a/n: So I did end up writing a prize fic for the 100th reviewer of The Fundamental Theorem of Shakespeare, and the winner happened to be Iloveyaoi2much. Their request was for some Tony/Loki in a high school AU, which was pretty awesome, because I happen to have an unhealthy obsession with both of those. . D .

warnings: author's headcanon says highschooler!Loki can be rather shy and awkward o uo;;

Chemistry, and the Presence Thereof
(or, "Romance According to Tony Stark")

Before I start, I would like to say this in the most blunt, yet effective way that I know how, in hopes that it will dispel any further questions or accusations you may decide to throw at me later in this story: I initially did not mean to end up in naked in Loki Laufeyson's bedroom.

Not that I have regrets, because okay, so maybe it wasn't entirely accidental. I mean, there had been alcohol - we were at a party, and one usually associates alcohol to parties, right? - but neither of us were drunk. I had one or two drinks, but I was definitely sober enough to remember every second of that night. One thing led to another, affection and promises and "I love you"s that I, in an unprecedented manner, returned, and then we were simply in that situation.

Maybe this was bound to happen, but after a few moments of finding each other in the crowd of gyrating bodies, we were kissing and in the single month I'd been living in that town, it easily became one of my favorite memories. (Is that too cliche? I'm sorry.)

Contrary to what you may think, I was actually scared shitless the whole time. Then, you know, we woke up the next morning and the first thing Loki did was murmur, "Good morning," while looking at me with the most attractive case of bedhead I've ever seen, and all of my figurative armor sort of dropped, and I leaned over and kissed his cheek and told him I hoped he wasn't too sore.

In any other case, I would have left already, gone right after we were done, but this was Loki. Just like in almost every other situation, he was the one I would gladly make the rare exception.

But anyway, I probably just sound like a creep at the moment, and I really don't want you thinking that, oh dear reader of mine, and going to file a restraint order on me on the behalf of Loki. Because that's not cool.

I'll start from the very beginning now.

. . .

The "very beginning" would have to start in my parents bedroom, where they were in the making of conceiving the most amazing person to ever live(read: Tony Stark), but I'm sure you'd rather skip that part, so let me retract my earlier statement: I'll start with when I first met Loki.

Oh, wait! I almost forgot one more thing: Thor, if this somehow ended up in your hands and you're reading this, I am so extremely, positively, utterly sorry for ogling Loki on first sight, but in my defense, no one should be allowed to look that drool-worthy while wearing a sweater and black jeans. Please wait until I'm your height and build until beating me up for tainting Loki's honor or something, even though this should be taken as a compliment.

Loki, if this is you, it's a free country and I'm at liberty to ogle whoever I want.

As you should have already gathered, Loki was wearing this dark green turtleneck and jeans that showed off those breathtaking hips. I actually met him three days before I began attending my new school.

I was in the local Wegman's buying some stuff for dinner - Dad was too busy running the company to make food for me nowadays. I was just entering the snacks aisle when I noticed first noticed Loki, standing there and staring at something on the shelf.

I'm not going to go into detail again about how enraptured I was with that god-given physique. I was only there to pick up a bag of chips, but thanks to him, I purposely planted myself in front of some Doritos and Cheetos and tried to "decide" while sneaking glances out of the corner of my eye.

I noticed eventually what he was looking at: different brands of pudding. And when I realized that he'd hadn't moved save for the occasional tapping of his foot for about five minutes straight, I finally gathered enough nerves to go up to him.

"Do you need help reaching that?" was the first thing that came out of my mouth. It was the wrong thing to say, mainly because of these two reasons: The shelf wasn't very high up, and Loki was taller than me by two or three inches.

The look that he shot my way was a mixture of hurt, bemusement, and confusion.

"Oh god, I'm so sorry," I immediately said, imagining bashing my own head into one of the shelves. "I have no tact, at all. I meant to say hi."

"No, it's all right." For some reason, he was the one who looks embarrassed, a slight blush tinting his cheeks. He rubbed the back of his neck, and it was all I can do to not be so obvious with my staring. "Um, that one?"

He pointed to a chocolate flavored one.

I couldn't believe he was actually indulging me. So I reached for it, my shoulder accidentally (or maybe not accidentally) brushing his as I took a pudding cup that was a few mere inches from his own reach. I handed it to him. "There you go."

He took it with a small smile. "Thank you."

God, those eyes. I exhaled and grinned. "No problem. Name's Tony Stark, by the way." I held out my hand, then casually mentioned, "I just moved here yesterday, actually."

"I'm Loki." He took my hand and shook it, and I congratulated myself for pulling away first and not lingering. "And oh, that's nice. I'm assuming you'll be going to the local high school?"

My grin became impossibly wider. "You bet! Don't suppose you happen to go there too?"

"Eleventh grade."

"Wow, really? That's awesome, so am I. At least now I won't be completely surrounded by strangers."

He quirked a soft smile. "It would appear so. In case you're afraid of getting lost or something, I'd gladly-"


Alas, our lovely moment together was ruined when a blond marched into the aisle. He was much bigger than both of us, which made me question if he was on steroids. He threw an arm around Loki, a frown poorly masked on his face. "Who is this?"

"Go away, Thor." Loki squirmed in his hold, but he didn't look like he was having much luck. "He's a friend."

A friend. Five minutes of conversation, and I was already a friend. I wondered how far I'd get in an hour. "Uh, yeah. Tony Stark." I wasn't particularly happy with the third party (or the way he was holding Loki), but they must have been pretty close to be grocery shopping together.

I considered brothers, but almost immediately dismissed it. While Loki had jet black hair, Thor had blond hair. Loki's eyes were a sharp green, Thor's were a light blue. Also, they seemed like polar opposites in personality.

"We must go. I fear we've lost Steve."

Loki looked mildly alarmed at this. He turned to me, expression helpless. "I'm sorry, Tony, but I have to go."

I did my best to shake my head and appear nonchalant. "Hey, no problem. Although I might have to take you up on that offer, the school does look pretty big." Actually, I could have easily printed off the floor map from the school's website, but I wasn't going to pass up on some time with Loki.

He seemed to force a smile. "Just find me, if you do end up needing help. My locker's 507."

Then the big blond dude was steering him away, and all I could do was watch after him. Right before they turned out of the aisle(the whole time, I could hear Loki hissing something to Thor), Thor glanced back and glared at me.

Right. So that made it one friend and one potential enemy, and I hadn't even had my first day yet. Man, I'm good.

. . .

This isn't a guide on how to survive high school, but I'm just putting this out there: Confidence is the key to everything. If you don't want to get shoved into a locker on your first day of school, look like it. See those stereotypical, buff, Letterman-jacket-wielding football players? Glare at them. See those staring girls? Flash a grin. Whatever you do, don't look as nervous as you feel.

My own level of nervousness was actually pretty low, but this was my fifth time switching schools; I was used to this routine.

The welcome letter said that my locker was 730. The number pattern seemed relatively easy enough to follow, until I reached a four-way intersection. Then the numbers made absolutely no sense.

I followed a row of 500's lockers. I saw Loki long before I actually reached his locker. There were two others with him - one of them was Thor.

I walked up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. "Hey, remember me?"

The other two guys turned before he did. Thor seemed unhappy to see me. Don't worry, buddy; feeling was mutual.

The other guy was also a blond, though his hair was a lot shorter than Thor's. He regarded me with curious blue eyes.

"Oh, hi Tony." Loki shut his locker and finally turned to me, cheeks flushed and arms holding his books closely to his chest. "What did you need help with? I mean, assuming you are here for help."

His 'friends' were eyeing me not-so-subtly, but I opted to ignore them. "Yeah, actually," I said with a small laugh, rubbing the back of my neck. "I kind of need help finding my locker."

"Kind of?" he said, sounding amused.

"I just wanted to see you, to be honest," I said unabashedly. Yep, that's me: no shame at all.

Thor was now vaguely disapproving. The other guy looked lost. "Um, excuse me, who are you?" he spoke up before Loki could reply to my ever-brilliant remark. He didn't sound offended, just confused.

"Oh, hello there. I'm Tony Stark, nice to meet you." I even shook his hand. And my guidance counselors call me too harsh and unable to be sincere with others...

"Steve Rogers." Poor guy looked even more confused, but to his credit, he shook my hand. "So I guess you're the guy Loki's been talking about?"

Loki had been talking about me? My heart (and ego) positively soared. "The one and only," I said, smirking and gesturing grandly to myself. "Although I'm curious as to what dear Loki's been saying about me."

"Steve," Loki began warningly, but his friend only chuckled. I couldn't blame him; Loki just wasn't meant to be threatening.

"Come on, Thor, I thought you had an assignment to turn in early," he said, and, bless him, put a hand on Thor's arm and began leading him away. "We'll see you in third period, Loki." He waved, then seemed to meld in with the steady flow of students going down the hallway.

I turned back to Loki, who looked severely embarrassed. "Hey," I said, putting a hand on his shoulder and trying my best to be reassuring, even though I wanted to keep teasing him because he was being absolutely adorable (don't judge me), "don't worry about it. I think we all have friends like that."

"I rather wish we didn't," he grumbled.

"I can only hope you had good things to say about me," I couldn't help but add. I was rewarded with another nice flustering of his cheeks.

"What's your locker number?" he asked, changing the topic swiftly.

"730. I'm guessing that's nowhere near here."

"And what's your homeroom?"

"Uh, room 210?"

"All right, we should hurry before the bell rings and we become late." He took my wrist then, those wondrously long fingers warm on my skin. "Your locker should be...just around the corner, I believe."

I followed my cute little tour guide around to my locker, pleased that he waited for me while I put in my combination and stuffed in my backpack. He was glancing over my schedule while I took out the things I would need for my morning classes.

"We only have two classes together, plus homeroom and lunch," he spoke up a little while later. His voice had a tinge of dejection, and trust me, he wasn't the only one feeling that way. "Third and eighth period, it looks like."

"Aw, really?" I didn't bother hiding my own disappointment.

"It would appear so." He sighed - barely audible, but I caught it.

Not wanting to see him upset, I said, "Well, I guess I'll just have to enjoy every lasting minute I have with you, huh?" I beamed at him, something my friends have affectionately dubbed as my 'shit-eating grin,' and nudged his shoulder semi-suggestively.

His green eyes peered at me shyly, and he nodded. "I guess so." A smile of his own was tugging at his lips.

The next thing that tumbled out of my mouth was, "Please tell me you aren't already dating Thor or anything." Because then I feared I would be consumed in a fit of depression - or maybe even stupidity and try to go against him. (Yes, for the first time, I was willing to go such lengths for someone. Like I said before, I was infatuated, and though I was sort of iffy on the concept of love and love-at-first-sight, something told me that that was exactly what I was feeling.)

He laughed, the sound absolutely lovely to my ears. "We're adoptive brothers."

"Good," I said, and then I kind of kissed him.

And I'm sure that this could have just been me getting too hopeful, but I think he might have just kissed back.

The bell overhead rung, signaling the start of homeroom, and also, coincidentally, the end of my story.

I'm really sorry about that, by the way - I'm sure you were looking forward to hearing about exactly how I ended up in Loki's bed, though like I said before, I had a feeling it was bound to happen.

The rest of that week would easily become one of my favorite first-weeks-of-school. That's all I'm willing to say.

All right, I can indulge you a little more, I guess. A week later, I would go up to him and officially ask him for a date. Two weeks after that, I realized I really did love him. The week after that would be the party incident I recounted in the beginning, and on the following day, I would go up to him with a bouquet of flowers (lilies, as I'd come to know were his favorites), and ask in the most cheesiest way possible if he would go to prom with me.

Then I would start frequently inviting him over to my house over the summer. We would graduate together. Our colleges would be some distance apart, but I would never not be willing to drive the three hours to see him again. Someday, we would move in. Someday, we would marry. We would have fights, of course, but each one would only make me love him even more afterwards. Someday, we would buy your typical American house with a white picket fence and a dog. Someday - who knows? - we might even end up adopting a kid.

I should probably mention that some of those haven't really happened yet. What, now you want a hint?

Okay, since I'm feeling generous, I'll give you one, but I'll be obscure about it, because I'm Tony Stark and oh crap Loki just walked into the r

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You still remember the scene in the hallway, am I correct? Yes? Well, our story will be ending with that: the start of something quite beautiful.