Title: Dying of Frustration.
Rating: PG-13 for language.
Word Count: ~6200
Characters: Loki, Thor, Fandral, Volstagg, Hogun, Sif, Tony Stark; some somewhat unrequited, horribly complicated Tony/Loki.
Warnings: AU. Pissy!Sarcastic!Angsty!Loki, Douche!Fandral, depression, general confusion.
Summary: Loki comes home to find his kitchen emptied of almost everything, and all signs point to Thor White and the Four Dwarves. Loki-centric, part of the Brothers!verse.
AN: So, this is a sequel to Book Duty. The title is taken from a lyric in the song Yes by Coldplay. Uhm, I really don't have much to say at the moment, but heed the warnings listed above; there be major angst-age, and I feel like my writing and the situations get increasingly confusing as the story goes on. Also, I'm at the point where I'm shipping Tony/Loki really fucking hard, and some of that translated into this story. But, let me make it clear that Loki and Tony aren't an item here, and at this moment in time, I don't plan on making them one in this verse. The most you can hope for right now is a friends-with-benefits relationship. Anyways. You might want to read Brothers Extraordinaire and other things in this verse before starting this; I strongly recommend it.
So he feels pretty good when he leaves the library. It's around eight o'clock and he's exhausted as well as hungry, but his spirits are high after today's events. Tony walked him to his car and they spent a good fifteen minutes playfully arguing with each other about how Loki probably shouldn't go home and ruin his mood, how Tony is Loki's knight in shining armor, blah-blah-blah, and to be honest? Loki likes it that Tony will bicker with him almost every time they hang out. It feels really nice in an odd way to debate with someone other than Thor, someone that doesn't get under his skin and make him feel crazy. But, anyways. About his awesome, practically glowing mood.
Loki listened to Coldplay all the way home, so that's ten additional happiness points. The weather is nice enough for him to roll down the windows; plus five. Traffic is amazing; plus seven.
It's when Loki is turning onto his street that he starts to physically tense up (like, clutching the steering wheel, not letting his back touch the seat, legs locking tensing up), and that's sad, because the action is pretty much involuntary by now. Only the thought of Tony jokingly telling him he needs to take up meditation and Zen practices calms Loki down a degree. He pulls into the driveway and keys the car off, but instead of immediately moving to get out, he just sits in the safety of his cockpit, staring blankly at the dashboard. His eyes slowly stray to the house, and he gazes at the curtained window like he'll be able to see what's going on inside if he looks long enough.
With a small sigh, Loki snatches his keys, absently clutching at the Minnie Mouse keychain Tony gave him a month ago (he said they were out of Mickey ones at the store, but Loki thinks Tony just enjoys teasing him a whole fucking lot) to try and soothe himself. He's learned there's almost no use in expressing his anger anymore; calmness and indifference actually turn out to be more effective.
Grabbing his backpack from the passenger seat, Loki exits his Porsche, making sure to lock the doors, and starts for his house. His mood significantly drops when he remembers that he has to read a whole chapter in his psychology text tonight for homework, not to mention the fact that his stomach is practically speaking to him. Fuck.
All the love and Pop-Tarts Tony could ever give him can't really battle things like homework and hunger and bipolar disorder and blockheaded brothers. How regrettable.
Summoning all the courage he can, Loki quickly slides his key into its lock and pushes the front door open, holding his breath in preparation for what he might see. And as it turns out, things actually aren't that horrible (yet).
Thor and Fandral are at it on the X-Box, attentions completely consumed by what Loki thinks (but can't be sure, since he doesn't pay too much mind to the games Thor plays) is Call of Duty or something, while Sif and Volstagg are loudly and obnoxiously yelling directives to the two of them, and Hogun quietly texts somebody. Sif is practically draped over Thor, which irks Loki more than he cares to say (it's mostly because he knows that the probability of Sif staying overnight just went up in percentage).
"Hey, Loki," Thor greets him distractedly, the majority of his focus on his game. He's virtually stabbing at the buttons on his controller with his thumbs, and Loki wonders how those flimsy plastic devices are hardy enough to withstand constant abuse by Thor and his friends.
"Salutations," Loki throws back, moving towards the kitchen after his stomach growls at him to. He's in the mood for something meaty and a shot of caffeine that will keep him up long enough to finish his homework tonight. Just as he's passing through the doorway, Fandral's voice stops him like a hand on the shoulder.
"Welcome home, hot stuff," the man calls after him, and this nonstop sexual harassment in his own home is really starting to get to Loki. The statement is ended with an air of challenge, like Fandral is daring him to reply or something. Fucking asshole.
Instead of indulging Fandral, Loki just continues his journey into the kitchen, breathing a sigh of relief at the emptiness of the room. He's immensely pleased with the fact that Fandral and Volstagg are too occupied to hunt him down, thank gods. Loki drops his backpack onto the kitchen table, swiftly making his way over to the refrigerator and cracking the door open to peek inside.
At first he thinks he's seeing things, because that shit can't be true. Just to be certain, Loki closes and reopens the fridge door, pushing for temporary insanity as a justification for his apparently faulty vision.
But no, he can see fine. Perfectly fine, and this is why Loki has to bite down fucking hard on his lip to stifle the howl fighting to escape his throat.
In the fridge, what does he see? (Guess. Go ahead.)
Nothing. Zilch. Absolutely nada. To be frank and completely faithful to how Loki feels right now, there ain't shit there.
Well, if you chance a second look, you'll notice that there's a mostly empty carton of milk, a couple of Gatorades, and some half and half, along with a single tomato on the bottom shelf, but otherwise? The fridge is a void.
Now, Loki has never had a panic attack before, but he's heard about what they're like from his psychiatrist. The whole hyperventilating like crazy, shaking as if you're sick, throat suddenly tight as fuck deal seemed pretty mild to him when he was just being told about the symptoms, but now Loki is breathing faster and trembling a little and he can't swallow right and it really, really scares him.
He feels like he's going to explode.
Movements now sharp and jerky, Loki yanks the freezer door open and peers into it. There's ice and a jug of water left to cool inside. Wow.
And then Loki is tearing through the kitchen, searching for where the fuck all of his food went. He comes up with a box of instant macaroni and a box of crackers in the cabinet, a plethora of obligatory but useless condiments, and a couple of fucking bananas on the kitchen table. Then he looks in the trashcan, only to see a graveyard of food items, all gone; every box and container emptied, soda cans and Gatorade bottles nearly spilling out of the garbage bin. And Loki can't help himself.
Silently, he goes to sit at the kitchen table, folding his arms over his backpack and resting his forehead against them. He sniffs, biting his lip against a scream or a sob, and lets himself shed a few quiet tears just to get some of the hurt out of him.
All of his food, gone. It's normal for him to come home and find the fridge somewhat bare; usually he can salvage some vegetables and cheese, maybe a few bagels. He has bread and Gatorade and fruit and cereal when he returns for the night. He's safe. Never has Loki come home to find virtually nothing in his kitchen.
Did they bring a fucking zoo through the house? Sell all his food for money? Loki ponders these things while staring at his miniature Minnie Mouse, eyes watering and stinging relentlessly.
He considers blowing up like a fucking volcano on Thor, considers throwing him out, considers kicking his ass (even though he knows the second he touched Thor, he'd be broken in half like a twig), considers taking Tony up on his offer, considers calling Frigga, considers simply crying until he drowns in a sea of tears, where he doesn't have to worry about things like food and sanity anymore. He considers a lot of things for a long time, and it isn't until he realizes that it's eight-thirty that he finally decides what he's going to do. And it's a stupid, unhealthy, very uncharacteristic decision, but keep in mind that Loki is heartbroken, starving, and really needs to finish his homework.
Thinking quickly, Loki grabs his backpack and his keys back up and heads for the door, not bothering to school his expression into indifference or relaxation. At this point, he doesn't give a flying fuck about whether or not Thor and his posse see his pain.
They probably won't even notice.
As Loki passes into the living room, pulling his backpack strap over his left shoulder (fun fact: Loki is sinistral and is therefore dominant in just about everything on his left side), Thor and Fandral are in the process of switching Call of Duty in for another bullshit game he doesn't know the name of. Thor looks up as his brother heads for the door, face a mask of curiosity.
"Where're you goin', Loki?" the man asks, and when Loki turns to look at him, he notes with a small thrill of something like relief that Thor's expression takes on a hint of concern and surprise at what he assumes is the distress written all in his face and body language.
"McDonalds, unfortunately," Loki replies drily and with a trace of reluctance, his voice breaking almost satisfactorily (to him, of course) at the end of his statement.
Little does he know that the wonderful word McDonalds is like the equivalent of an alarm or a beeper to Fandral and Volstagg. Which is weird, because one should expect something like that, right? (Maybe not. It takes a grand amount of inferring to predict something like that.)
"McDonalds?" Volstagg asks, looking up from the beer bottle he was previously staring down the neck of (it's now when Loki notices the empty tub of ice cream on the coffee table and the assortment of drink containers all around the room). Loki feels incredibly uncomfortable at the question for whatever reason, like he'll start throwing up if he's forced to give the asker a straight answer. Actually, he would fancy a good vomit right now; anything to get out the disgust and misery that plagues his system like a disease.
"I believe that's what I said," Loki manages, trying to squeeze enough sarcasm and venom to put an elephant down into the response. He really wants to get the fuck out of the house now, though, so he's clutching the doorknob hard enough to turn his knuckles white (figuratively, of course, because Loki's knuckles are already pretty white) and avoiding eye contact with everyone in the world right now, hoping they'll take the hint.
And then Fandral asks the most horrible question, and it's so fucking infuriating that Loki thinks his eyes are going to melt in their sockets so fire can shoot from them and his head will split open to expose his skull from the sheer enormity of the rage he feels. Yeah. It's that bad.
"Can you pick something up for us?" this bitch asks. Cue the above reaction; externally, the only thing that tips you off to Loki's wrath is the subtle arch his eyebrows take on, the way his lips tighten at the corners and his eyes slowly but surely become wide and very, very green.
(Have another fun fact: Loki was born with green eyes, and they're listed as such on his birth certificate. However, when he wears light colors or blue, they appear to be blue. When he wears dark colors or green, which is often, they look green. And even weirder, when he wears red or some other similarly vibrant color, the irises turn this weird green-ish but gray but also blue with flecks of gold color. To make things even more complicated, Loki's eyes also change color based on what mood he's in; they tend to tip towards the green end of the spectrum as he feels more passionately, and towards the blue when he's mellow. It's odd and confusing, but Frigga's eyes do the same thing and she liked to call Loki her chameleon, so he doesn't feel that bad or weird about it.)
"Excuse me?" Loki bites out, voice emerging strangled-sounding and weak from his throat. It's a little embarrassing if you think about it, but Loki can't find it in him to give too many fucks right now.
Fandral looks at him oddly, almost as if he didn't expect Loki to question him, and he looks like he's about to (foolishly) say something back (oh, hell to the fuck no) when Thor interrupts him.
"We'll pay you, Loki. It's okay," Thor interjects, and Loki quickly turns his ireful eyes on his brother. He looks considerably more anxious now, and whether it's because of Loki's anger or for Fandral's safety, Loki doesn't know. And, no, it's not fucking okay.
Crossing his arms tightly over his chest and leaning somewhat passive-aggressively against the door, Loki snarls with an element of out-of-place pleasantry, "Oh, like a prostitute? Yeah, that's okay."
"Loki, he didn't mean it that way," Sif replies, and Loki almost (does) want to yell. How dare she answer a question meant for his brother?
The thing is just that Loki wanted Thor to be the one contemplating how to answer a question like that, one with so many layers and insinuations of pain and rejection. Because, of course, it wasn't meant to be taken literally. Loki hoped Thor would understand how he felt, and the best way he could express that at that very moment was through a metaphor.
But fucking Sif with her fucking defensiveness and motherly instincts had to fuck everything the fuck up. Fuck.
"Yeah," Thor adds, giving Sif a slightly thankful look that absolutely disgusts Loki, "I'm sorry."
For what? is what Loki wants to ask. He's squeezing his hand around his keys until the metal grooves of them dig into his palm and leave red indentations in their wake. He's looking at Thor and waiting for him to see him, like, actually see him.
"Make a list, then," is what Loki ends up saying, letting his gaze stray to the ground. He listens to the sounds of Fandral and Thor searching for something to write on, of the five of them (Thor's friends; him not being a part of them) exchange orders for Hogun to record, and it isn't until Fandral approaches him with a piece of paper and two bills; a twenty and a five, that he looks up.
Fandral smiles when Loki meets his eyes and, for once, the expression doesn't look sinful or lustful. Loki doesn't care that much in his anger, though, and he snatches the papers from Fandral's hands, quickly turning to unlock and open the door.
"You're welcome," he snaps as he walks out into the approaching darkness of the night. Not looking back, Loki calls, "Lock the door."
Fandral laughs quietly, fucking asshole, and replies, "Thanks, kitten," before closing the door.
Loki spins around fast enough to give himself whiplash, yanking his lanyard from around his neck and hurling it as hard as he fucking can at the door. It hits the wooden plank with a rewardingly loud thump, and before he can stop himself, Loki screams at the door, screams raucous and horrible at it. He sounds like an animal in pain. Well, he feels like an animal in pain.
Loki quickly gets in his Porsche, throwing his backpack on the passenger seat, keying the car into drive, and digging his cellphone out of his pocket at the same time. Expertly punching in his speed dial two, he pulls out of the driveway, angling his cellphone between his shoulder and ear as he speeds down the street.
After the second ring, he picks up.
"Loki?" Tony's voice asks from the other line, and while Loki can be exceptionally appreciative of his friend's inane questions, right now he is definitely not. He knows Tony knows it's him.
"Meet me in front of the library as soon as you can," Loki growls instead of answering, making an unnecessarily sharp turn.
There's a rather pregnant pause on the line, then, and the small part of Loki that isn't boiling with rage starts to worry that he set Tony off with his unexpected anger (even though Tony has never backed down in the face of Loki's ire, no matter how bad it got). That small part begins freaking out, and Loki can feel himself start to dangerously shake from the hazardous combination of panic and wrath.
And then, finally, Tony says, "I'm coming." After a small pause in which Loki expels enough air from his lungs to fill a balloon, Tony adds, "Are you okay?"
As Loki forces himself to ease on the gas, quickly realizing that he's a whole seven miles over the speed limit, he breathes out a reply, "No, I'm not."
"What happened?" Tony asks in his soft, short voice that Loki both hates and loves (hates it because that means Tony cares, and when Tony cares, he gets really invested in whatever it is he cares about; loves it for the same reason). He can hear movement on the other line, the jingle of car keys and the closing of a door.
"I'll tell you when you get to the library," Loki responds, and he doesn't wait for Tony to say anything back before he hangs up, carelessly tossing his cellphone on the dashboard and squeezing both hands around the wheel. He exhales deeply again, blinking hard to try and dispel some of the fire inside him. The flames only turn to smoke, which clouds Loki's head and makes him feel dizzy, confused and drunk with emotion. While mood cycling is very normal to him, it isn't very enjoyable.
I guess it would be a good time to say that Loki doesn't need Tony or his company at the moment. He really doesn't. Loki is capable of making it through periods of intense anger and depression on his own; if he wasn't, well, then he'd have a huge problem on his hands and probably wouldn't be living with Thor of all people. However, that Tony would drop everything to be with him in a moment of distress is something Loki really doesn't mind taking advantage of every now and then, especially after his friend's behavior today. He remembered what Tony told him earlier about Pepper calling, but something tells him that it won't matter much.
Loki pulls up in front of the library and turns the car off, comforted by the abrupt silence that suddenly engulfs him. The library is closed, which makes things even better because it means no prying eyes or people milling about, pissing Loki off simply because they exist near him.
While he waits for Tony to arrive, Loki removes his psychology textbook from his backpack, props it against the steering wheel, sits Indian-style in his seat, and starts to read his assigned chapter. Clinical definitions of personality and personality types are oddly soothing to him, and he welcomes the excess of words and theory, appreciates building his understanding of himself and his friends from a purely psychological point of view.
The soft purr of an engine snaps Loki out of his reverie, and he glances out of his windshield to see Tony's almost obnoxiously red truck pull up in front of his Porsche. As Tony steps out of his Toyota, movements markedly hurried, Loki grabs his backpack and tosses it in the backseat, dog-earing his textbook and unlocking the doors.
"What's wrong?" Tony immediately asks as he slides into the passenger seat next to Loki, shutting the door firmly behind him. Loki can't help but laugh quietly when Tony reaches over and grabs him by his face, tugging him across the center console to kiss him hard on the forehead. He weakly, half-heartedly beats his fists against Tony's chest and stomach, drawing a similar laugh from the man.
When Tony releases him, Loki doesn't bother to pull away, preferring to stay close to his friend. Instead of answering Tony straight away, he asks, "Did Pepper call you, yet?"
Tony makes a face at the question, replying in a snatched and harried voice, "No, but do you think I care about her going to some party when you call me sounding like a-a-a murderous beast?" He chuckles nervously towards the end of the question, but Loki knows he's seriously concerned, and that makes him feel kind of like a boss.
"I guess not," he sighs, running a hand through his raven hair and glancing out the windshield. Silence stretches on for a few moments after his breathy reply, and then it occurs to Loki that he has yet to answer Tony's first question. "Uhm, to make a long story very short, I went home, my kitchen was empty, Thor and his posse…" he says the word with pronounced disgust, "… told me to go to McDonalds and pick some food up for them," Loki clarifies. And then he gets really scared because Tony's eyes look like they're about to pop out of his head or something and he's really, really fucking unhappy judging by the look on his face.
"They did what?" Tony asks, voice full of incredulity and thinly concealed contempt. Loki feels like a shithead now; he didn't want Tony to get pissed off, too, even though he should have expected something like that, what with Tony's tendency to get kind of territorial and overprotective where he's concerned.
"Well, to be fair I was already going to McDonalds," Loki quickly amends, but when Tony's expression goes unchanged and pain and resentment remain like fresh wounds in his heart, he adds, "Yeah, fuck them," in a defeated tone. He sits back in his seat, gazing vacantly out of the windshield so he doesn't have to see Tony's face.
After a long pause, Tony says, "You know, Loki, I'm really starting to consider kidnapping you and locking you up in my house."
Loki laughs without humor, and they both know that the funniness of the statement falls flat in the face of what Tony's really saying. "Yeah?" Loki hums quietly, keeping his eyes focused on the bumper of Tony's truck and his disposition as indifferent as possible, even though he really doesn't mind losing it in front of Tony.
"Yes," Tony replies, and Loki can both hear and see him (in his periphery) shifting in his seat. "You know you can move in with me. You know you don't have to stay there, and my place isn't that bad," he goes on, "I'll even start to clean up regularly if that makes you happy."
"It's fine, Tony," Loki says somewhat tersely.
"No, it's not, Loki," Tony retorts, voice suddenly hard, and he commands, "Look at me."
Loki automatically obliges, turning to meet Tony's dark, serious eyes with his own green orbs. He observes the tense line of his friend's shoulders, the arch of his brows, and his heart aches with the knowledge that Tony can't stand the thought of where he is right now. Loki knows his situation is royally fucked when Tony is having a harder time than he is handling the fact that he lives with Thor.
"I'm begging you to please move in with me," Tony pleads, leaning towards Loki purposefully, "Please, Loki. This isn't good for your health. I need to know that you're okay."
Loki swallows thickly, forcing himself to maintain Tony's gaze. "If I moved in with you, you'd never let me go," he says quietly, feeling oddly vulnerable. He hates himself for saying that, though, because he knows he's just pointing out Tony's weakness, and Tony doesn't normally like that kind of shit.
Instead of getting upset, though, Tony offers a small smile, replies, "Of course not. That's the point."
And then Loki really wants to cry, so he does. It's not this gigantic bawl-fest that leaves him out of breath and with a sore throat (even though he really needs that). He just lets the tears collect in his eyes until they overflow onto his cheeks, and he whines, and he curls into his seat and he watches Tony's expression melt like ice cream.
"Loki…" Tony starts but doesn't finish, instead leaning forward to gently kiss his friend's eyes. It's a little too romantic for Loki's comfort, but he doesn't really care right now. He just lets Tony wrap his arms around him and gratefully hugs him back, leaning their temples together.
"I can't," Loki says after awhile, voice a bit hoarse with emotion. While he's tightening his arms around Tony's shoulders, trying to keep him in place, Tony is pulling back to look at him. His face has skepticism written all over it, and the Are you fucking kidding me? goes unspoken, but not unheard.
"Why not?" Tony asks, frowning slightly. Loki reaches up to cup the man's face with his hand, tugging the corner of Tony's mouth up into a crooked smile with his thumb. He refuses to speak until Tony gives in and beams outright.
"Because…" Loki begins, closing his eyes to make it easier for him to force the words out. He really didn't want to say this, ever, but a part of him always knew he'd be telling it to Tony someday.
"Because way deep down inside me, I want Thor to be my brother again, okay? I want him to be there for me and give a fuck about me, and I want it to be like that fucking accident never happened, and I want to be cured and fixed and I know Thor's the only person who can do that," he says, and the words come out in a rush, like a gust of wind (Loki hates it when he speaks like that, because he sounds unintelligent and incompetent to his own ears). Loki knows he probably hurt Tony's feelings a little with the last part; he's aware of how badly Tony wants to be the one to make everything right with him.
And Loki is sitting there with his eyes closed and his hands squeezing Tony's and he knows that Thor White and the Four Dwarves are probably (or not) wondering where the fuck he is and it's nine o'clock at night and he's only a fourth of the way through his chapter and-
"Okay," Tony says. Loki opens his eyes to see Tony watching him, and the man's gaze is so lovesick and hungry that it makes him want to die.
Impulsively, Loki leans forward and kisses Tony right on the lips, framing his face with his hands. Tony makes a surprised little noise at the kiss, and Loki feels wrong but right and parts his lips, sucks against Tony's mouth. He's doing it only because he knows he can, because, while it's horrible and uncomfortable and wrong to him, it's also incredibly and oddly relieving and soothing at the same time. Plus, he'd do anything to get that look off of Tony's face, if only for a moment.
It doesn't take Tony very long to respond, and Loki is glad that the man is stealing this rare form of love from him when he's giving it up so carelessly. Tony gently sucks on his bottom lip, kisses him so, so tenderly that Loki feels like he's going to start keening or burning up. He breathes out a small moan as Tony kisses the corner of his mouth, light as a feather, and Loki knows why Tony is being so careful.
Because if he wasn't, he'd be eating Loki up like a lion eats his prey, and there wouldn't be any Stop, Tony or We're just best friends. Loki feels a twinge of guilt for tempting Tony like that, but, like I said, he's only doing it because he can, because he needs it, because he knows Tony can take it, and because they both know exactly what it means.
The next time it happens, it might mean something completely different. It just depends.
"Tony?" Loki sighs, and right now they're basically breathing at each other's mouths. He's still holding Tony's face, and Tony kisses his top lip.
"Yeah?" the man replies. Loki can hear the strain in Tony's voice, and the experimental, scientific part of him wants to test just how much his friend can take. Slowly, he moves his hand into Tony's hair, knowing how that just about drives the man insane.
"Can you ride with me?" he asks, letting his tongue dart out to carefully trace the seam of Tony's lips because he's an asshole and is fully aware of what it's doing to his friend. Loki makes it even worse by pressing closer to Tony, sealing his lips around Tony's top one and sliding his tongue along the underside of it. It's intimate in a weird, unsettling way, and Loki isn't quite sure how he feels about it.
Tony makes a choked, groaning noise that sounds like a puppy being flushed down the toilet, and the tension between him and Loki is shattered when they both laugh at the oddness of the sound, cackling softly into each other's mouths. Loki's grip on Tony's face and head loosens, and the stiffness of Tony's body disappears.
"Sure, Loki," Tony chuckles after a moment, pressing forward to press a firmer, more chaste kiss to said man's lips before pulling away. Loki almost feels bad letting his friend go, and he notices that whenever he's close to Tony, it's really hard to break with him after. Their relationship is weird.
"You're not worried about Pepper?" Loki chances, straightening himself out in his seat and reaching for his keys to turn the car on. He glances at the clock on the dashboard and almost laughs at the time; it's nine-o-seven, nearly a half-hour after he left home. And he's spent about twenty minutes of that half-hour arguing and making out with his best friend. Only Loki can feel accomplished about something like that.
Tony barks a laugh, relaxing against his seat and replying, "Next to you, no."
The answer is perfect for Loki.
So he drives to McDonalds and listens to Tony talk to him, letting the anger seep out of him for now. While they wait in the drive-thru, Loki reads his psychology text out loud to Tony after the man asks him to. He finds that, while it's slower than reading silently, the method helps him understand the content a little better, especially since Tony isn't hesitant to put his two-cents in about every other statement.
Unfortunately, Loki finds that the negativity he shed on the way to McDonalds comes slithering back as he returns to the library. By the time he pulls up behind Tony's truck, he feels like he's ready to drown in his depression, and that really sucks. Hard.
"Well, I suppose this is goodnight," Loki manages, letting the engine idle. He glances at Tony, who's watching him with a deceptively passive expression. Tony smiles, so he does, too.
"Get out of the car," Tony suddenly instructs him, exiting the vehicle himself. Loki watches bemusedly as Tony drops the two heavy McDonalds bags he'd been holding into his now vacant seat, temporarily frozen in his confusion. Tony pokes his head back in the car, grinning.
"Hurry up, kitty cat," he jokes, winking at Loki before shutting the door and walking around the front of the Porsche. A pause, and then Loki is beaming and sliding out of the driver's seat, watching Tony stroll languidly towards his truck.
Notice that Loki doesn't care that Tony calls him kitty cat.
"What are you doing?" Loki asks with a hint of frustration, crossing his arms out of nervous habit. It's nine-fifteen now and he really needs to get home so he can eat and crawl into bed.
Tony stops next to the driver's side door of his truck and turns to face Loki, smiling a bit. He opens his arms and makes a beckoning sweep with them, quietly calling, "Come here."
Loki doesn't falter. He and Tony have been doing this since they were two college freshmen without any other close friends. Of course, then Loki was a lot smaller than Tony, who had always been tall and muscular.
Grinning like a child, Loki runs forward, colliding with Tony's front like a car crash and letting a high cry of laughter escape his throat when Tony lifts him from the ground and spins him around (that's the second time today Tony has done this, mind you). When they were freshman, he'd have to jump into Tony's arms to get the desired momentum, but since they're pretty much the same height now, a leap would bowl the both of them over and result in a disastrous embrace.
Tony chuckles softly as he halts his twirling, still clutching Loki close. "You looked like you needed that," he says into Loki's hair, and Loki really appreciates the way he's basically being held up by Tony, because, even though it's unusual, he likes to feel weak and powerless around his friend (not anyone else, though).
"I did, thank you," Loki replies, pulling away to hold Tony at an arm's length by his shoulders. Tony smirks a bit.
"Thank you," he says, and Loki's ninety-nine percent positive that he's referring to the kiss from earlier. His assumptions are pretty much reinforced completely when Tony winks at him again, hands tightening almost suggestively, possessively, at his sides.
Loki easily returns the expression, squeezing Tony's shoulders to reassure himself. "Goodnight, Tony," he murmurs, letting his friend go with an element of reluctance.
"Night, Loki," Tony calls after him as he walks to his car, and it's all Loki can do to not spontaneously burst into tears as he drives out of the library's parking lot, his friend watching him the whole way.
And so begins the gradual process of preparing himself for what he'll find when he gets home. Loki lets himself get pissy and cold (like, subzero cold) again, mentally peels a layer of skin away so that he's rawer than raw.
When Loki walks in his house for the second time that night, the X-Box has been abandoned in favor of drunken screaming; apparently Thor White and the Four Dwarves are having a debate about the ferocity of random animals (sharks, alligators, and squirrels to name a few).
Only Thor looks up when Loki kicks the door shut, carefully handling his backpack and the two full McDonalds bags in his arms. The older of them smiles tipsily at the other.
"You're back," Thor remarks, pushing himself up off the sofa and stumbling over to his brother. A snatch of fear rouses in Loki; he knows very well how volatile Thor can be when he's inebriated.
"Sadly," Loki replies curtly, shoving the paper bags in his hands at his brother and grabbing his food from the top. He doesn't wait for Thor to grace him with a reply before he's walking into the kitchen in pursuit of a bottle of Gatorade he hopes is still there.
"It took you long enough!" Fandral yells from the living room, and Loki almost laughs at how fucking pissed the statement makes him.
"You can fucking die!" Loki hollers back, sighing in relief when he spies a single, beautiful blue Gatorade in the fridge. He quickly steals it from the shelf and practically sprints from the kitchen, down the hall, and to his room. He's almost tripping over his own feet in his desperation to isolate himself.
As soon as the door is firmly shut behind Loki, Fenrir is bounding towards him, barking irritably. And Loki completely empathizes with him.
"Hey, Fenrir," he croons as he makes his way to his bed, petting the husky's raised head as he passes. Loki offhandedly drops his backpack in the middle of the floor, past caring about the half-page he has left to read in his psychology text, and plops heavily onto his bed with a deep sigh. Fenrir rapidly and eagerly joins him.
Loki feels like his life is one of those thousand-piece puzzles you buy at the drugstore, one that you've just opened up, and the pieces are all scattered and none of them look like they'll fit together to make something. Every piece is just a random blotch of a couple of colors, and you can basically distinguish jack with a side of squat from simply looking at them individually. Do you understand what I'm getting at? Loki feels that way right now. It's fucking depressing and exhausting, and Loki thinks it's about time he gave his psychiatrist, or his mother, a call.
He eats quickly, lets Fenrir have two of his chicken nuggets and a few of his fries (which is really horrible, but Loki really doesn't possess the strength to care that much anymore tonight), before methodically stripping down to his underwear and wrapping himself in a warm, safe cocoon of blankets. Fury disappears inside him like a passing car in the rear-view mirror, giving way to crushing weariness.
A lullaby of intoxicated yells and drunken laughs muted by the walls of his home soothes Loki to sleep. Fenrir curls up beside him as he falls.
More A/N: I think my mind is in this perpetually bipolar state, because every time I try to write these things in a humorous fashion, they come out with this majorly depressive subplot and a wistful ending of some sort. It might be kind of fitting, though, since (if it isn't clear) Loki in this verse has bipolar disorder. That'll be explained later. I think satire is a more accurate genre for this verse than humor is.
Uhm, the whole eye thing that popped up emerged because I had read something about chameleon eyes and how Tom Hiddleston most likely has them yesterday. I thought it would be cool to apply that to Loki, even though his eyes are generally accepted to be green.
I also want to point out that Thor was noticing how upset Loki was for those of you that thought he wasn't. Since this verse is centered around Loki and how he perceives things (mostly), that might not have been totally apparent.
There be more to come, loves! Reviews are greatly appreciated. :]
- X Academy.