Chapter 1: Sugoi Makes His Appearance
“Please tell me you’re going to appeal to my humanity.” The tall blue-eyed god drawled before him.
‘Blue eyes? Best I remember Siofra was bitching over how terrible a customer he was because he was to please because he insisted on a particular shade of green. Something about his mother insisting it was the colour of his eyes…’ The shorter male shrugged, pulling a bottle of bourbon out from beneath his bar, “Dunno. It’d be a bit hypocritical for me to do that.”
Loki tensed, “What?” Green momentarily sparking from within the frosty blue depths.
“Mhm.” A snarl was his only response as Loki slammed his sceptre against the jewel glowing in the other’s chest. Tony arched an eyebrow as it failed to do anything, “Performance issues? Not that uncommon…”, ‘Okay, I probably deserved that.’ Tony let out a whoop as he freefell towards the bustling street below… the Armour catching him just in time. A grin pulled at his lips as he rocketed back up to the penthouse window, where a plainly annoyed Loki was staring down at him, “I mean, honestly Lokes…” He swerved to one side to avoid the fireball, “…just because the fall wouldn’t have killed me… doesn’t mean I want the mortals to know I’m not like them.”
Tony beamed at him, stepping out of the armour onto the floor before him, and letting the truth of his nature show in his suddenly draconian eyes, “I’ve been playing mortal since the Romans conquered my territories, little Jotnar.” As Loki stared at him in increasing horror, Tony cocked his head to one side, in a startlingly reptilian manner, “But I don’t think you’re the one at the helm, are you?” He hummed, blue-glazed green caught by goldshot red, his voice deepening and hoarsening as he pulled the fire burning in his soul forward, gold starting to visibly gleam within his veins, “I suggest you release the little godling Titan… or do I need to remind you why it is your race feared me?” At the lack of immediate response, he took a step forward, grasping hold of the stunned Jotnar’s face, letting the fire of his nature burn through his flesh.
Loki let out a shriek of pain, wrenching himself out of the other’s hold, his skin bleeding blue as his Jotnar nature forced itself out of it’s chains in order to sooth the burn of Dragonfire, “How dare you?”
Tony snorted, “You’re welcome.”
“Why in the Nine would I thank you for burning me and forcing me into this form?”
Tony let out a mild hum, arching an eyebrow, “Dragonfire is a purifier you know.” He cocked his head, “He still rattling around in your skull? Or are you alone now?”
Loki froze, staring at him, “How?” He shook his head, “What are you?”
“Sugoi, god of fire, the sky and storms.” He grinned at the younger god, “Pleasure to meet you at last Liesmith. My friends keep refusing to introduce me to you… something about Unholy Chaos if we met up or something.” He shrugged, and strolled back over to the bar, “So, I reckon we have about five or ten minutes before Thunder and the rest of the boyband show up… you want that drink?”
Loki stared at him in shock for several moments, before bursting into hysterical laughter, “Yes, I’ll take that drink.” He snorted, tossing his sceptre aside and sinking onto a barstool, “If nothing else, Thor’s face should be a picture.”
“True that.” His companion toasted him with a bottle of vodka as he mixed the younger god up a cocktail, “Oh, and if you’re wondering, I’m going by Andoni Edward Stark at the moment, though I assume you did the research.” He grinned, “I’m seeing how long it takes SHIELD to work out I’m not human.”
Chapter 2: Guestright
Tony has fun arguing with the Avengers.
‘The Avengers are landing on the roof, Sir.’
Tony shot Loki a wicked smirk, “Are they now? Mind letting them and Selvig down then? Not like we have anything to hide.” Loki snorted into his drink, grinning at the other man as he perched on the bar between them. Tony beamed at him, “What’s the bet Thor tackle-hugs you?”
Loki grimaced, “High. Either that or he hurls Mjolnir at me.”
Tony cocked his head and shoved a bowl of preserved meats at the younger god, “Fancy earning yourself Guestright?”
Loki grinned wickedly, “Meat and salt Andoni? Really?” He shoved a strip of cured meat into his mouth, smiling at the taste.
“Well I had to trigger my wards somehow, and while it only works if I offer the meat and salt to my guest, I figured if I made it as unpalatable as possible, there was less chance of some random eating it.” He cocked his head, “I guess Jotuns don’t have as low a tolerance for salt as humans or Aesir.”
“BROTHER!” Thor dove through the doorway, brandishing his hammer, “Step away from Stark and release him from your control.”
Loki rose to his feet, “HOW DARE…”
Tony rolled his eyes, “Loki, SHUT UP!” As silence fell, with the shocked Avengers pivoting to stare at him, he moved to stand between the two groups, his showman’s grin on full display. “Hypothetically, what would SHIELD’s position be if Lokes was in the same position as Clint for the early part of the Invasion?”
Rogers shrugged, “It wouldn’t be his fault, but it’s a moot point… isn’t it?”
Loki bristled, but allowed Tony to take the lead, “Not exactly.” His eyes flicked to Romanov as she slunk around the room, “One more step Widow and you’ll activate the wards.”
Barton sneered, “Why are you defending him anyway? He’s a monster.”
“And I’m the Merchant of Death, Barton.” He cocked his head, “How’s Duquesne these days?” At the choked sound, he turned back to face Thor, knowing he’d be both the hardest sell, and the best ally to persuade, “When I saw Loki back in Stuttgart I noticed his eyes were blue… which struck me as odd since I’ve been hearing rants from mutual friends for years about devious green-eyed pricks. When Barton woke up from the mind control, it clued me into what was going on… so I phoned a friend so to speak.”
Romanov stared at him, “What did you do?”
Loki smirked and took another sip of his drink, sinking down onto his barstool once more, as Tony continued spinning his web, “Lord Sugaar sends his regards Thor.”
Thor groaned and dropped the hammer, sinking onto a stool to the side of Loki and grabbing a bottle of his own, “Norns. If Sugaar intervened…”
Loki toasted him with his own glass, “He burned the Titan’s control out of my veins.” A smirk pulled at his lips, “Andoni has granted me Guestright for as long as I need to recover fully.”
Rogers stared at the three of them, “That’s it?” A pause, “Andoni?”
Tony grinned, “My full name is Andoni Edward Stark. Madre was Basque on her mother’s side and she always loved the culture.” He shrugged, perching on the bar next to Loki, “And yes, that’s it. Lord Sugaar would not have intervened if he wasn’t prepared to support Loki in the event SHIELD tries to press anything.” He shot Barton a cruel smile, “Besides, if they try to punish Loki for the events of the Invasion thus far, they’ll need to punish Barton as well… and that’s if Asgard don’t decide to protect their Princeling.”
Loki shoved him off the bar, ignoring the weapons suddenly focused on him once more, “I thought we covered this, Stark.”
Tony lay sprawled on the floor at his feet, and waved his hand tiredly, “Yes, yes. Adopted. I know. Trust me, I know how that one feels.” At Rogers’ incredulous look he snorted, pulling himself back upright, “Seriously Steve? No-one ever questioned why Howard didn’t have a hoard of bastards trailing at his coattails? The man was firing blanks. He and Madre found me in an orphanage, and decided to take me home.” He gave a pained smile, “After all, how many three year old genii do you meet?” The smile dropped from his face and the cheerful note from his tone, “Now. Get out. Thor can stay as I agreed to argue Asgard’s penal code with him… the rest of you… you’re directly threatening someone I have granted Guestright to. If you’re still here in fifteen minutes the wards will port you from the building.” He gave a savage smile, “I believe the ejection point is currently set to the Potomac River.”
Romanov raised an eyebrow, “In Maryland?”
Chapter 3: The Ridiculousness of Asgardian Laws
...seriously, why did Loki's punishments always become so extreme in the Prose Edda etc.?
Tony arched a brow, watching as the Avengers filed from the room. He merely arched a brow in acknowledgement of Barton’s death glare. Rogers hesitated in the doorway, “The Tesseract?”
Tony smirked, “Disabled when Selvig was released from the control, as I’m sure Rushmanov is already aware. My wards are already shifting it into a vault. It will be safe there until SHIELD and Asgard decide who gets custody.”
“Nope. I’m a neutral party in this situation.” He cocked his head to one side, “Which is honestly hilarious.” He shrugged, “Whatever Fury and Odin agree on, I will place the doomcube in their custody.” The smirk slipped from his lips in exchange for a savage glare, “I suggest you leave now.”
“Right.” Rogers stared at him for a moment, “For someone not related, you’re a lot like Howard.”
“Uh huh.” Tony flicked his hand absently, heading back over to the two gods sitting at his bar. Rogers snorted and followed the others out.
Thor stared at the human who’d stood between his brother and the justice Thor had thought he deserved, ‘How did he see it when I did not? I’m his brother.’ “Man of Iron…”
The addressed held up a hand, “One moment Thor.” A vicious smirk spread across his lips, “Cover your ears guys.” As they complied, he grinned wider, “JARVIS… play the Mission Impossible Theme at max volume, then cut Natashalie’s bugs.” Loki matched his smirk as the irritating tune blared through hidden speakers. “My apologies.” He pulled a bottle of Patxaran from the bar and poured it into a glass half-full of ice, “So, what exactly is Asgard’s policy in terms of punishments, Loki’s in particular.”
Loki snorted, “Let’s just say the Mortals’ deplorable account isn’t inaccurate in that regard.”
Tony stiffened, a menacing aura seeming to spread from his form, causing Thor to shoot him a puzzled look, “I see.” He took a deep breath and the room slid back to normal, “I’m assuming Odin’s word is Law?” At Loki’s grimace, and Thor’s enthusiastic nod, he continued, “Right. Any chance you can claim refuge with another pantheon?”
Thor went to respond, but found his voice didn’t sound. He shot Loki a glare as he responded instead, “I doubt it. Most of them believe the rumours spread about me.” He grimaced, “Those that don’t, aren’t in a position to stand against Asgard.”
Tony grimaced, shooting back a glass of his drink, “Right.” He grimaced, and motioned them over to the living room, “Bring the booze.” He called back as he sunk onto a sofa, Loki at his side. Thor watched their comfortable interactions in shock as he sunk onto a couch opposite. “So, if Odin’s word is Law, and he has a history of using Corporal Punishment on Loki-Lokes.” He ignored the vicious glare his statement earned, “And the pantheons are unlikely to take him in… any chance we can do something a little different?”
Thor frowned, “Such as?”
Tony smirked, “Lex Talionis.”
Loki grinned savagely, “You’re going to use my adoption, aren’t you?”
Tony met his expression with one of his own, “Well, your earlier crimes have all been punished, save for those you committed during the incident leading to Thor’s initial presence here on this delightful world. Correct?” At Loki’s nod, he continued. “I’m assuming you learned your true race in a negative situation.”
Loki snorted, “I let Frost Giants into Asgard to disrupt Thor’s coronation, in order to prove his unreadiness to rule. I then sent a guard to fetch Odin when Thor decided to attack Jotunheim. Heimdall let us through. While we were there, a Frost Giant grabbed my arm, but instead of becoming burned from the cold, it merely turned blue. After Odin dragged us back, I sought out the Casket of Ancient Winters in order to test the truth of my origins. Thor had already been banished to Midgard. Odin found me. We argued. He told me I was born to die.” Loki sneered, ignoring Thor’s horrified expression, “He fell into the Odinsleep. Frigga told me to take the throne until he awoke. Thor’s friends refused to agree and argued to be allowed to fetch him back, regardless of the fact his punishment had yet to run its course. I forbade it. They ignored my orders and Heimdall let them through the Bifrost. I sent the Destroyer after them to delay their return in hopes Odin would awaken. Thor reclaimed his hammer and came to Asgard where he immediately attacked me. I, er, attempted to destroy Jotunheim by use of the Bifrost… Thor smashed it to stop me. I fell, but Thor caught me. He was following me off the edge when Odin awoke and caught him. He was pulling us up. I told him it was all for him. He told me, ‘No Loki.’ I let go.” Loki shot Tony a pained smile, ignoring his once-brother, “Thanos caught me.”
Thor tensed, “You should not say that name.”
Loki scoffed, “That’s what you got out of that. Thanks brother.” He sneered.
Tony glared at the blonde, “Besides, the Tower’s wards are sufficient to keep that fool’s attention away from us.” He grimaced, pinching the bridge of his nose, as he lay back. “Right. So, your main role in Asgard was as trouble-shooter?” At Loki’s nod, he continued, “Damn, you made this tricky Lokes. So, your initial misstep was an attempt to fulfil your role. After that, everything you did was arguably in the service of Asgard, and as you were the Regent at the time, you couldn’t be charged otherwise, since the bloody place is still a totalitarian system.”
Loki frowned, “What?” Thor just stared dumbfounded.
“Arguably, you did nothing wrong… and if Odin attempts to punish you… then Sugaar has already said he’d very much like to question him about certain actions during the period immediately prior to Thor’s birth.” A smirk pulled at his lips, “You hear that, Allfather?”
Loki stared at him, “You dropped the wards?”
“Nah. I just lowered the one hiding my tower from the eyes of Asgard.” He cocked his head to one side, “About the same time the Avengers landed. If any Golden City Dwelling Individuals want to question me or you, I suggest they arrive in the next…” He cocked his head, glancing outside, “Thirty minutes or so. At which point I’ll mask the Tower again and they’ll have to land somewhere else and make an appointment the old fashioned way.” The two gods stared at him as his lips pulled into a smug smile. He glanced back at the doorway, “You going to stay or go, Selvig?”
Chapter 4: Odinking
Odin arrives to take Loki away
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
“Um.” Erik froze as the two previously unaware of his presence tensed and turned to face him where he stood in the shadows of the doorway. ‘I don’t know!’
Stark cocked his head, meeting his desperate stare with a puzzled one of his own, “If you’re concerned we’ll be angry if you stay… don’t be.” He snorted, “Fury won’t trust anything I say about the meeting that’s about to take place, and we can always do with an additional impartial observer.”
Loki arched a brow, turning to face Sugoi, amused despite himself, “And the fact that I had him under mind control is not supposed to concern him?”
Thor spun to gape at him, as the amused faux-mortal replied, “Considering you were as under Thanos’ control as he was, I doubt he has any grounds to stand on for that complaint.”
Selvig gaped, taking a cautious step forward, “Y-you were controlled too?”
“Aye. I was.” Loki turned back to face his host as a blinding light outside the window indicated the arrival of the Bifrost, “I dearly hope you are ready for this meeting, Stark.”
The addressed man snorted, “Lambasting royalty is practically what I was made for Prancer.” He smirked, “JARVIS… inform Siofra of what is about to happen… and ask her to pass the message to her employer.”
“As you wish Sir.”
Thor frowned, “Who is this Siofra?”
Loki choked, trying not to snicker, “I believe she is Mother’s personal tailor.”
“Oh.” Thor paled, “That’s not good.”
“LOKI!” An angry one-eyed male barged in through the door from the balcony, a squad of four men following him, “EXPLAIN YOURSELF!”
‘Really? This is the King of Asgard. Pff.’ Tony rose to his feet, moving to stand before the King of Asgard, “I’m sorry? Does Asgard have a different definition of the Law of Hospitality?” He folded his arms, ignoring the stunned expressions of the Einherjar as he intercepted their master, “Because I was under the impression that entering without an invitation was frowned upon.” He turned to the stunned godlings behind him, “Am I wrong, Loki?”
“No… that is the generally understood rule.” Loki drawled out, meeting his former father’s gaze with an amused smirk.
“As I thought.” Tony took another step forward, putting him within the range of Odin’s spear should he choose to use it, “Is it that mortals are unworthy of respect then, Odinking?”
Odin growled, “Take care how you speak.”
“Why?” Tony cocked his head, “You’re not my king. Nor are you my god.” He smirked, spreading his arms, “The way I see it, I owe you only that respect which you deserve… and as you have proven you hold no respect for the Laws of Hospitality, nor for myself… I owe you nothing.” He smirked, and turned, sinking into the seat at Loki’s side.
Odin glowered, staring at him through his one eye as Tony waited him out, merely arching one brow in answer. “Fine.” Odin glared harder, snapping out the words, “I apologise for the intrusion. If you’ll hand over Loki, we’ll be on our way.”
Thor shifted uncomfortably as he saw Stark’s face darken, “Well, that’s not going to happen.” He smirked, a cold cruel expression that Thor thought more fit for his brother’s face, “I know for a fact that Lord Sugaar has placed Loki under his personal protection.” At Odin’s tensing, Stark continued, “As a matter of fact, he has requested that the matter of Loki’s crimes be cleared up here and now. Which of course you know already, as I felt Heimdall’s gaze on my tower.”
“You are no mortal.” Odin finally responded once more.
“Aren’t I?” Stark shrugged gracelessly, motioning to the couch on which Thor still sat, “Feel free to take a seat. I have a feeling this discussion is going to take a while.” Odin glowered, but did as instructed, Stark inclined his head in acknowledgement of the gesture, before cocking his head, “J?”
“Miss Siofra has been informed as requested. She tells me Queen Frigga will be along to join the discussion momentarily, and asks that you wait to continue until she arrives.”
Odin froze, “You are in contact with my wife?”
“Eh.” Stark shrugged again, his leg bumping into Loki’s as he adjusted his position on the couch, “I’ve long been responsible for Lord Sugaar’s communications with the other Realms. He merely thought, that as this meeting is to decide the fate of one of her sons, that Queen Frigga would wish to be present.” He leant forward with a sneer, “Be grateful I’m not cruel enough to drag Farbauti from her grieving… I’m sure she’d love to know what became of her Loptr.”
Odin slumped into the seat, waving his guard off. ‘Father?’
Thor cocked his head in confusion as his father responded, “You know then? Did Loki tell you?”
Stark snorted, “He didn’t need to. Prince Loki’s Jotnar blood asserted itself when Lord Sugaar burned Thanos’ taint out of his system.”
“…and the mortal?”
“Here to observe as an impartial party to report back to Midgardian Authorities as to the decision we reach.” Stark paused, “Just as I am to act as an impartial party as regards the Space Stone negotiations.”
Sorry for the delay, I was focusing on my other works, but then felt guilty when I saw the massive number of bookmarks (at least compared to the River Running Backwards series) and figured I should give you at least something. So... hope you liked it :)