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Avengers: A Deal with the Devil

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The penthouse was locked down tight, JARVIS with strict instructions not to let anyone in without first asking Tony. The genius had just gotten out of the shower and dressed in comfortable jeans and a t-shirt, his hair sticking up all over the place, still wet. He wandered into the living room and over to the bar, taking two tumblers from the counter and then grabbing a bottle of whiskey. He poured until the two glasses were full and then took a seat on one of the stools, sipping his drink and letting the flavour roll over his tongue.

He wasn't too sure that Loki would appear. Oh, the god had understood Tony's request; had smirked and narrowed his eyes at Tony before disappearing in a puff of green magic. But whether he actually turned up was another matter entirely.

Tony still wasn't sure if this was a good idea or not, but, well... all of his bad ideas had turned out okay in the past. Apart from his birthday party, that had been a disaster. He still wasn't completely okay with Rhodey stealing one of his Iron Man suits, but he could always steal it back if he wanted. He just... couldn't be bothered, at least not yet.

Tony had just taken another sip of whiskey when he felt the air change around him. There was never any real warning of Loki appearing, not if the god wanted to remain unseen. But the hairs on the back of Tony's neck stood on end, and a shiver passed down his spine. The animal part of his brain was registering danger and telling him to fight or hide.

Instead of doing either of those things, Tony raised the tumbler to his lips once more and took another drink. 'Thirsty?' he asked without turning.

There was a soft chuckle from behind him and Tony finally turned. Loki was standing in the middle of the room, hands clasped behind him, his head cocked slightly. His hair was slicked back as usual, although it was a bit curlier than Tony usually saw it. He was wearing tight leather pants, boots that ended beneath his knees, and a soft green... tunic, was the only word Tony could think of.

The god looked Tony over a few times before saying, 'It's about time you gave me that drink you promised.'

'Yeah, well,' Tony shrugged and slid the other tumbler across the bar as Loki approached, 'you were a bit tied up last time.'

'Indeed,' Loki hummed. He passed Tony and rounded the bar, stopping on the other side of it before the mortal. His long, thin fingers reached out and slid the glass over to himself. Loki wrapped his hand around the tumbler and picked it up, bringing the glass to his nose. He took a sniff, eyes still on Tony, before sipping.

'Well?' Tony said.

'Not bad,' Loki conceded. 'I will admit that you mortals have far better taste in alcohols than Asgard.'

'It's all mead up there, huh?' Tony said, remembering Thor's many, many stories that involved barrels of ale.

'Mm,' Loki hummed, taking another sip. 'Now,' he said when he'd set the tumbler back down. He leaned both forearms on the wooden counter, bright green eyes fixed on Tony's chocolate brown. 'Why am I here?'

''Cause I asked you,' Tony said. Loki's lips twitched, and Tony chuckled in response. 'Okay, so I sneakily requested that you come here to meet me alone. Same thing.'

'Mm,' Loki hummed again, clearly waiting for a proper response.

'I have a... proposition for you,' Tony said, eyes on Loki's.

Loki, of course, understood immediately. He stood straighter, though was still slightly hunched, and his eyes dropped to his glass as he ran a single finger around the rim. 'You want to make a deal with me?' he questioned, but didn't wait for a response. 'Tisk, tisk, Man of Iron. Heroes don't make deals with villains.'

'I'm not a hero,' Tony retorted, once more drawing Loki's attention.

'Oh?' the taller man questioned.

'I built the Iron Man suit to protect myself and destroy the people who hurt me,' Tony shrugged one shoulder. 'I fell into the hero business.'

'Poor Stark,' Loki smirked, 'are you tired of being a hero?'

'Again; not a hero,' Tony said.

'Your actions speak louder than your words,' Loki said. 'Isn't that a saying you mortals are fond of?' he added, bringing his drink up once more.

Tony just nodded and sipped his own, now half-empty, glass. He grabbed the bottle, which he'd left near his elbow, and splashed a liberal amount back into the tumbler. He held it up to Loki and the god nodded, so Tony topped up his glass as well.

'Would you be interested in a business transaction?' Tony questioned as he set the bottle aside.

'It depends on what that business transaction entails,' Loki replied. 'I don't make a habit of going into business with mortals, you all die far too easily.' He smirked over his glass, and Tony just raised an eyebrow. 'What if you die before your end of the bargain is upheld?' Loki questioned. 'It seems to me that I'd be putting a lot of investment into something that could crumble in my fingers.'

'So you won't go into business with me 'cause I might die?' Tony laughed. 'Well sorry to burst your bubble, Rudolph, but I have it on good authority that you Asgardians aren't exactly immortal.'

'No, they're not,' Loki agreed, 'but I'm not of Asgard. Frost Giants are much, much harder to kill, as I'm sure Thor has told you.' Tony didn't say anything, not wanting to start a fight about Thor. And talking about the blonde god was a sure way to get Loki riled up. 'None of your mortal weapons could ever harm me enough to bring about my downfall,' Loki continued, sliding his tumbler across the bar with his finger and thumb. 'And I think I proved that Asgard, who very much have the means to destroy me, can't keep me long enough to do so.'

Tony smiled at that. He remembered Thor reappearing a few months after the New York battle claiming that Loki had somehow managed to escape. Two weeks later and Loki was back, blowing up parts of Manhattan and laughing like a lunatic.

'Well,' Tony finally spoke, making Loki look at him. 'I can't exactly make myself immortal,' Tony said. 'If anything my life expectancy is way below the average.' Loki quirked an eyebrow, clearly confused. 'My heart's bad,' Tony said, tapping at the arc reactor beneath his chest. 'I was poisoned, suffered a fair few heart attacks, and have shrapnel lodged in my chest. All of that along with the strain of having an arc reactor embedded in my chest has cut my life expectancy. I'll be lucky to see fifty.'

Loki frowned at that, his eyes narrowed, suddenly darker than before. 'The average life of you mortal men is eighty years,' he spoke.

'Yeah, but mine's fifty,' Tony repeated. 'And that's if I don't have another heart attack or a stroke or anything else due to this thing,' he said, tapping the reactor again before taking a drink of his whiskey. 'That's not to mention all the injuries I sustain when in the suit, and all my drinking and drug taking in my younger years. I'll probably be dead in five or six years.'

Tony had come to terms with it long ago. He'd known, back when he started drinking heavily (and in his twenties when he'd tried every drug on the market) that he wouldn't live a long, full life. The arc reactor, and then the palladium poisoning, had just cut his own life expectancy in half.

'Five years,' Loki echoed, still frowning. He suddenly stood tall, looming over Tony, and Tony had to tilt his head back to look the god in the eye. 'Now that just won't do.'

'It won't?' Tony echoed, and Loki shook his head.

'No, not at all,' the Jötunn said. 'I don't go into business with mortals, especially mortals that will be dead in five years.'

'Okay then,' Tony sighed. Well, he hadn't exactly had high hopes for this meeting, but he'd had to try. 'I take it you can show yourself out?' he said and knocked back the rest of his drink before grabbing the bottle. He went to pour another drink for himself, but Loki's fingers were suddenly wrapped around his wrist, skin cool against Tony's own. 'Can I help you?' Tony questioned, glancing up at the god.

'No, but I can help you,' Loki said, his lips twitching in a smile.

'I thought you couldn't,' Tony said and gestured vaguely at himself with his free hand. 'Mortal, remember?'

'Ah,' Loki said and stroked Tony's wrist, feeling the human's pulse jump beneath his thumb, 'but what if you weren't?'

Tony frowned and looked down at their joined hands, at Loki's thumb still smoothing over his wrist. 'You have a way to make me... immortal?'

'As immortal as Thor and myself,' Loki said. 'You would still be able to die, it would just be much, much harder to do so. You'd also heal much faster, be stronger and swifter, and your heart would no longer be a problem, nor would the shrapnel embedded in your chest. Of course,' Loki suddenly drew back, dropping Tony's hand, and Tony ignored the shiver of want that passed through his body, 'I would recommend keeping the reactor in your chest,' Loki continued. 'It makes you immune to most forms of controlling magic.'

'Really?' Tony grinned. He'd known that, of course; he was immune to Loki's sceptre when even Thor would have fallen under its spell. But he hadn't known that he was immune to other forms of mind-control.

'Indeed,' Loki said. 'I find it very, very hard to look into your mind.'

Tony scowled and clutched at his head, as though he could physically stop Loki from digging into his brain. It made the god laugh; a soft, warm, chuckle that made Tony shiver again. Damn sexy magicians.

'Your mind is hazy, disorganised, and impossible to get a grip on,' Loki said. 'Not only is that just how it naturally is, but the arc reactor in your chest emits a type of energy that my magic simply cannot fight.'

'Well that's an awesome side-effect,' Tony decided, finally grabbing the bottle of whiskey. He topped up his glass and toasted Loki. 'To me building a magic-proof reactor!' He took a large swig, Loki watching in faint amusement. 'So,' Tony said after clearing his throat and lowering his glass, 'immortal, huh?' Loki just nodded. 'You'd make me immortal just for a business deal?'

'It depends on the business deal in question, and what I'm being offered in return,' Loki said, leaning on the bar once more. He sipped his drink before adding, 'I would have to be gifted with something of equal value to one of Iðunn's apples.'

'How about my allegiance?' Tony shot back.

Loki's eyebrows climbed in surprise. 'You would bind yourself to me?'

'Only if you bind yourself to me in the same sense,' Tony replied. 'I'm assuming that magic contracts are a bit more binding than mortal ones.'

'Indeed,' Loki said. 'Whatever you promise cannot be denied for fear of pain and even death.'

'So if we promised not to kill each other, and then did so, what, I'd die?' Tony questioned.

'Yes,' Loki said. He smirked suddenly, one corner of his mouth rising. 'Still interested in a deal, Stark?'

'Only if you call me Tony,' Tony smiled back.

Loki chuckled. 'Anthony, then,' he conceded and took another drink of his whiskey. And, okay, Tony's full name had never sounded that sexy before. 'What exactly is it that you want?' he asked.

Tony finished off his own glass before pouring another, and then re-topping Loki's. He only sipped at this one, not wanting to get drunk in Loki's presence. He didn't doubt that they'd both haggle over the exact terms of their... binding.

'I want SHIELD near-destroyed, the Avengers too,' Tony said. Loki's eyebrows once again jumped in surprise. Whatever he'd been expecting, it clearly wasn't that.

'You wish to kill them all?' Loki questioned.

'Most of them,' Tony said, 'because really, where's the fun in being evil without some heroes to play with?' He smiled at Loki, then, and leaned forward a bit. 'You could kill us all easily, Lokes,' Tony said, making Loki smile slightly. 'You could break my neck right now, or stab me in the throat. Thor and the Hulk would be a little harder to take down, but come on; you can turn invisible, you'd be able to behead them easily.'

Tony let his eyes roam over Loki's face, resting on his lips for a bit. Loki licked them and Tony scowled, meeting Loki's eyes once more. The Trickster smirked at him.

'But you haven't,' Tony finally continued, 'you just play with us every other month. Which makes me think that you're off doing other things in other realms, and only fight us when you're bored.'

Loki chuckled and sipped his drink, the scent of whiskey reaching Tony's nose after Loki had lowered the glass. 'Well done, Anthony.'

Tony inclined his head in thanks. 'So,' he said, 'that's why I think it'd be best to mostly destroy SHIELD. Leave a few of them alive, like Fury, Coulson, even Agent Hill. After finding out that I'm the one who brought them down they would, of course, send the Avengers after me. And that'll be fun for a while. We can kill some of them, if you want, I really don't care. But I definitely want to completely destroy the World Security Council.'

'And just who are they?' Loki asked.

'They're in charge of SHIELD and a number of other secret government organisations,' Tony shrugged. 'They deal with alien invasions and super villains. They're the mastermind, while SHIELD's the footsoldier.'

'I see,' Loki hummed. He looked down, eyes on his glass as he swirled the amber liquid around. 'I'm curious as to why you want to destroy SHIELD all of a sudden,' Loki said, eyes shifting up to Tony. 'Why now?'

Tony smiled, but it was a dark, dangerous thing that had Loki more intrigued than any of the words they'd exchanged. He'd sensed the chaos in Anthony Stark when they'd first met, but he'd been too broken, too damaged, to properly explore it. Now Loki's mind was his own, his actions completely his once more. He had all the time in the world to pick Tony Stark apart.

Well, after he'd fed the mortal one of Iðunn's apples. It wouldn't do for Tony to die.

While Loki had been thinking, Tony had grabbed a file from the end of the bar. He slapped it onto the counter before the god and tapped the navy-coloured cover. 'This is SHIELD's file on me,' Tony said and slid it closer to Loki. 'Be my guest and have a look.'

Loki smiled and pushed his glass aside to grab the file. He flipped it open and found that the first page was just general information; Stark's date of birth, his achievements over the course of his life, as well as his address and known associates. Loki flicked through a few more pages, skimming over reports of Iron Man missions and sightings and Stark's near-death experiences. He paused briefly to read over the time when Tony had been poisoned by his own arc reactor, but was soon moving on again.

He finally stopped at a page that detailed a healer's (doctors, midgardians called them) impressions of Stark after looking the man over and reading other files on him. '“Anthony Stark is mentally unstable”,' Loki read, eyes alight with mirth as they found Tony's.

'Like that wasn't obvious,' Tony snickered, sipping his drink.

'“His inability to work with others makes him a danger to this organisation and his team mates”,' Loki read another paragraph. '“He suffers from a multitude of mental disorders, narcissism, depression, and bipolar II disorder being suspected but not confirmed”...' Loki trailed off, eyes skimming the report rapidly, finger tracing a few sentences. He finally reached the end, tracing the sentence just above this Doctor Arthur's signature. '“It is my professional opinion that any and all contracts with Tony Stark be terminated immediately. While Iron Man is an asset to the organisation, Stark is a danger and will bring about the deaths of himself, his team mates, and innocent agents at some point in the near future”.'

When Loki finished he look up at Stark, who was smirking despite the words Loki had read out-loud. 'Keep going,' Tony said, nodding at the file. 'Read the hand-written notes on the next page.'

Loki did as asked, flicking the stapled pages over so that he could read the last. These notes had been handwritten and then photocopied and stapled to the file Loki had. Loki's bright eyes took in the words as he said them aloud; ' “Iron Man is needed, Stark isn't. It is recommended that SHIELD mount an operation to obtain the technology from Stark. Once SHIELD is able to manufacture its own suits, Stark will no longer be needed. SHIELD's a secret organisation and there's nothing Stark can legally do if we steal his technology”...' Loki's eyebrows climbed as he read the signature at the end. 'Signed by Agent Phil Coulson.'

'And addressed to the World Security Council via Director Fury,' Tony said. He set his drink aside, having had far too much already, and tapped at the file once again. 'Now do you see why I want to destroy SHIELD?'

'They betrayed you,' Loki said.

'So did the Avengers,' Tony said. 'I found this file while I was snooping in SHIELD's computers. I did some more research, and it turns out that Agents Romanov and Barton were sent here not as a part of the Avengers, but as part of the operation to steal my technology. Captain America's part of the division trying to get me to outright quit.'

'What about Thor and the green one?' Loki questioned.

'Thor's just an Avenger and an ambassador for Asgard,' Tony said, 'he has no idea that SHIELD's trying to steal from me. Neither does Bruce- the Hulk. He's here so that SHIELD can keep an eye on him and use him.'

'Just like you,' Loki commented.

'Just like me,' Tony echoed in agreement.

They fell into silence as Loki looked over Stark's file once more, Tony busying himself with watching the god read. Finally Loki flipped the file shut and pushed it aside. 'I understand, now,' he said. 'You want revenge.'

'I want to destroy those who think that they can steal from me,' Tony growled.

A smile tugged at Loki's lips. Well, well, well... he really, really hadn't expected this when he'd come to Stark Tower. He'd been expecting a trap, maybe, or Anthony demanding to know how magic worked; it was no secret that Loki's talents enraged the mortal man. Loki really hadn't expected Stark to turn on his friends.

Then again... they weren't really friends, were they? Not if they were trying to steal from Stark. Not if they didn't trust him.

'What do I get out of this?' Loki asked suddenly, drawing Tony's attention. 'I help you destroy the World Security Council, as well as most of SHIELD and the Avengers. But what do I get?'

'A chance to kill many, many mortals who would kill and torture you if they had the chance,' Tony said. 'You'll also have access to all the money, technology and equipment that I and Stark Industries can supply. Stealing is all well and good, but having a laboratory where you can work safely would be better, wouldn't it?' Tony grinned. Loki chuckled. 'You'll also have me on your side. I'm smart, I can work out almost any problem I set my mind to. We can bring magic and Midgardian technology together so that our enemies can never, ever defeat us. We can also figure out a way to get Thor stuck in Asgard permanently...' Tony trailed off and grabbed his tumbler, swirling the liquid around. Loki just watched him. 'Think of what we could accomplish, Loki,' he said. 'You, a magician and Prince of Asgard. And me, a Prince of Midgard in my own way.'

Loki nodded. Yes, Tony was definitely a prince of his own realm. He had money and power, and the masses practically ate out of his hands. Almost every business and home in the world had Stark technology, and he was able to talk or buy his way out of any and all trouble he got himself into.

Loki stood suddenly and Tony watched as the god rounded the bar and approached him. Loki grabbed Tony's legs and pressed them together, and next thing the mortal knew he had a lap-full of Norse god.

'So,' Loki hummed as he draped his arms over Tony's shoulders, and Tony dropped his tumbler of whiskey on the bar, 'I make you immortal and we bind ourselves to each other, ensuring that we cannot betray the other. We help to bring down SHIELD and this World Security Council while playing with the Avengers. We work together to bring magic and technology together, and we keep each other safe from those who would do us harm. That means you keep me away from the public eye and all government organisations, and I keep you safe from any aliens who want to kill the Man of Iron who destroyed an entire Chitauri fleet.'

Tony blinked... okay, he'd had no idea that any aliens wanted to kill him for that, but whatever. With Loki on his side, he was pretty sure he'd be able to keep himself alive.

'Sounds about right,' Tony said and let his hands trail up Loki's back before going back down again. He squeezed Loki's hips before grabbing his ass, and Loki rolled himself forward, pressing against the bulge quickly hardening in Tony's jeans. 'I must admit I wasn't expecting this,' Tony said, referring to their current position.

Loki chuckled and leaned forward so that his breath blew across Tony's ear. 'You hoped, though,' he whispered.

Tony could only nod. Yeah, he'd definitely hoped, and dreamed. Fuck, had he dreamed. All the flirting Loki had done with him hadn't helped, either.

'So about that deal,' Tony muttered when Loki started pressed kisses to his ear, his jaw, across his beard.

'I'm sure that it will take quite a while to work out all the specifics,' Loki hummed, 'and I'm in no hurry to do so.'

'Yeah, me either,' Tony breathed when Loki's lips ghosted his own. He looked up at the god, who's eyes had turned dark. 'Paperwork can wait,' Tony agreed.

Loki smirked. 'Indeed,' he said. And then he crushed his lips against Tony's, the mortal groaning and arching up. Yeah, the paperwork could definitely wait.