|Duty or Desire
Author: KaosChild PM
Things in Loki's past aren't what they seem; and no-ones ever bothered to listen, nevermind understand. Things might change when he crashes and finds himself in a certain avengers household... Thankyou ani-cat-candy for the art!Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Loki & Iron Man/Anthony S. - Chapters: 20 - Words: 89,135 - Reviews: 142 - Favs: 52 - Follows: 84 - Updated: 04-02-13 - Published: 05-13-12 - id: 8115164
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
You know the drill; this was ur guys' choice, so get comfy and enjoy.
Someone asked about Loki's vocab, and asked if I was in college; im not. I just figured I should use the most complicated words I know to make Loki's vernacular more accurate. If anyone wants definitions at the ends of the chapters just let me know in a comment/review/whatevar.
I own nothing
"Don't touch it!" Loki called too late; Tony was already moving to place his hand on the bike. Because he decided he'd better get the bike off the roof before someone saw it.
"Why? What could- GAH!" he started to respond only to be interrupted by his own pained noise as a force rippled its way across his hand.
"I told you not to touch it!" Loki cried coming to stand next to him. He ripped Tony's hand off the bike and looked at it carefully, "I told you; do not touch it, it will do you ill, and so you just go ahead and touch it- No! I need to look at that!" he reprimanded as Tony tried to pull his hand away. The way Loki was looking at it, so intense, it was creeping him out. Creeping him out in an 'I feel self-conscious' way, which is stupid because it's his hand.
"What could possibly have happened in that 1.5 seconds?" he asked cockily, relenting and letting his hand rest upon the gods gentle palms.
"What could have happened is that semi-biotic life forms could enter through you're pores and be on their way to your brain or heart to cause you excruciating pain." Loki speaks distractedly, bringing Tony's palm closer to his face for inspection, running his fingers across the skin so light it tickled. His brows furrow and he lets out a puff of air, "And that is exactly what's happened." He said it so straight faced that Tony believed him immediately.
"What? Wait – how? When will that happen?" he finally screeches a question, "How long do I have?"
"Not long," Loki muses, his eyes now flicking up to his wrist and tracing up his arm, "They are already at your bicep."
"Oh fuck that's quick," he shutters, fully ready to start having a panic attack.
"Indeed, now keep still." Loki pulled his hand so that they come chest to chest, the gods other hand snaking up the back of his shirt. He wants to protest – kind of – but stays still as the god ordered. The hand on his skin is cold and he feels his own flesh pull with heat towards the spot whilst Loki mutters in a foreign language. His shoulder blade, where Loki placed his hand, contracts of its own will as sensations crawl across it; the cold palm, heated skin, the feeling of slithering. It's gross and the only reason his arm doesn't move in response to the contraction is that Loki still has their fingers interlocked.
At least it didn't hurt.
When Loki pulled away he looked contemplative, as though he were wondering over his actions, staring at his closed palm which had previously been on Tony's back. He's still staring at his hand when he motions for Tony to come closer.
Tony does so reluctantly, he doesn't want another run in with whatever-the-fuck was just in his body; by the sounds of it he was lucky this time around. He walks as close as he dares, head leaning away even as his feet go closer.
"This is what was in your blood." Loki said, opening the palm to reveal what looked like a bunch of tiny heart worms, and it's incredibly discerning knowing that way working its way into his mind or his already weakened heart.
"Ew, gross" Tony supplies before he can stop himself and hears Loki chuckle, "What are those fuckers doing on your bike anyway?" he asked pointing a finger but keeping his hand as far away as possible.
"Others kept trying to steal it. It was the only one of this kind that I made; that made it valuable."
"So how do we get it downstairs?"
"I shall move it; they do not attack me as they did you. They would only accept another with my express command, and even then they would enter your body and wait for the moment the command was rebuked. One can only use such a device if they are bonded to it."
"Well you couldn't have told it to play nice?" he asked tersely as Loki hoisted a leg over the machine and plonked down onto it.
"I hadn't even touched it myself yet; ergo such an action is infeasible. Do you have something with which to destroy this?" his hand was held off to the side, "Like; now?"
"Uh," he said as he fumbled with his pockets. Finally he pulled out a flask. He stared at it unwilling to let it go. He watched Loki raise his eyebrows with an expectant expression, so he uncapped the lid and tossed back the remaining liquid, "You can put them in here till we get to the lab." He offered the silver container which the god took and stuffed the worm things into. He screwed the lid on and then stood to tuck it into the back of his pants; Tony almost felt a swell of pride, Thor would never have known where to put it. But of course, the notion was ridiculous; he hadn't taught the god where to put it. Yeah, definitely needed to stop think about where to put things – really, his mind strays too easily.
"Okay, let's go." Loki said after they'd just been sitting around for a moment, not really doing anything. Tony had gotten lost in his thoughts and was in Loki's way; no wonder they were still on the roof. He felt a blush creep up his neck as he stood to the side, allowing Loki to push the bike forward with his feet; much like a child would on a toy bike or car.
It wasn't until they'd made it to the manhole that he thought about how stupid of an idea this was. How the hell were they going to get the bike through and to the ground? They could lift it, he supposed, if he ever dared touch the thing again. And even then, it looked really heavy. Obviously, Loki had the same thought. This was given away by the press of his lips and furrow of his brow. Tony was about to say something when Loki just kicked the bike forward and the front tire slipped through the hole. He panicked and yeah, he may have yelled out 'no!'
"What is it?" Loki asked, turning his head to face him, feet and the edge of the hole to prevent the fall.
"You can't just drop through." He fought weakly
"I'm sorry, is that concern I'm hearing darling?" The god asked smugly, a grin tugging at his lips. Tony tried not to notice how easy the tease fell from Loki's lips, and tried doubly as hard not to notice how nice it sounded.
"Yeah it is jerk," he called lightly punching the others leather clad arm, "You're gonna snap your neck when the bike flips on you. And then there'll be a mess on my floor and I hate cleaning." Loki smirked.
"I'll be fine." He said with a nod.
"No you won't, we'll find another wa-hey!" he cried as Loki pushed forward again, the bike lurching and then plummeting. He heard the slap on the floor below and fell onto his hands and knees to look down.
"My bad." Loki spoke as he looked up a faux innocence across his face.
Tony mumbled as he made his way down; 'friggen trying to dent my floors. Always with the poor, poor floors,' he really had no idea what he was saying, just complaining for the sake of complaining.
They made the rest of the trip in relative silence, only engaging in conversation when Tony said 'You better not leave skid marks on my floor', to which Loki replied 'If I do, and I won't, I'll clean it' and Tony couldn't help from adding a 'damn right you will.' True to his word not so much as a scuff was left behind and soon they were back in the workshop.
"How do we destroy this thing?" he asks, slipping the flask out of Loki's pants which, okay, wasn't his best idea ever and could have been potentially disastrously awkward if he stopped and realised the action or if Loki pointed it out. But the god didn't seem effected, just turned his head to him, gave a wicked smile and said;
It was there in the workshop a day later, which was basically a cleared floor; no walls only the occasional beam for support, that Tony decided Loki could show off the bike. And by decided he means begged him to let him see it in action.
The conversation went something like this:
"Come on, Please?"
"Whether your proposal is aesthetically pleasing or not; it will not change my decision."
"What will then? Come on man, please?"
"…if anything, anything, is destroyed I will not be held accountable."
"YES! Woohoo! Wait; destroyed?"
"Don't worry Stark; I'm sure you could afford replacements."
And that was how he found himself moving the tables in his lab and putting things into a coordinated pile in the centre of the room. And no, he was not cleaning fuck-you-very-much.
He stood on the centre table, most of Loki's clothes which he'd taken off for comfort (six layers! He'd taken off six layers and still had a shirt on!) on the adjacent bench. He was standing because he's short and Loki was at the other end of the room and goddammit he wanted to see.
"I hope you know this is desultory; you shan't be able to discern anything cynosure from this display." Loki called across the room as he fell into the seat.
"I don't caaaare; I wanna see!" he whined back childishly.
"You are the prime example of youth without youth." Loki replied placing his hands on the handles. Even from here Tony could see the rush of movement which flowed up his arms, chrome gauntlets forming with lines of glowing blue in swirling patterns. A moment later more chrome folded over his head in some form of sleek helmet, the silver black and blue forming striking patterns here as they had done on the gloves. Technical genius.
Screens flickered up from the handles and Loki took a moment to press at a few things on the holograms before swiping his hand through it to dispel it. He kicked one foot up into place, locking it in place before kicking it down and forwards. This action prompted a deep rumble to emit, practically rolling across the floor as it reached his ears. He thought his engines sounded good, got his heart thumping with excitement, but this sound, so different to any automobile he's ever heard but promising so much power in the deep bass. This sound was almost awe inspiring. Much like anytime he sees something better than what he has; he wants a go. Even better he wants one.
Loki walked the bike to the side, lining it up lengthways with the floor space. The helmet folded back, much like his own suit, and Loki regarded him with a look that he read as 'ready?' He gave an over eager nod and watched with bated breath as the helmet folded back down, Loki leaning down on the bike in what was no doubt a more comfortable position.
When he took off it was too fast for Tony to comprehend and Loki had done a full loop of the room before his eyes had even begun moving to follow. He spun on the table to watch the bike as it ran the circles and he tripped over his own legs. Due to this, he ended up craning his neck around to watch instead of trying to move his entire body. When the wheels connected with the wall instead of the floor he almost had a panic attack. This was only furthered when the concrete gave way to glass and he thought for sure the speed would make the bike rip straight through the surface. It didn't though, which was great, and so Loki ran circles around the walls.
Loki had just changed to steering the bike up the wall, across the roof, down the wall and across the floor when the elevator opened. Neither of them notice though, and so the only way they noticed that there was actually someone in the room was when Loki was flying across the floor and had to swerve hard and kick the bike up to avoid hitting the other. The bike went flying off, but Tony didn't pay attention as he ran forwards to check on Bruce who was slowly uncrumpling himself from the defensive crouch, completely and utterly shocked, eyes staring off into the distance.
"Bruce! Bruce, hey, are you okay?" Tony asked patting his shoulders and trying to gain his attention. The doctor wouldn't be persuaded though, his eyes still glued to the same spot. He guessed what it was before he turned; after all, what else could he be looking at (apart from the clear floor)? "We were, uh, Loki was just showing me how his bike wor-woah. Shit." He started, turning mid-sentence, "You didn't tell me it did that buddy." He straightened himself as Loki came closer on the bike which just so happened to be floating in the middle of the room.
"I was getting to it," he said dismissively, whipping the bike to a stop next to them, "Dr Banner, are you alright?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. What is that?" he asked as he reached towards the bike.
"DON'T TOUCH IT!" Tony and Loki screeched at the same time, Loki driving the bike away and Tony grabbing at his arm. "Just don't, trust me" Tony spoke again, Loki giving a firm nod.
"Well, if we can't touch it how can we study it?" he asked with the mind of a scientist.
"…We, ah, weren't going to study it." Tony admitted feebly at the same time Loki said, "I can make you one."
"What?" Tony snapped in surprise instead of hearing any response from Bruce.
"If I were to make one you would be able to study it easily; although you would have to be present for a great deal of it so that it would recognise you. After that you could dismantle it to find the pieces you wish to study." Tony narrowed his eyes at the generosity.
"Right, coz if you stuck pain inducing worms on yours, you're definitely going to give away its secrets easily. Secrets I could easily take and stick on my suit."
"Why not? It needs to be shared somewhere, might as well be with you two." Loki spoke ignoring Banners confused looks.
"…Is this another one of those 'I owe you' deals; because I thought we already worked that out." He asks still unconvinced.
"There is nothing I find more comfort in than knowledge. Knowledge and tricks," he amends, "Either way, it is for the advancement of science and therefore would provide more opportunities for knowledge."
"The advancement of science?" Tony ponders to himself, "Oh My GOD BRUCE!" he calls out, suddenly remembering, "You have got to check this shit out!" and he rushed to the desks, arms flailing and pushing and the metal and paper, "Look at this!" he screeched as he returns, face alight with joy shoving papers into the other scientists hand.
"What is it?" Bruce asks pressing a cool hand to his forehead as he accepts the papers, not really looking at them apart from discerning that it's something he doesn't immediately recognise. Truly, he's more interested in watching Loki stepping away from the machine he parked in the far corner; helmet and gauntlets sliding off his skin and melding with the machine.
"It's the carbon atom!" Tony announced gleefully, more interested in the paper than the gods mechanism. Banner rolled his eyes and looked at the paper again.
"No its- Tony, are you serious?" he asks, sifting through the papers. This has been his strong point for who-knows-how-long, and so the calculations fly through his head at incredible speeds. "Are you- no that's- what is?" he couldn't even complete a proper sentence, too overwhelmed at the new information. "Are you sure?" he finally articulates, not lifting his head.
"JARVIS checked it and everything. Yesterday I ran some tests; it's completely accurate."
"Oh-Holy shit Tony! This is genius!" he lifts his head from the paper only long enough to see the proud look plastered across Tony's features. "This could change everything!"
"That's what I said!" Tony calls back, clapping Bruce on the shoulder. Bruce can feel his entire being shaking; not the bad type either, but the type children get when they get to go on the rollercoaster for big kids. He can only describe it as unparalleled excitement and joy, all bundled up into a mass of adrenaline and stomach curling elation. He's practically bouncing on his feet. He wants to jump off the walls and run for miles. He wants to take this information and apply it to all the other elements, to everything he knows. He just –asdfghjkl- he just wants to squeal.
"You're a genius!" he called, lifting his head to appraise Tony.
"Not me," he says, which is confusing, "Him." And Tony points across the room to the god who looks for all intents and purposes like he'll melt under the attention. Bruce takes no notice and walks – more like skips or bounds – straight up to him, clapping him on the shoulder.
"You are a genius," another clap, "Just, really; the greatest," another clap or two, "I mean really, just asdfghjkl!" and yes that really comes out of his mouth and because he's so excited and claps on the shoulder just don't express what he's feeling he envelopes the taller in a hug. He doesn't think on it for a second, just wraps his arms around Loki, pinning the gods to his body and lifts – same as he'd do with anyone – before he drops him to the ground again and continues to sift through the paper. As he walked to the benches he calls out "Hope you didn't want to keep these secret; coz I'm using them now!" and with that swiped a hand to clear a surface and propped himself up on it to begin working.
Tony was sure things were about to start exploding as he watched Banner move in for the kill, and by that he means for a hug. He expected Loki to toss the other away from him and maybe start throwing magic around. He was actually prepared to start running, but Loki just gives a small smile and allows the action, which makes something unfold in his chest. Something bitter and pained and it scares him more than the prospect of magic flying around did. So, of course, he pushes it away and ignores it. Nothing like ignoring something you don't want to deal with.
"So are you really gonna make us one?" he asked as Loki approached the benches to pick up his clothes.
"Yes of course." He replied, smile still in place, hands shuffling through the clothes.
"You know you don't have to put that all back on; you can wear casual clothes." He gestures to the garments. Loki let out a low rumble of laughter.
"I'm afraid the casual clothing on Asgard which I've grown accustom to is far different to the casual clothes here on Midgard." Bruce is too involved in the new information to even register the conversation.
"What do you mean?" he asked, taking steps closer so he can watch what Bruce is doing whilst continuing the conversation.
"If I were to don casual Asgard clothing I would certainly look as though I were going to go clubbing, either that or like an ancient Egyptian."
"What?" he queried, confused, "Like its either tight leather or scantily clad in gold. With the whole topless and necklace plus cloth shorts combo?"
"Yes. Or I could be scantily clad in fur it I were to follow my true roots." He mutters and although the words sound like poison he's still got a smile on his face.
"What do you mean true roots?"
"Thor did not tell you?"
"Not really. I mean, we knew you were adopted, ain't that right?" he slapped Banner's shoulder with the back of his hand to garner his attention; "Thor didn't tell us about Loki's origins did he?" he's asking both for himself and for Loki because, hey, Thor talks a lot, he might have tuned out. Bruce shakes his head, attention firmly grasped and Loki's just watching the table like it suddenly became very interesting.
"He always defended you," Bruce says, "He missed you."
"I will not be seeing my brother." He spits to the table, suddenly all too sure where this conversation will lead.
"What happened to not hating your brother; he just misses you." Tony speaks again.
"Just because I don't despise him doesn't mean I want to see him." He clenched the fabric in his hands.
"Well, they say the opposite of love is indifference, not hate." Bruce tries to steer the conversation to the light again.
"Then perhaps it was better when I hated him; for now I could not care whether he were to perish or live a prosperous life. I've long left any positive notion of him behind."
"But you said he was the only one to, and I quote; give you some semblance of warmth." Tony tries to argue. He wants Loki to get better, he really does, and he thinks that Loki probably needs his brother back.
"That was a long time ago, when I appeared to have been around the stature you Midgardians would appear at five years of age. Many a century has passed since then."
"But he tells heaps of stories at din-"
"Of course he would tell stories!" Loki snaps, eyes bright as he looks down at the creased cloth in his palms, "Of course he would tell tales you would find cromulent; erstwhile he knows me to be delitescent and makes me ludibrous to the point where I cannot stand to forebear it longer and undergo ineffable pain for his desultory actions!" The tendons in his neck are strained as the two scientists look on, watching the god growl at the table. Loki must have noticed that they didn't understand as he re-iterates a moment later. "He would tell you things that you would praise," his voice comes out in a strained calm, his jaw clenched and working itself between constricted words, "But he sees me as something that should be hidden for he must finally understand that his actions were…" he clenches his eyes shut, "…inexplicable. I became the centre of jokes for he and his friends for the majority of my time; they were all seen as better citizens," the room is deadly quiet as the gods voice flows over them, "They were strong and fierce and didn't show emotion like I did. They were warriors. I was often to face punishment for their actions, if their actions were not deemed punishment enough in themselves." He pushed the heel of his hands in his eyes, trying to stop the onslaught of tears, "I'm sorry. I'm not normally like this." His voice is thick with the effort required to hold back such emotion; Tony knows; it's happened to him enough times.
Tony loops his arm around Loki's waist, pulling him into his body and Bruce stands and makes it to Loki's other side. "No it's fine, we just don't understand is all." He tried to assure the god and received a nod from Bruce in confirmation of his actions.
"It matters not," Loki speaks again, palm still pressing into his eyes, "You would not believe me."
"Try us." He challenges, because if he's noticed anything it's that Loki rises to challenges.
"You would take my word, your enemies, over the word of your comrade?"
"Well, in my experience people don't get as emotionally screwed as you are without a reason."
"Is my heritage not reason enough?" he asks sourly, sinking to the floor and bringing the scientists with him to lean back on the bench.
"No." Tony pries. After long moments of nothing other than the god rubbing his eyes he asks again, "Loki, please."
He doesn't know whether to keep prying or not. He knows Loki will answer if he does, can see it in his body language. He knows for certain that the god will head their whims and answer because he promised he would, and because he needs to. He needs to have someone understand, needs to have someone on his side for once. Tony wants to be that person; he does. He can tell Bruce wants to be there too. But he doesn't know if he's ready for what he will hear, doesn't know if he's ready to hear the other side of the gods childhood, which he has only ever previously heard from Thor. He's not sure he's ready for his view on Thor to change, and he's sure it will. He wants to help but he's not sure how he'll take it; he knows he could help the trickster, but he's scared. He's always scared.
~~~~~ PAGEBREAK HERE~~~~~
Should Tony press for answers to help the god, or save himself hardship and let Loki mull? Your choice.
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