Disclaimer: I own nothing but the lawn chairs. I am willing to trade them to Marvel in return for Loki's fine Ass
Warning: Mild Swearing and basic smart assery.
Tony wasn't sure what it was that made him notice it that first time. By all accounts he shouldn't have seen anything at all. Flying back to the 'Avengers Headquarters' at mach 2 in a thunderstorm is a situation that can't really boast the best visibility. Darcy Lewis can be quoted as saying that it was destiny he was seeing. Personally he blames the fact that there was a satellite array missing from one of the nearby roofs. With it gone, when he glanced in its direction he saw it. A dark splotch that was darker than the rolling thunderclouds that should not have been there.
Going as fast as he was, there was little to do other than take a few pictures and have Jarvis enhance them while he impatiently waited. Precisely 4.67 seconds later a clearer image was displayed before him. Keeping one eye on where he was going, he looked over the image and blinked.
It was Loki.
He very nearly stopped mid air, a bad idea considering Thor was right behind him and such an action would cause the Large Asier to plow into him Hammer side up. Instead he thought over all the reasons why the God of mischief was standing all emo like in the pouring rain a few blocks from their base. They hadn't seen nor heard from Thors 'darling' little brother since the sadistic little prick had animated all the statues in New York City and made them attack the residents. That was a fun day.
Tony prepped his systems for a fight, and considered calling out a warning, but Loki just stayed there. Still as a dark statue as the rain poured down. He made no move to attack, though Tony knew he didn't really have to. He glanced around for something out of place, but there was nothing. But by the time he looked back the dark figure was gone.
The rest of the night Tony was tense and weary, looking over his shoulder expecting an attack that would never come. In the end he figured if it was anything at all then maybe Loki was trying to mess with them. If this were the case Tony decided that it wasn't going to work and put it out of his mind. The glass of scotch helped this plan along fabulously.
He didn't think on it at all for the next several days actually. He didn't tell anyone, especially Thor since even mentioning Loki to Thor tended to either send him on a rage induced rant on how far his brother has fallen, or a depressed funk that could only be shaken off by a night for hardcore drinking. Neither situation ended without a ton of property damage.
It had (briefly) crossed his mind to tell someone at Shield, but honestly he just didn't want to.
In fact he didn't really think about it until they were returning from their latest mission. (A group of circus performers who were using their abilities to steal from their Audiences) He was only thinking of the modifications he was going to be making to the right thruster on his heel when he got back when his eyes slid towards the roof a couple blocks away. Loki stood there, half hidden in the shadows of the taller building nearby. If he hadn't been looking he would never have seen him at all. Again he made no attempt to alert the others, and just as the night before, Loki only stood there for a few moments before disappearing into the shade entirely.
Tony frowned, and flew on, his plans for the thruster disappearing faster than Loki had.
It happened every time they had a mission, he soon discovered. At least a mission that made some sort of news. Always on the same rooftop, and each time he did nothing but stand there. Tony had gone to inspect it himself when the trickster wasn't there. He scanned the whole area for energy (he refused to call them spells) but found nothing. If he was planning something, some sort of attack, Tony wasn't seeing it.
So instead he turned his thoughts on how he could use this information. He was tempted to try and capture the trouble maker. He had the time to plan a trap that Loki couldn't get out of, maybe call in a favor from Dr. Strange and see if there was a way to bind Loki's magic. It wasn't as if Tony wouldn't know where the trickster would be. He could take credit for single-handily capturing one of their most slippery opponents. The look on Colsons face would be awesome.
But for some reason that idea didn't really appeal to him. It wasn't that he felt that it was to close to cheating, the god of mischief pulls no punches in that sense so its only fair that Tony can do the same.
If he was going to be honest with himself he'd have to admit he was curious. Why the hell was he on the roof? Was he looking for weak points in their defense? Maybe to strike at an Avenger that was wounded from battle, preying on them like a patient african cat to a herd of antelopes...
Or was it the hugely unlikely idea that maybe Loki was simply worried about his brother, and that under all of the curses and attempted murder he just wants to make sure that Thor is coming back safe.
Tony didn't really think either of these theories were close, which made him wonder all the more, why then?
He knew he should tell Shield soon. He knew that Loki was likely planning something and the longer he sat on this information the more he was going to regret it when he came back to the base to find a crater in its place.
He knew he should do the responsible thing, the team player thing, but really who was he kidding? He could play nice with the others, take orders (sometimes...) from Steve and do the Avenger thing.
Just not this time.
Which is why on the next mission when the others were standing about the wreckage of a now destroyed Hydra base, he skipped out early claiming a suit malfunction. He was back at base before the news of the attacks made the 'we interrupt this program for this breaking news' bit hit the air. So he was on the roof before Loki could appear, concealed behind the metal air ducts.
He knew this wasn't a good idea. Confronting Loki while the rest of his team mates were still in Alaska and not really within range to be considered backup. It probably wasn't a good idea to do this in his civvies either. True is back up suit was tucked next to him in its suitcase form, but still it left him feeling more than a little naked, dressed only in his usual suit and tie.
There was a method to his madness though. He way he figures it, if he cornered Loki in full battle gear, the Trickster would probably expect an ambush, attack with everything he has and disappear, never to return to this rooftop again. Showing up unarmed though, that might cause Loki to pause long enough.
Long enough for what, he didn't know. He was kind of flying by the seat of his pants here. And as he watched the shadows near the edge grew dense and shifted, and Tony knew that there was no turning back now. The shadows took form, and Loki stood there before him, facing the other way towards the Headquarters, his Asgardian clothing moving softly in the wind.
He didn't move at all, and for a while neither did Tony. It soon became clear though that Loki was prepared to stand there all night until the others returned, and Tony certainly wasn't known for being patient.
"Nice night!" He called out as he came around from the air ducts. He crossed his arms and leaned against the metal and tried not to smirk to obviously as Loki tensed. So he had managed to sneak up on him. Alright then, Tony 1, Loki 0...
"Nicer here anyways," Tony continued when the other man remained silent. "Can't really say how the others stand it, up in Alaska. I mean at least my suit has its own heating unit, Thor's walking around in an armored tank top. Is that an Asgard thing? Or a Thor thing?"
Loki turned his head at this, just a little, but enough to see a bit of his expression which was of course blank. "How can I help you Mr. Stark?" he asked slowly, probably trying to figure out Tony's intentions. Good luck there buddy since Tony didn't know himself...
He shrugs carefully, deciding to be direct. "You can tell me why you're on this rooftop?"
Loki turned some more so they were looking directly at each other. "I was merely stepping out for a breath of fresh air. I wasn't aware this particular roof was so dear to you though. I assure you it will never happen again." His form twisted slightly and Tony knew that he was milliseconds from teleporting out.
"Funny how you always seem to need a breath of fresh air when we're coming back from missions." he said smoothly, glancing away as if his answer wasn't that important. Out of the corner of his eye though he saw Lokis form become solid once more and had to bite down a smirk. Making eye contact again he met Loki's glare with a raised eyebrow. "So what is it? You worried about your brother? Want to make sure he's making it home before curfew?"
Loki's lips twisted into a sneer. "Hardly." His dark eyes took in Tony's attire and narrowed in suspicion. "And what of your presence here tonight? Surely you would be elsewhere, saving a city or laying with a dozen inebriated women?"
Tony laughed at that, stepping forward and then past Loki entirely so that he could lean against the edge of the roof, clearly showing his back to his opponent and tempting fate yet again. "And miss the opportunity to hang out with you one on one?"
Loki apparently had nothing to say to that, and Tony continued to stare out at the city, waiting for the knife to fly into his back. It doesn't come. More than anything this just makes him more curious. Minutes tick by and eventually Loki moves forward to come stand beside him. A fair distance between them but still its an improvement. No more words are said and the two of them remain there in silence until the Jet containing the rest of his teammates passes by. He sees Loki's eyes following it across the sky, his face as blank as ever giving nothing away. Tony mentally makes a note to never play poker with this man.
"Do you miss him?" He asks suddenly, and Loki's eyes flick to him. Tony can't help but stare. His face might be blank, but his eyes ran deep with emotion. And then suddenly, as if just realizing what he was showing Loki's green eyes went cold.
"What on earth is there to miss?" he asked in a chilled voice, and was gone.
Tony frowned at the empty space that had just been occupied and thought over his words. Maybe there was more to this checking up on his brother theory than he thought.
The next mission Tony lucked out. He wasn't needed at all, so when Steve, Natasha and Thor trouped out he was already on his way to the rooftop, supplies in hand.
When Loki materialized several rooftops away he could see Tony was already there, and he was alone. So he transported himself to the rooftop, words made of acid on the tip of his tongue and they fell away uselessly upon the sight before him.
Tony Stark had come prepared indeed. Lounging in a very comfortable looking folding chair, dressed in jeans and a loose sweater, he looked the picture of relaxation. The case of beer sitting in a cooler next to the chair added to this. The second chair only confused the trickster all the more.
"I figured if you're going to be coming out here all the time you might as well have a comfortable seat." Tony explained without being asked. He pulled out a beer and popped the cap off.
"And you're continued presence apparently." Loki said with a tilt of his head looking more curious than mad.
"Someone's gotta make sure you're not up to something." He said with a shrug and took a swig of his beer.
Loki did frown at that. "And if I choose to move to a different roof?"
"Then you won't get a chair?" Tony shrugged, then looked seriously at the other man. "Want one?" he gestured to the rest of the chilled drinks.
Loki stared at him for a moment before turning his gaze to the city. He stood until the others returned, the second chair remained empty for the rest of the night.
"Ok, I get that you're the god of mischief, and its kind of in the job description, but glaciers?" Tony asked, nursing his third beer.
Loki, finally seated on the other chair smirked, but not in an unkind way. "What would you rather me do?"
"I don't know, how about NOT plant giant glaciers in every major lake across the country?"
"Wouldn't that be completely missing the point then?"
"What point? Please tell me the logic behind your latest 'make more work for Tony' plan."
"The people of your country claim that your world is to hot, and worry that in time all the ice will melt and flood the earth."
"So you what? Tried your hand at a new ice age? It doesn't work like that!"
Tony snorted and then paused. "Wait, so you were trying to do a good thing?"
Loki leveled him with a look that said he was ten kinds of an idiot.
Tony watched with mirth clear on his face as Loki tried the coolers he had brought rather than beer. The expression the trickster had was ridiculous. "You must be joking." he said, clearly nauseated as he put the bottle down.
Tony laughed and mentally crossed all coolers and cooler related drinks of his list. "I'll have to bring the good stuff next time."
Loki met his eyes, still trying to figure him out. Tony just chuckled.
"Ice cream." Loki said slowly, as if admitting it was painful. He looked down into the glass he held. "And perhaps scotch."
"Ice cream." Tony repeated, smiling disbelievingly. "Alright, I guess I can see that. Guess there isn't much of that stuff in Asgard. Or pop tarts either if the way Thor goes through them is any indication."
Loki frowned and so did Tony. He knew by now that even mentioning his brothers name brought Loki's mood to a dark place. Worse if he was compared to Thor.
"So any particular flavor or should I just start buying stocks in Ben & Jerry's now?" He asked lightly, trying to deter the God's thoughts from their troubled path. It worked this time, as Loki blinked and looked thoughtful.
Tony would never, never be able to look Thor in the face again without laughing. He didn't think he was ever going to stop laughing.
The Avenger Jet had docked hours ago, and the Ironman had shed his suit and come up to the usual roof and had been surprised to see Loki still there a glass of Scotch already in hand, staring out at the city. Tony took his usual seat and never one to just sit in silence he began to tell stories. Stories of when he was younger and graduating collage at seventeen and all the stupid things seventeen year old's do in a college environment. To his eternal surprise Loki countered with his own stories, jokes he had pulled on the other gods, including the time Thor had lost his hammer to a frost giant. A frost giant who would only give it back if he could have one of the other goddesses as a wife.
Tony had read about this story briefly, after meeting a god one does ones research. But He had discovered most of the old stories were just that. Stories. And he wasn't sure if Loki was fucking with him. It didn't matter. The man could tell a tale, and using his magic to create illusions to show Thor, huge hulking Thor, stuffed into a wedding dress, beard shaved and looking every inch the miserable embarrassed prince he would have been... word can not describe.
And Loki was laughing along with him, an easy laugh without a trace of a sneer or malice. It changed his face entirely. It was making Tony worried. Worried that next time they met on the field he wouldn't be able to fight back without thinking of Loki like this.
Loki was quiet tonight, and for once Tony let it stay quiet. The scotch was disappearing faster than usual, though he hadn't had more than his two glasses. Loki was staring with unfocused intensity at the stars, his eyes a little glassy as he searched the heavens.
And Tony knew next time they fought he would be remembering Loki like this.
It had been months, and Tony still couldn't quite tell you what he was doing. He certainly hadn't had this in mind. He hadn't planned on making the trickster god get used to his presence. He didn't plan to tell him stories of his youth, or even of how the Ironman came to exist. About Obadias betrayal, the fragments in his heart, his capture and torture. About Yensen...
And he hadn't expected anything from Loki other than a knife to the gut and a evil grin. He never thought he'd see Loki relax, drink a scotch and talk about the cosmos for hours. Or hear him tell stories of Asgard, always from when he was young, and always omitting his father or brother. He'd never imagined that he would be witness to a laughing Loki, laughing not at destruction and death, but at silly stories and quotes from Monty Python.
He never thought that they would be friends. And yet they were. Tony shook his head and took a sip of his drink. Loki did the same.
Please review and I'll post the sequel!