Author: missMHO PM
/frostiron/ When Loki steals the Tesseract, Tony realizes he owes him a debt. Nevertheless, when the god comes to collect it, it's nothing that Tony expected. /oneshot/Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst/Romance - Iron Man/Tony S. & Loki - Words: 5,435 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 53 - Follows: 16 - Published: 07-18-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8332777
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
It all starts with an unexpected visit.
Tony tries his hard to ignore the unyielding phone call. He is actually ignoring all of the phone calls today but Coulson turns out to be at his door. And Tony is angry at Coulson for burdening him with those documents, because he really does not care about that SHIELD's little blue cube and he broke up with Pepper yesterday so his spectrum of interest shrunk to his alcohol supply. But then he actually opens them, because maybe it will turn out a good distraction, and the anger disappears when Tony stops feeling the ground under his feet because he sees his face, someone who is supposed to be his imaginary friend of harsh adulthood and fuck if that guy isn't a mad Norse god.
As long as he is in his suit, Tony feels moderately safe, he's got his weapons attached to every limb and maybe Loki is a god, but still he may not recognize him if he only sees the gold-red expressionless mask. Because now that Tony helped legendary Cap America to capture the God of Mischief, he is entirely sure that Loki is the hallucination that helped him through that freaking desert after escaping vacation with terrorists sponsored by Obadiah. He saved his life back there and it is so wrong.
Tony does not have much time to think as another Norse god decides to join them and actually steals their freshly captured God of Mischief. Then it all is a timeline of explosions, strikes, disaccords, revealing SHIELD's secrets, Loki escaping again and another portion of anger.
But then Tony realizes and he starts regretting it when he grasps that his brilliant recognition consequences in face to face meeting with Loki, but it's already too late, because Loki is a diva and they are both on the building with Tony's name on it.
So Tony offers him a drink but Loki just smirks and says: "That will not repay your debt to me, Mr. Stark." And Tony knows what he means, because he still remembers this whisper almost lost in the heat of the desert: one day I will come for your gratitude. And it can't be today.
So Tony tries to handle with his incisive attitude, but then Loki throws him out of the window. And maybe Tony would think about how mixed signals those are if he wasn't busy falling from the skyscraper with his name on it.
And then Tony saves the freaking Manhattan from SHIELD's cute nuclear gift and Loki is finally rammed into the ground. When Loki asks for that drink, billionaire philanthropist gets a little scared if that is the time the God of Mischief will decide to require his favour, however he doesn't. He doesn't ask for Tony to help him escape, but Tony notices that playful sparkle in his green eyes (that's why his memories of the desert always wore that weird shade of green, Tony always blamed it on Fata Morgana, except he never saw one, and finally it explains his peculiar reminiscences, but it doesn't calm him at all) just before Thor and his brother leaves with Tesseract and he knows that someday Loki will collect his debt.
It is tranquil for almost five months, Tony finally gets over Pepper and decides once for all that he is not relationship material and he shouldn't try it ever again. He almost forgets about Loki, he had already stopped being haunted by the memories of the captive, the cave, lost mentor and his not-so-imaginary-now friend that helped him survive the impossible walk through the desert. It's so calm, it's almost boring.
Then he is paid an unexpected visit. Again.
It's Jarvis that informs him with perfunctory "There's someone at the door, sir.", Tony for a moment contemplates if someone of the Avengers decided to stopover, but then he looks at the clock and it is 4 in the morning and he knows it's something bad.
"Who is it?"
"The appearance of the guest matches Loki of Asgard in 94%."
Tony suddenly feels a shiver running along his spine, but he finds himself approaching the door and for the unnumbered time he wonders what is wrong with him. But then he actually opens the door and he sees and his mind goes blank.
The person standing in front of him is undeniably Loki, but there is no leather coat on his shoulders, his body looking unhealthily thin in bedraggled clothes, eerily pale face outlined by raven hair, green eyes disturbingly faded, and then Tony's look lands on his mouth and his subconscious was doing a great job making his gaze wander but he finally have to notice it that Loki's lips are fucking sewn shut.
Tony takes a step back and waves his hand in an inviting manner.
"Should I alarm SHIELD, sir?" Jarvis asks as they enter the living room and Loki flinches at this voice out of nowhere.
"No." Tony hears himself say and when Loki looks at him, there is some kind of approval in his eyes, like he is pleased that this mortal understood that the God of Mischief came to collect his debt.
"How can I remove it?" Tony queries, because it must be why Loki is here, but he gets a negating shake of the head as an answer.
"Then what can you want from me?"
Loki raises his eyebrows in an almost scornful manner, but it's not as effective as Tony remembers. Those pale green eyes look tired and old.
"Alrighty." Tony sighs and starts to browse through the drawers. He finally draws a pen and blank pocket notepad and puts it on the coffee table as he drops onto the couch.
Loki observes him for a minute before taking a seat on the other end of the table and reaches for the notepad. He writes smoothly and swiftly, and his handwriting has no right to look so sophisticated.
I need a shelter until the curse is broken.
"Okay, so I can't help you with this." Tony makes a general movement around his own lips, because he can't bring himself to look at Loki's and the light here is much brighter here than in the doorway. "Because it will turn me into a frog or something if I try..." Loki rolls his eyes but Tony has more questions.
"Any idea when the curse will release you?"
I will be allowed to speak when I will have something meaningful and true to say. My fath- Odin is a repetitive punisher. It is said my powers will return when I will be worth.
Tony's gaze is fixed on the notepad in his hands when he asks, "So your family did this to you? Is it a punishment for what you did on Earth?"
Loki clenches his fists and Tony knows he should watch his tongue.
"At the end of this corridor is spare bedroom, walk-in-wardrobe is next to it. Help yourself."
He leaves for his workshop, hoping that maybe if he gets eddied in work, he'll somehow survive through all this madness.
The heat is consuming him and Tony feels he is drowning in the plain yellow, wind giving him sandpaper kisses. The never ending horizon is hurting his eyes and he was sure his death would be more spectacular.
His legs give out for the third time that day and when he raises his head, the unmoving, unchangeable sight is disturbed. The silhouette of black, gold and green is standing in his way.
"Mirage? I thought I would miss my one and only opportunity to see it." Tony says in a hoarse voice, and he must admit he is quite amazed he actually still manages to turn everything into a joke.
"Mortals can be so fascinating." the mirage says, but Tony's overheated brain has problems with analyzing any incoming data.
"You're even speaking? Full-service then."
Billionaire's gaze is focusing and he sees mischievous smile blossoming on this pale face in front of him.
"That is creepy." he says and decides he had enough of a break and goes ahead again through that duo-colour hell.
"Not really good choice of clothes for walks on desert, just sayin.'" Tony says when the silhouette in a dark leather coat is in front of him again.
"You seem even less prepared for your journey." the deep voice is speaking again and it's almost music to Tony's ears after aeon of dead silence.
"What can I say? It was quite spontaneous, you know?" And Tony is laughing, and there is note of sick desperation in that laugh and he can't remember when he stopped walking again.
"You're not real, are you?"
The mirage smirks and there is this playful spark in its flagrant green eyes.
"Because if you were then I should ask you for help," Tony attests. "But you seem out of this world."
"Are you thirsty?" And suddenly there's a canteen in his hands and Tony is sure it wasn't there a second ago, but hey, it's a mirage. Then he takes it from those long fingers and it's corporeal, and he remembers there was temptation on the desert in the bible or other of those holy stories. The water tastes divine and when it's flowing down his throat, Tony wonders if he just sold his soul for few gulps of liquid.
"Are you some sort of devil?" he asks, because let's face it, what's he's got to lose now?
There is a glimpse of white teeth. "I'm a god."
Tony's eyes would widen in astonishment if the sun wasn't blinding him for hours making his muscles stuck in squinted expression. "A god" he repeats. "That's good. God's are the good ones. That means you won't make me pay for that water with my blood or soul or I don't know what."
"There are all sorts of gods, mortal."
Though water was magnificent, Tony actually feels like this conversation is the only thing that's preventing him from falling unconscious on his face. "What a god is doing in the middle of the desert, anyway?" Tony asks because that question suddenly seems very important.
"It'd been years since I last visited Midgard and I was bored."
"Walks across the sea of hellish sand always tempt me when I'm bored." Tony says because he has no idea what the first part of the sentence was about.
"Well, this time it turns out quite engaging, I must admit." the god smiles again and the billionaire feels a shiver along his spine. It's the last thing he experiences before the refulgence finally becomes dark and he can't feel his own body.
When his senses come back lazily, he tastes sand in his mouth, but the sun surprisingly isn't blinding him, blocked by the svelte silhouette of mirage god leaning over him. Then there are long, tender fingers on his temples and he can feel the refreshing coolness flowing from them, entering his veins, forcing the tiredness out of his body along with carbon dioxide. And he doesn't understand.
"You amused me, mortal. I'll help you survive, but one day I will come for your gratitude."
Then he disappears, and Tony finds strength within him that he thought was gone. And he survives to repay his debt.
When Tony awakens, he doesn't open his eyes for another couple of seconds. His memories of the abduction and the escape haven't disturbed him for some time now, but now they overwhelmed his dreams and he knows who is to blame.
He finally heaves himself from the tabletop he fell asleep on, he's not surprised to see he's still in his workshop. Though, he does jump in surprise when he notices Loki standing by the door. He's staring at him, head tilted to the right and Tony suddenly remembers his spine against the breaking glass, the falling, and he feels vulnerable and his suit is too far away. Even when his brain recalls that the God of Mischief is cursed now, there's alertness itching at his fingertips and he has to break the silence.
"I see you've found some clothes, good." he says, eyeing the too loose black shirt with AC/DC logo and dark jeans that would look considerably better if they were few centimetres longer. Tony hates it, but he can't bring himself to gaze at Loki's face, the mouth still giving him shivers.
He stands up and heads for kitchen, when the sudden realisation hits him.
"God, I haven't thought about before. How do you eat? Do you need any IV or something like that?"
Loki eyes him for a moment, but the he takes out the notepad from the pocket of his jeans and writes something.
I am able to survive without nourishment for long periods of time.
"A god, yeah," Tony murmurs as he's reading the note and then he asks because he's always curious and his tongue seems to have life of its own. "But do you feel the hunger?"
Loki nods slowly, and there's something in those green eyes that makes Tony's own stomach clench. He hates it because the last thing he should involve in all of this are feelings.
Tony never thought that he would get used to Loki being around, because how can a Norse God of Lies who threw you out of the window become a part of your daily routine? But he does and Tony remembers that he had once decided that questioning his own sanity is pointless.
In the mornings Tony is not surprised to find Loki in his workshop not long after he enters it himself, finding a spot from where he observes billionaire working. At some point, Tony starts talking to him, mostly explaining what he is doing and god wears a mask of indifference (if not a sense of ridiculousness that Tony talks to him at all), but Tony likes chatting so he doesn't stop. One day Loki points at a certain part of Tony's newest upgrade to the suit and asks a mute question with his eyes and Tony explains.
That day Tony explores that Loki is curious just like him and the billionaire never knew how good it feels to have someone who is genuinely interested in your work. After some time, Tony tries to remember how it was when his only companion was his AI, but Loki seems to somehow invade his reminiscences like he has always been by his side; when he entered his workshop for the first time after inheriting the Stark Industries, when he was still a Merchant of Death, when he was learning to use his suit, in Tony's memories, Loki is always next to him when he's working and that is fucking scary.
In the evenings they watch films. Tony finds it kind of amusing when he thinks about it, how their communal routine grew and evolved by itself, how he expects Loki to appear in his workshop after breakfast, how everyday he has a new question about the work Tony did yesterday, how in the evenings, without any words in advance, they just take their usual places in the living room and watch a film. Tony gradually learns to interpret every expression that crosses Loki's face, the sparkles in his eyes. Sometimes, instead of the film, he watches the god's face and checks if he can already name all of the emotions. He even learns to look at the stitches in the god's mouth. One evening Tony follows how the glow from the TV is playing on the thread, until the skin on his palms itches and he wants to hit something.
At some point Tony becomes aware how Loki has quietened since he first entered Stark Tower, his features more relaxed, eyes somehow more amiable; the ascription of aggression to Loki, once inalienable, now seeming inaccurate. That makes Tony feel pleased, because in the surges of his ego, he likes to think it's credited to him.
One evening Steve visits him - Loki hides in his room- and Tony feels wrong. He wants his usual portion of silence with the God of Mischief and Captain senses something is wrong. When he decides to go, Tony almost thanks him for leaving.
That evening Tony finally finds courage to knock on Loki's door with a mug and packet of gauzes in his hand. When he enters and Loki eyes him with a question, he does not speak. Loki is sitting on his bed reading a book and Tony puts the mug on the cabinet. He souses one of the gauzes in the liquid in it.
"It will alleviate—" Tony starts speaking but for once he finds his words too loud and lets the silence fill the room again. He raises the gauze to Loki's face and the god flinches only a little.
Loki's lips are swollen and Tony sees the dried blood in the spots where the coppery-gold thread sinks into the delicate skin. The billionaire sometimes discerns how Loki struggles to scratch the gashes - he's wanted to ease it for him for days, but he still doesn't know if he will be allowed.
But when he tenderly touches the sore with wet gauze, he is not thrown through the window, and that is a success. The first two journeys of Tony's hand from sewn lips back to the mug with painkiller-liquid, Loki is following it with his eyes, but then he closes his lids and there's an expression of relief painted in his features and Tony feels a tug in his chest.
When Tony is almost finished, having cleansed nearly every millimetre of Loki's lips, green eyes opened, staring intensively at the billionaire and Tony can't interpret this one. Suddenly Loki grasps Tony's wrist, long fingers cold on the tanned skin. He takes the gauze off Tony's hand, lets it fall to the floor and pulls motionless fingers to his sewn mouth, touching the knuckles feathery, like he wants to give them a kiss. Tony dares to look him in the eyes and there's something predatory and affectionate in them at the same time, and god, Loki is a walking contradiction and for split second Tony wants to lock him in a cage like an exotic bird.
Loki holds the billionaire's hand in his grip either for a moment or an eternity, but when he lets go, he gets up and heads for the bathroom without a second look on the other man, and Tony knows that's his call to leave.
One night there's a knock on Tony's door and he feels alert in his muscles because Loki has never before disturbed him at late hour. He decides to actually open the door, instead of shouting an invitation, and the God of Mischief is standing there with the notepad in his grip. The billionaire gives him a questioning look and Loki reaches for the pen sticking out of his pocket, but then his whole body shudders, he drops the pad, his hands rapidly extends to his face not coming to touch it. The copper-gold stitches turn dark and slowly transmute into ash, which vanishes before it hits the floor. Tony is watching in bewilderment as Loki's lips move, curving into a disbelieving smile, green gleam glittering on his fingertips as his magic fills him again.
He looks up at Tony, beaming. "Thank you, Anthony." he says in a hoarse voice that gives the other man the shivers and disappears. Tony can't move, Loki is gone and what the hell was he thanking him for? Tony was just paying his debt, there was nothing that the god could be grateful for.
"You're welcome, I guess." he answers the air in front of him, and there is bitterness in his words he doesn't want to acknowledge, because for a moment he thought that after their routine and silence symbiosis, Loki wouldn't teleport out of his life just like that.
The next day after Loki's disappearance, Tony demolishes his workshop.
The film that evening is boring and annoying, and Tony decides to work because that always helps him stop thinking. He had finished developing a lighter new gauntlet just yesterday and he feels like checking it. He shoots the god's favourite chair, then he closes his eyes, takes a ninety degrees turn and shoots again and it feels wonderful. The chant of breaking glass reminds him of cold fingers on his neck and being thrown out of the window and that is even better. He should remember that. And only that.
Steve shows up with an unexpected visit next morning. He knows that Tony is to be found in his workshop and he enters with concern ... but then he sees the state of the place and concern turns into a fright.
"Cap? What are you doing here?" Tony elevates himself from the place on the floor where he spent the night hugged to a bottle of scotch.
"I was worried about you since my last visit and... What happened?"
"Loki was here." the billionaire replies casually because now he does not care.
Steve flinches. "What? He came back to Earth? But isn't he supposed to be being punished in Asgard right now?"
This time Tony flinches at the word punished, but he turns it into a shrug. He does not bother correcting Captain America that Loki was living at Stark Tower and never even tried to attack him. This way it's better. Maybe Tony also should believe in that version of events.
"I'm sorry, Cap. I'm not a good companionship right now. I think I'll go for a walk or something" and by a walk he means flying around Manhattan in his suit trying to get into a fight with mere criminals but he won't say that out loud.
"It must have been horrible" Steve says and when he sees Tony's confused look he adds: "Loki. He must have caught you off guard. I can't believe you're unscathed!"
"You know, I'm the lucky guy!"
"You must still be in shock. I'll contact Fury for you."
Loki appears a week later. Tony actually comes out for the evening, because sex is the second thing that always makes his mind blank when he yearns for it. The women he meets are wanting, beautiful and talk too much.
He returns home alone and angry.
Loki is waiting in the living room, sitting presumptuously in his usual place, no thread sewn through his mouth, his clothes casual, but neat and fitting. Tony wants to hit him mindlessly and kiss him into those pale unwounded lips at the same time. But he just stands there in the corridor. He's used to silence and stillness by now.
It's Loki who moves first. His motions gracious and swift, and he is in front of the billionaire before Tony decides how much he wants to hurt the god. And then their lips crush. Their kiss is violent, possessive and they do not care about teeth and bruises. Loki grasps Tony's wrists and pins him to the wall and when the billionaire opens his eyes again, he is in his bedroom and the sudden teleportation must be the reason why he is dizzy.
Tony almost rips the other man's jacket and green shirt because he wants and he needs Loki's skin under his hands. Loki chuckles and Tony shuts his mouth with a rough kiss, he wants to scream for all this silence that they shared and tear the god apart. Loki's hands abruptly stop their journey around Tony's body and grip the billionaire's belt, pulling him across the room until they stop at the edge of the bed and Loki lets Tony fall onto the sheets. Tony almost whimpers at the disruption of their kiss but quickly becomes enthralled by the long fingers that unzip his fly and rapidly lower his trousers along with his underwear. And this time a moan definitely escapes his throat as Loki's lips find their way around his half-hard cock and god, Loki knows what he is doing. For a second in Tony's mind appears a reminiscence from researching the God of Mischief after the Tesseract theft and the epithet Silvertongue, but then he dives his hands into Loki's raven hair, and how long has he sought to do that? The lust is filling him and he wants everything.
Tony tightens his hold on Loki's hair and almost brutally pulls him away. Before Loki can react the billionaire hoists him on the bed and for another couple of minutes they become a tangle of limbs and peeled off clothes. In the end it's Loki who ends up on top of the other man, his hands wandering on Tony's chest, the glow of arc reactor making his skin seem ever paler. For a moment they are serene and peaceful, their breaths slowing down, except Tony can't have that tonight, but before he can make a move, Loki's five nails dig into his chest and he is positioning himself on billionaires pelvis. Tony wants to protest, but then he remembers he is dealing with a god and rational preparations do not oblige. He can't suppress a groan when he feels Loki's hot insides around him as the god is lowering himself. Tony's hands clenches onto Loki's hips and when he knows that his grip will leave bruises there, he feels unwholesome satisfaction. Loki manages two incomplete motions before Tony swirls them, pinning the other man to the mattress. He thrusts into Loki with desperation and need; Loki's moans permeating his head and that voice, that fucking voice, how could anyone deprive Loki of his voice?
When Tony climaxes, his head goes blank, his teeth sinks into Loki's shoulder and when he tastes blood in his mouth, he hears broken cry of his name when the god comes as well. He pulls out of Loki's inert body, collapsing next to the other man, one of his hands still resting across god's chest, because he doesn't want to let go, but he feels his consciousness leaving him, his insomnia paying off as he spaces off into sleep.
"You will be gone in the morning, won't you?" he asks in the last sparks of perception, even though he knows the answer, but he wants to hear Loki's voice again. But the answer never comes.
When Tony wakes up, the sheet next to him is cold. For a second he wonders if last night was just a fantasy, but then he moves and there's a sting of pain along sore lines on his back where god's nails scratched him and the scent embracing him is undeniably Loki's. And Tony thinks, shit, I'm fucked.
Tony would never admit he waits for those evenings when Loki just teleports insolently back into his life, because Loki is a drug and the addict never acknowledges he's one.
Tony lives - a life of genius billionaire philanthropist, Iron Man still fights for a better world, Avengers do need to assemble again (and Tony almost gets a heart attack until he know it's not Loki), Stark Industries prosper and Pepper and him actually manage to be friends. Every now and then someone asks him if everything is alright and he always puts them off with a flood of words and jokes. He lives a good life and he hates to admit it's not good enough.
At some point Tony asks Loki to stay, and they share breakfasts and Tony again explains his technology to the god as they spend peaceful hours at the workshop. Sometimes they just do not leave the bedroom, and sometimes they just talk about nothing or the living on Earth or their pasts (and god, no wonder they're both so fucked up) and never about the future, but there always comes a moment when Loki leaves and the billionaire never knows if the visit was the last.
One night he decides he needs to end this, whatever Loki and he have, because there's venom inside of him and he knows it's Loki who injects it into him with their every kiss and the arc reactor alone is enough of proofs to the existence of Tony Stark's heart.
But this night Loki appears with two arrows in his shoulder and Tony forgets he was supposed to kick him out.
"Barton spotted me in the city." he explains and half of his shirt is drenched in blood. Tony gibbers he will just make it worse if he tries to help him and he hates that grimace of pain on the pale face and why can't he just shut up when he should?
Loki cuts him off, green eyes fixed on the floor. "I had no one else to ask, Tony. You need to help me get them out."
Then it's only silence, because that's what brought them together in the first place and somehow it just helps. Tony finds his hands steady when he cuts the blood-soaked shirt, like when he is working with microcircuits and soldering tools. He actually needs Jarvis' help with laser-cutting Hawkeye's damned arrows but Loki never whimpers, though there are droplets of sweat on his temples and his jaw is clenched tight until both projectiles leave his body. Tony cleanses the wounds with antiseptics and preserves them with gauzes and plasters. He knows that the god's body will deal with the injury swiftly, but he still finds it painful to look at the dressings.
This night Tony falls asleep next to Loki, with his head on god's abdomen and long cool fingers in his hair.
Tony has those two words in his mind when he wakes up, alone, but alert, because he missed something. He had already heard those words and he didn't analyzed them like a genius should back then.
Thank you, Anthony
Those were Loki's first words after the curse freed the god and how could Tony overlook it earlier. He actually digs out Loki's first notepad to be sure, but the words are just like he remembered them: "I will be allowed to speak when I will have something meaningful and true to say."
And those words can't be the ones that broke the spell, so what did Loki tried to say that evening? Because it was something aimed for Tony and he never got to receive it.
He asks next time Loki appears but he is muted with desperate kiss, and he guesses he will probably never know. But that do not stop him from querying again. And again.
Loki never answers but the question itself never stops him from coming. He returns, always returns like Tony always asks him to stay. They live their separate lives together, self-destructing and indissoluble and ridiculous, because Tony always waits for the unexpected visits and Loki is never uninvited.
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I hope you don't find reading this story a waste of time. Writing it was quite of weird (the idea was haunting me, I couldn't focus on my other projects till I wrote it down - and here I want to apologize if any one of you is waiting for the update of You found me. You know now, it's the fault of this oneshot!) and fully experimental in linguistic manner.
I will really, really, really appreciate any feedback, especially the reviews.
And as always, special thanks for Jordyn, who beta'd it for me!