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Tony's hands were quick and almost casually skilled around the slim metal wand as Loki painted as much of an illusory schematic as he could translate on the wall besides the locked door of their cell. Watching the man trick his way around alien technology the way Loki tricked his way around, well, most everything, sent a bizarre flush of want through him.


"... I remind you of decaying metal?"

"I didn't say decaying metal. I said oxidised brass. You know. Green-gold?"


"Alright. So maybe you remind me a little of decaying metal. Or a lot. I mean, both of you have tried to kill me. So there's that."

"Do you always flatter your lovers this way?"

"... Pretty much?"


There were any number of words to describe Loki, especially when you compared him to Thor. Gracile, elegant, elfin. All those words Tony had perforce learned from years of dating supermodels. Tony, being Tony, went with: "You are one skinny son of a bitch, you know that? Seriously. Do you eat?"


Tony watched with dark, wry eyes as Loki reared back, spitting curses with that archaic, guttural edge that suggested whatever the original, non-Allspeak language had been, it wasn't English. He grinned, black and genuinely amused. "You know, I'm usually not the first one to notice, when I'm having a relationship with someone."


There was a definite sense of unreality, watching Loki, bloodspattered and darkly furious, climb through the remains of his captors to reach down and gently -oh, so gently- lift the baby girl up into his arms, touching her mottled cheeks with blue-stained fingers and hushing her gently against the death that surrounded them. But then, Tony thought, stepping forward to help the kid and her mother down off the pile of bodies, it had been a long time since anything had really felt any other way.