Tony knew that being allies with Asgard would have unknown consequences, but he thought they would be more along the lines of this alien race thought they knew more about inter-world relations than they did. Not 'hey we've had beef with Asgard for so long that we don't want to marry one of our people to one of theirs but an ally will do just fine'.
He was pretty sure that this wasn't a solid treaty, to have a Jotun that had been living on Asgard for half his life to marry a Midgardian. How was that going to help anyone? And shouldn't someone have told the Jotuns that arranged marriages weren't a worldwide thing before agreeing to this? And for that matter, who agreed to this? Who had met with them and said 'yes absolutely take Tony Stark, nobody on our planet wants him'? Who?? Cause Tony needed to smack them upside the back of the head.
"Yes friend Tony?" he responded, looking up innocently from his inspection of the newest poptart flavor.
"How... exactly did my name get mentioned in your peace talks?"
"Oh, the Jotuns asked for you specifically," he said easily, going back to look at the pastry.
"You are famous throughout the realms," Thor said, as if this wasn't world shattering news. "Your good intentions are as well known as your inventions. They thought you more trustworthy than any Asgardian, so." He shrugged, picking up the poptart and taking a tentative bite. He hummed happily and took another bite, this one large enough that it was half of the entire rectangle.
Tony blinked dumbly at that, but Thor didn't elaborate anymore, instead making his way through the box of food like it was a light snack. He'd met all sorts of aliens-- because yes Jane, that's absolutely what they are-- and not a single one had breathed a word of this to him. Why was he just finding this out now? Why did nobody tell him things? He was surely the dumbest, most ignorant genius in this century.
He sighed and left Thor to munch happily. He probably could have tried to get more information from him, but Thor was happy right now and the last time he'd tried to get more knowledge about the Frost Giants, he'd gotten angry and clammed up.
He would have liked to at least know the name of who he was getting married off to, if for no other reason than to make sure he could pronounce it by the time they met. It wouldn't make for a very good diplomatic meeting if he butchered his name so badly he ended up calling him 'goat' or something. Oh well, he'd have plenty of time to figure this out, he was sure.
He hated being proved wrong. Not because of his ego Steve, but because it meant he wasn't prepared. Like right now. When he was putting a peace treaty between two worlds at risk. Oh yeah, this was great. Again, he had to ask: why didn't people tell him things??? Apparently he'd been informed about his wedding two weeks before it happened! This was ridiculous; he couldn't work under this kind of pressure.
Was his husband-to-be made of ice? Was he actually giant sized or just a little bit bigger than humans? Or was it a wacky third option of being a little smaller and the 'giant' part of the frost giant name referred to their planet or palace or swords or something? Did they have powers? Was he going to accidentally freeze Tony to death because he thought Tony would be prepared and then all of a sudden Tony was dead and they were at war with Asgard again?
He couldn't live like this. Believe it or not, Tony was pretty easily stunned speechless-- so long as the event was actually stunning and not just mildly interesting Agent-- so by the time he got his voice back, he'd been pulled away by Asgardians who were told to prepare him for the coming nuptials. Apparently that included helping him dress, which Tony normally wouldn't have stood for, but he had no fucking idea how to put this- this thing on, and he didn't have time to figure it out. "Why is this so complicated," Tony frowned, watching as his Asgardian helpers added another layer on top of him.
"The idea is for your partner to enjoy taking it off," one of them said with a knowing smirk.
"Wouldn't it be better if it came off easily?"
They both got a look on their face to convey how amusing they found Tony's naive idea, and he grumpily kept his thoughts to himself after that, switching to asking about Jotunheim's history. He watched how they put it all on just in case his dear husband couldn't figure it out.
"Well it's... cold on Jotunheim," one of them said awkwardly.
Tony blinked. "Seriously? That's all you have for me? 'It's cold'? They're called frost giants, I'd be disappointed if they lived on a tropical beach. Actually I wouldn't, that sounds nice. Are we talking Arctic wasteland cold?"
They stared at him blankly.
"Ugh nevermind. What's his name?"
Tony rolled his eyes, knowing that he shouldn't take out his frustration on the two people that had gotten stuck with him, but come on. Who else would he be asking about? "The guy I'm marrying."
"Ah, Prince Loki."
"Woah woah woah. No one said anything about this guy being a prince!"
"Well you weren't going to be married to someone lowborn," he said, innocently confused as to why Tony needed this explained to him.
Tony made a noise of utter frustration but didn't move from his spot. God only knew what it would do to his costume if he tried to move before they were done. "Okay. What did you say his name was? Prince...?"
"Loki. Younger son of Laufey. His older brother is already mated, and far too old to marry one such as you, in any case."
'One such as you'? The fuck was that supposed to mean? "Okay well what-"
"Done!" One of them declared, pinning the garment together at his hip. "We made good time," he said approvingly. He put his hands on Tony's shoulders and turned him around. "Now, Prince Thor will be able to help you with the rest."
"The rest of what?"
They waved goodbye cheerfully after shoving him into a different room. "What the fuck," he breathed. This could not be normal behavior. He would break down crying if it was, he really really would, don't test him universe.
Thor was, unsurprisingly, very little help. When Tony asked him if Frost Giants were actually giants, he looked all confused and said, "Why would they not be?" so Tony had zero idea what he would be walking up to when the time came.
He was expecting to be disappointed in some fashion, so it was the most pleasant of surprises when he saw Prince Loki for the first time and realized that he was goddamn gorgeous. Admittedly not in the conventional way, but Tony had slept with dozens of models in his time so there was little that could impress him in that area. The first thing he noticed was that his skin was deep blue, with markings that looked like scars a lighter shade dashing across his cheeks. The most accurate way to describe the crystalline protrusions would be to call them horns, but there were several of them on either side of his forehead, trailing up to his hairline. Tony thought they were dreadlocks-- or some Jotun equivalent-- when he first saw him, but as he got closer, he saw that they were actually massive braids, each strand made up of smaller braids, then smaller ones inside those. The most disconcerting part of his appearance was definitely the vivid red of blood vessels in his eyes, shining clearer than any healthy humans’ did, but even that was easy to get past. He was actually taller than Tony, which put him out a little bit, but he wasn't giant sized, and that was always nice. He simply had a foot and a half on him. Not ideal, but better than someone four times his size.
After taking in the differences between Prince Loki and humans, Tony noticed what he was wearing, and immediately felt grumpy. Loki got to be shirtless, covered only by a thin, long necklace and a mound of furs at his back, and Tony had to wear fifty million layers? It they didn't keep the temperature down, those first four layers were all going to be drenched in sweat by the time he got them off. Okay to be fair, Loki's skirt looked to be a few layers itself, but nothing like the monstrosity Tony was sporting. He nearly pouted, but he remembered that this was actually important just in time to stop himself.
The ceremony itself was a blur, mostly because it was in a language Tony didn't speak. Or rather, two languages he didn't speak, which was something of a blow for his ego.
Next thing he knew he was in a bedroom alone with Loki, the door closed firmly behind them. Tony frowned. "I thought there'd be a feast. Don't Asgardians love feasts? The way Thor talks, the rarely have a meal that isn't one.
"The feast is to come after," Loki explained, looking amused, but not in the same condescending way Tony's Asgardian helpers had when he didn't know something basic.
"What so we fuck and then everyone can eat?"
Loki laughed, and Tony found he quite liked the sound. "The feast is this time tomorrow." He brushed his fur cape off, tossing it towards the chair. He shrugged when it missed, and leaned back onto his hands, which he'd placed behind him on the bed. "I believe the idea is to give us time to either love each other or kill each other before the celebration happens."
"Huh. Guess that makes sense."
"Traditions occasionally aren't terrible."
"Not near as often as I'd like."
"What a shame."
"Indeed." Loki watched, amused smirk on his face as Tony struggled to get even the first layer of clothing off. He got to his feet to help only a few moments later. "Here." He replaced Tony's hands with his own, undoing the wrap of fabric with ease. "It was meant to be taken off by a partner."
"Well hooray for you."
Loki hummed. "Hooray for me indeed." His eyes were fixed to Tony, looking actually interested in him. Though how he could be when Tony's best features were buried at the moment, was a mystery.
He tried to think of it flippantly, but heat was growing in him. "So," he said, trailing a finger up Loki's chest to his necklace, "does this mean something? Or is it just decorative?"
"Decorative." Was it Tony's imagination, or did he sound a little breathless? "Once upon a time it meant something, but not anymore. A necklace is part of the wedding outfit though, so we wear them."
"I'm glad one of us knows the meaning of the clothes we're wearing," he muttered, still cross at no one explaining things to him.
Loki raised an eyebrow. "They did not tell you?"
"Ah." He dropped one swath of cloth on the floor. "This is not the outfit for any Asgardian marriage."
"It isn't," Tony repeated flatly. "Are you shitting me?"
Loki's smile widened, hand going over Tony's head, a piece of fabric in tow. "In arranged marriages, when one is considered the more... attractive of the pair, it is seen as important to remind their spouse of the gift they are being given by being allowed to marry them. As such, you are wrapped. Every moment," he said, voice dropping to an intimate whisper, "is to remind you of the gift you are being given. A reminder to not mistreat or hurt."
"That hardly seems fair," Tony replied, voice just as quiet as he looked up at Loki, feeling small in a strangely comforting way. "You're in this just as much as I am."
"Fairness belongs to two beings of equal value." He had to bend far to touch his forehead to Tony's, but he didn't care. The spikes on his forehead were sharp on the top, but pressed flat like this, all Tony could feel was the exaggerated cold of them in comparison to the rest of him. "And Tony... I might have only met you, but I know when I do not measure up."
Tony surged forward, kissing him for all he was worth-- which wasn't half as much as Loki seemed to think. Loki's skin was cool, but his mouth was like a molten fire, burning through Tony in the best way. "Don't talk like that. You're worth just as much as me."
Loki gave a half smile. He didn't believe Tony, but he was willing to humor him. "I suppose you have the rest of your life to convince me."