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One Hell of a Ride

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Rhodey was dead. The fall hadn’t killed him, but a hospital borne infection had. Pepper stayed away. The public were back and forth on what they thought of the Accords. Tony turned back to drink, but kept it in control.

But Tony felt lost. He felt unmoored and hollow. When he wasn’t maintaining a pleasant buzz he was super-heroing.

That’s how he ended up on the streets of New York in his suit, meeting Dr. Strange, and then on the vista of Norway. He gave Thor and Loki privacy with their father before Odin turned into gold dust and a new player appeared.

He got the full story before Loki sent them flying through space. Loki was knocked out of the light stream then Thor was too. Tony kept his mouth shut, doubting he’d survive the same treatment.

They landed on Asgard. Tony’s mind raced. He snapped to a few conclusions and knew if he didn’t act fast he’d be dead.

He started clapping, his metal covered hands clanking together loudly.

“Congratulations, you’ve made your first mistake,” he said, drawing her attention to him. Hela turned towards him, raising an eyebrow. “They’re not dead and you’ve just given them a chance to regroup and find reinforcements.”

“You dare speak to me,” Hela paused, “whoever you are?”

Tony gave a slight bow, ignoring the other Asgardians. “The name’s Tony Stark and I can be of use to you, if you’re willing to let me.” He gave her his most charming smile. Hela narrowed her eyes, sizing him up. “You want to take your place as first born and heir to the throne. I get that.” He walked up to her so that they were face to face. “But frankly, you need some finesse, and I’m all about finesse, honey.” She cocked her head in thought. Tony turned to the other Asgardians in the golden room. “Behold!” he called out. “Hela Odindottir, first born of Odin and Asgard’s rightful ruler now that Odin has passed on! Long live the queen!”

A blond man with a goatee (that was nowhere as good as Tony’s) stood up. “I do not recognize this woman!” he said while pulling out a rapier-like sword.

A dagger appeared in Hela’s hand, but Tony was fast to grab her wrist. “Killing the opposition is easy, but wouldn’t getting them to yield to you be more satisfying?”

Hela hummed, not immediately putting away her dagger. “You are an interesting man, Tony Stark. I have waited centuries for my return. I can bear to wait and see the fruition of your ideas.” Her smile was demented. Tony kind of liked it. She looked at the Asgardian who had spoken before. “Come, you knave. I will show you proof of my heritage and then you shall spread the news.”

“No, I will wait for Thor to return. He will clear up this matter up.” Blondie still hadn’t sheathed his sword. The other warrior in the room didn’t move to take his sword out of the pedestal.

“Thor is in mourning. I’m Tony Stark, Iron Man, his friend and ally.” He gave him a friendly smile. “What could it hurt to see what proof she can bring forward?”

Blondie looked perturbed, but sheathed his sword. “Prince Thor has spoken highly of you. But know this, if this is a trick I will not show you mercy.”

Before anything else could be said there was a flash of green light and they were in a new golden room that had to be the throne room.

“Look skyward and see the truth.” Hela sent her daggers flying towards a mosaic on the ceiling. Large chunks came tumbling down, barely missing Tony, Hela, and blondie. A new image became clear, showing Hela standing beside Odin as an equal.

“That… hardly proves anything,” blondie said.

Hela held out her hand while grinning. There was a long paused before a golden spear came flying at her and landed neatly in her hand.

Blondie gasped before falling to his knee. “My queen, please forgive my insolence. I am Frandral the Dashing. With your leave, I shall tell everyone of what I have just seen.”

Hela waved him off in a queenly fashion. She turned towards Tony when Frandral was gone. “Tell me more of yourself, Tony Stark. I would know the man who has changed my plans in an unheard-of way.”

*

Tony and Hela were sitting at a wooden table in a dimly lit room. His armor was off, standing sentry behind him. Things were going well.

There was nothing Tony couldn’t achieve over a glass of wine and with a willing audience. Hela was a lonely woman, though she hid it well. He couldn’t fault her for that, considering she’d been in exile for almost half her life.

Tony told her about his history and she laughed at the moniker ‘Merchant of Death’. He talked about how he’d been betrayed over and over again—How he was ready to start a new chapter of his life.

With every drink and confession Hela opened up.

“I am what he made me,” Hela said while glaring at her drink. “He taught me the joys of battle and killing then turned his back on me! He was losing his mind and it was my duty to take his place as ruler! Odin killed his father before him. It was my turn to kill my father! Yet he set Asgard’s forces against me.” Hela began again carving into the wood table they were sitting at. She’d started after her third drink.

“My father wanted me to be the same as him, but I evolved and pulled out of the weapons industry. He’s rolling over in his grave because I’m better than him.” Tony finished off his drink before refilling it with water. He’d only had half a glass of Asgardian wine and it nearly made him black out. “Fuck Odin! He’s a shitty dad! I’m glad he’s gone!” Tony raised his glass up and Hela toasted with him. “This is your chance, Hela. Destroying is easy, but creating is hard. Be more than he could ever be! It is the ultimate form of rebellion!”

Hela hummed in thought, her eyes glassy.

“Servant!” Tony called out and one of the Asgardians came running forward. “Tomorrow afternoon we will have a celebration! It will be in remembrance of Odin and to celebrate Asgard’s new queen! Have the cooks start preparing a feast and the meadery emptied. Free drinks for everyone tomorrow afternoon! Make it happen!” The servant hesitantly glanced at Hela who nodded in agreement.

“Tony Stark of Midgard, you are good at this,” Hela said, nearly slurring. “How are you so good at this?” She was carving what looked like a dog into the table.

“Practice. And nothing cheers people up like a good party.” Howard had taught him that. The asshole. “But you’ll need to make a few policy changes to make sure they know you’re different than Odin, that you’re better.”

“Too drunk to think.” Hela was petting the engraved dog, looking at it fondly. “You do it.”

“I don’t have any authority here. I’m just some Earthling who happens to be friends with Thor—and your friend.”

Hela made a raspberry. She reached over the table and grabbed Tony’s shoulder and the golden spear from earlier. “I grant thee godship and make you my chief advisor!”

Gold swirled around Tony. Every cell of his body felt like it was buzzing with energy that was almost knocking the air from his lungs. Tony’s heart was racing, flushing his body with something new. Something better.

His clothing fluttered as it shifted into leather and metal armor, hugging him snuggly and making him sit straighter. His magic girl transformation was complete with a helmet that felt nearly weightless on his head.

Hela ran her fingers down his arm, putting out a clear sign. But she was drunk, and Tony still wasn’t sure where his loyalties laid.

“Go to bed. I’ll look into the policies while you sleep.” Hela pouted. Tony took her hand, running his thumb over her knuckles. “This isn’t a rejection. It’s just not the right time.”

“Pah! I was testing you!” Hela stood up wobblily and Tony tried not to be charmed by her behavior. He could relate to trying to save face, only to look silly doing so. “Poof!” she said before disappearing.

Tony blinked in disbelief before pouring himself some wine. He no longer feeling buzzed now that he was a god. And what a shit-show that was. Tony’s best friend was dead. What good was immortality without Rhodey?

But Tony had to focus on making sure Hela didn’t turn her attention on Midgard. Earth might have scorned him, but he hadn’t given up on it yet.

With the help of a servant Tony found his way to what must have been Odin’s office—Or Loki’s. Same difference, in this case.

He went to work on reading notes and sent servants off to gather him more information.

He’d learned thermonuclear astrophysics in a night. Asgardian politics were nothing in comparison.

*

Entering a queen’s room uninvited was probably not kosher. But he’d brought food and drink and that had to get him some forgiveness.

Hela’s room looked like the rest of Asgard, gold and overdone. There was a black bird’s nest peeking out of the bedsheets.

Tony sat on the edge of the bed. The only time he’d willingly woken someone up was when he dumped a bucket of water on Rhodey. And that was right before he hightailed it out of there while giggling. Rhodey had not been entertained.

And this situation required more finesse. Tony clinked a spoon against the bowl like he was about to give a toast. Hela flinched and then sleepily grumbled something.

“It is the first full day of your rule. Can’t leave the people waiting.” Hela turned over to see him. Her smokey eye shadow had smudged, making her look like a racoon. “I brought breakfast and I have some policies for you to sign into law.”

Hela yawned loudly while sitting up. She was wearing what was equivalent to a floppy shirt, but with tassels and bells. She wiped away a line of drool from her face.

“I can’t remember the last time I slept in a bed,” she said groggily. Tony handed her what passed for coffee in Asgard.

“Fuck Odin for exiling you without a bed.”

“Fuck Odin,” she parroted with no real bite behind it. That was probably a good sign, or she was just too tired to muster up hatred.

Tony began explaining the different policy changes he thought would help distinguish her rule from Odin’s (and also keep Earth safe).

Hela nodded along as she ate.

“I also ordered you a few new outfits. New you, new look.” Tony clapped his hands once and a flurry of Asgardians entered with different clothes.

“You are highly efficient.” Hela got out of bed. Her shirt was high enough to get him a good peek at her rear. It was a very nice view.

He studied her as she looked over the different outfits. Hela was brushing her hair out absentmindedly with her hand while her other hand was playing with a tassel on her shirt. She paused in front of a get-up that was similar to the one she’d worn yesterday. It had softer lines, no pointed shoulders, and no cape. The main difference was the half skirt. It had no front, showing off the skin-tight pants, and went down to just above her ankles.

“This one.” Hela waved off the servants and they took the other outfits with them.

“About your helmet—”

“What about my helmet?” she asked sharply.

“It will look great with that outfit,” Tony hastily said, sensing a touchy subject. He held up the different policies. “I still need your signature.”

Hela took the pieces of parchments and flipped through them, each time with a flash of green her signature appeared. She handed them off to Tony and he left to make sure things were underway.

*

The music wasn’t to his taste, but apparently everyone else thought it was a banger. Tony had had Frandral do the announcing of the new laws, a eulogy to Odin, and introduce the new queen once everyone was sloshed, since he was a trusted face. Very few people cried over Odin and even fewer seemed to care that practically a stranger was their new ruler.

There were murmurs questioning where Thor and Loki were though.

The elderly were another matter altogether. They were alive when Hela rebelled against Odin. Tony did his best to tell them Hela had turned over a new leaf, but they were skeptical. It would take time for them to come to terms with her being in power.

Tony had a good buzz going as he sat next to Hela on a dais.

“If I have to kiss another baby…” Hela growled out. Tony laughed loudly at her and she sent him a glare.

“Hey, you wanted to be queen. It’s not all fun.” Tony still needed to think of a way to properly distract her more violent tendencies. He had thought up one possible solution though. Her interest was piqued, and he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t interested. Tony leaned over and whispered in her ear, “But I can think of plenty of things we can do in the bedroom to make up for it.”

Hela grinned at him salaciously, but before she could respond there was a ruckus. Tony spotted Thor, Bruce (?!), and a woman storming the area, pushing through the drunk and partying crowd.

Tony stood to intercept them. They met in the middle.

They looked like they were rearing to fight.

“Surprise,” Tony said while raising his glass, “I saved the day!”

Chapter Text


 

“Is that my shirt?” Tony asked, his mind stuttering over seeing Bruce for the first time in years.

“Stand aside, Man of Iron. Hela seeks only destruction and murder,” Thor said while trying to push Tony out of the way, but Tony’s new godly status didn’t make that possible.

“Point Break, look around you. Does this look like destruction? The only thing getting murdered is all the cups people keep throwing on the ground.” Tony took a sip of his drink, as if to prove his point.

Thor paused then blinked in confusion as he took in his surroundings. “But Hela said…”

“That was yesterday’s news. Grab a drink and I’ll tell you what has changed. You can make up your mind once you know all the facts.” Tony patted Thor on the bicep as he spoke, trying to calm him.

“I was promised vengeance,” the bad ass looking woman said, her hand on her sword hilt.

Hela stepped forward, looking unbothered. “I am the queen of Asgard. No Valkyrie can act against me.” Hela ran her hand down Tony’s arm while giving him a considering look. “Tony has convinced me to be more than what Odin made me.” Her expression shifted to amusement as the Valkyrie tried to unsheathe her sword, but it seemed stuck. “Asgard has accepted me and you are bound by an oath to the ruler of Asgard.”

Tony elbowed her. “Don’t be a dick. At least try to be nice to one of your citizens.” Hela grumpily looked at him before turning back to the Valkyrie.

“I am sorry for killing so many of your comrades. I was a fool, but I am better now.” Hela sounded surprisingly sincere, but Tony wasn’t convinced.

The Valkyrie let out a frustrated growl before storming off.

Tony didn’t let that throw him. “Let me be the first to introduce you to your younger brother Thor, and this is my dear friend Bruce Banner.” He turned to face Hela. “And this is Queen Hela. She’s made me her Chief Advisor and into a god.” Tony enjoyed their stunned expressions. “Come to the head table. I’ll tell you about what she’s changed. Your friend Frandral said a wonderful eulogy for your father, by the way. You should have seen it.”

The crowd parted for Hela in a way it hadn’t done for Thor and his friends. Once at the table Tony topped off Hela’s wine before getting drinks for Bruce and Thor.

“See, the thing you gotta understand is that Odin’s a dick,” Tony started out, feeling fearless. Thor choked on his drink and Bruce facepalmed. “Throughout Hela’s childhood he was like ‘come on, sunshine, let’s go bond over killing and pillaging’. It was their favorite pastime, but then Odin changed his tune and got all butthurt when Hela wanted to keep doing the thing he taught her to love. He was arrogant and thought she should fall in line. He banished her with no chance for redemption, unlike when he banished you.” Tony used his cup to point at Thor. “Fast forward a thousand years and Hela’s been stewing in her anger and sense of betrayal. Can you blame her for being bitter? But then we had a nice sit down and it’s all chill now.” Tony held up his drink. “To Queen Hela!”

His words were echoed back to him as a cheer.

Bruce was mumbling something to himself while rubbing the bridge of his nose.

A shadow passed above them. Tony looked up to see a large space ship with a hatch opening. “Your savior is here!” Loki shouted.

“What a diva.”

*

Tony hadn’t exactly wanted to be invited to the dysfunctional family dinner of the century, but he was necessary to make sure things didn’t end in blood. He envied Bruce, who had gone off to hang with his lady friend Valkyrie.

Hela was halfway sloshed, Thor was antsy, and Loki was pouting.

“Sorry about Mjolnir,” Hela said, “but it was mine first.”

Loki snickered, and Thor shot him a glare. Loki went back to stabbing the food on his plate.

“He who be worth bla bla bla,” Loki mocked. “I always knew that was horseshit. Odin had it out for me. Why didn’t I get a super cool weapon?”

“Odin wasn’t known for being fair. This one time we were taking over this pesky planet full of bug like people. He promised to give the lord that killed the bug leader the mining rights for the planet, but he didn’t specify that all the gold would be going to the crown. Lord Phint was furious when he found out.” Hela chuckled. “He tried to throw a fit and Odin told me to kill him, but at the last moment when Phint was begging for mercy Odin called me off.”

“Odin sounds like a real charmer,” Tony said dryly. Thor looked offended and like he was about to refute Tony, but then his shoulders dropped and he sighed.

“That cad remarried even though he went on and on about my mother being the love of his life! Figures he’d go for a blond.” Hela drank. Her face was flushed. She pointed at Loki. “You don’t look like her though. Did he have a third wife?”

“I was adopted,” Loki ground out, clearly still upset.

“That explains your good fashion sense. I didn’t think Odin was one to pick up strays though.” Hela bit into a leg of lamb. Tony elbowed her gently. “What? I think it is a fair point.”

“He stole me from Jotunheim after the war to use as a pawn since I was Laufey’s son.”

“Odin had a war without me?!” Hela said while slamming her fist down. “All that bollox about peace then he gets himself into another war! And with Laufey! His dearest friend at that!” Hela scowled. “Patronizing old men.”

Hela leaned on Tony and began fiddling with his hair. Tony put his hand on her upper thigh. She started whispering sexy promises in his ear.

Tony stood while pulling Hela to her feet. “This has been fun, but Hela and I have some official work to do.” No one believed Tony as the pair left while giggling.

*

Being a god meant extra stamina in the bedroom. It wasn’t hard to impress Hela, considering how long she’d been without a partner, but Tony made sure to show her an extra good time.

She was bonelessly sleeping beside him. Tony had gotten one of the servants to bring a report on how people reacted to the party yesterday and the sudden change in leadership.

He snorted when he read that people weren’t happy because without Loki in power there wasn’t going to be anymore public theater.

There was a near silent group that didn’t like the idea of a woman being on the throne. That group overlapped with others that wanted a familiar face to be ruler. Tony would have to find a way to snuff out their dissent.

Bookies were taking bets on who Hela would marry and what the name of her firstborn would be. The same sort of thing that happened when the prince of England got married.

Valkyrie (Tony really needed to figure out her real name) had given a speech about Hela’s past sins, but people had been too drunk to care about what she said. Tony didn’t doubt she’d be at it again soon enough. Tony would have to talk to Thor about how to get her on their side.

A few lords wanted Loki’s head for pretending to be Odin. Tony couldn’t blame them. Loki was a little shit.

It wasn’t anything that Tony couldn’t handle.

*

“Yeah, no, that’s a terrible idea,” Tony said to Hela as they entered the vault. A looming metal giant gave him pause, but when it remained immobile he turned his attention back to Hela. “Having an army of zombies is just going to freak people out.”

“They served me faithfully. They were never rewarded. I cannot let such a debt stand,” Hela refuted. Her steps were confident and she looked unperturbed.

Tony spotted the Tesseract and shuddered. He moved to get in her path. She came to a standstill and pouted. “They’re at rest now. They served you in life. Don’t force them to serve you in death as well.”

Hela’s lips became pinched. “Fine, but I am reviving Fenrir. I have missed him sorely.”

“Fenrir?” Tony asked as Hela stuck her hand into a basin of fire. He wasn’t surprised when she wasn’t burned. Asgardians were weird like that.

“My wolf and most trusted friend. Of all the things I was deprived of in my banishment, he was what I missed the most.”

An oversized dagger, nearly a sword, appeared in Hela’s hand. She struck the ground with it and the floor in front of her gave out. Hela did an overdramatic back flip into the gaping hole.

“Drama queen,” Tony mumbled to himself as he approached the hole. He could see a flicker of light that changed from orange to green. He stumbled backwards when a pair of glowing green eyes looked up upon him. A moment later a giant wolf leaped out of the darkness, Hela on its back.

“Woah,” Tony said while trying not to be freaked out by the giant apex predator. “Can I pet him?” It seemed to be the right thing to say, considering Hela grinned brightly.

“Fenrir, this is Tony Stark. He is my lover.”

The giant wolf let out a noise that was half growling and half grumbling. After a beat he lowered his head. Tony patted its snout, its ears being too high for him to reach. Its large tongue flicked out, dousing Tony’s hand in spit. He made a disgusted face, causing Hela to laugh.

She gracefully slid down his side and onto her own feet. With a gesture of her hand, the hole in the ground closed without a blemish to mark it was there.

They continued out of the vault room, Fenrir following close behind. “Please make sure Fenrir doesn’t scare anyone.”

“Fine,” Hela said in a huff.

Tony smiled at her before turning back to business. “Next up the princes and lords are going to swear fealty to you in the throne room. Loki will notice if anyone of importance skips, so I’ll leave it to you.” Tony snapped his fingers and threw finger guns at her.

“What will you be doing?” Hela asked, nearly pouting. That seemed to be the norm for her, at least around Tony.

“Being a patron of the arts. As interesting as the mural in the throne room is, it sends the wrong message. Asgard isn’t about blood and conquest anymore. I was thinking Asgard’s new agenda would be trade. Asgard has plenty of advanced technology and with my marketing skills Asgard can reach a new golden age of peace and prosperity.” Tony had planned on pitching his idea over dinner later on, but the moment felt right.

Slowly a smile formed on Hela’s lips. “You are wise, my chief advisor.” Hela caressed his cheek and Tony leaned into her touch. Her eyes shone with lust and admiration, a combination Tony flourished under.

*

Tony had consulted with artisans and they had put together a few sketches of what the new mural would look like. He’d run it by Hela during dinner. (And Tony may or may not have added himself into a few of the sketches.)

There was other art on his agenda though, namely a painfully egotistical statue of one Loki Odinson. From his view on the ground he could hardly make out the details of the face, but from what he could see Loki had made himself look a tad more good looking than he was in reality.

Tony stopped a woman that was going about her business, “Excuse me, miss. Do you know when this statue was put up?”

The woman glanced at the Loki statue. “Not half a year ago. It was commissioned to honor the departed prince.” The woman scoffed. “Bit of an eyesore. I should have known figured it was him behind its construction. Shame there won’t be anymore plays.”

“Queen Hela intends for the fine arts to continue. Once she settles into her rule she plans on sending out envoys to find the best plays in the realms and bring them to Asgard’s stages.”

The woman’s eyes lit up at his news, before narrowing. “How do you know that?”

“I’m her Chief Advisor, Tony Starkson.” He added the -son to better fit in, having no qualms with changing his name a bit.

“Ah, I thought I saw you before. You were the one sitting next to her yesterday. Now there was a party. My head still aches and the morning was dead silent with everyone sleeping off their mead,” she said while grinning. Tony smiled, laughing goodheartedly.

“Do you think anyone would be against this statue being downsized and changed into Queen Hela and the Princes?”

“Naw, one of the All-Father stood there before. It be fitting that the new Queen is put there. Mighty kind of her to add in the Princes though.”

“Yes, she is a kind queen,” Tony said while gazing at the statue. He looked back at her, smiling charmingly. “Thank you for your time, miss. I’ll take your words into consideration.”

“Not a problem, Chief Advisor. May the Queen’s reign last.” She gave a half-bow before going on her way.

Tony took another moment to stare at the awful statue before going to his next destination.

Thor was in need of a new weapon. Tony had consulted with the Warriors Three earlier in the morning. They told him that other than the hammer, Thor favored a two-bladed battle axe.

He had funds from the treasury on hand to get the dwarfs that lived on Asgard to start creating an axe at once.

*

When he made it back to the castle it was dinner time. All the nobles that had pledged their loyalty had already dispersed, leaving it as just Tony, Hela, Loki, and Thor at the table. Fenrir was laying in the background, gnawing on a whole boar.

“Was anyone missing?” Tony asked while sitting down. He gave Hela’s knee a squeeze in greeting. She looked pleased with herself.

“Only two,” Loki reported, a wine glass in his hand, “Heimdall who has been missing for some time now and Lady Sif, who has been on Midgard these past few months.”

“What is she doing there?” Tony asked while spooning over food to his plate.

“You remember Philip Coulson, the one I stabbed on the Helicarrier?” Yeah, Tony remembered him. He also remembered Coulson threatening to taser him regardless of Tony’s heart condition. “Sif is with him, helping him and his little team fight against what they label villains. They aren’t villains though, just entrepreneurs.” Loki chuckled to himself and Hela joined in with her boisterous laugh. Thor sighed. “I will happily retrieve her.” Loki’s grin was wicked.

“Good idea. I was actually hoping to send you to Earth,” Tony said and Loki gave him a confused look. “One of the things people liked best about your reign was all the plays you put on. I don’t know Asgard’s taste, so I want you to go to Midgard and see as many plays as you want on my dime. Think of it as a vacation.”

“I could use a vacation,” Loki said softly before his wicked grin was back. He elbowed Hela playfully. “Ruling Asgard is hard, not that Thor would know.” Loki and Hela broke out into obnoxious laughter as Thor sunk further into his seat.

Tony smiled. Things were coming together nicely.

Chapter Text


 

Tony was unceremoniously kicked out of bed, landing on his bare ass. From the other side of the room Fenrir huffed out a sound that could be interpreted as a laugh.

“No more,” Hela groaned while sitting up in bed to look at him. She pulled the covers up and flopped back down. “You are a beast. Has your endurance no limits?”

Tony grinned and got back into bed, keeping a fair distance from her. He was still hard, but her exhaustion was causing him to become less excited. An unwilling participant was the biggest turn off, after all.

“I feel like I’m in my 20s again. My whole life back then was composed of sex, drugs, and alcohol, but now I’m not an idiot.”

Hela pulled a pillow over her head, ignoring him. He shrugged and went to shower and take care of himself—After he goosed Hela and caused her to squawk.

*

Tony was in the feasting hall, reading reports and history texts while waiting for the royal family to join him. They all had the habit of sleeping late while Tony didn’t like sleeping because of nightmares and he felt like it was a waste of time. Though having someone to sleep with, literally and figuratively, was helping him sleep better.

The more Tony read about Asgard’s history, the more he wanted to bring Odin back to life and punch him out. At least the old SOB had outlawed slavery—right after he killed all the slaves he’d captured from other worlds that he had used to build his palace.

Tony had lost track of all the different wars Odin and Hela had waged. Before Odin came along, Bor, his father, had only fought one war, killing off the native dark elves that called Asgard their home. Only a few had survived and had gone into hiding. When they showed up again Queen Frigga had been killed.

Odin’s first wife, Queen Miriana, had been executed for adultery. Hela hadn’t brought up her mother, and Tony wasn’t going to risk talking about a touchy subject. He mentally filed away the information for later.

Thor came into the feasting hall. Tony gave him a nod of acknowledgment before going back to reading.

Thor was fidgeting ceaselessly, and after a few minutes Tony couldn’t ignore him anymore. He set down his papers while sighing. “What is it, Thor.”

“Man of Iron, Heimdall came to me in a vision twice now, once in Sakaar and again last night,” Thor admitted. “He is not pleased with Hela’s rule and is encouraging me to rebel.”

Tony held in a sigh. “And what did you say to him?”

Thor’s expression became pinched. “He went on about her history and hardly gave me a moment to speak. I must admit that I am disturbed.”

Thor, what did you say to him?” Tony emphasized his name, feeling a potential headache coming on.

“I told him to hold back until I came to a decision,” Thor admitted. Well, that wasn’t as bad as it could be. Still, Tony wanted to slap Thor on the back of his head.

“Am I mistaken? Didn’t you just pledge loyalty to Hela yesterday?”

“I did, but—”

“But nothing. Hela may not have been all sunshine and roses, but neither was your dad. You were banished, but unlike her you had a chance for redemption. Don’t you think she deserves the same chance?”

Thor looked like he was concentrating deeply. “Her atrocities have been numerous—”

“All of which your dear old dad greenlighted.” Excluding all the Valkyries that were killed while trying to subdue her. “Give her a chance and stick to your damn word.”

Thor nodded feebly. “You have grown more assertive.”

“You mean since you choked me out then fucked off back to Asgard?” Tony deadpanned. Thor flinched. “Yeah, you’re no angel either.” Tony was done playing soft ball with those people who claimed to be his friends then turned around and hurt him.

Actions had consequences, asshole.

Thor went to speak, but Tony cut him off by lifting the papers he had been reading before.

Hela and Loki joined them moments later, looking more related to each other than to Thor. Hela ran her fingers through Tony’s mussed hair before sitting beside him.

“Loki, when you get back from Midgard we should compare spells. I’m sure there are many Odin forbid you from learning after I used them against him,” Hela said. Loki’s eyes lit up.

“I often had to travel far and wide to learn many spells he said were disgraceful.” Loki made a derisive noise in the back of his throat.

“Disgraceful?” Hela scoffed. “He reveled in teaching me all types of spells, especially the sinister ones!”

“Odin taught you magic?!” Loki fell forward onto the table, barely missing his plate. Drama queen. “That bastard always said magic was effeminate and that it was a waste of time!” Loki sat up and banged his fist on the table, nearly causing the drinks to fall over. “Thor! I told you that he hated me! You attacked Jotunheim and was banished! I attacked Midgard and suddenly I’m imprisoned for life!”

“You tried to destroy all of Jotunheim,” Thor said in a tired voice.

“We were at war! And let’s not forget who started that war! I was protecting Asgard and making sure not another Aesir life was wasted!”

“Loki, all life is sacred!”

There was a long pause before Loki and Hela burst out laughing. The pair looked at each other and only laughed harder.

Thor looked at Tony, silently begging him to back him up. Tony shrugged. There was only so much he could when it came to them. He was just glad they were contained and not actively seeking destruction.

Once they were done, and Loki was wiping away his mirthful tears, Tony changed the subject.

“Heimdall got in contact with Thor,” Tony said, not sugar coating it.

“Heimdall, uck! He despises me. If he didn’t want his sister to die, then she shouldn’t have been a Valkyrie. She knew what she was getting into when she went to fight me.” Hela swung around her fork as she spoke before taking a large bite of food.

“Did he mention that to you, Thor?” Tony was so tired of damn omissions.

“No,” Thor grumbled. “Heimdall has served Asgard loyally—”

“I was regent king, anointed by Frigga, yet he still disobeyed me and sent your little friends to Midgard. He also abandoned his post. Heimdall is only loyal to himself.” Loki took a sip of wine. “That Skurge fellow is more loyal, though not the smartest.”

“A gatekeeper doesn’t need to be smart. He just has to follow my law.” Hela took a bite of food then used her fork to point at them. “Heimdall was Odin’s pawn. I have no need for such a fool.” She stabbed at her food loudly, putting an end to the conversation.

They ate in semi-silence with only the noise of Fenrir scarfing down his food.

As the meal wrapped up, Tony spoke again. “Loki, I’ve written you a letter to show my AI. Her name is Friday and she’ll make arrangements for you to see different shows.” Tony gestured at Loki’s face. “You should change your appearance up. No need to cause a panic, and try not to blow anything up while you’re on Earth.” Tony pulled out the letter and Loki snatched it up with a mischievous grin.

This was a terrible idea.

*

“Reparations? We don’t have an equivalent word for that in my language,” Hela said, and Tony wasn’t surprised.

“It pretty much means making up for a wrong you’ve done,” he explained, “and it will make you look good.” Hela’s face screwed up in confusion.

“I’ve never done a single wrong thing in my life,” Hela said with her chin cocked arrogantly.

Tony stepped closer to her, putting his hand on her shoulder. “Sweetie, honey, babe, you’ve fucked up before and you’ll fuck up again. That’s just part of life.” Hela pouted, sticking out her lower lip. He kissed her, easing her pout. “Don’t worry. I fuck up all the time. Anyway, you said you were great at healing magic, but you have yet to prove it.”

“Shall I skin someone then heal them to prove my ability?” Hela asked, no sign of sarcasm in her voice. Tony glanced at her and she smiled, showing him she was teasing… mostly.

Tony rolled his eyes. Hela was clearly pleased with herself.

They made their way through the city, Fenrir trotting behind them. Most Asgardians bowed to Hela while others were petrified by the wolf’s huge size.

When a mother brought her baby over to be kissed, Hela could barely contain her look of disgust. Despite that, she kissed the snotty baby.

“Why do they always do that?” Hela asked, eyeing the retreating mother and baby. “It never happened to Odin or me before.”

“That’s because they like you and don’t think you’ll strangle them for no reason.” Tony enjoyed her confusion.

“Fenrir, wait out here,” Hela ordered when they reached the hospital.

Asgardians were naturally a hardy bunch so anytime they were sick, it was life threatening.

Incense were burning, filling the air with smoke and an herbal scent. He could hear children crying and the comforting words of loved ones. There were no private rooms, just an open area with beds.

A flustered healer greeted them. “My Queen,” she bowed hastily and gave Tony a respectful nod, “how may I help you?”

“I have come to use my healing skills. Lead me to the youngest.”

Tony followed them from a distance. He was really only there to make sure Hela didn’t say anything too crazy.

An hour passed with loved ones crying in joy and patients sobbing in relief. Hela didn’t show any sign of exhaustion from all the spells, which was impressive according to all the healers.

Hela paused in front of the bed of one of the Asgardians that had been there the longest, according to the healers. She had been in a coma for over a thousand years.

Hela looked down at the blond woman and made a thoughtful noise. “She is one of the Valkyries I fought,” Hela said while reaching towards the patient, her hand glowing with dark green magic.

Chapter Text


 

Dark green magic engulfed the blond woman before she let out a choking sound and her blue eyes opened. She pushed herself up on shaky arms, peering around her. Her eyes widened when she spotted Hela. She lunged at Hela, her fingers poised like claws.

A dagger appeared in Hela’s hand, but before she could lash out, the other woman fell to the ground, her muscles having been eaten away by inactivity.

“Hmph, I’ll return tomorrow to heal the rest. Make sure she isn’t here when I return,” Hela said while turning away from the scene. The healer accompanying them bowed as Hela walked away.

Tony hesitated to follow her. He knew this Valkyrie could be a problem if he left without an explanation.

“Can we have some broth over here,” Tony called out, putting it as an order rather than a question. A healer rushed off to get a bowl.

Tony pulled up a seat. The Valkyrie’s blue eyes were raging, but the rest of her body was unable to do the same. “I’m Tony Starkson,” he introduced himself, choosing his words carefully. “A lot has changed since you were last awake. Odin had two sons, one by his second wife and another through adoption. His sons and I witnessed him dying less than a week ago.” The Valkyrie looked surprised and wary. “With him gone, nothing was holding Hela back from returning, but she has redeemed herself and Asgard has accepted her as their ruler. She doesn’t plan on going on the warpath or killing all those that opposed her. She healed you despite knowing you were a Valkyrie and had fought against her.”

Tony paused when a bowl of broth was brought over. He helped the Valkyrie sit up. He took a broth and brought a spoonful up to her lips. She glared at him before taking a sip. She let out a relieved sigh and beckoned with her eyes for more. Tony happily obliged.

It took a few minutes for her to finish off the bowl. By the last spoonful her complexion had gained some color.

“How long?” the Valkyrie asked, her voice raspy from disuse.

“Just over a thousand years, from what I’ve heard.” Tony was still trying to wrap his head around the possibility that he’d live for that long, possibly longer. The Valkyrie took in a shuddered gasp. “What’s your name?”

“Ingrid.” Her eyes went wide. “I must go home! My wife—” Ingrid tried to stand again, but with the same result. Tony caught her this time.

“Slow down,” Tony said, but she kept struggling in his arms. “At least let the healers check you first. Your wife has waited this long, a few more minutes won’t hurt. I’ll even help you get there.”

Ingrid snarled at him before slumping. He placed her back in the bed as healers swarmed over. He retrieved a wheelchair while they went about their business. It was similar to the wheelchairs on Earth, except it looked more elegant and the wheels had been carved out of wood. Despite being wooden, they gripped the ground well as he rolled it over to Ingrid. She transferred herself into it with the help of a healer.

Ingrid was given a bag full of soup ingredients to help with her recovery.

They went outside and Ingrid flinches at the midday sun. They continued through the streets with Ingrid giving him directions.

“Queen Hela has laid out reforms,” he said despite sensing she didn’t want to hear it. “There’s no longer a penalty for marrying someone not in the same social-stratosphere. Hunting in the woods isn’t limited to just the nobility anymore. A new school is in the works for the lower classes since formal education was banned to them before. She sent her youngest brother, Loki, to Midgard to gather plays to be brought back for the masses. Next week she is inviting different leaders to Asgard to put together trade agreements.” Tony hadn’t run all those ideas by Hela yet, but he was confident she would see their merit.

Ingrid’s fingers were clenched against the armrest. Tony wouldn’t be able to make any headway with just words.

He idly talked about how Earth had changed over the last thousand years.

They entered a residential area. Tony was thankful for the change of scenery. Finally, gold wasn’t glaring in his eyes. The architecture was smoother, and the ground was paved with flagstone that had a silver powder between them. The houses were often covered with vines that had flowers that ranged in color.

He noticed there was no mailboxes or mailslots. He wondered if they had any sort of postal delivery. It was probably done by magical means.

They stopped in front of a house that had overgrown vines. For the first time, Tony realized that Ingrid’s wife might not be waiting there for her.

There was no lock or handle on the door, only a circle that shined. Ingrid reached towards it and her fingers sunk in to the circle. The door opened inwards and Tony let out a sigh of relief when he smelled fresh food.

Ingrid cleared her throat before calling out, “Hildy?” With just one word her voice broke. It was filled with so much hope and fear that Tony’s heart started to race.

There was a crashing noise before there was the sound of running. The Valkyrie from before appeared, her eyes frantic and breathing labored. “Ingrid,” she whispered. She was frozen in place as she started to tear up. “Is that really you?”

Ingrid nodded and held out her arms. Not a moment later Hildy grabbed her and was swinging Ingrid around.

Tony spotted Bruce walking in. He was sleep rumpled and was wearing oversized clothing. The couple was exchanging sweet nothings, so he decided to talk to Bruce.

“I was wondering where you were staying,” Tony said to him after carefully passing the couple.

“I’ve been here.” Bruce was gripping a mug to his chest, making him look younger than he really was. “I didn’t expect you to still be on Asgard.”

“Yeah, well, it’s nice to be somewhere that I’m actually appreciated.” Tony tried not to sound bitter, but he wasn’t successful. Bruce gave him a curious look. “Why are you still here?” Tony asked, trying to change the subject.

“I’m in no hurry to get back to Earth.” Tony gave him a questioning look. Bruce sighed and looked at the ground. “She didn’t tell you, did she?” His grip on his cup tightened. “Natasha triggered the Hulk on purpose during the battle with Ultron. She kissed me then pushed me down a shaft. I would have died if the Hulk hadn’t come out.”

Tony snorted derisively. “Makes sense. She stabbed me in the back a few months ago. I haven’t seen her since she went rogue with some of the other Avengers.”

“What do you mean ‘went rogue’?”

“I’m going to need a drink. It’s a long story.”

*

Bruce wasn’t happy that Tony had worked with Ross, but he understood why the Accords were necessary. Tony spoke for the first time about what happened to Siberia and how his life had crumbled when Rhodey died.

They talked about Bruce’s time on Sakaar, how he had no idea how long he’d been Hulked out because time moved differently there. He feared that if he turned into the Hulk again he’d never turn back.

Tony told him about his new place in Asgard and how, despite his usual hate for administrative work, he was enjoying himself.

Bruce just shook his head fondly when Tony admitted he was sleeping with Hela.

It was good to have his science bro back, especially since now he knew that Bruce hadn’t abandoned him after Sokovia.

On his way out early in the evening he saw the two Valkyries making out. He was happy for the reunited couple, despite the fact that they would probably cause trouble.

Tony decided to spend the rest of his free time shopping. He hoped to find trinkets he could take a part and learn from. Asgard had a wealth of knowledge that was new to him. He would soak it all up and create something better.

Tony was apparently becoming a familiar face. Many of the Asgardians gave him respectful nods or gifts to give the queen. He contemplated his godhood and if it was different than what the average citizen had. He saw none of them in such finery as the armor that appeared on him when Hela made him a god. He’d have to ask Hela or Thor later.

He picked up a large brush for Hela to use on Fenrir. She’d appreciate it more than any of the other gifts she was given.

On his way to check on the dwarven blacksmiths’ progress he was stopped by a familiar face, albeit one he’d never seen in person before. “Tony Stark,” Matt Damon said to him breathlessly. He had come running up to Tony through the crowd. He clutched Tony by the shoulders desperately. “Oh god, it really is you! You have to get me out of here! I was abducted a year ago! I can’t imagine what my wife and kids thought happened to me!”

Tony sighed and refrained from facepalming. Fucking Loki. He had no doubt in his mind that he was behind this. “Yeah, I can get you back to Earth.” Tony gestured for the famous actor to follow him.

They didn’t talk to each other during the long walk. Tony was distracted by the policy ideas he had. He laughed to himself. If only Pepper could see him now. She wouldn’t recognize him, which might not be a bad thing.

This was a new chapter in Tony’s life, and he was starting to really like Asgard. As he mentioned to Bruce, it felt like a breath of fresh air to be appreciated for once. He hadn’t realized it before, but on Earth he had been weighed down by expectations. Expectations to fuck up, to be a hero, to give and give without getting anything in return.

On Asgard Hela demanded nothing of him. He got to tease her and shape the world in a way he never could on Earth. No one threw his past mistakes in his face and used them to manipulate him.

Best of all, when he told Hela about his past, she accepted him. They were both fucked up and trying to be more than what their fathers made them.

In the gold solarium at the end of the Bifrost, Tony didn’t question why Skurge had two old SI machine guns in his possession. Or why he’d been making out with a woman when Tony got there.

Tony almost asked about what Loki was up to, but he honestly didn’t want to know.

Matt Damon was whisked off to California.

Tony was ready to crash by the time he got back to the palace—Only to find Fenrir in his spot on Hela’s bed. When Tony took a step in their direction, Fenrir let out a fearsome growl. Tony shrugged it off. He’d been sleeping too much anyway.

After leaving Hela’s gifts in her room, he went to the office that had been granted to him as Chief Advisor. He had done away with most of the dusty tomes after going through them, leaving him plenty of room to tinker.

He felt like a little kid again, discovering new wonders and incorporating it into his world view.

By the time morning came Tony had three new schematics to send to SI that would revolutionize the industry and help him build up even more goodwill once he started mass producing them and bringing them to Asgard. He’d boost Asgard’s treasury and reinvest that money into making the realm prosper. And if he happened to make a pretty penny off that, who could blame him?

He sent off a few orders to different groups, including an order for a comprehensive history of Asgard being written so that it could be distributed and used in the schools he hoped would be built on Asgard.

It was past mid-morning by the time Tony emerged. Despite leaning over his desk for most of the night, his back wasn’t paining him at all. Another perk of godhood.

When he came into the feasting hall he paused. Thor and Hela were holding each other while crying.

Tony silently backed out of the room, not wanting to deal with whatever fresh family drama they had dug up.

Chapter Text

Apparently, Odin was Disappointed™ in Thor. Odin had come to Thor in another one of those visions that were really starting to irritate Tony. He’d ranted and raved about how Thor was supposed to be on the throne and how Odin would have held on longer if he knew this was the outcome. He went on about how Hela was just like her mother and would betray Asgard. The punch to the gut came when Odin said it was his fault Frigga died.

The real tears had come when Hela told Thor about how Odin had dangled his approval in front of her like a cat toy.

They cried over their dead mothers, how Odin saw no reason to give Hela a chance at redemption, yet gave Thor a chance to prove he was worthy. They talked about all the good times they had with Mjolnir. Hela admitted it was a gift from her mother, how it made her so angry to see someone else using it that she’d smashed the hammer in her rage.

All in all, Tony was glad he missed the cry-fest and only got the highlights during lunch.

“I have compiled a list of leaders from other realms you should speak to,” Thor said while handing over the parchment to Hela. Tony had given him a few tasks earlier to keep him busy.

Hela read it over while combing Fenrir idly. The comb he had gotten her had been a hit, just as Tony predicted. Hela’s hand tightened on the parchment.

“What of the leaders of Heven?” Hela asked while setting the paper down.

“Heven? Where is this place you speak of?” Thor asked. Tony hummed in thought, remembering what he’d read on it.

“Odin separated Heven from the other realms because they refused to go to war with Jotunheim,” Tony said.

Hela smacked the table, startling Fenrir who had been blissfully dozing. “That explains why Aldrif hasn’t greeted me yet!” Hela stood up and brushed her hair back, her helmet forming in the wake of her hands. “That bastard Odin! I bet he didn’t even bring her back before he cleaved Heven off Yggdrasil!” She began pacing and flipping a small dagger in her hand. “He couldn’t have just killed off the angels, no! He had to make things complicated!” Hela held out her empty hand. Gungnir, the spear that the ruler of Asgard wielded, flew into her hand.

Hela slammed it down and magic sprung from it. A tree that was her height appeared. Nine baubles decorated it, each labeled with the name of a realm. A tenth sphere floated just outside the reach of the tree’s limbs.

“Thor, put together a delegation,” Hela ordered. As she spoke she drew a line in the air between Asgard and Heven. In an instant she looked exhausted. “They will bring news of my rule and that I’m open to negotiating their return to Yggdrasil in exchange for my sister.”

“I have another sister?” Thor said, nearly choking on the words. Hela smirked at him.

“She’s my maternal half-sister. She shares no blood with you, thankfully.” Hela was only half joking. “Do not go to Heven yourself, Thor. No doubt their resentment for Odin will fall onto your head.” She shooed Thor off and he gave a hasty bow.

When they were alone Hela slumped, and used Gungnir to support herself. Her helmet disappeared, and she took in a shuddered breath. Tony went to Hela and lifted her into his arms. The spear clattered to the ground as she snuggled up to him. “She must think I abandoned her,” Hela whispered.

“You can’t know that.” Tony sat on one of the chairs and Hela curled up closer to him. Fenrir came over, whimpering in distress. Hela reached out a shaking hand and petted him. “There was a chance she heard about your banishment before they were separated.”

“I swore to protect her.”

Tony tightened his grip on her. Unbidden, thoughts of those he tried to protect and failed came to mind. He suppressed them. Asgard was his new beginning.

He began running his fingers through her hair. “It’s alright, kitten. Either way I’m sure she’ll understand.”

“Kitten?” Hela asked with a raised eyebrow.

Tony shrugged. “It fits.”

“Hmm, you may call me that, but only in private.”

Tony kissed her on the temple, trying not to grin. “Why don’t you tell me about your little sister?”

Hela grinned softly and happily obliged him.

*

“I named ‘er Whisker, ‘cause she can cut a whisker longways,” the dwarf said, looking proudly at his work. It wasn’t the most creative name, but who was Tony to criticize. He’d named his first robot Dum-E.

The axe had a long handle, the length of Thor’s meaty arm. It had two blades mirroring each other. The blades were covered in intricate celtic knots that would no doubt be colored by blood someday. At the end of the pommel was a round jewel that looked like it had a storm raging inside of it.

Thor was shifting from foot to foot, barely able to contain his enthusiasm as he stared at the battle axe. Yup, getting him a new weapon had definitely been a good idea.

Thor made grabby hands as the dwarf neared him. The dwarf let out a raspy laugh while handing it over.  

“If ya want any of that worthy business you’ll have to talk to the queen. Odin was the one who put the wielder limit on Mjolnir when you were just a lad,” the dwarf said, smirking at how Thor was practically hugging the axe.

Tony paid the rest of the fee to the dwarf. “Come on, Point Break. Your loving sister set up a match for you to try out your new toy.”

Thor’s eyes gleamed with excitement, before he frowned. “I promised to show Korg and Miek to their temporary housing.”

Tony patted Thor on the shoulder. “You’re a good friend. How about you invite them to the palace to see you spar and then show them a good time with a royal feast.”

“You are wise, Man of Iron. I shall get them at once!” Thor hastily left, throwing a thanks to the dwarves over his shoulder.

Tony properly thanked them again before heading towards the palace.

*

“Yes!” Hela cheered while raising her fist in the air. She was leaning forward in her seat, watching as Thor battled against his friend Volstagg.

The siblings shared a love of battle.

“Gee, watching from the sidelines is better,” Korg said. Miek made a clicking noise in agreement.

“I’m sure it helps that this is all voluntary and won’t end in death.” Tony refilled Korg’s drink. The bulky rock alien drank almost as much as Thor. Miek, the insectaciod, was still on his first cup. Rather than brining it out to his face, his three-piece mouth reached down to drink, licking it up with a puss colored tongue. “Thor mentioned he’s setting you up with temporary housing. What are your plans for the future.”

“Well Miek is my best friend. We’ve been together for centuries. He was born on Sakaar and has no family so we’re going to go to my home planet. Make a new life. Maybe start a farm.” Korg rubbed his chin, gravel falling off.

“You’re a great friend to Thor. We could probably arrange for some hearty crop seeds to be sent with you.” And hopefully paint Asgard in a good light in a far-off planet.

“Oh, yeah, that would be mighty helpful.” Korg patted him on the back with enough force to nearly knock the breath out of Tony.

Hela cheered louder and smashed her goblet on the ground while standing. In a fluid motion she jumped over the ledge towards the fighting pair while letting out a war cry. A black and green sword appeared in her hand.

Thor and Volstagg met her head on.

Tony laughed at the battle crazy Asgardians, happy that Hela was able to vent some of her more violent tendencies.

*

Hela kissed Tony’s bare chest where the arc reactor once resided. “Promise me you’ll come back,” Hela whispered between kisses. “Promise me you won’t abandon me, that you won’t leave me alone.”

“Of course I’ll come back, Kitten.” Tony kissed her on the forehead. “I just need to put a few things in order and set some wheels in motion. Once I bring my kids here there will be nothing, but business ties connecting me the Midgard.”

“Kids?” Hela sounded confused, which was understandable considering Tony hadn’t outright mentioned them before.

“My ‘bots and AI. I created them and consider them my children.” Tony started going on about the adventures of his bots, Dum-E’s smoothie making skills, U’s love of knocking stuff over, and Butterfinger’s love of playing hide and seek. He talked about how Friday was still learning but had made so many great strides.

He shifted subjects to the inventions he was looking forward to putting together in his lab. Hela’s expression was content. He watched her drift off to sleep before he left for Earth.

Chapter Text


 

Tony’s first stop on Earth was to Virginia, more specifically Arlington National Cemetery. Tony stepped out of his Iron Man suit before entering the cemetery, trying to be respectful. He didn’t bring any flowers or ribbons, knowing Rhodey didn’t really care for those sorts of things.

He walked through the rows and rows of white marble, his heart tightening in an all too familiar way. It had been months and it still hurt like the wound was fresh. Some part of his mind still couldn’t comprehend that Rhodey was dead. He had been such a constant in Tony’s life that he felt off balance.

That’s why Asgard was so good for Tony. Everything was new. Everything was different. But back on Earth, none of that mattered.

James Rupert Rhodes

Tony sat in front of his tombstone. He stared at it in silence for a long time.

“I’m getting laid on the regular,” Tony said, starting off lighthearted. “It’s not even with a string of one-night stands or with,” Tony didn’t say Pepper’s name. “For once I’m not the cradle robber.” Tony forced out a laugh. “She’s a crazy lady, my kind of crazy. You’d probably warn me off.” Tony took in a shaky breath, trying not to let his voice break. “I’m having fun, surprisingly. I’m making the world a better place, just not this world.” Tony ran his thumb over Rhodey’s name. “This world… Earth, it’s fucked me up. They fucked me up.” Tony paused. “Did I mention I’m a god now? Whatever that means. Don’t tell the papz. They already think I have a god-complex.” Tony winked at the tombstone before his smile faded. “Thanks for looking out for me, big brother.”

Tony stood up, feeling like an old man again.

Tony didn’t believe in the afterlife or that Rhodey could hear him, but Rhodey did, and Tony was willing to try for him.

*

Of the many benefits of being rich, and there were many, was being able to buy gifts to his heart’s desire. Tony was currently in route to a wonderful boutique called Sugar Cookies.

His Iron Man suit allowed him to do work at the same time. “My gal Friday, record a message for me.”

“Sure thing, Boss Man! 3, 2, 1, action!” A red dot in the corner of Tony’s HUD came on.

“Hello lovely people of Earth! This is Tony Stark coming to you from my Iron Man suit high in the sky.” Tony grinned. “I have a few announcements to make, first the fun stuff.” Tony winked at them. “I just spent a week in Asgard and let me tell you, it’s a beautiful place. While there I was granted immortality. I’ve also been given access to Asgard’s technologies, that means SI is going to be rolling out all sorts of goodies! Along with that Asgard is starting a program for kids to come to Asgard and learn magic! The program will be free. Kids from all over the world will have the chance to make their Harry Potter dreams real!” Tony grinned brightly. “Now on to the more serious, diplomatic stuff.

“Queen Hela, Thor’s older sister, rules Asgard and has given me duel citizenship there—But don’t worry, I’m not abandoning Earth! I plan for Asgard and Earth to open up trading and make both planets prosper even more! Asgard is going to apply for a special status with the UN to strengthen bonds with Earth and to make sure things stay peaceful. Till next time, this is Tony Stark signing off.”

The red dot disappeared.

“Shall I post this to SI’s website and Youtube?” Friday asked, amusement clear in her voice.

“Go for it.” Tony was smiling to himself, already imagining the uproar his video would cause. “I’m not taking any calls, Friday.”

“Yes, Boss.” Tony stepped out of his suit, opening a small slot that he had in all of his suits. He pulled out a credit card.

Tony entered Sugar Cookie, a high-end lingerie story that Tony was familiar with. He had spent a pretty penny here, buying gifts for... The store clerks greeted him with smiles, recognizing him and knowing he was a big spender.

Tony had Hela’s measurements memorized due to his thorough perusal of her lovely body.

One thing Tony had noticed about Asgard is that they didn’t have lace. He was happy to rectify that.

Tony stuck to the lingerie that was black and green, occasionally throwing in a red one. On a whim he also got one that was covered in pink hearts. Hela would probably hate it, but seeing her reaction would be worth it.

Tony bought her a few loose negligees that were similar to the oversized shirts she liked to wear to bed.

He debated on garter belts since from what he’d seen, Asgard didn’t have them or thigh high stockings. He bought a few for Hela to try out. Tony had all the items sent to Stark Tower.

When he exited the boutique, he was surrounded by the paparazzi. He ignored them and their questions easily.

Inside the suit Tony saw that he’d missed 62 calls, had 21 new messages, and a new Twitter tag, #TonyOnAsgard, was trending.

“Anything of importance?” Tony asked as he took to the sky.

“Everette Ross left a few messages—”

“Is the world in danger?” Tony asked, interrupting her.

“No.”

“Then I don’t care what he has to say.” It was surprisingly relieving to say that. Tony smiled to himself.

“Peter Parker also sent you a text message, saying he’d like to talk.”

“Hmm.” Tony had nearly forgotten about the kid. After the Vulture situation and Peter turning down being an Avenger the kid had been doing fine on his own. Happy had been watching out for him while Tony tended to other things. “Give me his location and tell him I’ll be there soon.”

Tony changed his trajectory. It wasn’t hard to find Peter. He was anxiously sitting in his apartment. Tony figured May was at work.

“Mr. Stark! Oh my gosh! Did you really go to Asgard!? What’s it like? Can I look at some of their technology? Do you have super powers now? Can I see Asgard? Do you think Aunt May will let me visit Asgard? Does this mean you’re leaving?” Peter’s brown eyes were wide as he shot off a hundred questions at once.

Tony made the stop gesture with his hand. “Slow down, kid. Give me a chance to answer. And what did I tell you about calling me Mr. Stark?”

“You said not to,” Peter said, sounding cowed. Tony patted him on his head. Mentors did that, right?

“To answer your questions, yes I went to Asgard and it’s amazing. I can convince May to let you visit. I’m as strong as an Asgardian, but don’t tell anyone. I’ll be splitting my time between here and Asgard, but I’ll probably spend more time on Asgard.”

“Why?” It was a simple question and one Tony hadn’t expected.

“Between you and me, kid, I like it better there. No one is breathing down my neck or just waiting for me to fu—to mess up.” Did he just censor himself? “Asgard is also a treasure trove of technology and medicine. I’m a futurist and Asgard is the future.”

“But, Mr. Star—Mr. Tony, I mean, Tony, with great power comes great responsibility. You can’t just abandon Earth.” Tony could read what Peter was really saying. You can’t just abandon me.

“I’m not abandoning Earth or you. Asgard has an eye in the sky. They’ll look out for you and call me if you need anything. Happy will also help and you have,” Tony paused, trying to remember the name Peter had given to his suit’s AI, “Karen. And don’t rule your aunt out. She’s been supportive since she learned you were Spider-Man.” After some cajoling by Tony.

Peter sighed, his shoulders slumping. “Okay.” Peter bit his lip before blushing. “Can you give me dating tips?” Peter surprised him again. “There’s this girl that I like. She’s super abrasive, but in a fun way.”

“You’re barking up the wrong tree, kid. I have a long history of one-night stands and I’ve only been in a long relationship once. The only advice I can give you is to see her as an individual, not part of a collective, if that makes any sense. It’s embarrassing, but talk to your aunt. She’ll know more about these types of things than I do.” Tony patted his head again. “Swing by SI’s R&D department sometime. You can get elbow deep in some Asgardian tech there.”

Peter brightened up at Tony’s offer. They talked for just short of two hours. Peter’s enthusiasm was a bit overwhelming, but had its charm. They parted on good terms and with the promise for later get togethers.

Tony spent a while shopping for luxury items to take to Asgard, as well as gifts. He got Bruce his favorite tea, Hela a few philosophy books on the hunch she’d think they were hilarious, for Thor he got Hulk hands so that he could pretend to be the ‘strongest Avenger’, and for Loki he bought a plush Thor doll. Tony looked forward to seeing Loki’s reaction to that.

He went to Stark Tower and dropped off the new schematics at R&D before heading to his own lab to see his three bot kids. He immediately got a face full of fire suppressant.

“Thanks, Dum-E,” Tony said while wiping away the white foam. U and Butterfingers were circling around him, beeping and letting out a high-pitched noise Tony probably hadn’t been able to hear before godhood. “Calm down, daddy’s here now.”

That seemed to have absolutely no effect. Tony had only been gone a week, but he couldn’t fault them for being worried. They had no idea where he’d been or if he’d ever be back. Thankfully Friday had kept them calm with her unwavering confidence in him, something he probably didn’t deserve.

Tony cooed and said sweet nothings to his ‘bots before going to the utility sink to wipe off the worst of the (now sticky) foam.

“Boss Man, I’ve finished printing off the medical studies and biology research papers that Dr. Banner missed in his absence. Anything else for him?” Friday asked.

“No, that’s good.” Despite Tony’s distaste for paper, he had a printer in his workshop for things just like this.

Bruce hadn’t asked for the latest research, but he didn’t have to. Tony didn’t want his friend to get bored in his new home or for him to be tempted back to the hellscape that was Earth.

Dum-E bumped into Tony, a smoothie of questionable origins in his claws. “Thanks.” He took it and pretended to take a sip. Dum-E happily whirred. “Alright, my techno-babies, here’s the plan: Daddy’s been given a new job as Chief Advisor, so we’re all moving up to Asgard! I’ve done a bit of prep, but there’s still more to do on both ends.” Butterfingers made a worried noise. “I know moving somewhere new can be scary,” he learned that when he was shipped off to boarding school on the other side of the country at 12 years old, "especially since it’s to a different realm, but we’ll be together and that’s the most important thing.”

Tony looked at each of his ‘bots. In hushed beeps they were conferring with each other. Tony waited patiently, trying not to fidget too much. What the ‘bots thought would weigh heavily on what he did. Other than Friday, they were his only family.

Dum-E turned towards Tony fast, nearly whacking him in the shoulder. He gave an enthusiastic nod of his claw while his chassis moved to side. Tony broke out into a grin. He petted each one of them before he started putting together a few things to take to Asgard.

He told them about Hela and how much of a fuck up Odin was. He talked about how Loki was more of a drama queen than he expected, how Thor could be a puppy dog on occasion, that Bruce was back and had made some friends. He described the technology that he’d only just started to uncover.

Tony’s ‘bots and Friday listened raptly, occasionally making noises of acknowledgement.

“Ms. Potts is calling again,” Friday warned. Tony held back a sigh. Talking to her was still too painful, even though he had a new lady in his life. He had needed her the most after Rhodey died, but his death cemented in her mind that Tony’s lifestyle was too dangerous for her to handle. She still carried the mantel of Stark Industries CEO, but their business relationship was distant.

“Update her on the schematics I sent to R&D and answer any questions she has, but I don’t want to talk to her right now.”

“On it, Boss Man.” It was such a relief to have someone he could depend on, someone who wouldn’t betray him.

It was nearly 10 PM by the time he made it to his penthouse. All his packages had been delivered—And then some. Tony looked at the stacks upon stacks of shopping bags and could only think one thing: Loki.

“Friday, please tell me Loki didn’t steal all this,” Tony said while peeking into one bag. It was filled with high end hair products.

“Why would he need to steal? Your letter said to get him a credit card with unlimited funds,” Friday said, sounding hesitant.

Tony closed his eyes and counted to ten.

“You know what? I’m not even mad. Shopping’s not that bad considering he could be burning the city down—Please tell me he’s not burning the city down!”

“His cellphone GPS tracker puts him at Broadway.”

“Oh, thank god—Wait, why does he need a cell? Loki doesn’t have friends.”

“Au contraire, Loki has made plenty of ‘friends’ at the nightclubs he frequented every night. It helped that he happily bought everyone drinks.” Friday sounded amused. “Sound like anyone we know?”

Tony snorted. “Those days are behind me. I’m a one-woman man now.”

“Whatever you say, Boss Man.”

“Ye of little faith,” Tony mumbled under his breath as he started snooping through Loki’s hoard. It looked like he’d hit every store in New York, and then some. “Thank god I’m rich.”

Tony found an assortment of novelty items, Avengers Bobbleheads, a fake gun that popped out a flag that read ‘Bang!’ when triggered, multiple packs of googly eyes, and a gold statue of a cat.

Tony was almost afraid to look through the rest of the bags.

Tony did his best to separate his gifts from Loki’s accumulated junk.

A dull buzzing caught Tony’s attention. He followed it through the penthouse and into the kitchen. The source was coming from inside the walk-in pantry. “Will something kill me if I open this door?” Tony asked, feeling exasperated.

“Unknown. I don’t have any cameras in there. I’ve been picking up readings from the pantry since Loki’s first night staying here.”

“Great,” Tony deadpanned. He opened the door before he could stop himself. Inside was a thick column of light and inside it was a red and blue blur. He reached towards it, but pulled back when he felt static electricity. He closed the pantry door. “Not my problem.”

Tony went to his bedroom to get cleaned up, and found that someone(s) had pulled off a Goldilocks. When he opened his closet, all his clothes were gone, replaced with green and black ensembles that wouldn’t fit him. He really shouldn’t have been surprised, but he was.

At least Loki had left his toothbrush untouched. He hesitated to use it though. Loki had probably dunked it in the toilet.  

Tony trekked back to his lab to use the full bathroom there. He washed up, happy to use some of his own soap rather than the pasty stuff they had in Asgard. He touched up his goatee then plucked away a few stray hairs on his eyebrows before brushing his pearly whites. His once battle worn and nearly decrepit body had been revitalized with godhood. Tony was determined not to put his body through the ringer again.

Tony plopped down on the couch in his penthouse, after shoving off some shopping bags. He put up his feet and motioned for Friday to turn on the TV. She split the screen into fourths, each one showing a different newscast with subtitles—All speculating about his video message earlier in the day.

He was starting to doze off when Friday alerted him to a certain mage popping out of nowhere.

“Oh, you’re here,” Loki said while lowering his sunglasses. He was sipping at something from Starbucks, wearing a Wicked t-shirt, black jeans, and boots that looked perfect for curb stomping.

“Yes, here I am. In my house.” Tony prowled over to him, Loki eyeing him speculatively. “In my house that I opened up to you. You disrespected my hospitality.”

Loki scoffed. “You should be pleased to serve me, you mortal.” Loki took an obnoxious sounding sip of his coffee.

Tony held back a grin. Loki had apparently forgotten about Tony’s new godhood. He was happy to remind him.

In a smooth motion he lifted Loki up in the fireman’s carry. Loki dropped his drink while letting out an indignant squawk. Tony wasn’t done though. Loki deserved a spanking.

Smack!

“That’s for altering my letter to Friday.”

Smack!

“That’s for spending money that wasn’t yours.”

Smack!

“And that’s for acting like an asshole.”

Tony lowered Loki back to his feet, stepping out of his range quickly. Loki’s face was beet red and his mouth was gaped open. In the blink of the eye, he teleported away.

Chapter Text

There was a hamster cage sitting in the guest bathroom. A fancy one with multiple levels, a running wheel, and colorful tunnels. The little food tray had torn up cold cuts and cheese in it. There was no hamster in it though. Instead there was a tiny woman with black hair that was wearing Asgardian armor. Tony figured she must be Sif.

The miniature woman was shouting at him… squeaking at him.

“God damnit, Loki.” Without thinking Tony opened the little cage door for her. Sif’s squeak-speak grew more insistent as she hopped out of the cage. “Friday, can you translate please?”

“She is vowing revenge on Loki and demands to be taken to her sword, which is in the fridge,” Friday said, sounding mildly amused.

Tony lowered his hand to the countertop. “Wanna hop a ride?” Sif’s face screwed up into a tiny scowl. She thrust her chin up before climbing onto his hand. Her little feet almost tickled his palm.

Tony carefully took her to the kitchen, setting her down on the counter. He opened the fridge. Sure enough the sword and a shield were there—and the inside of the fridge was trashed. It looked like Loki had just smashed all the shelves to make room for the weapon. Why he insisted on putting it in the fridge was beyond Tony.

He took them out and set them next to Sif. She grabbed onto the hilt of the sword and made a valiant, but ultimately futile, effort to pick it up. What did she think would happen if she did?

“This is definitely not what Hela meant when she ordered him to get you.” Sif let out a questioning chirp that didn’t need translating. “Figures he didn’t tell you the details.” Tony rolled his eyes. Loki was a handful. Tony now understood why he was called the God of Mischief. “Loki was pretending to be Odin, but when the real Odin died—No, before you ask, Loki didn’t kill him. When Odin died his first child Hela was released from her banishment. Since then she’s been crowned queen. Thor fully supports her.”

Little Sif raged, walking back and forth on the counter. She tried to raise her sword again with the same results.

Great, Tony had another problematic Asgardian to deal with.

“Your concerns have been noted.” Tony pulled out a popcorn bowl and put her in it. The sides were too steep for her to climb out of. He grabbed her sword and shield then carried her out to the party deck. He set them down and stepped away, looking out for any birds that could swoop in and steal her. “Skurge! Beam her up and send her to Prince Thor.” He was better suited to ease her worries. The Bifrost opened and with a flash of light Sif was gone.

Tony sighed in relief, trying not to think of what other surprises Loki had in store.

After eating some food Tony went down to the lab. He spent half the day building things to make his transition to Asgard easier, all the while rocking out. His ‘bots were happy to help, jamming with him and bringing him the tools he needed.

He picked up Dum-E with his bare hands just to see their reaction. His ‘bots were properly impressed by his newfound strength, making Tony laugh.

Friday alerted him to the fact that the math textbooks he’d ordered were in the loading dock. Tony had decided that for the new schools math would be introduced first because it was universal. Thank god for All-Speak, or all the textbooks would have to be translated then reprinted.

On Asgard there were no teachers, only private tutors for children of nobles. Friday’s search for proper, Earth teachers was going well. Many people were jumping at the opportunity to go to a new world. It helped that Tony planned on paying them a good wage, unlike what most schools could pay.

At midday Tony was starting to get hungry. He’d normally would not feel hunger pains since he ate in the morning, but his new physiology needed more fuel than the average human did. He decided to brave the outside world and go to a bistro that knew how to be discreet.

But when Tony reached the elevator it didn’t open immediately. He gave one of Friday’s cameras a questioning look.

“As per protocol your use of the elevator is priority. Ms. Potts was in it when you pushed the call button, rerouting her here instead of her chosen destination.” Friday paused. “Is that okay, Boss?”

Tony sighed. “Yeah, it’s fine. Might as well get this out of he way.”

He watched the numbers above the elevator descend. When the doors open Pepper blinked in confusion before smiling in an all too familiar way. “Tony, did you get my messages?”

“No, I’ve been hiding out in my lab. How about we get drinks in my penthouse and we discuss whatever needs discussing?” Tony immediately wanted to take that back. His penthouse was too informal and adding in drinks just made it worse.

“Sure, I’ve been dying for an excuse to take off these heels.” Tony entered the elevator. The ride wasn’t nearly as awkward as he expected it to be. Maybe they could be friends one day. Tony had forgotten that he wasn’t the only one staying at the penthouse. “You’ve been shopping,” Pepper commented, humor in her voice.

“You know me.” Tony gave a half shrug and walked over to the bar. He fixed them martinis, which was Pepper’s preferred drink.

“Congratulation on becoming immortal,” Pepper said after taking a sip.

“Yeah, I didn’t see that one coming.” Tony chuckled to himself. “Asgard needed help so I helped it. This was just the reward.”

“SI’s stock prices haven’t been this high since—” Pepper cut herself off. The highest the stock prices were was when Tony returned from Afghanistan, and then they plummeted when he announced they were pulling out of the weapon’s industry. “I just came from R&D. Some of the engineers have been there all night to work on the Asgardian technology you brought back.”

Tony would have to check in on his scientists before he left again. Before Tony could speak there was the slight pop noise that signaled Loki’s arrival. He appeared in the living room, right out of Pepper’s line of sight.

Loki took both of them in before a wicked smile appeared on his face. Tony gave him a warning look, but was too late. Loki transformed into a voluptuous, half naked woman.

“Tony, that’s where you went,” Loki said in a sultry voice. She giggled. “Thank you for buying me all these things, you didn’t have to.” Loki skirted past Pepper and to Tony. He tried draping himself on Tony, but Tony shrugged him off. “Is she here for that threesome you promised me?” Loki asked while twirling a long ringlet of blond hair. “I still need to clean up after that orgy we went to last night.”

Smack!

Tony gave Loki a good spank on the rear. He let out an eep and turned back into himself. “The insolence—”

“Don’t worry, Pep. He’s here on official business, not to try to take over the world again,” Tony reassured her.

“Really, Tony?” she asked while looking exasperated. She finished off her martini. “The less I know, the better.” Pepper got off the stool she’d been sitting on. She headed to the door, but glanced back at him. “I’ll have documents for you to sign sent up. Please make sure he won’t be here to scare the intern.”

“I’ll do my best, but no guarantee.” He waved at Pepper, ignoring Loki’s ranting. He turned to Loki, who was red in the face. He grinned at him. “You were pretending to be my lover. I was just playing along.”

“What do you think Hela will say when I tell her you groped me repeatedly?” Loki hissed out, crossing his arms in front of him.

“She’ll probably just laugh. Honestly, Loki, I don’t know why you’re spazzing. It was just a lovetap.”

“Love?” Loki choked on the word.

“Calm down, princess.” Tony headed towards the elevator. “I’m going to lunch. Want to come with?” Tony didn’t wait for his response, certain that Loki was used to being catered to. Tony was long past catering to others. And it should be a good lesson to the prince.

The elevator doors closed with only Tony inside.

Pop!

Loki appeared next to Tony, back in the form of the blond woman, but this time wearing proper clothes. They didn’t say anything to each other on the trip to the bistro. Tony could tell Loki was acting haughty… or maybe that was just his natural personality.

As they entered the bistro, Loki’s expression screwed up in distaste. “This is the restaurant? How plebian.”  

Tony rolled his eyes. “You don’t have to be here if you don’t want to be. I’m happy to eat alone.”

Loki thinned his lips, making his glamour of a woman look like she was pouting.

They were led to a table near the back, menus without prices handed to them. Loki let out a sound of distaste while looking at the menu.

“Well, princess, do you know what you want, or should I order for you?” Tony taunted. Loki glared at him in return.

“I’m quite capable, if you must know.”

A moment later they placed their orders. They descended into silence. Tony was never a fan of silence. When the food came he spoke again. “I like your blond hair.” Loki nodded regally before— “It really reminds me of your brother.” Loki hissed like snake, reeling backwards. Tony burst out laughing. “You’re what I would have pictured if someone told me Thor had a sister, ya know, before I met Hela.” Tony scooped up a spoonful of his soup of the day. “I like darker hair.”

Loki blushed again. “Your opinion means nothing to me.”

“I never said it had to.” Tony shrugged and tore up a roll to dip in his soup. Loki was crunching away at his salad. “What have you been up to in New York, other than spending my money?”

“You really aren’t in a place to criticize about using other’s resources. In your little video you said you’d be selling off Asgardian knowledge—Knowledge that is not meant for mortals.”

“Aww, you watched my video? That’s so cute.” Tony flustered Loki again. He decided to put Loki out of his misery. “Most of the money I make off those will be reinvested in Asgard. Books and schools won’t pay for themselves.”

“Yes, let’s talk about your plan to educate the masses,” Loki said snidely. “They’ll start getting ideas! Norns forbid they start thinking they know better than those that were bred to lead!”

Tony burst out laughing. “You’re such a fucking elitist,” he said through his laughing. “You know I might marry Hela some day and become king of Asgard, right?”

Loki’s peachy skinned glamour lost all its color. He looked faint.

Tony continued to eat as Loki recovered from the shock.

Loki subtly sat up, becoming alert. Tony tried to scan the area discreetly, but didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. He trusted Loki’s instincts, even though he didn’t trust Loki.

“Darling, I don’t think now is the place for hanky-panky,” Loki said, his voice lilted into a tease.

Tony grinned, falling into an old role. “I thought public sex was on your bucket list? I wanna help check it off and get you off.” Tony gave his best flirtatious grin.

Loki leaned towards him—and his perfect breasts somehow made his empty salad dish fall into his lap just as a waitress tripped and spilled a coke. The liquid was caught in the dish, leaving Loki spotless.

“Oh! I’m terribly sorry!” the brunette waitress said, her hands fretting as she looked at the ground. “The bathroom is just—”

“Stow it, Natasha,” Tony said, no warmth in his voice. Her face looked like a stranger’s, but he knew her figure and even with a voice modulator he recognized her.

“My name is Martha.” The ‘waitress’ blinked in confusion before giving Tony a pointed look then glancing at Loki, who she didn’t recognize because of his glamour.

“Stop playing games. You’re just making a fool of yourself,” Tony said in a bored voice. He had expected the first time he saw her after she went on the run that he’d be angry, feel betrayed because if Steve knew about how Tony’s parents died, then Natasha definitely did too. Her bashful smile slipped away.

“The civilian doesn’t need to hear what I have to say.” Natasha looked down on Loki.

Loki lips twisted into a smile, showing too many teeth. “You don’t recognize me? We had quite a bit of fun last time we met. You played the part I cast for you perfectly.”

Natasha raised her chin slightly in a show of arrogance. She gave Tony a nearly scolding look before sitting down.

Tony was already fed up with her attitude. “You have three minutes.”

“You should be focusing on bringing us back, not gallivanting in Asgard.”

“Bring who back?” Tony asked while resting his chin on his hand not bothering to hide his amusement.

Natasha scowled, looking more like herself than what her digital mask should allow. Some spy she was.

“Now’s not the time to play around. Something is going to come along bigger and worst than anything we’ve faced before—”

“No, shit. It’s like I tried telling you all that and you ignored me,” Tony drawled, not bothering to hide his boredom. Loki snickered.

“The world will need the Avengers, all the Avengers,” Natasha said, ignoring his interruption.

“Good thing all the Avengers are accounted for, me and Vision.”

“Don’t be petty. We’re talking about the fate of the world.” Natasha was starting to show her frustration.

“No, you’re talking about your little band of outlaws, and frankly I don’t give a shit about them.” It felt so good saying that and actually meaning it. Since Asgard he’d felt so free. A thought occurred to him. Maybe becoming a god had emotionally distanced him from humanity.

Rhodey once accused him of caring too much. Maybe he had been right.

“Tony, we’re your family.” Natasha was laying it on thick, but Tony wasn’t having any of it. He pulled out his cellphone. “What are you doing?”

“I’m letting the whole world know where those pieces of shit are holed up and that you’re here,” Tony said as his thumbs did all the work.

Natasha’s hand lashed out to take the phone, but Loki caught her by the wrist. Natasha tried to yank herself free, but Loki tightened his grip, breaking her bones. Undeterred, she shot her Widow Bites at Loki, but the volts of electricity didn’t even make him flinch. Loki dragged her onto the table and hogtied her with a rope that hadn’t been there a second ago.

“Tony! You’re making a mista—” Loki stuffed a napkin in her mouth, cutting her off.

“The police should be here in five minutes.” Tony reached forward and pulled off Natasha’s wig and digital mask, revealing her to the onlookers, (some of which were pulling out their cellphones to record the scene).

Loki gestured to one of the waiters who was fretting about. “Can you bring me a menu? I’d like to order dessert.”

Tony laughed at Loki’s blasé attitude and decided to treat himself to dessert too.

Chapter Text

It was the second day in a row Tony had caused an uproar in the news. He wasn’t really paying attention to the TV though. There was something far more interesting happening in the room. Loki was going through his shopping bags and trying on different clothes and different forms.

It was probably a good thing he was magicking the clothes on rather than changing. It had only been two days since Tony was last in Hela’s bed, but he was pulsing with sexual energy. It didn’t help that Loki liked putting on a show, whether it was for Tony or himself was a question Tony didn’t have the answer to.

Loki spun and blew kisses at the full-sized mirror he had conjured up, pulling his hair back as the strands shifted colors, dropping and gaining height between breaths. It was amazing, not that Tony would ever tell him that.

“What do you even really look like?” Tony asked an hour in. He’d been sipping on mulled wine that Loki had graciously provided and he was feeling a nice buzz, just the right amount to loosen his lips while still keeping his wits.

Loki froze in front of the mirror, something foul coloring his expression. He somehow looked more sinister than when they first met. Loki took in a deep breath and his anger eased away. “I grew up with one face, but was born with another.” Loki stalked over to him, towering over Tony’s sitting form. His face took on a blue tinge. “I was raised to believe Jotuns were monsters, that they stole children and tore them apart, and craved only violence.” His eyes turned red and lines raised on his skin. “In an instant I realized I was a monster, that I was no son of Odin, but a being so pathetic that even my own parents didn’t want me.” Loki snarled, baring fangs and sounding animalistic. “This, Tony Stark, is my real face. One that marks me as a monster in the eyes of Asgard and guarantees I’ll never be loved.”

Loki turned his back to Tony, his long coattails slapping him in the face.

“So just change their minds,” Tony said, not holding back. “If they think Jotuns are monsters, prove them wrong.”

“It’s not that simple,” Loki hissed out, his back still to Tony. His clenched fists were losing their color, going back to the shade Tony was used to. “Asgard fought for over a century against the Jotuns. There’s no erasing hatred like that.” Loki paused. “I was despised before I knew what I really was. Revealing my true nature will only prove their view on Jotuns right.” Loki turned towards him as he spoke.

“Everyone thought I was a womanizing waste of space for most of my life—”

“Which you are,” Loki interrupted, a slight smirk on his face. Tony rolled his eyes.

“But I changed their minds. I gave up the weapons industry, partying, and being a man-whore. I rebranded myself as a hero and a man of the people.” Tony tried to sound inspirational, but Loki looked unimpressed.  

“And yet all your comrades turned against you. You are leaving a world you once defended whole heartedly.” Loki looked vindictive.

Tony shrugged. “I was blind to how fucked up the Avengers were, but I’ve learned my lesson. They abandoned me, but I would have left them myself once I saw their true colors. Earth doesn’t see my true value. I’m not leaving it completely, but I’m not going to throw myself on a sword for it anymore. You can change Asgard’s perception of you. You just have to try.” Tony leaned forward in his seat. “That being said, it won’t be easy and you’re going to have set backs. I’m guessing you’re a stubborn bastard though. If you set your mind to it, you can do it.”

Loki pursed his lips and shifted on his feet. He let out a huff and went back to modeling his new clothes.

Tony counted that as a win.

*

This was a bad idea.

Tony’s heart was racing, his eyes predatory, and mouth dry.

The music was pulsing with life, so loud it should have been deafening. Heat was building, the smell of sweat and alcohol was prevalent, lights flashed hypnotically.

He couldn’t look away from Loki’s dancing form. The way his hips moved and how his hands drifted over his body like he was the only one in the room. As far as Tony was concerned, he was.

Tony gripped his drink, the condensation wetting his hand. He’d switched to human alcohol and the only buzz he left was caused by watching Loki.

No one approached either of them. Tony had cast some spell on them, giving them privacy in the packed club. They had come out to dance, but Tony was glued to his seat. His cock was straining against his jeans, any movement being sweet torture.

Tony had to keep reminding himself of Hela and that Tony hadn’t cheated once in his life and wasn’t going to start now.

Loki seemed to be aware of his staring, casting his poison green eyes on him, hooded and full of promises. All Tony had to do was reach out and pull him into his arms and the rest would fall in place.

Tony licked his lips again.

There was also the distinct possibility that Loki was testing him, pushing him. Tony wouldn’t be surprised if Loki was just being mischievous, that he would pull back at the last second, leaving Tony hard and alone.

Tony wanted to turn the tables on him, whisper filthy words in his ear and make him gasp without even touching him.

He wouldn’t get lost in sex the way he used to though. He wasn’t about to fall back into old habits.

Tony finished off his drink and left. Loki could find his own way home.

*

Loki was definitely teasing him. Whatever had brought on his change of behavior was beyond Tony.

Loki shimmied his butt as he leaned down, grabbing another bag and disappearing it into his ‘pocket dimension’. Loki hadn’t explained that one to Tony despite him nagging him all morning to.

They were getting ready to go back to Asgard. Loki had chosen the plays he thought Asgard would appreciate and Friday was making the arrangements to bring a few theater troupes to Asgard.

Tony had given her plenty of other responsibilities and he was confident his girl would accomplish them flawlessly. It would probably be a few more visits until he could transfer her to Asgard. Till then he had her mentoring her replacement on Earth, an AI named Helen. (Tony couldn’t bring himself to build an AI with a male voice, not after Jarvis.)

Tony was disappearing his own things with the pocket dimension Loki had ‘imposed’ on him. Tony was wary on why Loki had used that specific word, but didn’t want to pull that string.

It was a strange spell. Tony only needed to touch an object and imagine putting it in his pocket. It would disappear in an instant without a trace of it left. Loki warned that putting anything living in the pocket dimension could cause it to invert and spit everything out at once.

To take something out of his pocket dimension he had to picture it then imagine taking it out of a pocket. From the amount of clothes and knickknacks Loki was storing away, he had to have an amazing memory.

“You should consider teaching magic,” Tony said, causing Loki to pause. He turned to face Tony. “Thor told me how you love magic. Teaching people will give you a chance to change how Asgard sees at you.” Especially since only the nobles had been allowed to learn magic. He was certain there were some ‘peasant’ Asgardians had wanted to learn, but had been forbidden. “You have to start somewhere.”

Tony didn’t mention his and Hela’s plans for Jotunheim, helping rebuild it and brining some Jotuns to Asgard to learn more about infrastructure and helpful knowledge that may have been lost due to the war and Jotunheim’s later ravagement. They’d cross that road when they got there.

“I don’t think the Aesir would take kindly to me teaching their children,” Loki said bitterly.

“Not just the children, anyone who wants to learn. You are also underestimating what parents are willing to do to give their kids a better life. With their new skills they’ll have new job opportunities, some even in the palace and on other realms.” Tony would also teach them engineering and see what the next generation could come up with. Tony was a futurist and firmly believed in progress.

“Not everyone is capable of magic. There are those that will only be able to create a spark of fire. I will be despised for turning some away.”

“Then make up some test. Make some sort of measuring device that’s independent of you. Have different classes for different skill levels after teaching the basics. It’s not that complicated.” Loki didn’t respond. “Thor said you’re the best mage in Asgard. It shouldn’t be too difficult for you to figure out.”

Loki narrowed his eyes, looking dangerous. “Are you trying to play on my ego?”

“Is it working?” Tony asked, half teasing.

“Yes.”

“Then yeah.”

*

They were all packed up and ready to go when there was a sudden flash of light. A bald woman and a pudgy Asian man appeared from a circular portal—a type of portal Tony had seen before.

“You didn’t,” Tony said to Loki before anyone else could speak. Loki was grinning like mad.

“He’s this way,” Loki led them to the kitchen and opened the pantry. The column of blue light was still there. Loki waved his hand and it disappeared. Dr. Strange came tumbling out, looking like a mess.

He tried to get on his hands and knees as he vomited only to fall into the mess.

Strange’s friends stepped forward to help him.

“Not so fun falling with no idea when it will end, now is it?” Loki asked snidely.

Tony sighed. “God damnit, Loki.”

Chapter Text

Tony liked the smell of Hela’s skin. It wasn’t something he noticed at first. Her scent should have scared him, warned him away, but instead it drew him in. She smelled like the emptiness of space, the faint scent he’d picked up on when he flew through the portal. It had to have been from her banishment.

He’d never asked her about what happened when Odin exiled her. Tony was almost afraid to.

Hela sighed. She almost sounded wistful. Tony pulled her closer in bed. He kissed the back of her neck, making her huff out a laugh. He trailed his hand down the curves of her body, but her hand caught his, putting a stop to his exploration.

“How do you still have energy?” Hela asked as she turned over to face him. Her blue eyes were hooded.

Tony chuckled. “No idea.” Tony gave her a kiss on the nose and she looked disgusted. It only made him laugh harder. “It doesn’t help that Loki was shaking his little ass at me on Earth.” Hela raised a perfectly manicured eyebrow. “I think it was revenge on his part. I had to give him a spanking the day before for tricking my daughter into giving him unlimited money.” Tony grinned. “You should have seen his face.”

An impish look appeared on Hela’s face. “I would have liked to see that.”  

They stayed in bed for another hour, dozing on add off, only interrupted by Fenrir’s snoring.

*

“I didn’t know the peasants were so stupid,” Hela said while setting down the report Tony had given her earlier.

“Stupid isn’t the right word.” Tony leaned back in his chair, stretching as he watched her. “I’d go with uneducated. Not everyone had private tutors like me and you did.”

Thor grumbled something from the other side of the table, half-asleep. They’d been working together for a few hours now and it was really starting to wear on him.

Loki was also at their table of four. He was alert, but more focused on flipping through the different math textbooks Tony had brought from Earth. He was putting together different lesson plans even though he would only be teaching magical theory and application classes. He seemed to really be enjoying himself. It made Tony feel more confident that he’d be a good teacher.

Tony couldn’t help but picture him in a sexy professor’s get up with glasses. It was a tantalizing image.

He realized he’d been staring when Loki started smirking at him. Whoops.

“What is the point of teaching them all this?” Thor asked. He was slumped forward in his seat, chin resting on his hand.

Tony sighed. “Math is… magical,” he said wistfully.

“No, magic is magical,” Loki deadpanned, looking pleased with himself.

Tony shot him the stink eye before continuing. “Everything is built on math. It dictates the universe with physics.” Tony took in a deep breath to make a speech, before reading the room. They weren’t interested. He’d make it short and simple instead. “We need math to erect buildings, maintain and make infrastructure, and advance our understanding of the universe.” Tony paused and shuffled through his papers. He pulled out three copies of one of a new proposal. “People will also need it if we want to establish a bank.”

He handed them the papers and gave them a moment to read them.

“One of Asgard’s major problems is its money lending system, or lack thereof,” Tony continued when he had their attention again. “People are discouraged from borrowing because lenders have ridiculously high interest rates. There’s also the worry that the money they borrowed could be stolen before it could be invested, fucking the lendee over. Banks are essential for investing in the future and being able to buy things that are beyond the amount they currently have in order to create a profitable business. It will stimulate the economy and help Asgard grow.”

“Asgard’s treasury would be used initially?” Hela asked, even though the answer was on the proposal he’d given them. “How would we recoup the money?”

“Loans aren’t free. The lendee will have to pay interest on the loan insuring we get back more than we give.” Tony smiled as the others gave him nods of understanding. “There’s other aspects, but we’ll get to those later, when lunch isn’t about to be served.”

“Yes!” Thor nearly shouted as he got up. Loki sighed at his antics and Hela smiled softly.

*

Tony woke to the sound of bells chiming, like that of a church, but far more numerous.

Fenrir was awake and trotting around in excitement. Hela sat up and was grinning like a fool.

“What is it?” Tony asked while holding back a yawn.

Hela was out of bed without a moment’s delay. “I ordered the bells to ring if the excursion to Heven was successful! My sister must be here!” In a haze of green Hela was fully dressed and her bed-head was no more. Tony really needed to learn that spell.

Hela teleported away. Fenrir busted down the closed bedroom door to go after her, leaving wood splinters on the ground. They didn’t pierce Tony’s enhanced skin as he headed to the bathroom to get cleaned up.

*

The four of them were gathered in the throne room. Hela was wearing one of her more grandeur outfits with her helmet in place on her head. Thor was standing to her right on the stairs while Loki was to her left. Tony was a few steps below Thor, it was still a very prestigious spot though.

The gold clad guards flanked the long throne room. Only a few nobles and peasants had gathered to see the spectacle since it was such short notice.

Tony grinned when he saw Hela clutching the armrests in excitement. He’d never seen her smile so brightly before. It was a good look on her.  

Frandral, Hogun, and the others that had been part of the expedition entered the golden room, a redheaded woman in the middle of the group. The first thing Tony thought about when he saw her was that she was dressed like a videogame character. Her armor and clothing were nearly nonexistent, a metal bra, a large belt that dipped, partially hiding what amounted to underwear. She wore thigh-high metal boots. Her arm and shoulder guards matched the golden metal, but with hints of silver. On her back was an oversized sword. The strangest thing about her though was her completely white eyes.

Tony thought she was blind for a moment before she looked up at Hela and smiled. In that moment, they truly looked like sisters.

“Aldrif, welcome back home,” Hela said, her voice carrying as she stood. Hela descended the stairs and embraced her half-sister. They exchanged whispers before Aldrif took a knee and bowed her head.

“Queen Hela, I am happy to be back. Please call me Angela, for it is the name I grew up with. I have longed to see you since the moment I went to Heven.” She paused to look up at Hela. “I have trained for years on end to become a great warrior and force Odin to bring you back, but it seems that was not necessary. Will you accept my pledge of loyalty?”

“Of course.” Hela was looking down at her with tender love in her eyes.

“I, Aldrif Mirianadottir, pledge my life and soul to you, Queen Hela, and the protection of Asgard.” A shimmering gold appeared around Angela, encompassing her before fading away.

“Rise, my sister, and I shall grant you the godhood that was your right long before you pledged your loyalty.” Gold swirled around Angela again, but was somehow headier, more alive. Hela turned her attention to the onlookers. “Rejoice! Asgard has gained another noble warrior and is stronger because of it!”

Their cheers were deafening.

*

They were all thoroughly sloshed.

Thor and Angela had taken to each other in an instant. They shared a love of fighting and had been exchanging stories for most of the night. The Warriors Three and Sif added in their own bits, forging a friendship with the newest member of Asgard’s court.

Sif did send Loki occasional glares, but he seemed immune to them.

Tony’s impression of Angela was that she was a warrior at heart. She had challenge Thor to a drinking game earlier and had nearly won. When Tony had told her about some of the changes that they were planning she didn’t seem too interested, but was polite enough to listen. She enjoyed his raunchier jokes and were quick with her own. Her completely white eyes were still unnerving though.

Tony was a happy drunk, listening to the stories, more entertained by their facial expressions and reenactments than the actual tales.

Tony did have one rather daunting observation that kept him from completely relaxing. Hela and Loki had been whispering to each other once Angela started talking to the others. The pair kept glancing his way and Tony heard them giggle more than once. Hela would whisper something in Loki’s ear and Loki would blush.

Tony hoped they weren’t talking about him, but he also kind of hoped they were.

He turned his attention away from them, not letting their heated stares influence him. He refilled his goblet. “What does it mean to be a god? Is every Asgardian a god?” Tony asked. That broke apart Loki and Hela.

Loki huffed, somehow sounding derisive. “No, very few Aesir are gods. Not even everyone in this room is a god.” He gestured to the Warriors Three and Sif. “Of Thor’s friends, only Sif has godhood.” Loki sent Sif a look that made her scowl at him in return. “Being a god permits you longevity and strength beyond that of a normal Aesir. It also gives them a domain over something and allows them to use that domain to bless others.” Loki grinned, looking proud of himself. “I am the God of Mischief. Children used to go up to me and ask for my blessing. When I granted it their ability to perpetrate and get away mischief was higher,” Loki said cockily. “Sadly, parents wised up and steer their children away from me.”

Tony rolled his eyes before turning to Thor. “What does your blessing do? Get people hit by lightning?”

Thor puffed out his chest. “I am essential for brewing up a storm in the Sitha territory to refill their water reserve every year!”

Hela clapped sarcastically. “A domain can also be used to curse someone, though it is far more complicated than blessing.” Hela’s expression turned foul. “I am the Goddess of Death. Odin had me place a curse on him, essentially lengthening his life. The curse lasted far longer than I expected it to.” She smiled ruefully. “I am too powerful for my own good.” Hela slammed her goblet on the table, making Tony jump in his seat. “We must find your domain! And Angela’s!” Hela stood from her seat and dragged Tony out of his. “Onward!”

“Onward!” Angela echoed with her goblet raised.

Hela lead the charge through the halls, taking them who knows where. He was lucky that he was a nimble drunk, or he’d be flat on his ass by now. Hela never let up pulling him forward, nearly running. Tony liked this side of her, excited and carefree.

They ended up in a large garden that was picturesque—Excluding a gnarled tree that seemed to sit on the top of a tranquil pond surface.

Before Tony could react, Hela threw him in the pond. Tony was stunned for half a second before swimming back to the surface. If not for his godly physique, Tony would have drowned under the weight of his informal Asgardian armor.

The sudden dunking should have sent his heart racing with panic, considering how he was tortured in Afghanistan, but he was surprisingly alright.

Tony broke the surface and was hit by a second wave from Angela jumping in. She began swimming towards the tree and Tony followed suit. She climbed up the tree and he did the same with far less grace.

“Grab a fig!” Thor called out from the bank.

Tony grumbled to himself as he started scaling the tree. He was too old for this shit.

Angela was already jumping back into the pond, fig in hand, just as Tony reached midway up the tree. He plucked off a fig and (carefully) jumped down and into the water.

Back on shore the leather of Tony’s armor stuck to his skin uncomfortably.

“Knowing your title will strengthen your domain to new levels,” Hela informed them. “Cup the fig in your hands.” She placed her hand over the fig Angela was carrying. Tony could sense energy pulse between them. When Hela pulled away an orange bud had sprouted from the fig. “Show me what lies in her soul,” Hela whisper. The flower bloomed and Hela smiled. She looked at her younger sister. “You are the Goddess of the Hunt!” Hela embraced Angela before pulling back and looked at Thor. “Finally, we have someone who will be able to find that pest Heimdall!”

Thor had the good sense to look reprimanded. He mumbled out an apology.

Hela turned her attention to Tony. She gave his fig the same treatment, but instead of just one flower, Tony got two.

“A man of many titles. Why am I not surprised,” Hela said while glancing at him. She looked back at the flowers. “Show me what lies in his soul.” The flowers bloomed, one gold, the other red. “You are the God of Wealth and…” Hela visibly paled. “I’m doomed. Norns, take it back! Take this wretched title back!” Hela shouted while turning away from Tony and the fig.

“What is it?” Tony asked while trying to stay calm. He had never seen Hela so distressed.

She ran a hand through her hair and looked up at the sky pleadingly. Hela let out a sigh and looked back at Tony. “You are the God of Wealth and of Sex.” She dramatically fell into Loki’s waiting arms and muffled onto his shoulder, “I’ll never get a goodnight’s sleep again.”

Chapter Text


 

It was a spectacle. Tony wasn’t sure how else to describe it.

Tony could only think of one reason why Loki was doing this in the middle of marketplace. Loki was just one dramatic son of a bitch.

People were gathered around him, some whispering to each other.

At first Tony thought Loki was drowning a small child or an animal in a bag. Loki had his arms elbow deep into a wooden barrel. Water splashed in all directions, drenching Loki. His smile was demented, even when a pink piece of fabric slapped him in the face.

This was definitely not good for his image, but Tony got the feeling he didn’t care one bit.

Tony sighed as he approached him. “Loki, what the fuck,” Tony said, trying to fend off a headache.

“Ah, Tony, how wonderful it is to see you,” Loki said, purposefully ignoring the situation at hand. “What brings you to the marketplace? Perhaps some lube now that you’ve been named the God of Wealth and Sex?”

Onlookers murmured to each other at the news of his titles. Tony was fairly certain that nearly all of Asgard would know of it by the end of the night.

Tony would play along with Loki’s nonchalant game. “Lube? No, I can make any woman soaking wet. Though I should probably pick some up for any men that beg for my cock.” Tony gave Loki a pointed look. Loki plunged the flailing cloth further into the water. Tony noticed that the clothing on Loki’s arms was starting to lose its color. “And you? Shopping for new horny helmets?”

“Nay, I have those customly forged. You can’t find anything that wonderful just anywhere.” The fading pink fabric gripped onto the sides of the barrel like a drowning man. “Perhaps you are here as the Chief Advisor? Have you come to inspect the market stalls?”

“No, I was just passing through. It’s the perfect day for a stroll.”

The cloth punched Loki in the face, but he steadfast ignored it. “Indeed, the weather on Asgard is bested by no other. We are known as the Golden Realm both for the palace made of gold and for our perfect weather.”

Were they really talking about the weather? Tony gave up on their game. “Loki, what the fuck?” Tony asked again.

“You saw this morning that Angela could fly without even the help of magic. I felt envious of her aerial grace and decided to find means of my own to fly without wings or hammer.” Water frothed over the edge of the barrel.

“Mhmm,” Tony hummed out. “And how do you plan on doing that?”

“With the Cloak of Levitation, of course.” Loki was slapped again by he garment and again ignored it.

Tony held back a huff. “How does drowning it fit into that?”

“Well, I’d never wear a red cloak. Someone might mistake me for a fool! Dying it is the obvious solution.” Loki dunked the cloak further in the water. Tony tried not to notice how Loki’s wet shirt clung to his form, showing erect nipples—very much to Tony’s taste. “I still haven’t decided between green or some other color. Hela pulls off green better than I do, but green matches my eyes. Perhaps yellow? That is the color my mother favored.” Tony remembered the yellow cape Loki was sporting during his over-dramatic return to Asgard. He hadn’t been a fan.

“I think teal would really bring out the crazy in your eyes,” Tony said in a monotone while smirking. Loki’s eyes lit up.

“You really think so? I’ve been told my eyes are my best feature.” Loki fluttered his eyelashes, damp from the splashing water. Tony’s mouth went dry. He had to remind himself that he was in a relationship with Hela. Loki seemed to read the effect he was causing. His smirk grew larger.

“And where did you acquire this Cloak of Levitation?” The cloth was a pristine white now, having lost all its color.

“I acquired many things while on Midgard.” Loki pulled the cloak from the water. He held onto it tightly and whipped it, sending water onto an onlooker. The woman let out a cluck of annoyance, but didn’t move to leave.

“How can I forget, considering how much of my money you spent. I get the feeling that money wasn’t used to get that cloak though.” Tony really should leave, find Hela and whisper dirty things in her ear. His sex-drive had been ratcheted up since he learned his title earlier in the week. And, he wasn’t certain, but Tony thought he might have gained a few centimeters. He wasn’t about to whip out a ruler and see though.

“It was my right as the victor to choose one of his belongings and take it,” Loki said, referring to Doctor Strange. “This was not even his most prized possession.” Loki wrung out the cloak, paying no mind to how it fought against him. He stared at it blankly for a moment. “I think I’ll dye it a rich purple or perhaps dark blue.” Loki gave him a devilish look, a tease and a promise. “You should come to my room tonight and see the results.” Loki winked at him before teleporting away.

Chapter Text

“This still tastes terrible,” Tony said while putting down the cup of tea. Bruce made a noise in the back of his throat, unaffected by Tony’s comment.

By the expression on Hildy’s face, though she insisted that he call her Brunnhilde, she didn’t like the tea either. Ingrid was still contemplating the taste.

Tony glanced at Ingrid. She didn’t look frail anymore, not that it was hard to look better than a coma patient.

Hildy glared at Tony for looking at her. “You twerp, don’t look at my wife!”

Tony snorted. “Twerp? Really?” Tony couldn’t remember the last time he was called a twerp. Maybe when he was still in the single digits.

Hildy turned to Bruce. “Is that not a proper curse word?”

Bruce shook his head while holding his mug in both hands. “Call him an asshole. That’s more accurate.”

“Bruce! You wound me!” Bruce hid his grin by taking a sip of tea.

Hildy made a disgusted noise. “You asshole. You fool. Are you blind to the atrocities committed by the woman you are bedding? If you were a true hero, you would slay her before she could take another breath.”

“Aye!” Ingrid shouted. “How could you be blind to the millions that she has killed?!”

“You mean the millions she killed on the order of her king and father? The same king you loyally served? Did you ever question his actions? Try to change his ways?” Tony asked, holding back his annoyance. Ingrid and Hildy said nothing. “That makes you complicit—”

“The All-Father was our king! We had no right to question him!” Hildy said confidently, her hand balled into a fist.

“And Hela is now your queen. Why do you suddenly have the right to question your ruler?” Tony could see their tempers rising. Bruce left the room, mumbling an excuse about getting more tea.

“The All-Father banished her. He disowned her. She has no claim on the throne. She is not my queen.” Hildy stood up. “I’m going to get a proper drink.”

Ingrid set her mug down. It became distinctly awkward. Tony understood that they had a right to be angry. Hela had killed their comrades, put one into a coma and marooned the other on a trash planet.

Tony wasn’t going to help them adjust to the new ‘world order’ by shoving it in their faces. He cleared his throat, catching Ingrid’s attention.

“How Hela is acting now doesn’t erase her past, but at least she’s trying to be better.” Tony leaned back in his seat. “It’s a new era. You can either be part of the change or watch the world change around you.” Time for the pitch. “We’re thinking of reforming the Valkyries with yours and Brunhidde’s help.” Ingrid’s eyes went wide. “Little girls need someone to look up to, role models. They need to know that they can become more than just wives and mothers.” Though there was nothing wrong with being those. Tony pulled out the proposal from one of the folds in his leather armor. “You don’t have to accept anything right now, but I’d love your opinion.” Tony set the parchment on the table between them.

Ingrid hesitantly picked it up. Tony bid her farewell, feeling confident that he’d hear back from her.

*

Tony recounted his day to Hela, his weird encounter with Loki and how it went at Hildy’s place. And how on his way back he’d gotten many appreciative looks now that his titles were getting around.

Tony and Hela were laying in one of the palace’s many gardens. A pergola covered in plants that looked to have feathers for leaves blocked out the harshest of the sun. The ground beneath it was covered in pillows of all colors and designs. The scents of flowers and their mulled wine mixed nicely together. There were plates of finger food in their reach and servants were at their beck and call if they felt the need for any other luxury.

Fenrir was laying by a fountain, basking in the sun.

Things were for once quite with Thor and Angela off hunting down Heimdall. Loki was who knows where. Probably raising hell. Tony would deal with that later. Right now was for relaxing.

Hela was pulling the petals off a flower she had plucked earlier. She had a look of concentration on her face, as if she had never seen a flower before. Tony grinned to himself. Hela was charming in a unique way. He could tell her life had been focused on only one thing for so long that now that she’d stopped everything else was new. Tony wanted to show her everything she’d missed and more.

She had loved the philosophy books he’d gifted her and Tony already had plans on what to get her next.

Tony was also excited to show her the lingerie he’d bought for her. He’d been holding them back since he didn’t know when exactly he’d be going to Earth again. Tony had been pulling them out of his pocket dimension and had belatedly realized one bag was missing.

He had a good idea who’d taken it, but tried not to think about it, not wanting his imagination to go wild. Loki’s invitation from earlier in the day was making him hard enough as is.

Hela sniffed the nearly petal-less flower and looked startled. Tony chuckled at her and got a glare in return.

“Maybe you should try gardening, kitten. Everyone needs a hobby.” And it was good to keep her busy and hopefully make her less… murder-y.

“That’s peasants work,” she said while tossing the flower away.

Tony set aside his goblet. “What did you do before for a hobby. And please don’t say torture.”

Hela smirked. “I’m the Goddess of Death, not Torture.”

“That’s not a no,” Tony said while sighing. Hela rolled her eyes.

“Odin had other people for that. I was more focused on laying waste to armies, rather than focusing on individuals.”

“Well that’s… not very comforting.” Hela smirked, clearly enjoying his reaction. “And when you were not laying waste to civilizations?”

Hela paused in thought. “I was cleaning and sharpening my weapons in my armory. It is a type of pocket dimension.” Hela slumped slightly. “It was all I could really do while banished.” Tony gave her a confused look. Hela smiled softly and stood. Hela offered Tony her hand, because she was a gentleman like that. Tony accepted her assistance without hesitation. The light faded around them and Tony found himself in a new place entirely.

“Woah,” Tony said under his breath. The room was huge, with a seemingly endless amount of weapons on the walls, daggers, axes, bows and arrows. He looked up. There were at least three levels and at the very top hung three giant daggers that were each the length of a cruise ship. He didn’t even want to fathom what sort of creatures she’d need those for.

It took Tony a moment to realize that every square inch of floor and wall was covered in etchings or engraved. He placed a hand on the wall, feeling a rough etching of what looked to be an animal with delicate wings.

“The walls used to be bare,” Hela said, her voice soft. “What use would an armory have for art? But this place was all I had while banished.” She reached for one of the walls, an ocean depicted there, but her hand fell short and she dropped it back to her side. “I never thought to add books or a bed when I still could. I never thought Odin would abandon me.”

She looked pained, the sort of sadness that could not be hidden by humor or by changing the subject. Tony pulled her into a hug without hesitation.

“I raged, I cried, I cursed his name, but no longer. His time is over and mine has only just begun.” Hela hesitantly smiled at him as he let her go. “I have you to thank for that.” Hela kissed him lightly on the lips. Tony hugged her again. She rested her head on his shoulder before pulling back. “I will expand this place, but not with more weapons. I’ll bring my most cherished things, comforts, and reminders that I am more than just the creature that Odin made me into.”

“Sounds like a great idea.” He gave her a quick peck. “And I think we’ve found you a hobby.” Hela cocked her eyebrow in question. “Sculpting and engraving wood.” He gestured to the walls. “You obviously have a talent for it.”

Hela let out a thoughtful hum as the room faded away and they were back in the garden again. “Perhaps. I will think on it.”

They settled back down on the pillows. The sound of the nearby fountain was calming. Fenrir had noticed their absence, but had not gotten up from his spot.

They chatted on and off for an hour before a wicked smile curled Hela’s lips.

“What?” Tony asked hesitantly. That look could mean nothing good for him.

“The God of Wealth and Sex, how fitting.” Tony nodded in agreement, getting more suspicious by the moment. “Loki and I have been talking.” She paused, her eyes blazing. Tony gulped, his throat feeling thick. “You are interested in him. Is it just sexual?”

The question caught Tony off guard. “It’s sexual and…” Tony searched for the words, “he’s different. I like different.” He tried to read her expression, but couldn’t. “Is that alright with you? I know we haven’t really defined our relationship, but I don’t cheat.”

He took her hand in his own. At a glance her hand looked delicate, but at a second glance he could see little scars and faded calluses.

“I know, Tony Stark. Loki told me how he tempted you. He truly is the God of Mischief.” Hela laughed to herself. “I am not offended or self-conscious. Frankly, you exhaust me when it comes to sex. I do not want to lose you or force you to limit yourself. Loki is a convenient and willing solution. But we must have ground rules.”

“Of course.” Tony had never been in a polyamorous relationship, but he figured rules were key. “What do you have in mind?”

“I nearly forgot to clarify. I have no interest in Loki romantically or sexually. I have come to find him as a brother and best friend in the short time I’ve known him.” Tony nodded in understanding. “We are all equal. Just because we were together first doesn’t make our relationship more valued than your relationship with him. If you ever find you like one of us more than the other, we won’t be bitter. Just don’t flaunt it around; and if you break up with one us we won’t blame the other.”

“Damn, you two really thought this out.”

“Yes, we had fun discussing different ideas… Different positions.” Tony felt himself heating up, but he ignored it in favor of listening to her guidelines. “Another rule is that you can’t have sex with one of us if you had sex with the other without showering afterwards. I don’t want any dried Loki-sweat or any other body fluid from him.”

Tony laughed at Hela’s disgusted expression. “Yeah, I could see how that could be gross.”

“And the last is that you may not have sex with one of us in the other’s room or bed—And you two can’t have sex on my throne! He tried to bargain for it, but I made it clear it wouldn’t happen!” Tony laughed and Hela scowled at him. “That’s all we came up with, but they’re subject to discussion when we’re all together.” Hela took a sip of her drink, looking almost guarded. “What do you think?”

“I think it sounds great.” Tony gave her a searching look. “Are you sure you’re okay with this?”

“Yes, I am. I’m the one who came up with the idea, after all.” Hela looked proud of herself. Tony couldn’t help, but lean over and kiss her again. She grinned during the kiss, making it all the better. They pulled back, but were still breathing the same air. “Well, why are you still here? Loki is waiting for you in his room now!”

Hela shooed him off and Tony walked with a pep in his step.

Chapter Text

They had missed dinner and breakfast and were dangerously close to missing lunch.

Tony was propped up on Loki’s bed, enjoying the afterglow. Loki was at the end of the oversized bed, only his eyes peeking out from the blankets he was bundled in. He was staring at Tony intently.

“Are you suddenly feeling shy?” Tony teased. Loki’s eyes narrowed into a glare. “No need to cocoon yourself. It’s not like I haven’t seen every inch of you—and I do mean every inch.”

“Not everything is about you,” Loki said, his voice slightly muffled by the blankets. “I enjoy being wrapped in blankets after sex.”

A grin appeared on Tony’s face. “If you wanted to snuggle, all you had to do was ask~”

“I do not like snuggling.” Loki’s glare became scathing. “Snuggling is for children.”

“You’re the one swaddled up like a baby.” Tony got on his hands and knees, prowling over to Loki’s bundled form. “I think you like to snuggle. No need to be ashamed. It’s definitely not your weirdest kink.”

“You do not know what you’re talking about.” He looked like he was half a second away from bolting.

“You’re cute when you’re in denial.” Tony couldn’t be sure, but he had the feeling Loki was blushing. “Has no one called you cute before?” Loki’s silence was answer enough. “That’s a crying shame.” Tony pounced on Loki without warning.

“Unhand me, you fiend!” Loki squawked. He tried to struggle, but Tony had his arms around him, trapping him in his blanket cocoon.

Tony pulled him to the top of the bed and leaned against the plush headboard. Loki was cursing up a storm, only making Tony grin harder. He situated Loki on his side and pulled the blankets down so that Loki’s head was uncovered. He rested Loki’s head on his chest.

Tony placed a kiss on the top of his head. “My cute snuggle bug,” Tony crooned and began running his fingers through Loki’s hair.

Loki went slack, his face redder than ever before. Tony grinned as Loki’s eyes slid shut. He looked so peaceful in a way Tony had never seen him before.

Tony sighed happily.

Yup, they were definitely going to miss lunch.

*

Tony had been given an entire wing in the palace, something he doubted any previous Chief Advisor had. It was one of the smaller wings, which wasn’t saying much considering how large the palace was. He had a study, dining room, kitchen, three guest rooms, an opulent bedroom (that he doubted he’d spend much time in), a finely manicured garden, and a natural hot spring—for some reason.

For the last week he’d been working with Bruce on installing wiring in his wing for Friday to use when he brought her to Asgard. His thoughts wandered to how she was doing training her replacement AI, Helen. That thought led him to thinking about the chaos he’d left in his wake on Earth. He smiled and went back to installing another sensor.

Bruce had taken the day off to hang out with his Valkyrie friends. Hildy and Ingrid still hadn’t gotten back to Tony on the potential new Valkyrie program, but Tony wasn’t worried. He had the feeling that those two weren’t people who just sat around. Once their ‘honeymoon’ period ended they’d become restless and want to do something.

In Bruce’s place were a couple of kids Tony had hired off the street—kids who were orphans and hungry. They had gaped at the palace when Tony had brought them inside. He had food brought in for the pair.

They weren’t at the same level as his helper ‘bots, but their soft chattering was somehow soothing. It was a poor substitute for music, but was better than nothing. Despite that, he didn’t notice when they went quiet.

“Excuse me, Lord Stark?” one of the kids said softly. Tony turned towards the boy. He looked about thirteen and was fiddling with a screwdriver in his grubby hands.

“What’s up, kiddo?” Tony asked, only now realizing he hadn’t asked for their names. He was never good at those little social niceties.

Kid 1 looked down at his feet nervously. Kid 2 nudged his shoulder, spurring him on. “Is Queen Hela really going to make schools?”

“Yup and they’ll have free breakfast and lunch for those who can’t afford them.” It had only just occurred to him how important that factor would be when he saw how emaciated the two kids were. Having an empty stomach would make learning harder. It would widen the divide between rich and poor since poor would be distracted by hunger while the rich had no such obstacle.

Kid 1 bit his lip and looked down at his tattered shoes. “Can we go too?” the little boy whispered.

Tony let out a breath of air. His heart twinged painfully. “Do you want to learn?” he asked them.

“Yeah.”

“Then of course you can go!” Both kids lit up like it was Christmas and Santa had drunkenly given them every present in the world. Tony put down his tools and sat in front of them. “Alright, kiddos, how about we start early and learn some little basic math?”

The both nodded energetically, coming to sit in front of him. Tony smiled, hoping their enthusiasm never wavered.

*

Hela was giving Tony a scalp massage and it was nearly orgasmic. Her long nails raked through his hair as she sat on her throne. Tony was on the ground leaning against the opulent chair, his eyes closed in bliss.

Tony moaned and he could almost picture Hela’s nearly demented smile. She loved pulling all sorts of noises from him.

At the foot of the stairs that led up to the throne, Fenrir was looking at him with jealousy in his eyes. Tony laughed under his breath. The oversized wolf still hadn’t warmed up to him and this scene was probably not helping either.

Hela trailed her hand down to Tony’s neck—then dug into the bite mark Loki had left there the night before. Tony flinched and Hela giggled.

“Naughty kitten.” Tony pulled her hand forward and kissed her palm. Hela made it clear he couldn’t have sex with Loki on the throne, but she didn’t say anything about him and her doing it there.

“You know you like it,” Hela teased, going back to massaging his scalp.  He turned into putty all over again.

“Is this what you and Loki talk about during your tea parties, how to torture me?” The pair met nearly every day, whispering to each other and giggling like school children. He’d walked in on them once and they had looked at him for a solid three seconds before laughing together boisterously. After that he’d decided just to leave them to their scheming.

“You’re so full of yourself. We talk about magic and Asgard.” Hela leaned over him, her hair creating a curtain. She pinched his cheek. “If we talk about you, it’s only to complain.” She patted the side of his face playfully and straightened up. Her fingers were in his hair not a moment later.

Fenrir perked up and his tail started wagging.

Tony was unceremoniously shoved aside as Hela stood up. “Angela must be home!”

Her high-heeled boots clicked loudly as she crossed the large throne room. The doors were thrown open when she was halfway there. Angela appeared with Thor, some Asgardians, and a chained up Heimdall.

The farseeing god pulled at his chains, eyes as gold as the walls that surrounded him. He was scowling, but otherwise looked dignified in his defeat.

Hela embraced Angela, lifting her off the ground, which was quite the feet considering Angela was a good four inches taller than her. He hadn’t realized how Amazonian she’d looked till that moment. She could probably crush Tony’s head with her thighs. That thought reminded him of a different redhead who was hopefully still locked up and no longer a menace to society.

“Take Heimdall to the dungeons,” Hela said to Thor while pulling Angela off to the side to talk. Tony shrugged to himself and decided to follow Thor since Hela was clearly done with him. He was fine with that. Tony didn’t want to be the center of her world or have anyone be the center of his.

“How’d it go, Point Break?” Tony asked when he got to Thor’s side. His axe, Whisker, was securely on his back. Thor’s beard looked a bit scruffier than usual, but otherwise he didn’t look like he’d been on a manhunter for almost two weeks. Tony wasn’t sure if he was surprised with how long it took them to find Heimdall. On one hand, Asgard’s wilderness was vast. On the other, Angela was the Goddess of the Hunt.

“It was,” Thor paused in thought, “different.” Thor glanced at Heimdall who was far in front of them, surrounded by guards. “I grew up under Heimdall’s watchful eye. He has saved my life more times than I can count. Ne’er did I think he would betray Asgard.”

Tony patted Thor on his meaty shoulder. “Some people just can’t handle change,” he said softly, trying not to think about a certain blond who was mentally stuck in the 40s. “You either adapt or get crushed under the weight of a new reality. Heimdall made his choice and has to live with the consequences.”

“You are wise, Man of Iron. Mayhap your title God of Wealth has more to do with than just money, it may also speak of wisdom.”

Tony scoffed. “I don’t think anyone has ever called me wise before. Don’t spread that around. You might ruin my bad reputation.” Tony winked at Thor and he smiled in return. Tony came to a halt at the entrance to the dungeon. Thor gave him a confused look. “You’ve grown as a person, Thor. I’m proud of you.” Thor needed to hear that, every person with a shitty father needed to hear that.

Thor was taken aback, turning into an awkward mess. He bid Tony farewell and hastily left. Tony chuckled to himself.

*

Tony distantly wondered how many times he’d been in this sort of situation.

If he had a punch-card he would definitely be getting a free sandwich by this point. As it stood, three out of four of Asgard’s dysfunctional royals had had choked him out. At least this time there was no windows around for him to be thrown out of.

Angela had him by the throat and pinned against the wall—and not in the sexy sort of way either. She was a head taller than him so she forced his chin up with her other hand, his eyes meeting her white ones.

Thank god he didn’t have an awkward boner or something.

Tony could fight back, but he was pretty sure she could curb stomp him even though there were no curbs in sight. Huh, maybe she’d make a good Valkyrie.

“Know this, Tony Stark, I do not approve of your relationship with my sister or how you can’t keep your cock in your pants,” Angela hissed out, her white eyes narrowing dangerously. Her hand tightened around his throat before she let go and took a step backwards. “But Hela assures me she is fine with your arrangement with Loki. Hurt her and I hurt you.”

She left, her gait strong and unwavering. Tony sighed and slumped against the wall. That shit had been completely uncalled for. He was tired of people using him as a punching bag, but he wasn’t sure how to make it stop.

Tony was almost tempted to tattle on Angela to Hela, but had the feeling Hela would just laugh at him. He didn’t know how Loki would react and Thor would probably act like a sad puppy dog when he remembered he’d given Tony the same treatment.

Brucie-Bear was the only option left, but Tony had learned his lesson with Bruce’s ‘I’m not that kind of doctor’ BS. He hadn’t been looking for a therapist then, only a friend.

Rhodey’s absence hurt keenly as Tony looked up at the golden ceiling. He rubbed his chest over the spot his arc reactor once was. He shoved his hurt and sadness away and headed to the feasting hall—his original destination.

Chapter Text


Tony’s fingers twitched. It hadn’t happened since he’d become a god, so it startles him more than it should have.

Loki chortles to himself from the other side of the room, having caught his reaction. Tony shot him a glare, but there was no heat behind it. He found it hard to be mad at Loki when he looked so relaxed. He briefly reminded him of a hedonistic Roman senator, draped over a chaise lounge and eating grapes. He’s decadent in a way Tony never bothered to be despite his nearly endless wealth.

Tony went back to the panel he had open. His fingers twitched again, but this time from excitement rather than surprise. He’d had his hands in Asgardian machines before, sampled how they mixed magic and technology into something beautiful, but this was different.

The Bifrost was a different beast entirely. Before he could see where magic ended and technology began. Here it was all jumbled up into something beautiful and elegant in a way he’d only seen in his own work.

And the majority of it was Loki’s doing. If Tony wasn’t already having sex with him, this would have been the final straw that got them in bed together.

Tony licked his lips, tracing a line of energy with his eyes.

“I can make it better,” Tony whispered to himself.

“Whatever you say, pet,” Loki said condescendingly. Tony refrained from rolling his eyes. Loki was terrible at showing affection, but the endearment was a step in the right direction—even though Loki used it patronizingly.

“Thanks for the load of confidence, snuggle bug.” Loki’s eyebrow twitched at the endearment, but he otherwise didn’t show a reaction. Damn, Tony would have to try harder. He was about to lay it on thicker when he remembered they had an audience.

Skurge was awkwardly standing to the side, in front of his eclectic collection of things like a dragon guarding its hoard.

Tony absentmindedly rubbed his sore neck as he went back to examining the Bifrost. The bruise had faded not long after it was put there—just another perk of being a god. Evidence of violence disappeared so quickly. It made him think of how much easier it would be for someone to gaslight another person. It was a chilling possibility that he didn’t want to think about.

Loki appeared before him in a flash of green. He tilted Tony’s chin up in a way that was too reminiscent of what Angela had done the night before. Tony swatted his hand aside and took a step back.

Loki’s expression was pinched with confusion. “You said you didn’t like breath play.”

Tony flinched. “This wasn’t exactly consensual or sexual.” Tony wanted to hide, to not be having this conversation.

Loki’s brow furrowed, anger growing in his eyes. It made Tony uncomfortable in a way he hadn’t been since the Avengers started shitting on him after Ultron.

“I will speak to Hela at once and make it clear this isn’t acceptable—”

“It wasn’t Hela,” Tony said, cutting in. He really didn’t want her to know about this. He didn’t want anyone to know. “I can handle this myself.” Loki was about to say something, but Tony beat him to the punch. “Don’t forget that you did the same thing to me once.”

Loki’s expression went through a myriad of emotions, settling back on being pinched. “We were enemies. You have no enemies on Asgard, or am I mistaken?”

“I… didn’t think I did. Some people don’t like that I’m bedding you and Hela.” Tony laughed bitterly.

Loki’s shoulders slumped. “I should have known my enemies would take out their anger on you.” Loki took in a shuddered breath and his eyes became glossy.

Tony was surprised by Loki’s reaction. “No, it was Angela. She’s mad because, I don’t know, she thinks I’m dishonoring her sister, maybe?” Tony didn’t get it, but people had always been a mystery to him. Loki blinked at him in confusion before rage welled up in him. Tony would have been frightened by his fiery expression if he didn’t know it was aimed at someone else. It only spelled trouble. “No, I’m going to take care of this myself,” Tony said, trying to stave off any more violence.

Loki gave him a hard look. “And what is it that you plan to do by yourself? Angela is a warrior. You suit would certainly give her a good fight, but we do not know all her abilities. She could use a fight as an excuse to kill you. Or do you plan on talking to her? I know her type. She’s like Thor. Words won’t work on her.” Tony felt himself deflate. Loki took a slow step towards him. He reached out and put a hesitant hand on Tony’s shoulder. Tony relaxed, hating himself a bit more for not having a real plan. “I am… here for you. I have buckled under the weight of Asgard and its prejudices. I won’t let you fall to the same fate.”

Tony felt himself tear up against his will. He was pulled into a hug. Tony deflated as he leaned his head against Loki’s shoulder. He didn’t have the energy to hug him back, his eyes slipping shut instead, a single tear escaping. Loki was mumbling words that Tony couldn’t understand, but found comforting nonetheless.

Tony wasn’t sure how he felt. He couldn’t remember the last time someone treated him like this, or if it had ever happened before. He was almost afraid to try to remember, because the thought of it never having happened before was terrifying.

Loki teleported them away to Tony’s underused room. They cuddled on the bed and Tony somehow drifted off.

*

Tony awoke to the sound of a page being turned. It was a pleasant noise, but one he wasn’t used to hearing. He was cuddled up against something warm and muscular—Loki’s legs, Tony’s head in his lap.

He looked up at Loki with blurred eyes. He was reading a thick book. It took a moment for Tony to realize it was a book from Earth, but the title wasn’t familiar.

“How do you feel, snuggle bug?” Loki asked while grinning. Tony yawned before biting Loki’s hip to teach him a lesson. Loki tsked, but kept smiling. His expression turned serious. “We should bring the matter of Angela to Hela.” Tony squirmed. He sat up, trying to dispel how uncomfortable he felt. “Unless you’ve come up with a plan in your sleep.”

“Well, no, I haven’t.” Tony tried not to be frustrated with himself, but it showed through.

Loki startled him with a fierce kiss. Tony was happy to distract them both with sex, but Loki pulled back. “Foolish man,” Loki said, still temptingly close. “Thor bullied, pushed, and dismissed me for most of my life. He told me to ‘know my place’ more than once whenever I tried to step out of the subservient role he cast me in. I desperately wanted help, but knew no one would listen to me, or be able to do something about it. You have Hela. She will listen, especially if we both go to her.”

Tony stared down for a moment, gathering his thoughts. “You think so?”

“If she doesn’t then she is blind as her father.” The conviction in Loki’s voice was enough to persuade Tony.

Tony smirked. “You know, for an emotionally constipated person, you’re pretty good at this shit.”

Loki went to say something, but Tony booped him on the noise before he could. Loki’s face screwed up, as if he couldn’t decide if he was offended or not. Tony smiled and Loki settled on just rolling his eyes.

*

Tony couldn’t remember the last time he was this uncomfortable. They had met up in a lounge room in Hela’s wing of the palace. It was early evening and the sun was low enough to be seen through the windows. Tony and Loki were sitting across from Hela, who had Fenrir’s head resting in her lap. She was idly grooming him with the brush Tony had bought for him. The sunlight fell on Fenrir, warming him up even more. He looked like he was in nirvana.

Tony munched on a cut up morsel that he couldn’t decide was a fruit or vegetable. Not that it mattered. He was just trying to distract himself.

“Well, what is it?” Hela asked, not sounding impatient, despite her words. She was focused more on Fenrir than them.

Tony took in a breath to speak, but didn’t know what to say. He looked at Loki for help.

Loki patted him on the thigh and it was more comforting than Tony thought it could be. “There was a… situation last night. Tony was attacked and threatened.” Hela’s attention snapped to them. She looked scarier than when they first met. “The attacker knew of our unique relationship with Tony and attacked him because of it,” Loki continued before she could say anything. “He was grabbed by the throat and pinned against the wall.”

“Who did this? I shall skin them alive,” Hela said. Fenrir growled, picking up on her fury.

“It was Angela,” Tony sputtered out, hating himself for showing weakness.

Hela paled. “Oh.” She looked away in thought. “That is unexpected.” She brightened up. “But surely it was a show of love on her part for me. Just ignore it. I’m sure she won’t do it again.” Hela dismissed his worries, making Tony’s chest feel tight.

“What is to keep her from doing it again?” Loki asked, undeterred.

“I will speak to her.” Hela sounded resolute, calming down Tony slightly.

“And what if she ignores your warning? She is your sister, but lines must be drawn.” The question hadn’t even occurred to Tony. He was glad Loki was addressing it.

Hela paused in thought. “There is no rules preventing attacking those without noble blood.”

“Well, maybe there should be,” Tony said, finding his confidence again.

“The nobles won’t like it.” For a moment, Tony had almost forgotten her general disregard to the lives of others beyond her immediate circle. He had to remind himself that she’d been raised by a battle crazed man who encouraged war and all the consequences that came from that.

“But everyone else would. Don’t you want your people to feel safe?”

Loki nodded, agreeing with Tony.

“The nobles have already been coming to me to complain about the new taxes we have planned,” Hela said. She hadn’t informed Tony about that.

“They were coddled under Odin’s rule,” Loki added. “He let them do whatever they wanted, so long as they didn’t cause a revolt or challenged his power. I always wondered why he barely taxed them, but considering the riches he plundered it makes sense.”

“Asgard’s riches are going to be used for banking and public services. We can’t just rely on the interest from loans for income.” Tony wasn’t sure how they had gotten off subject. “Making Asgard a better place isn’t cheap.”

Hela pouted, her lower lip sticking out slightly. “I do miss the plundering. It was like a treasure hunt~ I’m very talented at finding hidden rooms.” Tony held back a sigh. He could sense that Loki was feeling the same way. Hela picked up on their discontent. “I will make a new law to protect those without noble blood, but I doubt it will do any good.”

“So long as Angela follows it,” Tony said. “We can work from there.”

“Very well.” Hela stood up and came over to Tony. She placed a kiss on his forehead than patted Loki on the shoulder. “Leave it to me.”

Chapter Text


 

Tony didn’t feel like waiting around for whatever fallout may come from Hela’s conversation with Angela. He didn’t think of going to Earth as running away, rather a preemptive measure.

He needed to resupply anyway.

Since Hela’s mind-blowing revelation that Tony wasn’t as invulnerable as her, she’d been opposed to him leaving. After a bit of arguing they’d agree he’d take a bodyguard, a furry, four-legged bodyguard. A wolf that had torn countless people was his bodyguard. It was a disaster waiting to happen.

Thankfully he was downsized to (almost) look like a dog. The wolf was clear in his appearance though.

Tony would have to get Fenrir a service dog vest. That would hopefully deter anyone for naively approaching him. Though not everyone was aware working animals weren’t supposed to be distracted.

The Bifrost dropped them off on Stark Tower’s party deck. He went into the penthouse, Fenrir a step in front of him, nose sniffing and ears alert.

“Friday, put in an order for a service vest for this wolf and get it delivered pronto,” Tony said as he began loosening his leather armor. He was looking forward to wearing his normal clothes again.

“I’m on it, Boss Man,” Friday said, but her voice didn’t come from the ceiling as it usually did. A young woman, possible an adolescent was sitting on the couch. Her hair had a slight curl, reaching midback. It was umber, transitioning from dark blue to light green. She had a button noise that was slightly upturned. Her skin was a few shades darker than his own with a smattering of freckles on her face. Most striking of all was her brown eyes that mirrored his own. “Surprise~” She did jazz-hands.

Fenrir growled deeply while prowling forward. “Heel,” Tony said hastily. Fenrir froze, a paw raised, ready to sprint forward at the drop of a hat.

Tony bypassed the wolf and went to Friday. She stood up and he noticed her lanky proportions. Tony corrected his earlier assumption. She was an adolescent, not an adult.

Friday smoothed out her jumpsuit. It was plum purple with cream colored flowers on it. When she stood it look like she was wearing a dress. She was also wearing high-heels that Pepper would be proud of.

The thought of his ex made Tony flinch. Fenrir picked up on it and growled again. Tony waved him off.

“Is… this okay? Lil’ Bro Vision helped with Dr. Cho’s oversight,” Friday started speeding up, “but it was my idea. I just wanted to give you’re a hug—I guess I could have done that with one of the suits, but that wasn’t good enough!—I can change back if you want!”

Tony held up a hand and Friday paused, looking like an awkward teen. Tony couldn’t find any words so he just pulled her into a hug instead. It seemed to be the right thing to do since she melted in his embrace.

“You’re amazing, baby girl.” He hugged her tightly and passively noticed that her skin barely yielded. Vision was made mostly of vibranium and nearly indestructible. He pulled back to get a clear look at her. “What metal did you use?”

“I took a few of the Ultron parts you had scavenged from Sokovia and melted them down. I also used a gold alloy so I’m not as heavy.” Friday grinned, her smile toothy and the freckles on her nose scrunching together. “I gave myself the ability to taste, but didn’t think to give myself the ability to eat, so I just chew stuff up then spit it out like a barbarian.” Friday laughed to herself and Tony shook his head, loving his daughter more with every second that passed.

“We’ll invest in creating drinks that taste like different meals. Then you can spit them out like you’re at some fancy wine tasting.” Tony hugged her again, not knowing how to deal with so much happiness. Friday giggled. He lifted her up and spun her around. She let out a hoot before he set her down. “I want to spoil you. Let me spoil you. Let’s go shopping!”

“I’m still connected to all my systems. I can just shop online.”

“Pff, shopping in person is completely different.” Tony looked off into the distance. “We could do a montage.”

“You’ve watched too many 80s movies.” Friday winked at him, making a sideways peace sign over her eye, a duplicating Sailor Moon’s pose. Tony didn’t want to know why he knew that.

“Let’s go, Sailor Scout.” They linked arms and were off.

They took the convertible so that Friday could experience the wind running through her hair, Fenrir growled at the papz that tried to get too close, giving the trio peace, they bought hotdogs from a street vendor so she could upchuck it in the gutter, grossing out those around them.

It was probably one of the best days of Tony’s life.

*

Tony and Friday had about two dozen boxes of different food around them as they sat on the floor of the penthouse. Friday’s spit bucket was in her lap. Her hair was pinned up artfully to keep it out of her way. The TV was on in the background, playing some terrible musical that Tony didn’t know the name of.

Friday had decided that she liked ice cream the best, not because of its taste, but because of how it melted in her mouth.

They mourned over the fact that Friday hadn’t thought ahead to designing her ears so that they were pierced. There had been tons of earrings (mostly dorky in design) that she’d wanted to wear. They had ordered a box of clip on earring backs and Friday was fabricating a plethora of earrings in the lab remotely.

Fenrir was conked out on the couch, his feet twitching in his sleep. They had taken him to a butcher shop and he’d eaten nearly a whole cow despite his (temporarily) small stature.

Friday swished her mouth then spit the contents into her bucket. It didn’t faze Tony at all. They had bought a small fortune in handkerchiefs for her to dab her lips on for just this sort of occasion. Today she was using one with a sakura petal design that contrasted with her black pantsuit and emerald green heels.

“Oh yeah, King Kitty isn’t happy with you,” Friday said while reaching for one of the plastic food containers that looked to be some sort of pudding. “His sister sent you a thank you card though.”

“I didn’t know he had a sister.” Tony eyed his milkshake. It was delicious, but he was almost full, and he wasn’t about to use Friday’s spit bucket to keep on eating. He shoved aside food cartons and laid on his back, hands on his pouched stomach. Fenrir farted from the other side of the room.

“She’s a smart one from what I could dig up. An inventor like you and only sixteen. She’s interested in learning magic.”

“I’ll run it past Loki. We were thinking of having kids from underprivileged families or orphans though.” Tony grinned, looking almost vicious. “But I’m sure we can arrange something in exchange for some of their tech.”

“Sneaky, sneaky, Boss Man.” Friday took a tentative sniff at the pudding before taking a big bite. “Romanoff was sent to Gitmo,” she said with her mouth full, before spitting it out.

“Not bad.” Tony nodded, staring up at the high ceiling. He’d almost forgotten that he’d called the cops on her.

“She was practically frothing at the mouth when she was being transported there.” Friday was grinning brightly. “Wilson and Lang turned themselves in and made a deal. They gave up the ExVengers’ location and their plan to break Romanoff out.” Tony glanced at her in question. She shook her head. “Vision went with the UN task force, but the ExVengers had already moved, but they’d left behind a few clues. Viz is at Gitmo now, waiting for their attack, whenever it comes.”

“How is he?” Tony hadn’t been giving Vision the companionship he needed. He had just been so caught up in Rhodey’s death and then everything happened so fast that it was hard to remember what was going on planet-side.

“I think… he’s doing alright. We bonded over making me a body.” Friday poked the pudding with her spoon then offered it up to Tony. He waved it off. “He submitted a proposal to the Accords Committee to recruit new members for the Avengers. Carol Danvers is one of the volunteers.”

Tony’s chest twinged painfully. Carol and Rhodey had been close friends and had been the only two, other than Jarvis, who had believed he was still alive when he was in Afghanistan.

“Is she requesting a suit?” Tony never thought he’d give anyone else a suit after Rhodey, but maybe for Carol…

“No, she has super powers.”

Some part of Tony wanted to ask for more details, but a larger part could only think that he was happy she wasn’t his problem. “Who else?”

“Dr. Strange, a couple of Brits I’ve never heard of before, and a few no-namers. Oh! And a new team has cropped up in New York, the Fantastic Four. They’ve put together a deal with the police and only work in this state.”

The air became charged. A spark of orange spread out into a portal and, as if summoned by his name, Doctor Strange stepped through it—and right into a bowl of pad thai.

Fenrir jumped off his spot on the couch, plowing through dishes and splattering food everywhere.

“Heel, Fenrir!” Tony called out as Strange slipped backwards, halfway in his portal.

Fenrir stopped, but continued growling and glaring at Strange with menacing eyes.

Tony stood up, brushing rice off himself. Friday’s once immaculate suit was covered in gravy and something unidentifiable.

“Never heard of using the front door?” Tony said snidely. He didn’t take kindly to people breaking into his home.

Strange pulled himself up and brushed off the goop that coated him.

“I couldn’t be sure when you were leaving again. I must speak to you on a grave matter.” Strange’s voice held all the importance of a prophet of god. It irked Tony. It was the same tone Rogers used while reprimanding him.

Tony sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. Why did weird always find its way to his doorstep? “Just say what you came here for then leave.” Tony wasn’t about to be pulled into someone else’s shit again.

He could be in Hela or Loki’s bed back home right now—

Tony’s brain short wired.

Did he just refer to Asgard as his home?

Tony minutely shook his head, trying to tune back into whatever Strange was saying. “What?”

Frustration flitted across Strange’s faces. “I believe Loki stole my cloak. I was wondering if you knew anything about it?”

The last time Tony saw the cloak, Loki had been whispering sweet nothings to it, promises of seamstresses mending its frayed edges and getting luxurious baths whenever it wanted. The cloak was slowly being charmed by Loki’s silver tongue, despite their rough and nearly violent beginning.

But if Tony said all that, Strange would be on his ass to do something about it.

“I’ll look into it.” He wasn’t lying. He would check in on the cloak. Whether he did anything about it was another thing. “How about you give me your number so that we don’t have another accident.” Tony gestured around them. Food covered the floor.

Strange gave a look of remorse. “My apologies.” He made some funky hand signs and the spilled food disappeared. He handed him a business card that appeared from nowhere. “Thank you again.”

Tony gave no reply as Strange left through his portal.

Tony glanced at Fenrir. “You want a bath, big bad?” Tony asked while grinning.

Fenrir’s eyes went wide. He wagged his tail like crazy.

*

They were at PetSmart, roaming the aisles. Friday was near the front, whistling to the birds. Fenrir was examining every toy and treat with a frighteningly intelligent look in his eyes.

Tony was on his phone. He hadn’t realized how much he missed it until he’d spotted it next to the bed the night before. Helen, Tony’s newest AI and Friday’s replacement, had sorted through his email. He was happily reading fanmail and watching cute animal videos. He kept half an eye on Fenrir, knowing what sort of disaster could happen if he didn’t.

Fenrir hadn’t liked the idea of wearing a leash, but had acquiesced when it was clear Tony was just going to follow him instead of tugging him around.

Tony snorted when a particularly cute kitten hiccupped on screen.

Fenrir pawed at a bag of treats. Tony grabbed all of them and put them in the cart he was leaning on absentmindedly.

“Tony,” Friday called in a pleading voice, pulling his attention away from his phone. She was hurrying down the aisle towards him. Her eyes were wide, and Tony suddenly understood why people told him he had a puppy-dog stare when he wanted something. Her eyes glinted with unshed tears, making the brown almost honey colored. “Can I get two parakeets?” she asked while tugging on his shirt sleeve.

Tony shrugged. “You have a credit card. Go wild.”

Friday leaned up and placed a kiss on his cheek before running off, her heels making a sharp noise.

Tony saw someone take a picture of them with their phone, but Tony didn’t mind. He’d introduced the world to his daughter yesterday through a tweet. People were going crazy, speculating on who her mother was or if she’d been grown in the lab. Tony didn’t give them an answer, instead enjoying their outlandish theories.

A lone paper-plane came flying towards Tony—Fenrir snapped it out of the air.

“Give it here,” Tony said, sensing fuckery afoot.

Tony took the slobbery plane and unfolded it. The message inside was neat and to the point.

‘I want to turn myself in. I’m behind the store. -James Barnes’

Chapter Text


 

Tony crumbled the note in his hands, his mind going a thousand miles per minute.

It came to a dead halt when he realized Friday might be in danger. Tony abandoned his cart and raced over to the bird displays, Fenrir faithfully following his lead.

A breath of relief was knocked out of him when he saw that she was with a PetSmart assistant and pointing at the different parakeets. She looked up at him when he skidded to a halt.

“Fenrir, guard her with your life. Follow her orders,” Tony commanded. Fenrir’s tail stood up perfectly straight as he quickly grew to full size, his service vest tearing off.

A few people screamed in fright, but the majority were taking pictures.

Tony undid his gauntlet-watch and fastened it on her wrist. She knew what it was and how to use it.

The Iron Man suit flew through the automatic doors of the store, called by Friday before Tony had a chance to. It enveloped him.

“So, what’s the sitch?” Friday said to him through the suit as he rocketed out.

“Barnes is possibly in the area, or it could be a trap.” He scanned his surroundings and wished it wasn’t adoption day. People were outside the building, looking at the different dogs that were up for adoption.

There was only one heat-signature from the back of the store, excluding the warmth coming up from a manhole cover. That didn’t reassure Tony though. The ExVengers knew most of the capabilities of his suit, and Tony wouldn’t be surprised if they nicked a few heat dampening tools from Wakanda.

Tony was distantly grateful that the ExVengers had dwindled in number, unfortunately it was the real crazies that were left. He was most worried about Wanda and her mind-molesting abilities. He had whispered about what she’d done to him to Loki one emotionally charged night while they’d been cuddling. With Loki’s knowledge of the mind stone he’d placed a, as Tony would put it, firewall to keep her out. Tony knew Loki was competent in his abilities, but he didn’t want to put them to the test.

He flew over the store, Friday cataloguing the area, looking for a sniper’s perch Barton could be in. He was the only long-distance fighter he needed to worry about, unless Rogers had gotten another frisbee of self-righteousness douchery. Tony knew how to handle that now—even though the thought of seeing another shield set off his anxiety.

Tony reached the back of the store, looking for any signs of a trap.

Friday zoomed in on the kneeled form in the grimy back alley. From his angle he couldn’t see a face, but the body was an 89% match and the missing arm was an even stronger indicator. His one arm was raised up in surrender. He was wearing a hoodie that was tight enough to show any weapons—Tony backtracked on that thought. Romanoff had always worn skin tight clothes and had more hidden weapons than Tony’s suit did.

There was a backpack on the ground, a good six feet away from him. Friday scanned it, but saw nothing suspicious.

The kneeling man glanced up when he heard Tony’s repulsors. Yup, definitely Barnes.

Tony teetered between the thought on if he should or shouldn’t call the police. He knew it was the right thing to do, but last time law enforcement had been involved, Barnes hadn’t held back. He also didn’t want to risk Barnes getting cold feet and trying to get away.

Tony landed in front of him, a safe distance between them. His gauntlet lit up, aimed right at Barnes’ head.

“I surrender,” Barnes said, his voice guttural. His blue eyes were trained on the ground.

“I find that hard to believe.” Tony kept the anger and instinctual urge to attack in check. He could still picture him murdering his mother. “Why now?”

“Because you’re back. Because I’m tired of running. Because of… everything.” Barnes sounded exhausted, but that could easily be faked.

“And what does your star-spangled boyfriend think about that?”

Barnes cringed. “He doesn’t know. I ran away from him. I’m just… done. I don’t care what happens to me now. I just—I just want to rest.”

Something in Tony eased. He recognized the emotions in Barnes’ eyes. The world-weariness that came from everything you know being a lie. He wondered what had broken Barnes. It must have been monumental considering 70+ years of torture hadn’t done him in.

Tony pulled out the cuffs he’d designed for just this sort of situation. He had two pairs.

“You move, you die,” Tony warned. He walked behind Barnes, not getting between him and the bag in case it was rigged with something nasty. His metal boots clanked loudly on the asphalt. He cuffed Barnes’ right hand first then each of his feet. The chain connecting them was too short for Barnes to stand.

Tony grabbed him by the chains, ready to take off.

“My bag,” Barnes stuttered, “it has a record of all I did—all Hydra made me do.”

Tony scowled, his mouth tasting bitter. He was confident his restraints would hold. He grabbed the bag before even more dumpster run-off could soak in. He took off with Barnes in hand, his suspicion never wavering.

*

Tony had built the Hulk-Room not long after he’d first invited the Avengers to live with him, and he hadn’t the heart to take it out even after Bruce abandoned him.

He was sentimental like that.

Barnes was currently residing there, sleeping like the dead.

Tony knew a taskforce would be knocking on his door soon to get him, but till then, Tony was going through records with a detachment that was necessary when reading about torture and murder.

He almost laughed at how one of Barnes’ missions was to observe him not long after Howard and Maria’s death. He wondered what the Winter Soldier had made of him. He probably thought Tony was young and unhinged. Both true, at the time. The fact that he was reckless and in a constant drunk or drugged haze was probably one of the reasons they hadn’t killed him, not that that mattered now.

Tony considered just putting down the files, leaving them for the investigators, and going upstairs.

Friday had left shortly after Tony had flown away. She had picked out her two parakeets and bought them, promising to buy all the other things she needed online with same day deliver to appease the pet store worker.

She was upstairs, cuddled with Fenrir and whistling to her birds. He could easily join them, ignore the problem that was trapped in his basement like a dirty secret.

Tony had decided to wash his hands of the ExVengers, but he couldn’t let go of this. Whether it was because he sought revenge, or was some misplaced guilt was up for debate. He didn’t want to think too hard on it.

“Mr. Stark,” Helen, Tony’s youngest AI said in a lyrical tone, “cell phone C is ringing.”

A scowl twisted Tony’s lips. Cell phone C was the shitty flip phone Rogers had sent him with his joke of an apology letter. Tony had only kept it because he figured it could come in handy one way or the other.

Tony grinned to himself. “Tell Rogers I’m torturing his boyfriend and if he wants him he’ll have to come get him.” That would rile him up, and without Romanoff or Wilson’s calming logic he’d get sloppy. “Evacuate all employees and non-essentials from the building. Give them paid leave until Rogers and his minions are captured.”

“As you wish, Mr. Stark.”

“Let the UN, FBI, Vision, and local police know I’ve captured Barnes and that the outlaws will be heading in this direction. Let the law enforcement in only after verifying they’re not an ExVenger. Keep my labs and penthouse on lockdown.”

“Shall I prepare a suit for you?”

Tony held in a chuckle. “No, send the ‘bots up to the penthouse.” Tony grabbed the super-soldier cuffs and opened the Hulk-Room. Barnes woke up immediately, on alert and looking wary. He didn’t fight back as Tony chained his legs together, so he could only take short steps. His hand was free, but gods were stronger than super soldiers. “Let’s go, Tasty Freeze.”

“Where are you taking me?” Barnes asked. He sounded defeated and as if every word he spoke was a burden.

“I’m done dealing with Rogers and his mindless lackies. They’re someone else’s problem.” Tony guided Barnes to the elevator. “I’m taking you and my family to Asgard, so I never have to see them again.” It was twisted in a way Tony never thought he’d enjoy. He would keep the one thing Rogers wanted away from him, make Barnes unreachable—And Rogers would only learn he was unreachable after he was captured and truly helpless.

And if he happened to give Barnes the peace and security he craved, that was only a coincidence.

Chapter Text

“I love it. I love everything about it,” Loki gushed, his hands clenching and unclenching sporadically. Tony had never seen this side of him before, the side that adored mischief.

“You would,” Tony said dryly, grinning tenderly. Loki was charming like this.

“I want to see their faces when they realize Barnes isn’t there~”

“Be my guest. Go to Earth if you want to. Just please don’t reveal who you are or break the bank—Oh! And put those Asgard history books into production. I want them ready for the first school opening.”

“Why must you always try to ruin my fun with work?” Loki bemoaned as he shifted into the form of the blond woman he’d taken on their last outing on Earth.

“The busier you are, the less likely you are to blow shit up.”

Loki rolled his eyes. “If you think that, you must really not know me.”

Tony leaned up and kissed him. “I know you better than you realize,” he teased and was rewarded with Loki blushing.

“We’ll see,” Loki said stubbornly before teleporting away.

It had been pure coincidence that they’d run into each other after Tony dropped Barnes off in the dungeon. Although, maybe he was being too generous by thinking that. Loki had probably known he was there and made the encounter happen. He was strange like that.

Tony was almost tempted to follow him back to Earth, to see what sort of mischief he could stir up, but he had more important things to do, chiefly getting Friday and the ‘bots settled in.

At Tony’s insistence, Fenrir and a guard had accompanied Friday and the ‘bots to Tony’s wing of the castle. He just hoped the parakeets had calmed down. The Bifrost had rattled them, but otherwise they were fine.

Tony made his way through the golden halls quickly, not wanting to potentially run into Angela. He was sure Hela had spoken to her by now, but he didn’t want to risk it.

Tony entering his wing of the palace was marked by ugly, yet elegant wiring running across the walls. It contrasted with the ornate statues and artful tapestries that dotted the halls. He’d been meaning to get rid of them, but disliked the idea of empty hallways. They made him feel exposed.

He heard Dum-E’s frantic whirrs before he saw it. Tony wasn’t worried. He could tell the whirrs were from excitement rather than fear. It made Tony’s footsteps feel lighter.

He paused in the doorway of the guest room, now Friday’s room, blinking in surprise. He wasn’t sure what to make of the scene in front of him.

Furniture was strewn about and there was more than one gash on the walls.

Dum-E had Thor’s axe, Whisker, securely in its claw and was chasing Thor, U, and Butterfingers around the room.

Tony really hoped this wasn’t Dum-E’s replacement for a fire-extinguisher.

Thor was laughing heartily, a few rips in his red cape. He was faster and had more mobility than the ‘bots, but stayed in the rear, protecting U and Butterfingers—not that he needed to worry. Dum-E had a soft touch when it came to its siblings.

Friday was cooing at her birds while watching her older siblings and Thor play.

Tony clapped his hands together, drawing their attention to him. “Enough,” he said sternly, desperately trying to hold in a smile. “You all just got here. No need to burn the place down on day one.” Dum-E whistled in despair and U and Butterfingers chimed in agreement. “No back-sass.”

Butterfingers made a mocking noise. Tony narrowed his eyes at it, and Butterfingers hid behind Thor.

Tony chuckled. “What are you doing here, Thor. Not that I’m not happy to see you.”

“I heard of your return and wished to meet your family at once!” Thor said boisterously. It was good to see that he was back to his usual self. Things had been a rollercoaster, but had smoothed out the past week or so. Tony hoped it kept going that way. He wasn’t a fan of surprises. “I didn’t know your kin was so numerous!”

Tony bit his tongue and refrained from making a joke about how Thor didn’t know how numerous his own family was. No need to poke at old wounds.

“News travels fast.” Tony walked over to him and patted him on the shoulder. “Do me a favor. Don’t arm the ‘bots. They’re destructive enough as is.” Dum-E let out a mournful beep as Thor took his axe back. “What did I miss?”

Tony began pulling out bird supplies from his pocket-dimension as Thor told him about the nobles were getting grumpier about the new taxes, Hildy had agreed to restart the Valkyries, but was still at odds with Hela, and how Thor had tried meditating with Bruce and had absolutely hated it.

Thor kept give Friday looks that were irritating Tony for some reason.

While Friday was expertly putting together the (enormous) bird cage, Tony walked Thor out.

“Yeah, no, Friday is a minor so don’t even think about it,” Tony said, surprising himself. Was that what had been irking him, some sort of paternal need to protect?

Thor gave him a confused look. “I do not wish to court the Lady Friday. She is far too young and even if I wished to court her I would go to you first to ask your permission since you are her family.”

Tony felt shitty for his assumption. “Sorry, I’m new to this.” Tony ran his fingers through his hair, feeling old again.

“I was just curious if she too had an infinity stone, like Vision does.” The question was a reasonable one.

“Nope, my baby-girl is pure science. No mystic mumbo-jumbo.” His pride welled up at how amazing Friday was. She had taken the initiative and followed through perfectly.

Thor nodded, looking thoughtful. “I shall spread word of the palace’s newest inhabitants to the guards so that they know they’re meant to be here.”

“Thanks, Point Break. Can you let your sister know I’m back too? I have some family business to take care of before I can see her.”

Thor nodded. “I am set to meet with her in an hour’s time. Our discussion on Heimdall’s fate has been unending.” Yeah, no, Tony wasn’t going to open that can of worms.

He retreated back into Friday’s room. The ‘bots were all working together to put Friday’s clothing on hangers than into the closet, with mixed results. Friday was unpackaging bird toys.

“You know, Boss Man, you don’t have to protect me.”

Tony blinked in confusion before gathering his thoughts. “Of course I do. You’re my underaged daughter. You’re not allowed to have sex till you’re 18—Wait, can you even have sex? Actually, no. Don’t answer that. I don’t want to know.” Tony leaned against the wall, he really felt old now.

Friday snickered, clearly enjoying his misery. “Yes, I have male and female genitals, because I wanted the best of both worlds. I also made the penis retractable because I didn’t like the idea of it just dangling awkwardly between my legs.” Friday’s nose scrunched up.

Tony hid his face in his hands. “Please, no more,” Tony begged.

“My penis also makes the Microsoft startup sound when it becomes erect—”

“Lalala! I can’t hear you!” Tony ran out of the room, hands over his ears.

*

Tony finished the docking stations in the guest room he was was tentatively calling his lab. It was bordering his bedroom so he was probably going to just knock down the wall in between and go from there. He still had to figure out how to take down the stupid magically reinforced gold walls.

Once his family was settled in and he’d taken a nap (in the hot-spring, accidentally) he went to go find Hela. It was midmorning and he knew exactly where to find her, the throne room—though her meetings there weren’t set till after lunch. Tony had a feeling it was some sort of ritual from her time before… everything.

She sat with her legs crossed at her knees. In her hands was a sheaf of parchment. She was humming to herself. Fenrir was sitting at the bottom of the stairs that led to the throne.

“Hey, kitten,” Tony called out when he entered the oversized room. “Hope you didn’t miss me too much.”

“Mhh,” Hela hummed out, putting on airs. She set aside the parchment and steepled her hands. “You have added to my collection.” Tony quirked an eyebrow in question as he continued walking towards her. “My collection of prisoners. Tell me of this mortal.”

Tony went to put his hands in his pockets, but aborted the motion, remembering he was wearing Asgardian armor again.

“War hero, mind controlled by the enemy and made into an assassin, killed my parents while mind-controlled. I tried to kill him and took a beaten because of it. He surrendered and I took him here as a big fuck you to his best friend.” Tony paused. “Is that alright?”

“It is a bit presumptuous, but I forgive you.” Hela was still putting on a show, but he wasn’t about to call her on it. He stopped at the base of the stairs, willing to play along. After her banishment, Hela needed a sense of control. “I want to meet this man.”

“As you wish, my queen.” Tony bowed deeply as he spoke, eyes still on hers. He gestured at one of the guards who then slipped out of the room. “May I approach?”

Hela’s fingers clacked against the armrest. “You may.”

Tony scaled the stairs, trying to read her expression. There was something hidden there, something he wasn’t sure how to uncover.

“My queen.” Tony bowed again then kissed her hand. In a smooth motion he turned her hand over and kissed the inside of her wrist, a soft spot. She became flustered and he grinned. He rubbed his thumb on the spot, not letting up. “Talk to me. What’s wrong?”

Something flashed in Hela’s eyes, possibly vulnerability, but it had happened so fast that Tony couldn’t be certain. Her perfect lips parted, but before she could speak Thor’s voice rang out. “Sister! Man of Iron! How fortuitous that you are both here!” Tony held back as Hela’s expression closed off. He sighed and turned to face Thor. “A buxom bar wench approached my friends and I during our festivities last night. She told me there was a law in place where taverns in Asgard could only buy alcohol from one noble family, inflating the price of mead! It is a travesty!”

“Wow, buddy, that does suck,” Tony said, drier than he meant to be. Thor was not deterred.

They started talking about how to open the alcohol market, but Tony’s heart wasn’t in it. He kept casting worried looks at Hela, but she steadfast ignored him.

Soon enough guards returned with Barnes in tow. He wasn’t chained. Tony figured that was because they underestimated humans. He didn’t bother to correct them. Even if Barnes tried to escape, there was nowhere for him to go. Unless he wanted to go be a hermit in the middle of the forest—Who knows? Maybe he did.

“Name yourself, mortal,” Hela called out, the full authority of Asgard in her voice. Fenrir added to the picture, a mouthful of vicious teeth.

Barnes shifted on his feet uneasily. His shoulders were slumped and his face downturned. “Barnes, James Buchanan; Sergeant; 32557038.” He sounded mechanical. Tony supposed his answer was better than saying he was the Winter Soldier.

Hela began tapping her nails on the armrest. The rhythmic noise pierced through the whole room, adding a tension that felt unnatural. Barnes stood a bit straighter, but still looked like a kicked dog.

“You hurt my beloved, yet you came to him for mercy. Explain,” Hela demanded. The term ‘beloved’ threw Tony off, but he didn’t let it show.

Barnes opened his mouth before sucking in a deep, shuddered breath. He seemed to be frustrated at himself for being at a loss of words.

Hela was, thankfully, patient, though Thor was getting antsy.

“I’ve hurt a lot of people. I didn’t mean to hurt his parents. In the bunker in Siberia,” Barnes flinched and Tony tried to hold back his anxiety, “I reacted on instinct. I should have done things different, I should have made Stevie do things differently.” Barnes met Tony’s eyes. “I’m sorry.”

“Why surrender now? Why surrender to me?” Tony asked in a monotone, desperately needing to know.

“I was tired of running and… and I couldn’t handle being around that Hydra witch or listening to Stevie rant about perceived injustices. If I stayed with them, I would have never found peace.” He took in another shaky breath. “I gave up to you because I was worried I’d get cold feet. I knew you’d be able to capture me if I ran.”

“And what if I tried to kill you?” The thought had crossed his mind, but had been quickly dismissed. He had enough blood on his hands.

“I would have let you.”

Cold siezed Tony’s insides, a cold that was worse than laying in a metal coffin in Siberia. He looked at Hela, hoping she would take charge while he tried to put his thoughts in order. Hela saw his well-hidden floundering.

“You are at my mercy,” Hela said. “What shall I do with a brain damaged mortal?”

“Anything. Just please don’t make me hurt anyone.” Everything about James Barnes was heartbreaking.

“Pathetic,” Hela said, true to her character. Tony could see Thor frown from the corner of his eye. “You are useless to me. Useless things get disposed of.”

“Sister,” Thor begged.

Tony clenched his jaw. “I don’t want him dead.”

“We will need brew-masters when we open the alcohol market up,” Thor tentatively suggested. “I’m certain there are books on the process in the royal library. He could stay in the servants’ quarters and out of sight.” It came out as a question.

Hela looked at Tony. He gave a slight nod in agreement.

“Very well, but he is your responsibility, Thor.” Hela flicked her hand, green sparks flew towards Barnes. He stumbled back as they hit him. “The All-Speak, so he can read the books,” Hela explained. She gestured for Thor to take him away.

Thor went to Barnes and mumbled something to him while leading him out of the throne room.

Tony let out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding. He turned to Hela to pick up their earlier conversation, but she conveniently disappeared in a flash of green.

Chapter Text


 

Loki landed outside of New York City, for once in his life not wanting to cause a scene. He flipped his blond hair. He’d taken the form of his frenemy Amora. It always served to rankle her since she said he didn’t capture his real beauty. Loki made it clear that he looked better than her, in any form.

He stepped onto the world tree and reappeared in Stark Tower.

“Hello, Prince Loki. I am Helen; Mr. Stark’s newest AI. I monitor the tower and would be happy to help you in anyway,” a voice said from the ceiling. The AI didn’t seem to have the same… panache as Friday, not that Loki cared.

“Order me three pizzas, all with anchovies and pineapple.” It was the best combination of pizza toppings and anyone who thought otherwise was a fool! “And make it a rush order!”

“As you wish, Prince Loki.” It was magic to Loki’s ears.

Loki decided to go rummaging through Tony’s closet, despite the copious outfits he kept in his pocket dimension. It was only halfway to Tony’s room that he remembered he’d shucked all his clothes in one of the guest rooms.

Loki wheeled around, pleased with himself.

He casually sent out a wave of his magic, searching for hints of the mind stone since Tony told him Wanda’s powers came from it. He sensed two separate entities, one in the building and the other a few blocks away. Loki hadn’t bothered to shield himself and was sensed in return, but only by the closest entity. The other was too weak or too untrained to take notice.

Being so close to the mind stone again left a sickening feeling in Loki’s gut, but he didn’t stop his venture towards the spare room despite the stone coming closer. Loki refrained from diving into the rumpled sheets of the bed to catch Tony’s scent; he was too refined for that. Instead he grabbed one of his used hoodies and put it on.

He sauntered to the bar as the being known as Vision floated up from the ground like a ghost. Loki fixed himself a little concoction he’d learned while flitting from one club to another during his last stay.

“Mr. Stark did not inform me that you would be here, Prince Loki.” Vision was annoyingly unreadable. Loki held back a sound of distaste when he saw that he was floating inches above the ground. Loki still had some headway to make with the cloak before he could fly so freely.

“He’s not my supervisor!” Loki shouted dramatically, grinning to himself on the inside. Vision gave no reaction. How boring. “Why are you bothering me?”

“I wish to inquire about your relationship with Mr. Stark.”

Loki didn’t let his confusion show. Instead he narrowed his eyes in suspicion. “Why do you want to know that?”

Vision tilted his head to the side slightly. “I have found myself caring for him far more than any other person I’ve encountered.”

“He’s mine,” Loki hissed out, feeling possessive. He was happy to share with Hela, but not with some outsider.

“I have no claim over him. I see him as a parental figure, but I do not know how he sees me.”

Some of Loki’s tension eased. “He considers Friday as his daughter. You need only ask to see how he regards you. Either way, I don’t care.” Loki sat up straighter. “I am here to see how the situation with Tony’s former teammates unfolds.”

Vision accepted his explanation. Loki listened with a half-ear to Vision tell him about the different groups that were waiting in the tower for Rogers to show up. Soon after the pizza arrived. Loki shooed Vision off so that he could eat and watch his trashy TV shows in peace.

Loki periodically sent out waves of magic, making sure he wasn’t missing any action.

He vegged out for a while and painted his nails black. The polish had been a gift from Hela. He’d never felt comfortable painting them before due to social pressures, but Hela had encouraged him—reminded him that he was a prince and he was above all those that would dare think less of him.

Eventually he got bored of waiting for Rogers to make a move, and instead decided to make his own.

He was still in Amora’s guise—the same guise many had taken photos of when he’d help capture Romanoff. He had to be certain that Rogers and company knew he was associated with Tony.

“Helen, do you have access to Tony’s Twitter account?” Because of course Loki knew what Twitter was. He paid attention to his surroundings, unlike Thor.

“I have full access to all of Mr. Stark’s media accounts.”

Loki grinned. He arranged himself on the couch and looked at a camera. “Zoom in on me. You shall take a picture of me winking and then post it on his Twitter with the caption: Hanging out with my bae Nikol.” Loki winked at the camera.

“Posted. How else may I help you?”  

“That’s all for now.” Loki got off the couch. He had eaten just a tad too much, but he had no regrets.

He made his way to the master bathroom, while pulling out essential toiletries for a bath from his pocket dimension: candles, scrubs, bath pillow, loofa, soaps and conditioners, and, most importantly, a bath bomb called ‘The Blood of My Enemies’.

Loki set it all up while filling the jacuzzi like tub. He made the water lukewarm since otherwise he felt like he was being cooked.

The scent of the candles mingled together perfectly. He tossed the bath bomb in and watched as blood red spread in the water. He eased into the water, still in Amora’s form.

Being shapeshifted never bothered Loki or made him doubt his identity—excluding one world-shattering instance which was not his fault. Whether in the form of a woman, child, or animal he was still Loki and knew himself to be male. That self-knowledge, the knowledge that he was himself in any form was one of the key reasons he could now stand the fact that he was Jotun. Though it wasn’t necessarily something he wanted to acknowledge.

He had grown up indoctrinated into hating the Jotuns and to a lesser extent the fire giants. A life time of prejudice was hard to combat, especially since Loki often dealt with self-hatred—not that he’d ever admit that.

Loki sunk further into the water, feeling it embracing him.

He was also still trying to come to terms with not being the ‘villain’. Though that term was very murky. Before the dark elves invaded he happily considered himself an outsider, one who refused to play by Odin’s rules. He also knew that his actions on Midgard made him a villain in the eyes of most, but the destruction he rained down was child’s play compared to all the violence Thor had gotten away with his whole life.

And perhaps Loki shouldn’t have sent the destroyer after Thor, but he would still be a mortal trouncing through Midgard if he hadn’t. If anything, Thor should be grateful!

After the dark elves… Odin wasn’t worthy of the throne. He had made a mistake by sentencing Loki to a lifetime of imprisonment. Thor had waged war on Jotunheim the same way Loki had done on Midgard, yet their punishments were night and day. And if Odin had factored in Loki’s attack with the Bifrost on Jotunheim, then he was a fool. Loki had singlehandedly put an end to the budding war—had saved countless Aesir lives.

Yes, Odin was a fool. Especially since it had taken so little for Hela to become ‘reformed’.

It had been a kindness for Loki to lock away Odin’s memories of the past and give him a peaceful life befitting of his decrepit age. Though in retrospect he should have kept a better eye on him.

But now, Loki no longer considered himself a villain. He had taken his proper place as a prince of Asgard. The relief that came from no longer having to rule had been palpable and surprising. Doubly so with someone other than his foolish brother on the throne.

With Hela’s rule Loki had also found the respect he had wished for, that Thor had refused to give him for most of his life. That was most evident in the way Hela was willing to share her relationship with Tony with him.

Loki had been incredulous at first, thinking it was a trap, that Hela had seen his growing interest and wanted to trick him into admitting it. But she spoke of how she could tell Tony was capable of caring for more than one person at a time, that he had so much good in him that she was almost afraid that she couldn’t live up to the new world they were forming together. She admitted that sometimes having his undivided attention was like staring at the sun, painful, illuminating, and made her feel small.

At the time Loki had still felt hesitant. If Tony was capable of pulling forth such humbling emotions from someone as powerful as Hela, what would happen to Loki? He had still been establishing his sense of self, how he fit into Asgard’s new paradigm. Tony might have shined light on something Loki wasn’t strong enough to handle, something irredeemable.

Hela had been supportive though. Yes, Tony had shown her things she didn’t like about herself, but because of that she felt herself growing into someone better, something more than what Odin raised her to be.

Loki had eventually come around—And if I big part of why he did was because Tony made him realized he liked being spanked, well, no one needed to know that.

*

Loki left Stark Tower, feeling completely relaxed after his luxurious bath.

A good bath and the promise of mischief. His day was going swimmingly~

The little people took pictures of him, still in Amora’s form, as he left the tower. They were shouting out questions about his relationship with Tony. Loki’s post to Twitter had worked perfectly.

Loki was practically vibrating with energy, looking forward to going against those little mortals again. He was also interested in seeing how the mind stone had warped a human.

He strolled to the street outside the building he had sensed the signature of the mind stone.

Now to get the rogues to notice him. He stood across the street from the building he sensed them in. With a flick of his magic two cars crashed together loudly. He took care not to injure anyone, solely because he didn’t want to deal with Tony complaining.

Loki hurried over to the cars to ‘make sure everyone was alright’. From beneath his eyelashes he saw Barton peeking out a window. Perfect. Loki knew his mind and easily made it so that he was recognized as Tony’s lover.

Loki pulled out a cell phone, pretending to make a call as he walked to in front of the building the rogues were hiding in.

It took less than two minutes for Loki to be snatched up. He didn’t struggle sincerely against the feeble strength of the super soldier. But he did cause Rogers to trip over his shoelaces, causing them to tumble to the ground. Baron was quick to snatch Loki before he could pretend to run away.

He was taken to the second story of the building and shoved into a chair.

“I only have 20 dollars! Take it! Just please don’t hurt me!” Loki forced tears to spring from his eyes while pretending to cower.

Rogers loomed over her, a crazed look in his eyes. “What did Tony do to my Bucky!” he shouted.

Loki flinched, sinking in his seat. Rogers was acting like a dog, the kind that needed to be put down before it could maul a defenseless child.

From the corner of his eye he could see Maximoff in the corner, her eyes glowing red in the dim light.

“Who the hell is Bucky?” Loki whimpered. Rogers’ face screwed up.

Rogers hand shot forward to grab him, but Barton got in his way. “Let me take care of this, Cap.”

Loki wasn’t surprised by this turn of events. He had been through Barton’s mind, turned over every stone and knew him like the back of his hand. Romanoff and him had a system. She would interrogate men and he would interrogate women. Romanoff seduced while Baron used the threat of violence.

Barton’s presence was more controlled than Rogers, adding a sinister feel that Rogers was incapable of pulling off.

“I recognize you,” Loki said, his voice breaking perfectly. “You’re Laura’s ex-husband.”

Barton’s composure cracked in an instant. He grabbed Loki by his long, blond hair. “What do you know about her?!” Loki held in a sinister laugh.

“She—she was in Tony’s bedroom when I met her! Tony wanted to have a threesome with her, but I’m straight!”

Barton’s expression shut down for a split second before rage overcame him. “I’m going to kill him! And them I’m going to kill her!” Barton made for the door, but Maximoff met him there.

“You have to calm down, Clint,” she said soothingly, with just a hint of fear in her voice. “We have to be smart about this. Stark is in his tower. He probably has his lackies waiting for us there.” She touched his forearm and Loki could sense a tinge of magic being used. “I want him dead too. We have his girlfriend now. He’ll have to listen to us.”

Barton’s shoulders slumped. Loki wondered how much that was due to Maximoff’s magic or to her words.

“You ment—mentioned someone named Bucky?” Loki asked, drawing their attention back to him. “Do you mean the man who is missing an arm?”

“Yes!” Rogers shouted while grabbing Loki’s shoulders. “Did you see him? Is he alright?”

“I only caught a glimpse of him. He looked real beaten up, like he had a fight with a lawn mower.” Rogers lost all the color in his face. “Tony took him to Asgard, to someone named Loki.” It came out as a question, perfectly tailored.

Rogers collapsed on the floor and curled up in a ball. “No. No, no, no,” he chanted, his hands grabbing his hair tightly, pulling at it. His rocking back and forth was a delicious form of entertainment.

Loki was aching to reveal himself, to watch the chaos unfold, but had promised Tony not to show himself. What a shame.

“What are you going to do to me?” Loki squeaked out.

“Let me play with her mind,” Maximoff said with a demented grin. “I can get her to kill Stark.”

“No! I’ll never get Bucky back if we do that!”

“Death is too good for that piece of shit.” Barton’s voice was emotionless, but his eyes were burning with fury.

“Then let’s use his whore to get us inside Stark Tower.” When no one disagreed, Wanda stepped forward, her hands glowing red.

Loki stood up abruptly, a mischievous grin twisting his lips. He thrust his palm against her forehead then wrenched the power of the mind stone out of her. Maximoff let out a pained cry as the red disappeared from her hands.

Rogers jumped to his feet, trying to grab Loki, but he easily sidestepped him. “You foolish mortals,” Loki cackled. “Do you really think you are above Tony?” He leapt into a spinning kick, his heel connecting with Rogers’ jaw. In one fluid motion he grabbed Barton and flipped him onto the ground. With a swift punch she knocked him out “You’re nothing compared to him!” He coalesced Maximoff’s powers in his hand before using it against her, pushing her into her worst nightmare. She fell to the ground, catatonic.  

That left only Rogers, the worst of the bunch. Tony had divulged to Loki what his former teammate had done to him. How he’d lied for years and left him for dead. It infuriated Loki.

Loki prowled towards him. Rogers was on his hands and knees, still dazed from Loki’s kick. He yanked him up by his hair then smashed his knee into his nose. Blood gushed from his face, but Loki was far from done.

Rogers tried to stand, but Loki swept his legs out from under him. Loki drove his foot down on Rogers’ right arm. It snapped beautifully. He gave the same treatment to his other limbs.

“Pathetic! Fight me, you fool!” Loki ground his foot into Rogers’ chest, the same spot on Tony where his chest had nearly been caved in.

Rogers tried to bat away Loki’s foot, with no success. Loki pulled out his cellphone, still pinning Rogers down.

“Helen, inform Vision that I had captured his former teammates. Give him my coordinates.”

“Right away.”

Loki sat back in the chair they had originally shoved him into, looking at his handy work. Barton was unconscious, Maximoff’s eyes were wide and unseeing, and Rogers was gasping for air. Yes, Loki was very pleased with himself.

He turned his attention to the writhing red energy in his hands. It had Maximoff’s signature on it, her lust for violence and revenge. She’d left an imprint with intentions the way the Other had done to the mind stone before Vision cleansed it.

Loki balled his hand into a fist. He formed the energy it into a burgundy gem. He exorcised its malevolent intent. It was far weaker than the mind stone, but Loki was sure he could find a use for it.

“Was… was anything you said true?” Rogers asked between his wheezes.

Loki grinned at him, not bothering to respond.

Chapter Text


 

It was official. Hela was avoiding him. Tony was sorely tempted to say: ‘Women, amiright?’ like those good for nothing men on sitcoms.

He was restless, thoughts always drifting to Hela. He hadn’t realized how attached he was until now. He missed her blasé attitude and social deafness. How she would get frustrated when she didn’t understand why she should care about a policy that benefitted the common people. Tony even missed hearing her complain overdramatically.

It didn’t help that Loki was gone. Tony felt like a large part of himself had been carved out, but he wasn’t sure how to describe the feeling.

Friday’s uplifting attitude was the only thing keeping him from getting agitated, but even she needed some time alone.

Tony was hoping Thor would distract him. They were in the town square. The large area had been corded off, with just enough room on the perimeter for onlookers.

Hildy, Ingrid, and a few other surviving Valkyries were holding tryouts and recruitments for potential new Valkyries.

Ingrid was in charge of testing the young girls to see who had potential. Hildy was putting on a tournament for women to see if they could fit them into their roster.

The area was bustling with activity, merchants selling snacks and Valkyrie dolls. Onlookers cheering for their wives and daughters.

Tony and Thor had the best seats in the area, with servants bringing them mead and finger-food.

“Lady Sif!” Thor called out. She glanced at them, her eyes bright when she saw Thor, then dimming considerably when she looked at Tony.

Ever since their encounter on Earth, Sif had been avoiding Tony. He couldn’t blame her. Tony hadn’t exactly been tactful. Along with that Tony got the feeling that she wasn’t a fan of the new regime.

Sif walked over, her steps sure and powerful. Tony hadn’t noticed before, but she had a strong presence. Strong, but stoic. It made for a boring combination.

“My prince.” Sif bowed to him then glanced at Tony. “Advisor.” Her nod of acknowledgment was curt and devoid of emotions. Tony supposed that was better than outright distaste.

“I did not know you wished to be a Valkyrie.” Thor gestured to one of the servants. A goblet was presented to Sif and she took it. She downed half of it before speaking.

“I dreamed of being a Valkyrie when I was a girl, before I knew they were disbanded,” Sif explained. Tony held his tongue. The Valkyrie hadn’t been disbanded. There simply hadn’t been enough of them left after facing Hela to form a proper group—especially considering their leader, Hildy, was presumed dead.

Thor laughed heartily. “I too wished to be a Valkyrie!”

The pair fell into a friendly conversation. Tony’s mind drifted. He hoped Angela wouldn’t come along and sour his already poor mood.  On the other hand, if she became a Valkyrie she might not be around the palace as much. He’d only seen her twice in as many days since he got back from Earth. Each time she had glared at him, but thankfully didn’t approach.

Tony spotted a hunched figure in the crowd and immediately identified it as Bruce. Tony called over one of the servants and had her fetch Bruce. Tony grinned to himself as Bruce tried to turn her down, but eventually yielded.

Bruce skittered on over, not comfortable with the attention of being one of the only men in the corded off area.

“Brucie-Bear!” Tony said happily while leaning forward in his seat. “How goes living with two beautiful Amazonians?”

“It’s, uh, nice. Hildy and Ingrid are very welcoming. I do want to find myself a home though eventually. Something in the woods.” Bruce ran his fingers through his hair, looking nervous.

“Going back to the hermit life?” Tony asked while frowning.

“Maybe? I don’t know. I want to still help people, but even with how strong Asgardians are I’m still a threat.” Bruce turned an impish grin onto Thor. “I wiped the floor with Thor and he’s supposed to be one of the best fighters here.”

Thor took in deep breath. “Nay! That battle was rigged in your favor!”

“Sure, whatever you say, thuderpants.” Tony patted Thor on the shoulder condescendingly.

Thor stood from his seat, chest puffing up. “I demand a rematch!” he shouted, drawing the attention of the onlookers.

Bruce hunched a bit more. “I’ve done enough fighting in my life. You can have the title of champion if you want it.” He waved his hand, as if trying to dispel the idea of fighting.

Thor pouted, but dropped the subject. Sif quickly drew his attention back to her.

“You going to be alright being a hermit? I’ll miss you.” Tony tugged at Bruce’s sleeve. “Anything I can do to keep you around?”

Bruce shifted on his feet. “Well, I am interested in medical magic. After Ingrid was brought out of her coma with magic… I could do a lot of good with that power, make up for a lot of wrong.”

Tony thinned his lips, holding back a platitude. Instead he turned to the future. “Loki is in charge of teaching magic. You sure you’re going to be able to handle being around him?”

“I can try.” It came out as a question, making Tony chuckle.

“I doubt he wants to see the green bean anymore than you want to Hulk out. Your interests are aligned,” Tony said ominously. Bruce crinkled his nose. Tony laughed.

*

Surprisingly, it was Fenrir who brought them back together—or more accurately, Fenrir scooped Tony up into its deadly jaws and carried him to Hela.

She was in a room Tony had never been to before, surrounded by lumber and half whittled figures. Hela was engrossed in working on something that fit in her hand, a carving of a woman. It had a likeness to Hela, but with softer features—possibly her mother.

Tony was dropped unceremoniously on the ground, startling Hela. Tony stood up, brushing off wood shavings. At least he didn’t have a splinter.

“What’s cooking, good looking?” Tony said on instinct. Hela wrinkled her nose in distaste. It was cute. Tony took in a breath before speaking again, “Hela, what’s going on? You’ve been avoiding me, and it’s making me feel like shit. If something’s wrong, we can work on it together.” He took her hand and was thankful when she didn’t pull away.

Hela wouldn’t meet his eyes though. Tony rubbed her knuckles with his thumb.

“I spoke to Angela, as you bid me to, and she said somethings—things I don’t want to believe.” Tony felt his anger rising at Angela, but he didn’t let it show, not letting up on rubbing Hela’s knuckles. “I had a plan, one that formed during a thousand years of anger and solitude, yet in less than a day you changed them. How weak-willed I must be to let such a thing happen.”

Tony pursed his lips. He sighed. “That doesn’t make you weak, Hela. Being able to change your mind is the mark of intelligence. You took in new information and adapted to it. There’s nothing wrong with that.” Tony kissed the back of her hand. He noticed small cuts that were already healed there, probably from whittling.

“That was… only part of it.” Hela finally looked at him. “Are you using me?”

Tony blanched. “What?”

“I’ve been ruler only in name since I took the throne. You’ve taken control of everything, the policies, construction plans, and leniency to those that once opposed me…” Her eyes became glossy with tears. “All I’ve done is put my name on the policies and had sex! Is that really all I’m good for to you? Have you been using sex to distract me?”

“Hela, kitten, no. I’ve only done what I thought was right, what I thought would make Asgard a better place. At first, I’ll admit that I was trying to curb you away from Earth, but it’s become so much more than that. Asgard is yours. You don’t have to listen to my suggestions. I don’t even listen to all my suggestions!” he tried to joke, but it fell flat. Tony leaned in closer, trying to convey his sincerity. “I would never use sex to distract you. I care about you.” Tony wanted to pull her into a hug, but knew it wasn’t the right time. “If you want to stop having sex, that’s fine. We can stop. Hela, I never wanted to pressure you into anything. You mean so much to me. I’m sorry I made you feel this way. Is there anything I can do to make this better?”

“I don’t know. It’s just the way Angela spoke… Tony, who am I without my wars? Without the carnage that once filled my every waking moment?” Hela looked so desperate, and Tony wished he had a good answer for her.

“Only you can figure that out with time. You’ve already picked up whittling. You just need to explore the different possibilities. Maybe you like shopping like Loki does, or bawdy ballads like Thor. Maybe you like something all together different. And if you’re really looking for battle, Loki mentioned something about being held captive and wanting revenge.” Tony cupped Hela’s face and ran this thumb over her cheek. “You’re an individual and free to make your own future. Don’t ever forget that.”

Hela smiled softly and turned to kiss Tony’s palm.

“I have been working on something that you’ll find quite interesting.” Tony gave her a questioning look. There was a coy twinkle in her eyes. “It’s a secret, for now.” Tony hated secrets, but wanted to trust Hela to not hurt him by holding something back.

Tony asked Hela to show him what she was whittling. As she spoke, they fell into a familiar and comfortable pattern.

*

Friday was sitting at the edge of a pond, her feet engulfed in the cool water, fish of all colors nipping at her toes. Her chin was tilted up, sunshine making her freckles stand out.

Tony couldn’t remember the last time he’d looked that relaxed. It was enviable.

Friday had settled in nicely, quick to adapt. She had taken to going to the open air markets in Asgard, buying trinkets and getting to know the natives. Tony didn’t like the idea of her going out alone, but did his best to respect her independence. At least she took some of Thor’s warrior friends along with her when she decided to go bird watching in the forest. Though Tony didn’t give them much weight. He just had to comfort himself with the knowledge that she was made from vibranium.

Friday had taken to bug collecting after she realized Asgard had no encyclopedia on their native bugs. Tony enjoyed her enthusiasm for the whole thing—especially when she giggled because a bug tried to sting her, but couldn’t pierce her skin.

There was a collection of jars behind them, the sound of bugs clinking inside of them barely heard over the sound of the stream.

Friday laid back, her legs still in the water. She sighed happily.

“It’s different here. I’m different here,” Friday said, her eyes hooded and voice wistful.

“Yeah, me too.” Tony stretched his arms up, still reveling in how so many of his aches and pains had melted away with godhood.

Friday chuckled. “I mean I feel more human on Asgard. There’s no internet for me to connect to. I’m alone in my head for the first time.”

Tony glanced at her. “I don’t know which is scarier; having all that information in my head or suddenly not having it.”

“It’s not scary. I kind of like it. It makes some of the things you’ve done make more sense to me.” Friday took his hand, giving it a squeeze. “Thanks for making me and bringing me to Asgard, dad.”

“Anything for you, baby girl.”

*

Tony had seen the light of the Bifrost and knew Loki would be back any minute. Tony decided to make himself comfortable in Loki’s bed, throwing aside his useless clothes.

He was skimming one of the books he’d found on Loki’s nightstand, a morbid piece about the Holocaust. Hopefully he wasn’t getting any ideas. And what did that say about Tony? He was in a relationship with two people who had no qualms with conquering planets and killing countless people.

In a relationship if Tony had to be the voice or reason, something was really wrong.

Tony set aside the book, trying not to let it overshadow his excitement of reuniting with Loki. Hell, it had only been a few days and he already missed Loki like crazy. When he’d been going out with Pepper they had been absent from each other for weeks on end, yet that hadn’t been a problem in the least.

Tony’s thoughts were interrupted by a door in the main chambers opening. Tony got off the bed and went to the bedroom door to greet his man. He stopped short. Loki had a burlap sack thrown over his shoulder. It was thrashing around and had feet sticking out of one end.

“Loki,” Tony sighed. “This becoming a bad habit, kidnapping sentient beings. Earth isn’t your one-stop-shop.”

Loki’s grin was wicked. “I don’t see the problem.” He dropped the sack down. Tony cringed. That couldn’t have felt nice. “It is a tradition that Asgard takes slaves from their defeated foes.”

Tony had a realization. “You didn’t,” he said, eyeing the burlap sack.

“I did.”

Chapter Text


 

“Why are you naked?” Loki asked, as if it wasn’t obvious. Tony rolled his eyes and went back into the bedroom. Loki followed him, stepping over the squirming burlap sack. “Not that I’m complaining.”

“There hasn’t been a slave in Asgard since Hela was banished,” Tony said while getting dressed.

“You’ve never heard of a prisoner with a job? You have that in America. What’s the difference?” Loki picked up one of Tony’s boots and tossed it at him. Tony barely caught it. “One of your states, the virgin one—”

“Virginia,” Tony corrected.

“Yes, that one. It declared prisoners were slaves of the state. See? I did my research~” Loki looked pleased with himself.

Tony sat on the bed to tie his boots. “And I’m sure you cherry picked the data.” Loki shrugged while grinning. “You have no shame.”

“Says the man who greeted me naked.” Loki stepped into his space and gave him a searing kiss. “Thank you for welcoming me home, pet.”

“Anytime, snuggle bug.” Tony wrapped his arms around Loki and rested his forehead against his chest. “I missed you.”

Loki tensed up. “I don’t think anyone has ever said that to me before.”

Their tender moment was broken by muffled shouts. It was easy to tell who was in the burlap sack.

“Why Wanda?” Tony asked while going over to her.

“She was the easiest one for me to get. I told your government that I could only temporarily hold back her powers and that she would eventually build up an immunity to the collar she had on. Those were, of course, lies. This woman is unique. I can infuse her with powers. They grow stronger inside her. Then I can pull it out of her, forming gems of power like this one.” Loki pulled out a dark red gem from his pocket and handed it to Tony. It felt strange in his hand, almost numbing with a tinge of electricity. “She willingly became a test subject, something less than human. Being used to her full potential is the natural outcome.”

Loki flicked his hand. The burlap sack disappeared, revealing a disheveled Wanda. She was bound at her wrist and ankles, a cloth gag muffling her curses. The power-nullifying collar was around her neck. She stared at him with hate, but Tony was surprisingly unaffected.

It had taken a long time, and maybe becoming a god had been the final push; Tony finally saw her as what she was: a delusional woman who had built her whole life around a bomb that had his name on it.

“The bomb that hit your house probably wasn’t even mine,” Tony said dryly to her. “When I make something, it works.” Her cursing became louder, but no less garbled. Tony looked at Loki. “What is your plan for her while she’s ‘growing’ power?”

“Once I place the obedience spell on her, she’ll do whatever jobs we tell her to. And,” Loki grinned, “I’m a bit of an exhibitionist.”

And then they had sex in front of Wanda’s virgin eyes.

*

It was a quiet evening by their standards. Tony and the royal family, excluding Angela, were sitting around a large table that was downright cozy compared to the one in the feasting hall. The only thing that broke the serenity was the hateful glares Wanda was sending from where she was standing against the wall.

“Would being a slave owner count as a hobby?” Hela asked over dinner.

“Kitten, I beg of you, please don’t reinstate slavery.” Tony looked at her imploringly.

Hela pouted. “Loki has a slave. I want one too.”

“You two can share the slave.” Loki outright hissed at Tony’s suggestion. “What are you, five?”

“He might as well be,” Thor said under his breath.

Loki turned into a snake and sprung across the room, knocking Thor out of his seat. The pair wrestled. Tony and Hela ignored them.

Angela walked in, smelling of sweat and dirt. She was casting scornful looks at Tony.

“Seriously?” he asked. “What’s your problem with me?”

Tension filled the room as Angela’s expression twisted into disgust. “My problem with you, Tony Stark of Midgard, is that you are nothing, yet you play at being something. You are insidious!”

“Angela!” Hela cut in.

“No, Hela! I will hold my tongue no longer! Is this even how you want Asgard to be? We dreamed of conquering worlds together! Of forging an empire far more glorious than Odin’s, side by side! What is the point of all these changes?! The peasants don’t need schooling! They should just be thankful that we allow them to live!” Angela angrily gestured at Tony. “This man has no royal blood! What right does he have to tell you how to rule?! What right does he have to sit at our table?!”

“Angela!” Hela shouted while standing. Green miasma swirled around her, shifting and whipping violently. “I will not sit here and listen to you question my judgement. Tony has proved his worth. He often cares about things I don’t, but that’s a good thing! I want to see the world he envisions. It sounds beautiful and unreal, but by the Norns I want to see it!” The frenetic magic eased to a green haze. “He is my beloved. Respect that I have chosen him as both an advisor and my lover.”

Angela shifted under Hela’s heavy gaze. “I’ve spent centuries being pushed around in Heven for being the only Aesir there, for being associated with Odin. I thought things would be better now that I’m back home, but this is no different. I am your sister. What of the promises you made to me when I was a child? The promises to fight back-to-back against hoards of enemies. The promise to find glory together.” Angela’s voice became quiet. “Those promises were the only thing that kept me hanging on.”

“Sister,” Hela whispered, looking lost.

Tony bit his tongue, wanting to help, but knowing anything he said would just make it worse.

“There is an army that we all can agree should be destroyed,” Loki said, having transformed back into himself at some point during the argument. “Thanos’ forces are great.” Loki’s eyes flicked to Tony’s. “He is the one who twisted me up and sent me to Midgard with the scepter. He has promised retribution unheard of if I failed him. I know what kind of torture he is capable of and shudder at the thought of what he would do to me.”

“Why did you not speak of the Mad Titan before?!” Thor nearly shouted “Surely father would have—”

“He would have done nothing but call me a thrice damned liar.” Loki’s voice held no anger, only a firmness grounded in truth. “I was holding back the information until Thanos made himself known. I was going to use my knowledge of his fleet as leverage for freedom.”

Thor became somber.

“I have never heard of this Thanos person.” Angela’s arms were crossed in front of her. She was teetering imperceptibly between going to Hela and leaving.

Hela sat up straight. “Odin wasn’t one to let others know of his failings. He pushed Thanos out of the nine realms, but couldn’t kill him.” Tony could already tell Hela was thrilled at the prospect of one-upping her old man.

“When I was under his tender care, he had three infinity stones. One was in the scepter he gave me and is now on Midgard and in the being Vision. We have the Tesseract and Dr. Strange is in possession of another infinity stone. Had Odin not foolishly sent off the Aether we would have that stone too.”

“The Aether is dangerous. It nearly killed my Lad—It nearly killed Jane,” Thor corrected himself. “Odin was wise to send it away.”

“Odin sent it away because he was too old to control it himself,” Loki said dryly. “Had that not been the case he would have happily kept it in his vault as just another relic.” Loki let out a slow breath. “I could have wielded the Aether and used it to its full potential.”

“Nay, brother—”

“I could have,” Loki said firmly, just a pinch of petulance in his voice. “You have always underestimated my power simply because you have no comprehension on the magic I wield.”

“Have you forgotten our battle on Midgard?”

“Odinsons,” Hela said sharply, “now isn’t the time for your bickering. Angela, come and sit down.” Angela paused, but did what she was told. “Loki, tell me more about Thanos and his army.”

The group came together, talking about battle tactics and possible future wars. Angela was skeptical at first when Tony added in his two cents, but as time went on they all fell into a good rhythm.

*

Hela’s word was as good as gold to Angela. Everything seemed easier since the two weeks when the pair had a blow out during dinner. The schools were set to open soon. Friday was having the time of her life, bossing around Wanda. She also had Wanda reading books on ethics and writing essays on them—and rewriting the essays until they didn’t sound crazy.

Hela and Loki had somehow gotten even closer, whispering and snickering together on any given occasion. Thor had found his niche, training warriors for the coming battles. The new Valkyries were being put through their paces, candidates dropping like flies while those that remained flourished. Angela had taken to going to different realms to hunt down potential allies.

Tony was having the time of his life. When he wasn’t spending time with his lovers or his family he was taking apart the marvels of machinery that Asgard was abundant with. He was enamored with the Bifrost, which made Loki all sorts of proud since he had been integral in rebuilding it, in making it better.

There was one thing that made Tony uneasy, though. Hela had asked him to look at the Tesseract. Ultron and the mess the mind stone had created was still fresh in Tony’s mind. Loki tried to reassure him, telling him about how the sinister imprint on the stone that had been left by Thanos had shaped Ultron. Tony couldn’t shake off the feeling that all those lives that had been lost were because of him, but the feeling was different than it used to be. It felt dulled, like it had happened a lifetime ago. And maybe it had. Godhood was Tony’s second life.

Tony strolled into Loki’s chambers, intent on getting some cuddles and maybe catching some Z’s. He was also going to whisper some compliments in his ear. A flustered Loki, was an adorable Loki.

Tony grinned when he saw Loki. He was in the blond woman form he’d taken when he went to Midgard for some mischief. He was sprawled out on a chaise lounge, his green dress showing his curves.

“I feel like a starving man before a feast,” Tony said smoothly. He was rewarded with a small and a spark of lust in Loki’s eyes. “How did I get so lucky?”

“Only the Norns know, and they’re not telling.” Loki slinked over to him, his hips swaying in a way they never did when he was in a male form.

Tony licked his lips, intent on going down on him. He lifted Loki by his rounded hips and set him on a table before dropping down to his knees. Loki spread his legs and Tony started kissing the top of his feet. He always enjoyed the slow progression, making Loki snap impatiently.

Before Tony could even lift Loki’s dress he was yanked backwards and hit in the jaw, sending him careening backwards. The Cloak of Levitation was shade-shifting like an octopus in violent red and oranges colors. It pinned Tony against the wall.

“Loki! What the fuck! Call off your cloak!” Tony shouted, not bothering to struggle. Loki knew Tony wasn’t into bondage unless he was the one doing the binding.

Loki’s tongue peeked out. “Silly man, I’m not Loki.” Tony’s eyes went wide, panic setting in.

“Cloak! Restrain her! I’m going to get a guard and Loki!” The cloak hesitated a split second before going after the woman. Green magic that was too light to be Loki’s or Hela’s zapped the cloak, paralyzing it mid-flight. It fell to the ground stiffly.

Tony unfolded his gauntlet-watch in one smooth motion, aiming it at her. “Guards!” Tony called out, anger flaring to life in his chest.

“No need to get violent,” the woman said while raising her hands in surrender. She sounded smarmy, making Tony feel sick. He was an idiot for mistakenly thinking she was Loki.

Three guards came in, their spears pointing at the woman. “One of you get Loki right now,” Tony ordered.

It took everything he had not to blast her. The last time he’d been this livid was in the bunker in Siberia. He felt deceived and betrayed all over again, even though it was his own fault for not seeing past appearances. Tony also felt off-balance and stupid. What if everything fell apart from just a single moment of blindness? Hela and Loki made it clear that if he cheated on them there would be hell to pay.

It took a good ten minutes for Loki to appear in a flash of green.

“Amora, what have you done now?” Loki seethed, putting himself between Tony and her. With a flick of his wrist the cloak was mobile again, turning dark green as it settled upon Loki’s shoulders.

“I didn’t do anything. I was just waiting for you to show up when this scrumptious man took me by the hips and tried to fuck me.” Her voice was light and teasing.

“I thought she was you,” Tony tried to explain. “I had no idea—Fuck, I’m sorry, Loki!”

Loki held up a hand, causing Tony to bite his tongue. “You aren’t the first or the last to be deceived by her. No apology is necessary. If anything, this is my fault. Why are you here, Amora?”

“Word of a school of magic reached my delicate ears. I thought my many vast knowledge of magic could be put to use—and since Odin was dead it was a good time to finally return to my home.” She looked so damn sure of herself. Tony wanted to wring her neck.

“You were banished for a reason, chiefmost your love of tricking Thor into sleeping with you. I see you have not learned your lesson.” Loki’s fists were clenched at his side. Tony wanted to hug him, but didn’t know if it would be received well.

Amora pouted as if she was innocent. “My friend, Thor always enjoyed himself, even when he was in a magical daze. Honestly, he should know better by now than to take strange women to bed.” Amora waved her hand back and forth. “You know I could be a good teacher. I have knowledge that you don’t have.”

“Yes, and that’s only because you slept your way into the good graces of mages who otherwise wouldn’t teach you.”

Amora tsked. “Don’t try to take the moral high ground with me. You were obviously using my form to sleep with people. As you said, this situation was your fault.” Amora put her hands on her hips. “Just think about it. I’m going to go terrorize my little sister. Ta-ta!” Amora disappeared in a flash of lime green.

Tony didn’t waste a moment, going to Loki and hugging him. He rested his forehead against Loki’s chest, feeling tears stinging his eyes. “I’m so fucking sorry, Lokes. I had no idea!”

“Shh, pet. This was my fault.” Loki brushed his fingers through Tony’s hair. Tony took in a ragged breath, clutching onto Loki tighter. A clone peeled off from Loki and headed out the door. “I will explain the situation to Hela. I’m certain she will understand.”

Tony desperately wanted that to be true, but history had taught him that good things never lasted. Loki maneuvered them onto the couch, never letting up on his hold on Tony. His arms were the only thing keeping Tony from falling apart.  

Chapter Text


 

“When we first met I thought you were either foolish for standing up to me or strong beyond comparison. Now I know it was both. You are strong, but knowing you have weaknesses is almost reassuring.” Hela was twisting the soft hair at the nape of Tony’s neck. They were in his bed, Tony’s head resting on her bosom.

Loki was behind him, a steady, but silent presence.

Friday was sitting at the bottom of the bed, her knees to her chest and her arms wrapped around her legs. Tony hadn’t explained the situation to her, but she was still there for him.

Loki chuckled. “My first impression of him was similar. The way my minions describe him was as a floozy, but I ignored them. We met briefly, but I still hadn’t formed an opinion. It was the second time that I realized how amazingly brave and foolish he was.” Loki kissed Tony’s shoulder. “You faced me without your suit of armor, defenseless with only your words as a weapon.” Loki chuckled. “Hela, he made a penis joke. Ironic in retrospect.” Hela laughed, but it was clear her heart wasn’t in it. Tony grinned, proud of himself. “Of course, I then nearly killed him by tossing him out a window.”

“Fun times,” Tony said dryly. Loki hugged him from behind. “I guess I’m a thrill seeker, going to bed with people who could have easily killed me.” Tony tried not to think of Amora.

Friday poked his foot. “You’re not a thrill seeker,” she said softly. “You just see through masks.” Tony wished that was true. That would have saved him a lot of trouble when it came to the Avengers and SHIELD. He hadn’t seen past Amora’s pretty face. “We’re here for you, Boss Man.” She pulled on his (awkwardly flat) big toe, reminding him of a little kid for some reason.

“I’m a lucky man.” Everything had changed so fast when he came to Asgard. He was still reeling from it all. It was almost funny how he’d only had one steady relationship before and found it so difficult, yet now he had two and they felt natural.

He had a place in the universe now where he was appreciated and no longer ridiculed at every turn. He had his baby girl and two lovers.

“I love you guys, all three of you. I’m serious. You’re the family I never thought I’d have.” How had he gotten so lucky?

“Love you too, dad.” Friday pulled on his toe again.

“You are my beloved,” Hela said easily.

There was silence from Loki. Tony felt his heart sinking. “You don’t have to say it if you’re not there, Loki.” Tony tried to comfort him, but couldn’t bring himself to turn to see his expression.

“It’s not that.” Loki’s voice cracked. “This is so embarrassing. I don’t think I’ve ever blushed this much before.” Loki buried his face against Tony’s back. Tony laughed and Hela’s eyes were bright with mirth. “I think I might die. Why did you have to say that? Norns, what’s wrong with you? I need a drink.”

Loki got out of bed. Tony turned to watch him. His cheeks and ears were bright red. Hela snorted.

Loki poured himself some wine before downing it in one go, he repeated the process and wiped his lips off on his sleeve. He glared at Tony. “Fine! Yes, Tony Stark of Midgard and Asgard. Listen well, because I won’t say it again. I love you.”

Loki sniffed self-importantly, looking regal and uptight.

“Aw, snuggle bug~ You’re just a big marshmallow on the inside, aren’t you? I bet you’re going to have a little freak out once your alone. Oh! You’re probably going to write some angsty poetry and kiss a picture of me! You’re going to write ‘Loki & Tony 4ever’ in your diary! So cute!”

Loki squawked. A dagger appeared in his hand. Tony had just enough time to roll on Hela and then over her, dodging the dagger.

“Sounds like I hit the mark!” Tony crowed, using Hela as a shield.

“He does have a diary,” Hela teased. Loki made a choked off noise.

“I told you that in confidences!” Loki pounced on Hela, play choking her. Hela was hooting with laughter while batting at him playfully.

Tony stood behind Friday’s sitting form. She was grinning at the spirited display.

Hela grabbed Loki’s face, pulling his cheeks in opposite direction. Drool fell from his mouth and onto her. Hela twisted him around and got him in a headlock. She dug her knuckles into his scalp.

“I give! I give!” Loki shouted between his laughs.

Hela shoved him off the bed. They wound down, all still smiling. Hela leaned against the headboard. “I never knew I wanted a younger sibling until I met you,” she said while Loki brushed imaginary dirt off himself.

“Had I sister like you growing up, life would have been far better,” Loki admitted. “I like you far better than Thor.”

“I’m sure he’d love to hear that,” Tony said.

“Oh, he has. He acts like a kicked dog whenever I make it clear that I like Hela more than him. He gets all mopey with his ‘But brother we were raised together! All our adventures, bla, bla, bla.’” Loki’s imitation was spot on making Tony laugh all over again.

The mood abruptly got somber. “I should skin that Amora woman alive.”

Tony bit his lip and leaned his chin on Friday’s head. She patted his hand that was resting on her shoulder.

Loki sighed. “I will handle it. This is purely my own fault. I used Amora’s form without considering the consequences. She is also… This is not odd behavior for her. She was banished from Asgard by Odin for using trickery to bed Thor.”

“Sounds like rape to me.” Tony couldn’t hold back his anger.

Loki’s face screwed up in confusion. “A woman cannot rape a man unless she sodomizes him. Amora prefers to receive rather than to give.”

“That’s not true,” Friday chimed in. “The definition of rape is: sexual intercourse, or other forms of sexual penetration, committed by a perpetrator against a victim without their consent.”

“Mayhaps on Midgard. Despite the trickery, Thor never minded it,” Loki said. Hela had a look of concentration.

“I didn’t say no to her. I consented.” Tony felt sick to his stomach.

“You didn’t know it wasn’t Loki.” Hela moved closer to him.

“That wasn’t informed consent then. Remember the movie Revenge of the Nerds? Lewis stole Stan’s costume and pretended to be him to have sex with Betty. She didn’t have informed consent. It was rape.” Tony had never thought too deeply on the movie, but the way Friday put it made him rethink it.

“Yes, but I doubt Amora had any ill-intentions.” Loki glanced at Friday then back to Tony. “As I understand it you approached her for sex. That is something she rarely turns down.”

“So it’s my fault?!” Tony nearly shouted.

Loki was quick to backtrack. “No, definitely not. I have slept with Amora and—” Loki took in a breath, searching for the right words. “I know her keenly. She meant no harm, but I am starting to grasp that her ways are skeevier than I once thought.” Loki stared at the ground. “She should be punished, but mayhap not in the way Odin favored. His punishments were cruel and rarely had a lesson behind them. I fear that Amora would only see this as me throwing a fit.”

“I have whole books on consent in my database.” Friday tapped her temple. Tony kissed the top of her head. “I can write out a few books and have her write essays on them till I’m certain she understands what informed consent is.”

“Then perhaps we should jail her until she understands.” Loki looked at Tony and Hela in askance.

“Yeah, I think that would be best,” Tony said, feeling relieved.

“This information should be disseminated,” Hela added. “Taught in schools and then spread with, what did you call them, Tony? Pamphlets?”

Tony grinned. “My, aren’t my lovers becoming progressive?”

Loki rolled his eyes. Hela smirked.

“Basic self-defense should be taught too. There was a study done in Kenya with Consent-Classes where self defense was also taught. Rape occurrences dropped 51%.”

“My baby girl, always so full of information.” Friday beamed at his praise.

“It could be an exercise for the Valkyrie candidates, teaching self-defense classes for all ages,” Loki suggested while looking at Hela. She nodded in agreement.

“A sound policy. You should be the one to pass on the news, Tony.” Hela tried to look innocent. “For some reason they don’t like me.” Tony snorted and Loki snickered. “Are you well now, beloved? I can hold off on checking if the minting of coins has captured my likeness well.”

Tony waved her off. “I feel much better now. You two can go about your royal prerogatives and duties.” Tony stepped away from Friday and stretched. “I’m going to my hot spring and wash off Amora’s cooties.” Tony kissed his loving support system, stopped in on the ‘bots, then relaxed in the hot spring.

Chapter Text


 

Friday was trying to teach Vision a secret handshake… with mixed results. Vision just didn’t seem to have the right pizazz. He was, for lack of a better word, mechanical.

It was very facepalm worthy. And oddly endearing.

Friday blew a raspberry. They started all over again.

The conversation Tony had with Loki before about how Vision regarded him as a paternal figure was still fresh in his mind; but how could Tony broach that subject with Vision?

Their situation was completely unique. Tony barely understood why Vision would see him that way? And it begged the question on how he saw his connection with Ultron.

He supposed he’d just have to run before he walked. “Hey, Vision, I just realized you don’t have any IDs. Wait, do you have a middle name?”

Vision looked at him with a blank expression. It would have been unnerving, if Tony didn’t know that was his default. “I had never thought about it.”

“Hmm, how ‘bout Vision Fibonacci Stark. I think that has a nice ring to it.” Tony grinned. “Fibonacci since you’re perfect and Stark because you’re my son.”

Vision ducked his head done, in dare Tony said it, embarrassment. “I would like that very much.”

“Good, good, good.” Tony gave himself an A+ at this whole parenting thing.

“I’ve sent in the paperwork for his new IDs, Boss Man. It should be a few days before it gets here.” Friday was positively beaming.

“Family hug!” Tony pulled his two vibranium babies into his arms, giving each of them a kiss.

*

Tony had been on world tours before, selling products, selling himself, selling world peace—but he’d never had this much fun before.

It helped that he was traveling around with one of his lovers, Loki. When he and Pepper traveled, it was always for business. Romance was only had in the impersonal hotel rooms after a long day of work.

Tony just wished Hela was with them, but she was a queen and bound to her own world, especially since her rule was relatively new. She had wanted to come along, but refused to shirk her responsibilities.

Friday had volunteered to go, promising Hela to take lots of pictures.

Their little trio was in New Dehli, India, seated at an outdoor table. Their food was being prepared. Unfortunately, the small restaurant didn’t take credit card and Tony had already spent his (substantial) amount of Indian Rupees on Loki’s shopping spree. Instead, Loki was bestowing All-Speak and using healing magic as payment.

“Hela taught me that one,” Loki said after healing a birth defect an elderly woman had. She praised him and gave him thanks, sounding English, yet speaking in her native language.

Loki let out a nearly imperceptible sigh. Tony snickered into his tea. A line was forming outside of the restaurant, people wanting to be healed.

“This is your own fault, you know,” Tony said as another ‘offering’, as Loki called it, was made—this time a bunch of flowers. They were just shows of appreciation and thanks, not worship.

“Were you not so cheap…” Loki took a second to glare at Tony before smiling politely at the young man who was next in line. Today he was in his own (Aesir) form, choosing to no longer hide.

Friday was bouncing an infant on her knee. “Boss Man is right. I’ve never seen someone spend as much money as you do.” The infant let out a gurgling laugh. “But I guess a few people are here because I posted on Twitter and Instigram that you were healing for free.”

“You’re a menace,” Tony said while laughing.

“Know now, Friday Stark, my revenge will be that of legend.”

“Smile for the camera!” Friday said. Loki was quick to put on the charm. Friday took a picture with her eyes. “I’m going to tag this one as #Redeemed, #LokiOfAsgard, #PrinceCharming.”

“I’m sure my PR team is having a field day.” They needed a good workout considering how inactive Tony had been since… since Rhodey’s funeral. Tony smothered that thought.

“Tony, smile!” Tony put up two peace signs and Friday took another picture with her eyes. “Tagging it as #TeaInDehli, #TalentSearch, #IronMan.”

Friday handed off the infant to his mother.

Their food was brought out. Loki used his silver-tongue to disperse the crowd—after performing a general healing spell on the group. It wouldn’t fix the more sever ailments, but would add years to people’s lifetimes.

The restaurant owner thanked them again for curing his daughter’s cancer before leaving them with their meals.

“Doesn’t it feel good to do good?” Tony asked teasingly. Loki could put on airs all he wanted to, but Tony knew he liked healing others—or at least he liked being appreciated.

Friday popped another stick of gum in her mouth, delighted by the various flavors offered in India. Her eyes were distant, clueing Tony in to her being online. “I’m on your official fan website. Should I let them know you’re in a relationship?”

“How ‘bout a quick summery of the last few months. ‘Tony Stark in a healthy and loving polyamorous relationship. Chief Advisor, bringing schools to Asgard, God of Wealth and Sex, so on, so forth.’” Tony took another sip of tea while in thought. “But pretty it up.”

“Should I clarify who you’re in a relationship with?” Friday asked.

“No,” Loki answered for Tony. He looked at him. “I don’t want my past weighing you down. We can announce it when people don’t regard me as a villain… assuming that is possible.”

Tony grasped Loki by his shoulder. “Are you sure? I’m not ashamed of you or anything.”

Loki scoffed. “How could you possibly feel shame? I am a prince and god!”

Tony frowned at Loki shrugging off the issue. “I’m serious. I don’t care what other people think. I’ll shout that I love you from the rooftops if you want me to.”

Loki blushed and hid his face behind a napkin. “No need for that. I am satisfied with all of Asgard knowing. I don’t care what your short-lived Midgardians think, so long as they don’t use me as an excuse to hurt you.”

Loki’s hand slipped into his own. Tony bit his tongue to keep from teasing him.

*

Tony had visited many orphanages in his past, mostly while wearing his armor. Today he was dressed down in jeans and band tee, and a sports jacket to class himself up. Loki was in what passed as casual in Asgard, leather trousers, green v-neck shirt, and decorative daggers at his side. He was examining his black finger nails. Friday popped her bubblegum, rocking back and forth in her ballet flats. She looked conservative in her blue dress and baseball cap.

Since Loki, Friday, and him had gotten to Earth, Tony had lost count of the number of orphanages they’d gone to. That was chiefly where they were getting their students. Tony was advertising it to the world as Asgardian charity to teach children magic, but certain new outlets were lambasting their efforts, saying it was some sort of evil child recruitment scheme to conquer Earth.

Tony’s twitter account was going crazy, kids from all over begging to be part of Asgard’s foreign exchange program. Unfortunately, there were only 70 spots open since so many Asgardian children wanted to learn magic.

Their group split in two when they entered the orphanage. Tony schmoozed the director of the orphanage while Loki used his magic to sense which children had the greatest potential, Friday following in his wake. If he found a child with high enough potential he’d interview them to see that they weren’t, in Loki’s words, ‘dirty miscreants’.”

Tony had given his speech so many times that he didn’t even need to think about it. The speech mostly focused around what a great opportunity going to Asgard was.

Tony heard Loki and Friday passing out toys, which meant they were wrapping up their visit. They came back without a kid by their side. No one here had met Loki’s standards. Tony wrote the director a nice check for the orphanage’s upkeep. Then they were on their way.

“That was depressing,” Friday said, as she did nearly every time they left an orphanage.

Loki huffed. “I told you, you don’t have to come along, yet you insist.”

“Knowing the statistics about orphans is one thing, but seeing it is another. I’m trying to be more human,” Friday explained as they got into the rented vehicle. The pair was gearing up.

“Baby girl, Loki, please don’t have this argument for the thousandth time.” Tony put on his sunglasses.

There were only 4 more spots open. They were headed to Wakanda to fill one of them, for a price.

*

Tony held back a childish whine. He wanted to be the one to fly the unique jet. Loki seemed to sense it, and gave him a mocking look.

Friday was happily interfacing with the Wakandan jet, with the Dora Milaje’s permission of course. The black woman had been reticent with him and Loki, but had no problem with Friday. That was understandable considering Loki’s history, and some people in general didn’t like Tony. Neither Tony or Loki were offended. They had each other. Those outside their family didn’t matter. And after how much pressure Tony used to feel, that was a relief.

From the front of the jet Tony heard Friday start talking about the Valkyries. The Dora Milaje sounded delighted by the idea.

Loki had nodded off so Tony went to Friday and the Dora Milaje whose name he’d forgotten. Hearing his daughter’s voice, filled with wonder and happiness, soothed Tony’s battered soul. Paired with the forest flying beneath them added to the peace.

“Wowzer,” Friday said while putting her hand on her forehead.

Tony was at her side immediately, wrapping his arm around her shoulders. “What’s wrong, baby girl?”

“I just got in range with their wireless network. It’s… loopy compared to ours—different.” Friday’s tongue peeked out as she smiled. “It makes my nose tickle.” She closed her eyes and Tony held her tighter. She chuckled. “Wow, no password. Is it alright if I connect?” Friday asked their escort.

“You have some sort of implant?” the Dora Milaje asked, glancing at Friday then shot an accusing look at Tony.

“Nope!” Friday popped the ‘p’. “I’m a synthetic human. On Earth I can connect to almost anything in range. I thought it would be common curtesy for me to ask before connecting though, since you all are hosting us.”

The Dora Milaje had a mixed expression. “I must ask my general.” She pushed a button on the console. Her words were light and in a different language, but perfectly understandable to Tony. “Go ahead. Just do not try to access anything that is private or password protected.”

Friday’s eyes went distant. Tony maneuvered her into sitting on the chair next to the Dora Milaje. He fussed with her hair, so proud of his baby girl.

“Watch this.” The Dora Milaje was grinning like mad.

The great expanse of jungle twitched and disappeared, revealing a city that looked futuristic and unique in design.

Tony let out a low whistle. “Sexy~” The Dora Milaje shot him a warning look. He smiled sheepishly. “I like the giant, metal panther. It really makes a statement.” And people said Tony’s Stark Tower was a monument to his ego. Though to be fair, the panther was probably a national icon.

Tony went to wake Loki up as they landed. His sleepy cuddle bug angrily wiped away a line of drool from his face, berating Tony for letting him fall asleep. Tony took the insults with grace, letting them slide off his back. Loki was cute when he was irritated, not that Tony would ever tell him that.

When they landed and the plane opened, engulfing them in a humid heat. They were greeted with more Dora Milaje. Standing behind them was T’Challa, a middle-aged woman Tony figured was his mom, and a young girl who he assumed was Shuri.

“Looks like we’re getting the royal treatment,” Tony mused. Loki gave him a look that said ‘really?’ as he gestured to himself. “Oh, right.” Loki was a prince. It would make sense that he got the ‘royal treatment’.

“Welcome to Wakanda,” King T’Challa said. His words were warm, but his eyes were cold.

Right, he probably wasn’t too happy with Tony considering he’d happily revealed to the world that the ExVengers had been hiding in Wakanda.

“Thank you for having us. I am Prince Loki of Asgard.” Loki nodded respectfully.

“Tony Stark of Earth and Asgard. It’s good to see you again, King T’Challa.” Tony looked at the woman. Wakanda wasn’t forth coming with information so he didn’t know her name. “Your Majesty,” he glanced as Shuri, “Highness.” His bow was respectful, but far from low.

“I’m Friday Stark.” She gave a cute little wave.

The Queen whispered something to T’Challa before leaving. Tony wasn’t insulted or put off. It just meant there was one less person he could accidentally insult.

“You are a synthetic human?” Shuri asked while jaunting over. Her footsteps were peppy and light with youth. “Can you—”

“Your magical potential is insufficient,” Loki cut in. And people said Tony had no tact. “Teaching you would be a waste of time.” Loki’s chin was tilted arrogantly.

“Unless we let her use one of those energy gems you are culturing,” Tony said, trying to read Loki. He was either telling the truth or trying to give Tony another bargaining chip.

“Those are highly valuable. They are to be used to strengthen our soldiers.”

“Perhaps we can discuss this inside,” T’Challa suggested.

“Brother, I’ll leave you to the negotiations,” Shuri said, her eyes not leaving Friday. “Ms. Stark, may I have the pleasure of your company in my lab?” Her enthusiasm was obvious.

“Promise not to strap me on a table?” Friday asked, half joking.

“On my honor as a princess!”

Friday giggled at the gravity in her voice. Shuri took her hand and they were off in an instant.

“Kids will be kids,” Tony said dryly, holding back a smile. T’Challa sighed in agreement.

Once they were inside the palace and refreshments were served, Tony’s thoughts unbiddenly went to the ExVengers and why the hell T’Challa had granted them sanctuary. The only reason Tony wasn’t mad or frustrated at him for doing it was because he’d kept them out of Tony’s hair. After Rhodey died, he’d been in the wrong headspace to deal with them gallivanting around the world, leaving destruction in their wake. If anything, Tony should be thankful for his misstep.

Tony took point on their negotiations, bargaining for access to Wakanda’s tech and a treaty between Asgard and Wakanda. Loki backed him up, putting in details Tony wouldn’t have thought of, showing Tony that he wasn’t just a prince in name.

On T’Challa’s part, he received formulas for Asgardian medicine and the promise to teach Shuri about magic, technology, and the universe beyond Earth.

“You understand, Mr. Stark, that if harm comes to her, I will kill you,” T’Challa warned. It wasn’t anything Tony didn’t expect.

“She’ll be housed in the palace since she is an honored guest,” Loki said, his hand on his chest. He looked noble. Tony wanted to tease him mercilessly for it. Loki had many faces, and Tony wanted to learn every one of them.

When Friday and Shuri reappeared, they were acting as thick as thieves. Tony was glad his girl was making friends. There were some quick goodbyes, more than one briefcase, and they were off.

They split up when they got to Stark Tower. Loki went to find another ‘worthy’ orphan, Friday and Shuri (with a few accompanying Dora Milaje) toured the city, and Tony flew off to collect two more students: Peter Parker and Harley Keener.

Chapter Text

“Don’t mess this up for me,” Tony said under his breath. He had one hand on Peter’s shoulder and the other on Harley’s. Peter nodded almost frantically while Harley rolled his eyes. “I don’t want you two little shits embarrassing me.”

“Sure,” Harley said.

“Of course, Mr. Stark.”

Of course, Mr. Stark,” Harley mocked under his breath, adding an edge of dorkiness to it.

Peter glared at him.

Tony held back a long-suffering sigh. Thank Tesla that Vision and Friday weren’t like this.

The pair had been going at each other like cats and dogs ever since they met. It was some weird competition Tony didn’t understand.

He had been sure to keep them separated during the ‘Welcome to Asgard’ dinner, but now they were going to meet Hela.

“This is serious. Hela is a busy lady and one of my lovers. Her opinion matters to me.”

One of your lovers?” Harley asked, looking intrigued.

“Yes, one of two. Polyamory isn’t stigmatized in Asgard.”

“Who’s the other? I bet she’s hot.”

He is hot.” Tony hesitated, remembering Peter’s cold and almost scared reaction to seeing Loki. He had been there during the invasion. He’d seen the destruction first-hand. “It’s Loki.” Peter faltered. “He’s different than who I thought he was at first. He’s not a villain… just an asshole.” Peter pursed his lips while Harley shrugged. “I love him. Just give him a chance, for me.”

Peter nodded resolutely.

A moment later they arrived at one of the oversized parlors. Hela was seated on a bench, Fenrir’s head in her lap. She set aside her book when they entered the room.

“Holy shit! Is that a giant wolf?” Harley nearly shouted.

And so it begins.

“Can I pet him?” Peter asked. Did these two really have no sense of self-preservation?

Thankfully, Hela laughed. “Ah, the exuberance of youth. Yes, you may pet Fenrir.”

Fenrir eyed them warily before sitting up. The pair tried to shoulder past each other. They paid more attention to the wolf than to Hela.

Tony refrained from facepalming.

Hela stood, and Tony gave her a peck on the lips. “Hey, kitten.” They’d only caught a glimpse of each other earlier since he’d been busy settling in all the kids and the teachers from Earth and a few other realms.

“Beloved.” She ran her finger down his cheek, causing him to shiver in delight. His trip had only been a week and a half, yet he’d missed her keenly. It was almost scary, how attached he was to her and Loki. Asgard truly felt like home. “I can sense the potential in all those children even from here.” She paused and looked skyward. “It is… nice. Asgard has never felt so alive to me before.” Hela bit her lip. “It is also very confusing. Yesterday I went to go hunting and on my way through the city the people bowed, as they should, but they didn’t look scared. Some of them were even smiling!”

“Insanity!” Tony said sarcastically. Hela gave him a scathing look, only making him grin more. “They like you, kitten. That’s why they’re smiling and not wetting themselves when they see you.”

Hela pursed her lips. “That means they don’t respect me.”

Tony sat on the bench and pulled her down beside him. “There’s a difference between being feared and respected. Fear means they do what you tell them to because they don’t want to face your wrath. Respect is when they do what they say because they trust you.” He took her hands in his own. “It is easy to strike fear into someone, but only the strong can foster trust.” He kissed her again. “You’re amazing.”

“Look at his toe beans! They’re so soft!”

Tony looked back at the trio. Fenrir was on his back, tail wagging. Harley was practically on top of Fenrir’s stomach, rolling around on it. Peter had his face plastered against a paw that could easily crush his head.

Tony wished Friday was around so she could take a picture of the scene.

As if summoned by his thoughts, Friday appeared with Shuri by her side. Loki was trailing behind them. His eyes were dull until he saw Tony and Hela, filling with warmth. Tony’s stomach fluttered. Tony was a lucky man.

Friday and Shuri’s techno-babble drew Harley and Peter’s attention. Like magnets, they came together. Peter caught on to what they were talking about, looping in smoothly. Harley wasn’t so graceful. He added in his own thoughts, but wasn’t as knowledgeable on the subject as the rest of them. Friday stepped to Harley’s side, explaining the more complex parts to him.

Tony grinned at his baby girl being all inclusive and beautiful.

Their little group migrated over to Fenrir, lavishing him with affection. Tony hadn’t seen Fenrir’s tail wag that much since he was first reunited with Hela.

“I gave Princess Shuri one of the gems,” Loki informed them as he pulled up a seat. He sat across from them, putting his feet in Tony’s lap.

Tony looked over at Shuri while absentmindedly unlacing Loki’s boots. She was wearing a gold necklace with a dark green pendant. The design was in style on Asgard. Why Tony knew that, was beyond him.

“Where’s Peter’s?” Tony asked. Like Shuri, his magical capabilities were low and needed an outside force to bolster them.

“He did not like the idea of a necklace or bracelet. I have a blacksmith making him a ring.”

Tony nodded, not surprised.

“He wants to learn about shapeshifting,” Tony said while he started massaging Loki’s feet.

“An interest pursuit.” Loki’s eyes were narrowed in suspicion. Typical Loki. “Why?”

Tony chose his words carefully, not wanting to divulge Peter’s secret without his permission. “He wasn’t born in the right body.” Did Asgard even know what transgender was?

Loki’s expression darkened. It took a second for Tony to realize why that could strike a cord with Loki, what with his forced-shift. Tony had only seen him in his Jotun form a few times. They were working on his internalized-racism through sex therapy and chilly cuddles. Tony in particular liked tracing Loki’s raised lines with his tongue.

Loki nudged Tony in the gut, pulling him out of his head. He started rubbing Loki’s feet again.

“I will give Peter extra tutelage, assuming he isn’t always like this.” Loki was clearly disgusted as he stared at the teenagers. Shuri, Harley, and Friday were piled up on Fenrir. Peter was bench-pressing Fenrir’s arm. Shuri and Friday were counting each lift. Harley looked dead to the world, face buried in dark fur. Tony wasn’t sure, but he thought he heard snoring.

“He can be responsible,” Tony paused, “when he isn’t trying to impress someone.”

Friday and Shuri went and sat on the arm Peter was bench pressing. Apparently he wasn’t hiding his superpowers now that he was on Asgard and seventeen.

“I hope you are right. This scheme of yours is taking more and more of my time.” Loki sounded snotty. Tony wasn’t fooled. He pressed his thumbs into the arch of Loki’s foot. His snuggle bug practically melted.

“You’re getting to mold young minds, shaping the next generation~”

“Norns help us,” Hela said while leaning into Tony’s side. “Do not play coy, Loki. You told me how much you like the idea of teaching.”

Loki hmph-ed and crossed his arms.

“Professor Loki.” Tony leaned forward. “Sounds sexy to me. Unf, I should have picked you up some thick rimmed glasses and an argyle sweater to really bring the picture together.” Tony’s usually smooth bedroom talk was overshadowed by the kids counting and laughing. “They really kill the mood.”

Hela chuckled. “Good, I want you tonight. Loki, you should get acquainted with the other teachers. Show them who reigns supreme.”

“It is important to establish a hierarchy at the start,” Tony added in. “And take the munchkins when you go. Introducing them to Hela can happen another time.”

“I feel so dismissed,” Loki said dramatically as he stood up. Tony could tell he wasn’t really miffed though by the way he rolled his eyes. Tony gave him a slap on the ass for good measure. Loki’s indignant squawk drew the attention of the kids. “Younglings, come along. It’s nearly your bedtime.” Tony had never heard Loki use that tone of voice before. It was almost, dare he say it, responsible and patient.

Friday raised her hand, still sitting on Fenrir’s arm. “I don’t need to sleep.” It was a moot point considering she’d be staying in the palace and learning magic directly from Hela with the help of power gems since she had no innate magic.

Loki cocked his head to the side. “I’m sure the youngest ones would be happy to see a familiar face.”

Tony leaned over to whisper in Hela’s ear, “He’s really good at this.”

“I knew he would be,” Hela whispered back.

In short order the teenagers were saying goodbye then following Loki out.

Tony stood and offered Hela his arm. “Shall we, my Queen?”

Hela smiled and took his arm. They retreated to her room to get reacquainted.

*

Tony was at Hildy and Ingrid’s humble home, sitting in their living room. There was a coffee table between them with cookies and drinks on it.

Hildy was eating what looked like beef jerky like she was a caveman. Tony wasn’t surprised. She pulled off the look too. Ingrid, in stark contrast, was sipping at some of Bruce’s tea. She was all sunshine and flowers while Hildy looked like she’d spent all night in a tavern.

Bruce was rubbing the bridge of his nose, adorable with his sleep rumpled clothes and fluffy hair.

“And what makes you think me and my warriors have time for your Queen’s newest fancy?” Hildy asked while pointing at him with her beef jerky.

“It’s my plan. Hela just signed off on it.” Hopefully that would make her less resistant. “Teaching self-defense makes Asgard a better place. It will make our citizens more self-confident and lower the occurrence of rape and sexual assault.” Tony pulled out a few books and a couple of pamphlets from his pocket dimension. “Learning self-defense is only one part of the equation.” Tony handed them each a pamphlet. “We plan on teaching the importance of consent, especially informed-consent and enthusiastic-consent. And as a warrior I’m sure that you can appreciate that Asgard would be better defended in case of a surprise attack if her citizens knew a few fighting moves.”

Hildy’s lips were pursed as she read the pamphlet.

“I like this idea,” Bruce chimed in, smiling at Hildy and Ingrid then at Tony. “You’re really doing some good here on Asgard.”

Tony cleared his throat, trying not to blush. He wasn’t used to such open and sincere praise. “Thanks.”

Hildy closed the pamphlet, not looking convinced. Ingrid placed her hand on Hildy’s thigh, drawing her attention. “It’s our duty to protect Asgard. I think this is brilliant and we can see if our girls really know what they’re doing by watching them teach.” Ingrid’s voice was imploring, her blue eyes wide.

Hildy made a gruff noise. “Fine, but you do all the scheduling business. I hate logistics.”

Ingrid’s smile lit up the whole room. She kissed Hildy on the cheek, causing Hildy’s dark complexion to take on a rosy hue.

“Awesome. I brought you all a few self-defense books so you don’t have to make a curriculum from scratch; along with some books on different Midgardian fighting style, in case you were interested.” He put them on the table between them like an offering to a god, which was arguably what he was doing.

Hildy was quick to toss aside the pamphlet and pick up a book, paging through it. Ingrid followed suit, but instead put her pamphlet lightly on the table.

Tony grinned when he saw how taken in they were with the books. He picked up his beer and took a hearty gulp in victory.

He turned his attention to Bruce. “A magical birdie told me you decided to learn magic.”

Bruce ducked his head in embarrassment. “I’m learning just the basics from Loki. He’s already set me up with an internship with one of the healers.” Bruce shifted in his seat, picking up his teacup, but not drinking from it. “He bought me a house. He said it was an apology for causing me to transform on the Helicarrier. I tried to say no, but he insisted. It’s a block away from here. I should give it back. I don’t trust myself enough to live in a residential area.”

“Green bean, you gotta have more confidence in yourself. You’ve been living here for months and haven’t had an incident. Loki’s trying to make things right between the two of you. I think you should take his gift and set down some roots. Hell, you should get a dog or maybe a cat. Pepper once told me they lower anxiety and stress, not that I’d ever be good at taking care of one.”

“Aye,” Hildy said, “as much as we like you living with us, and now that Korg and Meik left. I’d like to be able to walk around naked in my home again.” Ingrid and Tony chuckled.

“Yeah, okay. I don’t feel comfortable getting a whole house for free, but I guess I can’t really say no.”

“Just think of it as an investment. You get a house and Asgard gets another healer.”

Bruce nodded, resolve making him sit straighter.

Determination was in his eyes when he looked at Tony. “You should be more confident in yourself too, Tony. If you can handle Loki and Hela, then having a cat or dog would be no problem.”

Tony snorted. “I already have my hands full with those two. I don’t need another responsibility. Besides, I’d be scared that Fenrir would eat any pet I brought home. The palace is his territory.” Tony remembered clearly how Fenrir easily scooped him up in his jaw and carried him around like he weighed nothing. A dog or cat probably wouldn’t even be a snack for him.

The group split up, Hildy and Ingrid engrossed in their reading and planning while Tony and Bruce went to see his new house.

*

Things were peaceful, the weeks following his conversation with Bruce. A lot of the kids were homesick, but were starting to settle in. Loki took to teaching with a manic vigor, possibly brainwashing the children into being his minions. Knowledge on consent was spreading slower than Tony wanted, but that was understandable.

Shuri and Hela became… Tony wouldn’t say friends, but there was mutual respect and bonding over being leaders and royalty. When Harley wasn’t in school he was at the palace, hanging with Tony and the ‘bots. Tony mentored him, trying to catch him up with Peter’s level of education. On occasions Shuri joined in and taught Tony a thing or two. It was thrilling, not being the smartest one in the room. If she didn’t already have a place in the world, Tony would have scooped her up and made her a home on Asgard—or at the very least employed her with SI.  

Friday occasionally visited the foreign exchange students, making friends with them and mentoring the younger ones. Peter was delighted with his private shapeshifting lessons with Loki.

Bruce was struggling with learning magic since according to Hela and Loki, the older you were the harder it was to build the magical paths needed for magic. Tony didn’t ask for them to elaborate, trusting they knew what they were doing.

Tony occasionally visited the school and where the children were being housed since the whole project had been his brain child. It was heartwarming in a unique way to see all those kids becoming friends and growing their magic abilities.

Thor was having the time of his life taking the warriors he was training on quests (fieldtrips). Angela was still off planet gathering troops.

Tony attended a few (boring) plays and musicals with Loki in the newly opened outdoors theater. Tony taught Hela a few thinking games, chess, shogi, go, and they enjoyed playing them while lounging around in the sun.

The only ones causing a fuss was the nobles, still not liking their new taxes. But they were easily handled.

It was peaceful.

Too peaceful.

Tony didn’t trust it.

Chapter Text


 

Tony didn’t trust it. There was a cask of mead sitting in his room. It wasn’t even a large one, about the size of his nightstand. Tony had encountered plenty of casks in his lifetime. Mostly when he bought them for parties, because he was fancy like that. What was different was who the cask was from. One James Buchanan Barnes, also known as the Winter Soldier and Asgard’s newest brewmaster.

What Barnes was thinking was beyond him. Though he could probably figure it out by reading the letter that was helpfully attached to the cask. But in typical Tony fashion, he couldn’t do things the easy way. Instead, Tony shoved the cask and letter to a corner of his room, to be forgotten.

Tony checked the time. Loki should be back from school by now, which meant Fenrir was gone. The wolf had taken to going to the kids’ dorm to get belly rubs and letting them ride on his back. They had been scared at first, but Fenrir had changed his image with the help of Shuri, Peter, and Harley.

The foreign exchange program had another side-effect that no one had expected. Asgardian birthrates were naturally low, leading to them wanting to adopt. That posed its own problems considering the orphans being on Asgard was a temporary program, orphans coming back to Earth to make it a better place.

It made him consider sending Asgardians in small groups to Earth to adopt. The short human lifespans could be elongated with golden apples. It wouldn’t make them gods, since only those of royal blood and a few nobles were gods, but it would ensure they weren’t taken by death all too soon.

The average lifespan of an Asgardian was roughly 5,000 years, but with Hela’s life curse Odin had lived into his 20,000s. Who knew how many more he would have lived if not for roaming the streets of New York, homeless and in a magical daze.

Hela had placed the life curse on Tony and the rest of her family.

Tony couldn’t comprehend living a thousand years, let alone 20,000. He was almost scared to contemplate that amount of time. It was like gazing at the night sky. It looked endless, full of wonder, but with a maw of emptiness in between. He comforted himself by remembering that he had two wonderful lovers, two theoretically immortal kids, and more time to invent.

Tony stowed away his thoughts, instead going to see Hela and hopefully Loki. Hela had been downright cheerful all day—Even during the council meeting that normally made Tony want to gouge out his eyes. She insisted that they have a feast today, inviting the noblest houses as well. Tony wasn’t looking forward to their contempt-filled looks. They practically hated him for all the changes he spurred on. It also didn’t help that they thought Hela should be married off to one of their nobles instead of being with an Earthling—especially one without a drop of noble blood.

Tony didn’t let it bother him though. The idea of nobility was just a social construct to divide people. It was the same with royalty, not that he’d go around saying that considering who he was bedding and how he was benefiting from the government’s structure.

After asking a few guards, Tony found Hela and Loki in one of the many gardens. Unfortunately, Angela was there with them. Even worse was two people he’d never thought he’d see again—Sam Wilson and Scott Lang.

Tony was stuck somewhere between anger and exasperation. He knew without a doubt that this was Angela’s doing.

“Wow, you look great, no homo,” Scott said while looking at Tony then laughed awkwardly. Who the hell even said that anymore?

Whatever. Tony ignored him, going to Hela and Loki. He gave each a kiss and sat in between them. Hela beamed at him and Loki looked bored.

Tony noticed that Hela’s hair had black and green jewels pinned in different spots, catching the light and making her more dazzling than usual.

“I went to Midgard and heard of two warriors who were imprisoned,” Angela said, her grin vicious. “They were there over some petty fight.” Scott laughed awkwardly and Sam facepalmed. “Their people were happy to loan them to us.”

“I don’t see how two Midgardians can help,” Loki drawled. He squeezed Tony’s leg. “They don’t have half your bravery or even an ounce of your brilliance.”

“Thanks, babe.” Tony linked his hand with Loki’s.

“What do they get out of this?” Tony aimed his question at Hela and Angela, ignoring Sam and Scott.

“They are warriors! They get to fight nobly,” Angela said.

“And reduce sentences back home,” Sam added in. Tony could feel Sam looking at him. He refrained from rolling his eyes, instead meeting his stare. There was heat in his brown eyes.

Tony scoffed. “Let me guess, Rogers didn’t give you the whole story about what happened in Siberia.” Sam opened his mouth to speak, but Tony plowed on. “Zemo’s plan was never to release the other Winter Soldiers. They were dead. He showed a video of Barnes killing my parents. I asked Rogers if he knew, and he did. I just saw my parents die and found out one of my friends had lied to me for years. I lost it. We fought and they left me in a broken suit in the middle of Siberia.”

Sam let out a sound like a dying rodent.

Scott let out a puff of air. “Geez-Louise.”

“It was never about the Accords for Rogers. You two were just stupid enough to get roped in with him. Now you’re being stupid and getting into another battle you know nothing about.” Tony snorted and leaned against Loki.

“You’re the one who’s shacking up with one of Earth’s greatest villains,” Sam shot back, desperately.

“Enough,” Hela said, but there was no heat behind her words. She motioned to one of the guards. “Take them to the servants’ quarters. Inform Thor that two more warriors will be added to his group.” The guard bowed and ushered Sam and Scott off. “Tell me more about your travels, Angela. I’ve never been sight-seeing before. Whenever I left Asgard it was to do battle.”

“Roller-derby!” Angela nearly shouted, startling Tony. “It is a warrior’s game, fit for Asgard.”

Tony huffed out a laugh, garnering a glare from Angela. “Yeah, I can see you liking that—I can see all of Asgard liking that.”

“Ringing endorsements,” Loki said sarcastically.

“Indeed!” Hela’s tone made it clear she either didn’t hear his sarcasm or didn’t care.

Angela happily talked about roller-derby. Tony let Hela’s voice roll over him, comforting. Leaning on Loki and the warm sun pulled him into a sleepy daze. He almost blissed out when Loki held his hand. Simple pleasures he once took for granted.

Loki tensed, and Tony zoned back in.

“A complete wasteland. I didn’t know Odin had it in him.” Angela chortled to herself.

“He didn’t,” Loki deadpanned. “I let my emotions dictate me and used the Bifrost to attack Jotunheim.” Tony knew how affected Loki was by just the mention of Jotuns.

“The Bifrost as a weapon? I never thought to do that,” Hela said, not noticing how tense Loki was.

“They were dying in droves. I was only there for an hour and was twice struck by earthquakes and a shift in gravity. It’s a wonder they’re not all dead yet. We’ll have another Svartalfheim within the century.” Angela smiled and took a hearty sip from her mead.

Tony racked his brain, trying to either steer the conversation in a different direction or resolve the issue.

“Terraforming,” Tony spit out the word. All eyes turned to him. “The Casket of Ancient Winters Past. Jotunheim used to be temperate, from what I read, but the frost giants forged the casket in Mimir’s well and used it to freeze the planet. We have the casket. We could use it to terraform Svartalfheim since no one lives there anymore. I’ve been working to recalibrate the Bifrost to be able to transport large groups at once. It’s a good plan.”

“Why should we help them?” Hela asked. “Our last two wars were against them.”

“We help them because that’s the type of realm we are now. And we help them because Loki is Jotun.” Loki hissed like a cat meeting a dog for the first time.

“Brother,” Hela said hastily. “There is no shame in—”

“I know.” Loki’s eyes flickered from Hela’s to Tony’s. “That doesn’t mean I like being reminded…”

Angela wisely held her tongue.

“I know you don’t believe much in redemption,” Tony said carefully, “but just think of the impact you could make. You’d save countless—”

“That are only in peril because of me,” Loki cut in, glaring at the ground.

Tony changed tactics. “You said it yourself, only the most skilled mages, only you, would be able to wield the casket to its full potential. You’ll be shaping a whole realm.”

“Your flattery only irritates me.”

Tony took in a slow breath. “Fine. You fucked up. It’s about time you fixed it.” Tony’s words pinned Loki to his seat. “You’re a prince of Asgard. Asgard builds. You’re going to prove that by terraforming Svartalfheim into the new Jotunheim.” Loki sat stiffly in his seat. “Understand?” Loki nodded. “Good.” Tony looked over him for a moment. “I love you. This will ease some of that guilt you have buried deep, deep inside.” Tony kissed Loki on the cheek. Loki’s rigid posture eased.

“Oh, I like it when a man takes charge,” Hela teased, lightening up the situation.

Angela made a hacking sound, Loki and Tony laughed.

*

“Do I look like a princess?” Friday asked, leaning against the doorway in a new, Asgardian dress. She had dyed (?) her hair umber black to purple instead of the blue to green she used to sport. It contrasted with her bright red and gold (Tony’s colors) outfit and jewelry. “Hela helped me pick it out.”

“Does she seem different to you today?” Tony asked, working on doing the buckle of his leather armor. Friday glided over, buckling it for him.

“She’s roughly 20% happier than usual,” Friday said, confirming his suspicions. “She mentioned something about a surprise.”

That could mean anything. He remembered Hela talking about a surprise for him weeks ago, but he’d mostly put it out of his mind. What constituted a surprise for Hela could range from something wonderful to something downright deadly. He doubted she was going to throw him to the wolves (to Fenrir). She’d probably just acquired something ridiculous and wanted him to have it, something like a planet or a goldmine.

“She give you any hints?” Tony felt a bit on edge, but trusted Hela not to do something too crazy. If Tony was lucky, she’d be sending Angela off for another quest.

“Nope,” Friday popped the ‘p’. “She had a new dress made and everything. It must be important.”

“Hmm,” Tony hummed out, trying not to think of the last major surprises he’d encountered.

“What’s this?” Friday swiped up the letter on the cask of mead that Tony had forced out of his mind earlier in the day. Just like Pepper would, Friday opened up the letter. “Bla bla bla, so sorry. Bla bla bla, thank you for this opportunity. Bla small gift bla.” Friday crumpled up the letter, unlike Pepper would, and tossed it into the trash bin. “Let’s tap this baby and see what kinda drink Bucky-the-Brewster made.”

“It could be poisoned.” Though he strongly doubted it was, but that would just be his luck. Friday blew a raspberry. “Another time, baby girl. We shouldn’t keep Hela or her surprise waiting.”

“Fine, but we’re coming back to this later.”

“Yes dear,” Tony said in a nasally voice. It made Friday giggled.

She laced her arm around his. Tony escorted her through the palace and to the feasting hall. He could hear the buzz of voices through the heavy (gold) doors. The noise increased as the twin doors were opened by the guards. The hall was packed, even more than the night Hela had all the nobles pledge their loyalty to her.

He got more than one scathing look.

Angela, Thor, and Shuri were already seated in the front reserved just for royalty (and Tony). He handed off Friday to Shuri. The pair immediately started talking in whispers and giggles.

Tony took one of the three open seats, avoiding the garish ones that was reserved for the Queen. After that, the last seat was between Tony and Thor, clearly meant for Loki. The nobles glared extra hard at Tony since he had a place of honor directly to Hela’s left.

Tony was unaffected by their stares. He had grown up under the unending watch of the American media, scrutinized and eviscerated without scruples. Asgard’s snotty nobles had nothing on them.

Tony took a sip from his beer mug, basking in their attention.

The room grew near silent. Tony glanced towards the doors behind them. His eyes widened.

Hela was a vision. Her long dress seemed to flow, colors black and green shifting with every passing moment. The slit up the side of the dress was demure, showing just a hint of her knee-high boots. Jewels dripped from her ears, red painted lips, and blue eyes shining.

Not to be outdone was Loki, a step to her left and back. His outfit matched hers, but as a suit of leather armor. Lines of green looked like they were slithering over him, sensual yet deadly. His grin was razor sharp, a hint of color on his high cheekbones. He was wearing a headpiece that was a play on his usual helmet. It circled the crown of his head, small but lethal twin horns jutting out the front.

Tony felt like a very, very lucky man.

Hela lifted Tony’s jaw with her delicate finger. She kissed him before sitting down. On his other side Loki pinched his thigh while grinning cheekily.

Hela raised her glass of wine. “Greetings, noble Aesir. I welcome you to my home and to my table. Asgard has grown under my rule, flourishing where it once stagnated. The changes have been many, and not all welcomed, but necessary to move forward. Asgard faces an old threat, one my father was too weak to properly take care of. Because of Odin’s weakness one of our own was tortured. We cannot let such an insult stand. We are declaring war on Thanos, the Mad Titan. It will be a glorious war worthy of Asgard—but with war comes instability. That is why I am happy to announce the line of succession will be one stronger.” Hela raised her glass higher. “I am pregnant with the next queen or king of Asgard!”

Cheers roared loudly, but Tony didn’t hear them. His mind was twisting and turning.

Pregnant?

A baby?

A little half-Tony, half-Hela?

The sound rushed back in as Tony smiled.

He grabbed Hela by the shoulders and kissed her. “To Asgard!” Tony shouted.

The exuberance of the room was nearly overwhelming. The feast had only barely began and people were singing, sloshing wine and mead back.

“I wasn’t sure it was possible, what with my title,” Hela told Thor and Angela. Her hand was laced with Tony’s, squeezing happily. “But after two weeks of morning sickness I finally had a healer do the test!”

“This is wonderful! I’m going to have another kid!” Tony turned to Loki. His knowing grin told him everything. “You little shit! How long have you known she was pregnant?”

“I had suspected for a while now, but she only told me this morning.” Loki was clearly giddy. Tony gave him a quick kiss.

“Oh god!” Tony grabbed a napkin. “I think I might cry!” Tony let out a watery chuckle. “Friday! Friday! You’re getting a little sibling!”

Friday squeed and hugged Thor then Shuri.

Food was brought out, the room thrumming with energy. Tony had no appetite, but dug in to the rich food, trying to savoir the moment.

“I can’t believe you didn’t notice my morning sickness,” Hela said, all smiles. “I ran out of the room every few minutes!”

“I thought you were leaving to fart!” Tony tried to stop laughing. He nudged Loki. “She’s never farted in front of me, like she’s fooling me or something.”

“I once trapped Tony under the covers after farting,” Loki said dryly. “It was so bad he clawed out the bottom of the bed to get away.”

Tony gagged, remembering the incident.

“Don’t do that,” Hela covered her mouth. “If you get going I might—” Hela gagged.

Tony’s hand flitted around, trying to find a solution. He handed her a napkin.

She gagged again and then there was vomit.

But not from Hela.

Loki stared down at his soiled plate. He was softly touching his wet lips before he turned his wide eyes on Tony and Hela.

The realization hit all three of them at once.

“Oh.”

Chapter Text


 

“Is my dick going to fall off?” Loki asked the second the feast was over and they were in private.

“You can have mine if it does,” Friday said without missing a beat. Loki made a choked off noise.

“Wait, will his cock fall off?” Tony asked while looking at Hela. “I mean, I still need his cock. For reasons.”

Loki let out a pained noise while Hela guffawed. Loki started to go limp. Tony caught him, whispering comforting words in his ear, all the while grinning.

“We don’t even know if he’s pregnant. We must consult a healer before letting panic overcome us,” Thor said, for the first time ever being the voice of reason. His face was red and Tony didn’t know what to make of his expression.

Tony was about to coax Loki into a walk when Hela simply teleported them all to the healing room. Angela grunted, not used to teleportation.

Tony corralled Loki over to one of the plush chairs. “I’m not an invalid,” Loki growled out, but didn’t stop Tony from fussing over him. “I will skin you alive if you keep—” Loki was cut off by Tony hugging him from behind and smooching his face.

Loki clawed at him, but Tony just held on tighter.

Hela was laughing endlessly, leading a pair of healers over.

“You are the worst,” Loki grumbled while slumping down. “I hate you both.” Loki ran his hand over his face. “I really hope my dick doesn’t fall off.”

“Prince Loki, if I may?” one of the healers asked in a soothing voice. Loki leaned back, nodding faintly. “We don’t know much about,” the healer cleared his throat, “Jotun anatomy.” He placed his hand on Loki’s abdomen, glowing faint orange. He pulled back, looking at Loki then Tony. “Congratulations are in order.”

Loki’s eyes went wide—before he lurched forward and vomited on the healer.

*

Loki was laid out on a chaise lounge, looking like a mix of Roman emperor and fainting Victorian lady. His dramatics had reached a new all-time high.

The image was really brought together by Fenrir, who was yowling like he was dying.

Shuri was unaffected, seated in the corner of the room. She was sitting criss-crossed, bent over a book in a way that would cause muscles aches for anyone old enough to drink alcohol in the US. She was gnawing on her fingernails while reading about Jotuns. Shuri was hoping to find out more about Jotun pregnancies, but the only books the Aesir had were about the war.

It had been just over a week since Hela announced her pregnancy, swiftly followed by Loki’s own announcement. They were all overjoyed for Hela, but with the news of Loki being a Jotun… Well, they were less than pleased. Old rumors of him being a woman in disguise found new life.

In a third announcement, Hela made it clear that any negativity directed at Loki would be considered an attack on the crown. Tony had bitched about the freedom of speech, but Hela and Loki had quickly overruled him.

Thor and Angela, along with a contingency of warriors were at Jotunheim, working out the details of the plan to terraform Svartalfheim and the exodus to their new realm.

In tandem with them, Tony was working on the Bifrost to make it capable of transporting large amounts of people and things at once. His progress wasn’t as fast as it could be considering whenever he went to consult with Loki he was met with sharp words and complaints.

Fenrir stopped yowling when he spotted Peter coming into the room. He trotted over to him, leaning down his large head to get ear scratches.

“Who’s a good boy? Who’s a good boy?” Peter baby-talked to Fenrir, causing his tail to wag like wild. Shuri had to hold down the edges of the book to keep the pages from flapping. Fenrir licked Peter’s whole face. Peter lifted his shirt to wipe off the spit, the edge of his binder peeking out. “Hey Shuri, Mr. Loki!”

Shuri waved absentmindedly at Peter, not looking up from her book.

“Ah, Peter. Sweet Peter.” Loki shifted on the chaise lounge, readjusting the pillow that was under him. “Is it time for another one of your lessons?”

“Err, yes. Is that okay?” Peter glanced at Loki’s stomach then looking away quickly. He blushed and looked awkward.

“Are you sure you want an audience?” Loki gestured to Shuri.

“She already knows—We know everything about each other.” Peter made a thumbs-up. Shuri did the same.

“Friends. How quaint.” Loki looked at his black painted nails. “I wouldn’t know anything about that.” Loki put a hand on his chest, sighing. “All I have is a meddling sister, idiot brother, and good-for-nothing lover. Woe is me! You should understand more than anyone else, Peter, to be cursed with a body that doesn’t align with your soul! I am male, yet my body has betrayed me!” Loki pulled out a hanky and dabbed at his (dry) eyes.

“Uhh, yeah.” Peter inched over, more awkward than usual. He reached to pat Loki’s head, before he thought better of it. “When I’m feeling… not myself, I like to do some crime fighting. Maybe if we spar you’ll feel better?” It came out as a question. “I’ll of course avoid hitting your tummy!”

Loki hummed thoughtfully. “I am used to sparring against those whose whole strategy is just using brute strength. A change of pace would be nice.” Loki disappeared his hanky and stood up. “Yes, Peter Parker we shall spar, and then I shall teach you how to permanently transform into your real self.”

*

Loki frowned and balled his hands into fists. Frost was forming on his abdomen, inching out from his navel. Every instinct was shouting at him to scrape it off, to burn it off, but he didn’t know how that would affect the little thing growing inside of him.

It also elicited another fear. He wouldn’t be able to maintain his Aesir form if the frost crept over the rest of him. All of Asgard knew he was Jotun, but knowing something and seeing it were far different. He could handle the ridicule, but what if… What if the ridicule spilled over to Tony? What if he began hating Loki?

The idea of having a child was scary enough, but having a child without Tony damn near made Loki’s heart stop. And then to see him be a father to Hela’s child while steadfastly ignoring Loki’s? It would be a new form of torture, much sicker than anything he’d been through before.

He wouldn’t let his child suffer through that though. If Tony abandoned them he’d place a glamour on the baby and give them to an Aesir couple to be raised in a loving family. The irony of that plan didn’t escape him. When he came up with it, the irony nearly choked him.

It was strange, how much he loved a tiny being that he’d only found out about a few weeks ago. On most days he didn’t believe it was true, but the newly formed frost wouldn’t let him believe otherwise. It was a little bit of him and a little bit of Tony.

Loki also worried that he’d be a terrible parent. He couldn’t help but compare himself to Tony and Hela. When Tony wasn’t working on the Bifrost he was crafting toys and read parenting books. Hela was much of the same mind, whittling furniture for the babies. Loki tried to read the parenting books, but it just made him sick, made his body feel foreign and like it wasn’t his own.

Tony reassured that he’d be a wonderful parent, that he only had to look at how much his students loved him to know that.

Loki tried not to linger on his destructive thoughts for too long.

A mask slid into place, displaying the joy he wished he was feeling. Some of his students, both Aesir and Midgardian, were coming to the palace to show off the magic they’d learned.

It would be a nice change of pace compared to his moping.

*

“I can go with you if you want me to,” Tony said while gripping Loki’s hand. They were in Loki’s room, both sitting on the edge of the bed. His thumb was softly rubbing Loki’s knuckles.

“I won’t use you as a crutch. I was bound to have to face them sooner or later.” After Tony’s terraforming idea, going to Jotunheim was inevitable.

“It’s not that.”

Loki laughed hollowly. “How strange it is, that old bastard can get into my head even after dying.” Yet Frigga was painfully silent. Whether it had been a nightmare or a vision was beyond Loki.

In his rest he’d seen Odin. He berated Loki, going on about how he couldn’t fix Jotunheim—that it wouldn’t absolve him of his sins. That had only been the beginning though. He went on and on about how the only way he could regain his honor was by killing Hela and putting Thor on the throne.

Loki had spit words of venom at him, but was told he was being childish. Loki felt like he’d been thrown back into the past when he was desperate for love. Waking up next to Tony had helped, but hadn’t been nearly enough. But when he’d placed his hand on his stomach absentmindedly he suddenly felt grounded, a reminder that he was no longer under Odin’s thumb.

Loki squeezed Tony’s hand before letting it go and standing. “I am a prince of Asgard. I won’t be shaken by a vindictive fool.”

Tony smacked him on the bare ass, startling Loki. “Damn right, babe!” Loki found himself laughing despite himself.

*

Thor had never seen Loki in his Jotun form, and Loki wasn’t looking forward to it now.

They were on the Bifrost, Loki, Thor, and a group of warriors/bodyguards. He sorely wished Tony was there, but he was in a meeting with Hela and some of the other nobles.

Loki took in a deep breath. Blue colored his fingertips, the change always started there for some reason. It snaked up his arm, lines raising, rasping against his formal armor. He shut out the sound of the gasping warriors as he flushed with color. The last thing to change was his eyes.

He let out a pained chuckle before turning to Thor.

His idiot of a brother was gaping, his blue eyes wide. Thor pulled himself together in a sloppy fashion, facing forward. He peeked over at Loki every few seconds.

“I’m half storm giant,” Skurge, who controlled the Bifrost, said while picking at his teeth. His uncouth, yet candid words relaxed Loki. “I don’t think my parents ever thought I’d make it this far in Asgard.” Skurge puffed up his chest. He remembered his position and dropped down to one knee. “Thank you, Prince Loki, for allowing me to serve Asgard as the gate keeper to the Bifrost.”

Loki nodded his head regally at Skurge. Truth be told, Loki had only chosen him because he had no relation to Thor and because he spent most of his life as a civilian. He had just been a placeholder till Loki found someone better, but in the upheaval of everything, he had been forgotten. Skurge didn’t need to know that though.

On Thor’s word, the Bifrost opened, sending them flying through space before firmly landed on a desolate plain of Jotunheim. The Aesir tensed up, the cold biting them and not letting them go. Loki didn’t even feel chilled.

Waiting for them was a delegation of Jotuns. They were dressed differently than the ones he’d encountered the first time, the day he’d found out the truth of his heritage and lost a piece of his mind. Their loin-clothes were long, nearly reaching their feet, and in all colors. They wore heavy jewelry and no shirts. There looked to be only males, but one in particular caught his interest. The Jotun with braided back hair and a yellow loin-cloth had a layer of frost on his stomach, barely thicker than the width of Loki’s thumb.

The all looked a bit too skinny, faces gaunt and eyes tired.

They exchanged greetings, but Loki’s thoughts halted as he looked upon Jotunheim. The sky rippled violent slashes of color. The ground was upturned in places, roots exposed and plants dying. In the distance he could see a mountain rendered in two. A storm was brewing some miles away and he could see a trio of tornados forming. The earth beneath their feet rumbled.

So this is what he had done to Jotunheim. What he had wrought in his anger and blind need to be accepted by Odin.

He hardened himself, not letting his emotions show through.

They were lead to an encampment, surrounded by ruins of what had been a prosperous town before Loki’s attack.

Loki breathed steadily. They were going to meet Farbauti—the one biological parent he hadn’t killed.

Jotuns gave him looks of curiosity, both due to his clothing and the lines on his face that marked him as royalty.

“Farbauti-King is a fair man. He wants to meet you,” Thor assured Loki. His lips thinned. He was still coming to terms with the fact there were no female Jotuns in the way Aesir understood it. It didn’t ease his body dysphoria, but made his pregnancy make more sense.

Loki steadied himself as the opulent, burgundy tent was opened. The scent of burning herbs was thick and cloying. Orbs of blue and white magic lit the area. Many Jotun were milling around, all taller than Loki.

“I’ve lost another couple of inches,” a passing Jotun said to his friend, “if we get another heatwave I’ll probably be as short as my son!”

Loki spotted his biological parent with a startling clarity. He could see himself in Farbauti’s features. The same high cheekbones and jaw. The only real difference were the eyes, wider than Loki’s. He wore a crown much like the one Laufey had worn on the day Loki had killed him, but this one had spikes pointing upwards coming out of it, looking deadly and elegant at once—a description that had been made of Loki many times before. Like Laufey, he had no hair.

“My kin!” Farbauti said the moment their eyes met. He stood from his icy seat. Farbauti was two heads taller than Loki. “Sweet Loptr—ah, but you go by Loki, so I’ve heard.” He opened his arms, as if expecting a hug, but dropped them easily enough when one wasn’t forthcoming. “Had Mimir been gracious, your brothers would be here, but one is gathering people to the South while the other has not learned how to control himself around Aesir yet—that is a consequence of spending so much time at Laufey-King’s side.” Farbauti chuckled to himself.

“I have brothers?” Loki asked. He could sense Thor getting uncomfortable, he absentmindedly patted him on the shoulder, having learned to control his frostbite with Tony’s help.

“Yes-indeed.” Farbauti put his arm around Loki’s shoulder, steering him towards the chairs. He waved his hand at the rest of the Aesir group. “Helblindi and Byleistr are your younger brother, but not by much. I was hesitant to have more kin after you went missing—We didn’t abandon you. All babes are taken to the temples to get their lines traced with the water from Mimir’s well. When we went to get you back all the priests at the temple had been slaughtered. There was also a dead babe there which we thought was you, but we know better now. And you’re here now.” Farbauti talked almost as much as Tony did. It was jarring. Loki had expected him to be as reticent as Laufey had been, to sneer just the same and see him as a means to an end.

They sat down. Thankfully, Farbauti had the foresight to bring in chairs that were fit for his short guests. Loki’s was placed on a dais though, putting him at eyelevel with Farbauti.

“Tell me, boy-o. Did Asgard treat you as the prince you are?” Farbauti cupped his hand under his chin, giving Loki his full attention. They were supposed to be finalizing plans on the mass-exodus, but…

“By Queen Frigga, yes, but Odin made it clear to all that I was lesser than Thor. He never told me of my true heritage. Instead I was raised on tales of how beastly the Jotuns were and how all of them should be slaughtered. Finding out I was a Jotun was quite surprising, to put it mildly.”

“Brother,” Thor said softly, shame clear in his voice.

Loki turned towards him. “You should go see if any Jotuns need help,” Loki said, “show them that Asgard has good intentions.” Thor glanced between Loki and Farbauti before nodding, talking half of the bodyguards with him. Loki turned back to Farbauti. “The truth of my heritage undid me, but it was no excuse for me taking out my wrath on Jotunheim or on Laufey-King.”

“I think,” Farbauti cleared the back of his throat, “Laufey-King died the way he wanted to. He knew that going to Asgard was foolish. I advised him against it, but did not mourn when he didn’t return.” Farbauti’s red eyes turned hard. “What you’ve done to Jotunheim is unforgivable, but the fact of the matter is that without the Casket of Ancient Winters Past Jotunheim was already warming to inhospitable temperatures. It would have been a much slower demise, than what we face now.” Farbauti shifted in his chair. “It sooths my heart that it will be my firstborn who saves the Jotun race from extinction.”

Loki nodded, not knowing exactly how to respond to that. There was another matter he had to discuss though. “Can we speak alone?”

“Not going try ta kill me, are you? It wouldn’t do you any good. You’re not in the line of succession.” Farbauti joked, laughing to himself. Loki smiled, but it was brittle. Farbauti ordered everyone out and Loki told his guards to do the same. “Prince Thor mentioned you were pregnant. I assume that’s what you wanted to talk about?”

“Yes, uhm, I’m not sure where to start.”

“I suppose there’s not many other Jotuns on Asgard. What is the other parent?” Farbauti asked as he reached down beside his seat. There were three books there that Loki hadn’t noticed before.

“Yes, he is a Midgardian who was granted godhood.”

“A Midgardian?” Farbauti chuckled. “I haven’t seen one of those in centuries! So tiny and delicate.”

Loki grinned. “Yes, they are. But mine isn’t. He is the god of Wealth and Sex. With his help, and with Odin dead, Asgard is entering a golden age.”

“Does he do any magic?”

“He has potential, but is much more interested in his machines and technology.” The question confused Loki. “Why do you ask?”

“Jotun newborns are fed ice infused with its parents’ magic—I’m getting ahead of myself though. You probably want to know how you got pregnant.” Farbauti was grinning like mad. Loki wondered if this would be his first grandchild, but wasn’t sure how to ask. “Jotuns don’t have wombs like your Aesir or Midgardian women. When a Jotun’s navel comes in contact with foreign sperm its stored there and an egg is brought to it.” Farbauti opened one of the books, showing a diagram that showed a miniscule organ in his lower torso that was connected to his navel. Loki placed his hand on the spot on himself, but could feel nothing odd there. “Has ice started forming yet?”

“Ah, yes.” Loki undid his formal armor and took off his shirt. Farbauti’s smile turned soft.

“When the ice gets thicker the egg will be deposited in it to grow. It will hatch on its own time, barely the size of the palm of your hand.”

“Hatch?” Loki asked, feeling a bit self-conscious. He pulled on his shirt again.

“The ice will crack and chips will fall out as the babe starts to move.” Farbauti became serious. “It is important that you don’t try to help it out of the ice. It will be too weak to survive if you do.” Loki nodded, blazing it in his memory. “Once it’s out you must infuse ice with your magic so they can gnaw at it and get energy. Feeding them the ice that is leftover your stomach is tradition and the most nutritious to them. I sense you have large magic reserves so feeding your babe alone shouldn’t be a problem.”

“What about the baby being half-Midgardian. How will that affect it?”

“The fact that the sperm took means you two are compatible, that the babe will survive gestation. The Jotun side is always stronger in mixed breeds, from what I’ve seen. Each child is unique though. You should consult Midgardian healers.”

Loki nodded, his hand on his stomach absentmindedly. “I will.”

“Once the babe forms teeth it can start being fed solids.” Farbauti handed him the three books. “These should tell you everything you need to know. And… don’t hesitate to come to me to ask questions. I want to know you. To learn of the child that was taken from me.”

“I think… I think I’d like that.”

Chapter Text


“You’re children! You’re children!” Tony shouted while forming a cross with his fingers, as if he was trying to exorcise the two girls. Tony had walked into his lab, happy as can be, only to see his daughter and Shuri making out on his emergency cot. “Tesla! Scour this image from my mind!”

Friday was giggling, truly his child, and Shuri was hiding her face in the crook of Friday’s neck.

“Hey, Boss Man!” Friday said as if nothing was wrong.

“Between the two of you, I expected you both to figure making-out on my cot was a bad idea.” He was exasperated. This was probably some sort of cosmic punishment for all the thing Pepper had walked in on him doing, the majority not half as tame as what was in front of him.

“Is it really your cot, though? You’ve never slept in it.” As if that was a good point.

My lab. My cot. My sanctuary!” How did this happen? How did his kid get so contrary?

“I guess then we can plead sanctuary, and you can’t punish us!” Friday stuck out her tongue at him, the same tongue that—Nope, not going to think about it!

“Oh really? Do you think that will fly with T’Challa when I tell him about this, Shuri?”

She gasped, looking up at him with panic in her eyes. “You mustn’t! He will demand I return to Wakanda!”

Tony held his hand up. “Calm down, I’m not going to tell him. Just,” he sighed, “don’t use my space or go beyond kissing. I’m trusting you two to be responsible. You two need to set an example for the other kids.” He laid it on thick. “Get it?”

“Yes, Mr. Stark.” Shuri said as Friday spoke, “You got it!”

Tony nodded to himself, proud of his parenting skills—Oh shit, when his other babies grew up they’re going to actually be capable of reproducing, of getting knocked up or knocking someone up while they’re still too young to drive! It would be a nightmare! He’d have to put them in chastity belts—Tony reined himself in. No, he’s not going to be a hypocrite. He’d give them the same talk Mr. Jarvis gave him… even though it hadn’t been all that effective. All though, he never got anyone knocked up during his party days, so maybe it had worked.

Tony realized the kiddos were talking. “What? I missed that.”

Friday rolled her eyes over-exaggeratedly. “We were doing the research on the Convergence like you asked for—”

“I only asked you to.” He looked at Shuri. “You’re supposed to be studying magic and tech, not astrophysics.”

“I am a super-genius, Mr. Stark. I do not limit myself.” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “Unlike you.”

“First off, it’s Tony, not Mr. Stark. Second off, is this what it feels like not to be the smartest person in the room? I don’t like it. Lose some brain cells so I can feel better about myself,” he joked. “Third off, I’m a busy man unlike you pip-squeaks. I have a job. People are depending on me. I can’t go frolicking about, learning magic and gardening.”

“Gardening?”

“Or whatever you young people do with your spare time.” They were making him feel so old.

Friday snickered, and if Tony was a petty man he would have flipped her off.

“We make out in our spare time, obviously.” Tony stumbled back at her new level of sass. He clutched his chest, trying to protect his delicate heart.

“No more,” he begged. “Are you trying to kill your old man?”

Friday blew a raspberry. “You’re almost as dramatic as Loki. We were saying that the Convergence explains some things. Every 5,000 years during the Convergence a lot of people disappear then reappear in different realms. We hypothesized that, that is why the different races can interbreed, because they’re already mixed together in the past.”

Tony pondered that before having a eureka moment. “So that’s why Loki has nipples!” His revelation was met with a chorus of ewws from the girls.

*

“I thought godhood meant no more headaches,” Tony bemoaned, rubbing his temples.

“Friend Tony, brother Tony,” Thor added on heavily, “please.”

“All I can hear is a rhythmic ‘not my problem, not my problem, not my problem’ in my head.” It pulsed at a heavy tempo, refusing to be silent.

Thor’s blue eyes were wide and glassy. “You told me it would take days for the Nations United—”

“United Nations,” Tony corrected.

“—for the United Nations to approve once I signed the Accords. Jane could be dead by then!” Tony was unaffected. Some part of him knew that was wrong, but Jane would be dead in a few decades. Was going out of his way to save her really worth it?

He reminded himself how brilliant she was though; and it wouldn’t hurt to put Thor in his debt. Hmm, maybe he’d been spending too much time with Loki. His way of thinking was rubbing off on Tony.

He really didn’t like the situation, but did feel distantly responsible for it.

A transport unit’s incompetence Rogers had broken free. His single-minded drive to get Barnes back had led him to taking Jane Foster hostage to try to force her to make an Einstein-Rosen Bridge so he could get to Asgard and making a ‘daring rescue’. If Tony hadn’t been so petty and told him he was taking Barnes to Asgard, Jane wouldn’t be in danger.

Tony wished Loki wasn’t off terraforming Svartalfheim, so he could take care of the ExVengers situation again—But, on second thought, he wouldn’t want either of his pregnant lovers anywhere near that loose cannon. Rogers had fucked up Tony’s life enough as is.

Tony blew a raspberry, having picked up the habit from Friday.

“How ‘bout this, I take Scott Lang and Sam Wilson to do the heavy lifting,” to prove they wouldn’t switch sides, “and I’ll act as backup if things go south?”

Thor gnawed at his bottom lip. Tony had never seen him so worried before. It was off-putting.

“He’s not going to hurt Jane. He needs her cooperation.” There was the matter of the other person Rogers had taken hostage, Darcy Lewis. He’d only heard about the woman in passing, but knew she was Thor’s friend. “Vision will also be there. Rogers won’t stand a chance.”

Thor exhaled through his flared nose. “Yes, I will trust you in this matter. Please make haste.”

Tony patted him on the shoulder comfortingly while standing. He didn’t hesitate to get his armor and go to the servants’ quarters. It was late in the night so he caught Lang and Wilson together—with Barnes as well.

“Rogers broke out of custody and is holding two women hostage,” Tony said in lieu of greetings. Barnes made a sound like he’d just been punched in his gut. “This will be your first mission to prove you’ll follow the Accords. Saddle up, you two. Times-a-wastin’.” Lang and Wilson scurried to get their gear.

“This is my fault,” Barnes said in a dead tone. “I have to go too. He’ll listen to me.”

Tony regarded Barnes. He looked a lot healthier than when he was brought to Asgard months ago. His face had become rounder and he’d taken up the Asgardian style of having braids in his shoulder length hair.

“Fine, but if you leave my side I’ll consider it you trying to flee. I won’t hesitate to shoot you. Agreed?” Barnes nodded, his determination clear.

Lang and Wilson showed up shortly after that. Tony’s strides to the Bifrost were long and fast. The two baseline humans struggled to keep up. Skurge warped them to Santa Fe, New Mexico, outside of the building Vision and the Accords liaison were.

Tony stepped out of his suit once he was inside. “These three are my responsibility. Lang and Wilson will be acting in this mission under my leadership. Barnes is purely hear to talk reason, but otherwise won’t be engaging Rogers,” Tony said forcefully to the liaison who balked, but got on the phone immediately. Tony’s expression softened when he turned to Vision. He pulled him into a hug then off to the side. “Hey, Viz, I have some good news for you.”

“What is it… father?” Vision sounded hesitant, almost worried that Tony would react poorly to being called father. Tony grinned brighter.

“You’re going to be a big brother. Hela and Loki are pregnant!”

Vision blinked repeatedly in surprise. “Congratulations. I look forward to meeting my younger siblings.” Vision paused. “I feel like I should get Queen Hela and Prince Loki congratulatory cards. Would they appreciate that?”

Ah, his sweet, innocent Vision. Such a contrast to his devious sister and the mischievous ‘bots. “No need. I pass your well-wishes on to them.” Tony reached up and squeezed Vision’s cheek the same way Ana Jarvis used to do to him. “Such a good son. When they’re born you have to come up to Asgard to see them. I’ve been meaning to introduce you to Hela too.”

Vision touched his cheek, clearly bemused but happy.

“I would like that very much.”

They exchanged a few more words before Tony got back into his Iron Man suit, sending off some messages to Pepper and checking in on Stark Industries. They were flourishing with all the different Asgardian based schematics he’d dropped off during his last visit. Production was barely keeping up with R&D. He refrained from sending out tweets, not wanting to tip off Rogers that he was here.

The Accords liaison gave them the green light. The non-flying group, Barnes, Lang, and Accords cleanup crew were shuffled off into stereotypical black SUVs for the trip out to the research facility in the New Mexico desert. All the staff excluding Jane and Darcy had been evacuated.

Mid-flight Tony got a phone call from Pepper. “Really, Tony? Two at once?” Pepper asked while grinning.

“You know me, run before I walk. Who would want just one baby when they could have two?” The giddiness of being an expecting father taking root in his chest again, making him grin like a loon.

“The press is going to eat you alive. When do you want to make the announcement? I haven’t alerted the PR team yet since I don’t want to risk the news getting out before you’re ready for it to.” The lovely Pepper Potts, always thinking two steps ahead~

“I want to do a press conference. I want to tell the whole world myself!” Pepper grinned at his enthusiasm. “Oh! I should do a slideshow! Pepper! I’m going to do a slideshow! Once I wrap up this Rogers situation I’ll send for Friday. She’s taken non-stop photos since she got to Asgard!”

“Really, Tony? A slideshow? This isn’t the 90s anymore.” She winked at him. “Should I invite the usual suspects?”

“Yeah, and have some party favors made for each of the interviewers and camera-people. I think a bottle of champagne, a Stark Industries teddy-bear, and something personalized would be best.” Tony paused. “Oh, and those little popper things that make a loud noise while popping out confetti.”

Pepper chuckled. “This is—I’m so happy for you Tony.” Pepper wiped away a tear before it could fall. “I never thought—I’m glad you’ve built a new life for yourself. You’re too good for Earth.”

“Pff, you’re a hundred times better than me, Pepper Potts. You’re too good for Earth—I’ve got to go though. I’m in range.”

“Good luck, Mr. Stark.”

“Thank you, Ms. Potts.”

The SUVs stopped half a mile out from the research facility, meeting up with the barricaded perimeter.

Tony sent in Ant-Man for reconnaissance. Tony monitored Wilson and Barnes’ expressions, looking for any sign that they’d compromise the mission. Barnes looked completely blank, but Wilson looked riddled with guilt.

“Don’t let Rogers drag you down even further,” Tony said to Wilson. “Remember how much you’ve lost because of him.”

Wilson nodded looking more resolute. Tony did notice that his fingers dug into the protective arms of his coat.

The group was tense and silent. If Tony had more time he would have installed a camera on Lang’s suit. It was hard enough to trust him as is.

According to him, Jane and Darcy were being held in one of the labs. Darcy was tied to a chair with wires. Jane was bent over a desk writing something. Rogers was watching her like a hawk, a sheered off car door held in his hand like a shield.

“Stay in position,” Tony ordered Ant-Man. “Falcon, take the reinforced cuffs and fly to the nearest entrance and perch above it, out of sight.” Falcon nodded and took off. “Viz, get near the room they’re in and be ready to take out Rogers if it looks like he’ll hurt a hostage.” He watched the pair go. “You all might want to cover your ears. This is going to be loud.” Tony switched on the megaphone feature. “Rogers, come out with your hands up. We have Barnes with us. If you let the hostages go and come peacefully, you can talk to him.” The car windows around them shook as he spoke.

“Yeah, he heard you,” Ant-Man reported, “and he’s not happy. Uh, he’s saying a lot of stuff I don’t want to repeat.” Tony refrained from rolling his eyes. “He thinks it’s a trick and shouted at Dr. Foster to work faster.”

“Let me talk to him,” Barnes said. His voice was hollow, but his eyes were pained.

“Talk, and if I don’t like what I hear it doesn’t get broadcasted,” Tony warned.

Barnes cleared his throat. “Hey, punk. You’re making a real ass out of yourself. Come outside so I can set you straight.” Barnes nodded and Tony sent off the message.

“Steve—I mean Rogers covered his ears and is shaking his head,” Ant-Man said.

“Jesus, I didn’t know he was this far gone,” Falcon whispered.

“Come on, Stevie. It’s me. Who else knows that I set you up on a date with Becca and you choked on a meatball and coughed it up on her favorite dress?” Barnes let out a pained laugh. “I’m here. All you have to do is come outside and talk to me.”

Tony played the message, thankful that his helmet dampened the sound.

“He’s, uhh, getting all squirrelly. He’s tying up Dr. Foster—I think he’s coming outside.”

“Keep on his tail.”

“He left Ms. Lewis behind and is going in your direction.”

“Viz, get Lewis to safety.” Vision hummed in response. “Ant-Man, when Rogers lets go of Foster, get her to safety.”

The door Falcon was stationed above opened. Rogers came out. Jane’s hands were tied behind her back. Rogers had the car door shielding him, only his shins and eyes peeking out. He had Jane’s wrists in a vice grip.  

“Bucky!” His eyes were bright with madness and glee. “Get over here before Stark kills you!”

Tony heard Barnes let out a near silent sigh.

“Let the pretty lady go, Stevie, and then we can talk like civilized folks.” Barnes made his voice light, almost teasing.

Rogers’ mouth was in a firm line. “It’s a trick, Buck. We can get out of this place together, somewhere Stark and his damned Accords can’t find us. You just have to trust me. Till the end of the line, remember?”

“Approach him, but no closer than 20 feet,” Tony ordered.

“Mr. Stark, he hasn’t sighed the Accords he can’t—” Tony cut off the liaison with a wave of his hand.

“He’s not going to physically engage him. If Rogers gets his hands on him it will count as him taking another civilian hostage. I’ll take the heat from the council.”

The liaison bit his lip, but nodded.

“Walk slowly towards him. Say anything to get him to let her go.” Barnes nodded and moved forward at a measured pace.

“How am I supposed to hug you with that big door in the way?” Barnes joked, his arms wide open.

Rogers took a few steps towards him, not letting go of his shield or Jane. From behind him Vision appeared, his head peeking out of the ground.

“Come on, Buck! I think I hear choppers coming!”

“You’re the one slowing us down. That lady will just get in our way. You’re blowing our only chance!”

Rogers shoved Jane aside.

“Now,” Tony said calmly. Vision moved forward and grabbed Steve by the ankles, sinking him waist deep in the ground. Falcon came in hard, slamming both feet into the back of Rogers’ head. Ant-Man appeared and took off with Jane.

Rogers thrashed as Falcon tried to put the cuffs on him.

“Bucky! Run! Get out of here!” Rogers shouted, elbowing Falcon and possibly breaking ribs. Barnes just looked at him like he was a stranger.

Light streamed from Vision’s infinity stone and Rogers went limp. He was cuffed and pulled out of the ground. Tony didn’t bother to watch, annoyed that he’d been pulled into this situation.

Lang, Wilson, and Barnes all had mixed emotions clear as day on their faces. Tony didn’t bother to debrief them, sending them through the Bifrost as soon as he could.

He let out a sigh, some of his stress easing away.

“I’ll have my AI send over the reports.”

“But, Mr. Stark—” Tony sent the Accords liaison a glare, one he’d learned from Hela. It cowed him.

Tony’s severe expression turned to a smile as he turned towards Vision. “Hey, kiddo. How about we have some quality father-son time?”  

Chapter Text


 

They were wearing matching gold speedos. On the rear of Tony’s speedo in hot rod red was the word ‘Dad’, while Vision’s read ‘Son’.

They were at an upscale spa and resort, getting ready to get into the pool.

The California sun was blazing as Tony slathered on sunscreen. He’d already turned down six people who offered to lotion his back for him. Tony knew his sex appeal had rocketed up since he became a god, but hadn’t realized how much. The stares ranged from embarrassed glances to downright lecherous looks.

Vision was getting stared at too, but for a completely different reason. His burgundy skin seemed to absorb the sun, causing him to radiate heat. Like a distant road on a summer day, heatwaves cast a mirage over him. The distortion was subtle, but made him look even more alien.

Tony could probably fry an egg on Vision’s chest—a chest that strangely enough had nipples. It made Tony snicker to himself and miss Loki even more.

“Maybe I’ll make a scrapbook,” Tony said to Vision while squeezing out more sunscreen. Vision tilted his head, eyes focused on the pool in front of them. Tony knew he was listening though. “Document all my babies from oldest to youngest, but it’s not like I have many pictures of Jarvis, Tesla rest his soul, maybe I’ll add some of my favorite quotes from him. Or some of the messages he sent me.” Tony took in a deep breath. He had accepted that Jarvis was dead, but it still hurt. “The ‘bot trio will probably want to help with the scrapbook. Oh! Do you think there are fire-extinguisher stickers? If not, I’ll just have them custom made.”

“Are you going to marry Queen Hela or Prince Loki?” Vision asked, off subject. The question gave Tony pause.

“Hmm, I hadn’t even considered marriage. I don’t even know if Asgard has marriage the way we do.” Tony grinned. “I’d want to marry them both.” Tony chuckled. “I just pictured me living with Hela and Loki in the ‘burbs with a white picket fence. I think it would drive Loki nuts. He’s the opposite of domesticated. Hell, he’s stabbed Thor at least a dozen times since I first arrived at Asgard. I wouldn’t be surprised if he insisted giving birth in some sacred cave or something.” Tony thought better of that. “Naw, he’ll probably insist on giving birth in the lap of luxury. There’s no in between for him.”

“Is he shapeshifted? How is it even possible for him to give birth?”

“He’s a Jotun. He gave a half-assed explanation having to do with ice and belly-buttons. I didn’t press him for details because he was mad enough at me already.” Tony shrugged and tossed the sunscreen into his bag. “Shuri told me that she could give you a more human appearance, if you want—Something to do with Vibranium being her bitch.”

Vision considered him. “Why would I want that? I am not human. You are no longer human. All my siblings mechanical. I do not feel the need to appear as something I’m not. Unless… it is your wish that I do so.”

“Hell no! You’re the definition of perfect as you are! I just want you to know you have options.” Tony winked at him before standing, stretching his glistening body. “Come on, Junior. Let’s go for a swim.”

Tony headed to the rarely used diving-board (for some reason rich people preferred to lounge around a pool rather than in it) and preformed a perfect dive, the water barely rippling. He came up for air and brushed his wet hair back. Vision was standing by the edge of the pool with a look that could only be described as constipated.

“It has come to my attention that I have no practical knowledge on how one swims,” Vision said, sounding more robotic than usual.

Tony’s eyebrows shot up. Well, that made sense.

“Meet me in the shallows.” Tony glided through the water and to the other side of the pool. When the water got shallower he stood up. His glistening bottom drew more than a few eyes.

Vision had flown over the water in the subtle glide he always did.

“It has also come to my attention that with my weight that swimming should be impossible.”

Tony gave him a critical look. “By that logic, you shouldn’t be able to fly either.”

“That is… a valid point.” Vision descended into the knee-deep water. His radiating heat caused the water to sizzle and steam before settling.

“Let’s start with blowing bubbles so you get used to your mouth being underwater, then we can move on to flutter kicks…”

*

Friday was grilling Helen, the AI that had replaced her. It was comical in a sort of eight-year-old giving the facts of life to a six-year-old kinda way. The real kicker was Friday’s expression. She looked dead-serious, her eyes narrowed and lips in a hard line. Tony was tempted to tease her, but instead let her stretch her leadership wings. He’d talk to her later on how to make someone want to do something, rather than just ordering them to do it.

Tony flattened down the lapel of his suit. It felt like a lifetime since he’d worn a three-piece last. At some point he’d gotten used to the leather and softer than cotton clothing that was common for the upper-class Asgardians. How the clothing was tight even for his standards, how he couldn’t slouch in them when he was tired—Not that he was tired all that often, now that he thought about it. Being a god didn’t lend itself to fatigue, only annoyance at worst. Tony usually only slept after sex, cuddling turning into a doze that sunk into his skin, easing the stress from the day.

But Hela and Loki weren’t here now and Tony realized he hadn’t slept since he returned to Earth three days ago. That didn’t bother him though. Maybe sleep is another form of bonding to him now. Or maybe he was just afraid the nightmares would come back when there was no one to hold him.

“I can’t remember the last time I had to hold back from shopping,” Pepper said while entering the penthouse living room. “You’ve ruined me, Tony Stark. I used to be thrifty, only buying during sales, but now I want to drop a few thousand dollars on baby clothes without a second thought.”

Tony grinned at her, remembering the off the rack clothing she used to wear when she first became his PA. He’d forced her to take one of his credit cards and buy a whole new wardrobe to fit her new position. She’d raged against it, against spending money on replacing something she didn’t think needed replacing. The transition from that to her using his credit card to buy her own birthday gifts was subtle enough that neither of them had realized it.

“You run a Forbes 500 company, Pepper.” Tony walked over to her and looped his arm around her shoulders, guiding her further into the penthouse. “You’re rich. And unlike those stuffy CEOs, you actually spend your money instead of hoarding it like a dragon.”

“Are dragons real?” Pepper asks, a tinge of whimsy in her voice.

“Yup!” Friday said from her spot on the couch, obnoxiously chewing gum. “But they’re really big, like Stark Tower big and mostly just sleep.”

“She’s been doing some reading,” Tony said as an explanation. “My gal Friday probably knows more about the realms than I do.”

“Boss Man, can I marry Shuri?” Friday’s question catches both Tony and Pepper off guard. “Pepper, help,” Tony whispered, flailing on the inside.

“Ha! Your kid, your problem.” Pepper escaped Tony’s hold, disappearing in the direction of the kitchen.

Tony took in a deep breath and went to sit beside Friday. “Well, Friday, you two have been together how long?”

“Three months, six days, and so on.” Friday was smiling brightly. “We’re in love.”

Tony nodded, feeling like he was traversing a minefield. “How old is she now?” Did Wakandan law set a minimum age to get married? Would Shuri need a permission slip, or something—assuming she even said yes. Tony was getting ahead of himself.

“Seventeen and a half. She’s almost an adult by Wakandan standards.”

“What are the standards?” Tony asked, trying not to feel old.

“Twenty,” Friday said sheepishly. “But Shuri said that her mom and dad married each other when they were nineteen, so it’s more of a guideline than a rule.”

“You two have talked about marriage?”

“Yeah, and I kinda sorta already bought an engagement ring.” Friday looked sheepish, but below that was a level of pride, a sort of self-satisfaction. “I’ll have to ask her mom, Queen Ramonda, to allow her to marry while she’s still a minor.”

“You clearly already made a decision. Why ask my permission?”

“I thought it would be the best way to ease you into the subject,” Friday said sheepishly. She was probably right too. Damn kid knew him to well.

“Don’t you think Shuri should be there for the conversation with her mom?”

“Yup! She’s already packed and ready for when we go to Wakanda after the press conference. I’ve also alerted the Dora Milaje that we’ll be there tomorrow morning by their time, so they won’t freak out when the Bifrost opens.”

“Sounds like you have everything figured out. Sure you need me there?” He doubted he could escape this sudden bought of responsibility, but was eager to try.

Friday took Tony’s hand, looking at him with big pleading eyes—the same look Tony used on Rhodey on more occasions than he could count. “You’re my dad. I really want you there.”

Damn puppy-dog eyes. “Alright, sweetie, whatever you want.”

*

Tony was barely containing his excitement. Soon the whole world would know about his happiness. And he had Hela and Loki to thank for that. He’d have to do something special for them, but what could he do? He’d already given them everything he had—Well, he only gave them about half of his income from all the Asgard-based technology he’d brought to Earth and used to bolster SI. Converting his assets to something Asgard found valuable (gold, materials, non-Asgardian tech) had been bothersome—especially since then he had to convert those things into Asgardian currency.

Asgard was his home. He was happy to help fill the royal coffers. And all that money was reinvested in Asgard. It was a hassle, but worth it.

Friday had connected to the projector that was hanging from the ceiling in the large room that the announcement would be made in. Tony could hear the reporters and camera crews. They were all wondering what new groundbreaking technology he’d bring to the table or hear about another wonder from beyond Earth.

Pepper was seated with the journalists in the front row, excited to see the slideshow. Friday had tempted her, wanting to show her the slideshow early, but Pepper refused, knowing she wouldn’t be able to hold back buying baby clothes otherwise.

Friday stood up. She was wearing a suit that matched his, but with a feminine cut and no tie. On her lapel was an Iron Man button.

“Ready, Boss Man?” Friday asked. Tony nodded, slipping on a wireless mic.

Back in Black by AC/DC started playing as Tony and Friday entered the stage. Tony’s heart raced with joy and excitement. The music and applause faded with Tony’s hand gesture. He had complete control of the room.

Friday took up position to his left and a step behind him.

Tony opened with his usual spiel, a couple of jokes with his signature charm mixed in. He threw out a few announcement on where SI was going and a few hints at products to come, since Pepper had asked him to, then he got onto the fun part.

“All these pictures will be released on my personal website so please refrain from taking too many pictures.” Tony went to one side of the stage while Friday went to the other, framing the projector screen. The first picture was a wide view of Asgard, dazzling and unlike any place on Earth. There was a murmur from the crowd, amazement. Tony felt pride despite having no hand in the skyline. “Asgard. It’s called the Golden Realm for a reason,” Tony said with a wink and received a few chuckles in return.

Tony went through a few more pictures, narrating them. He led them through the city, showing them the social progress—self-defense and consent classes, glimpses of classical plays brought to life on stage, the open-air market, people living their lives, students of all ages sitting eagerly in class.

“Our exchange students have a special message for you all.” Tony gestured for Friday to play the video. The kids in the video said hello enthusiastically, before switching to one-on-one interviews. Where Friday had found the time was beyond Tony. Friday asked about their favorite parts of being on Asgard. Their answers ranged from cutesy to heart-wrenchingly sad as they mentioned the often deplorable orphanages they came from. Friday even threw in an interview of Peter Parker, putting a white American face up to make it easier for the US to digest and relate to. It became a puff-piece when the kids showed off their favorite spells and talked about how they wanted to make the world a better place with their new powers.

A smile bloomed on Tony’s face as they moved on to the next subject.

“As many of you know I’m in a polyamorous relationship. You’ve already met Prince Loki, for better or worse,” Tony joked. “I’m happy to introduce you to my Queen Hela, the other person that holds my heart.” The picture that was brought up was a candid of Hela cheerfully talking to Tony. Her face was slightly flushed, and it was clear that Tony was teasing her. She looked even more stunning than usual.

“She is an amazing woman who is reforming Asgard from its imperialistic rule under Odin to a new golden age of equality and education for all.” He didn’t get too into the policies since it would drag down the meeting and was none of their business.

Tony gestured for Friday to go to the next image. Hela and Loki were having one of their infamous meetings, leaning close to each other from across the small table, Fenrir dozing in the background. They both had wicked grins.

“Hela is Asgardian, but Prince Loki was born on a different planet, Jotunheim. Despite his appearance he’s a very different being. He comes from a race of noble warriors and royalty. The Jotuns only have one gender.” Tony licked his lips, barely able to contain himself. “With that knowledge in mind I have an announcement.” Tony looked directly into one of the cameras. “Both Queen Hela and Prince Loki are pregnant with my children!”

Questions were shouted out from the journalists, some confused while most of them were excited. He let it wash over him. Friday sent out a tweet from his account with the announcement then another from her own exclaiming how she was looking forward to having two new siblings.

The photo switched to a picture of Hela and Loki facing each other, showing off their baby-bumps. It was more evident on Hela since Loki’s was only going to be a fraction of the size due to his baby being born much smaller.

Tony couldn’t stop smiling.

He decided to take a few questions, gesturing to one of the few reporters that was raising their hand instead of just shouting.

“Will the babies take your last name?” the reporter from one of the newspapers asked.

“By Asgardian tradition the child takes on the father’s first name. For Hela’s baby their last name will either be Tonyson or Tonysdottir. Loki and I haven’t decided what tradition we want to follow for our baby though.” Jotunheim didn’t have surnames. There was no need for one since one’s ancestry was easily seen through their raised lines.

“Do you know their genders?”

“No, not yet. We’re bringing up an ultrasound machine to Asgard to see the gender of Hela’s baby, but due to the nature of Loki’s pregnancy we’ll have to wait till the baby is born.” Ironically, Loki was the one who was dying to know the babies’ genders while Hela didn’t care either way.

“Expected due date?” a chipper journalist asked.

“Both babies are mixed species, so it’s hard to pin down an exact timeline. We’re estimating that Loki and my baby will be here in about two and a half months. For Hela we’re thinking she’ll give birth in six months.”

A few more questions were asked. Tony handled them gracefully, though he shut down one reporter who wanted to know the logistics of Loki giving birth and a second who held an (understandable) grudge against Loki.

Tony wrapped up the press conference, not looking forward to his meeting with the royal family of Wakanda.

*

The trip from California to Asgard then to Wakanda took less than ten minutes.

Shuri and Friday were holding hands, obnoxiously wearing matching outfits. A gunmetal grey and dark red jumpsuit on Shuri and Friday was wearing the inverse colors in a dress. There was a square bulge in Friday’s pocket, an engagement ring box.

They were met by a group of five Dora Milaje. They bowed to Shuri before the oldest of the bodyguards gave her a hug. They exchanged happy greetings.

“Okoye, I must introduce you to Friday.” Shuri brought Friday forward. “She is my chosen.”

Okoye perked up one of her eyebrows. She gave Friday an analyzing look. Tony stepped up behind his daughter, silently giving her support. Okoye’s expression became unreadable.

“Queen Ramonda is looking forward to seeing you.”

They were led through a garden and into a palace. The building contrasted with Asgard’s palace. Wakanda’s was airy, nearly translucent walls, and bright splashes of color made the place almost feel like it was breathing. In contrast, Asgard’s palace was rigid and monotoned gold.

Maybe he’d convince Hela to overhaul the whole palace after the kids came.

Out with the old and in with the new.

But that would wait for another day—another pet project.

Tony was pulled from his musings by Shuri being engulfed in another hug, this time by her mother. T’Challa was also there, reserved in a show of royal dignity. They exchanged soft words.

Beside Tony, Friday was nearly dancing with poorly contained energy.

Drinks and finger food was served as they sat around a table in comfy chairs.

Tony was congratulated about his partners’ pregnancies.

Shuri babbled on about her time in Asgard, the magic she’d learned, and the people she met. She was clearly nervous. Her mother was smiling knowingly while T’Challa asked pointed, but kind questions.

There was an awkward pause, Friday and Shuri glancing at each other. Tony had the knee-jerk reaction to fill the silence, but this wasn’t his show. The couple exchanged a look before Shuri spoke, “We wish for your permission to marry.” She took in a deep breath. “We are in love.”

“Shuri, this is your first relationship beside that Mori boy,” Ramonda said softly. “Do you not think you are moving a little fast?”

“Mama, we love each other. Our love can only be strengthened through marriage.” Shuri looked at Friday. They exchanged a chaste kiss. “I would have married Friday already, but my honor wouldn’t let me do so without your permission.”

“I want us to be together for the rest of our lives.” The conviction was clear in Friday’s voice, their hands clasped together on the table.

“You are too young,” T’Challa said, his posture becoming rigid. “It would also be improper to,” T’Challa measured his words. “It is tradition that the Black Panther marries a Dora Milaje and his siblings marry one of the other tribes—”

“You are full of shit, T’Challa! You wouldn’t be saying that if Nakia hadn’t decided to take up the mantel again! Don’t talk about traditions when you are bringing Wakanda out of isolation!” Shuri looked like she was going to start on a tangent, but her mother stepped in.

“My son, she is right.” Ramonda said in a dulcet tone, placing her hand on T’Challa’s forearm. “You do not subscribe to those traditions. Nor is this your decision. You may be king, but I am Shuri’s mother.” Her reprimanding look melted away when she turned to Shuri. “My star, I may not understand what exactly,” Ramonda paused, “pardon my indelicacy, what Friday is exactly, but I know love when I see it. You have my blessings and permission.” She kissed Shuri on the forehead. “Mr. Stark, you have not mentioned where you stand.”

“I’m 100% behind the idea. These two have good heads on their shoulders.” He patted Friday on the top of her head before mussing up her hair. She tried to swat at his hands, but it only made Tony more insistent, frizzing her hair up in different directions. “I don’t think anything can keep them apart.” He pulled Friday into a half hug before shoving Shuri jokingly. She made a face at him.

The group naturally began talking about wedding plans, T’Challa thawing on the subject. Friday decided she wanted to spend a bit more time with her future in-laws before returning to Asgard. Tony had no such feeling. He just wanted to get home to his lovers. And hopefully Loki was back from New Jotunheim.

Friday walked him to the Bifrost site, happily talking about her future upgrades that would make her appear older so that she matched Shuri.

Tony gave Friday a kiss on the forehead before stepping on the scorched marks.

“I actually have practice planning weddings,” Friday said, grinning mischievously. “I’ve been helping Hela and Loki plan yours!”

Before Tony could respond the Bifrost pulled him back to Asgard.

Chapter Text


 

Tony was laying flat on the ground, staring at the ceiling.

When had he stopped being a lone wolf? After the ‘Civil War’ business and Rhodey’s death, he’d sworn off being on any sort of team ever again. But then his sensors alerted him to Thor being in New York and he went to investigate. After that he’d rolled the dice when it came to Hela, trying to protect Earth by curbing her bloodlust. He’d never imagined…

He wasn’t only surrounded by family now, but was also the right-hand to the queen of a whole realm. He couldn’t deny that being part of a family was a different sort of team then he’d ever imagined, and he loved it—but the whole Asgard thing was something else. He wasn’t only part of a giant team that was in the millions, he was also helping lead it.

He wasn’t alone anymore.

Yeah, Tony was having a crisis.

After Jarvis died, then Rhodey… there had been no hope, only the drive to keep Earth safe. Because what else was there? Tony had fashioned himself to be a hero and left everything else on the wayside.

But Hela was fiery and strong-willed. Exactly what Tony loved in a woman, and unlike Pepper she welcomed his risk-taking and love for heroics. Hela accepted all of him, even his compassion that she didn’t understand often. She welcomed his ideas, openminded despite her upbringing.

Loki had been an even bigger surprise. Not half as evil as Tony expected, but just as broken as he’d assumed. He rolled with the punches in a way most people couldn’t. He adapted lightning fast and was just as quick with his words. There was also the side of him that Tony had only glimpsed at first, something vulnerable and hurt. He was also a bit crazy which kept Tony on his toes.

The relationships had come easy, but in retrospect everything after getting together with Hela had been out of his hands. Yes, he’d been interested in Loki, but it had been Hela and Loki who had schemed together to make it happen. Hela had nearly insisted that they get together. And then there was the babies. Tony was happy to have more kids, but… Tony didn’t blame Loki. They hadn’t known he could get pregnant. But with Hela, she’d planned to get pregnant, but hadn’t even consulted him or asked for his opinion.

He’d never been a parent to an actual baby. Yeah, the ‘bots and AIs had started off rudimentary, but it wasn’t like he needed to change their diapers or hold them a certain way to support their necks.

And now he’d learned from Friday that Loki and Hela were planning to marry him. He hadn’t even gotten a proposal or a hint before Friday blurted it out.

How the hell did Friday know and he didn’t?

It was fucked up and Tony was desperately trying to smother his feeling of helplessness. Just like when Obie pulled out his reactor, like with the Pallidium poisoning, and nearly freezing to death in his own suit—he had no control.

Tony rubbed the spot where his arc reactor used to be.

Lying on the floor and looking at the ceiling was getting him nowhere.

He needed to act, but what exactly could he do? He wasn’t opposed to a wedding, or two as the case maybe. And he knew once Hela and Loki had an idea in mind that there was no stopping them.

Tony decided it was better to find out the details then formulate a plan. With that in mind, he stood up from his prone position on the ground.

It wasn’t hard to find Hela. He had her schedule memorized. It was some of her downtime so she’d either be doting around one of the nurseries or whittling a new creation.

“Beloved, you’re home!” Hela said while setting down her whittling tool. There was a new addition to her hobby-room—a large chunk of granite, just waiting to be chiseled into something new. It was yet untouched. Hela hugged and kissed him. It made Tony’s chest warm with happiness, but didn’t distract him for the matter at hand. “Ah, I must tell you. That skank Amora was released. Friday assures me that she’s reformed.”

Tony was thrown mentally for a moment. “Did you just use the word skank?” It sounded all wrong with her refined accent.

“Yes, darling Friday has been teaching me Midgardian words.”

Tony blinked, trying to process that. “Okay, yeah, uh,” he pulled himself together, “there’s actually something I want to talk about with you.” Yet he couldn’t find the words.

“Go on.” They were still in each-others space, breathing the same air.

“It’s about the wedding. Or weddings.” Whatever. “It’s kind of a big deal and I feel like you and Loki are going behind my back by not telling me about them yourselves. I’m not against getting married,” Tony hastily added when Hela frowned. “I’d just want to be informed. I mean, neither of you even proposed to me. I would have actually liked to know instead of just being shoved in front of the alter without warning.” Tony’s hands were on her hips, his thumbs brushing out to feel her baby-bump. “And this isn’t the first time you did something like this. I would have liked to know you wanted a baby with me. I’m happy your pregnant…” He didn’t know what else to say, half worried that he’d set off her anger. It had never been directed at him, but he’d seen it before.

Hela made a thoughtful noise. “I thought it would be obvious that I’d need an heir to ensure the stability of Asgard.”

Tony shifted uncomfortably. “You live for thousands of years. I didn’t think you’d want a baby right away.” He took in a deep breath. “That baby is half me. Don’t you think I deserved to know I was helping bring another life into the world?” He was trying to keep the pleading tone out of his voice.

“I couldn’t risk you disagree to having a child with me. If you did, Loki would have had to make a donation in your stead, but I don’t think Asgard is ready for a half-Jotun ruler, despite Odin’s heritage.” Hela said it like it was the simplest thing in the world. “And then to legitimize the child I’d have to marry Loki, who is my brother in all but blood.”

Tony sighed. “You didn’t even give me a chance.” The feeling of helplessness was back, worming its way into his chest. “I would have said yes, if you’d only asked. This just makes me think you don’t understand consent as well as I thought you did. When we first started having sex you assured me that you couldn’t get pregnant because of some magic mumbo-jumbo.”

Tony took a seat, feeling a headache coming on.

Hela’s head was cocked to the side. “I now see how that could be… not ideal.”

“I’m not hearing an apology,” Tony said wryly.

“A queen does not apologize.” Her words were firm, rooted in her past.

Tony clapped his hands and stood up. “Right, I’ll let you think on that for a while.” He was too tired to fight with her right now. His time was better spent with his ‘bots or at the Bifrost.

“Do not walk away from me,” Hela said sternly. Tony ignored her and she didn’t try to stop him again.

*

Tony was upgrading Dum-E’s claw. He’d see how it liked the new claw before implementing the change on the other ‘bots.

It had been three days and Hela was still being stubborn. She downright refused to apologize. He knew she had an ingrained sense of superiority and divine right to do whatever she wanted to, but that wasn’t going to fly with Tony.

Despite her having age on him, Tony was fairly certain that he could wait her out.

And Loki was coming home today. If anyone could convince Hela to get her head out of her ass, it was Loki.

Tony made his way to the Bifrost, incapable of waiting any longer. It felt like he hadn’t seen Loki in ages. Once there he grilled Skurge about Loki’s time spent between Jotunheim and New Jotunheim.

Not everyone was keen on the idea of completely abandoning Jotunheim. It was nearly edging on civil war. Attacks to steal the casket from Loki had happened, but had easily defeated by him and Farbauti-King’s guards.

Others were calling for Loki to be brought back into the line of succession despite his upbringing and the destruction he wrought on Jotunheim. He had been approached more than once to try to conspire against Farbauti-King, people trying to use Loki to gain power. Loki turned down the chance to be king and told Farbauti-King about the ones who wanted to depose him.

Loki’s two siblings had mixed reactions to him. The youngest wanted to get to know Loki and even travel to Asgard to meet Tony. The other thought Loki should be killed for assassinating Laufey-King and destroying such a large portion of Jotunheim. Farbauti-King kept them in check though, not risking the chance to save his people.

What made Tony grin was all the toys and outfits that Jotuns were gifting Loki since they knew he was pregnant. Loki had been gobsmacked by their kindness. He was a stranger to such positive regard and flourished under it.

When the Bifrost opened, Tony wasted no time, pulling Loki into his arms. His blue skin was chilled, but not uncomfortable. He tried to kiss him—only to realize Loki had grown quite a bit taller. Tony couldn’t even reach the bottom of his chin while standing on his tip-toes. And that asshole was grinning, knowing exactly what Tony was thinking.

Tony pouted, using his secret weapon, his doe-eyes. Loki’s grin eased into something softer. He leaned down and kissed Tony. The kiss deepened. Loki lifted him up and Tony scrambled to find purchase, their lips never parting.

After a few minutes Tony abruptly pulled back as much as he could while in Loki’s arms. “You’re such an asshole,” Tony said while gripping his forehead. He knew Loki had perfect control of his temperature, and yet… “You gave me a brainfreeze!”

Loki laughed manically and gave Tony’s ass a nice squeeze. He teleported them to Loki’s room so they could get reacquainted.

*

In contrast to Tony’s conversation with Hela, Loki understood perfectly why Tony was uncomfortable with them not proposing to him before they started planning for the wedding and even setting a date. Loki knew what it was like to have no control over his fate. He promised to talk to Hela when he got the chance. For now, they were focusing on spending a bit of time together.

Loki’s baby-bump had only grown a bit more and was probably as big as it was going to get. Tony loved laying in bed with Loki, his hand on his stomach, thumb brushing it rhythmically. When he looked at the ice directly he could see a faint something there. It was blurred due to the ice and frost, but Tony knew it was their baby. Just seeing it made him giddy and want to lavish Loki with affection for making this possible (even though it had been an accident, a happy accident).

Friday came back to Asgard and brought with her scrapbook material and pictures. Loki was interested in the idea, finding it peacefully domestic. Tony was also surprised to learn that Loki was quite the artist. Asgard didn’t have pictures so he hand-drew Frigga from memory and begrudgingly added in Odin to the family tree on Hela’s side.

Loki raged and cried when Friday mentioned Bor’s spouse, Thor’s grandfather, was a Jotun, yet Odin had disparaged the Jotuns and warped Loki’s perception of them. Tony held him close that night, as he cried and swore under his breath.

He was right as rain the following day, or at least pretended to be. Tony couldn’t be sure either way.

Tony was tickled pink by one of the byproducts of Loki’s pregnancies. He had cravings, but instead of for food it was for spells. Every other hour he was casting some odd spell, from turning guards into toads to causing the whole palace to shake with contained explosions. It wasn’t enough for him to cast the spells though. He brought in Peter, one of his prized pupils, to cast spells on him, like changing the color of his hair or making him dance non-stop.

It made sense in an odd fashion. Their baby had no umbilical-cord to absorb nutrients from food. Instead it fed off magic, causing Loki to crave specific spells. Tony made fun of Loki at first for being so odd, before the spells turned on him and he was running for his life, threats of having his dick transformed into a rodent a strong motivator.

Hela was avoiding them both despite Loki being back for over a week. It made Tony’s heart hurt and Loki told him everything would work out. He hoped they could resolve this before it got worse.

Peter, Shuri, Harley, and Friday were a good distraction when Loki took quick trips to Jotunheim. New Jotunheim was nearly ready. All that was left to do was pack up their valuables and start the (Bifrost assisted) voyage to their new homes.

Peter looked different than when he first came to Asgard, older now. But the main difference was he looked more masculine because he’d mastered shapeshifting. Tony didn’t want to know, but he figured he was now packing heat.

Peter and Harley were finally getting along, but their rivalry was still raging. Thankfully it was more out of habit than competing for Tony’s attention.

Tony had walked in on Shuri and Friday making out on way too many occasions. He was happy for them though, and a bit envious.

*

Tony woke up to bells he’d never heard before ringing. It took him a moment to realize it was the alert that Asgard was being invaded.

It didn’t make any sense. Thanos was still months away from entering the nine realms and no one else was brazen enough to attack Asgard now that its military was stronger than it had been in 900 years.

Loki was already out of bed, magicking on his armor. Tony hastily got up, pulling on his clothes. Loki teleported away without a word while Tony ran to get his armor. He should have kept it closer to him.

By the time he was all suited up and flying in the direction the guards were going he saw a small ship landing in the courtyard of the palace. The guards were already surrounding it. The royal family and Valkyries were posed to attack.

A new fear struck Tony. What if the babies were injured!? He had to get Hela and Loki away from here—

But then the ship opened and a lone figure stepped out.

He looked like a human on the wrong side of middle aged. He had a vertical blue stripe under his lip. He didn’t appear hostile.

“I, uh, am here to reclaim my prized twink!”

Chapter Text


 

“I knew it!” Thor bellowed at the intruder.

“Sparky! And look, it’s Scrapper 142! The whole gang is here! And I’m not even mad about the rebellion thing. See, I don’t even have my melty stick!”

Tony cursed internally. He was the Grandmaster, Loki’s former sugar-daddy. Though it was not like Loki had described him as such, but Tony could read between the lines.

His alpha-male instincts reared their head. Tony landed in front of Loki, blocking him from Grandmaster’s view. “Sorry, Hugh Hefner, he’s taken.”

Tony sensed more than felt Loki put his hand on his shoulder while moving to stand beside him. For one heart-stopping second Tony thought Loki was going back to his ex-flame. “He’s powerful. Be on your guard,” Loki said under his breath. “En, you’re making a spectacle of yourself. Come inside and we’ll talk about this.”

“I like the blue look, very, uh, not white. Twinklying-star—”

“Now!” Loki shouted at him. En looked thoroughly cowed, yet gleeful. So they had that sort of relationship. Why wasn’t Tony surprised?

The trip inside and to the throne room was tense. Hela took her spot as queen. The royal family and Tony flanked her. It was strangely comforting.

Loki gestured for the guards and warriors to leave. Hildy stayed put, looking extremely entertained. Loki shot her a look, but she didn’t budge.

“This is, you know, a nice place. I’m a big fan of gold—always have been. It really brings out the,” En narrowed his eyes, looking at Loki. “It really brings out the red in your eyes.”

Loki scoffed. “Was my message not clear when I helped the rebellion against you and left? I’ve moved on and you should too.”

“Ha-ha, there’s so much life in here.” En placed his hand over where his heart could possibly be. “I can feel it in my chest. It makes me feel young again. You make me feel young again. This place is, uh, fancy but I can do better in a few years. I could have ended Sakaar’s rebellion by now, but finding you was more important.” He tried to wave Loki over. “Let’s go, Twinklying-star.” He sounded so sure of himself. It grated Tony’s nerves. He unconsciously powered up his gauntlets.

“I’m pregnant with another’s child and getting married to him.” Loki glided over to Tony. Tony retracted his helmet, knowing the look in Loki’s eyes. Loki pulled him into his arms, still taller than usual. Their lips met and their kiss deepened. Tony gave it his all, claiming Loki with renewed vigor.

By the time they pulled apart Tony had forgotten they had an audience.

En clapped loudly, making Tony scowl. Loki was of the same mind, his nose furrowing in annoyance. “That’s great, I’m, I guess, very happy for you. And the more the merrier! Your robot-guy can join us! There’s always room for one more in my bed!” Hela hissed at him, her grip on the royal spear tightening. “But, when you pop out the little one, keep it away from me. Kids give me the heebie-jeebies. They’re so small! I end up stepping on them—That’s half the reason I don’t have small people around—unless they’re in the arena. My champion,” his eyes turned sharp as he glanced at Thor, “before you stole him—I put you in his room to have sex with him! Not run off with him—But the little creature. My champion would slam his fist down and make art in the sand! This one time he bit the head off—”

“Enough!” Hela shouted, banging the butt of the spear on the floor. The sound reverberated through the throne room. “Loki has made his stance clear. Your yammering just serves to annoy us.”

“We can play a game!” En continued, ignoring her. His eyes were bright as he turned to Tony. “Whoever wins gets to keep Loki!”

“I’m not some prize to be handed off—” Tony put his gauntleted hand on Loki’s arm, calming him.

“The game is already finished, and you lost.” Tony’s voice left no room for argument, but En looked undeterred. “I have his heart. There’s nothing you can do to change that.”

“Ah!” En held up his finger before rummaging through his pockets. He pulled out an orange gem. A buzz of energy filled the room. “I got you a gift! I remember you talking about the Infinity Stones, so I got you one! I won it off my brother, The Collector. He said it’s attracted to perfection. I was like, wow, who do I know that is perfect? My twinkling-star!” He rolled the stone between his fingers before holding it up. “You don’t have to thank me. You’re, you know, worth it.”

Tony turned to Loki. There was greed in his eyes, but also reservation. “You thick headed fool. I’m not going with you. I’m pregnant, getting married, and happy. Nothing you can do could change that. And since you’ve been so annoying, I’ll be taking that stone as payment.” Loki raised his hand. The stone appeared in it. Loki took a deep breath, but was otherwise fine. En looked unperturbed by the loss of the stone. “Be gone.”

“Huh, well, fine. I guess I can just wait for your kid to grow up and they can be my new twink.”

“You son of a bitch!”

Before Tony could attack him, Loki’s eyes flared orange. After a second he got it under control. Tony tried not to let his worry show.

“I think not. Instead, I shall arrange a meeting with a woman that has far more practice at seduction and sex than I do. Then you shall leave and never return. Understand?”

En shifted on his feet, humming thoughtfully. “Deal. If you ever dump this chump come find me and we can have some fun together.”

Loki refrained from rolling his eyes. “Amora, come here,” Loki whispered, his voice sounding unnatural.

“Ta-da!” Amora appeared with green hearts and flowers sparkling around her before they faded into nothing. “Oh, I don’t like this tense atmosphere.”

“Amora, this is Grandmaster, he is very powerful and will conquer you a kingdom if you meet his sexual desires,” Loki stated plainly. Amora looked over at En, measuring him up. “En, make yourself acquainted with Amora elsewhere. Be gone from Asgard by the end of the day.”

“Let’s go to my place, you silver-fox.” Somehow Amora’s words dripped with lust and promise. En lit up with a smile.

Tony watched them go, having no idea how this was his life. He would have sagged in relief when the pair had left, but his armor didn’t allow it. The Iron Man suit unwound from him. Without wasting a moment he pulled Loki into his arms, mindful to avoid touching the glowing stone.

“We should take that to the vault until we know it’s properties,” Hela said, sounding stiff.

“Is that wise?” Angela asked. Her strange, white eyes looked at the stone with suspicion. “It could be some sort of ploy to gain access to the vault.”

“I could sense that En had not tried to connect to the stone.” Loki sounded wary. “No one has tampered with this Infinity Stone like what Thanos did to the Mind Stone. It is best kept guarded and never used.” Loki paused. “If one is not careful they’ll lose themselves in its power.”

“It poses no risk to me. I was the one who found the Space Stone all those years ago, before that fool Odin misplaced it. I didn’t care enough to try to find it again.” The spear vanished. She held out her hand and Loki gave her the stone without hesitation. Hela glanced at Tony. “Will you accompany me to the vault?” Hela was uncertain. She almost looked shy.

“Yeah, okay.” Tony leaned up to Loki, giving him a quick peck.

The left the throne room and everyone else behind. The silence instantly became heavy, making Tony feel tense. He was hit with a wave of fatigue. Being woken up by emergency bells then hopping right into battle mode had used up more energy than he thought it had. Or maybe it was just this situation. He was tired of Hela being stubborn. And this was the first time they were alone since their argument.

“I’m not sure how to apologize,” Hela said, not looking over at him. “By now I should be used to being challenged, both by you and Loki. And yet I…” Hela sighed. “You mean so much to me and after seeing that lecher accost you… What use is my pride if you hate me?” She glanced at him, trying to read his expression. Tony gave nothing away, waiting for a proper apology. When none came he picked up his pace.

Hela let out a barely audible sigh. When they reached the thick doors to the vault the spear materialized in Hela’s hand. She touched the tip to the doors and they opened with a muffled clunk.

Tony had only been in the vault once before. Just like last time, the sight of the Tesseract set him on edge.

Before they reached an empty pedestal, Hela turned so that they were face to face. “I asked Friday to explain why you weren’t happy with my actions, but I already knew the cause. I understand why I should have informed you that I wanted a child and asked you to marry me rather than making the decision unilaterally.” She took in a deep breath. “I apologize, Tony Stark, my beloved, and I ask for your forgiveness.”

Tony shifted uncomfortably. “I forgive you. Just don’t make the same mistake again.”

Hela smiled and gave him a kiss. “As you wish.”

Hela put the Infinity Stone on a pedestal. They walked hand in hand. But just before they exited the vault, Tony stumbled. He paid it no mind though.

*

Tony may or may not be going crazy. He wasn’t sure he wanted to know. Or maybe his genius intellect had just grown. Either way, his inventions were coming at an increasing rate. That would usually make him tickled pink, but it felt different. The usual thrill of discovery wasn’t there.

Then there were the voices. Tony wouldn’t have noticed it, but when he mentally asked himself questions that he had no right knowing the answer to, and then did… that caught his attention.

Maybe it was something having to do with his title God of Wealth.

But there were also the dreams of worlds and people he’d never seen or met—glimpses of lives he’d never lived.

The whispers came soon after, a plethora of voice, some louder than others. He should have told Loki or Hela, but he could ignore it. His mind was always buzzing as is, one more layer of activity wouldn’t hinder him—Until it started to. He wasn’t sure which thoughts were his own and which weren’t. He couldn’t close his eyes without risking losing himself.

It came to a head through no actions of his own. Hela and Loki cornered him in his lab, but he didn’t feel intimidated. They looked more perplexed and concerned than anything.

“I want to the vault this morning to study the new Infinity Stone,” Loki explained. “It was gone. Hela and I used our combined magic to track it down. It led us to you.”

Tony blinked in confusion. “I didn’t…” Tony’s mind lit up, all the voices saying the same thing at once. “The Soul Stone,” Tony repeated. “It chose me,” he reeled backwards. Tony began laughing himself to tears at the next bit of information, concerning Loki and Hela.

Loki hauled him up so that he was standing straight. The alarm in his eyes made the laughter die in Tony’s throat. He couldn’t help his wry grin though.

“Your ex-sugar daddy was right. The Soul Stone seeks out perfection and apparently it gave my ass a 10/10.” The laughter was back, this time fits of giggles.

“I don’t understand,” Hela said.

“The Soul Stone possessed my spectacular rear. Honestly, I should get an award.” Tony smacked himself on the ass. It started glowing orange even through his clothing.

“That is… ridiculous,” Loki chuckled, “but I cannot dispute the perfection that is your bubble-butt.”

“By the Norns.” Hela sounded exasperated, covering her eyes and shaking her head.

Tony slumped and leaned on Loki who was the closest. “I’ve been hearing voices. It’s good to know I’m not going crazy.”

Loki and Hela scoffed in tandem. Tony wondered if they’d practiced that.

“The mad god with the perfect ass,” Loki said dryly. He pinched the bridge of his nose, clearly exasperated. “Why am I not surprised?”

“You have been looking increasingly tired this past week and a half,” Hela observed. “Is the stone to blame?”

“Yeah, I’ve got all this information swirling around my head and countless voices throwing in their two-cents.” Tony paused, listening to the Soul Stone. “The stone is sentient.” He chuckled, but it was dry. “It says it plans on staying where it is until it finds a more perfect vessel. And it says that in all its millions of years it has not found one as good as my butt.”

Hela and Loki exchanged a look.

“If it wishes to stay then we must teach you how to control it,” Hela said. She and Loki had matching grins. “Which means you can no longer avoid learning magic.”

Tony cursed as Hela and Loki descended on him.