Title: Learning to be Lonely
Series: Seasons of Love
Summary: "My father's happiest day was when he shipped me off to boarding school." Tony looked up at the dormitory; he wanted to be excited about this after all he was going to be away from Howard. On the other hand, he would be the youngest in the school and he'd be rooming with some kid named Loki…who the hell named their son Loki.
Author's Note: My wife requested I write this story series ages ago, so I figured I'd try and do it for her. There are some things in this story that are in honor of the late Mr. Robin Williams.
Rated: PG-13 for language(One chapter will be M, and will be notated appropriately. Please be aware there will be some underage abuse.)
Prologue - Let me tell you a story
Loki finished the dishes in their Malibu home, glanced around the corner to see their eldest child fast asleep on the couch. Shaking his head with a light chuckle, Loki gently lifted their seven year old into his arms. "Dad?" The boy shifted in his father's arms, arms wrapping around his neck, head resting on his shoulder.
"Hush, now, little one. I'm taking you upstairs, nothing is wrong."
"Kay," his child mumbled in his ear, his breath light and warm against Loki's neck. Loki smiled warmly as he rubbed his son's back and headed up the stairs, he decided to stop and see what had come of Tony bathing and putting their younger two children to bed.
Lucas was small, much like Tony had been as a boy, but he had every bit of brilliance and mischief in him as both his fathers had together. It was sometimes amazing that Tony and Loki had ever decided to try for another child, with all the trouble Lucas had caused in his first few years of life. But it was worth it, seeing Lucas help his father with projects, watching the two work side by side. For every ounce that Howard Stark and Odin Borson were terrible and lousy fathers, Loki and Tony had worked twice as hard to ensure they were amazing fathers. Granted, they were never going to be perfect, but the two had loving relationships with their two boys and would have one with their daughter as well.
Their middle child, Maximus, or Max for short took after Tony in the looks, but he had Loki's sharp wit and pension for magic, though only three now, he'd already proven that one day he'd be quite the magician. Then there was Maggie, named Margaret for Aunt Peggy, and Peggy had chosen the nick name Maggie for the little one. She looked just like Loki, and though Loki hoped that would change one day, for now he was content to stare into her beautiful green blue eyes.
Loki pushed the door open ever so slightly, careful not to disturb the trio and peaked inside, a small erupting on his face immediately. The bedroom was dark, a small lamp in the far corner was illuminating just enough of the room to cast shadows and outlines. Anthony Stark sat in a rocking chair in the opposite corner, closer to the door, in his lap were two small children, one close to toddler age, he was sucking on his index and middle fingers and gripping his father's shirt with his other hand. The other child, an infant no more than six weeks old, lay in Anthony's other arm, she was awake, but quiet as she looked up at her father's face.
"I know what you two are thinking," Tony whispered, his head leaning back against the rocking chair. "How did a catch like your daddy Loki, get hitched to a hot mess like me," he smiled as he pressed a kiss to his toddler's head. "But truth is, your daddy and I go way back." His tiny little daughter let out a coo.
"That's right Sprout, nearly thirty years. I'll tell you the story, but you have to promise not to tell your daddy I let you stay up this late. See, it all started in 1982, when my father decided it was finally time to ship me off to boarding school…"
Chapter One – Welton Boarding School
The limo door opened, and eleven year old Anthony Stark scooted out, his black blazer crinkling slightly around the edges. He was small for his age, not that it mattered since he was rarely around anyone his age, his dark brown hair was sticking up in several directions from the nap he'd taken getting here, ruining the combed over look his nanny had given him this morning.
'Every Stark who ever amounted to anything, attended Welton Academy, let's hope it can help you," his father had intoned three hours earlier.
An older gentleman, in his early fifties based on the silver around his temples, came around to the door, and gently began to brush the creases from the blazer and gray slacks. All the while, Tony stared up at the large dormitory; he wanted to be excited about this, he really did, he was going to finally be away from Howard for most of the year. However, on the other hand, he would be the youngest in school-not that that was unusual, and he was rooming with some kid named Loki Odinson. What the hell kind of name was that.
Jarvis, the Stark family butler crouched down, drawing Tony's eyes from the dorm, "J, any chance you could stuff me in the trunk, kidnap me and claim he as your own- like I'm some product of a torrid affair?"
Jarvis chuckled, a deep low sound that helped soothe the young boy. "I'm afraid not, sir. No such act would ever be believed, after all- no child of mine could ever be such a rascal," his smile was warm though, and caused Tony to chuckle softly. Jarvis straightened Tony's tie, before he stood back up and pulled out the child's two bags and pillow. "Would you like me to accompany you upstairs, Anthony?"
"Will you visit?" Tony asked, not answering the question, his eyes imploring and desperate.
Jarvis sighed, cursing Howard and Maria Stark for having a child they never truly wanted in the first place. He crouched down again as he ran his hand through Tony's hair to straighten it, allowing his hands to caress down the boy's face to rest on his shoulders and neck. "Of course my dear boy as often as I dare. Anthony, you are a smart boy, I have no doubt you will thrive here away from the considerably stern hand of your father." He saw the collecting in the child's eyes. Tony was a kind child, sweet and had so much potential he was desperate to show the world, why couldn't his parents see it? "Now, would you like my assistance in moving in?"
Tony straightened his shoulders and shook his head as Jarvis let his hands fall away, "No, I'm good. Thanks J."
"Quite right, sir. Now, remember Mrs. Carter promised to swing by for the opening ceremony tomorrow evening, I anticipate she will wish to take you and your roommate, if you'd like, out to dinner."
"Yes sir." Tony reached out as Jarvis stood to close the back door and climb in the front of the limo. Their hands touched, and Jarvis squeezed the child's hand. "Thank you, Jarvis."
Jarvis smiled, "My pleasure, Anthony. Take care of yourself my boy."
Tony nodded and made his way across the street to the dormitory, only glancing back when he was at the door; Jarvis gave him a brief wave before the limo pulled away. Taking a slow breath, Tony began his trudge up the stairs. Four flights later, Tony brushed some of the sweat from his brow as he stepped into the hallway.
Boys littered the hallway, most at least four to five inches taller than him, a couple were tossing a football around, some others were pushing each other around playful. It was clear some of these boys had known one another for years. Taking a calming breath, Tony made his way to his room, past some of the boys who barely even looked at him.
Finally halfway down the hall he came to an open door and stepped into the entrance. A short and thin boy, probably 13 or 14 was making his bed, a woman with auburn blonde hair was busying putting several sets of clothes in one side of the closet. Both glanced up at him, and for a moment the silence was stifling.
"Well hello, you must be Anthony Stark," she greeted warmly, she had a beautiful voice, one Tony wished his mother had. It was warm, soft and inviting. However, it was also clear she could be stern and strong if demanded.
"Yes ma'am. But I prefer Tony." he replied, his voice quiet as he tried to pat down his nerves and stepped inside to dump his bags on the bed.
"Very well, my name is Frigga, and this is my son Loki." The teen didn't say anything just waved briefly before returning to his green bedding. Frigga rolled her eyes, leaving Tony to guess this wasn't the first time her son kept silent in an introduction. "I was putting some things away for Loki, helping him get settled. Did you want some assistance, or is your mother coming to help."
Tony tried to hide his blush and swallowed thickly, "My-my mother isn't coming. 'They don't care' was added in his head.
"Well then, I would be remiss if I didn't offer."
"No thank you, ma'am," He replied as he'd always been taught.
Frigga glanced at Loki who simply shrugged. She rolled her eyes once more, before walking over to him and pulling him tight hug. It looked as though both of them were struggling with this. A part of Tony felt jealous, wishing his mother and father cared about him that deeply. Pulling away, Frigga pressed a kiss to the child's forehead, "Very well then, I'll be on my way. Best behavior, Loki."
"Of course," He finally spoke; his voice was melodic, and calming.
Once she'd left, the two boys just stood there, each on the own side of their room for a long time, just looking at one another. "So, Loki, that's an interesting name."
Loki sat down on the bed he'd just made, lying back on it, "My father stems from Vikings," the Asgardian prince lied.
"Right, well…" Tony wasn't sure what else to say so he began to unpack his stuff. He'd been hanging things up in the closet when Loki spoke up again.
"How old are you?"
Tony glanced over at the boy, "Eleven."
Loki's eyes grew larger at that. "So you're a genius."
Loki grinned, "Cool," he used the human term, hoping he'd used it accurately.