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Chatter and a booming laugh draw Y/N into the kitchen.

“Y/N! There you are. Are you coming to our good fire tonight?”

“’Good fire?’” Y/N asks looking between Thor, Clint, and Tony for an answer.

“Bonfire. Easy there, champ.” Clint says with a chuckle.

“Damn you, Stark.” Thor playfully growls, throwing a dramatic and pointed glare at Tony, who shrugs and laughs.

Y/N steals a marshmallow from a bag on the counter, watching with amusement as they gather food for the event. “Are you really having a bonfire?”

“Yep.” Clint says, popping the ‘p’ as he makes the sign for fire, wiggling his fingers dramatically for good measure. “Any excuse for a fire – you know these two are pyros.”

“It’s sort of a tradition.” Tony says, ignoring Clint.

“You have lots of those Tony.” Y/N says grabbing another marshmallow.

Clint moves the bag away from her, rolling his eyes. “This one’s really fun though.”

“Right you are. You’ll never experience a midsummer’s celebration like this.” Tony says, patting Thor on the arm. “Point Break here starts the fire with thunder and lightning. It’s quite the sight.”

“Hm, should we have DUMMY on stand-by, then?”

“Does that mean you’ll show?” Clint asks. “It’s actually pretty chill. Even Low-key.”

“Indeed, my brother will be joining us.”

“Dude.” Tony chides rolling his eyes and covering his face with his hand.

“What?” Thor asks, looking to Y/N with a big smile. “He will.”

Tony peaks through the cracks in his fingers at Y/N, smiling to himself.

“Whatever. I’ll go.”

“Yeah!” Clint cheers. “It’s about time you hang out with us when we’re likely to be stupid.”

“How is this different than any other day?”

Clint leans forward and whispers, “Because Thor’s bringing the good stuff.”

“And he doesn’t just mean Reindeer Games.” Tony quips, wiggling his eye brows at Y/N.

“Alright. Enough. I’ll see you dorks later.” Y/N says on her way out of the kitchen. 

“Okay, okay. Just swing by around 8!” Clint calls after her as he high fives Tony.

“This should be fun.”

 


 

Several hours later of beautiful peace and quiet, Y/N makes her way to the patio for the ‘good fire’ of tonight’s ‘traditional’ celebration.

Clint already looks well on his way to toasted, judging by the empty beer bottles around him, and Y/N’s not at all surprised. 

“Gentlemen.” She greets them, receiving a cheer and a bottle handed to her as she makes her way to one of the free couches.

“Gang’s all here, Sparks-atronious! Light ‘em up!” Clint yells.

“Well, we already know who’s lit.” Y/N chuckles mostly to herself.

“You are not wrong, darling.” Loki laughs at her comment and pats the cushion next to him, dropping his voice so only she hears. “I’m glad you decided to stop by. You make these interactions much more… bearable.”

Y/N offers him a kind smile and clinks her drink against his as she sits.

“Come on Thor,” Y/N says.

Loki mumbles “Bumbling oaf,” without malice, causing Y/N to laugh.

“You promised us a show if I remember correctly?” Y/N says with laughter in her eyes as Loki hides his smirk behind his drink.

“Alright, since everyone has gathered.” Thor says as he steps up to the designer firepit. “Stark are you ready?”

“What? Yep. Right. Totally ready – honest!” Tony says scampering over to pick up a large wicker basket that seems surprisingly light.

“Alright, not many people are here to celebrate with us, but regardless, we do things in style here.” Tony says, dramatically crowning himself with a flower crown made entirely of red roses and gold leaves. “After all, midsummer is not midsummer without over the top flower crowns. Now, now, stay where you are. No need to rush over; everyone gets one. Just wait your turn, you all shall be crowned in the fine glory of my handy work.”

“You made each of us a flower crown?” Y/N asks in a stunned stupor as she gets looks that imply that she shouldn’t be so surprised.

“Well, yeah. That’s what we do.” Clint says with a shrug.

“Right you are, my man.” Tony says with a smile. “You shall be crowned next!”

Tony moves to Clint, placing a crown on his head adorned with small purple flowers, lamb’s ear leaves, and sprigs of lavender.

“And this is supposed to be chill?” Y/N mumbles to Loki.

Loki laughs as Tony draws near them. “Asgard is decidedly more extravagant in this celebration, I assure you.”

Next, is Loki. Tony holds out the arrangement for his approval. Looking it over, a small smile forms on Loki’s face as he takes in a tiny gold snake woven into the white carnations and dark purple anemone flowers that are arranged over the thin base of alder branches. Tony looks around smugly before placing it on Loki’s head and finger combs a few strands of his hair into place.

“Perfetto.” Tony says, bringing his fingers to his lips and making a kissing gesture, before turning to Y/N. “Now you, my golden child.”

He reaches into the wicker basket and pulls out her crown: made with a base of thin birch branches, its leaves still visible, filled with acacia flowers and a few large Queen Anne’s lace blossoms. He places it on her head and fusses for a moment with some of the flowers. Kissing her on the top of her head he leaves her and makes his way back to Thor.

“Those are…” Loki trails off, his mouth going dry, recognizing his mother’s flowers anywhere. Silently taking in the sight before him in the rapidly dispersing evening light. “You are absolutely radiant, my darling.”

“I don’t look silly?” She asks, adjusting the crown on her head.

“Not at all,” Loki sighs, fingers itching to thread his fingers through her hair, to draw her closer, to– “You’re a goddess as always.”

“Attention children!” Tony calls, making Y/N wonder if she heard Loki correctly. “Now, master of ceremonies, your turn. Get down here ya, giant.”

Thor chuckles and leans forward bowing slightly so Tony can place the final floral crown on his head. It’s full of his colors and is as striking as its bearer.  Red sweet William flowers make up the majority of it, with a few small golden oak leaves and random red and gold berries littered throughout.

“Now that we are all properly dressed, you may begin.” Tony waves his hand dramatically.

“Thank you, Stark.” Thor says with a smile. Looking around at the small group, he makes eye contact with each person, spreading his arms wide after Clint takes his hearing aids out. “Ready?”

A volley of cheers meets his ears and he throws a hand straight up to the sky. Bringing it down in a fist towards the fire pit filled with alder logs, a crack of thunder booms overhead. Tony and Y/N jump at the noise. Loki smirks as a bolt of lightning ignites the dry wood on contact. Clint blinks hard at the flash of light before putting his hearing aids back in.

There’s clapping and oohs and aahs, Thor bows deeply, catching his crown before it falls from his head.

Loki takes a deep breath in, finding a moment of peace and enjoyment in the alder smoke; assuming it was Thor who prompted the wood to be of his favorite tree. 

“Loki!” a bellowing call wakes him from his trance like thoughts. Loki looks up to see an excited Thor. “Come, it is your turn!”

“Your turn to wow us?” Y/N asks, chuckling. “Does everyone have a performance piece ready for tonight? Because if that’s the case, I did not come prepared for class.”

Clint looks to Y/N and signs, ‘I have no idea. You and I are in the same boat.’

Y/N, finger-spelling, signs, ‘Thank fuck.’ Sending them both into shared laughter.

“As if I would forget, brother.” Loki shakes his head but smiles and stands. “Alright, alright. I believe drinks are in order?”

Tony and Clint cheer louder than before.

Loki flicks his hand to the side near the bar and three large barrels appear.

“Before you all lose your heads; yes, this from Asgard. And no, it’s not nearly as strong as it could be. I don’t need Thor blaming me for all of your deaths tonight, this being an evening of celebration.”

“Whatever it is, I bet it’ll be as delicious as the stuff you brought in December.” Tony says as he gets everyone a glass.

Loki sits beside Y/N again, a dark glass tumbler appearing in his hand in a swirl of green magic.

“Let me guess, you have the strong stuff?” She asks, nodding to his new drink.

“Thor as well.” Loki says, offering it to her. “You may try it if you wish, but I’d recommend only a small sip. A few horns of this and even Thor would be thoroughly drunk.”

Y/N eyes it slightly, the temptation too good to pass up. Their fingers graze over each other as she takes the tumbler from him, igniting a warmth in her not from the roaring fire. 

“Okay.” She whispers, eyes locked with Loki’s as she takes a sip. The warm honey mead rolls through her, she shivers at the feeling, smiling. “That is good.”

Loki’s smile blossoms across his face as he takes the tumbler back and replaces it with another from Tony. “Now try this.”

“From the barrels?”

He hums taking a drink from his tumbler.

“Clint was right; this is really good. Thank you.”

From across the fire pit, Tony and Thor share a knowing smile and Clint chuckles as he fills up his glass again.

 


 

“Alright children. Story time?” Tony says passing out refills to Clint and Y/N.

Clint nods his approval and sprawls out further on the couch he’s taken over. “Sure thing, tin man. You go first though. Right Y/N?”

“Only fair, as it was Tony’s idea… obviously he wants to tell us of some conquest, some fancy thing he did once upon a time.” She jokes, raising her brows to punctuate her words.

“You left out that I like the sound of my own voice.” Tony winks at her as he starts his tale.

“Might as well get comfortable then, this might be awhile.” Y/N stage whispers to Loki loud enough to get a ‘ha ha’ from Tony.

Loki chuckles beside her and she shifts around trying to find a new position on the couch they’ve claimed.  He hooks his hands under her knees, gently pulling them over his lap.

“Comfortable now, love?” he whispers to her, so only she can hear.

Y/N nods, a slow smile taking over her features as she nestles into the couch. She gets lost in Loki’s touch as he draws swirling patterns on her knees and calves with his fingertips as Tony drones on about some breakthrough he had when he was twenty.

“I have a story!” Thor says, as Tony finishes, his smile going a bit goofy. “One that I doubt Y/N and the rest of you have heard before.”

Loki rolls his eyes, smirking, wondering which of the many stories from their past is currently on Thor’s mind.

“This ought to be good.” Clint says downing the rest of his cup.

“Hopefully, I won’t put Tony’s riveting story to shame.”

“Ru-rude.” Tony says doing double take and sticks his tongue out at Thor.

“I meant no offense!”

“Get on with it, or I’ll nominate Loki to tell an embarrassing tale from your youth.” Y/N says, raising her chin in defiance. 

“Alright. Alright.” Thor concedes. “No need, you all will enjoy this story! It begins, long ago. Long ago for this realm.”

“This might take a while.” Tony giggles.

“You’re one to talk!” Clint quips over his shoulder getting another drink and pocketing some candies.

“Asgard was in need of repairs after a war between the Æsir and the Vanir; the wall specifically needed mending. Rebuilding really…”

A groan from Loki, pulls Y/N from the story. She watches in confusion as he pulls his hand slowly down his face and hangs his head. Y/N reaches over, and takes his free hand in hers, the honeyed mead putting to rest her remaining inhibitions. Loki squeezes her hand and huffs out a breath as he catches Thor’s words.

 “…Out on the plains of Ida!” Thor bellows, “Out our hero galloped, in his new form!” 

“Plain. Of Ida.” Loki rolls his eyes, “If you’re going to tell it wrong, at least let me tell it.”

“But – “

“I swear, it’s like you forgot you were even there, at all.”

“Only near the end, brother.”

“And that’s all that matters, doesn’t it?” Loki scoffs, flicking his wrist and refilling his drink. “Thor comes in at the end to save the day. As always. No matter that you didn’t do anything but eviscerate that rock giant after I made it impossible for him to finish the task. Thereby saving us the sun, the moon, and Freyja from being eternally bound to him. I did that. Not you.”

“You turned yourself into a mare for Freyja’s sake!”

“Yes. For mine – you forget how they threatened me – for hers and all the nine. In doing so, I had won claim over the moon and sun. Freyja, too, for that matter, but I’ve never wanted her, I only wanted the heavenly bodies.” Loki scoffs, “But instead of thanking me, what do you do? You chatter and gossip like old women.”

“Loki, stop.” Thor barks out as Loki drains his glass again.

“Will you beat on the drum as witches do, just like your father? Are you going to send me to the unknown, out into the cosmos, threaten me with your hammer if I do not cease? Are your threats but words, though I do know that you strike.”

“Loki,” Y/N says softly next to him. “What’s this really about?”

“Yeah, where is this story going?” Tony asks, looking between Thor and Loki. “I have my suspicions but…”

Loki sighs, shaking his head, “It’s undoubtedly going where you think it is, Stark. In order not to pay the mason for his work on the wall, it needed to not be finished in time. The only way to do so was to distract his horse, Svaðilfari.”

Y/N looks between Loki and Thor. “So, you turned into a horse?”

“Not just any horse, a mare.” Thor nearly giggled in his drunken state.

Clint nods, looking thoughtfully into the fire, “That would do it.”

“It worked. He chased me all night. The wall was never completed.  We didn’t have to pay him.  Then Thor killed him when he got, rightfully, angry, revealing his true form – a rock giant.”

“And.” Thor laughed.

And.” Loki says looking Thor dead in the eyes, all amusement void in his emerald ones. “That is how I fell pregnant and had my son, Sleipnir.”

A still silence permeates around the bon fire, the only noise being the crackling fire itself.

“Makes ‘fuck you and the horse you rode in on’ have a whole new meaning.” Clint says, laughing so hard he slumps over and end up precariously half on, half off the couch.

Thor and Tony join Clint in his contagious laughter, the trio easily ignoring Y/N and Loki’s silence.

“That’s not, that’s not that bad.” Y/N says blinking a few times. “…You were a horse, so you had a horse…”

“You may laugh if you like, I am very familiar with this reaction to this tale.”

Clint’s laughter starts again, “He said, ‘tale!’”

“Ignore them.” Y/N says, turning her gaze to Loki.

“You’re not going to laugh?”

“I may not fully understand what happened, but a child is nothing to laugh at.”

“You’re handling this rather well.”

“The drink might be helping in all honesty.” Y/N shrugs. “Can I ask you something?”

“Yes.”

“So, you,” she makes a ‘through’ motion with her hand, her words failing her.

“Yes, I had Sleipnir. I am his mother.”

Y/N squeaks out a strangled noise and looks at Loki in awe, mumbling, “Mother of a horse.”

“An eight-legged horse.” Thor bellows, raising his glass. “Finest horse in all the realms of gods and men, able to cross through all the realms – could only come from my brother!”

Y/N laughs at Thor as he drains his glass and pats a giggling Tony on the shoulder.

“And here I thought I had a weird family.”

“You’re… sure you’re fine with this?”

“Not like you could change it if I wasn’t… Besides, well, I’ve always known you to do – unconventional – things in the past, this can just be added to the list.” She giggles as she finishes, nudging him softly with her elbow. “Just be sure to remind me tomorrow that this isn’t a drunken hallucination brought on by Asgardian mead and midsummer faeries.”

“Midsummer faeries?”

“What else would you call Tony and Thor in this state?”

Loki chuckles, taking Y/N’s hand, pressing a kiss to the back of it. “You are too good for this strange lot.”

“Their crazy just works for me.” Y/N shakes her head. “Better than the rest of the chaos out there.”

Loki hums looking to their empty glasses, “Would you?” he asks, nodding.

“No, no thank you. I think I might actually turn in.” Y/N says with lazy smile. “It’s safe to say I’ve had enough entertainment for the night.”

Y/N stands and wobbles, fumbling to keep her flower crown atop her head as it dips over her eyes. Loki jumps up behind her and steadies her.

“Allow me walk you back?” He asks, his hands resting on her waist as she giggles, tilting to the side again.

“That might, might be a good idea.”

Y/N stumbles over her feet and Loki holds her closer one arm wrapping around her waist, and the other holding her hand.

“Alright, it’s alright, darling.” Loki whispers to her, the low timber of his voice making her giggle and heat flush to her cheeks.

“Good night everyone!” She calls from a few steps away, louder than need be.

“Good night Y/N.” The remaining trio say together, earning them a low bow from a very drunk Y/N. Loki glares at the men, moving quickly to catch her from falling. He scoops her up into his arms and carries her inside before she can stumble again.

“You okay with those two?” Clint asks Thor, tilting his head towards where the pair left after the door closes.

Nodding, Thor smiles. “They balance each other well.”

“She’s no horse, but they’re sure are cute together.” Tony smirks, throwing more wood on the fire.