A/N: Happy Tony Stark's Birthday! Yeah, I know I'm technically late, but I'm sure somwhere in the world it's still the right day. I hope you enjoy this regardless of my tardiness. :)

Tony stared despondently at the swiftly disappearing alcohol in the bottle of scotch at his elbow.

Happy fucking birthday.

His physical injuries from his last encounter with Steve and his friend were still healing, while the emotional ones probably never would. But that was okay. They would have plenty of company with all the other wounds deep in what was left of his shredded heart from all his so-called friends and family that he had trusted who had betrayed him and left him behind.

Tony smiled bitterly and took another long swig from his bottle, staring at the phone in his hand, the one Steve had given to him, the one he had almost dialed at least a million times between then and now. Thanks to certain promises made to his only remaining friend, he hadn't been drunk enough since Steve had left to call, but today was an exception.

Rhodey wouldn't be pleased if he found out that Tony was drinking again. In fact, no one would be. Self destructive they would say.

Well, you try having your heart ripped out of your chest and see how you feel afterwards.

That was what he wanted to say, but he couldn't. Because he was Tony Stark, and Tony Stark didn't have a heart. He didn't have feelings. He was a metal machine, just like the suit of armor that he wore. He was a narssisist, an arrogant billionaire, an egomaniac who was incapable of caring for anyone else. Right? Wasn't that what they all thought he was? Wasn't that what he was supposed to be?

Days like these, Tony sometimes wished he didn't have a heart. Maybe then everything wouldn't hurt so damn much.

He took another drink, his hand gripping the little silver phone tighter. It wasn't a Stark phone. Of course it wasn't, because Steve had been incapable of figuring those things out. So Tony had had Jarvis order him one of those old fashioned things that you could barely even find anymore. It was a flip phone, for god's sake, and Steve had finally managed to figure it out. Texting him had been hilarious.

Tony stared at it, swallowing down the choking sob that threatened to surface in his throat. His vision blurred, and Tony felt something wet on his cheeks. He frowned heavily. Why were things wet?

"Hey, J, what-" Oh. Right.

And then Tony actually slipped out of his seat at the bar, hitting the floor. He did, however, manage to drag the phone and the bottle with him as he slipped down on the tile, suddenly weeping.

It had happened more often than he would ever admit. He would start to talk to Jarvis, and then it would just hit him. All over again, like a sledgehammer. Jarvis was dead. Jarvis was dead, and he was never coming back, and now there was a fucking alien android walking around with his voice and his memories, and sometimes Tony just wanted to beat Vision into a bloody pulp because Jarvis was dead.

Vision wasn't to blame, of course. No, no. It would have been so much easier if Vision were at fault, if he had killed him. But it wasn't Vision's fault. It was his. He created Ultron. He fucked with the alien magic and created a kill robot that murdered his best friend. He tried to fix it, tried to put Jarvis back, tried to make him even better and given him a body, something that had sometimes haunted his dreams. And instead Jarvis was just dead.

Jarvis left him. He had just watched his parents been murdered. Steve was gone. The Avengers were split. And he was alone.

Happy fucking birthday.

Tony didn't remember dialing. Didn't make a conscious decision to do so, but then Cap's voice, that voice that had been there on missions, the voice that had guided them all through hell and back again, the voice that had called his name out of the darkness after his brief fall through the void, it was talking to him.


Silence. What did he say? Why did he do this?

"Tony, is that you?" The boy scout sounded worried. Imagine that.

Tony had to breathe a laugh at that, but it came out sounding wrong. Too choked and bitter. "Yeah, Cap. Have you been handing out your number to many other guys?"

"Tony," Steve sighed that same sigh Pepper used to give him, "have you been drinking?"

"Why would I be drinking? Not like its a special occasion or anything."

Long pause. Before Steve could stammer something out, Tony suddenly blurted.

"I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Steve, I. . . . I'm sorry." I was right, but I'm still sorry. I was right, but please come home. I was right, but I'll pretend I was wrong, just don't leave me.

"Tony," Steve began again. Because apparently Tony's name was the only way he could start a sentence.

And then the phone was plucked from his hand.

Tony frowned heavily, craning his head to try and see who had stolen it when a velvety voice made him freeze even in his incredibly drunk state.

"Hello, Captain Rogers."

There was a long moment of silence.

"Yes, but that is irrelevant at the moment. As for hurting Tony, between the two of us I can quite confidently say that you have done infinitely worse. If you lay a hand on him again, I will gut you and feed you your own intestines. Or perhaps gut your metal armed lover first and make you eat his heart. Ah! or I could enter your mind and force you to kill him. Such limitless possibilities." He made the threats calmly and coldly, never raising his voice once, even though there was a sharp edge to his words that hinted at the amount of rage hidden from sight.

"You left him, Rogers," the English voice suddenly growled, "and if you had any knowledge of him at all, you would know that it would have been kinder to simply slit his throat. Come near him again, and I will end you."

There was a snapping sound following by a sickening crunch, and Tony barely registered the mangled form of the old silver phone falling to the floor, damaged beyond repair.

He let out a rather pathetic sound at the sight of it. "No," he whispered, "please, no."

"Anthony," that soft voice whispered, pulling his attention away from the broken phone.

The figure was still rather hard to bring into focus, but with a bit of effort he managed to make out leather boots and insanely tight pants that clung to long, slim, muscular legs. They were currently bent as the man squatted next to Tony, and he caught a glimpse of a defined jaw of pale skin, a few strands of medium length black hair, and a flash of green eyes before his strength failed him and he had to drop his head to lay it back on the cool tile. It took a little while before the room stopped spinning even then.

A soft sigh, gentle and full of compassion, sounded from above and then a cool hand landed on his shoulder. "I'm going to pick you up now, Stark. Try not to vomit all over my clothes."

And with that, Tony felt himself be airborne. He whimpered rather pathetically, closing his eyes and clutching at the collar of smooth fabric as the world shifted and tilted under him. Somehow, he did manage not to throw up as strong, muscular arms laid him gently in his bed.

"Sleep now, Anthony." There was a whisper of breath above his brow and the feathery touch of a kiss on his sweaty skin.

"Loki?" he tried timidly, even though he knew it couldn't be the god. It couldn't be him because he was on Asgard, in prison, and Tony was alone.

"Yes, love?"

"I miss him," he whispered so quietly he couldn't even hear himself.

A cool hand ran through his hair, and Tony pushed up into the action even though it made his head spin. "I know," the voice that sounded so like the god responded. "Now sleep."

Huh. He even gave orders the same way Loki did.

And Tony seemed to be just as powerless to disobey them.


He wasn't in pain. And that was really weird, because he could distinctly remember drinking himself into oblivion the night before, and that usually tended to be followed by really painful mornings.

Also, since he was officially living practically alone in the Avengers headquarters, he did not expect the smell of coffee to be drifting into him first thing after he woke.

What the hell was going on?

He pulled himself upright, running a hand through his tousled hair. He remembered. . . . Shit. He remember calling Steve. And then a voice. . . no, he must have started hallucinating shortly after that.

Sighing vaguely and almost disappointed at the lack of hangover that he had always considered his just recompense for being a complete and utter irresponsible dick, Tony left his room and followed the glorious smell of coffee, only to come to a dead stop at the sight of a familiar, gorgeous god in his kitchen.

Loki wasn't wearing a shirt, for some unknown reason, and the leather pants he wore made his ass look really, exceptionally good. Plus, they rode really quite low on his hips. He looked up from where he was sipping at a mug of tea and met Tony's shocked eyes with his startlingly green ones, smiling. "Good morning, Anthony," he greeted, like this was entirely normal, like he wasn't in the process of making Tony question if he was dead or in a coma dreaming about heaven. "Would you like some coffee?"

How the hell he had managed to end up in heaven? "Sure. Coffee," Tony heard himself agree with a voice that wasn't entirely his own. What the hell was going on here?

Loki put the mug down in front of him, which was a whole new level of weird. Seriously, when did Loki ever cook for him? Then the god took the seat at the counter across from him and drank his tea in silence.

Until Tony simply couldn't take it anymore. "Okay, what the hell? What are you doing here?"

Loki blinked at him like it should have been obvious. "It's your birthday." When Tony just stared, he amended. "Well, technically, yesterday was your birthday, and I did arrive to celebrate but you were hardly in a condition to do so. So we'll be having your birthday today."

He said it so flatly and factually that it was damned hard to argue with him. But Tony couldn't very well just let it go. "You don't even celebrate birthdays." Right. Because that is the major issue here. Way to go, Tony. Really.

"I celebrate yours," Loki responded simply. "Now, what do you want to do today?"

"You don't have plans?" Oh, well. Might as well embrace the insanity. It had always worked out alright in the past.

"A few," Loki admitted, "but I was curious."

"My plans involved drinking myself into oblivion, which I did, and then spending the morning vomiting and otherwise paying for that decision. Which I didn't. I assume I have you to thank for that?"

Loki nodded. "Indeed. I couldn't very well have your lack of discipline derail my plans."

"But I thought you said that hangovers were what I got when I drank and that you wouldn't magic them away?"

"That wasn't on your birthday," Loki stated, like it was a given that he would make an exception for that. Even though the first time Tony had brought up birthday traditions, Loki had stated they were all moronic. Although, he had admitted to being glad Tony, at least, had been born, so that was something.

Tony drank some more coffee. Nothing made any more sense when he put it down. "Okay, so, what's on the agenda?"

Loki's eyes lit up in that way that said Tony was going to be talking himself out of getting arrested by the end of the day.

Tony grinned right back.

Gods, he had missed this.


Tony slipped off the motorcycle, still laughing. He couldn't seem to stop even as Loki pulled him into a heated kiss against the wall of the parking garage. The look on that poor cop's face. . . .

Loki's hand clamped over his eyes and then the world spun around him. The next time he was allowed to see, he was in his bedroom and entirely naked. He grinned. "I'm assuming this was part of your plan?"

The god smiled, dressed once more in his full leather armor, minus the helmet, as he paced around Tony where he stood in the middle of the room, shamelessly examining his body from every angle but carefully not touching. "Of course," Loki said simply before magic slipped around Tony's body and he suddenly found himself hanging from the ceiling by invisible bonds around his wrist.

They were smooth and slippery so as not to chaff, and he could touch the floor with his toes without too much trouble. Loki continued pacing around him, and Tony followed the movement as much as he was allowed. "Do you plan to do much more than look anytime soon?" he asked, pointedly looking down at where his erection was standing proudly against his stomach.

"Hush," Loki admonished before suddenly whispering right in his ear, "we don't want to rush the birthday celebrations."

Tony shivered. "No, no, rushing is okay. In fact, rushing is a staple mark of an American birthday. Ask anyone."

The god didn't respond, but Tony jumped as his cold hand came down in a slap against his bare ass. It wasn't terribly hard, and it was the surprise more than anything that made Tony jerk against his bonds and shudder. "Do not presume to give me commands," Loki growled in that tone of voice. The one that made everyone just want to bend over backwards to give him whatever he wanted. Or maybe it was just Tony. Either way, it sent another shiver down his spine.

Loki took his damn time, that was for sure, with all of it. The pain came slowly, increasing in intensity little by little until Tony lost himself in the darkness of the here and now, where the only thing that mattered was Loki, what he wanted, what he said, what he was doing to Tony's body. His entire world narrowed down to that single point, and it felt like a massive burden had been lifted from his chest.

Then the preparation had begun, just as slowly, interspaced occasionally with a random slap to his already sore ass that made him jump and hiss, still lacking attention where he needed it most. When Loki finally entered him, Tony wasn't hanging anymore. He was lying on his back on the bed so that every thrust pushed his abused ass against the bed. It also made sure that he wasn't getting any friction on his cock unless Loki allowed it, as Tony's hands were still cuffed above his head.

After what seemed an eternity, Loki finally sped his pace and wrapped a fist around his leaking cock, and Tony lost himself utterly and completely while staring into those perfect green eyes. The god himself wasn't far behind.

"Why did you really come back?" Tony finally asked as they lay side by side in the bed, both of them spent and sated.

"To see you," Loki responded almost immediately. The answer came too quickly.

"If you had cared," he ignored the way his voice broke a little there, "you would have come sooner."

There was a moment of silence, and then Loki sighed. "Anthony, look at me."

He obeyed. The reaction was too ingrained for him to even think about fighting it, though he dropped his gaze after but a moment.

"Anthony," Loki repeated, tilting Tony's jaw up to meet his eyes. "Do not ever doubt that I care about you."

Tony shifted uncomfortably. "But-"

"I did not come because you did not need me."

Tony made a face. "Bullshit. Ultron, Jarvis," his voice cracked again, "all of it. You think I didn't need you?"

Loki exhaled softly, tracing patterns on Tony's arm absently. "I. . . could not see you," he finally admitted. "My scrying methods failed for a time, and I believe it was the effect of the Mind Gem. It still has its hooks in my mind in some ways."

"Okay, but-"

"Before that, I looked down and you were happy, Anthony," Loki told him quietly, not meeting his eyes. "You had a family, a team, a. . . girlfriend. You did not need me in your life, and I. . . ." He sighed. "I didn't not wish to be the cause of that happiness departing."

"You moron," Tony whispered affectionately, nuzzling into Loki's hair as he threw his arms around the god. "I missed you terribly. You being there would have made things perfect."

"It would have fractured your family," Loki sighed.

Tony breathed a mirthless laugh. "I did that all on my own."

Green eyes flashed with muted anger. "No. That fool, Rogers, is the cause of this. Not you. You had no reason to apologise to that man, Anthony, and until such point as he comes back to you on your hands and knees, you will not speak to him again."

Tony's head jerked up in shock. Rebellion was his first instinct, but it took barely a glance at Loki's cold green eyes to know he didn't want to know the consequences of not obeying that command. He swallowed. "He'll never come back," he whispered his fear.

"Yes, he will," Loki responded softly. "He will come back because you are right, were right, have always been right. There is a much greater threat out there, and when that comes, many wrongs will have to be put aside for the survival of your entire planet. I am preparing Asgard now for war; you must do the same here on Midgard."

"Earth," Tony grumbled, and he could feel the god's smile against his hair.

"You will lead the earth, Anthony," Loki whispered, "and when the day comes, we will fight side by side. As will your friends."

"Promise?" Tony muttered, trying to make it a joke, but the tears in his eyes belied his attempt.

Loki smiled at him ever so gently, running his hand through his hair. "You have my word."

Tony snuggled into Loki's chest. "I believe you." He yawned. "Thanks for the party, Lokes. Best birthday I've had in. . ." he paused, "ever."

Loki kissed the top of his hair. "I love you, Anthony."

"I love you too." His eyes slipped shut.

The god smiled at him gently, for this one night enjoying the safety and comfort of home, the only true home he'd ever had in Anthony's arms.

"Happy Birthday, Anthony."

A/N: Apparently, I'm not yet over Civil War. Maybe I never will be. Also, I was watching Age of Ultron the other day, and Jarvis' death hit me really hard. Again. So that's why that's there. Reviews will be fanwed over, and they always make my day!