Chapter #1 – More Information
“Hey Phil, guess who made the newspaper again this morning?” Tony called, coming into the lab.
“Phil? Really Stark?” Loki asked rolling his eyes.
“You, big guy,” Tony said smirking and pointing both index fingers at Loki as he walked past him and over to his own work bench, “are well on your way to losing your title as the Prince of Darkness. So you are just going to have to settle for being Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light.”
“Ah. So what did you do that made it into the papers this morning? Another Avenger faux pas? Another fight with Ms. Potts?” Loki asked absently, going back to the file he was working on.
Oh. No sting there. Merlin didn’t like when Tony and Pepper fought. Thank God, the main one, not the prissy god in front of him, that Loki hadn’t been there when Tony and Pepper had fought and broke up ‘once and for all’ several months ago. While they had both missed Loki and were glad he was back with Stark International after an unexpected two years absence, Tony was very glad that he hadn’t been here during their break up.
The rat bastard always took Pepper’s side.
Tony knew, just knew, Pepper waited until Tony and Loki were together before she came to get him to sign things or agree to appearances. She knew Tony could only give her so much grief before his lab partner got vindictive. And a vindictive, magic-using god was a force to be avoided whenever possible as far as Tony was concerned.
“No, mega bitch, I did not have another public fight with Pepper. I think the last one was bad enough thank you, and I didn’t make it into the paper today, Loki of Asgard did.”
“WHAT?!” Loki yelped, reclaiming Tony’s attention as he leapt to his feet, spinning around to stare at him. His face was pale and his pupils were so dilated his eyes looked black. It really wasn’t his best look.
Tony was actually amazed at the speed of Loki’s turn; he half expected a shock wave or something. But he could see why he was dismayed, Loki of Asgard was a name only known in a few very private government files.
“Jeeze, Cupid, you need to take it down a notch. Breathe in, breathe out.”
“Stark!” Loki shouted.
“Okay, okay.” Tony rolled his eyes. “Well it was a local paper and not a major newspaper.” Loki took a deep breath and started to relax. “But it is a main stream news publication, unlike the last five articles that were only in gossip rags.”
“So, okay. Maybe the Enquirer is a national publication, but still their circulation numbers have been slipping for the last ten years.”
Loki stared at Tony like he was trying to decide if he was crazy or if it was just Tony.
“Umm, tell me Gandalf, how is it that you did not know this?”
“Know this?” Loki growled, glaring at him, “How, by the nine, do you think I would know this? Why are you just now mentioning it? How long have you known about this?”
Tony often wondered if there was some way to harness the energy of the glares Loki gave him. While it surely was a lesser amount of energy than the reactor powering Stark Tower, he was fairly sure each and every glare put out at least as much power as the arc reactor in his chest.
“Calmly grasshopper, it wasn’t your picture or anything, it was just a short article.” Tony laughed as he hooked an ankle around his rolling stool and sat down at his favorite work bench. “I only keep track of my own publicity. I just figured I would remind you that Pepper has to approve all interview requests.”
“Interview requests?” the now vengeful god demanded. He stalked over to the main design table and pulled up an internet connection, flinging it wide with an abrupt, angry gesture.
“Jarvis, please call up any news articles using Loki of Asgard as the search criteria.”
Looking forward to an entertaining morning, Tony rolled his stool over so he could watch the screens the Rock of Ages was pulling up.
The archived news accounts of the invasion only ever noted Loki as the Chitauri Battle Commander, as did all but the most classified government files.
Mister Wizard seemed dismayed when the news search actually picked up seven articles, two from the last twenty-four hours. Granted six of them seemed to be almost identical, however the seventh one was completely different and actually linked to a WikiLeaks article. Really? WikiLeaks? Loki opened that link and choked when it displayed copies of actual Asgard Judicial Findings.
Loki’s further web search to see how widely referenced the WikiLeak site was, brought up numerous web pages, one of which was lokiofasgard.com. That one even had a large picture of Loki in his dress armor complete with scepter, horns and a huge list of links on the right side, including the top one labeled, ‘What Really Happened’. He turned to glare at Stark who was snickering.
“You know,” Tony said thickly after tossing a handful of trail mix in his mouth, “You really should have reserved that name for yourself, just to keep control of your message.” He smirked as Loki turned up the voltage on his glare. “Oh look.” He said happily and pointed, “They have a Facebook and Twitter link. Jarvis, open up the Facebook page in a new window for me, will ya?”
Which of course Jarvis did. Tony thought he was going to die. Both from the furious look he was getting from the internet’s newest star and…. Trying not to drop to the floor howling with laughter. Of course a few snerks slipped out and for each new one that escaped, his death did get a little closer. “Hey, not bad for an ex-war criminal, 8,759 followers and the page has only been up for a few months, shall we check the twitter and tumblr account?”
Tony wanted to howl with unholy glee as the god cringed.
Oh, okay, flinched microscopically, but for the Lokmeister that was the same as a cringe.
“Wait. Jarvis, first let’s check out the other Facebook pages and see if any of those are actually for you. Although I am pretty sure ‘Loki God of Fashion’ is one of yours,” Tony snarked.
“Hey, Jarvis, open up the link for that one would you,” he called out. The page opened and several posts featuring candid shots of Loki in outfits ranging from his Asgard gear, to his GQ suits, to his incredibly over tailored casual wear popped up. Tony clicked on one and then scrolled merrily through the picture gallery accompanied by low hisses of anger from said fashion god. Until they got to one that showed him and Thor waiting in line at an airport that got a guttural growl.
What had he ever done to be cursed with such people in his life he wondered? Darcy Lewis. He was going to have to kill Darcy Lewis. Loki collapsed on a nearby station chair and buried his head in his hands while that idiot Stark snickered and smirked. He looked up again, watching Stark gleefully flipping through the pictures and noticed several from Stark International events.
Loki scowled. “Jarvis? Ms. Potts is back from Germany, isn’t she?”
“Yes sir, she is in her office, I believe she is getting ready for a production meeting in an hour.”
“Tell her I’m coming up to talk to her please.” Loki said, grabbing his suit coat as he strode towards the door.
Tony just looked over at him and laughed. “Um, be gentle with my CEO there, Mister Blonde, I kinda need this one. It’s not like I have another one stashed in the supply closet or anything.”
Loki reflected that Stark was surely born under a lucky star. He had to be, otherwise Loki would have killed him by now.