Loki is reeling.
It all happened so suddenly, and he still doesn’t know what to make of it.
Long fingers run through his hair before settling to rest at the nape of his neck. Loki suppresses a shudder.
He’s stronger than this. Really he is. Any minute now he’s going to show this mortal exactly why he’s known as the god of mischief.
Any minute now.
“So it’s actually straight, then?” the mortal who calls himself Tom Hiddleston says with a mild note of surprise. “I’m a bit jealous; you wouldn’t believe the products I had to use to get it to stay down like that.”
Loki shifts a little on the couch to fix the mortal with a glare that falls horribly flat. “You’re lucky you’re only the second most annoying blond person I’ve had the displeasure of knowing,” he grumbles.
Tom lets out a laugh that vibrates through Loki’s entire body in a way that is most definitely not the least bit pleasant or distracting.
Loki’s going to get up any minute now.
Really, he is.
It had all started less than three hours ago with a knock at Loki’s door. That alone was an anomaly, as he had gone out of his way to make his location unnoticeable to mortal eyes and untraceable to the less conventional Midgardians, so it was with a raised hand and a spell on his lips that he opened the door to find his golden-haired doppelganger standing before him.
“It really is you, Loki!” his double said brightly.
Vanity and confusion stayed Loki’s hand long enough for the other man to dart forward and catch him in an embrace.
“Tom Hiddleston,” the man said, patting him solidly on the back. “I’m a big fan of yours.”
Loki had prepared defensive measures for any number of circumstances, but this wasn’t one of them. He continued to stand there awkwardly as the man hugged him. It wasn’t uncomfortable as much as unfamiliar; most of his past hugs had been from Frigga (and Thor, although those had been more like well-intentioned tackles). He had just begun to relax into the hug when the man drew back.
“I don’t suppose you have a few minutes to spare, do you?” Tom asked, his brow furrowed in consternation. “I was hoping I could ask you some questions.”
Loki nodded warily, stepping aside to let the man in. It was only fair. He had a few questions he’d been hoping to ask himself, such as ‘how did you find me’ and ‘why the Hel are you my clone.’ He began preparing another spell to immobilize the mortal as they walked inside when Tom spoke up again (and really, the similarities were so unnerving), startling him from his thoughts.
“Thanks,” Tom said with such sincerity that Loki turned to give him his full attention, and Tom flashed him the most devastatingly brilliant smile Loki had ever seen.
Everything got a bit hazy after that.
Currently, they are curled up together on Loki’s couch, flipping channels on the television and eating pudding cups Loki is almost entirely certain weren’t in his house before Tom had arrived.
Loki is beginning to suspect this has become what Midgardians refer to as a ‘date.’
The mortal’s thorough knowledge of Loki’s life is simultaneously flattering and unnerving, but more the former than the latter. Most of their talk has been Tom’s exhilarated gushing over getting to meet Loki in person, which is thankfully lacking in the disturbing objectification Loki is a little too used to hearing from swooning teenage girls who frequent the sidelines of his battles with the Avengers in a desperate bid to get taken hostage. It’s…nice. It’s more than nice, in fact, it’s downright pleasant. Every time Loki feels his ire returning, Tom flashes him another dazzling smile and it fades back into obscurity.
“You’re amazing, you know that?” Tom tells him with a guileless grin, and Loki feels his lips quirk upward in a matching grin that for once has nothing to do with trickery or malice.
It’s all right. Mischief won’t mind if Loki rests for another minute or so.
Nick Fury stares with undisguised wonder at the two men cuddling on SHIELD’s view screen. “I have to hand it to you, gentlemen,” he says. “I didn’t think this would work.”
Reed Richards grins and pats the prototype dimensional transporter fondly. Tony Stark just looks smug as hell. “I told you it would.”
“I’m pretty sure he’s not faking the enthusiasm,” Reed says, peering at the screen. “That probably helps.”
Tony snorts. “Tell me about it.” He stares at the screen as well, frowning thoughtfully before turning to Fury. “So, can we keep him?”
Fury narrows his eye. “Don’t start.”
Tony gestures dramatically at the screen. “Look at that! We need one of those. Now. If you’re worried about disrupting the balance we could always send Loki back instead.”
Reed sends him a look of pure horror and Fury scowls.
“We’re not endangering another world for the sake of your games, Stark,” he growls.
Tony throws up his hands. “Oh, come on! No one will notice. Tony switched with me years ago and no one’s picked up on it yet!”
Fury turns back to the screen, folding his arms. “That’s final. He can stay long enough that we can ensure that Loki is completely neutralized before—” He freezes and whips his head around to gape at the man calling himself Tony Stark. “What do you mean you switched years ago—“