“I cannot believe you! You are so lucky that Heimdall and I are old friends or he would have expelled you and pressed charges. Your mother was so proud of you for getting into Asgard Prep! She wanted you to be challenged and put your intellect to good use and now she will be heartbroken! What college would accept you if I hadn’t intervened? And what of my reputation?” Odin bellowed. His face was turning puce and Loki almost worried for his health.
“No!” Odin’s voice cut right through his. “I don’t want to hear anything from you right now! You are to go to your room immediately and stay there. You’re grounded. For the next year – the next ten years! And starting Monday you are going to be attending Midgard with Thor!”
Loki thought about telling his father that in ten years he most likely wouldn’t even be living with his parents, so grounding him for that long was unfeasible, but then thought better of it. He’d never seen his father so angry. Sulkily, he stomped up the stairs, hearing Odin address Thor – who of course had been listening in – behind him.
“Thor, I am putting you in charge of your wayward brother. Watch over him and make sure that he stays out of trouble,” Odin ordered.
Loki rolled his eyes and strode into his room, throwing himself onto his bed.
He counted down under his breath and didn’t even reach nine before Thor burst into his room.
“I don’t think I’m allowed company while grounded, dear brother, so we’re going to have to save the hair-braiding and nail-painting for later,” Loki drawled, voice muffled by the pillow his head was buried in.
A sudden heavy weight landed on top of him and Loki grunted. “Thor! Get off!” He shoved his older brother to the side and rolled around to lie on his back.
“So what exactly did you do, anyway?” Thor asked, a broad grin stretched across his face.
Loki opened one eye to gaze sardonically at Thor. “I had to sign a nondisclosure agreement in exchange for the lack of expulsion and police involvement. It was all terribly official,” he said. “But I don’t know how Headmaster Heimdall knew! I was so careful!”
“I don’t even go to Asgard and even I’ve heard that nothing gets past him,” Thor said with a shrug.
Loki frowned. “I’ve managed it before! Though admittedly nothing to this scale. Oh well. I’ll take it as a learning experience.”
Thor’s eyes widened and he sat up. “Oh no. No way. You are not getting into anything under my watch. Dad’ll blame me. You heard him.”
“He never gets this mad at you,” Loki grumbled.
“Are you kidding?!” Thor exclaimed, “He nearly disowned me after that fight with Helblindi! He didn’t even threaten to kick you out!”
Loki smirked. “That was a fun time,” he said nostalgically, laughing when Thor punched him in the arm for that. “Besides, I’m adopted. He can’t threaten to disown me. That would be insensitive. Mom would ream him.” He lay back down on his bed with a sigh. “I can’t believe I have to go to Midgard. Public school is going to be miserable,” he whined.
“I can’t believe that you lasted two years at that place,” Thor said, “And it won’t be that bad. It’s got to be better than boarding school. Besides, you’ll have me.” He threw an arm around his brother and ruffled his hair.
Loki struggled for freedom uselessly before giving in and letting Thor wreak havoc with his hair. “Ugh,” he groaned, “Just kill me now.”
“Who is that?” Tony asked, whistling lowly. He slid his sunglasses onto the tip of his nose and gave the boy sitting a few tables away an appreciative look. The new kid was gorgeous: fine boned face with aristocratic features and pitch black hair swept away from his forehead.
As if sensing his gaze, the boy glanced over and leveled the most heated glare Tony had ever seen. It made him feel about three inches tall. It also kind of made him fear for his life. That was a grade-A glare.
Tony was a little bit smitten.
“I haven’t seen him before,” Steve said.
Tony looked over at the rest of his friends inquisitively. “Bruce? Clint?” They shook their heads. “Natasha? C’mon, you have to know.”
Natasha frowned. “He’s clearly new.”
“And none of us have shared a class with him yet?” Tony asked disbelievingly.
Clint bit into his sandwich. “He might not be in our grade,” he pointed out. At Natasha’s unimpressed look, Clint finished chewing before continuing. “Look at him: he’s pretty scrawny. Probably a freshman.”
“Steve, you did the freshman orientation this year, right?” Bruce asked, “And you said you hadn’t seen him.”
Steve nodded. “We get a lot of them, but I’d like to think I remember most of their names and all of their faces.”
Tony rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah, Mr. Model Student. I’m sure you’ll be student council president in no time.” He raised a brow. “So he’s a transfer? Two weeks into the school year? Interesting. There’s gotta be a story there.”
“Why don’t you just go over there and ask him?” Bruce suggested.
Tony smirked at his friend. “You know what, Brucie? I think I will.”
“Looks like someone beat you to it,” Natasha said.
“What?” Tony whipped his head around and saw Thor taking a seat beside the new kid, holding two trays from the lunch line. New kid unleashed that sexy glare on big and blond but relented after Thor presented him with a can of coke. “Can someone please tell me what I’m seeing right now?”
“Thor ditched us for the newbie,” Clint offered.
“He’s being friendly,” Steve said, “You know Thor. He probably wanted to make sure that the kid settles in well.”
Natasha made a skeptical sound. “That doesn’t look friendly to me,” she said.
“What does it look like?” Tony demanded.
She took a long sip of her water before answering. “It looks…familiar.”
Bruce speared one of his cheesy fries. “You think they knew each other before the new guy transferred? Thor did get him lunch. Maybe they’re old friends?”
“Or maybe they’re dating,” Clint said bluntly, finishing off the last of his sandwich.
Tony frowned at the small distance between Thor and the new guy, the way their shoulders brushed casually and how they stole pieces of food from each other’s plates. They definitely looked like a couple. “Dammit Thor,” he grumbled, put out that the hot new guy was already off the market.
Steve smiled a little, seeing the same thing. “They look kinda cute,” he remarked.
Unfortunately, Tony didn't catch sight of the new kid for the rest of the day. He didn't see Thor either, but that was hardly a surprise. Tony was in all the high level science classes while Thor favoured Politics and Economics which weren't Tony’s style at all and he took German as opposed to Tony’s Spanish. As for mandatory classes like English, they happened to be in different sections.
Their group did, however, meet up in the parking lot every day, though sometimes they’d be missing a member or two because of extracurriculars. From there they’d either hang out for an hour or two or split up, depending on what was going on in their lives.
Thor didn't have football today and though Tony didn't know what his workload was like, at the very least he would see him for a few minutes after school. So Tony was impatiently waiting by his car, leaning against the door and fiddling with his phone.
Tony looked up but sighed in disappointment. Wrong blond. “Hey, Steve.” He returned to browsing through his apps when a thought struck him and he perked up. “Wait a minute. You have English with Thor, right? Did he say anything?” Tony asked eagerly.
Steve looked thoughtful. “He apologized for not eating with us and said that he didn't want to overwhelm Loki.”
Loki. So that was his name. It suited him.
“What else did you find out?” Tony pressed.
Steve looked a bit sheepish. “That the new kid’s name is Loki?” he said.
Tony groaned dramatically. “Seriously, Steve, never become a spy.”
“Thanks for the solid career advice,” Steve said sarcastically, “What does it matter anyway? Loki’s with Thor, so he’s off limits.”
“Did Thor say they were dating?” Tony asked.
“Well, no,” Steve admitted with a frown.
Tony grinned triumphantly. “Then we don’t know for sure, so he’s not off limits. Besides, I’m allowed to be curious.”
“You’re always curious, if curious is code for horny,” Clint teased, walking up to them flanked by Natasha and Bruce.
“Ha, ha, very funny Clint. Please tell me you guys got some dirt? Steve here was useless.”
Bruce smiled apologetically. “After German class, he sprinted off because he wanted to walk Loki to his next class.”
Tony slumped. “Well it’s the guy’s first day; he won’t know where anything is. Thor could just have been being really helpful,” Tony argued stubbornly. He didn't like the looks his friends shared. “It’s a legitimate possibility!”
“You’ll have to ask him yourself. But that will have to wait until tomorrow,” Natasha said, nodding her head across the parking lot.
Thor and Loki had exited the school together and were heading in the opposite direction towards Thor’s recognizable car. Seeing them looking, Thor waved, but didn't change directions. Loki, on the other hand, marched straight towards Thor’s car.
“Someone looks a bit pissy,” Clint commented.
“Thor’s driving him home,” Tony moaned. “That means they drove to school together.”
“Is anyone else surprised that Thor didn't introduce us when they obviously know each other really well?” Bruce asked.
They all frowned, but Steve shrugged. “Thor did seem really concerned about him. I got the impression that he doesn't do well in large groups.”
“We’re five people! That’s hardly a large group!” Tony protested.
Natasha shook her head. “Tony, chill. Just wait till tomorrow. It’s not a big deal,” Clint said.
But it was a big deal. Tony didn't know what it was, but something about Loki had just…gotten a hold of him.
The first thing he did when he got home was try and find Loki on facebook, but no luck. Thor, weirdly enough, didn't have a facebook account – something about his father advising him against documenting any bad decisions made in youth – so it wasn't too much of a stretch to think that maybe his friend didn't either.
“Dammit,” Tony whined. It looked like he would have to wait till tomorrow.
So apparently Thor and Loki watching had become everyone’s new favourite lunch time activity. Tony seriously didn't appreciate watching them bicker quietly in a very old-married-couple fashion.
“They seem happy,” Steve said, oblivious to Tony’s ire. He was clearly Team ‘Thorki’ as Clint had dubbed them.
Clint, it seemed, was happy to play both sides. “But no PDA so far,” he noted, “That’s suspect.”
“Some people value privacy,” Steve protested.
“They could just be good friends,” Bruce said; he was still sticking to that theory. Right now he was Tony’s favourite.
Natasha snorted, but didn't add to the conversation. Didn't stop her from observing the duo either.
When the bell rang the others cleared off and it was only Tony and Natasha left. Natasha was taking her sweet time cleaning up her lunch while Tony was caught up with surreptitiously glancing at Loki, who had, unfortunately, not gotten less hot in the past day.
“Don’t,” Natasha said quietly. It took a moment for Tony to realize she was addressing him, since everybody else had left.
“What? I’m not doing anything!” he said with his most wide-eyed and innocent look.
She raised an eyebrow, unimpressed, keeping her gaze steady across the cafeteria. Tony looked back to see Thor with his arm thrown across Loki’s shoulder, grinning down at the slighter boy with open adoration.
Tony sighed. “Alright,” he conceded.
And that was that. Tony resolved to get over his minor infatuation. Surely there were hotter, more single options at Midgard High.
“Class dismissed. Don’t forget to hand in your papers,” Coulson announced from the front of the classroom.
Tony blinked out of his daydream and promptly head-desked.
“Don’t tell me you didn't do the paper?” Bruce asked, surprised.
Tony waved him off. “Nah, I finished it ages ago. Just didn't print it. Slipped my mind between all those online college level courses.”
“Banner? Stark? I don’t have all day. Surprising as it may seem, I’m not exactly eager to spend more time at school than I have to,” Coulson called.
Tony heaved himself out of his seat and followed Bruce up to Coulson’s desk.
“Nothing from you, Mr. Stark?” Coulson asked boredly as he accepted Bruce’s work.
“I happen to think that printed reports are a waste of our finite resources, Mr. Coulson. I’m abstaining out of protest. If you’re willing to accept a more tree-friendly approach, though, I can email you my paper in a matter of seconds,” Tony said, pulling out his phone.
Coulson didn't look up from where he had started packing away his things. “Rules are rules, Mr. Stark. I’ll accept the paper in printed format or not at all. Feel free to accept a zero for the cause you are so graciously supporting,” he said, snapping his briefcase shut. Coulson paused then, looking up at Tony. “Fortunately for you, I’m in a good mood today. If you go print out your paper now and hand it in before 3:30, I won’t even mark you as late.”
“Yessir. Screw the trees!” Tony bounded out of the classroom, Bruce following behind.
“So I’ll let everyone know you’ll be late then?” Bruce asked.
“Tell ‘em not to bother waiting,” Tony said, waving at Bruce and heading to the school library.
Tony entered the library, looking around a bit curiously. He wasn't a huge fan of hard copies when you could find all the information you could ever want on the internet. Needless to say, he hadn't exactly spent too much time here.
The librarian wasn't at her desk. Typical. Tony wandered further into the room, winding his way around bookshelves. He had just turned a corner when he spotted him.
There, curled into an arm chair with his long legs thrown over the armrest, was Loki. He was reading a thick book, green eyes scanning the pages at an impressive speed, immersed.
And Tony, well, he tried to resist, he really did. But he had never been too good at turning away from temptation.
“Please tell me that’s school-related reading you've got there, because if you’re reading in the library after school for fun then you’re just asking to be bullied.”
Loki sat up, his relaxed posture tensing. Slowly, he turned to regard Tony with narrowed green eyes. “This is, indeed, leisurely reading. If anyone takes issue with that, well, I’m not too worried. People usually know better than to mess with me,” he said lowly. His speech was lightly accented, much like Thor’s. Tony wondered if he lived in the same Scandinavian-rich neighbourhood that Thor did.
Leaning against a bookshelf, Tony crossed his arms. “Ooh. Sounds dangerous. A little hard to buy without the leather jacket and motorcycle. Last I checked, bad boys don’t wear button-ups.”
Loki smirked then, the curl of his thin lips deadly and way too attractive. “That would be much too obvious.”
“So you’re not a fan of the obvious, then?” Tony guessed. He didn't even try to subdue the grin that was stretching across his face. Thor was textbook obvious.
“No,” Loki agreed. He tilted his chin up, eyelids dipping low as he gave Tony a searching look. “Loki,” he said, after a moment.
Tony sat down in the arm chair across from Loki and held out his hand. “Tony,” he said and they shook on it.
They passed the next hour chatting, somehow never running out of things to talk about. Tony didn't learn anything substantial about Loki, not really, but he learned Loki. He learned that Loki was sarcastic, bitingly funny, smart and an expert at bantering. Also, Loki looked even more gorgeous up close than he had from across the cafeteria.
He was unfairly perfect.
Tony was pretty sure they could have talked right into the next day, but at four o’clock Loki pulled out his cellphone and sighed. Typing into it, he then replaced it in his pocket and stood up, stretching a bit and thoroughly distracting Tony.
“What’s up?” Tony asked belatedly, hopping to his feet as well.
“My ride finished football practice, so I’m free to go,” Loki said and it was then that Tony remembered that Steve and Thor had football practice on Tuesdays.
Before Tony could so much as ask for his phone number, Loki was already exiting the library with just casual ‘bye’ tossed over his shoulder. Cold.
Tony stood there staring after him for a moment before realizing that he was way late at handing in his paper to Coulson.
“Shit,” Tony cursed, without any real regret.
Tony was in a good mood this morning, practically humming as he stopped at his locker before classes started. He was actually on time for once, somehow having refrained from pushing the snooze button five times. The moment he shut his locker door and spun around, however, his good mood came crashing down.
Down the hallway he had a clear view of Loki, looking as good as he had the last two days, pulling out books from his locker. That was fine, just dandy. The bad part was that Thor was there as well, leaning beside Loki’s locker and laughing at something Loki had just said. Then he was stepping forward, scooping the books out of Loki’s arms and holding them out of Loki’s reach when the other tried to take them back. Loki gave up and shut his locker and then they left, walking close together as usual.
Tony was surprised by how annoyed he was at the sight. So what if Thor was holding Loki’s books? It was completely innocuous.
Except that it was just one more incredibly couple-y thing that they did; another mark in favour of team Thorki.
It bothered him right up till fourth period at which point he decided to skip out on lunch. There was no way he could stomach another hour of ‘Thorki watching’ as everybody tried to figure out whether or not they were an item.
Tony headed out to the parking lot instead, intending to drive out and grab something to eat. He had to walk past Thor’s car to get to his own, and who should he find perched atop it, silver headphones on and eyes closed to the world, but Loki?
And wasn't that the most damning evidence of Thor and Loki’s relationship? Thor loved that car and yet Loki had no qualms about lying across it with the flat of his boots pressed against the hood.
That should have been it. No more ambiguities. Relationship status confirmed. Loki was taken and Tony needed to back the fuck off.
So why was he approaching instead?
“Hey,” Tony said, nudging Loki’s foot lightly. Loki’s upper body flew up, pale hands pushing his headphones around his neck so that Tony could hear the tinny music blasting aloud. “Didn't feel like going to lunch either?” he said with a commiserating smile that felt more like a grimace.
Loki shrugged. “I was feeling a little claustrophobic,” he said.
Tony’s mind whirled. Was that a comment on Loki’s relationship with Thor, or was it meant to be taken at face value? Tony didn't bother asking. Instead, he blurted out, “Wanna come with me?”
Loki shrugged again. “Okay.”
Tony had no idea what he was doing.
Or rather, he did, but he’d prefer not to acknowledge it because having lunch with your friend’s boyfriend was probably not okay. Especially if you kept getting lost in his eyes and catching yourself staring at his lips.
Loki licked said lips and Tony’s eyes jumped back up to meet amused green.
Did Loki know? And if he did, was he mocking Tony or flirting back? The good friend in Tony didn't want Thor’s boyfriend to be less than faithful, but the rest of Tony just wanted to jump him right then and there.
Tony cleared his throat nervously and took a large gulp of his soda. “So,” he started, “Why’d you transfer to Midgard anyway?”
Loki took a bite of his shawarma and chewed thoughtfully. “I’m not supposed to talk about it,” he told Tony after taking a sip of his coke, “But let’s just say that Asgard Prep was pretty happy to see me go. What about you? I recognize your name; it’s hard to believe Howard Stark would send his son to public school.”
Tony let out a strained chuckle. “Yeah, public school wasn't exactly daddy dearest’s first choice, but he kind of ran out of options after I got myself kicked out of four boarding schools.” At Loki’s intrigued look, Tony elaborated. “Three out of four times it was because the deans’ proved that stereotype of having really hot daughters.”
Leaning forward, Loki smirked. “And the fourth?” he prompted.
Pulled forward as if magnetically, Tony leaned closer as well. “The fourth had a really hot son.”
Loki threw his head back and laughed. A real, proper laugh; the first that Tony had managed to elicit. It was infectious.
When Loki quieted, he locked eyes with Tony from across the table and Tony kind of felt like all the air had left the room
“So what do you think so far?” Tony asked, desperate to break the charged silence, “Of Midgard, I mean.”
“I have to admit that the education is not as subpar as I had feared,” Loki said, the sardonic edge in his voice softened, meant to tease rather than mock. He looked up at Tony from under thick lashes. “The company isn't so bad either.”
And Tony…he told himself there wasn't anything suggestive about that. That he was being as self-absorbed as usual to even consider that Loki might have meant Tony. No, Loki was undoubtedly referring to Thor, the same Thor that was probably behind Loki’s phone blowing up the entire ride to the Shawarma place until Loki had finally turned it off.
The fact remained that Loki was definitely talking about Thor. His boyfriend. Maybe he had even gotten kicked out of Asgard Prep on purpose to go to the same school as Thor. Because he was his boyfriend, and he liked him, maybe even loved him.
And Tony had no business being flattered by a comment that was not meant for him.
But he was.
“We should go!” Tony said. He stood up and picked up his tray, discarding the wrapper in the garbage can and dropping the tray onto a pile. Loki looked nonplussed by the abrupt change of topic, but followed suit.
When Tony met up with Steve, Natasha, Bruce and Clint in the parking lot at the end of the school day, neither Thor and Loki were anywhere to be seen.
Tony didn't let it bother him. Much.
Tony dragged himself to his usual lunch table and basically passed out on it. He was having a pretty crappy day. No Thorki sighting in the morning, but that was probably because he had been extremely late today after waking up with the worst boner caused by a very vivid wet dream of tall, dark and sexy not to mention completely untouchable.
He hadn't been able to stop himself from ducking out to the parking lot, hoping to take Loki on another lunch– not date, definitely not date – outing but the other boy hadn't been there. Tony was almost as disappointed as he had been at waking up to an empty room. Pulling out his phone, he sent a mass text asking someone to grab him lunch so that there was a good chance that one of them would come through. No reply from Natasha or Bruce, a ‘get it yurself’ from Clint and a frowny face from Steve.
Nonetheless, a few minutes later Steve was setting down a tray in front of him. Tony thanked him and popped a fry into his mouth.
“So, guess who was a no show at lunch yesterday,” Clint said as he sat down.
“Loki wasn't there. Thor sat with us and he seemed pretty upset about it. He was on his phone the entire time,” Bruce said, sitting beside Tony.
Natasha sat down across from them next to Clint and frowned at Tony. “You weren't there either. What a coincidence,” she said lowly.
Stuffing a few more fries into his mouth, Tony chewed furiously and pretended not to hear her.
“He didn't watch our football practice on Tuesday,” Steve said, sounding honestly crestfallen, “But Thor drove him home afterwards.”
“Trouble in paradise?” Clint asked, wiggling his eyebrows obnoxiously.
“It’s healthy for couples to spend time apart,” Natasha said. As the only one of them in a relationship – a long distance one with Steve’s childhood friend, no less – nobody could argue the point.
“Can we talk about something else?” Tony asked, near pleading, but it was lost under the sound of Clint’s voice.
“Look who showed up today!”
Tony stubbornly kept his gaze on his lunch. He didn't have to look to know what he’d see: Thor and Loki being too adorable for words, looking completely absorbed in each other. Never mind that Loki had been giving that look to Tony just the other day.
He spent the rest of lunch eating with a single-minded focus that his food didn't really require, ignoring the chatter around him. When the bell rang, Tony didn't hear it at all and Bruce had to nudge him out of his daze.
“Hey,” Bruce said, smiling sympathetically, “I just remembered that I need to ask Thor a question about our German worksheets.”
Tony blinked. “Why are you…?” He sat up then. “Brucie,” he said seriously, “You’re my favourite.”
Bruce rolled his eyes. “Yeah, thanks.”
Rushing to his locker, Tony was so focused on staking out Loki’s locker that he completely missed the presence that came to stand beside him.
“So, you were right,” a low voice whispered and Tony just about jumped out of his skin.
“Holy shit, babe, you’re gonna give me a heart attack sneaking around like that,” he exclaimed, whirling around to face an amused Loki. Tony winced at the endearment that had slipped out and hoped that Loki wouldn't take any offense.
He didn't seem to. Instead he just leaned against the lockers, a little too close to Tony. It was the same position Thor had taken at Loki’s locker Wednesday morning and it made Tony feel flustered.
“You’ll learn soon enough that I’m always right, but what are the specifics this time around?” Tony asked, trying to keep his hands busy by taking out books that he didn't actually need.
“Headmasters and their daughters. Sif was unpleasant, to say the least, but she was undeniably good looking,” Loki said.
Tony wondered absently if Loki was gay or bisexual. “Yeah, I’m pretty sure they look into that during the hiring process,” he said. “So, freshie, any clubs catch your eye? I know we probably don’t have as many as your old school.”
“I’m considering debate, but it’s all very up in the air. I’ll have to pick eventually, of course. Father expects me to get into an Ivy.”
“As if you’d accept anything less, Mr. This Public School isn't as subpar as I imagined.” Rather than look chagrined at getting caught out, an expression of delight lit Loki’s face.
“You’re paraphrasing. Rather poorly at that,” Loki pointed out. “What about you, Tony Stark? Any recommendations?” He smiled at Tony and it was not seductive at all, of course not.
Tony couldn't help the small surge of pride he felt when he said, “I’m captain of the science club, so I feel obligated to vouch for its greatness. Which it is, pretty great. After all, I’m captain – I guess I said that already.” Tony kind of wanted to smash his head into his locker.
Loki chuckled quietly. “And here you were warning me of getting bullied. I think that’s a little worse than some light reading.”
“Science is cool! And that book was the size of my head,” Tony said petulantly. And because he had absolutely no filter or common sense, he continued, “You should come by. We meet today after school. I’ll prove to you how cool science can be.” It wasn't the most compelling invitation and Tony didn't know why he was hoping Loki would agree, but he must have been because when Loki declined he felt a little crushed.
“Sorry. I’m on a bit of a tight leash these days,” Loki said, and he did look a bit apologetic, but he didn't offer any kind of rain check and why would he? It was just an excuse, it had to be, because he spent every day hanging out with Thor, his boyfriend, after school, so the proverbial leash couldn't be that tight could it?
“Right. I should get to class,” Tony said shortly. He snapped his locker shut and walked off without looking back.
Tony might have blown something up during club hours. It was mostly an accident.
Tony was very studiously ignoring the couple down the hallway, but he still somehow managed to see that rather than Thor taking Loki’s books from him, today Loki handed them over willingly. They walked off together, chatting easily and locked together in their own little world as they had been every day for the past week. It was so cute that Tony wanted to hurl.
Lunch went according to the new status quo. Tony and his friends openly watched Thor and Loki’s love drama from across the cafeteria. Only there wasn't actually any drama. Just easy conversation and laughing. Lots of laughing. And not just from Thor. Thor seemed to have no trouble coaxing smiles and laughs from Loki and it made Tony’s insides shrivel up in despair because he had been so damn proud of himself for getting Loki to laugh properly just the once.
The only consolation was that Loki often looked at Thor as if he were a stupid puppy, but the look was so fond that it was barely a consolation at all.
“Thor invited us to watch a movie at his place tonight,” Steve announced, seemingly out of nowhere, though honestly Tony hadn't been paying attention for the past ten minutes, so it could have been part of the conversation.
“What, he escaped the orbit of planet Loki long enough to remember us?” Tony asked. It was a touch too bitter and someone, probably Natasha, kicked him under the table.
“Huh, the big guy almost never invites us over,” Clint said.
“I don’t really blame him. His place doesn't seem very teenager friendly,” Bruce confessed.
Thor’s family was rich, not crazy rich like Tony’s but old money. His house looked a bit like a museum: tapestries hung up on the wall and priceless looking antiques balanced everywhere. It tended to make Bruce twitchy.
Steve was still eyeing Tony cautiously because of his earlier comment. “Apparently his folks are going out and the movie night was his ma’s idea.”
“Think we’ll finally get to meet the boyfriend?” Clint asked.
“That seems likely,” Natasha said.
Tony was pretty set on not going, but then he caught Loki’s eye at his locker and Loki winked at him and Tony definitely shouldn't go, but suddenly he was sitting in his car with Bruce riding shotgun and Steve in the back. Clint and Natasha were following closely behind in Natasha’s car and they got to Thor’s house just in time to catch his parents leaving.
Thor’s dad looked grumpier than Tony had ever seen him and his mother was friendly, if a little cold, as usual.
“They’re upstairs in Thor’s room,” Frigga said, smiling serenely and leading her husband by the arm to their car. “Have fun.”
Of course they were upstairs, alone, in Thor’s room. And of course neither of Thor’s parents seemed to mind. Loki had probably done the ‘meet the parents’ thing ages ago because he and Thor were so serious and now when they went up to Thor’s room Frigga probably winked at them while Odin handed them a box of condoms.
Tony imagined Loki in all his glory: lean and pale and beautiful. How Thor hadn't suffocated him to death was one of life’s unsolvable mysteries.
Torn between turning around and driving away and running up to Thor’s room and interrupting whatever was going on, Tony settled for gritting his teeth and following his friends into the house.
Tony shut the door behind him and they all idled by the stairs awkwardly when Thor didn't immediately come rushing down.
“Should we get them?” Bruce suggested nervously.
Tony wanted to bring up the fact that they could easily just yell for them to come down, but Clint seemed to have been waiting for the opportunity and started charging up the stairs. They all followed his lead – Steve blushing up a storm and Bruce lagging behind – because whether they wanted to admit it or not they were all a little curious.
When they arrived at Thor’s room – and the only reason they knew it was his was because it was wide open and the first one they passed – they didn't actually see anything scandalous, but the scene was still pretty telling.
Loki was lounging on Thor’s bed, not naked, but he was wearing a sweater that he hadn't been wearing at school. Either it was Thor’s or Loki kept spare clothes at Thor’s house. But that wasn't even the most couple-y thing they witnessed and Tony suspected that he might have been the only one, other than Natasha, to notice. Loki was indeed lounging on his back, head tilted up to meet Thor’s eyes while Thor stood above him in the middle of pulling a shirt over his bare chest.
“Hey guys!” Thor greeted cheerily, as if he hadn't just been caught post-something with his boyfriend that none of them had actually met. He pulled the shirt down all the way and tugged Loki up to his feet, manhandling the other easily. Loki allowed it with a simple roll of his eyes.
“Everyone, this is Loki. Loki, this is Clint, Tony, Natasha, Steve and Bruce,” Thor said, pointing to each of them in turn. “I hope you guys get along.” There was a bit of a warning in his lighthearted tone, like ‘You had better get along.’ It would be easy to assume that this was aimed at them to be nice to his boyfriend, but after spending time with Loki, Tony was pretty sure that the guy could be tricky enough to deserve that kind of warning as well.
Steve, naturally, was the first one to respond. “Nice to meet you, Loki,” he said politely, offering his hand. Loki shook it with a polite smile to match Steve’s. “You as well,” he said, aiming it at the group. When he met Tony’s eyes, he seemed surprised, but recovered quickly with a wider smile.
After they’d all said hi, Thor guided them down to the rec room, his voice boisterous as he related his entire week to them, seeing as he had missed the opportunity at most of their lunches.
Loki offered to make popcorn; he was so fucking comfortable in Thor’s home. Steve, boy scout that he was, jumped up to help, earning a sultry smile from Loki.
Tony was absolutely not envious. That would be stupid. Loki was with Thor. And if he was flirting harmlessly with Steve, it was probably because Steve was big and blond and Loki had a type. So any time that Tony had thought that Loki was flirting with him had evidently been a figment of Tony’s overactive imagination because Tony wasn't big or blond.
“I’ll pick the movie!” Tony basically demanded. Thor didn't seem to care either way and Tony took a little too long pondering what Loki’s favourite movie was before deciding that he didn't care and picking one at random.
Steve and Loki were still in the kitchen and if Tony strained he could hear them talking quietly beneath the conversation that Thor and the rest were having around him. When the two finally walked into the rec room with two big bowls of popcorn, Steve’s face was burning red and Loki was smirking.
Tony scowled, taking a seat at the edge of the couch. When the cushion shifted beside him, he somehow wasn't surprised when he looked over to see that Loki had sat down beside him. Thor quickly took up Loki’s other side and it was pretty much Tony’s own personal hell. Then Natasha sat down in the armchair on Tony’s other side and, yeah, that completed it: Tony’s personal hell.
Natasha actually didn't spend the entire movie glaring at him, daring him to take advantage of how Loki was leaning into his side just a little. Whenever she looked over, the expression on her face was more thoughtful than threatening.
When the movie ended Clint sat up declaring that he would pick the next one. “You really dropped the ball on that one,” he told Tony.
Tony just threw up his arms in defeat. “Whatever.”
Loki stood up, dusting off his jeans. “I’m going to get something to drink. You want a Dr. Pepper Thor?” he asked preemptively and Thor nodded. “Does anybody else want anything?”
“Water, please,” Natasha said.
“Me too,” Bruce said.
“I’ll take a coke, if you have it,” Clint called, head still buried in the stacks of DVDs.
“I’ll have one too,” Steve said.
Loki smiled innocently, not at all like the smiles he had given Tony over the past few days. “I’m going to need some help carrying all of that. Would you mind, Steve?” Tony couldn't be the only one hearing how Loki practically purred Steve’s name out. He glanced at Natasha for confirmation, but her face was always hard to read. He looked at Bruce instead and saw him looking inquisitively from Loki to Steve to Thor.
Speaking of, Thor appeared completely unbothered. Tony wasn't sure if it was because Thor was too oblivious to notice the flirting or if he was just really confident in his relationship.
“I've got it!” Tony volunteered. Steve’s face was caught between relief and suspicion. Loki smirked gleefully, an expression that looked a lot more natural than the wide-eyed one.
Tony followed Loki into the kitchen and as soon as they were past the threshold he confronted the him. “Okay, you can’t flirt with Steve like that,” he said. Really, he was speaking on both Thor and Steve’s behalf. It was a purely selfless move on his part.
Loki leaned his elbows against a counter. “Oh, but he blushes so prettily,” he said with an exaggerated pout.
“It’s not fair to him. Or Thor,” Tony said. ‘Or me’ he wanted to add, but didn't.
“Thor’ll get over it,” Loki said, rolling his eyes in an unconcerned manner. “Now are you planning on finally making a move or is it up to me?”
“Wha–” And okay – those were Loki’s lips against his. Tony might have moaned a little. It took him longer than it should have to push Loki away. “Whoa! Wait a second.” Loki relented, but moved his lips to Tony’s neck instead, placing butterfly kisses that made Tony’s heart stutter a little before finally sucking lightly at the junction of his shoulder. Tony didn't know where he got the strength to push Loki away again. “Seriously, Loki, this is not okay! Thor’s my friend and I won’t do this to him; I can’t.”
Loki didn't look affected. “It’s really not that big of a deal,” he said. His green eyes were locked onto Tony’s lips, which Tony parted on instinct. Loki leaned forward and Tony almost met him halfway before backing off again.
“Dammit. It’s a pretty fucking huge deal,” Tony hissed.
“If it bothers you that much then we don’t have to tell him.”
“We don’t have to – literally every time you open your mouth you keep making it worse!”
“Maybe if you would keep it occupied we wouldn't be having this problem.”
Tony kind of hated himself for still wanting to shove Loki against the kitchen counter and stick his hand down those skinny jeans. He ran a hand through his hair and groaned. “Look, you’re drop dead sexy and I like you, but I’m not going to help you cheat on Thor. I’m actually a little surprised myself; I haven’t exactly been the best friend for the past week, but it turns out I can’t go through with it.”
Loki looked shocked and then, more and more, horrified. Tony was weak enough to tell him, “Hey, don’t worry. We can keep this between us. I won’t tell him you kissed me, but Thor’s a great guy and you should probably stop hitting on his friends.” Loki didn't look appeased. “Unless, of course, you have an open relationship, in which case, it might be a little weird, but I could go for that.”
Loki blinked a few times and then turned on his heel and strode out of the kitchen into the rec room.
“Huh.” Tony frowned in confusion and walked back out to see Loki over where Thor was sitting on the couch, hands on his hips and eyes narrowed into that deathly glare of his.
“Thor, when exactly were you planning on telling your friends that I’m your brother?” Loki asked, voice low and dangerous.
Thor merely tilted his head to the side. “What are you talking about, Loki? Of course they know we’re brothers!”
There was a beat of pure silence, broken only by Bruce’s small voice. “Um, no Thor. We really didn't.”
And then Clint burst out laughing. “Oh my god!” he wheezed, “Oh my god! We thought you two were…” He couldn't finish the sentence, too overtaken with mirth.
“We thought you were dating,” Natasha explained.
“What!?” Thor exclaimed, a blunt look of shock on his face. “What would make you think that?”
“Well, you ate lunch together and drove to and from school together. You carried Loki’s books for him and walked him to every class all week, even once he knew where they were,” Steve said, ears burning red.
“Dad told me not to let him out of my sight!” Thor blustered. He turned to Loki then. “Not that you made it easy, skipping out on my practice and disappearing during lunch on Wednesday.”
“I’m not a child, Thor,” Loki protested.
“It doesn't help that you two don’t look anything alike,” Bruce added.
“He’s adopted.” “I’m adopted.” The, apparently, brothers chorused in a practiced manner.
Meanwhile Clint had calmed down. “Wait, that means that you two have the same last name, right?” he said. He aimed a pointed look at Natasha. “’Fess up, ‘Tash. There’s no way you didn't figure it out.”
Natasha shrugged, a small smile playing around her lips. “I asked around,” she admitted, “But it was pretty obvious they weren't blood-related, so that didn't rule out a relationship.”
Thor and Loki looked similarly disgusted.
Tony watched this all play out silently and then raised his voice above the din. “Just to clarify: you two,” he said, pointing between Thor and Loki, “are brothers and not at all dating?”
Thor and Loki both nodded. “Definitely not.”
Tony nodded to himself. “Okay then.” He then marched forward, took hold of Loki’s shoulders and pulled the other boy down into a very thorough kiss. He pulled back and said, breathlessly, “You and me, tomorrow night. I wanna take you out.”
Loki grinned, cheeks charmingly flushed. “Was there a question in there for me to answer?” he asked cheekily.
Tony kissed him again, quick and hard. “Loki apparently Borsson, will you go on a date with me?”
Loki reeled him in for another kiss by way of answering.
In the background Thor yelled, “That’s my baby brother, Tony!”
Tony grinned, kiss-dazed. “As long as he’s not your boyfriend, I can work with that!”