Yes. I am obsessed. But can anyone really blame me? Look at some of the interviews with Robert Downey Jr and Tom Hiddleston… They are FLIRTING. It's real, and it's hot, and the only way I won't accept that it's true is if either of those very fabulous men were in love with me…

"Ophelia Dreams"

Disclaimer: The Avengers, Tony, Loki, etc belong to Marvel, Stan Lee, et co. I make no money from this and own nothing, don't sue.

Summary: [Loki/Tony] It started with a kiss, then it spiraled into madness. Tony can't regret and Loki won't, and they continue what they started in their dreams. Every night, Loki makes Tony dream of him.

Warnings: Slash. Loki/Tony. Through and post-Avengers. Violence. Language. AU. Creepiness. Sadness. FrostIron. Obsession.

Rating: NC-17.

A/N: Hmm. I seem to have a new obsession. Fellow Lokeans, arise! This, for some reason, was the only thing I could think of when I thought of FrostIron… Why am I so morbid? Also, title: Ophelia, from Hemlet. Think about it. There you go.


"…Bring to me a sadder dream when this sad dream is dead. A silence falls upon my heart and hushes all its pain. I stretch my hands in the long grass and fall to sleep again, there to lie empty of all love like beaten corn of grain." – Elisabeth Siddal: "A Year And A Day".

Words: 6,610

Chapter 1

He'd known it was foolish, stupid even, he had heard his teammates calling for him to wait, begging him to wait for back up. But Tony had flown ahead, alone, leaving the cavalry behind as he soared towards his tower, the one which Loki had attempted to claim from him. He wasn't usually the one to 'lay down on the wire', or at least, that was how Steve had phrased it; Tony agreed, he wasn't, not at all. But this was different. It had been personal, first Phil and then Stark Tower. Tony hadn't gone ahead, powered by repulsors and technology and incredulity, because he wanted to save the world or save his team mates the hassle of dealing with it themselves. He'd gone to face Loki alone because Loki had made this about him, about them; we; us; ours. All plural, and all unfamiliar to Tony, who spent so much of his time alone. And yet it was familiar in a strange sort of way that Tony didn't think he'd ever admit to recognizing out loud. It was loud and flashy and 'full tilt diva' and exactly the kind of thing Tony might have done to catch someone's attention on the rare occasion where someone ignored him (you know, minus the death and alien invasion).

Tony had spent the flight over thinking about all of the other ways in which Loki was similar to him. Their attention-grabbing tactics, the father issues, the issues (generally) because honestly neither of them could exactly be classed as 'sane', not entirely. It was at the very moment where Tony wondered, comparing himself so like Alice who stepped through the looking glass into a world that was back to front, if Loki might have been him in an Asgardian world without Pepper Potts in it, that Tony realised that he probably should have waited for back up.

Natasha would have called him 'compromised'.

Tony considered it science. He wanted to study Loki, to learn every facet of him, every image and nuance and appearance. To understand all of his tricks and thoughts and wishes, to see his magic in action, to compare it to his own Midgardian 'magic' of metal flying suits and arc reactors that extend life beyond inevitable death. To understand all of that, to truly understand, it would put him up there with the likes of Einstein and Curie and Howard fucking Stark, he thinks bitterly. It would be for science, and to Tony, over compassion and friendship and common sense, science always wins.

He had stood there, bantering, flirting, with the Norse God of Chaos. He talks about defeating Loki, but makes no move to do so. Loki attempts to control his mind, and Tony lets slip a little jab, a wholly unsubtle insult.

"Performance issues," Tony says, smiling sweetly as Loki scowls.

"We shall see," Loki replies, a strange curve to the edges of his mouth. Again, Tony thinks he might be staring into a mirror, where Tony Stark is pale and dark haired and dressed in armour and leather and actual solid pieces of gold instead of gold titanium alloy and red spray paint. He sees his own smile, crinkling his eyes as he seduces woman after man after woman after woman into his bed. He sees the spark in green eyes, that were honey brown on his own real face but in the mirror they are green, when he realises he might have to work for it. And then, there it is, just like looking into a mirror, and Loki is licking his lips lightly, just the barest flick of his tongue on soft pink flesh, and it's the look Tony gives his reflection in his whiskey glass when he knows the person he was charming in a bar won't make him work for it.

Outside, the Chitauri invade the earth and inside Tony is screaming silently for more, for less, for everything as Loki kisses him breathless.

He should pull back, pull away or scream for help because the comm is still on and someone will hear him. Someone will pull away from the army outside and come to save Tony from himself if he asked them to. That was what real heroes did, like Steve and Thor and fuck even Natasha with all of the red in her ledger is a better, truer hero than Tony Stark, because they were out there saving people, and Tony was in here turning off his comm and allowing Loki (pulling him closer, forcing Loki to press him back, clinging tightly to Loki's neck and mouths fused together) to push him back against the bar. There was something hysterical in his head, and maybe it was Jarvis and Tony was mistaking it for him having a conscience for once, but it was telling him to stop before it was too late.

He didn't listen. He never listened. Tony ploughed ahead, doing what he wanted regardless of the consequences, just as he had for all other things in his life. Nothing was of consequence; nothing was too high a price to pay if it stood in the way of him getting what he wanted. Even after Afgahastan, even after what they did to him there, Tony only wanted more. It wouldn't beat him, nor best him. He would rise above it, overcome it, and if anyone ever dared to put him into a situation like that again Tony promised himself he'd beg for more. Because more was always better than less. He'd been made less than human once before, and he would never allow someone to unmake like that him again.

It boiled down to him wanting and Loki taking and Tony living to regret it. But as it occurred, as he writhed and moaned beneath the God, pressed across the bar with broken glass spread across the floor by Loki's feet as the other man moved above him and within him, long and thick and wanting, Tony let him take everything and anything because Tony wanted too.

Tony came with a scream, half muffled by Loki's shoulder as Tony bit down hard into pale flesh. Loki arched above him, grip tightening on bony hips as Tony's body tightened around him in turn, hot and wet and willing as Loki released inside him.

"I would have you," Loki had whispered against his lips after their third, frantic kiss, when Tony had momentarily considered how bad of an idea this was, how dangerous Loki was. Those words had pushed all thoughts of anything but "fuck yes now" from his mind. To be wanted, to be desired, by a God, by someone as powerful and dangerous and legendary as this, it made Tony's Id hiss in pleasure like a cat stretching under petting fingers. It made Tony's cock swell, and Loki had felt it against his hip, smirking into Tony's mouth as he reached down to rub it through his trousers.

"I would keep you," Loki whispered in his ear once he had regained his breath.

Tony lay boneless on top of the bar. His legs had uncurled from Loki's waist, and they dangled one on either side of the counter, shamelessly displaying himself to anyone who was interested in watching. He felt like the end of a porn movie, where the good stuff is over, but you can ride out the aftershocks in your own fist by watching cum dribble out of the whore's hole. Tony reached down, fingers brushing Loki's stomach as the man (God, fucking God, fuck) kneeled between his spread legs, watching him curiously. Those fingers pressed against him, into him, feeling the wetness Loki had left behind. He had done this before, with some of the people he had taken to bed; touched them after he had come inside of them (if he had taken them bareback) and made them suck it off of his fingers until he was ready for round two. But he'd never tasted what another had left within him, and the handful of men he had let top him had never dared to ask.

Loki was hard again; cock swelling as he watched Tony suck on his own fingers, lips pursing as he tried to decide whether he liked the flavour or not.

"Performance issues?" Loki asked, a smirk tilting his mouth up, as he glanced down at Tony's lap.

"Recovery time," Tony mumbled instead, focusing on the fingers inside of him again, searching, seeking for more of Loki. His fingers were pulled aside, and he was turned, flipped onto his stomach and Loki slotted in behind him, arse up on the counter and face squished against his clothed arms as Loki pushed in, taking him like a bitch in heat. And Tony moaned for him, for more, wanted and needed and desired, and Loki took because he wanted to.

Loki came first this time, reaching orgasm with a low groan of desire that made something burn in the pit of Tony's stomach. There was a rush of heat within him, and the strange feeling of wading through an ocean but inside as Loki continued to fuck up into him, drawing out the pleasure. When Tony came, it was to Loki's hand on his cock, and Loki's mouth against his neck, mumbling words in a language Tony couldn't hope to understand, and Loki's magic weaving its way unnoticed beneath his skin. Sparks of green danced at the tips of Loki's fingers as they curled up tightly to catch every drop of ejaculate that Tony offered him, Tony's mind was on fire, burning and exploding like fireworks in his head, dizzying and loud and bright and dangerous but so, so good while they lasted, before they did any damage, and they collapsed together in a tangle of sweaty limbs. Tony didn't ask what Loki had been chanting and Loki did not offer to explain.

Instead, he repeated, once again, "I would keep you." Tony hummed noncommittally, unaware that Loki had already made good on his word and there was nothing Tony could do about it now. He had released, he had acquiesced; he had given himself to Loki and bound himself to all of the consequences that would follow.

Outside, Bruce's other guy tackled a nuclear missile out of the sky and through the portal that the Chitauri had surged down from.

Loki had lain upon Tony's back, and the human made no move to displace him. Instead, he thought, about the things that he would do after he had gotten what he wanted, and how Loki's way was different and so unlike him, unknown, that Tony sort of wanted to explore it and see where it would lead. He glanced up, intending to turn to the dark-haired being and ask what and why and when could they do this again, and instead his attention was caught by a flash of green as it fell, like a comet, from the closing hole in the sky. The explosion sent the Hulk flying through the portal so hard that he levelled seven buildings as he fell back to earth.

He should have been out there, with them, Tony thought. He might have even volunteered to get rid of the missile, to prove Steve wrong, he might have given his life to save the world, and yet he made no attempt to push Loki away. He turned a little, glancing away from the clouds of dust that had taken to the air like fog once Hulk hit the ground, and cast his eyes over Loki's pale, flushed face.

"You are beautiful." The words escaped before he could stop them. But the darkening of the blush and the lowering of Loki's eyes, bashful and shy and disbelieving, sort of made up for the fact that Fury had been right: Tony was not Avengers material.

But he didn't regret anything, yet.


Loki had escaped; or rather Tony had let Loki escape. He didn't see the harm in it, yeah Phil was dead but Loki had said that he could bring the Agent back if Tony played his cards right, and maybe the man was lying and maybe he wasn't, but casualties happened in war and only heroes thought otherwise. Tony was no hero. He knew better than to be so naive. Maybe it was naïve and stupid to believe in Loki (though there was always this little part of his brain that buzzed in warning at every word the God spoke, a little lie detector, getting louder or softer depending on Tony's instincts). Loki had targeted Phil to get Tony's attention (other than the man had been in the way) and that made Phil's death Tony's fault more so than Loki's. But none of the other Avengers had died and the Chitauri had been defeated and there had been a relatively low civilian death toll when you consider how bad the damage looked when Tony had first walked outside of Stark Tower and thought he'd been fucked right though an apocalypse. All in all it had been a win for Team Midgard, and if Fury locked Loki up or Thor took him back to Asgard, Tony would be deprived of the fantastic follow up sex Loki had promised him. And Tony didn't want that.

It seemed fair, all things considered. Loki had stayed out of the battle and in return Loki had been freed, by Tony's executive decision, because his tower, his rules and Jarvis had had a rather large portion of his surveillance deleted and then obliterated from cyberspace just to be safe.

The sex had been fantastic. Every time. Every single fucking time, Loki would appear and Tony would spread his legs, intrigued and aroused and wanting (and a little bit afraid but that was all part of the allure).

Tony had been lying beside Pepper one night, his seed dried onto her thighs as she slept, and Loki had climbed into the bed behind him, gagged him with magic and took him slowly and gently. Tony had thrown his head back, to rest upon Loki's shoulder, and the God's hand had covered his arc reactor feeling every frantic, rejoiceful beat of Tony's heart.

They had been fighting Doom (because Tony was still an Avenger, who had been valiantly distracting Loki from them so they could turn off the Tesseract, apparently, though Tony was sure he hadn't actually used the word 'sacrificing himself for the good of mankind', because it hadn't been that much of a sacrifice in all honesty). Loki had appeared mid fight, knocked Thor out with magic for shits and giggles and when everyone had been so focused on the blond God of thunder, Loki had whisked Tony into an alley. They had fucked, Tony's face mashed against a brick wall, Loki hard and unyielding behind him, taking and giving and fucking as Tony screamed, drowned out by the sound of the Doombots exploding.

Loki had found him another time, drunk across the floor of his living room with Clint passed out on the sofa above him. Maybe it was the look of desperation and hurt on Tony's face, or maybe it was the idea of getting off right under the noses of the Avengers, the risk of them waking and seeing him vulnerable (rather than as the aggressor), but Loki had kissed him roughly, stripping them both with magic, and then begged: "Take me, please take me, I am yours for the taking, Tony. I would have you take me." Tony had stared at him. He hadn't comprehended, hadn't realised what was being asked of him even as Loki continued to beg him in that lovely, breathy whisper, because in the eight months this had been happening, Loki had never bottomed once.

The magic that binds them, Loki's vow of ownership, Tony's acceptance of possession, it draws them together. The magic allows Tony to not be defensive, to not resist as often. He could, if he chose to, but the magic makes it so he doesn't realise he has to. He is Loki's as Loki is his, what reason was there to fight that? He was an Avenger and the lover of the God of Mischief, he had the best of both worlds, and maybe it was the alcohol or maybe it was Loki vulnerable and whimpering beneath him, strangely cold on the inside clenching around his cock, or maybe it was just because he was Tony Stark and he eventually fucked up everything, but he made the mistake of having a revelation in the middle of his orgasm.

"I love you," he cried against Loki's neck, pulsing within the sated God.

"Whazzat?" Clint mumbled, jerking upright on the sofa. A bottle of scotch fell out from under his arms and rolled to stop beside Tony.

There was no one beneath him now, no needy flesh surrounding him or clinging to him. He was naked, sweaty and mortified, but he glanced up at Clint with his trademark devil may care smile and shrugged. "Couldn't sleep," he offered unrepentantly, refusing to flinch away from Clint's narrow-eyed glare. "Decided to masturbate."

"Naked?" Clint asked, but he was looking down at himself, as if to make sure he hadn't gotten drunk enough to strip himself before passing out. Fully dressed, and still drunk and tired, Clint rolled over so that his back was to Tony. "Keep it down at least," he mumbled, used to Tony's quirks by now to brush it off as commonplace. "And put some clothes on before Steve wakes up."

Tony waits till Clint starts snoring before he reaches down for the bottle of scotch. "Loki?" He calls, soft and hopeful and so fucking stupid for wanting. Nobody answered, but Tony hadn't though they would (Jarvis has washed his metaphorical hands of this mess, grown sick of warning Tony that 'Sir, this will not end well', and Loki had looked so shocked at the confession that Tony figured that was the last he'd see of the God ever again, and fuck if that didn't make his eyes burn). So he drinks, sip after sip, until all of the scotch is gone, and then he walks completely naked to the study. He digs through cupboard after cupboard, finding every hidden bottle of his hidden stash that Pepper thought she had poured down the drain but actually hadn't, and he drinks each bottle dry. Steve finds him, still naked, unconscious and curled up under his father's desk and his skin in tinged green and he sweats, shakes and vomits in his sleep, and they end up taking him to hospital to have his stomach pumped.

Tony does not know that Loki watched him sleep, sitting beside his hospital bed holding his hand. Loki thinks Tony drank because he regretted the words, because they had been blurted out unmeant in the heat of the moment and surely Tony realised how much they meant to Loki and regretted them. He has no wish to be hurt, and though he foolishly hopes that Tony might one day mean those words, Loki resolves to pretend the incident never happened.

But Tony doesn't know this. Tony thinks he's been dumped (or the God-slash-human-relationship equivalent) and he drinks and he parties and he tries to forget about this second hole in his heart where Loki used to be that the arc reactor can't fill. He's tried; he knows. He got drunk and spent four days building a smaller version of the arc reactor, and tried desperately to force it into his chest, on the left of the first reactor, right above his broken heart. He bleeds a lot and it hurts, but Loki comes when Tony screams for help, heals him and fucks him on the floor of his workshop, and though he leaves straight afterwards it's more than Tony ever thought he'd have again. It's not enough, though he tells himself it is as he packs the bloody second reactor away in a little tin tobacco box that no one will ever think to open. The magic that binds them knows it as well, and it thrums inside of him louder and louder every day for a month as Loki comes to a revelation of his own and avoids Tony until he comes to terms with it.

In the time Loki is gone, Doom attacks twice, and Amora once, and Thor who was at some point enchanted tries to remove Tony's throat with Mjölnir. It crushes his wind pipe, though not enough to kill him, but he's winded and gasping and choking and ripping off the face plate and neck guard of the Iron Man suit with his bloody, broken fingernails as he struggles and struggles to get air into his lungs. It's like Afghanistan again, like being held under the water with a bag over his face: though bag or no bag he couldn't breathe underwater. He thinks if he can get the mask off he can breathe easier, but he can't, and he needs Loki because when Tony feels as if he's dying inside Loki makes him feel like he's flying and living and loving, but he can't make his voice work and his tongue won't form words and the magic screams inside of his mind, stars going supernova and Alderaan crumbling under the power of the Death Star but worse because Loki isn't coming even though Tony is sure, so sure, he is screaming for the God to save him. And Loki isn't coming.

Tony thought he saw him, standing smirking on the other side of the street. Standing silent as Tony choked to death and Steve and Hulk struggled to pin Thor to the ground as he swung Mjölnir in Tony's direction futilely. Tony ended up needing major surgery, and Thor, feeling so horrified by the actions he had carried out under the influence of Amora's magic, sought healing stones from Asgard. Tony talked now with a scratchy gravel of a voice instead of his old smooth like coffee one, charm and suave and seduction, that was now pain and choking and dying and Loki why aren't you answering me, but thanks to Thor's quick thinking Tony could at least talk at all. Tony didn't blame Thor. It was a rookie mistake that had led to this. Tony had seen it coming, had had plenty of opportunity to fly out of the way or even duck down because everyone knew once Thor swung that hammer he didn't really have much trajectory on it. But Tony had looked away, guided by the buzzing of Loki's magic in his mind, calling on him to search for its master, for the one who bound him and claimed him. Tony had looked away, certain he caught sight of gold armour and green leather peering around the corner of a building. It was fortunate, in a way, because if Tony hadn't been so focused on Loki, he might have turned back to Thor in time for Mjölnir to take off his jaw instead.

The fought Skrulls, and Tony had been so convinced Loki was fighting beside him that he had turned his back on an enemy. Loki would have his back, just like Tony would have Loki's, and later they would cling to one another, marking each other's' backs with their nails in passion. Loki didn't have his back; the cameras in the HUD insisted that Loki hadn't even been there. But Tony had seen him, felt the brush of Loki's hands against his armour, smelt the familiar pine and paper scent that burned a little whenever Loki used magic, and the magic inside of his mind calmed down as it did whenever Loki was near. But Loki hadn't been near, and a Skrull had stabbed Tony through the stomach, punching through armour and flesh at such close range that Tony was lucky he hadn't bled to death on the way to the hospital.

It happened again, and again, and again, and again. Lucky hits, Tony kept insisting. I'm fine, he told his worried teammates. In that first month Loki was gone, Amora, Doom and Thor put Tony in the hospital on three separate occasions. In the second month, when Loki travelled to Asgard for the first time in two years to beg his mother's blessing and to trade for a gift that would win him Tony forever, Kang and Namor almost killed him, because he was certain that Loki was there, finally back with him, and Tony had turned to greet him only to be shot in the back by a different supervillain each time.

In the end, Fury had given him an ultimatum: take some time off, or be permanently grounded and have the suits confiscated.

The Iron Man suit was him. Without it (and without Loki) Tony wouldn't know who he was anymore, and he had lost one already so losing the other wasn't even an option. So, he found himself for the third week of that second month building a sensor that was triggered by Loki's magic, because he needed to know if it had been real, if Loki had been real. Jarvis couldn't sense Loki and the other Avengers couldn't see him, not even Thor, but the magic detector picked him up straight away, just like the magic of their bond, the mental chains that tied him to a lover who had abandoned him, both loud and resonating and it was real.

Loki wasn't actually there, but the part of his magic that he had left behind within Tony tied them together. It was like a phantom sensation after a limb has been removed, not there, but your brain hasn't registered that yet. Loki could feel Tony wherever he was, a humming in the back of his mind, quieter the further away he was, but to Tony who was so unused to magic, so helpless against it, it was loud and maddening and it had driven him to obsession and hallucinations and insanity. The magic would manifest, when Tony was in need of it, lending him Loki's strength and healing him slowly, subtly in a way that would appear natural to the other Avengers. But Tony, so unaware of the magic within him, so desperate to see Loki before him, imagined one to be the other, real and tangible, even though it was only a phantom memory, like an eyeball still stinging from an eyelash that had been removed hours before or a tongue long after you bite it: not there, but your brain hasn't quite realised that yet.

Tony, in his desperation and loneliness and self-disgust because he had been the one to cause this, to give in so easily and then drive Loki away so completely, hadn't quite realised this either.

"Loki!" He screamed, struggling to be heard over the sounds of the Avengers battling some of HYDRA's finest. He wasn't supposed to be there, Fury had grounded him, but when the buzzing started in the back of his mind, Tony had suited up and gone out in search of Loki.

It wasn't Loki whose attention he had garnered though. The illusion of Loki merely smiled widely, curious and amused but unhelpful as a HYDRA agent snuck up behind Tony and hit him across the back of the head hard enough to crack the armour. Tony crumpled, and the agent ran back to join the main battle satisfied with himself. The magic burned within him, boiling in his blood, shooting through his veins like a rush of morphine, and in Asgard Loki stopped speaking mid-word and thought of Tony and how much he felt the need to see him again. The magic brought him to consciousness, rousing him like thousands of pins and needles upon his skin, or under his skin, or maybe like one of those fish in the Amazon River that swam up through the slit in your penis and never came out again. It was strange and uncomfortable, unnatural, and Tony stood up with the back of his head caved in and blood pooling in his helmet, but he shook away the dizziness and took to the skies. Loki wouldn't help him, because the illusion just stared calmly back at him, worry fading from its green eyes once Tony was on his feet. The image was gone as Tony faded from sight, going to search for actual help, to pretend an experiment went wrong because Fury would fucking kill him if he found out Tony had taken the suit for a spin without permission while he was grounded. When the image disappeared and the magic stopped burning, Tony fell, and there was no one to break his fall.


Loki appeared for the first time in two months inside of the Avengers Tower. It was quieter than he remembered it ever being, though because while he never saw anyone but Tony he could always hear them or feel them moving through the building. It was late though; late enough that even Tony would be asleep.

"Jarvis, is Tony in the workshop?" He asked politely. In one hand, he held one of Idun's golden apples, that he had traded for fifteen tales (all of which had been about the Avengers or Tony more specifically) and had taken him three weeks to tell before Idun was satisfied enough to part with some of her garden for the sake of a mortal. The other hand held a ring, one his mother had gifted to him, because when she had married her mother had given it to her and she had thought Loki might like to give it to his Tony Stark in turn.

"No, Sir is not." Jarvis answered. There was something strangely hesitant about the AI's voice when he continued, "Sir is in the bedroom, Mr Laufeyson."

Loki thanked him softly and made his way to the bedroom that was as familiar to him as his own back on Asgard. Jarvis hummed lightly, as if wanting to say something but unsure of how to go about it, but Loki pushed it aside, willing to question the computer later, because right now Tony was his priority. He had missed him, so very much, and his heart and soul ached at the knowledge that it had been two months since they had seen one another properly, because fucking on the workshop floor while Tony bled didn't count as it had been so different to their normal encounters, and Loki had had to leave straight away, he had been in the middle of one of Idun's tales when Tony had begged for his help so he couldn't have not gone, but he couldn't have stayed either. He had wanted to, of course he had. He wanted so very much, for all things related to Tony, because why would he bind himself to someone for life if he did not want completely? And surely Tony knew that, surely he had waited for him to return? Perhaps Tony had learnt his words were true in Loki's absence and would proclaim his love for real upon waking and seeing Loki seated on the bed beside him.

Tony didn't proclaim anything, nor did he wake when Loki entered the room.

Instead, it was Loki who let out a cry of surprise, dropping the apple and the ring in his shock. The ring rolled under the bed, and Loki stood upon the apple and crushed it in his haste to get to Tony's bedside. There were wires up Tony's nose and in the crook of both arms and one disappeared under the blankets between his legs. A machine beeped continuously beside the bed, its screen lit up in green though no readings ever appeared. Tony's chest rose and fell, his skin was pale but warm when Loki finally worked up the courage to touch him, but his head was shaved and hidden beneath swaths of bandages where they had tried and failed to heal his brain.

"What?" Anything else he might have said got stuck in his throat when he noticed that Tony's eyes were wide open and glassy, as if in death.

Jarvis, taking that one word as an invitation to explain what he had wanted to earlier, began to speak. Loki heard something about internal bleeding, blunt force trauma, a cracked skull, miraculous partial recovery almost like magic, and then an aneurysm. They think Tony passed out and fell out of the sky, Jarvis said, they think he hit his head again, first falling into a coma and then having a heart attack from the stress all the while bleeding on the brain and into his helmet. Loki heard 'brain dead' repeated several times, Jarvis shouting it futilely as Loki struggled over and over to shake Tony awake. He heard the words, but they didn't register. It was like a story; if Loki never listened until the very end, then his imagination could finish it whatever way he liked, and it could be happy if he was in the mood for that or it could end sadly if he chose for it to. Likewise, if he did not listen to Jarvis, then none of this would be real, and Tony would be waiting for him, feigning sleep, and feigning exhaustion but always willing and ready for him when Loki sought to take him.

"Captain Rogers wished to turn off life support two days ago. He feels it is unnecessarily cruel on them all for me to prolong their agony and deprive Sir of the funeral he deserves. Agent Barton believes it will be a send-off to top all send-offs." Loki let out a frustrated moan, half anger because Tony wasn't waking up and half terror because Tony wasn't waking up, and Jarvis kept talking. "I informed them that there was one other person Sir cared about enough to say goodbye to. Though, I personally believe that you have waived any and all rights you had over my creator, he would likely not feel the same, and so, I am waiting on you to bid him farewell before I pull the plug," Jarvis paused, and Loki imagined that if the AI could he would be blinking tears out of his eyes (because that's what Loki was doing), "so to speak."

"Pull the plug?" Loki managed to choke out after a few moments of agonized breathing, like sandpaper or razorblades in his throat as he thought of Tony never hearing 'I love you' from him because he was finally ready to say it now and it would forever go unheard.

"The machine keeps his heart beating, along with the arc reactor. This machine keeps his lungs breathing and his blood pumping and his bladder working. Those wires, and the fluids, keep him looking healthy and alive while those Sir cared for tell him goodbye, without having to look upon him as the corpse he is. Without that machine, he will cease to breathe, as he has already ceased to be." Jarvis' voice was cool, but there might have been the slightest tremor to it that matched the terrible wailing in Loki's mind.

"I can heal him." It was pathetic and foolish and frantic but Loki offered nonetheless, but what else could he do? He had planned to wed this human, he loved this man, and in his absence someone had taken Tony from him.

"He did not deal well with your leaving him. Others have left him, it appears to always be the way it is, but he has never reacted so unfavourably until you left. Not even his parents' deaths stirred so much upheaval within his mind. I think," Jarvis offered in what was supposed to be comfort, unaware of Loki shifting so that he had one hand on Tony and one hand on the machine that magically continued to give him life, "my creator would have preferred this death to a continued descent into madness. His mind was his most powerful weapon, and your leaving stripped him of it."

"I can heal him," Loki whispered once more. With a crackle of green magic like fireflies at his fingertips, Tony and the life support machine disappeared.

Loki wasn't like his brother; he understood electricity and he had his own small apartment that only Tony had seen in the Bronx. He set Tony up in Loki's own bed, IV and beeping machine like shadows at his side, and Loki slept curled against Tony's steadily moving chest when he was tired enough to sleep. When he wasn't sleeping, he was forcing magic into Tony until he collapsed from exhaustion. He had brought back healing stones from Asgard, though they had no effect. He had sought healers and alchemists and in total desperation he had sought Hela upon Niflheim and begged her to return his lover's soul. When all of that failed to save the un-life of Tony Stark, Loki slipped into the man's mind, riding the chain of magic that bound them like a wave to the shore, strong and sure and focused until it reached its destination.

Loki was like that amputated limb from the metaphor, and he slotted perfectly in place to where he had once been removed from. Though Tony was dead, there was a mental imprint left upon his brain, because the brain had yet to realise Tony was gone, and Loki used that phantom memory of his lover to create a new world for them.

Every night they dreamed together. Of the time, in the kitchen, where Loki had taken Tony for the first time, legs spread wide and eager across the bar while the Chitauri were defeated. Again, they dreamed of Pepper sleeping in Tony's arms, waking as Tony came to completion beneath Loki who, quickly, hid himself, invisible but still beside them, watching and seething with jealousy as Tony used his mouth to distract his Lady Potts, tongue and teeth against damp folds until she was sleeping sated beside them once more. Loki took his mouth then, thrusting hard and fast to chase away the taste of her with the taste of himself, leaving only himself left for Tony to remember the next morning.

They dreamed of every other time they had made love, or fucked, or rutted, or touched one another intimately. They dreamed of the times where Loki had held Tony as he slept, and of the only one time Tony had made love to him and admitted the words out loud.

But in the dreams, in every single one of the dreams, Loki whispered, "I love you". It was said like a prayer, something holy and reverent, but sad at the same time because never once had he said the words to Tony until Tony was no longer really there to hear it. He says it, in the dreams he makes Tony dream of him, every chance he gets because it is the only chance he gets. Every night Loki makes Tony dream of him, and every night Loki tells him he loves him, while remembering the one time the words passed the lips of the real Tony Stark, and he cherishes that memory, incorporates it into the dreams every chance he gets. And unlike in the real world where Loki left in a panic and Tony drank himself into the hospital, in the dreams Tony is happy, because this is Loki's imagination and Loki can end his story anyway he likes.

Tony can stay in the dreams forever and be happy. Loki is the one who has to wake up.

But every night, forever, he dreams.

The End

Thank you for reading. Let me know what you think, because I have a muzzle!sex story planned, interested?. So, until next time.