I cannot even begin to describe how happy this fic has made me, with all of the amazing readers I have and all of my friends who have read this. I have never had a story get this many reviews and it is invigorating and motivating. I would like to thank every single one of my readers no matter who you are, and am very happy that I made it to the end. I hope it doesn't dissappoint!
"It pains me to have to leave you all, but as king of Asgard I must be there to make sure affairs are going smoothly," Thor boomed to the other Avengers who were all standing in the helicarrier in the main computer room. Fury had just debriefed them, and they were all glad that he was done. They had seen quite a lot of Fury in the past few months and were rather tired of him. "I will make sure to keep Heimdall's Sight trained on you, Loki, so that if anything else bad happens I can come to the rescue!"
Loki smiled slightly. "Good to know, Thor. I thank you for coming to help me in such a dire situation."
Thor beamed at Loki and then turned to look at Tony. "You must get to work on getting me those nieces and nephews, Man of Iron," Thor said loudly, causing the others in the room to cough and sputter in surprise, laugh, or in Loki's case, glare at Thor with flushed cheeks.
"Yeah, uh, we'll let you know," Tony said in a voice that was higher-pitched than it usually was.
"Good! Loki, time to assist me in getting home!"
Loki nodded, still a little red in the face from the nieces and nephews comment, and took Thor's hand.
"Goodbye, my friends, and take care of yourselves. I will see you another day!" Thor boomed, and then he was gone.
"So, everyone," Tony began, clapping his hands together. "Let's say we do some partying or something together since you guys came all this way. Stay the night, I have extra rooms. You can leave tomorrow if you would like."
He got varying forms of assent from the others, if not from the allure of a Stark party, but for not wanting to leave right away and be able to rest in a nice place.
Tony was now sitting off to one side, nursing a glass of scotch, just watching. Loki was telling a story of his childhood to Clint and Bruce who were listening intently, occasionally laughing at something that Tony could not hear. They seemed to be just as mesmerized by Loki's storytelling as Tony had been, only interrupting to ask a question here and there, their eyes glazed over as they relived what Loki was describing in such vivid colors and feelings. Natasha and Steve were comparing battle strategies, using gestures to explain something that any outside person that wasn't an agent or a soldier would understand. Both of them had a certain light in their eyes that they only got when they were fighting or talking about something like this. Tony was happy just to be watching, and he knew that if he wanted to talk to any of them about anything that was bothering him he could; these people had become his colleagues out of necessity, but were now his friends out of choice. It made him happy to know that Loki was now accepted in this group and could talk and hold his own with them without Tony at his side. It seemed that he was now making fast friends with Bruce through the use of explanations of magic and science, and making friends with Clint through the use of a great battle story involving Thor in a dress.
Tony watched as Natasha paused in what she was talking about, glancing over at Loki, and then back at Steve, raising an eyebrow. Steve nodded, said something in response, and then Natasha leaned over to ask Loki something, her hands gesturing largely as she tried to explain what she wanted to know. Loki paused in his storytelling, seemed to ponder what she was asking, and then responded slowly, his brows crinkled as he thought about what he was saying. Both Steve and Natasha seemed satisfied with the answer, nodding and smiling at Loki, and then went back to their previous conversation.
Tony smiled to himself at this. Everyone seemed at ease, drinking and laughing and talking together, and he wished that they wouldn't all have to go back to their respected homes. If Tony didn't have Loki he would be stuck here in this house alone, resorting back to his playboy phase to trick himself out of his loneliness. Thinking back on that stage of his life now, he seemed so foolish, so self-centered. Loki may have thanked him for helping with the god's emotional problems, but Loki had no idea how much he had helped Tony along in his life, finding himself through the helping of the god.
Tony decided he had had enough of his solitude and strode over to Loki and put an arm around his shoulder.
"Are you telling them the story about Thor having to wear that wedding dress to get Mjolnir back from that giant fella?" Tony asked.
Loki nodded. "I really wish I would have gotten a picture of it," he said, smiling.
Tony chuckled and turned to Clint and Bruce. "I bet he didn't tell you that he had to dress up as a bridesmaid," Tony said, causing Loki to frown at him and Clint and Bruce to smile widely.
"You had to wear a dress too?" Clint asked, his face split wide with a grin.
"Yes, I did," Loki mumbled. Tony, Clint, and Bruce started laughing, and Loki reluctantly joined in, laughing at his own expense. "It would have been absolutely hilarious at the time had it not been such a dire situation," Loki chuckled.
Everyone had a little bit too much to drink, and Steve was beginning to get irritated, so they all decided that it would be a good idea to hit the hay lest they sleep too late and miss whatever flight they had to get home. "Pick whatever room on this floor you want for the night," Tony said to them, waving a hand, and then he pulled Loki up the stairs to the large room that they shared together.
"They like you, you know," Tony said to Loki as he changed into his pajamas.
Loki didn't answer, and Tony turned around to find that he was staring out the large glass wall at the ocean that stretched below. It was an amazing view, one that Tony had missed during his time in New York. He walked over to where Loki was standing and looped an arm around his waist. "Pretty, isn't it?" he said softly into the god's ear.
Loki nodded, and Tony turned his gaze from the ocean to the god standing next to him. There was a sea of feeling hiding behind those stormy green eyes, and Tony wanted to know everything that was there, wanted to swim in that sea, to lose himself in Loki. Loki caught Tony looking at him and his expression became more guarded.
"You can tell me anything, you know," Tony murmured.
"I know, Tony," Loki said softly, and then Tony found himself with an armful of Loki, who was sobbing gently and burying his face into the crook of Tony's neck.
Tony maneuvered so that they were sitting on the bed, and he began to stroke Loki's hair softly, something that he had learned that comforted and soothed the god. Tony sat in silence, knowing that that was what Loki wanted right now and held him until Loki settled down enough so that he was able to talk.
"These past few months," Loki began, his voice heavy, pausing and to take a deep breath. "Tony, sometimes I think that I will wake up and everything will have gone back to the way it was…before; when everyone was disappointed with me and I was so, so alone."
"You're not alone anymore, Loki," Tony said softly, his hand still gently smoothing the raven hair. "If I can help it, you will never, ever be alone."
Loki let out another soft sob and leaned back, pinning Tony with his bright green eyes that now shone with the tears that also shone in tracks down his face. "Stark, I don't know how I will ever begin to thank you for everything you have done for me, knowingly and unknowingly."
"But, Reindeer Games, you really think that this is completely one-sided?" Loki blinked, not knowing what Tony was talking about. "Loki, you have helped me in ways that I didn't know I needed help in. You brought me out of a horrible rut, helped me define myself in more ways than just a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist."
Loki shook his head. "How could someone as broken as I was, might still be, help someone as sure as yourself?"
"The 'sure' on the outside just masked some horrible stuff that I like to keep hidden. Now, I'm not good at all of this 'mushy' stuff, but I can say that I no longer cling to the edge of that cliff for dear life. I can stand on the edge and look down in it with a smile on my face, knowing what is down there and just how I can get back up if I do manage to fall."
Loki sniffed a few times. "God, I probably look like a sniveling idiot right now, don't I?" he mumbled, wiping at his eyes with the side of his hand.
"Hey, if anyone went through as much as you have and didn't break down and cry a little bit I would think that they were the ones that had the issues," Tony said, taking Loki's wrists in his hands to stop him from wiping the tears away. Tony leaned forward and pressed his lips from Loki's jawline to his cheekbone and up to the corner of his eye, tasting the saltiness there from the shed tears.
He pulled back to look at Loki, who was still gazing at him with bright eyes. "You know, Loki-Dokey, if anyone ever tries to lay a hand on you again, including SHIELD and Fury, I am going to put on my suit and beat them to a pulp."
Loki chuckled. "For some reason I feel that Fury would kill you before you managed to kill him, even if you were in your suit. He would use some sort of odd eye-patch power."
They both laughed, and Tony slowly lay down on the bed, pulling Loki gently on top of him, keeping his arms wrapped firmly around the god's waist. Loki rested his head on Tony's chest, remembering the first time they had fallen asleep like this, drunk on the couch. They had come such a long way from that.
"Are you humming?" Loki asked, peering at Tony with narrowed eyes.
"Possibly," Tony said, grinning and continuing to hum.
"If you are going to continue with that irritating noise at least tell me what you are humming," Loki said.
"Upside, inside out, I'm livin' la vida Loki," Tony sang softly, causing Loki to arc an eyebrow.
"I'm assuming that is a parody of another song?"
"You are way too proud of yourself for that," Loki mumbled, not giving Tony a chance to answer as he pressed his lips tightly against Tony's.
"But it's true," Tony said when they broke apart. "I am living the Loki life!" Loki rolled his eyes.
"If you don't stop talking and kiss me you won't be living the Loki life tonight," Loki warned, only partly serious, and Tony decided that he should stop talking. He kissed Loki deeply and was utterly surprised when the god flipped onto his back, bringing Tony on top of him.
When Loki noticed Tony's surprise he gazed up at Tony, smiling slightly. "I trust you utterly and ineffably, Tony Stark." And that was enough, Tony supposed. Enough for him to know that he could trust the Loki with everything he had, enough for Tony to know that not only was he utterly Loki's, but that Loki was utterly his. And it didn't matter that Loki was a god, or if he happened to wake up completely human one day, because Tony would love him anyway, no matter what. It didn't matter that Loki happened to be a Frost Giant, because Loki didn't care that Tony used to be the 'Merchant of Death'. It didn't matter that they came from places so far away from each other that it took magic to travel to and fro, it didn't matter that the first time they met they were trying to kill each other. The green glow in Tony's chest was the one outward sign that they belonged together; that they were inseparable. Tony knew more about this god beneath him than he had ever known about anyone else, even Pepper, and he supposed that the god knew just as much about him. The god beneath him was a mystery to unravel, a limitless lifetime of adventures that he would discover, and it invigorated him just as much as it scared the crap out of him. But that was the way that Tony liked his life, what he thrived off of.
Tony found himself discovering more about the god beneath him in what wasn't their first time and wouldn't be their last. Tony knew for sure that he wanted to know as much about Loki as he could, and he was not rushed in any way to do so. He had as much time as he needed, and they were not in imminent danger right for once. Tony was going to take advantage of the absence of danger, because he knew that the Avengers would never be out of a job when it came to the safety of the Earth. Tony hoped with the last little shred of dignity that was left after all of the alcohol in his system and hearing the god moaning underneath of him that the walls and floors were as soundproof as the builders had promised…
Well, that's that and I hope it lived up to your expectations. I stared at this for so long, wondering if it was the right way to close it, but decided that staring at it was not helping, so here it is. Like I said in the last author's note, I am going to be writing a new FrostIron a little bit later on, so keep an eye out for that if you are interested... THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE! It has been extremely fun and I can't wait to do it again. Wait... one last threat for old-times-sake? Hmmm... review or I will... sing Living La Vida Loki in an offkey tone? Yes...