The sight in front of Tony’s eyes was something he could have never been prepared to.
Right in front of him, curled up under the Christmas tree, there was a small silver foal with a green ribbon around his neck.
Tony didn’t know much about horses, but from the position of the animal currently in his living room he could guess the little beast was asleep.
Not that he was fully sure that what his eyes were showing him was real since he still hadn’t had his coffee, but he had a fair idea of who could be behind that.
“Are you already awake, my love?” Loki purred in his ear, arms slipping around his waist.
“Hi, Lolo. Merry Christmas,” he greeted him, turning around to kiss the smiling god.
“Merry Christmas to you, Anthony,” he cupped the man’s cheek and his light smile widened as he stroked his thumb over the edge of Tony’s goatee, “Do you want a cup of coffee, my love?”
“Uh? Yeah,” Tony was both too asleep and too lost in Loki’s intoxicating green eyes to come up with a better answer.
“For you,” Loki curled his fingers and Tony’s favourite mug appeared out of thin air, full of the best coffee Tony had ever tasted in his whole life; Loki hated coffee with a passion and strictly sticked to tea, but he always prepared Tony the best black coffee.
“You’re a blessing, Lolo.”
“You may be the first person in over a thousand year to say that.”
“Only ‘cause you still haven’t opened a coffee shop,” Tony hummed, and Loki rolled his eyes as yet another nonsense that came out of the man’s mouth before he had fully woken up.
Tony may have still been half asleep, but he couldn’t miss how Loki’s eyes turned affectionately toward the Christmas tree, reminding him of why he had started his day more puzzled than ever.
“Lokes, please stop me if I’m hallucinating, but why is there a horse in the living room?”
“It’s Christmas,” Loki simply answered.
“So you were listening to me?”
Tony only half remembered the night when he had asked Loki for a pony for Christmas, only to piss him off for the whole horse debacle of the myths, but he had never though Loki would have taken him at face value.
“Did you seriously get me a pony for Christmas?”
Loki stared at him as if he had just said the sun set in the east.
“It’s sweet that you listen to me even when I’m drunk, but this is a penthouse, there’re no stables in the Tower and I’ve no idea of what I could do with a pony.”
“I didn’t get you a pony for Christmas,” Loki scoffed.
“No. That’s Sleipnir, my son.”
Tony’s mouth fell open with no way for him to stop it.
A thousand thoughts were racing in his mind, and his as usually broken brain-to-mouth filter settled for the least important one.
“Why the ribbon then?”
“I thought it was Midgardian custom to dress up for Christmas.”
Tony was still gaping, looking between Loki and the silver foal asleep under the Christmas tree. The broken filter did the trick again.
“There are only four legs.”
“When he’s asleep he looks like a normal foal since he curls his legs under himself.”
Tony kept staring between the two of them, his expression unreadable, as his brain tried to process what Loki had just revealed, “So, your son, uh?”
“You told me Christmas is spent with the family. I couldn’t abandon neither of you.”
To that, Tony knew how to answer without much need for a functioning brain.
He crossed the distance between himself and Loki and pressed his mouth against his, kissing him deeply and sweetly until the god’s arms wrapped around him.
“So, uh, your son’s fine with nicknames? I don’t think I can pronounce his name without twisting my tongue in a knot.”
“His name’s Sleipnir, it’s not that hard.”
“Says the one who named him.”
“Why don’t you just ask him?” Loki prompted him, tugging him toward the Christmas tree were Sleipnir was still sleeping.
It was kind of endearing to witness to the way Loki crouched next to his son and caressed him lightly not to startle him, and the smile that appeared on his face when the foal opened his sleepy emerald eyes on him was even sweeter.
“Good morning, Sleipnir.”
“Good morning, Móði.”
Had someone told Tony he would have woken up on Christmas morning to hear the voice of a horse inside his head he would have at least required some alcohol to be included into the picture.
Instead here he was, staring at the son of the God of Mischief, with eyes as wide as saucers.
“That’s him, Móði? He doesn’t seem so bright,” the foal commented, getting up on his eight legs.
Tony needed to sit down.
“He never is in the morning. However, he is Anthony, yes.”
“Nice to meet you, Anthony. My name is Sleipnir.”
Honest to God, the foal offered him a hoof to shake.
“H-hi. I’m Tony.”
“You like nicknames,” Sleipnir whinnied when his hoof was shaken, clearly glad of being treated as an adult, “So do I.”
“Is there one you particularly prefer? I’m sorry but your birth name is kind of a mouthful to me.”
“My Móði calls me Slir. I suppose you could do the same, everything considered.”
From the way Loki’s jaw tensed that wasn’t something he had expected out of his son, not even in the slightest if he had let his expression slip, and Tony couldn’t really understand how he felt at being considered as a sort of a step-parent by a eight legged horse.
Said horse didn’t seem to notice what kind of emotional mess his words had provoked and happily trotted toward the floor-to-ceiling windows to enjoy the view displayed in front of him, but did a double-take when he seemed to remember something.
“I’ve been told there’s a huge tradition on Midgard regarding gifts and Christmas. Where are mine?”