“No, you didn’t,” scoffed Rhodey, squinting at Hope with suspicion. “You do not bench press that much.”
Hope just smirked at him. “Yes, I do. Ask anyone I have ever been in the gym with.”
Rhodey stared at her for a few seconds longer, then shook his head. “I want to see it, I don’t believe you.”
“You’re not the only one who wants to ogle Hope Van Dyne in the gym,” pointed out Darcy, one eyebrow raised. “But most of us pretend to have manners.”
Rhodey sputtered, while Hope immediately blushed, glaring over at Darcy. “That isn’t- that’s not- You don’t!”
“There, there,” mocked Carol, trying pretty hard not to laugh as she patted him on the shoulder. “We all know that- oh you got to be kidding me.”
The change in her tone of voice had everyone immediately turning to look at her in confusion, but Carol was not looking at her team mates. Instead she was looking towards the main door, and when they followed her gaze, everyone immediately groaned too.
“This is ridiculous,” said T’Challa, shaking his head. “They have to be doing this on purpose. They have to know.”
“You would think so,” agreed Thor, also looking very exasperated. “Between the two of them, renowned geniuses in their respective fields, you would think one of them would wise up to what they are doing.”
“Tony can be pretty stupid,” offered Rhodey, shaking his head. “But this is a level I never thought he’d get to. Like... I feel like he’s trolling us, but then I look into his eyes and I know he’s not. It’s insane.”
Stephen scoffed. “No way. They have to know.”
“Have to know what?” asked Tony, as he and Loki, the two people who had been causing so much of a headache among the new Avengers, came to a stop in front of them. “Why are you guys staring at us like that.”
“You’re wearing matching clothes,” said Hope, blinking slowly at them. Tony’s tux was red and black while Loki was wearing a green and black one, but they had clearly been custom made so that they were matching each other a little bit. “Why are you wearing matching clothes?”
“Anthony decided to be my fake date to this event,” explained Loki, ignoring or perhaps being actually unaware of the way several eyes twitched at that statement.
“I see,” said Carol with a deep sigh. “And why did you need a fake date to this event?”
Loki pointed at the other side of the room, where a blonde woman was walking around, hand in hand with a taller man. “Do you see that? That’s Sigyn.”
Thor frowned, standing up a little taller so that he could see. “By the Norns, that is Sigyn. I was not aware that she was aboard the ship as we made our way towards Midgard.”
“She wasn’t,” explained Loki. “She was on Alfheim during Ragnarok.” Both of them grimaced at the memory of their lost planet.
Even with New Asgard having been built and prospering so much that they now had the chance of hosting events like these once more, it was still painful to think of the place they had once grown up in and that was now forever gone.
“But she arrived a few days ago, as her fiancé had been on Asgard during the event, and she was seeking to see if he had survived. I graciously helped her find out, and when they reconciliated, he invited her before my eyes to our celebration of New Asgard’s first Yuletide.” He stopped as if that explained anything at all.
“I’m sorry, what does that have to do with you and Stark fake dating again?” asked Stephen, one eyebrow raised in slight irritation.
Loki’s eyes narrowed at him. Despite having worked at each other’s side for months now, neither was any the fonder of the other.
Tony rushed to speak before it could descend into an argument. “While the myths are mostly fake, there is an element of truth in them. Sigyn and Loki? Yeah, element of truth. They used to date.”
“We haven’t seen each other in a little over two centuries,” continued Loki. “Of course I was not about to show up to a party she and her dearest fiancé would be at alone. It would have looked pathetic.”
“Any more pathetic than whatever the fuck this is?” muttered Sharon in her drink, unfortunately not low enough that Loki did not catch it.
“Excuse me?” he asked, a little offended. “What do you mean by that?”
“Sharon-” tried Rhodey, but the woman shook her head.
“I’m sorry, it was funny at the beginning, but all of us have lost the betting pool by now and it’s just embarrassing watching this things continue,” she informed them, voice decided. She looked over at Tony and Loki, who appeared confused as to where the discussion was suddenly going. “Tony? Loki? You guys are dating.”
They stared at her.
She stared back.
Tony was the first one to speak, blinking in confusion. “Uh, no we’re not. We’re fake dating.”
“You aren’t fake dating, at this point you two are dating for real. Hell, you guys are basically married!”
Loki glared at her. “Excuse me, I believe that if I were dating Anthony, I would know.”
“We believed the same,” told him Thor, shaking his head but seeming to decide to join in with Sharon. “But you clearly cannot tell.”
“You guys don’t get it, it’s fake-”
“It’s not fake if you’re doing it all the time!”
“Get his ass!” whistled Darcy, phone out and filming. Carol snatched the phone out of her hands incredibly quickly, eyes not leaving Tony and Loki. “Hey!”
“We don’t need the world to see their adored genius and the supposed god of Mischief looking like dumb and dumber,” told her the blonde, before looking over at Loki and Tony. “How many fake dates can you guys go to before you realise it’s a pattern?”
“We don’t go on that many fake dates,” scoffed Tony, only to be met by several judging eyebrows.
“I hosted a party at my castle in Wakanda at which the Rogues were present,” started T’Challa. “And you guys showed up as ‘pretend boyfriends’ to ‘freak them out’.”
“At my coronation, you decided to ‘fake date’ because the people of New Asgard had started treating Loki like they did on Asgard and you wanted to elevate your position,” added Thor.
“You went to Tiberius Stone’s engagement party as a couple so that you could show him up,” said Rhodey.
“Every single Stark Industry event you host, it’s the two of you holding hands that end up on the front pages,” offered Hope.
“We had to go undercover during the last mission, and you went undercover as, get this, a couple. You spent 25 minutes making out!” this came from Carol, who looked very vexed.
“You told Master Junez that you and Stark were dating when he started flirting with you,” said Stephen, shaking his head at them.
“You guys literally moved in together because Loki hates New Asgard,” said Darcy. “Like... you could have gotten an apartment, dude. There was no need for that."
“And that’s just last month,” finished off Sharon, crossing her arms around her chest. “Do we need to go on?”
“Uh,” said Loki, turning to look at Tony with a frown. “It does appear as if we fake date far more than it is normal or necessary.”
“Yeah,” agreed Tony, lips pursed. “I did not even realised. How did everyone miss that?”
“YOU’RE THE ONLY ONES WHO MISSED THAT!” shouted the group, making several heads turn in their direction.
“Geeze!” huffed Tony, pouting a little before turning to Loki. “I guess it is a little stupid to keep fake dating so often when we could just actually date.”
Loki nodded a little. “Yes, I agree. That’d be far smarter.” He looked at him seriously. “Anthony, would you like to be my partner?”
“I’m gonna have to think-”
“I will literally murder you,” told them Sharon, and Tony put both hands up, laughing now.
“Joking, joking.” He turned back to Loki, who appeared equally as amused. “Yes, I will like to be your partner. Hey! Does that mean we can just kiss whenever we want now?”
“I believe it does.”
“Nice. That was always the best part of fake dating you. You’re a seriously good kisser.”
“Thank you, you are not bad yourself,” agreed Loki, as they linked arms once more and walked away towards the main dancing area.
The rest of the New Avengers just watched them leave with some an array of differently bemused expressions.
“Morons,” finished Sharon, shaking her head in slight disgust. “Complete and utter morons.”
“Hey, Cloak put that they wouldn’t realise they were dating unless someone literally told them; does that mean he won?”