"So, you see people, and you immediately know whether you want to have sex with them, is that how it works?" Asexual-Loki was leaning on the buffet table, twirling the stem of a wine glass absently between his fingers. Sane-Loki nodded.
"Essentially. Sometimes you meet someone you're not attracted to at first, then they do something sexy and you change your mind."
"Fascinating," said Asexual-Loki. As far as Sane-Loki could tell, he was speaking entirely without irony.
"Are you honestly telling me you've never asked these questions before? I mean, you've been living around sexual people your entire life, surely you must have picked something up..."
Asexual-Loki shrugged dismissively. "Who could I trust to answer them but an alternate sexual version of myself? So, I suppose, you might meet someone who's attractive at first, who then does something awful?"
"Nope," Sane-Loki grinned. "Sexy once, sexy always. I mean, I'd still have sex with you, and you're annoying the crap out of me."
"Flattering," said Asexual-Loki with a laugh, "but perhaps you'd have better luck with him?" He indicated over by the minibar where Slut-Loki was draped around Jotun-Loki's shoulders explaining to him (apparently the preferred pronoun for a species with no gender) just how sexy horns could be. Dotted around the hotel suite were myriad other Lokis, all of which were a safer bet than Asexual-Loki. Most of which were drunker than Asexual-Loki, and at least fifty percent were more interested in men than Asexual-Loki. Probably more like ninety percent. Sane-Loki watched Slut-Loki speculatively, and tilted his head to check his ass -- mostly for Asexual-Loki's benefit.
"Funnily enough? Not him."
"Ah, I never would have guessed you had issues with him. He's wearing a name badge that declares him a slut."
"Hey, hey," protested Sane-Loki, who had written and provided him with that name badge, "there's nothing wrong with being a slut. I just prefer a partner who hasn't bedded half of Asgard. Inexperience is sexy. Easier to please."
"Don't leer." Asexual-Loki took a sip from his glass. "I've broken men for less than that." Sane-Loki plastered on a look of contrition and held up a hand in surrender. Asexual-Loki wouldn't believe it for a second, but they could both pretend he did. "Truth be told, I'm not entirely happy that 'asexual' is my single identifier. Couldn't I be... I don't know, 'not-an-evil-shit-Loki'?"
"You'd think that would help, but there are a dozen people here who aren't evil. You're the only asexual one." He patted his asexual counterpart on the shoulder. "Could be worse."
Sane-Loki indicated a couch by the panoramic window where Virgin-Loki was sitting with Suicidal-Loki, looking at the stars. Virgin-Loki had protested his name badge for a while, but then a five minute conversation with Slut-Loki had left him blushing so hard you could have fried an egg on his forehead, and so Virgin-Loki stayed. Asexual-Loki inclined his head in agreement. "I suppose. How did you get hold of 'sane' as your defining quality, anyway?"
"I would have thought that would be obvious." Sane-Loki pulled a black marker pen out of his pocket. "I'm the one giving out the badges."
The snort of laugher Asexual-Loki made was genuinely undignified, but neither of them cared. "Wow. It really can be that easy, can't it?" He grabbed the pen, quicker than Sane-Loki could hide it, and groped for his name badge. "I think you ought to be impertinent-little-shit-Loki, here, let me change that for you..."
"No, no!" Sane-Loki turned his back to curl protectively around the badge that declared him so much saner than the rest of the identical mischief gods in the hotel, and his asexual doppelganger wrestled to get at it. "We can't go around changing name badges all the time. Devalues the entire system! People need to know I'm the same Sane-Loki all along, get off, get off!"
Asexual-Loki was seconds away from giving up any claim on adulthood and climbing onto Sane-Loki's back when they were interrupted by a quiet cough. Steve Rogers was exiting the elevator looking discomfited.
"Uh, Loki?" he asked them, as though the answer was likely to be no, you're thinking of someone else. Asexual-Loki straightened his clothing and gestured.
"Talk to him. He's the sane one."
Rogers cleared his throat. "Are, uh, are you the real-- Are you our Loki?"
"That's me, Captain. How can I help?"
"Well, it's just... There's more of them. More of you, I mean, arrived an hour ago in Norway. We got as many residual readings as we could, but no direct data on the vortex. Tony's sending what we could get up here, but the doubles..."
He trailed off. Sane-Loki nodded. "Figure out if they're evil, then send them on up."
"Figure out if they're evil?" muttered Asexual-Loki, sotto voce. Sane-Loki shrugged.
"It's a useful thing to know."
"And how do we figure that out?" Rogers asked with a frown.
"I don't know, just... put them in a room with Thor and a knife and watch them closely for their reaction! Must I think of everything, Rogers? Now, go, get out. Only Lokis allowed up here." He shooed at the human, and Captain Rogers rolled his eyes as he was ushered back to the elevator.
"I'll send 'em up," he said with an exasperated smile. Making light of a terrifying situation that may tear the entire universe from its foundations. How very human. "No knives, though."
When he was gone, Sane-Loki took the opportunity to poach his black marker back from Asexual-Loki. "Does he think Loki needs a knife to be dangerous?" he asked. Asexual-Loki laughed.
"Probably. So, are you this world's Loki?"
"Perhaps. Who knows?"
Asexual-Loki scoffed. "You do, but I'll let that slide. So, can I aid you in assigning our new additions their identities?"
"If you promise that none of them will include the phrase 'little shit', of course you can."
"You know I can't make that promise."
The new arrivals trooped out of the elevator looking as unnerved as all the rest, and Captain Rogers was back with them. Sane-Loki left Asexual-Loki to render what explanations were required and followed the human to one side. He looked frazzled.
"Loki. Tony's telling me this could be pretty bad if we can't figure out a way to stop these things." Sane-Loki made a mental note to figure out which things, and who needed to be told about them, and nodded solemnly. "You are still trying to figure this whole situation out in here, aren't you?"
"Of course we are," he said reassuringly. "We'll have everything sorted before you can blink, and the fabric of the world will be back in its unwrinkled state." Rogers hesitated.
"Right. It's just... Well, those two over there kind of look like they're... making out."
Sane-Loki didn't turn around. Whoever was making time with Slut-Loki this time was their business to mind. "Are you a seidmadr? No. Flatter us that we know what we're doing, Captain." When Rogers hesitated again he took his shoulder in a comforting squeeze, and used it to guide him back towards the elevator. "It will be all right, Captain, I assure you. We're taking care of it. If we need you, we know where to look. Courage, mon brave!" He hit a selection of buttons on the inside wall of the elevator without looking, and waved as the doors closed on the Captain. Then he forgot all about him and turned back to the roomful of Lokis.
Asexual-Loki was just seeing two of the new Lokis off with their already written name badges. Sane-Loki hadn't even noticed the re-theft of his marker, he should have been paying closer attention. "Wai-wait, what were they? I needed to read those, what did you write?"
"Too late!" said Asexual-Loki cheerfully. "You can't change them now, it would devalue all of the name badges."
Sane-Loki sent him a mock-glare. "I don't think you're taking this sacred duty very seriously at all. There's an art to this - a system. You have to find the one thing that makes this Loki different from all the others."
"Then, please," said Asexual-Loki, gesturing towards the next newcomer. "Show me how it's done. Here, have your sacred pen and stickers back." He sat back on the buffet table to watch, and of course this Loki took forever to figure out. Asexual-Loki had probably arranged it that way, and watched with a growing smile as Sane-Loki poked and pried and was reduced to asking personal questions about the new Loki's reproductive organs. And sexuality. And relationship with their brother.
It took forever.
"Oh, you're one of the Avengers!" he said at last. "Isn't that lovely. There are a few Midgard-based Lokis over there, discussing episodes of Glee, I think." He attached a name badge to the other's chest, Avenger-Loki, and pointed him to a group over by the far wall. Avenger-Loki checked the others' badges automatically and raised an eyebrow.
"Sane-Loki?" he asked. "Isn't that somewhat exclusionary?"
"Dearest, you joined the Avengers," Asexual-Loki said. "You have nothing to say on this subject. Next!"
The next Loki was four feet tall, so he was easy enough to identify. Sane-Loki wrote out a badge that said Itty-bitty-Loki. Asexual-Loki took the marker pen away from him and wrote one that said Child-Loki. The young Loki suggested they split the difference, and took a name badge marked Kid-Loki.
"Oh, and this is Loki too," said Kid-Loki, indicating the magpie on his shoulder that both older Lokis had taken for a familiar. It bent its head casually to groom the feathers of one wing.
Sane Loki tipped his head to one side. "Does he really need a name badge to inform people that he's Magpie-Loki, do you think?"
"I don't see why not," said Asexual-Loki, writing one out. "You gave a badge to Jotun-Loki, and Lady-Loki. I don't know I agree with that one, though," he said as he watched Kid-Loki skip off to find friends. "Steer clear of Evil-Loki, and Slut-Loki!" he called after him. "Aren't we all Jotun-Loki?"
"Not all of us. There's Aesir-Loki who's not, and... where's Human-Loki?"
"Had to be taken to the hospital. I think he came back, but he might be sleeping it off." Both Asshole-trickster-Loki and Mischievous-trickster-Loki had taken it upon themselves to convince the little human that Asgardian mead was no stronger than Midgardian beer. Separately. And then Myth-Loki had challenged him to a drinking contest.
"Well, anyway, Jotun-Loki's the only one who's blue."
"But we're most of us shapeshifters. If I take blue form can I stop being Asexual-Loki?"
"We already have a Jotun-Loki," Sane-Loki reminded him. Asexual-Loki shrugged.
"Cat form, then. I could be Lokitty."
"Stop devaluing the name badge system!" Asexual-Loki snorted laughter, but relented. "Besides," said Sane-Loki, "if you change your name now people might forget you're asexual, and then they'd be all over you."
Asexual-Loki raised an eyebrow at the room in general. Slut-Loki was halfway into Mischievous-Loki's leather trousers, and Jotun-Loki was wearing lip balm very similar to what Slut-Loki had been wearing earlier, but everyone else had somehow managed to keep it in their own pants. "I can take care of myself."
"Perhaps," smiled Sane-Loki. "But I hate competition."
He managed to slip one hand into Asexual-Loki's back pocket before his quarry caught on, and then Asexual-Loki groaned in frustration. "See, why would you do that? Why would you go and ruin this-- I thought we were building a rapport."
"We can have a rapport and also sex." Sane-Loki squeezed a little, appreciatively. For all that it was essentially the same ass that was in his own trousers, it was still a nice ass. "All I'm saying is, try it. You never know, it might be an eye opening experience!"
Asexual-Loki rolled his eyes hard. "This is an unprecedented seduction technique," he deadpanned. "No, truly, no one's ever attempted the 'just try it' line with me before. It's interesting, though - nobody ever suggests I should 'just try it' with someone else. It's always, just try -my- penis, I'm sure you'll like the taste."
"Point taken, but do allow me to raise a counter argument," said Sane-Loki, casually aligning his body with his counterpart's, and backing him against the buffet table. "You are as bored as I am here."
Asexual-Loki bit his lip, indecisive. Almost... "Is our time really best spent in the bedroom? We did promise the Captain..."
"Pfft. Physicist-Loki and Hero-Loki can sort that out. They'll come up with something soon, and we'll all be sent home, and then we'll have lost our chance for good! And when," he punctuated his words with a nip to his double's earlobe, "will you get another chance," a swift bite, soothed by a kiss, "to bed yourself?"
"If I ever felt the urge, I have clones." Asexual-Loki sounded less certain than he might.
"Not the same. And you know it." Sane-Loki leaned in for another kiss against Asexual-Loki's collarbone, only to be halted by a firm hand in the centre of his chest. Asexual-Loki pushed him gently back to arm's length and regarded him through narrowed eyes, grudgingly turning the idea over in his mind. Sane-Loki waited with a faint smile.
"I do know it," Asexual-Loki allowed at last. He sighed, like the favour hurt him to grant it. "Fine. But only because you're right about there being nothing better to do!" Sane-Loki darted in for a victory kiss, and he pushed him away with a laugh. "You'd better just hope nobody breaks out a board game before we find a bedroom."
"I don't think we have any board games," laughed Sane-Loki as he took Slightly-sexual-Loki's hand. "But I'll be careful."