Author's Note: I know, it's been a long time. Despite all the other stories I wrote, I never planned to give up on this one. If anyone's still reading this, then thank you. Thank you for all your patience.
Summary: Tony had always been careful about who he sleeps with. Man or woman, he always makes sure that there will be no accidents. Still, who really knew how potent a frost giant sorcerer was in bed. Well, now he has some idea.
Character/s: Ensemble Avengers cast
Pairing/s: Frostiron, ClintxNatasha, past!JanexThor, Thorx?, Stevex?
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"Shit. Christmas this year really sucks," Tony muttered with a sharp exhale because, really, what was his life right now? He stood up, walking to the door at a slightly faster pace and was almost out of the workshop when he got Dummy's attention, the robot rolling towards him with its arm raised and tilted to the side just so as if asking him what he needed. "Dummy, go get my box – you know the one – and, for the love of God, don't drop it this time," he said, watching Dummy roll away from him.
'Sir, should we call for reinforcements?'
"I don't think we need it yet," he replied offhandedly because, seriously, this was not the worst thing that ever happened to any one of his properties and it wouldn't be the last either. Plus, his suits were just a command away.
He turned back to the hologram screen that was following him around, watching Loki jump and dodge every swing of that admittedly badass sword. He had no doubt that it was sharp as hell, but he wasn't too worried. Besides, he knew Loki had it under control despite the collateral damage done to his furniture and was more than a little relieved that they weren't in his lab or anything because they were turning his place into a dump.
The Christmas tree was already down, ornaments shattered or rolling about. The gifts under the tree were more or less safe under it, though, so that's good as long as they don't have anything made of glass in the pile. The tacky garlands and the mistletoe Clint had fun hanging around the house were a shredded mess of green that's littering the floor and one of his more expensive carpets.
He winced as he watched the sword go down in a graceful arc before it crashed on the table, shattering tinted glass and splintering dark wood and he knew Pepper would be pissed if she could see this. Really, what was it with people destroying his property? That table was Pepper's favorite, too, and it was one of the more delicate pieces in the mansion. She used to nag him if he so much as think of putting a toe on it.
Dummy whirred over to his side, raising a small, wooden box grasped in its claw-like fingers and poking his arm with it. It was small but heavy, the wood, dark and polished, was thick and heavily engraved in intricate patterns filled with gold. He took it, shooing Dummy back with a little pat on its arm before he tucked the box at his side.
"JARVIS, make sure to list down what needs fixing when Loki and Xena the Warrior Princess over there are done," he said with a sigh as he scratched the back of his head.
'I am already making an inventory of the damages, Sir, and may I just say that I am not looking forward to giving this information to Miss Potts,' said JARVIS.
Tony couldn't quite stop himself from grimacing at that. "You and me both, buddy," he replied. Since he became Iron Man and because of the past year's damage to Stark Tower, Pepper had a construction company's number on speed dial for any unexpected damages that seemed to become part of Tony's daily life and she didn't like it one bit. Not that he could blame her, but then, property damage was a bit out of his control especially because they knew who he was (and it started more than a dozen one-sided arguments about why he should have kept his identity secret).
He stopped in front of the elevator before deciding to use the stairs just in case someone breaks it – which, with Tony's luck, could very well happen. The sounds of something breaking gradually grew louder the closer he got to wherever they ended up in which also happened to be the kitchen and boy, Steve would be so disappointed.
Then again, maybe it was time to renovate the kitchen.
He was there in time to see sparks fly as sword met dagger in a stalemate, the woman leaning her full weight on Loki with enough force to bend him back uncomfortably. Unfortunately for her, Loki was a sneaky son of a bitch and he played dirty. For a minute there, it looked like she knew how to move with him, knew his tricks well enough to dodge and parry. But it wasn't enough and it was no surprise that a few feints here and there, several Loki clones, a quick sweep of a leg and the pointy end of a dagger had the woman frozen on her stomach, arms pinned behind her back and wrists crossed and held together in a firm grasp.
A few muttered words and the air crackled and felt heavy with unseen energy, a strange, luminous mist forming around the woman's head. She began to struggle but she had already breathed it in and her movements gradually slowed, her eyelids growing heavier before she became unconscious.
Huh. Instant tranq.
"Well, that's pretty convenient," he said as he strolled over to where Loki was, kicking debris aside as he went.
Loki hummed thoughtfully and his eyes didn't stray from the woman but there was a mischievous smile on his lips. "Yes, very convenient and it's quite effective against the most stubborn of beings I've encountered."
"Really now?" Tony asked with a lazy smile that Loki met squarely.
"Quite so but I did promise to use it only when necessary," he replied with a raise of his brows and a playful smirk.
Tony looked at him knowingly and silently called bullshit on that "promise" because Loki could make up hundreds of excuses why using that spell is "necessary". Loki only grinned wider.
"Well, sounds good to me," Tony said lightly before holding out the box to him. "Here you go. This should hold her for a while until we get this mess straightened out."
Loki took the box and looked at it curiously. The box was obviously of Asgardian origin, the patterns heavily engraved with protective runes that not only provided defense to its contents but also to its owner. His eyes widened comically as he looked at what's inside.
The box itself was lined in thick, red velvet and lying on bunched satin were two pairs of handcuffs, two pairs of larger cuffs made entirely of leather and four keys. Loki takes the cuffs out and observes them. They were made of polished iron with an adjustable ratchet. It was linked together by a thin, five-inch chain and the inside was lined with soft velvet to avoid any injury. It looked nothing out of the ordinary except, looking at it closely when the light touches it just right, there appeared to be something inscribed along the metal bands.
They were runes, the sort that he knew had been forbidden from use.
"Do you know what this is?" Loki asked warily, handing the cuffs over and showing him the runes that shone a la The One Ring.
"Well, the details escape me," he huffed, waving his hand dismissively. It would have concerned him more had it come from anyone else but knowing who it came from eased his mind. "Magic isn't exactly my area of expertise though it does remind me a bit of Lord of the Rings."
"Tony, be serious. How did you get these?" he asked carefully as he turned it over and over in his hands, sharp eyes reading through the intricate patterns as his fingers traced their lines.
"I am being serious," Tony said before he rolled his eyes. "I asked your mom and she got it made for me. It's too bad really. I had plans on how we can break those in but circumstances call for it," Tony answered, shrugging as he nudged the hilt of the woman's, Sif's, sword with his toe.
Loki, immediately feeling growing mortification, held his hand up just as Tony was about to launch into yet another rant about magic. "Hold on, you asked Mother?"
"Can you imagine me asking your father?" Tony looked at him as if he'd gone insane – again.
But he did have a point. Just the thought of Tony asking Odin for a questionable object to be used in a questionable manner was enough for his face to flush hotly – and Loki did not blush easily and he was a far cry from being shy. "Is she aware of what you were planning to use it for?"
"What is this? Twenty questions?" Tony muttered with a roll of his eyes. "Loki, your mother is older than me and has been married for more than, give or take, a couple of thousand years," he said flatly. "I think she would know exactly what I'm gonna use it for. Anyway, it was supposed to be a surprise but I guess there's no harm in using it now when there's a homicidal Valkyrie after your head."
Loki wasn't certain how to respond and so he said the only thing that came to mind while he fought to keep the blush off his face. "Sif is not a Valkyrie."
"You know, you're pretty cute when you're embarrassed. Have I ever told you that?" Tony sang as he crossed his arms over his chest. "And for the record, I don't care. She can be the Queen of England and I'd still want her tied up if she's going to be hacking and slashing at my stuff. Speaking of which," Tony looked around the mess that was once their kitchen and living room, "JARVIS, you have the list ready yet?"
'I am at ninety-six percent completion, Sir,' the AI replied.
"Okay, might as well get this over with. Call Pepper once you're done."
'Of course, Sir. I shall transfer her over to you immediately once she answers.'
"Coward," Tony mumbled to himself before he looked down at the unconscious goddess on his floor. "Now, let's get Brunhilde comfortable, shall we? By the way, Merry Christmas."
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Following early morning Christmas greetings, Tony wasn't really surprised when Pepper chewed him out for the property damage first before asking him how he was. She sounded so worried when he told her the whole story that he felt a pang of guilt before reassuring her that he was perfectly fine, Loki and the baby were perfectly fine and that the only thing he was really sad about was that the coffee maker he hadn't used in months was caught in the fray. She didn't mind the busted coffee maker as much as she did her favorite coffee table though.
As expected, within moments, Pepper had arranged for the repairs on the mansion, hanging up on him while she mumbled about adding the figures in her head while JARVIS reported receiving an email from her which he'd rather take a look at later. It would have been easier for Loki to fix things the way they were before but they agreed that they will keep the magic to a minimum for now and Loki used just a bit to clear up some space and gather most of the mess in one place.
Tony sat on his ruined couch, massaging his temples and that was how Natasha and Clint found him when they burst through the door, stopping short at the sight of the ruined furniture, the cracked walls and the huge pile of garbage off to the side.
"What the hell?" Clint muttered under his breath, looking around him, his arms wrapped around a full paper bag of something Tony couldn't see but he's tense and ready for action. Beside him, Natasha looked like she'd ask the same thing, the bag she was holding just a second ago was on the floor and her hand is already wrapped around a pistol at her side.
Clint's gaze zeroed in on the Christmas tree and he looked at Tony accusingly. "We leave you alone for one night and this is what happens?"
Tony had never been so offended in his whole life. When he breaks something, he'll happily own up to it, thank you very much. "Hey, it wasn't me, Legolas. It's all Thor's lady friend."
"Thor's lady friend?" Natasha repeated with a curious tilt of her head before her eyes light up in recognition.
"In case you missed her, she's right over there," Tony said dryly because seriously, how could the (arguably) best archer and the deadliest assassin in the world miss the woman wearing silver plated armor and leather?
In the center of the living room was a single chair where the unconscious goddess now sat, her head tilted uncomfortably to the side. She was cuffed to the chair's arms, the runes inscribed on them glowing with preternatural light.
"What's she doing here?"
"That's what we'd like to know," Tony answered with a shrug.
"Well, so much for Christmas," Clint sighed as he plopped himself on the couch. "By the way, where're Thor and Steve?"
"Thor's in New Mexico and Steve's with him," Tony answered. "They should be back later."
Natasha smiled toothily before she perched on the arm of the couch beside Clint. "Well, aren't those two getting a little cozy."
Clint looked at her strangely. "Doesn't Thor have a girlfriend in New Mexico? You know, the astrophysicist?"
"They broke up ages ago," the redhead answered with a flippant wave of her hand. "I think it's really cute."
Tony raised a brow at her questioningly. "How'd you know about that?"
"I know everything," she replied.
"Maybe we should go back to talking about something important," the archer suggested. "Maybe something about our guest here and what she was thinking when she ruined Christmas."
"The Lady Sif is a proud warrior of Asgard," Loki started as he came in from what was left of the kitchen, holding a glass of water. He stopped at Tony's side, offering the glass which Tony took gratefully and began to drink. "She is strong, capable and has been called the Goddess of War for good reason. She is also quite intelligent and observant."
He pauses and Tony pokes him on the side. "I'm smelling a 'but' somewhere at the end," he said.
And Clint, being the five-year-old he really was, snickered. "Heh, 'but'."
Loki ignored him and Natasha rolled her eyes, hitting him with her elbow. "She has a grave sense of justice and she admires Thor greatly, had favored him above everyone else. It clouds her judgment at times."
Tony hummed. "So she doesn't like you."
"No, she does not," Loki replied.
"And considering your history with Thor…"
Loki flinched. "She loathes me."
"That doesn't answer anything really," Clint said. "Unless you're implying that she's here only to mess things up for you."
"What have you got her on anyway? She's been unconscious this whole time," Natasha asked curiously as she stood at arm's length from the goddess.
"A sleeping spell," Loki answered idly.
The Black Widow turned to him with approval. "Impressive."
They shared identical smirks with each other and Tony and Clint shuddered.
Thor and Steve arrived sooner than they thought, carrying a few plastic containers full of food between them. The god nearly dropped them at the sight of his unconscious friend but Steve had the reflexes to hold his arms up and Natasha took some of the containers from him before they dropped to the floor.
"Good god, what happened?" Steve gasped as he turned around to look at the extensive damage to the mansion.
"Sif? What happened to her? What is she doing here?" he asked them as he knelt on the floor, cupping her face and looking her over for any injuries.
"She's asleep," Natasha answered. "We're hoping to find out why she came here."
Thor breathed out in relief and set his jaw determinedly. He turned and nodded at Loki who snapped his fingers. There was a palpable shift in the air and Sif began to move, eyelids fluttering before blinking open. Dazed and a little confused, she looked at Thor, her eyes narrowed, before her gaze moved beyond him to Steve then to Natasha, Clint, Tony and finally Loki.
The moment her eyes fell on Loki, her eyes cleared and filled with anger. She snarled and tried to lunge at him but the cuffs and Thor's hands on her shoulders kept her in place.
"You traitor!" she shouted at him. "I thought you'd changed! I thought to mend what is left of our friendship and start anew but you proved me foolish time and again," she hissed, straining against her bonds. "You've made a fool of everyone, you double-crossing bastard!"
"What is she talking about?" Clint whispered furiously at Natasha whose eyes were cold and calculating as she switched from Loki to Sif then back again.
"Yes, what am I talking about, Loki?" she spat at him. "Why don't you tell everyone in this room that you conspired against your home with the enemy?"
All eyes turned to Loki who stood motionless and blank at her accusation, arms crossed over his chest.
"You have them all deceived, don't you? They think you've changed but I know better! You are a traitor and a liar through and through!" She paused, breathing hard and fast as she gazed at each of them in turn. "Can't you see? Can't all of you see that he has you in the palm of his hand?" She turned to Thor, determined and imploring. "He has been lying to you all along!"
"Lying about what exactly?" Tony asked coldly, his eyes looking straight at Loki.
The God of Mischief breathed out, closing his eyes as if in pain. "I had hoped to spare you from this."
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Author's Note: I'm alive. I know, it's been too long and I can't tell you how sorry I am. Don't worry, I WILL finish this story.