“What the fuck are you doing here?” Asked Tony, still keeping the repulsor directly aimed at Loki’s head.
“If I remember well, you owe me a drink.” Calmly answered Loki, completely ignoring the weapon pointed towards him.
“I’m not nearly drunk enough for this.” Perfectly knowing that it was a bad idea, he lowered his gauntlet, and walked towards the mini-bar he kept in his workshop. After all, he doubted he could do anything about it if Loki decided to attack him. “Aren’t you supposed to be in Asgard, like locked in a dungeon for eternity?” Asked Tony while pouring another drink for his ‘guest’ and refilling his glass.
“Aren’t you the one who gave Thor that data about me being brainwashed?” Curiously asked Loki, while taking the whiskey glass he was handed.
“That doesn’t answer my question, I thought that the All-Daddy had decided that you were in full possession of your mind at the moment of the attack.”Answered Tony, while downing his glass.
“ You’re right, the All-Father wanted me locked up for eternity, but he just used the invasion as a pretext for it. And do you really think that Asgard dungeon could keep me locked up for really long?” Loki pushed his glass away after sniffing the content, his disgust clear on his face.
“Okay, so you escaped and you just thought you would come and visit me, your enemy, while a whole city of gods are looking for you?” Said Tony, while pouring himself another glass.
“Well, they would probably be looking for me if they knew I escaped, but I guess being in solitary confinements has it’s perks. And I came here to propose you a deal. You saw what was in that portal. You know something, someone big is coming. I can’t fight that alone, so I would be interested in a partnership with you.” Offered Loki.
“And what makes you think that I would have any interest in allying myself with the guy that tried to invade earth? And if something really is coming, the Avengers are there to defend the earth.”
“You know that I was brainwashed for the invasion, you wouldn’t have tried to prove my innocence to Thor and Odin if you weren’t sure. And I don’t see any of the Avengers here. Do you really think they would be enough to stop what you saw?”
And it all it took for Tony to accept the deal, after all, what did he have to lose? The worst Loki could do was what, kill him? And he still had nightmares about what he saw in the wormhole.
Tony didn’t see Loki for a whole month after that night, and he began thinking that he had hallucinated the whole thing.
He spent all his time pretty much alone, drinking and inventing. He missed JARVIS so much, and FRIDAY, his new AI, just wasn’t the same thing. He got called a few times on Avenger business, but he didn’t go out when it wasn’t necessary. He continued to bring new design to SI, but since Pepper had quit her job, nobody came to bother him to sign paperwork in the tower.
When Loki came back, they slowly started to plan for the upcoming battle against Thanos. They first localized all the infinity stones that were on heart, and then tried their best to contact their owners.
Vision, of course was the easiest to find, since he lived in the compound along the other Avengers.
Next was Dr. Strange, or the Sorcerer Supreme, as he called himself. He agreed to come by the tower in a few weeks, to help them plan.
Loki too had an infinity stone in his possession, the Space stone he had stolen from Asgard while escaping.
Tony, knowing how the Avengers would react, kept his alliance with Loki hidden from them. Plus, it’s not like any of them came by the tower these days, so he didn’t need to worry about them too much.
Surprisingly enough, he got along pretty well with Loki. They were pretty similar and they didn’t get offended by each other snarky comments. They both used it as a defence mechanics when each others questions got too personal.
Loki also didn’t question Tony’s quirks, like when he wouldn’t take anything that Loki handed him. That meant a lot for Tony, because it was the first time he didn’t feel the need to invent fake reasons for all his ‘eccentricity’.
In return, he also didn’t ask questions about Loki’s family or childhood when he realized that it was a sore subject for him. After all, he could understand not wanting to talk about it.
They both also didn’t mention their soulmates, and didn’t ask questions about wether or not the other had found his.
Loki never stayed for long when they were planning, and also declined any offer of having his own room or floor on the tower even if he frequently ended up spending the night in one of the guest room of the penthouse.
He would also sometimes disappear for days on end without telling Tony beforehand, and wouldn’t tell him where he was when he came back. Tony suspected that Loki had a soulmate, or at least a significant other he liked to visit.
They first ended up in bed together three months into their alliance, which proved wrong Tony’s theory about Loki having someone in his life. It became a somehow regular thing after that. It didn’t mean anything, it was just a way to let off some tension. At least that’s what they told themselves. After Loki left that night, it didn’t stop Tony from having a pretty bad panic attack. He didn’t regret what he had done with Loki, but still, he unsurprisingly had some trust issues and it had been a long time since he had let someone get as close to him as that, even if it was only physical.
It didn’t change much in their relationship, and Tony was grateful for that. After all, what they were planning could mean the survival of half of all living creature. He couldn’t afford a distraction right know.
They first argued around four months into their partnership. As Loki and Tony got along pretty well, they never had an argument before. It was about Tony’s drinking, because Loki didn’t approve. He had let it passed before, but when Tony showed up in the room where they were planning too drunk to walk in a straight line, which took a lot of alcohol considering Tony had years of experience, he decided that he had enough.
Loki threw in ultimatum at Tony, either he would stop drinking, or their alliance would be over. After all, Loki could ally himself with literally anyone in the universe now that he had all the information that Tony had given him about the position of the infinity stones.
Tony of course tried to stop drinking, he didn’t want to find himself alone all over again, but years of bad habit and heavy drinking were hard to change overnight. When one week later, Loki didn’t show up as he usually did in the planning room, Tony wasn’t surprised. After all, all his life he had done nothing but drive people away. He was a fool for thinking it would be any different with Loki.
Loki leaving still affected him way more than what he had expected. He missed having someone to banter with, someone who could follow his thought process without having to be explained everything, someone who hadn’t judged Tony before knowing him.
He lost all motivation to do anything after that. He spent his whole days in bed, not eating, but not drinking either. He still went out on Avengers business, but got injured a lot more in fight, due to his slower reflex. He didn’t go to the infirmary with the rest of the team afterwards and if any of them noticed how he had stopped talking and commenting everything over the com during the fights, they were probably grateful for it.
He stopped trying to convince the team that they should prepare for the upcoming battle against Thanos, because he didn’t even care anymore if they would win or not. He sure felt bad for all the innocent people who would die in it, but he had tried to protect people, and nobody had cared. So he was done trying to please and save everyone. Damn he missed Loki.
When Ross came up with the Accords, it gave him a little bit of motivation. If he could get the whole team to sign, he could easily retire without having to worry about what would happen to them. He didn’t even know why he still worried about them, seeing that they never had for him, but maybe the fact that his soulmate was on that team didn’t help. He had given up on Steve a long time ago, but he still couldn’t bring himself to forget him.
When he was laying on the cold floor of the bunker in Siberia, watching Steve limper away with his soulmate, not Tony, his real soulmate, there was only one thing going through his head. Finally. He would die there, and he wouldn’t need to care about anybody anymore.
The only thing he regretted was that he wouldn’t get to see Loki anymore. He only realized then of how deep he had fallen in love with him. He would give anything to just catch a glimpse of his smile again. Not his false and sharp grin, the one he liked to flash to scare his opponents, his real smile, so rare that Tony had only seen it twice. Or to hear his laugh, or to see his face, or even just to feel his hand in his.
He thought he saw a little green spark before losing consciousness, but he didn’t have any time to react before the darkness was taking over.
He woke up seconds later, and the first thing he saw upon opening his eyes was the worried face of Loki over his.
“Anthony, stay awake, you better not fall asleep now, come on Anthony.” Was the first thing he heard.
“Lo-Loki, what are you doing here? Is-Is that really you?” Stuttered Tony, fighting not to close his eyes.
“Of course it’s me, Anthony, did you just expect me to leave you to die here? Of course I came when I heard you calling me.” Loki answered, while slowly letting green energy seep from his fingers and slowly crawl towards Tony. “Now stay calm, please. I’m doing my best to heal you, but I’m not used to using this kind of magic.”
“I love you.” Was the last thing Tony had the time to say before finally succumbing to unconsciousness.
When he woke up again, he was laying in a comfortable bed, in a small room he didn’t know. He slowly remembered the last events, and wondered if he had hallucinated the part with Loki.
He got his answer when he spotted Loki sleeping in a chair in the corner of the room, a book still open in his hands. He tried to stand up without waking Loki, but as soon has he put his feet on the floor, Loki woke up.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t want to wake you.” Quickly said Tony.
“Don’t be a fool, I was waiting for you to wake up. I don’t mind being waked up. But we need to talk.” Answered Loki, taking a slightly more serious tone towards the end.
“I know.” Was all that Tony answered.
They slowly made their way towards a living room, which would be spacious enough to hold the entire Avenger team in it. They sat in a big sofa, but at opposite end so that they weren’t touching.
When Tony looked out of the window, he nearly had a heart attack when he realized that the sky was a deep purple instead of a clear blue. They clearly weren’t on earth.
“Where are we?” Worryingly asked Tony.
“A place were you won’t get hurt ever again.” Was all that Loki answered.
And after that, Loki managed to get the whole story of the ‘Civil War’ out of Tony. He in turn told him how when he had left Tony a month ago, how he couldn’t bring himself to ally himself with anybody else, how he did nothing but think about Tony, and was about to come back to the the tower when he felt Tony’s mind calling him. When he had teleported next to him, Tony was already falling asleep and he had just barely managed to heal him before it was too late.
They ended up in each other arms, just savouring each others presence for the time being, neither of them willing to break the moment.
One week later, Tony told Loki about his soulmate, and asked Loki what he could possibly see in him when even his soulmate didn’t have any affection for him. Loki reassured him by telling him how Odin had managed to wipe his soulmark off of him, without ever allowing Loki to see it.
They spent the following month like that, opening up to each other, sharing things that they never had with anybody else before.
For the first time in his life, Tony was happy. Sure, he still woke up every night, plagued with nightmares, he still had to be reassured frequently by Loki that this was real, and that he would never leave him alone again. But each time he heard Loki tell him that he loved him, that he was the most precious thing he had, he forgot everything but the present.
Two month later, they found themselves watching Thanos fight what was left of the Avengers on earth. When he ripped the last infinity stone out of Vision’s forehead, they calmly waited together, each of them ready to follow the other one if only one of them turned to dust.
Tony was surprised not to feel anything when he saw Steve slowly be blown away by the wind. Loki’s hand stayed firm in his and they kept that position for hours, silently celebrating together.
Loki gave him a golden apple after one year of living together peacefully.
It took Tony years to realize that the shield on his skin was slowly becoming paler and paler. It would never go away completely, but Tony didn’t care anymore. He didn’t need to share a soulmark with him to have found his soulmate.
All his life, Tony had done nothing but try. But he didn’t need to anymore. He was enough for Loki. He wished he didn’t need to get up, that he could just spend his whole time laying close to Loki in bed. So he did just that.