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Don’t You Know I Hate All My Friends (I Miss The Days When I Pretended With You)

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Tony Stark is pissed the fuck off. In the direct aftermath of the "superhero civil war" he was hurt, both physically and emotionally, but now he’s angry. An angry Tony Stark is actually quite rare and he hasn’t been this angry since Obadiah Stane's betrayal. When he was left alone by the other Avengers, he had plenty of time to look at the whole picture of what happened with the Accords and everything that came before.

Wanda Maximoff is a danger to herself and everyone within a hundred mile radius of her, not that he didn’t already know that. It’s obvious to anyone who isn’t on Rogers' team that the witch doesn’t have full control of her dangerous abilities. She put the idea of Ultron in his head, she fucked around in Bruce’s head and unleashed the Hulk on an innocent city, she willingly worked for Hydra.

The Avengers were never his family like they claimed to be, they weren’t even his friends. They loved living rent-free on his dime, they loved his upgrades to their gear (for which he received no thanks), and they also loved to point blame at him first. He was never invited to team bonding events like movie night or brunch, nobody gave Tony Stark a second thought. Well, almost nobody. Bruce and Thor always tried to bring him in on things, but they’re gone now.

He really misses Thor and Bruce so much too. Upon further reflection, they were closer to his family than they were friends. Not only did he lose the facade of having a family, but he lost the only two people on that team who truly cared about him. Now on top of this Avengers shit, he gets to mourn the loss of Bruce and Thor all over again.

If anything, he's kind of glad that Rogers and his band of merry fugitives fucked off to Wakanda, because he would not be able to stop himself from attacking them on sight. Tony has spent too much time being sad and passive about being treated like dirt and he's realized that he's entitled to feel pissed off. It's not like there's anyone around to scold him now anyway.

Pepper is gone for good now, he knows that much is true. She couldn't deal with him anymore and he doesn't blame her. A girl like her deserves more than Tony could ever give, she deserves all of the attention she can get. He just can't give that to her, not now and probably not ever again. Tony tells himself that this is all for the best, that they're both better off apart. He certainly won't miss the constant nagging and he tends to remind himself of that whenever he gets tempted to text her.

As for Rhodey, he's off at a rehabilitation facility. Tony's tech may have helped, but he still wants to recover naturally and that's okay. He's just glad that there's a chance for Rhodey to recover at all after that stupid fucking airport fight. His best friend's injury is another thing on the list of things that have pissed him off to no end about all of this. As much as he doesn't want to, he blames Vision for what happened. Wanda is to blame as well, but he'd rather not go there.

Sam blames himself for moving out of the way, but Tony doesn't place any blame with him. Rhodey's armour protected him from the worst of it and if Sam had taken that shot, he'd be dead. Tony doesn't believe that Sam is a bad guy, not really. He gets it more than he'd like to admit, the thrill of following Captain America into battle. If it weren't for Rogers, Sam would have never become an Avenger so he follows him around like a lost puppy. He follows him blindly out of some sense of loyalty, and now it's backfired. When he thinks of Sam, his first emotion is pity and that says a lot coming from Tony Stark.

He is currently in the workshop, blasting AC/DC and not really working at all. Most of his time these days is spent looking for Thor and Bruce or plotting revenge against the rogue Avengers. It's not anything too exciting, but it keeps him from losing it and deciding to become a supervillain. He's not going to lie, he's thought about it before, but he refuses to give up just yet. It's sad and he never thought he'd see the day where he actually understands why Loki is the way he is. Being rejected by your family sucks and Tony's been through this twice now, once with his parents and once with the family he thought was going to save him.

Friday alerts him to an alien spacecraft that's landing on the roof of the tower and he can't believe his luck. Why is it always him? Why can't these people go bother the X-Men or the Fantastic Four? He steps into the Iron Man armour and it's the first time he's been in it since Siberia. Tony can't help but panic a little, but he can't afford to be off his game because that ship is huge. The doors of the thing open and Tony has a repulser aimed at whoever is walking out.

Wait a second. He almost looks like... no, it can't possibly be. Tony searched everywhere for them and couldn't find any sign that they were okay. Yet here they are, Thor and Bruce are smiling wearily at him and he retracts the helmet. Bruce visibly reacts to the bruises and cuts on his face and he looks so heartbroken. Tony doesn't even want to tell him the whole story if he has to see this look on his face. His friend looks so much older than he did when they last saw each other, he looks tired and sad. He wonders what he's been up to for the past two years and he already knows it isn't good.

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Thor cut his hair and he's missing an eye. He looks worse than Bruce and Tony has never seen Thor look worn down from a battle before. He really doesn't like seeing it either. Loki is by his side, looking decidely less evil than ever. He's smiling at Tony as well and it's not creepy like he would have imagined it being. When did Loki get so hot? Maybe he was always hot, but he never noticed before since the god was trying to kill him.

Tony steps out of the armour and makes a run for Bruce. He pulls him into a hug and he can't believe this is happening. "You have no idea how much I missed you, Brucie Bear."

"What happened here, Tony? Why is the tower abandoned? Who did that to your face? I missed you too though," Bruce asks, pulling out of the hug.

"New compound for the Avengers is upstate, it's just me here now. As for who did this, it was Steve Rogers."

"Captain Rogers did that to you? But he's an Avenger," Thor says, confused.

"A lot went down while you were gone. We'll talk later. I'm still waiting for an explanation for all of this," Tony gestures to the ship behind them.

"This is all of Asgard. Our planet was destroyed while we were fighting our long lost evil sister," Thor says.

"Looks like you're the odd one out now, big guy. I assume they need a place to stay and I have an empty tower. Whatever you need, Thor, and I'll do my best to provide it," Tony says, hoping that they stay.

"That's too kind, Tony. I'm not sure I can accept it."

"I insist. It's not like anyone else is going to live here now. Yours and Bruce's rooms are exactly the way you left them so yeah."

"You are quite generous, Mr. Stark," says the woman who is standing beside Loki. "I'm Valkyrie by the way."

"It's just Tony, Mr. Stark is too formal sounding."

"Come on, let's get you four settled in before we move an entire planet's population in here," Tony says.

Thor and Bruce head up to their old rooms and Tony shows Loki and Valkyrie to the now empty rooms on the main Avengers floor. Loki choses Clint's old room and Tony can't help but feel a sick sense of satisfaction at that. Valkyrie choses the room next to Thor's, formerly Wanda's place of residence. After that, the day is spent finding rooms for all the Asgardians while Tony orders food and clothing in bulk. He adores one day shipping so much and it's really going to come in handy here. Tony also has Friday update the program about Earth's history and technology that he had made for Steve to include Earth culture and customs for Thor's people.

Once everyone is in a room and has been fed, Tony, Bruce, Thor, Loki, and Valkyrie reconvene in the living room on what used to be the communal floor. Bruce sits next to him on the couch while Thor and Loki sit in the love-seat across from them and Valkyrie sits on the floor in front of the other Asgardians. Tony is clinging to Bruce like an octopus and he is never letting him out of his sight ever again for the foreseeable future. Bruce doesn't seem to mind all that much and Tony thinks that he needs the comfort too after being the Hulk for two years. He and Thor explained if all over dinner. Now it's his turn.

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"So people got sick of the Avengers operating by going to other countries without their permission and causing so much collateral damage in their wake. New York, DC, Sokovia, Lagos, they all killed civilians. We were basically a group of vigilantes who had no right to be there. There was a plan to control it, to keep people safe and governments happy. The Sokovia Accords were about taking responsibility for our actions and improving the team. Rogers didn't even read them before fighting against them. 117 out of 195 countries wanted the Accords in place, but Rogers thought he knew better than over half the countries in the world. That's how it started," Tony explains.

"The Captain's arrogance was always going to be his downfall, it was no secret," Loki says.

"Never thought I'd agree with you," Tony replies.

"What was going through his head? I can't even believe that he put that witch who messed with my mind and unleashed the other guy for no reason on the team! She's a danger to everyone who she doesn't agree with," Bruce says.

"What happened after that? How did you get your injuries?," Thor asks.

"They ran and then Cap's old war buddy who spent the past seventy years as a brainwashed Hydra assassin resurfaced. Then it wasn't even about the Accords to him, it was about Bucky. Bucky would have been fine if Rogers hadn't acted the way he did, they would have been able to bring him back to the US. There was a big fight in this airport, my team vs his. It was me, Rhodey, Vision, Natasha, King T'Challa, and this new kid against Rogers, Barnes, Sam, Wanda, Clint, and Ant-Man. Natasha betrayed me and let Barnes and Rogers escape. Vision shot a beam at Sam, but he was distracted by Wanda and hit Rhodey instead. He's currently paralyzed."

"Oh my god. Will he be okay? Is there any chance of him walking again? I'm so sorry I wasn't here," Bruce says.

"They all betrayed you! I cannot believe that," Thor adds.

"Well, even when we were supposed to be a family they didn't really care about me so I'm not surprised. I was just the guy who played for everything and let them live here for free, but I was never invited to movie night or brunch or any of that other shit. I should have seen it coming," he says quietly.

"You sound like Loki with all of that whining," Valkyrie says.

"Hey," he and Loki exclaim in unison.

"Anyway. Rogers and Barnes escaped, the rest of his team was locked up in this super secret prison. It turns out this guy Zemo was behind a bunch of other shady shit that went down and he was about to unleash five evil Hydra super soldiers. I went to visit them to try to help Cap and his friend. They all blamed me for them being wanted criminals of course, even though I didn't arrest them. Sam told me where they were going and I went as a friend, as an ally. When we got there, the soldiers were all dead and Zemo was gloating. Then a video started playing of the event of December 16, 1991."

"Steve knew, didn't he? He knew what Hydra had done and he didn't tell you," Bruce says.

"Knew what? What's going on?"

"That was the night my parents died in a car crash. Except as it turns out, it wasn't an accident and Bucky Barnes was the one who killed them. Steve had known for two years and didn't tell me. I've recently learned that Natasha knew too. I really don't care that he killed Howard, he was abusive in every sense of the word. But my mom was not. She was his victim just as much as I was. She promised me that we would make it out someday, but she died a victim of Howard Stark and a victim of Hydra. I attacked Barnes, understandably, and then it was two against one. It went on for some time and the next thing I knew I was on my back and Rogers was slamming his shield down into the arc reactor over and over again," he shudders at the memory of it.

"What's an arc reactor?," Valkyrie asks.

"This," Tony says, tapping the reactor through his shirt. "I have metal shards of an explosive device inside of my chest. The arc reactor is like a powerful electromagnet that keeps it from killing me. Damaging it could result in my immediate death, and Rogers knew that too. Then they left me in Siberia, injured, alone, and with no way of getting home. Friday sent out a distress beacon before the suit lost power and Agent Coulson and his team found me. Now you're pretty much all caught up."

"If I had been here, you know I would have been with you," Bruce says.

"No, you wouldn't have been. At the time, Secretary Thunderbolt Ross was involved in the Accords heavily. After the Avengers escaped the prison on his watch, he was taken off the project. He was crooked and while what he had in mind for the Accords was actually sensible, he was asking way too many questions about you."

"We're back now, Tony. You will always have a family with us, Thor says happily.

Everyone starts to head up to their rooms for the night, everyone except Loki and Tony. The last time Tony was in this exact room alone with Loki, he thrown out of a window. Loki must be thinking the same thing because he chuckles and looks towards the now fixed window. Tony has just realized that he told Loki about the arc reactor and how losing it could kill him. Is it strange that he's not worried?

"You and I have quite a lot in common, Stark."

"I was thinking the same thing a few hours ago. I think I can understand why you do what you do now," Tony admits.

"Do you, now? Not turning to the dark side on us, are you Anthony?"

"You sound like Justin Hammer, don't call me Anthony. And no, I'm not going full supervillain just yet."

"You're all alone in this big tower of yours. Do you spend your days moping and staring at pictures of the dear Captain? It seems like something you would do," Loki taunts.

"That lasted for about a week. Now I'm just pissed off and ready to send Rogers a bill for all the shit I paid for for the team over the years," Tony says.

"Well, well, well. I like this vindictive side of you. You have potential," Loki says.

"I thought you've reformed now."

"I have, but I am still the god of mischief. Mischief is not inherently evil, I've heard stories of your past and you would know that best of all," the trickster grinned.

"Oh my god, did you watch my sex tapes?! When would have even had time to watch my sex tapes?"

"I did not know that you had sex tapes until you mentioned it. I was merely referring to your playboy reputation, but now I'm intrigued," he says.

"Why does life hate me?"

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The Asgardians settle into life in the tower and on Earth pretty well. It's been weeks since they first arrived and Tony really loves having them around. They're all really nice to him and they voice their appreciation and thanks to Tony for everything he's done, which he doesn't know how to respond to since it's never happened before. Learning about Asgard has always fascinated Tony and now he gets to hear it from so many different perspectives.

Every day when he wakes up, there’s a different impressively drawn picture of him getting his revenge with Loki by his side. Seriously, is Loki good at everything? They don’t really interact much, but he’s obviously the one giving the drawings to Tony so it’s weird. Tony spends most of his days with Bruce in the lab, working on whatever they want to depending on their moods. Lately, Bruce has been helping him create an ex-Avengers proof security system for the tower.

Bruce is absolutely furious about everything that went down and Tony’s shocked that he hasn’t Hulked-out and destroyed half the tower yet. He seems to have better control of his transformations now or it that’s how Tony sees it anyway. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on his part, because he knows how much it hurts Bruce to turn into the other guy. After he revealed the truth about Howard to Bruce years ago, he heard about what Brian Banner had done to his wife and son.

Turning into a giant green rage monster whenever you get angry is even more difficult when you grew up being abused. Tony’s just glad that Bruce has people like him and Thor and even Loki in his life now. They all care for the shy genius in their own ways and he needs that. At this point, they all need a family and it doesn’t much matter where they end up finding it. Say what you will about Loki, but at least he’ll tell you that he’s going to stab you in the back, he’s upfront about being an asshole.

"What about Natasha? Didn’t you guys have a plan to retire and do the horizontal tango 24/7 or something?"

"First of all, gross. And that’s complicated. I don’t think I was ever in love with Natasha, but she liked me. I think that’s what tripped me up, someone as beautiful and skilled as her loving me made me think I should return the feelings. As it turns out, I do not," Bruce answers.

"I think that might be how Pepper felt about me in the end. She liked the idea of me, but she didn’t like the fucked up reality," Tony says.

"If you ask me, this true version of you so much more intriguing than what the media says you are," Loki's voice interrupts and makes Tony jump three feet in the air.

"You can’t just do that, Loki! I have a heart condition," Tony yells.

"I’m sorry, is teleportation illegal here? As for your condition, you explained the arc reactor to me and that is not how it works," Loki says.

"Whatever. No teleporting, my tower, my rules. So what brings you down here to socialize with the lowly mortals anyway?"

"I was simply bored and the Asgardians do not trust me."

"I have a hard time believing you’re here because you’re bored. You don’t exactly make a habit of spending time with us," Bruce says.

"My science bro is right. Why are you really here?"

"I could hear Thor and Valkyrie having sex from my room," he admits quietly.

"Oh man, that’s perfect! I always knew Thor would be a loud one, but this is hilarious," Tony wheezes through fits of laughter.

"It’s not funny, Stark. I’m beyond displeased by the situation so your laughter is not appreciated."

"What’s the matter, Loki? Jealous of Thor for getting it on with your secret crush?"

"I don’t feel that way about Valkyrie, she is definitively not my type. The thought alone is absolutely disgusting," Loki answers.

"Loki... are you gay?," Bruce asks cautiously.

"I suppose you could say that I’m a homosexual, yes. Thor does not know about it and I honestly have no idea why I’m even telling you two."

"I’m bisexual, if that makes you feel any better about it. I would never out you to Thor, I know how that feels," Tony says.

"Um, Tony. There’s another thing about why me and Nat didn’t work out that I haven’t told you yet. It uh turns out that I’ve been gay all along and just... er, repressing it so to speak," Bruce whispers.

Tony throws his arms around the other man, hoping to comfort him in some way. "I bet Brian had something to do with this. It’s okay, Bruce, I still love you just the same."

"So did we all have terrible fathers or what?," Bruce says once Tony releases him from his hold.

"I believe so. Stark, your father was a billionaire and yet he treated you poorly?"

"Your father was king and he did the same thing. Howard was an abusive asshole who sent me away to a gay conversion therapy 'camp' when he caught me kissing another boy," Tony says bitterly.

"What is that?"

"Here on Earth, homosexuality isn’t regarded as something that’s okay by everyone. These places take kids or even adults and they torture them, trying to get them to become heterosexual in the process," Bruce explains.

"Oh my. Anthony, I cannot believe that you had to deal with that. I suppose I should consider myself lucky."

"I’ve been through worse now, so it’s fine. I mean, it’s not fine, but it’s not something I think about very much."

"Why are you telling me this? I’m not a person that you should trust," Loki asks.

"Because I am queer and I support other queer people no matter what. It seems like you’re having some difficulty with being in the closet so I figured sharing might help. I don’t regret coming out and I don’t hate myself for being bi even after all of that and you should be proud too," Tony says.

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Bruce and Tony call it quits in the lab and take Loki up to the tower’s theatre to show him some of Earth's most iconic queer content. They watch GBF, Love Simon, and they finish season one of the web series Carmilla. Tony enjoys himself more than he ever thought he would when it comes to spending time with Loki and watching some of his favourite movies. The fact that Bruce had never seen GBF scandalized Tony personally and he’s glad that he was able to introduce him to the beautiful satyrical film.

Tony isn’t quite sure what Asgard's view on homosexuality is, but they always claim to be so much more advanced than everyone else. Even so, he is almost certain that Thor would still love his brother. The god forgave Loki for trying to kill him, trying to kill their father, and trying to destroy Earth so if he gets mad because he’s gay, he needs to sort out his priorities. He has never seen Loki look so vulnerable, but when he mentioned not being out to Thor, he looked terrified that they would tell him.

If the other Avengers could see him now, feeling bad for and confiding in Loki, they would say all sorts of nasty things to him. Then again, that was an every day occurrence even when he did nothing wrong. One of their greatest foes has treated him with more kindness and respect than they ever did. Maybe he’s stupid to trust Loki and maybe it will come back to bite him in the ass later, but for right now he really doesn’t care.

The thing is, Tony knows that the rogue ex-Avengers will come back to the U.S. eventually. It will probably be sooner rather than later judging by the whole Thanos threat that seems to be becoming more and more of a reality every day. He hates Rogers, Maximoff, and Romanoff more than he’s ever loathed anyone who isn’t his father. With Clint, it just hurts because he really believed that he and Clint were closer than that. As for Scott Lang and Sam, he’s kind of indifferent because he barely knows them.

His mindset on the Bucky thing has changed since that spur of the moment attempt to kill the man. He knows that Bucky is not responsible for that stuff that he did and he wants to help him however he can. T'Challa told him that his scientists were working on it and Tony has been collaborating with Princess Shuri on some designs. That girl is brilliant and hilarious and Tony really wants to set up a meeting between her and Peter some time. Those kids could do great things together with their combined intelligence.

All Tony hopes for is that his newfound family will stay by his side when the others return. Losing this family of Thor, Bruce, Valkyrie, Loki, and the other Asgardians would devastate him. It feels different this time, it feels more genuine and losing that might destroy him in a way he’s never known to be possible. He’s been imagining Christmas and summer road trips and Thanksgiving dinner with them already which he’ll admit he’s not proud of, but for once he actually wants to do all of that.

There’s also now the matter of his... feelings. It turns out that he’s started to feel a certain way about a scientist and a god at the same time. This is definitely a problem and it’s been a problem for a while now, but now that he knows that they’re both into guys and he might have a chance, it’s worse. They say that’s it’s great to fall for your best friend, but Tony wholeheartedly disagrees.

Falling for your best friend means no longer knowing how to act around him. It means that every moment of friendly affection is practically torture because you wish it was something so much more than that. It’s not as if you can reveal your feelings because if he doesn’t feel the same way, it could and probably will ruin the friendship. It is not a good thing in the slightest and Tony hates whoever said it.

However, falling for your former arch enemy is bad news too. You wonder if it’s a good idea or if your history means it’s bound to be toxic. There are nights when you still have nightmares about him throwing you out a fucking window and yet when you wake up, you just feel bad for him and what he’s been through. It’s not as if your friends will ever approve and you’ll never be able to go out in public with a wanted criminal.

Liking them both at the same time is bound to end in disaster. He could never chose, not now at least. If you had asked him two months ago who he’d date, he would have said Bruce without a second thought. Over the now two months that the Asgardians have been living in the tower, Tony has gotten to know the Loki that Thor was so desperate to defend, the trickster brother whose pranks were mostly harmless.

As it turns out, Loki has an unhealthy Lorelei Gilmore level obsession with coffee, just like Tony. He also likes AC/DC, which is more than he can say for anyone he has ever liked romantically. Loki hates thunderstorms and loves cupcakes, he likes watching Tony and Bruce work, and he doesn’t pry too much when Tony says something cryptic about his past. It also seems like he’s still working on his plans to get revenge on the Avengers on Tony’s behalf, which he admits that he kind of loves.

Bruce is almost exactly as he remembers him. He’s still shy, less so than before, but it’s still there most of the time. They’re still science bros and Bruce still loves spending days down in the lab working with Tony on anything and everything. One thing that’s different is that Bruce is much more affectionate than when they last saw one another. He’ll cuddle up to Tony during movie night, he'll place a hand on his shoulder when he’s concerned, and he hugs Tony almost every time he walks into a room.

Tony doesn’t know for sure, but if he has to hazard a guess, he’d say it’s because of all the time away. Bruce might not believe this is real or maybe he’s just so happy to see Tony and Earth again, it’s like he’s making up for lost time or something. Not that Tony minds at all, because he doesn’t. Well, he kind of does because the extra physical contact makes him hope that his feelings are returned and he really hates setting himself up for disappointment.

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The conversation takes place at three in the morning in the communal living room couch. Loki is awake and sitting on the couch, staring at the wall blankly. When Tony goes to sit beside him, he jumps up, startled and that's not a good sign. Tony knows that look since he wore it himself in the few weeks he spent feeling sorry for himself post-battle with the assholes who masqueraded as his family for four fucking years.

"What’s going on, Lokes? You don’t look so hot right now," Tony asks.

"I’ll have you know that I always look hot, even in my current state. It is simply that I cannot seem to get to sleep anymore."

"That is something I’m very familiar with. After New York, I couldn’t sleep for months and sometimes I still can’t sleep because of it," he says.

"I’m sorry," Loki mumbles.

"No, it was never about you. It was about the wormhole and I could feel this presence that was almost too powerful. It was unlike anything I’ve felt before, it was like the world was ending," Tony admits.

"Thanos. You were dreaming of Thanos, I don’t know how it’s possible."

"Who the fuck is Thanos?"

"He is the most powerful being in the universe. He is the one who sent the attack on New York as he tortured me into doing what he wanted. The cube held an infinity stone inside of it, it is the same thing as what is in the Vision's forehead. They are the most powerful objects ever created and using one could cause mass devastation, but he wants to use them all and wipe out half of the universe's population," Loki explains.

"Holy shit. I was right. They all said I was crazy for thinking there was a bigger threat, but I knew. Loki, I’m sorry for how you’ve been treated since New York. You were tortured and forced to do terrible things and I know a thing or two about that."

"You’re not stupid, Anthony, but not listening to you about danger is stupid. I accept your apology, I know that you would not have been so cruel if you had known. I apologize for throwing you out of the window, I never actually wanted to hurt you."

"It’s all good, I trust you more than I trust my former teammates. Maybe it’s stupid, but the world is backwards these days. Captain America is a criminal and you’re a hero of Asgard so I guess people really do change," Tony says.

"Are you sad about the Captain's betrayal?"

"Not anymore, no. For the first few weeks after Siberia I was a wreck and I allowed myself to wallow. When I started looking back at the 'good' times, I realized that I only ever heard of them and I was never part of them. It turns out that they’ve always treated me like dirt, but I was so desperate for a family that I didn’t care. I was never technically an Avenger, only a consultant. Iron Man was recommended, Tony Stark was not. That’s thanks to an assessment that Romanoff did while I was dying and therefore not entirely mentally stable," Tony says.

"That’s outrageous! Without you in the suit, Iron Man is nothing. No offence to your friend, but War Machine is not nearly as skilled at combat in the suit as you are. Your mind and the armour combined make you almost unstoppable," Loki exclaims.

"Thanks, Lokes, but nobody else seems to see it that way. You know I really don’t see the whole evil villain thing in you."

"Need I remind you of that time I tried to kill you all? Or all of the times I played cruel jokes on my brother?"

"You want my honest opinion? I think you had a shitty dad, an older brother who seemed perfect, and you’ve been in the closet for thousands of years. You never had much of a chance not to grow up and not be jaded, I didn’t either. Between Howard's abuse, his idolizing of Captain America, and the conversion therapy, I was never going to be an optimist," Tony says quietly.

"You’re far too smart for your own good. That was a scarily accurate, if not simplified, version of all of my childhood demons. Don’t tell him this, but I love Thor, and that’s why I haven’t come out. I can’t lose him, Tony, when everyone else is dead and gone, he’s all that I will have left," Loki says.

"I get that, you two are practically immortal after all. If it makes you feel better, he’s forgiven you for everything else, I don’t think this would make him hate you."

"Trust me, I know that. It is still a risk that I am not willing to take quite yet, but I hope that I am ready someday. What I am currently willing to do is enact vengeance on the Avengers, just say the word," Loki says with a smirk.

"I’m already working on some stuff that’s perfectly legal and will fuck them over, but I’m all ears for more revenge plans. Honestly, at this point it’s not about revenge anymore and more about putting them in their place. The special treatment they’ve always received is gone and for good reason. Wait, why would you want to get revenge on my behalf?"

"Because I like you, Stark and they’re the worst. They can’t simply get away with doing what they did to you, to James Rhodes, to the spider kid. I’m so sick of people like them getting away with everyone because they’re beautiful and beloved by many," he answers.

"I should introduce you to Peter some time. I think you would really like him, he’s kind of isolated like we were when we were kids. The good thing is that his dad isn’t alive to be fucking awful to him. He’s so smart and he’s just a great kid in general," Tony says.

"It is obvious how much you care for him. Keep him away from the Avengers and maybe even away from me. I don’t want to corrupt someone who is that good and pure, he deserves a chance," he whispers.

"You wouldn’t do any such thing, you’re a much better man than you think."

Chapter Text

A week after their little heart to heart, Tony invites Peter Parker to the tower. He hasn’t told him why he’s coming or who is currently living there as he thinks the look on his face will be priceless. Peter loves Thor, that much is obvious from the way he talks about him whenever the subject comes up. Who wouldn’t love Thor? He’s a sweetheart with the perfect body, not that he’s Tony's type anyway.

If there's one thing Tony knows it’s how much Peter adores Bruce Banner. The kid's read every one of his research papers, he's always talking about how cool it is that Tony knows him, it’s about more than the Hulk for Peter. Bruce is going to love Peter, because Tony knows he’ll see his brilliance and he will value that. The way that Peter gets nervous and tongue-tied reminds him of how Bruce used to be around him, the way he still is around everyone else. Maybe they could help each other with that. That would be so adorable.

Loki is worried about meeting him, he says he doesn’t want to scare or corrupt him. The fact that he’s afraid of doing any such thing just proves that he’s changed. Back in 2012, Loki would have taken pleasure in doing such things. He’s still the god of mischief, he will never be a saint or anything, but that mischief doesn’t have to cause so much harm. Loki has this witty and often dark sense of humour that Tony has fallen in lo- like, he’s fallen in like with it.

Peter arrives just on time and Tony is both terrified and excited. The Revengers (a name that started off as a joke but kind of just stuck) are his family now, but so is Peter. Introducing them for the first time is supposed a good thing. With the complicated state of his personal life and the looming threat of Thanos, this should be considered a piece of metaphorical cake. He’s Tony fucking Stark after all.

The teenager smiles at Tony as he exits the elevator and he goes in for a hug, they’re finally there. However, before Peter can do that, his eyes flicker slightly to the left before almost falling out of his head. Thor, Val, Loki, and Bruce are all standing behind him looking everything from relentlessly happy to extremely hesitant. Tony sees Thor wave jovially at the young man and he swears Peter is about to fucking swoon.

"Peter, some things have changed dramatically around here. Long story short, Asgard doesn’t exist anymore, Jeff Goldblum's evil doppelgänger is in charge of some trippy planet where Bruce was a gladiator for two years, Loki is a good guy now, and Thor's hammer was destroyed by his secret evil sister. They’re all living here now since I had the room," Tony explains.

"Holy shit. I will need further clarification later, but for now I’ll just pretend what you just said makes sense. You must be so glad that Doctor Banner is back, given how you talk about him all the time. I’m Peter, Peter Parker by the way."

"You talk about me all the time?"

"It’s nice to meet you, Peter. I am Thor."

"Duh. I know who you are, everyone does, Mr. Thor. You have so many fans here, they draw pictures and write stories about you on the internet. However, Loki seems to have more fans than you do if tumblr is anything to go by," Peter says.

"Ha! I’m more popular than you on your precious Midgard! It’s a pleasure to meet you, Peter. It is obvious that you’re Stark's son, be proud of that," Loki says.

"He’s not my-"

"Thanks, sir. I’m sorry, ma'am, but I’m not exactly familiar with who you are," Peter cuts Tony off without a second thought. Hmm.

"I’m Valkyrie. I’m an Asgardian as well, I’ve only recently met these guys so it makes sense. This is actually my first time in this realm. Tony has told plenty of stories about you and I’ve seen the footage of this fight in Germany, you’re quite impressive in battle."

"Wow, thank you so much. You seem really cool yourself, ma'am. Um. Hi, Doctor Banner. It’s kind of surreal to meet you after all these years. I’ve read all of your research papers, even the ones that were technically for the government's eyes only and it’s brilliant. I’m so honoured," Peter gushes.

"This hasn’t happened to me in years. To be regarded as a scientist first and to be admired is something I’m almost unfamiliar with now. It’s great to meet you, kid, and if you’re up for it I would love to work with you on something," Bruce says.

"Ohmygodthisisn'thappening. It w-would be such an honour to work with you, you have no idea. I’ve admired you and Tony since I was a kid, but I never thought I’d actually get to meet either of you and here I am," Peter says.

"Even if you didn’t stick to walls, we would have met. You’re a brilliant scientist and I’d be an idiot not to recruit you," Tony admits.

"Aw, Stark you’re absolutely adorable," Loki mocks as Tony blushes from head to toe.

"Holy Tardis of Gallifrey. Tony, you’ve got a crus-"

Tony clamps a hand over Peter’s mouth before he can finish that sentence. "Well, that’s all for today folks, I’ve got something to show the kid down in the lab. Bye," he says, pulling Peter behind him as he runs for the elevator.

Chapter Text

"What the heck, Tony? Your overreaction just tells me I’m right about your crushes on Loki and Bruce," Peter says as the elevator doors close.

"How did you know? Am I being too obvious? Do you think they like me back? And I am asking a seventeen year old who tried to date his enemy's daughter for relationship advice," Tony sighs.

"Hey, I’ll have you know that I give great advice. I’m just not so good at following it. You weren’t too obvious, but as someone who has seen you around Miss Potts and also saw your reaction that time we met Billie Joe Armstrong in that cafe that time, it wasn’t difficult to see. When Loki was praising you, you looked like a twelve year old at a One Direction concert and Bruce seeing how much he mattered to me made you smile in that genuine way that you rarely do. They’ll never catch on to things like that since they think it’s normal for your eccentric billionaire self," he explains.

"I’m going to pretended I’m not disturbed with your extreme attention to detail. Peter, you can’t tell anyone about this. They can never know how I feel, having them as friends is better than nothing."

"Hey, I can so keep a secret!"

"You nearly told everyone the second you figured it out not five minutes ago," Tony says as he exits the elevator and enters the workshop.

"Well, that’s just a bad example. I keep plenty of secrets."

"Oh yeah? Like that time that you spoiled The Last Jedi for a dozen people five minutes after leaving the theatre? Or when you told me the entire plot to the fourth season of Arrow seconds after I mentioned I started watching SEASON ONE?!"

"You’re still mad about that? That was ages ago, Tony, I’ve learned my lesson. Your retaliation was certainly enough for me to make an effort not to spoil things for you," Peter protests.

"Yeah, spoiling the series finale of The Vampire Diaries was so satisfying. The look of horror on your face made me feel so much better about the entire episode," Tony says.

"I’m still salty about that. You should introduce Loki to that show and to The Originals, I feel like he’d enjoy it. I’ve met him for all of five minutes and I get a serious Damon/Elijah vibe from him," he says.

"I’ll think about it. Brucie Bear and I used to watch them before the whole Ultron fiasco. If we have another binge-watching night, I’ll make sure to call you up. So how have you been doing? No problems in school or on patrol I hope," Tony asks, hoping to change the subject.

"You have a movie night without me?! Not fair, man. But it’s been fine. Patrol lately has been pretty slow except for Deadpool's new obsession with wanting to be my 'bestie' and school is school. All of my classes are too easy so I spend most days zoning out," Peter says.

"If that idiot does anything to hurt you in any way, you let me know because I’ll find a way to kill him. As for your classes, I can’t help you there. This is your senior year, Pete, I think you’re supposed to be enjoying it and professing your love for your peers and your school. I didn’t actually go to high school, so I wouldn’t know for sure."

"Yeah, I’m not doing that. Everyone at that place has spent the past four years making my life hell and the administration has done absolutely nothing. I just want out."

"I know you do, kid. I tried to get them to do something, but not even I could convince them to punish their star jocks. There’s no way to really stop that shit anyway, but I will be taking legal action against them for turning a blind eye to you. Anyway, how is your genius girlfriend doing? You should invite her over for dinner some night, I like her," Tony says.

"Gwen’s great, better than great. She got into Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia and now she’s gotta decide. For the past two months, she’s been obsessively making pro-con lists that would put Rory Gilmore to shame. I’m just so proud of her, she’s so brilliant and she deserves to be recognized for it," Peter praises.

"That’s incredible! Now you need to invite her over for dinner, I need to congratulate her and we should celebrate. First you get into MIT and now this, the future is in very capable hands. I’m so proud of you."


"Yeah. I’ve never been more proud of anyone in my life. I wasn’t even this proud when Thor learned to used the toaster without blowing up the kitchen after the battle in New York."

"Wow. Just wow. You seem happier with them back, I’m glad you have a family who actually loves you now," Peter says.

"I had you before and I don’t want you to think that you weren’t enough. I’m just so glad that Bruce and Thor are alive."

"I know, I actually wanted to ask you something. May and I have been talking it over and we had all of the forms drawn up. I was wondering if you’d like to adopt me and legally become my father. You’ve been more of a father to me than Richard Parker, the man who abandoned me, and I just thought it would be nice to make it official," Peter asks, shifting from side to side.

"Pete. Are you sure about this? Because I’m kind of a fuck up and I’m not a good role model at all. My father was an asshole and I’m pretty sure that I’ll end up just like him if I were ever to have a kid. Not to mention the fact that I’ve made some pretty nasty enemies as Iron Man and as Tony Stark," Tony rambles.

"Tony, you already have a kid and it’s me. You’ve never steered me wrong and you’re a good dad, everyone can see it. Please say yes."

"If you really want me, I’d be honoured to. You’re a great kid and after all these years, I’m basically already your dad. I couldn’t have asked for a better son, that I know for sure. Now, where do I have to sign?"

Chapter Text

One day while Tony and Bruce are working side by side, but separately, Bruce asks Tony a question. It’s not unusual for Bruce to ask Tony a question, but when it’s something this personal and this out of the blue, it’s almost unheard of. Talking about this subject isn’t exactly easy and with Loki sitting on the couch now paying apt attention to what’s going on, it’s much worse. The two men that he has feelings for are now asking about his breakup with Pepper.

Pepper figured it out, she knew that he had feelings for someone else from the way he was acting. When she asked him who it was, Tony denied that any of it was true and had ignored her for a week. He spent all that time searching for Bruce, looking at old pictures of Bruce, and even (after more than a few drinks) read some fanfiction about the nerdy doctor. He was in denial about his feelings for Bruce, he didn’t want to think about the fact that he had just lost the man who he connected with more than anyone else.

His ex-girlfriend focussed on Stark Industries after that fight and they started drifting from there. Just before the civil war, Pepper realized that it was Bruce that he was in love with and she broke up with him. She said that he was too fixated on Bruce and too damaged by everything that’s happened to him because of Iron Man, he was too messed up for her to be around. Ever since then, he’s been petrified to let anyone get too close, doesn’t want to burden them with his problems.

Nevertheless, he finds himself drawn to Bruce and Loki and he can’t seem to keep from opening up to them. It’s a feeling that both excites and petrifies him at the same time and he’s just not sure how to feel about the whole thing. He inherently trusts Bruce, has always trusted and respected him without question. With Loki, it’s new and dangerous and it’s something his former teammates would not have approved of. That last fact certainly makes him even more enamoured with the god.

So he tells them everything, with the exception of who it was that he’s in love with. Loki looks angry, vengeful, and Tony is now worried for Pepper's safety. He’s been extremely protective of both him and Bruce ever since the day they all came out to one another. Bruce, on the other hand, looks upset that Tony thinks Pepper was right about how damaged he is. It’s obvious that they both care in their own unique ways, both angry and upset on his behalf.

Loki stands with his usual dramatic flair and walks towards Tony. He has the sudden thought that Loki would kill it on RuPaul's Drag Race with a walk as fierce as that, but he pushes that thought away for another time. The god extends his arms and pulls Tony into an awkward but also perfect hug. Tony never wants to let go, wants to stay in the warm embrace of his god. All of this 'platonic' affection is slowly killing Tony, but what a way to go.

Bruce comes closer and grasps his hand behind Loki’s back. He opens his eyes to look at the scientist and something about that look just makes him feel so okay about everything that’s happened. Tony is still pissed at Pepper and the former Avengers, he wants nothing more than to prove them wrong, but that rage has been quelled by this new family of his. He was a mess after Siberia and now with the Asgardians and Peter about to legally become his son, it feels like it was all for the best.

"Don’t believe one word of it, Tony. Your heart belonged to another and that is nothing to be ashamed of. She’s foolish to believe you to be unworthy of her love," Loki whispers before the almost group hug detangles and they make their way over to the couch. Tony ends up squished between two incredibly attractive men and that’s okay.

"This is depressing as hell, let’s play some truth or dare to have a little fun. Come on, Tones, I know you love it," Bruce says, uncharacteristically cheerful.

"What is this game?"

"Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory actually. You ask someone if they want a truth or a dare and they either have to answer a question honestly or do something ridiculous. It’s pretty popular among kids in school, but Tony knows how to make it fun even now."

"Ooh, this sounds like fun. I wish to play this game of yours, Anthony. You can start us off."

"Okay, Bruce, truth or dare?"

"This is a dangerous game with you two, but I’ll go with truth," Bruce laughs.

"I’ll go easy on you, Brucie Bear. Who was your first crush? It could be a real person, a celebrity, a fictional character, they all count," Tony asks.

"Um, from what I can remember looking back on my childhood, it was Ian Malcolm from Jurassic Park. That kind of sparked my desire for Jeff Goldblum in general which is weird now since he looks just like the Grand Master," he admits.

"If this Jeff Goldblum does look like the Grand Master, I can’t fault you Bruce. While on Sakaar, there might have been a bit of a fling between the two of us," Loki says.

"Oh my god that is so hot," Tony whispers.

"No comment. So, Loki, truth or dare?"

"I’m no coward so I think I will chose dare," Loki says.

"Alright, I dare you to play the last song you listened to out loud for us to hear," Bruce says.

"Never mind, I chose truth, I chose truth!"

"That’s not how this works, Reindeer Games. Follow through or else I’ll just imagine it’s something really embarrassing," Tony says.

Loki reluctantly presses play on his new phone and the opening chords to Call Me Maybe start to play. Tony turns to Bruce, giving him a look, before the both of them crack up laughing. The fact that Loki of all people listens to Carley Rae Jepsen is just so perfect in so many ways and even though Tony's laughing, it’s kind of adorable. He grins up at Loki's blushing face, trying to let him know it’s okay.

"You’re the one who told me to go through Midgardian music by year. 2012 was obviously a bad year for everyone. Between this insufferable song and Sexy And I Know It, it’s awful," Loki defends himself.

"It seemed like fun at the time. New York had just been invaded by aliens and everything was either overly cheery or depressing as hell. So, really, you’re at fault for those songs being popular," Tony points out.

"You’ve got to be joking." Loki scowls at the idea that he was involved in creating those 'songs'.

"Afraid not. People wanted to record party songs to try to get the world out of its devastation and it worked well enough. From what I can recall, Party Rock Anthem was Tony’s ringtone back then," Bruce says.

"That certainly makes me feel better. Tony, it’s your turn. Truth or dare?" Loki grins deviously at the genius.

"I’m scared either way, but I think I’ll go with truth this time around," he says.

"When was the last time you cried and why? Don’t forget that I’ll know if you’re lying, I am the god of lies after all."

"It was last week when I re-watched the Gilmore Girls series finale, okay! It’s a very emotionally charged episode and I sobbed like a baby," Tony yells.

"I don’t what that show is, but I believe you," Loki says.

"Why did you put yourself through that pain again? I couldn’t ever bring myself to watch it again," Bruce asks.

"I just wanted to relive it, Luke was such a great pseudo father to Rory and that was a prime example of it. I suppose I should tell you guys that Peter asked me to adopt him legally a few weeks ago and the paper is about to go through." Tony ducks his head, embarrassed by how much the kid cares about him.

"Oh Tony, that’s incredible! You deserve this more than anyone," Bruce beams, clapping Tony on the back.

"I’m shocked it took this long. I only met him once, but it’s evident to anyone how much he looks up to and adores you. You’re a good man and an even better father, Anthony. If I were you, I’d be proud," Loki says.

"Thanks for being supportive and all, it means more than you know. Now, back to the game, it was just getting good. Loki, truth or dare?" Tony changes the subject as quickly as he can, and he’s not fooling anyone.


"I dare you to call Domino's and ask for pizza without dough" Tony says.

"Seriously?" He pulls out his phone anyway and dials the number. "Hello, I was wondering if I could order a pizza. Yes, a cheese pizza with extra sauce and no dough please."

"Sir, I’m afraid that’s not possible. You can’t have pizza without dough," the guy on the other end of the phone says.

"I am Loki of Asgard and this is unacceptable. Is this some sort of hate crime? Just because I sent a alien invasion to New York doesn’t mean I lost the right to some good fucking dough-less pizza," he yells indignantly.

"Wait, are you actually Loki? Can I read my Thorki fanfiction to you to make sure you’re in character," the kid says.

"If Thor or I were in character, we wouldn’t be fucking at all. You’re such a disgusting mortal and it’s a shame the Chitari didn’t get you," Loki says before angrily slamming his thumb down onto the end call button. "What is wrong with those people?"

"Hey, don’t ship shame, Lokes. Everyone knows you’re not biologically brothers and they just ran with it. They’re not really hurting anyone," Bruce says.

"Bruce secretly runs a Loki-centered fanfiction account," Tony stage whispers.

"Screw you, Tony," Bruce retorts, flushing bright red.

"Interesting point, Doctor Banner, I suppose I was rather harsh. Tony, truth or dare?"

"Dare," he says, giving Loki a challenging look.

"I dare you to sit on Bruce's lap for the rest of the game. As long as you’re comfortable with it, Bruce," Loki says.

"Thanks for thinking of me, but it’s fine. It’s all part of the game after all and I don’t really mind," Bruce mumbles and Loki smirks again like he has something planned.

"Don’t mind if I do," Tony says, moving to sit comfortably on his friend’s lap as Loki moves closer to the pair. "Bruce, truth or dare?"

"Truth, I don’t trust either of you with dare just yet."

"Have you read any Avengers themed erotic fanfiction and if so, which pairings did you read about?"

"I have found myself reading such things from time to time. I've read about Tony and myself, Loki and myself, Tony and Steve, Steve and Bucky, Loki and Tony. Sometimes I get really bored is all. It's kind of flattering that our fans spend so much of their free time writing about us," Bruce admits.

"The man's got a point. I've read a few myself, some are pretty well written," Tony adds.

"Agreed," Loki says.

"So, Loki. Truth or dare?" Bruce has an unusually diabolical look on his face and Tony can't wait for this.

"Dare, obviously," he replies.

"That's all you've chosen. After this one, you have to chose at least two truths in a row. I dare you to keep your hand on Tony's very inner thigh for the rest of the game," Bruce says as Tony squirms.

"This is payback? That's alright, I don't mind at all. Tony and I are very good friends."

Are they trying to kill him? Because it's fucking working. It's almost like they're trying to get him to snap and jump their fucking bones, which is his ideal ending to this little game. However, he knows that much like Twister, Truth or Dare can and usually does get weirdly sexual. He's not really complaining, but with just the three of them there it feels so intensely intimate and he can't stop himself from wondering if something could happen. He just about jumps out of his skin when Loki's hand makes contact with his thigh, but he does his best to compose himself.

"Tony, truth or dare? That is, if you can concentrate enough to answer," Loki whispers.

"Truth," Tony yelps out.

"Perfect. Finish this sentence: it's not totally legal to do this, but if it were It would want to..." Loki is really getting the hang of this game.

"I would get married to two people at the same time. Being in a poly relationship that is 100% consensual is totally okay and it sucks that it's not possible for us-them, for them to get married," Tony says.

"Wow, I thought for sure it was going to be something of an inappropriate nature. I admire your choice, Anthony. On Asgard such a thing was perfectly alright, one of the benefits of the place I suppose," Loki says.

"Don’t lie, you loved Asgard. You don’t have to pretend with us, you can trust us with anything and everything," Tony says.

"He’s right. It’s not like we’ve got anyone else to tell all your secrets to. From now on, it’s mostly just us three and occasionally Thor and Val," Bruce adds.

"I’m aware of this, but it is more difficult than you can imagine to let myself be open. Deflecting and demeaning comes naturally to me at this point," Loki says.

"It’s how you protect yourself. I know all about this type of behaviour since it’s what I tend to do. Why do you think I trusted you so much in the beginning? It’s because you remind me so much of myself and because all I want to do is help you feel less alone. I know what it’s like to have no one and nothing, I know what it’s like to lose everything that you thought you cared about, and I know what it’s like to want to stay in the closet and hide forever. I’m not some badass who doesn’t give a shit, I’m just another guy with a fucked up childhood," Tony explains.

"You’re more than that, Tony. You aren’t just a product of Howard Stark being a dick, I don’t believe that. The things that you do are nothing short of selfless, you always put everyone else first, you love with everything you have even when it breaks your heart. Tony Stark, the real Tony Stark that I’ve known and loved for years is better than that. Don’t you dare think for a second that Howard defines you because he doesn’t," Bruce says.

"Love?," Loki questions.

"Um, yeah, what he said," Tony says, stunned into almost incoherence.

"Well, I’ve been in love with you forever. I just assumed you knew and didn’t feel the same. It’s fine, really, your friendship is more than enough and I don’t want to lose you or make things weird or-"

"I love you too. You were the reason Pepper left me, it was you that I couldn’t stop fixating on. All I wanted to do was bring you home."

"I hate to interrupt, but since we’re all confessing things I think it’s time to do some confessing of my own. You’re both in love and you’re going to go riding off into the sunset together, but I just have to get it out once even if it won’t matter. I have feelings for both of you, romantic feelings and that’s all," Loki whispers.

"...It does matter. I can’t speak for Brucie Bear, but I feel the same way about you. I’ve been agonizing over it for months and I didn’t really have to. There’s just something about you two and the three of us when we’re together that makes me want to risk it all for a chance of this being real," Tony says.

"I think that Tony does speak for me, at least on this."

"So, what do we do now? I’m not exactly an expert on these types of situations," Tony asks.

"Well, I suppose we could go on a date. That’s what normal people do," Bruce says.

"I very much like that idea," Loki says, tentatively leaning over and quickly kissing Bruce on the cheek. Bruce’s entire face turns red, but he smiles in that beautifully shy way nonetheless.

"This is the best thing to ever happen to me," Tony sighs dreamily.

Chapter Text

Tony's life gets a hell of a lot more complicated after that night. Loki still isn’t out to his brother so they have to be extremely careful about how they act around one another. If he’s being honest, he doesn’t think they’re fooling Val at all, but she hasn’t directly said anything yet so he’s counting it as a win. Thor, though he isn’t as stupid as everyone assumes he is, will probably never figure them out. He’s just so happy that Loki has friends now that he isn’t looking for anything more and Tony definitely uses that to his advantage.

He will not refrain from hugging or being generally clingy towards either of his boyfriends in his own damn tower and Thor just chalks it up to Tony's eccentric ways. Thor himself is rather touchy-feely so now he hugs Tony every time he walks into a room. That was something he didn’t really take into account when he decided to ignore Loki’s warnings. Not that he’ll ever admit it, but Tony doesn’t totally hate all of the extra hugs and whatnot from Thor. He thinks he’ll chalk that one up to daddy issues or something like that.

They haven’t told Peter yet, which is smart since he’s terrible at keeping secrets, but Tony feels guilty about it. The paperwork went through last week and he’s now legally Peter Parker’s father and yet he doesn’t know about such a huge development in his life. If things work out, Bruce and Loki will practically be Peter’s step-dads. Loki knows how much this is tearing him up and he tells him how grateful he is to have someone who won’t out him to his brother. He always tries his best to make up for it.

It’s not like Tony can be mad at him about this, he understands completely. So, to distract himself from all of it, he invited Peter and Gwen to dinner just like he said he would. They arrive early, something Peter never is when he isn’t with Gwen, and she looks shocked to see Loki and Bruce sitting in the living room as well. However, she takes it in stride and introduces herself to them with a bright smile and a handshake.

Bruce excuses himself early on in the night as he’s the one doing all of the cooking for this meal. He is an amazing cook and Tony begged him for days to make dinner for all of them. Eventually, he agreed and Tony now has to donate a few million dollars to The Trevor Project, not that he’s really complaining about that. As it turns out, the best way to bribe Bruce is to donate a bunch of money to a really cool charity. Tony loves that about him.

Loki looks uncomfortable at first, worried about what Gwen might say to him about New York. He tenses up when she mentions that her father is the police captain, because he knows that he must have been out fighting that day. She doesn’t say anything, of course she doesn’t, she’s Gwen. Gwen Stacey is the best thing to ever happen to Peter for so many reasons and Tony just adores the girl. She’s so kindhearted and brilliant, it’s a very rare thing to find in a person.

The billionaire is acutely aware that Gwen Stacey isn't stupid, which is why he is just a little worried about tonight. She will most likely put it all together in a matter of minutes, if she hasn't figured it out already. He can only hope that Gwen will keep being her awesome self and that she won't tell anyone, especially not Peter, about it. This is something new and kind of fragile and if she's as smart as Tony knows she is, she will most certainly pick up on that too.

"So, Loki, what is it like living on Earth now? It must be quite the culture shock compared to Asgard," Gwen asks.

"It is and it isn't. There is so much that is new to me like your technology, but I believe that at our cores, we are all very much alike. It is much different for Thor and myself as we are immortal and have spent thousands of years only knowing Asgard. I don't miss it all that much, because here on Earth people are willing to give me a second chance, which was not the case with my people until recently," Loki answers honestly.

"Wow, that is very eye-opening. Thank you for answering me honestly. Tony must be teaching you all about the internet though, that would be so exciting to have the Tony Stark teach you about technology," she says.

"I suppose it is rather exciting. He just signed me up for a thing called Twitter and I am fascinated by it."

"Oh my gods, Loki has a Twitter account! What's your handle? I need to follow you like asap," Peter squeals.

"It's @Reindeer_Games_Loki. Tony chose it, not me," Loki says.

"This is the best day ever! I can't believe that Loki has a Twitter account and that he's also living with my dad."

"Yeah, it's certainly an interesting time to be alive. It isn't something I could have ever predicted, that's for sure. So, Gwen, tell me about all of these Ivy League colleges you've been accepted to," Tony says, desperate for a subject change.

"Well, there's not really much to tell at the moment because I haven't made my decision at all. I have made so many pro-con lists, but it seems that this is not an easy decision at all. Gilmore Girls was right about this one," she says with a quick laugh that borders on the hysterical.

"She will be great no matter what. I am so proud of her for getting into all those schools, but she could have gotten into all of the Ivy League schools if she had applied," Peter says.

"That may be true, but I didn't want to go to any of those other schools, Pete. Besides, you could have gotten in too if you had applied so don't go saying that stuff about me. Still, you got in to MIT and I love you for sticking with what you want to do."

"You two are very sweet together," Loki says quietly.

"Thank you, Loki. We've been together for almost two years now so we had better be sweet together," Gwen says.

"You know, when Peter first told me he had a girlfriend all I could think was 'oh great now I have to deal with some bratty teenager'. Then I met you, Gwen, and I'm proud to say that you did not meet my expectations. You are pretty great even though you keep refusing my job offers," Tony says.

"Aw, Anthony, you get so sentimental at times, it's adorable," Loki coos and Tony freezes. It's too obvious, Peter will put it together like it's nothing.

"Tony, do you have something that you want to tell me?" Peter is grinning like an idiot now.

"Peter, Thor doesn't know about Loki. You have to keep this a secret, more than anything. But yes, Loki, Bruce, and I are together. It happened a few weeks ago during a game of Truth or Dare," Tony says.

"Oh, trust me, Peter will not be outing Loki. He saw what happened to me when I was outed as pansexual at school, so he can understand as much as a straight person can," Gwen says.

"I had no idea that happened to you. Who did it? I can ruin them for you, it's really not that hard to do with tech like mine," Tony threatens.

"Don't worry, dad, I got it covered. He's been rejected by every university that he's applied to and he can't seem to get anyone in town to hire him," Peter says.

"It seems that your son knows how to take care of himself and his amour, love, and I am quite impressed by it all. You are an honourable man, Peter," Loki says.

"Thanks. Now, I have to ask. What are your intentions with my father? Because I will totally... do... something really unpleasant to you if you hurt him," Peter asks.

"I'm sure the consequences would be dire, little one. I plan on caring for him and enjoying his and Bruce's company for as long as they'll have me. When Thor brought us here after the end of Asgard, I never imagined liking it and I certainly never imagined finding companionship with two of the people who kicked my ass a few years ago. One thing that I can promise to you is that I have no plans to break your father's heart anytime soon and the same can be said for Bruce," Loki squirms under the scrutiny of Peter's gaze.

"You're speaking on my behalf now? Well, I guess we've reached a new level in our relationship," Bruce says, entering the room almost silently.

"If he doesn't speak for you on this issue and you intend to do anything other than what he said to my dad, we're going to have a problem."

"Don't worry, Pete, it was just a joke. I could never hurt Tony, not again. After Sokovia, I realized that hurting him, intentionally or not, destroys me. I've been in love with him for years and I don't plan on letting him go ever again. However, I appreciate your concern, most people wouldn't care about Tony at all. You're good for him, thanks for taking care of him when I couldn't. Now, dinner is ready and I really don't want to have to reheat it," Bruce says, as Tony sits in stunned silence.

Chapter Text

It happens on a Wednesday. Up until Friday sounded the alert it was a pretty typical day at Stark Tower/New Asgard. He, Bruce, and Loki were on the couch watching re-runs of Friends while Thor and Valkyrie sat on the floor, playing a heated game of Go Fish. Thor loves the game and gets overly competitive every time he plays, but he gets overly competitive when it comes to most things. Tony's just glad that Val is too, because he really doesn't want to be the one competing against Thor at anything.

When Friday tells him that Steve Rogers and the rest of the criminals made it past security and are on their way up, they all jump into action. Thor and Val vault over the couch and face the elevator within seconds. Loki grabs Tony's hand which would normally make him feel all tingly inside and make him want the god even more, but right now it's just comforting. Bruce stands on Tony's other side, not hulking out as he has some things to say to the "Avengers" first.

The elevator doors open to reveal Rogers, Barton, Romanoff, Maximoff, Barnes, Lang, and Wilson. Vision is not with them. Tony thought that might have been where he ran off to, but he was wrong. Barton's eyes widen comically at the sight of Loki with his hand intertwined with Tony's. They all look ready to fight when they notice Loki and Tony fucking dares them to try because they would lose horribly and he for one would like to see that.

Val looks positively murderous, more so than usual and he really wants to see her put Rogers in his place. These people are willing to fight for him, they are willing to risk themselves to protect him. This is new and it feels like what he imagines family should feel like. They weren't personally affected by anything that those assholes did, they don't have to defend him or be hostile towards them, but they are. That means more to Tony than anything Rogers ever did.

Natasha looks at Bruce, wide-eyed and hopeful for a split second before she analyses the look on his face. Tony has never seen the widow with hurt feelings, but today seems to be his lucky day as the sight of her broken expression is forever saved in his memories. Sam and Scott look like they want to be anywhere but here and they can't look Tony in the eye. Maybe they're remorseful for what they did, he'd only believe it coming from those two. They don't have a history of being dicks 24/7.

The thing is, Tony isn't all that excited to see Barnes again. Sure, he helped cure the man and he doesn't really blame him for what happened to his mother anymore, but it seems awkward. He doesn't have anything against him and he made sure to tell the others that when Friday sounded the alert so they didn't attack him on sight. If anything, Tony feels bad for James since during the civil war, he had no fucking clue what was going on. He got pulled into the middle of it without knowing about civilian casualties or the Accords. All he was doing was following his best friend's orders.

"What the fuck is he doing here? He attacked New York and brainwashed me," Clint squawks indignantly.

"What happened in New York was important and shouldn't be forgotten, but Loki was tortured into doing it. As for your brainwashing, I really don't give a fuck," Bruce replies.

"He has changed, not that it matters to any of you assholes," Thor says.

"Thor, you don't understand. Whatever Tony told you is a lie," Steve says.

"He said you'd say that. We saw the footage of it all. The Accords meeting, Bucharest, Germany, Siberia. We also saw the footage of all the damage you've caused. I'm objective as I don't really know any of you and you are in the wrong," Valkyrie says.

"Who are you supposed to be?," Wanda asks.

"Valkyrie, famous and terrifying Asgardian warrior. If I were you, I would take a step back, witch," Loki says.

"We didn't come here to fight," Rogers interrupts before Wanda tries to go after Loki.

"What did you come here for? Is it to apologize for treating me like shit, even back when you claimed to be my family? Is it to say that you've realized that not everything that ever happens is my fault and that you're to blame as well. Oh, I know. You're here to apologize for putting an ex-Hydra bitch who fucked with my head for some ridiculous vendetta against me on the team," Tony growls.

"Steve. Is she really ex-Hydra? Did she do all those things?," Bucky asks.

"She was willingly ex-Hydra and she unleashed the Hulk for no reason on an innocent city in the process," Bruce interrupts.

"Buck, she's just a kid. She made mistakes, but so did you when you were brainwashed."

Chapter Text

"You've gotta be joking. She's 26 years old, she hasn't been a kid in years! She did everything of her own freewill. She hurt people, killed them for no good reason. I am nothing like her," Bucky shouts.

"Bucky, I'm so-"

"Save it for someone who cares. For the past few months I've been starting to wonder if I was on the right side and I always told myself that I was because you were there. I don't recognize you, Stevie, you aren't the best friend I knew."

"What are you talking about? You're the one who's changed, I am in the right! Tony is selfish and manipulative and he's in the wrong," Steve says petulantly.

"If he's so selfish then why did he open up his home to all of my people after Asgard was destroyed. He added extra floors to this building just to accommodate them and he has been helping them all learn how to live here," Thor argues.

"You're doing that? Why are you so generous towards people who you barely know and towards people who treat you like dirt? Steve, he's not what you said he was," Bucky says.

"But he tried to arrest you, he tried to kill you!"

"This is America, Rogers. Arresting someone does not mean they're guilty. That's what a trial is for and I told you that I would help your buddy. I was going to hire the best defence lawyers in the country, he would have been found not guilty. Now he has committed crimes of his own freewill because you told him to run. There is no guarantee that he will be found not guilty of those crimes. You made it so much worse for him," Tony says.

"If it's alright with you Dr. Stark, I'd like to switch sides and turn myself in. Jail time is better than spending one more second with these idiots," Bucky says.

"Of course. I will still pay for your lawyers, you deserve a fair trial since you've been fucked over so many times in the past," Tony replies.

"Steve, this is it. I can't trust you anymore so this is the end of the line."


"Ms. Maximoff it is inadvisable to continue with your current plan of attack," Loki says as Wanda's fingers start to glow red.

"What are you going to do? It's not like you're powerful enough to stop me."

"Oh darling, you don't know true power. You can't control your magic for shit and therefore you can never reach your true potential," Loki sneers.

"What I said to you all those years ago still stands. I could choke the life out of you and not change a shade," Bruce growls

"Bruce," Natasha says quietly.

"Oh I'm not falling for that this time. You don't care about me, you never did. You used me to get to the Hulk during the fight with Ultron and you lied to my best friend for years. Fuck you, Romanoff."

"Woah, Bruce. Calm down, it's not like she really did anything to you. So she hurt Tony, that doesn't really matter all that much," Clint says.

"It matters to me. He was the first person to treat me like a human being after the accident, he believed that I had more to offer this world, he thought I was worth saving. Tony Stark also ended up being the man I fell in love with, so you had better think twice before saying such things."

"You're wonderful, baby. I love you both so much," Tony says, pulling Loki and Bruce closer.

"Wait a second. You three are... together," asks Sam.


"That's so great. You deserve to be happy, Tony. I'm sorry for all of it, even though I know apologies don't mean much anymore," Sam says.

"They do coming from you. I never blamed you for any of it. You and Mr. Lang are practically innocent in this. You were asked to fight by Captain America, saying no or that he was in the wrong didn't feel like an option. Trust me, I remember the feeling well," Tony says.

"You really think that I'm innocent? I tried disarming your suit, I hurt the spider kid. I know what I did," Scott says.

"Yes, you did all of those things and the fact that you own up to them and admit they were wrong is what I like about you. I talked to Hope Van Dyne about you after I got back on my feet after Siberia. She told me you were as harmless as a puppy. She vouched for you and you're lucky I trust her, because I managed to get you a plea deal. If you take it, you'll be on house arrest for two years and probation for three. There will be no jail time which means you can spend time with your daughter. I know how important it is to be there for your kids and I've met Cassie. Hope brought her along one day and she's a great kid," Tony explains.

"Oh my god. Where do I sign?"

"Scott, you can't just leave us for some unfair deal. You did nothing wrong," Steve says.

"I did something wrong the second I agreed to help you," Scott clenches his fist. "I have a ten year old at home who I would do anything to see. She is more important than you people."

"I can't believe your nerve, Tony. You're turning my team and my best friend against me when we all know that you're wrong," Steve says.

"He's not wrong, you're just too self-righteous to know the difference now," Bucky mutters.

"That's it, I'm done playing along with this little charade," Steve says, lunging towards Tony.

In the blink of an eye, Loki produces a knife with his magic and teleports behind Rogers. He's holding the knife to his throat in a matter of seconds and if that asshole so much as moves a muscle, there will be blood spilled today. Clint and Natasha move to fight Loki, but Thor and Val charge at them. Valkyrie takes down Natasha with a well placed nerve strike and she restrains her from moving with her foot on the chest of the fallen spy. Thor twists Clint's arm behind his back while he wraps his other hand around his throat loosely.

Steve squirms. "You really think a knife is going to stop me?"

"Oh, Captain this isn't just any knife. This blade is made of a combination of adamantium, vibranium, and the same metal that was in my brother's hammer. It can severely wound Asgardians so it can almost certainly kill you," Loki explains, with that signature smirk on his face.

Chapter Text

Just then, the witch makes a move towards Tony. Her eyes glow red and red mist appears around her hands. He's not paying attention to her, and even if he were, he's no match for fucking magic. She's about to strike when an orange portal appears between Wanda and the billionaire and out walks Doctor Stephen Strange. The Sorcerer Supreme waves a hand towards the Scarlet Witch and she freezes in place, all traces of her magic disappearing. He nods at Loki who murmurs the words to some spell and green smoke envelops Wanda.

"Haven't you idiots done enough? Thor, Loki, it's nice to see you again even if it's under these circumstances." He glances at Tony. "You didn't think I wasn't watching for them to return, did you?"

"Thank you, Stephen. Seeing her go up against real magic-wielders was fun as we now see just how inexperienced she was," Tony says.

"What did you do to her? What's that green smoke?" Sam glances from Loki to Strange and back again.

"Does it matter? The most dangerous, untrained, and mentally unstable person in the room is incapacitated," Bruce says.

"Yes it matters, she's just a kid!" Rogers' decision to speak again drives Loki's blade further into his neck.

"She's 26. Kids are under the age of 18. There's a difference between being a kid and being childish. You witch bitch here simply acts like a little girl and therefore we are treating her as such. You wouldn't trust a child with dangerous magic, would you? Her abilities came from my sceptre, and by extension, from me so it only makes sense that I be the one to take them away," Loki says.

"You did what? What makes you think you have any right to take MY powers? What did I ever do to you?"

"You fucked with my boyfriends' heads and that is not okay. The things you showed Anthony and Bruce were horrific and yet you got away with it. Not anymore," Loki hisses.

"We will talk later about this, brother. I'm not happy that you kept this a secret from me, but I am happy for you. For now, we will take out the trash," Thor says as the elevator doors open and a SHIELD team bursts out.

Agent Phil Coulson is leading the charge with Agent May and Agent Mackenzie flanking close behind, Agents Johnson, Morse, and Hunter stand further behind to properly assess the situation. Tony notices that SHIELD scientists Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons are hanging back with guns that don't look quite like guns aimed at Wanda. Tony has been working closely with the newly de-Hydra-ed SHIELD on the Accords and the fallout from the civil war, as they're calling it.

Natasha and Clint's eyes go wide at the sight of their handler, formerly thought to be dead. They look smug, as if Coulson is here to help them and Tony can't wait to see them realize that he's here to arrest them. Phil pulls out a pair of power-dampening cuffs, not that he needs them anymore, and slaps them on Wanda's wrists. Meanwhile, Agent May and Agent Mackenzie arrest Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes.

"Melinda, Mack, James has agreed to come in willingly. He's under my protection. Scott and Sam should be treated with a bit more respect given their remorse for their actions, they don't deserve to be labelled as criminals because they put their faith in the wrong 'hero'. Scott has agreed to the deal so it would be best to get on that as soon as possible so that he can see Cassie," Tony explains.

"Absolutely. Thanks for alerting us to their presence, Bruce. Doctor Strange, this is an unusual spot for you to be," May says, putting cuffs on Sam and Scott as well. "Just a precaution, Mr. Lang, you aren't under arrest."

"Tony's a friend and I want them to pay for their crimes just as much as anyone does. I trust you don't need my help anymore, and I need to get back to the Sanctum."

"Thank you, Stephen. I'll keep you posted on everything," Tony says before the sorcerer disappears.

Coulson approaches Natasha and Clint. He bends down to where Val has Natasha trapped on her back and taps Val's ankle. She lifts her foot and Phil rolls Natasha onto her stomach and pulls her arms behind her back and cuffs her. He stands with all the coldness and grace of a practised SHIELD agent before turning to Clint and Thor holds the struggling man in place while Phil puts on the handcuffs. It's obvious that he doesn't enjoy doing this, but he knows that it has to be done.

From what Tony's heard, Coulson was Barton and Romanoff's handler. He brought Clint in and when Clint spared Natasha, he was in charge of her too. They were really close, one of the best teams SHIELD ever had until Coulson formed this new team of his. Tony knows that Phil also idolized Captain America and everything that he's done since the Accords were mentioned has broken him a bit. He worries about Agent all the time, but he's honestly just glad that he's alive again.

A lot has changed since Tony first met Phil Coulson and one of the biggest changes is that he doesn't mind working with SHIELD now. He likes this new team. May is kickass like Nat always was but without being a two faced backstabbing bitch. She does care about her team and that much is obvious and Tony respects that. FitzSimmons are brilliant in a way that he never believed SHIELD scientists could be, and he loves seeing all of their new tech.

Mack is hilarious and one of the bravest men that Tony has ever met. Plus, his shotgun-axe is totally badass and he kind of wants one. Bobbi and Hunter are the most functional dysfunctional couple that he's ever seen, but he can tell that no matter what they may say to everyone else or to each other, they love one another. He also heard a rumour that Bobbi used to be married to Clint, but he isn't entirely sure about that. As for Daisy Johnson, well, Tony is absolutely fascinated. Inhuman biology is so interesting to him and also she's just a pretty chill person which is great.

Tony looks around the room at all of these people, friends and enemies alike and he can't quite believe it. In his mind, he still thinks of himself as the lonely billionaire with some serious issues with his father, but that's not true anymore. After the fallout with the former Avengers, it seems as if he has more friends and family than he's ever had, he just never noticed until now when they're all standing before him.

Maybe this whole Accords mess was actually for the best in the end, at least as far as Tony Stark is concerned. If that is true, it still doesn't change the fact that it happened in the first place and it certainly doesn't change how much it fucking hurts. Just because this turned out to be for the best doesn't invalidate his anger or pain over this betrayal of trust, it doesn't make him feel any better about almost being killed by Captain America.

Time might heal this wound, but that is a huge maybe. Tony has spent his entire life being fucked around and betrayed by the people that he trusts the most. It's enough to make a guy paranoid, enough to make him close himself off from the world, and it's certainly enough to cause permanent psychological damage. The panic attacks, the nightmares, the flashbacks, they will always be a part of his life thanks to his father, Obadiah Stane, Steve Rogers, and everyone else who has hurt him irreparably.

What happened to Rhodey because of all of this is something he will never be able to forgive. They hurt his best friend, the one person on earth who has never abandoned or hurt Tony, and that is unforgivable. He doesn't blame Sam, that much he knows, but he does blame Vision and he blames Rogers for them even being there in the first place. Rhodey keeps telling him that it's okay and that it's nobody's fault, but he doesn't think that he will ever be able to buy that.

He watches as the agents escort his handcuffed former teammates into the elevator and he feels nothing but relief. Tony isn't relieved that they've been arrested, he's relieved that they're leaving his home and his family alone. At this point, he wants to put as much space between the criminals and his newfound family as possible, even though today has proved that they are far from helpless. Despite knowing that they can handle themselves, he still worries about them going anywhere near the former Avengers. He's especially worried about Bruce, Loki, and Peter.

Chapter Text

The only good thing about the day's events is that Peter Parker was absent from them. Tony knows that if he were here, he would have tried to take on all of the highly skilled individuals on his own. Peter talks about them with so much hatred that it honestly scares Tony at times. The kid is not exactly vindictive or angry, so to hear him speak like that is jarring and kind of worrying. Bruce says that it's because Peter loves him and that he's scared of the former heroes and what they have done and could still do to Tony. Loki, on the other hand, finds the outbursts amusing and he completely agrees with the kid.

As soon as the elevator doors close with SHIELD and the criminals inside of it, Tony collapses, falling to the floor as if his dignity was the only thing keeping him standing earlier. It's just so much to process and it all happened unexpectedly. He knew that there would eventually be a reunion of sorts between him and those people, but he never expected it to be so soon and in his own home no less.

Bruce and Loki rush to his side, both of them holding him in their arms and whispering comforting things. Thor and Val are staring, but for once Tony can't bring himself to care. They came into his home, they threatened him and his boyfriends, the witch tried to hurt him, and Barnes surrendered while betraying Rogers. Fuck, that witch almost killed him. If Stephen hadn't shown up when he did, who knows what would have happened?

Those criminals are finally in custody, but at what cost to Tony Stark? He was nearly killed, emotionally scarred once again, and his relationship was outed to the one person they were trying to hide it from. Loki didn't seem to care much, too worried for him, he supposes. Thor obviously still loves his brother but Loki should have been able to come out on his own terms, not through Tony and Bruce letting the "Avengers" get them riled up.

"I swear to you, my love, they will pay for what they have done today," Loki says quietly.

"Loki, no. They will face the consequences, but not by your hand. They are not worth you risking your freedom," Tony replies, speaking for the first time in forty five minutes.

"He's right, Lo, they're not worth another second of our time. Nobody will let them off easy, the whole country is calling for blood after the footage of the whole 'civil war' thing leaked," Bruce says. "Tony, babe, can you stand up for me?"

Tony stands, with some help from Bruce and Loki, and they lead him over to the couch. Thor and Val follow silently, neither daring to speak for fear of upsetting Tony more. They all take seats on the couch, it's cramped, but it seems like the best option at the moment. Just because he had the most obvious reaction to it does not mean that he is the only one stricken by everything that has transpired today.

"I believed that they were different, but that was more intense than I was expecting. It's as if they're completely different people, they all seem to follow Rogers without question," Thor says.

"They're assholes, I'm not surprised at all. That footage of them all fighting proves it, and they are exactly what I was expecting," Valkyrie growls.

"Rogers did it all for Bucky, but in the end, Bucky left him. All that hero worship slowly chipped away at him until he truly believed that he was infallible and that he was the world's moral compass," Bruce adds.

"I used to think Rogers and Howard were so different. When I first met him, even though we didn't get along, I believed that he was a genuinely good guy. The things he said today, they were just what he used to say. He used to try to confuse me, to make me believe that I was making it all up. Rogers did that and then when I wasn't buying it, he tried to attack me, classic Howard Stark. I never got to see Howard punished for his crimes, so I will do everything in my power to make sure that Rogers is. If I have to testify at his trial, I'll do it. Whatever it takes, I will do it," Tony says.

"Love, we will help. You are not alone in this, not this time, not ever again," Loki soothes.

"We are your family now and we love you. Nobody hurts you and gets away with it anymore, we won't let them," Bruce says, snuggling closer to Tony.