Siberia was cold.
Well, no. Cold was an understatement. Siberia was absolutely freezing.
Today wasn’t one of the best days for Tony. Today probably went down there with Afghanistan. It sure was close to it.
This wasn’t really on his list of things to do. He definitely hadn’t planned on dying here.
Iron Man dies of hypothermia.
Not a pretty headline. So, anyways. Here he was.
On his back, in the bunker. 425 pounds of gold-titanium-alloy weighing him down. Stuck in a dead suit with no communication. Abandoned by his friend with a smashed reactor. Wasn’t exactly ideal. F.R.I.D.A.Y went offline about 2 hours ago, within the first 12 minutes.
He’s been trapped in this bunker for 3 hours so far. Within the first hour, the suit lost it’s warmth. Cold seeped through the cracks of the suit, chilling his bones. His face was numb from the cold.
With the reactor smashed, he tried to stay calm and still. Taking long, uneven breaths to keep calm. Maybe even live longer. The shield must’ve done more damage than he expected.
Tony’s chest felt crammed up. His lungs hurt badly, and his heart wasn’t doing too good either. After about 30 minutes into the burning sensation of his lungs, he finally coughed up a bit of blood. Soon it became more. More blood frozen to his lips and chin. Warm blood that dripped from his chest, out of the cracks from his suit and puddled frozen beneath him.
He realized; it was easier to not move. He was already as weak as it was and there was no way he was going to drag himself out of here. He desperately hoped that someone had gotten the alert FRIDAY sent before she shut down.
A harsh cough echoed in the empty room as a bit more warm, thick blood rose up his throat. He gaged a bit and spit it out, only going as far to drip down his cheek. He squeezed his eyes shut, they were watering up and the cold burned his eyes. He wasn’t able to wipe them. The most sounds that left him were gurgled, helpless cries.
No one could hear him out here. Captain America and The Winter Soldier were long gone. Only thing left was that shield. The shield laying 2 feet from where he lay. In his line of sight. The shield was a bit blackened with burns from his blasts and a couple scratches. He had to close his eyes after a bit, not being able to stand the sight of the shield that was going to make him die. He had to blink occasionally to not have his eyes frozen shut.
He was somewhere in his third hour. His eyes felt heavy, his heart sounded slower in his ears. He stopped shaking after a bit, completely still. He was numb and almost frozen in place. He felt very tired. Wanting to sleep but fearing that he may never wake up again. He was about to allow sleep to take him. To die. Because maybe this was his way out. The destined way that Yinsen told him about in that cave. The end of the line.
There was a sound of wind. Tony shrugged it off as a harsh breeze chilling him to death.
Until he heard footsteps…
Faint, but getting louder with each step. He grimaced and slowly blinked open his eyes. His heart frantically pounding in panic and fear. Slamming up against his tightened chest that hurt. He coughed a bit at the sharp pain, catching sight of black boots standing next to the shield.
Mind running through every possibility. Who could this be? Natasha? The Winter Soldier came back? Sam? Rhodey? Oh please, please, please be Rhodey. An embarrassing gurgled noise left his throat as he tried to call out to the person. Desperately hoping they would help him.
“The Avengers, huh?” He instantly recognized that voice. His eyes drifted up the form of the man. Or should he say, God. The God had a mischievous looking smirk on his face. But then again, he always did. Loki.
“That’s what you Midgardians called it if I do recall correctly.” Loki picked up the shield, analyzing it. “Earth’s mightiest heroes, here to protect earth to the very end, no matter what?”
Loki slipped the shield on his arm, looking at it. The smile disappeared before he slipped it back off and tossed it aside. The shield clattering loudly with a sharp echo. Tony flinched a bit at the sound. Loki looked at the human, looking him up and down.
“What happened? Team left you. Not such a good team now, huh?” Loki squatted down beside the man trapped in the armor. Tony gurgled a bit more blood. Loki gave him a look of pity.
“People are unreliable. Trust no one. Especially a Midgardian,” Tony weakly looked to the God. He seemed different from the Loki that threw him out the window. Different from the Loki that took over New York.
Loki reached out and ran his pale finger over the man’s chin, wiping some of the wet, freezing blood off. The dark red blood stained his fingers. Midgardian blood on his hands. The man’s blood was staining the floor too. Tony’s eyes were closed. Loki reached out and placed his hand over the side of the man’s face.
The man’s skin was cold. He trembled under the God’s touch and his eyes squeezed shut again. Loki felt an indescribable feeling bubble in his chest. Maybe guilt, pity, anger? He couldn’t understand it. This man ruined his chance to take over New York with his stupid team. Loki got punished for it.
But that stupid team that defeated him had done this to their friend. They left him to die. That easily. They turned their heads and walked out on him like he was nothing. Something about this angered the God. Made him furious with those Midgardians. Loki looked away from the man, pulling his hand back from the man that was leaning into the warmth of the hand on his face.
“I will help you,” Tony opened his eyes a bit, tears spilling onto his cheeks, instantly chilling in the harsh cold.
Tony couldn’t understand why the god wanted to help him. He wasn’t worth the help. Last time someone helped him, they either died or betrayed him. But if the God was willing to help, he had no real say in it. He couldn’t move or really talk. Tony couldn’t keep his eyes open too long. They closed on him again. He felt something move him a bit. His body shifting. There was a sudden warmness that surrounded him.
“How do I take this contraption off of your body?” the God pushed his cheek. Tony opened his eyes and frowned a bit. He could feel his face again. Numb but not as much. Thawing out in the warmth. Tony coughed a bit, trying to move his body a bit.
Loki sighed. The man was weak. Close to death. Almost useless.
“Hold still, do not move or this might mess up and hurt you.” Tony looked down to Loki’s hand emitted a blue glow of sorts. Tony flinched, but tried to remain still. Loki simply raised an eyebrow at him and then slowly placed a hand over his chest. His hand was placed over the Reactor.
Tony felt a warmth seep into his chest. It was a weird but comforting feeling. The pain dulled over and his pounding heart slowed. The sharp pain against his ribs eased away and he had felt a warmth all over.
Maybe this was a way to kill him? To make him feel nice and trust him, then kill him. Wherever the hell they were. They definitely weren’t in Siberia anymore. But they weren’t anywhere he knew. Was he going to hurt him? Would he try t-
“I can hear you; you know. I do not plan on killing you. If I wanted you dead, I would have simply left you in that bunker.” Tony glanced up to the God’s face. His expression seemed relaxed and gentle. He fondly looked at Tony.
When the hand was removed, the pain was gone, and he was warm.
“W-What did you do to me…?” he questioned hoarsely. He tears were warm on his cheeks. Not cold like they were in bunker.
“I helped you.” Loki admitted.
“Why would you help me?” He felt a warm cloth rub against his cheeks and chin. Scrubbing the blood away. Loki’s hands were gentle, and he seemed to be quietly humming a song of sorts. Though Tony had no idea what it was. This was definitely a totally different Loki. It was sort of was calming and scary at the same time.
The room was large. Tony was laid out on the bed in the locked armor. The window was open, letting in light and opening to a forestry landscape. There were warmer breezes rather than the harsh cold ones from before. The room had wood paneling on the walls and a black carpeting. The ceiling was a dusty, faded white. There were posters of movies and bands on the wall. A small collection of action figures on a shelf across the room and a brown teddy bear by his head.
Loki continued to clean the man. Tony stayed quiet, refusing to accidentally anger the God. He felt the cloth, now room temperature, leave his face. Loki grabbed his cheek.
“I’ll need you to tell me how to get this metal contraption off of you now that you can talk.” Tony looked down at his suit. The hole still smashed in the chest, even though he was healed. The scuffs and burns and pieces torn off. He couldn’t stand to look at it too long.
“Break it off. I don’t want it anymore.” He looked back up to that weird colored ceiling, trying to ignore the red and gold armor trapping him. The God tilted his head in confusion.
“Are you sure you’d like me to ruin this?” Tony nodded.
“Please get me out.” He squeezed his eyes shut. He didn’t want to cry more than he had already done in front of the God who had once tried to kill him. So, he focused on his breathing and kept his eyes closed.
Shortly after, he could feel the weight slowly lift off him. He felt warmness actually on his skin. He felt a hand touch his arm.
“You are free now.” Tony opened his eyes to the God. He could see scraps of the metal behind him.
“Thank you.” The God seemed a bit taken back by these words. He couldn’t remember the last time a Midgardian had thanked him. He doesn’t think any of them have, actually. He smiled.
“I supposed you are welcome then.”
“So, where are we?” Tony finally asked, his curiosity getting the best of him.
“The Netherlands. It’s quite a beautiful place. Very lovely.” Loki had something between a smile and an expressionless look.
“Oh, I figured it would be a bit colder.” Loki finally smiled.
“That is because I am making it warm here.” Tony looked at him in slight surprise. There was a silence. “Would you like to eat and take part in this Midgardian activity called a movie?” Tony tilted his head in question.
“Uhm… Sure, I guess. Yeah.” Tony felt a warmth cover him. He looked down at a thick blanket, placed over his body. “What movie do you got?” Loki had been at a table, busying himself with something.
“This room seems to owned by smaller Midgardians. I had found these movies you call the Disney. It is called the Bambi.” Loki had some plate of food in his hand. The television across the room, on the dresser flickered to life.
Tony felt the bed dip with the God’s weight as he sat beside him.
“Scoot over, I’d like to have some of the blankets too, you know.” Tony blinked for a moment and then scooted over. The God placed the warm plate on his lap and pulled the blanket over his legs.
“Thank you. Seriously. I’d be dead by now if it weren’t for you. This means a lot to me.” Tony looked down at the plate of spaghetti sitting on his lap. He could hear the movie start up across from them.
“Well, my brother always told me. The sun will shine on us again.” He felt Loki place a hand on his shoulder. “You mean a lot to my brother and Bruce. You do not deserve what had happened to you.” Loki’s hand moved and he could feel the warmth of a shoulder press against his side.
The movie was playing across from them, slightly forgotten. Tony felt warmth at his words. The words were calming and meaningful. It was a stark contrast to words he had been hearing from people he trusted and learned to love over the past few weeks. He sniffed quietly, relishing the gentle, nice touch of the God.
“I need a fork, Rock of Ages.” Tony smiled a bit. In a second a fork was in his hand.
This was a nice feeling. Definitely surprising and different but very nice. Maybe he wasn’t meant to die. Not today.
And maybe Loki wasn’t as bad as he was made out to be. He was definitely better than others.