“So you are human.”
“Humans only live for what? Two centuries?”
“Less than one, actually, but with science progressing so-“
“Oh right, they are so fragile.”
“One moment you are playing with them, the next their necks snap.”
“Their bones are so frail, one wonders how they didn’t go extinct a thousand years ago.”
“We have science to help us in-“
“They probably have just been lucky.”
“Yes, when one is so weak it’s a matter of either intelligence or luck.”
“I’d go with the latter.”
“So do I.”
“Same for me.”
“For once we are all on the same side.”
“Loki!” Tony eventually screeched.
He had been soldiering on for twenty minutes now, and he was on the verge of a mental breakdown.
Loki had invited all of his children over.
All six of them.
Not that Tony wasn’t fine with that – Loki had been around for over a millennium and there was really no point in getting jealous for something that had happened before he was even born – the point was that Loki’s children were all adults.
Like, regular adults, wielders of magic and with the wicked common feature of being Loki’s offspring.
Loki being their parent was blatant in every word they spoke, they were exactly like Loki – all evil grins and sharp teeth showing in the best moments to put you back in your place – beside one little detail.
Differently from Loki, they didn’t like Tony at all.
Since the moment they had arrived and Loki had wandered off they had started basically threatening Tony of a discrete death that could have easily being masked as an accident, never saying the word but being very explicit nonetheless.
Tony had tried to behave at his best not to cross them since they were bound to become a family very soon, but now he had reached his breaking point.
“What’s wrong, darling?”
‘Oh, nothing in particular, just your kids not so subtly trying to make me understand they’d really like to see me dead. Soon.’
No, he couldn’t say that.
That didn’t mean Loki couldn’t read it in his yes, though.
“We have talked about this,” his tone was stern as he turned toward his children.
“We have done nothing wrong, father. It’s not our fault if the human gets scared easily,” Hela spoke also for her brothers, who nodded their haughty assent.
“Tony is a Hero of Midgard, and more importantly I know you.”
Tony could have been slightly offended, but right now Loki was his only hope.
“He’s short,” Vali snorted.
“And human,” Sleipnir supplied.
“He’ll be gone in what? Fifty years at best? Why wasting your time, father?” Narfi asked in what could have passed as a concerned tone if one wasn’t used to live with Loki and knew how to read those falsely innocent jabs.
“You will cut this off right now,” Loki ordered sitting next to Tony on the couch, “I understand that you may be a little startled since I have never displayed a particular fondness for humans before, but I don’t need you to criticise my choices. I have invited you here so that you could meet Tony, not insult him in his own home. I’m not asking you to like him, that is something even I cannot demand, but what I demand is for you to behave in a proper manner. Had you addressed your guest in such a way a few centuries ago you would have been sent to bed without your supper and wouldn’t have received your dessert for two weeks.”
It was funny to watch the six haughty mages lower their eyes to the floor.
Tony was about to giggle for how those six had just been scolded like little children, but thought better of getting a petty revenge and settled for trying to earn some points.
“There’s no need, Lokes. They weren’t offending me, they just love you and want the best for you.”
Loki shot him a look and suppressed a smile at his obvious attempt.
“Very well. Now despite what Tony has just said you will behave as I have raised you.”
Everyone in the room – even Tony who at the time wasn’t even born – could have objected that Loki himself was anything but polite, but they all thought better of it.
If there was something Tony and the Evil Six had in common was a well founded fear of Loki.
“Apologies,” Jormungandr hissed.
‘Oh, don’t worry, it’s fine,” Tony received a murderous look and scooted closer to Loki, who was mirroring his son’s hiss in his reproach.
“Very well,” Hela interrupted them flipping her long black hair over her shoulder, “Why is this so important? As Narfi said in fifty years we won’t even have to remember his name.”
Tony found almost amusing how those six had managed to mention his death in almost every sentence they had spoken since their arrival.
“Hela,” Loki admonished her.
“What? Your new conquest is a mortal, saying that he’ll die can’t be classified as an insult.”
“No, but certainly as a mistake. And I don’t like your tone.”
“A mistake?” Fenrir asked, raising a silver eyebrow.
“Yes, Tony’ll receive a Golden Apple.”
That earned him a puzzled stare by all the six of them.
“A… an Apple?”
“Why an Apple?”
“To a human?’
“Father, what’s going on?” Hela narrowed her eyes, and Loki smirked.
“As you well know, there’s always a reason behind my every move.”
“And it wasn’t simply showing us your mortal, right?” Sleipnir sighed.
Tony was trying – trying hard – to remember that those were Loki’s children and that he was supposed to get along with them, but it was becoming more difficult by the minute.
He was trying to put things in the right perspective, to reason and to understand their motives, but it wasn’t easy not to feel offended by the low consideration those six had of him; they considered him temporary, a pastime for Loki to discard when something else caught his fancy.
The only reason he was still biting back his tongue was the knowledge of what Loki was about to tell them.
So instead of insulting them back he smirked.
Probably not his wisest choice since he received six green murderous glares.
“No, my aim wasn’t parading Tony around. Maybe just a bit,” he smiled at Tony who snugly passed an arm around his waist.
“Just tell us so we can get over with this, father,” Fenrir whined.
“Oh, I don’t think so,” Loki sneered placing a hand on his belly, “I count on having you around to meet your new sibling.”