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They Don't Care About You Like I Do

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It bothers Tony, in fact, it had been bothering him for a long time. The pesky twitch in his mind that reminded him that he wasn’t a hero. That playing hero wasn’t going to absolve him of his sins. Nothing could do that. He also realized that he was wrong .

Tony started his big change by getting rid of Pepper Potts. He wasn’t attempting to be cruel, but he most certainly had been. He had fired her, gifting her a million dollars to get back on her feet. She refused his money and after a huge fight, she was left with nothing and he was left in charge of his own company. Nothing happened to him. The rich were never knocked down, it was the poor that kept falling and falling. Tony took over as CEO of his company. While this took a lot of his time, he still had time to do other things. Meetings and the works could always be rescheduled and if they were so important, he could just use a holographic projector to speak with them while doing other things in the background. Tony, however, was alone. After his falling out with his long time friend, James Rhodes, he wasn’t sure what to do with himself. He didn’t drink too much, mostly because he had new responsibility. He couldn’t trust anyone to take care of his company, this is what he told himself, but even he knew it was weak. He just hadn’t trusted people who thought that they knew best. That they were better than him. He could always tell that Pepper thought she knew what was best for him, that she was in the right and he was in the wrong constantly. No, he couldn’t live like that. She was gone, Rhodey was gone, his social life was nonexistent. He even stopped his playboy ways in exchange for responsibility, something he had always hated and rejected. Heh. I guess Afghanistan really did change me , Tony thought while working on a new device. He didn’t know what he expected, but it had been a long time since he had the chance to tinker around in his lab, and when he opened some sort of portal (which was funny because he was definitely not one to be into the sci-fi of ‘portals’) to somewhere dark. He assumed it was space or something. So, he locked down his lab, put on a deep sea suit and entered the portal, which he couldn’t call a ‘portal’ since he was no longer a nerdy teenager. He was entranced by the darkness around him.

He was greeted by a man with slicked black hair and crazed eyes on a giant, floating rock; a meteor. There was someone -- something -- else there too. Something talking. Then the voices stopped and he was forced to the man kneeling by foreign arms. He stumbled and found that when his faceplate was ripped off, he could breath.

“Human?” a voice asked, and Tony though it came from the floating rocks that looked vaguely like a throne. When that throne turned, he was right, a larger-than-human, purple-skinned man spoke to him. Tony had thought aliens were a possibility, perhaps they existed, but they wouldn’t be anywhere near their level of technology and looked like humans, but these beings seemed far more advanced than other the majority of humans and definitely appeared humanoid, but with enough alien features to be obviously different. “What brings you here?”

“I-I don’t know,” Tony started and he heard a snort behind him. He turned around to see a hulking beast made of scales and muscle. He would soon learn that his name was Black Dwarf and he was the bronze of the Black Order. He felt shitty because he lacked a clever remark, but what does one say in the presence of a giant purple alien with a giant guarding your back and a crazy, kneeling man on your left? Well, nothing to get yourself killed, that’s what.

“Well, it seems you are lost. Are you lost, human?”

“Pssht, obviously not , Barney?” The being laughed and Tony cocked his head to the side. Was he going to be murdered now? He knew he had no brain-to-mouth filter and he had just rationalized his lack of snarky response due to fear, but now he had to do two things: a) he had to cope with the fact he hadn’t a snarky reply in the beginning, and b) he was going to be murdered by a purple alien on a meteor outside of some weird portal he accidentally created.

“Oh, you’re amusing. I will offer you the same deal that I have offered Loki here,” Tony looked at the crazy God who was staring at him since he had been motioned to. He assumed that he was Loki. “You two will retrieve the tesseract from Earth and deliver it to me. In return, you will be granted a great gift. Perhaps, in time, you will swear your fealty to me, but until then, I will bribe you with gifts that no other being could present to you,” Tony was released and he slumped forward. He didn’t have anything else to say, but he needed to run his mouth anyway.

“Well, I think that sounds swell,” Tony smirked at himself, despite his very not smirk-like mood. He was frowning on the inside, mostly because he had said ‘swell’, a consoling idea was that it had been said with a bucket full of sarcasm and a gallon of irony. “Loki, ol’ pal ol’ buddy ol’ chum, let’s get back to Earth and you can explain things to me. Can we go, your highness?”

“Haha, I like you, mortal. Serve me well, and I will give you things beyond your possible imagination. Corvus, take them back to the portal,” a reaper-like alien came to Tony and grabbed Loki on his way. He dragged Loki and gripped Tony, hissing and growling before throwing them through Tony’s personal black hole. The portal snapped shut behind them and Tony collapsed on top of Loki. What the fuck did he just witness? What had he signed up for?

“Get off me, your pathetic mortal!” Loki pushed Tony off of him and nearly sent him flying into his back cabinet. Tony stood up and glared down at the taller man, although that wasn’t much of a feat considering how short Tony was, and put his hands on his hips.

“You’re sort of in my workshop. I’ll do whatever I please,” Tony countered before walking to the device that opened the portal. He tapped it and started to play around with it again. Loki sat down on the futon in the corner and pouted like a prince. Tony couldn’t understand what was up with that guy, and he didn’t want to tell him to take a shower lest he get beat up. He packed quite a punch if his shove was anything to go by. Tony continued to prod at the device until the portal opened again. He stuck his hand through and got a high-five. He poked his head through and saw the alien from before, the reaper-like one, glaring at him. He waved and grinned before pulling back. He stored that device away in a lock box. He would need it in the future. He sat down on the futon beside this Loki fellow.

“Jarvis, pull up all information you have on the ‘tesseract’.”

“Yes, sir,” within ten minutes JARVIS had pulled up a variety of pictures and designs for weapons. All signed to and by SHIELD. Tony groaned. Why did they always have to interfere in his life? He hated SHIELD with a passion. First they stole his father, and now they steal whatever this opportunity is. He crossed his legs and took in the tense and tight posture of Loki. Loki turned to look at him, probably since he had been feeling Tony’s eyes on him for a prolonged period, and gritted his teeth, baring them like an animal as if he were about to bite his fingers off or something.

“What?” Loki growled.

“Nothin’, buttercup,” Tony replied with a smug grin, “I just know where this tesseract is. Maybe I should go get it and take the credit for finding it myself,” Tony gave a sideways glance to Loki a moment before Loki rolled on top of him and grabbed his throat. Tony noticed that he wasn’t incapacitated. Loki seemed to be doing this just to scare him. When he got no reaction, Loki slumped in on himself and released Tony.

“I suppose that would be the fair thing to do,” Loki admitted before he grinned, “but I’m sure it would be far more fun to include me.”

“Yeah, and what can you do? What were you doing with the purple Hulk and the grim-reaper-wannabe anyway?”

“I fell and landed there.”

“Quite the fall…”

“Anyway,” Loki gave a pointed look to his new partner-in-crime. “I have an amazing grasp on seidr , magic, so I will be able to assist in nearly anything you need. I can do anything you could possibly dream of,” which Loki didn’t think would be much since his new partner was a mortal. Loki and Tony sat in silence before Tony laughed.

“Sure. You can be a wizard, Harry Potter, and I’ll go in guns-a-blazin’.”

“I’m not this potter you speak of, but I am Loki of Asgard. What shall I call you, mortal?”

“Tony. I’m Anthony, call-me-Tony, Stark… of Earth?”

“Well, Anthony , I suppose we can begin plans to infiltrate the place holding the tesseract and take it to Thanos

“That’s his name?”

“Yes. He is the ‘Mad Titan’ or Thanos. He collects strays, I hear,” Loki obviously didn’t like being referred to as a ‘stray’, but he would live. Tony nodded, since it made sense, and stood up before having JARVIS pull up building plans and other important information. He made a bowl of popcorn and a pot of coffee before collapsing on his futon and watching the security feed, making notes of the shifts the guards were on and turning on the audio so he could listen to any chit-chat. For secret agents, they certainly gossiped quite a bit. It was almost putting the middle schoolers Tony had known when he was nine to shame. Loki was silent and tense but he did randomly add notes. It only took an hour before the God hesitantly asked to taste the popcorn, calling it ‘popped kernels of some sort’ when referring to the plastic bowl full of movie-night delight. Tony handed him the bowl and smirked at the confused look Loki gave him before accepting the bowl and hesitantly eating. Tony was sure that Loki liked popcorn, after all, who didn’t?

“Do you want some coffee?” Tony asked as it passed six hours into watching the same boring feed of the SHIELD base in Arizona. He was fiddling around with his StarkPad but he was sure Loki must have been bored out of his mind. Loki politely declined. “More for me, then,” was all Tony had to say about that issue. It wasn’t his business to force coffee upon people and he wouldn’t be making a mountain out of a molehill. A molehill made of coffee grounds. How the hell could someone reject coffee? Tony was absolutely flabbergasted.

Tony caught himself dozing off at the eight hour mark, before going to fetch the papers that needed signing. Loki seemed to have gotten quite familiar and comfortable in asking JARVIS questions about the feed. While Loki, at first, had been scared of the AI’s disembodied voice, he soon grew fine with his seemingly omnipotent presence. Tony started to skim and sign the basic bills and whatnot and setting aside the papers he probably should read thoroughly. He continued on until he finally did fall asleep, twelve hours later. It had been a long run, he had been up tinkering on the portal-opening device for two days straight and then he stayed up to watch boring video feed of SHIELD and sign papers. He didn’t expect to wake up in his bedroom. He looked around for Loki, but found no one. He stood up, only to see that he was in pyjama pants. He didn’t take Loki for the ‘maid/babysitter’ type, but he could always have been wrong. The thing is, he doubted he was wrong. He wondered why Loki went through the trouble.

“Hey,” Tony said upon finding Loki lounging in in the penthouse common room. He had papers in his hands, notes it seemed, but they were written in some bizarre language. “What are those?”

“These are notes,” Loki smirked, “I see you have quite a few in your ‘lab’ so I assume you’re aware of the concept of note-taking… Why I took these notes is to inform you, of course.”

“Inform me of what?”

“What it is you’re getting into. I know that you are likely curious as to what Lord Thanos wants. He is watching, always watching… but I’m sure that you would like to know why he is having us do this. He is currently searching the universe for powerful stones called ‘infinity gems’ to power a gauntlet that holds infinite power. With this gauntlet he will be able to rule the Nine Realms. He has offered me a chance to regain my home, my birthright, and I don’t know what he could gift to a king like yourself, but there must be something you want,” Loki cocked his head to the side before standing up and walking to Tony who crossed his arms over his chest, uncomfortable with being scrutinized under Loki’s eyes. “He can see your deepest desires, and he will play on them. The one thing he can gift anyone is a family. A place to be a part of something. Would that interest you?”

“I suppose. You said you wanted you birthright? That’s why you joined with this guy? Well, are you a prince or something?”

“Yes, I was.”

“Oh,” Tony was quiet, but Loki continued to slowly make his way towards him until he stopped inches from him. Tony uncrossed his arms and held his hands up, to gently press against Loki’s chest. “So, you will be a King of Alien-land and he is trying to find what I want?”

“He knows what you want, he can see your deepest desires, as I said,” Loki sounded a little annoyed, but didn’t move. “I have to admit, I am very fascinated by you, mortal. You are so… creative and far smarter than I have ever seen a mortal be before. You could rival an Aesir, I would say.”

“Oh, do tell me more, my prince,” Loki’s cheeks flushed, as if he wasn’t used to being called anything with any sort of affection. The prince took a few steps back and turned to face the windows that lined the outer wall of the penthouse. “Anyway… why did you dress me up in pyjamas? Why did you even bring me to bed?”

“I was sure that it would be far more comfortable for you, and if you were to ache during our battle, then I doubt you would be able to properly function or fight. Trust me, my reasons are selfish, think nothing of it.”

“Alright,” Tony went to grab himself some coffee that JARVIS had started to brew no doubt. He loved his robots, changing the coffee for him, filling up the coffee pot, doing everything he was too tired to do or too lazy to. It was bliss to have people do things for him, while not needing to be thanked, bribed or paid to do so. They did so because they were built to and were programmed to do as he wanted. Loki hardly moved, his entire body seeming to tense up like the previous day when Tony got too close. Tony just shrugged and went to pour himself a cup of coffee.

The day seemed like a good one. He checked his inventory of suits and found that he needed to build one to keep him camouflage from the world. He started to build it after excusing himself from Loki’s presence. In a shimmer of green, Loki appeared in Tony’s workshop and took a seat on a swivel stool, watching as Tony worked. Tony didn’t have any comments to dish out, so he stayed quiet and focused fully on his work. He managed to wire the skeleton on a new suit by the end of the day, after a full twenty-four hours of work. He took a few ten minute breaks to go to the bathroom and get more coffee. Loki, it seemed, hadn’t moved at all, nor had he taken it upon himself to start conversation. It was a comfortable silence if one didn’t consider the whirring of power drills and other tools and electrical sounds from the snapping wires.

“You know, you’re really creepy,” Tony eventually said, shocking Loki out of his trance.

“I do not know what you mean.”

“You’re just… you’re so inhuman.”

“Thank you,” Loki grinned and stood up after hours of sitting in the same position. He stretched his svelte limbs and changed out of the uncomfortable, stiff leathers that he wore on his home planet for something he had seen Tony wear; he discovered that it was far more comfortable. Loki also saw how Tony’s eyes darkened when his eyes rested on his form. It was good to be appreciated, and had the mortal been anyone else, he would have demanded proper worshipping, but this mortal, Tony Stark, was beyond anything he had ever thought of mortals. Just his workshop showed his brilliance while his words leaved something to be desired as of late, but Loki also noticed that even in the face of danger, he decided to joke. That was a very admirable quality and Loki was finding it attractive when he, at one point, would not have found it anything other than annoying and brash.

Not exactly giving a complement, or at least that’s what he told himself since he was human, and being human should be a compliment, meant that Tony was particularly confused when Loki acted as though it was a shame to be human and that he was proudly an alien. But Tony would be a proud alien if he was that hot, too. He, instead of focusing on his work like he should have, turned to stare at Loki stretching and then to comment with a wolf whistle. Loki froze and looked down at the mortal with a narrowed gaze, but he didn’t say anything. Then, Loki seemed to change, he continued to stretch, except this time he was smirking before sitting back down. He crossed his legs and like in a dream, Tony thought he was being beckoned to the prince.

“Well, I think I want something to eat, do you want anything Rock of Ages?”

“No thank you…” Loki didn’t understand the title given to him, so he ignored it. That seemed to amuse the human, but didn’t hinder him when he started talking to JARVIS to order pizza. Loki was growing fond of JARVIS. Not only did he show intelligence that as akin to Tony and Loki’s own smarts, but he was always around to knock Tony off his high horse, it seemed. JARVIS had a way to counter every single comment that Tony made and Loki could appreciate that, and the work put into him to make such an intelligent and learning AI. He hadn’t known a lot of what the world was about, but JARVIS answered his questions with discretion, not letting Tony know of his acute understanding of the world, and formality that Loki was comfortable with. JARVIS was never not polite and showed Loki the respect he deserved as a prince. Loki was sure that he was so good with royalty because he discovered the Tony was royalty in his own way. Just because he wasn’t recognized by any official bodies as royalty didn’t mean he didn’t practically run the world. His word seemed to be law.

In twenty minutes, Tony went upstairs to the front desk to pick up the pizzas, having paid through JARVIS already, and brought the pizzas down. He had ordered for Loki just in case the man changed his mind, which happened often when pizza was involved. He ate the Hawaiian pizza, polishing off piece after piece until the pizza was gone. Loki hesitantly tasted it, and approved of the pineapple and ham combination, but Tony was sure people would disagree with that. There were those staunch Hawaiian pizza haters around and he was sure they would just love to gossip about Tony’s love for the pizza that they hated. Stupid people and their stupid press and their stupid gossip. Tony mentally kicked over a chair before turning to look at Loki who was eating in earnest now rather than picking hesitantly at the food. Tony had never seen someone eat that much pizza, but then again, Loki wasn’t human, which shocked Tony everytime he thought about it. He appeared so ethereal, but so human at the same time. He had pink skin and fingernails and human appendages, but then again, he didn’t need to be human to be a humanoid. He sighed, knowing he should get back to work on the suit to get the tesseract as soon as possible before SHIELD moved it or something equally as annoying.

“Did you like your pizza?”

“It was different,” Loki admitted, but it didn’t seem like he disliked different. Loki sprawled out on the futon, it seemed as though he had the ability to rest on uncomfortable furniture like nobody’s business, which shocked Tony since Loki was a prince. Didn’t princes live their lives being waited on hand and foot? He didn’t dare think about that, lest he get too distracted to work.

“Well, I hope you like different,” Loki just hums in response. Tony sighs and gives up conversation in order to focus on his work. He stopped a few hours later after starting to add the armor pieces that he added reflective plates to in order to camouflage himself. He stood up and stretched, his arms and joints hurt for sitting in the same position, placing, tightening and fusing the plates to his armor. He shook off the tension and got a cup of coffee. He was sure the coffee consumption had gotten out of hand, and he really hoped he didn’t have a heart attack from the overload of caffeine, but at the same time, he wouldn’t mind it either. He would die because of something he loved, seemed like a real good way to go. He turned to see Loki dozing on his futon, shirt pulled up over his stomach to show pale skin and his pants hug dangerously low. Tony could appreciate a good body. He would take Loki up to a bed or something a little more comfortable, but when he tried moments later, he was so heavy he couldn’t even attempt to lift him. He wondered why that was, he couldn’t have weighed more than ninety pounds soaking wet, but alas, he was too heavy for Tony to lift, which did damage his pride. Loki managed to wake up long enough to roll over and pull his legs up. He had sinfully long legs. Tony was jealous.

Three days later, after a twelve hour sleep, Tony finished the suit for the most part. This suit didn’t have missiles or an arsenal of other weapons, but it came with repulsors and the basics that would be needed. Loki had been reading manuals and books found around Tony’s house. He even caught him reading a few magazines from the lobby where the secretary sat behind her desk and read them. Loki, with a few words of war, suited up and got ready to depart to the lab in Arizona. Tony got the suit on and stood by Loki who would be taking them via magic.

“So, I made my suit for what reason?”

“To keep you invisible from any personnel that may see your suit,” Loki reminds him. Tony couldn’t help but to be bitter when he made his suit to fly to Arizona from New York, not teleport in and teleport out. He sighed and accepted Loki’s answer, ignoring the prince’s laughter at his expense and due to his pout.

“Alright, let’s go,” Loki gripped Tony’s backplate and teleported them into the room. They were immediately shot at. The bullets bounced off of Tony’s suit and Loki’s skin it seemed. Loki shot magic blasts from his hands, and Tony started to shoot, well, from his hands, too. Loki somehow made it look cooler and it frustrated and amused Tony at the same time. Nick Fury was there; of course, out of all the time they had, the director would be there when they decided to raid the place. Tony was partially invisible due to the reflective technology, but his blue blasts were pretty recognizable. He nearly blasted Nick Fury’s head off his shoulders, but he missed -- he would claim he missed on purpose, but whatever -- and decided to grab the tesseract from the chords that encased it. He started to pluck off the chords and wires, dropping them and tossing them away from his feet. Loki actually took the tesseract, picking it up gingerly with his long fingers before tucking it away in his pocket dimension. Tony wondered where he put the tesseract vaguely before he took a deep breath and started to destroy the research that had been found. Loki waited for him, blocking the doors and keeping everyone, not dead, sedated and out of their way. Tony went to Loki and Loki’s hand collided with his black plate.

“Beam me up, Scotty!” Loki just rolled his eyes as he teleported them away. Back in Stark Tower, Loki changed out of his battle armor into a pair of joggers and a t-shirt that Tony could have sworn was from his drawer. Tony manually took off the armor and hid it away in his lab before heading upstairs beside Loki to make it seem like they were busy, giving themselves sort of an alibi. JARVIS had already looped the feed, so it appeared as though they had been reading and tinkering respectively. Tony ordered post-battle food and thought about what he could do so that Loki could assimilate a little better into society. Perhaps give him a job or something. Get him appearing human and non-violent so that they could take over the world -- did that really just come from his mind? He had thought about ruling the world, but never had he made plans to actively rule over the world like a megalomaniac. He found that he could probably do it and then decided to commence plan ‘ruling the world’.

“Hey, Lokes,” Tony started, hopping onto the couch. Loki looked down at him and picked up Tony’s legs before sitting down and dropping his legs on his lap. “How about we get you set up here in Earth, give you like a ‘make peace not war’ sort of thing. You could kill people with your smile, melt panties with a smirk and effectively rule with a grin. We just need to get you situated on earth, established you could say. Also, I want you to be my PA, personal assistant. You don’t actually have to be my PA, I just want a  reason to keep you close. We are partners afterall, and it’ll give your ‘peace’ thing credibility if you’re working with me.”

“I see,” Loki tapped his fingers against his chin before nodding, “Yes, that will work. Do what you must to help me ‘assimilate’ with you midgardians,” he summoned the magazine he had been reading earlier to his hands and continued from his place. Tony chuckled at him and he raised an eyebrow before ignoring Tony’s impudent behavriou. Never had Loki been laughed at for an action such as reading, at least not with good humor. It had been humiliating for him, but Tony didn’t seem to be making fun of him, just laughing because of what he was reading, not because he was reading.

“Also, you’re really horny and stuff, when you’re in your armor.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“You know, because of your horns,” Tony smirks and Loki just gives him that unamused and slightly annoyed look that he was sure only Pepper and Rhodey could do. He missed them, but not enough to actively seek them. He had a prince now, he was good. He didn’t need Earthlings, he was a king among the people, not a child to be watched and scolded. Loki nodded.

“I see…” Loki was silent for a moment before giving a soft laugh and whispered, “horny,” and laughing again. It was a soft titter, like a kitten. It was endearing and Tony wondered how Loki could have gotten involved with someone as big and bad as purple Hulk (Thanos) and the grim-reaper-wannabe. They relaxed and when Tony finally started to drift off, there was a chime from JARVIS.

“Sir, Director Nick Fury and Agent Phil Coulson have been trying to reach you. I ignored their previous calls per your request, but they have threatened to enter the building by force.”

“Alright, patch them through for me,” and JARVIS did as asked and before Tony could get a word in, Nick was already yelling.

“I don’t know what the fuck you were thinking, but I know it was you, Stark! Let me inside or I will forcibly enter!”

“Wow, let a guy prepare first,” he smirked, “jeez, I don’t even get a notifica--”

“If you would have picked up the first forty calls, you would have had proper time to prepare, Mr. Stark,” that was ‘Agent’. Tony frowned and waved his hands as if they could see him.

“I’m a little busy?” Tony attempted but the growl he got in reply from Fury was one to be fearful of. “Alright, come inside. I’m on my floor, number forty-two. Get up here and I swear if you break anything I’ll be taking it out of your paycheck, Agent,” it took them five minutes to get up to his floor and enter. The first thing that happened was Fury drew his gun on Loki and Loki looked to Tony with great ‘panic’ and Tony stepped in front of Loki.

“Hey, hey, hey, what’s this? Just because he has two eyes doesn’t mean you can point your gun at him,” Tony looked at Coulson and nodded despite his desire to just bash his head in. It totally wasn’t because he had started dating Pepper, no, he wasn’t jealous about Pepper, who he broke it off with and some second-rate super-spy.

“He was there. Tell him to come with us for questioning,” Fury didn’t even attempt to appease Tony by slowly lowering the gun, he just held it up and kept aiming. Tony groaned and when he summoned a gauntlet, Phil raised his own gun at Tony.

“What? I have a guy pointing a gun at me, you can’t tell me that this is legal. I’ll take the fuckin’ thing off if you both put your guns away. This is my boyfriend, Loki, he’s been here all night,” Tony threw out offhandedly. “We were about to start watching ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, but you can stay if you really want. I knew that you had a thing for Snape, Fury, he really is your type. Angry and mean, just like you. You’re a little shorter, but that’s fine, I always did like a height difference, I’m sure you can agree--”

“Shut up, Stark. Why was your boyfriend at a restricted SHIELD base three hours ago? Tell me or I swear to God I’ll shoot you to get to him.”

“Director--”

“Not a word, Phil. We’ve obviously not been hard enough if this punk thinks he can pull one over on us,” Phil looked as uncomfortable as Loki appeared, perhaps without the fear that Loki had etched onto his face, although Tony was sure it was an act. “And what about you, Tony Stark’s boyfriend ? What do you have to say for yourself?”

“Don’t bring him into this,” Tony would care about deescalating the situation if it wasn’t so funny. Despite its hilarity

“Well, Tony dear ,” Tony spun around to look at his supposed ‘boyfriend’ and saw that he was just as amused with the entire situation, and he swore that their amusement towards things that should be terrifying, was going to get them killed. “I think I can handle your pet pirate and agent,” Tony grumbled about Fury not being ‘his’ because he would definitely be murdered in his sleep, and Fury didn’t bother to correct his train of thought. “I wasn’t anywhere the base you speak of. I have been here,” he motioned to the penthouse around them, “all night… well, actually,” Fury’s eyebrows raised. It was as if he thought Tony would date someone so stupid that they’d incriminate themselves. He didn’t date those ones, he only slept with them. “JARVIS can pull up the feed from me at the drugstore,” JARVIS did and pulled up a camera feed of Loki buying flavoured lube. Tony couldn’t help the grin that broke out on his face, and he looked at Loki who seemed to still be acting with his coy smile and flushed cheeks.

“Well, now I know why you went out earlier,” Tony added.

“You knew he went out and you lied to us?” Fury nearly yelled, his cheeks however didn’t change colour, he was as cool as a cucumber. Phil wasn’t immune to the awkwardness of the situation and did manage to hide the tint of his cheeks, he lowered the gun aimed at Tony and tucked it in the holster at his side.

“Look, Mr. Stark, we just need to get a time frame of where you were three hours ago. Perhaps your AI could bring that up for us on the video feed?”

“Sure, where were Loki and I at three hours ago?” JARVIS pulled up two screens. One was on Loki sitting in the workshop reading and the other of Tony in the workshop tinkering away at a variety of different devices. Fury watched, as did Coulson, but Phil seemed to be the only one somewhat abated. Fury’s fury wasn’t soothed by the video feed, knowing that out of anyone, Tony Stark would be able to manipulate the camera and show them what they wanted to see. Then, Loki got up and walked out of the room. The cameras flipped through cameras and to the other cameras through the building, keeping track of Loki. Then they were the cameras on the street lights that captured Loki walking to the drugstore. Loki came back to the workshop after tucking the lube away in the penthouse and continued his reading. JARVIS shut the screens down upon Tony’s insistence.

“So, are we off the hook?”

“Send the video to me, I will have our lab technicians look it over,” Fury finally acquiesced before he lowered his gun. “Don’t think you’re off the hook, Stark, Stark’s boyfriend,” Fury almost growled at not having anything incriminating and then he and Phil left to go back to the base in order to analyse the videos. Tony turned and looked at Loki.

“How did you do that?”

“Magic,” Loki smiled and walked back around the couch to sit back down. He kicked his legs up on the coffee table and then crossing his ankles. Tony sat on the couch as well, and stared at Loki for a good while before Loki turned to him and glared. Neither moved for an astonishingly long period of time and finally Tony admitted to wanting sleep. Loki made a joke about joining him. Life was good.

The next day, after Tony had gotten some much-needed sleep, and Loki did whatever Loki did at night when Tony slept, they headed down to the lab to open the portal and give the tesseract up. Loki knelt before Thanos and yanked on Tony’s pant leg. Thanos chuckled and told Loki to stand, but it didn’t sound friendly, like it was an honest offer to stand.
“We’re all friends here,” he had said, but Tony couldn’t help but get the feeling that they were very distinctly not friends, and that if they misstepped, they would end up alien chow. Once Loki was standing, he opened the pocket dimension and pulled the tesseract out. He outstretched his arm so it was easier for Thanos to grab it. Thanos couldn’t help the gleeful chuckle from erupting from his chest as he held the tesseract. He crushed the cube with his hand and dropped the blue stone into his gauntlet. He was handed the Chitauri scepter by a woman with face horns/growth-things. He broke the scepter’s blue gem to reveal a yellow crystal. He dropped that crystal into the golden gauntlet twice the size of Tony’s head, and it clicked into place with ease. Thanos groaned and clenched his fist.

“You should be rewarded for your cooperation,” Thanos eventually said. “To you, Loki, a sceptre rival to only Gungnir, but far more powerful in your talented hands,” Loki took the proffered staff and bowed, thanking him. Thanos inclined his head in acceptance of his thanks before another woman approached, this time her hair was white and her body was covered scantily in black leather. She looked dangerous. “To you, Anthony Stark, a divine power to connect with your technology on an molecular level,” the woman approached Tony and before he could blink, she jabbed a needle into his neck. He hissed and tried to pull away, but muscle-of-men was holding him like a rock. He stumbled forward eventually, after the needle was rescinded. Thanos laughed at him, but it wasn’t cruel, which was a surprise to Tony who was sure that Thanos was a cruel leader.

“Thank you,” Tony muttered, despite feeling like shit since the injection site throbbed with dull pain and his head killed him thanks to whatever was now pumping through his veins. He was taken back through the portal minutes later, after Loki and Thanos seemed to speak to each other about something Tony didn’t hear due to the ringing in his ears. Tony collapsed on top of Loki once again, but the prince didn’t push him off. He did reach out to hold Tony’s head in his hands and press his hand to his forehead to see what was wrong. This caused Loki to cringe and pull back in pain.

“You were definitely gifted, Anthony,” Loki said before standing up, pulling Tony with him and then teleporting them to the penthouse.

Chapter Text

Captain America, Steve Rogers, didn’t expect to be called into SHIELD so early into his ‘retirement’. He was over sixty-years old, he surely deserved retirement. He was called in by Director Fury, a man who wanted things to get done, something that Steve could respect. He didn’t know how to use the cellular telephones that he saw everyone using to its full extent, but he had been taught to answer calls. He answered Director Fury.

“Steve Rogers?”

“Speaking.”

“Good. We need you. You know the Avengers Initiative?,” Steve didn’t reply, but he nodded his head as if Fury could see him, “Well, we need you to follow through. We need to get the team together. An agent is on his way to pick you up and bring you here for a debriefing. Look through your folder again, soldier, and I will see you soon,” the phone disconnected and Steve went to his bedside table that held all of his important documents and pulled the top folder out. He had been, recently, looking over the dossier on the Avengers Initiative. He wasn’t sure about Tony Stark, his friend Howard Stark’s child. Especially after what he had heard about him, and he was hesitant to work beside a scientist with the ability to turn into a giant, green, rage monster, but if it would save people, he would do it.

Tony was longuing out on his couch in the penthouse while Loki was out doing something or whatever. Loki liked to be free, Tony noticed, not like the normal American who thought freedom was a right and attached to laws for a greater power, but he wanted to be completely without restriction and law. He was a free soul, in the greatest and most literal sense of the word, he was chaos. The epitome of anarchy. Loki was amazing and Tony couldn’t help but to find himself more and more interested by the self-proclaimed God of Mischief. Which Tony realized wasn’t so self-proclaimed since their ancestors truly believed and worshipped him, and his people, at one point. He didn’t think Loki could handle anymore inflation to go with his ego, though, so he didn’t mention anything about his godly status.

Ever since Thanos had that woman stab him in the neck with a syringe, he felt different. Stronger, faster, better… he also felt a connection to his suits, as if he and the suit were truly one entity. There was no disconnect like usual. It was thrilling. Tony decided to lay low for a while, and he managed to wrap Loki up in his plans as well, convincing him that they would no doubt be watched by spies for quite some time and that they would need to be careful in their movements here on out. Loki didn’t seem to pay much attention to Tony, but the prince would do things that Tony could appreciate sometimes like sending him to bed after a three day binge, or to force him into the shower with his clothes on because he had neglected his hygiene for too long. For a God of Chaos, Loki sure was orderly.

Soon enough, after days on rescheduling meetings and sending signed papers to his office since he didn’t want to go himself, Tony decided it was time to take Loki to work. He started with creating Loki legal documents that would pass any inspection they were run through. He even ‘passed’ the civics exam, and he didn’t even bother claiming to be human since it was implied since aliens weren’t a common thing on Earth, yet. Tony did have it in mind to file with SHIELD, on a server that most didn’t have access too just in case someone was looking for Loki, that Loki was indeed an alien, just in case. Tony got the credentials and everything similar out of the way before having Loki sign a contract to be his ‘personal assistant’ which meant to be around him and sometimes take calls for him, since he didn’t trust Loki to do much more and he didn’t want to force a job on Loki anyway. It all seemed to work out in the end. When Tony showed up at Stark Industries with a sexy new PA that had both men and women drooling to touch him, Tony knew he was good. Tony also had to admit that he would be drooling after Loki had he not have had a week to ogle at him already and get that out of his system, especially when Loki was wearing a suit.

The weeks went by, and eventually, Tony could pick out SHIELD spies from a distance. One had even tried to get into his workplace, a Natalie, which he doubted was her real name. He sent her away and promptly ignored the others who were busy theorizing why Tony had hired the shocking new Loki and what was going on between them. Director Fury seemed tight-lipped when it came to Tony Stark and Coulson was just uncomfortable around Tony. Tony had no idea why Coulson would be uncomfortable around him, of all people, but he also did and he relished his ability to make Coulson squirm.

Natasha Romanov had been sent out to find Bruce Banner. She didn’t expect to find Dr. Banner already on his way to New York. She was furious when she found out that Tony fucking Stark had usurped her position as friends with Banner. She wasn’t pleased to be the one to inform Director Fury that she had failed her mission to collect Bruce Banner and convince him to join the Avengers. She reported back to Fury, who was very displeased with her work, and then sent her out to see why Stark had gathered him.

It was three weeks after the first spy, Natalie-Not-Her-Name, was found in SI territory, and Tony had long since begged Loki to find the MIA doctor, Bruce Banner. Loki, in order to silence Tony and his insistent blathering on about how great Bruce Banner was, located and sent Tony to Calcutta, India. Loki didn’t dare mention that he had joined them, hiding in the shadows as a literal bug on the wall of the half-dilapidated house that Banner had been in. Bruce jumped back at Tony Stark randomly appearing with a shimmer of green.

“What the hell?” He had exclaimed. Tony just smiled and pulled up a wobbly chair, turning it before sitting.

“Hello, Dr. Banner… well, I have a jet arriving from my facilities in China, so we have a little while to talk. How much do you know about SHIELD?”

“W-What? I know that they have been stalking me, but so have you it seems.”

“No, I haven’t been stalking you, although I admit I’m a fan of your work, especially when you turn into the giant, green rage monster,” Bruce frowned but Tony continued to talk, “Well, you see, my associate and I, the associate that managed to get me here in the blink of an eye, would like to invite you to my -- our -- tower. You will be afforded the best equipment and free reign to do as you would like in your own lab. I’m offering this to you because of this, and don’t think that there are any hidden motives -- and I’m being straightforward with you because you seem like a guy who wouldn’t appreciate a good sugar-coating -- because there aren’t any, but I want SHIELD down. They are nosing around in my business and I don’t like that. I respect you because of your work, and I thought that maybe you would offer me the same courtesy if you had the resources to do so. Despite not knowing you, I’m sure that we can get along, right? We’re both scientists who want to help people. So, are you on board?”

“Do I get time to think about this?” Tony looked indecisive, as if arguing with himself for a moment before nodding slowly.

“Yeah, yeah, you can have until the jet gets here, but then I need an answer.”

To say that Bruce was hesitant at first would be an understatement, the guy was terrified of his own shadow, but when he got to Stark Tower, things got easier for him. Bruce was given an entire floor, and he wasn’t pestered by SHIELD agents. He knew that they knew where he was, but they couldn’t access him. He felt a sort of captive freedom, like a healthy pet.

Rhodey, after being dumped as Tony’s friend for reasons even he didn’t know entirely, joined the Avengers Initiative and had a much better chance. His teamwork was excellent, he was able to help unite SHIELD and he was a trained badass. Of course, he didn’t have Tony’s technology, no suit, but he wasn’t only as good as the tech he had, he was beyond that. He was a fighter, and had military training. The majority of their Avengers were humans with training, like Clint, Natasha and Rhodey. Of course, they had Captain America, a superhuman soldier, but he was like a bonus since they lost their chance with Dr. Banner. Fury wasn’t too pleased with Stark, but he couldn’t do anything against the man either. Tony had already pulled his funding, leaving them with just enough to find another benefactor, and then he left their base in chaos, which Fury still believed was Tony’s doing, and was right, but didn’t have proof to alert anyone. He didn’t doubt that Stark would let the fact he got away with destroying one base and taking one important artifact would get to his head, and when he did do something stupid, which was inevitable, he would be caught and face justice. Fury had never claimed to be ‘good’ but he didn’t think he was the only morally ambiguous man with power, he was positive that bother Tony and his ‘boyfriend’ Loki were both either of dubious morality or just plain evil.

Clint Barton, a master of the craft of archery, was perched upon a hanging light in the main SHIELD base of operation: the helicarrier. He waited to jump until Natasha was close by. She had just come from a meeting with Fury and didn’t look too pleased. As soon as he joined his friend and partner, their handler, Phil Coulson, approached with clipboards with their next missions. Clint sighed, knowing that he had gotten into this business all by himself and he would have to get out single handedly as well. SHIELD didn’t just let people leave, they either worked until they died, or were killed. There was no freedom from SHIELD. Clint, however, was hoping for something better. He wanted to get free, he wanted out . Natasha, not so much, but why would she when she was taken care of here? Clint needed the freedom, only the freedom found in the circus life it seemed. No matter how much he wanted to help, to be a superhero, he couldn’t. He just wasn’t cut out for it. He planned on an early retirement, if that’s what it took, but he didn’t want to die. He had a family, he couldn’t just give everything up and have them suffer for his bad decisions.

Clint’s new mission was to stalk and find information on the mysterious Loki. Clint was sure that he would be duped just like Natasha was by Stark, but he had to at least appear to try.

“See you soon, agent,” Coulson said to Clint before saying the same to Natasha who rolled her eyes and pulled out the important papers, folded them and tucked them in her bra. She looked at Clint before checking her ammunition and other gadgets and guns on her person. She finished and looked up at Barton, who had been staring, not at her, but dazing off into a different world, a better world.

“Clint, you know it’s not nice to stare,” she commented with a smirk. He shook out of his trance and chuckled goodnaturedly.

“Yeah… I know… I’ll see you soon, Nat,” he said as he stalked off to go and get his mission done. He had two weeks to observe and another week to try and convince Loki to give them information or forcibly take it from him. He wasn’t a bad guy, he was a teddy bear and he didn’t believe in force, but he had his assignment, he had his mission, and that is what he would have to do. For his family, if nothing else at all. He just hoped that this wouldn’t be the end of him, as he always hoped before he went out to do SHIELD’s dirty work.

Loki was quite good at his role as Tony’s PA. He had enough sex appeal to make it believable and was competent enough to actually be good at his job. There was no mistaking the savoury looks they gave each other, Tony and Loki, but it was easy to ignore them since they hardly went beyond looks. Loki seemed to be somewhat interested in Tony, and always managed to sneak away without Agent Barton knowing. It was as if he expected to be followed or knew that he was being trailed. He was there one seconds, Clint would look away, and then he was gone. There wasn’t a humanly possible way for any of that to happen, but then, after more and more research and observation, Clint doubted Loki was human . He remembered Thor, and that big lug who took out all those agents for his stupid hammer. If mythology told him correctly, then Loki was ‘silenced’ by Thor, and his hammer, Mjolnir, and a bunch of other things that sort of lined up with what Thor had spouted. Clint decided to track down the humans that Thor had been so obsessed with when he crash landed. They gave him a bunch of nothing, but that didn’t stop Clint from believing that Loki wasn’t human.

“Hello Agent Barton,” Loki drawled after two weeks of being stalked by the man. Clint nearly fell over in his chair. He looked up and Loki was no longer on the screen of his phone where he had been linked to the feed of the street cameras. Loki was now in front of him, and he looked livid, but with a hint of crazy. When Clint opened his mouth to talk, Loki reached out and pressed his index finger to his lips. Effectively silencing him. He gave a shush for good measure.

“It seems that you have found little about me, but I hope that you know who my lover is, he is a powerful man,” Loki tried, but the threat of Tony’s power didn’t seem to hinder Barton’s progress thus far and he doubted that it would stop him in the future. He crossed his hands in his lap, “But we’re not here to talk about Anthony. I’m sure that your friend, Natasha is it, has had her hands full with him. As it is, you seem to have been given me to stalk, as opposed to a higher profile being such as Anthony. I wonder why. Perhaps they do not trust you as they once did?” Barton narrowed his eyes, he could see what Loki was doing and he wasn’t pleased about it at all. Loki must have realized that Barton hadn’t been falling for the trap waiting for him in lace, and changed his tactics. He grew far more menacing, like all the light and warmth was sucked out from around him, leaving Barton cold and dizzy.

“Allow me to be frank, Agent Barton, I do not appreciate you and your compatriots following Anthony and myself. It is rude and very obnoxious--”

“Only if you have something to hide,” Loki glares at him, and it almost feels as if a piece of Clint’s soul chips off. “I take it, you do have something to hide then. Just tell me what it is, and then I’ll leave you alone.”

“I’m afraid I am not at liberty to tell you much else beside to stay away,” Loki stands up and then he is gone. Clint know then, that there is definitely something really wrong with Loki. He can’t be human. He goes back to the helicarrier and starts going through files on magic and sorcery. That would explain so much. Their files, however, are lacking, but there is one person that is marked down for being an ‘expert’ in the mystical and occult. Barton takes a quinjet to Kamar-Taj.

Yao, the Ancient One, is standoffish and cold. It is as if all humanity has been stripped from him. He is a robot, a machine, cold and calculated, yet his spell casting was magnificent. It is as if he didn’t even notice Clint approaching, nor watching the displays of golden energy, but when he did, Yao was quiet, and hardly answered Clint’s questions. It ended when Clint broke a vase and was kicked out by a manservant? Clint didn’t really know what had happened, he just left after knowing he wouldn’t get the answers he wanted. He kept the Ancient One in mind though, knowing that it could be useful in the future to know, especially since ust finding the information was difficult, it could make him a valuable asset in the future.

Loki didn’t feel bad that he had used Tony as leverage over someone. What were partners, if they were not people to help get each other out of sticky situations? He was sure that Tony had used the phrase ‘super scary sorcerer’ to refer to him and use that term to threaten spies and others off as well. Tony didn’t need a silly moniker, he was just as powerful and scary without such a title. He didn’t expect to come into the penthouse and find Tony with a woman, that was shocking, since Tony hadn’t taken a lover since his arrival. It was evening then, but the woman seemed familiar, and all of the sudden, the jealousy that had started to creep up on Loki dissipated. Now, he felt like a cat about to catch the mouse. He walked up to Tony and wrapped an arm around his waist, effectively pinning him away from the woman he knew was another spy.

“What a pity,” Loki whispered before Tony equipped his gauntlet with the tap of his bracelet. Tony shot a net at the girl from the top of the gauntlet and activated the electrical shocks that emitted from little weights on the net. Loki laughed and shielded them from the cameras with his magic, they had malfunctioned since Tony had been spotted with the woman and Loki just sent a code to JARVIS to loop their feed and make it appear as if they were talking. Loki used magic to trap the woman in a green cage and then levitated her to the elevator. Tony followed behind Loki, practically skipping with joy (so much ‘joy’ that he grabbed a bottle of his expensive vodka from the bar in the penthouse to take with them), and tapped the basement button on their private elevator. Once in the lab, Loki dropped the woman on the concrete floor and removed the net from around her. She looked scared, but when Loki conjured his sceptre, she stood up and held a gun out, aimed at Loki, but she hesitated and in a quick decision she trained it on Tony. Both men snarled.

“Hello Natasha,” Loki smiled when she cringed at being called by her name. “I had a nice conversation with your partner, Clint Barton, earlier today.”

“You know nothing,” she tried, but Loki knew that line. It was said when people didn’t want you to know what you did, so he thought he was onto something at least.

“Whatever you say, darling,” Tony chimed in from Loki’s right. He twisted the cap off the bottle and took a drink before sauntering further from Loki. “Now, I’ve seen you around for a few days, and by that I mean two weeks, so I would be very appreciative if you tell me why SHIELD is so determined to have you spy on us?”

“You think that you’re being spied on?” She asked, looking pointedly at Loki.

“Don’t try that princess,” Tony manually removed the gauntlet from his forearm and hand. “I know that the best tactic is to confuse your opponent, especially when they can beat you down, but we’re both smarter than that, than you, actually.”

“Well, at least you’re talking, do I not get a bonus for that?” She smirked, but that soon disappeared when Loki’s armor equipped, shimmering onto his body in a wave of green light, like all of Loki’s magic. She seemed to scowl in disgust and then she turned to Tony and fired. Loki caught the bullets and sent them back at the spy. She got hit in the leg by her own bullet. She had stopped firing as soon as her bullets missed their mark. She rolled out of the way for the others before making a run for the elevator. The door shut before she could reach it and she used her elbow in an attempt to break the glass. She frowned; it hadn’t worked. She tried again before she shot the door. The bullets got caught in the glass, but still it didn’t shatter.

“You need something more than bullets. That glass can take a Stark explosion and still stay standing, sweet stuff,” Tony called from the futon where he was lounging. Loki didn’t waste time and materialized by her side and grabbed her gun and took it apart as if he had been making and taking apart guns for his entire life. The pieces all dropped to the floor. “That was sexy,” Tony whispered before pulling out a glass so he could drink his liquor with some class. Straight out of the bottle wasn’t the experience he was aiming for.

“Let me out,” she stated, as if they would listen to her without a second thought. Although her voice was commanding and demanding, suitable for any sort of royalty, she was not royal, and she would not be getting her way. She had entered the building, and Tony had played along with her, until Loki arrived and then they were now showing their merciless ways.

“Let’s take a walk,” Loki pressed his palm against her forehead and took her into her mind. Tony watched on, curious as to what power Loki was using now and what he could be doing to the lovely spy lady.

Inside of Natasha’s mind, Loki saw her memories in slides. He saw the ballerinas, all training and all perfect lest they be scolded and their feet whipped with the thin bamboo pole. He saw Natasha, easily picking her face out of the crowd of teenage girls and noticing her red hair as well as being a defining trait of her character. He heard a woman talking in the distance, before the slideshow continued into a room where she was experimented on. Needles poking her and shoved under her skin while the woman, a headmistress of some sort, spoke to her.

You are a weapon ,” she said, “ Say it!

I am a weapon ,” Natasha cried as the needles all injected her with some sort of serum to advance her skills. Loki didn’t pull out of the memory, despite knowing the pain that it was inflicting upon his target. He continued to watch, until he grew uncomfortable in her tiny, mortal mind and pulled away.

“You’re a monster,” she hissed at him, collapsing on herself and falling to her knees. She pulled a knife from her boot while she was down and waited. Loki saw her manipulation for what it was but Tony hadn’t. He approached her.

“What the fuck, Lokes?”

“Don’t get close to her, she has a blade,” Tony ignored him and pushed past him only to get a blade shoved into his stomach, under his ribs. Loki caught Tony as he fell back and found the girl trying to pry the door open before she shot the ceiling, hitting the vents and then jumping into them and climbing out. He didn’t stop her, busy trying to make sure that Tony and his weak emotions hadn’t managed to kill him. Tony fell back, holding his side.

“You were right,” Tony said, “You can tell me ‘I told you so’ now.”

“What?”

“Nevermind,” Tony waved his hand dismissively, “Can you patch me up? We need to catch that bitch.”

“We wouldn’t need to heal you at all had you listened to me,” Loki reminded Tony carefully. Tony doesn’t make a smart remark purely because he had given Loki the OK to give him an ‘I told you so’, but he wouldn’t be so generous if it happened again. Loki pulled the tip of the blade out of Tony with his magic and it dropped against the ground with a sharp, wet ting. He then healed Tony’s side with a big of healing energy. Loki gifted Tony with a bit of his own power, the superhuman regeneration, in order for him to heal quicker before he departed. He walked out of the building and saw the spy. He ducked into the alley between Stark Tower and the rest of the street before turning into a crow. He flew to Natasha and landed on her shoulder before he pecked at her neck. She batted him away and he followed overhead, just watching her and tracking her movements.

She ducked into a building and pulled out her phone. She dialed a number before putting it to her ear.

“Yeah, he’s got some sort or energy projection,” she stated just as Loki entered the building, in the guise of a fair and light young man. He didn’t look anything like he did as Loki, yet it was his second most prefered guise. “He has new tech, he’s just not sharing it. He’s like we thought: still building weapons, but using them personally rather than selling them,” Natasha picked up something small and took it to the register and waited in line. She bought whatever it was that she had picked up and walked out of the shop. Loki followed after a few moments and saw her get into a black car. Loki reformed in the shape of a bird and flew overhead. He followed until his wings hurt and he saw the helicarrier come into view in the same place it had been hovering. It had turned off the reflective plates and Natasha quickly climbed aboard and then the flying building, once again, turned transparent and hovered away. Loki teleported back to Stark Tower since it was easier. He checked on Tony, telling himself that he surely didn’t care for a mortal enough to want to check on them for any reason other than for his comfortable life in his presence. He would never lower himself to care about a mortal.

Tony was fine, and ready to go kick Natasha’s ass, but Loki told him that she got away. Before Tony could start complaining, Loki silenced him with a raised hand.

“I know where she’s at, or at least I know of it, I don’t have any idea where it is now. It is mobile.”

“Oh, great. That’s just great!” Tony sighed and rubbed his forehead before making himself a drink and plopping down on the couch. Loki joined him. They didn’t speak for a long moment, while Tony nursed his drink and Loki considered removing Tony’s humanity, and then pondering how he could do so. They were interrupted by Bruce.

“H-hey, I just wanted to see if we were still going to have dinner and watch that one movie?”

“Oh, yeah, come on in, Brucie-bear,” Tony called, sitting up from his sprawl on the couch. He set his glass down on the coffee table and got up to see Bruce. The biochemist was in his standard lab-coat with his hair combed back as to not contaminate any samples, his glasses dangled from a chain around his neck. “Hey, Jarv, order us something Italian and queue up that documentary on Norse Mythology for the big screen.”

“Done, sir,” JARVIS intoned.

“Thanks, buddy,” Tony didn’t look back because he knew that Loki would be glaring daggers at him for even suggesting they watch something about his people. Bruce took a seat and gave Loki a shy smile before getting snarled at as Loki stood up and went to the bar where Tony was standing with a wide grin. “Don’t look at me like that,” Tony said with a little wrist flick.

“Are you purposely going out of your way to anger me today, Anthony?”

“I do that everyday, princess,” Tony shoved a drink into Loki’s hand and then sat back down on the couch, this time, he pulled Bruce to him, wrapping an arm around his shoulders and starting the movie.

“Won’t Loki miss it?”

“Oh, I’m sure he knows all of this stuff anyway. His family was real big on mythology, that’s why he was named Loki,” Tony laughed when Loki shattered the glass in his hand. Bruce looked concerned but couldn’t maneuver out of Tony’s grip, so he just sent what could be considered calming vibes to the other man. Loki offered to get the food from downstairs, something that neither Tony or Bruce had ever seen the God do. T then again, the movie had just started getting into Thor’s history and Tony knew that Loki had a big blow-out with Thor. Loki brought up their food, something he considered to be ‘peasant work’, and joined them back on the couch. A lot of discoveries were made that night. Mostly the discovery that Bruce felt horrible for Loki in mythology, especially when his lips were sewn shut or when he was raped by a horse, and Loki really disliked italian food because of ‘one of the spices’ (which didn’t help because Italian food had so many spices). They all agreed to not watch anything on Norse Mythology or order Italian food when Loki was around… especially when Loki was around.

“Did he really…?” Tony asked the next morning.

“Sew my mouth shut? Yes,” Loki responded pointedly before ignoring Tony for the rest of the day, even though they had work. Tony had never seen anyone act so aloof to his presence yet so attentive at the same time. He chalked it up to another godly skill that Loki had learned over his two millennia of existence.