Chapter 18:

In which, there is signing of papers


She's getting married in the morning. It's a thought that circles her brain constantly. Tony is laying on her balcony sofa, staring at the stars. Her building's tall enough to break above the Manhattan smog line. One of her hands is balancing a half full tumbler of bourbon on the flat surface of her arc reactor.

This time tomorrow, she will be Tony Odinson-no Tony Laufeyson-no. This time tomorrow, he will be Loki Stark—no, whatever. Of course there's not a church in the world would recognize an interplanetary wedding. Not a country in the world would recognize it legally. It's all academic.

It's nearly one in the morning, and she's knocking on Loki's door. When he opens the door, his hair is a mass of tangles, and he's wearing nothing but a pair of shorts.

"We're getting married in the morning," she exclaims.

"Yes."

"What does that even mean?"

Loki is quiet for a moment, then, "This is not a conversation to be had across a door, come in."


Tony stands on the flight deck of the Helicarrier. It's a couple of hours before she has to sign documents that will make her a married woman, so the ship is still ocean bound. The actual signing is going to be thousands of feet above international waters for some weird legal reasons, that she's sure someone explained to her.

Bruce approaches her. She feels a pang of guilt, when they first met, she swore he was gonna be her science bro, and they haven't had a lot of interactions since then. There's just been so much going on.

They stare over the water, her and her Man of Honor. If Tony squints, she can just make out Liberty Island, which is still sans Liberty Statue. That marvel of modern engineering is never going to be replaced. She'd feel bad about it, but lives were at stake.

"If he hurts you we'll smash him for you."

Tony smiles at the thought of two Hulks running and sumo-squishing Loki. "How is Darcy coping?"

Bruce clenches his hands together. "Better than me. Psychologically she is the same person in either form."

"How's the other guy feel?"

"He likes her, heh, a lot."

"Bruce, you dog."


The flight deck tannoy sounds the alarm. "Flight crew secure the deck."

All around them, crewmembers don oxygen masks and proceed to tie the planes to the deck. Tony watches as under tons of steel and water, magnificent turbines unfold from the helicarrier's sides.

"Ahh, good times," Tony comments, remembering being almost blended in the very turbine she's looking at.

She and Bruce make their way into the Helicarrier interior. As soon as the pressurized door seals, she can make out a dramatic orchestral score coming through the speakers, which were previously drowned out by the spinning engines.

Over the intercom a furious voice shouts, "turn that music off!"

The sweeping music accompanying the ship's rise from the ocean cuts off with an affected screech of needle on vinyl.

Down at the underbelly of the helicarrier, is a glassed-in section called the wishbone, for its shape. The glass windows stretch many decks in a u-shape and while the helicarrier is floating on the ocean, it has a very claustrophobic feel; as though the ocean could come crashing into the ship at any time.

However, when the ship is in the sky it's the best place for a magnificent view of the world as it passes underneath.

Tony stares. One of the laboratories like the one she and Bruce once shared ages ago has been totally transformed. Her first impression is whiteness. There's ribbons, and flowers everywhere. Chairs are covered in white fabric, around a table with a white wedding cake in the middle. Bruce's laughter is quickly turned into coughs after she glares at him.

"I'm gonna get Darcy."

"You do that." He leaves. Coward.

Phil and Clint walk in. "Come with us," Phil says.

"White? Seriously, Phil, come on, I haven't been a virgin, in, like, decades."

Clint resorts to dragging her by the hand. "The dress is absolutely amazing."

Tony pulls her hand back. "I'm just here to sign something."

Clint stares. "You don't want to look pretty?" He looks absolutely guileless. "Nat's gonna be doing your makeup."

What? "Are you on drugs?"

He cracks a smile. "Nah, had you going though, didn't we?"

"No dress?"

"No dress. Just trying to relax you."

"By showing me how much worse it could be?"

Phil gives her a cup of tea. "Exactly."

Tony sits at the table and sips the tea. This close she can see the cake topper is actually two Mattel action figures, one Iron Man, one Loki; which have been painted to look like a bride and groom. "I swear, Clint, sometimes you are a special kind of crazy."

Clint points. "That weren't me. Spidey's boyfriend did that."

Well, that explains absolutely nothing.

Tony has to admit, the tea relaxes her, enough so that when she goes to her quarters to prepare, she's not tearing out her hair. Last night's conversation repeats in her mind.

"It means we will be devoted to each other's happiness" Loki had explained to Tony, those scant few hours ago.

"But it's not a real marriage, just a political marriage—a-a-a treaty. Marriage is supposed to happen after years of relationshiping and dedication." She flopped down onto his sofa.

"It's whatever we want it to be. It can be the start of our relationship." Loki sat down next to her. "Would you like to go on a date with me, after the treaty signing?"

"I-yes."


Tony looks at the dress placed on the small bed. It's more a sundress than anything, thin straps, swishy hem. The neckline partially covers the reactor. Not for the first time, does she hate the fact that the reactor is where it is. Any dress that completely covers it is very demure and modest; any dress that exposes it completely is a bit slutty. It's partially why she only wears business suits to meetings now. Not that it matters, she's Tony Stark, she's gonna pwn whatever dress she decides to wear.

Dress-perfect.

Legs-shaved.

Makeup-strong but not slut.

Shoes-strappy

There's no music, no one to lead her down the aisle. There isn't even an aisle. Just a table, and a seat across from Loki. They're in a different room than that white monstrosity Phil and Clint tried to foist on her. She hopes they didn't throw away the cake. It looked too nice to be discarded because of a joke.

Coulson sits at the foot of the table, with Thor, Natasha, Peter, Darcy on Loki's side. Fury, Bruce, Steve, and Clint are on Tony's side.

"Let us begin," Coulson entreats.

He unrolls a stiff parchment. The treaty has already been read and accepted by all parties, so all that's really needed is—

"Who gives Loki leave for this treaty?" Coulson asks.

"King Regent of Asgard," Thor replies.

Loki signs his name on to the end of the scroll.

"Who gives Tony leave for this treaty?"

"SHIELD," says Fury, "please, take her," he adds under his breath.

Tony signs her name besides Loki's.

Coulson rolls up the document. "Congratulations on your marriage."

That's it. Tony's married.

Huh.

And then, oh hell no. If Tony is married, she is gonna be married in style. But first, "Cake?"

Then, a first date with Loki, she's thinking burgers on the beach.

-end-