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More Than Meets the Eye

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            Hello people! This is my first Avengers’ fic, it’s been in my head a long long time, as in, I think it cropped up the moment I saw the movie. I read some theory on Tumblr I believe that said Loki was brainwashed, tortured, and of course I believe this too. So this is my take on the outcome of the invasion of New York. Characters might be a little OOC sometimes as I ease into this, I might fix it later, and again, yeah, this is how I wish it would have panned out  That Loki isn’t immediately taken back to Asgard, and Tony and Loki had a relationship in the past. Of course because of the whole ‘falling into the void thing’ Tony just thinks Loki left and he hadn’t seen him since. This is the first, very long chapter, if anyone is interested I shall add more! Just to be safe I’m rating it M because there will be mentions of torture and rape later on, so I don’t wanna trigger anybody. And as always I don’t own ANYTHING by Marvel, this is just my interpretation. Reviews are greatly appreciated!!!

 

            Tony hesitantly turned the monitors on that accessed viewing to the various labs in his tower. He hadn’t exactly been forthcoming to his new team mates about his knowledge of Loki, hell he didn’t even let on that he knew the guy. That he had been just as equally shocked at the flood of aliens coming down in the sky as he was seeing the green eyed man he’d met a year ago, leading their way. Tony Stark wasn’t one to choose genders, when he liked a person he liked a person and when they met at a bar almost two years ago, he was instantly struck by the man. But at some point in time the mindless fucking formed into something else, something deeper with the man/alien/god, whatever.

            When they’d spoken finally, both men on the ground and Loki wielding that scepter of his, he was shocked that Loki didn’t seem to remember him. Absolutely no recognition, and it was in that moment that Tony wondered if Clint wasn’t the only one to be under some kind of control. He wore a crazed look in his eye and a vacant expression Tony couldn’t pinpoint let alone properly describe, because it was so unlike the soft eyes that Tony had come to know. Loki certainly wasn’t any kind of puppy, but he didn’t know who this person was. So after the Hulk’s beating of the god, he was curious as to how S.H.I.E.L.D’s team would get any information out of him. Also, he wanted an explanation because of the nagging voice in his hyper active brain that insisted something was very wrong. At this point he expected some villainous speech, what he didn’t expect was the sudden sound of pleading echoing out of the speakers of the monitors. When the actual video feed came to life, the pleading was the result of the staff removing his clothes, taking a blade and freeing him of the thin, loose tunic that had been underneath all that armor. Given that he was bolted to the exam table, there was little he could do about it. Loki breathed heavily through this process, head turned to the side, eyes shut tightly, he wasn’t happy about it by any means, his sudden panting testament to this.

            When latex covered fingers moved to his pants, Tony was shocked to see Loki lose it, more than just pleading, his voice was unusually high pitched, “Anything but this please! I have nothing, nothing I can tell you!”

            And Tony couldn't describe the reasons for why his heart was thumping painfully or why he was devising a voice command that requested the staff currently disrobing Loki to vacate the room, but as soon as the room cleared Tony was bursting through the laboratory door.

            The voice Tony recognized arrived so quickly it gave him shivers, “Anthony!”

            “Lokes,” the nickname slipped out before he could catch it, “You know me? You recognize me? Cause about twelve hours ago man, you had no idea who I was.”

            “What-what happened? I don’t know,” Loki panted, his green eyes blown wide and drenched in what seemed to be genuine confusion.

            “You threw me out a fucking window, that’s what happened, you waged war on an entire city,” Tony added, his tone gruff and short.

            “I-I didn’t want to…I didn’t…” his eyes were darting around as if he were only now truly aware of his surroundings, “Tony please… they made me, I couldn’t refuse, I tried Tony, don’t let them hurt me please, I can’t, I can’t anymore I don’t think I can handle any of it anymore. Let them kill me, don’t let them take me anywhere, don’t let them send me back! Just kill me!”

            “Loki,” Tony began, but was stopped short when he noticed the scars across his chest. Tons of them, white hot and painful looking, more than he could count, angry and prominent, near screaming against the porcelain perfection of his skin.

            “Tony, please don’t let them touch me, please!” he fought his restraints, back arched from the cold table, sobs leaping forth like gunshots, something Tony had never heard from the usually perfectly composed god.

            Before the logical part of Tony's brain could take over he was undoing the metal restraints and like lightening he suddenly had an armful of Norse god, sobbing loudly and grossly into his shoulder, clinging so tightly it hurt.

            “Okay, okay, I’m going to take you to my personal floor, alright? You hear me?” Tony soothed, running one hand carefully over the equally ruined back, “We’ll get you cleaned up.”       As carefully as possible he pulled one of his arms around his shoulders and with the other tucked it underneath Loki’s knees, and lifted the trembling god from the table. And he was shockingly light, so much so Tony’s heart bounced. He never remembered him being this thin. Loki groaned against the tug of gravity, tucking his face against the warm neck provided.

            “I’m no expert but I think you’re running a pretty good fever,” Tony murmured against Loki’s temple, hurrying into the elevator that would bring them up to the penthouse. He received no verbal response, only a strangled cry. Tony carried him into the bathroom, setting him to the tub’s edge, keeping one arm around him as he fumbled for the first aid kit under the sink.

            “Tell me what happened, now,” Tony said gently but firmly, turning the knobs on the bathtub to run warm water, eyes searching for a wash cloth.

            Loki visibly gulped, eyes half-lidded with exhaustion, “I fell…from the bridge into the void…I-I was…ending my life. No one survives that. For reasons unknown I did. I fell a year ago, I think that is the appropriate Midgardian measurement, however it was much longer where I was held…they found me, horribly weakened. I was lost, in a realm, not even a realm, that was absent of sound and feeling…sight. Their leader, Thanos, knew who I was immediately and he took it to his advantage. Quite frankly I believed I was in Hel, I had been suspended in the void for so long…he knew that I was adopted…knew my family wouldn’t come looking for me…” he had purged, almost as if he were being tortured all over again, as if vomiting up all this information was merely on instinct. To give it up before he was harmed, “So many…horrible things I have endured…so many….”

            “Hey, hey, it’s alright, you’re safe here,” Tony said, trying to combine all his comforting skills, not that they were any good to begin with, in fact he felt at a loss here. What do you say to someone that has been obviously tortured, molded into a new person? After all he knew from experience, and he hadn’t found anyone yet that ‘got it’, so he dealt with it on his own, if alcohol counted, “When was the last time you ate, or slept?” he sighed, turning the water off.

            “I’m afraid I can’t recall,” Loki’s trembling breath replied.

            Tony scratched at his beard, running one hand over the entirety of his face, “You think you could get in the tub? It would be easier to clean you up, get you into bed.”

            “I-I think so…I’m not as steady on my feet as I would like.” Loki said, eyes on the floor, his long beautiful fingers fumbling with the ties of his loose fitting pants, failing miserably.

            “May I?” Tony asked quietly, abandoning any kind of feelings of embarrassment he might have, after all, it wasn’t as if he hadn’t seen the man naked before.

            Loki merely nodded, resting his shaking hands on the tub’s edge. Once freed of his tattered clothes, Tony helped lower him into the water. He sank happily into the enveloping warmth, drawing his knees tightly to his chest, resting his forehead to knees with a long sigh.

            Tony worked quickly, running the washcloth over his battered back, hoping that he wasn’t causing more discomfort as he washed away blood from around his neck and face. Some of it must have been days old as it took on a brownish tint, “Look here,” he said softly, tilting Loki’s face up by his chin, wetting the cloth again to remove the blood from his ridiculously perfect cheek bones, his eyes closed slowly with this action.

            The fairly large gash to his face must have still been throbbing. But Loki only flinched a handful of times before Tony was finished.

            “I’m so tired,” Loki’s increasingly weak voice broke the sound of sloshing water and the dripping faucet. “Whoa there kiddo, don’t fall asleep on me,” Tony answered a little louder then he meant to when Loki lulled forward, “Let me get ya out of here and into some clean clothes.” He pulled the plug on the tubs’ bottom and wrapped a large towel around Loki’s shoulders helping him stand, and instead of sitting him on the closed toilet he opted for the floor, propping him up against the wall, “Be right back, don’t move.”

            Loki let his head rest on the wall behind him, his mind that had been swimming earlier somewhat dulled by the warm bath. He couldn’t even recall the last time he was clean, magic can only do so much and nothing could beat bath water. Any other time he would be appalled with himself for needing such help, but he couldn’t find himself to care at the moment. He even thought he deserved it.

            “Okay, here we go,” Tony’s voice re-entered the room, without asking he slipped the pants over Loki’s lanky legs, squeezed the water from his hair with a smaller towel, “Look here,” this time he didn’t need to guide his head, as he applied a butterfly bandage to his wounded cheek. There wasn’t really anything he could do about the wounds to his back or chest, they had sealed up nicely at some point, still angry and red but all they could really do at this point was finish healing.

            After several more band aids and Neosporin Tony sat back to survey his work, “Come on,” he draped one of Loki’s arms around his shoulder and pulled him up from the floor, maneuvering him to his bed, setting him down on the sheets before pulling the duvet high up to his chin and thin shoulders.

            “They won’t find me here?” Loki rasped, fingers clutching in the bedding.

            Tony wasn’t sure who ‘they’ were but he decided to go ahead and say what should be said at the moment, “No one will, I promise, it’s alright, close your eyes,” Tony assured, before he could help himself he was carding fingers through the dark, damp locks of Loki’s disheveled hair, “You can rest, close your eyes,” he repeated, and surprisingly, although reluctantly Loki obeyed, but not before a hushed whispered request left his lips, “Please stay,” before slipping off into slumber.

            Tony complied, sitting on the bed’s edge, his head throbbing. The only thing he could process was Tony what have you gotten yourself into.

            REVIEWS ARE LIKE FOOD!!!! :) if anybody likes it, again, I will continue, and if you wanna see anything in particular let me know and I'll try to write what is wanted!!!

Chapter Text

            Tony expected the first night to be rough, and boy was he right, the first time Loki woke up was only an hour into sleep, and he very lucidly asked for water which Tony delivered. The other times were not so smooth. Delirious as Loki had been off and on when he was awake compared nothing to how delirious he was asleep. He’d woken up a couple times calling out, or fighting off some mystery assailant. Weak or not, Loki was stronger than Tony by probably more than he could calculate, so it had taken everything Tony had to calm him down. To take hold of his limbs and stop him from hurting himself. The only thing that ultimately would break the nightmare would be to stroke his face and hair, his panting would dissipate slowly but surely and his half lidded eyes, still plagued by sleep, would fall close again. Tony would then lean carefully back to the bucket chair beside the bed, and take one of Loki’ piano player hands in his and stroke the taut creamy skin with one sure thumb before dozing off himself.

            Loki woke up to the strange sensation of softness, not jagged rocks digging into his ribs and spine, nor were his wrists and ankles anchored to an unknown surface. No, this was warm, and pliant against his body. He sighed at the sensation, a silly dream he knew, he’d open his eyes and the darkness would arrive, coupled with unimaginable pain, and growling voices. When he opened his eyes the view didn’t change, he peered up at the white wash ceiling. His gaze focusing on the bits of gold embellishment that adorned the wallpaper border of the room, it cast off sparkles as it caught the light from the window. Wait. He recognized this room, and well too. As quickly as consciousness arrived, his eyes still fluttering with globs of much overdue sleep, he felt a palm to his forehead. Automatically he flinched, lurching sideways, almost off the bed.
            “Whoa! Whoa, it’s me!” Tony didn’t exactly shout, but it was loud enough to snap Loki out of his fear.
            For a moment Loki just stared at the man beside him, dark brown eyes wide with concern, hair disheveled with sleep. Had he slept next to him? He vaguely remembered a fuzzy pleading of ‘stay’, “Norns Stark, you can’t…you can’t just touch me without warning,” and he didn’t really know where to go from there.
            “So are we going to play the ‘Stark’ vs ‘Tony’ game? That’s saved for when we’re fighting sweetheart,” he grinned, “I was just checking your head for a fever, you didn’t mind me touching you when you were screaming last night.”
            “Screaming?” Loki queried, brow furrowed, his memory fighting him as if his mind was on survival mode.
            “Yeah,” Tony spoke softer this time, humor gone from his voice, “A couple times, the only thing that would calm you down was for me to hold you.”
            Loki fell back to the bed, when was the last time he had suffered such an ailment? He couldn’t have been more than 400 years old, and it was Thor that…no, he wouldn’t allow himself to think of that idiot right now. An idiot that obviously couldn’t perceive that something had been horribly wrong, the way Loki had tried desperately to break through the mind control link and alert Thor that this wasn’t his doing. Anything. But of course as dull as Thor was, he merely perceived it as a sibling spat, bitterness over the want of the throne, that yes he would not dare deny was there, but it certainly wasn’t the pressing matter at hand.
            “It’s okay,” Tony began, this time approaching him with caution, “I suffered from nightmares all the time when I got back, you remember me telling you about that?”
            Loki pursed his lips, his eyes suddenly burning, he gave a curt nod, “I remember.” And he did, of all things, he remembered holding Tony just as close while he panted and cried deliriously. And like Loki, sometimes he wouldn’t remember much of the episode the following morning.
            “I’m gonna touch you again, alright?” Tony said, and there was no mocking to his tone, he once again pressed his palm against Loki’s tepid forehead, “Hmm, you’re still warm, you feel up to eating anything?”
            Loki inhaled a trembling breath as Tony’s hand moved from his head to his hair, fingers combing through and gently removing any knots. This touch almost felt foreign, as if he’d never known a kind gesture, there was no pulling at the roots to lurch his head back, no cruelty lying there in a mock sense of comfort. No, it was all genuine and he couldn’t fathom how he’d made it out alive, how he’d gone so long without kindness. And he could very well lose it all over again, once the men Tony had rescued him from realized he was gone from their facility a manhunt would ensue. He’d be taken again, and he wasn’t even sure where he would be taken to.
            “It’s alright,” Tony’s voice broke his reverie, “Hey, come on, breathe, take a breath.”
            Loki hadn’t even realized his eyes were leaking again, leaving behind trails that disappeared past his ears, didn’t realize that his chest was heaving, “What will happen to me now? Your brothers in arms surely will be searching for me as we speak.”
            “Don’t you worry about that right now, I’ve got it taken care of for now, we’ll just….cross that bridge when we get there. For now I just want to get you healed up, you need to eat.” Tony said, rolling off of the edge of the bed onto his socked feet, really more or less to avoid eye contact. Because he wasn’t exactly sure how he was going to figure this all out, and yes, he knew S.H.I.E.L.D would be looking for Loki. The only advantage he had was no one was even remotely aware of their relationship, and he’d expertly instructed Jarvis to erase security footage.
            Loki pushed himself up to a sitting position, back against the headboard, “I’m not sure if I will be able to, I haven’t eaten in so long.”
            “We’ll start ya out easy, like broth or something. I’ve always eaten that when I’m queasy, I’ll have Jarvis order some up.”
            Loki startled only slightly when the voice in the ceiling received his orders, a small quake of fear trilling in his stomach and it never took much for him to abandon the idea of eating. He could almost say he was use to his stomach feeling hollow, at least nothing would come back up. It was both a blessing and a curse that they fed him so little, the torture alone would become so intense there were more instances then he’d like to admit that he’d expelled violently, which only made things all the more worse. It was in those moments that he craved the presence of his mother, knowing that he would never see her again, and even worse, that she probably didn’t wish to see him again anyway. The dip in the bed beside him derailed his thoughts smartly.
            “You’re going spacey on me again,” Tony said with a small understanding smile, resting a hand over both of Lokis’ that were cradled in his lap.
            “Spacey?”
            “Gettin’ lost in your own head,” Tony explained.
            “Oh yes, of course, my apologies,” Loki replied, his head turned down and away from the questioning eyes, he began stroking the hand holding his own, “I want to thank you Anthony, for retrieving me from that place.” He didn’t dare say rescue, “Even if it doesn’t last, you’ve given me more comfort than I’ve had in…well…I can’t even recall the last time someone showed me such kindness”
            “You don’t have to thank me…and you deserve kindness, if you didn’t know,” Tony smirked.
            Loki shook his head, “I don’t believe I do…not after all I’ve done.”
            “Let’s not go pity party, alright? There was something going on that not even Shield understands, and we’re gonna get to the bottom of it. I won’t let you go down for something you couldn’t control, got that?”
            “You may try Anthony, but I’m not confident that we will be successful,” Loki answered with another thoughtful sigh.

            Tony figured the best thing for now was to get food in that waif of a man and keep his mind occupied, he remembered Loki always did enjoy movies, even if they were weirdo foreign films. Even after all the time that Loki had been gone, Tony would come across one of those French titles on Netflix and always think of Loki. In the first few months he disappeared he would be wondering what Loki was doing, more importantly if he was doing alright for himself. So here they were, lying in bed the entirety of the afternoon, a lap top resting on a breakfast tray that had once carried soup, now gone, thankfully, and Loki dead to the world. They had gotten through two different films before the vibration of nerves began to calm. Once Lokis’ stomach settled, he’d unconsciously leaned towards Tony. With a little encouragement on Tony’s part, snaking an arm around his shoulders to pull him closer, in no time he was crashed out cold, cheek to Tony’s chest and snoring softly.
            Just as Tony was drifting off, warm pale body against him, Jarvis interrupted announcing an incoming call from, none other, Shield. Tony’s heart leapt as he glanced down at the sleeping figure. Tony shifted nervously, he spoke in the softest tone possible, “J, tell them I’m in the middle of a project I’ll get back to them later.”
            Loki snuffled in his sleep, moving closer until his head was neatly tucked into the crook of Tony’s neck. Tony sighed in his own contentment that he was providing such comfort, despite his hammering heart.
            They are quite insistent, the AI answered.
            Tony bit his lip, as expertly as he could, he dislodged Loki’s peacefully sleeping body against one of the larger pillows and left the bed. He stayed for a moment to make sure he stayed asleep and with an exasperated sigh went into the lounge, out of Loki’s earshot.
            Pulling out his cellphone, he took another deep breath, and thought, fuck, here we go, let’s see how good of a liar I am, “Stark here, what’s up?”
            Fury’s signature voice replied, “We have a problem, our war criminal is loose, we don’t even know how the fuck he got out of the building. Something went haywire with the security cams so we don’t even know where he headed. That is if he even did it physically, Thor has thoroughly explained that this freak uses magic. He could be anywhere, I know for a fact that you have the best tracking tech in the field. Thor was thinking you could match it to his whatever the fuck he called it ‘magic signature’, get this fucker back in custody.”
            Tony swallowed a few times before answering, “Uh, sure, I’ll get right on that, so you have no idea where he is huh? Reindeer-games flew the coop?”
            There was a pause, “You make a joke of this Stark, so help me…”
            “Oh, it’s funny alright, I haven’t figured out why though, I’ll keep ya posted. In the meantime I think I’m warranted a little rest. I fell out of a goddamn wormhole if you recall, I’m still trying to get my bearings here.”
            “Yeah, well, you make the beauty rest short, for all we know he’s planning another attack. And if that happens? The fault is on you.” Fury all but growled.
            “Thanks Dad, I’ll ring ya when I have an idea of what it is you need, nighty night,” he ended the call with a huff, squeezing the bridge of his nose between two fingers. He dropped the cellphone on the bar, trying to compose a calm look on his face before he re-entered the bedroom. He felt a swell in his chest to see Loki still asleep, he leaned close and pressed his lips to Loki’s forehead and skillfully laid back to Lokis’ side. As he lay here, face relaxed, no wrinkles marring his brow, his lips not pursed painfully together, easy breaths leaving the space between. He could stall for as long as possible, and he’d do anything to keep Loki safe.

 

Chapter Text

            Loki turned over in his sleep and realized that the bed was empty, he pushed himself up on his elbows with a groan. He wasn’t sure how long he had slept, all he knew was that the sun had begun to set. The room was warm and quiet, which nearly lulled him back to sleep, tempting him to lay his cheek back to the pillow. To his left there was a note “there was something I had to work on in the lab, you need anything ask J to alert me and I’ll be up there in seconds” Loki set the note to the bed stand, better time as any to try and see if he could walk. He shimmied to the edge of the bed, throwing the blankets off his legs and although he was a bit wobbly he stood well enough. He wasn’t quite sure why he couldn’t walk very well, as if he had been suspended in air for months and month, his muscles going lax and useless. If he could just get to the bathroom to wash his face, or better, make it to the kitchen.

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            Two hours in and he’d collectively put together every bit of footage that involved Loki, especially the footage from the beginning where all this started. His tall, lanky form appearing in a stream of blinding light, scepter in his hands, maniacal smile on his face. Thankfully the tape was uploaded to some kind of cloud provided by S.H.I.E.L.D so it was easily accessible despite the building being rubble now. Initially nothing looked out of place about Loki, and that thought had made Tony’s heart bounce, but when he instructed Jarvis to zoom in on his face and clear the image, there, plain as day were signature blazing blue eyes, certainly not the emerald gaze Tony was so familiar with. Not only that, he looked injured, sick, paler than usual, he even stumbled with a very brief horrified and pained look. He captured these images and enhanced them, putting them all in both a physical folder and loaded them to a hard drive. He leaned back in his chair rubbing at his burning eyes, of all the footage there were instances where Loki’s eyes would clear, his face would change all together and despite the madness that had been dressing his face before, it would melt away and he looked as lost and terrified as a child. Then there would be a twitch, almost as if he were being whipped, and the crazed look returned as if even stronger than before. The last set of footage was Thor and Loki on the balcony, there was another moment, and the two seemed to be speaking to one another, really speaking. Thor’s hand on Loki’s shoulder, his blue eyes pleading with Loki. When Tony zoomed in on this image, he unmistakably captured Loki’s tearing eyes, brimming with desperation, as if he wanted to spill everything to his older brother. But then chaos ensued once more.
            “If I can just get the team to listen,” he said to himself, but then they had the most important factor of persecution, Phil Coulson. That footage was particularly hard to re-witness, but Loki’s demeanor wasn’t any different than the rest of the evidence. He even looked horribly conflicted at flipping that switch that sent Thor soaring through the open sky, his hand trembling over the button, as if hesitant. He felt his phone buzzing for the fourth time and he let it go to voicemail again.
            Well if Tony wasn’t convinced before that something was wrong, he was more than sure now.
            Sir, your guest is awake and asking for you.
            “Thanks J, tell him I’m coming up,” Tony slipped the flash drive in his pocket, and gathered up the papers and pictures and headed back to the top floor.
            “Lokes, you in here?” Tony said, when he noticed the empty bed and rumpled sheets, he went into the large lounge area that connected with the kitchen.
            “Tony?” Loki’s voice arrived from around the corner of the kitchen, but Tony followed his voice, he found him behind the counter on the tile floor, “What are you doing down there?” he tried not to chuckle, because to be honest Loki looked like a bird that had fallen out of their nest.
            “I think I underestimated my ability to walk,” he groaned, resting his forehead to the cabinet at his side, one set of fingertips gripping the granite countertop.
            “Here, let me help you up, need a change of scenery? We can go sit on the couch in there, I’ll make us some food,” and as he said this he reached out two hands to take Loki’s who accepted the help despite the sour look on his face.
            “Yes, that sounds better than staying in the bedroom for another day,” Loki huffed and Tony pulled him up easily.
            Tony was proud of himself when he was able to get Loki to eat almost half of an omelet, so his cooking couldn’t be ALL that bad. At the moment he had Loki snug at his side, dozing lazily in front of the television once more. The two of them zoning out to some documentary on sharks. He figured the little bit of walking alone tired him out, after all he had no control over his own limbs and mind for only God knew how long. Tony hoped that was where a majority of the fatigue was coming from. He wouldn’t say this out loud, certainly not to Loki, but he kind of enjoyed having someone rely on him. What he enjoyed even more was that he could provide the kind of comfort that Loki needed so obviously it was heartbreaking. He knew that, if he could keep Loki out of harm’s way, things would get worse. At the moment Loki was indeed in a kind of survival mode. His body demanding sleep and food, when the fog would rise, and it would, he would have to actively deal with what had been done to him. Tony could only surmise what had happened, the fear of touch was the most troubling. The content he would shout in the fits of a nightmare were chilling. He would need to talk about it and Tony hoped he had the strength to listen.
            “You okay?” Tony asked when he felt Loki take an exaggerated breath.
            “I don’t know, I feel…not unwell…I just want this to last longer and I know it will not, it can’t possibly. The few rare times that I have found contentment they have been short lived.” He exhaled roughly, tears heard easily in his throat.
            Tony stroked his back, counting the bumps in his spine that were scarily prominent, “Remember what I told you? I’ll do everything I can, come on, give me some credit.”
            “You would not be at fault if something were to happen, I am grateful for what I have been allowed to enjoy. Even if it was just a little sleep and a decent meal.” Loki raised his eyes to Tony’s, running delicate fingers along Tony’s cheekbones, before resting a thumb over his full pink lips, “I thank you for that…”
            “Loki….” Tony began, and he wouldn’t admit that his voice was trembling, and because Loki didn’t flinch when Tony drew nearer Tony kissed the corner of his mouth, a delicate, chaste kiss, “You don’t owe me anything.” He kissed his cheek firmly as if to emphasize his point and then simply pulled him close. He was equally surprised when Loki’s arms went around his waist, his face buried in Tony’s shoulder. They didn’t speak anymore after that, Loki soon fell into a fitful sleep.
            Tony returned to his lab later that evening, after he was sure Loki was fast asleep once more on the plush couch in a mountain of blankets. He felt the sudden urge to up his security. And all be damned if his instincts were not on par, not more than 15 minutes in the lab did Jarvis alert him.
            Sir, you have visitors, Miss Potts, and Mr. Rogers, I did my best to stall them but they are quite insistent given the fact that you have turned off your cell phone. As you well know Miss Potts has full access.
            “Shit,” Tony spat, “Shit, shit, shit,” he was racing for the elevator. He knew he should have maneuvered Loki into the bedroom, but didn’t have the heart to move the poor guy. Pepper knew better than to bother him while working. That had been his order to Jarvis for anyone that wanted to enter Stark tower. That Sir was busy. Her access was only slightly limited since their breakup, and now he was cursing himself for not changing it all together, best friend or not.
When he heard the crash and sudden fits of yelling, he nearly lost his footing, the hammering of his heart so loud and powerful he thought he would be sick.

 

Chapter Text

            He heard voices, one he vaguely recognized and the other not at all, in the blurry scope of his vision he saw two figures. He was so deeply huddled underneath the blankets he wasn’t sure if the people in the room could see him. For a moment he thought, if I stay still enough they won’t notice I’m here at all.
            “Tony?!” the redhead spoke first, “Jarvis, where is Tony, is he buried in the lab again?”
            “He is currently on his way to the lounging area.” The AI answered.
            “You said he usually answers his telephone?” Steve asked.
            “Cellphone, Mr. Rogers,” the woman replied, “And yes, sometimes it takes more than once but I’m concerned, because after three voicemails he’s obviously ignoring me. He disappeared a little quickly for my taste after the briefing.”
            “Tony, is that you?” Loki heard the question directed at the couch, he immediately tensed, shaking harder than he thought possible.

            Tony burst through the door just as the shouting escalated, “Stop! Stop! Cap, stop!” he damn near screamed as Steve had Loki cornered. Loki was trying his hardest to hide behind the couch. But Steve was suddenly lurching forward and yanking Loki up by one arm so swiftly Loki went completely limp as a doll.
            “Tony what the hell?!” Pepper yelled.
            “Rogers let him go!” Tony continued to shout, ignoring Pepper’s question.
            “Please!” he finally heard Loki lament.
            Steve slammed Loki to the neighboring wall, hard, so much so Loki yelped in pain, “Working on a little more mind control are we?! You don’t have an army now, what could you possibly want with Stark!”
            “I’m not controlling him, I swear,” Loki cried, clawing at the hands around his throat. In a burst of fright, unbeknownst to even Loki, the tiny bit of reserved magic came bursting forth sending the Captain soaring backwards. Loki collapsed to the floor, skittering back to his corner, “I-I’m sorry, I’m sorry!”
            Tony took this opportunity to leap between them, “Rogers, I said fucking stop! It’s not what you think! Loki was controlled, just like Barton, even more powerfully so, got it? I have evidence!”
            The blow of, whatever that was, knocked Steve back but he was on his feet soon enough, however he did stay his ground with Tony’s shouting, “Explain, now! You know what’s going to happen to you when the Director finds out about this?!”
            “Give me a fucking second!” Tony growled, “Look at my eyes, do I look like I’m being fucking controlled?!”
            Steve huffed loudly, crossing his arms over his broad chest, “That still doesn’t explain why you’re helping a murderer! All those people, he killed Coulson!”
            Tony heard Loki whimper behind him, he knelt down by his side, “It’s okay, it’s okay, I got this.” He turned to Steve again and a very wide-eyed, fast breathing assistant, “He wasn’t in control. He was tortured guys, I mean, really, really bad. For over a year, by those things we killed. And I’m gonna take a wild guess that someone bigger is involved, because those things weren’t exactly the brightest. He’s not lying people, trust me, this is a guy that can heal himself, no problem, and the dude has scars. He can barely walk.”
            “Scars, what kind of scars,” Pepper finally spoke up.
            “I can show you, Loki, is that okay?” Tony asked tentatively, resting a hand to his shoulder.
            Loki’s eyes darted to the three people in the room, he knew he had to plead his case, but the idea of having their eyes on his body made him sick, “I-I suppose…”
            “It’s okay,” Tony whispered, moving slow, pulling the used t-shirt up to reveal his scar smattered back, long, thick welts and just as angry red as they were before.
            Loki turned his head away, successfully swallowing a sob that felt so very much like a large stone at the base of his throat. He wasn’t prepared for the startled gasp that slipped from The Captain’s mouth, nor was he expecting the redhead to say, “Oh God.”
            “They did this to you?” Steve asked, his voice softer now, trying to see through some elaborate lie. But then again, this was most certainly not the Loki he’d fought in Germany, not the Loki they had marched to the Hulk containment cage. This man was broken, and Steve had seen his share of broken men.
            “Y-Yes, for the level of control…they had over me…it takes pain staking time…and persuasion to invade a mind such as mine. The chitauri may not be intelligent, but they are imaginative…they hurt me in ways I was not sure existed. And if they are not satisfied, they will not give one a break until one is screaming. My magic…it protected me for as long as it could…before…” and he stopped, no he couldn’t let them know about the last 3 days of his capture. The days that finally broke him. Tears were now streaming down his face, and he wouldn’t dare meet the eyes of any in the room, “I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean…to…to strike you, it was a reflex,” Loki was nearly sobbing now.
            Steve’s brow furrowed, marring his boyish face, “Uh, what the hell was that anyway?”
            “My magic…what little I have left…” Loki croaked, he felt Tony’s hand slip into his, carefully unfurling them from his sides.
            “Steve, you gotta help me man, you can’t let anyone know he’s here. I have all the evidence you need to deliver to Fury, if you could just do that one solid for me I’d owe you. Ya hear that? I would owe you big time. That wasn’t Loki who did all those terrible things, he tried to break through, you can see that on the footage, but it was way too strong. It took the fucking Hulk to snap him out of it.”
            “How do you know Stark? And, even though, yes, you have evidence, why are you helping him?” Steve said.
            Tony sighed, still stroking Loki’s trembling hand, “I knew Loki before all this, we met about a two years ago. That’s how I know, we spent a lot of time together and he didn’t have a clue as to who I was.”
            “You knew him?” Pepper squeaked.
            Tony shrugged, “Well yeah, I met him at an art gallery opening, I don’t even remember what it was. We…started hanging out after that.” He kept the rest to himself, that wasn’t his place to blab that information that was for both of them to decide, “So whatta ya say Cap?”
            Steve stood silent for a moment, trying his best to mull over all this information, “I-I’ll do what I can Tony, I really will. I mean, if you’re right, what they were going to do to him was wrong. We’re gonna have to tell Thor, before anyone else I think he deserves to know he’s here.”
            “Please don’t,” Loki cried, breaking his silence, squeezing Tony’s hand roughly between both of his, “He won’t listen…he’s never listened…he’ll take me to Asgard…I can’t…I can’t go back there. I know what Odin will do…he won’t hear my case as you have done…he was happy…that I was gone…when I fell…”
            With those words spoken the cracking of thunder shook the building.

 

Chapter Text

            Jarvis, once again, alerted that someone else had entered Stark Tower, and Tony really hoped he didn’t break down any doors. And he joined the party soon enough, Tony kind of already forgot how tall the man was. He towered over Tony, but that didn’t stop him from staying in front of Loki like a shield.
            “Man of Iron, I have sensed my brothers’ magic nearest to your home. I apologize for the intrusion…” and his voice trailed off as soon as he made eye contact with the huddled form of his younger brother, “Loki! Why have you returned to this man’s home, have you not caused enough mayhem. I will take things from here…”
            “No!” Tony spat, arms out, palms exposed, “You’re not taking him anywhere big guy, we need to have a talk.”
            “Explain, brother,” Thor growled, and Tony’s defensive stance did nothing to deter him, “My patience with you has worn thin, Loki.”
            “Thor, did you even for once, wonder why Loki just randomly picked this place to wage war? Or why he wanted to do it at all?” Tony said, backing up only slightly.
            “Yeah Thor, we’re pretty sure he went through the same thing Barton did, and a whole lot more. I didn’t want to believe it either but it’s lookin’ that way” Steve interrupted.
            “I care not of his reasons, he is vain, selfish and murderous. He has no valid reason of his doings, he certainly did not have good reasons for his attacks in New Mexico or an entire realm. No good reason besides his own petty problems.” Thor ranted.
            “Petty?!” Loki’s voice pitched, “Petty?!” 
            Tony was startled by the sudden life in Loki’s tone, he felt as though he was about to witness an all-out war between the two.
            “You have NO idea, not a clue of what was done to me, what did the all-father tell you? A short and sweet story where he is the hero?! Rescued the abandoned frost-giant out of the goodness of his heart!” he screamed, wishing he could stand and get in his not-brother’s face, he was shaking now for an entirely new reason, “Did no one wonder of my disappearance into the void? When I asked if you mourned…you lied to me! Why would such a ‘golden’ family mourn for the loss of a monster!”
            Thor’s face softened, “Brother, it is no lie, we did mourn.”
            “No one came for me, why didn’t anyone come looking for me!!!” he wailed, eyes wide and bright and pleading, “I called for you, all of you, for someone, anyone to come to my aid!” his long fingers were now tangled painfully in his dark strands, “Not even Mother! Was my time in the void not enough? A year of torture, my skin flayed from my bone, my eyes torn from their sockets, eviscerated…again and again, only to have my body heal itself…only for it to begin all over again! Did that not suffice?! Being violated…r-raped over and over. Do you remember Svaðilfari?! Of course you don’t, because the all-father deemed that to be at my fault as well. Thanos employed him to break me! As if raping me when I was barely a man wasn’t enough! Is it not enough?! Was all of that not enough?!” and then he was full on hyperventilating, eaten up by heavy, suffocating sobs. He couldn’t find his breath now, and his vision began to swim.
“Brother, you cannot expect me…”
            “That is enough!” Tony intervened, kneeling once more in front of Loki and without protest on Loki’s part Tony gathered him in his arms like he did the first day he brought him here. He was careful once more to cradle and not clutch around his torn back. Loki only cried louder and more deeply, hiding his face roughly into Tony’s shoulder, long arms wound around his neck.
            Tony’s blazing gaze settled on the Thunderer, “Happy now?” if looks could kill Tony was pretty sure he could level the 6’4 man, “I’m taking him to get some rest, do me a favor and stay the fuck in here. Don’t follow me! Cap, do we still have an agreement?”
            Steve’s sorrowful face straightened and he nodded, “Yeah, Tony of course.”
            Thor’s alien blue eyes were suddenly watering, “Brother I…”
            “No,” Tony snapped sharply, already moving from the living room quarters.
           

            Tony shut the bedroom door with an outstretched foot, leaning slightly down to lock it and approached the bed. He attempted to rest Loki to the plush surface but Loki suddenly acquired the skills of a sloth. So he opted to sit on the bed himself, shifting enough that his back was against the headboard, Loki settled in his lap. His cries had only slightly quieted, his face still hidden.
            Tony stayed silent for a few moments, stroking the expanse of his back, drawing circles here and there as he carded finger tips through his inky hair that so expertly hid the sharp features of his face. He wouldn’t lie, the images Loki produced in his fit of panic flipped Tony’s stomach, he knew it had to be bad…but not like that, “Shhh, it’s alright baby, they’re gone, just you and me, k? Just you and me…”
            “Why didn’t they look for me?” Loki’s broken voice fought past his swollen throat.
            Tony sighed, holding him closer, pressing a kiss to his temple, “They’re fucking assholes…” he began but stopped, “When you disappeared, I searched, looked for you for months. I guess I figured I screwed this up like I do everything else…I thought you got fed up with my shit and just left. You get that? If I had known…”
            “How could you have known everything that occurred in that time?” Loki interrupted, pushing away only slightly enough to reveal his wet face, “….you looked for me?”
            Tony took his free hand, swiping a thumb beneath each of his green eyes, “Of course I did…I’m so sorry I couldn’t have been the one that found you.”
            Another sob popped up from the deep recesses of Loki’s chest and he collapsed back into Tony’s arms, “I thought I could endure it…be the warrior I never was…but I was weak…I didn’t even last more than a few days after he arrived…why didn’t I die?”
            “You can tell me Loki, what did they do…”
            “It’s what he did…they had already infiltrated my mind….knew all my secrets….my past. I was what you would calculate as 16 years old in Midgardian time. Odin employed the help of Svaðilfari, a very powerful god. I always attended political meetings…he took an immediate liking to me…when I refused…he took me anyway. His magic was far superior to mine…still is…Thanos knew…discovered this almost a year into my torture and made contact with him. It only took him four days…and he broke me…my mind was open for control. I was able to break the spell only a handful of times…Thor took no notice…if he had just…if only…none of this…the things I have done…perhaps I could stop them”
            Tony listened patiently, horrified, his response only to gingerly tighten his hold, “You’re safe here, shhh, they’re gone, those bastards are dead. I made sure of that.”
            “They’re still out there. Thanos…. Svaðilfari, he promised me he’d look for me after this was all over…” Loki sobbed, his throat and eyes throbbing at this point, shocked that he’d finally purged his thoughts. He was effectively exhausted to say the least. He barely noticed that Anthony was rocking him gently. Any other time he might be embarrassed, but he couldn’t find himself to care, because here in Tony’s arms he needn’t fear honesty, nor should he fear what Tony might know about his past. With this man it didn’t matter, he could allow himself to feel safe, strong, sturdy arms holding him with genuine affection that he craved like a starving man does food.
            “Loki, no one is going to take you away from me again, those sons of bitches might still be out there, but they’re not getting anywhere near you,” Tony vowed, pressing lips into the mess of his hair of which Loki only replied with a muffled sob. 
            Tony resituated his limbs, pulling the covers up over his still shaking frame, at the very least easing him off his lap. One arm was still around him holding him close until they were both lying flat on the bed. Loki’s cheek was now resting against Tony’s chest. Tony’s mind was racing, not just at the horrific nature of what Loki had recalled, but the knowledge that he needed to fix this, keep Loki safe, make Loki FEEL safe, and with no idea how to do it.

Chapter Text

            Tony noticed Loki’s lulling head, his sleepy breathing, “Loki, I’m gonna go talk to those assholes, I want you to rest.”
            “Don’t leave,” Loki croaked, holding tight, draping a leg over Tony’s thigh to still his movements, tangling his fingers in the cloth of his t-shirt.
            “Sweetheart, I’ll come right back,” Tony soothed, burying his face in Loki’s unkempt hair, “I’ll be one room away, all you have to do is holler for me and I’ll be here in a second.”
            Loki produced a shuddering sigh, silent for several long seconds, “Alright then.” He relinquished his tight hold of Tony’s lax body.
            Tony leaned forward and kissed his forehead, lingering his lips there deliberately, “Half an hour, I promise.”
            Loki nodded, pulling a pillow forward in place of Tony’s comforting warmth, “Don’t be long…” he willed his eyes to close, burying his nose in the cotton, hearing the door open and click shut.
            He laid there for quite some time, unwilling to move, but he craved a shower, a bath, anything, he just felt the need for warm water. He pushed up from the bed with both trembling arms, eyeing the bathroom. It could have been a mile as far as it stood from the bed. He managed and moved into the bathroom, playing with the knobs before producing the right temperature from the faucet. He slid out of his loose clothes and sat down into the porcelain tub. Forehead once again resting against his bruised knees, willing his emotions to stay at bay, if only for a moment so he could rest.

~~~~~~~~~~~

            Tony re-entered the lounge area, and as he expected the party was still there, patiently waiting for him, “So, let’s get this shit over with,” he went to the bar and poured himself a drink.
            “Tony,” Steve began, getting up from the couch, “I know something’s wrong, I won’t deny that…that’s not the Loki I met in Germany…I can see that.”
            “And?” Tony found himself snapping, looking down at the amber liquid he was pouring.
            “If everything you say is true….” Steve took a breath, his eyes closing, “I’ll do anything to make it right. I could tell…he wasn’t lying…and I..”
            Tony rose his eyes to the Captains, brow furrowed, “Yeah Cap?”
            “He’s really hurting, he needs help,” Steve admitted with a hardy sigh, “If what he says is true, he needs help. If it’s all true…it’s no different than Barton…in fact it’s worse. I mean if what he recalled to us….”
            “I only wish to seek his safety,” Thor’s baritone voice intervened, “I’ll relay this message to my family….to Asgard…we will seek protection for Loki.” There was definite hesitation in his voice but he spoke anyway, “If he would only let me speak to him, Stark, please.”
            Tony swirled the ice around in his glass, “Thor…look man, I don’t hate you, nothing like that….but I respect his personal space, who he wants to talk to, and dude you are not in that category right now. He needs to get his shit together, hell, he hasn’t even been in control of his own mind. He’s trying to sort his thoughts out, and that means you big guy, that whole stolen, adoption, thing, whatever it is. I don’t think he’s even had time to process all that. I sure as shit didn’t know about it until now.” He emphasized the last request, “He needs sleep, more food, he needs to know that no one is going to take him from this place. That he can catch up on rest, all the shit he’s been through I think he deserves that.”
            “I will ensure this” Thor vowed, his eyes outside the window now, “We have had many grievances but I love him. He does not know this, but I do, and if he would allow it I will prove it to him in due time. I will go to my Mother” he stopped Tony before he could protest, “ONLY my Mother, she can ward this place, keep Loki safe from outside threats, I will not allow my Father to know of his presence…his existence.”
            Tony gulped, “Thank you Thor, I uh, I’ll relay that to your little bro.”
            “I do believe Mother’s presence will soothe him, he needs to know that she bares no ill will,” Thor said, head bowed once more, “He is and has always been her son. It was she that grieved the most.”
            “I’ll do whatever I can” Steve said, “Just…give me the files, I’ll make something up.”
            Tony grinned broadly, “Oh Captain-wow, you do surprise me. You lie? You won’t have to, but here ya go.” He gave him the fat envelope.
            Steve managed a smile of his own, “Don’t have so much doubt in me, I’m a better liar than you think.”
            “Tony,” Pepper began, “Do I even know you?”
            “Of course you do Pep, same old boss, same old shit, and just like always, keep it to yourself,” he spat, knocking back the remainder of the whiskey, “Besides, it isn’t like you’re some kind of Shield agent anyway, nothing compromising. And come on…” his brow softened, “I’m not lying…this is important.”
            Pepper attempted a glare, “I’ll keep your schedule busy in the meantime”

~~~~~~~~~~~

            Once the room was clear, Tony took a breath, and made his way back to his bedroom. He found Loki sprawled out on the bed on his back, only clad in a towel wrapped around his waist,          “What’s with the spa look? I told you to stay put.”
            “I felt dirty,” Loki answered, one arm over his eyes to block out the overhead light.
            “Loki,” Tony breathed, sitting down on the edge of the bed, “You’re not dirty.”
            Loki took a shuddering breath, “Yes I am, in every way possible I’m afraid.”
            Tony shook his head, even though Loki couldn’t see it, and tugged one of his slender bare feet into his lap and carefully kneaded the sole with both thumbs, moving up between his toes, before moving the other hand to a tense calf working against the shaking and tense muscles beneath the flesh.
            Loki made a whimpering noise that made Tony stop, “Am I hurting you?”
            “No,” Loki gulped, eyes on the ceiling before he simply closed his lids, “I’m just…not use to…I mean I’m not…”
            “I get it,” Tony answered, not stilling his touches, pushing a thumb into Loki’s arch, “It’s okay, just relax,” and Loki did, his cheek turning sideways and resting to the pillow, “I remember how much you like this, you big baby.”
            “I don’t care,” Loki exhaled, not acknowledging the snarky remark, “Yes, I do like it, don’t stop.”
            “Everything’s worked out for now, so you need to chill out, got it?” Tony said his tone jokingly terse, “You’re lucky if I let you leave this bed.”
            “How ever did you manage that?” Loki groaned against the massaging of his legs and feet, “Thor?”
            “We’ve got these guys on our side, your brother included, even though I know you don’t like the idea. He loves you ya know? He may be a major league pain in the ass but he does care about you.” Tony added, scooping up his left foot executing the same treatment.
            “Yes, so I’m told,” Loki spoke, barely decipherable with the attention he was being given, his eyes closing, his mind drifting.
            “I’m not saying forgive him, not at all, he’s a dick in his own right, but he’s gonna fight for you and we could use all the support we can get.” Tony leaned forward, pressing lips to Loki’s exposed knee, “You’re cold, let’s get you covered up.”
            “No, because you’ll stop what you’re doing, and I wouldn’t have that,” Loki actually smirked.
            Tony smiled, “Doesn’t mean I can’t pull a blanket over you, I won’t stop, this I remember well. You being so demanding.”
            “I am a prince, you should be well use to it,” Loki said, his eyes never opening, in fact, he was slowly starting to fade.
            So with that barely feasible threat, Tony pulled blankets over Loki’s naked body, continuing to rub his feet until his breathing evened out, before tucking those beneath the blankets as well.

 

Chapter Text

            The journey back to Asgard was especially dizzying, given Thor’s mental state, his mind muddled with mixed emotions. He could usually always tell when Loki was lying, and this was definitely not one of those times. He tried his best to filter out the last few days, trying to pluck out the moments where he and Loki had actually made eye contact. He was now remembering that more than one instant of direct eye contact, that he did indeed have different eye color. The most striking interaction they had had was the time they spoke briefly on top of Stark’s tower. Loki had, for a rare second, looked like the little brother Thor knew from years and years before. The little brother he now knew he never really treated right in their youth, their teenage years that is. His heart felt bruised, how had he not seen that Loki was pleading with his suddenly green eyes? Before they flickered and Loki had buried the small blade into his side, deliberately only to distract him, to not outwardly harm him. That Loki’s tongue was not his own, that he could not tell Thor of the possession of his mind? He felt so very sick, barely aware that he was walking down the bridge towards the entrance of the palace. He bypassed the guards with little to no words spoken, only curt nods as he tried his best not to run to his mothers’ chambers.
            He knocked on the door before entering, “Mother, I must speak to you.”
            “Thor, you’re back, is it true? Is Loki alive?” Friggas’ eyes went bright with tears.
            “May we speak in private,” Thor gulped, ushering her into the bedroom.
            “Of course,” she replied, her worried brow making Thor frown.
            “Father mustn’t know of this, none of it. I fear he will not listen to anything that I have to say on the matter. Yes, Loki is alive. I know that you were made aware of the attacks on Midgard. Loki was not in control of his actions, I witness this magic, it was perpetrated on a dozen or more mortals as well. I know not all the details, but Loki was tortured. Badly, Mother, you would not recognize him. He is in need of protection, I am in need of your magical prowess mother. You’re the only one that can protect him, his own magic is dangerously depleted, he isn’t even able to heal himself.” Thor took a much needed breath, feeling nauseated as he spoke.
            “All this time?” her usually smooth and flawless voice cracked like broken crystal, “He was in the hands of these monsters you speak of?” she sat gracelessly to the edge of her bed.
            “I’m afraid so, Mother,” Thor said softly, “This torture of Loki was executed by Thanos, this is why I believe father will disregard Loki’s need of help. We all thought he was merely a story. He exposed all of Loki’s secrets, diving into his mind in the worst ways. He made contact with Svaðilfari….”
            Frigga felt her breath leave her lungs, “No, no, please,”
            “His encounter with that despicable being was the last straw. Loki could no longer control his actions after his time with him.” Thor swallowed thickly.
            “I will go to my son immediately, I’ll gather supplies. We must create a ruse that I am merely accompanying you to Midgard to help with your mission as a healer.” Frigga said, standing brusquely up from the golden surface of the bed, “Meet me at the gate.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

            Loki blinked the sleep out of his eyes, vaguely aware of the rumbling sound that seemed to penetrate the air inside of the silent bedroom. He pulled the covers up over his head, doing his best to block out the unpleasant feeling in his stomach that the sound of thunder stirred.
            “Hey, I’ll be right back, sit tight,” he heard Tony’s subdued voice speak close to his ear.
Loki grunted in response, but said nothing.
            Tony eased himself off the bed, careful not to jostle the once again sleeping god. He hurried out of the room, thinking, it had only been a few hours, that hadn’t taken Thor long. He took the elevator to the roof, taking immediate note to the intricate design now burnt into the surface of his tower, “I’m gonna take a wild guess and say that’s something you can’t wash off with good ole fashion elbow grease?” if was then he was aware of the woman, her gown fluttering in the wind like a cape might.
            “Son of Stark, I would like you to meet my mother, Queen Frigga,” Thor introduced, accompanied with a little bow and everything.
            “Uh, just Tony, and it’s nice to meet you, I hope this is a friendly call?” Tony tried not to talk too fast with the slight tremor of fear eating its way up his throat.
            “I wish no ill will against my son, I’m here to ward your tower from his enemies, and heal him if I can.” Frigga replied pleasantly.
            “Sure, sure, ward, does that stuff really work?”
            “Oh yes, I assure you, I have been honing my Sedir for many centuries, far more than I can count. Would you please lead me to my son?” Frigga all but begged, the desperation in her voice not hidden by her regal posture.
            “Yeah, maybe I should give him a pep talk first…he’s had it really rough the last couple days, emotionally I mean…” Tony trailed off.
            “It would be best if I simply went to him before he has a chance to protest,” Frigga answered.
            And Tony would protest, but the look in this woman’s eyes was heartbreaking, and genuine. So he agreed, and led the two gods to his penthouse, “He’s laid up in bed right now, can’t walk very well, so uh, you want me to wait outside?”
            “Let me alone with him, just for a few minutes, I assure you I’ll be gentle with him. This isn’t the first time I’ve tended to his wounds, both emotionally and physically.”
            “Well, I’ll just wait here then,” Tony coughed.

~~~~~~

            Loki heard the door open, just as he was dozing off, he cleared the sleep from his voice, “If Thor thinks he’s coming in here, he is sorely mistaken, I may be weak but I’m quite sure I could conjure enough of my magic to toss him across the room.” Loki growled, still not coming out from his cocoon of blankets.
            “Loki, my darling,” Frigga said temperately, approaching the bed with smooth fluid movements.
            Loki froze, achingly slow he pulled down the blanket from over his head, “M-Mother?” and the word slipped before he could help it, and he was equally shocked when she sat beside him, her honey eyes filled to the brim with tears.
            “Oh my baby, I am so sorry, so sorry for everything.” Her long cool finger tips were in his hair, pushing the long strands from his face, “My poor baby,” and she repeated it in soft intervals of combing his hair, as if it were a lullaby to balm the hurt.
            “I-I…” Loki gulped, inwardly punishing himself for falling into her touch, feeling utterly infantile without any hesitation.
            “I don’t believe I’ve had a decent nights’ sleep since you fell,” Frigga’s trembled, “And to hear…what has been done to you…I will never forgive myself.”
            “You never looked for me…” Loki croaked, going still under his mothers’ hands.
            “Oh yes I did, from what I can gather those creatures veiled their existence, not an easy feat but possible, ” her voice gained strength, “Every day I searched for you, for months and months, Heimdel could not see you. He explained to me that you most likely died, that it is quite a rare thing for one to survive such peril. And you have my darling, and I was not there to save you, to protect you. Never doubt that I searched for my son.”
            Loki only slightly prickled at those words, and almost spat that he was not a child but couldn’t find the will to push them from his lips, “But you know of what I am…a Jotun runt, left to die…wanted by no one.”
            “Yes, and I have always known of what you are and I loved you still, have always loved you. Understand that, please my love.”
            “How can you, how, I’m a monster,” Loki’s venire finally cracked, and he found himself cradled in his mother’s arms.
            “Never describe yourself as such, you are not a monster, you are my son and I love you, more than you can comprehend.” She pressed lips into his hair, still stroking the base of his skull, “Always.”
            Loki choked on another loud and painful sob, he was so sick of crying, but for the first time in months he felt relief. Honest and real relief. He didn’t even care that he was clutching at his mother’s robe, and crying into her shoulder, inhaling her floral scent that sent memories of his childhood racing across his mind.
            Frigga only held him gently, rocking him in her arms, eyes closed in such utter contentment, her heart feeling as if the cracks were closing slowly but surely, “Let me heal you, yes?”
            Loki hiccupped, emerald eyes streaming endlessly as he nodded, leaning away from her chest, afraid to raise his eyes to hers’, “I know not what is wrong with my Sedir.”
            “With everything you have been through it does not surprise me, it will return in time.” She placed both hands on his shoulders, straightening him gingerly, “Remove your tunic, or, um this cloth.”
            “T-shirt, mother,” and he actually smiled, even though it be small.
            Frigga remained calm, refrained the gasp of shock, she didn’t want to make her youngest feel embarrassed or ashamed, but by the Norns. She could easily decipher the lacerations to his torso, and back. They laced around like coils of rope around his frail body and she could feel the dark magic thrumming through the scars, “Lie back darling,” she forced a smile, her hands still on his now bare shoulders.
            He did as told, seeing through his mothers’ façade, the tiny small he had been donning disappeared as if it were never there at all. The flux and flow of his mothers’ Sedir was like a warm embrace, he closed his eyes, willing away the shame and disgust he felt with himself. How sullied and ruined he felt. He wondered if he would ever feel whole again. For now her presence was enough to soothe his fears, an utterly broken part of himself began to seal up with her familiar touch. He felt like a child, and for once relished in the feeling.

 

Chapter Text

            Frigga felt a little dizzy after the contact of her magic with her sons’ bruised and broken body and she would not dare say it aloud, she had seen flashes of his experiences through the connection. They were violent, loud, filled with her sons’ screams and pleas of mercy, of death, and that monster atop him. From what little that she was forced to witness she saw his already frail body chained to a bed, legs and arms rendered useless. And he had fought, oh yes, fought so fiercely that his ankles and wrists seeped blood. But it had not been enough, and like a blackening tunnel the images faded thankfully away, as she knew, his mind began to quiet consciously bury the memories. “Darling, I must work on the wards now, the sooner the better, but you should rest now. I shall be back in an hour or so.”
            Loki nodded languidly, feeling her lips pressed to his forehead, his vision a bit white washed by his mothers’ magic, acting as some kind of tepid balm that made him feel drunk. A feeling he hadn’t experience in many years and it was a dulling of senses, a sensation that he perhaps should fight. Because it was only in the lax state of consciousness that he was not lashing out at the image of Thor appearing near, but not too close, to the bed.
            Perhaps it had to do with the brush of Sedir that the memories flooded him, almost suffocating him.

~~~~~~ 

            Svaðilfari was circling the worn mattress, really only a stuffed cotton surface, merely there to substitute a hard, brick floor, “My darling, lovely boy, how I have waited for this moment. For you to be at my mercy, all mine, and oh shall I have you pay for denying me for so long.”
            Loki huffed, loudly, in and out, trying desperately to calm his breathing, to not give into this creatures’ mocking tone. He knew what would transpire. It was inevitable. His restrained body was only testament to this. Thanos had had him bound to the bed, only a loose fitting cloth around his waist. His exposed body there for the taking.
            “I’m going to make you squeal,” Svaðilfari purred, straddling the bound god, “We had such fun before. I’d say, with such age and experience, of which I know you must have, this will be a delight. And you will do everything I say. You’re mine, don’t you ever forget that.”
            “I belong to no one” Loki growled, head turning away sharply from the piercing eyes, only to be wrenched back violently by the roots of his hair by rough fingertips.
            “Oh yes you do, let’s see how much I can make you scream, if I’m generous I’ll give you satisfaction as well…you know you want it. I’ll have you begging,” Svaðilfari grinned, forcing his mouth onto Loki’s closed lips, who was denying any entry at all cost.
            Loki bit the exploring tongue and was rewarded with a harsh slap to his face, “Bitch! You will do as told, you hear me? Oh, you’ll learn quickly enough, no one wants you, no one is looking for you, you’re all mine.”
            Loki wouldn’t admit that he cried, then and there. But he did. Because this was all he was. A piece of meat, worthless, unloved, and no one would find him, no one wanted to find him. No one would save him. And then all he knew was pain, no preparation, a sudden penetration so quick and swift that he thought he would die. He hoped he would die. And then it happened again, and again, and again.

~~~~~~~

            He heard the sharp inhalation of Thor’s breath and he was suddenly well aware of the fact that he was shirtless, his naked torso revealed and exposed, speaking loudly of his torture, “My dear little brother.”
            Loki fought the heavy lids of his eyes, trying his best to scowl, “You see me brother…you think me a liar still?” he pulled the sheets up as best as he could against the lead heavy feel of his limbs, he flinched near violently as Thor moved forward to attempt to help, “No!”
            Thor’s helping hands retreated, tight fists at his sides, “Forgive me, I didn’t mean to…startle you…”
            “Just don’t,” Loki croaked, growling inwardly at the weakness in his voice, he managed to cover himself fully and attempted to turn away, “Why are you here, I told you I didn’t wish to speak with you.”
            “Mother suggested….that we speak.”
            “Well Mother is wrong!” Loki spat, venom dripping from his voice.
            “Brother please,” Thor approached the bed once more, but kept enough distance of which Loki did not protest.
            “What could you possibly have to say to me?!” Loki growled, fingers aching at how horribly tight he was holding onto the sheets, wishing Tony would enter the room and usher his fool of a not-brother out of here, “When have you ever defended me? From your comrades, your friends! Why start now? Why care? Or pretend to care!”
            “I do not pretend to care Loki, I DO care, I had no idea that….”
            Loki brusquely interrupted, “Had no idea? Ha! You speak words of love, of devotion and yet you know NOT when I need help. Have you any clue? Any clue at all how much I pleaded with you to know that this was not of my own free will!”
            Thor’s eyes cast downwards, “I perceived your feelings quite clearly during the events in New Mexico, those feelings clouded my perception and the fault is mine. Oh Loki…if I had only known I would have done everything in my power to help you, you must know that. I know that I have been unthinking in my younger years, reckless, uncaring, but never doubt that I love you. If I had thought, if only for a moment that you were in distress…”
            Loki pushed up from the bed, legs wobbly, more like a new born colt than anything and he was slamming fists into Thor’s chest, as hard as he possibly could. And screaming, and pushing, and clawing. Anything to cause pain, to make his own pain stop, to hurt those stupid blue eyes staring down at him with so much concern and blatant compassion, “I hate you! How could you not see…I hate you! Hate you!”
            Thor’s brow buckled, and he allowed the onslaught of weak punches, thin, pale fists pounding on his chest. Loki’s cheeks flushed with anger and emotions he would not dare try to identify, “Loki, little brother, my poor little brother,” he spoke like some lost prayer, soon enough taking hold of Loki’s wrists, as gently he knew how and Loki crumpled into quiet sobs, still pushing against his plated chest.
            “You can’t do this! You can’t pretend to care! Not when you only wish me harm, you always have! Just a shadow and nothing more!” Loki’s heart was pounding, drowning out all of his use of hearing. All he could feel was Thor drawing him close, albeit it against his will, thick, strong arms around his slim torso, and an endless stream of nonsensical words pushed between shushing, “Hate you, hate you!” he spat, each time the words released from his lips they lost strength. All he could think, all the flooded his senses was his constant need to win his big brothers’ approval. That last time, the time before Jötunheim when Thor had insisted he join the Warrior’s Three. As an equal. Only to find that he was and always had been seen as unequal. Beneath him. A shadow. But here he was, sobbing like an idiot, weakened by his mother’s healing spell and the last three days, an endless onslaught of emotions that ate at his soul like feasting insects, “No, no, no”
            And Thor wouldn’t let go, eyes burning furiously, stroking Loki’s dark hair, longer than he ever remembered it being, “Never again Loki, never, I won’t ever let you go, I will never let another harm you. I am so sorry, I don’t expect you to forgive me, you can continue to hate me but I will fight by your side. I will destroy those that harmed you.” He pressed lips to Loki’s damp temple over and over again.
            And Loki crumpled, falling against the broad chest, his whole body vibrating with hate and loathing and wanting nothing more than to let it go.
            Thor accepted the crumpled form of his baby brother and held him close, even though he didn’t exactly reciprocate the embrace, but he did everything he could think of to instill the idea that he loved him. Despite everything that had happened, and his heart leapt at the thought of Loki dangling from the bridge, his green eyes so achingly pleading and his Father’s careless words. Words that caused those thin fingers to let go, when all he needed to do was to assure Loki that he was worthy as a son, that Odin loved him. But everything that should have happened, didn’t happen. That simple word. No. And Loki let go and Thor’s world collapsed, it didn’t matter that they had fought, none of it mattered. Loki had not stolen the throne it had been given to him by their mother. So many did not seem to realize that. His friends included. With these thoughts flooding Thor held him closer, arms fully around him now, cradling him carefully, “Loki, I love you, do you hear me? I love you, so much.”
            Loki’s response was a loud and messy sob, one arm finally looping around Thor’s waist, but he couldn’t speak. Wouldn’t. What was there to say, after all that had happened between them? What he hated was that he couldn’t deny the comfort Thor could provide, even with his mind fighting with him that he wasn’t his brother, he was hardly even a step-brother. He finally gave in, and he blamed it on the fact that he had been denied any kind of affection for so long, it was some kind of sick addiction. That he couldn’t deny it in any form. They weren’t alright, none of this was alright, and they were not even close to being okay, but for now? This was a start.

 

Chapter Text

Tony was perched on the edge of the large white couch, wringing his hands, pretending not to watch as Loki’s mother walked near silent around his tower only whispering now and then Tony didn’t understand as her hands glided wistfully through the air. He assumed she was doing some kind of drawing, sketching, whatever the fuck magic electric fences looked like. If someone were to tell him that this was his life ten years ago he would have laughed right in there face. But meeting two gods tend to change ones’ views on the world, not to mention falling hard for one of said gods.

She had exited the bedroom announcing that she had healed Loki as much as she could, that the remainder of dark magic that was residing in his veins that would fade with time, more mumbo jumbo, and that he would need more time and care, and rest. For the most part she was able to heal his physical wounds. She also explained that her healing spell would have him in bed for two or so days. Of which Tony wouldn’t argue with there, he intended to keep Loki in bed as much as possible.

He got especially nervous when Frigga insisted that Thor speak to his younger sibling. He half expected to see the room exploding and a gaping hole to become a permanent fixture in his home. But for the most part, besides some initial shouting, it went quiet. And this worried Tony almost as much as the screaming and obvious crying had. With the arrival of sobs he’d leapt up from his seat but Frigga merely shook her head saying that this was needed. But anger boiled in his chest at the thought of Thor making Loki cry like that, it was the rage-filled kind of screams and cries that made Tony sit back down. Maybe Loki did need to get it all out, years and years up pent up anger at his step brother. Didn’t mean it didn’t hurt to hear, only a few minutes later after the cries settled down Thor, looking more than solemn, was emerging from the doorway.

“Tony, he wishes to speak with you,” Thor said, his head bowed slightly, and that was all he said.

 

Tony moved to the door, hurrying inside before closing it behind him. Loki was on his side, back to Tony, “Hey, kiddo, you alright?” he finally spoke when he heard the quiet snuffling, he closed the space between them and took a seat next to Loki’s curled up form.

Loki may have shrugged, or slightly shook his head, Tony wasn’t sure, “I do not know.” He hand snuck out from underneath the blanket and held tightly to Tony’s.

“That’s okay,” Tony replied, squeezing the hand in his, using his other hand to run a thumb over his knuckles, “If he said anything that…”

Loki cleared his throat, “No, he was kind, which is what is so infuriating...” he sighed, closing his eyes, dark lashes soft against his pale skin.

“Oh,” Tony said, “Well maybe that’s a good thing.”

Loki huffed roughly, almost sounding like a growl, “Do not think for a moment I forgive him…”

“Now why the fuck would I say that? Huh? He may be sorry but that doesn’t change anything and I know that too, alright?”

Loki scooted closer and rested his cheek on Tony’s thigh, automatically Tony began massaging his scalp, “I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to forgive him, it’s so much more than he can even begin to comprehend in the small brain of his.”

“All bronze and no brains, I can totally see that,” Tony sighed, “Your mom is hard at work, how long those things work anyway?”

“For as long as she wishes them to,” Loki exhaled roughly, “They will surely protect me from otherworldly enemies, but your Shield? I haven’t a clue.”

“You leave that to me,” Tony scolded, pressing a palm to Loki’s cheek, and then his forehead with a deepening frown, “You sure you’re feeling alight? You seem really chilled.”

            “I’m sure it is only my mother’s spell, it is not the first time she has had to use it on my either sickened or injured body. It usually leaves me quite disoriented, but, I must admit this time…I’m not sure, I feel different, strange. She said within the wounds were bounds of dark magic, perhaps it will just take longer to dissipate and heal.” Loki groused, pulling the blankets closer with a noticeable shiver.

            “Maybe a warm soak will help,” Tony offered.

            Loki shrugged, “I’m alright, it will pass in time.”

            “Why don’t I get you some soup, I know you still can’t really eat much of anything else. But as soon as we get your stomach in order I’m fattening you up.” Tony winked.

            Loki chuckled softly, rich and genuine, “I’m afraid I have always been slight in form, so fattening me up might prove to be a challenge, but yes I would like soup please.”

            Tony bent and brushed lips against his forehead, still frowning slightly at the temperature he found there, “Back in a jiffy”

 

            Loki rolled over on his back, stretching his arms over his head, the over-sized shirt falling down to his elbows. He was thrilled with the fact that he could do such a simple action without the stinging of injured and taut muscles. He sat up, letting the sheets pool at his waist, resting his hands in his lap. He leaned his head to one side and then the other easing the tension out of his neck, and just when he was thinking he should cut his hair as it brushed his shoulders was when he glanced down at his hands.

It was subtle and at first Loki thought it was just his vision, still blurry from the healing, but a very faint, pale blue began to creep up gradually like clouds rolling in before a storm. The color almost took on a life of its own, tumbling and spreading faster and faster, and he found that he couldn’t breathe, panic numbing every pore on his flesh.

He was scrambling backwards on the bed as if to escape it, “No, no, no, no!” he hadn’t seen his true form since his time with Svaðilfari. The fellow god had stripped him of his magic, exposing his Jotun body that was so much more nerve-lit than his Aesir form. And Svaðilfari had taken full advantage, punishing him with both gross unwanted pleasure and pain so bright all thoughts of existence faded away. He was well past panic at this point, he scrambled into the bathroom, slamming the door behind him, fingers fumbling to lock it. His chest heaving, his lungs desperately trying to retrieve air. His ears were buzzing painfully, he felt underwater, his vision whitewashed, his hearing muted. But the horrible feeling of the tribal lines lighting up with wave after wave of tingling sensation, somewhere between pain and pleasure, was endless. The air around him felt like groping fingertips. As it always did at first when his guise melted, and memories skittered and rose and grew with power and he found himself leaning over the toiled vomiting so violently he nearly fainted.

            He slumped to the floor, eyes leaking with forced tears, and gasping in a hiccup type fashion, he nearly yelped when he heard Tony on the other side of the door, quietly rapping, “Hey, you okay in there?” the doorknob rattled, “Babe, open the door I can hear you getting sick, I knew it was more than chilly skin.”

            “I can’t!” Loki did indeed yelp this time, unintentionally.

            “You’re scaring me! Open this door! I can just as easily have Jarvis do it for me, open this door.”

            “I can’t let you see me like this Tony, please don’t make me, please,” he cried.

            “Loki, please, come on, don’t shut me out,” Tony begged, he could hear the panic in Loki’s voice and when he heard the rough sound of sobs he wanted to break the door down, and the words were on his lips to have J open the door, when the doorknob turned.

            He expected to come eye to eye with a standing Loki, but he was looking down at him crumpled on the floor, “What the fuck?!” blood red eyes were peering up at him, wet, shining and desperate, red not green, and…beautiful. What replaced his flawless porcelain skin was a faint, shade of sky-blue that spread over the entirety of his flesh, or at least what he could see that wasn’t covered by the loose fitting t-shirt. Accenting the color were raised lines that were just a tint darker, making them prominent and stand out, puckered even, like a welt. Tony stood speechless, mouth moving open and then closed, because most shocking of all were the bumps of bone protruding from the jet black hair, similar in color.

            A sob shattered Loki’s speech and he fell forward, and Tony hadn’t time to keep him from fully slumping to the floor, “What happened?!” is this what Loki had meant by not being Aesir, or adopted, or whatever the fuck that meant? Adopted took on a whole new meaning now.

            “Nothing happened!” he shrieked, “What you see…this disgusting, monster, is me, the real me…”

            “Loki…” Tony started.

            “And now you will certainly leave me….and why should you not?! I’m hideous! An abomination!” Loki wailed, clutching tightly to his still lava-stone colored locks, tugging hard.

            “Loki, stop,” Tony kneeled beside him, placing both hands on his biceps, lifting him up from his crouched position, begging with touch, to stop pulling at his hair, “Loki, look at me,”

            Loki sobbing, shook his shoulder, head still hung, long hair dangling loosely like a curtain, “N-no, no,”

            Tony hooked a finger beneath his chin, encouraging him to life his head, but he had his eyes shut tightly, “Baby, look at me, look at me.”

            Loki still faint, and sick, his stomach churning he groaned, but slowly and surely with the fluttering of sooty lashes, he bore a deep and fearful stare into Tony’s chocolate eyes.

            “Wow,” Tony breathed, moving his fingers from his chin, to cradle his face in his wide palm, and the flesh was near vibrating with a kind of chillness that was strange but certainly not unpleasant. Loki’s eyes weren’t just red, there were flecks of gold and silver and they sparkled in some ridiculously poetic way that made Tony gasp. The markings, of what Tony thought must be tribal in some way, lined his face as well. They were thinner than the ones on his arms, and they were more a periwinkle and shaped like a crown. He ran a thumb up his forehead, tracing the lines that traveled down his cheeks, jawline and throat before disappearing beneath the burgundy cloth. And Loki was shuddering more than trembling, “Beautiful, just beautiful.”

            Loki’s cries sputtered to an abrupt stop, his chest still hitching, “W-What?”

            “You’re gorgeous,” Tony found himself whispering, strength in his voice all but lost, his face splitting into a smile “You’re…I can’t even…how can you say something stupid like you’re hideous?”

            Loki’s eyes continued to run, but he blinked rapidly in disbelief, his flesh humming with Tony’s touch, “Because I’m a monster…that’s what I am, hardly anything that can be described as ‘beautiful’, you’re lying to me, you must be.”

            Tony’s brow furrowed, “Do I look like I’m lying? Sweetheart, my God, how you could ever think anything other than that, baffles me. But I’m sure you had a few hundred voices telling you otherwise.” He continued his light touch, not wanting to freak Loki out, not wanting to over step his boundaries, but certainly did not want to give Loki even an inch to doubt his words, “Why did this happen anyway?”

            “My magic is all but gone because of the dark magic in its place, it is temporary, but I’ve never had it not be under my control. Svaðilfari…” he inhaled unsteadily, trying desperately to reign in his control, “He forced me into this state….more than once....hurt me…”

            Tony closed the space between them, tugging him gently into his arms, pressing a firm palm to the back of Loki’s skull, his hand reached to comb his hair and was interrupted by the…horns that was the only way to describe them. He hesitantly brushed the pads of his fingertips along the uneven expanse of bone the same way he had the markings, “It’s okay Loki, you’re safe here, Queen mama took care of that.”

            Loki held back a quiet moan unsuccessfully, nuzzling his face into Tony’s shoulder, completely wreck and exhausted, as if the last few days of rest had meant nothing.

            “Hey I’m not hurting you am I?” Tony asked, almost pulling away

            He felt Loki shake his head, “No, I’m just…much more sensitive like this. I feel the sensation of touch far clearer than under my magic guise…” he paused before asking, “How can you stand me like this?”

            “How can I not? I meant what I said,” Tony kissed the corner of one indigo ear, “You really are my Reindeer games aren’t ya.”

            The sound Loki made was somewhere between a sob and an abrupt and rough laugh, “You amaze me Stark.”

            “You too babe.”

Chapter Text

 

 

            Loki wasn’t sure how long they sat on the floor, he was gathered tenderly in Tony’s arms, and to be quite honest he didn’t want to move. He didn’t want to think about everybody waiting in the living room, even if those people were only his Mother and Thor. He didn’t want them to see him like this. Seemingly with that thought let free into the atmosphere he felt Tony’s fingers move underneath his chin, directing his mouth to his, “You don’t have to go out there if you don’t want to, but honestly I think it would be good for you. One less thing to worry about, because I know that those two love you out there, doesn’t matter what you look like.”

            “I suppose,” Loki muttered, worrying his indigo lip between his teeth making them look all the more striking against his skin, “But for now I’d rather not.”

 

            It took almost two hours of coaxing for Tony to extract Loki from the bedroom, not just coaxing but borderline begging. Only on one condition that was, that he was allowed to wear both his sleep pants and a grossly oversized hoodie sweat shirt.

           

            Frigga sighed tiredly, one of Thor’s hand gently between both of hers’, “Dear I must be off, I wouldn’t want your father to be suspicious of my whereabouts, what is keeping Loki?” and as Tony arrived in the living room, she turned to him asking, “Is he well? I’m quite aware that my healing spells are taxing, but hardly enough to keep him from allowing me entry to the bedroom to give my goodbyes.”

            “No, he’s uh, well, he’s well, just not…he’s not exactly ‘vanilla Loki’, thinkin’ that’s something your voodoo stuff did. He’s not very happy about it either, but he’s coming, just give him a sec.” Tony said with the clearing of his throat, he was waving his hands to Loki, “Come on, they’re not gonna bite.”

            “That I am not afraid of, you dolt,” Loki snapped, “I don’t know if I can do this.”

            Frigga rose from the couch breaching the space between them, “What is it darling?”

            “Mother,” Loki groused, “Might I just say my goodbyes from here?”

            “None sense! Come here this instance, you’re worrying your mother, do you want that?”

            “No,” Loki tried not to growl, “Of course not.”

            She peered up into his face, “I feared this might happen,” she delivered an effortlessly gleaming smile, “Now, now, what’s the problem? I do hope it didn’t give you too much of a shock, I simply did not want you to fret as I wasn’t sure your Jotun form might be exposed.”

            “You could have told me that might have happened,” Loki spoke low, keeping his eyes downcast to the floor, “I don’t think Thor will react as you have,” he said just above a whisper.

            “I wasn’t fully aware of the dark magic sleeping on the surface of your flesh my love, it reacted to my own magic, this is only temporary, as the dark magic fades so shall your glamour return,” she soothed, pressing a fair skinned palm to his cheek, gliding a thumb beneath his eye, “and besides, this is who you truly are, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

            “That’s what I said,” Tony chimed in, crossing his arms with a smirk.

            Loki merely narrowed his eyes at the man before turning his ruby red gaze, mostly hidden beneath the hood of the sweatshirt, to his mother, “Mother, you are a gifted liar, people should give you actual credit for my talent in the art,” he delivered a somewhat cold chuckle coupled with an equally fake smile.

            “I do not lie son, and watch your tone,” she scolded, even though her own smile was still twitching at her lips, “I would never lie when complimenting my children, especially you.”

            “Brother, what ails you?” Thor asked, one who had risen from the couch surprisingly soundlessly, the entirety of the time listening to the conversation from a distance.

            “Norns,” this time Loki did growl, and it almost sounded feral as he wrapped his long arms around his own torso, lowering his head more to let the hood fall further forward, “I am well Thor, I am just saying my goodbyes to mother, I do not wish to speak to you at this moment.”

            “Loki,” Thor began, “You are not well. I promised you that I would not be neglectful, no more.”

            “Fine,” Loki spat, snatching the hood from his head, dark ebony hair falling out from underneath to his pale blue shoulders, Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat, blood red eyes narrowed in war-like warning.

            Thor didn’t gasp, nor did he back away, his eyes only widened slightly, his large and toned arms resting bonelessly at his sides.

            “Well brother? Or should I still refer to you as such?!” Loki snarled, his knuckles clenched so tightly they blurred almost periwinkle, he was gearing up for a full powered rant.

            “Is that what all the fuss is?” Thor chuckled, giving no hesitance to stride forward and gather Loki in his arms.

And Loki squeaked out a highly undignified yelp. In fact, Tony would say it sounded like a surprised kitten, but he would never say THAT out loud he appreciated his genitalia too much to voice such an observation. Tony covered his mouth to hide the wide smile, only motioning with his eyes his approval in Loki’s direction as Loki stared forward, again, looking like a feral cat ready to pounce. But thankfully he once more accepted the embrace, and weakly gave a pat to Thor’s muscled back, and is seemed Frigga shared the sentiment, her eyes glassy and her smile wide.

“As much as I am enjoying this family acceptance I would very much like to be put down now,” Loki grumbled in Thor’s shoulder, even though his heart was thumping harshly in his chest, his eyes close to welling but he kept the tears at bay.

Thor complied, “I must see mother off, you are warded from Hiemdel’s eye as well as Odin’s, you will be well here without me?”

Loki waved a hand dismissively, taking note that he did not address him as ‘Father’, “Of course I will, I have been taking care of myself for a long time, now is no different. Good bye Mother, I hope to see you sooner than later, it’s been too long.” He embraced her fully, even though it may have been awkwardly tight given how tall he was, but she didn’t seem to mind.

            “Goodbye dear, and rest well, you will be weakened for three or so days,” she whispered, kissing both cheeks.

            “I will mother,” he managed an honest smile.

            “Dear Tony, I cannot express the gratitude I have for you taking care of my youngest,” Frigga, kissed his cheek as well.

            “Uh, yeah, no problem, it was nice meetin’ ya” he stuttered over his words, giving a nervous smile.

            “I will not be long brother,” Thor said, pulling him close again, pressing lips to his temple.

            “Gah! Alright Thor, enough, yes, I’ll see you soon,” Loki huffed, however it was halfheartedly so Thor only grinned like the idiot he was, ignoring the bite in Loki’s voice and merely ruffled his hair.

 

            “See I told you,” Tony grinned, as they exited the elevator to the roof.

            “Don’t act so smug, mortal, you know nothing of my family,” Loki answered, eyes cutting around at the man at his side.

            “I don’t need to know your family to see they love you, ya big idiot,” Tony continued to smile, taking one of Loki’s hands, “I envy that, ya know? I never really knew my parents and I had no siblings.”

            “Count yourself lucky,” Loki sighed, “About siblings that is, parents? I can understand the need and want.”

            “My old man shipped me off to boarding school as soon as he could, I don’t think I exchanged more than a few words with the guy before he and my mother died. Maybe it’s easier I never knew them,” Tony said with a shrug, not that he would ever admit that it was something that hurt him, and he wouldn’t even admit it to himself that he craved some kind of parental closeness. And he had often wondered, more often than not, what kind of man he would be today if circumstances had been different. What would it have been like to have an attentive mother like Frigga?

            “Tony,” Loki gently replied, pulling the man closer to him by both hands, “You never told me that. Why didn’t you?”

            “Just…” Tony shrugged again, “Never came up, no big deal.”

            “Mhmm,” Loki murmured, one delicate eyebrow raised, which made the tribal lines alter slightly, “You, unlike me, are not a gifted liar, but I shall let you alone if you like,” he bent and kissed Tony on the mouth, lingering there until Tony was breathless, “Weren’t you saying something about soup earlier?”

            Tony blinked dumbly, slowly coming back to a talking and thinking state, “Uh, yeah,” he swallowed, he would have to have a talk about how intoxicating Loki’s kisses could be in vanilla form, but in blue bunny form? They were blinding, as if some energy sought out his own and brought him out of a state of walking, talking and thinking above the waist.

            “Thank you for today, I…” he paused, his tongue looking like smooth flawless bubblegum over his dark lips, “No one has ever acted as such…what I mean is…fought so fervently in my favor.”

            “Ah babe, is the famed silver tongue, tongue tied?” Tony laughed softly, gathering Loki close, “I’m always in your court, got it? On your side all the way.”

            And finally Loki smiled genuinely enough that the corners of his eyes did that adorable crinkle thing that Tony adored, “I thank you,” he spoke again, this time more steadily.

            “Come on gorgeous, operation fatten you up needs to commence,” Tony hooked his arm with Loki’s and led them into the living room.

 

            “These are the files I collected about the alien attack,” Steve Rogers said, placing them on the desk he stood in front of, his posture perfect as always, arms crossed stiffly.

            “Files? What files?” Fury replied gruffly, “And you? Collect files, I highly doubt that Captain, you don’t even know how a television works…what is this?”

            “There may be more to this invasion then we initially thought, I just want you to have all the facts, that’s all, isn’t that what you need to rightfully convict a man?” Steve said, clearing his throat nervously.

            “A man yes, an insane fucking space god leading an army of aliens? Fuck no,” Fury snapped, voice low and smooth, “Where did you get this Cap?”

            “I told you, it was given by a friend, I-I think it proves that Loki isn’t completely responsible for the attack on New York.” Steve balanced on the balls of his feet, eyes determinedly forward. And he did think it proved so, and after seeing the scars on Loki’s body, his trembling broken form and heartbreaking begging only made him all the more determined to convince the director.

            Fury laughed and shook his head, “Who’s got you fooled? Loki, according to Thor, is a helluva an actor…do you know where he is?”

            Steve swallowed roughly, “No, I don’t, but I looked at these files, the videos too. I don’t think Loki is solely to blame….you didn’t doubt Barton’s mind control, I think the same thing happened to Loki. Thor even said he wasn’t sure why Loki was doing it to begin with.”

            “Sure, big brother is thinking straight isn’t he, that idiot would vouch for anyone that would give him the puppy eyes. You know something Cap, speak up.” Fury sat up from the desk, folding his hands behind his back, one eye narrowed in suspicion.

            “All I’m saying,” Steve said, clenching his jaw, a flurry of anger swirling in his gut, and a weird almost protective sting to his voice, “Something was going on, and Loki did these things against his will, why do you think he had the chance to kill his brother but didn’t?”

            “Sentiment,” Fury said, coming around the table to sit on its edge, “You know where the bastard is, don’t you, you’re as honest as they come. I can read that face like a 9 year old kid playing hooky.”

            Steve narrowed his piercing blue eyes, leaning closer in the director’s face, “I am not lying, look this over, if you’re the man you claim to be you’ll take this into consideration. I would hate for SHIELD to be hunting down an innocent man, again, if I’m right, and I think I am, if you were to hunt Loki down then you better be locking Barton up as well.” Steve turned on his heels and stomped from the office, before the director could notice the sheen of sweat creeping from his brow.

            “Nothing gets past me Cap, remember that,” he heard Fury say, before the elevator dinged shut.

Chapter Text

“I like this one,” Loki said between a spoonful of one of three different cartons of Mint Chocolate Chip, Cherry, and Butter Pecan ice-cream Tony had displayed on the bars’ granite surface.

“You would like mint, it’s icy like you,” Tony smirked, running a thumb over Loki’s lips where the tiniest bit escaped the spoon.

“Why is it that you associate me with ‘green’?” Loki grinned, pink tongue darting out to capture the mess at the corner of his mouth.

“You don’t give a guy much of a choice reindeer games, you scream ‘green’ with all that warrior attire,” Tony laughed.

“Well,” Loki scoffed, “it’s not as if it’s the only color I prefer.”

“Uh huh,” Tony arched an eyebrow, “You don’t strike me as a pink and purple lover.”

This time Loki did laugh, “Norns, never, that is as likely as you preferring such colors.”

“Besides, green suits you, brings out your eyes, when you’re snow white that is, which by the way are insanely gorgeous,” Tony replied, leaning forward and kissing his chilly lips, “And when they’re red, Jesus, even better, I don’t think I’ve seen a color like that pulse the way it does.”

“You are ridiculous, you know that?” Loki sighed, relaxing into Tony’s touch, “But I adore you all the more for saying such silly things.”

“Not silly Lokes,” Tony said, “Totally serious.”

“This really doesn’t bother you?” Loki asked, corner of his mouth drawn up.

“I’d say if it did, come on man, how can you not see that you’re beautiful because you’re different?” Tony sighed, shaking his head, “I just don’t get it,” he reached forward taking one of Loki’s hands, caressing the blue flesh beneath one thumb, “This, this is just a picture, it’s what’s inside that counts,”

“What if I’m a monster inside as well?” Loki countered, biting his bottom lip between his teeth setting the spoon to the countertop with a soft clink.

“Not possible,” Tony snapped, “Loki, stop, please, doesn’t it matter what I think?”

Loki huffed a loud breath from his lips, “I…yes, it does, I just…don’t see how you can perceive me as beautiful.”

“How can I not? Seriously, babe, how you can see yourself as anything but is beyond me, I wanna worship that body, if you’d let me.” Tony pressed lips to Loki’s knuckles, “When you’re ready I’m going to prove it to you.”

Loki inhaled shakily, the prospect inviting, however behind any thoughts of physical intimacy lay an equally powerful quiver of terror. Losing himself for Tony never proved to be a problem, but now? He felt too heavily guarded and feeling the need to stay heavily guarded. He was surprised with himself that he was allowing the touches that Tony provided so effortlessly, soft and brief kisses, fingertips in his hair, these were all gestures he could tolerate without his heart racing out of control. Because Svaðilfari was anything but gentle, he was all teeth and harsh grips, tugging at his hair until he was sure it was give way from the roots, biting and latching onto his throat until bruises bloomed and blood ran. And all the times, countless times he had been penetrated he had bled, viciously at times to the point that he was sure he would bleed out altogether. Svaðilfari had bound him with his own special brand of magic taking away his ability to heal properly, and he was would heal Loki when he was on the brink of unconsciousness, he hadn’t even allowed him the blessed sensation of fainting. The god could read Loki’s mind as well, he wasn’t alone in his thoughts any more than he was in that bed. He would try desperately to think of Tony in some of those moments, to remember his sarcastic smirks, his high timbered laugh when he truly found something funny, his gentle insistent touches. Tony had been the only lover, amongst quite a few Loki had taken, that took his time with him. He never rushed even when Loki was delivering an onslaught of insults to ‘get on with it’, he whispered sweet endearments Loki had never heard before and he held him close as he was coming down from an orgasmic high. Yes, the human could be infuriating but Loki wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Lokes...” Tony murmured, “Hey, where’d you go, did I say something wrong?”

Loki smiled, shaking his head, “No, I’m sorry, I drifted…my apologies…”

“Don’t apologize,” Tony began, “Loki, I’m not pushing you…not even close…after everything you’ve been through…”

Loki cut him off, two fingertips to his lips, “I know you’re not…it’s comforting to hear though…very comforting…that you desire me, even in this form.”

“It’s you,” Tony spoke, his tone dead serious, “I’ll always want you.”

Loki laughed to stave off the tears that were threatening to spill over, “You make it sound so easy…”

Tony leaned forward once again, pressing tepid lips to cold lips, silently asking for permission, and Loki answered by parting said lips, allowing the warm tongue against his own and the contrast of temperatures was exhilarating. Tony pulled away, a hand to one periwinkle cheek, “It should be easy, with me anyway, I want you to be comfortable with me. And no bullshit about me not knowing about this when we first met, I want you now just as much as I wanted you then. More importantly, I want you to feel safe with me, that’s not asking much huh?”

“Not too much,” Loki grinned with a poor attempt at not rolling his eyes, “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else Anthony, truly.”

Tony rounded the counter, inching up to Loki’s side, one arm snaked around his waist, “Right here with you babe,” he kissed his temple, then his cheek.

“Sir, Captain Rogers is requesting entry to the tower,” The AI chirped above their heads.

Tony leaned away from Loki with a growl, “Alright J, let’em in.” this would be either good news or bad news, he felt Loki’s muscle tense at the arrival of the voice, “It’s okay, Roger’s might have a ten foot pole up his ass but he’s a good guy for the most part.”

Loki only nodded, pulling the hood over his head, his eyes lowering when he heard the woosh of the door opening.

Steve walked stiffly into the living room area, only briefly glancing in Loki’s direction, “Stark, I need to talk to you, preferably alone.”

“What’s up Cap?” Tony replied, pushing up from the bar stool, determined to keep Steve’s attention from Loki’s blue skin, thankfully the room was dim enough that Steve didn’t seem to take any kind of notice at all, “Two seconds Loki.”

 

Rogers urged Tony out of the room, out of ear shot, “Fury isn’t buying it, and he most definitely did not believe that I found this information on my own. I can barely figure out the TV, I really doubt he thinks I can find all the stuff you did on that computer you rely on so much.”

“I can’t risk him thinking I’m involved right now Cap, he’ll bee line right to the tower, and Loki is weak right now. That Svartlfari dude, whatever the hell his name is put some kind of voodoo spell on him and he’s healing a lot slower than we hoped. Did Fury even look at the files?” Tony spat.

Steve exhaled slowly, shaking his head, “He’s not exactly the most open minded person alive. I insisted but…I don’t know if he’ll listen to me. And Stark, you need to be careful, I think he’s already suspicious of you.”

“Right,” Tony huffed, running both hands over his face and through his hair, “I just need a few more days until Loki is on his feet again.”

“Why are you so protective of him? Is something…going on between you two?”

Tony arched an eyebrow, “Ah come on Cap, how do you even know what any of that is? You bat for the other team?”

Steve’s face turned a delightful shade of red and he aptly added to the color with a scowl, “No, I wasn’t saying I do…but I’m not an idiot, you think that’s something that only goes on in this century? You’d be dead wrong…you look at Loki that way.”

“So what if we are…together?”

“Nothing, didn’t say it was a problem, but be careful about who knows that could shake a lot of people up. You…sleeping with public enemy #1.”

“For your information me and public enemy over there have been together long before this alien invasion business, even before that mess in New Mexico.” Tony answered, crossing his arms tightly across his chest, “Just yeah, keep this to yourself would ya? I don’t want big brother finding out about it.”

“Sure Tony, I’ll add that to the list of secrets you’ve burdened me with.”

“Hey, you asked” Tony smirked, “You’re not too bad of a guy, ya know that?”

“So I’ve been told,” Steve said, face going stoic again, “I wanted you to be aware, I assume you’ll increase your security…better safe than sorry.”

“I appreciate it Steve, I really do,” Tony sobered for a moment, “Why are you helping me by the way?”

Steve straightened his shoulders, rolling his neck a little to the side, “Cause it’s the right thing to do…Loki shouldn’t be held above anyone else that was involved in this disaster…and if what he says is true? What happened to him to be so broken? That’s…so many kinds of wrong I can’t even…he needs help not punishment. If I hear anything I’ll let you know.”

 

“What was all that about?” Loki asked when Tony re-entered the room, strolling right up to Loki and gently wrapping him in his arms.

“Nothing big, just an update on the director, nothing you need to worry about.” Tony answered quickly against Loki’s temple.

Loki pushed away, keeping him at arm’s length, “I may be in a weakened condition but I’m hardly a child,” Loki glared.

“I didn’t say you were, we don’t have any news on what his take is on the whole New York attack. No news is good news, let’s get you back to bed huh?”

“Tony…” Loki began to protest, “You would tell me if something was wrong, wouldn’t you?”

“Of course sweetie, I wouldn’t lie to you,” Tony smiled placidly, “Steve is just keeping me informed, I only wanna keep you safe and believe it or not he does too.”

“Alright then,” Loki conceded, even though a heated coil of fear began to churn in his stomach.

 

“Sir, we have a location, Rogers went right to the Stark tower like we thought.”

“Fantastic,” Fury growled, “Let’s move out, if this is what I think it is we’re gonna need a helluva lot of men.”

“You think Stark is under his control?”

“Oh, I think it’s a lot more complicated than that.”

Chapter Text

The alarm went off like a beacon projects light, Stark nearly fell out of his chair at the sudden arrival of the shrilling sound.

“J, talk to me!” Tony shouted already out of the swiveling chair and darting up the stairs to the bedroom where Loki continued to rest.

“More than 7 men have breached the perimeter”

“Shit, shit, shit!” Tony growled, rounding the corner, coming face to face with at least three men, “What the FUCK are you doing in my tower!”

“We are here to retrieve the prisoner,”

“Wait!” and before he could retaliate he felt the bolts of electricity take residence in his veins and he collapsed to his knees.

The man retracted the device from Tony’s skin, “You are compromised Mr. Stark,”

“No I’m not! Look at me!” he managed, trying his best not to fall completely to the floor. What bolted him forward were Loki’s anguished cries, “Leave him alone!”

“Don’t make us sedate you.”

“Fucking leave him alone, you can’t do this!!!!” he caught sight of Loki being pulled from the bedroom, dark hair falling around his face, eyes wide with panic.

“Tony!” Loki couldn’t stop himself from yelping, even though he knew it was fruitless. He knew this day was coming, and he also knew that this wasn’t Tony’s fault, it was simply the inevitable. But no matter how much he had endured over the last year, that tiny bit of freedom, comfort, love, it made his stomach trill with fear. There would be torture, there was no doubt about that, and the thing was, he had no information to give. He had long lost the connection with Thanos, in fact, he wasn’t exactly sure that Thanos was still alive. After the nuke went into the worm hole he had no idea how far its explosions traveled. So what would they do? He gulped, painfully so, “Tony, it’s alright, it’s okay, you tried.” He tried so hard to swallow the cries tilling in his throat. The two men unceremoniously yanked him forward, nearly dislocating his arms from their sockets.

“Don’t let it speak.” One yelled.

“Loki, I’ll fix this! I promise I’ll fix this!” and that was the last thing he shouted before everything turned black.

 

Tony awoke on his kitchen floor, drool pooling from his mouth, he groaned gruffly and loudly and it reverberated in his head like a gong.

“Tony! Tony!” he heard, even though the buzzing in his head was deafening.

“Please stop yelling,” Tony muttered, pressing palms to the linoleum and pushing up from the floor.

The voice belonged to Steve.

“Tony, I’m sorry that I didn’t get here sooner. They took him didn’t they.”

“Genius observation,” Tony groaned, nearly falling back at the aching and throbbing of his head, he could feel his pulse behind his eyelids, “I don’t know how they got past my security, and now they have him Steve….doing god knows what…”

“We’ll get him back, this isn’t right, surely Fury will understand that. He has to, I mean…”

“Steve, goddamnit, don’t you get it? Fury isn’t some golden boy, he does what he needs to please his bosses. He doesn’t care that Loki was controlled, I think that’s pretty obvious.” Tony pulled himself up from the floor, swaying so much that Steve was suddenly at his side.

“What did they do?”

“They stun gunned me, I think that’s what they did, ah god, I think I might puke, just giving you fair warning. You have any idea where they might have taken him?”

Steve sighed, tugging Stark towards the couch, “Yeah, I do.”

 

Loki’s consciousness remerged violently with the splash of cold water doused at his face, he sputtered and gasped, and with that action he heard and felt the clinking of chains above his head. He never remembered being strung up. He vision was obscured by a blindfold, his first reaction was to splay his fingers, emit the green vapors that would release him. But he was denied, and he nearly gagged because of it, he moved his head around to judge the sounds of the room and that was when he felt the heavy weight of the collar around his throat. He could feel the runes biting and eating into his flesh, smothering down any sedir he possessed down to the core of his soul. Another horrible thought crossed his mind, his glamour was completely and totally gone. EVERYTHING was exposed. He began to pant, panic churning and rising in his gut.

“Oh the bastard awakens….and from what I’ve read you really are a bastard, two whole daddies didn’t love you. Isn’t that always the case with you super villains? Didn’t get enough hugs as a kid?”

Loki swallowed roughly, wishing he could at least see his tormentor, at least then he could gage when he would be attacked.

“Now I bet you’re thinking that this is all about getting you to talk, no, Tony Stark killed off your army we don’t need any more info, this is for our pure enjoyment to find some kind of redemption for this city that you nearly leveled. I don’t know what kind of parlor tricks you’re up to, but did you really think this blue getup would hid who you really are? We ran a series of tests while you were unconscious, your body temperature runs a lot lower than ours. That got me thinking that this might be very effective.”

Loki had no warning, no indication of what was about to happen, when he felt the searing heat eat into the base of his spine he screamed aloud. It was like hot white lightening feasting on his pores, and he felt the tribal lines tense up painfully. The man left the hot iron there for a seemingly endless amount of time before wrenching it back, taking flesh with it leaving Loki panting, “Please, you have to listen, Mr. Stark…he has images….proof that I did not…do this of my own free will.”

“How do we know you didn’t doctor that huh?” he jabbed the heated coil again, this time into the lower flesh of his abdomen, earning another shrill scream.

The man didn’t let up this time, he simply released the coil only to place it once more on an even more tender area. Loki could feel the sweat running down his face, only to be caught and soaked up by the blindfold. He never even gave him a chance to speak, and apparently that was the way things were going to stay.

“I noticed these little lines here,” and he drew a finger across the pattern on his back, “Are responsive to touch, which makes me think this would be useful, let’s see if I’m right.”

Loki’s breathing had long been out of control, he began to tremble with not only the exertion to his joints, his skin on fire, but the anticipation of just what this man was thinking. He felt the cold steal against one line at the small of his back. That alone tingled with pain, and when the object was ungraciously drug along said line, he could feel it opening up and he screamed louder arching away, but given that his ankles were equally anchored to the floor all he could do was writhe. They had been at it for at least an hour, but now, now he had to bite his tongue from outright begging. When the blade moved to a place below his navel, he broke, “Please, please don’t do this, please! This isn’t right!”

The man drug the blade achingly slow against the thin, vulnerable flesh, deeper this time and Loki howled, body slumping, shoulders near popping from their sockets, “Please! Please!”

“That’s what your victims were screaming I bet? Did you stop then? Did you stop your army from killing women and children?!”

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, please stop,” he found himself sobbing, loud and messy, drowning out his voice.

“Oh I bet you are,” the man growled, and with as much warning as every other action he landed a fist in Loki’s exposed abdomen, again and again, and now the god was gasping for air, blood and sweat and tears muddying up the floor.

“Why don’t you think about that for a bit,” Loki heard the door creak open and then slam shut.

He hung his head, chin to his chest, trying desperately to catch his breath as well as sway focus from his throbbing body. Each tribal line he has breached with the knife, or that’s what he assumed it was, vibrated and traveled to various points on his body. He hadn’t any idea what their purpose were, besides pain and vulnerability. He heard no noises from outside the room, he tried to tug the blindfold away from his eyes, rubbing it against his increasingly numbing shoulders. He felt the temperature of the room rising steadily, and it was as if he were peering into the sun. His skin was prickling with protest, his chest began to heave, somehow they were heating the room up and in his weakened Jotunn state his body would protest at all costs. He leaned his head backwards, trying to control his cries. So this was what he was reduced to, a freak, not human, not Aesir. A useless freak, left to die. And if they were merciful at all, they would kill him soon. At this rate the heat would, before any weapon could.

 

“I have access to the security cams of the SHIELD building’s interior sir,” Jarvis chimed in as Tony typed furiously away at his computer.

“Good Jay, that’s good,” Tony whispered, “Steve, which one of these rooms you think he’s in?”

“Probably lower level, but Tony, I don’t think you’ll be able to get through. Fury will know you’re coming.”

“That’s why we’re gonna surprise the shit out of them, and they won’t even see it coming.”

“Why, what are you thinking?” Steve asked, tired brow furrowed.

 

“Say it again!” the thick leather crop came down like lightening.

“I killed them! I-I killed them!” Loki screeched, blood dripping like house paint down his wrists that opened more and more with each fervent tug.

“Again!” this time the whip came down across his already wounded front.

            “I killed them! Ah Gods please stop!” Loki screamed, trying desperately to draw breath into his burning lungs.

            “And what are you?” the leather snapped across his back once more and Loki could feel the rivets of blood running down his backside, then his legs.

            “Please…please,” He gasped, clenching and unclenching his numb hands, the thin cloth that had been covering the last of his nakedness was torn from his waist, leaving him more exposed than he had felt yet, the hot, sticky air clinging to his skin.

            “I asked you, what are you?!” the thick strap tore across his upper thighs and backside, the heavy, speech shattering sobs began to pour from his mouth like water.

            “Monster! I’m a monster, a monster!”

            Thick fingers were suddenly around his jaw, so forcefully, for a moment Loki feared he might break the bones easily within his grasp, “No one is coming for you….pathetic little runt!”

            The door creaked loudly and Loki felt a blessed current of cool air curl into the room, chilling his heated and feverish body, if only for a moment, “Agent, may I have a moment with the prisoner?”

            “Sure, have at’em,” he heard the man smirk, “In fact, have all the fun you want.”
            Loki’s entire body seized up, his gut clenching so fiercely he thought for a moment he might be sick. He listened carefully for the footsteps, soft and calculated.

            “Oh, if you had only listened to me, we wouldn’t be in this predicament would we?” the voice purred, it actually purred. The blind fold was wrenched so swiftly from Loki’s eyes for a moment he was blind, the florescent lights boring into his corneas’ like knives, he groaned turning away. When he was able to focus, he lurched backwards, there peering into his red eyes were those of crystal blue. Svaðilfari.

            “Oh my darling, my pretty little thing, if you had only complied all those years ago, we would not be in this predicament would we?” he grinned, stroking along Loki’s torn skin, each open wound still oozing and he brought blood covered fingertips to his lips, “I know all your favorite spots…and those you fear the most.”

            “Do NOT TOUCH ME!” his voice was wrecked, shattered, but somewhere amongst his thirst parched mouth he found strength. Did these SHIELD men know of this man? Surely not, he had to have used a glamour.

            “You are just a toy, a play thing, my play thing, and I don’t take kindly to those that take what is mine. Even you yourself my dear, Thanos promised me you after the invasion was complete.”

            “I do not belong to anyone.” Loki spat.

“Do the men know your secret yet my pet?” Svaðilfari hand roved lower, “Surely they have and oh when they do, a scientific wonder, an experiment, a fun experiment. How many will take you? And I dare say, I would love to witness the outcome of such large amounts of copulation. I’ve always wondered, why are there no female Jotuns? You kept up your glamour marvelously, even against my magic. But here you are…Midgardian magic is indeed effective, yes, I do sense mommy’s magic as well, you are just the most unluckiest little creature aren’t you. Odin’s power is damn near impeccable, even I did not pick up on this little nugget of information.”

Loki’s head was pounding, only the sound of his heart threatening against his temples, no…no no no. Out of control and spinning, the whole world was spinning.

“I would take you from here in an instance,” the hand moved lower, fingers nudging around his length, violating Loki in all the ways he remembered and more, worse. Something he only heard in rumors to be true amongst the Jotunn, but now, so horribly exposed, it was confirmed as those same wandering fingers slipped below his penis to another entrance. And the powerful god searched for what Loki only conceived as an abomination. And he found it, grinning the whole time, his eyes never leaving Loki’s, “This is a beautiful discovery, and once I convince the men here to remove your collar I can easily teleport us both from here where no one will find you, not even Thanos…I will find you and we will have such fun.”

The man from before returned, “Hey, boss needs a conference in five we need to…hey, where’d he go?” he spun Loki around to face him, “Guess it’s just you and me again,” he resituated the blindfold over his eyes and Loki couldn’t even find the strength to protest, cry, nothing. He was poised, however, ready for attack. A new thrum of resistance alighted in his veins. He could not let them find out, he could not, they would take him apart, piece by agonizing piece, or worse. Have their way with him. Dark, sick images swam in his mind and he felt his consciousness wane.

“Hey, hold up,” another voice arrived, “I think I deserve a moment with the bastard.”

“Did Fury approve that?”

“Of course he did dumb ass, who better than me to play with the fucker, besides, we have a working relationship, wouldn’t ya say?” the voice smiled.

Loki bit back a whimper when the door slammed shut, he flinched when he felt hot breath against his ear, “Okay, this has to be fast, do everything I say, we have 15 minutes before the cameras turn back on and that’s all we got. Got it?”

Loki nodded even though he didn’t even know what he was agreeing to.

“You think you can walk?” the voice continued to ask, and Loki could still not place it, even though he knew he should be able to and he could feel hands wrapping the linen around his waist, “Just to the hallway and down two corridors you gotta stay on your feet.”

The blindfold was once again removed, and Loki’s vision was too blurred at this point to make out a face, “I-I’m not sure I can.”

“Come on boss, you were worse off than before right? Had to be, just stay with me.”

A sob leapt from Loki’s chest, it echoed against the cement walls, it almost sounded like a loud distorted hiccup, “Hawk?”

“Yeah,” he smirked, “Bet ya never thought you’d see me again.”

“I don’t understand, are you h-here…here to seek your revenge?” Loki continued, as the man, marginally shorter than himself, undid the ankle chains then moved to his wrists. He tucked a yelp as those were removed, skin adhering to the steel.

“No Loki…Tony called, I watched the tapes,” was all Clint said, “Don’t go collapsing on me, almost there, we gotta hurry.” He swung one of Loki’s bleeding arms around his thick shoulders and tugged him forward.

“Still, I enslaved you, possessed you, why would you help me?” Loki croaked, staggering, but staying on his feet as asked.

“Well, pretty much the same thing happened to you…and from what I gathered, a helluva lot worse. Can we do the whole Oprah thing later? We’re only breaching one of the most secure buildings in the world right now, second to the White House.”

Loki trudged along, and yes, fighting the need to stay conscious. Once they made it to the roof, Loki immediately took note of the Captain, his unmistakable piercing blue eyes and striking blond hair. “Oh my God, what the hell did they do to him?!”

“What do you think Cap? This is SHIELD, he’s a prisoner of war, you think he’d get the spa treatment?” Clint snapped, stumbling a bit as Loki nearly lost his footing.

Loki tried not to flinch as the Captain came closer, but he was not in uniform and Loki found this somewhat comforting. Perhaps this is why he allowed him to move quickly forward, loop one of his arms over his shoulders, the other beneath his knees and lift him up from the ground, “Hold on man, it’s okay, we’re gonna get you back to the tower. Jesus, he’s burning up, he feels like a furnace.”

“There were heat lamps in there, I mean, I don’t know what it does to this” Clint said, gesturing to Loki’s blue skin, “But it ain’t good, probably got him out just in time. I think he’s real susceptible to heat.”

“Tony…where’s Tony…” Loki muttered, the cries welling in his chest felt ready to spill over. He felt the blanket wrap around his lithe frame, it wasn’t comforting as it should have been it tore and tug at all his open flesh and he couldn’t heal.

With that thought in the air Clint spoke up, “We gotta get that thing around his neck removed, hopefully Stark has some tools back at headquarters.”

“What’s it do?” Steve asked.

“Keeps him from doing his, whatever,” he waved his hands in the air, “That disappearing shit he does…you know we’re all in deep for this stuff, right?”

Steve bit at his lips, nodding, he held Loki a little closer only because he felt he was given allowance, “It was the right thing though, or you wouldn’t have done it either.”

“Way I see it, no different than what I did,” he paused, head lowering, “I could have been the one hanging in those chains.”

As the helicopter took flight, Loki finally succumbed to unconsciousness, but not without the breath of the hope that Tony would be there when he woke.

Chapter Text

Tony paced back and forth on the helipad of his roof, stroking at his beard, if not short of tugging. It had been too long, way too long and just as he dug for his phone in his front pocket he heard the hum of the engine. He wrung his hands as he waited for it to land, the front hatch opening and the Captain was carrying someone in his arms.

He swallowed roughly, trying to find his voice, “Is he alive?!” he yelled over the noise.

“Yeah, he’s alive,” Clint’s voice arrived, “But we gotta get him help ASAP.”

“Give’em here,” Tony croaked, and Steve obliged, handing over the unconscious bundle, now close up Tony could see the fever in his cheeks which was an odd shade of blue and the heat radiated off him like a furnace. He could see the blanket was muddled with blood, so he only wrapped it around him tighter.

Loki groaned, ruby eyes flickering open and close, barely even that, “S’going on…”

“Hey there, we’re getting you help, gonna get you cleaned up,” Tony spoke softly, moving through the building, into the elevator, heading for his bedroom, “We gotta get this fever down, buddy, you’re burning up. Ice bath?”

“What about his wounds, is that gonna make it worse?” Steve honestly sounded worried.

“We don’t’ have much choice, we could call Bruce, but…I just don’t know how he would react, one step at a time.” He exited the elevator as soon as it dinged.

Loki’s breathing began to increase like that of a humming bird, “W-what…where am I?”

“Shhh, sweetheart, it’s me, Steve can you get some first aid stuff from the medical bay? Jay, run a temperature scan, whatta we got?”

“Mr. Loki is running a temperature of a 104.”

“That’s gotta be high even for him,” Tony shuddered.

“They were using heat lamps Tony, big ass heat lamps, I don’t know if they planned on cooking him alive or what, but his skin is starting to blister. Plus the collar,” Clint said, crossing his arms and shaking his head.

“Collar?” it was only then did Tony notice it, “For fuck’s sake…okay we get him cooled off, and then I work on that, I can’t risk having it in a water source we don’t know if they’ve got it protected by some kind of electrical current. Clint, there are two pretty good sized bags of ice in the freezer, get those for me would ya?”

Once Clint was gone Tony turned to Loki, “Loki, what are you feeling right now, I need a list if you can,” he bent and kissed his forehead, heat was radiating off his flesh.

“I feel sick…hot…as if my burning from the inside out…my skin hurts, making everything else hurt. I feel as if I might die…”

“You’re running a fever, a really high one. I don’t know jack about your race but common sense tells me heat is bad for a frost giant.” Tony murmured next to his ear, Loki groaned as another wave of tremors seized him.

Tony balanced Loki on his lap, reaching forward to turn the knob as far on ‘C’ as it would go. Clint returned with the ice and began dumping its contents into the large basin.

“Loki? I have to lower you into the water, this might feel like a shock but we gotta do it.”

If Loki could speak Tony wasn’t sure he only mumbled something that Tony couldn’t understand, nearly wincing the entire time as he lowered Loki into the ice water.

At first he hardly blinked an eye, but mere seconds later and his eyes flew open like a wild birds’ and he attempted to thrash like one as well, expertly soaking Tony in the process, “Loki! Loki! Hey! It’s alright, it’s me! You’re okay, you’re alright,” and his eyes welled up because it wasn’t ‘alright’, none of this was fine, this was his fault.

“T-Tony,” Loki shivered, hands gripping at Tony’s forearm.

“Yeah, it’s me, calm down, I know this is uncomfortable but it’s necessary. Steve’s gone to get my tools, we’ll get you cooled down and I’ll get that fucking collar off of you. Then you can start healing, I’ll get you patched up.” He wondered just how long that would take.

“You’re saying he can heal on his own?” Clint asked.

It was only then did Loki actually realize the man was in the room, he was suddenly painfully aware of his near nakedness, his heart soared to his throat the stronger gods’ words echoing in his brain. It was as if Tony had read his mind when he felt the small towel placed over his bottom half, and Tony never said a word.

“Here Tony,” Steve said from behind, suddenly by his side, handing him a first aid kit and his tools that he had instructed Jarvis to help find.

Tony’s hands were shaking viciously, he willed his appendages to calm, Loki needed him more than ever. Two days he’d been missing, two days, surmising Loki’s state he only had an inkling of what had occurred in those 48 hours, “Hey guys, can you give us a sec? Just gonna keep him in here till the fever drops to a safe rate and I’ll get to work on the device. I’ll holler when I need you.”

“Sure Tony, of course.” Steve answered and the two men left without argument.

Tony waited for some spaced before he leaned forward into the tub and pulled Loki to him, very carefully, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I never should have left your side…given them any kind of opportunity.”

Loki only stifled a sob, for now, all he could feel was relief nestling his heated face in the crook of Tony’s neck.

Tony found himself resting his chin to the soft protruding bone atop his head, the two of them silent for a moment, only the sound of trickling water to interrupt their thoughts.

Loki physically shuddered, “It-it wasn’t just them….the soldiers…he found me I told you he’d find me.”

Tony stilled, pulling away and brushing strands of Loki’s dark hair behind his ears, “What do you mean ‘he’, Thanos or the other one?”

“The other one…please don’t make me say it,” he knew his cries would be louder if he had the strength, he slumped further into the water. It wasn’t so uncomfortable any longer and it actually soothed the many burns littering his body, his shivering now no longer because of the cold only simple shock. He closed his eyes as Tony combed fingers through his hair.

Tony bit at his lips, wanting to ask countless questions but knew better, because he would force himself later to view the tapes, so he only asked one, “He…he didn’t…”
            “No,” Loki spat and it was sharp, deep, and distinct against the bathroom walls, “No, he didn’t….Barton and the other man arrived. Apparently with the device on my neck…he could not teleport us out…he’ll find a way…he…”

“Shhh, let’s get you feeling better, alright? We’ll tackle that when we get to it, and trust me, we will get to it. SHIELD too.” He tried to control the level of his voice, the timber, because he knew it would only startle Loki at this point. He could rage later. And God help him he would. Tony waited until the ice cubes were barely noticeable in the water to lift Loki up once more, he wrapped a big towel around his shoulders and managed to get him to sit on the closed toilet seat long enough to dry him off, as best as he could with the open lacerations, “Okay Lokes, lets lay you down I’ll get those cuts taken care of, get that fucking collar off you.” He maneuvered him once more to stand, his legs trembled but he stayed standing.

“What if you cannot? It’s draining me completely…I can feel it…”

“It’s SHIELD technology, there’s a big chance that some of the tech in this thing belongs to me, I’ll crack it.” he helped Loki to the mattress, unbending his long legs straight, noticing that most of the blood had slowed, “Okay, crane your neck a little, I see the latch here, can you roll on your side?”

Begrudgingly Loki agreed, and very slowly turned his back to Tony, “Your comrades must be disgusted to look at me…I never wanted anyone, sans perhaps you, to see me in such a state. My glamour is completely gone now.”

“If they were disgusted they would have said so, and did ya hear anything? No, they’re not like that, especially Cap. That boy, or old man, whatever, is as golden as they get. These grooves are very similar to a basic lock, I’ll have this off in no time. Put your chin to your chest for me,” Tony pushed Loki’s curling dark locks away from the base of his neck and went to work, surely it couldn’t be as simple as all that. A simple lock with the same mechanisms? He was rewarded smartly with an electric shock that threw him backwards a few feet away from the bed as the collar clinked to the floor.

“Tony!” Loki shouted behind his own sudden gruff groaning, his heart racing, his back bowing as magic flooded his veins torturously slow.

Tony coughed a few times, fumbling to gain purchase to a nearby chair to pull himself up from the floor, “I’m fine! You okay?!”

“Y-Yes, just a little…too much…all at once, ah!” he panted, fists clenched at his sides, “D-Don’t exactly know…how this glamour works…it’s old magic, Odin’s magic…”

It reminded Tony of a hologram, the way Loki’s blueness simply faded away, spreading and spreading away as if it were entering another dimension, leaving behind porcelain white skin. He had been so fixated on the rush of color he hadn’t seen where the horns had gone, but they were gone, where to he wasn’t sure. And then it was Loki, just Loki, eyes pinched tightly shut, naked chest heaving with the effort of tucking cries.

“Hey, you alright? Not all of these are completely healed up,” Tony asked worriedly, taking one of Loki’s balled fists, uncurling his long fingers to intertwine with his.

“Most of my magic pooled to restore my glamour…some of them will need tending to, and unfortunately, despite my magic, I do scar.” Loki shuddered, the vibrating in his limps slowly but surely relaxing.

“No problem, doesn’t look like you need any kind of stitching,” and he did go to work on the open wounds, rubbing antibiotic cream over the two most prominent wounds before dressing them with white gauze, he disappeared into the bathroom to wash his hands and returned with a glass, “Here, you should drink some water.”

And Loki hadn’t realized how thirsty he was until he was gulping down the contents, only when Tony halted him did he find himself choking, “Apologies, they did not allow me any kind of nourishment…”

“Loki, Jesus, don’t apologize, I just don’t want you inhaling it, it’ll make you sick,” and as Tony said this he was slipping sweat pants up over Loki’s naked legs, before pulling not one, not two, but three blankets up to his chin, “How’s that feel?”

Loki sighed deeply, his vision cloudy with exhaustion and relief that he was veiled once more, his horrid secret still safe, “Better…” one hand shot out from the blankets, “Don’t leave…please don’t leave.”

“Babe…never…just let me tell the guys you’re alright. They’re pretty worried if you hadn’t noticed.”

“I suppose…I’m so tired,” his eyes closed, “of all of this…”

Tony bent and gently pressed lips to Loki’s, “I know, I know you are,” and he found himself lost for words, because what could he say?

He was brief as possible, only leaning his head out of the doorframe, “Guys, he needs sleep. Can you make sure things are secure, just for a few hours?”

“Is he okay? I mean, did you get that thing off?” Steve asked.

“Yeah, I did, he’s just, ya know, not himself right now, do me a solid,”

“Of course Tony, we’ll let you know if anything happens.” Clint piped up.

“Clint, I’ll need your help later, those bastards fucked with the wrong person…” he left it at that, leaning back into the bedroom, closing the door. He went into the walk in closet and changed his wet clothes before he carefully inched onto the bed. Hs heart hammering in his chest, he settled up to Loki’s side, almost startled by the cream color of his skin.

“Tony…” he sounded as if he wanted to say more, but merely turned towards Tony’s body and tucked himself to his side, crawling as close as physically possible, wanting arms around him to eradicate the pain. He knew it wasn’t that simple, but for now that was all he needed.

“I want you to rest,” Tony spoke, lips brushing his ear, scratching his scalp and playing with the ebony strands between his fingers, he peppered kisses over his forehead, his nose, his cheeks, before gently settling over his lips. He wound his arms around Loki, gathering him to his chest, pulling the blankets up high to cocoon him in warmth, running his wide rough palm up and down Loki’s bare back, “I’ll take care of this, I promise you that.” He said with such conviction that Loki’s only reply was a watery sigh.

And if the tight clenching of his fists were causing any pain to Loki’s tender flesh, he didn’t say anything. The slow mending of his wounds were only a quiet hum just outside his consciousness, so brief and silent he could ignore it and simply focus on the oil and vague scent of cologne on the nape of Tony’s neck. Tony’s firm but gentle hold was a reminder he was still alive, so with the last few hours churning in his mind he was able to abruptly halt it, and from there he only breathed deeply with the distant dreamy thought of smoke and death to those that harmed him.

 

Steve and Clint sat quietly for a few moments in the living room area before Steve spoke up, “So you wondered about this didn’t you.”

Clint gave kind of a shrug, “Yeah, I mean, no not right away, not while we were fighting him. It started coming back in chunks, sometimes not really making sense. The first memories though were when we were underground gathering up the supplies to open the wormhole. He’d have these moments where he seemed to not know where he was and the thing is, he never slept, I don’t think I can remember one time where he slept. There were a couple times he’d doze, but then he was shocked awake, something like that, at least that’s what it looked like. But then again, I felt like there was someone else in my body I couldn’t always trust what I was seeing. I only got glimpses now and then of what was going on.”

“So the tapes proved it then?”

“From what I saw, that was what I was feeling, if I tried to resist it in any way I remember knife like pain in my head, or like a sledgehammer. It was fucked up, and as you well know…they…whoever they were exactly, could make you do anything. I almost killed Nat. Second thing, I get slammed in the head, boom, lights back on, it took the fucking Hulk to knock him out of it, makes sense given he’s a god. Surprised no one really took notice the change in his demeanor. His eyes looked the clearest I’d ever seen them and they weren’t blue anymore. Red flag, Fury just wants someone to blame, gotta look good for the big bosses…” Clint said, rubbing both hands together.

“I knew SHIELD had secrets, but nothing like this. I trusted Fury, I came out of hiding for him. I wanted nothing but to be left alone, and now…all of this…I don’t know…” Steve replied, blue eyes narrowing as his gaze went to the floor.

Clint leaned back against the couch, “They’ll come lookin’ for him, there’s no doubt there.”

“Oh, I don’t doubt it, they’ll have Tony to contend with. Remember, he may not be the strongest of the group in terms of actual physical strength but he has power, his thumb is in just about every bank in this country. If he’s anything like his dad he someone that knows all the important people. Not to mention his weapons and technology. I’m worried things might get very physical when Thor returns…if he’s protective of his little brother when they’re fighting, just think what he’s like when they’re on good terms.”

And with that sentence uttered, lighting peeled across the sky.

Clint cleared his throat loudly, launching up from the sofa as Steve done. “You gonna tell him or is it gonna be me?”

Chapter Text

It had been quite a few hours, at least four, Steve knew the two men probably needed sleep and deserved more than that but the sudden arrival of Thor proved to me more problematic. Steve and Clint had only somewhat explained what happened, feigning ignorance about Loki’s ordeal with SHIELD. Which wasn’t a complete lie, besides what Clint had witnessed they really had no clue as to what happened in that room. Steve also chided to Thor that raging would only upset Loki further and to keep his voice down. Thankfully, Thor complied, understanding at least to stop shouting. So Steve gently knocked on the bedroom door and when he heard nothing after the second knock he entered the room.

And there they both lay on the bed, seemingly entangled with each other, Loki’s face lax with sleep, Tony’s eyes closed as well, one arm around Loki keeping him close to his chest, almost flush. Tony seemed like a different person all together when he was relaxed like this, all snark and sarcasm completely gone from his features.

“Tony,” Steve spoke evenly, and carefully placed a hand on his shoulder, “Hey, Tony, I’m sorry man, I have to wake you up.”

Tony grunted in his sleep but slowly but surely his eyes peeled open, he leaned away from Loki blearily looking of at Steve, “What’s up?” he croaked.

“Nothing really,” Steve continued to whisper, “But Thor is here, and I think we need to have a sit down with him before he blows the building up. Besides, I made us all dinner, it was getting late and I figured we could all use a meal.”

Tony’s brow rose in genuine surprise, “You cooked?”

Steve rolled his eyes, “You have a stocked fridge if you didn’t know.”

“Sure, uh yeah, give me a minute to get him roused, he’s dead to the world.” Tony replied, seemingly just realizing Loki lay beside him.

Steve delivered that soft smile of his, nodded and left the room.

Tony stroked back the hair from Loki’s face, marveling at the fact that he looked the most calm he’d seen him in days. So for a moment, he simply stared, because no, it was not creepy thank you very much. He ran a thumb across his brow, and stroked his sharp cheeks, roaming to one ear rubbing the lobe between two fingers. He leaned forward and kissed a trail from his forehead to his cheeks, his nose and finally his lips. This is what finally stirred him.

“I’m obliged to waking up in such a way any time you want,” he said, voice clogged with sleep.

“Half conscious and you’re still articulate,” Tony chuckled.

“The question is, why are you waking me?” Loki quipped, eyes still not opening.

“Well, two things, Steve made dinner, which I hear he’s a great cook, and your brother is here.”

The groan was unmistakable, “I really wish not to explain anything at the moment, and I know that is why he is here.”

“You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, let’s eat first, sound good?” Tony said brightly, or at least attempted to.

Loki huffed a loud and rough sigh, “I suppose.”

“How are you feeling?” Tony asked, sitting up enough to gage Loki’s reply.

“Tired…but I’m always tired it seems. I do believe I’ve fully healed, for the most part that is. I still feel feverish,” Loki said, pushing up from his pillows as well.

Tony got off the bed, went into the closet, returning with a robe, “Here, this is easier to move around in then traipsing around with a blanket around you, comfier to.” He offered a smile, draping it around Loki’s shoulders of which Loki merely closed his eyes. He did in fact look better, but Tony knew that the remainder of the healing was in his mind. He knew from firsthand experience how long that took to fade, or hell, even be manageable, “Come on, food will do you good.”

“That’s your answer to everything.”

“That and booze,” Tony smirked.

“Will you promise me you’ll keep that oaf from trampling me? I’m hardly in the mood for his over-excited…what is it they refer to? An oversized infant mongrel?” Loki said, drawing his arms through the sleeves and wrapping the soft material around his torso.

“I’ll try my best, he is an over excited puppy if I’ve ever seen one.” Tony hooked an arm around his waist, “I’ll let go when I truly believe you’re steady.”

“Hmm,” was the only sound Loki made, neither agreeing nor disagreeing.

 

“Brother,” Thor greeted, moving forward in that way Loki had just described.

“Whoa big guy, go easy, Lokes here is healing up,” Tony warned, but then was sorry he had opened his mouth because that immediately furrowed the brow of the thunderer.

“Mother said something was wrong, she sensed that you were in distress, is this true? Did something happen?” Thor spat, his voice low and bellowing, however he did stay back, “She also warned that she sensed the presence of that beast that harmed you.”

Loki swallowed thickly, “May we speak of this later? The good Captain has prepared food, I’d much rather not spoil his efforts.”

And only because Loki used that tone with his older brother did Thor comply, only nodding slightly and only gently laying a hand to Loki’s shoulder. Tony led him to the couch, situating him in from of the coffee table.

“I made stew, figured it would be light enough for you Loki, but lots of protein,” Steve said, coming in from the kitchen, setting two bowls in front of the two men.

“Thank mom you’re the best!” Tony smiled.

“Stew….what is that?” Loki asked, surveying the bowl.

“Meat and veggies, it’s my own recipe, eat up,” Steve answered.

The concoction really didn’t look any different than meals in Asgard, but it seemed that the more meat in anything the better with the Aesir, especially with Thor, who yes, was already shoveling food in his mouth. But it happily distracted him from the problem at hand.

“Hey,” Clint piped up, “Tony,” he was tilting his head in ‘come here’ non-verbal language.

Tony put his bowl down, “Give me a sec Lokes,” and Loki must have been hungry enough because he didn’t protest Tony leaving his side.

“What’s up?” he said once they had moved far enough out of ear shot.

“Dude,” Clint shook his head, “Got those surveillance tapes you wanted, you are not gonna like this. And also, there’s something I gotta talk to you about. But not here,”

Tony glanced at Loki talking to his older brother as they ate, “Yeah, hold on,” he pulled on his best ‘oh I’m fine’ look and sat down next to Loki briefly, “Hey I gotta take care of something, I’ll be right back, just stay here with your bro and Steve,” and yes, he forced a smile that he hoped looked genuine.

Loki wetted his lips, eyes narrowing slightly with suspicion, “A-Alright, don’t be long.”

 

Tony led Clint into his basement work shop, “Alright, give’em here,” the little bit he had eaten feeling like a stone in his stomach now, “Did you watch this shit already?”

Clint took a breath, chewing the inside of his mouth, “Some, just enough to know what was going on. But it’s not just the SHIELD assholes, it’s that dude, whatever his name is, I recognized him.”

“Recognized him? That Svartlfari guy?”

“Whatever his name is, I know him, he was there down in the tunnels while I was…ya know…that was the only time Loki wasn’t amongst the rest of us planning. And just like any other time, Loki wasn’t in control, but that was one time that I can remember him lookin’ terrified. I mean, the guy is pale enough, but….when this guy showed up I thought he was gonna faint. And I could hear them….deep in the neighboring tunnels…and Loki was screaming.”

Tony felt the blood drain from his face, so Loki hadn’t been delirious from the heat that SHIELD was inflicting upon him. That asshole actually showed up, and blessedly that collar had kept Loki on this planet. He sat heavily into his desk chair, “Show me…”

Clint handed him the flash drive, “You’re not gonna like this man.”

“Yeah…I know…”

 

“Where are they? Is something wrong?” Loki asked, turning to Steve.

Steve only seemed to now be aware that Loki was addressing him, “Everything’s fine I’m sure,”

Thor noticed Loki’s distress at the prolonged absence of Stark and rose from his seat, “I’ll fetch him,”

“Thor wait,” Steve began, but Thor strode past him.

“Loki stay here,” Steve spoke quickly, following close behind Thor, “Hey, Thor come on.”

“No, you and Stark are keeping something from me” Thor spat.

 

“Jesus…” Tony grimaced, he finally muted it after only a few minutes, barely two minutes really. He could only take so much of Loki’s screaming, to watch him writhe and try so hard to twist away from the hot iron pressed to his flesh. Also, the things this man was saying to him, making him confess to something that was in no way his fault was too much. And pain made Loki give in, his screaming was testament to that, but that didn’t mean that the man would stop. And he didn’t.

“There, that’s him,” Clint piped up, pointing at the screen, “He must be able to do that…face switching thing, cause look how he changes.”

Tony watched closely, and he had returned the volume, when the conversation started turning obviously sexual, and he froze the screen. A hand was covering his mouth, trying to control the churning of his stomach.

“W-What is this?” a voice arrived behind them.

Tony was shocked that Thor was able to sneak up behind either one of them, he wasn’t exactly a light footed person, “Thor, wait,”

“Is this the doing of your agents?!” Thor bellowed, charging towards Clint.

“Not my doing!” Clint yelled, hands up, almost backing up into Tony.

“Why didn’t anyone inform me that this occurred in my absence? You promised that you would take care of my brother, Stark!” Thor’s fair features were flushed with a steadily rising and powerful rage.

“I know big guy, I know, I fucked up, they tased me, there wasn’t a whole lot I could do. But I’m not letting this go, that I can promise!” Tony shouted in return, ready to call the suit if needed. He had yet to see Thor this angry.

I will take care of this!” and he was stomping from the room, and fast to.

Only then did Tony see Steve and Loki standing in the doorway where Thor had fled only moments before.

Loki’s throat was bobbing in feigned control, “They…took record of this? W-What did you hear….what did you see?” his cheeks were near cherry red, his eyes wide and wet.

“Only enough to see what they did, that’s all Loki, I promise, I stopped it here. But he didn’t get a chance to finish, as Loki turned hurrying away from the room of people, “Fuck…fuck fuck fuck.”

Steve was standing in a kind of shock, staring at the frozen screen, Loki strung up like an animal. He felt his throat tighten and he even felt the burn of tears in his eyes at the look on Loki’s face just now. As if he had been doubly exposed.

Tony finally had a mind enough to snap the screen image off.

“We better go after Thor, Cap….this is gonna be bad.” Clint broke the tension loudly, “Come on!” he pushed Steve to spur him forward, “Just…take care of him alright?” he motioned towards the empty hall where Loki had ran.

Tony turned back to his computer, yes, he would go to Loki but he had something to do first.

 

 

 

Fury was at his desk when he received the call that Loki was once again missing, not that it surprised him. His computer dinged in alert to a message. He flipped up the laptop and there was a blinking message, a video message. His fingers hovered over the mouse before he tapped ‘accept’.

And there was Stark peering from the screen, “Hey there asshat, I bet you were expecting to see me. I don’t give a fuck, element of surprise has never really been my style. Couple things we’re gonna talk about here. One: you took my stuff, no one touches my stuff, not only did you touch? You hurt him. He’s mine, you get that? Two: you most definitely fucked with the wrong little brother that is all I’m gonna say about that. Three: you also fucked with person that personally funds your weapons program, not to mention the fact that my dad has been head of your tech design since this shit storm started. I have the original files and those have been destroyed, as soon as you opened this email. Oh, and I guess I should mention that I severed all bank account connections as well. Even the Switzerland ones, even those two little secret ones you didn’t think I knew about. I may not always act as though I know where all my money is going but oh I assure you I do. Okay maybe it’s more like, four or five things. And oh, my favorite one. You guys got a lot of secrets….a lot…you’ve dipped your quills in quite a bit of terrorist ink.” Tony held a file up one of his devices that mirrored the image of a file, “Not once, but so far I’m counting up to ten times…I’m pretty sure the American people should know about this…especially Homeland Security.” He continued to explain, a smile suddenly spread across his face, eye brows up, “There is only one stipulation to this big boss, you leave him the fuck alone or I spill all your not-so-carefully-guarded secrets….every last fucking one. Last part to my big surprise….have fun with your present that is about to show up in about,” he looked down, then back up at the screen, “I’m gonna guess ‘bout now, remember what I said.” And his face went serious, “Don’t fuck with me again, have fun trying to find funds for your future boybands, I’m out.” And the screen went blank.

“Mother fucker,” he didn’t have a chance to fully react to Stark’s words when the door to his office shattered.

Fury was half expecting, yes, the God of Thunder, but it was Steven Roger’s eyes, that seemed to be blazing brighter than the gods’.

“I want the name of the man that was in charge with whatever the hell it is that you had planned in apprehending Loki.” Steve all but growled.

“I don’t think I need to tell you anything, just like Stark, I think you’re compromised.” He answered coolly.

However, that did not sit well with Thor and he was rushing forward and within the blink of an eye had Fury by the throat pressed against the wall, “You have harmed my brother, one who has done no wrong, your own people were under the same influence but you have used him as a means to absolve your faults! He is as innocent as the agents who fired their guns at your heads! And you torture him! Take him, harm him! You will pay for this!”

“How far do you think you’ll get if you kill me?” Fury choked.

“It matters not! You almost killed Loki! That is my priority, not your well being!” and Thor tossed him, and the desk by the window seemed to explode.

“Name! Now!” Rogers shouted as Thor moved forward once more, Fury actually scrambled backwards.

“Folsen, his name is Folsen.”

“Call him in here,” Steve said through clenched teeth.

 

Tony hovered outside of the closed bathroom door, Loki had been absent from the living room, and he knew he couldn’t possibly be stupid enough to go to the roof where his mother’s runes didn’t reach or protect. Jarvis informed him he was in the bathroom, and yes, all vitals were good. He rapped his knuckles against the door, “Loki…hey, it’s me.”

“I know damn well who it is!” Loki screeched through the thin door.

“Alright, alright,” Tony swallowed thickly, “Can you open up? I think we should talk.”

“What is there to talk about, your team knows of my disgusting state…they know…what I am…what more do you want, why are you still here?! Why didn’t they kill me?! WHY?!”

“Babe, please, what are you talking about? You think it’s disgusting that you were tortured? I was tortured, I don’t think that….I mean…sometimes I wish I had been able to hold out but a person can only do so much.” Tony sighed, leaning against the door, “Please open up, I’m sorry I embarrassed you, but all these guys, they know what war looks like. And they’re in your court…and I think…” he didn’t finish and the door cracked open.

His hair was wild, eyes green and wide and terrified, “I don’t understand…don’t you know?”

“Sweetheart, know what? That those fucking assholes hurt you? That…that thing tried to take you? I don’t know what you’re talking about, Clint had the tapes and I…” but again, he was cut short when Loki threw his arms around him, holding dangerously tight, sobs bursting out of his chest like gunshots.

“Please don’t hate me, please don’t leave me,” Loki continued to cry, clinging as if his life depended on it.

Tony lowered them to the floor, “Loki, Loki, hey, why would I? And I’m not going to leave you, you’re stuck with me, I hope you know that. Jesus Christ, breathe, please,” Tony held him close, leaving kisses on his neck and cheeks, then his lips, “Hey, look at me,”

“I’m sorry,” Loki blurted out, falling forward.

“Stop this, what could you possibly be sorry for?” Tony almost outwardly begged.

“Cause I’m an abomination, I’m disgusting, you shouldn’t want me like you do. You should run as far away as you possibly can from me.” Loki could feel the sobs rising, and they did and he once again couldn’t talk.

“No fucking way,” Tony almost yelled, fingers clenched at Loki’s shoulders, locking eye contact, “Why should I run from you?! Why do you think you’re disgusting?! You’re beautiful and sweet, smartest fucker I’ve ever met and for some odd reason you like being around me! I hate, hate when you talk about yourself like this, it physically hurts me…God damnitt Loki I love you, I love you so fucking much and you don’t even see it and that you deserve it!” and he hadn’t even realized that he was crying, his face wet, and swollen and red.

Loki near hiccupped with surprise, “You love me?”

“Yes, I fucking love you, and I don’t deserve you, but you’re here, and I love you and that’s it.” Tony rambled, feeling out of breath and almost ethereal with the realization of it all.

“I love you too,” Loki sobered, breath no longer hitching, “I love you so much, but…”

“No!” Tony snapped, gathering him into his arms, pressing kisses into his hair, “I love you, you hear me? I’ve never said that to anyone. And you should believe that Loki, and don’t ever doubt it.”

And Loki couldn’t breathe, it was too much and everything he’d ever wanted in one fellow swoop.

Chapter Text

The man hardly had enough time to get through the door when Steve had him pressed against the wall by his throat.
“What the hell man!”
“You knew damn well that he was innocent, you saw the footage! You had to have made your own decision and still went ahead and tortured him.” Steve growled, “I saw it, all of it! You even taunted him!”
The man’s eyes cut around at the golden hair man holding the Director in a similar fashion.
“He told me to, I was only following orders.”
“What I watched tells me otherwise. You were enjoying that, he was screaming, begging you to stop and you knew what you were doing was wrong.” Steve tightened his hold, “How anyone could ever do this to another human being I haven’t even an inkling of understanding.”
“Thing is, he’s not human, he’s a freak!”
Before Steve thought to react any other way he tossed the man, shattering a bookshelf, “You aren’t really pleading your case are you.”
“You are in defense of that bastard?!” Folsem coughing, spatting blood from his mouth.
Steve only narrowed his too blue eyes, “You need to get your priorities straightened out soldier.”
“I ain’t no soldier, certainly not in allegiance to you, he’s a freak, an alien, something that needs to be destroyed and you’re a fucking idiot if you think anything but that.”
“He’s a living person,” Steve answered, voice deep and strained and before he could control himself he was tossing this person once again across the room. And then his attention turned to Fury, who was currently being held up against the wall by the god of thunder, “I believed you had a good thing going here, making a difference in this messed up world, but you’re no better than the people I fought in the war.”
“Captain, you and I have very different opinions on what is priority, he is a war criminal, plain and simple.”
“So Barton is a war criminal too?”
“Barton wasn’t leading an army! He is a powerful manipulator, given your history I can’t believe you would be that dumb to fall into this bullshit” Fury spat, which only made Thor tighten his hold on his throat and he gagged loudly.
“I was stupid enough to believe that you were a better man than this,” Steve shook his head, looking to the bleeding man in front of him. He let him drop to the floor in a coughing sputtering heap.
“We will finish this!” Thor bellowed.
“No, Thor,” Steve countered, “We can’t outright kill people, that’s not the kind of men you and I are. Let’s go.”
Thor was gaping at the shorter blonde, “Surely you cannot be serious, we owe Loki a debt. All that has been blamed upon him and the pain he has suffered!”
“I know that buddy, but this will only make things worse for Loki, and if I know Tony, if he’s anything like his Father, there’s a lot more than he can do than us. Am I right director?”
Fury seemed to growl, squirming under Thor’s hold but said nothing.
“That’s what I thought, he’s probably already made contact.” Steve waved his hand again, “Thor come on, your brother needs you more than he needs this. We can’t have more blood on our hands with Loki’s name involved.”
“But,”
“This isn’t like Asgard, or I don’t know how you serve justice up there, but we gotta let this be. He’s not touching Loki again. If it happens again, I can assure you I will be getting a little more involved than this.” He jerked his head at Thor and Thor reluctantly complied, letting the Director hit the floor as gracelessly as possible.
“If you ever touch my brother again, Rogerson’s kind words will not cease me from removing your head from your neck.” Thor growled, turning from the two bleeding men and following the Captain out.

Loki left Tony sleeping, as it was he was sure that the man hadn’t slept more than four hours since he’d gone missing. And he would have slept longer but his restless mind was working far too hard at the moment. The words of hate he had endured at the hands of that faceless man, bound and trapped in his true form. Words of love that counteracted the violence in such frightening ways Loki was afraid to accept them. Loki tried to think back at a time where he had received words so kindly, ‘I love you’ without it resulting in a joke or a dare from either man or woman. Or in his case, in his younger years before his trust died, boy or girl. He believed, for now at least, that if he had met Tony at an earlier time perhaps things would have turned out the way they did. He would not have attacked his brother as he did in the Southwest, really a city he knew very little of. All that mattered was that he harmed him, at the time, he felt his thoughts were clear. There was a purpose in what he was doing. Now he knew that he was blinded. By hurt, mistrust, a litany of lies too many to name. Wanting something, anything so fervently he didn’t even know what those things were. And now Tony said he loved him, had he always loved him? Or was this out of sympathy, like one loves a bird with a broken wing? He tried to sway these thoughts as he sought tea in the many cabinets of the large kitchen. He searched in the dark, the glaring spot lights that burned from the ceiling too much for his eyes.
He did not know where his brother had run off too, nor the Captain. Barton had given his ‘good nights’ and returned to his floor, or so that was what he said. He was beginning to forget what time of day it was, so much having happened in the last few days. Time as well. He came upon what he had been looking for, and foregoing the use of the stove, with a flick of his fingers the cup of cool water was steaming and he lowered the bag into the porcelain. He sat quietly at the bar, sitting upon the granite surface, his legs crossed inhaling the herbal steam. He allowed himself to feel calm, for the first time in a long time. To stop his fast track mind for just a moment.
The creak of the bedroom door alerted him enough so he didn’t jump and he turned his face towards Tony’s disheveled form. Hair a mess, sticking in every direction possible, his clothes uncharacteristically wrinkled and he had to chuckle at this sight. Because Tony was, if anything, a perfectionist in his appearance, and felt somewhat honored to be the only one to be allowed to see him in such a messy state.
“You mister, should be in bed. I thought we agreed on that. You’re supposed to veg out and become part of the mattress and that takes at least a week. Why didn’t you wake me up?” Tony pulled up one of the barstools in front of Loki’s crossed legs, “You already make me feel short ya know, could you at least come down here?”
“I like it up here,” Loki grinned, sipping at his tea.
“You sure you weren’t a bird in another life? You seem to take on the resemblance a lot around me.”
“A bird? Really?” he raised an elegant eyebrow, he set his tea down and uncrossed his legs and scooted to the edge.
Tony pulled him closer to the edge by the bends of his knees so he could properly wrap his arms around his waist of which he took advantage and nuzzled his abdomen.
Loki bent and kissed the top of his head, one arm protectively around his back, the other wound around his shoulders so he could comb his hair with long fingers, “So, without the…shall we say, drama of the night before…do you still mean it?”
“Loki,” Tony huffed hot breath against his side, kissing there before looking up at too hopeful eyes, “I love you,” he sighed again, “I know I’m a fuck up and you could probably do a helluva lot better than me, but trust me when I say it that…”
And Loki was bending down the rest of the way to capture his lips, breaching his mouth with his tongue until Tony thought surely the world was upside down. It was several seconds more before Loki was speaking again.
“I love you too, ridiculous mortal, I could argue just as fervently and I’m quite sure you would tell me how very wrong I am as well for doubting you, are we correct?” Loki smiled, brushing his lips again.
“Yeah kiddo, you’d be right,” Tony’s cheeks felt like they could split. Because even after the craziness of the night before, in the light of sanity, they were still exchanging the words effortlessly. “It okay if I kiss you again?”
The soft upward curve of Loki’s mouth told him yes, so he was leaning up as far as he could, finger tips playing at the nape of his neck to deepen the kiss. He tasted of tea and ice and something only defined as ‘Loki’.
“What is this?” Thor’s booming voice arrived like an air strike, so much so that Loki almost fell back.
Tony held fast, simply to keep him from backing off the countertop, “Whoa, whoa, it’s not what it looks like…I mean…okay it’s exactly what it looks like.”
“You would take advantage of my brother in his weakened state?!” and he was advancing far too fast for Tony’s liking, he himself almost fell off the barstool but suddenly Loki was off the counter, arms bowed behind him had Tony tucked at his back.
“Take advantage of me? Do you really think of me as such? Some weak minded fool just stupid enough and starved enough for attention that I would throw myself at any given creature that would flatter me with such wantonness?!”
There was something about ‘articulate’ Loki that was both erotic and terrifying, and hell fucking no would Tony admit that he was hiding behind the man, but okay, yes he was.
“Loki I,” Thor’s mouth was gaping.
“Do you think me as such? So desperate?! I have known this man for near two mortal years, and I certainly do not need your approval of who I fall in love with!” Loki’s spine was rim rod straight, chin jutted out in some semblance of defiance and more than ready to fight to the death his feelings. That was obvious.
“Why did you not speak to me of your feelings for this mortal? He is, after all my friend as well,” Thor sulked, anger deflated.
Loki rolled his eyes, lowering his arms, “Really brother? You would be happy in this union? Your argr brother? And why we are at it what makes you think, in any context of our past, that I would be forthright with my claims for whom I seek companship with?”
“Brother,” Thor sighed, “I only wish for your happiness I would never call you something as insulting as argr, you are anything but. It matters not who you love.”
Again Loki found himself at a loss for words, “Well then, if you are so inclined to my happiness you will know now that I love this man.”
Any other person would look as clumsy, but not Loki, even as his hand clambered behind him searching for Tony’s it looked deliberate as he wound their fingers together.
“So is he responsible, for this?” Thor gestured, palms outward, “This change?”
“What change?” Loki narrowed dark eyes, clutching harder at Tony’s hand.
“The brother I’ve always known who stands before me, fighting for what he thinks right, for what he wants.” Thor smiled, abandoning his earlier intimidating stance and crossing his arms easily.
“Yes,” Loki answered carefully, unconsciously bumping the body behind him.
“Okay then, it’s all out in the open,” Tony clapped both his trapped hand and Loki’s hand together, “I love him, he loves me, sorry for the big dramatic reveal, but that’s why I went to bat for him and I’ll continue to do it.”
“This gladdens me Stark, that you would have the power to bring forth the brother I have always known and loved,” Thor boomed, surging forward and shaking Tony’s hand, “But I shall warn you, you harm him and I will make you very sorry.”
“Thor!” Loki groaned, still between the two.
“Loud and clear big guy” Tony saluted, “I doubt it not!”
Loki looked more than annoyed, fond annoyance yes, but more than done, “Must we discuss this further?”
“No, let’s order pizza,” Tony grinned, pecking his cheek.

A man veiled in darkness peered up at the mountain of a building bearing the name of ‘Stark’ he smiled, “Oh what fun I shall have to bring you down to your knees”

Chapter Text

The next two or three days passed with little incident, Tony heard no word from Fury or any of his men. It was so quiet that it seemed to make Loki nervous, even though Tony, more than once, assured him that Fury would not be coming for him. Of course there was always fear of the other threat returning. So with nervousness in the air Tony was surprised to not be able to find Loki later in the evening. He’d grown accustomed to a kind of schedule, as he still was gathering his strength. Usually about 5 he would sit and watch documentary after documentary until Tony was forced to move him to get him to eat.
“J give me a location on Loki please,”
“He’s currently in making use of your pool”
“The pool?”
“Yes, sir.”
Tony made his way down to the 3rd level, he’d only ever been down here once or twice, usually some demand of Pepper, saying he needed to be healthier. As he made his way down to the floor and came to the swinging door he already heard the splashing, “Loki? You in here?” he received no answer, but he was answered quick enough when he saw the pale body floating on his back, long limbs sway above his head like some intricate ballet dance. Loki’s eyes were closed as he kept above the water on his back, lazily swimming backwards. Tony took a moment to study him, really get a good eyeful of him. He was so very much like a swan, so graceful and elegant, and that was his trick. Because he was so fierce beneath all that beauty. He was lean muscle and sharp senses. Probably things no one would notice. In his reverence Loki’s voice broke his thinking.
“What are you doing down here?” bright green eyes were peering up at him, brow and high cheek bones dripping with water.
“Well babe, you disappeared on me, for someone that has been attached to my hip the last few days I’d say that warrants for concern.” Tony grinned.
“I’ve been here all along, I use to swim in my youth to relax my muscles, now is no different.”
Tony chuckled when he finally noticed, his jet black hair was cropped neatly at the nape of his neck, he hadn’t seen it that short since they first met, “Hey, when did you cut your hair?”
Loki was smiling too, “This morning while you were still asleep. I wanted a change, do you mind it?”
“Of course I don’t mind it, you ready for bed? It’s getting late,”
“Not particularly, this is the most energy I’ve had in days. Why don’t you join me?” Loki swooshed the water beneath his limbs, pushing himself backwards.
“I don’t really like pools”
“Why do you dislike them when you own one?” Loki asked, dipping beneath the surface, only to emerge again, navigating towards Tony at the edge.
“I just…” Tony gulped, “I don’t like cold water, that’s all, I liked it before I bought it and now I don’t.”
“Come on,” Loki pushed, “You can’t simply purchase something without knowing why you want it or not.” He perched his crossed arms on the granite surface.
“Don’t!” Tony spat without meaning to.
“What?” Loki near screeched, “I didn’t do anything.”
“Don’t pull me in”
“I didn’t intend to do so, would that have been a problem?”
“I just don’t like cold water, leave it alone, is that so much to…ask…respect whatever”
“Tony,” Loki began.
“Lokes,”
“Why would I do such a thing?” Loki said, water sloshing against his torso as he lifted himself up from the pool.
“Well everyone always says that 'everyone knows how to swim' before pulling a stuny like that, like it's okay,,” he began and didn’t know why.
“That’s not the issue at hand though,” Loki spun his fingers and was instantly dry, clothed and all, “What worries you?”
“It’s nothing,”
“One that repeats such a thing would suggest that yes, there is a problem” Loki argued, brow arched respectively.
“I don’t like cold water,”
“Why,” Loki pursued, moving closer towards Tony, crossing his legs, “Talk to me.”
“What’s there to talk about?”
“This,” Loki said, pressing fingertips to his palm “This trembling, I know enough”
“It’s something that happened in Afghanistan, you remember me tellin’ you about that.”
“I recall that it was how you acquired this,” he moved from his hands to his chest, circling the light with one thumb, “But you were never forthcoming with just how, you only told me you escaped.”
“Nothing really to talk about, just ya know, I was tortured, they wanted be to build a weapon and I refused. For quite some time, I was there nearly three months.” His chest clenched with the last statement, and he wasn’t sure why this was all coming out now, “Come on, you don’t need to hear this, not with everything you’ve been through.”
“On the contrary, I would very much like to hear it,” Loki countered, cradling both of Tony’s hands in his own, it was always in these quiet moments that Loki realized just how much alike they were. The stubbornness to admit weakness, or any kind of pain in their past. And Tony had heaps of it to tell, Loki knew this from the beginning. “Would you not agree, that it would benefit me to hear such things? To know I am not the only one that has suffered at another’s hand?”
“I don’t wanna trigger you babe, it’s not pleasant,” he could feel the trembling working its way into his limbs, just the dampness of this room was enough to make him short of breath.
“Perhaps I should relocate us elsewhere?”
“What do you--” he began but was quickly answered when he found them both sitting atop his bed.
“That’s a neat trick ya know,” Tony grinned.
“No deterrents, talk to me,” Loki was wagging a finger, scooting closer.
“You’re not going to let up on this are you?”
He arched one elegant eyebrow and shook his head, “That is unless you find it too uncomfortable. Now what is it about cold water?”
Tony rolled his shoulders, eyes shifting away, “That’s just how they did it over there, water boarding…other things…” he cleared his throat and just pushed the rest over his lips, “Kept my hands behind my back and shoved my head underneath water…until I was to the brink of drowning…pulled me back out…they’d do it for hours…I don’t know how many days that went on until I agreed. Sometimes, in the most random places I’ll still smell the water, it smell way too close to blood. Thing is I had a fucking car battery attached to my chest, the only thing keeping me alive. What was I gonna do, fight back?”
Loki had never heard of such a kind of torture, he supposed that he knew far too much about others, “Why didn’t you tell me these things?”
“That’s it,” Tony said far too quickly, “I mean, that’s why, the thing with the water.” He gestured aimlessly with his hands, “I didn’t tell you because…you know why.” He sighed, breath hitching against his will, “I don’t talk about this shit, haven’t with anybody.”
Loki felt both honored and saddened in the same breath, “You’ve always told me to speak my mind. I find that it has been helpful in the past, it is something we both should do. At least with one another.”
“Yeah well I tend to say things and not do them, in the sharin’ sense that is,” his shoulders slumped, talking about this, or not for that matter, exhausted him.
“These men, they harmed you, you should be proud that you managed to escape,” Loki contested, bringing one set of knuckles to his lips, and it was in that moment that he noticed the gnarled state of them, scars upon other scars and nails that looked as if they had not grown back properly. This made Loki shudder and kiss his knuckles again.
“Proud? Nah, I wouldn’t go that far…”
“Of course you should be,” Loki argued, eyes narrowed angrily, “Would you say different to me?”
“Of course not!” Tony grunted, “No, of course not,” he repeated more softly, sighing deeply and sounding defeated. His head bowing now and he had never wanted to get into all of this, even the mere mention of it all drudged up memories of that cold place. Sometimes he didn’t remember it all, other times it would return in full detail. There were nights when he woke himself up screaming, alone. He hardly noticed that Loki had pulled him into his lap, only did he realized he had done so was when he pressed warm lips to his brow.
“I did not mean to distress you,” Loki murmured against his temple, and it was honest, but he wanted more information. He wished Tony would purge and tell him everything, because he knew there was more, he could tell by the way he trembled, limbs shaking with remembered fear.
“I’m fine,” any other time he might have contested the man-handling but goddamnit he needed this kind of intimacy, and all those times he did wake screaming alone he would almost lose it all over again wishing for this very thing. Perhaps that was why he allowed himself to hide his face in the offered neck.
“You are not ‘fine’ but that’s alright,” Loki spoke low, tracking fingers down each bump of Tony’s spine.
Tony said nothing, simply exhaling a watery sigh and forced himself to nod. He hadn’t gone into the kind of detail Loki probably deserved to hear, after all Tony did see the video of Loki at the hand of that bastard. And he would have time with that bastard if it was the last thing he did. But he couldn’t conjure up the strength to finish the rest of the story. Waterboarding, his brain told him, leave it at that. He was so in his own head he hadn’t realized that Loki had leaned them back on the bed, pulling Tony with him. He’d have to tell Loki later that his fingers were like magic, or hell maybe he was using magic, all he did know was every inch of his scalp was tingling in all the right way that made him near boneless. He slumped against the slender body beneath him and before too long he found sleep easier than he had in days.
Loki studied the unconscious man against him for a few minutes, given that he hadn’t had a chance to do so since they were reunited. He had always had a notion that Tony had suffered from some kind of torture, but he had never elaborated. And Loki knew better he was well aware that it was more than what Tony was saying. And as he was dozing, he got his answer when Tony began to writhe in his sleep. He’d seen this before, a thousand times, but this time was different. He seemed locked in his own body. Loki tentatively pressed fingertips to his forehead and he was flooded with images. Hooded men, hovering over the thin cot he occupied, and he was helpless, that much Loki knew. That he knew that there was no way to fight back. But then something unexpected entered the view. The worm hole. And Tony closing his eyes in defeat as he fell to the earth, so effortlessly too as if he had just given up. And this had all been his doing. Loki felt a deep seeded guilt bury in his gut. He had done this because of him. He wouldn’t have experienced this horror if it hadn’t been for him.
Loki extracted himself from the memory, murmuring softly, “Tony, it’s okay, it’s alright, you’re safe.” And Tony curled into him, so unlike his usual self, he tucked himself smartly against Loki like one would a doll. “Don’t wanna die…” Tony murmured.
Loki kissed his temple gently, “You won’t die my love, you’re alright, everything’s alright” and with sick realization, he knew then and there that he was part of the reason of his lover’s anxiety. The alien invasion had forced him to make a decision, a rash one at that, and it had almost cost him his life.
Loki found Tony clutching like he hadn’t ever before, he held him close, and even though he knew it was probably what Tony wouldn’t want he laced magic into his mind to encourage good sleep. As Tony slumped against him he held him tight, kissing him over and over, “I won’t let anyone harm you,” he murmured, “Sleep, sleep my darling, sleep.”

Chapter Text

The first time it happened Loki tried not to put too much thought into it, Tony had wondered from their bed in the middle of the night. Loki had noticed the shift in weight of the bed, but rolled over and fell back to sleep. However, the next morning Tony was still gone and Loki went looking for him. He had found him curled up behind the couch in the main living area, just as sound asleep as he had been the night before. Loki chalked it up to speaking of unpleasant topic of his torture a few nights before. He and Tony were similar in that way, that the stress of ‘talking it out’ tended to affect their sleeping habits more than anything. He simply roused Tony awake, Tony had laughed it off in the way that he was wont to do, and they had breakfast.

There came a second and a third time, finding him in different places of the tower, once even in the laundry room of which Tony joked “I didn’t even know I had a laundry room.”

This had been their routine all week, and Loki was finding it exhausting, worse thing was that Tony was beginning to look just as haggard. He wasn’t disappearing into the workshop near as often, and he would idly doze on the couch earlier and earlier in the evening.

“It’s getting’ annoying babe, what’s wrong with my brain?!” Tony complained, scrubbing at his swollen eyes.

“It’s merely the stress of the last few weeks,” Loki offered, worry churning in his gut.

 

Midnight rolled around when Loki lurched out of sleep, chest heaving and pulse threading dangerously fast.

“Mr. Loki?” the ethereal voice of Jarvis appeared from nowhere.

Loki swallowed what could quite possibly be his heart, “Yes, Jarvis, where is Tony?”

“That is why I woke you, my apologies, but Sir is exhibiting some strange behavior, he is in the pool room.”

“The swimming pool?” Loki was already out of the bed at this point, and made his way down to the lower level of the Stark Tower, “How long has he been down there?”

“At least an hour,”

“Well…what is he doing?” Loki asked, foot tapping impatiently as the elevator made its slow descent.

“Nothing sir, simply staring, he’s at the water’s edge though,”

“Why?” Loki did not say aloud, he near ran from the mouth of the elevator and pushed quickly through the swinging doors.

And there Tony was, teetering on the edge of the pool, lips moving soundless, eyes tightly shut.

Loki opened his mouth to say something but he as afraid the sound of his voice would snap him from this state and he would fall in. He was never sure if Tony knew how to swim, and after their talk days before about his fear of cold water, this was a frightening scene indeed. He moved soundlessly around the pool to come up behind Tony, who was now swaying. Loki knew he could pop up behind him and grab him, but that could be traumatizing, had someone told him that one should not wake a sleep walker? He wasn’t sure.

“Tony,” he spoke just above a whisper.

Tony’s moving lips were now pushing sound over them, Loki couldn’t quite make it out.

And then he could.

It was brief and barely audible, “This was too easy…just like a windup toy,”

Loki froze, limbs going stiff. That wasn’t Tony’s voice. Loki moved to speak again when Tony was lurched forward, plunging into the deepest part of the pool, “Tony!” and he didn’t think twice, diving down into the water just as fast as Tony had. Eyes wide and burning against the chlorine Loki took immediate notice that Tony wasn’t moving of his own free will, something was dragging him deeper and deeper to the pools’ bottom. Loki scrambled as fast as he could, limbs feeling like lead. He reached out a hand and clutched the bend of Tony’s elbow holding firmly. And with that action he could feel the physical pull of the unknown force. Tony’s eyes, previously closed, were suddenly open wide and horrified, and then he was fighting Loki, trying to get free. Loki ignored it and merely put all his strength into getting them both to the surface.

Both of their heads burst through the still surface of the pool, both gasping, but Tony was still fighting, sputtering for air, hand slapping and reaching for purchase.

“Anthony!” Loki spat, trying to keep them both afloat, “It’s me!”

“No!” Tony screamed, and as he slipped from Loki’s grip he sunk momentarily, bobbing back up spitting water from his mouth, finally keeping himself above the surface.

“Tony, listen to me,” Loki swam idly behind him as they both moved to the edge of the pool, another curious thing, he had tried to relocate them to outside of the water and found that he could not.

Weak and gulping air into his lungs, Tony lifted himself out of the water and collapsed to the cold tile, every inch of him vibrating.

Loki hurried behind him, pressing palms to the edge and leaping out of the water, coming to Tony’s side, “Are you awake now? Tony?”

Tony lay on his back, eyes wide and red staring up at the ceiling, chest hiccupping, “Why did you do that?!”

“You pushed me!” Tony cried.

“I did no such thing!” Loki sputtered, slicking his hair back and away from his eyes.

“I-I saw you, you pushed me into the water, you held me down,” his voice was barely there at all, really only a tremble.

“Tony, my darling, I would never do such a thing,” he took a chance and reached a hand forward and to his dismay Tony flinched, “Do you remember anything before the pool?”

Tony’s eyes were darting, face still dripping, long drops hanging from his lips before falling, he licked at his lips, “Bed, with you, I-I don’t know how I got down here,”

“We’re you dreaming?”

“I don’t think so…no wait, maybe, I thought it was real…I couldn’t understand why you were here…why you tried…” his face fell into his hands, drawing his knees up to his chest, “Was that a nightmare?”

Loki tentatively placed a hand to Tony’s shoulder, and when this time he didn’t flinch Loki scooched beside him. Once again, he reached for his magic to lift the wetness from Tony’s body and the action was denied, almost as if it pushed back his sedir. He frowned, brushing the wet hair from Tony’s face, coaxing away his hands, “Tony, I would never hurt you like that, ever. It was merely a dream,”

“Didn’t feel like one, felt too goddamn real,” Tony groaned, feeling exhaustion seeping into his pores, finally leaning into Loki’s touch. Logic pushing away the ridiculous notion that Loki would drag him into the pool.

“If you have yet to speak to anyone about your time in Afghanistan, perhaps this triggered a long needed acceptance of what you endured,” even as he spoke the words, they didn’t feel right, nor entirely did they make sense.

“I’m turning into a regular nut job aren’t I,” he finally looked up, eyes red rimmed, “What if you hadn’t come down here? This isn’t my regular sleep walking babe,”

“I’m sure it will pass, and you did awake on your own, I just happened to be there as well.” Loki soothed, pulling him close when he felt his limbs trembling, “Let’s get you into dry clothes.”

“Can’t you just, ya know?” he waggled his fingers, all joking tone absent from his voice.

“It seems that my sedir is still misfiring, I can’t seem to access it at the moment.” Loki was frowning again, but lifted Tony up from the damp floor.

He grimaced at the clear ripples, staying clear of the edge, “Pool water is way too cold, I know I have a heater in there…I’m draining this bitch tomorrow.” Tony snapped, scrubbing at his face again, “God, I’m tired,”

Loki led him back upstairs and sat on the bed as Tony changed out of his wet clothes. Soon after he was trudging back to bed, collapsing at the edge with a loud moan, his brain buzzing viciously with ‘why’ this was happening. He didn’t even seem to realize that Loki was tugging him across the chilly sheets, wrapping the blankets around him and drawing him to his chest.

“You’re freezing,” Loki commented, brushing lips across his brow.

“Yeah,” Tony murmured against the flesh of Loki’s throat, sleep already beckoning him once more.

Loki knew at this point he wouldn’t be falling asleep any time soon, he was troubled by not only the thought of such a dangerous sleep walking episode, but those strange words and tone falling from Tony’s lips.

“Jarvis,” Loki spoke, after the gentle snoring above him became regular, “At any point in time that Mr. Stark seems to…not be himself, would you record it? And let me know immediately if he does have one of these episodes. We cannot have what happened at the pool occur again,”

“Yes, Mr. Loki, of course,”

“Thank you,”

Loki sighed, head falling back, he studied the tips of his fingers. He emitted the soft green glow, like liquid smoke, twirling it round and round until it mimicked a tunnel. He glanced down at the sleeping figure against his chest, he gently trailed the sedir down the flesh of the man, and it leapt back like water on a duck. Loki flinched at that, what in the Norns was going on? He knew he must somehow get in contact with his mother, perhaps her wards were wearing off, or misfiring. No, that didn’t seem right, his mother’s magic was flawless.

Tony whimpered in his sleep which made Loki stop immediately, he withdrew his magic, curling fingers into his palm biting at his lips. Again he kissed Tony’s brow, coaxing him back into a deep sleep. The room felt suffocating, full, and stuffed with something Loki couldn’t decipher, it only made him hold Tony closer.

Chapter Text

“Loki?” Hawkeye’s voice came through the line, “How’d you get my number?”

“Jarvis was so kind as to give it to me, and you were the only one in the contact list that had a number.”

“Uh, okay, what’s up?”

“I was curious as to the whereabouts of my brother, there is something I must speak to him about” Loki peeked around the door once more before continuing, “There is something wrong…with my sedir…my magic, and I must speak with him.”

“Well we just got back from a small conflict, no big deal, if he’s for real gonna be with us all the time he needs a cellphone. I’ll let him know you’re looking for him; he should be there in a couple hours.”

“T-Thank you Hawk, I appreciate it,” it still felt more than awkward to talk to the man and feel that lack of animosity. If anything, he felt a kind of connection with him, after all, they were the only ones to experience Thanos’ control.

Jarvis severed the connection and Loki exhaled roughly, if only there were a way to contact his mother without alerting Heimdel. He couldn’t risk Odin knowing of his whereabouts, as to that, he was confused as to why Odin wasn’t pursuing this further. Surely he must have known about the attacks in New York. But not a word, a whisper of any intervention on the Old Father’s at all. Perhaps it was just like old times, always second fiddle, never really caring to begin with. Perhaps, and hated to admit it still hurt, perhaps he was just thankful that Loki was gone. Out of the way, out of sight out of mind. He absentmindedly fiddled with the silky green smoke in his hand, transferring from one set of fingertips to the other. He willed it forward, asking it to flit into shapes and different colors. No problems there, none at all, what was this odd connection with Tony and his magic? As if on cue Tony was shuffling out of the bedroom, scrubbing at his messy head, eyes glazed with sleep.

“I guess I’m gonna have to start sleeping during the day huh? This is ridiculous,”

“Tony,” Loki began carefully, scooting over and patting the spot beside him, “I would like to try something.”

“Try what babe? What’s going on, you look worried,” Tony said, plopping next to him.

“Aren’t you worried about your recent sleeping incidents?”

“I guess I’m just chalking it up to stress is all, I think I had similar problems when I first got back from Afghanistan. Maybe that worm hole did more of a number on me than I thought,” Tony shrugged.

“It’s more than that,” Loki took Tony’s hand in his, turning it over palm up, “It does not explain this,” he wriggled his fingers over the flesh of Tony’s hand, not touching, and his sedir brushed along the surface wherever he willed it.

Tony watched in a kind of awe, eyes wide and curious, “Uh, what are you?” he began and then found himself lurching backwards, “Ow!” he almost fell off the couch, “What was that for?!”

“I didn’t do it! I believe my magic is reacting negatively to the power source in your chest, that is all I can gather. It’s never done this before!”

“Reacting negatively?”

“I’m at a complete loss,” Loki muttered, “You and I are connected on an emotional level, if anything my magic should react, attach itself to you. But it’s recoiling, it doesn’t just cause you pain, it stings me as well.”

“Yeah it feels like licking a battery,” Tony groused, rubbing his arms as if just moments before he had ants crawling over his flesh, “You don’t know what’s doing this?”

Loki shook his head, “It,” he began, “It almost feels as if it’s an outside source, something outside these walls.”

“Like another ‘magic’ source?”

“Maybe,” Loki was chewing his lips raw, “I felt it last night, something smothering, and something present, but I can’t put my finger on it.”

“I thought your mom’s wards were supposed to protect you,”

“They are there to protect me, to hide my magical signature. They were not needed to protect you, however, you don’t hold any magic at all. That would be the only way that Svaðilfari would be able to get to me. Until the issues with him are resolved, I must remain in this tower.”

“So you’re saying that you think it’s that dude? How’s that even possible?”

“I didn’t say it was, but what is happening has to do with Sedir, this isn’t an everyday phenomenon.”

“Can’t you give your mom a ring?”

“I can try, with a spell, but I want to be as careful as I can to stay out of Odin’s line of sight. He’ll grow suspicious if Mother leaves again, she rarely visits Midgard.”

“Well…” Tony shrugged, “Maybe it’s just left over from all the shit you’ve been through the last couple weeks. You’ve kind of been through the ringer, maybe you’re unconsciously, doing this, whatever it is,” Tony said, hands out.

“I do hope so, your sleepwalking is worrisome,”

“Babe, I’m pretty sure I’d be aware if someone were in my head,” Tony said, reaching a hand up to brush Loki’s cheek.

“I’m sure you’re right,” Loki tried not to grimace, hoping that word would get to his brother as soon as possible.

 

It was the next night that Jarvis woke him up alerting him that once again Tony was moving against his will.

“Where is he?”

“The roof Mr. Loki, I have tried multiple times to make verbal contact with him but he will not answer me, please hurry. I will deploy one of the suits if necessary, he is close to the edge of the building.”

Loki appeared on the roof with little to no trouble, merely the wave of his hand, “Tony!” he shouted before he could think twice.

He was teetering on the edge of the roof, looking like a shadow against the red rising sun, face blank and mouth moving wordlessly.

“Tony, can you hear me?” Loki started softly, and he was well aware of the cool air that danced along his skin, his first bit of freedom since all of this happened. His eyes fell back to his lover who hovered at the mouth of the building, “Anthony?

“Yeah?” Tony spoke up finally, the wind almost carrying away the soft tone of his voice.

“What are you doing up here? Come back to bed, it’s early.”

“Too early for what?” Tony grinned, moving away from the edge, a smirk on his face.

“Tony, I don’t,” but he was cut off by lips being slammed into his cutting off argument or further speech, “W-Wait,” he stammered in a panic. It was almost as if Tony held a strength that was not his own, he was shoving Loki back, tongue in his mouth, hands gripping painfully around his waist.

For a moment Loki indulged the wet mouth against his, but when Tony’s fingers were pinching and pulling he found himself resisting, “W-Why are you doing this…I don’t…” he was cut off once more but that same insistent mouth, “Stop!” and he again tried to press palms against the chest before him.

“What’s wrong babe?” Tony laughed.

That wasn’t Tony’s laugh, it wasn’t the rare slightly high tone that Loki was used to. Loki’s eyes were wide he near stumbled backwards onto the concrete ground, successfully separating himself from the man, “Show yourself!”

“Why? My little doll, this is so much more fun. I’m wearing the face of the one you love, you know I could do anything with his tiny mortal body right now.”

“Let him go,”

“Or what?! What exactly are you going to do, my little freak?”

And suddenly Svaðilfari was there, arm wrapped tightly around Tony’s neck in such surprise that Tony gagged, awake and out of the trance, “What the fuck?!” he shouted, eyes darting and gaining his bearings, hand instinctively grabbing at the force that restricted his air, “Loki?!”

“Tony, it’s okay,” Loki bit at his lips.

“The fuck it is! Who is this fuck?!” he would have said more if the blade hadn’t presented itself against his throat.

“I see that dear Loki has not given the proper introductions,” Svaðilfari sneered tightening the knife to Tony’s throat, “Why don’t we indulge with our time together?”

“Don’t hurt him!” Loki screamed without meaning to.

“Why? Does he mean something to you? A mortal? Darling, you really are a hopeless romantic aren’t you.” He shook his head, “Now, now, now, does, said mortal, know of the nefarious Loki’s dark secret?”

“Loki, whatever it is…” Tony gulped but was cut off with the pressure against his windpipe.

“I do not think he would be so forthcoming if he knew the truth,” Svaðilfari grinned toothily, “You are not far from that of a bitch are you not? Tony do you know about his extra parts?”

Loki’s brow buckled, lips trembled, “Just let him go, I’ll do anything you want, anything.”

“Oh, this is beautiful,” he licked his lips, running one thumb down Tony’s cheek, “You’ll give yourself over to me? Completely?”

“Yes, but you must promise me that you will let him go,” Loki trembled.

“Loki no!” Tony spat, bucking backwards, eyes tearing, “Don’t you dare do it! You don’t deserve this, not even for the sake of me!”

“Yes Tony,” Loki choked, “It’s the only way I can redeem myself,”

“God damnitt Loki no!” Tony screamed.

“Take me, I’m yours,” Loki whispered.

“Very well then, you come with me, no argument, no struggle, you understand?” Svaðilfari said with an arching brow, he produced a floating piece of parchment, eyes narrowing with challenge.

“Of course,” Loki nodded, and he signed it.

“Well, that was easier than I thought,” he chuckled, “Come then,” and he tossed Tony to the ground hard enough to render him breathless. He reached out a pale hand to Loki, “Come along dear, time is wasting, you’re mine now.”

Loki bit back a sob, eyes glancing to Tony, green and wet, “I love you, this is the way it must be,”

“No, it doesn’t!” Tony did in fact sob, and attempted to move forward only to be lurched backwards by invisible hands so swiftly it left his head buzzing.

“You are mine, you always have been,” Svaðilfari purred, pulling Loki flush to his hard body, all muscle and unfeeling, swallowing up his mouth so hard that Loki was gasping, “As it should have always been.”

 

Lightening cracked across the sky near opening up the heavens and Loki had to shield his eyes when Thor appeared on the graveled roof of Stark tower, “Monster!” he growled, threads of electricity danced through the atmosphere.

“Loki, your dear pseudo brother has arrived to save the day,” Svaðilfari laughed, arm fast and strong around Loki’s waist, “What is it that you want, God of Thunder, with the bastard son of Jotunheim?”

Thor’s eyes were blazing, chest heaving, “You harmed my brother,” that was it, a deep growl so animalistic that even Tony was shivering, “Let him go,”

“Oh no, big brother, he’s mine, he just now signed himself over to me. He is mine, my property.”

“Never,” Thor’s tone never changed from that of a bear, something Loki wasn’t sure he’d ever heard.

“I do assure you that your father would agree with such an agreement, I have it here on paper,” Svaðilfari smirked, “This little bitch is mine, body, soul, everything, he is mine.”

It was much like a flash of light, and Loki felt the ground beneath him give way. Instinctively he rose his head to see the blinding light much like the sun and his brother’s roar. What he did not expect to see was Svaðilfari’s wide eyed too blue stare illuminated by the sun and Thor’s hammer coming down again, and again, and again. There was red. So much red, and the loud splatter of brains, was all Loki could fathom as he lay motionless on the ground.

Loki could hear his brother’s rant, it did not end with Svaðilfari’s death, he continued to berate the dead body, head open and leaking brain. Loki on his side, peering forward, he began to cry, so loud that it alerted Thor’s attention.

“Brother, oh brother, I’m so sorry, I did not mean…”

Loki threw his arms around Thor, deep and loud sobs bursting from his chest, “He’s dead…dead…dead…”

“Yes, baby brother, he’s dead, he will never harm you again,” Thor whispered, pressing endless kisses to Loki’s damp and unkempt hair.

Loki sobbed painfully, clutching at his brother, eyes on Tony who lay wide eyed and breathless. He hid his face in the crook of his brother’s shoulder. No matter what may come, his lover was safe, he only hoped he would love him for everything he was ashamed of.

Chapter Text

Thor held Loki until his violent trembling stopped which was for quite some time. He would not remove his face from the place of his older brother’s shoulder. Thor’s eyes finally rising up from the top of Loki’s head he took note of Tony, who’s back was pressed to the wall of the utility structure, “Anthony were you harmed? Are you alright?”

Tony looked utterly horrified, blinking rapidly and chest heaving. It took Thor speaking again that made Tony flinch and finally focus, “I g-guess…” he pushed up from the ground, again, not having any recollection of taking the elevator to the roof of his tower. However, he was aware of his actions with Loki, that was shining and loud in his mind. Svaðilfari had done more than simply suggest he do something, like jump into a pool, he’d forced him to kiss Loki like that. Tony had felt the lack of control of his limbs. What if he had taken it a step farther? Forced Tony to harm Loki as he screamed from the inside. He felt sick. And then everything after, everything that the more powerful god had spat.

“Loki?” Tony trembled, he tried to clear his throat but that didn’t work either.

Loki very slowly moved away from his brother’s chest, his eyes looking fever bright, “Tony…I’m so sorry…”

“You’re sorry?!” Tony didn’t mean to shout but he did and Loki flinched when Tony fell to his knees besides Loki’s still crumbled form, “Why the fuck are you apologizing…” for the first time since his return Tony was afraid to touch the other man, his hand hovering with hesitation.

Loki went wide eyed, “For him to have entered your mind like that, and that I should have done something before all this happened…I so hoped that it was not the case. That he had taken control…”

“Don’t you dare apologize, what Thor did…that wasn’t enough…he got off way too easy” before Tony could finish Loki had launched himself into his arms, holding him so tight it hurt. Tony finally took a breath, it was anything but steady, “Why did you do that Loki? Why would you give yourself over to him because of me? I would never be able to live with the idea…that he was hurting you…because of me.”

“I couldn’t bear it, the look in your eyes, I couldn’t bear him harming you.” Loki was crying again, mouth muffling words against the flesh of Tony’s throat. His heart was hammering, because surely Tony had put two and two together with Svaðilfari’s words. He had to hold him now because there was a good chance that this would be a deal breaker. He had accepted his Jotun form without question, but this? This was completely different; his body was no longer the same beneath his clothes. Not the same body that Tony had fallen in love with. He only cried harder when he felt Tony stroking his hair and rubbing his back, “I knew if I hadn’t agreed he would have taken you from me. He wouldn’t have simply killed you, that would have been too easy. I-I don’t even want to know what he would have done to you. I could not survive with that burden of knowledge. He is a master at cloaking, he would have disappeared for years at a time before finding me once more.” He pulled away, looking into Tony’s eyes, “He compromised your technology, not even your flying suits would have been able to protect you. Jarvis went silent after he alerted me, and that was part of Svaðilfari’s plan. To get me to the roof…and use you…”

“Loki, honey,” Tony tucked the short strands of his hair behind both ears and pressed a kiss to both cheeks, “I’m the one that should be sorry. I shouldn’t have been so lax about it all…I just didn’t want you worrying.”

It was finally Thor’s interruption that reminded them that he was still there, suggesting that they move inside. That got the couple up from the blood and brain spattered ground. Thor almost had to bodily maneuver them both, leading them to the stark white couch in the living room.

Loki was only aware they had re-located when he felt the damp cloth on his face. He flinched at that only to be answered with Thor’s surprisingly soft voice, “I’m just cleaning you up a bit.”

Loki looked down at his pale hands that mirrored that of the roof, little bits of red like spilt paint littered his flesh. Thor washed that away too once he’d finished with the spots on his cheeks. And perhaps if he hadn’t been in such a daze he would be shouting at his brother. He was still waiting for his mind to catch up with reality. That the monster that had tormented him for nearly a week was dead. The creature that had broken him would no longer be lurking in the shadows.

“Brother, are you alright?” once more Thor broke his reverie.

“Yes, I believe so,” he lowered Thor’s hands with his own, now glancing at Tony who was staring forward, brow creased deeply with a frown.

“Tony…” Loki said softly.

“Yeah, yes,” Tony cleared his throat, “I’m gonna get a drink, anyone else want one? I’ll just pour three.”

He rose from the couch and moved quickly to the granite bar, pouring amber liquid into three tumblers. He knocked back his own in one gulp and poured another before returning to the two men.

Loki was watching him with a careful eye, all thoughts of death were off the table. He was now wondering, worrying if this indeed was all too much. All of it. The mind control, the…. unpleasant nature of things. The secrets out in the open. That was if Tony even knew what it was that had been spat.

“Here, I think this will do us all some good,” Tony handed out the glasses, sitting down onto the plush surface, leaning back and craning his head.

“Sir,” Jarvis’ voice emitted around them, “I’m not sure what happened, but I was unable to contact you for nearly 17 and a half minutes. My apologies sir.”

“It’s okay Jay, magical…interference, everything’s under control now.”

“Would you like me to contact the Avengers? Captain Rogers is nearby,”

“No Jay, no need to do that,” Tony waved him off as if he were sitting in front of him.

“I-I think I’m going to get cleaned up, Thor would you stick around for a while?” he didn’t say out loud ‘keep an eye on him’. Even with all the upset he was pretty sure that Loki could conjure up enough energy to smack him.

He refrained from dropping a kiss to Loki’s forehead and hurried into the bedroom, past that and into the bathroom. He ran the shower hot, so much so that within minutes the mirror was fogging up and it looked like a scene out of Gorillas of the Mist. He shucked the shower curtain sideways, blocking out the light only meekly and slid into the barely tolerable hot water. He hissed as it hit his skin, the bumps and bruises singing loudly against the spray. He stood there for a long time, face resting against his folded arms against the black tile.

“Loki,” Thor finally spoke after a long bought of silence, “Are you alright brother?”

“As alright as I can be,” Loki answered, looking down at his hands folded in his lap, “When do you think you will speak to Mother next? I wish to contact her but I know it will only cause myself more danger.”

“If you wish me to leave now I will, I will contact her, what is it that you need?”

Loki shook his head, “To see her,” he inhaled shakily, “Just to see her. I have questions only she can answer.”

“What happened up there?” Thor asked, scooting only a margin closer.

“He took hold of Tony’s mind…and body…it was…under Svaðilfari’s control…I don’t know what he was going to do with him.”

“He’s dead Loki”

“Yes, he’s dead,” Loki answered, but there was so much more than that, he stood from the couch and so very uncharacteristic of himself he bent at the waist and hugged his brother, “I-I very much feel like lying down. I thank you Thor, for everything, for being there for me.” For once, is what his snarky self, he was truly exhausted at grateful. And the thought of Thor in the building was soothing.

“Yes, of course, get your rest, I’ll stay here until I’m sure things are settled.” Thor gave an effortless smile, sipping at his drink.

Loki nodded, soft smile on his lips.

 

Tony exited the bathroom, only clad in sleep pants, skin prickling against the cool air, he didn’t expect Loki lying across the edge of the bed. He was curled up in a kind of protective stance. He rubbed the towel once more over his dark, damp hair and draped it over the chair.

“Lokes,” he balanced on his haunches next to the bed to be eye to eye with the man, “Did your brother take off?”

Loki’s eyes opened blearily, and he shook his head, “I wanted to talk to you.”

“We don’t need to talk about all that, what’s done is done, I’m okay, you’re okay. Thank God…or ya know, you, whatever,” he forced a laugh.

“Tony, it’s not okay, I can see it in your eyes,” Loki said, he had yet to make eye contact.

“I could have hurt you…through him…that’s my problem, just so we’re clear on that babe,” Tony growled, hand out to touch but refrained.

“How can you want me…”

“Are we on this again?” Tony snapped before he could even ask further of what was going on in Loki’s head the blue fleshed god was lying before him. Dark hair tapered at his pale blue ears and wide, red eyes, glistening to carefully like jewels.

“Because isn’t it obvious? I’m more than you can handle, I’m not simply an alien you find exotic…I’m something you can barely begin to understand…something that is…an abomination…something that even I have barely begun to understand. And you can’t possibly…” he was cut off by lips on his, insistent but gentle, warm and so dangerously different against the temperature of his flesh. And he wanted to cry because Tony didn’t push him to the bed, simply cradled his face.

“I kinda wanna murder the person that made you believe that you aren’t worthy of affection. Cause guess what, I don’t do this shit, none of this lovey dovey bullshit and I wanna lavish it on you. I’d walk through hell for you, you get that?”

“But Tony…”

“But what?” Tony wetted his lips, “What?”

“What he said…”

“I don’t remember a lot, just that you were willing to give yourself over…okay, we’re not talking about that…nothing’s changed. So what, that dick took over my mind. Thor stopped him, I’m okay, you’re okay, nothing’s any different.”

“Tony,” Loki began, red eyes narrowing, “You’re lying aren’t you…”

“It’s a big blur to be honest babe, the explosion of brains everywhere was all I was caring about,” Tony smirked, “Why would I lie?”

Loki’s eyes were burning once more, because he didn’t understand, “You heard him,”

“About what? Him being an asshole? I wasn’t about to believe anything that came out of his mouth.”

Loki tried desperately to keep his face schooled into blankness, “Tony…” but he was again interrupted by lips.

“Why don’t we just chill out, huh? I don’t know about you but I could use some sleep,” but even with the idea of that Tony felt his heart fluttering, “I mean that is if I can.”

“No longer will your sleep be interrupted, you need more rest than I.” Loki slid back into his Aesir form, feeling silly for revealing his Jotun skin so easily. Perhaps he kept doing things like this for shock value, but Tony never flinched. But the new bit of information was being denied. He knew it. Tony was acting as if it never happened.

Tony tumbled back onto the sheets, arm beckoning forward, “Come on hot stuff, you need sleep too. Blue or vanilla, get over here.”

Loki let loose a chuckle without his control, crawling without thought into Tony’s arms, allowing himself to be wrapped up by the mortal’s embrace.

“I love you, and if ya don’t get that now? I’m gonna find some way to tattoo that on your brain.”

Loki exhaled roughly, but nodded, even though his mind was racing, “I love you too,” and no matter what happens, he didn’t add, I’ll remember this feeling.

Chapter Text

 

Thor had left a couple days after the incident, a letter in hand that Loki had written. He had told Loki that it would be dangerous at the moment to summon her here. Perhaps in a few weeks, but not now. So they agreed on a simple letter, it was better than nothing. Loki was brimming with questions, yes, humiliating but his mother was knowledgeable of all races and would be able to provide answers to this new body he felt he had acquired. That and questions concerning Odin’s magic, just how powerful it was, and also. Had they always known?

“You’ve been awfully quiet the last couple days. What’s up?” Tony asked, eyes going up briefly to capture Loki’s who had previously been fixated on a book. Tony tweaked the wire beneath his fingertips, maneuvering the needle nose pliers around the blue and red that settled beneath the arm of one of his suits.

“I’ve simply felt quiet, that’s all,”

“Bullshit,” Tony set the tools down, “I know when you have something on your mind. You need to talk. Wow, never thought I’d say that. Total chick moment huh?”

“Tony I will never understand why you reference women to infant birds,”

“Anyway, doesn’t matter, talk,”

“What do you wish to talk about? Aren’t you working?” he closed the book and was suddenly peering over what Tony was working on, “Are you having an energy flow problem in this particular piece of machinery?”

“Uh yeah, power just stops, the pulsators aren’t connecting with the rest of the suit…”

“The main line is, what would be the word for it, kinked,”

Tony was once more peering into the network of wires, “It is, how’d I not see that,” and as he reached for the pliers he stopped, “Nice diversion there,” he moved the work bench chair to sit directly in from of Loki, “Tell me what’s wrong, is it just lag over from king douchebag?”

Loki furrowed his brow and filed away the new name for the god he did not want to talk about, “Are you quite sure you do not remember what he told you, what he said?”

Tony sighed, mulling it over, “There was so much shouting and…”

“He told you I had…” Loki cleared his throat, “Extra parts.”

“Extra parts,” Tony paused, “Yeah I remember that, but I don’t know what that means, is that something to do with your blue self?”

“In a way I believe yes, but I don’t think you understand what that means. And if you do, you may not want this after all.” He swallowed hard, Adams apple feeling like a stone.

Tony scooted closer, “Just tell me,”

Loki’s eyes fell to the floor, Norns this was humiliating, he himself was only getting use to the idea of it, “I-I’m different…down there.”

“If you recall Loki,” Tony said with a small smile, “I’ve seen ya naked a few times. There isn’t anything wrong with you.”

“I’m not the same anymore,”

“I think I’d know if,”

“That was a year ago!” he hadn’t meant to shout and it quickly silenced the man before him, his limbs were trembling with the force of the secret alone, “It was my glamour, that kept it hidden, always has. Even I didn’t know about it until recently. I was completely stripped of my magic, that has never happened before. And with it took the remainder of Odin’s concealment spell.” His cheeks were burning hot, “I-I’m not the same anymore,” he repeated, “I indeed have extra parts…down there.”

“Wait, so you’re saying, like,” it was dawning on him quickly and he didn’t know how he hadn’t figured it out sooner. As soon as that dick had spat the information of ‘parts’ Loki went as white as he’d ever seen him. He wet his lips, voice caught in his throat, “Is it something I’d recognize or is this gods and alien stuff?”

Loki refrained from glaring, “If you’ve ever been with a woman yes, you’d know.” He felt faint with how hot his face was and how rapidly his heart was beating.

Tony’s eyes went wide for a moment, “So you…oh wow. So you’ve always, but now you can…” and he knew immediately it was all the wrong things to say, Loki was launching himself off the neighboring work chair.

His eyes were brimming and glowing, “I knew it, how could I be this stupid. I don’t blame you, I’m a freak and that’s all I can ever be to anyone.”

“Whoa, whoa hold on there quick draw, give me a second,” but then Loki was gone, just the subtlest smell of ozone left in his wake, “Shit! J, is Loki still in the building?” surely he wouldn’t be stupid enough to run off, as in outside of his tower.

“He is currently in your bedroom sir,”

Tony hurried into the elevator and made his way through the penthouse, and thankfully he found Loki on the farthest corner of the bed. He’d drawn his knees up to his chest and was hugging himself so tightly it looked painful.

“Loki,” Tony spoke carefully and sat just as gently to the surface of the bed, “Loki, will you look at me?”

Loki only shook his head, longer strands of hair shaking at the nape of his neck, “I’m a freak.”

“No you are not a freak, for the last fucking time, do I seriously just need to teach that to a parrot and have it follow you around?” he put a hand to the nearest elbow to him, “Come on, unwind here, you look like a hedgehog.”

“I could see it in your eyes,” he was close to tears but his face was dry.

“And what’s that?”

“Disgust,” and now his breath was definitely hitching.

“Okay, yeah I was a little shocked, I won’t lie there. But being shocked and being disgusted are two very different things here Lokes, got that?” he tugged a little firmer on that same elbow, “Ya know I know you’re not use to this whole ‘love’ idea, but that means all of you. I don’t think any differently than I did ten minutes ago. You should have talked to me sooner about all this.”

“You may love me, but how could you possibly want me?”

“Our sex has always been anything but normal,” he smirked, “This doesn’t change what we have or the way it was before.”

“Tony, I’m not an idiot,” he gulped, lessening the grip on his pants, “You say that now, but…once we’re…in bed together you may change your mind.”

“Loki, come here,” and when he simply sat staring defiantly, Tony crossed the space between them put an arm around his back another at the bend of his knees and tugged him across the mattress until he was practically in lap, long legs mostly, “When we cross that bridge, and we will, whenever that be, it’s gonna be great. It’s you, I love all of you. So you thought I’d leave you because of this?”

Loki made a face, somewhere between a scowl and hurt, he simply nodded, “Yes, I thought it would feel ashamed to be with me. And I’m embarrassed. No one knows about this, no one. But I knew I couldn’t keep it from you, either way, whether you stayed or not I knew it wasn’t fair to keep this secret.”

“Well I appreciate your concern, but I’m a big boy I could have handled it weeks ago. You have the most skewered view of yourself, you know that?” he ran one hand up and down the expanse of his taught and trembling back.

And Loki finally stopped resisting and fell against Tony with a deep, long sigh, “I grow so tired of hiding, but it is all I have ever done. To protect myself. I am not just talking on Asgard…even my real father did not want me. Because he saw something that was unworthy, I was too small…maybe he saw…that…too. I’m not even sure if this is normal amongst the Jotunns.”

“First off, fuck him and second did you know it is a thing here on this planet?”

“You must be joking,” he sniffed.

“It’s rare, I suppose, but it happens here too. I don’t think you understand how unique you are. That’s how I see it,”

Loki snorted, winding one arm around Tony’s torso, “I truly thought…this was not my imagined situation. I thought surely you would reject me.” He stifled the weakness in his throat, “I am glad I was wrong.”

Tony kissed the top of his head, “Like I told you before, when you’re ready I’m gonna worship this body, every inch of it and prove to you how much I care about you. Because you deserve it, now more than ever.”

Loki shivered, he didn’t know when he would be ready for anything more than a few kisses, but Tony pledging love to him made him want to work past all the pain more than anything. He pulled away, only far enough to capture Tony’s mouth with his own, warm and wet and safe. For a few moments only the two of them existed, the room quiet except for the soft smacking of their lips.

“Besides,” Tony said between kisses, “You’re a god right, it’s pretty much my duty to worship you, in any way possible.” He grinned big and toothy which in turn made Loki finally laugh, he pressed a rough palm to Loki’s cheek, one thumb caressing the sharp bone there, “I gotta get you out on a proper date as soon as possible. You need to get out.”

“I’m sure we can figure out something,” Loki returned the smile, trepidation slowly eking its way out of his chest, the burden on his shoulders losing strength. For the first time since the attack he felt as though he could breathe.

“But for now,” he kissed the tip of his nose, “You’re gonna help me fix the interior of that armor, distraction or not you were on to something.”

Chapter Text

Tony turned Loki around in the swivel chair, shocked green eyes locking with his own, “What do you think about Saturday night?” he smirked, waggling eyebrows, “Really great Italian place, best in town and very obscure.”

Loki’s lips twist, and he wanted to say no, in fact it was quick to leave his mouth but the eagerness in Tony’s eyes made him stop. He had refused at least three times in the last few weeks, “Saturday?”

“Yeah, is that too soon?” Tony’s brow furrowed slightly, it had been a little over three weeks since Loki’s big confession. And although they had had plenty of alone time and talked more about their relationship, Tony was still careful to push Loki at all. On anything. Even a date. He knew it would do him good, to get out of this tower. He’d been cooped up for months now in fear of being seen. He was losing track of time actually.

Most of the Avengers knew of Loki’s presence and predicament, his past. And even though Natasha had yet to really made contact, Tony figured that Barton must have talked to her. Bruce, he had yet to really talk to, he’d gone out of country shortly after the New York attacks and he held out on the hope that when he did show back up at the tower he’d have a chance to speak to him before anyone else.

But that wasn’t his worry. Loki’s mental state was. And even though his nightmares were a little less frequent than before, he was still skittish. That was a Loki Tony was not use to.

 “I-I must admit; I do harbor some trepidation leaving your home, after all it isn’t as if my mother’s wards can go outside this building.”

“Our home,” he began, “Yeah, but babe, it’s been weeks and we haven’t heard peep out of big dick in the sky or your dad.”

Loki doubted greatly that Thanos was still hunting him, but it didn’t keep him from worrying. On the subject of Odin Loki knew he could keep under the radar as long as he wanted to. That was unless word was let loose on Asgard. And he had yet to hear back from his mother. Thor had told him that he had delivered the letter and she wrote one for him as well. That he did return. It said simply that she loved him and that she would do everything in her power to retrieve research on his blood family and race. He had never divulged the contents of the letter to Thor, and Thor being Thor, never really questioned. He was merely happy to be on Midgard to spend time with his mortal woman, and he was tricking his own father with ‘business’ to see her.

Knowing his silence was far too long he answered, “Yes, I would like that very much,” he finally spoke, “I do believe I’m rested enough to produce a guise, of course you’ll see me as I am but others will see anything I want them to.”

Tony was smiling once more, wrinkles in his brow all but gone, “Great,” he clapped his hands together, “And just as long as I get to see that beautiful face, you ‘guise’ yourself into whatever makes you comfortable.” He gently grabbed Loki’s chin and pressed a kiss to his lips, “We’re having a night out on the town, I have clothes for you and everything.”

“I am not sure I’m comfortable with that. I am not some doll for you to dress,” Loki frowned slightly.

“Trust me babe, you’ll love it, I know your taste, don’t I? Come on, I mean, if you don’t like it you don’t have to wear it. I just wanted to surprise you.”

Loki felt immediate guilt, “Very well, I’ll allow it this once. But if it is indeed something that I distaste I’ll be happy enough in one of your horrid music shirts and jeans.”

“You could pretty much wear a potato sack and look like a model honey, so yeah, whatever you want.”

And only because Tony was so smiley that Loki allowed it.

 

Saturday came too fast and Loki wouldn’t admit out loud that he was nervous, but he was. Very nervous. He wasn’t sure if it was all about leaving the tower, or going out on a ‘date’ as Tony called it. It made him wonder if that included expectations, according to Midgardian standards that usually implied some kind of physical interaction. He was more or less shocked to unwrap the deep blue colored suit. He was so expecting something ‘green’, it was coupled with a stark white shirt and an equally blue tie. And he couldn’t say that he didn’t like it, but it was so unlike anything he wore on Asgard. But who was he kidding, there were no garment like this even remotely familiar on Asgard.

He wasn’t even aware of Tony in the room, only when he heard the high whistle did he turn away from the mirror, “Damn kiddo, you clean up beautifully, fucking hell.”

“You told me I look beautiful in a potato sack…”

“Baby, you could be in anything you’d be beautiful, but fucking hell,” he said again, “You look absolutely gorgeous in that suit. You like it?”

“It will suffice,” he said but was smiling, barely hiding it.

Tony smiled, “Yeah, I thought so. You ready?”

Loki nodded, taking the offered arm, “Aren’t we a gentleman tonight.”

“So, just out of curiosity, what are other people seeing?”

Again Loki was grinning, wider than usual, brilliant white teeth standing out against his bubble gum mouth, “Well, I thought I would let you off easy and disguise myself as a busty woman. But no, I’m a tall dark blonde…and I’m male. You might as well announce to the world that you are in love with a man. I wasn’t going to deny myself that pleasure.”

Tony laughed, quick and rough, “I didn’t expect anything less.”

 

They entered the restaurant and Loki was happy that it was indeed dark and out of the way, they were even earned a private room to dine. Getting out into the city was a blessing, despite the lack of actual fresh air, it was the sights and sounds that were a welcoming change. The air began to grow stale in the tower, and that was both mentally and physically so. He shimmied into the booth alongside with Tony. They ordered and then were left alone.

“Thank you Tony, I really did need this,” he said, sipping at his wine, it smartly settling his nerves.

Tony scooped up one pale hand in his and kissed his knuckles, inwardly he was pumping fists at the look of utter contentment on Loki’s face. He was sure that Loki would freak out at the prospect of a public outing, but here he was, brow relaxed, mouth not drawn into a frown, and eyes crinkled with the gentleness of smiles. And with this observation he more or less leaned up and captured Loki’s lips, and he didn’t even care when the waiter returned with their food. Normally he would be worried about paparazzi but as soon as the waiter left they were veiled with a curtain from photographers and even Loki didn’t object. One arm snaking around Tony’s waist and pulling him closer kissing Tony into a wordless mess.

“We need to get out more often,” Tony gasped when Loki finally let loose of his lips.

“Perhaps,” Loki grinned.

“Like a vacation, I need it, you need it, we should do it,”

“Yes,” Loki chewed at his damp kissed lips, “When all is settled. Perhaps.” He repeated the word.

“We’ll worry about that later, we’re here right now, that’s all that matters,” Tony’s face was all seriousness, filling Loki’s glass, “Just tonight, got it? I want you to relax, have fun.”

Loki nodded, mouth quirking back into the easy smile from earlier, “Yes of course.”

 

Two bottles of wine later and they were back at the tower, crashing into one another, barely in the elevator as it descended to the penthouse. Tony knew what he was doing, he’d drank less than Loki, letting him let loose for once And yes, he was letting loose, he hardly had them in the limo before he was almost straddling Tony’s lap.

“Hey, hey, hey, hold on a minute, we’re almost home,” Tony said against the plump, wet mouth against his nearly sucking the life out of him, that and control.

“You are aware that I could transport us,” Loki was indeed slurring, pressing his long, lean body against Tony’s.
            “No, no, hold on there baby, you’ve had a few, let’s do this the old fashion way,” and thankfully there was the ding that announced his floor, “Come on,”

Loki, besides his inebriated state, was moving them to the bed, “You are a wonderful kisser, have I told you that? Your mouth, Norns…”

“No actually but I don’t mind hearing it,” Tony chuckled as they tumbled to the bed, and he was kissing back, tracing gentle, careful kisses over the pale exposed throat to him. All unintentional. Then Loki’s suit jacket was gone, tie loose and white button up open and Tony carefully pressed Loki to the bed, “Hey, why don’t we go to bed. You need sleep.”

“On the contrary I need something else,” and he tugged Tony forward so swiftly he almost crashed into him, devouring his mouth, tongue slipping past the seam of his mouth and making contact with Tony’s.

Tony groaned against his will, kissing back and for a moment he lost himself completely, pressing against the lean body beneath him, hands moving up beneath the dress shirt over an endless amount of beautiful, soft skin. But he stopped, “Loki,” he began.

Loki had other ideas and was untucking Tony's shirt and fumbling with the buttons, “Tony, I want you.”

“Sweetheart, I want you too, but let’s,” but he was against cut off and flipped onto his back, and he wasn’t sure when both of their clothes went completely missing but they were, leaving them both half naked. He managed to tuck a surprised yelp.

They resumed their kissing and it was hot and fervent and needed. Tony hadn’t made out like this since high school, it was messy, uncoordinated and perfect. His hands roving over that perfect chest, and remembering all the soft and hard parts of Loki’s body. Tony wasn’t even thinking to move it beyond this gentle groping, and as fast and crazy as their kisses. Out of pure reaction he moved lower and as soon as his hands moved over the hem of Loki’s pants Loki froze. Even in his alcohol fueled mind he was suddenly gasping for air, but afraid to protest for some reason.

“W-Wait, I-I, wait,” Loki was suddenly all void of the passion he was before, and there was remanence of a sob so close.

Tony stopped, he would smugly admit later that he predicted this. He only kissed each corner of Loki’s mouth, removing his hands and resting them on his waist, “It’s okay, stop, we’re not going any farther than this,” he kissed him fully once more despite the outright trembling radiating off the body beneath him, “Sweetheart, breathe, it’s okay,” he kissed him again, “Let’s sleep, I’ve got some comfier clothes than this suit. You just rest here,”

In Loki’s alcohol addled mind he nodded, and soon he felt Tony undress him of his slacks and soon after that slipping sweat pants and t-shirt on he took a breath.

“I’m sorry,” Loki mumbled against his will, despite his sudden sluggishness, feeling guilt.

“Stop it,” Tony halted, “Let’s get some sleep, I had a fantastic night, just seeing you smile was enough.”

Loki knew the tears in his eyes were probably there because of the alcohol, but they were there none the less. They almost gained strength when Tony returned to the bed and gathered him close, “Close your eyes babe, and if you apologize again I’ll change the Netflix password.”

Loki nuzzled in, burying his face into Tony’s neck, the wine still making him fuzzy, his arms fastening around his human’s waist, “I love you Tony.”

Tony leaned down just enough to find his lips, “I love you too babe, sleep,”

And despite Loki’s objections, this date was the best Tony had had in a long time.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Loki woke the next morning with a groan, and as he blinked heavily, eyelids feeling as if they were stuck together, he groaned even louder. The memories from the night before cascading over his mind. He pressed his face to the nearest pillow and soon after he felt fingertips combing his hair, “How you feelin’ slugger?”

“Like Hel,” Loki murmured, “and a fool.”

“Why a fool? I’m gorgeous, you can’t resist me,” Tony’s grin came into view as he pressed lips to Loki’s forehead.

“What did I do? I don’t remember much,”

“Meh, nothing much, just attacked me with perfect lips of which I don’t mind.”

Loki’s eyes widened for a moment, “What did we do?”

The smirk on Tony’s lips melted, eyes widening in subtle horror, “No! Nothing we did nothing, we kissed that’s it, and we went to bed.”

“My apologies,” Loki murmured, eyes on his lap.

“Babe, what did I say about apologies, everything is fine, relax. Why don’t we go out and get some breakfast? Have you ever had a bagel or a donut? If not, you aren’t living,”

Loki groaned once more, flickering his fingers to help his headache, “I suppose food would be the wise choice would it not? But I’m a mess,”

“Please…” Tony laughed, “You’re beautiful, as always, even hungover, take all the time you need.”

Loki shook his head, “You are quite certainly ridiculous,” he pushed up from the bed and headed into the bathroom for a shower. He shed his clothes quickly and hurried underneath the hot spray of the shower head. He held his breath against the streams belting his face. He was in the shower stall longer than he thought because Tony was knocking on the door.

“Baby, you alive in there?”

He felt a small whoosh of cool air hit him when the shower curtain moved slightly, he gasped but it was only Tony’s hand holding out a coffee cup, “Drink up, it’ll make you feel better, you stay in there much longer you’ll prune.”

“I believe I’m almost out of hot water as it is, I’ll be out in a moment, thank you Tony,” he sighed, taking the cup from Tony’s offered hand and turned the knob on the shower to off. He sat down on the shower’s seat, why there was a seat there he wasn’t sure. But briefly he felt light headed and was grateful for its placement. He groaned loud enough to hear it reverberate off the shower walls. He had made an utter fool of himself, and although he couldn’t quite remember all of the details of the night before, he remembered enough. Once he felt the chilling of his skin he hurriedly got dressed and joined Tony in the living room.

“You feeling any better?” Tony gave a playful smirk as Loki exited the bedroom, hair still damp and curling at the ends.

“A bit,” he answered.

“Good, you feel up to going out and gettin’ something to eat?”

Loki managed not to grimace too hard, “If you wish, perhaps the fresh air would do me good. I’m not too sure how well my appetite might be.”

“It’s just around the corner,” he offered an arm, “Come on, weather’s great.”

Loki obliged, pulling on his glamour with very little effort and taking Tony’s arm.

“So,” Tony began, glancing at Loki who momentarily closed his eyes against the noon sun, “Your brother flew back to Asgard, any reason for?”

“I am in need of my mother’s assistance, she is like me, keen to books and research. I require information on my race, my family tree as you will. I figured it was about time…given that it has been so aptly dropped in my lap. Asgard holds the largest library in the nine realms and given that I am not allowed to access it…I have asked her to do as much as she can.”

Tony bit at the inside of his mouth, “Just askin’ but, your dad,” he stopped when Loki scowled, and loudly too, “I mean Odin, sorry, is he looking for you? I mean, you said something about it about a month ago, how he…never mind…I just want you to be careful.”

“As far as I know, he is not actively searching for me. And if he is aware of the attack on Midgard, of which I’m not entirely convinced he knows, he would care little of your planet. He has always found it to be a petty, violent and primitive world.” he paused, “Quite honestly, I do not know why he has not sought me out…it is as it has always been. It does not surprise me…I am someone else’s problem. Just as he never searched for me when I fell.”

“Sorry babe, didn’t mean to bring that all up. Let’s just have a nice brunch,” Tony squeezed his hand and brought knuckles to his lips, “Anything you want,”

“I wouldn’t mind trying what you suggested earlier,” Loki found a smile easily as he looked down at Tony’s eager smirk.

 

When they arrived back at the tower they met Thor in the living room, “Thor, how long have you been here?” Loki asked with concern.

“Only a few minutes,” he was carrying a satchel in his arms, “I brought news from Mother, and she was able to acquire tomes and books to answer your questions. There is also a letter from her. I’m afraid we will not be able to make contact with her for some time. The All-Father is growing suspicious.”

“He hasn’t asked of me?”

“Not directly,” Thor fidgeted.

“Yes, how predictable,” Loki swallowed hard, “Give them here then.”

Thor, of course being Thor, set the material to the floor and gathered Loki into a firm hug. Loki went stiff at the sudden contact but then reluctantly was patting the back of his older brother, “That is quite enough,” he murmured half-heartedly.

“I will stay here on Midgard to sway suspicion; he thinks I visit Jane. However, he is questioning my frequent trips through the bifrost.”

Loki wetted his lips, eye diverting, “I-I thank you for that. Did…did mother say anything to you…regarding me?”

Thor smiled easily, “Only that she loved you and to stay safe…no different than usual.”

Only one corner of Loki’s mouth rose, ever so slightly, he took up the books from where Thor had laid them, “Tony, may I have some privacy…while looking these over.”

Tony almost scoffed at the polite tone in Loki’s voice but opted not to, “Yeah babe, of course, come on,” he led Loki into the elevator and punched the 7th floor button, “Got a library, yeah, yeah, I don’t use it, but what’s a tower without a huge ass library? Some chicks dig books, like ya know, that beauty and the beast thing.”

“I beg your pardon,” Loki growled.

“Trust me sweetheart, you’re the beauty in this story. That is if I was gonna lure you with books, but let’s face it you can’t get enough of just me.” he gave a wink, which seemed to placate Loki enough not to take off his head.

He opened the big wooden doors with both hands, “Here at your disposal, anytime you want.”

“Why have I never seen this room?”

“Well,” Tony laughed, “Back in the day, if it weren’t a room we were having sex in you didn’t know about it.”

“Charming…” Loki rolled his eyes, moving to a nearby table and setting his materials down.

“You take all the time you want, got it? If you need anything,”

“Yes, I know, your embodied servant will assist me,”

“Hey, don’t knock him, he’s my baby, and besides, he likes you.”  

“I fail to see how a form of artificial intelligence would favor me,” Loki began.

“You’re just that damn adorable,” Tony smiled.

An elegant eyebrow curved, “I can never tell if you’re patronizing me or not, and I am hardly anything that would be described as adorable. That is for babies I am a skilled warrior and gifted alchemist, hardly anything described as such.”

“You’re fierce babe, never doubted that for a second, but I hate to break it to ya, you ARE adorable.” he kissed Loki’s nose which made him grunt and made Tony laugh, “I guess I’ll keep your brother company, come up when you’re done.”

“Of course,” Loki huffed, eyes already on the material before him.

As he scoured over the text, and broken family tree his mother provided, besides Laufey he could not find the name of his mother. His stomach clenched when he saw the names of at least three brothers. He wasn’t sure why it was so important but he was determined to find out who gave birth to him. Perhaps Laufey had slaughtered her after his birth, after all, he was a runt. ill befitting of a King’s offspring. He closed the book, frustration thrumming, he needed Frigga here. He needed Mother here. He wasn’t sure he could skim through all this without her support. But she was so far away and apparently under Odin’s radar.

He trudged back upstairs and found Tony and Thor watching some sports related program. It was Tony that looked up, “How goes the research?”

“Nothing of import,” Loki spoke low which prompted Tony up from the couch.

Tony took Loki by the arms, “Hey, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing, there is just so little on my…race…I assume not many have written books on us monsters.” he sighed loudly, shoulders slumping, “I only wish that I could have her here. Surely she knows something and her letter said very little. Only that the books she gave me were all she could find.”

“Maybe she’s trying to find more,” Tony offered, rubbing both arms easily as Loki was only wearing a t-shirt, not the hoodies that he had grown accustomed to wearing, “She seems like the seek and find kind of gal, she’ll find something. Is there something in particular you’re wanting to know? Maybe I can help?”

“Your Midgardian interpretations of our culture is skewered, for example, I never gave birth to any of the creatures your books say. Not. One.” he growled, “How I’ve been made a mockery, even amongst you mortals, I’ll never know.”

Tony cut him off with a kiss, “Stop, you’re a god in my book, nothing less, got it? You wanna watch a movie or something? We’ll snuggled up in bed and I’ll even rub your back.”

Loki sighed roughly, glancing over at his brother who was already snoring, head slumped and mouth slack, “What about him?”

“He can take one of the guest rooms, God knows I’ve got enough of ‘em,” he crossed the room and shook Thor awake, “Hey big guy, why don’t you call it a night, Loki and I are gonna.”

“Of course,” Thor yawned big, “My apologies, my journey across the bifrost tires me.” he said very little as Tony directed him to the floor below them.

Tony looped an arm around Loki’s waist, “We’ll watch one of those French films you love so much. You and the French, who knew.”

“It is an elegant and beautiful language, of which I understand and you do not.” Loki commented and Tony led him to the bed. The two undressed quickly and yes, Tony ended up with Loki facing the end of the bed, able to see the screen hanging on the wall and kneading the stress from his muscles. But even in his relaxed state, questions plagued him relentlessly, despite the voices screaming in his head, Tony’s hands felt too good and soon he was succumbing to sleep.

Chapter Text

Long after Tony had fallen asleep, Loki slipped from their bedroom and found himself back in the library. He looked over the family tree chart, that was crude at best, and he had always prided himself in the ability to decipher any kind of text. But this was simply baffling him, there were so many holes. He closed the book once more with a grunt. He dug around in a neighboring desk and found blanket paper, and even though he would have preferred a quill, a ‘bic’ would have to do. He scratched down his thoughts fast and furiously.

Dearest mother,

I thank you for the provided materials, however I am more confused than I was before. Why is this family tree so skewered? Are my brothers still alive? What have I done? I have no knowledge that Jotunhiem still stands, surely it could not after the destruction of the bifrost. And I worry, are they as monstrous as I? Just as vengeful, and why would they not be? The family I have always known to be my family are their greatest enemies. If I reached out, I can only see that as stupid and dangerous. I have three realms that now despise me, I accomplished that marvelously didn’t I. What of my birth mother? Was she killed by Laufey after my birth? There is no mention at all of her existence, but I must have had someone that gave birth to me. Unless I sprung out of the ground, I see as possible, anything is possible at this point given my new found knowledge of myself. If you find anything of import, please write me as soon as you can.

All my love,

            Your Son.

He sealed the letter after swiping his tongue across the bitter lip and grimacing, it lacked the elegance he was accustomed to, no wax seal, but it was all he had. He slipped the letter underneath Thor’s room where he could hear the rumbling of snoring, childhood memories cascading over his mind. He remembered being both relieved and a bit saddened when they no longer shared a room as children. The silence that he was rewarded almost hindered his sleep more than the noise had.

 

“Hey babe?” Tony called towards the kitchen where Loki was making tea, “I gotta pop into work real quick, a board meeting regarding the company, Pepper is threatening bodily harm. I haven’t done anything ‘Stark Enterprise’ wise in weeks.”

“How long will you be gone?” Loki’s brow furrowed, the tinkling sound of the stirring spoon coming to a halt.

“Only an hour or so, you’ll be okay on your own? Steve is just one floor down; he’s sleeping off a mission that lasted two days longer than anticipated.” He said, tucking a piece of unruly hair behind Loki’s ear.

He still didn’t like the idea of being alone, but nodded anyway, “I should be fine.”

“Well, I’m only a phone call away just ask Jarvis, got it?”

“Of course,” he nodded once more fiddling with the spoon before setting it to the counter.

“You sure you’re doing okay? I know this heritage thing is bumming you out,” he said, resting a hand to Loki’s cheek, one thumb caressing the flesh there.
            “A little tired is all, but I’m alright, go on then you don’t want to be late,” he leaned forward and kissed Tony carefully and watched him head to the elevator.

 

Tired of the television Loki curled up on the couch with one of the books he’d located in the library, the fact that Tony had a library Loki found amusing. It would never compare to the libraries of Asgard, where books reached the high golden ceilings, but it was more literary stimulation than he’d had in months. Over a year in fact since he’d read a book.

Loki nearly dropped said book when the door to the main entrance opened.

“Sorry Loki, I didn’t mean to startle you,” it was the smooth quiet voice of Steve.

“Do not apologize good Captain, this is your living space as well.”

“There’s no kitchen on my floor,” Steve grinned, “Imagine that, Tony forgetting to install something that holds food and not booze.”

Loki gave a small, short smile, “That does not surprise me, help yourself, I-I’ll make myself scarce.”

“You don’t have to leave, it’s okay,” Steve said, moving to the fridge, “You want anything? Believe it or not, I like to cook. We never had anything this nice when I was growing up and rations in the war…well, it might as well had been dirt. Ugh, it was awful. So as soon as I had my own place I taught myself to cook.”

“I’ve never been one to cook, meals were always provided. One of the perks of being royalty.” He smirked.

“I bet you got anything you wanted.”

“Within reason, my mother was never one to spoil,” Loki answered, watching him move about the kitchen, “They say you are a man out of time, yes?”

“Yeah,” Steve sighed, mouth twisting momentarily in obvious discomfort, “You could say that, this serum helped me survive a plane crash, was on ice for some time. Not a blessing…I would say…kind of a curse actually.”

Loki closed his book, moving from the couch to the bar, “How’s that? After all, you did survive. Is that not of upmost importance?”

Steve shrugged, whipping eggs up in a bowl, “I lost my best friend….my best girl.”

“You lost a love interest?”

“It wasn’t anything serious, just, uh ya know, a kiss…but it’s something like 50 years later…she aged…I didn’t. She meant a lot to me…I-I mean she isn’t dead but…she barely remembers me now.” His chest ached when he thought about Peggy, and he wasn’t exactly sure why he was spilling to an alien, a god, that he barely knew. But he was, and so easily too.

Loki took a seat, “My apologies I did not mean to drudge up something so painful Captain.”

“Nah, don’t apologize, and call me Steve huh?” he chuckled, “So you want in on this?”

“On what?”

“French Toast, I guess it would probably be stupid to ask you if you’d ever had it.”

“What is it exactly?”

“Uh, egg soaked bread, fried with cinnamon sugar and syrup.”

“That’s quite a bit of sugar,” Loki smirked, leaning forward to watch more closely. “I wouldn’t want to trouble you, only if you have enough and you don’t mind.”

Steve chuckled softly, “I don’t mind, not at all,” he had to wonder, in this moment, was this the man that wanted to take over the planet? Wanted world domination, but was afraid at being a bother about breakfast food? If he hadn’t believed it all before he surely felt it now. There was an air of innocence in Loki’s tone, “Hey, where is Tony anyway?”

“Work, something about ‘board meetings’ of which I must admit I haven’t the faintest of what it entails. Or quite frankly, I’m not sure what ‘board’ meeting means.”

“Don’t worry about that, I don’t know anything about what he does either. I know about as much about Tony as I knew his Father. As far as I can tell it’s all about weapons. Howard was always about the next piece of technology.”

Loki’s brow was narrowing now, thinking back on past conversations with Tony’s talk of family, “You knew his father? He never speaks of him, he seems quite troubled by the subject.”

“Well,” Steve shrugged once more, placing the dripping bread into the pan, “I hear they didn’t exactly get along. Or really know each other at all from what I gathered. I don’t know, or, I mean I’m not sure. I only knew Howard a short time, I gotta admit…he didn’t seem like the ‘dad’ type. He was a good man, no doubt there. When I heard he had an actual son, had been married, I was shocked.”

“How’s that?”

“Howard was a playboy, never could stick with one gal.” Steve smirked, “But it’s possible, Tony seems pretty smitten by you.”

Loki managed a soft smile, “I am quite smitten with him myself. In fact,” he was studying the countertop far too intently, “I love him.”

Steve’s eyebrows arched, “Love? And Tony does too?”

Loki nodded, “It isn’t all in words, it is actions as well. However, I had my doubts when we first met. The fact that his father was a ‘playboy’ as you say, does not surprise me, Tony was always as such. I must be honest; I did not expect such loyalty from him as of late. We were together, but it was never anything set in stone.”

“Well, I haven’t known him real long. But I knew Howard, he’s got that same determined look his dad had when he looks at you. Besides, he looks at you like I use to look at Peggy,” he gave a soft, sad smile, “If that isn’t honest I don’t know what is.”

Loki felt a blooming in his chest, almost a lurch, “I care for him deeply, unlike any other being I have shared feelings with.”

“That’s good, hold onto it, it’s rare,” he put toast onto a blank white plate.

“I don’t plan on letting it go Steven,” Loki answered, studying the bread with a critical eye.

“Trust me, it’s a good thing, a rare thing indeed,” Steve smiled.

 

Tony felt immediate guilt as he glanced down at his watch, nearing midnight, he’d asked Jarvis if everything was going alright with Loki and Jarvis confirmed that everything was fine. Loki hadn’t asked for anything, and for some reason that made Tony nervous.

He exited the elevator to the penthouse floor and hurried inside, setting his briefcase to the floor, and the light from the living room drew his attention. What he found shocked him so much he had to stifle a laugh. The television was flickering in the unlit room, murmuring softly with infomercials. Steve was sitting on the couch, feet propped on the coffee table, arms crossed against his chest and head lulled to the side mouth slacked slightly as he slept. It wasn’t the image of the Captain dead to the world, but what floored Tony was Loki asleep as well, tucked into a tight ball on the same couch, his head resting near Steve’s thigh just as deeply asleep. If not in bed, Loki tended to, as Tony fondly put it, become a hedgehog. Much like he was now, arms curled around his lithe frame, and chin tucked to his chest. Perhaps any other time Tony might be jealous, even though he knew Steve didn’t swing that way, but it actually made him happy that Loki had bonded with someone besides himself. And who better than Steve? The man was a perfect Dorito ratio shaped man with a heart of gold and a conscience Tony couldn’t even begin to understand. Tony thought, idly, the man often annoyed him, but right now? No. Because he’d managed to make his boyfriend, lover, whatever, open up apparently. After all, Loki didn’t fall asleep around just anyone. In fact, when they had first been together it had been weeks until Loki had actually fallen asleep in his arms. It had been a monumental win in Tony’s opinion.

Tony grabbed a blanket from behind the couch, a supply he’d kept just for Loki, and draped it over Steve’s snoozing body. He turned to Loki, brushing a lock of dark, ebony hair away from his forehead, he pressed lips there shortly after, “Hey, sweetheart, let’s go to bed, you’re gonna get a stiff neck all scrunched up like that.”

Loki grunted, hiding his face deeper in the couch and unintentionally nudging Steve’s leg which stirred him awake.
            “Stark?” Steve’s rough voice broke the silence.

“Go back to sleep, I’m just gonna take Loki to bed.”

“Uh, we didn’t mean to, I mean, we must’ve fallen asleep.

“You’re a genius!” Tony grinned but sobered quickly with the despondent look on Steve’s face, “It’s fine, I’m glad Loki made a friend,” he was still smiling in the mingled sense of mocking and honesty, “Hope you know this isn’t something Loki does normally, count yourself lucky.”

“What do you mean?” Steve stifled a yawn.

“He trusts you,” Tony answered seriously, “Again, count yourself lucky.”

“Oh…well… he’s a good kid.”

Tony managed to not laugh at that sentiment, and maneuvered Loki into his arms, “This ‘kid’ is gonna be the end of my back, I’ll tell ya that much. Thanks for keepin’ him company, night Steve.”

“Night Tony,” he sighed, settling back to the couch, the screen still flickering silently on his face.

 

Tony carried Loki into the bedroom, thankful that the bed was still messy, sheets still untucked from the night before. He set him to the rumpled sheets, tugging them up and over Loki’s still sleeping frame, following that the comforter, a thick cotton that Loki liked. He bent and kissed Loki’s cheek once more that garnered him a sleepy moan, “Time is it?” he slurred.

“Late,” Tony answered, “Go back to sleep, I’m home,” he shed his suit and tie, quickly changing into sleep pants and shimmied onto the bed careful enough not to disturb Loki’s already lulling form, “Sorry, meetings ran late.”

Loki nodded, eyes never opening, but instinctively moving closer to the warm body beside him. And sure enough he was tucked at Tony’s side, face buried in Tony’s neck, “Don’t like it when you leave.”

Tony chuckled softly at the unarticulated tone of Loki’s vocabulary, “I know baby, tools of the trade I’m afraid,” he kissed one high cheek bone, running one set of fingertips over Loki’s long back. And like always, Loki made a sound that was too damn close to purring, “Go back to sleep, we’ll have the whole day tomorrow.”

Chapter Text

 

The sparks from the tool Tony was currently using was casting light like fireworks across his face as he carefully sautered a wire when Jarvis piped up, “Sir, it seems that Dr. Banner has arrived ahead of schedule. As you have informed me it is not wise that he find Mr. Loki alone.”

“Shit,” Tony dropped the tool and pulled his protective glasses off and was running to the elevator, “Don’t let him in Jarvis.”

“He’s already making his way to the living room sir.”

Thankfully he didn’t find the Hulk OR Loki cowering on the floor, however, Loki had separated them both with the counter. His green eyes were shot wide, his throat working convulsively. And who could blame him? Even Tony wouldn’t be able to intervene if the green guy appeared.

“Tony,” Bruce said in a frighteningly even tone, “What the hell is he doing here? Didn’t we send him to Asgard?!”

“Calm down, just calm down, we know where this goes. I can explain!”

Another thing to be thankful for was that Steve was still home from his latest mission, and had his hands out in a kind of surrender as well, “He’s right Dr. Banner, you need to stay calm. We’ve got tapes that prove he was in the same boat as Barton, he didn’t do any of the attack on his own. It wasn’t his idea.”

“That is some kind of special bull, isn’t it,” Bruce answered, shaking his head and scoffing, “He’s got you both convinced, you wanna know why I’m back so early? I get a phone call from Fury saying how you’re harboring a fugitive. He told me you broke him out, is he working his mind control again or are you just that stupid!”

“Fury, that fucking son of a bitch, no! I’m not under any kind of fucking mind control and Loki didn’t do that all on his own! He’s innocent, you really think I’d go to bat for someone that was guilty?”

“Well it depends on how long you’ve been fucking them, that much I DO know about you Stark. You’re a walking dick, that’s only concerned about booze and getting laid.”

“That’s unfair, I’d like to think I’m a little more complicated than that,” Tony smirked, “However, this is not one of those cases. I love him, pure and simple, as stupid as that may sound to you…” he was cut off.

“This is ridiculous, what’s in it for you? Huh? From what I’ve read in the papers you don’t do ‘love’ Tony, so what’s in it for you that you’re willing to risk the lives of millions of people. This bastard killed hundreds, no more than three months ago and you’re keeping him around as your house guest?! He’s a monster!”

Loki flinched, “I know you think me as such, but if you’d let me explain…”

“Hey!” and Tony was borderline screaming, face lit with rage, cutting off the litany of apologies he was sure Loki was formulating, “You say one more thing I swear to God I’ll Hulk out myself. I’ve cleared this with every member of the team, I kept it from you because you were the only one that could bring him down! You are still a member of this team, and you can hate on me all you want but you leave him out of this. Evidence clears him and you can believe that if you want to or not, but as long as you’re in my tower on my ticket you will fucking respect what I’m doing here. I trust him, explicitly and nothing you say is gonna change that, got it? Now get the fuck out of my penthouse.”

“Tony, hold on, let’s just talk about this, “Steve began.

“No, I’ve ran out of patience for people that can’t see what’s right in front of them. Come on,” Tony growled, and took Loki’s hand leading them out of the main room and into their bedroom.

As soon as they entered the bedroom he could feel Loki shaking, “Tony, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to. I know he’s your friend.”

“Don’t you dare apologize,” Tony snapped, then softened his tone when he noticed the wrinkling in Loki’s brow, “You don’t apologize about anything. Bruce is a logical man, that’s why it pisses me off so much. He’ll come around, but I’ll be damned if anyone talks to you like that, got it?”

“What do you mean?” Loki was tentatively wetting his lips, eyes wide, even now, after all this time, Tony could surprise him.

“I don’t want anyone talking shit about you, not after everything you’ve been through. You deserve a chance goddamnitt, to prove that you’re everything but what they’re talking about. I want them to see the sweet guy I know, who’s loyal and committed,” he gave a little laugh, “Yeah, a little crazy at times, but aren’t we all?” he didn’t get to finish as he was cut off by the smashing of Loki’s mouth to his.

For a moment Tony said nothing, resisted nothing, and yes, he sighed, moaned when Loki’s tongue brushed his own. He only began to protest when he knew damn well that Loki was maneuvering him to the bed and when they both fell to the mattress Tony finally spoke up, “Babe, babe,”

Loki pulled away only long enough to lock eyes with him, “No. I’m not drunk, my actions are in no way hindered, I want this, I want you.”

“Loki,” Tony groaned, when Loki began nipping at his throat, “Okay, okay, if we’re gonna do this, we’re taking it slow, and if you need to stop don’t hesitate to speak up, got it? Those are the rules. Jarvis, no calls, no interruptions, no excuses. Rules okay with you hot stuff?”

Eyes already heavy with lust Loki nodded and allowed Tony to situate them more comfortably on the bed. Much like their date night, their kissing was heavy, and Tony drew that out for several minutes. Kissing Loki was unlike any other person he’d kissed, it was sometimes, more often than not, like licking a battery. His whole body lit up, he wondered if it didn’t have something to do with magic brimming on the surface of his flesh. He wasn’t complaining.

Every move Tony made was articulate, nothing rushed, even convincing Loki out of his t-shirt, removing his own leaving them bare chested and pressed against one another was a triumph. Tony waited, marveling at the porcelain flesh against his marred and tanned tone. He dipped down and captured Loki’s mouth once more, one hand cupping Loki’s face as he moved his lips to the column of his throat slowly but surely moving south.

He took a moment to garner Loki’s reaction when he sucked one nipple between his teeth, when he heard no protests but gentle huffing he replaced his mouth with his tongue swirling expertly until the nub was perk. He continued his descent down his heaving chest, lips hovering over his quivering navel. He open mouth kissed his bellybutton, tongue darting out and testing the sensitive flesh, “Remember what I said,” Tony blew breath gently over the damp trail he’d created, “If it’s too much...”

“Y-yes, I’ll tell you,” Loki trembled, eyes slammed shut.

“I promised you, and now I’m gonna show you just how perfect you are,” Loki made some kind of whining noise that spurred Tony forward. He kissed and licked and nipped around the hem of Loki’s pants before settling one hand over the button of his jeans, “You trust me?”

Loki managed to push himself up on his elbows, just enough to make eye contact, and he nodded. And when Tony shimmied his pants down and pressed a hot kiss to his cloth covered groin Loki fell back to the bed. This only made Tony smile despite his nervousness, he wanted to make this right, make this perfect. He made a slow agonizing trail back up Loki’s lithe body, kissing each rib as he bumped them with his nose before settling between the space between his neck and shoulder. A known favorite spot, he knew that couldn’t have changed. And it didn’t because Loki was sighing happily at the touches, stretching his neck to encourage more of the same touch against the thin flesh of his throat. A pure action of vulnerability that Tony did not ignore.

Tony was able to hook two thumbs into the hem of Loki’s boxers, and was shocked that Loki allowed him to pull them down over his slender hips, past his knees and dropping them to the floor.

Loki gulped audibly, “T-Tony, can…can we lower the lights please?” His cheeks burned with the simplicity of question as well as the tone of his voice.
            “Of course, Jarvis, lower lights to 30%,” it left the room in a candle like glow, “Sweetheart, you don’t have to hide from me, but if you feel more comfortable I’ve got no problem with it.”

Loki again nodded quickly, “Just kiss me,” his voice was shaky, but determined and Tony complied.

Tony made it a point to keep his weight off of Loki’s upper half as he marveled at the fact that he was naked beneath him. It had been well over a year that he had gotten to witness this and he wasn’t, by any means in a rush, “God you’re beautiful,” he whispered against Loki’s panting mouth, keeping one hand soothingly combing through his hair, the other easing below his waist. Yes, everything was just as he remembered it, for the most part. Except Loki’s penis was farther up then he remembered, only slightly, and with that observation, he carefully moved fingers below his length. Loki gasped when he touched that newly discovered entrance. When he didn’t stiffen in a bad way, Tony went to exploring, and not in any way was he deterred at the newness. Being the inquisitive mind that he was, he ran his index finger along the slit. He dipped his index finger carefully inside, and over and over thumbing a very prominent tiny bump in tiny circles. For all he knew it was some kind of prostate, because it wasn’t the same as a clitoris, not where it was placed anyway. But all he knew was that it was a good thing because Loki was bucking against his hand and whimpering. When he dipped deeper into the slick folds Loki cried out a stuttered version of Tony’s name and then it was anything that was English as Tony executed a come hither motion with his finger, all the while kissing Loki’s heaving abdomen, kissing up his length with careful ease.

Loki was grappling for him clumsily, not sure what his limbs were doing as he pulled him forward to plunder his mouth again, “I need you inside me,” and even Loki wasn’t sure what that meant, he just knew that he needed it. And he’d never been touched like this, not with this kind of careful, gentle nature. He was lit with sensations, doubly so, nothing he’d ever experienced. All trepidation and unease was swallowed up by Tony’s soft mouth and warm body.

“You sure?” Tony’s voice arrived above the lust smog, stroking once more before removing his hand.

“You stop and I’ll rain down hellfire!” Loki spat in a breathless huff.

And then Tony was inside and thrusting carefully and perfectly, nudging some spot Loki couldn’t identify, and it didn’t matter as it white washed his vision. Without even thinking Loki hooked his legs around Tony’s waist, urging him closer. The entire world disappeared, Tony didn’t ignore the arousal sitting between them taking him in his hand, hand twisting in rhythm with his thrusts. Loki thought surely he would faint with all the sensations, his back arching like a bow and Tony’s kisses and touches and scent kept him earth bound.

A series of grunts and moans and whimpers, the two descended from their high. Both equally spent. Tony didn’t collapse against Loki like he wanted to, he fell to his side, carefully pulling out, never stopping his kisses, that danced and scattered across Loki’s throat and shoulders. He held him close, near pulling him atop himself. Their damp bodies, for a moment, nothing but heaving and panting.

Tony kissed Loki’s pulse point, as it was damn near thumping out of his flesh, and then suddenly he felt Loki vibrating in a not-so-good-way. He was abruptly sobbing, hard and painful like ricocheting bullets, “Baby, oh sweetheart, it was too much, wasn’t it, I’m so sorry.”

“No, no, no,” Loki sobbed, falling hard to Tony’s chest, “I didn’t think…I never thought…I’d feel…”

“Shhhh,” Tony hushed gathering him close, wrapping him up in his arms, “I get it, it’s okay, shhhh. It’s just you and me, got it? It’s okay, everything’s okay.”

The next series of cries laid shame to the previous ones, Loki had lost it, skin still sticky with sex and still out of breath. And despite what Tony was probably feeling with Loki crying so hard, Loki found contentment. “I love you so much, I’m sorry, sorry, sorry.”

“Shhh, Loki, baby, come on, this is normal to feel like this, just breathe,” he kissed his damp hair, “This was perfect, I love you so much, so so much, it’s okay.”

“I’m making an idiot of myself,” Loki cried, nestling his face in the crook of Tony’s neck.

“Stop it right now, this was great, was it okay for you? That’s what’s most important.”

“Perfect,” Loki sobbed, trying desperately to control his cries, “I love you…”

“I love you too,” Tony repeated, “Shhh, just breathe,” he caressed Loki’s back, drawing him closer, “Breathe baby, breathe.”

Loki simply clung to Tony at this point, he had never truly given himself to someone like this and the very thought scared him. Rejection was foremost in his mind, but it was quickly smothered when Tony held him close pressing endless kisses into the dark locks that clung to his skin. And for a moment, that was all that mattered.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Loki worked through his bleary vision and inhaled the new air of the morning, his eyes fell to the body beside him. Tony was fast asleep, chin resting the pillow, his arms tucked beneath the plush surface. For the first time, in a long time, Loki smiled, closed his eyes in contentment when he replayed the night before. They had intermittently made love throughout the night until both of them succumb to exhaustion.

He moved away from the sleeping body and into the shower, his body aching in all the right ways he turned the shower on full blast with the glorious flow of hot water. It wasn’t long before he heard the bathroom door creak open, “Hey Lokes, you making this your new home in here?”

Loki chuckled sleepily, opening the shower door, “Only if you join me,” and Tony did with a sheepish grin on his face.

He wrapped his arms around Loki’s slick torso, “You doing okay?” he asked pressing lips to his heated throat.

“Yes, just a little sore is all,”

Tony’s smirk fell short, it had occurred to him at some point between kisses and grinding that this was Loki’s first time, well, ‘like that’, and he had been as perfectly careful as he could despite Loki’s onslaught demands of ‘please’, “I told you we should have stopped after number 3, I’m sorry,” and it had taken quite a bit of convincing on Tony’s part for round 2 after he noticed Loki wincing.

“It would not have mattered,” Loki hummed, turning around and joining their mouths, “I’ll heal quickly, I always do.”

“Yeah but still,” Tony began but was interrupted once more by insistent lips.

“It was everything I was hoping for, no one’s ever touched me, loved me like that,” Loki’s eyes dropped as he clung to Tony’s body, forearms resting on Tony’s shoulders, and even though he was taller he felt small.

Inwardly Tony was thankful that it was only him that could have made Loki feel like this, he had been alarmed when he’d noticed the presence of blood after the first time together. With a snap of his fingers he whisked any of its presence away. Loki had insisted that he was fine and suddenly they were entangled again and he couldn’t get a coherent thought moving in his head besides the beautiful pale body beneath him.

“And I do love you,” Tony murmured against the soft flesh of the nape of his neck, they had begun mindlessly rocking back and forth, “How about a nice long shower and then breakfast?”

Loki nodded soundlessly, pressing kisses now along the exposed flesh within his reach

 

The two of them exited the bedroom, hair both damp and arms about each other’s waist when they came face to face with Bruce, “I come in peace,” he said immediately, hands out.

On instinct Tony has Loki behind him, “Oh yeah? After the things you said yesterday…”

Bruce interrupted with the loud clearing of his throat, “I know, I know, I said some pretty harsh things. But can you blame me? After all that happened? But I talked to Barton, and I guess if anyone were gonna trust you it would be him. I saw the tapes, saw all of it. And what Fury did to you,” his eyes cut to Loki, “I apologize for all that, but I gotta say, I’m not sorry for the Hulk smash.”

Loki scoffed, brow furrowing, mouth open and ready retort.

“No, I mean, that’s what apparently snapped you out of it. Tony’s got surveillance all over this place. I compared the tapes from SHIELD headquarters and Tony’s tower…night and day…so uh…I’m sorry about all that yesterday. You’ve been through the ringer and…well Fury got me riled up I guess. Convinced me that we had a menace on the loose.”

“Yeah, he’s got a knack for that shit,” Tony growled, “I warned him,”

“Did you think that would stop him?” Bruce stopped short, shaking his head, “Never the less, I’m sorry, what they did to you. Even if you had done, everything we thought…you didn’t deserve that. No one does.”

Loki swallowed audibly, blinking a few times before replying, and moved in front of Tony, “I thank you Doctor...that is quite kind of you. I know it must be difficult, it has been for your entire team I gather.” Of all people to be questioning his actions Loki expected Barton to be the most volatile of the team, but now, surprisingly he hadn’t. Perhaps it was that whole ‘brother in arms of mind control’ sentiment they had between them.

“Well any help you might need you have our side, we’re supposed to be the good guys, at least that’s what I thought Fury intended. I know the aliens are gone, but someone else was controlling you.” He eyed him carefully, not exactly surveying for a lie but searching for fear and he found it.
            “I am not aware of what happened to my captor…he hasn’t been in contact.” Loki snapped, “B-But I appreciate your loyalty on his defeat…if that can be achieved.”

“Babe,” Tony began.

“Tony, no,” Loki stopped him, idly squeezing the hand in his, “If he comes looking for me…of which I would assume he would have arrived by now, you cannot stop him. But quite frankly I am not concerned…he may very well assume me dead.”

Tony wasn’t convinced but let it go, “Thanks for the apology Bruce, hopefully we can just, ya know all get along now? It’s been a helluva last two months…”

 

Things calmed down after that, it was almost a month after Loki’s letter to his mother did he receive any word at all. Another letter and that’s when Loki had finally snapped, “Where is she Thor?! I need to speak to her, if anyone has information on my family it’s her and she’s ignoring me! She truly is disgusted isn’t she!”

Thor had gone wide eyed and shocked, “Loki no! She would never think that! She’s doing everything she can, but Fath-Odin has been suspicious of us both. This is only for your safety. But I have…a letter that contains information on your brothers…”

Loki instantly deflated, eyes watering, and Thor gave a loud ‘hmph’ when Loki embraced him. To say he was surprised would be too small a word, “It’s alright,” he found himself speaking softly when he noticed the soft bumping of Loki’s chest and barely there cries.

“I’m not sure if I want to know of this ‘family’ they abandoned me, left me to die…” Loki shuddered.

“You do not know that…it could be different than that. When things have settled, perhaps…perhaps you can reach out to them.”

“Not after everything I have done,” Loki sniffed, pulling away and wiping at his face, “I made a pretty valiant attempt at destroying their world. All in the attempts to…prove myself…and it didn’t matter…none of it mattered…” and he was in Thor’s arms again.

Thor had seen Loki cry perhaps a dozen times in their time together, more so as a child, but as Thor looked back, at the constant bullying, Loki became as stone. He had always been shy, more prone to books then brawn, and it gained him attacks from other children. Even adults. Even his own friends, he would admit now. He vowed he’d never abandon him again, and he had, unfortunately, his father to thank for that. For sending him to Earth. He held his brother close and stroked his back like when they were children and Loki had awoken from a nightmare, “We all make mistakes, look what I’ve done? You can fix this, you will.”

“So much faith,” Loki croaked, “How can you have any faith at all in me?”

“Because you are my brother,” Thor hushed, pressing lips into his hair like he was allowed to do once more, “She will come to you soon, I promise you Loki, I promise.”

 

Tony noticed that something was off about Loki pretty quickly. Their relationship, besides a few hiccups now and then, nightmares, fights, the usual, was progressing. Sometimes Loki was insatiable, of which Tony was happy to reciprocate, sometimes leaving him utterly exhausted. On some days Loki didn’t wanna be touched, and Tony understood. He figured, this was just how it went as he worked through his trust issues with intimacy. They would fight sometimes when Tony would touch unwanted and Tony would apologize endlessly and then Loki would lose it, just absolutely fall to pieces. Tony, again, attributed this with healing, so he would simply cradle Loki close and murmur sweet nothings. And then for days they would be fine.

He was more than thankful when Frigga finally made an appearance, books and papers in hand and he let them be.

“Darling, I’m so sorry, I know it’s been months, but I simply couldn’t come. It was for your safety I assure you,” she had said as he son wrapped around her, head buried in her shoulder, “How are you faring? Well I hope?”

But he didn’t answer for the longest time, only holding her, thin fingers tangled in the silky threads of her dress.

“Darling,” she said once more, “Talk to me, are you being treated well here?”

“Yes, Mother, more than well, I’m just happy to see you is all.”

“Here in these papers, I found that your brother Býleistr runs the kingdom now, and quite fair from what I’ve read. He seems nothing like Laufey, and again, darling, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean anything like that.”

Loki straightened his face, “Besides our dealings I know little of the man, so it does not pain me to speak of him. He was willing to kill Fath…Odin…so it bothers me not.”

Frigga nodded, “However, Helblindi I know very little of, as much as I know he is an advisor. To be honest dear, we would have to visit the realm to find these answers. You would have to speak to them.”

“No,” Loki shook his head fervently, “They would kill me on site, start a war that would only earn me death.”

“You do not know that. Think, you are ever the diplomat, you always have been if you were to visit with them I’m sure they would hear you.” She placed a hand to his cheek, “Son, this is the only way I know that you can learn more about yourself. Perhaps even make peace between the realms. But, I advise against it at this time, your father would know as soon as you entered the realm. Heimdel would know.” And what she didn’t vocalize was that her husband had been frightfully quiet as of late, had stopped questioning her trips to Midgard or anywhere else for that matter. And that was a cause for concern.

Loki managed to reign back his anger, “I must wait then, so…you found nothing...on my birth mother?”

Frigga’s tilted her head in sympathy, taking both of his hands in hers’, “No, my darling, but we will shine light on this.”

“You are my mother,” he suddenly croaked out of control, “Only you, always you.”

“Of course, I would never think less,” and he was gathered in her arms once more like some small, broken child, “What troubles you? Something else is bothering you.”

“I know not,” Loki trembled, “I feel, almost as if something is coming…or something is wrong…but I cannot pinpoint it. Sometimes I cannot control my magic, it will come in bursts or will not work at all. Perhaps I’m sick.”

“You’re exhausted, I can feel it, you haven’t been sleeping well. Did you really truly believe you would recover what you have endured in but a few months? No, my love, you need to feel safe to feel stable.”

“But this isn’t the first time I’ve been in a troublesome situation”

“Not like this, and not when you’re so obviously in love,” she smiled, “I’d be a fool not to see it.” before he could protest she was interrupting, “and I’m happy for you, it matters not, man or woman, just as long as they treat you right or I shall melt them. And you know I can.”

This made Loki laugh, “You shouldn’t worry, thank you Mother.” He fell against her once more, not able to pinpoint why he was being so terribly emotional, but he buried his face against the softness of her throat and never wanted to leave.

 

Tony thought this would be a breaking point, speaking with Frigga. Loki had been in a relatively good mood the last couple of days. Moody of course, but then he was always moody. He was Loki. They’d only had one other incident where Barton had stopped by between missions and Loki had latched him into a harsh embrace apologizing over and over. It took Tony prying them apart to end it. Barton look flustered, merely patting Loki’s arm and saying it was all ‘cool’ but Loki wouldn’t let it go and he had brooded about it most of the afternoon. So Tony was happy that they had planned a movie night with Steve that Wednesday, and it was a happy distraction after all the drama. It was only Star Wars the perfect movie for the man out of time that had shit clue about modern culture, and then space god that knew just as much. They were hanging out before the movie of course, and Steve cooked food. They’d settled after dinner and Tony ordered a pizza, because of course he did, and beer, that Loki and Steve waited patiently in the living room quietly. Loki reading a book intensively as always across from the Captain and Steve sketching endlessly in his notepad like he always seemed to do. Unnoticed that was, by other team members, no one seemed to notice that Steve liked to draw. That under all that muscle he was an artist at heart.

“Steven? What are you working on tonight?” Loki asked, eyes finally up from his book.

“Oh, uh, nothing, I just always draw what I observe is all. Nothin’ in particular,”

“Well, what is it?” and Loki closed his book, getting up from the couch and moving over to Steve.

“It’s nothing much,” he offered the book to Loki’s open hands.

Loki sat down, the charcoal rendering was of himself, reading, “You made this of me?”

“Yeah, I mean, I’m sorry if that’s weird, but see,” he flipped the pages and all the Avengers were pegged in his drawings, all in perfect detail.

“You consider me worthy of your friends?” he asked, eyes suddenly wet.

Steve felt the lead heavy feel of guilt, “Well yeah Loki, you’re one of us now,” and then he didn’t know what was happening but Loki had fallen to his shoulder, sobs erupting like invasive hiccups. And then he couldn’t really help it, he looped an arm around Loki’s shaking shoulders and pulled him close, “Why are you crying? It’s okay,”

“I don’t know what is wrong with me, I’m sorry,”

“No need to apologize, it’s alright, I get it,” he said, even though he wasn’t at all sure what he was saying.

It was then that Tony entered the room, popcorn in hand as well as pizza and set them to the coffee table quickly, “Hey, hey, hey, what’s this?”

Steve looked everything that was apologetic, “I-I don’t know, I just showed him my drawings and he fell apart.”

“He drew me, and it’s not evil, I’m not an enemy,” he muttered muted against Steve’s shoulder.

“Well, baby, you’re not an enemy,” Tony tried to console as he sat down beside the two, he placed a hand on his arm.

“I swear Tony I didn’t mean to…” Steve began.

“No, it’s okay,” Tony cut off.

Loki pulled away from Steve like he was stung, “My apologizes I don’t know what came over me,”

“N-No it’s fine, we all get ya know, kind of overwhelmed now and then,” he stuttered.

“You alright?” Tony cut into Loki’s spinning thoughts, face cradled in both hands.

“Y-Yes, I’m fine, perhaps I’m only tired,”

They finished their movie marathon and retired to bed with Steve shocked at Luke’s parental status and Loki scoffing that he knew it all along. From there Loki promptly conked out like he hadn’t slept in years. Arms out like wings and his cuddle power like nothing Tony had ever seen. He held him closer just because he felt the need to do so, “Loki, baby, you sure you’re okay?”

“M’fine,” he muttered, gathering Tony closer if that were even possible, kissing his throat.

“You’ve had me worried the last few days, that’s all,” Tony replied, pulling the blankets up higher to create the cocoon that Loki loved so much.

“Haven’t been myself,” was all he said.

Tony was about to ask what that was about but was only answered with snores, he carded fingers through his hair and kissed his forehead. He scolded himself for thinking that everything would simply smooth out just because they had sex. And he was more than willing to work through those problems if Loki would only talk to him.

 

The next morning came with a loud clattering that sprung Tony from sleep, which prompted him from their bedroom.

He was faced with two very noble, gold clad soldiers, “We’re here for Loki, former son of Odin”

Chapter Text

“Jarvis call the team, deploy my suit,” Tony muttered under his breath, closing the bedroom door behind him, “Can I help you gentleman?”
            “I said, we are here for Loki, produce him mortal,”

“Who says he’s here?”

“The Watcher and he sees all,”

“Oh is that so?” he stayed planted to his spot in front of the door, but he knew that these men could easily toss him, “I’m curious, how did you bypass my security? Ya know, just for future reference.

“It matters not, now step aside.”

Tony had a hard time telling them apart, their neutral nature made it difficult, “Yeah, that’s not happening, I need an explanation as to why you are in my home. See there’s this thing amongst mortals, we have a law that forbids people from just walking into people’s homes.”

“We have no qualms about harming you, to get to him,”

“Well I have no qualms about harming you two douchebags to keep you from him. Does Daddy know what’s been going on down here? And why is he so interested in his ‘not son’, he didn’t even look for him when he fell!”

“We are not concerned with their family matters; we were merely given orders.”

It was about that time that the suit arrived and he was quickly protected by the slowly winding alloy that encased his body, “You’re gonna have to hold on a tic,”

Barreling into the ‘left’ one is what Tony would call him was like hitting cement, but he did in fact knock the man down and was able to dispel him across the room with a blast from his hands, “I said we could talk, but we you guys, as predicted have poor negotiating skills.”

He expected the second one to follow but he didn’t, and went into the bedroom. Tony shot himself up from the floor launching himself away from the guard.

 

Loki had been sleeping soundly before he was ripped from sleep by two hands, he yelped as he was forced to awaken, “Tony!”

“You’re coming with me trickster. The All-father demands your presence,” he hauled him up from the bed roughly, feeling as though his arm might be pulled from its socket. He reached for his magic and it fell short, however, suddenly without his control the green emitted from his entire being and blew the Asgardian soldier to the neighboring wall.

“Using your woman’s craft, I should have known, your reputation precedes you!” the man chuckled, wiping the blood away from the corner of his mouth.

Loki scrambled into the living room, eyes still clogged with sleep, and his heart thumping wildly. He took immediate note of Tony in full armor battling with a second guard, “Loki get out of here!”

“They’ll kill you! They don’t value human life!”

“Lab! Get to the lab!” Tony screamed, spinning the guard through the porch deck’s window, “Babe go!” he shouted even louder when the guard emerged from the bedroom.

And Loki ran, some inner voice, or inner will telling him he must and suddenly he was in the elevator and careening to the basement.

“Mr. Loki, Sir instructed me to inform you to go to the farthest right corner there I will lock you in.”

“Mr. Jarvis, is he alright? Is he hurt?”

“He’s holding his own, and the Avengers have arrived.” With a clap of thunder Loki nearly cried in relief.

 

“What is the meaning of this!” Thor roared, hammering hitting the floor and the two men collapsed.

“Your highness,” one of the men chocked, bending to one knee, the other, was semi-conscious after Rogers hurled his shield, “Your majesties father requests the traitor’s presence.”

“He is no traitor; do you understand?”

“We were only given orders Prince Thor, I swear it. He demands you return him to Asgard.”

“Did he say why?”

“To explain his crimes against Midgard.”

“He’s never cared before of this realm why does he care now?” Thor growled.

“The deaths numbered in the thousands, he thought it important to address. If you stop us two only more will be sent until he is retrieved, you can escort the traitor yourself or we will do it on our own.”

Thor balanced on his heels, hammer ready to crush the skull of the man that had used the word traitor twice, but he yielded, “Why doesn’t he come here himself…Loki’s crimes were done under the craft of mind control. He is innocent.”

“The All-Father wished to speak to him himself. I assure you my majesty…
            “Enough!” Thor bellowed.

“Where’s Loki?” Steve asked, surveying the smattering of glass, the broken window.

“Safe,” Tony piped up, face plate up to speak properly, “Talk to them I’ll be back.” With the team, well part of team there, Tony made a beeline to the basement. “Jarv open up.” He found Loki where he’d told him to go, curled up on a cot he had placed for late nights, “Hey, baby, it’s okay, your bro is here, he can talk this out.”

“No,” Loki trembled, “He can’t, Odin won’t stop until he has me,”

“I won’t let that happen,” Tony said, sitting down next to his shaking boyfriend and pulled him close, enveloping him in his arms and peppering kisses into his dark locks.

“You have to,” Loki buried his face into Tony’s chest, “He’ll hurt you to get to me and I won’t let that happen.”

 

Thor’s brow was permanently furrowed, “Father only wants to talk? Is that what he said to you?”

“Yes,”

“Nothing about punishment? Because this is not even his problem, I mean, is it?” Steve said, shield still out, “I mean jurisdiction wise, we should decide on his punishment or not punishment.”

“That is what we will bring to my father, it is not his decision to judge Loki.” Thor said

Steve shrugged his shoulders at that, “But he’s gonna want to talk to him.”

“Unfortunately yes, I would accompany him, I wouldn’t let anyone harm him.” Thor said, eyes to the hall where Tony departed.

“Tony won’t let you,” Steve answered.

“Perhaps Tony will come with me, and you? Dr Banner and Barton? You can defend him!”

“We’ll do anything we can Thor, but only if it’ll help. If he gets taken up there and we can’t get him back…” Steve stopped, shaking his head, “This is bull, he didn’t do anything wrong. If your dad will hear us, then I’m in.”

It was in that moment that Tony and Loki came into the room, Tony’s arms protectively around him.

“Loki, are you harmed?” Thor was immediately at his side.

“No, I wasn’t, not yet,” Loki managed to steady his voice, trying his best to not painfully clutch at Tony’s hand.

“Loki, we will not let you face this alone,” Thor vowed.

The two guards were on their feet once more, “We will get you to Asgard, one way or another. Either accompanied by Prince Thor or kicking and screaming.”

Loki looked to his friends, to his lover, and nodded, “Please don’t leave me,” he whispered to Tony.

“Never,” he kissed the Loki’s knuckles, “We’ll plead your case and then you’re coming home. Got it?”

Shakily Loki nodded, “I-I’ll go with you, only with m-my friends and my brother.”

“The All-Father made no stipulations, so we have no disagreement on the matter.”

The team made arrangements, Tony packed a suit, amongst other things, and they were off to Asgard.

 

The travel across the bridge made Loki unusually sick, he’d done it countless times before but this time made him nearly double over. In his weakened state, cuffs were snapped over his wrists, and he could feel the magic binding qualities in them, so harshly he gasped.

“This isn’t necessary!” Thor shouted, pulling Loki to his side, even though he was latched quite tightly to Tony.

“His magic is deemed harmful, he cannot enter the court without them, be thankful he is being spared the muzzle.”

“Muzzle?”  Steve asked, seemingly as dizzy by his surroundings as Loki.

“It stops the use of spells,” Loki answered quickly, eyes down.

“Come on then,” the guard yanked him forward, he tripped which had Tony leaping forward.

“Hey dickbag, you don’t need to be rough!”

“Quiet your tongue mortal, your only means of survival are the people in this room.”

“Yeah you and me, ten minutes alone, I’ll kick your ass,” he snapped, eyes locked on Loki.

“So a talk, that’s all?” Steve piped up once more.

“So we’re told,” Thor said simply, but there was warning in his tone.

 

They entered the large courtroom, Tony thought it looked more like a glorified dining hall. He fell behind in step at Thor’s request, the two guards with Loki on either side, and his defense directly behind him. Tony only wanted to be at his side and scream at Loki’s douche of a step dad who, he figured, was the one up on the throne.

“Loki, of Jotunhiem,” Odin’ booming voice reverberated in the hall.

Loki flinched as if he’d been slapped, “All-Father,” he spoke, voice of shakiness at least.

“Do you know of your crimes?”

“Yes, and there is a reasoning behind them. I did not do them on my own, nor of my own freewill.”

“That I believe, is a lie.”

“And I knew you would think as such, however, I brought those that do believe me. And I have proof that they can show you. What would I have benefited from ruling Midgard?” Loki lifted his chin high, begging his voice to remain firm even though he felt sick.

“Your own selfish reasons, as always, vanity, the desperate need for validity in your own pathetic need for acceptance.”

Anger found itself a place very quickly, “And who’s fault would that be might I ask?!”

“Hold your tone boy!”

“No! I was lied to my entire life, you burden this truth on me in the midst of Thor’s banishment, no one to speak to no one for comfort! I only did what I did to prove to you that I loved you! Nothing more!”
            “It was a poor attempt! You nearly killed an entire realm and then in you petty defeat you needed to conquer another!”

“That isn’t true! It’s not! Please listen to me, for once!”

“You are a talented liar Loki, you always have been.”

“I’m not lying now, I swear it, it was Thanos! Thanos had me, for a year, over a year! He wanted Asgard but I didn’t…I wouldn’t let him have it…even after all that had happened!” Loki found himself close to tears once more, but anger burned them away, “I begged for you! For Thor, for Mother!”

“You lie! Thanos is a myth, you would take the biggest myth of them all and deem it your defense.”

“It is no lie!”

“Thousands of mortals murdered because you wanted acceptance, and now you stand before me shamelessly spatting a fairytale I told you two boys as children.” Odin bellowed, now on his feet, staff at his side.

A cry leapt up and Loki choked it down, “I would not lie about this, father please!”

“Take him away, until I have thought this through!”

“Father no!” Thor yelled moving to Loki’s side, but the guards were tearing him away from their group. Away from Tony, the Captain and his brother.

“Mother! Where is she!” Loki was screaming, as they dragged him down the hall.

Thor surged forward, “Yes, Father, where is mother,”
            “She’s intervened enough son, and I need time to think,”

 

Tony and Steve were pacing endlessly in Thor’s ‘chambers’ as they were called, “This is fucking bullshit! He sandbagged him! He had no intention of listening at all, we gotta get him out of here ASAP. This is bad, really really bad,”

Steve was wringing his hands near bloodless, “I know Tony, and we will,”

The chamber doors creaked open revealing Frigga, “I know what you boys are going to say, I will fix this. Odin may be stubborn but he isn’t unreasonable.”
            “I refuse to let Loki sit in a fucking dungeon,” Tony spat, forgetting his respect for the regal lady, “We never should have brought him here.”

“This was the best way, they would have taken him more violently if you hadn’t complied,” Frigga answered sadly, “And I know where he’s being held, I don’t care what my husband says. I am still queen and I will have him heard out in the comfort of these rooms, not a cage.”

 

The guards unceremoniously tossed him into an individual jail, not with guests thankfully, the glowing walls and pristine marble floors made Loki’s head twirl. He’d only ever been down here once as a child, something a prince must learn, he remembered Odin saying. He curled up into a small ball, still gasping from the unexpected punch to the stomach he’d received before tossed. He could feel his magic ebbing, and if it had not been for the cuffs he was sure it would have sent those been flying. Again, he wasn’t even sure why. The pain that accompanied the punch began to grow, and then throb and pulse. He pushed himself up on his knees, gasping, clutching his gut, he cried out against his will when another sharp pain nearly plummeted him.

“Ah!” he gasped, he once more fell to the floor, the warm unpleasant feeling of blood began to trickle down his thighs, he brought one set of long fingers up and there was indeed the bright presence of blood, “W-What…guard…I-I need…I-I need a healer…please…”

He was given no response of course, besides an amused grunt.

His eyes grew wider as the pain intensified, the blood flowed freely on the marble, “Please,” he sobbed to no one. He felt as though he were dying and with no reason as to why.

 

Thor infiltrated the prison with little to no problem, thankfully his status was always intimidating and that granted him access. However, when he finally made his way to Loki’s cell he wasn’t granted access, “You will move, I will see my brother or I will smash your skull.”

“O-Odin All-Father commanded…”

“You can walk away, or I shall take you apart. I’ll even lie and say you fought.” Thor leveled him with a glare. And he moved away.

Thor entered the cell and was met with the heavy smell of blood and Loki crumpled on the floor, “Brother!” he ran to Loki’s side, turning him over carefully, and he was pale. More than pale. Like death or a ghost.

“T-Thor…something’s…wrong…hurts…it hurts…” Loki groaned curling tighter.

Thor kissed his brow, “What hurts Loki?”

“Stomach, my stomach,”

“I’m getting you out of here, to mother, she’ll fix this, you’re alright,” Thor gathered Loki into his arms protectively of which Loki nearly screamed, “Loki did someone harm you? Did they hurt you?”

“No,” he sobbed, “Something’s wrong, ah!”

“Shhh, shhh, I have to get you upstairs, just hang on,” and Thor did, whisking him past the guards that didn’t ask any questions, and hurried him into his old room from childhood. One only that he resided in when he was home. There waiting was Tony and Steve, but not his mother.

“Oh my God, what did they do to him!” Tony yelped, “Give him here!”

“Nothing that I know of,” Thor answered, handing Loki’s limp form over into Tony’s arms.

“Hey, hey, it’s alright baby I’ve got you, what happened?”

“N-Nothing, they did nothing, something’s isn’t right, I’m bleeding,” he gulped, and then was in a heap of tears with the mere presence of Tony’s scent.

“He’s bleeding? Why?!” Tony growled.

“I haven’t a clue,” Thor countered, “I’ll get mother. She’s a talented healer, I promise.”

“Tony,” Steve began.

“Just guard the door Steve, please,” Tony said, veering into the large, way too luxurious bathroom, “Search in these drawers here, find me some clean clothes, yeah?”

 

“Hey kiddo, tell me what’s wrong, tell me what hurts?” Tony said, turning the knobs on the tub that thankfully were exactly like home’s.

“Stomach hurts, lots of blood,” Loki slurred, nearly slumping when Tony set him to some kind of lounging couch.

Tony pressed a palm to his forehead, “Jesus you’re icy cold, what’s up with that,”

“Tony,” Loki was sobbing now, weak but crying none the less, “I’m dying aren’t I, Odin had to have done something to me the moment I arrived.”

“No, baby, you’re not dying, you’re just sick, that’s all,” Tony assured, peeling away his blood soaked pants, and underwear, “In you go, you’ll feel better,” and as he set him into the water he watched the clearness bloom with red and stop. Jesus. He thought inwardly, what the fuck was going on?!

Loki groaned at the contact of the hot water, but it felt good and melted away the aches, “Tony I love you, I love you so much.”

“No last testaments, I love you too but we’re gonna say that a lot to each other so cut it out.” He found a wash cloth and ran it over Loki’s brow, his neck and chest, trying desperately to ignore the blood below his waist. He leaned in and captured his mouth, “Got it?”

Loki nodded, his chest hitching anyway.

“Stark!” he heard Steve on the other side, “Here’s some clothes, his mom is here come on.”

Tony opened the door only wide enough to take the articles and returned to the tub, he scooped Loki up, who was still, far too thin in his opinion. He dried and dressed him, and the blood seemed to have slowed, but not enough for Tony’s liking. He carried him from the bathroom and set him gently to the bed, there were furs on the end and he pulled them up and wrapped Loki up snuggly, “Better babe? Is that okay?”

Tears still streaming, he nodded.

“Darling, I’m so sorry I wasn’t there in court, your father is quite crafty, I was away when he had you summoned.” She sat down on the bed close to his head, “I have a healing potion, here, let me help you. What ails you?” she tilted his head and hurried the potion down his throat.

 “Mama,” Loki cried after gulping the medicine, “I’m bleeding and I can’t make it stop…my magic…I can’t reach it.”

“I know my love, I know, I can sense it, let me look at you,” she carefully pulled the blankets down revealing his shivering form, loosely dressed in Thor’s oversized tunic and pants that were three times his size. She hovered her hands over his abdomen where he claimed the majority of the pain was resonating. She placed a palm over his belly, eyes closed in concentration and gasped, loud and audible. Carefully, she regained her composure and with a crafted smile she steadied her voice, “Gentleman,” she turned to Tony, Thor, and Steve, “Can you give us some privacy?”

Thor and Steve nodded obediently but Tony shook his head, “I won’t leave him,”

“Tony,” Steve spoke softly, taking him by the bend of his arm, “He’s fine, she’s got this,”

Frigga waited until the room was clear, “Loki, sweetheart, have you been feeling sick lately? Out of sorts? Your magic out of your control?”

“A little,” he croaked, tone watery and broken, “What’s wrong? Please Mama am I dying?”

“No, my dear one, not in the least,” she assured, taking both of Loki’s hands in her own, she moved them to his belly, “What do you feel here?” she urged his palms open.

Loki gasped, flinching, nearly lurching off the bed, “What is that?”

“That is a life force…”

“Life force…” Loki’s breathing was increasing, “I-I don’t understand…”

“There’s a baby there, a living thing,”

Loki slumped and huffed, “Mother do not jest with me, not now, what is that?”

“A baby,” she repeated gently, scooping up his hands once more, “You’re pregnant darling, that is your child. I can only gather that it was making arrangements with your body, that is why the blood. I have heard of it in other…species…why not Jotunns?”
            “No, no, no! Mother that isn’t what this is! No!”

“Son, I am the goddess of fertility, I know a baby when I feel one. And you are with child, a healthy and thriving child. She or he is protecting you with their magic, that is why you have no control over it. That is why you bled.”

Loki’s green eyes were wide and wet, “Mother no, please, no, this can’t be. I’m not a woman! I’m a man! This can’t be!”

“You’re Jotunn, it’s completely possible and that isn’t wrong.”

“Tony,” Loki turned away, “No, oh Norns no, please,”

Frigga tried to cup his cheek, “Loki,”

“I want it gone! Please get rid of it! Please!”

“Loki no,” Frigga near growled, “That can’t be your decision right now, not in your state. What would Tony think? I know he’s the Father.”

“He would run, and I cannot raise a child alone.” Loki sobbed painfully, pulling the covers over his head.

“You would not, there would your brother and I. But Tony would never leave you, I see his soul, he would never leave you,” Frigga argued, “Do not make rash decisions.”

“I’m a freak, a freak, always,” he trailed off in breathless cries.

“No you are not!” she spat, “You talk to him first, please son, please.”

“I can’t tell him Mother, do not make me, I beg of you,” his cries hurt now, even as the pain ebbed away from his abdomen, his mind was spiraling out of control. The last few weeks making sense, his emotions, his magic.

“I will tell him if you wish, but please do not make a decision without his input. He has at least the right to know beforehand.” She bent and kissed his forehead, she moved close to his ear, “That child loves you, already, I can feel it.” she pulled away, eyes locked, “I know this wasn’t planned, my son, but it could be everything you’ve been searching for. Just please, speak to Tony.”

Barely even able to see though his tears, he nodded, “Y-Yes, I will,” and as his mother left he curled further into the furs, his cries mounting to an embarrassing level. Everything before this, his true form, had been nothing compared to this. And even though he felt the magic curl in his belly, he felt sick and lost. He cried harder than he could ever remember.

Chapter Text

Tony’s pacing was interrupted by Frigga entering the room, “He’s gonna be okay, right? He’s not cursed or something?”

“No, nothing of the sort,” Frigga assured, making brief eye contact with the other men, “Tony, I need to talk to you alone,”

“Mother,” Thor began.

“He’s fine darling,” Frigga answered quickly.
            Tony’s stomach lurched, “Mrs. Uh, ya know I don’t know what to call you…” he began.

But she took him so gently by the elbow he allowed her to lead him away from Thor, “It is very important, that you be everything that is supportive and forthcoming.”

“Y-Your majesty, please,”

“Call me Frigga,” she smiled warmly.

“Frigga, what’s wrong with him? There was so much blood and he looked so pale, I’ve seen him hurt…but not like that.”

“Sit down,” she guided him to one of the couches, “Loki is fine, he’s just, well there is an issue.”

Tony’s eyes went momentarily wide, “I knew it,”

Frigga cleared her throat, “Tony, do you love my son?”

“Y-Yes, I mean, of course I do…I think I knew you sensed that right away.”

“You’d be right,” she smiled.

“Well if he’s not dying…” he scoffed, rolling his shoulders, “Then what’s wrong?”

“You know of his, well, different anatomy, correct?”

Tony huffed a laugh, “You might say that, can we uh, not talk about that maybe? I mean, you’re his mom… it’s kind of weird.”

“I would not bring it up if were not of import.” She took his hands in hers’ carefully, “Did you ever think for a minute there might be a reason for why he is different?”

“Okay, can we stop beatin’ around the bush? I don’t like all this soft spoken riddle talk,”

“Loki is with child,” she may or may not have blurted it, but knew it was necessary.

Tony stared for an undetermined amount of time before he was laughing, shaking his head, “With child?” he repeated in an exaggerated British accent, “That…that’s impossible…”

“How is it impossible?” Frigga said carefully, “I have sensed the life within him. That was the reason for the bleeding, his body making accommodations for the child.”

And then Tony’s head was spinning, and the last few weeks were coming into play and then also making sense. That Loki had been everything that was over emotional for real now reason, that was until now. Loki was more ‘snarky’ emotional then he was ‘cry on your shoulder’ emotional.

“Y-You’re serious about this...aren’t you…”

“Very, I’m afraid, I know this must frighten you, but Loki needs you, now more than ever.

“Men can’t…have babies…” he stuttered.

“But dear, Loki is no mere man, by your Midgardian standards he is very much alien, and hardly defined as human male by Midgardian standards. So yes, it is possible, and in this case it is true.” Frigga attempted in her mothering tone, “I do believe he is much more startled by this news…and I’m not sure he wants to keep the babe.”

“W-What?” and despite the initial news of him being a ‘father’ he was startled to life by the sudden idea of the decision being taking it from him was just as lurching, “I’m sorry Frigga, but I-I don’t know…I mean…I can’t believe this…how is this possible…even with everything you’re telling me.”

“I’m the goddess of fertility, if you were not aware, I know a child’s presence when I feel one. I need no crude tests of predictions…I felt its life force and I must say because of its breed, both Jotun and human it is well aware of the both of you.”

“Life force?” he felt tears thick in his throat, even to his own surprise was clutching the hands around his own.

She nodded slowly, “I know this is much to take in, but Loki needs you.”

And Tony was nodding quickly, “Y-Yeah, can I see him?”

“Of course.”

 

He lingered by the opening of the doorway until Frigga gave him a gentle push, he moved carefully to the bed. And when he thought to simply perch on the edge, he thought better and rounded the other side, Loki’s eyes of course suddenly locked to his, he crawled across the large bed of furs and laid down beside him, “Hey there kiddo, how are you feeling?”

Loki’s jaw clenched, but was silent, his eyes downcast but he instinctively against his will scooted closer.

“Come on, talk to me,” he brushed a thumb to Loki’s temple, “You really scared me.”

“D-Did mother speak to you?”

Tony bit at his bottom lip, “Yeah she did, is it true?”

Loki successfully swallowed down the sob he wanted to let loose, “Yes, it is indeed. I-I hadn’t…I mean I didn’t know…that this was possible…I never meant this to happen and now…I don’t know what to do! I-I’m more of a freak than I thought and now, oh Gods, Gods….”

“Loki stop, stop, stop,” he was up on one elbow, hovering over Loki and cupping his face, for a moment stopping words with his lips to Loki’s. He lingered there just long enough to know for sure Loki wouldn’t go off on another tyrant, “How were you suppose to know? Huh? And who says this is a bad thing?”

Loki’s brow scrunched, “I-What? How is this not a bad thing? How are you and I even anywhere near fit to parents?”

“We can’t do any worse than anybody else?”

Loki was shaking his head fiercely, moving away, “It’s not just a baby, who knows what it will look like when it comes into this world, of which I don’t even know how that is possible, how can this be a good thing! It won’t look human and it is impossible that it will be Aesir.”

“We’ll deal with it, you and me. So what if it’s blueberry, I’ll love it even more, you get that? It’s part of you and me, I’ll love it either way. It’ll be a fucking genius I can tell ya that.”
            “You are being stupid! Thinking everything that is illogical!” Loki cried, “I can’t bring a child into this world that will feel as I have felt…a part of two worlds…rejected.”

Tony pulled him closer by one arm, a little rougher than he meant to, “You think I would do that? Treat this child like your asshole dad? No fucking way…he…or she…is a Stark…or whatever we wanna call it.” he found his voice choking and merging into something of a a sob, “I would never do that, ever! And I would think with you as a mom, and yes, you’d be mom and me being dad, with our family backgrounds we’d love this child within an inch of its life! I won’t be my dad and neither will you…it would have a good life. I’d bet my own on it…”

Loki was staring, yes, right out staring in utter shock, “I’m sorry,” and now he was crying too, and fell to Tony’s chest.

“Why are you sorry?” Tony whispered against his temple, pulling the furs up further his trembling body.

“Because I want it too…I don’t know why but I do. But I couldn’t do it alone, and I thought…I don’t know why I thought that you might reject it.” Loki shuddered, eyes closed tight, feeling a new level of exhaustion and only wanting to be home in Tony’s tower.

“I will admit I was shocked, that would be stupid to say I wasn’t. But babe, this is you and me.” He pulled away to peer into Loki’s eyes, scooping away the wetness pouring from his eyes, “You and me, always, and I’ll take care of you both.”

“What if Odin will not let me leave? He’ll never believe…this…” he gestured to his stomach.

“Your Mom is gonna take care of that…fuck man, she’s scary when she’s ‘stern’” he gave a smile, before kissing him on the lips, “By the way, she said she could feel it…how’s that work?”

“It’s like an energy,” Loki began sheepishly, “If I had known I would have figured it out…because I can feel it as well…would you like to feel it?”

Tony only hesitated for a moment, as Loki’s hopeful eyes burned into him, “O-Of course, how you go about doing that?”

“Give me your hand, I’ll transfer the energy, the baby and I share the same magical signature. It will feel similar to when I touch you with my magic.” He took Tony’s fingers and splayed them on his abdomen, “Relax, close your eyes.”

Tony did as told, and then shortly after that he felt a curling warmth that started at his fingertips and moved and traveled to the core of his chest, it pinged sharply and pulsed. Without meaning to, as if some response to the energy, he had tears unknowingly pouring from his eyes. He came out of the stupor with a gasp, “W-What was that?”

“He or She’s response to your touch,” Loki gave a ghost of a smile, voice hardly there at all and before he could say another word Tony gathered him in his arms tightly and careful.

Tony grinned wide, despite the tears, “Beautiful.”

 

Frigga entered the throne room to find her husband slumped in his chair, face in hands, and despite her natural response of sympathy, anger took its place at the idea of Loki’s tearing eyes and bleeding form on the floors of the dungeons.

Odin looked up from his hands, “Frigga, my dear,”

 “You and I have words to speak. You are listening and I am speaking,” she growled.

Chapter Text

Frigga slammed the door to their chambers in such a way that the whole room vibrated, “First we are going to start with why I was not present during Loki’s hearing. I have an inkling as to why, I am the voice of reason here. Always have been.”

“Frigga,” Odin began, “You must understand the grievances of Loki’s doings and how that represents all of Asgard.”

“He is our son!” she shouted and Odin actually flinched.

“Frigga,”

“No! You are listening I am talking! That boy is our son, you made that decision when you brought that child home and placed him in my arms. He has been through Hel and back, he fell into the void and you made no move to find him. If I had not inquired to Heimdel there would have been no search effort at all!”

“That is not true,” Odin growled, “I did search for him, I just did not make it known to you. I did not want to give you hope for something impossible….no one survives such a fall.”

“And yet, here you stand condemning him!!! He needs support not prosecution! And he needs it from you, more than anyone else!” Frigga towered over his seated form, eyes blazing and heart thumping, “You are despicable…callous…and cruel. His friends, people who have only known him a few days are supporting him far better and here you sit ready to wreak judgment upon him. Sending him to the dungeons!”

“He is a vengeful, petty boy! I only sent him there to protect our people, to protect him from himself!”

“No!” she screeched, and the walls rattled with displaced magic, “You only did so to protect yourself. While MY son lies bleeding and helpless amongst the company of prisoners!”

“Bleeding? Why? I sent him to a private cell, deliberately so!”

“He’s pregnant,” she spatted, mouth set firmly, “And whether you believe that or not I care not. I sense the child within him.”

Odin fell silent, “That is impossible.”

“It is very possible, and the man who gave him this child loves him very much. You will not impede on this…you will not interfere. Loki, our son, our baby, will return to Midgard with his mate, and that is the end of it, do you understand? I will reign down terror like you’ve never witnessed and you know damn well how capable I am. I will not see him harmed anymore, I will see him happy, and this Tony has accomplished it. Loki has changed,”

“He committed treason and attempted to kill his brother!”

“He may have lost his way in the terms of his brother. Thankfully that did not come to fruition, however, he did not commit treason. Thor was banished, you were in your sleep, I gave the throne to him! I gave him the staff! He committed NO treason, and that is the last I will hear of that. The people of Asgard have been misinformed! Husband,” her tone softened, “I may love you, but I will put my children before you and I will not go along with this ridiculousness. I will leave, do you understand that? I will leave.”

Odin’s eyes softened, “You would not.”

“Yes, I would,” Frigga forced back a cry, “I will not allow you to harm him, any longer. The reveal of his parentage was cruel….and bad timing. He shouldn’t have been allowed to be on his own, he should have been counseled, comforted, not left to man the throne. His brother gone and you in rest? It was everything that was wrong, and we will right it now. There will be no trial for him, because he has done nothing wrong, if there is to be a trial for Loki there should be one for Thor. Thor attacked a realm and you banished him…banished…you did not place him in jail. Loki acted out of heartbreak, and to impress you no less, he only wanted to make you proud. It was wrong, so very wrong, but it was a child’s prayer. This is the end of this discussion, do we understand? Or I am gone,”

“Frigga you must understand my role as King,”

“I only understand one role, that is as his Father, and you have failed marvelously, do you understand that? We are fixing this, or I am gone,” she found tears easily in her eyes now.

“I never meant to harm him…to begin with…when I revealed who his family was it was only because he discovered it. He is so vastly intelligent, as you know, I couldn’t lie to him. That would have been stupid. I never meant for him to find out like he did.”

“But you could have done more than you did,” Frigga corrected, “Explain that he was never a tool. He was a beautiful child that we were blessed to have. I failed in other ways, Gods know, but that alone is your fault, not mine, that he was made to feel as if he were less. As if he were not a part of this family. And I swear by this, if you make an ‘example’ of him for the good of Asgard…you will never see me again.”

Odin’s gaze lowered, fell to the floor, then tentatively his eyes found his wife’s, “I would not do that…not at the sake of losing you.”

“And our son? Is that all you have to say?”

“He has much to atone for…”

“As do you! As does Thor, why does he merit greater responsibility?!”
            “I only wish to maintain peace,” his hands were held out in defense, “But not at the cost of my family. I will speak to him.”

“Only if he allows it, I will not have him bombarded, he is going home with his mate and that is final.”

“Men with men,” Odin muttered, and he regretted it immediately because his wife was in his face, fingers curled painfully in his collar.

“He is happy, and that is all that matters, how dare you say such a thing,” she shoved him, disgust rampant on her face, “I never thought that the man I love would think such things of my children. He loves who he loves and it matters not what gender. Tony Stark changed Loki for the better, brought him up from the darkness and you should be mindful of that! Should respect that! He saved our son! You will make this right,” she said finally, turning towards the door, “Or you and I will never be right again, I love you, but not enough to turn my back on what is right.”

 

Tony stroked Loki’s hair like it was a line to sanity, fingertips continually moving across his brow and neck. And Loki said nothing, eyes only closing momentarily, between locking with Tony’s, at the comfort it brought. For a moment it quelled the fears of all the countless amounts of ‘what ifs’. Tony wasn’t sure why, at least he had an inkling, as to the reasoning he had to want to touch Loki’s belly. But as they lay here, still amongst the furs, he combed Loki’s hair with one hand and stroked his stomach with the other. Loki didn’t object to either, but stayed uncharacteristically silent.

Loki was exhausted, in every sense of the word and he only wished to sleep, but there was the ever constant voice telling him he could not. He released a shuddering sigh and wriggled closer to Tony, nuzzling his neck.

“I wish to go home.” Loki muttered sleepily.

Tony smiled, heart swelling, “We will go home, soon, I promise. Nothin’s gonna happen to you, or the baby, got it?”

Loki nodded, even though he disagreed heartily, he knew how his not-father’s mind worked, and he was quite sure that he would never let him leave at this point. He hadn’t made him a proper example to his court.

“We’ve got Captain America, your rock solid brother and Barton, who, weirdly enough is more in your court than anyone else. Plus we have your mom on our side, you need to rest right now, close your eyes. This bed is crazy comfortable and you have fucking furs around you, close your eyes,” he repeated, dropping kisses to the top of Loki’s dark head, “You’re safe, please sleep.”

Loki burrowed further beneath the warmth of both his lover and the blankets, the smell of his former home so strong he wanted to weep. But he closed his eyes and Tony’s gentle stroking of his hair, his stomach, that already felt to occupied. It wasn’t that he hated it, it was just that he couldn’t fully accept it. It curled and swarmed like electricity in a way that he could barely understand.

 

The second day Loki was more than anxious, having heard nothing from neither his mother or Odin he found himself wondering to his old rooms. Tony was close by, of course he was, Tony wouldn’t leave him alone for a minute. Loki choked back a sob when he came across the emptiness of the shelves, the nakedness of the bed. “They destroyed everything, everything is gone, it’s as if I was never here.”

“Lokes, it’s okay…” Tony murmured, even though he knew it wasn’t, his own father had done something similar. He’d come back from boarding school and MIT and all his things were either thrown away or burned.

“It’s not ‘okay’,” Loki sniffed, “I was so easy to forget…my books…my journals…”

“Loki,” Thor’s voice arrived, “No, they were not destroyed, mother and I kept it. It’s all in my room, I kept it safe. All your journals and drawings.”

Loki’s wet eyes met his brother’s, “Why not keep my room though?”

“Father wouldn’t allow it,” Thor said softly, “But Brother, none of your things were lost, I promise.”

“Why are you worthy?” Loki cried, “And you are. Is what I did any different? I was so easily cast aside, so easily judged….”

“It isn’t right, I will agree Loki,” Thor answered, “I would have kept this here as shrine for you, until you returned home...even if you didn’t….”

Loki curled towards Tony, head bowed, but emotions in check.

“Come on kiddo, you need rest, more than I can calculate. And then we’re going home, I’m guessing since Odin asshole hasn’t said nothin’ you’re free to go home.” Tony urged him back down the hallway, back to Thor’s old room where they had been resting. It took a bit of coaxing but he got him back to the bed.

 

They laid comfortably for a long time, Loki lax against him before the bedroom door opened. “I wish to speak to my son,” was the deep timbered voice that graced the silence.

Chapter Text

Loki froze, like a prey in the perfect sight of a predator and out of pure instinct Tony was pushing him behind him, “Jarvis, have the suit ready.”

“I mean no harm, I only wish to speak to Loki, to speak and that is all.”

“Yeah I’m gonna call bullshit on that one,” Tony growled.

“Perhaps we can discuss the other room?” Odin spoke, gesturing with his hands.

Loki nudged Tony aside, “It’s alright Tony,” he murmured, carefully easing off the bed, aware of the state of his undress, still only dressed in Thor’s clothes that swallowed him up, “What is it that you want All-Father…”

The three of them went into the sitting area of Thor’s bedroom.

Odin took a seat upon one of the couches, hands folded in his lap, “Only to have you explain…what happened to you when you fell?”

“Don’t you already know?” Loki breathed., arms tight around his middle, he stood instead of sitting and felt the palm of Tony’s hand at the small of his back.

“How would I know such things? We thought you dead son,”

Loki flinched at the word, “Every minute, every hour, every day I was there I called to you…to mother…to Thor…and no one came…Thanos…he told me he knew that you could see me, hear me, but you refused to help…because of what I am, of what I had done. He assured me that you knew of my whereabouts…as they flayed me, whipped me, took me apart…only to watch me heal once again, to start a new. A-And then, even after months…and months…he found Svaðilfari…I would say you know what that encounter entailed…but you never believed me in the first place, why would now be any different?”

Odin’s eyes fell, whether it were in guilt or shock, Loki wasn’t sure.

“Loki, I was never made aware of your whereabouts, ever, do you really think so little of me that you believe that I would leave you in such a state? With such creatures?”

Loki blinked once, then twice, “What makes you think I would believe anything else? You made that quite clear on the bridge, did you not? You’ve made that quite clear most of my childhood…I am not Thor, I’ll never be Thor and that was enough for you to simply forget about me.”

“Loki,” Odin began.

Loki cut him off, “Are you here to commence my punishment? Is that all this is, for you to purge your thoughts that you ‘looked’ for me and then throw me in a dungeon?”

“Your mother explained to me what is going on,” he gestured aimlessly with his hand towards Loki’s waist.

“Oh,” Loki scoffed, arms still tight around his abdomen, “This was at Mother’s request, you did not come here to reconcile with me.”

“I did not come here to make waves with you. If you would let me touch your memories I can confirm that what you say is true. And there will be no punishment, if you attacked Midgard against your own will there is no punishment to give.”

Loki couldn’t help it, his eyes began to water, “You still don’t believe me? You would not take me for my word?”

“Loki, it is not I that must be convinced, I can see it in your eyes that you speak truth. But the people of Asgard want answers as to reasoning behind your actions. They know of your fall, and the attack on the mortals, the attack on Jotunheim.”

“Were they given explanation when Thor attacked Jotunheim? His banishment? Or was the story only spun that I stole the throne, even though it is I that saved Thor and the Warrior 3 by informing Heimdel of our intentions? Of course not, that was all but swept under the rug…” he swiped angrily at his leaking eyes.

“Loki, that was…handled poorly, I will admit to that…if you allow me to merely glance at your memories we can move forward.”

Loki was shaking now, the thought of such an invasion making his stomach lurch.

“Why can’t you just say what is is? Huh?” Tony snapped, “You’re the fucking King right? Then just say he’s telling the truth, you shouldn’t have to violate his mind just to have a look see.”

“You will have respect when speaking to me mortal,” Odin bellowed but Tony didn’t back down.

Tony laughed darkly, “Look old man, I only respect people that are worthy of it, and you buddy? Are anything but…”

“Tony, stop,” Loki warned, voice low, his eyes turned back to Odin, “I wish for mother to be here, and it will be brief…you are not allowed to see all my memories…there are things that I wish never to relive. Even with my freedom in question…”

“Very well,” Odin answered, making a move to the door of the bedroom before turning back around, “Loki, I am doing this for your benefit. I know you do not believe me at the moment, but I hope in careful time you will. And if I had thought, if even for a moment, that you were in the hands of that monster? I would have brought you home, and everything that had happened before would have mattered not.”

Loki said nothing, eyes dropping to the floor.

After Odin had left, Tony turned Loki around carefully, both hands on his hips, “You don’t have to do this, that isn’t fucking fair to you. You were barely able to tell me what happened I don’t think dick bag should get to search around your head for a truth he already believes.”

“It is the only way, he will not back down,” Loki sighed watery like, “And I wish only to leave this place. With both of you intact,” he took one of Tony’s hands and pressed it to his stomach with both of his own hands.

Tony closed his eyes, leaning his forehead to Loki’s, “I still think it’s wrong.”

 

Odin returned with Frigga close behind, brow furrowed in distress, lips thin in obvious distain, “Loki dear, how are you feeling?”

“Better Mother, thank you,” he easily fell into her arms as she pressed a kiss to his temple.

“Are you sure you’re well enough to do this? Even though I have deemed it wholly unnecessary,” she glared at her husband, guiding Loki to the couch and sitting him down.

“Not particularly, but I would much rather get it over with and be on my way.” He had yet to make any kind of contact with his foster father.

“I’ll be quick and brief, I need only a glimpse of the Titan,” Odin spoke low and soft, a tenor Loki remembered from childhood and it caused him to tremble as much in fear as heartbreak. That day his lineage was revealed, so abrupt, so bluntly done and then Odin collapsing leaving Loki with so many questions he felt ill. And therein the true rage began. He laid back to the couch, heaving a shaky sigh and closing his eyes.

“Take a breath son,” Odin nearly whispered, before placing two sets of fingertips on his temples.

It was like spindling black and red light behind his eyelids, and for a moment he was on that rock once more.

Naked. Tied down arms high above his head, legs tight just as taut, effectively keeping him from being able to wiggle even an inch. Restricting him from moving away from the blades that sliced into his torso, or the whips that came down mercilessly against his bare back. Flashes of clawed hands and growling voices, and then the monstrous face of Thanos grinning seemingly wider with each scream that was torn from Loki’s throat.

Loki had felt consciousness beginning to wane, and that was always when it stopped, if only for a moment and his body’s natural response was to gather magic and heal. But he knew well enough that he was not broken down enough yet, there were not enough snapped bones and exposed muscle.

Thanos face appeared above his own, “Are we having fun yet little godling? You are aware that I’m only getting started. The more you resist, the worse it will be for you and since not a living thing is looking for you…pathetic runt of Jotunheim, this will go on as long as I wish.”

Loki coughed, rivets of blood trickling from his mouth, “I-I know n-not what you want. Your creatures have asked…v-very few questions.”

Thanos grabbed harshly at Loki’s face with one thick fingered hand, strong enough to break his jaw, “You know pathways that no other creature knows of. You have knowledge of the in between, how much longer can you endure before you grant me access to Asgard? I wish it to be the first realm to fall and it would be all the more satisfying if it be the former son of the great Odin All-Father. So what shall it be? More of this?” he waved his hands around, “I will assure you these creatures do not tire, and do not need rest. They will get from you what I wish.”

“I-I will not yield,” he swallowed, and it burned from lack of water and screams.

“Then you will be sorry,” Thanos growled in such a way that the air vibrated with his rage, he was leaned close once more, lips brushing Loki’s ear, “Son of no one, son of nothing, you will be here always, because no one wants you, no one has ever wanted you.  No one is coming, you are mine.”

Loki bit back the whimper that trickled from his chest, he clenched his eyes shut.

“Break all his bones, every last one, and then you do as you wish. We’ll see how long this will last Odinson.”

The chitauri were all at his side once more, and then there was nothing but white streaks of pain. Pain that he had no idea existed until now.

 

“Enough!” Loki was aware of Tony’s presence, of the removal of Odin’s fingertips on his flesh, and also recognized that it was Tony’s voice that broke the blinding memory. And he was gasping for air and suddenly remembered he had been screaming, desperately so, “Breathe babe, breathe, you’re not there. You hear me? Mom’s here too.”

“Yes, Loki, can you hear my voice?” his mother’s silky tone joined Tony’s.

“Y-Yes,” he croaked with spent cries, barely knowing it as his own voice, “I-I feel sick…”

“Deep breaths darling,” he felt her palm to his forehead and the comforting flow of her magic rippling over the surface of his flesh, soothing his stomach to still.

It took a few more moments before he requested to sit up, he did not expect to see Odin, now sitting on the couch next to where he sit, head in hands and breathing harshly. Perhaps more harshly than he had before.

“Is that not enough?” Loki croaked, despite the shock of Odin’s slumped form, “I do not think I can handle…” his words were cut short with arms suddenly around him, he had barely seen Odin rise from the neighboring couch. He was sure he’d given an undignified squawk, the embrace was brief, as if Odin could sense the immense discomfort the touch brought about. He moved away, but only far enough to kneel in front of him, one hand still placed on his face.

“Oh Loki, if I had had any idea that you endured this…for over a year I would not have…I would not have brought you here as I did. I would have sought you out in a better manner…a manner that assured you that I am and will always be your father.”

Loki felt a bubble of anger lurch from his chest, “You were quick enough to disown me merely days ago, what difference does it make now?”

“I am a stupid fool, I acted only in anger, this I swear Loki,” he dropped his hand, “And you protected your home…even when I made you think that it no longer was that…home. I am proud of you…”

Loki gulped loudly, “This isn’t fair…to say these things to me now…”

“I-I know that,” Odin’s tone softened, “I am not foolish enough to believe that you would forgive me. But I say this now, whether you believe it to be true or not, that I am proud of you and proud to call you my son.”

“You’re right…I-I don’t believe you…where were these words years before. I needed to hear such things in my youth…” he was shaking bad now, wanting to run from the man kneeling before him. They were the right words, everything he had wanted to hear, but it just seemed wrong at the moment. He wanted to run, but he couldn’t.

“I will not push you son, perhaps in time we can sit down and truly talk. For now, I shall leave you be.” He rose from the floor and almost out of some old not-dead instinct he combed the hair away from Loki’s glistening eyes, “You are free to return to Midgard, but I do hope you will return to Asgard…I hear we are expecting a grandchild and I would very much like to meet the little one.”

Loki said no more after that, watching Odin leave the bedroom. His eyes began to run now as soon as the door closed, “I understand not,” he said barely above a whisper.

“Your father is everything that is stubborn, my child, he can be cruel even, but at his heart he is good. I would not have married him if it were any different. You rest now, you and the babe need it.” she kissed his cheek and left Tony and Loki alone, “You worry no more about Odin…you will come to him when you’re ready.”

It was a long time before either spoke as Loki simply slumped against Tony, “Well that went…nothing like I thought it would.”

“That makes two of us…” Loki murmured against Tony’s collar bone, “I wish to leave as soon as we can.”

“Anything you want babe,” Tony held him close, relief thrumming through his chest, he turned his head just slightly enough to kiss his lips, “I love you and I’m proud of you, ya got more guts than anyone I know.”

Loki scoffed, face softening, “I love you as well.”

 

Frigga followed her husband into their chambers, “Frigga, I have been such a fool.”

Frigga only gave him a soft smile, not forgiving but infinitely kind, “You should listen to me more often. Husband, I must ask you something,”

“Yes?” he sat down to the bed, face back in his hands and taking an exhausted breath.

“You are the one that gave Loki his glamour, a glamour that I was not even aware of one that hid his true gender. Given the nature of his current state, I have researched exhaustively so to find his mother. You are the one that found Loki, surely you must know. I know not how his pregnancy will progress, I must obtain knowledge of his lineage.”

Odin’s eyes met Frigga, “His mother is dead.”

Frigga’s brow deepened, “At the battle of Jotunheim when you found Loki? I found no record. How do you know that? Did Laufey speak to you on this matter?”

“Yes,” Odin shook his head, “And it is far more complicated than that, his Mother did not die on that day.”

 

Chapter Text

Loki was true to his word when he said he wanted to return to the tower as soon as possible. He’d slept very little that night, or any at all, that Tony noticed because he was just as restless. He was wholly expecting, along with Steve, Clint, and Thor, that Loki would be detained. Thankfully he was not, and although Loki’s mother came by Thor’s bedroom and bid him goodbye sending him away with a bag of medicine to help with the ailments accompanied with pregnancy, saying she had business to attend to, neither one of them saw any of Odin. Loki said he was relieved, he wanted no more talk with his foster father, even with his admission of fault, it was far from enough.

The ride on the bifrost made Loki especially sick, he found himself nearly fainting when they arrived on the roof of the tower, so much so both Tony and Thor had to hold him upright.

When Loki stumbled, Tony simply scooped him up in his arms, “Don’t complain, you’re dead on your feet, besides, you love it,” he smirked, feeling an immense relief with being home as he headed to the elevator.

“Shit, I’m not gonna lie, that place is crazy beautiful, but so medieval it’s scary,” Clint commented, cracking his neck to the side, “Do you guys not believe in modern politics? Jesus…”

“Clint,” Steve scolded.

“Oh, come on Dad, even you thought that was wrong even with your whole star spangled banner bullshit.”
            Steve scowled loudly, “Of course I did! I just…didn’t wanna offend Loki, it is his home after all. He’s upset enough as it is.”

“Not anymore, so no offence taken Hawk,” Loki murmured, resting his head on Tony’s shoulder, eyes closing.

“Well, I’m shot, I’m probably gonna sleep for twelve or so hours,” Clint answered simply as he exited the elevator to his own bedroom, “Just givin’ you the FYI Nat will be here probably in the next couple days.”

“Is that going to be a problem?” Tony asked, eyebrows raised.

“Nah, no more than usual,” and he disappeared.

“Same here, I mean, as to sleep,” Steven replied, but not before resting a hand to Loki’s shoulder, “Get some rest huh? I think everything should be calmer from now on, and just remember, we’re here, got it?”

“Thank you Steven,” Loki smiled with a small nod.

“Sleep well brother,” Thor added.

Tony carried him into their bedroom, “You wanna clean up first? You still have clothes on that are triple your size.”
            “Yes, I’d like that actually,” Loki mumbled and instead of the bed Tony headed towards the large bathroom, “Bath or shower?”

“I’m aching…so a bath would suffice…and not alone, please, that is if you don’t mind,”

“I gotta say, that trip isn’t easy, like a roller coaster on LSD, coupled with squirrels, so I’ll go with a bath too. I knew I bought this huge thing for a reason.” Merely sitting on the edge of the tub, he balanced Loki on his lap and started the water, “I have GOT to fatten you up sweetheart, you’re taller than me by miles, no wait, then you’ll be able to toss me with ease when I piss you off.”

Loki chuckled softly, “Run the water mortal,”

“There’s that sass I love, yes my liege, you want bubbles?”

Loki smiled, eyes shining, knowing that he was catering to his comfort level. Even more when Tony lowered the lights during their love making. It wasn’t just a joke, Tony knew he wanted coverage with even the slightest mention of nakedness, “Again, yes, if you don’t mind,” and Tony obliged, dumping some substance that produced that very thing. An immense wall of bubbles grew within no time.

“You play act all you like, but you like being pampered,” Tony was smiling, working on Loki’s already loose fitting clothes in the low light, “Big brother definitely is not the candidate for hand me downs.”

Loki allowed Tony to undress him, given that his limbs were less than accessible, he could barely walk. But it was coupled with being so comfortable he found himself wanting to fall asleep standing. For the first time in over a year he felt safe. So very safe. And as odd as it sounded, it made him want to sleep for days. Tony lowered him into the fragrant water as gently as he’d ever done anything and quickly as he’d set him to the water he was joining him and gathering him close, “You okay babe?” he asked, crossing arms across his chest, one hand splayed against his belly.

“For now, yes, I’m alright. I’m away from him,” Loki sighed, leaning his back more tightly up against his lover.

“I want you to relax,” his hands wondered over his torso, over his chest, down his arms in continuous gentle stroking, “How’s junior doing?”

“As far as I know, well…he or she is happier here…I felt nothing but nausea in Asgard…but here, it seems to have calmed.”

“Well yeah, this is where daddy is from, blueberry is naturally happier here,”

“Don’t call it that,” Loki laughed.

“Why not?” he held Loki closer, kissing his neck nuzzling in a way that tickled, making Loki laugh, “My little mini blueberry, just like mama, beautiful and perfect.”

Loki laughed but it was watery, “How can you say such things, you haven’t a clue of what this will become.”

“Sweetheart,” Tony huffed, gathering up warm water and scooping it over Loki’s chilling arms, “I don’t care if it’s blue, green, red, and eight legged, it’s our baby. Our little Stark…or ya know…whatever we decide to call it. But it’s our baby.”

Loki tried to tuck the sobs that wanted to erupt from the depths of his belly, “You are ridiculous…but I love you…”

“I don’t care what it takes, this is our family, we’ll be happy. Can you just trust me on that? I know it won’t be easy, but I’m not going anywhere, got it babe?

“Yes,” Loki sighed, his hands resting over his naked belly over Tony’s protective hands, “And I trust you…more than I have any other creature or being.”

Tony pinched his sides gently, “That’s my little bean in there and I’ll fight to the death for it, got it?”

“You are everything that is ridiculous,”

“Sure,” Tony murmured, kissing his cheeks.

Tony gently washed him, even against his own objections, and removed him from the bath and returned him to the bed, toweling him off and dressing him in clothes that actually fit.

“In bed,” Tony ordered, “How much have you actually slept?”

“I’m not sure.”

Tony scoffed, pulling covers up to Loki’s chin, but Loki wasn’t having it, he pushed the blankets away and tackled Tony to the bed, “You are deceptively strong, anyone ever told you that?” his words were swallowed up by Loki’s mouth, “Hey,” he said between kisses, “Who was it that was so tired they could hardly walk a few minutes ago?”

“This does not require walking,” Loki countered diving back down again.

“However, it does require energy sweetheart, and you’re wrecked.”

And as Tony predicted, Loki deflated, slumping against him quite unceremoniously still delivering lazy kisses to his chest, and he groaned, “I wish to love you now, it’s been so long since we have,” he huffed loudly, “Yes, I am tired…”

“Told ya,” Tony chuckled, gathering him close, “We’ll catch up tomorrow, I promise. For now, sleep, or the threats will start.”

Chapter Text

 

Tony awoke to fingers dancing on his chest and quiet humming, close to singing, “Hey you,” his voice croaked, thick with sleep, “How’d you sleep?”

“Wonderfully, and yourself?”

“Probably better than I have in weeks, you feeling better? No dizziness?”

“Gone, for the most part as far as I can tell. I believe you promised me something last night?”

Tony managed a soft laugh, “Only if you’re feeling up to it,” he was answered promptly with Loki suddenly straddling him.

“Oh, I assure you, I am quite fine,” he was already nuzzling in between the space between Tony’s neck and shoulder and with just the hint of teeth that made Tony shudder from head to toe.

He sure recovered quick enough, Tony thought inwardly, and before he knew it their clothes were gone, so abruptly Tony squawked, “Hey! I like stripping you down, this is just lazy.”

“I am in a hurry, and I wish not to mettle with clothing,” he was diving back down and devouring Tony’s mouth.

And Tony would have responded with something snarky, but Loki’s tongue was too enticing against his own. The lean, lithe body fitting perfectly as they pressed chest to chest. He managed to distract Loki long enough with gentle nips that had him sighing in contentment, so as to roll him effortlessly onto his back. It was as if they’d never stopped doing this, no months and months of lost contact had changed things between them. Especially when Loki was craning his neck as if in silent order to touch him there, and Tony obliged licking one long strip up from the dip in his throat past the pulse. He made slow, achingly slow progress from one side of his neck to the other, tracing one shell of his ear with the tip of his nose before sucking one earlobe into his mouth.

Loki groaned obscenely, visibly shuddering, “Do you make it your goal to make me sound so idiotic?”

“Always babe,” Tony grinned, working his hand now below his waist retracting the same reaction as Loki’s head tilted backwards once more, eyes pinched shut.

Tony took his time, as he always did, even when Loki was worked into a frenzy and near shouting for him to get on with it. And just when Loki was writhing and whining, fresh out of insults, Tony did get on with it, and Loki wrapped around him bringing him closer, bucking his hips in a way that had Tony seeing stars himself. And always, as of late, Tony’s favorite part was the after high, where Loki would go completely lax to the bed. Pink mouth slightly parted and panting, and he kissed along his jaw until his relaxed and closed eyes would blearily open enough to focus, and best of all, that slight silly smile would grace those lips.

 

Loki dozed after they cleaned up, gathered up in Tony’s warm embrace. But he had slept enough, however Tony was completely dead to the world. This worried Loki, he came to the realization that Tony had slept hardly at all in the last few days. How could he have found time? Loki smiled kissing his brow, lingering there for a moment before heading into the bathroom to take a quick shower. His stomach was growling, the baby inside demanding food no doubt. Idly Loki thought that Tony would indeed get his wish of ‘fattening’ him up eventually. In fact, he didn’t know what his body would do to accommodate the changes. One thing he was for sure, he would get fat, that seemed the simplest of ‘pregnancy’ facts. Even with his lack of knowledge on the subject. He wondered into the kitchen, rummaging through the fridge, then the freezer, when he closed the door he did not expect to come eye to eye with the red head he’d spoken to months ago. For a moment, instincts to defend washed furiously over his features, hand falling without thinking to his flat belly, “Lady Romanoff, it is a pleasure to make your re- acquaintance.”

“I’m sure it is,” she pursed red lips, nearly equally the color of her signature hair, one dark brow rose in unison. “So, is this your new play? Gaining everyone’s trust?”

“There is no play,” he kept his chin high, one dark eye brow of his own arching, “Even your Hawk believes me, I dare say that speaks volumes.”

“Well, I had to talk to you myself, you are the trickster after all, aren’t you?”

“I have always been, as my brother would put it, mischievous, but I have no recollection of those tricks turning into world domination. What would I have to gain conquering your planet? From my meager observation it is failing itself…I was coerced, and I am still not quite sure of Thanos intentions. Besides the tesseract, even I am not knowledgeable of its powers.” He unconsciously took a step backwards.

“Skittish?” she smirked.

“Hardly,” he snapped, “I am merely attempting to avoid an altercation…I wish not to have such a thing happen in Tony’s home.”

“Oh, Tony is it?” her eyes went as wide as the spies’ were allowed, “Wait a minute, are you two together?”

“And if we are?” Loki countered, anger suddenly bubbling in his chest.

“Well, well, so Stark’s door swings both ways…or three ways, given that you aren’t just a dude. You’re an alien dude, or god, or whatever…” she crossed her own arms, her stance less defensive looking, she even leaned sideways to the counter top, “I just have to warn you, I worked for him, I saw more than I cared to see. He doesn’t commit, I think the man is incapable of doing so, he just sees a good lay.”

“Our relationship is a bit more complicated than that,” Loki felt sick at his stomach, the emptiness churning.

“Tony is not complicated,”

“I don’t believe you understand him as much as you think you do,” Loki growled, he was again without thought rubbing his stomach.

“Unless you changed him in the last couple months, I’ll believe it when I see it. I mean the only way I could see him actively involved with a partner is if he’d screwed up and it’s not like he can knock you up, then he would be trapped. Right?”

He found his eyes suddenly watering over, “Oh is that so? Knocked up? I am understanding that this means to impregnate? Yes?”

Her brow furrowed, “Uh, yeah, but not like…wait…are you suggesting?”

“I am not suggesting Lady Romanoff, I am saying that I am,” he was clenching his jaw to the point of painful.

“That is fucking… impossible,” and she was studying Loki’s suddenly hardened face, but couldn’t find the lie, couldn’t see the tic that would prove that he was making some bullshit story, “That is impossible! What kind of freak trick are you playing?”

“Aren’t you the one that can detect any lie? The perfect interrogator? Even in my mind control you detected my plan?”

“Hey guys, oh mornin’ Loki, so you’ve met Nat!” Steve interrupted in his ever cheerful tone, dressed in sweatpants and workout shirt, casually he reached into the fridge, grabbing a bottled water. It was only then that he noticed Natasha’s flustered demeanor, hands pressed firmly to both hips, “What’s wrong?”

“This freak says he’s pregnant with Tony’s kid!” Natasha spat, pointing one finger, “That shit can’t be true!”

“Hey!” Steve snapped, eyes cutting into Natasha, “Don’t call him that… wait, what? Loki…you’re---you’re just messin right? I mean you can’t do that right? You’re a guy.”

Loki felt lightheaded, enraged, and embarrassed in one fellow swoop, “If you would recall Captain, I am not merely a man, I am…of a different species…”

“So it’s true?” Steve asked again, brilliant blue eyes comically wide, “You’re uh, gonna, you and Tony?”

Loki was trembling now, throat working convulsively, “Y-Yes, I am a freak, as she says…it wasn’t…something….that I was aware could occur…” and something terrible entered his head. Humans had no concept with this, even less so than what his Mother knew. He had been so stupid, why would he blurt something so precious aloud? What if someone tried to take him? The baby? The perfect experiment.

Loki was suddenly aware of the Captain’s voice, and a warm hand on his elbow, “Loki, hey, hey, it’s okay. No one’s gonna hurt you, Nat here just has a piss poor way of approaching anything that doesn’t have somethin’ to do with combat.”

“W-What?” Loki thought he might have croaked.

“You look like you’re gonna faint on me, come on,” and he was leading him into the living room, guiding him to the couch, one hand still on his arm.

His breathing was too fast and his skin was chilled and clammy without permission, he had half a mind to alert Jarvis to get Tony. But he held his tongue, already feeling like a dumb child.

“Breathe,” Steve reminded him, and then a hand was on his back patting gently.

“I’m a freak,” he choked.

“Stop it Loki,” Steve reprimanded, “You’re not a freak…you’re just different. One thing that taught me that was when I was introduced to gods and aliens…and all that…there’s a bigger world out there that I don’t understand. This may be…uh…a little weird…but it’s good weird…I mean something good comes out of it, right?”

Loki stifled a sob, “Y-Yes, I mean, Tony is happy…”

“See? Good weird, very good weird. Man, I haven’t held a baby in ages…are you happy? I mean with all this?”

“I-I don’t or I mean I wasn’t sure at first but Tony assured me that this would work. So I dared myself to feel joy because of it…but that, at least in my experience, leads to disaster,” Loki answered, both hands splayed on his stomach now.

“Well, we’ve got your back, and don’t listen to Natasha…she’s just…well, a realist, so that was her shock talking. Clint is always talking about what a great gal she is, so I think that was just shock, got it? And please stop calling yourself names, huh?”

Loki narrowed his eyes in thought, just enough to allow a tear to release, he moved off the couch and perched himself within the confines of the bay-like window, “I have ever been use to name calling, I suppose it comes naturally to me now, even as an adult.”

Steve turned to him, threading his fingers together, “Yeah, I know what that’s like, believe it or not. I was the lead target for bullying, everyday walking home from school was a battle…I didn’t always look like this. But look at it this way, you got a pretty powerful guy that, to even my own shock, would go to bat for you, would go up against anyone.”

“Thank you Steven,” Loki spoke barely above a whisper, “You have been so kind to me.”

“I’m your friend, right?”

Loki nodded, just a ghost of a smile, “Yes,”

It was then that Natasha finally appeared, “Look Loki…I…I’m sorry about all that, I was just trying to get a level on you. Gauge your response, I trust Clint, I do. But after everything he went through I had to make sure. And this,” she gestured aimlessly out with her hand, “Doesn’t make you a freak…I’m actually…kind of jealous…to a certain degree.”

“Jealous?” Loki tried not to squeak, “How in Hel’s name could you be jealous?”

She stumbled over her words, clearing her throat, “I just am, leave it at that. I can’t wait to see her or him…whatever it is…and after everything you’ve been through you should be happy.” She kept her opinion of Stark to herself, “So ya know, even though I am trying to wrap my head around the concept…congrats.”

Tony exited the bedroom, scrubbing at his eyes, “Jesus, what is it, noon? I’m up too early, hey there Natasha, how’s it in the spy business?”

“Gotta go,” and she was hurrying to the elevator.

“What the hell was that all about?”

“We know, about the…baby,” Steve broke the tension.

“Well there goes my sky writing plan!”

“I’m sorry Tony, I’m not exactly sure how she did it but I simply found myself blurting it out.” Loki was quick to apologize.
            “Loki, I’m not mad!” Tony hurriedly interrupted, smile on his face, “If I was it would mean I’m ashamed, and I’m not, so what do you think Capcicle?”

Steve halfheartedly rolled his eyes, “I told him I was happy for you guys. We’ve dealt with a lot of weird lately, it’s nice to deal with good weird for a change. So congratulations,” he stood and smacked Tony on the back, “I was just getting ready to go on a run, so I’ll see you two later?”

“Sure,” Tony replied, obviously shocked at his nonchalant reaction.

“See ya Loki,” Steve smiled and was gone as well.

“Hey,” Tony's tone lost all smirk as he joined Loki on the window sill, “You alright?”

“I did not expect to spat that information. I’m sorry,” Loki’s eyes dropped, “I’m not sure I was ready either. It was one thing that you knew, but the others…they will look at me differently…see me for what I am…”

“Ah!” Tony snapped, pressing two fingers to Loki’s lips, “No one talks badly about my honey or my baby, got it? Not even you, hot stuff,” he reached out and hooked both hands beneath the bends of Loki’s tucked knees and pulled him forward into his lap. They sat there in the warm sun for a few minutes of silence, “How about late breakfast? Anything you want,”

“I had gone searching for food to begin with, I did not expect an entourage,” Loki smiled softly against the flesh of Tony’s throat, “I want ice cream too.”

“Fuck yeah, we’re gonna eat like our parents are outta town, come on,” he stuck out both hands to pull Loki up, before wrapping an arm around his waist, “I am crazy interested in what your cravings are gonna be. I can so see you craving sardines and milkshakes.”

“That sounds positively nauseating,”

“Well, then maybe it’s just me that’ll crave that,” he grinned, settling Loki to a bar stool, putting them at eye level so he could bend down instead of up to kiss him.

Loki laughed, the tightness in his chest disappearing, “You are both ridiculous and disgusting.”

“How’s pancakes and ice-cream sound?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

After Loki’s initial sugar high and crash, the two of them were both in bed, mountains of blankets around them. Almost to a point where Tony teased him saying he was building a nest. They watched Netflix, settling on Downton Abbey and as always Loki went into critique mode, taking apart characters and plotlines. If they weren’t watching a documentary this was his MO. And Tony let him. They were interrupted by the rattling of the Stark tower, frames on the walls threatening to fall. Tony was about to utter ‘what the fuck’ and order Jay to deploy, but it happened enough for Tony to realize it was the bi-frost on his roof. A permanent Norse symbol on the concrete surface at this point.

Loki knew of the source of the sound as well, hardly giving a flinch as he got out of bed and replacing his sweats and T with a loose tunic and green shirt. More or less it was his ‘lazy’ garb of Asgard. Jarvis announced that it was Frigga that had arrived, and as it had been lately, Tony had allowed her access into the building without needing to confirm every time she arrived. So it was to no surprise that she was waiting in the living room when Loki and Tony exited the bedroom.

“Loki, dear, how do you fair?” Frigga smiled warmly, moving quickly to gather him in her arms.
            “Well, I am well, have you found something? On my parentage?

Frigga’s smile faded, not quickly, but fast enough to make Loki’s stomach flip, “Yes, I believe so, but I’m not so sure that it is accurate.” She carried tomes in her arms, only two, “I found a fractured family tree chart that Odin found when he found you, it was left with you in fact.”

“And?” Loki began, green eyes narrowed.

“Darling, I wish not to upset you,”

“Lokes, maybe this isn’t a good idea,” Tony started, shaking his head.

“Just tell me,” Loki gritted out.

“It seems, or at least from what I have been able to gather, that…given your current state…it is completely possible that Laufey was your mother”

Chapter Text

Loki was well aware that he was staring, and sound seemed to be aptly drowned out from his ears. He was only vaguely aware that his hand was intertwined with his Mother’s. Her touch somewhere above his consciousness, smooth fingertips massaging the pulse of his wrist.

“I know this is a terrible shock, my dear, but…what happened, that wasn’t entirely your fault. It wasn’t as if he was a noble character. After all, he was intent on killing…”

Her words were drowned out by the swelling in his ears. Loki tried to swallow and failed, eyes cast downwards and heart lurching, “I killed…the person that gave birth to me…is that what you are saying…” the words that Odin had spat were reeling in his head now. “Laufey’s son” he didn’t say ‘father’ he didn’t say ‘mother’ and then Loki felt sick, would it have mattered? In his mad state, would any of it have mattered, knowing that Laufey had given birth to him? Left him to die? Cold on that rock, and even though Loki could visually recall the memory. He remembered the feeling. Perhaps that was a Jotun thing, he wasn’t sure. But he could feel that deep seeded memory of ‘come back’ ‘where are you going?’ as he lay on that frozen rock. And as soon as he’d made true eye contact with Odin, he felt safe, wanted, loved. And that had been all that mattered, “D-Do you know why he left me there?”

“There is no record sweetheart,” Frigga spoke softly, “I know only what Odin has told me, that he found you…it musn’t have been much time between birth that you were left there. I know not why he left you there. Nor, do I know if your birth father knew of what occurred. I’m almost certain that your birth father thought you dead…there is new power in Jotunheim…”

“I care not of that!” Loki spat, chest heaving, “I feel sick…” he fled from the living room, through their bedroom and into the bath, barely making it to the toilet. He heaved deeply, painfully for a long time, until it was nothing but bile. He was only finally aware of Tony’s presence when he felt a cool cloth pressed to the back of his neck.

“Deep breath, here, swish and spit,” Tony handed him a paper cup filled with water. He did as told. He closed the toilet, and rested against the top, head resting against his folded arms.

“You wanna lie down?” Tony offered, one hand running up and down his back.

“Yes,” was Loki’s short reply.

Tony helped him up from the floor and guided him to the bed, he kept quiet because honestly, he couldn’t think of anything to say. He situated him on the mussed bed, every now and then stroking back damp strands of his hair, “Loki, all of this, doesn’t change…shouldn’t change…how you think about yourself.”

“Yes, it does,” he answered curtly, “What makes you think that I’ll be any better of a parent? Huh? My mother gave birth to me, and in minutes, still covered in blood no doubt, left me to die.”

“Hey!” Tony snapped, “Quit defining yourself by other’s actions. I know damn well you already love this kid. I can see it in your eyes. You don’t even realize how much you pet your own stomach. Does that sound like someone that would leave their baby in the cold?! Fuck no, you’re gonna be a great mom because you have shitty ass examples to live by. You didn’t deserve that…no more than I deserved my childhood. We are gonna be awesome parents, we’ll love it probably more than we can handle.” Tony was surprised by the choke in his voice, he leaned forward and pressed both lips to Loki’s forehead, “I love you more than I can even understand. I know this is a shock…but don’t…don’t do that to yourself. Got it?”

Loki huffed, eyes now pouring without even caring, “Why must it be this way? Why can’t I be normal?”

“Babe…no one is normal…it’s just the hand we’re given. From what I hear he was a pretty shitty dude…maybe your real dad is cool. Not that I’m saying you need to talk to him, but maybe someday, if you do it’ll make things better.”

“How…” Loki groaned, face disappearing into the pillow.

“If he didn’t know you survived, how happy would he be if he knew you did. Your mom, I mean Frigga, seems to think he’s a good guy…maybe Laufey was just one lone asshole. I know if I had a kid out there…I’d wanna know how they were, if they were okay.” Tony sighed, kissing the top of his head.

“May I have a moment alone, please,” Loki mumbled behind the covers.

“Sure, you need anything give Jay a holler,” he kissed his buried head once more and left the room.

~~~~~~~~

Reluctantly Tony left Loki alone and returned to the living room, Frigga was already rising from the couch of which he put a hand out, “He wants to be by himself for a while…” he didn’t wanna add ‘he’s okay’ because no, he wasn’t okay.

“I wish to bring his blood here, if it is possible, with your approval of course. Loki needs to meet his brothers and father…”

“So you know who his dad is?” Tony asked, glancing back at the bedroom door.
            “Yes,” Frigga sighed, “Yes I do, and I know for a fact now that he is not aware of Loki’s existence.”

“What if that’s a good thing?” Tony spat.

“Farabuti seems to be a fair ruler, Asgard has had no problem dealing with him as of late. He seems only that of one that seeks peace…him and his sons are not hostile…warriors from Asgard have visited Jotunheim and have met with no harm. I think it best, Anthony, that Loki meets with them. They are his family…if I thought them a threat I would not suggest it.”

“Uh, why is that a good idea?” Tony asked wide eyed, he knew he suggested ‘someday’ but now? The thought made his stomach lurch, “The last time Loki met with these people was mayhem am I right? He’s pregnant, vulnerable, I don’t think it’s a good idea right now. I don’t want him hurt…and that could very easily happen…”

“Thor and I would be here,” Frigga began, “I do not think they would mean him harm. Laufey seemed to be the only hostile of their family. They are ruling much differently now…”

“Ma’am…uh…Lady Frigga…again…Loki is pregnant…I don’t think now is the best time to delve into the family tree…maybe after…”

“Now is the best time,” Frigga argued, voice firm, “We kept Loki’s parentage from him for far too long, he should have known from the start. Look where secrets got him. He needs closure, he needs answers to his family tree. And only by uniting them will we achieve this. Anthony, I know you’re concerned, but Loki needs this. I know it.”

Loki appeared in the bedroom doorway, “What, what is it that I need?”

“To meet your blood family, dear,” Frigga countered without hesitation, “I can bring them here.”

“Why would I need to speak to them?” Loki tried not to growl, arms crossed around his middle.

“Because I know you darling, you wish for closure, and these people are the only ones that can do such a thing. They are your blood,”

“That and only that. How are you not so sure that they will kill me on sight? Do they know of Laufey’s death?” Loki was still standing, definitely so, hand finding his stomach unconsciously, “I practically lured their people into war.”

“Odin has smoothed all of that since…well since your disappearance. As I was telling Anthony, Farabuti is a fair ruler. Has never caused any trouble, nor have his sons. I do believe he would be grateful to know you are alive. He thinks you dead.” Frigga spoke softly, moving to Loki’s side, taking both of his trembling hands in hers’, “I would never suggest something that would bring you harm, child.”

“I’m aware of that,” Loki grumbled, stomach still doing flip flops.

“I know this has caused you pain, I know, but there is a way to make things right. You trust me, yes?”

“Y-Yes,” Loki inhaled unevenly.

“I will arrange it, soon. I will send for your brother to accompany me.”

Loki shifted side to side, “You do know Odin will be furious,”

“I care not of his wishes at the moment, I only care of yours.” She leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek.

 

 

The leftover hum of the bifrost had Loki staring forward, eyes glassy and almost lifeless.

“Hey Kiddo,” Tony murmured, near soundless, hand finding Loki’s shoulders, he worked fingers gingerly between the taut muscle and with a heavy sigh, kissed the nape of Loki’s neck, “That wall can’t be that intriguing,” he smirked.

“I merely want things simple, how hard is that to achieve? I feel…stupid…out of place…as if I never belonged anywhere at all,” he grimaced, trying his best to meld into Tony’s touch.

“Loki…normal…I don’t think either one of us will ever fit into that category…and that’s okay…I mean…I’m okay with that. Normal is boring, isn’t always easy, but at least we stand out. In  good way that is, no matter what you say.”

Loki snorted loudly, rolling his shoulders, “Sometimes you are a child yourself, you know not of the importance of being normal. You blend in, you’re less vulnerable.”

“Again, boring,” Tony added. “I know what I want,” he continued, “And if it’s unconventional as fuck I’ll take it.”

“You might not be saying this in a few months…or when you see my ‘brothers’. This baby will not be of Midgard. I doubt very much it will look the part. Tony…do…do you regret that?” he took a breath that was left loudly from his mouth, “Do you regret this happened...you didn’t…I mean you don’t think that I attempted to trap you? Trick you?”

Tony was near growling before Loki had it all out, “Why would you do that Lokes? I know enough that you were just as shocked by this as me…I knew…it wasn’t planned out. But damnitt I’m happy, got it?”

Loki bit his lip, eyes tearing, he nodded, “I know…this is so much for you…” he stopped, abruptly interrupted and gasped loudly, like he’d been punched.
            “What?!” Tony yelled without meaning to, hands out to brace.

Loki’s face broke, lips curled, and eyes began to run soundlessly but a smile appeared, “I felt it, like butterfly wings, I felt it inside.”

“You feel it?!” Tony squawked, smiling ear to ear, automatically pressing his palm to Loki’s abdomen, “Baby that’s fantastic!”

“I don’t think you can quite yet, it was a mere brush, but I felt it,” Loki hated that he was bursting into tears, but he almost didn’t care, and the events of the last few hours didn’t matter. The tiny life inside of him was reminding him it existed, and in more ways than he could count, he felt as if it were giving them some unspoken hope, “He or she…I feel you.” He cradled his abdomen, carefully between both hands. And with sobs working their way from his chest he vowed, ‘you will know only love, my darling child. Only love’. With that thought he allowed Tony to envelope him in his arms, holding him close and murmuring sweet nothings of ‘everything will be okay’.

Chapter Text

“Why do you need a passage to Jotunhiem?”

“Loki needs this, I need to make contact with his family,”

“At what cost?!” Odin growled, “You are not going, not now, not until I have my own diplomats intervene.”

“You only say this…”
            “I say this for Loki’s own good!” Odin shouted, his wife biting back her words, “He is in a vulnerable position, he’s emotionally exhausted.” He sighed. He was, quite vividly, remembering Loki in his younger years. How sensitive he was to the opinion of others. And he had only wanted to protect him, it had never been his intention of comparing him to Thor. He only wanted him safe by keeping him out of the harsher sports. Or sparring because he knew at the core it was magic that was Loki’s strength., “You will make no visit to the realm, by my order, until Thor deems Loki able to handle it. Dear, I have not been the father I should have been. But now, I will do right by my son and this is too soon. He is only now getting use to carrying a babe, having him meet…with these...creatures…will only stress him further.”

Frigga wanted to protest, even with the anger boiling in her gut at her husband’s brash words. But amongst all that she found herself smiling. She had not heard Odin speak of Loki in such a manner in a long time, not since he was a child, in fact, “This will happen though, eventually” she added, “Perhaps I was hasty,”

“More than that,” Odin chastised, “I know you mean well, but for now let it rest. He has had enough to handle as of late. Would you not agree?”

“Yes, I agree as well,” she gave a resigned sigh, hurting Loki was indeed the last thing she wished to do. And in all of the clamber of actually finding his family, Frigga knew she’d lost sight of what was important. She was fearful of the birthing process, and she knew that the Jotuns must know of a safe way to deliver the baby. But she supposed, at the very least they had nine months to decide.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Loki slept. And slept. And slept. A lot. Or that’s at least what it looked like. Ever since Frigga had left he would barely leave the bedroom. He cocooned himself in, and he would stay there for hours. Sometimes eyes closed without sleep and the majority of his bed stay was staring idly at the TV without really noticing what was actually playing.

Tony threatened him with Netflix denial, unless he ate. And at least with that threat Loki would eat like a man that was ravenous. Other times, at least when he was up and about, to Tony’s dismay, he was very zombie like. Replying in short one word answers. The only way he seemed to communicate was through touch, that at least, he responded to earnestly. Tony was thankful for that, even when he was staring blankly at the television, as soon as he leaned close, Loki would melt into his arms and instinctively cup both hands over his stomach.

The first and only Avenger to notice the change was Steve, he passed the living room, just getting back from a mission and noticed Loki on the couch. But not relaxed like, ridged, and taut.

“Loki, hey, you alright?” he asked, moving closer and almost immediately he noticed Loki was in the fits of a nightmare. He pressed a hand to his shoulder as carefully as he could.

“No!” Loki screamed, sitting bolt right up, hand clutching at his stomach.

“It’s just me!” Steve hollered, hands up.

“Where’s Tony,” Loki cried, without thinking, green eyes blazing and wet.

“Down in the lab I think, take a breath, Jay, get Tony,” Steve spat.

“They were taking it from me,” Loki suddenly sobbed, “And I couldn’t stop it, there was so much blood.”

“Loki, it’s okay,” Steve consoled, very gingerly sitting next to him and putting an arm around him because he knew he was allowed to, “There’s no one here that’s gonna hurt you or your baby.”

“So much blood,” he hiccoughed, unconsciously leaning against Steve, forehead thumping against one broad shoulder.

Steve’s heart was beating fast at Loki’s words, “Just a dream, got it? Just a dream, you’re safe, the baby is safe,”

“I’m afraid to be on my own,” Loki continued to sob, “I don’t know if I can do this alone.”

“Hey, hey, Tony would never leave you, never, stop it, please,” Steven’s grip tightened, “Loki, it was just a dream…” he didn’t even realize he was rocking the slighter man back and forth.

“Tired,” Loki murmured.

“I know; you haven’t slept at all the last few days even though you’ve haven’t really left the couch or your bed. I noticed. Close your eyes, I’ll stay nearby, it’s okay. Tony will be here soon,” And Steve kept his word, and held Loki until he heard the elevator ding, Loki was already drifting back to sleep.

“Loki?” Tony’s frantic voice appeared.

“Over here,” Steve ushered.

“What’s wrong?” Tony’s face was awash with fear.

“Bad dream,” Steve sighed, “He’s already dozing though.”

“Here, I’ll take’em, thanks Steve I appreciate it,” Tony said briefly as Steve moved Loki carefully into Tony’s arms, “I think I’m gonna take him to bed, why he insists on this couch I don’t know.”

“Sure Tony, I’ll see ya later,” Steve frowned as Tony easily scooped Loki up from the couch and carried him into the bedroom.

 

As Tony set him to the bed Loki stirred awake, “Hey kiddo, Steve said you had a nasty dream.”

“I couldn’t find you, you weren’t there.” His voice was still clogged with tears and he was thankful when he could see Tony removing his shoes to crawl into bed with him. As soon as Tony was close enough to grab, he was clinging and holding on for dear life.

“What do you mean I wasn’t there? In the dream you mean?”

Loki nodded, he inhaled unsteadily, “Svaðilfari was there…standing over me…and he had…he had our baby and said it was his.”

“Shhh,” Tony held slightly tighter, stroking Loki’s long, lean back, “It’s alright, he’s dead and gone. No one’s gonna hurt you, I won’t let that happen. You hear me?”

Loki only nodded sleepily and buried his nose in the nape of Tony’s neck, “Sorry…s’tired”

“I know baby, go to sleep, I’m right here. No more bad dreams,” he kissed the crown of his head and continued his gentle petting. Before he knew it Loki’s soft snoring was the only sound he was willing to recognize. If the last few days hadn’t worried him, this sure as fuck had him reeling.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

“Tony can I talk to you for a sec?” Steve interrupted the rapid tapping of Tony at a keyboard.

“Yeah, what’s up?”

“I’m worried about Loki, he seems…off,” Steve started.

Tony sighed, leaning back in the swivel chair, “Yeah, I’ve been worried too…I just, I don’t know, figured that he’s just stressed about everything that’s been talked about. He hasn’t had nightmares in weeks, and now, he has one about every other night.”

“Well, there’s another thing that I think you should know about,” Steve grabbed a chair and pulled it forward to be able to face Tony, “That day you saw Nat…she didn’t say nice things. I mean, I can understand her trying to get a read on him…but it was cruel, and I’m worried that Loki is carrying on those worries without telling you. He’s seems…so docile lately and I think you should know.”

“Why, what did she say?” Tony was leaning forward now, brow furrowed.

“I usually don’t eve’s drop but…she said that Loki was trying to trap you that he was just  a dime a dozen of the people you’ve…slept with…that it was all just a trick. She apologized later but…I don’t think he’s let it go and I also don’t think that he will talk to you about it. He seems to be set on ‘making nice’ with everyone. I mean, hell, he hasn’t snapped at anyone in days and that’s just weird.”

“Thanks Cap, I appreciate it,” Tony straightened his spine, fury sweeping in his gut, “I’ll talk to him.”

“Is everything okay? Is something going on?” he asked in earnest.

“It’s a long story that I’ll explain soon enough. But I think for the most part it’s just pregnancy hormones that’s all I can guess,” Tony offered with a forced grin, “I’ll talk to him.” He moved quickly from the kitchen to the bedroom where Loki was huddled under a mass of blankets, per usual.

“Loki,” Tony managed somewhere above a whisper, “Baby are you awake?” he moved underneath the covers with a sigh, finding the warm body quick enough.

Loki groaned when the covers were removed from his face, “W-What….”
            “We need to talk,” Tony said, rolling Loki from his side to his back.
            “Talk later, I’m sleeping,”

“That’s another thing, that’s all you do, babe, I know you’re stressed but this isn’t the way to deal. You have to talk to me, all these plans about your mom making you talk to your family is bullshit. You need time, plain and simple, it can wait. Second, we’re gonna talk about whatever Natasha said to you.”

With that Loki’s sleepy eyes opened, “What do you mean?”

“All this doubt she put in your head.”

“I-I felt it was nothing of import.”

“Of course it is of ‘import’ it made you feel shitty. Loki, you are not a burden, nor are you some one-night stand. I love you and our baby, and both of you are the best thing that has ever happened to me. Get that in your head right now!”

Loki flinched and his eyes teared up, “I was well aware of your relationship preference in the beginning…I felt as if…now, perhaps you might only be doing me a moral obligation.”

Tony huffed loudly again and pulled Loki close to him, “Never, you were and have never been a moral obligation. You make me happy, simple as that. I know you can’t seem to grasp that but you make me happy. The team, the company, none of that matters without you, and you having our baby only makes it better.”

“I apologize I…I didn’t know how to talk to you…about all of this and…” he fell against Tony burrowing against his chest, “My Mother’s insistence didn’t make it much better…I feel as though I need to please her as well.”

“Sweetheart,” Tony peppered kissed into his hair, “You need to think a little more about yourself. You and the baby. This isn’t good for you I felt it from the start. You’ll tackle that shit with your family when the time comes, but for now, it’s you, me and the kid.”

Loki’s eyes were burning, he nuzzled deeper, closer into the nape of Tony’s neck, “I don’t know who I am anymore.”

“You’re Loki, bad ass, motherfucker that doesn’t take shit from anyone. Especially when someone fucks with someone you love. Got it? That’s you,”

“I only want to be with you…to be in peace…I want not of this other…drama…” he snaked his arms around Tony’s waist until they were flush against one another, “I want peace…”

“And you’ll get it…no matter what is takes,” Tony answered gruffly.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It wasn’t as if he were waiting for the Spy to enter the kitchen, but then again he was. As soon as she was rummaging in the fridge Tony found himself uncharacteristically pouncing, “So you feel better about yourself?”

“Excuse me?” Nat began.
            “You could have just interrogated him normally but fuck no, you had to bring me into it and now he doubts how I feel about him. Let me tell you something right now, I love that man more than I have ever love anybody. Our baby included, it is not a mistake and he was not a one-night stand. Because of YOU I was forced to explain this to him and I should have not had to.”

“Tony, I have observed your behavior far too closely…”
            “No!” Tony snapped, cutting her off, “You don’t know who I really am, who I love and it’s none of your goddamn business. If you wanna stay on in this tower you’re gonna respect my privacy, and that includes Loki’s got it? Good!” and he left the kitchen.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As soon as he was out of the room, he realized he was shaking, not out of any kind of fear, even though the assassin could easily own him, but out of anger. He was frustrated, it seemed every time he got Loki in a good place someone sabotaged it. With that thought he returned to the bedroom, where yes, he found Loki fused to the bed. He carefully pulled back the main blanket around his top half and pressed a kiss to his forehead, “Hey, you awake?”

“In a manner of speaking…” Loki sighed loud and dramatically.

“Since you’re so set on not leaving your blanket fort, I’m gonna bring food to you, anything sound good to you?”

Loki shifted just enough to rest his cheek on Tony’s thigh and wound his arms around his waist. He mumbled something that Tony couldn’t quite decipher.

“Is that Loki speak for ‘Chinese’?” Tony chuckled, combing fingers through his dark hair.

“Yes,” he said a little more clearly, tightening his grip.

He almost commented on Loki’s lack of motivation as of late, but he thought, if the man wants to lie in bed for a few days and doze, who was he to judge? Loki had been through so much.

“How you dote on me,” Loki whispered, but loud enough for Tony to hear.

“Honor and a pleasure sweetheart,” Tony grinned, leaning forward and kissing his lips, lingering for a moment before kissing his belly, “Has he or she move much?”

“Not really, it was a fleeting moment, I have read that it happens now and then until the 3rd month, that is if this is anywhere close to a normal pregnancy. I did however think, it was letting me know it existed…and if it’s anything like you I’m sure it will get louder and gruffer much quicker than we anticipate.”

Tony laughed softly, “Don’t worry I’m sure I can calm the little blueberry down if he gets too rough.”

“I don’t expect anything less,” Loki took a much needed deep breath.

“I was thinking, once you’re feeling up to it that is, we could start planning to make the baby a room. I figured we’d have it right next door to ours, I mean I know it’ll be sleeping in here for a while. But ya know, thought it might be fun to start planning.”

“I hadn’t thought of that, as of yet that is, yes, I think I would like that,” and now Loki was smiling too, the doubts from the last few days ebbing away, “Weren’t you saying something about food?”

“Only if I get dibs on our next marathon, you have no plans to move do you?”

The grin did not leave his lips, “I suppose I can be generous for once, because yes indeed, I do not plan on moving.”

“Sounds like a plan, babe,”

Tony ordered food and set out plates, and he couldn’t remember the last time he was with someone where he felt so comfortable with, so calm. Even though their initial meeting over a year ago was anything but, after everything that had happened. To the both of them. There was a level of trust that Tony was only beginning to understand and a trust that Loki found he could no longer live without.

Chapter Text

“Babe, you out here?” Tony called from the doorway, rubbing a towel at his damp head, he’d left Loki in bed while he showered and returned to the bedroom to find him gone.

“Yes,” he heard muffled from the kitchen.

Tony stifled a laugh, Loki was sitting on the countertop, as usual, but in his lap was a carton of ice-cream, a box of Oreos and from what he could tell, three kinds of syrups, and yes, potato chips, “Cravings much?”

“I don’t understand it…I can be completely at peace, near asleep even…then it simply takes over and I’m hungry for very specific things,” he said between a mouthful of the sugary concoction, before chasing the ice cream with a chip.

“Blueberry wants sugar, blueberry gets sugar,” Tony chuckled, reaching out one thumb to catch ice-cream dripping on his lip, bring it to his own mouth, “Blueberry has good taste.”

Loki rolled his eyes, shaking his head, “I do wish you’d stop referring to our child as a tasteless piece of fruit,” he scolded, but in a good natured way, holding out a spoonful to Tony’s mouth.

Tony complied, leaning forward and emptying the spoon, nodding in approval, “Blueberries tasteless? Please, you haven’t had fresh then.”

“Well,” Loki huffed, continuing to eat with fervor, “I suppose I’ll made that judgment at some point…however fruit sounds detestable right now.”

Tony had read up some on pregnancy symptoms and he knew from said research that there were gonna be things that sent Loki puking, he just hoped he picked up on that fast,“So, I was thinking, how about we get the hell out of Dodge?”

“Pardon? Dodge?”

Tony smiled, “Get outta New York, I was thinking about Malibu I have a beach house there. We can be lazy, go swimming, I’ll feed you any crazy thing you want. I just thought it would be good to get you out of here. I feel like the tower is like some connection with stress for you.”

“That is not true, this is home to me. More than I would care to admit, as soon as you brought me here I felt at home.”
            “Yeah, but I still think we need to get away. Nobody but you and me, you need sun, more sleep and good food. Where better than Malibu? Besides, I haven’t brought you there yet and I want you to see our second home. When I’m not working that’s usually where I am, I want you to know that’s your home too.”

“But…it would be just you and I…what if something were to go awry?”

“Nothin’ is gonna go awry,” Tony argued, “Sun and fun, that’s it,” Tony pressed an open palm to Loki’s abdomen, “You need vitamin D sweetheart.”

“I won’t deny that it wouldn’t be nice to be away from everything…but I’m leery of that lack of protection…”

“I’ll have Steve come out and check on us, how’s that? I can even have him stay with us part of the time.” Tony knew that would be his weak point given that Loki had taken to Steve so fervently over the last few weeks.

“I suppose,” Loki sighed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It had taken some convincing, but Tony was able to get Loki to agree on the trip to Malibu. He was initially reluctant, the beach house feeling less ‘welcoming’ as he had put it. But here they were, lying on the beach, Loki thankfully stretched out, arms above his head, basking in the sun. Eyes closed and soft breathing, near dozing.

“Baby, you okay?” Tony asked mirroring Loki’s actions.

“Yes, this is quite pleasant,” Loki arched like a blissful cat, one hand cradling his tummy, eyes closed and breathing easy. The lapping of the waves was like a lullaby, the warm sand like a blanket, he instinctively leaned against Tony’s chest, “Thank you for taking me here. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it.”

Tony moved closer, wrapping around Loki’s body warmed by the sun, smelling salty and simply Loki, no adjective really worked to describe him, “No need to thank me, you need this. Sun is almost setting you wanna head up? I can have a warm bath runnin’ for you no problem. I know you don’t like to get cold in the evening.”

Loki smiled, eyes watering slightly without his consent. He was irritated his hormones took on such a strong role with the simplest of loving gestures. But then Loki would take note that he was never given these kinds of loving gestures, and it would make the tears that much fatter, much more apparent, “You noticed that?”

Tony grazed fingertips over his hairline and trailed until he was rubbing one earlobe between two fingertips, “Yeah, you get sleepy in the evening and that’s when you gather all the blankets into a kind of nest…I figured that’s when you wanna get warm, am I wrong?”
            “No, you’re not wrong,” Loki’s mouth turned in a frown.

“Hey, hey, what’s with the look?”

“I never thought someone would be so attune with my feelings…it’s a bit jarring…you know when I’m sad…when I’m happy…or distressed…no one has ever…” he tried to turn his head, feeling stupid at the swell of emotion in his chest.

“Lokes,” Tony sighed, taking his chin with two fingers, “Sweetheart, that’s my job, right?” he pulled Loki into his arms, kissing his forehead firmly and then his lips, “You haven’t had anyone be ‘attuned’ to your feelings for way too fucking long…you need catering to. You can plan on it from now on. I ain’t perfect but I’d like to think I know when you’re upset.”

When Loki straight up sobbed, chest hitching and loudly at that Tony felt anger for all the fuckers that didn’t pay attention to Loki’s needs, “Baby, baby, it’s okay, we’re all about relaxing, got it? How about a bath? I’d mention the hot tub but I read on how that isn’t good for the baby…gets you too hot or something.”

Again Loki found himself at a loss of words, “You read up on these things?”

“Well yeah,” he answered nonchalantly, “I’m trying to find things that make you relax, I have a hot tub but apparently it’s bad for baby carrying people. So before we got here I had a big fucking tub that’ll fit the both of us put on the porch, that is if you’re up to it.”

“That sounds nice, I’m achy, my back especially. I don’t seem to be showing yet, but all of this is trying on my muscles,” Loki sighed, falling against Tony’s willing frame, “My apologies for my…emotional state…I can’t control it, so it seems.”

“Don’t apologize, come on, let’s get you cozy,” Tony smiled, helping Loki up from the sandy shore, “Look at that I managed to get it in before we arrived, and,” he pressed a button by the door and the roof curled back revealing the steadily darkening sky, he was smirking the entire time, “I thought you might like to look at the stars,” And as he was saying this he ran the water, “This okay?”

Loki tested the water with fingertips, smiling as he did so, “Yes, thank you,”

“Well get in and I’ll give you a rub down, how’s that sound?” Tony was quickly removing his clothes and settling into the water and also his hands were spread out and playful eye brows waggling.

Loki laughed softly, removing his clothes and easing his way into the hot water, and without thought leaning towards Tony.

“That’s more like it,” Tony said, gathering Loki into his arms. Loki fell back against Tony’s frame allowing Tony to rest both hands against Loki’s stomach, “How’s it going blueberry?”

“Tony, I said,’
            “He or she will be completely cool with the name,” he laughed, caressing Loki’s stomach with careful, sure fingertips, “I can’t wait until I can feel it…are you sure it ain’t moving around right now?”

“I can feel it and even then it seems to be rare, but you cannot, not as of yet,” Loki exhaled, he closed his eyes, relaxing against Tony’s chest, hands resting over Tony’s hands.

“I wonder when I’ll be able to feel it kick,”

“Well, if it were human it would be at four months for that to happen if I’m correct, but since we’re hardly even at that I’m not sure…I am feeling it now and then…but….” He stopped talking in a way that made Tony interrupt.

Tony could feel the doubt curling in the air, of yes, just what the baby would look like, “Hey, I’ll feel it when I feel it…and I can’t wait,” and he was smiling, scooping handfuls of hot water over Loki’s shoulders and belly. With that action he started in with the muscles of Loki’s shoulders, “That okay?”
            “Yes, please don’t stop,”

“Yeah, I thought so,” Tony worked on his shoulders earnestly for a few long minutes before switching their positions in the water, taking one of his feet in his hands and kneading the soles.

“You are a god-send,” Loki moaned, head lulling back, “I wasn’t aware of how much my feet hurt but they do.”

“I got it kiddo,” he pressed both thumbs into the sole of one of Loki’s feet, “I told you, this is the epitome of vacation, just relax,”

“If this is vacation by all means continue,” Loki sighed, eyes closing.

“I have pizza and ice-cream for dinner tonight, is that sufficient enough for my pregnant God?”

Loki raised his head just enough to make eye contact, “Yes, as long as you keep up with your massage. Did you say ice cream?”

Chapter Text

Loki sighed happily against the mound of blankets he was currently wrapped up in, the sunlight was slowly eking in through gauzy curtains emulating a kind of heavenly glow. He had to remind himself where he was for a moment, heart palpating for only a moment, before his eyes fell on Tony curled beside him. Hair mussed and soft sleepy breaths moving from between his lips. He glanced around, looking for a clock, he knew it must be around 10 in the morning. And once he did find a clock he was shocked to see it was noon. He’d slept over 8 hours, that was unheard of in his experience, in fact he couldn’t remember the last time he hadn’t slept in four hour intervals. He was so warm, he was almost tempted to lie back against his nest, but he felt the baby flutter and then his stomach growl. Already so demanding, he thought but couldn’t help but smile.

“Hey, how long you been awake?” Tony’s gravel filled voice broke the new air.

“Not long, do you realize the time? That is unlike me, even in the best of circumstances,”

Tony took note of the red gleaming numbers saying 12 and only smiled, “Told you this was a good idea, this is what you needed, huh?”

“Apparently so, or the baby is simply zapping more of my energy than I care to admit. Speaking of which I require food, as she or he demands,” he leaned forward, kissing Tony’s brow before settling on his lips briefly.

“Sure thing,” Tony returned the gesture, “You want a shower first? I could use one,”

“Of course,” Loki smiled sleepily. He dragged Tony from the bed, eyes blinking still in focus. The showers here were even bigger than the ones in New York, “Just how many partners have you had in these stalls?”

“Not as many as you would think,” Tony chuckled, putting his face full into the stream of hot water, “I just like a lot of space, but you in my space is even better,” he pulled him close, mentally hating that he was taller than him. Lips only coming to the space of muscle between Loki’s neck and shoulder, hands wondering down to his belly, “Hey!”

“What?!” Loki near shrieked in response.

“You’re showing, look at that! A little bump,” he was running both hands over the tender flesh.

“Norns,” Loki groaned.

“What?! That means the little blueberry is growing, look at that,” he caressed the taut flesh with careful fingertips.

“Tony,” Loki warned, “It’s barely anything,”

“Says you, our baby is growing and I love it,”

“It means others will know, that’s what it means,” Loki frowned, eyes turning away.

“Loki, hey! Look at me, this is a good thing,” He bent and pressed lips to his stomach, “God this is awesome, hey baby,” he said with lips pressed against Loki’s belly button.

Loki couldn’t help but laugh, “I don’t think it cares of what you have to say at this point, it is only concerned with gaining size.”

“Pulease, we’re gonna have it listen to AC/DC and Metallica, it’s gonna love it, girl or boy when it comes out,” Tony was all smiles as he held his lover, “You’ll have your Daddy’s taste in music so help me,”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The next three days were everything Loki knew he needed, no stress whatsoever, and he felt safe. Tony had explained to him, one of the nights where he was sitting up in bed from a nightmare, drenched in sweat, sure that he had heard a disturbance in the house. After all he wasn’t as used to it as the tower, and some of the glass incased rooms of the mansion left him unsettled. He usually stayed put on the porch, the bedroom. The living room left him feeling exposed, even though the view was simply the ocean. Tony has assured him that he had completely updated security, filed through all the software, three times to make sure, that no one that they didn’t want in was gettin’ in. Loki’s heart had slowed at that, and he’d settling back against the bed in Tony’s arms, feeling much better.

So even though Loki’s heart began to thump harder once more when Tony announced he had to make a quick trip back to New York, he felt relatively safer at this new knowledge. And also the fact that Tony had asked Steve to visit their Malibu home and keep him company. Who would be there within the hour, so Jarvis said.

Tony was currently packing an overnight bag, Norse god stretched on the bed, near the suitcase, much too green eyes peering up at him, “Why can’t Miss Pepper take care of this? Why must you leave? We’re on vacation as you stated.”

“Lokes I won’t be gone long,”

Loki was pushing himself up, smartly imitating a cat, and closed the bag, tugging Tony forward by his tie, “We can be doing far more interesting things if you stay.”

Tony was sure Loki could see the flush and the goosebumps, “Loki,” he started but was interrupted swiftly by soft lips, and that perfect tongue brushing like velvet against the roof of his mouth. It was only when Loki’s nimble fingertips began working on untucking his shirt did he gently take Loki by the wrists, “Loki come on, don’t get me worked up, I gotta go.”

Loki growled, falling back on his knees, before head hitting the pillow once more, “Fine,”

“I’m sorry sweetheart, but I need to make an appearance every now and then so my investors and consumers know I’m still alive. I’ve been kind of incognito since the attack, and no!” he pushed fingers against Loki’s lips when his brow furrowed and his mouth scrunched up in the start of protest, “And I don’t mind being incognito, it’s with you, so it’s perfect. I’ll be back in a day, I promise.”

“Well,” Loki huffed, eyes on the bed now, long fingers fiddling with the sheets, “I suppose…”

“Hey,” he tipped Loki’s head up by his chin, and kissed him on the mouth, deepening the kiss for a moment as if to emphasize his point, “I won’t be long, and Steve will be here, you guys’ll have fun.”

Loki crossed his legs roughly, hands resting in his lap now, “I don’t need a babysitter, Anthony,”

Tony smiled, shaking his head at the fact that yes, Loki was actually pouting. Even for a bad ass Norse God he could pull out the lower lip and powerful use of guilt to get what he wanted, “It isn’t because I think that you can’t take care of yourself, quite the opposite. But your magic is increasingly on the fritz, and I want someone here to ya know…be here if you need someone. It’s not because you’re an infant, got it?” Tony kept to himself that Loki was going through these hormonal stages, where the simplest of things would send him into fits of paranoia or being down right heartbroken, and he would be damned before he left Loki alone with the potentiality of him having an episode. Who better than Steve? The man was just one built like a brick shit house teddy bear, and he seemed as aware of Loki’s moods as Tony. So even though it slightly made him jealous, he felt good about leaving Loki with him.

“Alright then…” Loki groused, scrunching his face up in a frown.

“We’ll finish this up went I get back, got it?” he kissed him once more and then pulled him forward in a hug kissing the nape of his neck.

Loki melted against him. Feeling sick and already missing him and then in the same breath, hating himself for being so worked up about Tony being gone merely a day at the most, “You best be quick about your affairs, I would not appreciate being neglected,”

“Of course babe,” Tony grinned, pressing lips into his hair, before resting them against his temple.

Tony timed his flight with enough time to quickly greet Steve before wrapping his arms around Loki one more time before climbing into the limo, “I’ll call you, got it?” he said from the open window. Loki stood on the steps for a few moments, arms wrapped around his torso out of nervous habit before returning inside.

“So how are you feeling? How’s the little guy…or gal?” Steve asked, setting his bag down in the living room.

“The baby, as far as I know, is fine. If my appetite and sleeping schedule is any kind of a report, I would say very well.”

“That’ll taper off, I mean, from what I know anyway,” Steve offered a smile, “You okay with me staying here? When Tony said he had business and asked me here I thought you might want your brother instead of me.”

Loki rolled his eyes with a scoff, “Please, the man annoys me more often than not. If anything his presence would further my already stressful state. I appreciate you coming here, truly. Besides,” he said with a smirk, “You understand ‘quiet time’ Thor knows nothing of the concept.”

Steve laughed, “I gotta admit, he isn’t very quiet, we always know when he’s in the tower. Since he’s been Earth bound recently, he’s woken me up more than once. So with how tired you’ve been lately I’m glad you guys came out here. Does he always greet the morning like it’s a person?”

“Yes,” Loki huffed, “Since we were children I’m afraid.”

“So, have you told him about, ya know the baby?”

“I,” he stumbled over his words, “Telling my brute of a brother that I’m with a man is one thing, with child is another. I haven’t the foggiest of how to approach the subject.”

“I think he’d be thrilled, one more thing to hug the stuffing out of huh?” Steve was grinning again, unconsciously moving towards the kitchen.

“I suppose,” Loki answered, following.

“Wow, this kitchen is twice as big as the Tower’s kitchen, and look at that, he stocked the fridge like I asked.” Steve chuckled, opening both huge fridge doors open, “Still on your ice cream kick?”

“Pardon? Oh, yes, the baby seems to want sweets. I do believe it has a problem, as you would say,” he parked himself on one of the many stools, not much different than the bar at home. However, here there was an actual dinner table.

“You hungry yet? I’m making supper,” Steve said, surveying the stove, happy that it was a gas one.

“You needn’t cater to me Steve; I don’t expect you to be some kind of servant in Tony’s absence.”

“It’s not a problem Loki, I’ve already told you, I like to cook. It’s kind of like my drawing ya know? It’s relaxing, besides the baby needs good food, and I’m not one to brag but I’m a good cook.”

“Yes, yes you are,” Loki smiled fondly, “Alright, I’ll allow it, but nothing fancy.”

“Why don’t you go take a seat on the couch, watch your tv shows, Tony says you do that a lot early evenings right?”

Loki nodded with an affectionate smile on his face, “Yes, I do, that’s when I get the most tired. I’m not sure why, thank you for taking notice.”

“No problem, go relax I’ll get to cookin’”

 

 

Loki was dozing, chin resting in one hand, and it was only the smells from the kitchen that began to stir him from sleep. And then a carefully placed hand on his arm, “Hey, Loki, you feel like eating? Or sleeping more? I can always keep it on the stove.”
            Loki inhaled sharply, before yawning, “Nonsense, you went to the trouble my nap has been long enough…at least I think it has, what time it?” He pushed up from the couch, rubbing at his sleep clogged eyes.

“Little after eight,” Steve answered.

“It’s late,” Loki floundered, “Why didn’t you already eat? You should have woken me earlier,”

“Nah, I’m good, besides you looked like you were sleeping well. And I know you have had trouble sleeping, right? So it’s no big deal. You wanna eat in here or at the table?”

“That was kind of you…I suppose I should be civilized for once, since my stay, and actually dine at a table. Tony doesn’t seem to think there is anything wrong with permanently eating meals in bed…” his voice trailed off at the familiar smells as he approached the table, “What did you cook?”

“Well, I tried to make it as close to the recipe I was given as I could. But it might not be the same, come on sit.”

“What do you mean?” Loki asked, taking a seat.

“Like I said, Thor’s been bunking at the tower, I knew I’d probably be coming out here so…I asked him what your favorite thing was to eat. Dinner wise that is, I know you have a sweet tooth…so he told me that your mom used to make this when you were sad or ya know having a bad day. That you weren’t too keen on big meat meals well, like Thor,” he snorted, “That guy could eat a whole cow,” and as he said this he was filling a bowl and setting it in front of Loki now sitting at the table, “I don’t know what you guys call it in Asgard, but I would say here, it’s just chicken and dumpling soup. Perfect comfort food in my opinion.”

“Y-You inquired as to what my favorite thing was to eat?”

“Well yeah, Loki, you…you haven’t had a lot of comforts lately…I thought since you’ve been away from home for so long you might want a little bit of it. People always say food is the main thing, always has been for me that is. Is that okay?” Steve was afraid that he’d done something wrong as soon as Loki’s bottom lip began to jut out and tremble, eyes glazing over and impossibly green.

“No, no, this is kind of you…why would you waste such an effort…on someone…that does not deserve it…I understand not…” Loki hated that his eyes were brimming with tears, it seemed so easy as of late and he was tucking a sob that popped up too easily from the recesses of his chest.

“Loki,” Steve’s voice interrupted his thoughts, gentle, and of course kind, “Why wouldn’t you deserve it? It’s just soup and I was glad to do it,” Steve was afraid that Loki might see him as some hurt puppy, but in all honesty he kind of did, he wanted to rectify the situation. Wanted to somehow make things right in Loki’s life, especially since he was expecting. From what he’d gathered ‘friends’ were far in few in Loki’s life. And that was bullshit. As weird as that was, he knew that Loki would be all ‘thank you that is nice’ but Steve didn’t expect the kind of tears that were suddenly spilling from his eyes. That he was genuinely moved.

“Thank you Steve, this was…sweet of you…it means a lot to me as silly as that may seem.”

Steve finally smiled, “Not silly at all. I hope I don’t make this worse but I made desert too…I don’t know what Thor was explaining but I figured Red Velvet was close enough. Besides who doesn’t like Red Velvet Cake?”

Loki chuckled in a watery tone, “I’m sure it’s wonderful, as this is.” And yes, as he sipped at the soup he was brought back to his childhood with ease and it both saddened and gladdened him in one fellow swoop.

 

 

Loki wasn’t partial to the living room, but for some reason, besides Tony, having Steve there made it comfortable. Also, how he didn’t know, Steve found a way to make Jarvis darken the glass, making it seem like a wall. Of which he was immensely grateful for. So it was with little trouble that he fell asleep on the plush and beautiful pearl white couch, swimming in blankets and the television flickering still with some documentary they had both agreed on. Steve was equally dead to the world, one thin blanket over his torso, arms crossed against his chest. Loki rose only long enough to retrieve one of his many blankets and draped it over the entirety of the Captain’s body. He returned to his nest, burrowing in, deep enough to where only his head was visible.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Loki woke to lips on his brow, “Hey babe,”

“Tony, you’re home,” Loki was smiling against his will, eyes still foggy with sleep.
            “Told you I wouldn’t be long,” he was whispering, apparently aware of Steve’s sleeping presence, “Go back to sleep, this couch is as good as a bed, I made sure of that when I bought it.”

“N-No, I wanna sleep with you,” he grumbled, eyes already closing.

“But you’re not moving?”

“Exactly,” Loki groaned, face smooshing further into the pillow

“Let me get out of this ridiculous suit and I’ll spoon with you if you insist,”

“I do insist,” Loki exhaled roughly.

By the time Tony returned, Loki was almost completely out again, but thankfully the couch was big enough that he managed not to wake Loki as he settled in behind him and gathered him into his arms. Kissing his mussed hair, one hand rubbing his belly, the other threading through his hair he found sleep easily.

Chapter Text

The morning came too soon and Tony found his arm numb, but it was worth it with the Norse god curled tightly against him, face buried in one side of his neck and snoring softly. Tony glanced blearily to his right and could plainly see Steve gone. But could hear clinking dishes nearby, of course.

“Jay, time,” he whispered, and in a soft tone Jarvis announced it was after ten.

Loki groaned curling tighter to Tony’s side, pressing him to the back of the couch without knowing.

“Baby, wake up, come on,” he nudged him gently, rubbing circles into the small of his back, “This couch may be awesome man, but it ain’t a bed.”

“S’fine,” Loki groaned.

“You are a prince, you need all-feather pillows and silk sheets, you can’t be that comfortable.”

“You’d be wrong,” Loki growled, pulling Tony closer to him with two hands and mumbled something.

“What was that? I’m your water bottle?” he laughed shaking his head, “Yeah, well I hear Steve all in the kitchen with Dina, so that means good food, right?” and as Tony said this he could smell the waif of bacon making its way into the living room and his stomach growled.

“What is that, what is cooking…” Loki’s sleepy tone was completely abandoned.

“Bacon I think why, I thought…”

Loki was near shoving Tony off the couch and bee-lining to the bathroom, and soon after that he heard heaving.

Before Tony moved to the bathroom he hurried into the kitchen, “Hey Cap, uh exnay on the baconay, I think we’ve hit a nerve with Lokes. He’s uh, currently puking his poor guts up…”

“Oh geez, I’m sorry!” Steve immediately began to apologize, pulling skillets off the stove.

“Hey, it’s cool, Jay open up all the windows air this all out.”

“God Tony I’m sorry,” Steve’s face was pulled into an all-out frown.

“You didn’t know, I think these things just happen, out of the blue, nothin’s made him sick yet.”

“You better go see to him, ask him…I don’t know if he feels up to eating anything.”

“I will, don’t worry,” Tony gave a smile.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Hey babe, you alright?” Tony asked.

Loki had his arms braced over the toilet, spitting, “Do not ask stupid questions…that was the most grotesque thing I’ve ever smelled…please tell me it is gone.”

“Yeah, of course, all gone, Steve didn’t mean to. Bacon is just a basic breakfast food…
            Loki hiccupped and groaned, “Do not say the word.”

Tony zipped his lips, “Noted.”

Loki gulped, flushed the toilet again and rose from the floor, “I do not wish to experience that again.”

“I’ll get you some ginger ale, how’s that sound?”

“I know not what that is, but if it eases my stomach I welcome it, no food, no mention of food.”

Tony thought about things to stock in the mansion, and even though Loki hadn’t been sick yet he made a mental note to have ginger ale around. If it had worked when he was a sick kid, it had to work on pregnant Norse gods right?

Tony returned from the kitchen, where Steve was still muttering apologies and handed Loki the fizzing glass, “Just sip, don’t gulp.”

“I didn’t plan on gulping,” Loki snapped with a huff, but on the third sip of the sweet liquid his stomach eased, he relaxed.

“You wanna lie back down?” Tony offered.

“No, I’m not tired, if anything I’m anxious,” Loki sighed, turning to his lover, “The nausea has passed, do not worry anymore about it.”

“I still think you should rest,” Tony argued.

“I’m quite fine,” he was near urging Tony out of the bathroom at this point, and once he didn’t sense the smell any longer he urged him into the kitchen.

“Loki I didn’t know, I’m sorry I made ya so sick,” Steve began.

“It’s alright, think nothing of it, how could you have known?” Loki smirked, “I’ll have some fruit, however, despite my state. I know the babe must eat. You did nothing wrong. Please continued with what you were doing…minus the cooking of meat.”

“Sure Loki, sure,” Steve said quickly, “You want anything else?”

“No, I-I think I’ll stick with fruit for now…I’m not in the mood for anything heavy.” Loki spoke kindly, “Do not worry yourself.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Loki’s stomach had settled, and with the warmth of the afternoon sun he’d grown sleepy and in his pregnant state fallen asleep for some time. When Tony found him he was perched at the edge of the porch, lounging in one of two hammocks, long legs dangling, bare feet.

“Hey baby, you enjoying the sunset without me?” Tony’s voice arrived on the porch.

“If you’d had half a mind to join me you would not have missed it,” Loki grinned, eyes closing as Tony bent and kissed him.

“Well, I was kind of making plans for us tonight, Steve just so happened to meet a ‘lady’ yesterday at a coffee shop. He has a date and you and I have the place to ourselves.” Tony smiled, arching his eyebrows playfully.

Loki was grinning too, “Are you sure you didn’t persuade him to leave?”

“All of his own freewill and if we’re lucky that 90-year-old virgin will get his cherry popped,” Tony laughed, “So anyway, I was thinking,” he clicked a remote in his hand and soft music began to pour from speakers around the porch, “I could spoil the ever livin’ hell out of you?”

“And what will that entail?” Loki smiled, still lax against his hammock.

“I ordered us dinner, which is waiting inside, lit an insane amount of candles, which was easy with as long as you’ve been out here. After that, anything you want,” Tony said, tugging Loki out of his warm haven and capturing his mouth.
            “Anything I want?” Loki exhaled.

“Anything,” Tony pressed his lips to Loki’s, urging them open and teasing his tongue, rocking their bodies to and fro, hand resting on Loki’s waist and kneading the tender flesh there with careful fingertips.

“You have a plan,” Loki laughed softly, arching into Tony’s touch.

“Is that okay? I mean you don’t have to; I wasn’t insinuating that I was only doing this to seduce you…” Tony flustered

Loki chuckled against his mouth, “This is the first attempt to seduce me since my rescue and I’m grateful for it. Don’t stop, or you’ll come to great harm,”

Tony maneuvered them into the bedroom, or at least he thought he was, Loki was near dragging them there. He was nervous about suggesting sex, because, as Loki had said, he didn’t initiate it, in fear of spooking him. Especially in his pregnant state.

Loki groaned when Tony began nipping at his throat, making slow but sure tracks down his chest, expertly capturing one nipple between his lips and urging it a perk and pebble state. When he actually bit down, not too much he hoped, Loki yelped, his back arching into the touch, “Stark.”

“Oh, we’re bringing out the ‘Stark’ are we? This must be serious,” with that he switched to the other nipple carefully working it between two fingers.

“Yes, because you’re teasing!” Loki gulped, eyes clenched shut, breath faulty.

“I’m not rushing this, or at least I’m not trying babe,” Tony smirked, hand roaming lower past the waist of Loki’s pants, and easily slipping between already slick folds. When Loki didn’t protest, haughty breaths becoming heavier he reached fingers further, searching for that nub. He found it and nudged it, running a careful thumb in calculated circular motions, stroked it until Loki was writhing.

“Tony,” Loki groaned, he wouldn’t admit now, that this wasn’t anything he’d ever experienced, someone so attune with his body and so accepting. So dedicated to assure his pleasure. It was ten times better than when they were together before, before all of this newness. Before his true body. Tony lined up and eased into Loki, only the tip of his penis at first, making careful note of Loki’s breathing, when he wasn’t met with gasps he delved deeper.

“Would you still want me if…” Loki asked abruptly, eyes open and locked on Tony.

“What?” Tony stuttered.
            “If I weren’t…like this…” Loki gasped, “I mean…female parts…”

“Don’t,” Tony growled, expertly thrusting at an angle to leave Loki wordless, and without even thinking snaking a lubed hand to his backside, thumbing and playing with his entrance before carefully pushing in with one finger, which made Loki buck violently, as he began to reach climax, “You’re Loki, I love you, no matter what, no matter how, love you…I love you…come on baby. I got you, this is for you, come on,”

And Loki did, come, so crazily he lost sight, his body arching so violently it looked almost painful.

For a moment they were two grunting and panting beings. It was only when they were coming down from it all that Loki spoke.

“Tony…”

“I love you, I wish you’d stop with the ‘does he love me’ bullshit” Tony tried to say with even breath, “Come on beautiful, I’ve got you.” Tony eased him out of orgasm to post orgasm bliss, trying to catch his own breath. His hands ran endlessly over Loki’s bare back, “I love you, you’re everything to me. Loki, when are you gonna get that?”

Loki was silent, spent and exhausted as he lay against Tony’s chest, “I do know that, I do get that…I just…” and he bit back the urge to cry, slumping against Tony, “I’m not completely sure of my body…I hope you can understand that.”
            “Sure baby, I get that, but you need to understand, I don’t care. I love you, plain and simple,” He snaked arms around Loki and pulled him to his chest closer than close, “And I think that’s okay…no more hiding…for real…”

“Yes, no more hiding,”

“I would have you no matter what, all that wonderful gay sex we had before,” he gave a smirk and a wink, “Or what we have now, it doesn’t matter, because it’s you and me. End of the day, that’s all that matters.”

Loki managed to suppress a watery laugh, “Yes, all that matters.”

Chapter Text

After spending nearly two weeks in Malibu, Loki was both happy and sad to leave the quiet beach house. The crashing of the ocean and warm sun was enough to lull him to sleep every afternoon, the heat was never too much, not like that of Asgard, it was comforting and he was pretty sure the baby enjoyed it as much as he did. His nerves spiked with the thought of returning. He knew he would be rejoining the social aspects of being on Midgard, namely sharing space with Tony’s fellow Avengers. And also speaking with Thor, of which he had been dreading for weeks. Because even though Thor was far from book smarts, he certainly wasn’t stupid. He would notice his ever growing bump and start asking questions.

“Lokes? You okay?” Tony’s voice broke his deep thinking, the hum of the elevator spurring around them as they made it to the penthouse

“Yes, just a bit nervous to return home. I do believe you’ve spoiled me,” he offered a grin that was warm and genuine.

“What’s got you nervous?” Tony asked, concern lacing his voice as they entered the home, Tony was already setting down bags.

“Thor is still here, yes?”

Tony shrugged, “I think he might be, that a problem?” he stopped, “Oh, geez, babe, I almost forgot he doesn’t know. Your mom didn’t tell him?”

“She respects my wishes of privacy, I told her not to. Only a few people know, and he is rather the last person I would like to speak to.” Loki frowned.

“Why? I think he’d be cool with it don’t you think?”

“I’m not quite sure how he will react to be honest,” Loki huffed, plopping down on the living room couch.

“I think he’d be completely cool with it, even happy. Just…next time you see him just pull him aside and tell him what’s up. I mean, he’s gonna figure it out sooner or later, he isn’t that stupid,” Tony smirked.

“Yes, I suppose.”

The rest of the evening went by with little event and Loki and Tony fell into their, as of late, usual routine. Dinner in bed, and movies. Loki was still getting tired in the evenings as it was and Tony found it prudent to just clump everything into one big bed. So despite his nerves, cradled in Tony’s arms and with a full stomach that pleased their child he fell asleep with just as much ease as he’d found in the sun.

 

Loki awoke to the baby kicking his bladder, and quite fervently too, inwardly he was scolding it with barrages of I know I know, I’m going, I’m going. He left Tony sleeping, snoring quite loudly, given that it was a Saturday he knew that at the moment there was nothing pressing, business wise that was. And since nothing was attacking the city, he was good to sleep as long as he wanted. After leaving the bathroom he headed towards the kitchen, closing the bedroom door behind him softly. It was only when he heard his brother’s boisterous voice did he freeze, stomach flip flopping.

“Brother!” Thor’s baritone voice broke the quiet morning air, “You’re awake, how are you feeling? Everyone told me you were resting in, what were they calling it? Malibu? I see that you’ve at the very least gained weight! My... quite a bit of weight,”

“Yes Thor I’ve been in Malibu,” Loki grumbled, bypassing the discussion of his weight, his heart speeding up slightly.

“Are you well? I’ve been trying to contact you for days now, I have news to give you.”

“News?” Loki bore a steely expression as easily as one would breathe, “What news?” because it could be any number of things, things he did not wish to deal with at the moment. His hand rose swiftly to his belly without thought and he found that this mannerism was becoming troublesome.

“Father has spoken to our people,” Thor said, face obviously beaming with pride.

“W-What do you mean?” Loki managed to get out, brain still swimming with sleep.

“Father spoke before the people of Asgard, on your behalf, the pain you have endured and your loyalty to our realm,” Thor lowered his voice, if only slightly, “He has exonerated you of your crimes, that they were not crimes at all Loki. I mean when you took the throne in Father’s absence. He said he would make this right and he has.”

Loki was gulping and his ears were ringing loudly, “I do not understand, why would he do such a thing?”

“As I said, he knew what he had to do…to make things right…”

Loki only realized he was shaking and possibly swaying when Thor took him by the bend of his elbow, “I understand not,” he repeated.

“Loki,” Thor was speaking low once more, “This is a good thing, don’t you think? Father loves you…”

Loki smartly interrupted him, “It must be a trick, it must be…” he felt the soft surface of the couch and took a breath.

“This is no trick,” Thor answered, “He explained the situation of his sleep, my bullheadedness, and your fall…your bravery…I would have told you sooner but I could not contact you. Are you ill?”

“No,” Loki swallowed so hard it was audibly apparent, “I-I am not ill…”

“Was the trip merely for your nerves? I know you fell ill on Asgard, is it something to do with that? Mother told me very little, only that you would be alright. Is that why you were resting in Malibu?”

Loki’s eyes watered up like large emerald pools, “Y-Yes,”

“What is it? You’re frightening me,” Thor’s brow furrowed deeply and he took both of Loki’s delicate hands in his large ones.

“There is something…but I do not know how to tell you,” his mind was already spinning at the thought that Odin actually publicly redeemed him. What would make him do something so hasty? And without consulting him? Why hadn’t he come to him and spoke of his plans? He wasn’t sure at all about the decision, he was much too floored at the idea of it. And he was, if anything, skeptical.

“Loki, you can tell me, you are sick, you look pale, I can tell something is wrong,” Thor pressed, eyes now narrowed and without thinking had one hand pressing to Loki’s forehead before resting to one cheek.

“You already think me strange, lesser than you…I-I do not know if I can tell you…” Loki trembled, one of his own hands instinctively removing the hand to his face and standing up from the couch.

“I do not think you lesser than me, nor strange,” Thor argued, following his brother into the kitchen where he was, more or less, fleeing, “Just tell me.”

“Mother truly did not say anything to you?” he asked, clenching and twisting his fingertips.

Thor shook his head, “She said nothing.”

Loki took a breath, ‘like a Band-Aid’ as Tony liked to say, the baby delivered its strongest kick yet that made him jump and flinch and blurt out, “I-I am…carrying a child. Tony’s child.”

Thor’s face went blank, there was a long moment of silence before Thor spoke again, “Brother, surely you jest,” he began, but Loki raised his sleep shirt and revealed the increasingly prominent bump Thor did something that resembled a gasp, eyes going wide as saucers.

“No, I do not jest,” he growled, fixing his shirt and backing up, “Why would I make up such a thing?! I’m already anything but normal…frost giant runt, freak, monster,”

“Loki,” Thor interrupted, “Stop this nonsense that you are a monster, is this true? A baby? Does mother know?”

Loki nodded, casting his eyes away, “Of course she does…so say what you must, say what you think.”

Thor urged Loki’s eyes forward, two fingers underneath his chin, “What did you think I would say?”

  He managed to swallow the lump rising out of his chest, “That I lie…that I am a freak…”

“Brother,” Thor scolded, crossing the space between them and embracing Loki’s lithe frame.

Loki was not only shocked by the reaction but the gentleness of the embrace, “You aren’t horrified?”

“Why would I be horrified?!” Thor laughed, “I am to be an Uncle! You would honor me that status, yes?”

Loki managed a trembling smile, blinking rapidly, “Y-Yes, of course, if you would have it…but I did not think…” he was engulfed in a careful hug once more.

“Of course I would! I shall bear it proudly! I see now why you did not tell me sooner, but you should have.”

“Perhaps I should have, but I was leery with good reason,” Loki added, “I hadn’t a clue how you would react. I am happy to have been wrong with my assumptions.”

“A baby, when, how long?”

“I am not sure, given that I am not any normal creature, but I have been carrying for a little over three months…from what I can tell…but again this isn’t exactly something I’m familiar with.”

“So this was your reasoning to obtain information on your Jotun heritage?”

Loki nodded, “The only reason, I wish not to contact them at all to be honest.”

“You will cross that bridge when you get there,” Thor gave a gentle smile, carefully embracing him once more, “And I am so very happy for you…and Tony. I cannot wait to meet the babe.” And if Thor noticed that Loki, whose face was buried in Thor’s shoulder, was crying softly, he wouldn’t dare say one thing. What he would do was stroke his little brother’s back and pressing lips into his messy hair and was only happy that Loki was allowing him to express such affection. Thinking about his future niece or nephew had Thor grinning happily against the soft curls of his little brother’s crown.

 

Chapter Text

 

Thor and Loki were currently lounging on the porch, Tony buried in his lab given that he’d been away from it for near two weeks. Since Malibu, Loki found that he enjoyed the sun immensely because it was not the kind of intense heat of Asgard, he did not need to fear over-heating as he did in his childhood. So many times he spent in the healers room, thinking back it all made sense. He huffed loudly pushing away the thought.

That was until seemed Thor was thinking the same thing, “Do you miss home, even a little?” Thor asked idly through a mouthful of colorful cereal.

“Why ever would you ask a question like that?” Loki answered as nonchalantly as Thor had asked, thumbing through a magazine of ‘baby things’, mainly cribs and basinets, his main concern as of late.

“I don’t know, I just assumed you might miss some of our old stomping grounds. Given that we’re on better terms now, it just got me thinking of our childhood.”

Loki’s eyes had not left the text, “I miss only my room, that of which has been dismantled, and the libraries where I could not be found by your bumbling friends. And of course Mother, everything else is but a bad memory.”

“My friends were your friends Loki,” Thor argued, brow furrowed.

Loki slapped the magazine on his lap, “Surely you jest, they were as much friends to me as a snake is to a mouse.”

“Well,” Thor began, but could not bring himself to finish.

“Why would you bring up such a thing?” Loki eyed him carefully.

“No reason,” he said, clearing his throat obnoxiously, “Merely discussion.”

Loki rolled his eyes, trying not to bring forth an argument.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was days later, after a rough battle in central park, Tony gone as well. Loki waited nervously in the kitchen, pacing back and forth. He had offered to help, but Tony had, more or less, persuaded him to stay put unless it got ‘rough’. Of which Loki knew better, he knew when he was being ‘benched’ as Tony had called it. But to be honest he was still suffering from exhaustion and his magic, no matter how much he tried to hone it, would not behave. In fact, it was becoming more erratic the longer he progressed in his pregnancy.

It was soon enough that he could hear boisterous voices in the hall, tell tale signs of his brother’s return regaling the stories of battle no doubt. That meant it had gone well, it was coupled with a voice coming through the speaker system, “Lokes, you there?”

“Yes, Tony I’m here, where else would I be since you grounded me?”

There was a light chuckle over the line, “Battle won, kind of a toughy I won’t lie. Had to bring in some extras. But I’m heading home, see ya in a bit.”

“Very well,” Loki sighed in relief, he had an increasing fear of Tony going into these fights, because of the overwhelming fear of losing him and going at this alone. Something he could not even begin to fathom.

The voices got louder in the hall and the main door swished open, “Brother! You’re awake, I am so glad, look who is here!”

And they were exactly as Loki remembered, Sif, Volstagg, Fandral and Hogan. He found his heart rate soaring, “What exactly are you doing here with them?”

“The battle got out of hand and they arrived to assist me,” Thor replied with that infuriating air of innocence.

“Concerned about the mortals now, are we?”

“Loki, it’s been a long time,” Fandral smirked, “You’re looking…well. You’ve gained weight, I do not believe I’ve ever seen you…”

Loki cut him off, “Who gave any of you clearance to enter the building?!” Loki was near growling.

“They are with me brother, they mean you no harm,” Thor was frowning now, “I would never willfully bring danger to you. Especially in your condition,”

“Be quiet you oaf!” this time Loki did growl.

“What condition? Are you still recovering?” it was Sif now who was speaking, her weapons tucked away, soot and blood marring her brow, “Loki, we do come in peace.”

“Peace…” Loki spat, “You know of such a word?”

“Someone’s still touchy,” Fandral was smiling.

“Still so disgustingly cocky, as if that ever had any true power over anybody with even an ounce of a brain.”

“Loki,” Thor started, “Why do you act this way?”

Loki smiled widely with mirth, “Why do I act this way…you bring your friends into this home, my home and you ask me why I act this way? You truly have not changed your views towards me as you say you have!”

“Loki, these are our friends, have been for hundreds of years,”

Your friends, must I break this down so that a child might understand it?! YOUR friends, they were nothing but four of thousands that taunted me from the time they could form words.”

“Sure we poked a bit of fun…” Fandral began.

“You are a special breed of imbecile Fandral, not only were you cruel but your idiocy turned to cruelty when I would not bed you. Is that news to any of you? He pursued me relentlessly until I threatened to turn him into a beetle! Then it was I that was argi and not he!”

Fandral merely shrugged, “We all do things when we’re drunk, do we not?”

“The lot of you are nothing but a bad memory, Sif, you, who I respected most of all became no better than the men around you were the first to think me a traitor. Let us not forget Jotunheim, you knew damn well that I could not have taken the throne against my mother’s advice, would not even think of it, but you were the first to think it. If I hadn’t intervened on that ill forsaken realm, you would all be dead!”

Thor took a step forward, “Loki, brother, I did not mean to upset you,”

But Loki was far past the point of simply losing his temper, “If any of you had spared a kind word, would it have ever been so hard?!” and the memories of not only verbal abuse but physical abuse began to swirl in his memories. Fandral’s relentless advances alone caused nausea, “The non-stop mocking of my talent, a true talent, more powerful than any swinging of a sword!”

Hogan broke into the argument, “The all-father may have pardoned your crimes, but I have not. You attempted to destroy an entire realm and to kill your brother…”

“When have we not wanted to kill a sibling?” Volstagg gave a nervous laugh.

“That may very well be, but did you not hear of what Loki endured this past year,” Sif’s ever calm voice seemed to hum.

“Enough! Can’t you see you’re upsetting him,” Thor shouted silencing them all, when Loki was clutching the counter, face suddenly sheening with sweat, and he was thankful he took notice because he moved just fast enough to catch Loki as he collapsed.

Tony had gotten the message from Jarvis that Loki had fainted in the kitchen and he was running breathlessly down the hallway to the infirmary. Jarvis, bless his non-existent heart, had alerted Bruce to meet them there. He near skidded across the slick tile as he came to a halt after bursting through the infirmary doors.

“Tony, calm down,” was Bruce’ immediate response.

“Calm down? Jarvis said he fucking collapsed!” Tony spat angrily, eyes falling on Loki laid out on the hospital bed. Before Tony could start screaming ‘what is wrong?’ Loki was groaning.

Loki’s green eyes fought to open, feeling glued together, his sight falling on Dr. Banner, “What happened…” he slurred.

“Hey there, welcome back,” Bruce was smiling, palm resting on Loki’s forehead and then he was checking his eyes, “Look here for me,” he very briefly flashed a flash light past Loki’s vision, “You had a drop in blood sugar also there was a spike in your blood pressure, you got too upset is what I got from what Thor. Good thing he caught you.”

“Huh?” Loki cleared his throat, still feeling lightheaded.

Bruce frowned, “You fainted, Loki, how much have you eaten today?”

“I-I haven’t, I don’t think, I meant to. But I was worried…about the battle.”

“Loki, you can’t do that,” Bruce said, bringing the stethoscope ear piece into his ears, pressing the flat piece to Loki’s chest, “Take a breath for me, good, good,” he pressed it to his throat counting his pulse, “The baby wants food, and at a higher rate now, that means if you don’t eat it’s gonna take anyway.”

“Are they both alright?” Tony was breathing far too fast, Loki’s hand already intertwined with his.

“Yes, he’s fine, both of them are fine. Be quiet for sec here,” he pressed the stethoscope to Loki’s abdomen, moving from one place to another, “Right there, heartbeat, and it’s strong too. Tony, take the ear pieces, put them in Loki’s ears, don’t wanna lose the spot.”

Tony did as he was told, “It’s okay, you listen through them,” he assured Loki when he flinched.

Loki sat for a moment, confused, but then when he heard the fast whoosh whoosh whoosh his eyes began to burn, he managed to swallow down the need to cry, “That is the child?”

Bruce was grinning once more, “Damn I didn’t wanna believe it but yeah, that’s it.”

“Don’t be a hog!” Tony groused and adjusted the ear pieces, “Oh wow,” he mouthed more than spoke.

“So, the babe is alright?” Loki spoke softly, thankful he hadn’t managed to hit his head or something equally stupid in the storm of his temper or his brother’s stupidity.

“Sounds healthy to me,” Bruce said, putting the tool away, “Ya know, it isn’t like Tony doesn’t have the money, you could bring in equipment that would allow us to actually get a picture of the baby. I was required to take OBGYN classes, so I know about this stuff. I mean, only if you want my input that is.”

Tony was thinking, Jesus, they couldn’t exactly take Loki to a hospital, “Loki, what do you think?”

“I-I would appreciate your help Dr. Banner, as much as you are able to provide that is, my anatomy is not exactly human. I do not know what you could garner from internal pictures.”

“You’d be surprised,” Bruce offered another smile, “Make sure you keep your blood sugar up, got it? That means eating! Then you won’t have any more faintin’ spells, no matter how mad you get, which I’m figuring is often. Get some rest.” He gave Loki’s shoulder a pat.

“T-Thank you,” Loki breathed, eyes breaking away and locking on Tony as Bruce left the room.

“God, fuck, you scared me,” Tony huffed, leaning his forehead against Loki’s, “What got you all flustered?”

“My idiotic brother and his friends,” Loki sighed, pulling Tony forward urging his arms around his frame, “They are who came to your aid. Why I am not sure, although I have an idea, Thor more or less warned me they would be visiting. They have not exactly been in my ‘good court’ as you would put it.”

“You want me to add them to the list of assholes not allowed to enter?”

Loki exhaled loudly, “It matters not…can we leave this place…it is too cold…”

“Sure sweetheart, come on, can you walk?”

“Of course I can, it was merely one moment of…passing out…”

“You fainted, just accept it,” Tony smirked.

“I am no maiden, and I will make you very sorry for making some dainty comparison.” Loki growled as Tony took both hands and eased him off the bed.

“I wouldn’t do such a thing,” Tony said, trying to tuck the smile on his face, “Well, you heard Dr. Brucie says you need food.”

“Yes, that seems smart,”

“So,” Tony was grinning madly, “That heartbeat huh?”

And despite his irritation Loki was smiling as well, “Yes, that was amazing, I-I didn’t think something so small…could be so powerful.”

“I’m getting one of those machines so we can see our kid in action,” Tony vowed, leading them to the elevator.

“I don’t quite understand what it was you two were tottering on about, but if it means to see the child, yes, I look forward to it as well.”

Tony pressed lips to Loki’s cheek, “Pizza? What are you craving?”

“What if I were craving more than one?”

“I’d buy you a pizzeria?” Tony laughed, “Anything you want.

“I desire pineapple, cream cheese and artichokes oh! Green olives, black olives, anchovies,” his hunger was eating up any kind of trepidation of his earlier encounter.

“I knew it!” Tony grinned, “I knew that was gonna come in somewhere.”

“What’s that?”

“Nothin’ as you wish your majesty, you got that J?”

“Yes sir, order has been sent,”

“Thanks honey,” Tony answered, he maneuvered Loki into the living room, hoping it was empty but found Thor there looking like a whipped puppy.

“Thor,” Loki began.

“No, let me start,” Thor had his hands out, moving forward without thought, “I was stupid, and unthinking like I always am. I upset you and made you ill. I threatened the life of your child. I should have thought and I didn’t, I am so stupid, so very stupid.”

“Thor,” Loki’s shoulder’s slumped, feigning to mock his childlike behavior.

“No,” Thor spoke sternly, “I should never disregard your emotional state, not anymore. I was so …stupid,” he said once more, “I will never push aside how these things affect you. Never. I-I told them to leave, to not speak to you, but Sif insisted on speaking to you. But brother, I will turn her away as well. Without thought, you are my first priority I do hope you understand that.”

Loki found it hard to blink or swallow, taking in the honest loyalty on his brother’s face, he straightened his features, “It is fine that she speaks.”

“Lokes, come on, you’ve had enough today,” Tony started.

“I’m fine,” Loki interrupted sharply.

Thor nodded and shortly after was directing Sif into the living room, “Loki,” she gave a kind of nod.

“Lady Sif,” Loki huffed.

“I came here not to make war with you…” she began, “I-I know…of the babe…” she gestured with delicate hands, “I was foolish in my youth…I was trying to defend my own status and you got in the cross fires. It was never about you, never, in fact, I’ve always admired your magical prowess. It was never something to be ashamed of…I know this is an apology a long time coming…well, I am no idiot, I will not ask of some acceptance of forgiveness. You and I are too much alike whether you’d like to believe or not. I welcome you as a friend, I know that is probably not a concept you’d like to accept I would understand. But I am sorry. You always supported my status, you ignored what other men said about me being a warrior and you supported me…even though I scorned you for your magic…”

“You did,” Loki muttered, eyes turned down at the floor, wanting them to be burning and menacing but too tired to make them as such

“And I shouldn’t have,” Sif quickly added, “I only came to say my part, I do not want to cause you more pain.” And she didn’t seem to give Loki any kind of reply time as she quickly departed from the room.

Loki gulped, covering a cry, so much so that Tony was pulling him close.

“Hey, you okay?”

Loki only shook his head, dark hair shuffling as he did so.

“Come on, food and a movie,” Tony tried to sound as cheerful as possible in his sarcastic, hopeful tone, “Come on,” he urged, tugging to the couch, “I’ll rub your feet until the food gets here.”

Loki’s grin was brief, but it was there, “Okay,” he allowed Tony to practically push him to the couch and shortly after he was lighting up the TV. Soon after they had three different pizzas on the large coffee table, near half eaten.

Loki’s legs were resting across Tony’s lap, one of Tony’s hands massaging one exposed foot the other resting on Loki’s belly rubbing in close, careful circles.

Loki was almost asleep, eyes falling heavy, watching idly as Tony stayed glued to the screen, palm on his belly rubbing.

“Whoa!” Tony gasped.

Loki was riled out of any kind of sleep, “What?!”

“I felt it!”

“What?”

“I felt a foot, that was a heel, I felt it!” Tony laughed.

When the baby kicked once more, Loki grunted, “So you did.” What Loki didn’t expect was for Tony’s eyes to water over with thick tears.

“That’s our baby,” Tony gulped, hand pressing firmer to the taut flesh.

“Yes,” Loki spoke softly, taking note of Tony’s reactions, “Baby is saying hi.”

“Oh my God,” Tony found himself crying, “My God,” he sobbed when Loki positioned his hand over the area of ‘kicking’ “Oh my God” he kept saying.

“Tony,”

“That’s our baby,” Tony wouldn’t admit he was crying, but he was, straight up crying.

“Tony,” Loki near whispered.

“I love you Loki,” Tony stuttered.

“I love you too, you foolish mortal,” Loki grinned, pressing Tony’s hand on his belly closer to the kicking limbs of their child.

Chapter Text

Tony was currently preoccupying his pregnant God with a mess of circuitry he was working on, Loki appreciated the distraction. Given his earlier reaction to the Warriors Three, he needed something to busy his mind. Loki was fascinated by the inner workings of Tony’s suits since the first time he’d observed Tony actively working. He found it beautifully crafted and was always full of questions as to how it was constructed, of which Tony was happy to explain. And Loki was a fast learner and he was quickly assembling an arm or a leg, almost faster than Tony could.

As dinner time neared Tony closed the plate of the right arm of his armor, “Almost time to eat, and we’re not having another episode like yesterday, you head on up and I’ll follow, just let me seal this real quick. I’ll order food from here.”

“Alright,” Loki answered, getting up from the spinning stool and stretching his arms over his head with a wide yawn, shirt riding up just long enough to reveal the ever growing bump.

Tony gave him a light smack on his bottom as he passed, “I’ll be quick, I promise,” and Loki leaned in for a kiss.

“Very well,” Loki smiled, heading for the elevator

 

Loki was in the kitchen searching through the fridge for one of those carbonated drinks Tony had given him in Malibu, ginger ale, that was it, when he heard the main doors open. It was then that Clint and Steve came into the living room looking exhausted.

“Hey Loki,” they both greeted, Clint still looking sooty and Steve’s hair was damp from a recent shower.

Loki gave a soft smile, “Hello, you two look rather tired, was the battle not finished?”

“Oh, yeah it was finished, just cleanup is all, that’s more tiring than the actual fighting,” Clint smirked.

“I’ll agree to that, how are you feeling?” Steve asked, “I heard you had an episode yesterday, the baby okay? And you?”

“Yes, we’re both fine, a simple drop in ‘blood sugar’ as Dr.  Banner stated, nothing more. We-we were able to hear the heartbeat yesterday as well as significant movement.”

Steve’s face lit up, blue eyes suddenly looking like expensive colored crystal, “That’s amazing Loki! Tony feel it too?”

“In fact it was he it kicked for, trying to get so much attention already, just like its father I’m afraid.” Loki found himself smiling at the fact that Steve seemed genuinely excited at the thought of the babes’ movements, “Dr. Banner says that with the use of a machine we may garner an image of the child. How this is possible I am not sure but I’m am curious to the idea.”

Steve gave a soft laugh, “I didn’t know you could do that either!”
            “You two,” Clint chuckled shaking his head, “Modern technology, and it isn’t gonna be some grainy image, it’s gonna be in all that 3D shit. So I’d say get ready to have your mind blown.”

“3D?” Loki asked, brow scrunching.

“Just a really clear image, basically like peering in side with an invisible wand.”

“How do you know about this stuff?” Steve questioned.

Clint shrugged, “I read…I don’t know I musta heard it somewhere.” He plopped down on the biggest couch, legs out with a deep sigh.

“Reading what?” Steve mumbled, “So anyway, have you eaten something today? I’m sure that’s what Bruce meant when you collapsed.”

“Tony is ordering food as we speak, we were working his suits, he has neglected his lab as of late, he said he would return to this floor soon.” Loki said, leaning against the countertop. He almost laughed at the seriousness on Steve’s face, “I shall be eating soon I promise.”

“Good, you keep that up,” Steve smiled, patting his arm and joining Clint in the living room.

The quiet tone of the room shifted when the swish of the door made itself known, and as Loki was still peering into the fridge he felt someone behind him. He turned with a smile expecting Tony and came face to face with Fandral.

“So why are you hiding from us?” Fandral asked with that wide, fake smile that Loki loathed.

“I am not hiding I am avoiding you,” Loki growled backing away quickly in disgust, one hand thrusted out in threat, out of instinct, but no green spark or curl of smoke appeared.

“Is your magic not working, has it something to do with, that?” he gestured with both hands to Loki’s stomach.

“It is merely misfiring, stay your distance or I will make you sorry, Norns help you,” Loki swallowed roughly.

“To think, if I had succeeded in bedding you that could be mine, an oddly arousing idea,” he inched closer, “Oddly arousing even now, the extra weight suits you well.”

Loki wound both arms protectively over his swollen belly.

“Why do you continue to spur my advances? Surely you are not bound to that gutless mortal.”

“Yes, indeed I am, now move away!”

“What would you do? You have never been able to beat me in the training ring, that is without your woman’s craft. As always you are in need of big brother and he is not here, and the mortals here surely do not value your existence, you attempted to destroy their realm…and you aren’t exactly the norm. They see you as an abomination, I see you as something worthy to conquer, and oh what a conquering it would be,” Fandral grinned once more, and when he reached out a hand that was now squeezing Loki’s hip and urging him closer Loki nearly yelped in both anxiety and fear.

“Hey,” Fandral heard, and felt a tap on his shoulder, he turned with the same nasty smile on his face and met with a fist.

Steve’s fist.

Fandral slid across the tile on his back with a loud squeak, “You’ve broken my nose!” he screeched, blood pouring down his face, looking up at the towering form of Steve who’d placed himself in between the two.

“What gives you the right to touch him when he obviously did NOT want to be touched!” Steve shouted.

“It was just a bit of fun, that’s all, I meant no harm,”

“Loki was NOT having fun!” Steve growled, “Don’t you ever touch him again!”
            “What is this? Another lover of yours? I knew you were a whore,” Fandral spat, blood littering the floor.

Clint was in the mix now, “I knew you were a smug fuck face first moment I laid eyes on you, get the fuck out of here!” he had an arrow aimed right in the Asgardian’s face.

“You think that will harm me?”

“I’m sure as hell willing to find out! Get out!”

“What is the meaning of this?! Fandral? I told you to leave my brother be!” Thor shouted with all the voices no one had taken notice of the older brothers’, and his voice vibrated in the air. He was swiftly moving forward and yanking Fandral off the floor by the bend of one arm.

“We were only talking and this monstrosity struck me!” Fandral grunted.

Steve’s eyes narrowed angrily, “He had him cornered and wouldn’t leave him alone, was saying really nasty things, and obviously making unwanted advances. I know how Loki doesn’t like to be touched and he was doing a lot of that!”

“Loki, is Rogerson speaking the truth?”

“Of course he was, why else would that imbecile want me in the same room?!” Loki snapped.

“Why is that bastard in my penthouse?! I KNEW I should have added him to the list,” Tony’s voice arrived, he crossed the room quickly to Loki’s side, “Loki, are you alright?”

Loki nodded as Tony wrapped his arms around him and pressed a kiss to his temple, “Yes, I’m fine, I want him gone, now!”

“I want that fucker out of my tower, all of them, I want all four of them out of my goddamn tower!” Tony shouted.

Even with all the yelling there was a loud and powerful hum that jolted the tower, which silenced everyone.

“What the hell now?!” Tony yelled, arms tightening around Loki.

“That is the bifrost,” Loki whispered, voice trembling.

“Bifrost? Who else would be making a visit from rainbow land?” Tony spat, nervousness heard obvious in his tone.

“I will see to it,” Thor was about to drag Fandral into the elevator to the roof but was interrupted, “Father? What are you doing here?”

“I have seen enough, Thor, why are your friends here when they are clearly not welcome? Would you really put your younger brother’s health at risk?” Odin’s voice was low and demanding, but never raised a bar.

“Of course not! At first it was to help in battle to assist the mortals, but now it is different. They are leaving now, especially Fandral.”

Odin moved forward so swiftly even Fandral flinched and drew back. Odin took him up by his collar with both hands, “You would dare put your hands on my son?!”

“Your majesty I assure you,”

“Do not lie to me you scoundrel, I know what it is I saw, and this is the last time. I vowed it, that anything or anyone would do harm to Loki I would make them pay. You speak to him any less than he deserves as a prince of Asgard, or advance upon him unwantedly and I will lower your status to of those that wash the dungeons of Asgard, but you will be doing so with your tongue!”

“Yes, your majesty,” finally the smug nature was melted away and morphed into true fear.

“Thor, escort him to the roof of this…building and gather the other three they are leaving now!”

“Yes father,” Thor didn’t even question and was absent from the room in seconds.

Odin turned to his youngest, “Are you alright my boy?” he carefully took a few steps closer.

Loki’s throat was working convulsively and his eyes were wide and wet, but he managed to nod, albeit in a jerking manner, “Y-Yes, I am fine.”

Without thinking Odin was resting a hand to Loki’s cheek, “How do you fair? And the babe?”

“Well…we fair well,” Loki was still staring ahead, “Why did you do that…you have never done so before?”

“I made a promise Loki, and I intend to keep it…I asked of Heimdel to keep an eye on you. When I had heard those bumbling oafs had left Asgard it left me with a sick feeling, so it goes…I was right. And it also gives me reason to make sure you are doing well here on Midgard.”

“I am,” Loki answered, still on the breath of a whisper, his heart hammering loudly in his ears. He was clutching Tony’s hands painfully, squeezing their fingers together as if the touch were an anchor. And more than any other time in the last few weeks he was fighting the violently needed urge to cry. He wouldn’t even admit in his own head that it was something more than hormones. Something so far into his childhood that he remembered as warm and comforting.

“They will bother you no more, they shall be banned from this realm as long as I see fit. I,” Odin began slowly, “I should hope you would visit when the child is born, and if you need anything from your mother or I, we are only a bridge away.”

There was a child like notion in Loki’s head that made him want to leap forward, wrap his arms around his father and sob, but the past held too strong and he stood his ground. He gave yet another shaky, and watery nod, “Thank you father…” slipped before he could help it.

That garnered a soft smile from Odin, weathered face relaxing, “I must be off now, get some rest my child,” he rose his hand once more, stroking Loki’s face affectionately and his own heart warmed that Loki allowed it, he did not flinch away, “Your mother will be visiting soon I gather. Son of Stark…take care of my son as you have been so dutifully.”

Tony was blinking as fast as Loki with that statement, “Yes sir,”

As soon as he was gone they all felt the boom of the bifrost and Loki felt he could take a breath once more.

“I thought for sure all hell was gonna break loose with that one,” Clint huffed, arrow finally lowered.

“Loki, you okay?” Steve asked before Tony could, concern marring his face, blue eyes narrowed carefully.

Loki cleared his throat, making brief eye contact with Steve, “Y-Yes, I’m quite fine. I-I thank you for intervening…my magic…I mean if I had been able… would you excuse me,” he untangled from Tony’s arm and disappeared into the bedroom.

Tony took a deep breath of his own, “What happened?” he turned to Steve.

Steve finally uncrossed his arms, “That jerk had him cornered, was saying a lot of…nasty things…and then had him by the waist. I think something is up with Loki’s magic or you know damn well he would have had that asshole flying across the room. Clint and I heard him shout, so I punched him in the face.”

Tony closed his eyes and exhaled, “I should have kicked them out sooner, but Loki told me not to.”

“It’s not your fault, who knew he’d do something like that,” Clint piped up.

“I’m just glad you guys were up here…if Loki’s magic is out on vacation, up against a dude like that it would have been a bad fight. I mean, I don’t know how strong those asshats are, but it wouldn’t have been good for Loki. Especially after yesterday. I better go talk to him, thanks guys. I’ve got food coming up, will you get it when the bell rings?”

Steve nodded, “Sure Tony.”

 

Tony tentatively knocked on the door with one knuckle, “Babe, can I come in?” he was met with a muffled sob of ‘yes’.

Loki was facing the large bedroom window, arms wound tight around his middle and head bowed.

Tony carefully wrapped his arms around Loki’s arms and rested his forehead to one shoulder, pressing deliberate kisses against his trembling frame, “Sweetheart…”

“He has never done…anything like that before…why now? I understand not,” Loki’s voice shook so hard the words were almost staccato like.

“Well,” Tony began cautiously, “Maybe he really does wanna make amends, that’s more than I’ve ever gotten from my old man. Maybe he really does mean it.”

“I fear it is a trick. As if he wants something from me and what makes it all the worse…I cannot…I can’t access my magic to assess the situation, to feel out energies or deceit…it’s terrifying…I don’t…I don’t know how…I am vulnerable until this child is born. It has harbored all of my magic, I did not believe it would take it in its entirety. But it has,” he turned around in Tony’s arms and sank against him, burying his face in Tony’s shoulder.

“Shhh, you’re alright,”

“No, I am not, I am defenseless, that animal put his hands on me and there was nothing I could do. He is stronger than me by far, I have never been able to best him in strength. My magic is my strength…”

“It won’t be for long, and your safe here. Also, your dad did a pretty kick ass thing today…you’re always saying he sees these incidents as ‘petty’, when they’re not. He intervened this time…he doesn’t want to see you hurt.”

The cry that leapt from Loki’s throat was drowned out against Tony, and he couldn’t bring himself to speak anymore. Because he was afraid to accept what Tony was saying, that he in some strange and unprecedented way had the father that he had always wanted. One that cared and respected his decisions. Looked out for him.

“You’re safe here kiddo, I promise, and look who all went to bat for you today huh? They’re all team Loki and want you and the baby to be safe, got it?” Tony spoke firmly, tugging at Loki’s forearms to get him to make eye contact. He scooped away the wetness beneath Loki’s eyes and smiled, “You’ve got the whole team at your back, and your dad…I know it’s hard for you to accept that and that’s okay. But no one is gonna let anything hurt that little blueberry or you. If I didn’t trust you so much or thought Steve swung that way, I’d be jealous.”

That finally garnered a laugh, “You would say something like that,”

There was a soft knock coupled with “Tony the food is here.”

“Junior needs nourishment, come on,” he patted Loki’s belly and kissed him on the cheek.

They re-entered the living room and Clint and Steve tried to not make it apparent that they were wholly NOT aware that Loki had been crying.

“Loki,” Steve began, straitening up from where he had been bent at the coffee table situating food, “You sure you’re alright, that was a lot of…drama that just happened. And that fucking jerk…he didn’t have any right…I wish I could have done more than just punch him.”

Tony chuckled at the rare use of the ‘f’ word from Captain perfect, “I wish you could have done more too.”

“The punch was sufficient in our given circumstances, but I thank you all the same. You and Hawk both, truly thank you,” he unconsciously caressed his protruding tummy, “We thank you.”

“So we better be some kind of ‘uncle’ status or something,” Clint commented, falling back on the couch with chop sticks and an open carton.

“Clint,” Steve scolded, “Loki doesn’t owe us anything, that jerk needed to be knocked out.”

“I’m just saying,” Clint smirked with a shrug, “You two are gonna need baby sitters, and I’m good with kids!”

“You like babies?” Tony laughed.

“Hell yeah I like babies, they don’t talk back and they don’t judge,” Clint huffed, shoveling food in his mouth at this point.

“Feed baby now,” Tony said, “You don’t wanna be shaky.”

And Loki nodded, trying to squelch the feeling of being overwhelmed enough to eat.

“Yes of course,” Loki replied, “But I do not even know what you ordered.”

“Don’t worry Loki I got the beef all the way over here, I know how much you hate the smell of it,” Steve said, pointing at the white Chinese food cartons at the end of the long coffee table, “I put all the veggie stuff together, and those crunchy things you like and soup” Steve gave an internal ‘oh crap’ when he noticed Loki’s already red rimmed eyes filling up.

“Is that okay?” he fumbled with his words and was silenced quickly when Loki crossed the space between them executing a hug that knocked him back an inch or so. Just like the other times he was floored by a suddenly emotional Loki, he awkwardly wrapped his arms around the thinner man and patted his back like a small child lost in a grocery store, “Okay? Not okay?”

“More than okay,” was Loki’s quiet answer and a subtle sniff as he released Steve from the hug and sat down on the couch between Clint and Tony, quickly rubbing at his face to remove the remnants of tears.

Tony was only smiling at the display before him, not thinking in a million years that he would ever be dining with Loki, pregnant no less, with his newly formed super-secret boy band who were just as concerned for the formally neglected god. And as Loki abandoned that furrowed brow and downturned mouth in place of a gentle, soft smile? Tony couldn’t be happier.

Chapter Text

Ever since that first strong kick, one that Tony had actually felt, the limbs of their child never stopped flailing. Loki was flat on his back, arms and legs stretched out. This position was the only way he could keep the baby from pressing up against his diaphragm.

Tony’s worried face appeared above his lulling state, “Babe, you alright?”

“This child will not cease its kicking and punching, I’m quite sure it is trying to kill me from the inside.” Loki huffed loudly.

Tony carefully sat beside him and pressed his hand to Loki’s ever increasingly swelling belly, in fact, just in the last week or so he was starting to show more predominately. Bruce had said that this was normal (humans any how he had added), and he would have bursts of growth as his body made the accommodations for the growing child, “Hey blueberry, give mama a break huh? Wow, it really is kicking isn’t it,” he ran a rough palm over the expanse of his stomach, “Come on now, calm down,” he spoke low against his navel, he hummed low, some song Loki didn’t even know.

Loki was shocked when he felt the movements grow quieter and quieter, he had lifted his head to observe Tony’s laughable behavior, but then was shocked to feel it had worked, “Oh thank the Norns,” he let his head fall back, “However did you manage that?”

“I don’t know,” Tony chuckled, “I have a gift, maybe it is a girl after all, I have a knack at calming chicks down, especially when they’re mad at me.”

“I’m sure,” Loki rolled his eyes, sighing in content at finally finding some peace, if even for a few moments, “Let us hope this works every time, I’m already sleep deprived as it is. I haven’t any energy at all.”

“You want me to call up Bruce? Maybe there’s something he can do for ya,” Tony laid beside him, propping himself up on one elbow.

“I highly doubt Dr. Banner can explain to me the depletion of my magic, that is a good part of the reason my energy is zapped. Mother never said that she felt that kind of level of depletion with her pregnancy with Thor…low yes, hard to control at times of course, but not out of reach,” he raised up one hand, twirling his fingers, “See? Nothing,”

“Maybe it’s different with your race, maybe it all pools down in your belly to protect the baby.” Tony was still stroking his stomach in carefully pressured circles.

“Perhaps…” Loki sighed once more in contentment, he turned his face towards Tony, “You…you do not think something is wrong…do you?”

Tony leaned forward and kissed him, “I think your body is just playing catch up, I’m getting that machine in a few days. We’ll be able to get a peek inside and see what’s going on in there. Your mom should stop by and give us her opinion, given that your both magic casters, maybe she can help ya out on why your magic has been flying the coop.” he kissed him again, before resting lips to his forehead, “Besides, I think you would know if something were wrong, you may be low on magic but your highly intuitive.”

Loki nodded languidly, “Thank you for quieting the baby…” he murmured, eyes already closing.

“Anytime sweetheart,” Tony whispered, there was worry in his gut, despite his positive words. Loki’s exhausted state was becoming an increasing concern, he tried to keep in mind that he was anything but human. That it was more than likely because he was Jotunn, but something was nagging him. He couldn’t get that machine soon enough.

 

“Unless Loki actually lets me exam him, as in an actual real exam, I’m not going to really know what’s going on with him. I know he’s private about his body, any idiot would see that,” Bruce said, Tony following him around in the lab, worry written on his face, “When was the last time you slept?”

“I haven’t much actually,” Tony huffed.

“Sit down, you’re making me dizzy.” Bruce ordered, bodily maneuvering Tony to a swivel chair.

“What if something’s wrong with Loki? I know pregnant people get tired, but this is ridiculous, he was dozing off at the dinner table last night. I mean the baby is kicking away like crazy, but it has calmed down enough to where he gets more than 6 or 7 hours of sleep. And it’s like he’s not getting any at all.”

“Extreme fatigue is not uncommon Tony, some women can’t even work because of it. However, I would recommend he come see me. I know he can’t exactly go to a physician outside these walls. You’re gonna have to convince him, just so I can do a routine checkup, nothing invasive. Some blood work would be helpful, talk to him, and by tomorrow we’ll have the sonogram machine and I can have a better look at what’s going on.” Bruce offered a comforting smile, “I’m sure he’s fine Tony, so far he hasn’t shown anything…besides being a man….that’s different from any other pregnancy I’ve read up on.”

Tony sighed so deeply it sounded like he’d been punched, “You’re probably right…I’m just worried.”

“That’s fine too, normal as well, now go talk to him. It would be better if I could get a medical history going with him before the sonogram,” Bruce patted him on the shoulder.

 

It had taken more convincing and smooth talking than Tony thought he possessed. It had damn near turned into a fight, actually. Loki had ranted that he did not need mortal help, that he was more than capable of handling this himself. That there was no one else but his mother that could do him any good in terms of medical treatment. Tony could sense the trepidation of being touched in anyway shape or form by someone he didn’t really know, and also, Loki wouldn’t say it out loud, but he was afraid of the ‘other guy’. And Tony knew it. After Tony had, and he was not proud of it, said that Loki’s mother would not be around all the time. That she wasn’t here now, and he needed to think about himself and the baby. Loki had burst into tears with that statement. So an hour later of coaxing and apologizing and holding Loki and rocking him. Here they were sitting in Bruce’s lab.

“Why don’t you hop up on the bed there,” Bruce asked kindly, at the sink he was washing his hands, and after that was slipping on surgical gloves, “You having any kind of pain? Any kind at all, and not aches, I know you’ve probably got plenty of that. But anything sharp or lingering?”

Loki shook his head, “Besides my discomfort with my increasingly growing stomach, no, no pain.”

“I’m gonna push along your belly, just going to see how the baby is sitting, is that alright?”

Hesitantly Loki nodded, taking a breath as the doctor pressed fingertips here and there, he was surprised his heart did not begin to race at the prospect of this man touching him. Besides Tony was there holding his hand, and even though he would never admit it out loud, it helped. Even though he felt like a child.

“Hmm,” Bruce’s brow furrowed, “Well, that’s odd, every time I think I got the little guy in position it moves. Loki, it’s okay that’s normal,” he added when Loki’s eyes were suddenly wide, “We’ll figure that out with the sonogram, much better than just feeling around. You have any idea where you’re at in your pregnancy?”

“As much as I would gather, nearly five months. But I’m not exactly sure when…it was conceived…”

“That’s alright,” Bruce answered in his ever gentle tone, “Again, something we can determine with the sonogram. Babies can’t be much different on your planet, I can guess by its weight and growth progress.”

After that he took blood, checked Loki’s heart, all the basics, “Loki, you seem very healthy to me. I’m sure having magic in the mix makes things different, but physically things seem to be on track. I know…” he cleared his throat, “Well, if this were an actual OBGYN exam, I’d have to check your cervix, but…I don’t know…how all that works and I wouldn’t…”

“No one is touching me below the waist,” Loki snapped so fiercely both Tony and Bruce jumped.

“I wasn’t saying me Loki,” Bruce said quickly, “But, as you progress, or even when you give birth, you’re gonna have to have someone help you out there. When you go into labor we have to monitor how many centimeters you dilate and if you aren’t progressing enough in labor, there could be infection. I’m just saying…”

“We’ll talk about that later, how about that?” Tony intervened, “We’ll just think about it later, we have time, right?”

Loki gulped harshly feeling as though he bruised his throat, “I will only discuss this with my mother and no one else…”

“Well, I’ve got a history going,” Bruce added, leaving that all alone at the moment, “Blood work looks good, more close to human than I thought it would be. Blood sugar and pressure good, you’re healthy Loki, just very pregnant.”

“Thank you Dr. Banner…I-I apologize for my gruffness I just…I mean I’m so…”

“Loki, it’s okay,” Bruce interrupted, and he even took a chance of resting a hand to Loki’s shoulder, “I get it, don’t say you’re sorry.”

Loki merely nodded, and the baby kicked, hard and he winced.

 

It was a day later that Bruce received the machine, got it set up and after at least 12 hours of brushing up on obstetrics regarding digital images he gave a call to Tony.

“Tony…” Loki swallowed roughly, “I-I don’t know about this…”

“What do you mean?” Tony asked, they were stopped at the elevator.

Loki clutched at his belly, caressing it softly, in a days’ time he already felt it had grown “Will we truly see its shape?”

“Yeah, babe, Brucie says we’ll even get to see the sex if we wanna see it that is.”

Loki’s eyes were suddenly, without warning bright with tears and brimming full and wet, “Sex? W-What if it’s…just like me…what have I done…bringing a child into this world that will deal with what…what I must…”

“Hey, hey, hey, sweetheart, no, don’t think that…” Tony was quickly at his side, pulling him into his arms, “Stop, this the baby will be perfect,” he pulled away far enough to make eye contact, “Look at me, I love you, I love this,” he put his hand to Loki’s belly, one thumb making circles around his belly button, “I love her, him, mingling of the two, both…I love our baby…I love you…”

Loki hiccupped, he would say that it was that instead of it being a sob, “Yes, I love you too.”

“Now let’s go see it, and it’s gonna be beautiful,” Tony grinned, intertwining their fingers.

 

“Hey Loki, how ya feelin?” Bruce asked as the couple entered the room.

“Tired…anxious…to be honest I’m not exactly excited about this…”

“Why not?” Bruce laughed, “You get to see the baby! If I can get it to lay right we’ll get to see what it is, boy or girl.”

“That’s what I’m worried about,” Loki growled, chin hitting hit chest.

“Loki, if you’re not up for this let me know, you’re not in danger so it’s not like it is imperative that we take a picture.” Bruce said.

“Loki, baby,” Tony started.

“No, it’s fine…no matter what it will be I will have to deal this…” Loki laid his head back, eyes on the ceiling.
            “This will feel cold, just letting you know,” Bruce said, applying jelly to the monitor, “Okay here we go,” he pressed the tool to Loki’s belly from left, then slowly to right, “I hear the heartbeat right away, very strong. Okay I’m getting an image here. Look here guys, I’m seeing some feet, lots of feet, I’ll move it around so I can get a face. There! There it is! The little nose, and mouth, oh those hands…”

“Loki, oh God you see that?” Tony gasped, on the cusp of a cry, “Oh my God.”

Loki was biting his lip, “Yes, yes I see it,”

 Bruce was grinning ear to ear. But then it changed.

“Hold on a second,” Bruce murmured, “Hold on,” he said again, maneuvering the wand around Loki’s stomach.

“Bruce what?” Tony snapped, trying not to hyperventilate at seeing the image of his babies’ face pixelating across the screen.

“Norns it looks human!” Loki croaked.

“Bruce, come on man, what’s going on,”

“Tony, I’m not sure,” he moved the wand around, “Wow, oh geez.”

“What?!” Tony snapped.

“Guys…” Bruce took another deep breath, he took the wand off Loki’s stomach, “I’m detecting dual heartbeats….”

“I don’t understand,” Loki was panting.

“I’m detecting two babies, yeah…there are twins, I’m almost sure of it.” Bruce announced.

“T-Twins,” Loki croaked, “Twins…twins…no that can’t be…it can’t…”

“Loki I’m sure,” Bruce answered, steadying his hand as well as the wand, “Do you hear that? Two heartbeats, they’re so close together it’s hard to hear, but it’s there…”

“Tony,” Loki tried to ignore he was crying, “Oh Norns, I can’t believe this…”

“Twins,” Tony was nodding too fast for his own good, “Twins, right, twins, two babies, two of them, ya know, two babies.”

And then he fainted.

Chapter Text

“Tony, can you hear me?”

Tony groaned, “What happened…”

“You fainted,” it was then he realized it was Bruce speaking, he was also aware of the cool, slender fingertips pressed to his forehead. He tried to blink the blurriness out of his eyes to focus on Loki standing at his side.

“Fainted?”

“Hit the floor before I could even catch you,” Bruce scolded, “You have a pretty nasty bump on the back of your head.”

Tony’s stomach lurched, remembering why he may have ‘very manly lost consciousness for a few minutes’, “Loki, I didn’t hallucinate all that…did I?”

“You mean regarding the fact that I’m carrying two of your children? No, you did not hallucinate that,” there was trembling in his voice, despite the irritated note towards Tony’s reaction.

“Sweetheart….” Tony began, “I-I can’t…I can’t believe this…”

“That makes two of us,” Loki grumbled, eyes lowering, rubbing his belly with both hands.

Tony pushed up from the bed, “Loki, hey,” he reached up and directed Loki’s sight to his own, “Baby, look at me,”

“It’s too much, it’s-it’s too much,” he tried to tuck down sobs that would no doubt disturb the babies…babies…not baby…but babies.

“Lokes,” Tony started, but words were falling short fast, what he did know what to do was urge Loki to the bed, and gathered him close, “It’s okay, this is okay.”

“How?!” Loki cried, resisting the embrace, “One child…that was frightening enough…but two? TWO?! I-I don’t know…I don’t know if I can do this.”

We can do this Loki, you and me. Hey,” he slipped a finger beneath Loki’s chin, thumb stroking one high cheek bone that was already slick with tears, “You and me, you and me always.”

This seemed to only make Loki cry harder and he fell against Tony, hiding his face in his shoulder.

Tony’s eyes went to the ceiling as he chuckled softly, “Jesus, we go hard core no matter what we do, huh? Twins, wow, we know anything about the sex?” he finally addressed Bruce who was pretending to be busy.

“I really didn’t get a chance. We could look again, if Loki is up to it, but we might not be able to determine that for another couple weeks. It’s usually only predominately clear in the fifth month,” Bruce answered, concern lacing his features.

Loki hiccupped a sob loudly into Tony’s shoulder, and mumbled something he couldn’t decipher.

“Yeah,” Tony inhaled, “Why don’t we wait on that.”

“Sure, sure, Loki, you get some rest alright? I know this seems scary right now but everything’s gonna be okay. You’re probably the strongest person I know,” Bruce tapered off, heart actually pinching at Loki’s state.

When Loki held on even tighter, Tony spoke up for both of them, “Thanks Bruce, I really appreciate all the help. Yes, we’re both gonna be fine…it was just…ya know…”

“You both just need some time,” Bruce offered a soft smile.

Tony nodded, he turned to Loki, kissing the portion of his head he could actually reach, “Sweetheart, let’s get out of here, huh? Get up to bed.” He slid off the hospital gurney, feeling only slightly dizzy, slipped an arm around Loki’s waist and guided him towards the elevator.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They weren’t able to get to the bedroom without bumping into at least one Avenger, Steve was seated in the living room lazily watching TV, “Hey guys,” he greeted warmly, but his face changed quickly when he saw Loki’s subdued nature, “Whoa, whoa, what’s wrong?” he was already up off the couch.

“So, we did the sonogram thing today,” Tony gave a nervous laugh, he looked to Loki who wasn’t exactly responding but shaking instead.

“Is everything okay?” Steve asked, as he studied Loki’s demeanor.

Tony took a breath, “We’re having twins, just found out.”

“Wow!” Steve spat, “That’s…that’s amazing! Are you two okay, that’s gotta be a helluva shock.”

“Just a bit,” Tony nodded, clearing his throat rather loudly, “I’m gonna get him laid down.”

“You okay?” Steve asked, pressing fingers tips to Loki’s arm to draw his attention.

Loki finally looked up, trying to blink away the tears, “I-I think so…”

“Hey it’s okay, I know it seems kinda crazy but we’re all here for you,” Steve smiled in that gentle assuring way.

Loki’s eyes brightened at that remark, “That is very kind of you,”

“I mean it Loki,” Steve spoke firmly, he drew him in for a hug, something rare, he was usually so careful about initiating physical contact with Loki. But at this moment he felt it was warranted, “I know this must be overwhelming but it’ll be okay, this is gonna be great.”

Loki shuddered, and actually accepted the embrace, arms winding around the Captain, “It is overwhelming…” he was surprised with himself for revealing such a revelation.

“That’s okay though,” Steve pulled away, a smile on his face still, “You two are gonna do great.”

“I-I suppose,” Loki trembled once more, succeeding at keeping the tears at bay.

“This calls for celebration wouldn’t you say? I’ll make supper, anything you want,” Steve was still grinning in that so innocent way that made Loki want to smile as well, “Don’t worry I’ll avoid beef of any kind,” he vowed, “I’ll make that soup you like.”

“Y-yes that sounds lovely,” Loki mustered up a steady tone.

“You two go get some rest,” he gave them both a pat on the arm and disappeared into the kitchen.

Tony took a breath, “Come on baby, let’s get you cozy,” he led them both into the bedroom and closed the door.

Without prompting, Loki moved away and crawled up onto the bed and much like a distressed cat, burrowed beneath the covers.

Tony’s heart clenched when he heard the cries increase beneath the linen, “Baby, baby, it’s alright.”

“A single child was one thing, I-I thought I could handle that….and it was terrifying…but two…w-what…what if I can’t…if we…can’t…”

“We can,” Tony spat sternly, “We can and we will, nothing has changed, we just…have a bigger head start on our family here, don’t you think?”

Loki only sobbed that sounded so much like a hiccup, so Tony crawled under the covers as well and gathered him close, stroking his back and kissing his cheeks. “Shhh, it’s alright, everything’s alright, it’s no different…just one more addition that’s all, just one,” he pulled Loki flush against his chest, what he didn’t expect was the response from Loki’s swollen abdomen. He jumped when he felt a hard kick to his own stomach, one set of feet or two he wasn’t sure, “Blueberries agree,” he splayed his palm out and caressed the taut flesh, hoping it would calm ‘them’ down. His heart jumped at the thought of ‘them’.

Loki only snuffled, chest hitching with emotion and before he could help it he was blurting, “I’m scared.”

“I know you are baby, but it’ll all be okay, I promise.”

“How can you promise…I was already worried with the prospect of one, but two? I have no information on my race, or how this even comes to fruition.”

“We will figure it out,” Tony argued, taking Loki’s gaze, kissing his lips, “We’re getting your mom down here ASAP. Everything will be okay, and we’re gonna have two amazing babies. We’ll be a family, a really full family and I can’t wait,” he grinned, he kissed Loki once more and pulled him close, winding his arms around him, stroking his hair from his face, “This is gonna be great.” The babies kicked again, hard, Tony smiled and Loki bit back a groan.

“You better be prepared to pamper me in ways that you didn’t think existed,” Loki growled, pressing a palm to his swollen belly he winced at the obvious movement.

Tony’s smile was so wide his face was set to split, he kissed Loki’s belly button, “Come on guys, stop kicking mama,” he rested his cheek against the taught flesh, he angled his face towards Loki with a smirk, “And of course I’ll pamper you, like you wouldn’t believe.”

Loki took a shuddering, uneven breath, running fingers through Tony’s dark hair, “We can do this?”           

Tony laughed, “Fuck yeah we can,” he nuzzled Loki’s belly, “We’re gonna knock this out of the park.”

 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

When Loki and Tony finally re-emerged nearly two hours later from the bedroom Steve had the kitchen table full of food and there sat the complete Avengers team, minus Thor. Even Natasha, to Loki’s surprise.

“Hey guys,” Steve welcomed warmly, he was moving away from the stove and was offering Loki a seat at the table he’d set up, even pulling out the chair.

“Well isn’t this domestic,” Tony smirked, trying to hide his nervousness.

“So how’d it go?” Clint asked, as Loki took his seat, “Steve says you have double the trouble in there?”

Loki swallowed hard, “Excuse me?”

“Two babies?” Clint answers quickly, an easy smile on his face.

“Oh yes, I-I..yes…” Loki stumbled, suddenly truly aware of how much he was showing.

Natasha broke in, “Clint, for Godsakes, Loki it’s okay. How are you feeling?”

“Shocked,” Loki answered bluntly, “Very much shocked…but it accounts for many things, my waning magic, so I suppose it makes sense. But I’m trying to get use to the idea.”

Tony slipped an arm around Loki’s waist, and pecked his cheek gently, “Shock is a tame word.”

In perfect ‘Thor’ fashion he entered the room in his usual booming manner, sitting down roughly next to his younger brother, “Loki, I am surprised you are dining with us, what is the occasion?”

“I thought we’d celebrate,” Steve intervened, “Haven’t you heard?”

Thor shook his head, “We were to obtain pictures of the baby today, were we not? I know not how this works but I welcome the technology.”

“Yes, Thor, we obtained…pictures of the babies today…opportune word being ‘babies’” Loki snapped, irritable as he was already, Thor’s bumbling demeanor was grating on his nerves, he waited, studying his brother’s face.

“Two? This means twins, yes?” Thor gaped.

“Yes, Thor, two, certainly that is in your counting abilities,” Loki huffed, he yelped when Thor drew him into one of his signature engulfing hugs.

“Brother! Twins! Two! Oh, this makes me very happy, I am to have two babes to spoil!” Thor was grinning, ear to ear, he kissed the top of Loki’s head.

“Alright then, that’s enough, I’m-I’m glad that you are happy, but please,” Loki stammered, moving unconsciously closer to Tony’s side.

“Mother will be thrilled!” Thor continued to beam, taking no account of Loki’s irritable response to his actions, “Have you any thoughts on names?”

“Thor, really? We’ve only just found this out, names are the very last thing on my mind…” Loki sighed, turning away from his brother and resting his cheek to Tony’s shoulder.

“Of course, my apologies,” Thor spoke softly, without thinking he rested a too warm palm against the nape of Loki’s neck, “This is good news though brother, so this machine, do you know the gender of the babies?”

“Actually…we did not find out…I-I was a bit overwhelmed and did not wish to know at the time…”

“But you wanna know?” Natasha broke in.

“I-I….” Loki felt out of breath, the idea of having not one, but two babies with his affliction had him suddenly reeling, “Excuse me…” he launched up from the table, abandoning his plate, when Tony rose too he put out both hands in silent request of ‘stay’ and hurried into the living room, he almost thought to disappear into the bedroom but thought, if only for a moment, that it might seem childish.

He sat on the ledge of the window, trying to even his breathing.

“Hey, Loki,” the spies’ voice broke the silence, “I didn’t mean to upset you, I just thought…”

“You didn’t, I mean…I am merely overwhelmed I did not expect such a crowd this evening…and I-I’m hardly getting use to the idea….and I don’t…” he took a deep uneven breath, eyes out on the city, now wishing he had retreated to the bedroom.

“It’s okay,” she spoke softly, “This would freak anyone out, but I gotta say, if two people were gonna tackle this, it would be you and Stark.”

“According to you we are the least adept people to be in both a relationship and have a child.”

“I know we didn’t hit it off at the get go, but after I’ve observed the two of you I think you’ve got it in you to tackle this.” Natasha said, a slight cocking of her head to get his attention.

Loki glanced sideways, “So everyone says…”

“What, you think you can’t? All the shit you’ve been through this year and you think you can’t handle a couple of babies? I’d say after everything you’ve been through this is a gift, Loki, a fucking gift,” she huffed.

“A gift, I’m not so sure,” Loki near whispered, “Ow!” he flinched, near standing out of instinct from the window ledge.

“What?!” Natasha gasped.

“Nothing, just, one of them, I’m not sure which, kicked, and hard,” he growled, “Ow,” he repeated, rubbing his belly, “I’m sure I deserved that…” his voice was watery now, and he hated the heated tears now brimming in his eyes.

Natasha bit at her lips, “Can I?” she reached out a hand.

Loki blinked owlishly, “Can you what?”

“Can I feel?”

Loki was shocked at the same watery tone in the spies’ voice, her eyes glassy as well, “I-If you would like,” when she nodded, he took one of her slender hands and pressed it to the spot above his navel, moving it here and there until he found a spot where a foot was kicking.

When one of the babies made contact, firmly, with Nat’s palm she gasped once more, “Wow, oh wow,” and there were tears in her eyes, “Wow.”

“Wow?” Loki mimicked.

“Yes,” Natasha gave an unsteady laugh, “Wow.”

Tony entered the living room without speaking, silently observing the redhead, hard-ass, unreadable spy, with her hand on his boyfriend’s belly. Tears tumbling from her eyes and Loki studying her silently, his eyes wet as well. He almost said something, almost broke the silence, but when they both gave a soft chuckle, at the obvious movement of the babies, Tony smiled in relief and rejoined the dinner party.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was the next day that Loki finally agreed to another sonogram, so here he was again, shirt above his belly and eyes drawn towards the ceiling, “Tony, this makes me nervous, I-I don’t know if I wish to do this.”

“Sweetheart, whatever it is, whatever we see, it’s cool, got it?” Tony kissed Loki on the lips, lingering there long enough to earn a happy sigh.

“Alright,” Loki exhaled.

Bruce pressed the wand to his abdomen, “This might take a minute, since we’ve got two babies, okay, I’m gonna press and push around your abdomen, if it makes you uncomfortable just let me know.” Bruce warned, and as he said he would push and poke and prod to get the babies to move, “Okay, I’ve definitely got a sex on one, you ready?”

Loki stuttered a breath that sounded like a sob, “Y-Yes,”

“Yup, we’ve got a little boy, right there, see it?” Bruce grinned widely, “Right there, little penis right there.”

Loki gave a small laugh, “A boy, is that all, can you tell more than that?”

“From what I can see,” Bruce locked eyes with Loki deliberately, “Just a penis, that’s all, okay, number two, come on sweetheart, roll over,” this took several more seconds of maneuvering, and more prodding.

Loki groaned at this point, and the babies were getting riled up with all the attention, “Anything?”

“Okay, here we go, little more, alright, got it! Gentleman, you’ve got yourself a little girl, boy and a girl, one of each.”

Tony laughed aloud, happily, not nervously like he had been with the first sonogram, “Boy and girl, oh baby, this is amazing,” he bent down and kissed Loki, swallowing up a cry he was sure. For a moment they were lost in a that kiss, a kiss the was monumental. Tony broke away and rested his forehead to Loki’s, “Oh kiddo…”

“Boy and girl,” Loki took a deep breath, he turned to Bruce, “A-And they look to be as simply that? Just a boy and girl? No surprises?”

“Boy and girl, Loki, healthy and perfect,” Bruce grinned, “Take a moment and be happy huh? Two very healthy little babies.”

And Loki finally did sob, and Tony gathered him close.

“One of each,” Tony chuckled against Loki’s temple, pressing kisses into his hair, “Oh, baby this is awesome.”

But Loki was too overjoyed to simply hear that they didn’t seem to have the same complications that he himself suffered from, “C-Can you not determine flesh color of any kind?”

“Not at this moment no, but they’re very much human looking, pretty sure little girl has Tony’s nose.” His smile faded at the look on Loki’s face, “They’re human looking all the way, if that’s what you’re worried about. I’ll print you out a copy of the two of them, alright?”

“Thank you Doctor Banner, thank you,” Loki cried, and if he’d had anything else to say on the matter it was swallowed up by his relief as he sobbed into Tony’s chest.

“Sweetheart it’s okay, everything’s okay,” Tony murmured, thrumming fingers through Loki’s short, dark strands, “Hey, hey,”

“I know, I know, yes, everything’s okay,”

And Tony understood and simply held his crying, pregnant boyfriend. Despite the situation, the shock, everything, Tony smiled and held Loki closer.

Chapter Text

 

Over a week had passed before Loki could even remotely accept the fact that he was carrying two children, but that however became harder to ignore when the kicking increased at certain hours of the day. Or more namely, night. So there were times, when he did not growl loudly and shake Tony out of a deep sleep, that he would sneak out of bed and go into the ever changing spare bedroom, that was becoming the babies’ room. Tonight was one of those nights, and although he couldn’t see feet or hands yet cascading over taut flesh, he felt as though that it would be any day now. He huffed irritably as he plopped down in the rocking chair that sat next to the newly assembled crib and began to rock back and forth, hoping the sensation would settle the children currently kicking his insides.

“Please,” he murmured helplessly, palm on his belly caressing, “Please stop kicking my ribs.”

“Babe,” Tony’s voice arrived at the doorway, “What are you doing up?”

“Why do you think that is?” Loki growled, “It’s because I am growing your spawn inside of me and they are relentless!”

Tony frowned in a sleepy way that wouldn’t result in a fight, “I’m sorry sweetheart, I am,” he staggered into the bedroom and knelt next to Loki, palms spread out on the expanse of his belly, “Babies, babies, come on this ain’t no dance club, mama needs to sleep.”

“You would refer to me as such.”

“What, mama? Babe, you are carrying children, I think they’re gonna call you mom.”

“But I’m a man, I-I am male I shouldn’t have to conform…to these…socially acceptable names…” Loki spat, hands trembling and chest heaving.

“Okay, okay,” Tony relinquished, he knew a meltdown coming on when he saw one, “What do they call moms on Asgard? Kiddo, you’re gonna be a mom, no matter what you say, but if you wanna go with Papa or Dad or Daddy I’m game. But I’m just saying, when the juniors are old enough he and she are gonna wanna know who carried them. You’re a mama and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Loki felt his chest hitch, and he was painfully biting at his lips, “It’s bad enough that I do not feel even remotely close to the gender I have always identified with…but now…and this…”

“Loki,” Tony started slowly, “Whatever you want, okay? I was just thinking I guess, thought it would be easier for the babies. But if that’s uncomfortable for you we don’t have to do that.”

“Mor”

“Huh?”

“Mor is ‘mama’ in our old language,” Loki gulped as he clenched and unclenched his hands.

“Mor,” Tony chuckled, “Sounds good to me,” he leaned forward and pressed lips to Loki’s ever expanding belly, “Calm down for Mor huh? I’ll sing you anything you want, even convinced ‘Mor’ to change this color scheme.”

“It shall stay as I say,” Loki retorted, “Blue and gold is comforting and you will not argue with me on the matter.”

“Yes, sir,” Tony winked, however his smirk disappeared when Loki grimaced, “They’re really giving you hell aren’t they.”

And Loki couldn’t help it, the tears were too close and the frustration was too strong, “They won’t stop and I can’t take this! I’ve barely slept and with my magic so hard to reach I cannot regenerate my energy!” he unsuccessfully held back a cry.

Tony moved forward as quick as he could and wrapped his arms around the Norse god, “Hey, hey, I’ll get’em calmed down, let’s get back to bed and I’ll try huh? If not I’ll stay up with you all night, they’ll calm down eventually.”

Loki agreed, although reluctantly, as Tony led him back to bed, settling him against the sheets and blankets. Tony was careful to situate Loki on the bed, “Okay if I lift this up?” he asked tugging at the end of the t-shirt.

Loki huffed, staying his tears of frustration, “As if it will do anything, but yes,”

Tony lifted the t-shirt away, kissing the taut flesh below his belly button, “Hey babies, it’s daddy, you need to calm the hell down, huh? I’ll sing you anything you want, remember? You like my singin’ voice.”

“Tony,” Loki groused, “If you start…”

“Shhh, they love it,” Tony smiled, winking in Loki’s direction, he started humming different songs against the skin of Loki’s belly, it wasn’t until he started singing ‘Hey Jude’ by the Beatles that Loki’s stomach stilled. The tiny limbs became lax and compliant, “Well will ya look at that, Beatles fans.”

“Do not stop or I will spear you with whatever I find nearest to me,” Loki growled low, his head falling back against the pillows with a sigh.

Tony sang until they fell asleep, cheek against Loki’s stomach, and yes, he woke up with the same kicking against his cheeks that had Loki snapping insults.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next day Loki found himself on the porch, lounging in the sun, head lulling and near falling asleep. Tony had left to pick up the paint for the babies’ room on the first floor. He had insisted on buying things himself, personally, besides a few odds and ends that he directed Pepper to take care of. Loki had stifled a laugh at how determined Tony was to build the nursery piece by piece with just the two of them. No outside help. Every time Tony left the tower, and Loki behind, he reminded Loki he had been crazy strict about the security and updated it regularly, so it was with that mere thought that Loki was able to fall asleep so easily in the open air of the tower.

That was until he heard shouting, straight up shouting and he deftly identified it as Clint’s voice. Blurrily he moved his head, taking a heaving sigh, one hand pressed to the ever disappearing of his navel.

“I will shoot your fucking ass! Back the fuck up!” he heard Clint shot, and then he saw his leather clad body at the doorway of the porch. The Hawk’s protective stance made his heart start beating nauseatingly fast, which made him move up quickly from his reclining state.

“Hawk?”

“Fury, I swear to fucking God I will fucking shoot you!” his forearm was trembling with the force that was to keep the arrow from spiraling forward.

“Isn’t this Stark’s tower?” Fury asked calmly, “When did you become his bouncer?”

“Yeah, well he’s busy, so I’m here.”

“So Loki still has his little slave huh?” Fury smirked.

“Hawk….” Loki swallowed roughly, eyes on the one-eyed man.

“It’s okay I got this, Jarvis already has contacted the rest of the team.”

“Well aren’t we lucky,” Fury huffed, “I just came by to get a progress report on this,” he waved a hand dismissively in Loki’s direction, “What I wasn’t expecting was for you to have the Avengers at your disposal. I’ll be laughing my ass off when they’re screaming and begging for me when you betray them all.”

“I haven’t any plans…” Loki started.

“You aren’t welcome here, get the fuck outta here,” Clint snapped, stopping any words Loki had to apologize.

“He’s giving birth to monsters and here you are defending him!” Fury snapped, “When did your objective change?!”

Clint was terrified at the idea that he knew he Loki was pregnant, even though he knew they could never completely keep things under wraps. When he heard the word ‘progress report’ he wondered what exactly Fury’s intentions were, “He’s innocent, and as soon as you chose to treat him any different than myself, that is when I changed. He’s pregnant, I ain’t gonna try to explain that, but I’ve seen the pictures and I’ll protect him by any means necessary if I have to.” Clint shouted, crowding Loki behind himself, one arm out that tucked him neatly behind his back. At face value this was silly, Loki was so much taller than him, probably stronger too.

“Yeah Nick, back off,” Natasha’s more than cool voice arrived, her hand on her hip where a weapon no doubt rest, “Loki, why don’t you go back into the living room huh?”

Loki swallowed hard, “I-I don’t…I mean I do not mean to make life difficult for you two…by any means…”

“No, you aren’t, we see what’s right especially when it’s in our faces,” Natasha moved in a way that made Fury back up, “Go into the living room, now.”

Usually Loki would object at the idea of being ordered by a mortal but the determination in both the Widow’s face and the Hawks’ made him hurry into the living area.

Natasha turned to Fury, “I respected you, I always have, you brought me up from a very dark place. Why not him too? And he’s pregnant, as crazy as that may seems and I’m not gonna let you hurt him. No matter what you wanna get outta him.”

“He’s a monster, he destroyed this city, he almost killed you both,” Fury argued, “And now, I don’t even know how it’s possible, he’s growing monsters in his fucked up gut! Fucking freak is gonna rain down hell once those things come out of him!”

Get out,” Clint growled, “As fucked up as it is, we were the same, he couldn’t control what he was doing. If you can’t see that, get the fuck out. Fuck it if he’s havin’ babies, you touch one hair on their head we will fuck you up! Pretty sure Tony will have a few choice words if he finds out…oh yeah, he does know you’re here, Jarvis just did that for me, so if you don’t wanna get blown to hell leave NOW.”

One eye narrowed, “This isn’t over, not by a long shot, not just him but those aliens he’s carrying.” Fury warned. And then he was gone.

“Fuck, Tony is gonna flip shit,” Clint said, sheathing his arrow.

“Yeah, “Nat sighed, but went into the living room anyway, taking quick note of Loki’s watering eyes and furrowed brow, “Hey, you alright?”

“He will never relent will he…” Loki sighed, eyes on the floor, both hands on his belly.

“Doesn’t matter, you’re safe, he’s not getting anywhere near you,” Natasha assured, “Hey, look at me,” and he did when she placed a cool hand to his shoulder and lead him to the couch, “He’s not getting anywhere near you, he can threaten, but that’s it, understand?”

Loki’s eyes turned wet, “Yes,”

“What the fuck was that fucking asshole doing here?!” Tony’s voice sliced the air, he was clad in his Iron Man suit, all gold and red and eyes gleaming.

“We got this,” Clint cut him off, “He’s gone.”

Tony allowed the suit to be removed, it standing like some strange corpse, “Lokes, baby, you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Loki growled, shrinking away from the people in the room, even Tony.

“No, no you’re not,” Tony said, sitting beside him and without asking, gathering his long legs over his lap.

“I-I’m not sure I can stay here…this Fury will always know of my whereabouts; he does not see me as human or worthy of life…if he were to harm the babies…Tony I cannot…I can’t let him have them… I can’t…”

“Won’t happen,” Tony snapped, taking both closed fisted hands and pressing lips to them, “Never, got it?” however Tony’s heart was hammering with the thought that Fury was able to bypass the security. But he’d, without Loki’s knowledge, upped security in terms of having at least two Avengers on hand at all times. Because he knew at some point that SHIELD would be able to cut through security, “Thanks you two, really.”

“No problem,” Clint took a breath, “We’re here whenever you need us, goes for both of you.”

Loki swallowed roughly, “I thank you…for your help…with my magic so…well I’m not quite sure what is wrong, the babies are leaching it away, I would not have been able to defend myself. If he had had one of those collars…I’m not sure…I mean…” Tony’s arms were around him once more, pressing lips in his hair.

“Hey, hey, he’s gone, you’re safe, I’m not gonna let anything happen to you.” Tony murmured.

“None of us will,” Clint added.

Loki nodded, too exhausted to argue at that point only offering a soft smile to the archer and the assassin.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

As soon as Tony had time alone he was upping security, all the while Loki was lounging on their large bed, stretched out like a pregnant, very sexy cat.

“How long do you plan on fiddling with that device?” Loki hummed, arching his back deliberately.

“You’re trying to kill me aren’t you,” Tony chuckled.

“Only if you do not get your perfectly toned ass over here and bed me at once,” Loki warned, eyes turning glassy with lust.

“Yes, you’re trying to kill me, either way,” he put down the tablet and crawled over the bed urging Loki on his back, and diving down to kiss already eager lips. As always it seemed, as of late, Loki melted as soon as their tongues touched.

Tony left tiny, wet trails of kisses, urging away from his lips slow and steadily down his jaw making progress to the place behind his ear that left him shuddering. The usual bingo! Went off in Tony’s head with a smile when Loki moaned, low and long, “Naked, now.” He was urging him up, their lips never disconnecting as he lifted the t-shirt up and over Loki’s head, with a new expanse of creamy skin before him he continued his slow track down his chest, circling one nipple with his tongue. Loki arched and moaned once more. He kissed and nipped down to his navel, pressing lips to the ever growing bump. Luckily Loki had been lounging in boxers and the T only, making it easier to get him in the naked state he wanted.

“We still okay?” he always asked, always and it garnered him a smile every time.

“Of course, I’d say so if it weren’t,” Loki was panting at this point, “J-Just get on with it, you’re making me sound like a fool.”

“Oh that’s a challenge,” Tony chuckled, teasingly pulling at the elastic waist of the boxers, very lightly skimming his fingers over Loki’s obvious arousal. Without asking he lowered the lights with a quick command, and continued to paint kisses all around Loki’s waist, the insides of his thighs, and to both knees before tugging the remainder of his clothes off.

Loki huffed in relief, “You are not naked, do it now.”

“So demanding tonight,” Tony smirked, quickly undressing and returning to the task at hand.

Loki was about to ask him what in the Hel he was doing when Tony’s head disappeared between his thighs. Loki damn near squeaked when he felt lips to opening below his penis, he refused to call it anything else. And before any self-loathing could cling to closely and bring him out of this lustful state, his partner’s tongue was breaching him and he arched. Tony had never done that before, and if he’d thought the noises he had been making before had been ridiculous, he was sure he sounded absolutely ridiculous. He was completely lost at the sensations below his waist and when Tony nudged that mysterious bump he screeched again. He felt the smile and now Tony was swirling that nub with his tongue, “Stark…please…ah! Gods!”

“You don’t wanna play that Stark game, now, do you?” Tony was still grinning in triumphant, lifting his head to make brief eye contact, because Loki only made these sounds for him. Him alone, high-pitched and so unlike Loki’s normal self. And as he stopped his ministrations for a moment, Loki made a whimpering noise he’d never heard before.

“Yes, if you continue this infuriating teasing,” Loki gulped in new breath.

“Big words for someone that is obviously enjoying this.”

Loki opened his mouth to protest but when Tony continued doing that oh so perfect thing with his tongue he yelped and threw his head back, legs like jelly and any and all protests melted away, “Tony please…”

“Busy,” he gave that area one last, careful, tender kiss and worked up Loki’s length, he kept both hands firmly on Loki’s hips to still him as he bucked up without thinking. Loki was vibrating, he noticed, his panting increasing.

“You okay?” he asked, smirking abandoned.

“S-Sensitive, over sensitive, don’t know why,” he hissed, “But I’m okay, please, please just please!”

Tony captured his mouth once more, licking his way inside, lined himself and carefully pressed in, rocking his hips in a way that had Loki near sobbing in relief and canting his own hips.

Loki wrapped his legs around his lover’ s waist, burying him deeper, and he tucked his face into the space of Tony’s shoulder, delivering his own kisses and bites. Close to painful as always but Tony groaned in pleasure. He would have kept up his playful nipping but then Tony took him in his too hot hand and he yelped once more and his head fell back, “Tony!”

“Ah, you’re so beautiful like this,” Tony panted, kissing Loki’s exposed throat, licking the shell of his ear before sucking the lobe between his teeth. Between the gentle but firm stroking of his penis, that one last tiny bite was all he needed and Loki’s legs tightened around his waist and they were both crying out. Tony worked him through his orgasm as well as his own, and not too long after Loki went completely boneless beneath him.

Tony rested his forehead to Loki’s, catching his breath, “Okay there sweetheart?”

Loki nodded wordlessly, eyes working their way open almost in a way that made it look like he was coming out of a deep sleep. But when he smiled, Tony smiled too, “Wow, that was, wow.”

“I concur,” Loki murmured, sleep already tickling the back of his eyes.

Tony kissed his lips, soft and warm, “Stay put I’ll get something to clean us up,” he got off the bed, naked and all and went into the bathroom, returned with a damp cloth and cleaned them both up. By the time Tony was tucking the covers around his sated God, Loki was already breathing deeply and contented as he descended into post-coital bliss.

“Babies aren’t kicking,” Loki mumbled, barely decipherable.

“That’s good, get some sleep,” Tony snuggled up behind him, wrapping his arms around his torso, palm falling to the baby bump. He knew, from his ever extensive research, that endorphins sent fetuses to sleep. He supposed if he had to bliss Loki out every night, it wasn’t a bad thing. As he started to doze himself, he brought the blanket up over Loki’s chilly skin, he kissed his cheek and before he thought to ask ‘you need more blankets’ he slipped into sleep as well.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

It was the first time in nearly two weeks that Loki slept through the night with not so much as a hiccup from the twins, so Tony was surprised to wake with him still wrapped securely in his arms. He took a deep, contented breath and unconsciously reached fingertips up to run through Loki’s ebony hair, he was interrupted by familiar mounds of thick bone. This popped his eyes open like he’d been slapped, and he looked down at his still sleeping God to see supple, indigo skin in place of porcelain. Signature tribal lines tracking in delicate, intricate patterns all along his naked back, curving around past his back. Tony hadn’t seen him without clothes before in this form, so he actually took a minute to investigate, eyes will so wide in shock and concern. He felt Loki inhale sharply, and then yawn widely before his ruby red gaze was peering up into Tony’s face with a gently, sleepy smile.

“Good morning,” his voice still sounded spent from the night before, but despite the feeling of finally achieving a full night’s sleep, a frown found his lips quickly, “Tony, what’s wrong?”

“Well baby, don’t freak out on me but…you seem to be blue,” Tony answered carefully, his hold still firm.

Chapter Text

“Okay, it’s okay,” Tony began, kneeling on the bed at this point full on ready for a complete meltdown hands out as if to brace himself.

“No, no it is not o-k!” Loki shouted, all sleep swept from his eyes, but not from his voice making it sound wobbly and unhinged. He was looking at his hands as if they personally affronted him, and scrambling across the bed, up on his knees as well, chest heaving like a hummingbird.

“Sweetheart, it is okay, listen to me, hey, hey, hey, look at me, baby look at me,” and yes, he took note that the only reason he was able to wrangle Loki close was because of the lack of magic, but he could so Loki was peering at him with wide hopeful eyes. Indigo fingertips clutching at Tony’s forearms. Blood red and shining like perfectly cut rubies, “Honey, breathe, breathe for me, you’re alright,” he gathered him close without asking, “Shhh, breathe,” he continued this gentle coaxing until Loki did indeed take a measured, even breath.

“No,” Loki moaned, face buried in Tony’s shoulder, “This can’t be happening, I can no longer hide my true nature as I wish. Not all of your friends have seen this. W-What will they think of me, I-I can’t go out like this.”

“Yes you can, because this is who you are, Steve and Clint, your friends too have seen your true form and were completely chill about it. Babe, damnitt, you’re beautiful like this if you didn’t know.” He threaded fingertips through his hair, stroking the pads of his fingers over the rough textured bone atop his head.

Loki parted his periwinkle lips, bubblegum tongue instinctively wetting said lips, and Tony knew it was in protest. So Tony kissed him and like the very few times he’d kissed him in this form he melted, it took a lot to reign in his senses, “Don’t start with me, got it?”

“Why is this happening?” Loki sobbed, hiding once more against Tony’s shoulder, “I understand not, why would my glamor disappear?”

“I’m gonna say it’s that whole magic thing, didn’t your mom say she had problems controlling magic when she was pregnant?”

“Yes, but…I am not Aesir…I am something else entirely,” he sobbed loudly, not even caring that it rippled with shame. His childhood and everything in it was rearing its ugly head.

“But you still have the same magic, it makes sense, oh baby, don’t cry, please don’t cry,” Tony cradled and rocked him close, drawing up the forgotten blanket around his naked torso. In fact he’d only just realized that yes, they were both still naked from the night before.

Loki leaned back on his heels, “H-How…how can you stand me like this…”

“Thought we’d already been over this, look at me,” Tony spoke sternly, hooking a finger beneath his chin before cradling his face with both hands, “Goddamn you are beautiful,” he stroked both thumbs along the tribal lines around the high cheekbones of his face, tracking down his throat and shoulders, “Beautiful, just beautiful.”

Loki sobbed, cried, like he had the first time he revealed himself to his lover, “Why do you say such things?”

Tony kissed him again, trailing kisses over his cheek, ghosting lips over his jawline, “I don’t bullshit, if you hadn’t noticed, I say it like it is. And sweetheart, if these babies are just as blueberry as you I’ll be proud, they’ll be beautiful like their mama.”

Finally, after a long period of silence with only soft cries that slowly dissipated into snuffles. Loki pushed away, scrubbing at his eyes as he managed a small smile, “Y-You think so?”

The pressure in Tony’s chest lessened, and he smiled toothy and all, “Not a doubt in my mind.”

Loki took a shuddering breath, falling back to the bed, bringing Tony with him, “I-I slept so well last night…why must…why must this happen now?”

“I’m sorry sweetheart, I know this isn’t convenient, but it’s you. I think you’ve denied your real self for too long, now’s a good time to get used to it.”

“I suppose,” Loki snuffled, hand caressing his belly without thinking and caressing in small circles.

Tony was still smiling in that soft understanding way that made Loki think that everything would indeed be okay, and when he bent forward and kissed the taut, blue flesh of his stomach he managed a watery laugh.

“I know you’re havin’ a helluva time with all this, bein’ pregnant, bein’ blue and twins to boot…but you know what? I’m so happy that you are who you are…not only do I get this delectable, gorgeous god? We get to have beautiful babies together and I never thought I’d get the chance to have it all. Fuck, never saw myself settling down at all, never wanted to. That is until you and I get to have it all with you…there’s never been a time I’ve ever been happier. This is you, and I love it, I love you, you get that?”

Loki’s resolve finally crumbled and with all honesty he was nodding in understanding, “I love you too…” and when the babies gave a kick in unison that made him grunt he added, “I love you as well my darlings.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thor had returned to Asgard to speak with his mother, happy that he no longer had to hide to be granted council or discuss his little brother, “I know that Loki would have rather discussed this matter with you himself but I gathered that it would be quicker if I spoke with you.”

“Is he well?” Frigga asked sharply.

“Yes, he is well, but his magic, it has waned considerably, and I am worried about when the…I should not be telling you this, Loki should, but…he is having twins…”

Frigga’s golden eyes lit with excitement, “Oh! Twins! My goodness!”

“Yes, twins,” Thor gave a tired, worried smile.

“How fares my baby? Is he taking the news well?” Frigga calmed, delicate hands finding Thors’.

“Yes, I mean, he is getting use to the idea, but my concern is his dwindling magic. His run in with Fandral, as you might know of,” he growled without thinking, “He was not even able to protect himself…he’s changing…I fear his glamour will deplete completely and I think, given that he only had less than three months to go, we should consider contacting his family…his…his blood family…”

“Yes,” Frigga nodded, “I do believe it is the right time.”

“I am so pleased of Father’s relationship with Loki…his want to protect him so I believe he would agree this is best. I think it would be smart to visit Jotunheim. We know not how Loki’s pregnancy will progress…and I am fearful of the end result, we can wait no longer. But as to having Loki involved, we should keep him out of this as long as we can, if we can manage it we ask them to visit Midgard. I do not think it wise for Loki to travel anywhere.”

“I agree,” Frigga took a breath, “We shall visit Jotunheim, you and I. I think Odin’s presence will only garner excitement.”

“Mother, are you sure?” Thor frowned, “Perhaps I should have the Warrior’s 3.”

“No, as I have said the ruling is different…Laufey is no longer in control. There has been peace…we will go.”

 

It had taken a lot of negotiation with Heimdel to grant them passage to Jotunheim but he agreed. Only on the condition that he was allowed to contact the All-Father if things with array at any point in time. Frigga agreed. So it was with the whipping of the frosty winds that she found herself, Thor along her side, facing the tall foreboding throne of the frost giants.

“Frigga, wife of Odin,” a booming voice broke the chilly air.

“I come only to talk, of something that concerns you greatly,” Frigga boomed just as strongly, “Of whom do I speak to?”

“Farabuti, King of Jotunheim,” the figure emerged from the shadows, taking a tentative seat on the stony throne.

“Farabuti, I do not come here to cause you grief…I-I come here on behalf of your son…”

The dark ruby eyes narrowed, and his entire body went completely still, “My sons stand by my side to whom do you speak of?”

“Loki,” Frigga spoke carefully.

“I-I understand not,” Farabuti abandoned his staff and stood up from the throne, making careful way down to the level of the Asgardians, he held up a hand when his guards attempted to follow, “My youngest was still-born, why do you speak his name…” he was peering down at the lady dressed in gold.

“He did not die, he was left to die, however, on this frozen tundra. My husband found him and took him into our home…he is alive…very much so…”

Farabuti moved everything that was like a graceful and frightful, but Frigga was shocked by how very ‘Loki’ he moved. Graceful yet powerful, and hair, just as ebony as Loki’s adorned his head, looking like silk, “You lie…he…Laufey told me he gave birth shortly after the battle…but the babe...he did not survive…our baby…my baby…”

“He lives,” Frigga murmured, “I would not lie, and he is in need of your knowledge, your help, I would not come to you with lies. We have no ill intentions with you or your people, I know what it feels like…to lose a child, to wonder of their fate. I only wish to give you closure, to give help to my son…your son.”

Frigga was shocked to see tears freezing at the corners of the large creatures’ eyes, brow crinkling in pain and mouth upturned in feign control, “You tell me…after all this time…that my child…my baby lives?”

“Yes,” Frigga answered carefully, “You two must speak, you must, he’s…he’s pregnant…”

If Frigga had seen tears before, his face was now wet and getting wetter, “Pregnant? My Loki? My baby…” he said once more as he turned away, “Laufey told me of these lies…it was the only child he bore and I knew he did not want this child…I should have known better, should have…”

“He lives, dear, and my apologies to realize all of this…I knew not of your realm…that you grieved his passing or not passing…oh my dear, he is so lost, especially now…and I can provide him no comfort as I know not of his real heritage…or anything concerning his race.”

“I will go to him, now, I wish to see him,” Farabuti made a sound that was suspiciously like a sob, “I wish to see him now if possible.”

“Of course,” Frigga conceded, “But let me speak to him first, we welcome you to Asgard from there we will go to Midgard.”

“Midgard?”

“Yes, where he and his mate reside.”

“His mate?”

“Yes, a mortal,”
            “Are they wed?” Farabuti asked, garnering some control.

“Not of yet, just the babes are on their minds.”

“My lady, I wish for safe passage to my son…all this time…he thought himself abandoned…did he not?”

“Regretfully yes…he thought himself abandoned… it is a long tale and I am more than willing to explain,” Frigga answered.

With clenched fists, Farabuti mouth turned in a frown, “Laufey…you bastard…”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Loki would not leave the bedroom, despite Tony’s stern persuasion, he kept himself tucked in the sheets and comforters. More than one, he’d made a mountain of them. And he would not eat meals outside of their rooms.

Tony closed the door behind him softly and was met with Steve’s concerned blue eyes. He also saw Natasha and Clint sitting opposite of each other on the living room couches, both giving an acknowledging wave.

“Tony, why won’t he come out?” Steve asked with a deep sigh, “It’s been almost a week and even I know he can’t sleep that long.”

“So he may or may not have woken up blue a few days ago, and he’s ashamed,” Tony huffed moving to the bar and pouring himself a drink.

“Most of us have seen that though,” Steve frowned.

“Yeah, well, you tell him that,” Tony said with a shrug.

“Let me talk to him,” Steve offered.

Tony chuckled, “You sure you wanna do that?”

“Why not?”

“That would not only be my head but yours too Cap, you get that?”

“I don’t think so,” Steve argued, already up from his seat, “Let me talk to him.”

Tony was torn between the idea of finally getting the ice broken on this whole ‘I’m a monster thing’ and to be quite honest, keeping his balls. His very pregnant god could jump from one mood to the next, and being blue had only made it worse. Ten times worse, “Well…I-I guess it’s worth a shot.”

“Good, you stay here, alright?” Steve gave a tight smile and patted him on the shoulder, tentatively entering the bedroom. He noticed the blanketed bundle at the center of the bed, the lights dimmed to near dark and the curtains drawn just as tightly. He took a breath and before he took a careful seat on the bed he spoke, “Loki? You in there?”

Loki stiffened noticeably, his drooping eyes shooting wide, and before he could help himself he was rolling over to face the voice, “What are you doing here?”

“Tony said you weren’t feeling so good, and I haven’t seen you in days, you alright?” Steve asked, taking a chance and putting a hand to one partially exposed arm, he was more or less shocked by the cold he found there but did not remove his hand.

“I-I haven’t left the bed…because…because look at me!” Loki spat, chest beginning to heave painfully.

“Why? Because you look like you?” Steve shook his head, “Loki, when are you gonna get it in your head that none of us see you the way you see yourself?”

Loki gulped, taking in a shuddering breath, “Why should you not fear me? I’m revolting…”

“Stop it,” Steve snapped and Loki gave a slight flinch, “Cut it out, huh? You are not revolting, you’re different, ain’t nothing wrong with me different, now you need to get out of bed and get some fresh air. Those babies sure would appreciate it I bet, you can’t keep yourself cooped up in here, no one’s here to judge you…you’ve laid that all on yourself. Clint and I have seen you like this, and Thor has too…has anyone said an unkind word? Cause if they do I’ll knock their lights out.”

Loki chuckled softly, head turning in his pillow, he was silent for a few moments, “Why do I deserve your kindness and understanding Steven? Because you are…so kind…forgiving…”

“Just that, you deserve that,” Steve nodded with determination, “Come on, come out, huh? I’ll make you anything you want if you do, anything.”  

“I don’t know…” he trailed off.

“Come on, you gotta be sore too from all this lying around,” he was ushering with his hands, and was shocked when Loki actually sat up gently pushing away the blankets, his face still in contemplation.

Loki pursed his petal-like lips, “I will not go out there without some sort of covering, would you give me that hooded shirt,” he pointed towards the closet.

“Sure, you don’t need to though,” Steve added as he retrieved the article and gave it to Loki’s outstretched hands. Loki shimmied it on and Steve was equally surprised when he reached out both hands for Steve to help him up, “You okay?”

Silently Loki nodded, keeping his head down, dark hair falling over his face, he took a chance and glanced briefly up at Steve who was only smiling softly.

“You hungry?” Steve was elated when Loki allowed an arm around him, leading him out of the bedroom.

~~~~~~~~~~~

“So yeah guys, well, Nat, especially, don’t stare or gawk or anything…all we need is for him to fly off the handle and…”

“Geez Tony, what do you take me for?” Natasha snapped.

Both stopped talking with the creaking of the bedroom door.

Tony’s jaw may or may not have hit the floor when he saw Steve with Loki. Somehow he had succeeded. Steve only gave Tony a winning smile and a wink as he situated Loki at one of the kitchen chairs.

Tony gave one more warning look at Nat and Clint and strode up to Loki’s side, “Babe, you alright?”

“I’m fine Tony,” Loki spoke barely that above a whisper.

Tony leaned forward to capture his ruby gaze, aptly hidden behind the hood, “Hey, look at me,” and when he did Tony smiled, “Nothin’ to hide from,” he kissed his lips as he sat down beside him.

That seemed to be encouragement enough because Loki lowered the hood, a visible shudder rippling across his flesh. His eyes were darting towards the living room, so he started a bit when Steve asked, “So what’ll it be?”

“I-I wouldn’t mind more of that soup you made for me in Malibu,” Loki swallowed roughly, willing himself to calm his nerves.

“Soup it is,” Steve beamed, already digging through the large fridge for supplies.

Soon Natasha and Clint were joining them at the circular island, each taking their own seat, “So how goes the babies’ growth?” Clint asked.

“Well, I believe, they have been quite active,” Loki finally took a full breath.

“They’re related to Tony, of course they’re ‘quite active’ probably driving you nuts,” Natasha added with smirk.

A small grin graced his face at that remark, “Yes, perhaps,”

“Hey guys,” Bruce’s voice arrived from the hallway as he entered through the foyer, he looked freshly showered and sleepy eyed.

“Haven’t seen you in a couple days Dr. Banner, you’ve been pulling all-nighters again?” Steve asked, situating pots and pans on the stove.

“Yeah, research, time got away with me, just gonna grab some protein and hit the hay again,” he glanced once then did a double take at the very blue-colored person sitting around the Avengers, “Uh, what?”

“Bruce,” Tony began.

“Loki? That’s Loki?”

“Yeah, Bruce can you stop there for a second?” Clint was cutting in now.

“Is this a pregnancy side effect?” Bruce asked, rounding the table and coming to he and Tony’s side, “Are you alright? I’m not, I mean I don’t have any knowledge on your people so…”

“I am Jotunn, not Aesir, not Asgardian, so yes…this is normal…this is what I am. My magic no longer allows me to hide,” Loki groused.

Bruce’s concerned face relaxed, “Well good! Phew, thought it might be a bad thing,” Bruce gave a huffing laugh, “Are you feeling alright? No light headed feelings, no dizziness?”

Loki looked like a fish out of water, “Not as of late.”

“May I?”

“May you what?” Loki narrowed his eyes.

“Check your pulse, just wanna see if your heartrate’s doing okay, I don’t know if your blood pressure is different in this form so, just let me,”

Loki offered up his hand and Bruce pressed fingertips to the pulse point and his eyes on his watch, “Pretty normal, little accelerated, but slow and steady, that’s good. Just don’t you be skipping out on meals, got it? If you have any problems let me know, I’ll do what I can. I’m gonna go crash, just have Jarvis wake me,” he gave Loki’s shoulder a pat and with protein bar and bottled water in hand he was already leaving for the elevator.

Only was Loki made aware of his surroundings was when he felt Tony’s lips at his temple, “See sweetheart?”

Loki exhaled roughly, straightening his spine, not hunching like he was before, “I suppose you are right then.” He took a moment to soak in the fact that he was in a room full of people that apparently accepted him no matter what. It was a concept that would take him longer than a few weeks to accept.

“When am I not right?” Tony smirked, giving a wink and lacing their fingers together.

“Well,” Loki began but only shook his head.

The boom of the bifrost shook Loki making him growl, “What now?”

“Probably your mom, remember? Thor said he’d be back in a few days,” Tony said, his free hand stroking up and down the expanse of Loki’s back which made his eyes close in comfort.

And when Frigga, long flowing gown and all, glided through the doorway Loki’s face lit up, “Mother, finally,” Loki rose up from his chair and instantly wrapped his arms around her.

“Darling, I see what I suspected has happened,” a gentle smile was on her face as she kissed his cheek, “And look at you,” one slender hand rested on his ever expanding belly, her own magic brushing in tendrils, searching out the life signature humming on the surface of Loki’s stomach, “What a lively little pair,” she grinned when the children responded with faint brushes against Loki’s insides.

Loki gave a low chuckle, “They are very aware of who you are.”

“Brother,” Thor gave a similar smiling of understanding, “How do you fare?”

“Well enough, besides, this,” he waved a hand over his face, “What is it Mother? Does my appearance make you nervous?”

“Of course not dear,” Frigga near scolded, “Loki, we have not come alone.”

“What do you mean?” his eyes were on the hallway.

He was answered quickly when a trembling and utterly heartbroken voice cut through the air, “Loki, oh Loki.”

Chapter Text

The figure wasn’t exactly looming, but it was indeed taller than any Asgardian or human for that matter. Tony didn’t even know what it was that he was looking at really. But apparently Loki did, because he was shaking head to toe, one hand gripping the bar, the other damn near breaking Tony’s hand.

Loki new his mouth was moving, without words, peering up at the tall creature that stood a few feet before him. What he noticed immediately was the similarities in their features, high cheek bones and roman like nose, even the fullness of his lips. And in that moment Loki wondered, if only shortly, if he looked anything like the thing that gave birth to him.

And the creature before him froze, eyes locked on him, ruby eyes wide and broad chest heaving, “Loki…oh Loki…Loki.” The word, the name, seemed to just roll like foreign food on the tongue, like a prayer, and eyes that began to silently run endlessly.

Loki’s throat worked convulsively, eyes moving to the golden figure of his mother, “Mother, w-who is this?” even though he could put two and two together given the height of the person, the indigo color of their skin, he just wasn’t sure he wanted to admit it.

“Loki, this is Farbauti , ruler of Jotunhiem…and your birth-father…” Frigga spoke calmly.

Loki stayed where he was, “Is that right…” he trembled.

“Loki dear, give him a chance to speak,” Frigga began.

“No!” Loki spat, biting at his lips, unconsciously stumbling backwards, one hand now cradling his belly, “How dare…how d-dare you…I-I…” and he couldn’t stop locking eyes with the tall figure before him, couldn’t break the gaze and it left him wordless, despite everything he wanted to scream.

“Loki, I did not come here to harm you, or to cause you distress, only to give you explanation of your childhood, or more or less the history of your birth,” Farbauti  spoke so carefully Loki wondered how this person was ever with someone like Laufey, “I did not know you were alive…I swear to it…your mother…he told me otherwise…if I had known…I would have done everything in my power to find you…he told me…that you were dead…all this time…” even though there was an urgency in his voice he never took another step forward. He stood as if he were frozen on the spot, hands wringing in a way that again, reminded Loki of himself.

“You thought…all of this and…with no body? No evidence of a dead baby?” Loki gasped, he had let go of Tony’s hand and was caressing his belly as tenderly as he ever had, as if to reassure his children his fate would never be their own.

“Loki, my son,” Farbauti  took a breath, running a pink tongue over his periwinkle lips, “Something you must understand…about your mother…he-he did not take kindly to confrontation…or debate…not to those that he saw as subordinate…you see…our marriage was arranged…he was never kind...I made it a point never to cross him. In fact, I was the only one meant to bear children…when he, a rare circumstance, was carrying a child, he did not take to kindly to it…”

Loki’s throat was working to move saliva properly down the right pipes, “He never wanted me…”

It was only then that Farbauti  moved slightly forward, brow wrinkled in despair, “Oh but darling, I did want you, I wanted you more than anything, and I made it my life’s goal…to make you happy…when I knew he wouldn’t…he promised…he promised me…after you were born, since he didn’t’….” and then there were no more words to be spoken. Loki knew.

“He never intended on keeping me alive…” Loki whispered.

“Loki, sweetheart,” Frigga intervened, “It matters not what he wanted, it only matters that your father…Odin and I…we found you. And we’ve always loved you…and Farbauti …he did not know of your existence…so many loved you.”

“If I had known,” Farbauti  interrupted, “I would have come to you as soon as I could…”

“How am I…to believe this?” Loki’s brow furrowed deeply, eyes filling, “I have been lied to my entire life…how am I to believe anything…that is coming from-from anyone…and h-how am I…to come to terms with the fact that I murdered to the person that gave birth to me…I am no better…I-I…”

“No, child, you are nothing like him, I can tell merely by your stance, you love those babies you carry…I can feel it through my own sedir…it flows and pulses so beautifully, and they love you too. So much…oh son, I am so sorry, that you have come to believe you were never loved by your blood family. Because I do, I do love you, so much, I have loved you since you were conceived to the moment I thought you lost, and even then.”

Loki gulped, breathing now steadily falling from his control, staccato like and frantic, both hands clutching his belly, his vision blurring, and looking as though his knees may very well buckle at any moment, “Tony…”

“Okay, okay, that’s enough! That’s it! THAT’S IT!” Tony snapped, arms around Loki in an instant, his voice strong but watery at the same time, “I know everyone thinks this is all ‘good for Loki’ but it’s not, please excuse us,” he didn’t even ask, he scooped up Loki in one fell swoop, and automatically Loki’s arms were up and around Tony’s shoulders, and his damp face was hiding in the crook of Tony’s neck. When Loki finally let loose with loud and messy sob, Tony gave a warning look to both the Queen mother and Thor and even Farbauti  that was at least three feet taller than him, “This was too soon, he didn’t need this.”

“I had no intention, I only wanted to see him for myself, my apologies, I meant no harm,” Farbauti  began, but his words fell short.

“Anthony,” Frigga started.

“No! Fucking hell, he needs a minute, Christ almighty,” Tony growled, it was the sternest he’d ever spoke to her but he didn’t care, “Steve, no one comes into our room, got it? Everyone stay the fuck out!”

“Yeah Tony, of course,” Steve added quietly, ringing a dish towel in his hands.

Tony nodded, his attention back to Loki, “It’s okay baby, it’s okay,” he murmured, mouth close to Loki’s ear that almost muffled his cries, carrying him out of the room, and into their bedroom, letting the door slam loudly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

“I was foolish,” Frigga sighed, “I should not have done this so soon, but I was worried. Your father was right…”

“Mother,” Thor said, voice soft, “Your worries were the same as mine, concerning his magic, and the babies, we knew not if it were dangerous. We needed information.”

“Uh, maybe we should all sit down,” Steve’s ever calm voice broke through, “How about in the living room, uhh, your majesties?”

Farbauti  was still standing, unmoving, brow crinkled in a way that indicated that he may very well be close to tears.

“Dear,” Frigga interrupted his thinking, resting a hand on the Jotunn’s elbow, “Come and sit, I promise this will be smoothed out. Loki is…he’s only shocked and that is my fault not yours, I assure you, please. It is not of your fault, it is all mine.”

“All these years, these hundreds of years…” Farbauti ’s head bowed, tears finally falling down his high cheekbones, “I could have been a parent…someone there for him…to steer him away from the darkness in his mind… to assure him he was always wanted, always. He is not Laufey, he is not! And I could have been…the voice that assured him as such…”

“That was neither your fault nor mine,” Frigga said, taking one of his large hands between her own two slender ones.

“Hey uh, Loki may be upset right now,” Steve spoke up, “He’s really sensitive right now, but I know in the long run this will help…he’s just overwhelmed…he just needs some space.”

“Are you…a close mortal friend of his I assume?” Farbauti  asked, sniffing loudly.

“I uh, I would say that, yeah,” Steve gave a smile, “Can I get you guys anything? Tea or coffee or I don’t know.”

“Tea would be lovely dear,” Frigga gave a soft smile of her own, she turned to Farbauti  who looked everything that was awkward on the stark white couch, “I apologize for seemingly jarring your life…I just…I did believe that this was in Loki’s best interest.”

“In the long run…” Farbauti  licked his lips carefully, “It will, perhaps not now, be for the best. I thank you for so boldly coming forward and alerting me of…his existence…there has not been a day that goes by that I do not think of my baby…”

“That is exactly why I came forward…I nearly lost him a year ago and it almost killed me…” Frigga bowed her head, voice full of regret more than anything. She explained the situation that was Thor’s banishment, Loki’s short reign, and everything that followed after. His entrapment, with Thanos, and the Chitauri. By the end of the tale Farbauti , much like Loki could be, was wet eyed and breathless.

“I could have prevented this…” he cried, in tears once more.

“No, I’m afraid dear, that is on Odin and I.” Frigga pressed a hand to his, intertwining their fingers, “Please do not blame any of this on yourself.”

 

~~~~~~~~

                Tony had Loki in his arms, Loki’s cheek pressed to his chest, as he ran both hands over Loki’s heaving back. Neither of them speaking, Tony simply caressing him gently, ever so often pressing kisses into his hair, against his temple, his cheeks and lips.

            Tony waited until Loki’s breathing evened out before even attempting to talk, “Loki, honey, you don’t have to go out there. I can tell them to get the fuck out, all of them, every single one.”

            Loki inhaled shakily, “No…”

            “Then what do you want sweetheart, tell me.”

            “I-I don’t know…” he hiccupped, “I should be happy, now, shouldn’t I? Even though my birth mother did not want me…but my Father…he-he obviously did not know that I was still alive.”

            “Yeah, I don’t think he did, he seems to be genuinely confused that you’re alive. Baby, I think…I think he is really happy to see you…I mean damn, he was outright crying…not too many dudes do that unless they really mean it.”

            “No, I would think not…” Loki sniffled, “I never want these babies to feel that… never…I’m so scared…that they will feel the same…”

            Tony cut him off with a rough kiss, “No, no, no, you won’t ever be like that to our kids, you’re gonna be great, baby. Them feelin’ the way you do?” Tony shook his head, “Never. They already know you love them, I love them, they’re gonna be spoiled fucking rotten.”

            Loki sobbed, he couldn’t help it, and he wasn’t even sure who he was anymore since this pregnancy, given that he could cry at the drop of a hat, he was never like that before. “Tony, I love you, I love them, you know that…”

            “Never doubted it,” Tony smiled with a wink, he ducked down and pressed a deliberately loud kiss to his belly, lips smacking and all, “I know this is hard, with your bio dad being here, but I really think he cares. And your Mom, I know it wasn’t the right time, not by a fucking mile was it the right time, but she’s just looking out for you.”

            “I suppose,” Loki trembled, cuddling closer to Tony.

            “You don’t have to go out there if you don’t wanna, I’ll send them all home,” Tony said, lips close to Loki’s ear before delivering a kiss and the to the top of his head, he was interrupted by bone but kissed it anyway and made Loki shudder in a way he didn’t understand.

~~~~~~

            Farbauti  was the first person’s head to pop up with the sound of the bedroom creaking, “Loki,” he spoke, even though he wanted to use endearments that he felt he wasn’t privileged to use yet.

            Loki entered the living room in a somewhat protective stance, arms around his rounded belly, “I-I apologize that I reacted in such a way, it is anything that is befitting of a prince.”

            “Darling,” Frigga started, “I am so sorry for the abruptness of the visit, I only wished to find knowledge to ease your worry.”

            “I understand mother,” he answered, eyes on Farbauti  like a magnet, “I-I wish to speak to…my…my…” but he could not finish.

            “All is well child,” Farbauti , “Please sit, if you wish that is.”
            “Y-Yes,” he looked to Tony who followed close behind, their hands intertwined.

            “Please dear one, I only wish to convey how much I loved you, wanted you, nothing else we will not discuss anything further.” Farbauti  hurriedly explained.

            “I-I do believe I have heard enough, I wish only to gain knowledge of my current condition,” he tried his best to sound indifferent but it came off more disturbed than anything.

            Farbauti  frowned, wetting his lips, attempting to hide the tremble, “You have two brothers, if you would like to know,” he managed a very weak smile, “They wish to meet you especially at the knowledge of your to be born babes…but…”

            Loki’s head bowed, “Perhaps in time…”

            “I will not push you,” Farbauti  interrupted, “As to your condition, I was always well learned in magic…I and not your mother, but I had my own pregnancies with your brothers, I was their mother,” he smiled softly, “My magic…Laufey always scolded me for it, that was unless it came in handy…as in healing…anyway…everything that you are experiencing…is quite normal. My magic was my main weapon and for each baby it nearly depleted, but given that you are having twins it makes sense does it not? And if your guise was a part of such magic it will return once the babes are born… you will not always look as you do now.  Your desired Aesir form that is….”

            Loki swallowed roughly once, then twice, “That is…comforting…”

            “What is it dear, please,” Farbauti  asked.

            “You…you mourned?” but then he wasn’t sure what he was saying, or trying to say.

            “Oh, my sweet child, my darling babe,” Farbauti  whimpered, and without thinking pressed a large hand to Loki’s cheek, so much larger than Loki’s skull, thumb sweeping below matching ruby eyes, “I have mourned you everyday…and my heart soars with the knowledge that you survive…soars to the heavens…and you are beautiful, just as I dreamed…and oh so precious…”

            Loki tried, he really did try not cry, but then it was pouring out of him, “All this time…I have felt…I-I’ve tried I….”

            “I know darling I know, I know,” Farbauti  cooed, and he took a chance to gather his baby close, and given that it wasn’t hard to do, given his size, he feared he’d crossed a line. But he was not given resistance as he held his child close in his lap.

            Loki wanted to spit and curse and spat but he couldn’t, he only folded, perhaps it was hormones, he wasn’t sure, but he fell against the cool chest with a prominent cry.

            “I’m so sorry, so sorry my beautiful boy, my beautiful son,” Farbauti  crooned, cradling Loki close to his chest, tears tumbling like icy crystals.

Chapter Text

It took Loki a long, long time to calm down. He wasn’t even consciously aware that he was huddled in his birth father’s arms. Not really. Even though he could feel the hum of connection like a lost but remembered song. And he wasn’t sure how but he did as large fingertips carded through his dark hair, over the protruding bone atop his head. He remembered this hum of magic, it was like a lower frequency that called out to him, like wisps of fog. And also, he felt the babies respond, they weren’t exactly kicking, merely squirming. He could feel them turning around one another, as small as they were, but he definitely felt their palms against his inner belly. It had been startling none the less. He hadn’t known how to deal with it, as he pushed away from the embrace, carefully but also with purpose, scrubbing at his face and putting distance between them. Out of pure habit he wrapped his arms around his middle and turned away.

            “It is alright child, I do not expect an immediate fix, I am here for you, plain and simple. Here for you if you have any questions as I have been in your very position,” Farbauti assured, “It can be a very tough time but you are carrying two children, I recognized their magical signatures as soon as I saw you. And they are draining you, more than just your magic, so you must rest as much as you can. I can tell by the nature of your relationship, with your mate, this is not at all a problem.”

            “Damn right it isn’t,” Tony mumbled, chewing his lips and staying his distance. He knew when to protect and when to back off, and now was one of those times.

            Farbauti took a careful intake of breath, “You have no reason to trust me, nor your mate as well. But I assure you I am only here at your benefit. To insure that these children come into the world safe and sound. And you successfully give birth without any problems. Your mother,” he motioned to Frigga, “She knows much about you, more than I could ever hope to, but I know your anatomy my child. I know how this works, so I would consider, when the time comes, to contact me. I would not have to touch you, but at the very least educate your mother in the matter when the time comes.”

            Loki wetted his lips, biting the bottom one between his teeth, “I-I suppose that would not be a problem…it is not…not that I believe you mean me harm…I-I’m trying…”

            “Child,” Farbauti interrupted, “I understand… you need not explain. You need rest, I shall make my leave now. I merely wanted to see the babe I thought lost. And here you are, perfect and beautiful…and you are….so perfect.”

            “You know me not,” Loki gulped.

            “I know enough, and what you have endured,” Farbauti cupped his chin in his large hand, running a thumb over the expanse of his forehead, leaning down and kissing gently the bony portion of his head, “What you deserve now is rest and love, and I do believe you are receiving that in great amounts. I am only a call away, Queen Frigga will keep me informed of your condition. But I will only come if you call. Only at your request.”

            “Thank you,” Loki jerked his head in some semblance of a nod, “I…I am glad to know of your existence…that you…you do not reject me. That you mourned me.” Loki found himself curling his fingers around the hand to his face, perhaps it was hormones, he wasn’t sure but he leaned into the touch once more, closing his eyes.

            “You haven’t a clue,” Farbauti murmured near soundless, “You rest, go, I will speak to you again. Yes?”

            “Of course,” Loki answered, “And it is because I want to…” he added quickly with the swelling in his chest expanding. Again, he blamed it on the spinning children inside of him.

            Cold lips were pressed to his forehead and then gone in a wisp of a breath. His eyes tracked the movement of his birth father moving towards the exit.

            “Darling,” Frigga spoke up, she was on her knees, peering up at Loki, her golden eyes near glowing holding his face in both hands, “I am sorry if this upset you, I am.”

            “No, mother,” Loki managed to steady his voice, “I-I understand why you did…it’s alright…”

            “We shall leave you to rest, Farbauti told me you will be giving birth in less than three months. I will visit you beforehand, I will help you plan if you wish but I know Tony will do the majority of that.”

            Tony was shifting on one foot then the other, off to the sidelines of all this, irritation arguably present in his demeanor. His need to protect more than he could handle,  “We have a baby room all set up…just…gotta wait for the little guys to show up.”

            “Tony is taking great care of me,” Loki interrupted, “More than he should actually…I will be fine.”

            “Good,” Frigga smiled, she tugged him close, one hand resting on the swell of his stomach, “I will see you soon my darling.”

            As Thor saw the guests out, before Loki said his goodbyes to Farbauti and their mother, he took a moment to gather his brother close.

            “Loki, are you sure you’re alright? I know you must be angry with me…”

            “If I were to be angry with you I should be just as angry with mother,” Loki interrupted, “All is well, please, see them out, I wish only to rest.”

            “Of course brother,” Thor answered quickly, like so many had, kissing the top of his head.

            “Come on kiddo, you’re resting, as in now,” Tony refrained from outright growling, taking Loki by the bend of his arm and leading him into the living room.

            Loki took this moment to gather Tony close, taking him off guard, given that he was taller than the inventor it was not hard, his pregnant state evident between the two men. “I love you, more than you can even fathom.”

            Tony closed his eyes, both hands caressing his belly, “I love you too sweetheart, more than you can ‘fathom’, come on baby, rest time,” Tony kissed his lips, heating the kiss for only a short moment of which Loki leaned into like taking in oxygen, “We’re gonna be great parents, you get that huh?”

            “Yes,” Loki smiled, genuinely, “I do.”

           

~~~~~~~~~~~

            The events of the day were reeling, Loki had to remind himself that it was real life. It had happened. He had met his birth father and he had been anything and everything that he expected. Loving in every sense possible. Accepting. And Loki had been respondent to it all. Without hesitation, even with his mistrust, like some echoing voice that only spoke in terms of their magical signature or biology. But he felt calm. Very calm, as if balmed from any and all panic he was expected to feel.

            “Are you feeling alright?”

            Loki was shaken into reality with the surprising sound of Natasha’s voice, “Yes, quite, why do you ask?”

            “You were spacing out there,” she commented, muting the TV, “Like big time.”

            “Just tired I suppose,” Loki answered, “That’s all, just a little tired.”

            “Nothing more than that?” Natasha offered a smile, “Babies aren’t kickin’ up a storm or anything? Cause if they are I wanna feel’em.”

            And Loki’s mouth was turning up without thinking, “I’m alright, thank you. The babes are quiet at the moment, but as soon as they start making a ruckus you’ll be the first to know.”

            “You should be in bed,” Tony piped up.

            Loki turned his head towards his lover, “I am lying down Tony, and my feet are up, is that not enough?” he argued with a huff, settling both hands on his belly.

            Without asking Tony put a pillow underneath Loki’s feet resting on the table, “No, it’s not enough, you need a mountain of pillows underneath your feet and back and neck, not this lumpy couch,” Tony said, finishing his fluffing of throw pillows around Loki’s lounging body, taking a seat at his side, wrapping an arm around his shoulders along with a blanket that Natasha had draped over him, he urged up to his chin.

            “Did you eat enough?” Steve finally interceded, “We were kind of interrupted during supper time, I’ll keep that soup on the stove as long as you want.”

            Loki gave a gentle and rare chuckle, trying his very best not to roll his eyes, to be honest he was not use to this, “If I were uncomfortable I would tell you all, I assure you,” Loki sighed, settling in with an expert, all-knowing wiggle, nuzzling into Tony’s side with a quiet smile at all the attention.

            “You better sweetheart, I’m here to serve,” Tony kissed his temple, lingering there, nosing the short wisps of the hair of his crown, fingers already finding their way into his hair, massaging his scalp, teasing the nape of Loki’s neck.

            “You better believe that, in every sense of the word.” Loki smirked, eyes closing with the bubbling of goosebumps across his scalp and shoulders, he groaned happily. For just a moment feeling completely content.

Chapter Text

Tony came up from the lab, the elevator dinging with his arrival on the penthouse floor. He had probably the most non-productive day at ‘the office’ that he’d had…well, since he started the whole ‘Iron man business’. He couldn’t focus and he had this lingering nausea that had no source, hell, he hadn’t even eaten today…drank for that matter. That wasn’t the only troubling thing, not by far, he, Tony Stark, had fallen apart while watching Bambi of all things, on one of Steve’s Godforsaken ‘Disney nights’ because that seemed to be one of his ‘things’ of late. Loki had happily complied, giving the argument that if they were to reside on Midgard they would need suitable children entertainment. Loki didn’t admit it but he liked them just as much as Steve did.

Steve had chosen Bambi, not knowing of its contents. Tony had huffed and complained, but complied. He’d heard of this movie before, never haven seen it, but he didn’t expect to be so affected. Not just affected. He completely lost it. This was of course after the mother was shot while Bambi and herself ate newly grown grass, Bambi running through the snow covered landscape before the barely recognizable father arrived as coldly and as unfeeling as possible. He didn’t know what was happening, he’d been, in one moment, lazily stroking Loki’s hand, rubbing a thumb over his palm and it hit him like a wave. The stupid, well-drawn nostalgic imagery was making him want to bawl. Loki noticed immediately, dark brow furrowing, he had become quickly distressed at his state. And it seemed to only make it all the worse as Tony stumbled over his confusing all-of-a-sudden-tears. Loki had tried to pull him close to comfort him out of pure shock not in any sense of the word understanding why he was crying.

But Tony had retreated, of course, into the lab. When he came to bed that night he didn’t want to talk about it simply out the fact that he felt fine afterwards.

 

As he entered the kitchen, nearly gagging, Steve, with his ever stern face spoke up.

“Tony, talk, now,” Steve growled, pulling out a stool by the bar.

“About what? The fact that whatever you are cooking makes me wanna wretch?” Tony snapped.

“Oh, I don’t know,” Steve began, “The fact that the last week or so you’ve been unbearable to be around, except Loki, which is a good thing or I was thinking we’d all be getting involved.”

“What the hell are you talking about, and for the love of God throw out whatever it is you’re cooking.”

“That too, chicken never bothered you before, are you sick?” Steve queried, “This is Loki’s favorite, only reason I’m cookin’ it.”

“Hey guys,” Bruce interrupted, “What are we eatin’”

“Nothing I want,” Tony groused.

“Bruce, come on, will you talk to him? He’s acting like Loki minus the babies!” Steve spat.

“Tony,” Bruce began, “You feeling sick?”

“Yeah, I have a bug obviously,” Tony argued.

“Uh huh,” Bruce nodded, “But out of nowhere?”

“Yeah, that’s what sick is,” Tony coughed, “Steve, come on, get it out of here.”

Bruce was chuckling, loud enough for Tony’s brow to rise, “What?” he asked sternly.

“Sympathy pains, that’s what it is,” Bruce grinned.

“What?!” Tony spat.

“You can’t stand the smell of certain meats and well…Tony I’m sorry but certain story lines that relate to your own childhood are effecting you. You’re relating to not only the mother, Loki, but your babies. I’m sorry to break it to you but you’re having father ‘sympathy pains’ Tony, you’re gonna be a great dad…you’re not Howard, you aren’t.”

“I don’t do that Brucie, I don’t,” Tony tried to laugh it off, but then there was hitching in his chest, as of late, even the thought of his babies in his mind, tears were burning his eyes.

Bruce frowned, “Tony, you’re thinking that, you are, everything you’re feeling? It’s normal…you love Loki…you love those kids and you’re gonna be a great dad…”

“Bruce…” Tony trembled, biting his lip hard enough to draw blood, “You don’t know that…what…what if I fuck this up…”

“What’s the matter?” Loki’s voice broke in between the tenseness, “Tony? Are you alright?”

“I’m fine,” Tony was biting his bottom lip again, chest hitching against his will.

“Tony…” Loki whispered, taking him by both elbows, “You aren’t…we are not supposed to lie to each other…what is the matter, my love? You have not acted like yourself for days now…you promised me that we would always be honest…”

“Baby, you? I never guess or doubt that you’ll be a great parent, never, but me? I do…the last few days…I haven’t been able to not think that.”

“Come here,” Loki near purred, an easy smile on his lips.

Tony barely perceived that Loki was leading him into their bedroom, he only became aware when he fell against the mattress, “Loki…”

“You doubt yourself,” Loki murmured, “How dare you, when you make me such promises of perfection,” Loki peered down, brow set firmly, “I cannot do this on my own…and I put nothing but utter trust in your abilities to raise these children.”

“I just can’t bear the thought of letting you down sweetheart,” Tony said, pulling Loki to his chest, kissing his forehead.

“You won’t, I am no more equipped to this than you are,” Loki argued, he grabbed one of Tony’s hands and forced one of his palms against his belly where heels and hands were spiraling against the flesh of his stomach.

“Wow,” Tony almost flinched as his palms were bumped mercilessly, “They’re really getting’ with it aren’t they.”

“They only do this when you touch,” Loki reprimanded, no smile gracing his lips, “Only you.”

Tony bit his bottom lips, “Really?”

“Yes,” Loki answered, “They know you, and you matter…”

Tony gulped harshly, “So they know me huh?”

“Of course they do,” Loki answered simply, taking hold both of Tony’s elbows and tugging him forward, “You are supposed to tell me when you’re in distress…”

“I just…didn’t wanna stress you out babe,” Tony swallowed thickly, and wouldn’t admit that he was clinging tightly to Lok’s side, face pressed to his chest.

“It stresses me out when you are sad, and do not speak out,” Loki growled, even though his fingers were threading through Tony’s dark, short threads. Loki ran long fingers up and down his back and kissing the crown of his head. And Tony had resisted letting Loki know what was going on because he was going on because it was he that was supposed to provide comfort. Of course in this moment he was giving it up all quickly.

“You are ridiculous,” Loki murmured against his temple, pulling the comforter higher up over the two of them, “You are not allowed to lecture me in the least, you understand that?”

Tony felt his eyes falling close, “Yes sir,” he exhaled roughly a smile on his lips.

Loki held him close to his torso, running both hands up and down his back and pressing lips into his hair, “Tony, my love,”

“I know, I’m sorry,” Tony huffed, finally allowing himself to relax against the indigo body, cheek against his chest and arms around his waist.

“As you said, this is going to be perfect,” Loki breathed.

“Yes, it’s gonna be perfect,” Tony argued without thinking, lips to Loki’s belly, “It’ll be perfect.”

Chapter Text

Tony crossed the living room, two catalogues in hand. They’d finally decided on a crib, or at least narrowed it down to two. “Lokes, where you at?” he peered into the kitchen, made his way into the bedroom. He saw that the door to the bathroom was cracked and the, “Babe, you in here?”

“Yes,” Loki’s subdued voice arrived from behind the door.

Tony let himself in without a second thought. Loki was in the huge tub, full of tepid water, and as soon as Tony saw the slight grimace on Loki’s indigo face he was asking, “What’s wrong?”

“I have the oddest sensation of twinging, I thought a warm bath would ease it away. But it’s only worsening, ah!” he sat up in the tub, hands clutching his protruding belly.

“Baby, why didn’t you call me?!” Tony was on his knees next to the tub.

“I was going to if it did not cease,” he groaned.

“Where’s it hurt?”

“Here, and here. Ow! I know darlings, I know,” he pointed to both sides of his stomach, caressing the flesh as he felt the babies kicking in contest to the discomfort, “What if something is wrong?” he growled again as another, more intense cramp seized him.

“J, contact Dr. Banner, now,” Tony spat, “Let’s get you back to bed, can you walk?” Tony reached out both hands and Loki took hold allowing to be helped from the tub, “Put an arm around me I’m just gonna pick you up.”

Loki did as told as panic began to take hold, “Tony what’s happening…”

“I-I’m sure it’s nothing, but we’ll have Bruce check ya out, okay?”

“It hurts…” he bent slightly as Tony wrapped a towel around him, before scooping him up from the floor with a slight groan.

“I know baby, it’ll be okay, we’ll find out what’s going on. I’ve heard of fake labor pains, that’s probably all it is.”

“I want my mother,” Loki hated the whimper that left his throat unwillingly, “I need her here.”

“J get Thor too, would ya?” Tony maneuvered him to the bed, easing him onto the soft surface.

“Yes, sir,” the AI replied.

Tony pulled the covers up over his belly and kissed his forehead, taking one of his hands securely between both of his, “Just breathe, sweetheart.”

“Tony?” he heard from the hall.

“In here Bruce,” Tony called.

“What’s going on, Jarvis said Loki’s sick?” Bruce crossed the space of the room, medical bag in hand.

“He’s having pains in his stomach, it sounds like contractions,” Tony tried to even his voice, hide the tremble there for Loki’s sake.

Bruce unhooked his stethoscope and pressed the flat piece to Loki’s belly, “Take a deep breath for me.” A few moments passed before Bruce spoke again, “I hear both of their heartbeats, they’re a little fast but that could be because you’re in distress right now. You having any other symptoms? Any blood?”

“N-No, no blood, not that I know of,” Loki huffed, trying desperately to even his breaths to calm the children currently thrashing inside him.

“Loki, I know you’re not okay with this, but I really should check your cervix. If the kids are in distress, there are measures I can take to ensure they stay in there as long as possible. It’s far too early to give birth…”

“I can’t do that!” Loki suddenly spat, his cheeks spotting with a deeper shade of blue that could only be a wave of blushing.

“Loki,” Tony began, holding his hand tighter, “I know you don’t want anyone to…see you like that. But Bruce is a doctor, and the babies could be in trouble.”

Loki turned away, a harsh cry muffled behind the palm of his hand, “I just want my mother, I need her here, she’ll know what to do.” He was in full panic now, absolute and complete panic.

“She’ll be here, we’ll get her here, but until then, I would highly advise you let me check you out. It would take only a few seconds I promise. We just want to keep you safe, you got that?” Bruce tried to convey.

“Breathe honey, breathe, if it doesn’t let up, you’re-you’re gonna have to. We don’t have any other choice.”

“I told you, I can’t let anyone…touch me…I don’t know if I can handle it.”

Tony leaned forward and kissed his forehead, “I know, I know you don’t. But this is clinical, it’s for your sake and the kiddos.”

When a particularly sharp pain made him nearly yelp aloud he spat, “Fine.” His tone was clipped and short, still trying to reign control of his breathing, he turned his head away once more.

“I’ll make it quick, okay? This isn’t the first time I’ve done this, when I was in India I helped a lot of moms give birth. And in really troublesome circumstances too.” Bruce said as he retrieved surgical gloves from his bag.

Loki was holding Tony’s hand nearly hard enough to break it, but he kept his eyes on Tony’s, far too afraid to close his eyes. To afraid that memories would barrel at his sanity. Loki was still in a towel so there was no awkwardness of undressing.

“I’ll be quick,” Bruce reminded him in a calming tone, executing the skills he had learned while dealing with frantic mothers.

Loki thought surely he would faint from embarrassment and panic alone. True to his word. Bruce was speaking again and there were no longer hands on him, “Loki, hey look at me,” Bruce spoke up, “You do have a little blood, not a lot. But good thing? There’s no amniotic fluid.”

“Well, what does it mean?” Tony asked.

“I’m not going to lie, this could be the early onstage symptoms of delivery but we have to wait and see. If the pains don’t stop within an hour or so I’d like to get him on an IV drip, a medicine that stops the symptoms. For now I’m gonna go with false contractions, so lay on your side, that should alleviate it if it’s the case, less pressure on the fetuses and your belly.”

Just as Loki was about to spat once more that he wanted his mother, Thor arrived at the opening of the bedroom.
            “Brother, what ails you?”

“Thor, can you get you guys’ mom here asap. Or his dad, he’s the Jotunn side right? I don’t know if human birthing is the same as Jotunn birthing, but we’re having complications. I’m flying a little blind here.” Bruce exhaled.

“Of course, of course,” Thor answered quickly, “I will return Loki.”

Any eye contact that Loki had been giving was gone, he tugged his hand out of Tony’s and instinctively wrapped them around his torso.

“Loki, I’m sorry.” Tony began, reaching again for his hand.

“I’ll give you two a minute. I’m gonna pop down to the medical floor, get anything I might need.”

“Thanks Bruce,” Tony murmured, “Loki, honey, I’m sorry you had to do that. I know how…”

“Please don’t touch me…” Loki trembled, tugging at the blanket around his waist.

Tony’s heart plummeted, he swallowed hard, “Okay, no touching, just look at me, please?”

Loki closed his eyes, exhaling roughly, but reluctantly turned his head back to Tony.

“I’m sorry, please. I didn’t mean to pressure you, but this was important…”

“I know why,” Loki snapped, feeling flushed again, “Does not mean I cannot be upset about it…”

“I know, and of course you can be upset…we should have talked more about this possibility sooner than now,” Tony sighed, wringing his hands, not sure what to do at this point and the room fell in an uncomfortable silence.

Thankfully just when Tony thought he should excuse himself, Loki was speaking again, “I was thinking, last night how badly I wished for this pregnancy to be done…what If I have somehow cursed myself and my young.”

“Loki, there’s nothing wrong with you wanting this to be done, okay? You didn’t curse anything, you’re just tired, you haven’t felt good. And I think you’ve been on your feet too much.”

To Tony’s horror Loki was crying again, harshly now, “Baby,” Tony spoke low and soft, taking a chance and pressing a palm to his cheek, brushing away the dark hair off his forehead. When Loki didn’t flinch away, Tony took a seat on the edge of the bed, when that did not garner negative results he pulled Loki forward.

“I’m scared something is wrong…I may not know much but I do know that one is not supposed to bleed.”

“Your Mom will be here any minute, and ya know the other guy. He’ll know what to do for sure,” Tony stumbled with his words, because Loki flat refuse to verbally confirm the whole birth father thing.

Loki inhaled shakily, swallowing his tears, finally leaning closer to Tony, “Nothing ever…works out smoothly for me I’m afraid. What-what if I lose them…”

“You won’t, we won’t,” he kissed the top of Loki’s head, right over one bump of bone.

It was barely 30 minutes when they heard the signature boom of the bi-frost.

“Loki,” he heard his mother’s voice and Tony knew to move away as Loki was swooped deftly into her arms, “Darling, what’s wrong? Thor tells me you are sick.”

“I have pain, and there was blood…Dr. Banner…examined me and told me this. I cannot lose them Mother, please, not after everything we’ve been through.” It came tumbling out of his mouth alongside with panicked tears.

She held him close, combing long, delicate fingers through his hair, “Shhh, I will do everything I can, and I brought Farbauti with me for good measure.”

Loki had almost forgotten that Dr. Banner had suggest they employ Farbauti’s help, and perhaps any other time he would argue, but he was too frightened to care.

Tony wasn’t sure when the looming figure of Loki’s bio dad wouldn’t alarm him, but it had, so far, had him itching to have a suit nearby.

“Loki, is it alright that I enter?”

Loki swallowed dryly, “Y-Yes, you may.” His arms tightening around his mother a bit more than needed.

“What ails you, child?” Farbauti’s deep timbered voice asked, low and soft as always.

“Abdominal pain and blood,” Frigga answered for him, she dislodged Loki enough to press both hands to his swollen stomach, “The children are strong, I can feel their energy. There does not seem to be any abnormalities. Not that I can sense.”

Farbauti delivered a gentle smile, moving closer to the bed, “I have brought a draught for you, it was needed when I carried my first. My symptoms were nearly identical, but I never lost a child. This is quite normal, it is your body’s way of preparing, better forming the birthing canal, you’ll be delivering in less than 3 months Midgardian time, yes?”

Loki nodded, “T-Then, I am not miscarrying?”

“Valhalla no, darling, you bled in the beginning did you not?”

Again Loki nodded, “It was most unpleasant, but yes, I did.”

“This is similar, just not as intense. Even if it were more than that, this,” he held up a vial, “And your mother’s magic will be more than sufficient mend of any problems. I doubt there are, but it is wise to rather be safe than sorry.”

“Well, I mean, I don’t wanna be the one to say this, but we’ve got medicine too. If this, ya know, doesn’t work fast enough.” Tony spoke up, it was the first time that Farbauti’s gaze locked directly on Tony.

“I assure you this is enough. I mean no disrespect, but your Midgardian magic is primitive compared to our healing abilities. And Loki is not of your world, he is Jotunn, I know what is best,” he said, voice firm but still gentle. He knew that Loki’s mate was merely concerned. Something he envied.

“Are you sure this is safe?” Loki asked timidly.

“Of course child, I have used it with countless Mother’s, your case is no different,” he handed the vial to Frigga.

“Mother…” Loki spoke low.

“I know of this magic, darling, it is safe,” she popped the cork and urged it to Loki’s lips, and it was only with another particularly sharp twinge of pain, that he swallowed it down.

“It will make you rather drowsy for a few hours, of which I’m sure the rest is needed, no?” Farbauti explained, “I will leave more of the medicine behind if needed, but this should be the only time.”

Loki’s red eyes were shimmering, “Thank you,” and he could feel the ease of his muscles almost immediately as well as the children calming, it didn’t feel like they were doing back flips anymore.

“Better?” Tony asked, his voice hopeful and worried all at once.

“Yes, love, I’m sorry if I frightened you,” Loki’s tone finally smoothed out, his brow no longer marred with lines, he huffed at the feeling of Tony’s fingers in his hair and his mother’s palm, warm and careful against his belly.

“Not your fault babe,” Tony sighed in relief.

“So, the verdict?” Bruce’s voice came behind them in the doorway, “Whoa,” he cleared his throat, “Uh, hi, you must be…Loki’s dad right?”

“Yes, I am Farbauti, King of Jotunheim, and you are? We have not had the pleasure,”

Bruce found himself shocked at the geniality of the large, blue person in the room, “Dr. Bruce Banner, been keeping up with Loki’s medical, ya know, non-magical medical.”

“What does this entail?” Farbauti asked, brow furrowed.

“Oh, blood pressure, blood sugar, also I uh I’m the one that took pictures of the babies. I got to tell them they were having twins.” He gave a nervous smile, because to be honest he found it fascinating that he wasn’t the only weird colored creature in the world.

“You have imagery of the children?” Farbauti piped up, “I would very much like to see this.”

“Yes, please,” Frigga added.

“Well, why don’t we let Loki rest, and I’ll get’em up on a screen for ya.” Bruce against gave a gentle smile.

“Yes, of course, Loki must rest,” Farbauti agreed, “How are you feeling, child?”

“Better, thank you,” Loki said again, voice very groggy at this point.

Frigga bent and kissed his forehead, “Sleep darling, we will stay for a while until I’m sure you and the babes are indeed alright.”

He felt the signature squeeze of Thor’s large hand over the tops of his folded hands, “Rest well brother.”

“Tony, will you stay?” Loki slurred.

“Sure sweetheart, thanks guys, really. And for getting here so fast,” Tony gave what could only be seen as an exhaustingly relieved smile.

“Of course,” Frigga took Tony’s face in both hands and kissed his forehead like she had done Loki, “Don’t tire yourself out either, papa.”

Tony blushed with a huff of laughter, “I’ll try.”

Bruce ushered the entourage of people out the door, “I’ll get those pictures up.”

“Thanks Bruce,” Tony said again.

“No problem Tony. I’ll be hostess to the gods in there, you just get some rest,” Bruce smiled, and closed the door behind him.

Tony got up from the edge of the bed, “You want some clothes?”

“Yes, I’m a little cold,” he said, his voice starting to fade, the afternoon washing over him like a wave and he felt as if every bit of energy had been zapped from his bones.

Tony returned to the bed, he removed the sheet just long enough to slip sleep pants, that now hardly fit anymore, up his long legs, “You want a shirt?”

Loki groaned, “I don’t wish to sit up, pants will suffice. Just come and lie with me.”

Tony moved to the other side of the bed, slipped off his shoes and crawled in next to Loki. He moved on his side and Tony saddled up behind him, draping an arm around his waist, fingertips rubbing in slow circles of the taut skin of his belly, “See, told you you’d be okay.” He pressed a kiss to the nape of Loki’s neck.

Loki hummed low, the draught leaving him feeling wonderfully blissed, “That was frightening…to say the least. I love them so much…” his chest hitched, “I love you…”

Tony took his chin carefully and pressed their lips together, “I know baby, I love you too and them, but everything’s okay now. You have another problem like that, you get me immediately, understood?”

“Yes, Tony,” Loki managed, before his lead feeling like eyelids fell shut.

Tony was wired, even as Loki’s breathing turned deep and soft as he fell into a deep sleep. He’d been through a lot, torture, battles, but nothing had scared him compared to this. He continued to rub Loki’s full belly, he felt his eyes burn, glad that Loki was asleep, “Stick around guys, I can’t lose any of you. I can’t…” He whispered low and hardly audible at all to anyone but himself, he lost the bravery to speak aloud. When he felt the roll of a heel over his palm, he nearly burst into tears. I won’t survive it, is what he wanted to say.

Chapter Text

 

Loki and Tony stayed in bed for at least three hours, Tony didn’t sleep as long as Loki did, hell he’d barely dozed. He watched him carefully while he slept, combing his hair with his fingers, still trying to calm down after the chaotic afternoon. At this point he was really hoping that Mom and Dad would just stick around permanently, having to wait for them to travel from rainbow land was too long. 30 minutes too long.

The second passing of fingers through Loki’s dark locks drew forth a happy groan from Loki’s lips, “You waking up babe?” Tony whispered softly.

“Mhmm,” Loki murmured with a puff of breath, “I shouldn’t have my mother waiting too much longer.”

“Don’t worry about that, you know she doesn’t mind.” Tony said, dotting lazy, sleepy kisses over Loki’s forehead, down his nose, “You sleep as long as you want.”

Loki hummed happily at the attention, he rolled over on his back, “I think I’ve rested enough.”

“No pain?” was Tony’s first question.

“No, no pain,” Loki smiled, running a thumb over Tony’s bottom lip.

“Good,” Tony grinned, kissing the pad of said thumb.

“Now I will require a shirt, help me up will you?” Loki pushed himself to a sitting position with a grunt.

Tony clambered off the bed, rounding to the other side and reached out both hands, “Take it easy, so this is becoming a regular thing huh?” he chuckled.

Loki huffed, the action of moving after such a deep sleep may as well have been a marathon, “I’m afraid so, I may not leave this bed the further this pregnancy progresses.”

“You say the word and I’ll build you a fort in here, breakfast in bed every day,” Tony winked, exiting the closet, over-sized shirt in hand.

“I do believe I’d go mad that long in bed, but it may come to that,” Loki slipped the shirt over his head, comfortably covering his belly, “At least my shirts are still fitting, I’ve nearly grown out of everything you’ve provided me. I’m huge.”

“You’re gorgeous and you’ll be back to your old self in no time, then you should definitely get back into all that leather.” He whistled

“You’re impossible, I assure you the leather is a thing of the past. I think I shall go back to stealing your clothes,” Loki laughed softly, taking Tony by the elbow.

 

When they entered the living room, Bruce and Farbauti were in deep discussion as Bruce pointed at the screen the two were studying, obviously explaining the science of it all. He had his geek face going that was for sure. The sonogram was up and in motion. Thor and Frigga were side by side speaking just as softly with Steve who looked as though he had just returned from a mission, clad in his red, white, and blue. Suffice it to say it was a strange scene indeed that had Tony shaking his head.

Frigga’s golden eyes lit up when she heard the creaking of the door, “Darling, how are you feeling?”

“Much better, Mother, thank you,”

“Come, sit,” Frigga rose from her seat and reached out both slender hands of which Loki took immediately, she led him to the couch and rearranged the pillows around his back, “Oh, your children are just precious, they will without a doubt be beautiful when they arrive.”

Tony watched with a smile on his face, when it came to moms, Frigga really was the best. And she’d been wonderful through all of this, always in their court. Lost in his observance he didn’t realize that Farbauti had risen from his place next to Bruce.

“Son of Stark, may I speak to you in private?”

Tony had to crane his neck upwards, he cleared his throat instead of squeaking, “Uh, yeah sure.”

Loki’s worried eyes popped up, attention away from his mother, “Tony…”

“It’s okay babe, be right back,” he led them both into the kitchen area, “So, what’s up?”

Farbauti furrowed his periwinkle brow, his eyes even went to the ceiling, “Up?”

Tony tried not to smirk, “Never mind, is something wrong? I really appreciate you guys getting here so fast and taking care of things.” Tony hurriedly spat.

“Of course, I would do anything for my children. There is nothing wrong per say, I simply wish to learn more about Loki’s mate. I have not conversed with many humans, how did you two chance to meet? Certainly not in Asgard.”

Tony didn’t expect that, so this was gonna be a ‘who are you that is dating my son’ sort of talk, “Well, no, here on Earth, almost two years ago at an art gallery party. He’d said he was bored with home life and thought he’d mingle with the mortals. We hit it off, I mean we got along, we’ve always got along.” He gave a shrug, trying not to blush at the memory of the two of them barely making it back to his place, making out like horny teenagers in the back of his limo, “I’ve never met anyone like Loki, he’s articulate and smart, he’s funny and sweet. I don’t think anyone else really knows that about him like I do, and vice versa. I guess he was having trouble at home at the time and well, he found comfort with me.”

“Even when you learned of his true nature?” Farbauti continued, crossing his impressive arms across his chest.

“I know everything about Loki and I’m still here aren’t I? Loki’s been through so much, a lot that no one else knows about and if I could punish all those that have hurt him, it would be a long exhausting month, at the very least, but I’d do it if I could,” Tony’s forehead wrinkled, “I love Loki, I’d never hurt him if that’s what you’re getting at. He’s my everything, and those kids inside him. They’re something I want that I didn’t know I wanted, and I get to have it all.” Tony thought for sure that this would turn into a conversation of ‘harm him and I’ll gut you’, what he didn’t expect was Farbauti’s handsome face pinching and eyes getting slightly glassy. It was in this moment that Tony saw the similarities in Father and Son. He had the same high cheek bones, and he wasn’t sure if every Jotunn was different, but they had the same intricate tribal circle around their foreheads.

“That gladdens me,” Farbauti sniffed, eyes falling to the floor.

“You get a bum deal with your…mate?” Tony took a chance at asking and without even thinking placed a hand on his forearm.

Farbauti’s eyebrows jumped at the contact, but he didn’t move. Still he hadn’t looked up, “It was arranged, in older days’ marriages that was tradition. I banned that tradition as soon as I came into rule. I would never wish that upon my sons, because perhaps unlike other couples, I was not given love, nor compassion. Laufey was cruel…more often than not I was afraid to speak out of turn. He was wont to strike me when he was in the mood. And he was only concerned on producing future heirs. He was equally cruel to his children…as you may know, he left my poor Loki to die. We may do well in the cold, but it is not immediate, we slowly adapt as we grow. Just like any newborn babe, they require warmth, affection. It is vital that they bond with their mother. My poor baby, left to die simply because he was small. Laufey, becoming pregnant, was more or less an accident. I bore all our children and thankful for that, for Laufey did not possess the capability to love them as they should be. The bonding that is so important in those first few moments...” He took a deep and loud breath, turning his head and swiping at his eyes, “I-I was not what you would say, grieved at the news of his death.”

“Man, I’m sorry to hear that…you seem to be a really nice guy…you didn’t deserve that.” Tony wrung his hands nervously, never thinking in a million years that a creature of his stature could look so frail, “You know I’d never be like that to Loki, right?”

Farbauti smiled warmly, placing both hands on Tony’s shoulders, “I see now, yes, that you would not harm him. Not intentionally that is. Laufey’s treatment was intentional in every sense of the word. I feared that Loki may fall into a similar relationship. I dare say I’m too protective of my children, even though I know Loki and I are far from familiar with one another. All the same…”

“Instinct,” Tony offered, nodding, “With that background I’d say I don’t blame you. You haven’t met anyone else after him?”

“I haven’t really the desire to do so, for now, my children are enough. Ensuring their happiness. And I do hope Loki allows me to dote on his children. I wish it had not taken so long to find him.”

“Well hey, you’re here now and that’s all that matters. It may take some time to warm up to him, but Loki’s like that with everyone. Just give it time.” Tony replied, “Especially after today, he was really freaked out and you were able to fix things. That’s not something he will forget.”

“I thank you Son of Stark, for your kind words and open ear,”

“No problem and just Tony is fine,” Tony smirked and they returned to the living room

 

Loki’s eyes were filled with concern, but that melted quickly with the easy smile on Tony’s face, “Tony,” Loki began.

“Just talkin’ that’s all, so what do you guys think about the twins?” he jutted his chin out at the screen.

“It is a marvelous source of magic,” Frigga spoke up, “What you Midgardians won’t think of. They’re beautiful, son.” She said again.

“Clint wasn’t lying when he said it’s like peeking inside, wow, and they’re so tiny,” Steve added, “Congrats again guys.”

Thor’s big blue eyes were filled with tears, “They’re perfect brother, I’m so proud of you.”

“Thank you,” Loki said, his eyes on the screen as well.

“Their profiles are so beautiful,” Farbauti smiled, “Like their mother, one can already see those high cheekbones, a little like Hellbindi I dare say. Mayhap, when you are well adjusted with the arrival of the children, you may allow your brothers to visit. Or you could visit home. They have asked of you.”

Loki thought that might cause nervousness to ripple through his stomach, but it didn’t, “Are you sure they wish to see me?”

“Of course dear, if you think this is about Laufey…as I explained to Tony, there was no real distress at the news of his death. But of course, only when you are ready.”

Loki nodded, a ghost of a smile on his lips, “That would be alright, I suppose.”

The glassy nature of Farbauti’s eyes returned, much like in the kitchen, “I thank you son, for having such a forgiving heart. I do not deserve it.”

“I don’t blame you…for any of that. You are not at fault for what Laufey did,” Loki murmured, continually running both hands over his swollen belly, “I am glad that my mother reached out to you.”

With that Tony was sure Farbauti was about to burst into tears, again, he saw the similarities, bottom lip disappearing between his teeth.

Farbauti reached forward and took one of Loki’s hands in both of his larger ones, “Yes, child, as am I. And if you’d allow it, I would very much like to be a part of you and your children’s lives. We have been separated for far too long…”

“Of course I want that as well, I thank you for today,” he trembled, something long overdue began to heal deep within him. A gaping hole of rejection and abandonment finally starting to close.

There was a long bout of silence before Steve spoke up, “You guys sticking around for supper?”

Frigga leaned forward and kissed Loki’s temple, “I would like that, yes.”

“Of course,” Farbauti answered as well, he leaned away, giving Loki’s hand a gentle squeeze before letting go.

“Great! I’ll get started!” Steve beamed, up from the couch and heading towards the kitchen.

“Why is he into crime fighting? Why doesn’t he just open up a restaurant, hell I’d pay for it, the man can cook.” Tony laughed.

“I wouldn’t mind observing your process, that is if you don’t mind,” Frigga asked.

“Oh yes, I have not been on Midgard in many years. How you have advanced, to think at one point everything was cooked over an open flame.” Farbauti added.

“Sure, I don’t mind,” all three followed Steve into the kitchen.  

 Slipping a finger beneath Loki’s chin Tony snuck a quick kiss to his mouth and then to his belly, “You okay sweetheart?”

“Perfect,” Loki’s ruby eyes were glistening as well, he blinked away the tears, a smile easily gracing his lips, “I’m perfect.” He pulled Tony close to him, he kissed his throat, before resting his face to Tony’s shoulder.

 

Chapter Text

A lot of things changed after Farbauti and Frigga left, even though they stayed nearly three days after the baby scare. One notable change, Loki’s size. But Tony noticed the shift in Loki’s mood, if he had been unpredictable before, it wasn’t even comparable now.

“I’m disgusting!” Loki spat, eyes narrowed and dark as he peered into the mirror, fingers trailed over the ever more prominent tribal lines that encompassed Loki’s swollen abdomen.

“Loki, honey, no, you’re not,” Tony retorted, “You’re just pregnant, that’s all, you’ll be back to your old self in no time.”

“I’m disgusting,” Loki reiterated, with a sob, “I can’t fit into anything, I like wearing your clothes, you’re always nearer to me when I do and now I can’t! I can’t do anything! I’m bloated and huge and gross!”

“Babe, baby, sweetheart,” Tony used his most diplomatic voice, “Look at me,” and Loki did, lower lip jutted out in a pout. And for a moment Tony had to fight the urge to chuckle, because when they had first met he had NEVER seen Loki pout, or for fuck sake cry for that matter, “You are beautiful, you’re always beautiful, you just don’t feel good right now that’s all.”

“You are patronizing me,” Loki snapped, turning his head and exhaling and inhaling like a child might.

“Bullshit I am,” Tony growled, taking him firmly by both biceps and kissing him harshly, he made it a point to play with Loki’s tongue in a way that would make him stop protesting, pressing and teasing and sucking. Soon he had them semi pressed against the bedroom wall and panting, “Say it again, I dare you and I’ll prove it to you that I only see a sexy, bad ass, beautiful creature before me. You wanna waste the energy, because I’m up for it.”

Loki narrowed his eyes darkly, “You do not want to test me,” and he moved forward, more than willing to take on the challenge, but two very well placed punches from inside hit both Tony’s abdomen and Loki’s insides.

“Ow!” they both spat.

Tony couldn’t help it, he busted out laughing, “So, blueberries say no on sex,” he was bent over trying to catch his breath, “Oh baby, I’m sorry,” he kissed Loki again to placate him, “I’m sorry, that was just.”

“I know,” Loki tried to keep the humor from his voice, “Ridiculous, not even here yet and they won’t let us do anything.”

“Oh, I’ll do something to you as soon as I get the chance,” Tony winked, “We don’t have to have sex, I can just make you feel good, how’s that?”

Loki’s entire body quivered, “You would do that?”

Tony smiled wide, “Baby, I’d do anything for you.”

It was of their usual love making, without the actual sex, that Tony was able to make Loki cry out and beg and everything that was perfect in those moments where Loki would lose himself. And if it did anything to make Loki calm and calm those babies, and make him smile, Tony was happy to do it. And he did. Soon enough Tony had Loki back in bed and had him happily blissed into unconsciousness. The twins making no movement at all and Loki was snoring softly, brow unwrinkled and mouth slack.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*Weeks later*

Loki had done his best to do the math, in a sense to make some kind of prediction of the birth. And Farbauti had informed him that yes, it was a nine-month duration, ten months if you wanted to get technical. And by now Loki was sure that he was at the very least give or take a few days, coming to the end of eight months. If his back had anything to say on the matter.

It was two in the morning, his mind took note to the wall clock that was adorned with carousel horses. He groaned, leaning forward against the piece of furniture that Tony had titled ‘baby changing table’ as he folded up small pieces of cloth that would be burp rags. They had just finished the nursery this week, both cribs were assembled, even though Loki had argued that for the first few months, he gathered the children would sleep better next to one another in the same crib. Even though it was finished, he felt the need to constantly fuss with things in the room, folding and unfolding clothes. Re-arranging the placement of diapers and a collection of insufferable colored plush beasts that baffled Loki as to what their use would be. He’d moved the rocking chair three times.

“Loki, hey, what’s wrong, it’s two in the morning? You’re not having pains again are you?” Tony’s worried voice arrived behind him and then strong hands were kneading his shoulders.

Loki simply groaned again, head falling forward, “No, no pains like that, but my back hurts terribly, I cannot lay down in any position without it aching. I cannot sleep.”

“Well, leaning against the changing table isn’t gonna help anything either babe. I was wondering when this would happen, the back aches I mean. You’re carrying pretty heavy now, come’ere,” he urged Loki to turn around as he pulled him close, kissing the hollow of his throat when Loki laid his head on Tony’s shoulder.

“I’m so very tired,” he trembled in frustration, arms wrapping around Tony’s t-shirt clad torso.

“I got just the thing,” he led him back into the living room and situated Loki on the plush couch, “Sit tight,” he returned with a large thin pad, “Heating pad, your new best friend for a while I’ll bet. Lean forward sweetheart, you’re gonna love this.” He made sure Loki was comfortable, pressing the pad over the entirety of his lower back, and switch the knob up to ‘high’.

“What is this contraption intended to do?” Loki asked, wincing as he laid back more fully.

Tony sat on the edge of the couch, fixing a blanket up to his waist, “It’ll heat up here in a minute, just give it time.”

It only took a couple of minutes but soon Loki could feel the spread of warmth over his torso, giving almost immediate relief to his pulsating and throbbing muscles. He moaned, eyes finally closing.

“Better?” Tony asked.

“Much, thank you,” Loki sighed.

“You want me to plug in a movie, occupy you a bit before you fall back to sleep?” Tony spoke softly against the stillness of the room.

Loki nodded, eyes drooping, “Will you stay?”

“Of course I will,” Tony smiled, they settled on a documentary, those always seemed to help Loki doze off. Tony put a pillow on the coffee table to prop his feet on, put Loki’s legs over his lap and pulled the blanket over the rest of his body. He took one of Loki’s hands so he could straighten out his arm, so he could lightly drag his fingertips down the length of Loki’s arm to his fingertips, causing light goosebumps to rise across his flesh, even the tribal lines trembled. But Tony knew he loved this and much like when he scratched his scalp, this would, if anything else failed, send him to sleep. Just with that thought, Tony glanced sideways and Loki was out cold. Tony smiled, thinking ‘mission accomplished’ he let his head fall back and soon found himself asleep as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Tony closed the fridge, retrieving a ginger ale for Loki, who had not left the bed for nearly three days. He would not move from lying on his heating pad, it was the only thing that gave him relief. And the few times he would walk, it would be within a few minutes the throbbing would return. At first it would enrage Loki, he’d go off on a screaming fit, cursing everything and everyone in sight. That would eventually dissolve into tears, which would in turn make him angry all over again.

So Tony could say, that yes, he was a little nervy, so he nearly screamed with the sudden arrival of Natasha standing beside him from behind the now closed fridge door, “Damnitt Nat!”

“Someone’s on edge,” Natasha smirked, one perfect eyebrow risen in amusement.

“Yes, I’m on edge, have you been observing at ALL the last couple weeks? Loki’s miserable and exhausted, you think he’d allow that to happen all by his lonesome? Nope,” he rubbed at his swollen, red rimmed eyes.

“Not too much longer though, huh?” the spy offered with a small smile.

“No, not too much longer, we’re thinking three weeks, something like that, but at this point I’d like to beam the little,” he growled, biting his tongue, “Angels, to get here, they’re driving their mother crazy, if it’s not his back they kick non-stop.”

“Well, I was thinking, given that the little ‘angels’ will be here real soon, we might throw Loki something like a baby shower. Just so ya know, he knows for sure that we’re all cool with this. Steve and I were talking about it yesterday and I think it’s a good idea, but I wanted to talk it over with you first. Last thing we wanna do is make him feel uncomfortable…”

Tony would admit he was shocked, his face must have shown it because Natasha was saying his name again, “That’s really nice of you guys, uh yeah, I’ll ask him about it. He’s comfortable around you guys, never thought it would happen, but he is.”

“Steve thought it would be just us and maybe if Thor could get the Mom and Dad and Dad,” she smirked, “Real small, dinner and gifts and just visiting. Ya know, all that bonding shit that we’re never apart of because none of us are even remotely normal. In fact, I think you two are the most normal of us all.”

Tony smiled, “Who the hell are you and what have you done with Nat?”

“Hey, you don’t really know me,” she shook her head, “I want those things, husband and kids. But right now it isn’t happening, so why not let me do this huh?”

Tony sobered, something unreadable dancing across the spy’s face, “Sure Nat, I’ll chat with Loki.”

She nodded, “I’ll let Steve know.”

 

Tony returned to the bedroom, ginger ale in hand. He set it to the end table, nearest to Loki’s relaxed form. The TV was on but Tony was sure Loki had already fallen off to sleep, he brushed a dark lock of hair away from his eyes. Loki hummed at the touch, “Have you brought me what I asked?” he murmured, eyes never opening.

“Sure did babe, you wanna sit up?” Tony asked, leaning forward and kissing his lips.

“If I can, yes,” Loki huffed, allowing Tony to help him, situating the heating pad that was still cradled to his lower back.

“That okay?”

“Yes, thank you,” Loki gave the smallest of smiles that he could muster, taking the glass from Tony’s hand.

“So, I ran into Natasha in the kitchen, she asked me about something that I need to ask you about,” Tony began.

Loki arched an eyebrow in quick suspicion, “About what?”

“Her and Steve wanted to throw you a little party.”

“Norns sakes why?”

“Ya know, to celebrate the coming of the little blueberries,” Tony said, taking the glass away when Loki indicated he was finished.

Loki absently stroked his ever growing belly, “Is this Midgardian custom?”

Tony frowned at the trepidation in Loki’s voice, “No, well, kind of, families get together and celebrate a new life coming into the world. It would just be the team, and maybe your parents if we can manage.”

“I’m not sure…about doing such a thing….” Loki felt his heart leap, “It singles me out…makes a mockery of me…”

“Baby, no,” Tony tried not to growl, “Believe it or not, your family and OUR friends are really excited for you. Nat and Steve just wanted to do something special for you, it is about you but not in a bad way. But if you don’t wanna do it I’ll tell them you aren’t comfortable.”

Loki bit at his bottom lip, “They truly want to do this? For me?”

Tony took one hand and brought it to his lips, “Yes, they do, Steve is crazy about you, and you know what a big freaking teddy bear he is. And Nat, I have no idea how you did it but you made her have a soft spot for you, she doesn’t do that with ANYONE. Hell, the only other one she’s forgiving with is Clint.”

“Then I suppose, it would be alright,” Loki said, the corner of his mouth turning up with a smile.

“Great, that’s great, you’re probably gonna make their week,” Tony laughed, cupping Loki’s face in both hands and kissing him long and deep.

 

~~~~~~

Despite the good-natured intentions behind the act of a ‘shower’ Loki was nervous. Natasha had been good to inform him who would be attending. Thor had said, with as much sorrow in his voice that he could convey, that Odin would not be able to attend. There were political talks going on between Asgard and Niflheim and he could not leave Asgard. But he was more than thrilled to see the images of the babies Loki had given to his mother on her return home and Thor had returned with a letter of congrats and borderline begging for Loki to return home as soon as possible to visit with the babes in tow. His Mother would be attending as well as his birth Father. It still made Loki nervous to be in the same room as his Father. He only prayed that would ease away soon, he was sure that he would need both his Mother and Father here when he gave birth.

He had bumped into Steve the next day.

“You sure you’re okay with this? I don’t wanna make you feel like you have to do it,” Steve began but Loki interrupted.

“I find the gesture very endearing, and once more, no one has offered to do something so kind. So do not fret, I’m perfectly fine with a gathering to celebrate my good fortune,” Loki smiled, and nearly laughed with the absolute boyish happiness that spread over Steve’s very young face.

So even with Loki’s significant acceptance of the current nature of his life, and the welcoming atmosphere the Avengers had offered, he was nervous. Tony called it out finally as he stood in front of the mirror fiddling with irritancy at the nature of his hair of the mounds of bone protruding from his head. He huffed loudly as Tony slipped his arms not so easily around his disappearing waist as he peppered kisses to the back of his neck, “Just us babe, just people that love you.”

“I know,” Loki murmured quietly.

“And if you start hurting with your back, you let me know. You will be sitting the whole time anyway, but if you feel like taking a break and lying down, just give me the word,” he nuzzled his dark hair, inhaling deeply, “The babies, they being quiet right now?”

“For now,” Loki chuckled, palms caressing the taut flesh of his stomach, “But as soon as I sit down it will change I’m sure.”

“Well, I’m gonna get ready, why don’t you relax until then huh?” Tony kissed his lips with an audible smack.

“When am I not resting?” Loki countered, “Go on then,” he swatted at Tony’s backside.

He sat down on the bed, for a moment feeling suddenly breathless as a particularly broad movement by the children moved inside of him. They shifted differently, he noticed, it was as if for the first time he became aware of their tiny heads, they seemed to be pushing down. He grimaced, sitting back up to resituate them, “You best not do this all night, I’d very much like not to be grunting and groaning the entirety of the evening.” But then they stilled, for the most part, only small rolls of feet and hands, “There you are, quiet down.” Loki couldn’t help but groan despite the stilling of movement, because he’d never felt that kind of pressure before. It was as if they were lined up against one another, if not holding each other it seemed.

~~~~~~~~

 

It took everything in Loki’s power to not laugh at Steven’s action, and in that moment he really thought that this man needed a family of his own. Steve and Natasha has planned everything, food and guests. Loki was indeed shocked that Natasha had wanted to be so involved in the planning of the party. But she was shuffling around, placing food and gifts.

Loki always prided himself in being perceptive and it was her second passing in the kitchen, where he was standing, that he stopped her, “Why is this important?” he asked, hand firm on her elbow.

She did indeed stop, “It just is,” and Loki wouldn’t deny he flinched as she took his hand in her own, “This is important and you need to know that it is. You are bringing life into this world, they’re a part of you and Tony. There isn’t anything more important.”

Loki stood speechless, willing his mouth to work, “I thank you.”

Natasha’s eyes got much too wide, much too wet, but she smiled, “Just let me babysit and we’ll be even.”

Loki thought he might have choked back a cry, as he tried to repeat ‘thank you’, but then Steve was at his side, “You wanna sit? Your Mom and Dad are here, I mean, well, I mean you know, Farbauti is here and Frigga.” He coughed around the obvious awkwardness.

Loki only smiled, “Steve, it’s alright.”

 

~~~~~~

The party was small and intimate just as Loki wanted, Farbauti sitting across from him, his mother at his side, his brother on the other side of their mother. They’d had a wonderful dinner, provided by Steve, and Natasha had announced they needed to open presents. Loki was confused by this of course and Nat explained, “We all got you something ya know, to give to the babies, or something you need.”

Bruce had supplied books, favorites from his childhood. Natasha had chosen a multitude of colorful onsies and tiny socks. Clint, most confusing enough, had supplied bottles that ‘prevented gas bubbles’ and a knitted blanket, claiming that he yes, in a very suspicious tone, did this in his spare time. Thor offered his undying protection, and a dagger, of course Loki had to calm the party and assure that it would only be used when the children were of age. He had to fight the surge of laughter that would indeed bruise his brother’s feelings.

“I drew this up about a month ago,” Steve handed Loki the framed sketch, “I thought the kids might wanna know what their Mom looked like ya know, while they were still in there.” Steve watched carefully as Loki pulled back the wrapping, revealing a drawn photo of himself, fully in his Jotun form, full pregnant belly, and eyes closed in sleep, resting in the sunlight of the Tower’s porch, “I know you don’t like photographs….so I…” he was promptly silenced by Loki throwing his arms around him, a muffled sob clearly audible and too loud to hide.

“Loki,” Steve started.
            “You see me as I am, like no other,” Loki pulled away, rubbing at his face, “Thank you.”

Steve looked to Tony as if to say ‘I screwed up didn’t I’ but Tony only smiled, giving a slight nod. Steve only returned the embrace after that, patting him on the back.

Frigga had provided a beautiful, glistening white and golden basinet, “This is where you rested at my side while you were a babe, I found it fitting.” Frigga mused, kissing her son’s cheek, “I know you’ll want them nearby for quite some time. I was very much like that with you and your brother. I dare say you’ll have your hands full.”

Farbauti was the last to present a gift, “These furs are particular to Jotun young, they hold a certain balance of cold and warmth, they held your brothers when they were young, they would have held you as well. They are important in the bonding process.” Farbauti’s face relaxed in that ever gentle manner, “You will be wonderful parents, I see it so clearly now, and I cannot wait to meet the babes.”

Loki caressed the furs between his fingers, and he could feel the magic rippling across the softness of bristles, “Thank you, I will use them well, and yes, they will be happy to meet you as well.”

The remainder of the evening went well, Thor, in his boisterous voice told endless tales of he and Loki’s battles and triumphant. Farbauti and Frigga spoke closely, seriously, alongside the Avengers who spoke of their own adventures. Loki soaked it all in, to know that this was his new family, that he needn’t feel as an outsider any longer. He desperately tried to ignore his back pain and subtle pains here and there all together. And it was in that moment that he almost said to Tony, ‘I need to lie down’ he felt a strange twinge and then a pop! Or sudden release said of pressure. He grimaced, breath hitching for a moment. Then he was audibly yelping.

“Loki, baby, what?” Tony’s firm tone broke through the panic as he took both of Loki’s hands.

“Something…is…I…” he stuttered, eyes down at his waist, there was a trickling down his legs, “Oh, dear.”

“Hey Bruce,” Tony thought he might have said aloud.

“Loki,” Bruce’s voice arrived, “What’s going on…oh shit,” his eyes noticed the puddle on the floor.

“W-What’s wrong?” Loki croaked.

Bruce straightened his face, “Okay, keep calm, but I think your water just broke.”

“W-What?” Loki cried, “It’s too early!”

“No, it’s okay,” Bruce continued in his ever calming tone, “Early birth is common with twins.”

“This is happening?” Tony thought he might have so manly squeaked.

“Yeah,” Bruce exhaled, “This is happening.”

Chapter Text

 

“Okay Loki, listen,” Bruce spoke in his low and gentle manner that he reserved for children, “Are you having any contractions? Have you had any discomfort at all in the last 12 hours?”

Loki swallowed, wetting his lips, “I thought perhaps there had been some cramping this morning, and something odd that I cannot explain, but the children have been quiet. Only twitches and stretches, no kicking. I-I did not expect this so soon.” He suddenly clutched at his stomach with an audible ‘ah!’

“Getting one now?”

Loki nodded, eyes glassy, “That one was particularly intense.”

“The potions I provided do well with pain during the birthing process, you still have them, yes?” Farbauti piped up.

When Loki grimaced more profoundly, Tony took him by the elbow, “Yeah, we still got’em. We need to get you downstairs.”

“Are you quite sure your Midgardian medicine is sufficient for delivering the babes?” Farbauti started.

“Perfectly capable, he has all the same anatomy as any other person that’s given birth, it’ll be fine,” Bruce huffed in small irritancy, “We’ll get you to the medical ward, and check you out.”

Loki had angrily and perhaps from fear more than anything, demanded his mother and father remain nearby. His mother in the room, his father in the hall. Farbauti had understood, assuring that if needed he would stay nearby. Even in Loki’s panic he did not wish to have a crowded room, with everything he had so far survived he had never felt so vulnerable.

“It is too early, is it not?” Loki asked for what might have been the hundredth time, his mind was numb with terror.

“No Loki, you’re gonna be just fine, and so are they. Like I said, not uncommon with twins, you carried them longer than most. Um, if we’re gonna see where we’re out and well, give birth in general, you’re gonna have to change into something more…accessible.”

“Yes of course,” Loki snapped without really meaning to, “I’m not a child myself, you needn’t coddle me,” he breathed roughly, in and out through his mouth, clenching his eyes shut as another wave of pain engulfed him.

“Come on babe, let’s give you some privacy,” Tony said, helping him into the neighboring the medical room that was separated by one wall, “You’re gonna knock this out of the park.”

“I don’t know what that means,” Loki growled.

“Just means you’re gonna do great.” Tony replied, stroking the hand clenching his own.

Loki took a deep breath, “And just what does the good doctor wish me to change into?”

“One of these gowns probably, you need help?” Tony answered evenly.

“I’m quite capable,” Loki argued, even though he was still clutching Tony’s hand, “I hate this, I don’t want to need him. I wish to get this over with…I don’t want him touching me.”

“I know baby, I know you don’t, but I’ll be right there and so will your mom, we’re all gonna make you as comfortable as we can.”

Loki finally made the desperate whining noise that Tony had anticipated.

“Okay, kiddo, let’s get you changed,” Tony gave a gentle smile.

~~~~~~~~~

“Can you lie back for me, just gonna feel around your belly.” Bruce raised eyes to Loki’s pained face, “Nothing invasive yet, relax.”

Loki did as told, Tony on one side who helped him situate on the gurney and Frigga on the other side holding his hand, “Have you any idea how long this might take?”

“I’m sorry darling, but every birth varies, could be mere moments, or could be hours,” Frigga had schooled her features into nothing but calm, in a way she’d always done when Loki was a child and sick in bed raging with some unknown ailments, as he was so prone to illness and highly susceptible to fevers.

“Feels like the kids are in the right positions, from what I can tell, that’s probably what you felt earlier today. I thought you looked as though your stomach had dropped some,” Bruce explained, “As we progress Loki, I’m going to have to see how far you’re dilated. If the contractions continue without progress, especially with your water being broken, we could soon be dealing with infection. I’m not saying we’ll have that complication, but I do need to know how far along you are.”

Loki was trying to calm his breathing, as best as he could at the moment that was, but it was difficult. As another tight, burning pain radiated across his torso, he found himself nodding like he had with the scare all those weeks back, “Y-Yes, do what you must.”

“If you’re doing okay with pain right now, best thing you can do is walk around some,” Bruce instructed, “Once we’ve got contractions around every five or so minutes, we’ll check where we’re at.”

Another curt nod and Tony was helping Loki up from the bed, “You’re doing great,” Tony whispered close to his ear, kissing his cheek.

 

~~~~~~~

An hour had passed and the contractions had yet to become shorter in intervals, but they were becoming more intense, “P-Please I want to sit, lay down, whatever I’m allowed to do.”

“Sure, sure,” Tony helped him back onto the bed, stroking his hair away from his face, “How are we doing on time?”

“The same,” Loki choked, “I’m already exhausted…how will I do this?”

“You will, you’re a fucking warrior, you’ve been to hell and back, this is nothing, you can do it I know you can.” Tony soothed, “Lean on your side a little, I’ll rub your back.”

With a grunt Loki did just that, trembling breath releasing with the action, the draught he’d been given eased the pain slightly but more or less it just made him drowsy.

“Slow, deep breaths,” Tony’s voice continued to float above him.

Bruce re-entered the room, an understanding smile on his face, “How’s he doing?”

“Not a whole helluva a lot different than when this began,” Tony groused, kneading his fingertips deep in the tense flesh of Loki’s back, who at this point had his eyes closed.

“I’m gonna have to check dilation Loki, I’m sorry, I know you don’t want to but…it’s very much needed,” Bruce conveyed carefully, knowing that now, more than ever, Loki’s mood was dangerous.

What he didn’t expect was the resigned tenor of Loki’s voice, “As I said, do as you must. Just please…make it quick…” he rolled onto his back, turning his head away, once more taking Tony’s hand in a death grip.

“Of course I will,” Bruce assured working fast and efficient, “Okay, wow we’re farther along than I thought, that means things should be speeding up real soon. You’re at 9 centimeters, closer to ten, real soon.”

“What’s the finish line?” Tony asked.

“Ten, since his water broke this’ll probably rollercoaster real fast.”

And with that said Loki was gritting his teeth, panting heavily once more, followed with a sharp whine.

“How bad?” Tony asked, stroking Loki’s hand in his ever bruising one.

“Bad, bad one, longer, ah!” Loki straight up growled and then he was yelling, leaning forward unconsciously, “I want these wretched things out of me! Now!”
            “Loki, hey, look at me,” Bruce intervened, “Do you feel the need to push?”

A sound somewhere between a grunt and a sob was punched from his diaphragm, “Something is different, yes, I-I don’t know how I know but I need to push, and it hurts, it hurts, hurts…” Loki panted.

Bruce leaned out the open doorway, “Uh your majesty, I think we’re getting real close, need you in here.” He wheeled a table of supplies over, “You want your Mom or me to do this?”

“I don’t care who does it, get them out, now!” Loki finally broke, a sob trickling out along with a scream.

“Darling, breathe, you need to keep your breathing as even as possible,” Frigga’s voice arrived, her hands resting to Loki’s protruding stomach, “Oh yes, these children are ready to arrive. Chin to your chest child, and Papa, support his back so he can brace against you.”

Tony did as told, heart thumping madly, Loki scooted forward on the bed and Tony moved behind him, “I gotcha, you can do this,” Tony pressed lips to his sweaty temple, “I know it hurts…”

“You have NO idea what pain is, no idea!” he couldn’t finish and screamed instead, “I hate you! Damn you! I can’t do this!”

“Yes, you can,” Tony spat firmly, keeping just at the cusp of firm and angry, knowing it would ground him.

“This is your fault!” Loki cried, inhaling and exhaling as his mother instructed even though his mind was only engulfed in wave after wave of a kind of new pain he’d never experienced.

“I know baby, this is all my fault, I’m sorry, just breathe, focus, you need to focus. You can curse me all you want,” Tony rubbed both hands firmly up and down his spasming, heaving back.

“I-I’m sorry, I’m sorry, don’t leave,” Loki sobbed, and then grunted, breath lost when he pushed without prompting.

“Never, you yell at me all you want,” Tony reassured, “I’m right here sweetheart.”

“Loki listen,” Bruce interrupted, “I see the head of the first one, you need to take a very deep breath and then push until I say stop.”

Without questioning Loki obeyed and pushed as hard as he could, even as exhaustion was taking a powerful hold over his limbs. The only things that kept him upright was the pain.

“Here we go!” Bruce was rambling excitedly, “Head, shoulders, out! Gentleman, we have your little girl.”
            “Is she alright?” Loki croaked, head fallen back, if it weren’t for Tony wiping sweat away from his forehead, he’d be blind with it.

“Perfect,” Bruce smiled, and a cry filled the air, he was already tying off the cord and handing the blood covered screaming infant to the Queen Mother, “Okay, we’re all ready for round two.”

Loki sobbed even deeper, “I can’t do this Tony…” his head fell to Tony’s shoulder, and the spasaming was only temporarily relieved before his muscles were cramping all up at once.

“Yes, you can sweetheart,” Tony’s voice was finally watery, eyes tracking Frigga who had bundled up the tiny flailing limbs before he had a good look.

“Few more pushes, Loki,” Bruce continued, “Keep breathing, okay, good, good….”

“What is taking so long!” Loki nearly screeched.

“It’s okay, but this is gonna be a little more difficult, I see feet, not the head, a little extra effort for this one.”

Loki spoke no more, only listened to commands, he nearly fainted when he heard, “One more push,” and then the pressure was released and he collapsed back against Tony.

“And we have baby boy!” Bruce chuckled, peering down at the scrunched face, he was forced to pop the tiny thumb from the babies’ mouth as if they’d been disturbing a well-deserved nap. With that action the infant started screaming, “Your boy would come out ass first, thumb in mouth, Tony.”

Tony laughed, but in relief, “You did it, baby, you did it.”

Loki was panting, the intense pain fading away, and he did fear at this point he would lose consciousness, but then his heart fluttered, “Is he alright as well?”

“Yes, both are at a healthy weight and development, we may not have been as quite on target with time after all. They’re full term babies” Bruce smiled, “We’re just getting them cleaned up.”

Despite his exhaustion Loki was trying to maneuver his sight around his mother and the doctor to get a look. Already, with the release of the children, he could feel his magic ebbing on the edges of every corner of his body. Knitting together the damage done.

“I want to see them,” Loki trembled.

Frigga arrived at the side of the bed, with one bundle, “Here is your daughter, she’s beautiful.”

Loki tentatively took the blanket-wrapped and squirming creature in his arms. Her flesh was tinted with the softest hue of blue, light and periwinkle, but no tribal lines in sight. He took her tiny hand that was reaching out, and he allowed her to take his thumb giving him access to stroke the powdery supple skin of her chubby knuckle. With that action, she opened her eyes, and they were the same brown as Tony’s. That made him gasp, and his own eyes watered over.     Bruce was handing the second bundle to Tony, who at first seemed afraid to take the baby, “Tony it’s okay, just support his head, there ya go.”

 Tony swallowed a cry, buried like a stone in his throat, “Look at them, wow,” he lowered their son, who’s eyes were closed, thumb back in his mouth, into Loki’s other arm.

Loki couldn’t breathe, all pain from before completely forgotten, he peered down at the little face, who’s mouth bobbed with soft sucking noises over his thumb. Unlike his sister he was a deeper color of blue, and around his crown and cradling his forehead was Loki’s tribal markings, “Will you not open your eyes?” Loki thought he might have spoken aloud.

As if attune with his mother’s voice, he blinked once, then twice and startling ruby eyes locked onto his own, “There you are,” Loki whispered.

 “They’re perfect,” Tony was now, undoubtedly crying, kissing all three foreheads of his family.

“I-I did not…I did not think…as soon as I looked at them I would be so…so overwhelmed,” But Loki stopped himself, wanting to still his frantic breathing as not to startle the children in his arms, “They are so tiny…”

“We made these little guys, and they’re beautiful,” Tony whispered into Loki’s hair, “I love you.”

“I love you too,” Loki sobbed along with his mate.

“I knew they’d look like you,” Tony chuckled, wiping at his wet face.

“He has your nose, she your eyes.” Loki trembled, kissing both babies, stroking one thumb from one cheek to the other of each child.

“No doubt he’s got your cheekbones, oh my God, she has your ears,” Tony still laughed low and soft, rubbing a tender lobe between two fingers, “He has your eyes too, same color, let’s just hope neither has your temper.”

Finally Loki gave a watery laugh, “You more than likely just jinxed us.”

“Any names for these two?” Bruce asked, looking tired but happy as well.

Loki looked to Tony, “We haven’t exactly discussed it, but I’ve always favored the name Silvi for a girl…it means strength. And just look at her, so strong already,” she still had her fist wrapped around his thumb tightly, as if to anchor him to her, her eyes narrowed in seriousness as she studied her mother.

“I like it,” Tony smiled, one pad of his thumb brushing through her dark, ebony fuzz that popped against the color of her flesh.

“Silvi Stark,” Loki smiled as well, finally looking up at Tony.

Tony took an unsteady breath, “What about our other blueberry here?”

“Any suggestions?”

“Well, I don’t know any cool Norse names, but I’ve always liked the name Matthew,” Tony offered.

“Matthew,” Loki let the word roll off his tongue as he looked lovingly down at his son, whom was already deep asleep, despite the chaos from moments before, “Yes,” he leaned forward once more kissing the baby’s sweet smelling head, the same dark fuzz adorning his head as his sister’s.

“Silvi and Matthew, wonderful names,” Frigga was grinning as well as Bruce, “I’ll address the rest of our party. I am sure they are about to burst! Rest well, darling, you’ve earned it. I’m so proud of you.” She bent and kissed cheek.

“Thank you Mother, for your help,” Loki shuddered, leaning into her touch, “Yours as well Dr. Banner, I apologize for my brusqueness.”

“Think nothing of it. We’ll let you guys have some time alone.”

Once alone, Tony took a much needed breath, “You feeling okay?”

“Yes, only tired, and happy, happier than I thought I would be.” Loki sighed.

“I got to hold Matthew,” Tony choked on another swell of emotion, “Can I see Silvi then?”

Loki nodded, eyes still leaking, “Yes.”

Tony took her in his arms, pushing the blanket away from her face to study her features, “Hey there baby girl, Silvi, Jesus, she’s gorgeous,” he perched on the edge of the bed, and for a moment was utterly speechless as she blinked owlishly up at Tony as she done with Loki. He turned his face to Loki, their eyes locked, he moved forward and kissed Loki carefully on the mouth, “They’re perfect, you’re perfect…”

Chapter Text

“Is everything alright?” was Farbauti’s loud voice, louder than Frigga had heard it yet as it echoed off the wide hallways of the tower as she exited the medical room.

“Yes, everything is quite fine, both babes are healthy and with their parents,” Frigga was smiling uncontrollably.

“Would Loki permit me to see them?”

“Just give them time, let us wait in their lounging room, dear,” Frigga led them into the elevator, “I do believe Loki and his mate wish to bond for a few moments, as well as rest. He had a hard time of it.”

“But he is well?” he asked.

“Of course, just tired,” Frigga assured.

 

 

The new parents had moved to their bedroom, there, Loki could shower and change into ‘real’ clothes, as he had called them, his magic had returned just enough to heal, slow and ebbing. His tummy bump no longer there. He was more tired than he could remember, but happy to have his body back to himself alone. He was still in a highly weakened state, unable to reach his glamour, but it was unimportant as Tony ushered him into the bed. He had taken a long, long hot shower, rinsing away the remainder of the mess, and changing into grey lounging pants and a burgundy colored loose fitting t-shirt. He felt the hint of faintness when he returned to bed, he hurried beneath the blankets before any kind of chill could take hold, despite Tony’s objections he took one baby in his arms.

In the quiet lull of their bedroom Loki was enamored, he could hardly take his eyes off every little tick and movement of his children’s faces. Silvi had been the most expressive, the most keen to make herself known to her mother and father, but Matthew chose sleep.

“You know very well the world around you, don’t you darling,” Loki murmured with a smile on his lips, caressing the soft cheek bones of his daughter, “More than you are letting on I’ll guess.”

“This kid is in love with his thumb,” Tony chuckled softly, rocking and bouncing Matthew, “He hasn’t made a noise, is that normal?”

“I will confidently go with lazy,” Loki smiled, “He did come, ‘ass first and thumb in his mouth’ as Dr. Banner states, I expect no less.”

“Lazy…. you’re not lazy, are ya little guy, you had a rough day didn’t you,” Tony groused, still rocking the baby, “Don’t worry, nothing wrong with liking sleep-- whoa!”

“What?!” Loki spat, the rousing of his voice having Silva starting to cry.

“Holy, shit,” Tony continued, “Uh, babe? Is this normal?
            “What?! What is normal?!” Loki screeched.

“Not my fault, but Mattie here was blue one minute and different colored the next,” he hurried over to Loki’s side. Matthew’s deep blue skin was now a paler shade in comparison but still a dark shade of pink.

Loki huffed, a smile quick on his lips, “He’s attempting to please you….”

Please me?! I don’t care if he’s blue, I like blue, what the hell?!”

“He likes how you look,” Loki continued to smile, “He only wants to look like daddy, it’s a kind of mimicry I was often known to possess as a child.”

“Sweetheart,” he cooed at the baby, brushing lips over his forehead, “You don’t need to do that, you learned this from mama damnitt.”

“You would really not care if they were like this the remainder of their lives?” Loki asked making himself more comfortable on the bed with Silvi.

Tony scoffed, shaking his head, “No, I wouldn’t give two shits, they’re beautiful. Both of them.”

“We will be expected to make these two presentable to the people waiting outside,” Loki murmured.

“You need to rest; can’t that wait?” Tony wouldn’t admit that he was whining, but to be honest he wanted the two of them to be able to chill, and he wasn’t ready to share either.

“The sooner the better, and then, yes, we can rest,” Loki smiled knowingly, “They need to be dressed, they are still very much naked.”

“Oh, damnitt, yeah, diapers and those little things, what are they?” Tony began searching, the bag he’d carried into the medical bay.

“Onesies, as Miss Pepper called them, they are in that drawer there, the rest are in the nursery.”

“Okay, here we go then,” Tony said, laying Matthew to the bed, “You gonna be a man and let me do this? It’s gonna be cold,” he removed the blanket and received the first cry of the evening, “Okay, okay, I’ll be quick.” He slipped the diaper on like he’d been instructed weeks before and then was pulling limbs carefully and perfectly through the holes in the cloth, “See?! Not so bad, shhhh,” he gathered the baby close once more, directing his thumb to his mouth, “Geesh, let’s see how she does.”

Loki rolled his eyes affectionately, “Hand me the clothes and such,” he reached out a hand, still not leaving his seated spot, “Silvi, darling, you understand this is only to keep you warm, you’ll be a good girl.” And as Loki executed the same actions, Silva only frowned, as if only irritated, and was quickly clothed and diapered in a similar outfit. Only a small cry and a huff in response, after wrapping her up snuggly in a flannel type blanket she quieted down.

“You did something didn’t you, magical or whatnot, to make me look bad.” Tony huffed.

“I assure you I didn’t, she’s merely different, more temperate,” Loki smiled, “Hand Matthew here, he needs to be wrapped up as well, and you take her. I am more than sure they will be hungry soon.”

“Don’t worry, Pep got the organic formula you researched, but they’re not crying right? Does that mean no hungry?”

“Not exactly,” Loki corrected, “I don’t want them to be so hungry to cry.”

“Yeah, but isn’t that what babies do?” Tony asked, getting Silvi comfortable in the crook of his arm.

“I’d rather they not be in distress,” Loki frowned.

“Just cause they cry doesn’t mean they’re in ‘distress’, means they need something,” Tony had to hide a smirk at the sudden ‘distressed’ look on his partner’s face.

“Well,” Loki began but then only sighed.

“They’ll let us know, but for now I think they’re doing just fine.” Tony swayed the baby back and forth, “How about we get this little reunion over with, and you get to bed.”

“Tony, I’m alright,” Loki argued.

“Babe, I know you, your magic isn’t back yet, obviously, you need sleep and lots of it. And now you finally can without these little goobers kicking the crap out of your insides.”

Loki exhaled roughly, “Oh, I hadn’t thought of that, that’s true.” Now he truly wished for sleep.

“I’ll have people come in here, I don’t want you on your feet,” Tony said quickly, giving Loki no room to retort, “Hold junior here I’ll be right back.”

 

“Hey guys,” Tony announced to a fairly silent room, only soft murmuring voices, “Think we’re gonna move the party to the bedroom, Lokes isn’t 100%. I think we’ll go with Grandparents and Uncles first.”

The room was full, Steve, Clint, Natasha, Farbauti and Frigga.

“Of course,” Farbauti murmured, “I remember well the exhaustion after birth, are you quite sure he is up to seeing anyone at all?”

“Yeah, he is, he wants you all to meet the kids too.” Tony gave a gentle smile.

“We won’t stay long,” Frigga added quickly, “He must rest and I’m sure Odin would be happy to hear that our grandchildren are here.”

“Sure, he should rest up,” Clint offered, “How bout Steve and I makin’ dinner. You guys gotta eat sometime. Cause those babies are gonna start screaming something fierce sooner than later.”

Tony laughed, “Sure, Clint, that sounds good.”

Steve nodded in agreement, “Just let us know when Loki’s up to it. We wanna see the little guys too, but when he’s feeling more rested.”

“Loki needs a crazy amount of rest, so yeah, he’ll probably crash soon and I’ll bring the kiddos out for you to meet.” Tony smiled.

“Any help you need,” Steve replied.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Loki found he couldn’t stop brushing the brows of his children with his lips, their skin sweet smelling and so perfectly soft. As the door to the bedroom opened, Tony’s head popping through with a “You ready?” he nodded.

Loki found himself nervous at the prospect of his mother and her opinion on the babies as he nodded as well. He’d been in such pain and then such immense relief he was trying desperately to recall her first reaction of their entry into the world. But those nerves were promptly smothered when he locked eyes with her beaming face.

“Darling, how do you fare?” Frigga asked, coming to his side, fingers finding their way easily into his dark strands.

“Tired,” he smiled, “But happy.”

She bent and kissed his cheek and then delivered one to each of the babies, “May I, hold one, I’m not sure which to hold first.”

“Silvi is more awake it seems, why not take her,” Loki moved slightly sideways to dispense the child. He also took notice that Farbauti hadn’t moved from the doorway, “Shy?” he smirked.

“I-I did not want to frighten them, given my stature and well…” he began and couldn’t finish.

“Nonsense,” Loki frowned, “Come and hold your Grandson. But I must warn you, as of yet he’s done nothing but sleep and suck his thumb.”

Farbauti chuckled without being able to help it as he took the baby from Loki’s arms as if it were second nature, “He is beautiful…perfect…they both are. You might be careful to call him the sleepiest, he may very well call your bluff as soon as hunger sets in or the middle of the night that is.”

“I do not doubt that,” Loki sighed, eyes closing.

“You are tired, child, you must rest,” Farbauti said

“I will, I am quite sure Tony will make sure I rest, not that I am resisting.”

“Brother,” Thor interrupted, “They are simply perfect,” Frigga had given him Silvi, “She’s beautiful, her coloring is just…it is perfect.” he almost looked silly, with such a large stature as he was with such a small bundle in his arms. Rocking and bouncing very gently, “Her eyes are so bright!”

“You would be right, Matthew is so gentle, so quiet,” Farbauti said, fingers caressing the tribal lines of the babies’ head, “Silvi is so much like her Mother, reverent, pondering…”

Loki smirked, eyes still drooping, “She looks like her daddy more than I.”

“Dear, are you sure you’re feeling alright? More than just tired?” Frigga asked, perching herself on the edge of the bed.

“No Mother, I’m fine,” Loki answered, sleep begging him forth as he felt Tony at his other side, “I would feel so much better though, if my magic returned.”

“Baby, why don’t you sleep now, huh?” Tony said, lips on his high cheek bones and fingers now in his hair, “You have a million babysitters, you deserve the rest.”

Loki’s instincts made him resist, but with the mere simple gesture of closing his eyes sleep began to eat at him. “I’m so tired…” he murmured, “Tony, don’t let them…out of your sight…”

“Sweetheart, sleep,” Tony whispered, pulling the blankets further up his torso, tucking the quilt beneath his chin, kissing his lips, “Just rest I’ll take care of things, got it?”

Loki nodded once more, and even though he wanted to stay awake and coddle his newborn babes, his body spoke otherwise and he found himself falling asleep against his will.

Chapter Text

 

Tony closed the bedroom door quietly behind him after he was sure Loki was dead to the world, and he was just that. Dead to the world the moment his head hit the pillow, poor guy, and Tony would have laid down with him if he could. Cause he was at a new realm of exhaustion; the last week was reeling like a stressful blur. If this absolute overwhelming feeling to protect his children, even if they were in no danger at all, hadn’t been eating at him since they came into this world he would have gladly crawled beneath the cool sheets and crashed just as hard. He looked down at his son, who was now sleepily sucking away on his thumb and had, in said sleepy state, slipped back into his blueish tint. He knew as soon as he were able to he was gonna have a sit down with both kids and explain they didn’t need to please anyone or convince anyone that they were ‘normal’. It had been in that moment that a trill of fear had made his stomach do flip-flops, the idea that someone would bully these sweet babies for looking different. He knew this was probably the exhaustion talking, so for now he tried to shake it from his mind as he re-entered the living room.

“What are their names again?” he heard Clint ask.

“Silvi and Matthew,” Frigga answered softly and proudly, his little girl cradled in her sure arms.

“Any middle names?” Steve asked.

“Not that Loki and Anthony have discussed, Asgard does not give middle names, that is a Midgardian custom yet?” Frigga queried.

“Uh, yeah, I guess,” Steve shrugged, “Wow, I thought they might look like Loki, I mean color wise, but I didn’t think it would be different shades.”

“Why not?” Natasha piped in, “Lotsa different types of people here on earth, why not in space land?”

“Point taken,” Steve chuckled, “Can I?”

Tony stifled a laugh, watching as the Captain, with his huge arms took the baby as delicately as he’d ever seen him do anything from Frigga’s arms, “Hey there, she has got the brightest eyes huh? Almost like she’s up to something,” he looked to Tony who had finally moved away from the bedroom door, “She’s definitely got that from you, along with Loki being ornery, or says his mom, I betcha you’re in for a handful.”

“Oh, and I’ll teach her all the fine points of screwing with people, startin’ with you Cap,” Tony grinned.

Steve frowned, eyes up from the baby he was currently swaying, “You wouldn’t do that.”

And now Tony did laugh, “Steve, if you don’t settle down and have kids soon I’m setting you up a profile on supersoldierswhoneedlove.com.”

Steve only rolled his eyes half-heartedly, “There’s no such thing, and I can settle for being an Uncle for the time being.”

“Oh you are, for sure, and we will be taking full advantage of babysitting responsibilities,” Tony without thinking, kissing his son’s soft head full of jet black hair, soft and curling like his mother’s.

“Hey don’t be stingy, they need Aunties too,” Natasha smiled, arms out making grabby motions.

“Of course, who ya think is gonna teach these kids to defend themselves?” Tony handed over the still slumbering baby into the Spy’s arms.

“Ya know, I see a lot of both of you in these kids,” Nat began, “But between her underlying intelligence and Matthew’s insistence on ignoring everybody through sleep, I’d say it’s swinging more in your court, God help you both.”

“Hey! What’s wrong with a little of both worlds? One or the other can tell the other to step it up or slow it down.” Tony argued, keeping one finger in the palm of Matthew’s chubby hand.

Natasha sobered, “You’re really lucky, you get that right? I hope you never forget that.”

Tony was shocked when quite suddenly Natasha’s cool, smirking nature morphed something that was short of pained, and her eyes filled up silently, “I know I’m lucky, never for a second have I thought otherwise. You okay?”

“Fine, why wouldn’t I be?” her eyes were locked on the snuffling sleeping face, she brushed fingertips of the cheeks, “Got those little lines like your mom huh? Maybe it’s a boy thing…”

Tony felt a bit disturbed at the defeated look on Natalie’s face, but he knew better than to push, “Maybe, is that true?” he turned to address Farbauti.

“It varies actually, but yes, I would say in the majority, mostly males are born with the lines. They are indications of lineage, if you were study the lines of Loki you would find a surprising similarity. It is much like inherited character traits, but merely on the outside.”

“Kinda like a fingerprint?” Clint asked, now peering over Natalie’s shoulder as well as placing a hand there as if to ground her.

Farbauti was looking down at his large hands as if suddenly curious, “Why, yes, I do believe so.”

“I do wish Odin could be here,” Frigga murmured, “I know Loki will not be fit to travel the bi-frost for some time now and the All-Father is so very busy at the moment.”

“You could always take pictures,” Tony offered, “Real easy to take digital pics.”

“Are these similar to the pictures we saw before, on that screen of the babes before birth?” Frigga asked.

“Similar, but with color,” Tony smiled.

“These little guys eaten yet?” Clint inquired, his finger replacing Tony’s in Matthew’s fist.

“Not yet, they haven’t cried, I guess they’ll let us know, maybe I should get it ready, huh?” Tony sighed, that exhaustion he was thinking about earlier rolling over him.

“We could do it,” Steve said, “You look wrecked, Tony.”

“No, no, I can do it,” Tony answered, an air of protectiveness edging his voice.

“Go get some rest, man, we can handle it,” Clint interrupted, “They’re cool with us, I mean they aren’t screaming, that’s a good thing, right? An hour won’t kill ya.”

“Well,” Tony began.

“You look positively exhausted dear,” Frigga added gently, “Go now, rest, you won’t do your children much good if you’re nodding off, yes?”

Tony felt a swell of emotion at that, “I guess…”

“Go on,” Frigga said more firmly, “We will alert you if needed.”

So reluctantly he kissed both children and went into back into the bedroom, careful not to make a sound he closed the door behind him once more. Loki’s state was thankfully the same, heavy, sleepy breathing filling the room. Tony eased his way onto the bed, shimmying up to Loki’s side, tenderly draping an arm over Loki’s now trim waist, and much like his mate as soon as his eyes closed he was gone.

~~~~~~~

When Loki next awoke he found that he felt somewhat rested, more so than he had in weeks. He stretched his long arms above his head, and yawned, noticing with delight that there were no phantom pains, instinctively he pressed one hand to his belly, now flat. His heart jumped and for a few terrifying seconds, as he shot rim rod straight up in bed, was struck with the horrible thought that someone had stolen the children from him. In his sleep fogged mind, he struggled to remember the last few hours.

“Hey, hey,” Tony’s voice arrived from one side of the bed like a blessed anchor, “It’s okay, they’re in the other room with your parents and the gang.”

Loki was panting, and it was only when he felt the firm palm of Tony’s hand at his back did he remember the birth from hours before, “O-Of course,” he swallowed.

“No one, and I mean no one is taking our kids.” Tony reiterated by taking Loki’s chin, he leaned forward and kissed his lips, lingering there until the tremors slowly ceased.

“I am simply not use to them being gone from inside me,” Loki huffed a more even sigh, “How long have I been asleep?”

“Three or four hours, you feelin’ any better?”

“A bit, yes, but I do believe it will take more than a short nap to squelch the exhaustion.”

“Ditto, I got about an hour in or so,” Tony inhaled as he wrapped both arms around Loki and pulled him close, “You feel like sleepin’ some more?”

Loki made the motion to open his mouth when they both heard a shrill cry that immediately made Loki’s heart bounce and he was already scrambling off the bed. He only realized he was swaying when he felt his elbow clutched in Tony’s grasp.

“Whoa, easy Baby, it’s okay, they’re probably just hungry, come on,” he slipped an arm around his waist to steady him, “Ya get up too fast?”

“Yes, I believe so,” Loki took another deep breath, “I’m fine now,” he reciprocated and put his own arm around Tony’s torso.

“So babies are probably hungry.” Tony smirked.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

When Steve caught sight of the couple leaving the bedroom he seemed to sigh in relief, “Hey guys, looks like Silvi is done eating and wants one of you.”

Tony went to ask about Mattie, but he was currently curled in Natasha’s arms, bottle in his mouth in place of his thumb, fingers curling and uncurling around the plastic.

Loki was already crossing the room, scooping his baby girl into his arms, “Darling, I’m so sorry I wasn’t here, I’m so sorry.” he peppered kisses over the silky, warm head, her cries morphing into more of a breathless stuttering as she calmed.

“I’m afraid the bonding process will be like that for several days,” Farbauti said, “So it was good you achieved the little rest you did, they will hardly want to be separated from either one of you.”

That made Loki’s heart bounce, the thought that for even a moment his daughter had thought him missing, “I’m right here darling,” he whispered once more, rocking her carefully, her cheek resting to his shoulder, face nestled in the space of his neck.

“No harm done, child,” Farbauti was quick to add with a frown, “She merely wanted you, that is all, and here you are.”

Loki gave a nod, his eyes watery, but was satisfied enough when her cries quieted into huffy breaths.

“Loki, hey,” Tony soothed, moving to his side, threading fingers through his hair and resting at the nape of his neck, “Don’t think those thoughts, it isn’t branded abandonment that you needed some rest. You’ve been through hell and back.”

Again Loki nodded, closing his eyes, lips still brushing against Silvi’s wrinkled forehead, he took a seat next to Natasha still feeding his son

“So Mattie, you are as chill as they come huh?” Tony chuckled, following suit and sitting next to Loki.

“He only squawked a little, but gave him a bottle and he seemed happy enough,” Natasha smiled, “Loki, it’s okay.” she added as Loki’s free hand was smoothing back Matthew’s equally dark hair, tips of his fingers gliding over the lines of his crown.

Loki took a shuddering breath, “I suppose I’m still a bit emotional.”

“That, I am afraid, will hardly wane darling,” Frigga gave a similarly gentle smile.

Loki only patted his daughter’s hiccupping back, guilt strong and fervent still churning in his gut, “I suppose.”

“You were saying something about these captured images?” Farbauti intervened, seemingly sensing the need to.

“Oh, yeah,” Tony piped up, “Sure hold on.” he disappeared into the bedroom and returned with his phone, “I can take pictures here and print them out for ya guys.”

“Nope,” Natasha got up, “We’re taking the first family pictures, here take him,” she handed over the baby, taking the phone out of Tony’s hands, “Take a seat Dad.” she gave a wink.

Tony huffed a laugh, taking his son and sitting down next to Loki, leaning sideways and kissing Loki’s cheek, which garnered a much needed smile, “Ya think she’ll let you turn her around?” Tony asked, wiping Matthew’s milk damp mouth with the rag Nat had draped over her shoulder as she’d burped him.

“Let’s give it a try,” Loki near whispered, maneuvering Silvi’s still snuffling form, once he got her lying on her back in the crook of his elbow, her wide brown eyes blinked open, “It’s alright sweetheart,” he kissed both of her cheeks, brushing away the dampness on her face, “Mama’s here,” he grinned widely, knowing he was mimicking Tony, that awarded him another kiss on his own cheek. And Silvi took a deep, but peaceful shuddering breath.

“Okay, look here,” Natasha directed, “Smile.”

And the couple did with the click of the camera phone, Silva’s eyes still very much awake and Matthew blinking wearily.

“Perfect,” Natasha grinned with a chuckle.

Chapter Text

As the evening progressed Frigga became hyper-aware of Loki’s nerve sprung state, she knew full well it was the emotional states of afterbirth causing his eyes to glisten every now and then as he rocked one baby and then the other. But she also knew it was all the company, she knew her child well, the young woman with the bright red hair and her partner, excused themselves giving their goodbyes. So soon enough it was simply Farbauti and herself, “Darling,” she spoke up, drawing Loki’s eyes forward, “We will make our leave, I am sure your father is anxious for news, how kind your friends are to produce images he will be thrilled.” she elegantly rose from the couch, leaning forward and kissing his forehead, “All four of you must rest now, once you have had time to adjust, would you consider visiting Asgard?”

“Of course mother, I would like that very much,” Loki heaved a sigh, a tired smile curling his mouth.

“Perhaps you might meet your brothers soon as well, mayhap I bring them here, when you are ready that is dear. I know you are not comfortable visiting my realm,” Farbauti said, rising alongside with Frigga.

“O-Of course, when I have regained some of my strength,” Loki tried not to chew the inside of his mouth in a sudden wave of anxiety, it even made him shiver and he wasn’t sure why.

“No rush, dear,” Farbauti reiterated, “I do not wish to push you, and if you need anything, I am not too far away.”

“Thank you, truly, for everything these past few weeks,” Loki said, eyes burning once more.

Farbauti kissed the top of his head, deliberately on the protruding bone, “I will see you soon.” he swept a large thumb over Silvi’s brow, “I will see all of you soon.”

“You get rest too papa, it’s going to be dare I say, an exhausting next few weeks,” Frigga smiled, kissing Tony on the cheek.

“Sleep when babies sleep, gotcha,” he smirked with a wink, he had a sneaking suspicion that Mattie’s quiet nature was indeed a ruse. His periwinkle face was completely lax, thumb in mouth, every now and then making ridiculously adorable smacking noises and a contented little hum.

 

Loki gave his goodbyes to his parents, Bruce arrived shortly and gave the kids one more look over, and had eventually retired to bed. Loki had finally asked ‘where Thor had gone off to’ and Frigga had said he wished to retrieve Jane. It seemed his number one priority was to show off his niece and nephew.

It was late, sometime after midnight that Tony and Loki were lying on the bed, both children nestled between them. Tony watched Loki carefully as his ruby red eyes scanned over their babies face, running long delicate fingers over their brows, carefully threading through their dark baby fuzz. Only the soft hum of the oscillating fan was filling the air, besides their children’s soft sleepy breathing.

“Hey,” Tony whispered a bit worried at the seriousness in Loki’s face, when he didn’t seem to realize Tony was speaking, his brow scrunched, “Loki.” he reached a hand over and rested it on his hip, pressing gentle circles against the sharp bone exposed ever so slightly as his t-shirt had ridden up, “You haven’t said anything in over 15 minutes, what’s up? And you look worried…”

“My apologies, my mind seems to wander quite often this evening,” Loki sighed, “I know not what ails me…”

“You’re still healing up, that’s okay, why don’t we put the blueberries to bed and catch some sleep while we can.” Tony offered a smile.

A ghost of a smile graced Loki’s pale blue lips, “I suppose that would be wise.” much like the entirety of his pregnancy, a new emotion or feeling would crop up and he struggled to identify it. It was hard for Loki, who had made it a goal to hide any emotion at all these many centuries, to quite suddenly be forced to feel them all. With the two precious lives lying between him and the love of his life, he didn’t know if he felt like bursting into tears or smiling till his face broke, or both.

“They’ll be okay, they’re in one bed to keep each other company, you need more sleep sweetheart.” and as Tony said this he was easing himself off the bed, sliding one palm to support Mattie’s neck and the other around his bottom. He snuffled loudly in his sleep and only fell deeper. Loki followed suit with Silvi’s limp limbed body tucked close to his neck, leading them both into the nursery right next to the bedroom.

“Jarvis will be keeping a sharp eye on’em they’ll be fine, he’s the newly appointed nanny huh?” Tony had the notion to add as he pulled the furs Farbauti provided over both children. He chuckled lightly when Silva turned on her side, ever so slightly, a chubby fist resting against Matthew’s.

“Y-You did say you updated security, yes?”

“Of course I did, first thing,” Tony tried not to frown.

“A-Alright, I suppose we should sleep then.” he couldn’t keep his eyes off his sleeping babies.

Tony snaked an arm around Loki’s waist, “Come on, let’s get you snug, they’ll have us up in a couple hours anyway.” once they were back in bed, Tony reached out and stroked the hair away from Loki’s face, taking one indigo lobe between two fingers, “You sure you’re feeling alright?”

“Simply tired,” Loki sighed, eyes already closing, his sooty colored lashes such a beautiful contrast to his flesh.

Tony took one of his hands and intertwined their fingers, “Get some sleep, babe.”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

Loki tried, he really did, to allow his exhaustion to take hold and pull him down into unconsciousness, but his thoughts were swimming, darting and changing direction before he could really fathom what it was that was keeping him awake. He pushed the covers away, glancing down at Tony who, unlike himself, was completely dead to the world, dusty pink mouth parted with soft snores. He shimmied off the bed, like a cat he moved out of the room and went to the nursery. He peered down at their tiny chests rising and falling, his own, however, was hitching without control. He sat down in the rocker next to the crib, trying to even his breaths, he’d felt it ebbing on the outside of his true form, as if cautious. He knew it was the return of his glamour and he found himself fighting it. It was an all-consuming warmth and it spread like a deep breath. He took a moment to contemplate that, he was fighting it? And even as he was saying this, he could see the shimmering paleness of his other skin starting at his fingertips, he flexed both hands, watching with an increasingly panicked feeling as it tracked slowly up his arms, he could feel the change as the mounds of shockingly sensitive bone disappear. He didn’t know how long he saw there, panting, heaving, it was a whimpering cry that snapped him out of it. He skimmed both sets of fingers through his dark hair, it felt somewhat wrong, to be changed now after all these weeks but he hurried to the side of the crib and Silvi was staring up at him with far more intelligence than an infant should possess. Her deep, chocolate colored eyes were brimming like Loki’s, bottom lip jutting out. And he knew a cry was about to burst through and he both felt utterly awful and horrified.

He just as hurriedly scooped her out of the warmth cocoon of furs, Matthew made a tiny high-pitched sigh and settled further. But even as he held Silvi, she wasn’t quieting, her large eyes were unblinking and wet.

“Darling, it’s alright, it’s mama, you’re alright,” and then came a horrifying through, does she not recognize me like this? And that very thought sent panic coursing through his veins, and he swallowed a tremble aching in his throat. Her cries began to grow in strength as well as her squirming body, he set her to the changing table, checking her diaper only to find it dry. He couldn’t remember the time or when she’d been fed. At the moment, in his sudden panic simply couldn’t remember.

He found himself in the kitchen, heating a bottle, all the while Silvi shrieked and squirmed, face scrunching and delving into a deeper shade of blue, “Sweetheart, please, please, one moment.” he pressed the nipple to the baby’s mouth but she only shook her head and grunted, “Then what? What do you want? You don’t know me do you, oh Norns, you don’t know me…I frighten you…” he had a frantic need to return to his Jotunn form but he was so exhausted, still not able to accurately control his magic, and he certainly wasn’t going to risk hurting any of them with uncoordinated flows of sedir. He swayed her back and forth in his arms, “Silvi, what’s wrong?”

He was about to ask Jarvis to alert his mate, but as soon as his mouth opened, Tony appeared at the edge of the kitchen, “Lokes, why didn’t wake me up?” he rubbed at his sleep swollen eyes, “When did the,” he waved hands in Loki’s direction, “ya know whatever come back?”

“Just now, and that is why she is crying, she knows, I am making her cry because-because of this!” Loki felt hot, fat tears rolling down his face, and with that action Silvi only screamed louder. And then they could hear the soft and sure growing cries of Matthew down the hall.

“Loki, baby, it’s okay, that’s not it, it’s not you!” Tony was quite suddenly, very awake, “I think she’s upset because you’re upset, she doesn’t like seeing you sad, hold on, let me get Mattie, sit tight.”

Loki hadn’t even realized he was crying, he wiped uselessly at his eyes, tears raining endlessly, his pale fingertips scooping away Silvi’s tears as well, “I’m so sorry, sorry…”

“Loki,” Tony arrived with Matthew in his arms, who had quieted some, “Loki, honey, look at me,” he spat firmly, Loki did, he was almost startled at how green those eyes were now, “Let’s sit down, take a breath for me, can you do that?”

They both settled on the plush white couch, “Okay, let’s switch,” Tony marveled at how they’d already mastered the switching babies thing, “Okay, okay, Silvi, darlin’ what’s wrong?” he rubbing circles into the baby girls’ back as her cries were nearly in unison as her mother’s, every time Loki’s chest hitched hers’ did too, “Were you upset before she started crying?”

Loki’s lips were buried in Mattie’s hair, eyes pinched shut but he nodded, “The change was overwhelming, I did not expect that and then she started screaming.”

“I think it’s safe to say, that the bonding thing is just as strong as your folks said, she’s upset because you’re upset. Not because of what you look like, damn Loki, she loves you, even I can feel that and I’m not magically inclined.” Tony frowned, “Now take a deep breath, everything’s okay.”

Loki did as told, still wiping at his eyes, soon enough his cries were merely watered down huffs and then so were Silvi’s, “There now, see?” Tony smiled, wide palm still caressing his daughter’s hiccupping back.

Loki merely nodded, brought out of his stupor with both the silence and Matthew sucking on his knuckle loudly. Loki managed not to squeak when he realized Matthew was the same pale hue, “Matthew Stark, you really must stop that.”

Tony was truly laughing now, “See? What did I tell you?”

Loki bit back another cry, but this one was out of amusement, “I must admit, I feel strange, I never thought I would say that about my true form.”

“I think you had some time getting used to it, nothing wrong with it, if you wanted to go blue all the time I wouldn’t care.”

“I’m not sure I’d be willing to do that, but I feel…conflicted…our children are clearly far more Jotunn than human…and here I am hiding my heritage, what does that teach them? What kind of Mother am I? What if they resent me later, or-or feel just as useless as I did...”

“Lokes, baby, breathe,” Tony interrupted.

Loki hadn’t even realized Tony had moved, until his chin was gripped firmly in Tony’s strong hand, a rough thumb brushing away unrealized tears, “I’m sorry,” he murmured.

“Don’t apologize, you got overwhelmed, I’d say that you’re warranted, hell baby, you’ve been crazy stressed the last few weeks. Your body alone has gone through a lot of changes. Also, your mom said you might be over emotional like you were in the beginning.”

“What, she told you this but not me?” Loki groused.

Tony shrugged, “She didn’t wanna bring it up just in case you weren’t like that. Because she knew then you’d worry about it. But she did say you’d be anxious, moody, you’re adjusting, it’s normal.”

Loki made a sound somewhere between a grunt and a growl, eyes falling to Matthew, “How is he already asleep again?”

Tony chuckled low and soft, “I have no idea, but I need that talent.”

“Let me have her,” Loki exhaled tiredly, once Silvi was back in his arms, “I’m so sorry I distressed you, my darling,” he was peppering kisses over her flushed and wet face. When he finally took the chance of taking her gaze, she looked relieved and sleepy again.

“You think we can get these two asleep again?” Tony smiled.

“I believe so,” Loki clenched and unclenched his jaw, trying his very best to keep his emotions in check in fear of upsetting his daughter, he was brought out of his thoughts when Silvi firmly gripped his thumb, eyes already drooping.

“Mattie’s already gone, let’s get’em back to bed, they’ll be up in an hour, you’re catching more Zzzs if I have to make you watch reality television just to bore the shit out of you.”

“Alright, alright,” Loki complied.

 

The new parents settled back into bed, and Tony tugged him close, raking fingertips through is hair and tickling his scalp, “Baby, if you’re having a hard time, or if your brain feels like it’s all over the place. Tell me, huh?”

“I simply do not know what is wrong, or I would have,” Loki breathed against the flesh of Tony’s throat, sleep finally beginning to take hold.

“Well I’m here, always,” Tony whispered, kissing Loki’s forehead.

“I know,” Loki mumbled.

And just as the two were dozing the shrill and powerful cry of Silvi broke the silence, a very ‘I’m hungry’ cry.

“I do believe that is payback for earlier,” Loki grunted, pushing up from the bed.  

Chapter Text

 

Frigga arrived on the rainbow bridge and had to admit this was the most she’d ever traveled the bifrost. It still left her dizzy and it was her least favorite thing to do by far, but Loki and the babies, and everything was more than worth it. There was a guard waiting for her, so her trip was quicker mounting a horse and galloping towards the palace.

The throne room was quiet, so Frigga knew that her husband was indeed not busy with any political business. And it was there bedroom that she found him, at his desk no doubt worrying over some piece of paperwork.

“Frigga, when did you arrive?” Odin said, pushing away from the desk.

“Just now, dear.”

“How does Loki fare? The babes?”

Frigga was sure her face would split with the smile she was donning, “They are perfect, and Loki is doing fine. Exhausted, but doing well.”
            “I should have been there,” Odin huffed, “After everything that has transpired, I should have been there. Is he angry?”
            “Loki understood, he will be visiting soon. And look,” she handed him the colored photos, “Aren’t mortals funny things? How clever? Those are our grandchildren…”

Odin’s lone eye widened, “They capture images? My goodness…”

“Matthew and Silvi, do they not look the perfect image of our child?” Frigga said, peering at the image over her husband’s shoulder.

“Yes, indeed,” Odin spoke softly, fingers stroking the images before him, “They are quite blue,” he gave a quiet chuckle, “Of course our son’s genes would be the stronger…you say he wishes to visit?”

“As soon as he regains his strength,” Frigga placed both hands to his shoulders, “We should have a proper welcome, once he visits and settles.”

“Of course,” Odin turned and kissed her cheek, “They are beautiful. And I cannot wait to meet them.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Tony found himself dozing, bottle still smartly in Silvi’s mouth, she gave a loud grunt of disapproval at the lack of attention, “W-hat, Silvi, what…you have your food,” when her much-too-awake brown eyes locked on him like a vice he groaned, “You want me to watch you don’t you? Yeah, just like mom, you don’t want anything to be easy…” he glanced over to Loki who was stretched out on the long white couch, Mattie pressed to his chest and both were sleeping soundly.

“You know a helluva lot more than you’re letting on…you have like super powers that I’m gonna find out about when you’re a teenager huh? You are deliberately giving me a hard time and giving mama a break huh?”

She made a popping gurgling noise and wriggled in his arms, somewhat of a smirk on her face, “You are doing this on purpose…what did I ever do to you? What’s Mom been tellin’ ya, little shit.” he growled, taking away the bottle, turning the baby on her stomach against his shoulder and patting her back. He may have been irritated at the ‘trickster’ nature of his daughter, but as soon as she curled her fingers into the material of his shirt and snuffled sleepily against the exposed flesh of his shoulder, he melted. When he was rewarded with a good burp, he sighed in relief. He rocked/bobbed her as he walked back and forth in the kitchen, knowing full well it wasn’t as easy as that. He flinched when Steve seemingly appeared out of nowhere, “Jesus Steve, a little warning!” and then with the first peacefulness of the day shattered, Silvi started to cry and Tony wouldn’t admit that he wanted to cry himself. He was that exhausted.

“I’m so sorry Tony! I tried to make noise but you seemed to be havin’ a conversation,” Steve looked positively heartbroken to have caused the crying to emerge.

Steve took immediate note of Tony’s state and he never thought he’d see the other man look like this, beard unkempt, hair in every direction and close to tears even, “Hey, let me take her,” Steve offered, eyes cutting to Loki still dead to the world, baby Matt still equally as such.
            “I’m fine,” Tony huffed.

“No, come on, give her here, you need some sleep man,” Steve argued, arms out, “Come on.”

Tony was reluctant, “She seems like crazy hyper aware so I don’t know if she’ll calm down.”

“Might as well try huh?” Steve smiled, arms still out.

Tony handed over his daughter into the Captain’s massive arms, “Watch her head.”

“I got it,” Steve was still smiling, “Hey little girl, what’s wrong?”

“I have no idea, everything sets her off and her brother just sleeps and sleeps…I still think he’s got some evil plan going on.” Tony scrubbed his face with both hands.

In the same instant Clint and Natasha were in the kitchen as well, “Already havin' baby trouble?” Clint grinned.

“Shut up dick, you try doing this…” Tony groused.

“Looks like Loki has the easy one,” Natasha commented, eyes on the living room.

“Yeah, for now, you don’t know how loud that kid can scream. It’s weird, depending on their mood, depends on which one of us can calm them down.” it was only then that he noticed Silvi was quiet, eyes already drooping, her head resting on Steve’s chest, “Well fuck, what was I doing wrong?”

“I think she can sense you’re overtired Tony,” Steve frowned.

“I’ll take the little man,” Clint said moving into the living room, “You guys get some sleep, go,” he even gave Tony a shove.

Of course Tony resisted, “Guys, I didn’t mean for you to become babysitters.”

“Loki and I had a deal,” Natasha winked.

Clint placed a careful hand on Loki’s shoulder, “Hey, Loki,” Loki stirred, eyes blinking blearily.

“Hawk?” Loki slurred, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing, why don’t you and hubby go take a nap, Nat, Steve and I will watch the kiddos. I mean I know Mattie is crashed but I think you’ll get better sleep in bed.”

Loki blinked again, “Silvi…”

“With Steve, she’s sleeping already, but we’ll take care of things, come on hand over the kid.” Clint said.

Loki pushed up from the couch, cradling his child, “What time is it?”

“Sleep time,” Clint answered.

“Huh?” Loki grunted, eyes barely open, only slightly aware that Clint had taken the baby into his arms.

“Sleep time,” Clint repeated.

“Loki,” Natasha’s voice arrived, “Come on.”

Loki was somewhat aware of the Spy’s hands tugging him up from the couch, “Bedtime.” she said, and then there was an arm firm around his waist.

Natasha mused that this was the most pliant she’d ever seen the god as she maneuvered him into the bedroom where Tony was already falling to the mattress.

“Nat, nice god handling,” Tony murmured.

“Uh-huh,” Natasha smiled, setting Loki to the bed and pulling back the sheets and nearly shoving him beneath them, “Get some sleep guys, we got this.”

Loki nearly fell back to sleep with the sudden silence, “Tony…” and then he felt Tony’s firm, sure hands pulling him to his chest.

“Babysitters, the best babysitters, sleep baby,” Tony hushed close to Loki’s ear.

For a moment Loki raised his head, the slightest of panic bubbling, “What….”

“They got this, babies are in good hands…”

“But…”

“Sleep sweetheart,” Tony’s response was hardly coherent.

“M’kay” Loki grunted, burying his face in the warm crook of Tony’s neck, and for the first time in two weeks, since the babies arrived, he found that much wanted deep sleep.

 

~~~~~~~~~

“How smart you think she is already?” Steve asked idly as he cradled Silvi in his arms.

“I think a lot more than people think,” Natasha said, “Stark has said she’s hyper-aware and I really don’t think that’s arrogance on his part. She looks at ya like she knows something.”

“Ya’ll saying Mattie’s stupid? This dude is chill,” Clint said, keeping the bottle at the right angle in the babies’ mouth, “For all we know the two of them are planning shit.”

“Clint, don’t curse,” Natasha scolded, fingers still stroking Silvi’s dark hair.

“They don’t know what’s going on, besides I’m not using the ‘big’ curse words,” he grinned, giving a wink to the baby boy in his arms and he swore the baby gave a gurgle of approval, “Oh whoa what the fuck!”

“Clint!” Natasha near shouted.

“No, look!” Clint ‘s eyes were wide, “What the…frigg…”

Matthew had, in barely decipherable amount of time, changed skin hue and hair, matching Clint’s tone far too close for his liking, “What is up with his hair and he isn’t blue! Did I break him? What the hell?!”
            “Clint!” Steve interrupted, not loud enough to rouse Silvi, “I heard Loki say he does this. It’s just one of his quirks, I guess that means he likes you. He changes back, but right now you’re making him happy so calm down, you’ll get her worked up.”

“Okay, okay, so he changes, why didn’t I expect that, Jesus,” he once more bounced the baby and Matthew’s bright eyes popped open and locked with his and he swore he caught a smile (despite people saying that baby smiles were gas), “You know exactly what you’re doing, ya squirt.” Matthew’s only response was to grip Clint’s finger tighter and bring it to his tiny mouth.

“I’d like him to try my hair,” Natasha laughed, “Hey you boys are hogging, let me have one of them.”

“Well, I’d like to see the change so here,” Clint said, handing over Matthew, “Have at it buddy.”

“Hey,” she tried to keep the crack from her voice but it was there without control, and then she was kissing his brow, “You got crazy parents and probably even a crazier bunch of Aunts and Uncles, or whatever Mom allows huh?” and like a flash she was peering into a mirror image of her own eyes, EYES of all things, “Matthew, really?” and she hated that her chest was constricting with buried cries, and then when Matthew nuzzled closer, bunching up her loose t-shirt in his tiny fist, eyes closing, she did cry.

Chapter Text

 

The first few weeks were rough, and as the twins were hitting their nearly two-month marker they had finally settled into something of a routine. It had taken three different formulas to find the right one that did not upset their sensitive tummies, and once they found the correct organic milk sleeping wasn’t so much of a challenge. Although it wasn’t the eight hours that Tony and Loki had grown accustomed to, but now? Four to five hours was heaven.

Currently Loki was in the shower and Tony told him to take his time, even advised him to take a bath and chill out for a while, that he had this. Both babies were having tummy time on their furs (a favorite that either could not sleep without) they cooed and kicked their legs, making gurgling noises back and forth to one another. Tony was on the floor as well, on his stomach, smiling and laughing at their actions. Silvi was the funniest to watch, she kicked out her feet as if she were trying to propel herself forward.

“Sorry honey, gonna be a little while before you can do any kind of moving around,” he stroked her dark hair, she laid her cheek to the floor with a seriously frustrated huff, but her dark eyes closed with the action. Like Mom she liked her hair brushed, her scalp caressed. Mattie squawked, thrusting out a chubby fist of which Tony took, running a thumb over his knuckles, he pulled the tiny hand to his lips and left a kiss, in turn Matthew tugged Tony’s hand forward and sucked his Father’s knuckle in his mouth, his sparkling ruby eyes scrunched with the quirking of a small smile.

He looked up when the bedroom door creaked, “Hey sweetheart, better?”

“Yes, thank you, I loathe the fact that it took me near two days to get a proper shower. I do not prefer the smell of infant vomit, but even more the un-wash state of my hair,” he ran both set of pale long fingers through his damp dark locks and settled to the floor next to Tony, leaning forward and kissing Tony on the mouth, “No cries?”

“Nope, we’re just chillin’ out,” Tony answered.

“My mother sent another letter, she is quite insistent on us visiting Asgard,” Loki said, scooping Matthew up from the floor, cradling him to his chest, head tucked safely in the crook of his elbow. Matthew peered up into his mother’s face, mouth rounding with an ‘o’, eyes blinking dramatically, the action caused Loki to laugh, kissing both plump cheeks, “I know Odin wishes to see them, but I am fearful to travel with them both.”

“Thor would be comin’ too, we don’t have anything to worry about right? Seems like your Mom and Dad are really itching for you to visit, but I’m not gonna push you. You do it when you’re ready.”

“I should return; it would be…nice to be welcomed without animosity.  But I am leery…” Loki sighed, seemingly not being able to resist brushing lips across his baby’s brow, over and over, even nuzzling their noses that garnered him a happy squeak which in turn made Loki smile wide and repeating the action, “And also, my…Farbauti wants me to meet my brothers…that I must admit frightens me.”

“Well, sweetheart, again, you do that when you’re ready. Why don’t you wait until the kiddos are a little older, and hey if you want they can come here. Doesn’t mean you need to come to their planet, realm, uh, whatever.”

“I suppose it would be safe, Mother would not say so if it were not,” Loki murmured against the dark tresses of his son’s head.

“Lokes, you know your Mom wouldn’t put us in danger, none of us. I’m game if you’re game” Tony said as smoothly as possible even though the thought did indeed make him nervous.

“I shall talk to Thor,” Loki replied, inching forward and nuzzling Silva’s cheek.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

“Have you everything you need?” Thor asked as they stood on the roof of Stark Enterprise.

“Yes brother, everything and more, let’s just…please get going I’m nervous enough,” Loki spat, situating the blanket more firmly around Silvi’s head, “And you are sure Mother said the travel is safe for the babes?”

“Of course Loki, what do you take me for?” Thor groused, laying a gentle hand at the base of Loki’s neck.

Loki refrained from rolling his eyes, “Very well then, let’s get on with it.”

Tony would admit out loud he would never get use to this, no matter how many times they traveled the rainbow-bright bridge. They were there in an instant, bright, glistening city in his sights, although it was a bit of a blur. He only stumbled slightly, arms firm around Matthew and it seemed that his son was well aware that he was grounding his father. He looked up bright and perfect and smiled, before stuffing a thumb in his mouth. Pushing the nausea aside Tony grinned wide, “Oh, you got one on your old man huh? You can fly magical and shit without any trouble.”

“Tony,” Loki scolded, “Language, they are far more aware of their surroundings then you think.”

“Sure babe,” Tony winked, his eyes finally made an actual observation of the structure below him, glittering and near see-through. He tried not to panic at the thought that he was without his suit and standing on a fucking see-through bridge that fell into god knows what. The sound of horse hooves distracted him soon enough.

“Tony, darling,” Loki whispered close against his ear, pressing a kiss as he spoke, “It’s alright.”

Tony shakily nodded, “O-Of course it is, right?”

Loki’s mouth turned up in a smile, “Of course,” he mimicked, and kissed his lover’s jaw, “Take a breath.”

As the figures moved closer the couple could see that it was indeed Odin and Frigga, “Son!” Frigga uttered gleefully.

“Mother,” Loki greeted, and as soon as Frigga dismounted her horse she was silently asking for one of her grandchildren.

“May I?” Odin asked Tony, who was currently clutching Matthew.

Tony took a breath, even though every ounce of his being was saying ‘uh no, fuck you’ but he handed over his son into the older man’s arms, “Little bit of a warning, he puts everything in his mouth and he has this mimicking thing.”

Odin smiled, yes, smiled, “He’s beautiful, oh both of them are,” he locked eyes with Loki as if they were magnets, a silent conversation between the two, “Loki,” and Loki did indeed keep the eye contact, “They are beautiful Loki, Anthony, so very beautiful, hello Matthew I’m your Grandfather.” Mattie blinked his big ruby eyes and reached out both hands to the old man’s face, fingers tangling in his beard and gave a squeak that might have been a small giggle. Odin laughed, “His coloring is amazing, and Silvi? Do they share the same hue?”

Tony cleared his throat, “Little different, Mattie seems to get Mama’s tribal lines.”

“You are probably right,” Odin commented, one weathered hand tracing the lines of the infant’s face, “These are lines of royalty,” once more he took Loki’s gaze, “Your children are indeed royalty.”

Loki stood somewhat stiffly, giving a slight nod, “I shall ask Farbauti of their meaning.”

Odin leaned sideways to his wife, studying carefully Silvi’s face, “How wonderful, the both of them, they are perfect.”

Loki gulped, nodding, staying close to his mother, “Silvi has his Father’s eyes and nose, does she not?”

“Yes, stubby and rounded,” Frigga grinned towards Tony, “Beautiful.”

“Your cheek bones,” Odin added, a smile on his face, “They both have your cheek bones.”

As the family chattered, Tony clutched and unclutched his hands, rubbing his arms, not sure what to do. A thought came into his head. They weren’t married, hadn’t even thought about it. So what did this all mean? Were they a society that deemed these beautiful children ‘bastards’? That made his stomach sink. He gulped painfully, and perhaps he would have processed the thought further if Loki hadn’t wrapped his arms around his waist and then there were lips against his own.

“Why do you look so distressed?” Loki asked.

“No reason babe,” Tony smiled, he took Loki’s face in both hands and kissed him firmly on the lips, it was brief but powerful, “Just thinking about how happy I am.”

 

~~~~~~~

Odin and Frigga fixed Tony and Loki a room of their room. A quite large room, fully furnished for the babies’ needs. Two bassinets and a fairly large bed. Larger than a King, Tony noted.

Loki noticed immediately that the Bifrost exhausted Tony, even though he wouldn’t admit it. Both children were blissfully asleep. Both parents had lulled the children to sleep and then following they fell to the fur covered beds. As they settled the children Loki led Tony to the huge bed and burrowed him beneath the blankets.

“Babe,” Tony groaned, eyes already drooping, “Where are you going?”

“I wish to take a walk, get all the sleep you need. My mother will care for the babes if need be,” Loki whispered next to Tony’s ear, “Get your rest, she will be taking care of the children this evening. I will need your energy for later, my darling.”

Tony lazily blinked his eyes, “What?”

“Oh yes, sleep my love,” Loki cooed, nipping at his ear, “Tonight, until then, rest, I should not have to elaborate.”

Tony lifted up from the sheets, blinking bleary eyes, “Oh yeah?”

“Yes,” Loki sucked his pulse point, “If you are up for it?”

“Oh, you know it,” Tony chuckled.

Loki wasted no time, taking Tony’s mouth and teasing his tongue and caressing the roof of Tony’s mouth. Tony groaned when Loki pulled away, even though he was already shivering with anticipation, as soon as Loki situated the blankets around his torso and was kissing his brow he was gone.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Loki found that he wasn’t in the least nervous as he strolled down the golden halls of Asgard. Every guard he passed merely nodded and he couldn’t help but smile smugly, eyes narrowed in warning as if daring them to say an unkind word. He stood tall, chin jutted out and arms cross behind his back, he had changed out of Tony’s clothes and into one of his outfits that he hadn’t worn in years now. Dark forest green and black pants as well as knee high black boots. He couldn’t remember the last time he did this, simply observing the place he once called home, he made his way towards the gardens, his second favorite place. He leaned over the beautiful multicolored stone wall, resting his elbows and taking a deep breath, inhaling the sweet floral scent and the call of bird flittering in and out of the high top trees.

For a moment he felt serene, the memories of the last year on the periphery of his mind. At sometimes, mostly at night, he would lie awake and wonder is this all a dream? That he had survived the horrors of his fall, the tortures of Thanos, the consumption of his very being by Svaðilfari, everything. And here he was with a loving man, and two beautiful children. He closed his eyes, letting the peaceful atmosphere wash over him. Perhaps that was the only reason he didn’t hear the footsteps behind him, the hand on his hip had him lurching sideways.

“Home again I see,” Fandral near purred.

Loki shoved, and hard, “Do not ever touch me again!”

Fandral only laughed, “You’re so touchy, you know that? Always have been, I dare say you are a woman in every respect, not that I’m complaining mind you. I hear you have wonderful birthing hips and all the parts that go with it hmm? Why don’t you and I have a go at producing a pup.”

Loki felt a surge of rage ripple up from his gut that drown out any sense of panic as Fandral boxed him into a corner. He was near blind with it, “I am warning you, I will give only one!”

Fandral ran the back of his hand down Loki’s cheek, “Warning me with what? Your woman’s craft? You know you cannot win against my strength, what are you going to do cast a spell?”

“You’ve never seen my true magic, the All-Father would not allow me to harness at full strength when we were younger, oh but I assure you I have now.” Loki was no idiot, as soon as Fandral leaned closer that surge took flight and Fandral was slammed harshly against the marble wall, at least ten feet in the air, clutching his throat and sputtering helplessly, “Woman’s craft you say? My mother is one of the most powerful sorceresses in the realm and so by ‘woman’ you mean great strength I will whole heartedly refer to it as such from here on out!”

Fandral gagged, and began clawing and now, gasping.

“What’s that?” Loki lowered him but did not relinquish his hold, “Let’s make one thing perfectly clear, you will never, ever touch me again. I do not need my brother’s protection. If I am confronted once more I will turn your insides out, I need only to snap my fingers. You will not speak to my family, that is also one of the stipulations, if you advance upon me I will make you very sorry and you will not even see it coming, are we understood?”

Fandral nodded, near frantic now, with the flick of Loki’s wrist he sent him flying across the room where he crashed, and then was coughing desperately for air.

“I’m glad we had this chat,” Loki smiled, “It is well to put these things behind us and move on, yes?” the grin he was adorning widened when Fandral scrambled backwards in legitimate fear, “Do not tangle with something you do not understand.” and Loki continued his stroll, light on his feet and the grin on his face plastered smartly.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

After Loki’s long walk around the palace grounds he felt something in comparison to being high, the feeling of being drunk but not sick. He felt uninhibited and free and light. He took his time and visited the library, lost in the aging parchment and their musty, familiar and comforting smell. The librarian, who had been there for hundreds of years now, was still in charge and she still remembered Loki fondly. They had chatted for some time before Loki realized how late it was getting. He made it back to he and Tony’s bedroom, and found his Mother already there.

“Hello dear, did you enjoy your walk?” Frigga smiled, rising from the long couch to kiss her son’s cheek.

“Oh yes, it’s been quite some time I’ve had the pleasure to do so.” Loki returned the long embrace and followed her to the couch.

“You missed Mattie copying your Mom’s hair, now THAT was interesting! He looked like Goldie locks” Tony chuckled.

“Matthew was simply pleased; he seems to do that only with whom he feels strongly towards.” Loki said, brushing a thumb across his son’s forehead which garnered him a happy hiccup.

“Are you quite sure you’re alright with your Father and I taking them for the evening?” Frigga asked.

“I trust you Mother, they are in good hands, and I do believe it would be beneficial for them to bond with their Grandparents.” Loki continued his gentle stroking of the baby’s fine, dark hair.

“It would not hurt also, for you two to have some alone time,” Frigga answered trying to hide the smirk on her face.

It was with that remark that Tony’s face brushed with color and Loki was grinning now, “Now mother, I do believe you have won yourself a trophy, you made the infamous Tony Stark blush.”

Frigga only laughed soft and low, “I will take my grandbabies now, you two have a lovely evening.”

Loki bent at the waist kissing both of his children’s cheeks, “Your father and I will see you later dears.”

Tony did the same, feeling a twinge of guilt. He and Loki had not been separated from the kids since they were born, or at least, they were never more than a bedroom away. He felt Loki wrap his arms around his waist, lips at his throat, “They will be fine, my mother is very capable.”

“I know that,” Tony began to argue, resting his own arms around Loki’s, he turned around to face his partner, “You are glowing, what’s up with that?”

“I feel more like myself than I have in a very long time,” Loki sighed happily, both hands cradling Tony’s face, his thumbs unconsciously tracing the pattern of his beard.

“Something happen?” Tony sighed nearly in unison at the soft touch.
            “Nothing you need be concerned with,” Loki said, urging Tony forward and crashing their lips together, licking and nipping, silently urging Tony towards the bed. He pushed him to the mattress, taking no time in straddling his hips, he took firm hold of both of the inventor’s wrists and pinned them above his head.

“What has gotten into you?” Tony asked, eyes crinkled with a smile, “Not that I’m complaining.”

“I am very happy,” Loki spoke low, one slow grind and Tony was arching, exposing his neck and Loki darted out his tongue to track along his pulse point, ending at the tender place behind his ear where he swirled the tip of his tongue in slow circles. He was rewarded with a broken groan.

Tony’s heart felt as though it were beating a million miles a minute, this was reminiscent of the Loki he’d first met, all teeth and want and need. Heat pooled in his belly as Loki bit down on the thin flesh between his shoulder and neck. The times before they had had sex had paled in comparison to Loki’s behavior right now, Tony had taken control in the gentle, careful manner and it was all about Loki. This time he felt the difference.

Tony tugged at his pinned wrists, “How am I supposed to touch you like this? Huh?” he managed between fast, heated kisses to his mouth,

“Because I am, what is it that you say ‘calling the shots’?” Loki growled, “I need you naked.”

“Well let me up and I’ll get us both there,” Tony bit back another groan when Loki’s hips rolled against the swelling in his pants.

“No need,” Loki said, a smirk on his face as he snapped his fingers.

“Hey!” Tony yelped, “Undressing is fun too ya know, especially you, damnitt Lokes let go of my hands,” he made grabby motions, “I wanna touch.”

“You will, but for now I’m doing the touching, these stay up here, or I will make them stay up here and you know that I can. I plan on taking my time,” Loki murmured in a way too sinfully sexy voice that has Tony obeying without thought.

And Loki wasn’t kidding when he said he would take his time, with feather like touches his slender pale finger tips caressed Tony, starting from the pulse points of his wrists, dancing down making Tony jump more than once before nearly losing his breath as Loki’s perfect mouth hovered over nipples, his too pink tongue lapping until both were perk. He continued his slow decent, tonguing around his hip bones, every now and then nipping, some bites close to painful before warm breath was soothing any pain away. He kissed everywhere but where it counted, Tony moaned, louder than he was willing to admit when Loki licked a strip up his inner thigh.

“Fucking tease,” Tony shuddered, his whole being quivering, yes, this Loki he remembered well. And he was ridiculously turned on.

The hot breath of Loki’s laugh ghosted between his legs, “When was I not?”

Tony opened his mouth to retort when Loki’s mouth was now kissing the head of his penis, in the most ridiculously gentle manner, and he continued that same kind of kissing all the way up his length and then down again before taking him fully into his mouth.

“Fuck!” he threw his head back and tried his damndest not to thrust his hips, and when his hands came down to tangle in Loki’s hair they were wrenched back up by an invisible force and the warmth was gone. And then Loki was hovering over his face, that same mischievous look dressing his face.

“What did I say love?” he captured his mouth once more, sucking Tony’s tongue against his own, and then he was kissing everywhere and everywhere, “You’ve been so wonderful to me, so kind, so loving.”

“Baby,” Tony huffed breathlessly, he was sure magic was getting involved here cause it felt like Loki’s hands were on every inch of his body, “Always been a pleasure, taking care of you.”

“I know, I know it is,” Loki had Tony’s head boxed between both arms delivering endless hurried, frantic kisses, “Do you remember that one night, The Hilton? All weekend we made love and I had you screaming, you remember that?”

In Tony’s lust addled mind, he was scrambling for the memory and then yes, he did, between the fast kisses he was smiling, “Yeah I do, ya know I’ve never done that with anyone right?”

“Would you allow me to? I wish to make you feel good, and we haven’t since I’ve returned,” Loki made sure to make eye contact, “If I hurt you or if for any reason you want to stop…”

“I’m fine babe, always have been with you, come on, rock my world,” he arched up and sucked Loki’s bottom lip between his teeth garnering him a throaty whimper.

Loki regained control and continued his reign of kisses and bites over the mortal’s throat and chest, and belly. As he brushed lips and bloomed tiny bruises over Tony’s hips, his hands caressed the back of his thighs, gently urging him to bend his knees. Conjuring oil onto his fingertips he circled one finger over Tony’s opening, teasing and careful waiting for protests, when he received none, that one questing finger entered.

Tony willed himself to relax, and he did when lips returned to his inner thighs, working their way back up as the one finger worked in and out at the perfect speed. Loki met Tony’s lips once more and he whispered “Breathe”, and Tony did.

Loki worked a second finger in, he lovingly watched Tony’s pinched face, panting and pushing back on his fingers, and when he crooked them, finding that spot, Tony yelped, “Loki, God!”

Loki smiled, and added another finger, now working him open, brushing his prostate over and over, all the while painting his flesh with kisses.

“Lokes, I’m not gonna last if you keep that up, come on,” Tony whined, “Let my hands go!”

Loki removed his fingers and was kissing him once more, ebbing his magic away and Tony’s arms were locked around Loki’s waist and back, urging him forward and on top of him, “Come on baby, show me what you got.”

With a feral grin, Loki urged Tony’s legs upwards giving him better leverage, “Tony are you sure…”

“Yes, baby, please,” and when Loki pushed in, slowly and careful Tony grunted, head falling back, “Jesus…”

“Are you alright?” Loki asked, suddenly concerned.

“I’m good, just adjusting, been awhile, ya know?” Tony tried to laugh but couldn’t quite get there, “Fuck, move, I’m fine, move!”
            And Loki did, graceful thrusts that slowly were building momentum, and Loki felt his own control waning. But somewhere in his lust blown mind he felt powerful, complete, and whole and perfect. And damnitt his eyes began to sting, only when Tony murmured his name like a prayer did he finally lose himself in the absolute pleasure of this act beheld. He kissed Tony like it was their life line as an endless stream of whimpers fell from Tony’s mouth, his voice higher pitched as he unknowingly bucked upwards.

“Lokes…close….so…close,” he panted, eyes slammed shut, fingers clutching into the flesh of Loki’s back.

“Me too,” he pitched, slapping Tony’s hand away from his ignored arousal and began to stroke in unison of his thrusts, thumb pressing firmly into the head that had Tony yes, shouting.

Tony came first yelling wordless nothings and then Loki shortly after, whispering countless terms of endearments before Loki could not help himself but fall against Tony’s sweaty, heaving chest.

They lay a moment in complete silence, besides their heavy breathing filling the room.

“Sweetheart,” Tony finally spoke, voice spent and cracked, “You okay?”

Loki lifted his head, perching his chin on Tony’s chest, “I’m wonderful.”

Tony closed his eyes with a soft laugh, he only groaned slightly when Loki pulled out, “I better not get pregnant, I swear to God man, there will be hell to pay.”

Loki laughed, voice just as brittle, “If that were at all a possibility we would not be within touching distance of one another.” Loki waved his hand and the mess was gone.

“I love that trick,” Tony said, pulling Loki closer, snug to his chest and pressed kiss after kiss into his dark locks as he caressed the pale expanse of his long back.

“Thank you, for allowing me that.”

“Are you kidding me? Pleasure was all mine,” Tony sighed, they fell into a silence, all soft touches as they came down from their high. So it was a few more moments before Tony asked, “Where’d that come from anyway? What happened earlier?”

Loki nuzzled into the crook of Tony’s neck, “I ran into Fandral again…”

“What?” Tony began to sputter, but Loki stayed him with both palms splayed on his chest to keep him lying down, “He better not have fucking touched you…”

Loki pressed two fingers to his lips, “I took care of it, my magic is at full capacity if you hadn’t noticed in our escapades this evening,” Loki grinned, all toothy and pleased, “He won’t be bothering me anymore.”

Tony couldn’t help it, he laughed, he rolled Loki onto his back kissing him deep and purposeful, “There’s my trickster.”

Chapter Text

“You awake?” Tony asked, ceaselessly running all five fingers through Loki’s sexed out hair, ‘outlet hair’ he liked to call it, smoothing down the edges that had curled at the soft nape of his neck.

“Mhmm,” Loki purred, he was pleasantly sore in all the right ways. Given that they had the time to do so, they’d made love several times through the night until they finally fell prey to exhaustion. His deep, contented sigh grew with strength as he felt Tony’s lips on his throat, nuzzling and kissing with soft bites.

“We haven’t done that in a long time, sexin’ till we drop,” Tony grinned against Loki’s mouth, sure they’d barely gotten any sleep but he wasn’t complaining, as he recalled the actions of last night he nearly groaned at how perfect it had been. He knew Loki had taken a big step initiating sex like he did, and actually voicing something he wanted and hadn’t had in nearly two years. He boxed his arms around Loki’s head, lazily draping his upper body over Loki’s, dropping down another kiss to one cheek and then the other. Loki’s green eyes had yet to really open but he acknowledged the touches with a soft smile, “You feeling alright?”

“Better than,” Loki exhaled once more, eyes finally locking on the shade of dark chocolate he adored so much.

“Fun fact,” he dotted kisses in careful chains before he reached an ear lobe, sucking it between his teeth, “We’re still naked.” Tony pressed his body closer, nearly completely settling over Loki’s warm, pliant body.

“Yes, we are, what are our plans on the matter?” Loki gave a half smile, long arms rising up from the furs to snake them around the slighter mans’ shoulders.

“I’m taking the wheel on this one baby,” Tony winked, continuing his trail of kisses in the dip of his collar bone, licking a strip down his sternum and disappearing beneath the covers.

Loki chuckled low, “What are you doing, get back up ah!” he threw his head back, his back arching involuntarily when Tony’s ridiculously talented tongue went to work, finding the ‘button’ as he so fondly called it, the place that existed between the slick fold of his sex, and then a warm, calloused hand was added to the equation, twisting and caressing firmly up and down his length. This was the one tongue fueled act that had him seeing stars, all control left him, wave after wave of pleasure came crashing over every nerve lit inch of his skin. In his previously lulling state it didn’t take him long to climax, he was damn near keening, fingers tangled in his dark locks, his arched back relaxed and he fell back to the bed.

Tony’s smiling face re-emerged from the furs, smug and satisfied as always, “Good morning.”

“How do you manage,” he huffed, taking a needed breath, eyes closing for a moment, “…to make me sound…like such an idiot.”

“It’s an art-form I guess, gonna have to add it to the resume for sure, because it is 100% effective, every time.”

“You are entirely too arrogant,” Loki hummed waving away the mess with one quick snap of his fingers, a silly smile still gracing his mouth, he brushed the unruly hair away from Tony’s forehead.

“Proudly so, yeah,” Tony said, nuzzling his still heaving belly, kissing just below his navel that produced a barely swallowed titter from Loki’s mouth

When he locked eyes with Tony, he quickly found his voice, “Don’t you dare.”

“Wait a damn second, are you ticklish?” that signature smile of Tony’s was widening with this new knowledge.

“No I am not, Stark I am warning you,” a startled giggle, there was no denying it was a giggle erupted from his throat when both sets of fingers skittered across his belly with a featherlike touch, “Stark!”

“Not Stark, take it back or I’ll keep going!” Tony was laughing along with him as the trickster squirmed and threatened between his laughs that were like beautiful bells, angelic even. He continued his assault a little longer, when he hooked both thumbs under the god’s arms and wiggled with fervor, Loki shouted, “Anthony!”

To stave off a possible punch to the face, he took the moment of jelly-like-limbs to take his wrists, quickly placating him with a kiss to his panting mouth, “God, you have a gorgeous laugh.”

“You are insufferable,” Loki growled into his partner’s mouth, still trying to catch his breath, goosebumps were riddled across every inch of skin.

“I couldn’t pass it up, I’ve never seen you like that, and I loved it.” Tony chuckled, those same thumbs caressing the pulse points of his wrists.

Loki rolled his eyes and would have remained indignant, but it had been too long since he’d seen that smile on Tony’s, as of late exhausted face, “You have the maturity of our twins sometimes, you know this? Yes?”

Tony felt safe enough to release his wrists, and kissed both sets of knuckles, “Sometimes yeah, but I’d do it again, you’re beautiful when you laugh.”

And then Loki couldn’t help it, he was smiling too wide for his own good, shaking his head, “Why don’t we share a bath, before we meet everyone for breakfast. We’re already late as it is due to your antics and I miss our children.”

“Sure sweetheart,” he traced his fingertips over the high peaks of Loki’s cheekbones and along his jaw that made Loki sigh happily, “Come on I’ll soap you up good, extra-long scalp massage.” he pulled the furs away from Loki’s pale body, the morning light making him look even more milky and stunning, naked and all he scooped the god up from the bed which garnered him another good natured laugh. However ‘late’ Loki claimed they were, they lingered in the large tub, of which Tony vowed to replicate the Asgardian tub at home, washing each other gently and taking their time despite the need to ‘hurry’.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Loki fussed with his hair in the full-length mirror, straightening his black and green attire, smoothing it with his palms. Even after all these weeks, he sighed in relief at the flatness of his stomach, “Tony, aren’t you ready yet? We will indeed be late and I don’t want the children to be upset.”

“Yup, ready to go,” he exited the bathroom, strolling towards his lover still looking into the mirror.

“Anthony,” Loki spoke with an edge of warning, as his eyes went up and down his t-shirt, jean wearing lover, “Where are the clothes I chose for you?”

“I’m not dressin’ in something that isn’t me baby, for all your family knows this is informal on Earthgard” Tony answered, “However you, Reindeer games, look hot, really hot, like take you back to bed hot.”

“Tony I do not wish you to be uncomfortable, but there is the entirety of the family that will be there.” Loki frowned, “I am nervous enough.”

“When did you ever do what you’re told huh?” Tony smirked, pecking Loki’s lips.

Loki began to argue, but then his mouth snapped shut, “I do agree, darling, but this is important, I hate to do this,” he snapped his fingers, and Tony was dressed in the burgundy colored tunic and black pants, “This is important,” he repeated, tugging Tony quickly and apologizing with a kiss.

Tony growled, but reciprocated, “Alright, alright, I get it, you better not have sent those clothes off into spacey land, that’s my favorite Black Sabbath shirt.”

“I assure you they have been returned to your suitcase love, now, lets,” Loki slipped his arm around Tony’s waist, “We are stopping by my Mother’s sitting room before we attend breakfast.”

“Blueberry pick up right?” Tony smirked, looping his own arm around Loki’s waist, and he would admit that his heart leapt with excitement to see his son and daughter, even though it had been hardly 15 hours since he’d seen them last.

 

~~~~~~

Odin found himself nearly dozing, and he wasn’t sure why, but he’d always been this way with infants. Their sleepy snores were soothing and quite possibly the most peaceful thing that existed in this violent and bloody universe. Currently Silvi was sleeping so deeply, her breaths came out in high whines every now and then with deep, throaty breaths. A sleep that only a child could achieve. She was wrapped tightly into something that may have made her resemble a crepe of some sort. Frigga had wrapped the baby tightly, conveying that it mimicked the close nature of the womb. Of course his wife was more than right, Silvi, after a healthy feeding, fell promptly asleep in her grandfather’s arms.

Frigga was currently changing Matthew out of a wet diaper, thoroughly confused by the plastic nature of the diaper adorning his tiny bottom. But Loki had left her with a list and explanation of items he knew she would not be familiar with, “Husband, are you well?” Frigga asked, wrapping Matthew tight like she’d done the girl child, and even as she crossed the room, baby close to her chest he was just as asleep.

“Yes,” Odin sighed softly, eyes back down on the little girl, who’s tiny chest rose and fell with contented breaths, eyes moving behind eyelids with dreams.

“Something ails you,” Frigga said, sitting across from him on the soft cushions.

Odin began rocking in the rocking chair, that had been a gift when Thor had been born, “I could have very well missed this, these beautiful children, perfect creatures…all in the name of my pride. Loki was never a burden, nor was he a tool…or as he said a stolen relic. I remember so well finding him on that rock, so helpless, crying and cold. And as soon as I cradled him in my arms, he looked up at me, and changed,” he locked eyes with his wife, “He mirrored my hue, because he felt safe Frigga, he trusted me, after that day I took hold of his shape shifting and wrapped my own magic around him, making his pale color permanent. But for his safety alone, I was never disgusted. At such a tender age he trusted me…and all that I have done to our boy, I scarcely deserve to hold these treasures.” he kissed the babies’ forehead, she clenched and unclenched her fists, “I could have prevented so much when his true heritage was discovered.”

“Odin,” Frigga rose from her chair, bent at the waist and pressed her lips to her husband’s forehead as he had the child, “You are fixing things now, and in time Loki will see how much you truly love him. He only needs time, I am so proud of you and I love you so.”

“And I love you,” Odin murmured, taking one of Frigga’s delicate hands and kissing the knuckles, she situated Matthew into Odin’s empty arm despite his wide reluctant eye.

“You are doing fine,” Frigga smiled.

 “I am thankful that Loki allowed us both back into his life.” he turned once more to the slumbering babes, brushing lips along Matthew’s brow which seemed to beckon the boy’s eyes open, barely there but Odin saw the smile on his lips and he felt the threat of tears, “I will not make the same mistake again, this I vow.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Loki knocked tentatively on the door, hand clenched in Tony’s.

“You nervous babe?” Tony asked, brow furrowed.

“A bit, it’s been a long time since I have attended a family breaking of fast,” the couple didn’t get a chance to continue when Frigga opened the large oak door.

“Loki, dear, did the two of you get some rest?” she asked, a smirk not far from her lips.

“Yes, mother, how are the babes…”

“In here with your father,” she spoke without thought, “They have been so pleasant, we fed them some time ago but they’ve slumbered so peacefully nearly an hour. Awake now and again of course, but now cries.”

Loki was sure the feel of his heart clenching showed in his face when he locked eyes with Odin, comfortable in the rocker of which he remembered well as a child, both children cradled in his arms. And he was speaking softly to each child, Matthew’s long arms out, fists tangled in Odin’s beard and Silvi, not usually so grabby had done the same, one small fist doing the same as her brother.

“Son, how are you this morning?” Odin asked, as soon as he took note of the couple.

“Fine, I-I am doing fine,” Loki stuttered to his own disdain.

“I will relinquish your children, I know how it feels to be without their presence for a mere few hours.” he offered an arm of which Loki took his daughter and Tony took Matthew, “I have missed this, babies.” he rose from the rocker, and without thinking he put both hands on Loki’s shoulders, “I thank you son, for allowing me a second chance, there is nothing I would not do to experience their growing up. You are my son, and I know we have far to go, but I love you. Greatly.” he cupped Loki’s face, “You have done well, and I am proud of you. You have a strength I could only hope to possess.”

Loki swallowed thickly, tears brimming in his eyes, he dared not blink, “I-I thank you for your kind words…I…I d-don’t know…I-I mean…”

Odin moved forward and kissed Loki’s forehead, lingering there for a moment, “It is alright child, let us have our breakfast, yes? Relax…I ask nothing of you, I merely wanted to say what I said.”

Loki gave a shaky nod, attention on his daughter when she squirmed with her mother’s obvious discomfort, “Shh, Silvi, mama is here,” he whispered, into her dark locks, holding her close to the pulse point of his throat which seemed, as of late, to be a calming action when she was thrashing.

“Come, let us eat,” Frigga interrupted, hooking her arm at the bend of her husband’s elbow.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was a large table, reminded Tony of something out of Knights of the Round Table minus the Arthur, minus the round. He had been to countless board meetings, surrounded by people he didn’t exactly mesh well with. But here, he found a strange mingling of feeling both accepted and uncomfortable. Matthew seemed to sense this, he tugged at his Father’s tunic, whimpering, “Yeah, I know right? I don’t like it either, but Mom insisted,” he spoke low, every now and then scooping food into his own mouth when he had the chance. He had to admit, it wasn’t as weird as he thought it would be in terms of food, more or less eggs, sausage kinds of meats and fruits. Every now and again, he’d glance sideways at Loki, who was plucking up grapes and popping them into his mouth, all the while, his attention simultaneously on Silvi and his brother.
            “Please brother, might I hold her?” Thor begged.

“When you are finished eating brother, you are but a child yourself in that area, yes?” Loki grinned, “Take note Silvi, you do not want your Uncle’s eating habits.”

Tony thought Thor might have sputtered and defended himself, but the large blonde’s much too blue eyes only filled up, “It fills me with joy to be called such…their Uncle.”

Loki tried not to roll his eyes, “Of course Thor, what else did you think they would call you?”

“It gladdens me is all, to hear it from your mouth,” Thor smiled, eyes still glistening, and they grew even wetter when Loki handed over the baby into his large arms.

And Thor was every bit the cliché Uncle he was, vowing protection over the two, promising to always be there in every aspect. Most genuinely of course was his love and it wasn’t as if Tony and Loki were going to disagree that he spoke the truth.

Amongst the chatter, Odin’s deep voice broke through, “Loki, I have something to ask of you.”

Loki was looking up from his plate of food, but he did not speak, and he felt Tony sneak a hand beneath the table and thread their fingers.

“I wish, if you would honor the request, for your children to carry our family’s crest. They may be of you and Anthony Stark, but they are a part of the Odinson family, as you are and have always been, and I wish it to be official amongst the Kingdom. I will, if you’d allow, announce it to all of Asgard as soon as possible.”

Loki knew he was staring, without words and trembling, and he was sure he hadn’t blinked in over a minute, “I-I….”

“Baby,” Tony whispered close to his ear, “I think this is mega example of ‘I’m sorry’ don’t you think?”

Loki swallowed a treacherous cry, “I-I would be honored Father,” it wasn’t a slip, it was intentional and he was not mistaken when he caught the tears suddenly pouring down Odin’s face.

“No, it is my honor, this family’s honor, Asgard’s honor, to recognize their new Prince and Princess…”

Chapter Text

Tony had excused them shortly after Odin’s announcement, Loki had been fighting tears and then his breathing became erratic. Thankfully he was able to get Loki to their room before he went into one of his panic attacks. Tony knew it was utter shock at the sudden acceptance of his family by his foster father.

Loki was bouncing Silvi in one arm, Matthew in the other, heart thumping violently, so much so he was barely able to finish consuming breakfast. He even hiccupped once, then a second time before he felt Tony’s hands at his elbows steady both infants in his arms.

“Sweetheart, take a breath, you’re okay,” Tony broke through the panic, “Take a breath,” he said again, “In and out, in and out, just like me huh?”

“Tony,” Loki gulped, “I-I don’t understand…”

“Grandpa wants to make amends is what I’m thinking, Loki, honey,” Tony was steering him to sit, and then he was saying it, “Here, sit down on the bed, they’re fine, doesn’t make them any different or any more important or less important or whatever…”

“Prince and Princess…why would he do that…why…Tony I don’t…I don’t understand any of this.” Loki growled, but then lowered his tone when Silvi made a sound that seemed to be of disapproval.

“Hey, look at me,” Tony smiled when Mattie made a happy gurgling noise, “I know this is hard to understand, or to wrap your brain around right now given your history with your uh ‘not dad’ but I think he really does love you and the kids. There is no way he could be lying when he said all of that in front of your whole family. This isn’t a trick, my old man would have never done something like that, and I think our dads are actually a lot alike. My Dad would have never done anything like that just for show,” he brushed a thumb over Loki’s lips and his partner sighed into the touch, “I think it is safe to say that he’s on board with your whole rehabilitation thing and our little family here.”

Loki ran a tongue over his lips where Tony’s thumb had traced, “I am thankful, there is no doubt that I am, but I am leery.”

“Again, don’t blame you,” Tony assured, gesturing he wanted to take Silvi, “But the bigger our kids support system is the better, and Odin seems genuine. Let’s just try to go with it huh? And your mom knows when he’s bullshitting she’d tell you if she thought something was up.”

With that said there was a knock on the door, “Loki?” he heard his mother call and of course he said ‘come in’.

“Darling,” she said in hesitation, “Have we upset you with our decision? I was hoping you would be happy. I do not wish to upset you.”

“I,” Loki started, standing from the bed, “It is not that I am unhappy with the decision, merely in shock is all.”

“I know my dear,” she kissed his forehead, “I know it is a lot to accept, your Father realizes this.”

“My apologies,” his eyes fell to his daughter, “They only deserve the best and holding such titles in Asgard no doubt is quite the honor…I simply fear what the people might think, given that they are Jotunn, are they aware of my status? My true race?”

“Yes,” Frigga said evenly, “Your Father spoke to the people and he warned that if any one were to show hate towards the Jotunn race, they would speak personally with him. They are to be regarded as equals in our realm, as well as your kin. When Farbauti is ready, we will have them visit.”

Loki felt a little breathless, blinking rapidly, trying to keep his heart rate leveled, as his daughter dozed lightly in his arms, her flesh never before seeming so incredibly blue as it did at the moment. Her skin was beautiful, there was no doubt there, no prejudice could convince him otherwise. Beautiful. Just beautiful, and as these thoughts ran like rivets through his mind her bright and knowing brown eyes blinked open wide. He wasn’t even aware that he was crying until she pressed both chubby hands to his face and the tears were running over her dimpled knuckles. He wasn’t sure why but this made him gasp, but he realized he had when he felt Tony’s palm pressed to the small of his back.

“None of your family is thinking those backwards thoughts about our kids, and I know that’s what’d spinning around in your head, sweetheart,” Tony murmured, kissing Loki’s cheek and then Silvi’s, “Wow, look at that smile.”

Loki gave a somewhat soft, choked laugh, as his daughter continued to comfort him, a quirky smile, that resembled Tony’s far too much. He turned to his mother, “As I said, I would be honored for them to be recognized by my family, by you and Father especially.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

After the somewhat stressful morning, Frigga offered to once more watch the children, given that the couple would be leaving the next day for the bifrost. She and Odin wanted more time with the babies.

Thor was both shocked and elated that Loki asked for him to walk with he and Tony through the gardens. Besides the libraries, it was his favorite place to walk, that much Thor knew. Thor was in an exceptionally jovial mood, and nearly shouted in triumphant when he successfully got his little brother to laugh, and not a fake one either, but deep and throaty as he remembered when they were younger. With that success, he draped an arm around Loki as his brother pointed out different species of flowers to his partner. He could see now why Anthony and Loki got on so well with one another. They both appreciated the science of everything around them. A world that was alien to Thor, perhaps that was why they were always on different planes of maturity or growth in general. Lead heavy guilt settled in his stomach at that thought, all the times he allowed his friends to poke fun at Loki, to practically torment him at times and Thor would only try to laugh it off and tell Loki he was only being sensitive.

As he observed Loki, arm around Anthony’s waist, an easy smile on his lips, a laugh not far behind he forced himself to look beyond the past. Loki was happy now, safe, whole it seemed, and Thor would fight anyone to the death who would threaten his little brother’s happiness.

It was in that moment that he heard the voices of Fandral and Hogun, more so Fandral than anything. His loud boisterous tone cutting through the peaceful air of the gardens.

“I should not be surprised, being the little Jotunn slut he is, to produce the same vile creatures, bastards no less with a lowly mortal. What could we expect? He would spread his legs for anything, amongst other things. Only a human would bed that abomination…” it wasn’t as if he were making a point to be subtle about their conversation, even if they were unaware that their two princes were in the gardens.

“I may not agree with the all-father’s decision,” Hogun began, “But Loki had indeed suffered greatly.”

“Surely you jest!” Fandral huffed.

“You are disgusting,” Sif’s voice arrived, “How dare you speak of our prince in such a way, the All father exonerated him, and they are but children. You would speak such hate about innocent babes. I hear that they are beautiful. It is you that keeps the rest of us from seeing them, Loki wants nothing to do with us because of your disgusting forward nature.”

“Beautiful?” Fandral laughed, “If you regard infant monsters as beautiful than you know nothing of what true beauty is Lady Sif.”

“If you think Loki and his coloring is so ugly, why do you pursue him?” she growled.

“An easy lay, he has been as such since Svaðilfari visited the palace, have you not heard the rumors? The God bent him over a table, multiple times and Loki asked for it…” he chuckled.

To Thor’s horror, in that moment, he knew Loki had heard the last exchange, he saw the light, airy look on Loki’s face dissolve into utter hurt, no, it looked as if he’d been impaled, and the easy inhalation of breath turned to gasps. However, Tony’s reaction was different. It was all that was rage.

“You fucking piece of shit! I’ll fucking kill you!” Tony was charging towards the blonde, “You think you’re so much better than everyone else, you smug fuck!”

Thor acted quickly and cut off Tony’s charge, standing between the two so swiftly Tony was forced to skid to a halt, “I will take care of this, Anthony,” Thor spoke brusquely and then without even thinking grabbed Fandral up by his collar, lifting him inches from the ground, “You would speak ill of my brother? Openly in his home?! He is a prince, my niece and nephew next in line for the throne.”

Fandral merely laughed, “Bastard children on the throne? Jotunns no less? Oh yes, I heard about their skin color, abominations indeed! Your father is a fool, as are you! Do you really think that all of Asgard will welcome those little monsters!”

“Monsters?!” Loki shouted, the air lit up with electricity, voice trembling, fists clenching at his side, green curls of smoke erupting from his palms, “I will end you!”

Thor was already ahead of his brother, whose face, he noted, was pink and green eyes wide, wild, and wet, “My father warned you on Midgard, and now you will indeed face the consequences. Your title will be stripped! Those children are dear to me, to this family, and they are greater and better beings than you will EVER hope to be! My brother is bright and kind, more intelligent than any of you put together, and Norns help you, there will be no more ill words spoken about him and his family. Not one,” he yanked the man violently forward, eyeing Hogun as if he could incinerate him to the ground with a stare alone. The man merely nodded and made his leave, “You are coming with me, and since you were so bold to speak publicly about my brother and his children, you will face the All-Father.”

“I will gladly take him,” Sif interrupted, dark eyes looking like lava, drawing her sword, “Gladly. Take care of Loki and his mate. See them back to their rooms,” she said quickly, noticing that Loki was shaking with humiliation and hurt, and she knew if the mortal were to act out, and it seemed he would any moment, it would only cause trouble for both men. She could see that Thor understood this as well.

“Yes, thank you Lady Sif, I will speak with you and my father once I have done as such. Do not let him out of your sight,” Thor added darkly.

“Of course, your majesty,” she acknowledged Loki with a nod of which he simply stood speechless. she pressed her sword to Fandral’s throat, “Move.”

Loki stood trembling, tips of his fingertips tapping his lips, eyes falling to the ground, “I’d like to return to our room.”

“Loki,” Thor said, taking his brother’s face in both hands, and was alarmed that Loki did not even protest, “He is wrong, so very wrong, you know this yes? You are none of those foul things and neither are your children.”

“My children no, not in the least, no one will say…such horrible things…without consequences but I…I…” Loki swallowed thickly, eyes burning, “I only wish to leave.”

“I will fucking kill that bastard I swear to Christ,” Tony growled, dizzy with rage, damn near nauseated with it.

“Tony, not now,” Thor shook his head, “Take him to your rooms.”

 

~~~~~~~~

Tony maneuvered them back to their rooms with practiced ease, but Loki took a turn, “I wish to see our children, now, I want to see them now.”

“Loki, sweetheart, maybe you need to get your bearings,” he took hold of both forearms, forcing him to face him, “That guy is the definition of asshole, none of what he said is true, Not one goddamn thing.”

“I want to see the babies,” he gulped, “I need to see them now, I need to please!”

Tony was officially scared, Loki was pale and panting, and the closest to a full down melt down since they’d last returned from Asgard, “Okay, okay, shhh, we’re going. Ya hear me? We’re going now.”

The couple didn’t even knock, Loki was simply breaching the mouth of the bedroom, “Loki, darling…” Frigga began, eyes narrowed in concern.

“Are they sleeping?” Loki swallowed a sob, “Both of them?”

“Silvi yes, Matthew no, your Father has him, son, what’s wrong? You look awful!” Frigga spat.

“I need my son, please,” Loki gasped, bypassing his mother’s inquiry.

“Of course,” she answered simply, she went into the small bedroom where Odin was rocking the boy, “Something is wrong, Loki is very distraught, let me have Matthew, he’s quite insistent.”

“Why what has happened?” Odin demanded, handing over the baby.
            “I am not sure,” Frigga replied.

As soon as she returned to the sitting room, Loki was scooping up the baby, situating him carefully in his arms. Loki traced long fingertips over the tribal lines adorning his son’s forehead, looking so very much like a crown and then he was resting his cheek to Mattie’s with a soft sob, “I-I need to be alone.” Loki hiccupped, and passed Odin without a word, closing the door behind him.
            “What has happened?!” Odin howled.

Tony took a breath, shaking his head, “That Fandral asshole…said some things…” he scrubbed as his scalp, trying to calm the blood pumping far too fast in his veins, “Awful, horrible things about Loki and the kids. I mean, he pulled the Svartlfari card…that’s as low as you can go…I just can’t…fix this…” and Tony found his own eyes burning, because it was a double blow, his kids being bashed and the love of his life in the worst way possible. So it had been some ‘funny’ rumor about the elder God raping Loki. He was sixteen! And it was a fucking joke!
            “Anthony,” Frigga murmured, taking one of his hands in her own, her other taking him by the elbow, “Sit down, dear, breathe.”

“I think I can protect him, and then this shit happens,” he trembled, burying his face in his hands.

“Odin,” Frigga near whispered, but Odin was gone, she hadn’t even heard the door close, “Tony, shhh, come now, I’ll make you something to drink and then we will speak to Loki.”

“I fucked this all up didn’t I,” he spoke candidly, not even thinking to curb the cussing, “Loki isn’t married, on top of everything else.”

“No, that means nothing,” Frigga scolded.

“Your majesty, I mean, uh, Frigga, what if I wanted to marry Loki, I mean.” he exhaled roughly, “I don’t wanna be with anyone else and we have a family now, but I feel like askin’ now would be like ‘just the next step’.”

“Anthony,” she spoke his name like a whisper once more, “I would be honored if you were a part of this family. Odin and I both think so.”

“What about Loki? I mean, marriage and all…we haven’t even talked about it…but now…I don’t want him to ever feel humiliated like that again. God damnitt, that bastard and his loud mouth…”

“Loki loves you, so very much, I have not seen him look at another person the way he looks at you.”

“How can this be a scary thought after everything we’ve been through, after babies of all things?”

Frigga smiled, “I’m afraid that is just the way it goes, commitment when put onto paper and spoken words is frightening,”

Tony wrung his hands, chewing at his lips, “D-Don’t say anything to him yet, please, I need to think all this through…I mean I wanna do it…but I need to do it right and I don’t know when.”

“Of course dear,” Frigga nodded, “Why don’t you go to him, he may say he needs space, but I believe it has been long enough.”

“Sure, sure,” Tony took another shaky breath, “You wanna come get Mattie, I think Loki and I should talk.”

All-Mother and all-partner opened the door, and Loki was lying on the bed, baby cradled close to his chest, “Hey Lokes,” Tony spoke softly, making his way carefully to the bed, “Sweetheart.”

Loki’s wet and red face finally unfurled from the pillow, “He’s sleeping…”

“That’s good, why don’t you let Mom take’em huh?”

“Why,” Loki sniffled, breath already stuttering from spent cries.

“Cause,” Tony leaned forward pressing kisses into his hair, “I wanna talk to you.”

Loki didn’t say anything, but allowed his mother to take the child, his eyes never leaving the slumbering chubby face.

“He’s okay,” Tony added, “They’re just in the other room.”

Loki nodded and as he did so, tears tumbled like falling stones, and he was openly crying, “I’m sorry.”

Tony near fell to the bed, gathering Loki in his arms, “Baby, why?”

Loki sobbed harder, face now promptly buried in the warm safety of Tony’s neck, “I-I brought this on us both, by threatening him yesterday, and now all of Asgard must know of what our children are. And I feel sick that I worry for their status, simply because they are what they are.”

“Shhhh,” Tony hushed, “It’s gettin’ takin’ care of, don’t worry about any of it. Our kids are great…”

Loki cut him off, red face emerging, “I know they are,” he answered hotly, “I’m just so…so…”

“Angry, you’re fucking pissed off like I am and that’s okay, but kiddo, I’m pretty sure your Dad and Thor are taking care of business. Your dad cut out of here like a bat outta hell.”

“What?” Loki sniffed, rubbing at his eyes.

“I told him what happened and he was gone, was just as red face as you are,” Tony answered, brushing away the damp strands of hair that stuck to his face with tears.

“I want to go home,” was Loki’s reply, “It has always been hateful here and I see no difference. I want to be in our bed. To be with our friends…”

Tony didn’t say ‘fuck yeah’ but he nodded, he laid his head next to Loki’s on the fat pillow, “Sweetheart,” he said with emphasis, “You are none of those things that were said today…that real monster hurt you…that’s what happened.”

“It is these reasons that make me question why you want me still…” Loki hiccoughed, brow buckling and lip curling.

Tony took hold of his chin, heart breaking that last night he had seen Loki the most confident he’d seen him since the rescue and he was terrified at the idea that it was all gone, “I will always want you, love you, need you…everything that you’ve done, everything that has happened, has made you into the Loki I love. The Loki I need and can’t live without. Those babies need their mama and you’re perfect the way you are.” Tony said all this, while painting kisses across his high cheek bones and finally resting on his lips.

“You think so?” Loki whimpered.

Tony was shocked that there had not been more resistance, “I think so with every fiber of my being, that dickwad is just jealous, only reason why he said those things. Because you’re mine, and he won’t ever get to touch you. Ever. Won’t ever get to have the kind of happiness we have, got it?”

And to Tony’s even more deepening shock, Loki smiled, “Yes, he will never have what we have. Never.” he pushed Tony onto his back and captured his lips, lingering there before resting his face once more in the crook of Tony’s neck.

“Never.” Tony closed his eyes and tightened his arms around Loki’s thin shoulders.

 

~~~~~~

They were all standing on the bridge, Tony with Silvi, and Loki with Mattie. Frigga was misty eyed and fighting the will to not completely fall into tears, “You will visit often yes?”

“Of course Mother, and you will visit as well?” Loki smiled as his mother peppered kisses over his Mattie’s face, his son sighing into the affection. Just like his Father in that way, the more physical expression of affection the better. It was the one thing that calmed him in a rare fit of crying.

“I simply feel as though I’ve connected with them and now you’re leaving,” Frigga straightened her face, “I will visit soon, no force can stop me.” she finished with a laugh, “May I hold him one more time before you leave.”

Loki grinned, leaning into his Mother’s space and kissing her cheek, “Of course.”

“Loki,” Odin interrupted.

“Yes?” Loki answered, still unable to quite make steady eye contact.

“Please, look at me child,” he spoke soft, and temperate, and when Loki still struggled, he placed a warm calloused palm to his son’s cheek, “Look at me.”

Loki took an unsteady breath and did as told, “Is there something…”

“You are perfect the way you are,” Odin spat without prompting, “Every bit of you, your heritage is something that should be celebrated. You are brave, strong, and a warrior in the eyes of this realm. Your magic is unquestionably remarkable, like your mothers, and your loyalty is something to be herald. You will not listen to the small few jealous voices, but those that have had such strength since your childhood will be silenced. You know of what I speak, and he has been stripped of his rank. He has had chance after chance and I will no longer see you or your family harmed. You have fought too hard for it, understand, yes?”

Loki’s throat was working convulsively, he glanced merely briefly at Tony whose face was pinched in something indecipherable. Loki knew it was a feigned attempt at controlling tears, “Father…I…” and then he did not know what to say, a surging of emotion took hold, the last couple days burying him deep that had him simply throwing his arms around his Father’s neck, face buried in the broad, warm shoulder. And he cried, loud and messy and wet.

“It is alright child, all is well, all is well,” Odin closed his arms around his son’s thin frame, one hand reaching up to cup the base of his skull, turning and pressing a kiss to his temple, “All is well.”

Chapter Text

 

 

Thor left his Father’s chambers and found himself walking in hurried strides alongside Sif, “What has your father said? His decision?”

“I am to escort Fandral to the bridge, he is being banished but I will have words before we do as such,” Thor growled, “I have stood idly by for too long as his foul mouth abused my brother.”

Sif felt a surge of guilt, it wasn’t as if she actively participated in the verbal attacks on Loki but she didn’t hinder them either. And she had to say, after seeing Loki’s face, drawn and fraught expression, she felt immensely moved and saddened, “Aye, there is no argument there. I apologize for my lack of involvement in ceasing these events.”

“You spoke out loud this time, you were not in agreement, there are no ill feelings towards you Lady Sif and I am speaking for Loki as well.”

The two warriors entered the hall of the prison, making their way to the end where Fandral was held, “Not so proud now, are we?” Thor glared, taking immediate note of the rags the Asgardian wore, and the state of his person. Dirty and defeated.

“Come here to gloat?”

“Oh yes, indeed, and to escort you from Asgard, you are no longer welcome in our realm, I know not where Father means to send you, only the Watcher and he know. But if I know my father, and I do, wherever you go will not be kind to your presence.”

For once, Fandral said nothing, only going quiet.

Thor ushered the guard to unlock the door and then he was wrenching Fandral up from the grimy floor, “No quip? No remark? That is wise on your part, as I am sure Father would not mind me beating you within an inch of your life.”

The three made it to the bridge, Heimdel giving a nod of acknowledgement as they approached, “I will make one thing perfectly clear, if it is not already clear enough. This is our last meeting and last conversation on the topic of my brother. If it were my choice,” and he took Fandral by the torn collar edging them towards the shimmering bridge, “I would toss you here without a thought, into the abyss and perhaps you would meet the same torture that Loki endured for a years’ time.” he went as far as to push him forward for emphasis and Fandral gasped.

“We have been friends for thousands of years and you choose my loyalty over a few choice words about your adopted brother?! A Jotunn no less!”

“You are a brave man to speak such things in your position, see how Heimdel does not flinch? That means he is in agreement of your punishment and if I deem it so he will not interfere.”

When Fandral felt the fingers loosen he near screamed, “Thor!”

Thor wrenched him forward and shoved him towards the gatekeeper’s feet, “Do as Father wishes, and quickly too before I change my mind.

“Given your opinion on our young Prince, your destination seems quite fair,” Heimdel’s low and calm voice broke the silence.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As soon as Tony and Loki arrived back at the tower, landing safely on the roof, they were greeted by Steve and Natasha who must have heard the bridge’s signature rumble, “Guys you’re back! How’d it go?” Steve asked.

“Some good, well a lot good and some bad,” Tony answered for Loki who seemed more than subdued and quiet as he kissed and nuzzled Silvi’s dark tresses.

“You okay?” Steve continued, even going so far as to rest a hand at his elbow, “What happened?”

Loki’s stare was solely on his child, he feared if he looked up at the understanding blue eyes of the soldier he may fall apart.

“Well, good things first, you’re looking at too for real bonafide Prince and Princess, Princess Silvi! I love it,” Tony grinned.

“Are you kidding me?!” Natasha gasped, “You are not shitting me are you?”

“Nope, Grandpa announced it to the whole kingdom, not that you didn’t before, but you’re in the presence of royalty. Course, she would have been a Princess regardless, right sweetie?” he reached a hand over to squeeze her tiny fingers.

“That’s great guys, I mean, you square things away with your old man?” Steve asked.

Loki knew he could actually admit it now, outloud, “Yes, I do believe we have. Things aren’t perfect by any means, but they’re better.”

“So…bad news?” Steve tentatively queried.

“Ran into blonde almighty dickwad again,” Tony sighed, “Long story short Dad stripped him of his title and well, I don’t know what else happened. Thor stayed back on Asgard, said he’d be in route soon, and that he had to take care of some business. Hopefully that includes beating the shit out of that asshole.”

“God, I hope so,” Natasha frowned, “Sorry about that Loki, you know he is just a pompous asshole right? It’s always blow horns like that that try to get under people’s skin when they themselves are exactly the crap they’re spewing.”

Loki’s mouth turned up only in the slightest giving a nod, Silvi’s brown eyes opening wide for a few moments as if to access her location and then locked onto her mother. It was an automatic response that Loki smiled when his daughter did this, and then she was cooing, mouth in the shape of an ‘O’ as she returned the gesture, toothless and enough to crinkle her eyes. Watery at best that made Loki laugh low and hardly there at all.

“See? Silvi agrees, no one can look at someone else like that without knowing who you they really are,” Natasha offered, resting a palm on the baby’s head, “And how good that person is.”

“That’s right Loki,” Steve added, there was the smallest frown still twitching at Loki’s lips. But knew when not to pry and Loki’s face was awash with hurt, he only had to wonder what that monster had said about Loki. More than likely every negative thing he thought about himself no doubt, “You feel up to eating something?”

Loki smiled faintly at that question, taking note of how Steve lowered his voice, sometimes Loki had the feeling this was how the man spoke to children. Perhaps if it had been any other person he would find it irritating, but with Steve it was endearing and acted as a balm to the hurtful things swimming through his head, “That would be lovely Steve, thank you.”

Steve gave a tight smile, hating that the harmful things spat at him would stick like glue, “You and the kiddos go in the living room and I’ll get supper on the stove.” he didn’t even ask, he knew exactly what he would make.

Without prompting Loki surrendered his daughter to the spies waiting arms, “I do believe they are both homesick.” and Loki smiled at the reaction of Natasha, who took the baby happily, her face instantly lighting up, “As soon as we landed I could feel them relaxing through our bond.”

“Well, we all missed having you around here, too damn quiet,” Natasha mused as she rocked the baby in her arms, her tiny face lax but eyes still wide, “You gonna be sticking around for a while now? I mean, no more other worldly trips?”

“That is the plan, yes,” Loki sighed, plopping down on the couch uncharacteristically sloppy, “I haven’t the desire to travel in the near future, however, I know Farbauti wishes me to visit his realm, meet my brothers. I am both anxious and excited to do so, more anxious I would say. I do not know how they will welcome me.”

“I gotta say Lokes, your bio Dad is just as protective as your Mom, he wouldn’t let anything happen to you,” Tony assured earning him a shaky nod from his partner, glancing down at the drooling child in his arms, one chubby hand dangling at his side, “I’m gonna take junior to bed, Silvi’s still kind of fussy of course.” he bent carefully and kissed Loki’s brow. As he carried the child into their nursery, wrapping him up tightly, swaddling him like Loki had shown him, he kissed both plump cheeks and laid him to the baby mattress, “Let’s hope it doesn’t take much convincin’ to get your Mom to marry me, I’m not the greatest package huh? But you two are the best thing I’ve ever created. I’m gonna make sure you know that every damn day of your lives. I wanna also make sure your Mama knows I’m not going anywhere.” Tony kind of chuckled to himself and wondered, if the kids were as self-aware as Loki was saying, how conscious was Mattie of all the secrets he tended to spill to his newborn infant.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

“Hey Cap,” Tony spoke as he entered the kitchen, crossing the space and opening the fridge to grab a beer, “You be willing to do me a favor? Or maybe you and Nat both.”

“Sure, anything,” Steve said, as he was adding broth to the pan, “What’s up?”

He eyed the living room carefully, keeping his voice low, “Would you guys be willing to take the twins for a night? There’s something I gotta do and it’ll take more than a couple hours.”

Steve rose an eyebrow in curiosity, “And what would this ‘something’ be, and don’t go off with the sex jokes. It’s not like I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about you know.”

“No, it’s not a sex thing,” Tony laughed nervously, scrubbing at the back of his neck with one hand, “I was thinking, especially after our oh so wonderful trip, that uh I’d ask Loki to marry me. I’m just tired of him thinking I’m gonna skip out on him on the opinion of other people. I thought I’d do it this weekend, we’re kinda slow on missions so I thought…”

“That’s great Tony!” Steve was smiling ridiculously big, “Nat and I would love to watch the kids, and I really think this will do Loki wonders.”

“Yeah I think so and…” he ‘oofed’ when Steve crushed him in a hug, “Okay, breath, breathing…need to breathe.”

“Sorry,” Steve chuckled, “I’m just really happy for you guys.”

“Man, you are just a big, muscly sap aren’t ya?” Tony shook his head, “Keep this to yourself huh?”

“Of course, I’m not an idiot,” Steve frowned.

“So yeah, talk to Nat for me if ya can. I’ve got planning to do.”

“Sure Tony, sure.”

When Tony returned to the living room, Loki’s sparkling green eyes, although tired locked with his and he was reaching out a hand for Tony to sit. As soon as he did so Loki leaned into him, resting his head to his shoulder, “Look how peaceful she sleeps, she looks so much like you in these moments.”

Tony laughed softly, “Damn, she really does,” yeah, this was gonna be great.

 

~~~~~~~

Loki felt more at ease with the progression of the evening, and the thought always found its way into his mind that Steve really ought to give up this super hero non-sense and settle down with a woman. He made things feel homey and safe, and coupled with Tony’s arms wrapped around him while they chatted more about their trip, he felt perfectly at home once more. Loki allowed the two avengers to feed the children, and it was painfully obvious that they had indeed missed to twins. So Loki indulged, even letting them tuck the children into their beds for the night.

As it neared close to midnight, Natasha and Steve said good night. Tony inhaled fully turning and pulling Loki closer realizing he’d fallen asleep finally, he kissed both cheeks and then his forehead. Loki groaned happily in his unconscious state, burrowing his nose in the space of Tony’s neck. “Hey J, the kids still snoozing?”

“Yes, sir, heart rates are normal and breathing is leveled. They are in a state of REM sleep.”

Tony pulled a blanket off from the back of the couch and wrapped it around Loki, holding him to his chest as he leaned them back to the large couch cushions, “Awesome, let me know if they wake up, think we’re just gonna crash here.”

Tony’s eyes snapped open for a moment when he heard the shades being lowered to further darken the room, “Thanks J.”

“Anytime Sir, goodnight.”

Before falling prey to sleep, Tony glanced down at his slumbering partner, and he smiled. There was no way in hell he was ever gonna give this up, all of this, every bit of it was what he wanted around him till the day he died. He fell asleep with ideas dancing madly in his head and Loki’s soft sleepy breathing lulling him deeper.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

“You are acting awfully strange,” Loki commented, as he fixed the collar of his shirt, another outfit Tony had picked out. White dress-shirt and an all jet black suit. He had learned quickly that Tony enjoyed dressing him, or more appropriately was turned on by dressing him. But tonight he seemed fidgety and borderline nervous.

“I’m not acting strange,” Tony answered innocently, moving towards Loki and situating his tie at the base of his throat, “Wait, I change my mind, no tie” and he slipped it away with a fluid swipe, working two buttons open to reveal that porcelain throat he adored, “Just excited, we haven’t been out on a proper date since the kiddos arrived.”

Loki eyed him suspiciously, “Yes, that may be so, but what made you want a date so suddenly?”

“The Asgard trip was stressful as hell, babe, I wanted to get you out and about. Besides, I thought it would be good for you to be ‘Loki’ tonight ya know, not Mom.”

“Ah, you know me well,” Loki smiled, grinning wider as Tony pulled him in for a kiss.

“I got us special reservations at this French place, have the whole roof terrace to ourselves.”

“It sounds lovely, just what I needed after this week,” Loki hummed, as his partner wrapped his arms around his waist and kissed the exposed flesh of his throat.

“Let’s get going, don’t wanna be late.” Tony winked.

~~~~~~~~~

Loki had been spoiled by Tony before, there was no lie there, but this seemed almost over the top. There were countless strings of white lights adorning the trellis that canopied the dinner-table, dressing the atmosphere in a pale, gold light. The terrace reminded him a little of the porch at Tony’s Malibu home, only it was a bit larger, however still intimate on every level.

He appreciated that although yes, he did need a night out, he preferred the privacy as well. He was also shocked by the lack of obtrusive music, it was jazz, Loki recognized immediately, and an artist that Tony knew he enjoyed. As confidently as Loki had ever seen Tony do anything, he asked him to dance. It merely gave them an excuse to touch and caress one another in the chilly New York air. Loki soaked it all in while they sipped his favorite wine, and they spoke softly and closely like they hadn’t done in weeks.

Tony was still acting odd though and he couldn’t pinpoint it, and then worry began to settle in Loki’s gut. WHY was he acting nervous? Had Loki done something wrong? Was this perhaps about the conversation they’d over-heard in the garden? He was drawn from his thoughts with the stroking of his palm.

“Where’d you go babe?” Tony brought his hand forward and kissed his palm, then turned it over and left a smacking kiss to his knuckles.

“N-Nothing, I mean nowhere,” Loki managed a smile, that act of affection always made him smile because it was Tony’s way of reigning him in from his spinning brain.

But instead of the usual turn, Loki’s reaction made Tony frown, “Sweetheart, what’s with the look?”

“I am simply letting my thoughts get away from me, I apologize it is merely the leftover tension from our trip I suppose,” Loki studied the sparking brown eyes painting his face at the moment, they were dark brown with a flecks of gold, they really were the spitting image of their daughters’ eyes. He crossed the space of the dinner table and kissed Tony soft and sure.

“You still letting that guy in your head?” Tony asked.

“Perhaps some,” Loki shrugged, eyes dropping, but then Tony was lifting his chin with one finger, his thumb stroking the underside of his jaw.

Tony took a deep needed breath, this was as good a time as any and with that despondent look on Loki’s beautifully pale face, he wanted to eradicate that feeling of self-doubt once and for all. He scooted his chair closer so they were face to face, “Loki, I know I say this a lot and it seems like I can’t get it to soak into that ridiculously smart brain of yours. I always want you to know and realize that you’re beautiful, smart, kind, loving in ways I know I don’t deserve, sexy as hell, and the most amazing man, person, I have ever met in my life. And for some reason, one I’m still trying to figure out, you picked me. You could have anybody out there, man or woman, and you picked me.”

“Tony,” Loki choked, closing his eyes, “I love you, I’ll always love you, you’ve been irreparably kind and patient with me. No one has ever done such a thing, and I’ve been through more than I’d like to address in my life.”

Tony stole another kiss, letting that soak in, he, like Loki was still not accustomed to such adoration, but he pushed forward, “You don’t just put up with me Lokes, you support me and you’ve kept my head above water when I thought I was gonna sink. And now I’ve got this whole wonderful life with you, with the kids, and us, and yeah, it’s not always perfect but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Loki was blinking rapidly, that worry from earlier inkling its way up from his stomach, “Tony…” he began, not sure what to ask, when he wanted to ask ‘what is this, are you dying?’.

“So yeah, when you get upset about all that bullshit that other people say? Never for a second in any respect possible do I agree with that, at all. I want you in my life, forever and a day. I wanna love you, make love to you, hell fighting with you is even something I couldn’t live without. Always. With you. Nobody else,” he knew his throat would tighten up, but he was able to work past the burning in his eyes, he nudged the chair backwards, falling to one knee as he shakily grasped one of Loki’s hands. And Loki’s eyes went comically wide, “Loki, baby, will you marry me?”

Loki knew he was floundering, mouth hanging open peering down at the man on his knees, offering everything and everything and his eyes locked on a silver band Tony was holding out between them, “What?”

Tony’s watery smile grew in strength, “I said, will you marry me?”

The Norse god gulped and then barked a laugh that was far too close to a tremble, “Y-Yes, I will…”

Tony leapt up and pulled Loki into his arms, nearly lifting him from the ground, laughing as well, “Yes? That’s a yes?”

“Of course, you fool,” Loki replied, eyes leaking for sure now, “What other answer did you expect?”

“I couldn’t be too sure,” he exhaled in relief, pulling away long enough to slip the ring on Loki’s slender finger pressing lips there as if to seal the deal, then cupping his face in both hands and kissing him into breathlessness.

“You are an idiot,” Loki wouldn’t admit that he sobbed, but he was indeed crying at this point.

“I love you too babe.” Tony grinned, capturing his lips once more, “So much, I love you so much. It’s you and me from now on, I’m not lettin’ you get away from me a second time.”

“Yes,” Loki gulped a much needed breath, holding the other man closer, he pressed their foreheads together as they both struggled for control, “You and me, always.”

The future didn’t seem so scary anymore.

Chapter Text

On their way back they found themselves in a similar situation that mimicked how they met, grinding against each other in the backseat of Tony’s limo, “I’m gonna take…a wild shot…in the dark…and say you’re happy…” Tony chuckled between kisses and then he was sure he was right when Loki abandoned his neighboring seat and swung one leg over Tony’s lap and straddled him, “Very happy.”

“I will tell you something right now, if you do not shut up and kiss me I will make you sorry, so very sorry,” Loki groaned as Tony clutched him by the thighs and urged him closer, “We don’t have much time before we reach the tower and I will not allow you to leave me unsatisfied.”

“No sir, of course not,” Tony whined at the added friction, he bucked upwards nearly knocking Loki off his game, “Why don’t we book a room for the rest of our time out? We still got till midnight.”

Loki couldn’t help when a low rumble of laughter escaped his throat, “You would book us a room for an hour?”

“You’re fucking right I would, miss having a roll in the hay with you? Hell, no,” Tony grinned, “C-Come on give me a second,” he cleared his throat and activated the intercom and gave directions to the driver to head for the Hilton.

Tony,” Loki purred at the mere name of the hotel and Tony winked.

Before long they were clambering into the hallway of the hotel, Loki barely remembering to activate his glamour once they made it to the elevator. And then they were stumbling into the bedroom once Tony fitted the key in the door.  Loki’s legs locked around his waist as he somehow managed to maneuver them into the room and collapse to the bed. There was hard rutting and vast amounts of groping but then Loki was gasping.

“T-Tony wait, w-w-ait,”

Of course, Tony stopped immediately, “Baby, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing, I mean, I-I want, I mean I think.”

“What is it?” Tony’s concern was mounting.

“If it were alright with you, I would very much like to do this in my true form,” Loki frowned, eyes dropping, “N-Never mind I didn’t mean…”

“Are you kidding me?!” Tony grinned widely, “Baby, you know how long I’ve waited for that? What have I told you?”

And without protest he turned and Loki was blue, head to toe, and looking too ridiculously shy as his raven hair fell from the protruding bone atop his head, “T-Tony…”

“Loki, sweetheart,” Tony moved carefully forward, taking him in his arms once more, capturing his mouth and it was everything he remembered the few time he was allowed to do so, and he expertly began to peel Loki out of his dark suit, starting with the tie, “You have no idea…how long I have wanted to this.” he worked each button, taking in each tiny shudder Loki made, “You know the drill, if it’s too much,” but he was silenced by Loki’s petal blue mouth pressing against his throat. And oooh that was knew, he’d aptly described Loki’s blue kisses as electric and this was no different. He shrugged away his own jacket as he tugged at Loki’s, successfully getting him naked from the waist up, “Wow,” Tony hummed, tipping Loki’s head by the chin, pulling away to gaze into his ruby red eyes. He kissed him gently on the lips and made a tender trail of kisses down along his jaw, grazing with teeth down a particularly raised tribal marking at his pulse point, when he sucked, Loki’s knees buckled, “Loki?”

“A-Alright, I’m alright, just sensitive, don’t stop,” he moaned, eyes half-lidded with lust and then his back was to the bed. He’d never been touched like this in this form, it had always been for painful reasons, reasons to take and never to give.

“Yeah, baby, but you’re shaking,” he decided he would keep his teeth out of the equation and simply lapped down the ridge that snaked around his chest, down past his navel of which Tony was sure went everywhere, “You always this sensitive in this form?”

“If I allow it, if I truly open myself up, and I am, to you and only you,” Loki gasped when Tony slid down over his torso, skimming his fingers down his sides, licking all the way to his navel and open mouth kissing his heaving stomach.

“I love you Loki,” Tony murmured close to his chilly flesh.

“Love you too,” Loki trembled.
            Tony kept up with his careful nips and licks as he rid Loki of his dress slacks and shoes, kissing each raised line all the way to his ankles, and then simply worked his way back up. By then Loki was a writhing, squirming mess, his breath staccato like and he near yelped when Tony’s hand worked expertly below his waist and had him bucking his hips upwards.

“Ah! Tony!” Loki did yelp as Tony breached his opening, alternating between deliberate teasing with come hither motions, or grazing his thumb around the edges of the soft, wet lips, all the while swirling his tongue around one nipple and the other, “I need you!” and this was a screech, because he was lit and humming in such an alien way that had him vibrating, “Tony please!”

Tony needed no more prompting and was shedding the remainder of his clothes, “Hold on sweetheart,” he was slipping on protection of which he was sure Loki had completely forgotten about that little factor.

Loki felt tears spring to life behind the lids of his eyes, and he cried out in relief as Tony finally slid inside of him, his legs, that already felt like jelly, locked around the man’s waist, his arms similarly doing so around his shoulders. He threw his head back with the first thrust and Tony had not stopped with the touches and kisses, and his free hand had wrapped around the unforgotten length between them.
            Tony was sure he’d go blind by the powerful hum of magic, or whatever it was thrumming between them, “Loki, gah, ah,” he regulated his thrusts in a kind of rocking that had Loki keening and clutching and canting his hips in perfect tandem. It was tidal wave, after tidal wave of pleasure that did feel like waves, starting at his toes and up his spine. And he knew that must be what Loki was feeling as he spat unrecognizable syllables, fingers digging into his back.

Loki grunted as he released in Tony’s hand, the rest of him crashing with warmth and buzzing that danced across every inch of flesh, and if Tony’s high pitched grunting was any testament he knew the man had orgasmed, he clenched around Tony as securely as he could without causing any pain and then they were both slumping against one another panting heavily.

The way Loki had been pinching Tony’s naked flesh with his fingertips relaxed and then he was caressing, head falling back as Tony rested his forehead in the crook of his neck. It was a long minute after that Tony eased himself out of Loki, resting to the side of him instead of on top, still keeping his Loki’s head boxed between both arms delivering lazy, spent kisses to the tribal lines that seemed to no longer be pulsing like they had been before, “Wow…”

“That,” Loki inhaled steadier, “Was extraordinary.”

“Totally agree,” Tony huffed, leaning sideways enough to lay his head to Loki’s chest, he closed his eyes as Loki lightly skimmed fingertips over his back and arms, “Wish we could stay here all night, do this a few hundred times.”

Loki laughed softly, pressing kisses into Tony’s wild hair, taking a moment to whisk away the mess, “Yes, my darling, but we have children at home.”

Tony lifted his head, “Yeah, and willing babysitters,” he winked, then plunked his head back down, only then did he notice Loki’s pale skin had inked its way back into existence, “Aw, I was enjoying that.”

“I was as well, but we haven’t time for another ‘round’ as you say,” Loki whispered next to his ear, giving it a nip.

“Alright, alright,” Tony groused, nuzzling Loki’s abdomen.

 

Fifteen minutes, sated and happy, the limo was pulling up to the Stark Tower, “You have a good night?” Tony asked, cradling Loki’s face as they lingered by the main entrance.

Loki breathed deeply, “What a silly question,” he leaned forward into Tony’s space and kissed his mouth, “I am so very happy.”

“Me too babe, never been so happy,” Tony gave his mouth one more assaulting before they headed to the penthouse.

They were both greeted by Steve who was in the kitchen, smiling stupidly as he heated a bottle in one hand, Matthew fussing in the crook of his arm, “So guys, how’d your night go?”

“Yeah I bet it went good, you were late,” Natasha added with an arched eyebrow and a smile of her own from the couch as she fed Silvi.
            “It went, uh, really good,” Tony laughed, squeezing Loki close and kissing his temple, “Well, he said yes! We’re getting hitched.”

“Congratulations!” Steve beamed, “About time to.”

“Thank you for the ‘1950’s’ congrats Cap,” Tony smirked.

“Tony,” Loki scolded, “Thank you Steve, and also Natasha, for watching the children and I do apologize for running behind.”

“Just don’t go making any more babies until these two are a little older,” Natasha winked.

“Natasha,” now Steve was scolding.

“It’s alright,” Loki laughed, striding over to where the Captain stood, “I am in no hurry myself.” he bent and kissed the dark head of his son, “Were they good for you?”

“Only one hissy fit and that was just cause I couldn’t get the bottled heated fast enough for Silvi, she’s impatient!” Steve said, finally slipping the bottle into Matthew’s mouth who finally stopped fussing, he only flinched slightly when Mattie’s image change to pale and blonde. Not that this was the first time he’d done that this evening.

“Oh yes, she is, like her father, wanting something immediately without patience,” Loki smiled.

“Hey!”

 

 

 

~~~~~~~

Weeks later, all of the Avengers got word of their engagement at one point or another the day or so after the engagement, and none seemed surprised and there were a chorus of ‘finally!’, Clint was already calling them hubbies when he referred to either one. So Loki had not been nervous about announcing it at all.

Loki combed back his now dry hair that he’d wisped so after a long shower, their children seemed to have noticed their absence and made it a point to stay up the next three nights relentlessly.

“Hey Loki get in here!”

Loki was dropping the hair-brush and dashing into the living room, “What?” he spat, magic curling at his palms.

“Whoa, babe, no, nothing wrong,” Tony’s wide smile melted, “A good thing, look! Silvi rolled over!” he was stretched out on the floor with the children, Mattie tucked to his side stroking his ever increasing thickening hair and Silvi was indeed on her stomach, head raised and looking far too smug for someone her age.

Loki sighed deep and relieved, hand on his abdomen almost out of habit, he approached his family and got down on his knees smiling as emphatically as Tony was now, “Darling, I’m so proud of you, hardly 4 months and here you are moving about.” he settled on his belly and nuzzled her with his nose that earned him a shrill laugh as if ‘of course Mom, what else would you expect’, “She is advancing far beyond what the baby books predict.”

“Of course she is, she’s got Stark and Loki blood fueling through her veins,” Tony winked, he fully laid on his side next to Mattie who could only be described as ‘frustrated’, his eyes locked on his sister and thumb bobbing viciously in his mouth, “Hey, quit pouting like Mom, you’ll get there.”

“I do not pout,” Loki argued indignantly, head snapping up.

“Oh yes you do,” Tony laughed, “That’s as strong an argument as saying you’re not cute.”

Loki produced a small growl under his breath and repeating near soundlessly, “I do not pout.”

“So I saw Thor stopped by, something going on? I didn’t wanna bother your napping,” Tony asked, rubbing his son’s belly of which seemed to sooth his irritation.

Loki allowed his daughter to suck one knuckle as he sighed, “My mother urges me to visit Jotenheim, you will not believe this. Father has already met with them! He thought it urgent after we left Asgard, why I am not sure, but Farbauti seemed concerned about my absence. And quite despondent, as my mother puts it, we should visit soon,” Loki paused, “But Tony, I do not wish to bring the children with us. It is so far and unknown, the last time I visited it was a frozen rock.”

“Well, babe, this all depends on when you’re ready to go in the first place,” Tony offered, a worried look on his face.

“I do not believe I’ll ever truly be ready, what is it that you are always saying? To rip the band-aid off swiftly is less painful?”

“That may be, but not in every situation, you do what you think is right. And I’m gonna agree with that one, don’t think the kiddos should make this trip.”

“But I do not wish to leave them again, I would not want to be gone long. Also, I would want Thor to escort us. I’m not saying that it isn’t safe, but then again, I would rather be safe than sorry. In my youth I would have been bolder but now,” his gaze fell to Silvi, who was studying her mother’s face carefully.

“Then we’ll ask Thor to go,” Tony started, “Maybe you should just get this over with and Farbauti seems pretty chill, and I really think he loves you. I never met your bio Mom, but he doesn’t seem anything like that.”

“Perhaps,” Loki huffed, but his face split into a smile when Silvi grabbed his cheek with one hand and gurgled a soft laugh.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

“If you are in any need of help, o-or you are not sure what should be done, my Mother has left a summoning stone that will alert me if anything is wrong. As of late Matthew cannot sleep without the tiny bear creature with a blanket torso, and Silvi does not care to be wrapped tight anymore, when she wakes in the morning it makes her happy to kick before she first feeds. Matthew will not cry but that does not mean he does not wish to be held, a-and…”

“Loki,” Steve interrupted finally, “They’ll be fine, I have the list, and Tony gave it to Jarvis as well. So even if we were to forget something, which we won’t, he’ll let us know, okay? I got everybody on call for help, even Pepper will be available to get anything the kids need. This is good for you, another door closed huh?”

Loki bit at his bottom lip, eyes stinging, “Y-Yes, I suppose,” he had yet to stop touching Silvi’s cheeks, his eyes darting to Matthew securely held in Clint’s arms as he rocked him back and forth.

“Bruce is a great doctor, so we got that too, but the kids’ll be fine, you trust me?” Steve repeated.

Loki took a shuddering breath, “You know I do…I-I just have never been so far from them.”

“I know,” Steve softened his voice, squeezing his shoulder with his free hand, “But they’ll be fine and so will you, get things squared away and you’ll be back before ya know it.”

“Thanks Steve,” Tony said finally, trying like hell to deny the fact that his own eyes were burning, but being strong for Loki would keep a full melt-down from happening, “Come on Lokes, we’ll be back soon. Not even a couple days’ time.”

Loki nodded, sniffing loudly, he kissed his children both once more, and then with Thor at his side and Tony with an arm wrapped around him, “Alright then, let’s do this Thor.”

“Heimdell!” Thor shouted.

 

~~~~~~

“Gah I will never get used to that,” Tony coughed, bending at the waist and clutching his knees.

“Are you alright darling?” Loki asked, pressing a palm to his forehead.

“Yeah, yeah babe, I’m okay, just dizzy,” Tony breathed, closing his eyes, focusing on keeping his stomach still.

Loki finally looked up, “My goodness,” he gasped, looking around, “Thor?” they were not standing on a barren rock but a quite lavish observatory that allowed passage along the bridge.

Thor gave a smile, “Father returned the casket, it allowed must restoration.”

Loki’s breathing was shuddering, “I-I…that gladdens me…I had left so much…destruction.”

“Brother,” Thor soothed, resting a warm hand to the nape of his neck, “That was long ago, your family welcomes you. Think not of it.”

It was with that statement that Loki heard Farbauti’s voice and then he was approaching, but not alone, “My child! How thankful I am that you are here!” and he was grinning broadly, and looked fit to split.

Loki wasn’t sure but this made him want to bark a laugh at just how endearing it was, “Farbauti, I thank you for allowing us passage.”

“The thanks are all mine,” Farbauti cupped his face with one large palm, “You look well, how are the babes?”

“Growing fast, too fast,” Loki chuckled, “Um, Silvi rolled over just this last week, holds her head up better than any infant her age.”

“Of course she does,” he smiled brightly, and as if forgetting himself he bent and kissed the top of Loki’s head.

“Mother?” the voice behind him spoke.

“How rude of me, Loki,” Farbauti moved back to allow full view of the figure behind him, “This is your brother Helblindi, son, this is Loki.”

Loki gave a nod of his head but Helblindi moved forward and took both hands, “I am so gladdened to hear that you were not indeed lost. It was always such a heartbreaking story to hear Mother give.”

Loki was a taken back by how much Helblindi looked that of Laufey, in fact it made him flinch but he carefully masked it, “It is good to meet you, I had not thought I had brothers.”

“I apologize Anthony,” Farbauti continued, “This is Loki’s mate, Anthony Stark and you have met Thor.”

“Son of Stark,” Helblindi did a similar nod/bow that Loki had made.

“Nice to meet you too, just call me Tony, that’s fine, and yeah, Lokes, you wanna tell them the news?”

Loki looked confused for a moment and then with an ‘oh!’, “Tony and I are engaged to be married, only recently. I was sure my Mother sent word.”

“She had said there was something you wished to tell me, but did not want to spoil the surprise and this is such wonderful news!” Farbauti said with fervor, and then one hand was on Loki’s face the other on Tony, “Such wonderful news indeed, you are welcome to our family Anthony.”

Tony buried a laugh at his enthusiasm, “Thank you, that’s, that’s really nice.”

“Come, this cold must be getting to you both, it is a particularly windy day and although the structure is sound it is rather drafty, yes?”

Loki and Tony only nodded, grasping hands, Tony brought his other hand around to squeeze Loki’s, “It’s okay, we’re alright,” he kissed his cheek as they were led down the long, beautifully ice dressed hall.

 

~~~~~~~~~~

From what Tony had been told he thought they’d be meeting in a cave, but it was quite the lavished living room, or whatever it was, royal chambers, with a fire burning low in a large fireplace.

“Helblindi, where is your brother?” Farbauti spoke low but Loki could still hear, “I told him they would be arriving soon.”

Helblindi pursed his lips, “He said he would be along, there was a complication with part of the marketplace construction and he was needed.”

Farbauti huffed in irritation, “They cannot stay long, they have babes waiting at home.”

“I know Mother, I told him it could be taken care of by someone else but he insisted, when has he ever listened to me?” Helblindi argued.

“Alright then,” Farbauti continued, “Why don’t you two sit, Býleistr will be along soon enough, he was occupied by royal business.”

But Loki was no idiot, “If he is not comfortable meeting with me I understand.”

“No child,” Farbauti frowned, taking a seat as the couple did, leaning close, “That is not the case, he is stubborn when it comes to business I’m afraid. He puts it first and foremost, he will be a long shortly.”

“I have always wanted a baby brother,” Helblindi was smiling softly, as he set a tray to the center table, steaming mugs of what Loki wasn’t sure, “Tea?”

When Loki didn’t answer, peering up at the taller being, Tony cleared his throat, “Sure yeah, that’s awesome.”

He revealed startling white teeth in a smile, “You speak quite strange, where are you from?”

“Earth, uh, Midgard, or however you guys call it,” Tony answered humorously.

“The mortals, of course,” Helblindi replied with a nod of his head, “Loki?

“Yes?” Loki may have squeaked.

“Would you like some tea? I-I tried to find an herb close to Asgardian vegetation, hopefully I was not wrong?”

Loki wetted his lips, releasing a breath, it was in this moment he finally fully recognized Helblindi, that he had been standing behind Laufey during Thor and his altercation so long ago, head down and quiet, “N-No it’s perfect, I assure you, you did not need t-to go to such trouble on my account.”

“Of course I would, “Helblindi spoke, turning deadly serious, “You are my kin and I would do anything to see you welcomed properly and I—“ he was interrupted by the swing of the door.

“I am in great need of something stronger than tea brother,” the taller being broke the silence, sauntering through the room towards what could only be perceived at the ‘liquor cabinet’.

“Býleistr you are late,” Farbauti growled, standing from the couch as his son poured a large drink.

“Late? Late for what?” he took a deep draw, “Oh yes, Lofi, long lost brother, that whom wished the destruction of our realm, how fit, here to finish what you started? I assure you that should be impossible, we have done great things even without the help of your Father” the word was drawn out in such a manner that had Loki flinching.

“See how you speak of my brother!” Thor jumped from the couch but his attack stance weakened when Loki grabbed his hand.
            “Young man,” Farbauti warned his son, not Thor, “Silence, now!”

“What?!”  Býleistr snapped, ‘What am I doing wrong?!”

“You are frightening him!” Farbauti yelled, “If you cannot be civil, you must leave, we have all made mistakes. You are least innocent of such an accusation, do not make me address yours in said company. You were the happiest at learning of Laufey’s death.”

Loki lowered his head at that statement, not only at its validity but at the fact that his older brother’s eyes misted over fiercely. But then Býleistr was slamming the large cup down and storming from the room. Loki was vibrating, fear churning fiercely in his gut and he jumped, almost screeched when he felt a wide palm at his elbow.

“Little brother,” Helblindi spoke low and careful, “He is over emotional, he is merely regarding you before he makes a proper opinion. You see…” he swallowed roughly, “Father was merciless…and more often than not Býleistr was his outlet. He beat him more often than he did Mother and it was awful…even with our healing abilities it would sometimes take him days. Do you understand? He is just confused…”

Loki gulped, finally looking up and making steady eye contact, and despite the startling similarities he saw himself in his brother, “Yes, I understand.”

“Now your brother,” he nodded towards Thor, “And your Mother said something of pictures of the babes, yes? May I see?”

Loki feigned for control, and found it when Tony took his hand and ran a firm thumb against his palm, “Yes, we do, Tony?”

The new family, and Thor, went over baby pictures as if it were the most normal thing in the world.

~~~~~~~~~~

“This place ain’t half bad huh?” Tony said, as he and Loki stood on a balcony that looked over a large frozen lake that looked more like glittering diamonds than anything.

“No thanks to me,” Loki choked, pulling the fur around his shoulders closer.

“Baby, your…Farbauti, he’s the freaking King and he’s chill with everything, you need to relax. Yeah, it’s gonna be rocky at first but that’s the way it is with all families.”

“I wish to leave tomorrow, I have broken bread as my Mother asked, and as happy as I am to know of older brothers I tire of this stress. I already miss our children.”

“Sure sweetheart,” Tony held him close, slipping his arms inside of the fur coat, and pressing him flush to his chest, “Let’s head to bed. We’ll have breakfast with the fam and head home, k?”

Loki nodded, not sure he would be able to sleep and they slipped into a shockingly plush mattress that emitted a subtle warmth and despite his worry he fell into a deep sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Begrudgingly Loki was urged from his bed by his fiancé, they dressed quickly because Tony was reminding him ‘we’re going home today’. Loki was happy at the welcome nature of his birth Father and brother, but Býleistr lingering distain for him was troubling. He didn’t blame him though, not one bit, but that did not deter him from wanting to leave. They were sitting at a long dining table, not much different from Asgard to be honest, while other Jotunns filled the table with food. Farbauti kept light, cheerful conversation, getting any and all information he could on the twins. Helblindi did the same with fervor.

“Oh, they must be so big now! Four months is a long time!” he exclaimed, “Oh, here is the main meal, I think you will like this.”

And Loki didn’t even need to question that Helblindi had inquired about the meal preparation on Asgard, because he recognized the breakfast foods immediately. Eggs and meats, “Really Helblindi, you did not need to go to such trouble!” Loki said, eyes watering.

“Dear,” Farbauti whispered, “This makes him happy, simply let him.” he gave a soft smile.

Loki nodded, swallowing rising emotion, “It is very special to me, and you have done more than enough to make me feel so welcome.”

“This is wonderful,” Thor commented as well, eating with gusto as he always did, “Asgard would be quite impressed!”
            “That gladdens me” Helblindi grinned gently, “And Loki, do not worry, our brother will come to his senses. He merely needs time; he is sensitive as much as he would like to deny it. He feels more deeply than he cares to admit.”

“I-I understand,” Loki answered.

“I do wish we could spend more than a few hours with one another,” Helblindi sighed, “But I do understand your need to be with your children, they are so young, perhaps when they are older they can travel farther.”

“I-I would like that very much, for them to meet their Uncles,” Loki used plural without thinking, this garnered him a toothy smile.

“Oh that would be wonderful,” Helblindi continued to smile shamelessly.

 

~~~~~~~~

Loki knew the trip was far too short, but he was horribly anxious and only wanted to get back to his babies. The mere thought of them had his heart aching, he noticed, as they stood in the Jotunn observatory, Býleistr hung back to the end of the room. Not exactly out of sight and Loki knew it was intentional that he was seen, and that made tears spring to Loki’s eyes. He saw too much of himself in his older brother, the stubbornness the need to protect, not only the ones around him but himself. Himself above all.

“Babe, you ready?” Tony murmured.

“Y-Yes, let’s go home.”

“I have enjoyed this darling,” Farbauti began, voice choked as it always was when they departed from one another, “Even as short as it was, you were wonderful to visit, to meet you brothers.”

“I did as well, Helblindi,” he turned to his Jotun brother, “You were so kind I-I did not expect you to…I mean as much as I have put your realm through…and-and I…” but he was suddenly engulfed in a gentle but full embrace.

“Little brother,” Helblindi exhaled, “I love you, that is all that matters, and we will mend fences with our brother. I promise you, and the only thing I am sorry for is that we could not spend more time with one another. Your Aesir brother is also so kind,” he glanced at Thor who offered a friendly smile, even though he could feel the jealously in some small sense, “You will come back soon, yes?”

Loki melted in the embrace and wasn’t sure why, “Of course, or you would visit us?”

“I am terrible excited to meet my niece and nephew, so yes, at your behest, any time, things are slow here despite construction. All you need is to send us a letter and I will be there in the blink of an eye.”

Loki couldn’t help but smile now, wrapping his arms around the large shoulders, “Thank you,” he said again.

“Well, I best let you go,” Helblindi said, setting Loki down carefully, “Forgive me, I forget your size.”

Loki laughed, “I could say the same.”

“Anthony, I need not ask you to take care of my little brother, I can see you have already done so, and Thor,” Helblindi gave a nod.

“Till the day I die,” Tony saluted, and when he was given a confused stare, “I promise, he’s my soul mate, I’d die for him.”

 That Helblindi understood, eyes watering, “I shall see you soon.”

Loki hugged Farbauti and the three were flying through space in a blinding rush of colors.

 

They hit the roof of the Stark building with a woosh that had even Loki catching his breath, nearly falling into Tony, “Steady babe.”

Loki took a deep breath, closing his eyes, “Home.”

“Yup,” Tony smiled against his lips, “Let’s see our kids.”

“Yes,” Loki was closing his eyes once more, leaning his head towards Tony’s shoulder, and then he was yelping, feeling as if someone bit the back of his neck, “Ow!” he merely flinched.

“What?!” Tony gasped.

“Nothing, nothing,” Loki chuckled, “I do believe an insect bit me.”

Tony urged him to lean forward, checking his neck, “Yeah, you got a bite here, where the fuck is the bug?”

“Tony, I’m fine,” Loki argued.

Tony kissed the back of his neck where the tiniest of swelling formed, the size of a pinprick, his eyes going around the roof of his tower, “Are you sure?”

Loki scoffed, “You worry far too much for me. I wish to see our babes, if they were fussy as we consummated our engagement, can you only imagine now?”

Tony managed a chuckle, “Consummate? I like when you talk dirty baby.”

“Then let us spoil our children and then I shall spoil you,” he whispered next to his ear.

“Oh, it’s on,” Tony grinned, capturing his lips.

Only slightly did Loki’s brow furrow as he rubbed at the back of his neck.

Chapter Text

 

Loki scooped up Mattie with fervor, kissing his chubby periwinkle cheeks and the baby laughed, “Is Silvi already asleep?”

“Yeah, she went down early,” Steve smiled, after giving up the baby he was sitting down on the couch, folding burp rags in his lap, “Fed good and not sure why, she usually fights me on it this late, but she’s out.”

“Good,” Loki chuckled, “She’s so fussy lately, you’re quite sure she’s sleeping soundly?”

“Jarv said she’s been crashed for over an hour now. Mattie just wanted to be held but he’s calm. I swear he knew you two were coming home,” Steve explained, “He might be a little wet, that kid wants to sleep as long as possible but not tonight.”

Tony laughed, leaning into both Matthew and Loki’s space to kiss the baby’s cheeks in a way that had the infant laughing, “Yeah that’s Mattie, Lokes you go ahead and get him ready for bed I’m gonna get us a drink. Steve you want one?”

Steve refrained from rolling his eyes, “Doesn’t make a difference but yeah pour me one.”

“Come on, you need a burp rag folding prize,” Tony grinned.

 

“Darling, did you miss me?” Loki peppered kisses over his sons’ warm, flush face, “Yes, you did, I certainly did.” he would deny to anyone that yes, he was speaking in a ‘baby’ voice to his children, but because of Tony he seemed to be doing it more and more as of late. He glanced over at the crib where Silvi slumbered peacefully, “Are you ready to snuggle with your sister?” he spoke low and nuzzled his cheeks, quickly he changed his wet diaper and changing him into a night shirt, adorned with giraffes. As he did so Loki thought they would soon have to invest into bigger clothing both children had grown so much in length.

As he went to lift the child it was almost as if he’d lifted an anvil, his breath left him, and he gasped, setting the baby back to the changing table. Hand pressing to his chest, Mattie squawked, eyes wide and locked on his mother, “It’s okay darling, I’m alright.” another lead weight clench pulled him forward and he stuttered for breath and he stumbled. He reached for his magic to assess the problem and it was smothered and he yelped. With that action Silvi’s eyes were on him now, dark head turned and concerned. Mattie began to cry.

“Tony,” he rasped, sliding down the changing table and clambering to stay upright, “Jarvis… Tony…”

“Alerting sir now, Mr. Loki,” Jarvis’ calm British tone.

Loki couldn’t breathe, his magic was being suffocated violently behind his chest, he scrambled, knowing his children needed him but he was pressed to the floor. His hands reached up towards the table as he heard Mattie screaming madly and his eyes ran endlessly, he was trapped, paralyzed in his own body as he slumped.

 

Tony barreled into the room, knees hitting the floor as he hurried to Loki’s side, “Loki! Loki?! What’s wrong? Talk to me! Steve! Get in here! Oh God Lokes, baby, what’s wrong talk to me please!”

“D-Don’t know,” Loki croaked, “H-Hard to breathe, can’t reach my magic…can’t move.”

Tony’s heart jumped up his throat when Loki gasped, slumping further into Tony’s arms.

“What’s wrong?!” Steve’s voice arrived, “Whoa, what happened?”

“I-I don’t know he just collapsed, he’s having trouble breathing,” Tony tried to keep his voice level, “Jarvis, call Bruce, now!”

“T-Tony…” Loki choked, “Something is wrong, very wrong.”

Tony couldn’t focus, not only because of the raw fear coursing through his veins but Mattie screaming his lungs out and Silvi watching carefully, her young brow furrowed in what could only be described as horror, “S-Steve can you watch the babies, I’m gonna get Loki to the med level until Bruce gets here.”

“Of course Tony, go,” Steve stuttered.

Tony scooped a still gasping Loki into his arms, cradling him close to his own body, “Jarv have Bruce meet us on the medical level!”

“Yes, sir.”

As soon as Tony was pushing through the swinging doors he was setting Loki to one of the stale, stiff beds, situating his limbs comfortably, or at least he hoped he was doing so, “Sweetheart, can you talk to me? Loki?”

Loki’s much too green eyes were wide and wet, his pink mouth opening and closing, “Cold…cold…”

Tony swallowed his panic, “Anything else, any pain, anywhere?”

In short, quick breaths Loki answered, “N-No…but my magic, something is keeping it…buried…happened too quickly…never…never had happen…like that…before.”

It was so unlike his fiancé to speak in such a manner, so quick and short, unarticulated, “Baby, hold on, Brucie is on his way up, we’ll figure this out.”

“I love you,” Loki would have sobbed if he’d had the ability to do so, but Tony only heard a gulp and the sight of tears falling was heartbreaking.

“Don’t start with me,” Tony growled, continuously combing his fingers through his ever growing hair, hoping that somehow it was soothing.

Loki closed his eyes and nodded, trembling from head to toe, “Mattie…I scared him…so bad…”

“That kid is tough and Steve’s got’em, worry about you right now huh?”

“What’s happening?” Bruce announced his presence with the swooshing of doors, his tone even but worried, black medical bag in hand, his face pinched in concern.

“Loki collapsed, he says something is keeping his magic bound,” Tony explained, biting painfully at his lip.

“Anything prior to this episode? Fatigue? Faintness?”

Tony searched his memory, “I’d tell ya if there were something to tell but we were fine the whole trip.”

“Jarv do you have anything on record, anything out of the ordinary?” Bruce asked the ceiling as he took Loki’s vitals, and when Loki acted far too compliant the doctor began to outwardly act nervous.

“Sir, do you recall the incident on the roof?” Jarvis asked in his cool, calm voice.

Tony’s heart lurched once more, “Loki and I were coming back from Snow-land and he said something bit him. But it’s weird, it’s too cold for that, not a helluva lot of bugs flying around.”

“Where was he bit?” Bruce eyed Tony.

Tony pushed Loki’s hair away, moving him slightly to his side, “Right along here I think,” and there was risen flesh, more so than it had been on the roof, “What the hell?!” it didn’t look like a bite, it looked like a small incision.

“We’ll run some blood tests,” Bruce answered, turning to his table of tools, he slipped on medical gloves, “Loki, are you alright with me taking blood?”

Loki worked through his staccato like breathing and nodded, “C-Can’t…move…what’s happening…”

“We’re gonna figure this out,” Bruce replied softly, “It’s sounds like some kind of poison, something, we’ll get it cleared up. Let me get the gear for this,” he nodded his head sideways to urge Tony away.

“Give me a second sweetheart, we’re gonna get this all sorted out,” he moved away from Loki’s side, following Bruce to the countertop lined with medical supplies, “What is it, give it to me straight.”

“I think Loki’s been poisoned, for something to act so suddenly? And fuck,” Bruce shook his head, “Fury’s been pretty damn quiet for my taste, wouldn’t you agree? He still has your tech Tony; he still has the means to control Loki if necessary. I’m not gonna lie, Farbauti explained to me Loki’s magic is his life force, we need to get his Father here ASAP or Loki could get worse real fast. He already can’t move! There’s nothing in my medical ability that I can do besides keep him comfortable.”

“Fuck, fuck you have to be kidding me,” Tony choked, “Jarv, call Thor don’t tell him to come here, tell him to go back to Jotunheim, now, get his Mom and dad too.”

“I’m not giving you a death lecture Tony, but we have to work fast,”

Swallowing roughly, Tony nodded.

 

“Loki, I’m gonna draw some blood, you’re gonna feel a pinch, but that’s all,” Bruce assured, when Loki gave some semblance of consent Bruce continued. He filled the vial with blood and moved back to his work station, “Jarvis, do a full body scan for me, search for any anomalies.”

“Of course Dr. Banner,” Jarvis replied.

Loki didn’t feel said scan, all he could do was lie there and focus on his breathing, “T-Tony, hold my hand, please.”

“Honey I am; I’m holding your hand you feel me?” Tony said, squeezing pale fingers beneath his own and then bringing them to his lips.

“No,” Loki sobbed, “I can’t-can’t feel it.”

Tony squeezed as hard as he could without causing pain, he leaned forward and kissed Loki’s mouth, lingering there firmly, “You feel that?”

Loki outright cried, it bubbling up like a hiccup, “Y-Yes,”

Tony forced a smile, “Then we’re okay,” and he repeated the action.

“There is an anomaly,” Jarvis announced, “But it is in constant movement within the blood stream, I cannot isolate it. But I assure you it is disrupting the flow of Mr. Loki’s magic it is acting like a pathogen, attacking the cells that produce and harness his power.”

“How do we stop it then?”

“Someone who is knowledgeable of Mr. Loki’s magic would be preferable to produce an answer. I do believe that someone could indeed isolate the problem. I have contacted Thor, sir. He is not answering at the moment.”

“Goddamnitt, try again and keep trying, don’t stop until he answers!” Tony spat.

~~~~~~~~~~

After that announcement, and nearly two hours of trying to contact Thor, he received the message and flew to Jotunheim. And Tony waited, Loki fell into unconsciousness not too long after that.

“Tony,” Steve’s voice broke the silence, “How’s Loki?”

Tony rose his head from the hospital sheets, “Unconscious and we don’t know why. I should have known better; my gut was telling me something was wrong.”

“That’s not your fault, Bruce told me, who the hell would think it would be anything other than a bug bite?”

Tony laughed darkly, “Loki and I aren’t anyone. Bruce was right, Fury has been too quiet. This sounds like some of my tech but goddamnitt…I don’t remember ever creating something that could do this. He can’t move Steve…he can barely talk…and now…now I don’t know if he’s gonna come out of this! He hasn’t woken up in over 12 hours!”

“He will,” Steve scolded, but in his ever gentle manner, “He will cause he’s been through worse and he has you and those kids.”

“Everything was going so good Steve,” Tony gulped, “Why now…”

Steve placed a hand on the slighter man’s shoulder, “You two are gonna be fine, and we’re all here for you guys. Farbauti will be here soon and we’ll get it figured out.”

~~~~~~~~~~~

Tony wasn’t told why it was taking so long, but three days?! Loki hadn’t woken since later into that night he’d fallen to the floor. Bruce had agreed to stay by his side while Tony quickly showered after day twos of not doing so, two days of NOT seeing their kids.

He found himself in the kids’ room, the two of them sleeping peacefully, nearly clutching one another. It seemed as soon as he entered the room, Mattie’s wide, red eyes, sprang to life and locked on Tony. The shrill cry that left his throat had Tony crying within seconds, he scooped the baby up from the crib, cradling him close to his heart, “I know honey, I know, mama isn’t here, I know.”

Mattie only cried more fiercely, and thrashed as well, cramming his face against his father’s throat and wailing in a way Tony had never heard before. He hadn’t seen his children in two days and this was the result he knew. They were both confused, scared, lost.

He hooked both hands under Matthew’s armpits so he could face him, “Mattie please, I know you’re scared, please don’t cry. I’m sorry, this is my fault. I didn’t take care of him like I promised.” and then he was sobbing and he didn’t know when that had finally arrived, “Mattie please,” and he simply held the child close as Matthew’s hot, wet face was against Tony’s shoulder. His eyes shot up to Silvi, who had a fist through the bars of her crib, but she was silent, that same scrunched brow and concentration. And it should have been calming, because he felt as though he were looking on the face of her mother, but it only had Tony crying more fiercely, “I’m doing all I can Silvi.”

Tony slumped to the floor, baby in arms, holding tight but careful as he and Matthew completely lost it together, “I don’t know what to do I don’t, I’m sorry.” He nearly jumped out of his skin when he felt a hand to his shoulder.

“Tony, hey,” Natasha’s face appeared in front of his line of sight, “Let me have Mattie, come on.”

Tony hiccoughed loudly, head falling forward once more, but he could feel Natasha taking the baby from his arms. Mattie protested fiercely, tiny fists bunching up in Tony’s worn t-shirt and holding on for dear life. Only then did he notice the spy had entered their space. Mattie was half in Natasha’s arms, half in his father’s, he held his son’s hands as if they were an anchor.

Nat’s brow buckled, her eyes wetting, “Tony, let me take him, he’s really upset. You’re upset.”

“My fault,” Tony cried, his large hands closing over such small fists, he kissed both of the dimpled knuckles and let go.

 And he might have very well fallen to the floor if Steve hadn’t arrived, and then the Captain’s large arms were around him. For a moment only grounding him, not an embrace, “Let’s go into the living room, Tony, come on,” Steve coaxed.

The inventor shook his head, denying the fact that his face was puffy, red, swollen, “I’m fine, I’m fine. Need to get back downstairs. I-I just wanted to check on them…and…”

“No you’re not fine, and that’s okay,” Steve spoke softly and low, running one hand up and down his back like he was wont to do to Loki. He knew the billionaire wasn’t by any means touchy feely, but right now he thought he was warranted to bring out the big ‘feels’ guns, “You need to sleep.”

“I can’t,” Tony sobbed once more and he would deny until the death that he was leaning into Steve’s touch.

“Yeah, you can, we got the kids and Bruce is watching Loki. Nothing has changed, so you’re gonna rest, even if it’s here on the couch for a couple hours.” Tony was well aware that Steve was pushing him to the couch, lifting his legs up, and then a blanket was draped over his shoulders. And only out of pure exhaustion did he find sleep.

 

~~~~~~One Day Later~~~~~~~

It was the crashing sound of the bifrost that had Tony lurching up from his sleep, head literally shooting up from the rumpled sheets of Loki’s bed. The Norse god lay silent, eyes closed and breath labored, face looking waxen, like he had for several days now. All Tony could do was bathe his face with a cotton cloth, wipe away the sweat from the fever, and whisper endless wishes of ‘it will be okay, I’ve got you, we’ve got this’, “Lokes, baby,” Tony leaned forward and kissed his still lips, “I’m gonna go see what that is okay? Make sure that the folks are here.”

He was greeted with the presence of Farbauti as the sliding door opened, “How is my child?” he asked immediately, “Oh dear, how are you?” Farbauti back peddled when he took notice of Tony’s disheveled state.

And without really meaning to Tony spat, “Loki’s not good at all, it’s been days, we needed you all here DAYS ago,” he expected only Frigga, that was a no brainer, but close behind her was Odin, eyes narrowed, and brow wrinkled.

“The bodiless voice tells us that so far, there has been no diagnosis.” Odin stated.

“Pretty sure this is out of our medical jurisdiction,” Bruce interrupted, fixing one of Loki’s IV’s that provided nutrients, “He’s been out for almost four days and any and all neurological tech we have is useless. I’ve run everything I can think of. He’s not responding to any of the treatments that I’ve executed, so I figured it was you guy’s magic stuff that might help.”

Farbauti moved closer to the bed, worry marring his beautiful face, “Give us a moment, would you?” he asked, Bruce moved aside without prompting.

“My first and most important question, who did this?” Odin’s deep, foreboding voice demanded.

“We think it’s Director Fury, but we aren’t sure,” Bruce supplied, eyes locked on the Frost Giant that was now hovering over the Norse god, eyes closed and hands out.

“I have found the problem, “Farbauti announced sharply and breathlessly, “But it is very tricky. I shall need Frigga’s powers as well to isolate it. It is, how should I put this, a parasite that is feeding on Loki’s energy. Every time I attempt to hone on its location it hides.”

With that statement Loki gasped, deep, loud and painful sounding, his back arching off the bed. And then he was crying out as if in immense pain.

“What’s happening?” Tony shouted but he was being pushed aside, “No, what’s happening?!”

“It feels threatened,” Frigga said, “Stay back Anthony so we can work. I promise he will come to no harm, not if I can help it. Farbauti and I will do all that we can.”

But Tony wasn’t having it, Loki was thrashing about in the bed, eyes still closed and his breathing was labored. And then he gasped loudly before he completely stilled, “Bruce?!”

“It’s okay Tony, let them try, they know better than I do,” Bruce was at his side, “There’s nothing I can do at this point. His fever is too high and his body is weakening in ways not even I can explain!”

“He’s not breathing!” and for a moment Tony didn’t care that there was a high possibility that Bruce would Hulk out as the smaller man held him back, he was actively fighting him, “Bruce please!”

“I’ve located the parasite,” Farbauti told Frigga, “I am going to urge it towards you, are you following?”
            “Yes,” Frigga nodded, eyes closed in concentration, she tracked the little black image in her mind as it darted right then left. With all her focus and energy, as Farbauti cornered the insect, she billowed a bubble of magic around its form, “I have it,” she whispered to the Jotunn across from her, “Can you reach in and retrieve it?”

Farbauti nodded wordlessly, hand hovering over Loki’s chest, he opened up his wide palm, bringing Loki’s body upwards as he worked and appearing in the air was a tiny, slender object. “I need something to trap it, a vial, anything.”

Bruce moved forward, and as carefully as he’d ever done anything, thanking his steady surgical hands, scooped the anomaly into the vial and corked it.

As soon as it was isolated, Loki was gasping frantically, loudly and coughing so violently it sounded as if he might be sick.

“Move, move, he needs help I can actually give,” Bruce interrupted, pushing the Queen and the Jotunn aside, “He needs oxygen,” he slipped the mask over Loki’s mouth, pressing a palm to his forehead, “You’re alright Loki, slow your breaths, you can breathe now.”

Loki continued to cough roughly, in such a way that every other time had the bed shaking and then he collapsed. The heart monitor once more beating steadily.

Once Tony was allowed to move closer, he was hovering over his fiancé, “Baby you hear me?” he croaked.

Loki’s half lidded eyes blinked only once, with a hint of red, but there was a definite nod, even as faint as it was.

“I’m here, you’re okay, I’m right here,” Tony gasped, he kissed his brow, his cheeks, his lips. He hadn’t even noticed Bruce had slid a stool beneath him to sit. Even as Loki’s eyes fell shut once more, his huffy breaths descended into something of normalcy. Tony needed no other indication that things were indeed ‘fine’ with the mighty hum of the machines promising life, and despite Loki’s unconsciousness, that was enough.

“He’s stable Tony, you understand? According to his vitals he’s stable.” Bruce said, hand on Tony’s shoulder to make sure he heard, “Whatever it was, whatever Fury did, we got it out. See?”

Tony rose his eyes just long enough to lock sight with the swimming, moving, black thing behind the glass. And then the inevitable happened. Tony lost it. In a way no one had, perhaps sans Loki, had heard before. He knew he’d fallen forward, forehead to the sheets, clutching Loki’s hand weakly. And crying, crying so hard he didn’t remember how to breathe. It was out of control, not even when his parents had died had he reacted in such a way. He wasn’t sure he could remember a time he’d cried this hard. Control was far out the window, and he knew he had eyes on him. His future in-laws staring helplessly as he sobbed alongside his unconscious lover. Powerful, guffawing sobs wracked his body, they hurt, but he couldn’t stop them, all he could perceive was Loki’s hand in his, increasing in warmth, and the thump, thump, thump of his pulse beneath Tony’s thumb.

He flinched significantly when he felt a large hand on his back, but he didn’t move away, and then he was hearing words that were usually saved for Loki.  Had been all these months. It was Farbauti, stroking his back, up and down, even smoothing back the short strands of his hair at the nape of his neck.

“He is safe now, son, he is alright,” Farbauti murmured, running his hand continuously over the mortal’s small back, then once over his mussed hair, still damp from a ‘shower’ as the doctor had spoken of earlier, “He will recover I promise this.”

“C-Can’t lose him,” Tony sobbed, muffled against the stiff sheets, “I-I can’t…”

“And you won’t,” Frigga’s voice arrived, eyeing her husband’s reactions to all of this. If he had doubted the mortals’ devotion before he was certainly putting it all into check now. Her brow furrowed with each deep, painful sob that Anthony released. She managed to tug him up from the bedside against her own shoulder, shushing him softly. To her surprise he did not resist and wrapped arms around her frame, face buried against her shoulder and his sobs increased in strength. They were like hiccups of lost control, “He only needs rest now, shhh, all is well. All is well.”

“He hasn’t slept in two days,” Bruce’s voice arrived in sympathy, “No one’s been able to get him to move. He hasn’t eaten either.”

“You must sleep Anthony; this restless state will do neither of you any good.”

“I won’t leave his side,” Tony gasped, face still muffled against her shoulder, “He could wake up….and I wouldn’t be here…”

“You must take care of yourself,” Farbauti agreed, resting a hand against him once more, heart breaking at the sight of such lost control.

Tony only sobbed louder, mumbling something incoherent, and he wasn’t sure why he was sinking so deeply into the Queen mother’s touch. But he was. And yes, he was so very tired. All he could think of ‘I could lose him and I won’t be there to say goodbye, the kids won’t be there to say goodbye. Everybody leaves me. Everybody...everybody’.

“Tony,” Bruce interrupted, “I know you don’t like the idea, but I’m doing this because it’s for your own good.”

Tony almost rose his head to ask ‘what?’ but then he felt a short, but painful prick in his hip and before he could protest a murky haze dressed his vision, “No, no, no, I can’t…”

“Yes, you can,” Frigga spoke firmly, seemingly knowing what the doctor was aiming for, arms still tightly around him, she kissed the top of his head and slender fingers were threading through his messy locks.

“He needs to be put to bed,” Bruce said, “He’s delirious, do we have a gurney?”

Then there was Steve’s voice and then Tony could feel Steve maneuvering him out of the All-Mother’s arms, “I’ll get’em,”

“No,” Tony protested weakly, arms even hilariously trying to fight back, “Not, l-leavin’” he knew he was slurring.

“Just for a little while Tony, you know Loki would be furious if he knew you were abusing yourself like this,” Steve said, situating Tony’s arm around his shoulders as he scooped him up from the floor, “It’s okay, it’s okay.”

“This is against my will,” Tony continued to murmur indistinctively, going completely limp.

“Yeah, well, you’ll thank me later,” the Captain replied, heading towards Loki and Tony’s bedroom.

Farbauti had moved back from the scene, watching the larger mortal carry his to-be-son-in-law from the room. And then he locked eyes with Odin if only for a moment, both faces completely stoic. Odin finally spoke, “I think we will have word with the person responsible for this.”

Farbauti nodded, “Yes, we shall.”

~~~~~~~~

Steve set Tony to the edge of the bed and then was forced to lay him bodily to the mattress before removing his shoes and then hustling him underneath the covers. And yes, the inventor was still protesting, “Steve, I can’t…”

“Yes, you can, we’re taking care of it. Loki is fine now. I wouldn’t put you to bed, nor would Bruce if he wasn’t. Nat and Clint have the babies; the twins are fast asleep like you should be. Sleep, please sleep, you’re a mess.”

And although Tony had everything in him to argue, the drug Bruce gave tugged him down into sleep even as his breath was still on the cusp of sobs.

Chapter Text

 

Loki fought the lids of his eyes that refused to open, his limbs felt like lead. He tried to piece together the last few hours at the very least. He groaned, loudly, and seemed to alert someone at his bedside. A bed. That’s right, he’d been in the medical bay for some time.

“Tony,” he gulped, “Tony, Tony…”

“No, darling, Tony is resting,” Frigga’s voice arrived.

And then the memory of what had happened slammed him and he, in one fast fluid moment was sitting up in bed. Or at least he thought he had, it was sluggish and sloppy and his mother’s hand was on his chest shushing him, pressing him back to the bed, “Son, you need rest.”

“I need to see him now,” Loki slurred, hearing Tony’s anguished cries in his mind. He’d never heard Tony cry like that. Ever. The very thought sent his heart soaring. He remembered him collapsing to the bed in utter defeat.

“You will, I promise child,” Frigga assured, “You’ve given us quite the fright.”

“What happened…why did I collapse? W-Why couldn’t I move?” Loki implored, eyes around the room, only catching sight of Dr. Banner, “I-I thought I saw Father here and Farbauti…Steven…”

“We aren’t sure why you collapsed darling, but it is over. We retrieved the problem from your body. Your friends are studying the anomaly. Your Father and Farbauti said they needed some fresh air, of which I agreed. And Steven is watching over your mate.”

“I want to be brought to Tony. Now, Mother,” and there was no room for argument in his voice, “I need to see my children…Matthew was so frightened…”

“A-Alright, shhh, you needn’t get upset,” Frigga frowned, she turned to the small man working at the bench, “Dr. Banner, would you be so kind to help me transfer Loki to his bedroom?”

“I’d give you all the reasons why that is a bad idea, but I have a feeling I’d be out voted. But your vitals are strong and you look a helluva lot better. As soon as you get upstairs, you get back to bed, got it? And then it’s bed rest until I say so.” Bruce warned, cocking an eyebrow and locking a definite stare with Loki over the rim of his glasses.
            “Yes, Doctor, I promise,” Loki nodded without hesitation.

Both Frigga and Bruce helped him into a wheel chair and into the elevator.

 

When Steve heard Tony groan, he readied himself for the retaliation he would no doubt receive. Bruce said the sedative was mild, but given how exhausted Tony was he said he might sleep for ten some odd hours. He wasn’t wrong. Steve had asked Jarvis to keep an eye on him and alert him whenever he thought he was waking. There hadn’t been an incident of such until now.

Tony snuffled in his sleep, something that mirrored a childlike cry. Steve wouldn’t lie, in the last few weeks he felt like he was meeting an entirely different and new Tony Stark. He was so much like his Father, things he never said out loud, but so different in others. But right now? In the moment he could see Howard Stark. Determined, vulnerable in some instances and more than anything, protective. When Steve had learned that Howard had searched tirelessly for his body, it had choked him up. That the man had been so dead-set on finding merely his body spoke volumes of his character, despite his obvious womanizing and flighty nature. He knew just from passing conversation that Tony and Howard did not get along. He even saw that Tony questioned his own ability to be a good Father, and that made Steve’s heart hurt. Because he knew Howard had had the ability to be loving, but what had happened?

So given how Tony and he had met, their initial meeting and impressions of one another and obvious disdain of each other, he was shocked that his opinion of the man changed. Since finding Loki again Tony had taken a 180. Since the babies arrived Steve didn’t doubt Tony’s ability to think of others, least of all himself. The last four days were testament to that.

Tony groaned again and then, hell, he whimpered. Steve placed a hand on his shoulder, “Tony, hey, you’re alright.”

Tony’s breathing increased and he squirmed in his sleep, and Loki’s name was on his lips with another cry. When Steve made contact with him he jolted, his blurry brown eyes were trying their damndest to focus on the blurry image in front of him, “Steve?”

“Yeah Tony, it’s me, it’s Steve.”

Tony swallowed, his throat dry, “You had Bruce drug me…”

“Not apologizing for that, you needed to sleep.” Steve countered offering water, tipping Tony’s head forward.

“You’re both grounded,” Tony grimaced as Steve tipped the glass of water to his lips and it ran down his burning throat.

“Sure Tony,” Steve smiled, happy to hear the snark returned to his voice.

In his wakefulness, and sleep soothing his mind, his heart jolted. “Okay Mom, I’ve slept I’m going back downstairs.”

“Tony, slow down,” Steve frowned again, “Jarvis has been giving me an update hourly. Loki’s awake and his mom is bringing him up, okay?”

Tony’s eyes were wide and wet, but he nodded. And just as he was about to ask, ‘when’ The bedroom door opened revealing Bruce and Frigga.

“Boyfriend delivery,” Bruce smirked, maneuvering a wheel chair full of Norse god into the bedroom and moving it to the bed where Tony was pushing up from the covers, “Hey, stay put. Both of you are staying put, and I’ve got parents on my side so you’re both listening, you got it?”

“You want help?” Steve asked Loki, a soft, understanding smile on his lips.

Wordlessly, Loki nodded, allowing Steve to lift him up from the chair and set him to the bed, “Where are the children?”

“Sleeping,” Steve smiled for Loki’s sake, “They are out like lights. I’ll bring’em in here once you guys have gotten some rest.”

Loki was about to argue but then Tony’s face came into view and he found himself agreeing without thought.

Loki and Tony weren’t even sure when everybody left, all that mattered was them. In this moment.

Tony swallowed roughly, trying desperately not to let the tears sprout up again, “You scared me so bad, baby,” he pushed the hair away from Loki’s cheek, surging forward and capturing his lips, “You really scared me.” and fuck, he was crying again.

Loki tugged the man closer into his space, kissing him firmly on the mouth, “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry…”

“Loki,” Tony near hiccupped into the other man’s mouth, taking in every detail that was warm breath, tepid flesh and the soft hum that was Loki, “Don’t apologize.”

They fell into a silence that was only filled with the soft smacking of kisses, and even though Tony initially protested he allowed Loki to pull him to his chest. But he huffed and inhaled the scent that was his fiancé and he would deny to the death, but he snuggled as closely as he could, fastening an arm around the trickster’s waist.

“Do you know what happened to me?” Loki asked quietly.

“I’m not sure. Bruce was saying he thought it might be Fury…but…” he sighed, resting his face in the crook of Loki’s neck, “It’s like a weird type of nano-tech…I didn’t know about magic until I met you sweetheart. So I’m trying to figure out where he got this stuff…but your birth dad was pretty adamant about that. That it was syphoning your magic…he didn’t say how though. But it looked like nano-tech…I just don’t know…it’s weird that you’d be attacked after leaving Frostland.”

Loki shut his eyes tightly, hating that he had such a weakness, “We need not worry about that now. We’re both here, and alive. I’m alive.” he squeezed Tony tightly.

Tony nodded, eyes closed for a moment, he brought one of Loki’s pale hands to his mouth and kissed the pads of his fingers, one by one. Remembering every shake and twitch Loki’s body had made as he had slid to the floor of their children’s floor. And he had been utterly helpless. Helpless. Even with all his technology, with all the power he possessed he couldn’t keep his fiancé safe. Couldn’t keep him from harm.

“Anthony Stark,” Loki interrupted his violent train of thought by flipping him on his back, kissing his brow, then his nose, before settling over his mouth, “You are thinking, my love, much too loudly.”

Then Tony rolled Loki onto his back, if only briefly, taking his chin in one hand, “Loki, I love you.” he wanted to add don’t EVER do that again, but he knew that was a fruitless request.

Loki reached up long fingers, threading them through Tony’s hair that, he noted, needed cut. Before tracing them down over his unkempt beard, “And I love you,” he snaked those long fingers around Tony’s neck and pulled him forward in a kiss. He lingered there with purpose and then with a tired smile on his lips, “You need a shave darling, and a haircut. I meant to say something before….”

Tony managed a laugh, as tired as it might have sounded, “You’re lucky I’ve showered…I didn’t wanna leave your side. I was…was scared that…”

“I’d leave you?” Loki answered, mouth turning, “Anthony, look at me.”

Tony darted his eyes away for a few moments, chewing at the insides of his mouth before taking Loki’s gaze, “I don’t know…what that’s like…to not have someone bail on me…death or otherwise.”

Loki’s heart lurched, he swallowed roughly, “That will never happen as long as I am breathing. We will not be separated.”

Tony shook his head, “Lokes, baby, I know you’d like to promise that. But you can’t…”

“Oh, I can’t?”

“No, sweetheart,” Tony leaned forward once more and kissed Loki quiet again, “How about we get some sleep and then we get our blueberries in here and have a full on snuggle-fest.”

“Of course darling,” Loki smiled and fervently tugged Tony into his arms and Tony fell easily, groaning and cuddling in closer than he was willing to admit. Oh, so Tony thought he couldn’t assure they wouldn’t be separated, “Watch me.”

“Hmm?” Tony huffed sleepily.

“Nothing,” Loki whispered, kissed his lover’s brow and closed his eyes, “Sleep, my love, sleep.”

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Loki dozed some himself, but he was quite done with sleeping and soon, with Tony still asleep in his arms, told Jarvis to alert the others that he wanted his children. There was no room for argument. So it was Steve, to Loki’s surprise, who entered the room with both babies.

“How you have mastered the dual baby hold,” Loki chuckled softly, successfully rolling Tony away, “Thank you Steve, for watching them. They love you so, I do hope you know that is why they are so calm in your presence.” Loki shook his head with the blush to the Captain’s cheek.

“I love watching them,” Steve answered, “They’re such sweet kids.” he handed each baby one at a time and Loki set them to the bed, easily so since they were both slumbering.

“Steven,” Loki stopped him from leaving by grabbing his arm, his eyes burning slightly, “Thank you, there are really not words for how much you have done for my family.”

“Well, you’re like my family, both of you,” Steve stumbled over his words, “I-I never really had a big family and Bucky was always…taking care of me…so I like being able to take care of someone. Whether that be you, Tony, or the kiddos…”

Loki smiled widely, “Oh Steven, you must really find a wife,” he said, and then with a wink, “Or a husband, whatever is preferable…I would like to see you settled.” and predictably Steve’s cheeks went crimson.

“I-If you need anything, you let Jarvis know,” Steve laughed nervously and then was exiting the room.

Loki shook his head, his attention falling to Matthew who was snug at his side, “Oh my darling, I’m so sorry I frightened you.” he peppered kisses over his sons’ brow, his free hand combing through Silvi’s hair. His daughter slept soundly. However, Mattie’s eyes opened up, ruby red and bright, “Hello love, it’s mommy.” and the first true time that Loki had seen it, Matthew smiled wide, and eyes crinkling. He wouldn’t cry, he promised himself, he would not cry. When Matthew added a tiny laugh, Loki lost it, “You are so beautiful, my darling, baby,” he kissed his plump cheek, “You are, you are so beautiful, but let us keep quiet. Your sister and father sleep…we know how cranky they can be, don’t we?”

Mattie curled sideways, his first semblance of turning over and it was towards Loki. And then he did fully turn over and fall snug to Loki’s side. Loki gasped. What a time for a milestone, “Wonderful job, Mattie, catching up with your sister…I knew you would,” Loki continued to whisper as he settled more comfortably against the sheets. He watched with amusement as Silvi rolled onto her side towards Tony, tiny fists working outwards. He knew it was coming, Tony woke up, eyes blinking in confusion, but without hardly waking he acknowledged his daughter. “Silvi, baby girl,” he muttered, and shifted on his back and pulled the baby up on his chest without another word.

Loki’s head fell back to the pillow behind his head, endlessly tracing his fingertips over Mattie’s cool, indigo cheeks, “Mama is sorry…I didn’t mean to scare you…but I’m alright now, you see that?” his response was Matthew sucking his thumb and nuzzling Loki’s throat with a soft, sleepy sigh, “Go back to sleep.”

Loki didn’t sleep, he watched his family, eventually asking Jarvis to let the slightest tendrils of light ink through the bedroom.

 

When next Tony woke, he took immediate notice to the warm, squirming body beside him, “Silvi?” Tony whispered.

“Shhh, they’re both sleeping,” Loki’s voice warned.

“When did they get here?” Tony couldn’t help but smile, despite his sleep addled state.

“About two hours ago,” Loki smiled, “They’ve been sleeping peacefully though, you as well. You stopped squirming as soon as you got her.”

Tony looked down at his arms that were without thought draped around his daughter, “I thought I’d be the last person she’d want.”

“You’d be wrong.” Loki scolded, Matthew cradled against his chest who was loudly breathing in such signature baby sleeping.

Tony reached out a free hand and laced his fingers with Loki, “This is what I wanted, God, they’re so calm now.”

“They know we are all safe.” Loki sighed, eyes closing, squeezing Tony’s hand.

Tony carefully moved closer, baby on his chest and all, “Yes, we’re all safe. Thanks to the people in this tower…God…”

“Tony, can I ask you a very important question?” Loki asked, on the cusp of sleep.

“Sure, baby, anything.”

“I wish for guardians for our children,” Loki said, eyes closed.

“Guardians?” Tony opened his eyes enough to take in the dark-haired god, “And?”

“I wish Steven to be our children’s god-father…”

Tony went to open his mouth, in some semblance of protest, but then went over the last few months, “Yeah, baby, that sounds good. What about Godmother? Gotta have a godmother.”

“I’m not sure, but I want Steven to be their main role model, their alternative caregiver…” Loki added, eyes drooping.

“Are you sure Lokes?”

“Of course I am. How could you doubt such a request, especially the last few days…he is a darling man and they love him so.” his voice was fading.
            Tony surveyed his family, and as he did so he kissed each one of their brows, “Sure Loki,” he was welcome with thinking something like this over, it was so much more pleasant then the idea of trying to find out who caused all this talk of death.

Chapter Text

 

The All-Father and Farbauti cast their eyes over the vastness of New York city, tall buildings, smog, the hum of human industrialization. Both stoic, both quiet. Farbauti stood rim-rod straight, arms crossed against his chest, he wet his lips and took a breath, “Who do you believe is behind this?” he asked, voice low and dark.

“They spoke of another mortal, Fury, but how would mortals have such knowledge of Loki’s magical workings? Even Stark says that his technology may be advanced, may have ability to weaken Loki’s magic, but nothing that could siphon it dry, nothing that could kill him. And also, Frigga said what lies within that glass has a magical signature.”

“Perhaps with further study I will find the perpetrator, but has this ‘Fury’ harmed my son before?”

“Loki speaks so little to me as it is, but his brother yes, has made mention of this man. Surely he would not be so bold as to attack our son now. Thor told me the matter was resolved,” Odin’s grip on the edge of the building was tight, his brow tense, “We cannot make brash decisions, on Midgard firstly, given that they have been attacked by someone they perceive as Asgardian,” when the Jotunn’s brow narrowed, Odin rose a hand, “Against his will, and ignorant as they may be, here on Earth there is little we can do to sway them.”

“We shall investigate further then, however, that does not dampen my anger, that boy has been through enough.”

“That I could not agree with more,” Odin sighed sadly.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“I got you some tea, ma’am,” Steve broke the silence, setting the tea cup to the coffee table where the Queen mother was currently in front of, one hand was at her brow in what could only be perceived as despair. Thor was at her side in a similar position.

“Thank you Steven, and please, call me Frigga,” Frigga gave a tired smile.

Bruce was coming up from the medical bay, vial in hand that at this point had been put into a sturdier and larger vial, “Well, I ran some scans on this thing, that’s all I can do without actually uncapping it. Jarvis says it’s of magical origin, but he doesn’t have anything on file to compare it to, besides Loki’s magic. It is alien in origin, just can’t figure out where. The only interesting thing that could shed some light is that it is similar to Loki’s brand of magic. I’m gonna go ahead and presume it’s like a fingerprint or a blood type?”

“Yes, each being’s magic is unique, how clever you are. So are you saying it is similar to Loki’s magic?” Frigga replied.

“Similar, but not the same,” Bruce frowned.

“Crap,” Steve spoke aloud without meaning to, “Excuse me…um, could it be from the same family? Didn’t Loki say he had brothers?”

“Býleistr,” Thor snapped, “He was most unkind, he was gruff and brief, and I would say that yes, he is a threat.”

This had Bruce widening his eyes, “Surely not guys, I mean…they’re brothers.”

It was then that Farbauti and Odin returned, “What have you found?” Farbauti asked, when he saw the vial in Bruce’s hands.

“Not really anything,” Bruce offered, “Just theorizing right now.”

“You are not a very gifted liar, Dr. Banner,” Farbauti answered firmly, “Tell me, please.”

“The scans I’ve done on this thing,” he raised up the swirling dark mass that was jumping around against the glass, “It seems like someone related to Loki might have created this, because it’s not a tech we have here on Earth, or least not anything that’s been invented yet. From what I can gather it is imbued with someone else’s blood to target Loki’s magic by someone that has similar magical abilities. Basically what I’m saying, it’s like someone leaving blood behind at the crime scene....it is well, related to Loki’s.”

“A blood spell,” Farbauti gasped, one large hand covering his mouth, “No…no, no, no.”

“What is it?” Frigga was rising from the couch, “Farbauti?”

“Things did not go as smooth on Jotunheim as I had hoped,” he moved forward and put out a hand, “May I?” Bruce handed him the vial, he closed his eyes in concentration and then another breathy gasp escaped his throat, “I was so frantic to save Loki’s life I did not sense it. Did not feel it…this would make sense as to why we did not get word sooner, All-Father. Signals along the bridge must have been deliberately blocked. Oh dear, please, if their intention was to kill Loki they did not want us to get word in time to save him.”

“Who…” Odin interrupted gruffly.

“My oldest, h-he felt threatened by having Loki back in our realm. I knew he held animosity but this…I-I can scarcely believe he would want his little brother dead. I must return immediately.”

“How dare he!” Thor was up as well now, hands in fists at his sides.

“I am going with you,” Odin began.

Farbauti’s eyes were now wild and wet, “All-Father, please, let me handle this.