IT'S A JÖTUNN THING
Pairing: Tony Stark/Loki
Note: Based on a Tumblr post
Warnings: Fluff, Loki's a bit OOC
Disclaimer: The world and characters of The Avengers belong to Marvel. I own nothing but the plot and make no money from this story.
It started small. So small that nobody- not even Tony- really noticed. JARVIS probably did, but then again he notices everything. And it wasn't anything bad, really, so he didn't inform any of the Avengers or even Pepper.
The first person to notice something- again, so insignificant that nobody commented on it further until weeks later- was Clint. He and Steve were in the kitchen when Tony stumbled in from what felt like a month-long science binge, but was probably only three or four days. Tony tried to make his way to the coffee machine, but Steve easily wrapped an arm around his waist and pushed, sending Tony into a chair.
'But Mooom,' Tony whined tiredly, his eyes barely open, deep bags hanging beneath them. Clint snickered from where he was sitting on the counter, and Steve rolled his eyes.
'I'd like to get a good meal into you before you go to sleep,' the Captain said. 'And you will sleep, Tony. No coffee.'
'But-' Tony tried, only for Steve to give him his very stern I'm-disappointed-in-you stare. The media liked to portray Steve as a harmless kitten, but he was a scary mother fucker when he wanted to be. Which was probably why he and Natasha got along so well. 'Fine,' Tony pouted and leaned heavily on the table.
'You're lucky Steve's being so nice to you,' Clint commented.
'Why?' Tony mumbled.
'Your boyfriend's been hanging around scaring everyone but Bruce,' Clint said.
Tony smiled at that. Natasha hid her fear well, Clint just left whatever room Loki had walked into, and Steve sat stiffly on the couch or armchair. Thor, of course, tried to hug or touch Loki in some way, only to scamper away when Loki snapped at him. Bruce was completely at ease with Loki, flopping onto the sofa and smiling brightly at him. It was Loki who got uncomfortable, usually saying a tense hello before fleeing, or snuggling deeper into Tony's side while trying to look like that wasn't what he was doing. Tony understood Loki's fear- Bruce was the only Avenger capable of truly hurting Loki, and he'd bashed Loki's entire body in no more than six months ago. But he still found it kind of adorable.
'Here,' Steve said, making Tony jolt and lean back. Had he fallen asleep? Steve placed a plate of scrambled eggs, toast, and bacon in front of the genius, who frowned.
'I want a sandwich,' he pouted.
Steve rolled his eyes. 'Make a sandwich out of the bacon and eggs.'
'Why?' Tony whined.
'It's seven am, Tony, and I'm making breakfast for everyone else, so you'll just have to make do,' Steve huffed and went back to the stove, where Tony could vaguely see more eggs and bacon cooking.
'Oh,' Tony muttered, and then shrugged. 'I need a fork.'
'Yeah, make do with a spoon,' Clint said and tossed one on the table.
'Why?' Tony mumbled again through a... spoonful, he supposed, of eggs. He shoved a piece of bacon in too and ignored Clint's disgusted look and Steve's sigh of exasperation.
'No idea,' Clint shrugged, looking confused. 'All the forks have disappeared.'
Tony's eyebrows climbed and he glanced at Steve, just to make sure that Clint wasn't fucking with him; the archer liked to do that on his down time.
'They've seriously disappeared,' Steve said. 'Clint found the drawer empty when he came in about an hour ago. JARVIS already put in an order for new ones.'
'Huh,' Tony grunted around his mouthful, then swallowed. 'So someone snuck into our kitchen and stole all the silverware?'
'Just the forks, sir,' JARVIS informed him. 'And I have no footage of anybody entering the kitchen between Agent Romanov opened the drawer for a spoon at four thirteen am, and Agent Barton finding all the forks missing at five forty-nine am.'
'Magic,' Clint scowled, giving Tony a good glare. 'I bet it was your boyfriend.'
'Why would Loki steal the forks?' Tony laughed. 'They probably just got misplaced; you know, someone leaves one somewhere, or tosses one out with the rubbish.'
'So half-a-dozen forks just vanished and it wasn't the resident magician?' Clint demanded.
'Who cares,' Tony groaned around more eggs and toast. 'Seriously, what's he gonna do? Fork us to death?'
Steve snorted at that, and then promptly blushed when Clint said, 'He'll definitely fuck you to death, Stark.'
'Clint,' the soldier complained, and Clint just gave him a cheeky grin.
'Whatever,' Tony muttered and finished off his breakfast. When he was done he thanked Steve with a kiss to the cheek- because Steve turned the colour of a strawberry, and Clint made kiss-y noises- before promptly heading up to his penthouse. Loki was nowhere to be found, despite Clint having said that he'd been hanging around, but Tony was too tired to care. He just flopped onto his bed and fell asleep. The missing forks were quickly forgotten.
Tony scowled as he searched through his walk-in wardrobe, then his drawers, then his walk-in wardrobe again. Finally he went through his dirty clothes hamper, tossing shirts and jeans and socks all over the room before giving up.
'Seriously, where the fuck is my Black Sabbath t-shirt?' he shouted.
'I'm afraid I don't know, sir,' JARVIS not-so-helpfully informed him, making Tony scowled.
'Yeah thanks, J, real helpful,' Tony muttered. He pulled on a simple black t-shirt with an open neck instead, not feeling like wearing any other band shirt. He wanted Black Sabbath.
'What are you yelling about?' Loki questioned.
Tony gave his partner- boyfriend was way too high school- a smile as Loki wandered into the room. He had a StarkPad in one hand, a sandwich in the other, and was eating as he read whatever digital novel had grabbed his interest this hour. For all of Loki's "humans are stupid" and "Midgard is backwards", he really loved human literature.
'Hey, Lo',' Tony said when Loki plopped himself on the sofa in the corner- something the god had demanded, because he didn't like reading in the communal lounge.
'Mm,' Loki hummed, eyes still on the StarkPad.
'Have you seen my Black Sabbath t-shirt?' Tony asked.
Loki shrugged one shoulder as he said, 'I have no idea what a Black Sabbath t-shirt is, so how would I know?'
'It's black, a t-shirt, has Black Sabbath written on it,' Tony said, making Loki roll his eyes. 'I wear it a lot. Was wearing it when we first met, actually.'
Loki perked up at that, green eyes swivelling to Tony. 'Oh,' he said, slightly breathlessly. 'Yes, I remember that one. You had a long-sleeved shirt on beneath it.'
'Yeah,' Tony nodded with a smile, always pleased to know that Loki had taken that much interest in him, even back then. 'It's one of my favourites, so have you seen it?'
'No,' Loki said, making Tony pout.
'I swore it was washed the other day,' Tony said. 'I last saw it in my wardrobe, now it's just gone.'
'Perhaps you could just buy a new one?' Loki suggested.
'It's not the same, Lokes,' Tony groaned and flopped back onto the bed. 'That's like saying you should buy a new green tunic.'
Loki looked down at the tunic he was wearing. It was a darker green colour today, paired with a pair of Tony's black sweats. Loki had the weirdest taste in fashion. When he wasn't wearing jeans and tight shirts out in public or his armour, he was mixing and matching Asgardian casual wear and whatever Tony had in his wardrobe. The others thought it was weird... Tony found it ridiculously hot.
'But I like this tunic,' Loki said, 'it's comfortable.'
'Exactly,' Tony waved a hand about. 'My Black Sabbath shirt is worn-in and awesome and I want it back!'
'Well I can't help you,' Loki said, and when Tony turned it was to see his eyes back on the StarkPad.
'But Loki,' Tony whined, rolling onto his stomach. 'If anyone can find it, you can.' Loki sighed. 'Please?' Tony begged, giving his very best puppy dog eyes. Loki's lips twitched, and he flicked his eyes to Tony before looking away again. 'I'll buy you something shiny,' Tony tried.
'Hmm,' Loki hummed.
'Or I can build you something dangerous?' Tony ventured.
Loki tilted his head as he popped the last of his sandwich into his mouth. He chewed thoughtfully, swallowed, and then said, 'Buy me new pillows and I'll look for your shirt.'
'Done!' Tony cheered and sat up.
Loki just shook his head as Tony stood. The genius bounced over to his partner and gave Loki a thoroughly dirty kiss.
'Pillows for the bed, or...?' Tony asked as he started backing towards the door.
'Yes, the bed,' Loki said, 'there aren't enough.'
Loki had never had a problem with the four pillows Tony currently had, but whatever. If it got Tony his favourite shirt back, he'd buy Loki forty pillows.
'Can do, babe!' he said. 'Call me for lunch!'
Loki just wave a dismissive hand as Tony disappeared, eyes already focused on the StarkPad.
'Man of Iron!' Thor's loud, ear-splitting boom reached Tony all the way in the kitchen.
Tony winced and looked up from where he was eating a bowl of ice cream with Natasha as Thor stormed into the room.
'How can I help you, Point Break?' Tony asked, spooning more melting ice cream into his mouth.
'The cushions that usually occupy the sofa are missing,' Thor announced.
'Thor, indoor voice,' Natasha said without looking up from the magazine she was reading, and Thor hastily apologised before once more turning his attention to Tony.
'My back hurts when I sit to watch the television, and it's uncomfortable,' Thor complained.
'The couch cushions are missing?' Tony asked with a frown.
'It's the forks all over again,' Natasha commented.
Tony glanced at her, and Natasha raised an eyebrow. 'The forks?' he said.
'Mm, they went missing again,' she said, finally looking up. 'As did the spoons.' She held up the one she was using. 'These ones are new, they were just delivered today.'
'The spoons,' Tony echoed.
'Yes, Tony,' Natasha said. 'Steve poured himself some cereal this morning, opened the drawer, and the spoons were gone along with the forks. JARVIS has no idea what happened.'
'Huh,' Tony grunted. Okay, so the disappearing forks thing had been weird, but now the cushions and spoons? That wasn't to mention Tony's Black Sabbath t-shirt, which Loki still haven't found. 'Okay, that's strange,' Tony agreed.
'How am I supposed to watch television without cushions to sit on?' Thor demanded.
'Sit on the floor, tough guy,' Tony said, making Thor pout. 'I'll have JARVIS look into it,' Tony promised.
'Thank you, Tony,' Thor said, smiling again. 'You are a true brother.'
Tony just nodded, by now used to Thor insisting that they were brothers because of Tony and Loki's relationship. He and Natasha watched Thor leave, no doubt heading back to the television.
'Are you sure it isn't Loki?' Natasha asked once they were alone.
Tony frowned. 'Why would Loki steal all the cushions?'
'I don't know; to annoy Thor?' Natasha suggested.
Tony snorted. Yeah, that sounded like Loki. 'I'll look into it,' he said, finishing off his ice cream and standing. 'I'll even ask Loki, okay?'
'Okay,' Natasha echoed. 'And if it is Loki, find out what the hell he wants with twenty spoons.'
Tony just shook his head as he left. If Loki had stolen all the spoons, he wasn't sure that he wanted to know what they were being used for.
Loki told Tony that he had no idea where the spoons, forks, cushions, or Tony's t-shirt had gone. Then again, he was the God of Mischief and Lies, so he could be, you know, lying. Then again, Tony prided himself on being an excellent liar himself, and he was usually able to see through Loki's bullshit. Loki didn't seem like he was lying, but...
Tony frowned as he puzzled over the missing spoons, forks and cushions. And now the mugs, plates, pots and pans. Apparently more than six mugs had gone missing, along with the the pot Steve used to make soup, and the captain had found that more than half of their pans were missing when he tried to look for the pot.
So... either some mystery person was stealing all their stuff, or Loki was lying to Tony. The thing was, Tony didn't know why Loki would lie about this, or why he'd steal all that stuff in the first place. Cellphones and StarkPads he could understand- more than one Stark Industries employee had ordered new ones because theirs had mysteriously disappeared this past month- but mugs? Spoons? What the hell was Loki doing with twenty spoons and six mugs?
Tony was brought out of his thoughts by the god himself wandering into the living room. He had a tub of ice cream under one arm, a blanket draped over his shoulders, and was wearing yet another pair of sweats. He also had a baggy jumper on that Tony had never seen before, and he just raised his eyebrows as Loki flopped onto the couch, snuggled into Tony's side, and started eating his ice cream.
'Well hey there,' Tony said. Loki hummed around his mouthful. 'Just feel like a quiet night?' Loki hummed again. 'Okay...' Tony trailed off and looked at the TV. 'Are we watching Gilmore Girls?' he demanded.
Loki swallowed and said, 'You can't judge me when you know what the show is.'
'I know 'cause it was really popular,' Tony defended himself. Loki raised an eyebrow. 'You know, years ago,' Tony said. 'Pepper loved it.'
'Whatever you say,' Loki smirked.
'Shut up,' Tony huffed. 'Give me some ice cream.'
'Get your own ice cream,' Loki replied.
'But you love me,' Tony whined. He and Loki continued to bicker about the treat until Clint wandered in, promptly freezing at the sight of Loki all curled up, eating ice cream and watching Gilmore Girls.
'Okay, Loki is officially more scary when he's being domestic!' Clint announced.
'I should peel your skin off and feed it to you,' Loki said, completely calm, and Clint scowled before storming off.
'Stop baiting the bird,' Tony laughed.
'But it's so much fun,' Loki snickered. He finally relented and held up a spoonful of chocolate-chip ice cream for Tony, who smiled in triumph and let Loki feed him. Yeah, okay, domestic Loki had been a bit weird for Tony too at first. Now he just loved it. 'We need more pillows,' Loki said after feeding Tony another spoonful.
'For the bed?' Tony mumbled, and Loki nodded. 'I just bought, like, five the other day.'
'Well I need more,' Loki huffed.
'What for?' the genius demanded.
Scowling, Loki said, 'If you don't buy them for me, Anthony, I'll just go steal them. But I thought you and SHIELD frowned upon me stealing things.'
'Okay, fine, more pillows,' Tony muttered.
'Thank you,' Loki smiled. He settled back down, eyes on the TV, and Tony just stared, wondering when his life had gotten so weird.
Tony heard the shouting, even from his bedroom, so he wasn't surprised when he wandered into the living room to find the Avengers- plus Coulson- arguing rather loudly.
'What's going on?' he asked.
'You!' Natasha snapped, whirling on him, and Tony held his hands up. 'Your boyfriend stole my blankets!'
Tony blinked. 'I'm sorry?'
'Mine too!' Clint growled.
'And my sheets,' Bruce chimed in. He was the only one not shouting or looking like the world was about to end; he was just sitting on the couch, sipping his tea, cool as a cucumber. Tony really admired his anger management.
'How do you know it was Loki?' Tony asked.
'Who else would it be?' Clint said. 'JARVIS didn't see anything.'
'One minute my blanket was there, the next it was gone!' Natasha added. 'It just blinked out of existence. And who do we know who's capable of that?'
'Let's not jump to conclusions, everyone,' Steve said, always ready to play peace keeper. 'Yes, the evidence does point to Loki, but why don't we just let Tony ask him if he took them?'
'Because he'll lie!' Clint huffed dramatically, waving his arms about. 'It's what he does!'
'Calm down, Angry Bird,' Tony snorted, and Clint turned to glare at him. 'Fine, I'll go talk to Loki. Has anyone seen him?'
'I last saw my brother entering the library in your penthouse,' Thor supplied.
'Thanks, Rock of Ages,' Tony grinned. 'Everyone just calm the hell down and let me deal with this, yeah?'
He received various glares and decided to quickly back out of the room and hunt Loki down. The sooner he got this mess cleared up, the better.
The library was a rather large room down the hallway from Tony's bedroom. Tony barely every went in there because he preferred reading everything on his StarkPad or phone. Loki had pretty much taken over the room since unofficially moving in with Tony when they started dating, so the last time Tony had seen it there had been books everywhere, a comfortable, dark green couch, and a blanket because no matter what Loki said, the god was a snuggler.
Now... well, the library looked pretty fucking different.
'Whoa,' Tony gaped.
The floor was literally covered with Tony's clothes; t-shirts, jeans, sweats, even a suit or two. Forks and spoons lined the walls above and between the low bookcases, along with pots and pans, and even a few mugs that were apparently stuck to the wall by magic. The right corner was filled with the couch cushions, arranged in a circle with Tony's duvet thrown over them, and there were even more pillows in the left corner. Books were stacked in rows that made a very narrow pathway throughout the room, and more mugs and plates were sitting atop them.
When Tony turned he came face-to-face with the many towels that had once occupied his bathroom, now hanging from the wall or folded on the floor beneath it. There were StarkPads, too, and cellphones, which Tony would bet were all the ones that had suddenly gone missing over the past month or so.
Tony did a complete spin before once more resting his eyes on the centre of the room, where Loki was. He was sat amongst a messy heap of clothing, towels, and sheets, Tony's Black Sabbath t-shirt clutched to his chest. There was a small table- which Tony recognised from his bedroom- directly to Loki's right, and sitting atop it was one of Tony's non-functional Iron Man gauntlets along with a few empty bottles of bourbon.
'So...' Tony hummed, crossing his arms over his chest, 'what the hell is going on?'
Loki just stared at him, looking part ways terrified and annoyed. He glanced around for a minute before huffing and burying his face in Tony's shirt.
'Loki?' Tony tried again, walking further into the room, careful not to disturb Loki's... hoarding. 'What's going on?'
'Nothing,' Loki muttered.
'Nothing?' Tony questioned. ''Cause it looks like you stole a heap of stuff and turned the library into a... a...'
'Nest,' Loki supplied for him, and it was Tony's turn to stare. 'It's a nest,' Loki said, now sounding defensive.
'Okay,' Tony nodded slowly, 'you've gone and built yourself a nest. Um... why?'
Loki muttered something under his breath, too low for Tony to hear.
'What was that?' Tony said.
Loki sighed and dropped Tony's t-shirt into his lap, crossing his arms over his chest defensively. 'It's a... Jötun thing,' the magician admitted.
'Okay,' Tony repeated, waiting for more.
'When my kind find somewhere they feel... safe, and someone they feel safe with,' Loki said slowly, 'we build nests out of the things that remind us of feeling safe.'
'Oh,' Tony hummed. Okay, that made sense. Tony made Loki feel safe, so Loki had stolen his clothing and towels and anything else he'd touched, like books and mugs and whatnot. The cushions and sheets were for comforts sake, and the forks... 'What's with the silverware?' Tony asked.
'They're shiny and look pretty,' Loki frowned, like it was obvious. 'A nest isn't a proper nest without pretty things.'
Tony almost laughed, but somehow managed to contain himself. Shiny and pretty, right. 'The clothing reminds you of me, the silverware's pretty, got it,' he nodded.
'Exactly,' Loki said, looking less worried now. 'And the books are so that we can spend a lot of time in here without growing bored. Also, I like the smell of old paper.'
'And the Stark tech's for the same reason,' Tony guessed, making Loki nod.
'I was also going to bring in the coffee machine, because you like coffee, but I thought that your friends might notice it missing,' Loki said, frowning as he looked around the room, like his nest wasn't complete without a coffee machine for Tony.
Okay, so Tony kind of found that heart-warming. Loki had tried to add things to his nest that Tony would like, so that they could hang out without Tony growing bored. That was... yeah, really sweet. Weird, but sweet.
'That's nice, Loki,' Tony said out-loud, drawing the Frost Giant's attention.
'Really?' he asked, frowning slightly, but it melted into a smile when Tony nodded. 'Can I bring in the coffee machine now?'
'Yeah,' Tony grinned. 'And we can get a mini fridge for snacks or something.'
Loki grinned back at him and re-buried his face in Tony's shirt, making Tony chuckle. The genius decided he'd just go with the weird so joined his partner in the mini-nest Loki had made in the centre of the room. It was actually pretty comfortable, with even more pillows beneath the sheets and blankets Loki had accumulated, and Tony settled back with Loki wrapped around him.
'I know this is weird,' Loki murmured after a few minutes.
'Well, weird for us mortals, yeah,' Tony agreed, 'but apparently normal for Frost Giants.'
'I did some research after I started feeling the urge to steal your clothing and curl up in it,' Loki said. 'My mother told me that all Frost Giants who... who fall in love make nests.'
Tony grinned at that and pulled Loki in for a kiss, the Jötunn breathless by the time they broke apart. 'You're weird and dangerous and completely fucking insane,' Tony said, 'but I love you, too.'
Loki smiled and kissed him once more before settling back down.
'And the nest is kind of awesome,' Tony murmured.
'Of course it is,' Loki huffed, 'I built it.'
Author's Note: So, yeah, there was that post on Tumblr by knittyvonhiddles and I couldn't help but write it. I hope it wasn't too terrible. I don't think it turned out too well, and there weren't enough Tony/Loki moments, but, well... it's hot and I'm in pain.