done to my brother?”

Stark did a double take, taking a small step back. “Umm, well, if you want the full details... We’ve had sex in the bedroom, the lounge, the study, the kitchen, Clint’s bedroom...” Stark trailed off after a noise escaped both Barton and Coulson. Thor growled, raising his hammer.

Suddenly Tony was back against a wall.

Loki stood, his arm reaching out, fire burning in his lava-red eyes.

“Brother?”

“For the last time, I am no brother of yours.” Thor gaped, his eyes petrified at the sight of the blue god in front of him.

“Loki?” Sif questioned, her voice hesitant. The Frost Giant nodded a head in her direction, but didn’t remove his gaze from the blonde Aesir.

“The All-Father sent for you because your mother is sick with worry. She hasn’t been able to leave her chambers in days.” Sif pleaded, her words trying to distract the dark-haired man before her. Something inside Loki snapped, and he turned his red eyes on the warrior. They stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity, before he slowly nodded.

“I will come later today.” He bargained. Sif nodded.

“The All-Father also wishes to meet this Stark. He has been ordered to appear before the Court.”

Loki snarled.

“It is none of their business anymore what I do. Can they not leave him in peace?”

Sif looked on sadly. “You know the laws. He must appear. You know what will happen otherwise.” Loki nodded again. He looked weary.

“We’ll be in Asgard before the next sundown.” Loki drew himself to his full height, his now green eyes gazing down on the warrior. Sif bowed, and helping Thor up, left with him. A thick silence followed, engulfing them.

“We’re going to Asgard? That is awesome!” Tony’s voice cut through the stillness. Loki couldn’t help but burst into laughter.

 

Chapter Text

 “Tony? Tony?” An anxious voice drifted around him, soothing him awake. Tony opened an eye, staring groggily around himself.

“I’m dreaming.” He turned to face the god beside him, frowning. “If I’m dreaming, why are you still wearing clothes?” His voice was raspy. Loki rolled his eyes.

“You’re not dreaming, and I am not stripping here just to please your whims.” Loki heaved the inventor up, standing him upright. Tony glanced down, quickly gripping onto the god.

“Uh, Loki?” The dark-haired man hummed. “Uh, that’s kinda a long way down.” Loki glanced down carelessly, and shrugged his shoulders.

“Yes, I know. I did fall off there.” Tony turned shocked eyes onto the calm man.

You fell off there?” Tony’s voice raised a couple of octaves. Loki nodded, and started walking along the Bi-frost.

“I’m lucky I landed on Midgard. If I had landed somewhere else, I could have been in a lot more trouble. There is a race, called the Chitauri. They are vile creatures, and have been looking for an excuse to wage war against Midgard for many centuries. I could have easily given them that power to start an apocalypse.”

“Would you have helped them?” Tony asked tentatively. Loki smiled heavily.

“Quite possibly. As long as I made sure you were safe. You were, and are, the only thing in the nine realms that loves me back, and accepts me for who I am. I couldn’t bear to lose that.” Loki shoved his hands into his jeans pockets, staring determinedly at his feet. Tony pulled on Loki’s arm, slowing him down from his fast pace.

“Hey.” Loki raised his green eyes to Tony’s brown ones. “I love you. And I am not afraid to say that, nor ashamed.” Loki nodded, then worked his hand into the inventor’s hair, bringing him up for a kiss. Tony wound his arms around Loki’s waist, and then raised an arm under Loki’s t-shirt, working up the pale back. Their tongues meet, and Tony gasped into the god’s mouth as Loki nipped on his lower lip. Loki thumbed Tony’s belt, his eye’s glinting. Tony bit down on Loki’s ear, earning a shuddering gasp from the god, the emerald eyes half-closed.

“Prince Loki.” A deep voice sounded from behind them. Loki opened his eyes, turning slowly towards the perpetrator. Twelve guards stood, dressed in silver armour, and black linen and leathers. They all wielded a sword, and had shields placed on their backs. One of the guards at the front spoke again.

“Prince Loki. The All-Father has requested your, and the human’s, presence in the Greater Hall.” Loki snarled.

“His name is Tony. And to which regiment am I addressing?” Loki didn’t release his hold on Tony, glaring at the warriors.

“8th Cíbola Regiment, Sire.” Loki cocked his head.

“The All-Father must be extremely displeased. He never used to stir himself to send anything more than the Lorges Regiment’s for me.” Loki waved his hand. “Lead forth then.” Half the regiment moved off, and as the two visitors passed, the rest followed.

“I feel like I’m being marched to my doom.” Tony muttered. Loki gripped Tony’s hand.

“I’ll stop them. They can’t... won’t be allowed to harm you.” Loki insisted vehemently. Tony tensed.

“What do you mean, harm me?” Tony hissed. Loki looked pained.

“Asgardian law. If an Aesir has a... relationship with a Midgardian, the Midgardian has to be taken in front of the High Court. You have to show worthy qualities to be deemed good enough to be a mate.” Loki murmured. Tony swallowed.

“If I don’t pass?”

“You will.”

“But if I don’t?” Tony pressed. Loki sighed.

“Execution.” Tony stopped, halting Loki.

And you brought me here anyway?” Tony hissed. Loki looked pained.

“I had to. If I had left you on Earth, that would have been your fate. No exceptions.” Tony’s eyes widened.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“While I was still here, I wasn’t in a romantic relationship with you. One night stands do not have to go through this procedure, and neither do friends. When I started my relationship with you, Asgard believed me dead. Thor must have alerted them. And now I am back on their radar, that means you are as well.” Tony’s head swam. Loki was muttering, “Funny how he hasn’t let on about Jane.”

“I need to sit down.” Tony sat heavily on the steps leading into Asgard. Loki knelt beside him, his eyes imploring.

“Tony? I am sorry. There was nothing neither you nor I could have done. If the courts do not approve of you, then we’ll use one of the back exits out of Asgard. I will not allow them to take you from me.” Tony remained silent. “Do you understand me? I will not allow them.” Loki’s voice broke, and when Tony looked up, tears were falling freely down Loki’s pale face. Tony pressed a kiss to the creased forehead.

“What have we got to worry about. I’m loveable, me. They’ll adore me.” Loki huffed a laugh. “I promise to behave like a good little son-in-law.” Tony and Loki froze simultaneously.

Shit.

Tony stood quickly, and headed over to were the guards were.

“Right. How do we find this dude? Cause I wanna have a couple a words with him.”

 

o0o

 

The Greater Hall was all splendour, the gold swirling its way down the white stone walls. The Elders of the City of Asgard lined the walkway, all watching the procession of the guards and the two visitors. Guards lined the hall, all in silver armour, in different colour clothes, signifying the difference in region. At the far end of the hall stood four thrones, three occupied. Gold drapes were hung behind them, only three unfurled. Loki tensed, his gaze hardening on the sight of the Asgardian Royal Family. Tony and Loki drew to a stop before the three seated. Loki got down on one knee, bowing his head. Tony quickly followed suit.

“Loki Laufeyson, you have been brought before the High Court of Asgard, for multiple offences against the realm of Asgard, Jotunheim and Midgard. Do you plead guilty to all offences?” Odin’s voice rang out across the hall. Tony heard Loki take a sharp breath before responding.

“I do.” The gasps were audible behind them, the murmurings steadily growing in volume. Odin rapped his staff against the floor.

“Laufeyson, do you understand the punishment that awaits you?”

“I do.” Loki’s voice was nothing more than a scratchy whisper.

“Then, Loki Laufeyson, I condemn you to a lifetime to be bound, whilst a serpent drips poison onto your person. As the All-Father...”

WHAT THE FUCK?” Tony’s eyes resembled a lunatics, his face deranged.

“YOU CANNOT TORTURE HIM FOR SOMETHING HE IS NOT GUILTY OF?!” Tony strides towards Odin, his face red.

“He has confessed to his sins, Midgardian, and he will be punished for them. I would also give you care to remember your place.”

“THIS IS HOW YOU TREAT YOUR SON AFTER YOU FIND OUT HE’S STILL ALIVE? WHAT KIND OF A CRAP PARENT ARE YOU? EVERYTIME HE CAME TO ME AFTER YOU HAD TOSSED HIM IN FAVOR OF THOR, I LOOKED AFTER HIM. BUT THIS – THIS IS SOMETHING. NOT EVEN MY OWN FATHER WOULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS!” Tony’s voice echoed around the hall, making the Asgardian’s cower at the power unleashed in his voice.

“He is of Asgard. He must be tried for his crimes.”

“HE’S BEEN FORGIVEN BY MIDGARD! AND HE WOULDN’T HAVE TRIED TO DESTROY JOTUNHEIM HAD YOU BEEN A BETTER FATHER! OR IF THOR HAD BEEN A BETTER BROTHER! SO BEFORE YOU DARE TO TRY AND PIN ANY BLAME ON HIM, WHY DON’T YOU SEE WHERE YOU COULD HAVE DONE BETTER FIRST!”

“And you have no place here mortal! Loki must be punished! He wished to wage war against Jotunheim! A peace that had existed for longer than you have existed. So do not tell us how to treat our own.” Odin’s wrath was powerful, though his voice quiet. Tony walked up to the All-Father.

“I know he’s screwed up. But he’s sorry. Please. Just give him another chance. I love him. If you hurt him, I will bring war to Asgard. Because Earth will be backing me up.” Tony’s quiet calm only hinted at the controlled anger simmering away. Odin stared at the engineer, his one-eyed gaze unflinching.

“You love Loki?”

“With all my heart. I would do anything to protect him.”

Odin stared at the inventor for a long time, his one eye scanning Tony’s face.

“Loki Laufeyson has been cleared of all crimes.” Odin declared. The hall erupted, angry noises engulfing them. Odin rapped his stick against the floor again, and silence fell.

“There is but one thing I will say to Laufeyson and his mate. They cannot enter Asgard unless summoned by either Frigga, Thor, or myself.” The hall erupted again, a cascade of noise filling the hall. Loki closed his eyes, breathing a quiet breath of relief, tears running down his cheeks. Two sets of arms engulfing him, holding him. He opened his eyes, and was faced with Tony and Frigga.

“Mother.” He leant into her, whilst she stroked his hair.

“Shhh, Loki, it’s okay.” He wept bitter tears, unable to block the flow of emotions. Tony gripped his hand, rubbing small circles onto his palm. The room started to quieten, the Elders moving out. The three stayed like this for a long time, wrapped in an embrace. Loki finally pulled away, and looked his mother in the face.

“Sif said you were ill. That you hadn’t left your chambers in days.” Loki sounded confused, like the small, lost boy Tony had found all those years ago in that clearing.

“Sif lies. Odin wanted you home, and if meant manipulating you, then so be it.” She smiled sadly. “My poor boy. I am so sorry. I tried with all my power to stop him, but it wasn’t enough.” Loki smiled up at her.

“I know Mother. Don’t worry yourself about me.”

“I always worry about you, Loki. And I am never going to stop.” Frigga turned her gaze onto Tony.

“He loves you. He trusts you. There aren’t many people he loves and trusts in the nine realms. Look after him for me.” Frigga pleaded, but still stern. Tony nodded.

“He is the most important thing to me in the nine realms. I promise no harm will come to him.” Frigga nodded, then turned back to her son.

“Odin wants you gone before sundown. You have to go now. But if you ever need me, just call. I’ll be there, I promise.” Loki nodded, and kissed her quickly on the cheek, and pulled her into an embrace.

“I always love you, Mother. I’ll never stop needing you.” Frigga smiled, then pulled away gently.

“Go. Quickly. Get some rest.” She gave him one last kiss on the forehead, then slowly stood up, and walked towards a back exit. Loki and Tony stared at each other, then smiled simultaneously. Tony grinned mischievously.

“I’m your mate now.” Loki looked up at the engineer, and laughed. He leaned on Tony’s shoulder, and whispered into it.

 “Let’s go home.”

Chapter Text

Loki shuffled, curling up around the man next to him, dipping his nose under the duvet. Tony muttered something about needing to milk the goats. That had earned a surprised huff from Loki.

The sun was rising over New York, the warm orange glow coating the buildings, illuminating. Loki smiled, pressing his face into Tony’s hair.

“Loki?” Came a sleepy question.

“Uhum?” The equally sleepy response came from the god, shutting his eyes again.

“Are we out of dolphins?”

Loki quirked his lips. “No Tony. We have enough dolphins.” The god replied. Tony humphed.

“What about Christmas trees?”

“We’ve got enough Christmas trees.”

“Good.” And with that, Tony fell back into a deep sleep. Loki pressed a kiss between the engineers shoulder blades, hugging him around the middle.

Around the sleeping pair, New York began to wake up.

 

o0o

 

“Son of a bitch!” Tony curses at the empty room, threw the gauntlet across it. He’d been working on a new idea for SHIELD (a mixture of replusors and ice – intriguing), but the past five days had been a complete waste of time, with him only just finding out he’d make a mistake in one of his earliest calculations. He ran his hands through his hair, kicking out at the table.

“Manners. Apologize to the table.” Erik’s grating voice came from behind him. He turned, and saw Clint, Erik and Loki, all positively gleeful.

“I am not apologizing to my table, Lehnsherr.” Erik’s grin just grew wider.

“Awww. You’re gonna hurt his feelings.” Clint walked up to the table, patting it. “Don’t worry, I won’t let the nasty man hurt you again.” Tony narrowed his eyes at the archer.

“Clint. It’s a table.”

“Everything has a soul.” The archer chirpily threw back.

“I can feel it talking. Its saying: “No, Tony, please don’t kick me again! I bruise easily!”” Loki mocked.

Tony glared at the three. “Ha-di-ha-di-bloody-ha. Now get the fuck out of my lab.” Their faces changed to pouting all at once.

“Aww, but Stark, we came bearing gifts!” Erik flicked his wrist, and a tray with pizza and coffee hovered lazily in the doorway.

Oh coffee. Oh pizza.

“Fine, consider it accepted. Now get the fuck out of my lab.” Tony’s voice was bland. They huffed and sighed, but started to retreat upstairs.

Of course, that’s when the alarm always goes off.

Because it always does.

 

o0o

 

Tony flew down W 34th St, firing at Darter. Darter kept on turning, and disappeared into an alleyway.

“Damn. Does this guy never give up?” Tony gasped, narrowly missing a laser. The comms crackled inside his helmet.

Iron Man. Confirm your position.” Steve’s voice came out at him, the static worse than ever.

“Heading down towards Midtown Centre.” Tony replied, dodging yet another laser.

There’s... down... stay... Carri... copy...” The comms spluttered one last time, before cutting off completely.

“Brilliant. Just my day.” Tony continued after Darter, firing and dodging as the villain did the same. Steve and Natasha were below him, trying to get people to safety, while Clint and Loki had combined forces and were sending magical arrows at the guy.

“Guys? Guys!” Tony yelled into his comms, but they stayed persistently dead. “JARVIS? Hello? Help?” JARVIS didn’t respond, and the lights were starting to flicker. They flew straight past Midtown Centre, towards the green open area of Central Park. Erik and Bruce were down there, fighting off someone else.  Darter swooped down, heading towards the fight.

“Oh no you don’t.” Tony grabbed onto Darter’s leg, just as his suit gave out, sending them both tumbling towards the ground. They landed on the grass, and both lay still for a few seconds.

That was going to hurt tomorrow.

Tony tried to stand up, but the suit pinned him down. Darter stood above him, grinning mockingly.

“Having a nap, are we, Stark?” Darter leaned in closer, and yanked the faceplate off. “Not so powerful now, are you. The fun and games are over. The rest of your band of Merry Men, well, they can carry on. They all have skills. They are all something. But you.” Darter sighed. “You are nothing without this suit. You rely on technology far too much. What is your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness.” Tony looked wildly around him, trying to catch sight of anyone. Darter laughed. “No-one’s coming Stark. Not SHIELD. Not the Avengers. Not even that pathetic excuse of a boyfriend of yours.” Tony snarled, and tried to lunge at the man above him. Darter just laughed. “You’ll have to do better than that. You honestly think that you pose any threat? Or was that some chivalrous act of protecting Laufeyson’s honour? Cause that was poor, even by your standards.”

Another man came up behind Darter, and laid his hand of the villain’s shoulder.

“It is done, Darter. Let us go.” Darter stood, and looked back down at Tony.

“What should we do about him, Carrion?” Carrion looked down, and his features changed into a disgusted smirk.

“I’m sure we can find a use for him.” They lifted Tony up between them, and with that, disappeared.

 

o0o

 

Loki gazed up at the sky, watching buildings burn, crumble. Darter and Carrion had been after a scroll in New York Public Library. Bruce and Erik had made off after Carrion, while Clint, Loki and Tony took care of Darter. Clint and Loki had watched Darter and Tony fall, close to where Carrion was.

“Tony? Tony! Pick up!” Clint yelled into his headset, but shook his head. “There’s no response.” Loki’s eyes widened, and he immediately set off for Central Park.

“Loki! You’ll never get there!” Clint called down the street. Loki just ran harder. He reached for every last bit of magic, and teleported himself, landing face first. Groaning, he sat up gingerly, his eyes darting about. He finally caught sight of the gold and red suit, lying in the ground with two men above him. Darter and Carrion spoke, then lifted Tony up.

Then they disappeared.

Loki stared at the spot where Tony had been seconds before, freezing.

No.

They took Tony.

Tony’s gone.

Loki walked over to the spot, staring down at it. The ground was muddy, grass scattered. Coulson and Charles ran up, shouting at him. He saw their mouths moving, but could hear no sound. The world had gone silent, slow.

The ground started to shake beneath him, and glass came raining down above them. More people were running up, trying to calm him.

Loki turned his face up, and screamed at the sky.

He didn’t feel the waterfall of glass cut at his face.

He didn’t hear the waterfall of sound around him.

He let the darkness in.

Chapter Text

Loki woke, the light blurring the scenery around him. He was caked in dirt, locks of dark hair hindering his sight. Clint and Erik were seated on the sofa across from him, chatting quietly between themselves. Loki gingerly touched the top of his head, hissing in pain. The two Avengers looked over, anxiety on their faces.

“Are you okay?” Clint asked, his features masked in a frown. Loki grimaced.

“Do I look alright to you?” The god snarled, sitting up, his head swimming. The archer threw up his hands in response.

“Just trying to be nice. There’s no need to take it out on me.” Clint sounded exasperated. Loki sighed, shifting into a sitting position.

“I’m sorry.” The god sounded sincere. Clint nodded, watching the dark-haired man closely.

“What can you remember? About the fight?” Erik asked, his deep voice curious. Loki shrugged.

“Not much. All I remember is snippets. I don’t even know who exactly we were fighting.” Loki’s eyes narrowed as the two men in front of him shared worried looks. The god leaned forward, hissing, “What happened?”

“Loki, please believe us when we say we tried our hardest. We were just too far away, and Erik and Bruce were down. We couldn’t have done anything.” Clint spoke hurriedly, anxiety written in his face. Loki stood, his face devoid of emotion, and hissed again.

What happened?”

Erik stood in front of Clint, his hand outstretched. “Loki. Everyone is out there. They’re trying. We’ve got the best people on the job. Natasha, Charles and Coulson are all helping. There is nothing more you can do.” The mutant stated, his voice levelled. Loki turned blazing eyes upon him.

What happened?” His voice was quiet, but his tone was powerful. Erik sighed slowly, but didn’t lower his hand.

“They took Tony.”

Loki’s heart turned to ice as those three words were spoken, the fire in his eyes extinguished by fear.

“What?” His voice cracked, broken and brittle. Clint moved around Erik, heading towards the dark-haired god.

“We’re trying. Believe me. We will find him. We won’t stop searching until we do.” Loki stared at the archer, grey meeting green. The god finally crumpled on in himself, collapsing into Clint’s arms. Sobs racked through him, Clint holding him through it.

“I... I want to...” Loki took a steadying breath, still leaning into the archer, “I want to help.”

Clint looked over at Erik, who gave a small nod.

“Let’s go see Fury.”

 

o0o

 

“What news on Stark?” Fury growled at an agent.

“We’re still no closer to locating him, Director. We can find no trace of him, Darter or Carrion.” The agent stood to attention, his voice only shaking slightly. Fury turned his one-eyed stare away from the agent, towards a figure entering the bridge.

“Agent Romanoff. Update.” He spoke at her, watching her closely. She levelled his gaze, but spoke with a slight sadness in her voice.

“No trace of Stark. He’s gone completely under the radar, Sir.”

Fury cursed under his breath. “Is there anything that could help us?”

“Yeah.” A masculine voice sounded behind him. “Loki.” Clint and Erik walked into the bridge, closely followed by Loki himself. Fury’s eye widened.

“Agent Barton. Lehnsherr. I hope you have a very good reason for bringing Mr Laufeyson on board my helicarrier.” The tone was menacing, offering no choices. Clint stood to attention.

“Loki can help us Sir. The benefits outweigh the risks.” Clint’s voice was expressionless. Fury raised an eyebrow.

“And what benefits would these be? The loss of agents? Or the way the world would react if they knew he was here? Or do you want SHIELD taken down from the inside, Agent?” Fury’s tone was rising in anger and volume. “What benefits, Agent Barton?

“I can help you find Tony.” Loki’s voice was harsh and brittle. Fury turned his gaze onto the god.

“You think you can help us? I’m sorry, I may have left your relationship...” Loki winced at the inflection in the Director’s voice “...alone, but do not think for one second that I will allow you to collaborate with SHIELD.”

“Then neither of us will find him.” Loki turned his glass green eyes on the Director. “Is that what you want, hmm?”His tone was poisonous, daring.

“I do not consort with criminals, Laufeyson. If you want help, go back to where you came from. We will not help you, and you cannot help us.”

“DO NOT TELL ME WHAT I CAN AND CANNOT DO!” Loki’s voice rang across the bridge, echoing around them. There was a mad fire in his eyes that caused everyone around him to edge further away from the god.

“We have every right. You are on Earth. You do exactly what we tell you to do, otherwise we’re sending you back to Asgard. Preferably in a coffin.” The Director reacted calmly. Loki’s eyes widened, and he strode across to Fury, pushing him up against a wall, a hand at his throat.

“Oh? And risk incurring the wrath of my brother and Stark? Not a clever plan, Director.” Loki hissed in the man’s face. “I repeat one more time. I am asking for your help. I don’t care if you think you need to find Tony. I need to find him. And if it means asking your petty organisation for help, then so be it. But if I find that you delaying has caused him harm, then I swear to the Alfadir that I will personally hunt you down. And I will tear you apart, very slowly, with my own hands. Do you understand me?” Loki’s hand gripped slightly harder on the man’s neck, cause him to stutter. “I said, do you understand me?” Loki hissed the last sentence, nose to nose with the mortal. Fury nodded, and Loki released his grasp on him. Fury fell to the floor, putting his hand to his throat. The god knelt beside him.

“I want to find my boyfriend. You have the resources to help me. I suggest we make an alliance.”

Fury looked up at the god looming over him, nodding. Loki stood, a look of distaste on his face. He faced Clint and Erik, motioning them to follow him.

“We have work to do.”

Chapter Text

Distorted figures. Distorted voices. Tony blinked blearily, his head lying on a cold, stone floor. He could catch words, snippets.

Stark... Schutzschild nicht... rührend...

He groaned, placing a hand on his temple. The two figures heard him, turning around.

Was wollen Sie? Du bist erbärmlich Stark. Nicht einmal Ihre Avengers will dich. Sie können für Ihr Essen betteln. Wie ein Hund, nicht wahr? Sie sind wertlos. Sie sind nicht wert, unsere Anstrengungen.” The voices were harsh and cruel, kicking against the metal bars of his cell. Tony winced, their guttural tongues vibrating through his head.

“Water...” He croaked, using the wall to leverage himself up. This voices laughed at him, at his audacity.

Du willst Wasser? Ja? Du denkst, du bist es wert, unser Wasser zu trinken? Was glaubst du wer du bist? Iron Man hat keine Macht über uns.” More guttural laughing followed, more metal kicking.

Nun Jungs, behandelt ihr so unsere Gäste?” A female voice joined the gathering, scolding. “Lasst mich allein mit Stark.” The guards halted, unsure.

Aber, Direktor ...” One of them started, but was cut off by the cold female voice.

Ich sagte, lasst uns allein.” The two guards moved off, muttering amongst themselves. The blonde turned to him, standing at the door to his cell. 

“Well, well, Mr Stark. I knew you had been in captivity before, but I could never imagine it before this. Seeing you so helpless.” She ran a finger down a dirty steel bar. “I almost feel sorry for you.”

Tony looked up, his dry lips cracking in the effort to smile. “Spare me the lecture. I’ve already heard it from one of your goons.”

The blonde smirked, “Darter and Carrion do not belong to us. We merely hired them to do a job.” Her Germanic voice was soft, teasing. Tony raised an eyebrow.

“Yeah? Because destroying New York is getting cliché. You need to update your ideas.”

“Their job wasn’t to ‘destroy New York’.”

“No?” Tony rasped.

“No, Mr Stark. It was to hurt Loki.”

At her words, Tony stiffened, his dazed eyes hardening.

“So you thought taking me would damage him?” He hissed, his voice breaking. The blonde laughed, low and clear.

“Oh no, Mr Stark. We wanted to hurt him. Physically, as well as mentally. You see, we had a deal with him. He gave us his knowledge, we gave him intel. It worked well, Mr Stark. But then, you see, we wanted him to infiltrate Stark Industries.” The blonde’s lips were turned into a disgusted smirk. Tony felt his insides chill.

“He infiltrated my company?”

The blonde shook her head, her grey eyes trained on the engineer. “No, he did not.” She gave another low laugh. “You see, he refused. Said he wasn’t going to harm you.” She walked a couple a steps along the barrier. “But, Mr Stark, we don’t like being double crossed. So, we hired Darter and Carrion to hurt him. Just enough. But they failed. They used our resources to fund their own agenda.  They didn’t harm him. I mean, you are just a lovely side order, Mr Stark.” She knelt down, so close that their noses were almost touching through the bars. “We want him dead. And you, you are going to see him in Hell.” She took one last disgusted look at him, her eyes sweeping over him, then stood, stalking away.

Tony watched her walk away, resting his head on the metal bars, sending out a message in his head, in the vain hope Charles was listening.

Loki, don’t come for me.


o0o

 

The Quinjet landed, quietly in Stazerwald, a forest in the east of Switzerland. The Avengers climbed out, their SHIELD backup’s right behind them. They had gotten a lead on Stark late last night, locating him where they were now. Loki had stayed only to read the intel, and had quickly left. The rest of the team had made their way in the Quinjet, hoping to find both Loki and Tony when they arrived.

So far, no sign of either.

They spread out, Hulk on the right, all the way to Erik on the left, Cap in the middle. They crept through the forest, watching every branch, every shadow. A building grew out of the trees, dirty, grimy, unkempt.

“Do you think that’s it?” Natasha murmured into her comms, indictating towards the derelict building.

“Seems like the ideal location.” Cap’s voice sounded in their ears.

“There are people inside. I repeat, there are people inside. There are soldiers, leaders, prisoners.”

“Charles. Can you get a definite read on Tony, Loki, or who this organisation is.” Cap said down the comms, his voice calm. A pause echoed in their ears, before Charles’ voice came back to life.

“I can get a read on Tony. He’s in one of the lower levels, but his mind is rambling. I don’t know if they’ve done anything to him. The organisation is HYDRA. The leader of this base is Director Randandsburg. She’s in her office, at the top of the building. I can’t get a read on Loki. It’s like he’s blocking me. I can’t get anything. I just get a lot of interference.”

Cap nodded, and motioned forward. “Get in, get the prisoners out, grab as many HYDRA officials as you can. I’m going after Randandsburg.” They motioned their ascent, and started forward, before the air was filled with screams.

“Looks like someone got here before us, Cap.” Clint observed, a smile dancing on his lips. Cap returned a grim smile.

“And I think I know who it is.”

 

o0o

 

Loki whirled, staff in hand, snarling as agent as agent came upon him. He wasn’t waiting for SHIELD. They’d talk strategy, what was the best way to get in, which was the safest.

He didn’t need safe.

He needed Tony.

He needed Tony to be alive.

More agents had been alerted to the disruption, they were pouring out against him. His magic was draining quickly, he couldn’t get himself out. He’d used so much just trying to get into the base, he hadn’t forethought the efficiency of the agents.

He snarled in desperation, throwing everything into his fight, watching the agents fall, but getting closer. He screamed, pushing all his effort into one last stand, when the door burst open behind himself.

“Need a hand?” A snarky voice came behind him, the tone highlighting a smile he couldn’t see. He spun around, almost collapsing in relief. The Avengers stood at the door, their expressions ranging from excited (Clint), grim (Natasha and Steve) to deadly (Hulk).

Loki nodded, his face grey from exhaustion. Clint and Erik raced towards the stairs, motioning Loki to follow.

Do you wanna find him or not?” Clint yelled across the foyer. Loki sprinted over the bodies that littered the floor, following the two assassins out. Clint jumped over the bars, falling all the way to the floor.

“Hurry up, grandpa’s!” He yelled up to the two men above him. Erik gave a unwilling smirk, a low laugh catching underneath his breath.

They caught Clint working on the locks, men and women stumbling out.

“Have you found Stark?” Erik muttered, dipping his head down to the archer’s. Clint shook his head, but threw a hand down the corridor.

“There’s more cells down there. Have a look.” Loki ran past the two men, glancing in each cell, continuing past to the next one.

Tony was curled up against the bars, muttering under his breath, his gaze focused on the corner of his cell. Loki blasted the door away, kneeling at the engineer’s side.

“Tony? Tony? Look at me. Tony, please, look at me.” Brown, fevered eyes meet anxious green ones, and Tony burst out into laughter.

“Mustn’t tell him. Promise. Mustn’t tell him.” Tony gripped Loki’s forearms, leaning close.

“I won’t. I won’t.” Loki promised, running a hand down the engineers face.

“He mustn’t know. It’s a secret. I want him to be surprised.”

“I won’t. I promise.”

“Loki mustn’t know.”

Loki stared at the man in front of him, then shook his head, lifting him up.

“Let’s get you out of here.”

 

Chapter Text

A dark cell...

Sunlight hurt his eyes...

Guttural tongues flying...

A rustle nearby...

Cracked lips...

Fingertips brushing across his face...

“Tony?” A soft voice echoed in his head, soothing, but worried. Tony stirred, eyes straining against the bright light.

“Shhh. Tony, it’s okay. Relax.” The soft, familiar voice sounded again, closer. Tony blinked, glancing around for the speaker. A human shape appeared by his side, dark outlines fuzzy.

“Where...” He started, but was cut off by a hand over his mouth.

“Tony, go back to sleep. You need to sleep.” The words turned into a chant, humming around Tony’s head, singing him back to sleep. Lulling him softly.

De grener av Yggdrasil
De støtter så mye
Jotunheim, av giganter
Alfheim, av de små,
lette alver
Nidavellir, hvor dvergene bor,
Svartalheim, av de mørke alver,
Niflheim, en verden av is,
Muspellsheim, en verden av lyse brann,
Vannheim, våre forfedre,
Asgard, verden av gudene,
Midgard, hvor menn bor.
Disse store riker, alle så mektig,
Støttet av vår Verdens Treet, vår Yggdrasil.
Det hjelper å veilede oss, det gir oss liv, gir det oss skjønnhet.
Det ga meg deg.
Kjemper, alver, dverger,
død, is, brann, forfedre, guder, menn, du.
Yggdrasil, ros jeg det.
Det ga meg deg.

o0o

Green. Emerald green surrounded him, vivid. Drawing him in. Everywhere.

A man stood, dark and tall. He turned, green eyes set in a pale face.

Black on green.

Dark on light.

 “Ikke bekymre deg, min kjærlighet. Jeg vil være med deg snart. Jeg lover, min kjærlighet. Min Tony.”

o0o

Tony felt the sand underneath his toes, soft and firm. The sun rose high in the sky, shining right above him. Tony walked, in no specific direction, the baking sand slipping through his toes, bathing them.

This was paradise.

He ran towards the sea, for it only to retreat further. He kept running, frustration starting to creep up on him. The blue glistening sea crept further back, until it disappeared from his line of sight altogether.

Fear started to claw at him. He was stuck in a desert, by himself. Sand dunes grew out of the horizon, towering him. He tried to climb, never getting higher, running against a tide.

He collapsed, staring out, watching the sand landscape change before his very eyes. A man sat next to him, staring out at the world.

“Du vil finne veien tilbake snart, min kjærlighet. Frykt ikke. Jeg vil være ved din side hele tiden.”

They sat, staring out at the world, hands enclapsed together, the whisper of a song catching on the wind around them.

Kjemper, alver, dverger, død, is, brann, forfedre, guder, menn, du.
Yggdrasil, ros jeg deg.
Det ga meg deg.

o0o

Tony threw his arms out, trying to drag himself back to the surface. The darkness started to envelope him, clawing at him, dragging him down. He gasped, trying to get back to the oxygen, desperate.

This is what it is like to die.

He gave himself to the darkness, letting it eat him, letting it at him.

He gave a last gasp, raising his eyes towards the lighter blue above him, giving a small smile. He turned back down to the darkness, ready to greet it.

 He saw a figure rise, floating towards him. Strong hands encased his face, caressing him.

“Tony? Tony! Vennligst hold. Vær så snill. For meg. Ikke la gå. Ikke gi opp.”

o0o

An endless blue sky stretched above him, inviting. Scary. Beautiful.

Dark blue glistened around him, lapping at his feet. Blue turned silver, back to blue, back to silver.

Tony sighed. Blue was tranquil. It was relaxed.

The water rippled before him, spreading out in circles. Droplets forming, starting the process over again. Tony watched, fascinated. He sat down, running his hand across the surface, watching the water part. He raised his hands, watching the droplets run down his palm, tracing a path.

Beautiful.

“Jeg skulle ønske jeg kunne være der med deg.” Tony raised his eyes, focusing on the pale man before him. “Jeg vil finne en vei til deg. Jeg lover, min kjærlighet. Jeg lover.” Tony touched his fingertips to the man’s, tracing the water on them.

“Jeg vil finne deg.”

Tony smiled, “I know.”

o0o

His breathing quickened, his pulse racing. The white closed in, the walls creeping closer. Claustrophobic, that was what they called.

A Pain in the Arse was what Tony called it.

Capital P and all.

He pressed his hands up against the walls, struggling vainly against them.

“I am... not... getting crushed... to death... by white walls.” Tony wheezed, still struggling against the force.

“Tony! Du må roe. Vennligst Tony. Du må roe ned!”

“You think I can calm down? Do not tell me it is going to be like Star Wars, I’ll get out. Because nothing happens the same in real life as it does in movies. Han Solo got out? Good for him. Tony Stark will soon be a pancake!” Tony yelled, still struggling against the walls.

“Tony! Stopp! Vær så snill! Tony!” The pale man was getting desperate, shouting at the room.

“You calm down first!” Tony snapped at the man.

The dark-haired man slid down the wall, tears streaming down his cheeks. He was stuttering something under his breath, trying to control his sobs.

“If you’re going to say something, say it out loud.” Tony snarled.

“Himmelen er mørk og åsene er hvite
Som storm-kongen hastigheter fra nord i natt;
Og dette er sangen stormen-kongen synger,
Som verden kappen hans hiver han:
"Sov, sove, lille, søvn;"
Han rasler sine vinger og barsk synger:
" Søvn, lille, søvn."


På yonder fjellsiden en vinranke
Klenger ved foten av en mor furu;
De tre bøyer seg over den skjelvende ting,
Og bare vintreet kan høre henne synge:
"Sov, sove, lille, søvn;
Hva skal dere frykte når jeg er her?
Søvn, lille, søvn. "


Kongen kan synge i hans bitre flytur,
Det furu kan synge til vintreet i natt,
Men den lille snøkrystallen på brystet mitt
Liketh sangen jeg synger best, -
"Sov, sove, lille, søvn;
Trett du er, anext mitt hjerte;
Søvn, lille, søvn. "

Chapter Text

Tony stirred, his face nestled in a pillow. He remembered a song, soft and lilting. He blinked blearily, trying to gauge where he was.

“Tony!” Loki ran his hand through the inventor’s hair, worry in his eyes. Tony tried sitting

“Bit sore. But I suppose you can expect that after falling onto the ground with a supervillain.” Tony shrugged. Loki’s eyes widened at his words.

“Tony, what do you remember?” His words were urgent.

“I remember falling out of the sky with Darter. What else happened?” Fear started to grip at his chest, ice cold. “Who’s hurt?”

Loki sat up, soothing him. “No-one’s hurt Tony. Everyone’s fine.”

Tony turned startled brown eyes on the emerald ones. “What’s wrong then?”

Loki looked hesitant, fiddling with the bedclothes. “I... Darter captured you. He and Carrion took you to a HYDRA base.” The god stifled a broken sob. “I thought I’d lost you.” Loki managed to catch a hold on himself. “We tracked you to a HYDRA base in Switzerland. We got you out of there. Just in time, by the state you were in. You’ve been drifting in and out of consciousness for the past two weeks.”

Two weeks?

Tony stared in incomprehension at the god at his side. “I was out for two weeks?” He asked, incredulous. “I’ve never been out for two whole weeks before.” He flopped his head back down on the pillow, staring blankly at the ceiling above him. Loki was stroking his damp hair away from his face, trying to hide his tears.

“You were there.” Tony murmured, turning to the Asgardian. Loki lowered his emerald eyes to the coffee coloured ones. “You were there. Wherever I was. You were always speaking in Norwegian. But I could understand you.”

Loki’s eyes widened, his face shocked. “You could hear me?”

Tony nodded. “I could understand you, but I don’t know why you were saying what you were saying.”

Loki pushed a stray hair away from Tony’s forehead, taking in a deep breath before answering. “That was me. You had fits of restlessness while you were unconscious. I was trying to calm you. I just dropped into Norse. I just... I just needed to calm you.” Loki dropped into a whisper, concentrating on drawing patterns into Tony’s palm. Tony locked Loki’s hand inside his own.

“I’m not going anywhere.” He murmured, tugging on Loki’s hand. The god settled down on the bed next to him, pulling Tony towards him.

“You’re mortal Tony. You will leave me eventually. I just didn’t want it to be yet.” Loki said into Tony’s hair. The engineer smiled, closing his eyes. He was slowly lulled to sleep, Loki murmuring in Norse, a lilting tune, the god’s chest rising and falling in perfect synchrony with the poem.

o0o

Loki watched as Rose was being pulled in towards the void, unable to control her fate, destined to spend a life in limbo with the Daleks and the Cybermen. The Doctor screamed, knowing there was nothing he could do...

“Hello? Is anyone in?” Tony waggled his fingers in front of Loki’s face, causing the god to scowl up.

“You just ruined a very emotional bit of Doctor Who. What could possibly that important to interrupt?” Loki deadpanned, his glare menacing. Tony backed up slightly.

“I... umm... I...” He stuttered.

“When you have the mental competency to string a sentence together, I will listen. If not, I’d advise you to turn around and walk back out that door again. Quickly.” Loki threatened. Tony’s eyes widened.

“I... I... will... ummm...” Tony stumbled over his words again. The one time when he needed words to get himself out of a situation, he was tongue-tied.

Brilliant.

“You interrupted Doctor Who, Stark. That is not something I forgive readily. Especially when I missed so many series’ whilst on Asgard. I am trying to catch up. Now, either speak, or make yourself scarce before you insult my OTP.”

That’s your OTP?” Tony exclaimed, jumping out of brain freeze. “TenRose? Seriously?”

Loki arched an eyebrow. “And why ever not?”

“It’s so TenMaster. TenRose just doesn’t cut it.”

A look of confusion passed over the god’s face. “What is TenMaster?” he asked, while Tony pressed a palm to his head.

“That’s next series. Don’t worry. Anyway, what I originally came to ask was would you like to go out. Like on a date. Into New York. With me.” Tony forced the words out, holding his breath. Loki huffed a sigh.

“Well, you’ve already ruined the episode for me. Might as well. Though why you had to tag the ‘with me’ part onto the question is beyond me. Who else would I take on a date? Dummy?” Dummy whirred in the background. JARVIS was obviously relaying this conversation down to the lab. “I love you too Dummy.”

Tony clutched a hand to his Arc Reactor. “You’re cheating on me! With Dummy?! How could you?” Tony fell dramatically onto the sofa, face down. “I’m never going to live this down. My reputation will be in tatters. My business will fail. I’ll become a homeless nobody. I’ll...”

“Have a very big headache if you don’t get a move on.” Loki whispered into his ear. Tony turned to face emerald eyes, grinning.

“Love you too babe.” He murmured, leaning in to kiss the pale lips. Loki smiled, his tongue asking for entrance into Tony’s mouth, which the engineer happily gave. Loki drew back ever slightly, a gleam in his eyes.

“Don’t call me babe again.” Loki bit down on Tony’s bottom lip, making the inventor gasp. Loki’s nimble fingers made short work of Tony’s jeans, pulling them down. Tony pulled Loki down on top of him, pulling the god’s t-shirt off over his head.

“You are wearing way too much.” The engineer gasped, arching into Loki’s touch. The god smirked, before shimmying out of his jeans.

“As are you.” Loki replied, pulling Tony’s Black Sabbath shirt off. Loki’s grin was predatory as he recaptured Tony’s mouth. Tony moaned, fisting his hands in Loki’s dark hair. The god stroked along Tony’s cock, smiling when that entertained a moan.

“Fuck, Loki...”  Tony groaned, wrapping his legs around the skinny hips. “Fuck me...”

“As you wish.” Loki whispered into Tony’s ear, before pressing a finger in.

“Ahh, god, Loki...” Tony whimpered. Loki shook his head, tutting.

“I thought I was your god, Tony? You can’t be cheating on me, surely?” Loki’s voice was devious, alluring. Tony numbly shook his head. “That’s better.” Loki murmured, pressing in another finger. Tony shuddered.

“Please.” Tony pleaded, pressing his head into Loki’s collarbone.

“Please what?” Loki returned, his eyes gleaming.

“Fuck me. Please.” Tony muttered. Loki added a last finger, before pulling them out completely. Tony whimpered at the loss of contact, gripping closer the god. Loki quickly waved his fingers, summoning the lube from the next room, before coating himself. He placed himself at Tony’s entrance, looking down upon the engineer. Tony glared up at the god. “If you don’t, I will kick your arse to your daughter and back.” Tony growled. Loki grinned, before pushing into Tony. Tony threw his head back in a soundless scream, gripping onto Loki’s hair hard. Loki almost completely pulled out, before slamming back in to the inventor. He put up a quick rhythm, hitting Tony’s prostate repeatedly.

“I want to hear you scream my name.” Loki muttered into the engineers ear, before biting gently down on it. He slammed back into Tony, causing him to arch into the god.

“Loki!” Tony’s voice was a couple of octaves too high, something he would normally be ashamed of. After only a couple more thrusts, Tony came, Loki following quickly afterwards. They lay together, arms and legs tangled up in each other, panting heavily. Tony pressed a chaste kiss on Loki’s lips.

“We missed our dinner reservation.” Tony murmured, resting his head. Loki snuggled up to him, a slight frown on his face.

“Reservation?”

Tony hummed. “I made a reservation. I mean, wouldn’t want to turn up and there be no tables, right?”

Loki chuckled, his voice throaty. “Such an inconvenience. You would have to wait in a queue like a normal  person.” Loki’s tone was teasing, his eyes sparkling with mischief.

“It is! The waiters look down on you, people ogle, and it’s not private. It’s Hell on Earth.” Tony replied, exaggerating. “Never mind. I had something I was going to do, but it can wait.” Loki’s curiosity peaked, but he was already yawning, wrapping himself around Tony. They drifted off, still clinging to each other in their dreams.

o0o

Clint and Bruce walked into the living room, taking in the sight, before backing out slowly. I mean, it’s never good to wake a sleeping genius and his Norse god boyfriend now, is it?

 

Chapter Text

Tony darted between two Chitauri, laughing as they mistimed their flying, crashing into each other, falling to the ground.

"Never mess with Iron Man! Thought you'd learnt that last time." Tony yelled, a grin licking across his face. He spotted more Chitauri in front of him, growling and spitting. They launched themselves at him, shooting. Tony flew upwards, watching them fly underneath him. They quickly followed after him, as Tony sped up, before stopping suddenly and plunging down towards the sprawling city beneath him. He rebooted the thrusters again, just at the last second, watching in satisfaction as some Chitauri minions crashed into the road.

“Take that suckers.” Tony muttered, spying Cap on the floor, looking like he was fighting a losing battle. Tony landed beside him, blasting a couple of the foot soldiers away. “Having fun Capsicle?”

“Just perfect. I’ve only got one problem. There’s a ton of these things.” Steve threw at Tony, smashing a minion out of the way with his shield. Tony smiled wryly.

“Feeling you there.” Tony blasted away, satisfied Steve could cope for the minute. He spied Clint above, perched on a  building, shooting exploding arrows at as many of the Chitauri as he could. Tasha was below, fighting alongside the Hulk, who seemed extremely concerned in Tasha’s safety. The minute anything got any closer to her than a leg away, they quickly found themselves flying towards a nearby building. Hard. One even got thrown high enough for Clint to shoot them, then to fall back down again.

Erik was fighting further down the street, manipulating the cars apart, turning them into spears and shields. “Need a hand?” Tony called out, hovering, while blasting more Chitauri out of the way. Erik wrestled out a smile, which looked more like a grimace.

“I’m just peachy thanks. I think I’m done here though. Lift to Capsicle?” Erik asked, dropping his metal weapons, landing amongst the litter of Chitauri bodies. Tony landed, turning away from the mutant.

“Hop aboard then.” Tony motioned for Erik to climb upon his back. He heard a noise of derision.

“I am not a 5 year old, Stark. I am not receiving a piggy back.” Erik crossed his arms, his face condescending. Tony smirked, flicking up the faceplate.

“No lift then. And you’ll have to get your way back through that.” He flicked a hand towards the battlefield that lay between them and Steve. Erik glowered down the street, then sighed.

“Fine. But any jokes, Stark, and you’ll suddenly find all your toys in the shape of ducks.” Erik moved closer to Tony, towering over him, hissing in his face. “Got it?” Tony nodded.

“Recieved loud and clear.” Tony saluted, before turning around, motioning again for Erik to climb on his back. “Hop on.”

Scowling, Erik complied with the request, climbing onto Tony’s back, clinging on around his neck, wrapping his legs around Tony’s waist.

“What would Charles say?” Tony teased, patting Erik’s knee. Erik growled in response.

“What would Loki say if you continued to flirt with me Stark?” Erik muttered. Tony could picture the black cloud on his face. Tony just smirked, taking off. Erik clung tighter as they flew above the battlefield that was New York, before Tony landed gently near to Cap. Erik fell off onto the ground, decidedly pale. Tony cocked his head.

“Not a fan of flying?”

“Not much.” Erik righted himself, nodding at Tony, before proceeding to help Steve.

Well, that was interesting. Keep that for future use. Erik < flying.

Tony took off again, turning down a street, scanning for Loki. He spotted the taletale signs of green light, taking down Chitauri after Chitauri. Tony blasted a couple of them away from the god, landing on the street.

“Having fun babe?” Tony asked, fighting back to back with Loki. A devious smile licked across Loki’s face.

“I distinctly remember telling you never to call me babe.” Loki’s tone was laced with humour. Tony shrugged.

“I forgot.” He said simply, punching a foot soldier out of the way. He was face to face with Loki now, and not at all appreciating the mischievous look upon his face. Loki clicked his fingers once at Tony, before turning his attention to the diminishing numbers of the Chitauri. Tony continued to blast a few away, wary.

“Loki, what did you do?” The Trickster only smiled in response.

“Nothing harmful, I assure you.” He smirked, whilst spearing a minion without looking.

“JARVIS, what did Loki do?” Silence. “JARVIS?”

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey...” The song blasted out inside the suit, making the engineer wince.

“Loki! Turn it off! I’ve got the message!” Tony yelled above the song, putting his hands to his helmet. It didn’t do any good, but he was a great believer in dramatics. Loki grinned, clicking his fingers again.

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears, it’s a world of hope, and a world of fears...

LOKI!

The god was laughing, having fallen onto the floor at some point amongst the dead Chitauri. His hand shook as he clicked his fingers a final time, before cracking up again, bent over double.

“Not funny.” Tony muttered, removing his helmet. Loki just continued to laugh, clear and rippling. “Why the fuck do I want to marry you, you crazy sonofabitch.”

Loki stilled quickly, looking up at the man above him. “Pardon?”

Tony frowned at the god. “What?” He threw up his hands. “What have I done this time? I didn’t call you babe.”

Loki circled his hand in a rewind motion. “What did you just say?”

“You crazy sonofabitch? Because that’s not lying, Lok’s. That’s the truth. Mostly.”

“No, before that.”

“Uh...?”

Loki slowly got to his feet, shock in his face. “You said you want to marry me.” Tony shrugged in response.

“Yeah, I do. I was going to ask you over dinner, hence the reservation, but then we got carried away, and I figured that I could find another time.”

“Now.”

“Huh?”

“Ask me now.”

Tony stared at the god, surprised.

“In a ruined street.”

“Yes.”

“After a battle.”

“Yes.”

“In our armour.”

Yes.

“With everybody watching?”

“And your point is?”

Tony gaped at the god, muttering “Height of romance, aren’t you?”, then got down on one knee.

“Loki – and I’m hoping you’re going to say yes now, and not just run off cackling down the sidewalk – would you marry me?” Silence followed his question, then he suddenly found himself flat on his back, with a certain god on top of him.

“As if I would say no.”

“Loki.”

“Yes, Tony. Yes.” Loki whispered. Tony grinned, leaning up for a kiss, wrapping his arms around the slim body on top of him.

After what seemed like forever, they heard the starting of clapping, escalating further into applause. Both men looked up. People were coming out of the destroyed buildings, out of the subway, congratulating them. The rest of the Avengers were walking towards them, battered and bloody (save Coulson and Charles), all with wide smiles on their faces. Tony gazed up at the surprised but happy god.

“You’d better not ditch me at the altar.”

Loki just laughed, long and clear.

“Mr Stark, I was just about to say the same to you.”