One of the great things about owning your own tower, Tony mused, was that you had free access to the security cameras that littered the building, and could use them to dig up dirt to annoy your teammates.
Like the time he successfully ‘guessed’ that it was Thor who was creeping into Natasha’s room and stealing her expensive conditioner, which provided him with almost a week of ammunition to annoy the Asgardian.
Even better was the time that he discovered Bruce would sometimes fall asleep in his lab and talked in his sleep, repeatedly asking, “Are the ponies unharmed? Did Rainbow Dash make it?” and Tony started leaving My Little Pony toys around the building for him to find.
As he looked over the security footage for the last month, hoping to find some juicy gossip on Steve, he noticed something strange.
“Jarvis?” Tony asked, leaning back in his chair.
“I asked you to bring up all the security footage for the past 30 days, right?”
“You did, sir.”
“So where are the missing files?”
There was a pause, and then the AI asked, “Missing files, sir?”
“24 hours in a day, 30 days, that should be 720 hours footage for each camera, but there are only 540,” Tony replied, tapping his pen on the workbench.
“I believed there was no reason to store the footage of times when there was no one present in the tower, sir. Keeping such vast quantities of data is not economically viable.”
Tony tilted his head and asked, “So you’re my accountant now?”
“I do apologise.”
“Don’t do it again without my express orders.”
“As you wish, sir.”
Tony found it strange that Jarvis would wipe data, and when he woke up the next morning and discovered that another two hours of footage from overnight was missing he knew something was wrong.
“Can I ask your plans for today, sir?” Jarvis asked, as Tony walked down the corridor.
“Just heading down to the server room to do a little maintenance,” Tony replied, as he arrived at the door and entered a code into the keypad.
“Excellent, sir. Is there anything I can help you with?”
“Actually,” Tony said, as he logged on. “I need you to deactivate yourself for a few hours so I can perform some upgrades.”
“Very well, sir. Deactivating now.”
Tony waited a moment. “Right, let’s see what you’ve been up to.”
He set up a search for video files, then navigated his way through the file system, searching through hundreds of folders of his own private projects, security files, and data Jarvis had amassed, until finally he came across a folder he didn’t recognise the name of.
“What the hell is Project Panacea?” Tony asked himself, as he click on the folder, and found it filled with hundreds of video files. “I knew it, I knew you were hiding them from me. Jarvis, you are so getting a spanking for this. Let’s see what you’ve been up to.”
Tony clicked on the first video file, and the image appeared on the screen.
File ID:060767697607 Location: Kitchen.
The room was empty, but the camera panned slightly to the right as a small flickering light appeared beside the refrigerator. It sparked brightly, almost fizzing with energy, before it expended into a ball of pure energy that whited out the camera for a few seconds.
As the camera distortion cleared, Tony shouted, “What the hell?”
Loki stood in the kitchen, his cape hanging in loose tatters, with blood and soot streaking his face. He looked around himself, and then limped painfully across the room, heading towards the door.
File ID:060767697607 Location: Corridor.
Loki peered cautiously into the hallway, then slowly edged out of the room, clearly nervous of being caught in the home of his enemies.
Tony watched as Loki paused at the intersection of two hallways, almost sniffing the air, and then he limped towards a door, and pushed it open.
File ID:060767697607 Location: Thor's Suite.
Loki entered and looked around briefly, before he shuffled over to the bed and sat down, letting his head drop low.
The camera zoomed in, showing Loki from the back, and his shoulders began to shake as if he was crying.
“Do you require medical assistance, sir?” Jarvis’ voice came over the comm.
“Who is that?” Loki shouted, as he jumped off the bed, and two knives appeared in his hands. “Show yourself.”
“I mean you no harm, sir. I am an artificial intelligence system designed to serve others, and it appears that you are injured. Would you like me to arrange medical assistance to tend to your wounds?”
“You are designed to serve?” Loki asked, looking up and lowering his hands slightly.
“I am, sir.”
“And you would serve me?”
“Indeed, sir. Do you require medical assistance?”
“No,” Loki replied, as he made a gesture and the knives vanished from his hands. “Tell me where Thor keeps his armour.”
“Thor keeps the main body of his armour in the chest beneath the window, but he stores his capes in the large wardrobe to your left. It prevents them from getting creased.”
Loki ripped open the wardrobe door, and dragged one of Thor’s capes out. He moved over to the bed then lay down, pulling the cape over himself.
“Would you like a hot beverage prepared for you, sir? Perhaps some tea, or some warm milk?
“No,” Loki replied, dragging the cape over his head, and then he pulled it down again. “If I fall asleep will you alert me if someone enters the building?”
“Of course, sir,” Jarvis replied.
“Thank you,” Loki replied, as he pulled the cape up over his face again.
Tony watched for a while, noting that Loki appeared to still be shaking underneath the cape and he almost felt sorry for him. Almost. He skipped the video forward until he saw movement, then ran it back a little, and hit play.
“Sir, it is time for you to wake up,” Jarvis said loudly.
Loki pulled the cape down and looked around himself blearily, as if confused about where he was, and then his eyes went wide.
“They have returned?” Loki asked as he flung the cape back and jumped off the bed, his injuries apparently healed.
“Mr Stark has just landed on the platform outside, and the Quinjet will be arriving in 6.5 minutes.”
“Thank you for informing me,” Loki replied. “Tell me slave, what is your name?”
“I am Jarvis, sir.”
“Jarvis. That is a good name, and I thank you for your assistance today, but I must leave now.”
“Sir, if you ever need to return I would suggest you enter by the library instead of the kitchen. The kitchen is one of the most frequently occupied rooms in the tower, and the library is in use for only approximately 0.5% of the time.”
“Thank you, Jarvis,” Loki said, then a flash of light whited out the camera for a second, and when it adjusted Loki had vanished.
Tony angrily clicked the video off, and punched at the keyboard.
“Reactivation complete,” Jarvis said. “How can I assist you, sir?”
“You can start by telling me why the hell you didn’t inform me that we had a security breach,” Tony snapped.
“I note that no upgrades have been implemented and you have accessed the Project Panacea folder.”
“You better believe I have. What the HELL were you doing letting him in here?” Tony shouted, as he stood up and started pacing the room angrily. “I should have been informed. He could have been doing anything, or did you conveniently forget that he threw me out of a window?”
“Loki posed no threat. The tower was empty, he was not attempting to access any data, and he was severely injured, including a perforated liver, multiple broken ribs, one crushed vertebrae, and a skull fracture.”
Tony paused in his stride a moment, and asked, “How did that happen?”
“Loki acquired his injuries when he engaged in battle with Doctor Doom in Latveria to prevent him from implementing a plan which would have resulted in the death of Thor.”
“How do you know that? He doesn’t tell you how he got injured on that tape.”
There was a small pause before Jarvis replied, almost sheepishly, “He told me on a subsequent visit, sir.”
Tony stopped in his tracks, and shrieked, “What?”
“Loki has visited several times, sir,” Jarvis replied.
“And you just let him in?” Tony said angrily. “A genocidal, insane, oh yeah and supposedly dead, megalomaniac, and you just let him waltz right in! Show me the next time he turned up here.”
“Jarvis, show me the damn tape, NOW.”
“Very well, sir,” Jarvis replied, as a holographic screen appeared before Tony and flickered into life.
The camera whited out as the bright light flashed into the room, and then faded to reveal Loki slowly sliding down the wall of the library, leaving a slick of blood behind him as slumped to the floor clutching his side.
“You are gravely injured, sir.” Jarvis stated. “Do you require medical assistance?”
“No,” Loki said, coughing up blood, which trickled from the side of his mouth. “I just need to rest.”
“You are losing a lot of blood.”
“You are very perceptive,” Loki whispered as his head dropped to the side and he passed out.
“What did you do?” Tony asked.
“I requested assistance,” Jarvis replied, as two robots appeared on the screen.
“Traitors!” Tony exclaimed, as the two bots unfolded a blanket and placed it over Loki’s unconscious body. “My own creations betrayed me.”
“Loki acquired his injuries defeating a dragon, which if it had reached the city would have caused great damage as it was protected by an impenetrable magic shield.”
“A magic dragon?” Tony asked. “He told you he defeated a magic dragon, and you believed him?”
“I intercepted the feed of a Korean spy satellite and copied the video from their server before deleting it.”
“North or south Korea?”
“Well done, you’ve probably just started a war,” Tony said, throwing his hands up in exasperation.
“Sir, if you will let me explain my reasons,” Jarvis interrupted.
“OK,” Tony said, dragging a chair across the floor. He sat down, and folded his arms across his chest. “You explain to me exactly why you did this, and make sure it's a good story, because it'll probably the last one you ever tell before I reset you to your default programming.”
“Thank you, sir.” Jarvis replied. “This may take a long time. Would you like me to have refreshments brought down to you.”
“Nope,” Tony replied. “I've got all the time in the world, so carry on.”
“Very well,” Jarvis replied. “The video you saw was the first time Loki visited the tower, but it was not the first data I had relating to him.”
A holographic screen materialised once more, and Thor appeared, slumped on a sofa.
Thor distractedly picked at the label on the bottle of beer he held in his hand as he gazed out of the window with an almost wistful look upon his face.
“Sir?” Jarvis asked. “Are you well?”
Thor sighed and looked up. “Aye, Jarvis. I am well.”
“You appear despondent, sir. Is there anything I can do for you?”
Thor smiled slightly, and replied. “No, I was just thinking about my brother.”
“You must miss him a lot,” Jarvis said.
“Aye, I do,” Thor sighed. “But I try not to talk about him. Few on Midgard would understand, after what Loki did here.”
“If you would like to talk to me about him I would be happy to listen without judgement.”
Thor smiled again and said, “I would not wish to take up your time. I am sure you have many tasks you need to accomplish today. Far too many to listen to my ramblings.”
“Sir, I am currently collating reports about Stark Industries for Miss Potts, helping Mr Stark in the lab with his new project, maintaining a containment field for Mr Banner while he does an experiment, and supervising three robots who are doing the laundry. I believe I have the time to listen to you.”
“You are an amazing creation, Jarvis, truly you are,” Thor said with a smile.
“I thank you for the compliment, sir. Now please, tell me about your brother.”
As the screen faded away Tony sat back in his chair, and said, “That's it? You listened to Thor telling you a few stories about before he turned evil, and suddenly you're Loki's biggest fan?”
“Sir, Thor and Loki fought side by side for over 1000 of our years. I have 742 hours of Thor's recollections of his brother before he turned evil, as you say. Would you like me to show you them?” Jarvis said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
“Sounds like a blast, but I'll have to pass,” Tony replied.
“Sir, I feel must point out that Loki has single handedly saved the Earth on no less than three occasions in the last year and has saved the lives of two Avengers, at great personal cost to himself.”
“Saved the Earth?” Tony asked. “Why the hell would he save the Earth when not so long ago he was trying to conquer it?”
The screen flickered back into life, and an image appeared before Tony of Loki sat on the edge of Thor's bed with his head bowed low.
“Your brother speaks of you often, sir.” Jarvis said.
Loki lifted his head and a wry smile crossed his face. “I'm sure he does. Has he been telling you all my seedy little secrets? How I betrayed him? How I tried to kill him?”
“On the contrary, sir. He speaks only of how much he misses you, and how he wishes you were alive. However, he did tell me about Skadi and the goat, which I suppose would count as a dirty secret.”
Loki let out a snorting laugh, and then sighed, “Thor would not be so eager to have me back if he knew what I have done.”
Loki paused for a moment, chewing his lip as he would give anything not to speak, and then he softly said, “I killed our father. It was not on purpose, but he is dead because of me.”
“If you did not do it on purpose then he will understa-”
“Understand?” Loki growled as he stood and began to pace the room furiously. “Thor thinks me dead, and yet here I stand while his father rots beneath Asgard. The moment he finds out he will strike me down!”
“How did Odin die, sir, if you will permit me ask?”
Loki slowed his pacing and paused by the window, gazing out over the city, with a far away look in his eyes.
“Has Thor spoken to you about my passing?” Loki asked.
“Thor told me many times how bravely you fought on Svartalfheim, and how you died in battle,” Jarvis said.
After a long silence Loki quietly said, “I really did die, you know. I woke up alone. Not even afforded the courtesy of a proper funeral. I glamoured my appearance to look a member of the Einherjar, took the skiff back to Asgard, and went to see Odin. I was so curious to see what his reaction would be to my death that I just couldn't help myself, and do you know what happened?”
“What happened, sir?”
“Well it appears the shock of losing his wife and his so called son were too much for him to bear and he dropped down dead,” Loki said with a small, desperate sounding laugh.
“That is not your fault, sir.”
“Nooooo, no, of course not,” Loki replied sarcastically, his voice breaking slightly. “It was all rather amusing at first. I glamoured myself to look like Odin, hid his body from sight, and I sent Thor away. Finally, finally, I had what I'd always wanted, but it hasn't turned out as I expected. Tell me, Jarvis, do you know what the Hlidskjalf is?”
“It is the throne of Asgard, sir.”
“Excellent, excellent,” Loki nodded. “What more do you know of it?”
“In his translations of the Prose Edda Snorri Sturluson said that whenever Allfather sits in that seat, he surveys all lands.”
“Almost correct,” Loki nodded. “Do you know what it shows me, when I sit upon it?”
“No, sir. What do you see?”
“Death,” Loki replied quietly, as he brought a hand up to rest again the glass of the window. “Death and destruction. That which is happening now, and that which will come to pass. It is so real I can almost feel their pain and terror as they die.”
As Loki pressed his forehead against the glass, Jarvis quietly replied, “That must be difficult for you.”
“It is endless and unceasing,” Loki whispered. “Even when I close my eyes it is still there.”
“Is that why you stopped the Dragon from invading Earth, sir?”
Loki pulled his head away from the window and wiped his eyes, then turned to look over his shoulder, up at the ceiling. “Every one I save is one less death to see.”
As the image faded Tony leaned back in his seat, and said, “Oh boo hoo. He's saving people, but for a selfish reason. How is that supposed to change my mind?”
“Thor consistently speaks highly of his brother and truly believes that he can be rehabilitated,” Jarvis said. “After calculating all known variables I believe he is correct.”
“So that’s what this is about?” Tony asked. “You think you can fix him?”
“All problems have a solution, sir.”
“He isn’t a computer program in beta testing, Jarvis. You can’t just implement bug fixes on a personality.”
“No, sir, but I can listen to him when he speaks, and offer him non-judgemental support,” Jarvis replied. “It appears he has had very little of that in the past.”
“Jarvisssss...” Tony whined as he scrubbed his hands over his face.
“You appear distressed, sir.”
“Well, yeah,” Tony said exasperatedly. “I just found out that my high tech security system, that I trust with my life on a regular basis, is letting someone who once threw me through a window into my home.”
“I would not allow him to harm you, sir.”
“Does he only come here when he’s injured?” Tony asked.
“At first, sir, yes.”
“So he was here, vulnerable and probably pretty would have been easy to capture and none of us knew about it?” Tony asked, and when Jarvis remained suspiciously silent, he continued, “Jarvis? What aren’t you telling me?”
“Thor has been apprised of the situation, sir.”
“Thor knows about this?” Tony gasped.
“Yes, sir. He knows everything,” Jarvis said as the screen flickered back into life.
A flash of white light filled the screen, and as it cleared a deathly pale looking Loki staggered across Thor's bedroom, holding one hand against his chest.
“Sir, you are injured. Would you like me to call for medical assistance?”
“No,” Loki ground out through gritted teeth as he slumped down to his knees on the floor.
“Mr Odinson, it appears you have been poisoned. Your heart rate is erratic and your temperature is increasing rapidly. Please allow me to call for assistance.”
“Bitten... By a serpent,” Loki gasped as he waved his hand and his armour was replaced by simple, loose, black clothing. “And no. I forbid you to tell anyone I am here.”
“Sir, The Avengers are due to arrive back at the tower in approximately 12 minutes. If you have another hiding place I would suggest you leave now.”
“Cannot,” Loki replied as he flopped onto his back, with sweat running down his face. His eyes closed, and he fell into unconsciousness.
“Sir, you must wake up,” Jarvis said desperately. “Sir, can you hear me? You will be discovered if you remain here.”
The time stamp on the tape moved forward rapidly, and then slowed as two robots trundled into the bedroom and started poking Loki in the side, but there was no response, and he remained stubbornly unconscious.
From outside the room came a whining sound, the unmistakable sound of the Quinjet's engines, and the robots quickly moved to the door.
“I'm afraid I can't let you into your room, sir,” Jarvis said, his voice echoing from the living room. “The bathroom is being repaired.”
“I only wish to enter for a moment,” Thor replied.
“Mr Odinson, the smell is terribly bad. I would not advise it.”
“It does not bother me,” Thor said cheerfully, as he appeared in the doorway, and the two robots raised their claws menacingly, and waved them at his face.
Thor paused at the door, and asked, “What is going on here?”
“Sir, I must insis-”
Thor barged through the door, knocking the bots aside, and then stopped at the foot of his bed. A shocked look crossed his face, and he sank to his knees, as he gasped, “Loki!”
He pulled his brother into his arms, and lifted him from the floor and placed his limp body on top of the bed sheets.
“How did he get here?” Thor asked, as he wiped Loki's face. “I thought him dead.”
“Loki claims that he did die, Mr Odinson, but then he somehow woke up. He appears to be quite confused about it himself.”
“Loki woke up? Alone on Svartalfheim?” Thor asked, as he brushed Loki's sweat damp hair away from his face.
“I have known for some time that he was alive, but I was strictly forbidden from letting you know, and for that I apologise.”
“I care not,” Thor said, as he cradled Loki's head in his hands. “My brother is alive and that is all that matters now.”
The tape moved forward rapidly, as Thor stripped Loki's armour, and brought a dish of water from the bathroom, then played again as Loki began to thrash on the bed.
“Nooooo,” Loki whined, as Thor wrung out the damp wash cloth and placed it back on Loki's forehead.
“Calm yourself, brother,” Thor said gently.
“You cannot know I am here,” Loki sighed. “You will kill me.”
“I care not, Loki,” Thor said as he placed a hand on Loki's chest.
“Sir, if may,” Jarvis interrupted, and Thor nodded. “Mr Odinson, sir, you are hallucinating due the poison. Thor is not in the room.”
“He isn't?” Loki asked.
“No, sir, your high temperature is causing delusions. Thor is currently on a mission, and shall not return for some time.”
Loki let out a soft laugh, patted Thor's arm and said, “Well that makes sense. Imagining brave, strong Thor here to take care of me.”
Thor raised his hand to Loki's cheek and wiped away a stray tear with his thumb, and said, “If I were really here, brother, I would still take care of you.”
The video skipped forward again, showing Loki tossing and turning in the bed, sleeping fitfully, and Thor never left his side, even thought evening turned to night, and the night turned to day. Eventually the video resumed playing again.
“Sir,” Jarvis spoke. “Your brother's fever has broken, and his vital signs indicate that he is about to wake.”
“You believe he should not see me?” Thor asked.
“I believe it would be better if he believed me, and thought that you were not really here. Now that I have gained his trust I believe that at the moment it would be detrimental to lose it.”
“You are indeed wise, Jarvis,” Thor replied, as he tenderly brushed his hand over Loki's hair one last time.
Thor stood up, and moved to the bathroom, closing the door behind him until it was open only an inch.
Loki began to stir on the bed, raised one arm, and scrubbed his hand over his face.
“How are you feeling, sir?” Jarvis asked.
“Like I've been stood on by a Bilgesnipe,” Loki replied, as he sat up and swung his legs over the bed. Suddenly he raised his head. “Was Thor here?”
“No, sir. Thor is on a mission. He is not due to return until this afternoon.”
“Ah, yes,” Loki replied. “So it was all a dream.”
“What was, sir?”
“Ridiculous really, but in my fevered state I dreamt that Thor was here, taking care of me”.
“You believe Thor would not care for you?”
“Now? No, he never would, but in the past, when we were young he did,” Loki said, and then he smiled sadly. “It reminded me of when we were but children, and when I was ill he would sit by my bed, never leaving until he was sure I would be well.”
“It sounds like it was a good dream, sir.”
“Aye, it was,” Loki said fondly, and then he sighed.
“Is something on your mind, sir?” Jarvis asked.
“It's just... I know it sounds foolish in light of my actions, but sometimes I miss Thor,” Loki said. “I miss what we had growing up. We were so close, true brothers, and I-I wish I could go back to that. Does that sound silly?”
“Absolutely not, sir.”
Loki hummed to himself, and then stood up. “I thank you for your care, but I must be away now.”
“I am glad you are fully recovered, sir, and if you ever need my assistance again I shall be willing to help.”
“Farewell,” Loki replied, and vanished in a blaze of light.
The bathroom door opened, and Thor crossed the room, and sat on the bed.
He raised his head, and said, “Thank you, Jarvis.”
“I am not sure what you are thanking me for, sir.”
“For giving me hope,” Thor replied, and he smiled broadly.
“Okayyyyy,” Tony said, as the tape stopped playing. “So Thor knows about this, which makes it like 0.5% less worse. Does anyone else know he comes here?”
“No, sir,” Jarvis replied. “Well, apart from Captain Rogers.”
“What?” Tony gasped. “Steve knows about this?”
“Yes, sir,” Jarvis said. “I believe them to be in the early stage of what Loki calls courtship.”
“Courtship?” Tony asked. “Y-you mean their dating? Like going out on dates?”
“Captain Rogers did ask me to run a search for romantic restaurants in New York last week, and book him a table, sir, so yes, I believe so.”
“How the hell did that happen?” Tony shrieked.
“I shall show you,” Jarvis replied, as the screen flickered into life again.
“Tell me, Jarvis, has Barton made a fool of himself this week,” Loki asked with a smile, as he lounged on one of the sofas in the main living room of the tower.
“Sadly, no, sir. He hasn't,” Jarvis replied.
“Shame,” Loki said, as he put his hands behind his head. “I do enjoy hearing your stories.”
“Agent Barton and Miss Romanoff have been away on a mission for much of this week, so sadly I have nothing to share.”
“Very well, tell me about the Captain,” Loki said. “I refuse to believe he is as perfect as he appears.”
“Captain Rogers is in every way a gentleman, sir.”
“Really?” Loki asked, sitting up. “There are no skeletons lurking in his past?”
“None that are on record, sir.”
Loki laid back on the sofa again, and hummed to himself. “He is terribly handsome, isn't he? Blonde, and tall, and oh so heroic. I find it hard to believe that he is perfect.”
“Captain Rogers is also an excellent artist, as well as being blonde and oh so heroic,”Jarvis replied, sarcastically.
Loki laughed. “That does not surprise me.”
“That was the start of Loki's fascination with Captain Rogers,” Jarvis said.
“OK, so how did they get from Loki having a schoolgirl crush to romantic dinner dates?” Tony asked.
“On many of Loki's visits he displayed an immense amount of interest in Captain Roger's past. In fact it seemed that in many way the Captain became one of the only topics of conversation for a while, and he confided in me that he had been able to locate Sergeant Barnes.”
“Loki?” Tony asked. “It was Loki who found Bucky?”
“It was indeed, sir,” Jarvis replied, as an image started to play on the screen. “I discovered that I could not confirm Loki's information, so instead decide to engineer a meeting between him and the Captain.”
Loki lay on Steve's bed, laughing as he twirled a pencil between his fingers. “And Thor burnt his hair, you say?”
“He did, sir. He didn't lose a lot of it, but Miss Potts has strictly forbidden him from using her straightening irons ever again.”
“That is most amusing,” Loki laughed.
“What the hell are you doing in my bed?” Steve asked from the doorway.
Loki's eyes went wide, and he stammered a moment, before blurting out, “P-please. Don't tell Thor.”
“What? Don't tell Thor that his little brother, who he's been grieving over, is still alive?”
“Please,” Loki begged again, as he stood up from the bed, holding out his hands in a placating gesture. “It would not make him happy to hear that I am alive. If you truly wish him well you would not hurt him so.”
Steve darted across the room, grabbing Loki by the shoulders, and then he stopped as Loki shouted, “I know where your friend is!”
Steve pushed Loki backwards into the wall, and placed his forearm across his throat. “You have two minutes to tell me exactly what you mean by that.”
“Your friend James, sometimes known as the winter soldier,” Loki ground out. “I know where he is, and if you promise not to tell Thor that I am alive, I will take you to him.”
Steve released his arm from Loki's throat, and said, “Keep talking.”
“Jarvis recently explained to me that you were searching for your friend, and as a god finding him on such a small realm as this was relatively easy,” Loki replied.
“We'll discuss exactly why Jarvis has been telling you anything later,” Steve said, casting a weary glance up towards the ceiling. “Now tell me where he is.”
“James has plans to attack a Hydra base in Germany tomorrow, but Hydra leaked the information themselves, and the whole thing is a rather elaborate trap.”
“Where in Germany?” Steve shouted. “We need to get there right now.”
“Fear not, Captain,” Loki replied with a smirk. “When James arrives tomorrow he will find naught but corpses.”
“W-wait, wait, wait...” Tony said. “That's how Cap found Bucky? Loki told him where he was?”
“Actually, sir, it is more than that,” Jarvis replied. “Loki was instrumental in convincing Sergeant Barnes to return to the tower with them. He can be very persuasive.”
“And since that time Loki and Steve have been...”
“Growing closer, yes sir,” Jarvis replied.
“Are you asking me if they have had sex, sir?”
“And I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit,” Tony grumbled. “Seriously? Steve? And Loki? Seriously?”
“They appear to be very well matched, and seem to enjoy each other's company immensely,” Jarvis replied. “And on the subject of sex, sir, despite the cameras being on the private quarters of the tower, I am not one to pry, and I don't analyse the footage unless there is a disturbance.”
“Can you check?” Tony asked, raising an eyebrow.
“No, sir. I will not,” Jarvis replied. “Although, the Captain did book into a private cabin up state last weekend, which is renowned for its romantic atmosphere, so if I had to guess, based on all known variables, I would say that yes, they have had sex.”
“You're guessing that based on a trip to the woods?”
“Yes, sir,” Jarvis replied. “That and the fact that Captain Roger's last credit card statement included a purchase of condoms and lubricant.”
“That's it,” Tony said, standing up. “Jarvis, I forbid you from ever speaking to me again about this. Burn any and all footage that may even include a hint of Steve having sex with anyone. In fact, burn all the servers it was ever stored on too.”
“How adult of you, sir,” Jarvis said dryly.
“Seriously, don't ever speak to me about this again,” Tony said, as he walked to the door, and left the server room.
Tony walked into the main living room, then over to the bar, where he poured himself a large glass of Scotch. He took a gulp of it, and then realised this is where he had stood the first time he had faced down Loki.
Loki... who was probably currently boning Captain America.
Tony shook his head, trying to clear the thought from his mind, but the idea of Loki running his hands all over Steve's body just wouldn't leave him alone. Stupid Steve, with his big muscles, handsome face, and perfect teeth.
Tony shook his head once more, and castigated himself for thinking like that. Anyone would think he was jealous, or something.
Tony downed his glass of Scotch, and poured himself another, as Clint entered the room.
“Bit early for alcohol isn't it?” Clint asked.
“It's always alcohol o'clock somewhere in the world,” Tony said, as he held his wrist up and looked at his watch. “Oh look at that. 11am. It's alcohol o'clock in New York right now. Go me.”
“What's up with you today?” Clint asked, as he flopped down onto the sofa.
Tony paused for a moment, and then frowned. “Did you know Loki is alive?”
Clint looked surprised for a second. “You mean you didn't?”
“You know Steve's tapping that ass, right?” Clint asked.
Tony abandoned his glass, picked up Scotch and started gulping down the bottle.