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A Tale of the Trickster and the Spider: Part 2

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'I hate broad daylight...' the playboy complaint as he threw his car keys on the table with one hand, holding a large café Americano in the other, the bright green logo hardly visible under his clenched fingers. 'Why does it have to be so freaking sunny already? It's only,' Tony looked at his watch but immediately lowered his wrist with a deep sigh, 'Well, I bet it's really early.'

'Yeah, I agree,' the Captain chuckled a little, 'maybe we should go exercise, that will work wonders, I bet.'

At this, the billionaire remained silent for a moment and although Steve couldn't see his eyes underneath those dark sunglasses, he was quite sure his friend was frowning at him.

'Steve, listen carefully. The only exercise I will be doing right now is moving my body from here to all the way over there,' Tony reacted, a bit grumpy, pointing at the stairs that would bring him to a comfortable bed.

‘Suit yourself, Tony, but you won’t get over your hangover like that,’ Steve replied with a smile.

‘Oh, you’ll see,’ Tony smirked.

In the meanwhile, Natasha was sitting on a barstool in the kitchen, playing with a spoon, carefully stirring a cup of piping hot coffee.

'You're up early,' Steve smiled as he noticed her ever-stealthy presence, throwing away his empty cup of coffee.

'Look who’s talking,' Natasha smirked, but her eyes were quickly pulled towards the grumpy figure walking straight towards the halls. ‘You know, Tony, hangovers don’t look as good on you as I had figured,’ she remarked with a smirk, still stirring the spoon in a zigzag movement through her coffee cup.

‘Cute, exactly the comment I needed, Romanoff,’ Tony snappily replied, choosing to lie down on the sofa instead of walking all the way to his bedroom.

Steve smiled a little and opened the door to peek into the living room. 'Everyone's still out cold, must have been quite the party,' he then frowned a little, 'Was it though?'

‘And not just for us,’ Natasha remarked, biting her lip after her comment to stop herself from too hastily saying more.

Steve looked at her in surprise. ‘What do you mean, Nat?’

‘Well, I might have overheard some talking last night, between our prom birds, and, well...’

‘Yes?’

'Well, it's just that,’ the red-head started, but her attention was then pulled towards the playboy when she heard him let out a whiney sigh, 'Tony, could you please be a man and stop moping for a second? I have something you might... might want to hear.'

Tony merely gave a low grunt in reply, turning around on the sofa to face Romanoff. ‘You have all the attention I can conjure up for the moment. Go.’

'Okay, well, yesterday evening, I-' Natasha tried but her story got interrupted.

‘Ah, my good friends!’ Thor shouted with a smile as he entered the room. ‘I want to thank you for the feast the other day. It has been a while since I have feasted as royally as I have last night.’

‘Shush, Thor, Nat wants to tell us something important,’ Tony said in a teasing manner, looking at Natasha in expectation. ‘Must be a good story if she is so eager to tell me in the state I’m in.’

'A good story?' Thor asked, never losing his smile, 'Please, Lady Widow, allow me to join in.' He sat down on the couch next to Tony while Steve handed him a cup of tea.

Natasha stared at the three men for a second, 'Yes, maybe it's best if you hear this as well,' she sighed. 'Okay, so, it's about Loki and Peter…'

'Yeah, have you seen them come home last night?' Steve asked, a slight hint of worry in his voice.

‘I have, actually, I had apparently ended up in the wrong bedroom, I bet somebody was sleeping in mine,’ Natasha chuckled, while Scott Lang walked into the room.

‘Morning, everyone,’ he said with a smile, though his drowsy eyes betrayed him.

‘What are you doing here?’ Tony asked him, raising his cup to point him out. ‘You weren’t here before.’

‘No, no, you called me, remember? You said you were throwing the most amazing party—and you didn’t lie, let’s be honest—so, yeah, I came here somewhere around midnight and crashed in one of the rooms over there. Thank you,’ he said to Tony as he snatched the coffee out of his hands, ‘I needed that.’ He sat down next to Steve. ‘Captain.’

‘Lang,’ Steve replied with a smile and a nod.

‘Okay this is so cool, oh I said that out loud, it's just so great to be sitting here with you guys without, you know, trying to murder one another.' He smiled, nodding as he thought back to their epic battle on the airport.

'Murder one another?' Thor repeated with a questioning frown and he looked at his fellow Avengers.

'Oh, yeah! That's right, you weren't here. Well, never mind, we're all friends again, that's what matters most, right?' Scott smiled, 'I'm Scott by the way, Scott Lang, also known as Ant-Man,' he said as he raised his hand in a lazy wave while taking another sip of his, or rather Tony’s, coffee.

'Thor,' the god replied a little questioningly, 'Thor Odinson, god of thunder,' he added, 'It is my pleasure to meet you, Man of Ants.'

'Man of...?' Scott repeated, though a chuckle disrupted his sentence, 'Okay, this is so cool, anyway, you were discussing... something?’

'Indeed,’ Thor said with a smile, ’The good lady was about to tell us a terrific story about my brother and the Spiderboy.’

‘Spiderman,’ Tony sighed, one of his hands covering his eyes as he listened to his ridiculous companions rambling on while all he really wanted was to get some sleep.

'Wait, does that make Spiderman Man-of-Spiders?' Scott asked with a bright smile as he looked at Thor, who merely nodded at him, wondering what part of that was so amusing.

'Yeah, uhm, terrific,' Natasha quickly repeated, 'Well-'

'Hey, Captain, uhm, Steve, is it okay if I call you Steve?' Scott said, interrupting Natasha again, 'What was that drink you gave me last night, by the way?'

'It was mead, I’m afraid. Thor gave it to me, it's from Asgard,' Steve answered with a slightly guilty smile.

‘Mead, huh? Sounds great! Goes straight to the brain, that stuff. I don't know where this Asgard store is, but I'll be sure to check it out sometime!'

'Yes, I dare to say it is the finest drink of Asgard,' Thor spoke with a proud smile, 'Though,' he now turned his attention to Steve, 'it is not supposed to be enjoyed by mortal men.'

'Hey, hey, it's okay, big guy, I survived!' Scott quickly smiled in defence. 'Hey, does this make me some sort of secret god? A demi-god maybe?'

'Could you two please shut up?!' Tony interfered as his headache started to increase. 'Just let Nat tell her story so I can go to bed.'

'Didn’t take you for a bedtime story kind of guy, Tony,' Scott smiled, chuckling at his own joke. His smile soon faded as he saw the highly irritated eyes of his host peering at him. 'Yeah, okay, I'll shut up, sorry,' he said as he quietly took a sip from the stolen coffee.

‘Right,’ Natasha said, fumbling with the spoon in her hand. ‘Well, I had ended up in Loki’s room, by accident of course...’

‘Oh my g-, you slept with a god?’ Antman asked wide-eyed, his coffee nearly spouting out of his mouth.

'Wait, you did what?' Thor asked in a slight panic, looking at Natasha in all seriousness.

‘NO!’ Natasha shouted. ‘No, not like that. Anyway, I was sleeping there when the two of them came home, so I heard them talking...’

At that moment they heard two voices screaming upstairs.

'Peter!’ Steve shouted, immediately rushing up the stairs despite his slight headache.

‘And my brother!’ Thor shouted in worry, rushing after the Captain.

'Maybe it's best if we stay here,' Natasha warned Scott, who was already jumping to his feet to follow the two. 'I think the two of them can handle this just fine,' Natasha then muttered, 'I hope...'

‘Damn it, Steve, I said I wouldn’t exercise,’ Tony shouted in frustration as he got up from the couch with a huge sigh. ‘I’m on my way.’

Natasha and Scott watched their host slowly make his way up the stairs until he was out of sight.

‘Can I-’ Scott started, but Natasha shook her head, her eyes warning him one last time.

As the two blondes sprinted up the stairs, they heard a door violently swing open, followed by a young teen running down the hallway wearing nothing but his underwear.

'I AM SO SORRY, MISTER LOKI!' they heard the boy shout and Thor and Steve stared at each other for a second.

'What the...?' Steve managed to utter as his eyes followed Peter again, after which both men shouted ‘PETER!’ as they started to run after him. They raced down the stairs, straight past Tony who was still working his way up the stairs.

‘OH COME ON! I WAS ALMOST THERE!’ Tony shouted, panting louder now. ‘You couldn’t wait just a minute longer?!’ he yelled after his friends, turning around to follow them down the stairs again. ‘Damn super humans,’ he murmured under his breath, which was beginning to run out, causing him to hold onto the railing firmly as he moved with small steps down the staircase.

The three almost crushed into the teen as Peter came to a sudden stop. Without saying a word, he turned around, hardly seeming to notice them at all, and he walked up the stairs again towards his bedroom. 'Uhm, Mister Loki,' he said a bit hesitantly, watching the raven struggle to get back on his feet, as he had fallen out of bed. 'So uhm, well, funny thing is, uhm, this, this is my room, you are in my bed, haha-ha, uhm, yeah,' he tried to explain in a nervous chuckle. 'You need a hand there?' he asked, kindly offering the god his hand.

'What in the name of the Norns, Peter?!' Loki hissed as he slapped the teen’s hand away from him. He stood up on his own, his hang-over kindly reminding him of the force called gravity that nearly pushed him straight back to the floor again. Now standing in his underwear and a slightly too short baseball shirt Peter had offered him the night before, he looked at the teen. 'Why did you start screaming at me like that?!'

‘I don’t know! You startled me!’

‘I STARTLED YOU?!’

'Brother?!' Thor managed to speak, 'By Odin's beard, what is the meaning of this?!’

It was only now that the two noticed the three men, staring at them in the doorway. Thor looking the raven up and down in confusion, Steve supporting his million-dollar friend who was panting heavily as his eyes darted from Loki to Peter.

'M-mister Odinson!' Peter stammered, 'Steve, T-Tony...'

‘Good morning to you too, brother. I see the mead has done its work?’ Loki said with a smirk, trying to distract the attention from himself and Peter.

‘You have no clue...’ Peter chuckled, remembering fragments of last night, but he would have swallowed his tongue if he could as all eyes were now on him, especially Loki’s who were about to burn a hole through him if they could.

‘Alright, I call for a family meeting downstairs, now,’ Tony said sternly, walking down the stairs again. ‘And remind me to build an elevator! I hate these damn stairs!’ he shouted.

'Family meeting?' Loki frowned and then shrugged, 'Good luck, Peter. I am taking a bath, I shall pray for your wellbeing,' he mumbled as he forced himself to take a few unsteady steps forward, even though his head was screaming at him to just crawl back into the teen's bed.

‘Oh no, you will not, brother,’ Thor said with something that might have been called a malicious smile. ‘We are family, are we not?’

'… I am adopted,' Loki said, wanting to walk past his older brother. 'Now, if you will excuse me-'

But Thor firmly grasped his arm as the trickster tried to move past him. ‘Family is family, little brother. We are going downstairs, right now.’

'Why? For what reason?!' Loki snarled in defence, immediately retrieving his arm.

‘Perhaps you could tell us, brother,’ Thor said, his face bearing an investigative smile, ‘I am sure we would all like to know what happened last night.’

'I do not believe it is of your concern, Thor,' the raven replied in a dark voice.

'Uhm, Loki,' Peter interrupted the arguing Asgardians, 'Maybe we should just go downstairs, I mean, it's not like anything weird happened, right?'

'Peter, I am the god of mischief... I was in a dress, on a Midgardian festival for teens... Might I ask you what your exact definition of "weird" is? Because if this is not weird then I-'

'You four coming or what?!' Tony shouted from downstairs.

‘We’ll be right there,’ Steve shouted, looking at the others. ‘You heard him guys, downstairs.’ He turned around to walk down the hallway, but changed his mind and looked at the trickster and the teen once more. 'Though we will give you a minute to get dressed first.' He smiled a little and continued to walk down the hallway.