a/n: wheee so this story's being written at Bloody-Destination's lovely request(in which I was able to write even more high school AU *u*), after they were the two hundredth reviewer for TFOS.
Also, I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I've secretly loved these three for a while now, separate and together. (Together a little moreso.) ; v ;
disclaimer; ah I'm just trying to contribute to the fandom? ;-;
Loki doesn't notice it at first. After all, he's just their lanky, a-little-too-pale-for-his-own-good, twenty-one-year-old mathematics teacher - okay, well, he's actually just a student teacher, coming down from college to teach for a few months so he could see what it was like to teach a real class. But he digresses; as a teacher, student teacher, college student, as Loki, he doesn't understand what two people like Thor Odinson and Tony Stark could possibly want from him.
It starts on his second day of teaching. It's sometime mid-February and his fingers are near frozen as he finally reaches the front doors of the school. There were numerous patches of ice littered around the parking lot, which apparently he isn't so good at spotting and then avoiding.
He never actually falls, thank god, but by the time he's stepped off the blacktop, his slip count is up to a grand total of seven. As if that isn't enough, when he enters the school, he runs into someone and drops the folder of papers he's had a death grip on since he left his car.
Several colorful expletives spill forth from the student's mouth, leaving Loki stunned and irritated, but also somehow confused. He kneels down to pick up his lesson plans, only to find that it's already being done for him.
"Here you go." The folder is slipped back into his hands. "Sorry 'bout that, I wasn't looking where I was..." Loki looks up, wondering why he suddenly trailed off. He's met by curious blue eyes staring at him. "Who're you?"
He doesn't look familiar, even though Loki prides himself for being pretty good with remembering names and faces. Perhaps he was absent the day before.
Loki ponders this for a few seconds, before realizing that the boy is still waiting for a response. He answers, straightening, "Ah, I'm Loki Laufeyson, I will be-"
Then he's (rudely) interrupted. "Are you new?"
Yes, the boy must have definitely been absent the day before and missed the announcement of their new student teacher. Loki glances down at himself; he's wearing a white button down and some slacks. How exactly does he resemble a high school student?
He cocks his head to the side, examining the other. He has unruly dark brown hair, blue eyes that look almost black, and lips twitched up into a slight smirk. He's shorter than Loki, but the size of his ego - which is apparent in his expression - makes up for most of it. He carries a math textbook under his arm, the one that's issued in Loki's classes, so he presumes that he will be seeing more of him later.
"Sure," he says, mostly because he'd like to see the boy's reaction when he has him for class.
"Cool." The boy's smirk widens into a full-blown grin. "I'm Tony Stark, in case you haven't heard of me yet. If you need any help, I'd be gladly willing to show-"
"Tony!" Then a red-haired girl suddenly shows up behind him, looking annoyed. "I thought you said you were going to eat breakfast with me and Pete."
"We've been waiting for you in the cafeteria for twenty minutes."
Loki watches as Tony is forcibly led to the cafeteria by the girl - Loki recognizes her as Natasha Romanov. He moves to leave as well, but not before he hears Tony call, "See you later!"
"Later" happens to mean first period.
"Morning," Loki greets as the students begin to trickle in one by one. He smiles the whole time, until Thor Odinson walks into the room.
"Good morning, Mr. Laufeyson," the taller, broader, bulkier boy acknowledges, easily making eye contact.
His tone doesn't suggest anything but guilelessness, but Loki chokes a little and falters in his smile. He nods in return, because there's something about the way Thor looks at him that makes him unable to trust himself to speak. He thinks he sees Thor biting back a knowing smile, as if he's perfectly aware of how he's affecting Loki (bastard), but Loki doesn't have too much time to dwell on that.
He feels an all too casual nudge to his shoulder. It's none other than Tony Stark suddenly at his side.
"Not sure exactly how new you are, buddy, but we kids usually sit in seats," the brunet says, gesturing to the desks.
In the background, Loki is aware of the way the class suddenly falls hushed, and then feels twenty seven pairs of eyes on them as Tony continues on in obliviousness. He's trying hard not to smirk, arms crossed loosely across his chest and leaning against the edge of his desk.
"You can sit next to me, if you want," Tony says, and then Loki sees his eyes fall on something behind them. When they widen almost comically, he assumes that Tony has just read the "Mr. Laufeyson" that Loki has written neatly across the chalkboard. "Whoa, wait, you're a sub?" Tony sounds vaguely scandalized.
"Student teacher, actually," Loki replies sweetly. "Take a seat, Mr. Stark."
"Too cute to be a teacher," he thinks he hears Tony huff under his breath. He also thinks he spies Thor eyeing Tony murderously, but he ignores both.
(Even though it brings a strange sense of satisfaction at the attention. But he ignores that, too.)
Throughout the class, Tony makes a point to raise his hand as often as he can. Most(read: all) of his contributions to the class discussion are completely irrelevant. "How old are you?" he asks at some point, and that's when Loki stops calling on him, wondering if he has any shame, yet also somewhat impressed at his audacity.
At the end of the period, the last two students out, unsurprisingly, are Thor and Tony.
"No, seriously, how old are you?" Tony persists, loitering near the front as Loki tries his best to clean the chalk board off. "You look really young."
"I'm a student teacher." Loki feels like he's repeated this a hundred times already. "I attend college, but they've given me the opportunity to teach here in place of your former math teacher for two or three months, in order to gain some experience."
Tony's mouth curves into a triumphant grin and he begins, "So technically you're-"
"Get to class, Mr. Stark," Loki interrupts wearily, and puts a hand on his shoulder and gives a gentle but firm nudge towards the door.
"Too bad this means I can't ask you to eat lunch with me," Tony laments.
"Class," Loki reiterates, and nudges him again.
"All right, all right. I'll catch you later." With a wink, Tony swiftly exits the classroom.
From the schedule Loki learned from the previous day, he knows that the students either have study hall or gym next, so he has a free period before his second class of the day arrives.
He turns back to his desk, only to find that Thor is still there.
"You're running late," he comments, glancing at the clock on his laptop.
"Is he starting to bother you yet?" Thor says instead.
Loki arches an eyebrow, meeting his gaze evenly. "I assume you're talking about Tony - to which the answer is no. He simply...does not know his boundaries."
"Indeed." Thor plants his both his hands on the desk and leans forward. His shoulders are hunched ever so slightly, but he still towers over Loki. "Please, if he ever gets too much, simply tell me. I would be more than willing to, ah, tell him off for you."
"You don't need to worry yourself, Thor. Although I appreciate the thought, Tony does not pose any particular danger, and I'm fully capable of defending myself." Loki smiles in what he hopes to be a reassuring way, putting a hand on his student's shoulder. "Now, you should probably be leaving."
Thor quirks a smile, but there's something darker underlying it. "Have a good day, Mr. Laufeyson," he says curtly, before leaving as well and leaving Loki alone in the classroom.
And that's the beginning. Everything just kind of snowballs from there on out.
. . .
On the fourth day of teaching, he walks into his classroom to find an apple perched neatly on his desk. He turns to his class to ask whose bright idea it was, but the seats are empty.
Ten minutes later, when his homeroom students have been replaced by those he has for first periods, he announces to the class, "You should all know that it's against school rules to have food during class." Several kids stand up to spit their gum out, but he purposely makes eye contact with Tony.
. . .
The next day, there's a cup of hot chocolate. It is not food, it is a drink, reads a little note next to it. A flawed argument, but a considerably valiant attempt. Loki considers gifting it to Mr. Rogers in the next classroom over, but decides to take a little sip first and ends up drinking the whole cup.
His students file in and shoot him odd glances, but he ignores them. Perhaps they're only envious.
"Right," he says, the mug nice and warm in his hand while he uses the other to begin writing numbers. "Clint, put that spitball down, come up here, and solve this equation for the class, please."
"But just my answer wouldn't be a fair representative of the whole class's intelligence," the boy complains, but comes up nonetheless, taking the chalk grudgingly and scribbling down the (incorrect) answer.
Loki calls on Peter to fix it, finishing the hot chocolate by the time the boy returns to his seat. As he squashes the Styrofoam cup and drops it into the waste bin, he announces, hypocritical on purpose, "Just a reminder that there are no drinks allowed either."
. . .
One day, Thor comes in with a gray-turning-purple bruise on his jaw, and Tony makes his appearance with a black eye. "What on earth happened to you two?" Loki asks, perturbed as they make their way to their seats, both a little sluggish in their pace.
Sure, he's only been teaching for eight days, but despite common speculation, he had developed somewhat of a soft spot for his students.
"Fell," Thor answers at the same time Tony announces proudly, "I got in a fight."
Loki isn't stupid. He knows who's lying here. Here's a hint: it's Thor.
. . .
"Mr. Rogers?" Loki is hesitant to approach the older man. "Would you mind if I sit here?"
"Not at all, Loki." The history teacher smiles warmly, gesturing to the empty seat in front of him and Mr. Banner. "And you don't have to be so formal, you know. 'Steve' would work just fine."
But Loki's not really a teacher and he's about ten years younger than him, so he'll decide to stick with Mr. Rogers, thanks very much. "I was wondering if you could tell me about Thor Odinson and Tony Stark." Realizing that's too generic, he adds, "I mean, er, are they friends at all?"
Images of those two bruised faces resurface in his mind, and despite himself, he worries.
"Oh, those two." Steve chuckles, but it sounds more weary than amused. "I think they may be acquaintances? I don't really pay attention, I'm sorry."
Loki raises an eyebrow. Huh, really?
"But of course, their egos tend to clash," Mr. Banner puts in. "It's inevitable, considering that kids tend to be rather big-headed at this age."
Mr. Rogers nods gravely in agreement, and then the two launch into a discussion about teenagers and then Loki feels awkward and gets up to eat with Miss Lewis instead.
. . .
It is not food nor a drink, it is a flower, reads the note next to the rose.
"Hm," Loki murmurs out loud to himself, picking up the flower. "This is actually a little...flattering." He makes a note to ask if Mr. Banner has any unused vases to spare, then tucks the flower away before opening the door for his next class.
. . .
"All right, remember that there's a test on Monday. You're dismissed." Loki is getting used to this. Grades are always the hardest to deal with, but he forces himself to put up with them, because he'll have no choice someday when he's a real teacher.
Thor is still sitting in his seat, slumped forward with his head buried into the crook of his elbow. When Loki taps his shoulder, he realizes he's asleep.
It's a bit of a blow to his pride. "Thor," he says, shaking the blond-haired youth's shoulder. "Wake up. Class is over." He's considering giving detention for the first time, but then Thor raises his head and Loki sees the dark shadows below his eyes, as if he hasn't slept for a while. "Are you okay?"
"M'fine," Thor replies gruffly, rubbing his eyes. He stands, lifts Loki's hand to his mouth, and brushes his knuckles against his lips. "Sorry." Then he shuffles out of the classroom, obviously still not quite awake yet.
"Okay," Loki says, long after he's gone. He looks down at his hand, betwixt confusion and satisfaction. "Okay," he repeats, and goes off to finally ask Mr. Banner about that vase, because he has eight roses on hand that'll wilt if he doesn't find a place for them soon.
Speaking of the roses, maybe it isn't Tony after all.
. . .
Or maybe so.
Tony freezes in the middle of setting what would be the tenth rose down, obviously surprised to see his teacher come in fifteen minutes earlier than usual. "This is not what it looks like."
Loki snorts, shrugging off his jacket. "What is it, then?"
"...Yeah, it probably is what it looks like." Tony shrugs. He crosses the room and formally hands the rose to Loki himself, smirking. "For you, m'lady."
"Even though I'm not your real teacher, I can still give out detention slips."
"Not impressed with my chivalry, okay. Damn, that means Thor taught me all that for nothing."
"Excuse me?" Loki wants to say, but then Tony pats him on the shoulder and walks past him with a cheery, "See you first period!"
This isn't right, Loki has the mind to think, but it's really hard not to be smiling right now.
. . .
The next day, as he's walking to the teacher's lounge to eat lunch, he is ambushed. Correction: wrestled into a closet. Another correction: wrestled into a closet and then trapped between two chests.
"This isn't food, water, or flowers," he feels the murmur against his neck, then hears a second voice continue, "this is the best thing that's ever happened to you."
"No," Loki says, freeing a hand from the ridiculously tight space, "this is the janitor's closet." His fingers manage to find the light switch, and when he flicks it up, the room is immediately brightened. In front, Tony is pouting; from the back, Thor's arms around Loki tighten.
"We're trying to ravish you here," Tony says pointedly, then nudges the switch again.
In the dark once more, Loki leans into warm arms and, most likely against better judgment, lets it happen.
. . .
"Nothing else," he says later as he hurries to button up his shirt, cheeks flushed and hair tousled and eyes bright, "happens until I return to college and I'm not your student teacher anymore. Understood?"
Thankfully, Thor and Tony do; however, on their way out of the closet, they both steal kisses on Loki's mouth. (Tony does so for the sake of doing so; Thor, on the other hand, is almost sweet and Loki realizes that maybe underneath all that muscle and deep baritone, he's just a big softie.)
The raven-haired man grumbles under his breath. It's really okay, though, because he let them.
. . .
Then it's three months later and searing hot. The temperature is high enough to make Loki miss winter, despite how many times those cursed ice patches in a particular school's parking lot threatened his life. Point: It's too bloody hot.
The AC is not working and the curtains haven't finished drying yet, so Loki is at the mercy of the merciless sun. (Ha.)
He's really tempted to strip down to nothing and just curl up on the sofa, into that one cushion that always feels cool, but no curtains also means he could be subjected to his neighbors, voyeurs, the landlord, and possibly a restraining order. So instead he settles for just a pair of loose shorts and plops himself down on the couch with a bucket of ice cream, determined to wait out this incessant heat.
He isn't even two bites into his ice cream, however, when two things happen: It start melting(already!), and the doorbell rings. Letting out a petulant groan - hot weather always did make him cranky - he drags himself over to the door and wrenches it open.
"What?" he demands irately. If it's someone come to complain about his nudity, screw them, at least he decided to keep the shorts on.
But it isn't. No, it's Thor and Tony.
"Oh, it's you two," he says, too exhausted to say anything more intelligent.
Tony snorts. "Good to see you too." He ruffles Loki's hair as if he's the older one, although he has grown in height since Loki's last day of teaching. Not enough to surpass Loki, but he's grown nonetheless.
"We brought some food," Thor says. "And," he adds, eyes trailing downwards Loki's bare chest, "a fan."
"Wonderful, lovely, fantastic," Loki babbles, hardly acting like the twenty-one-year-old he is. He ushers them in and hurries to close the door after them, not wanting to let any more heat in from outside. "I don't think you've caught me at a very good time, th-"
As soon as he turns around, Tony seizes him by the hips and doing a rather fine job of kissing the breath out of him. It takes a few seconds, but then he feels Thor round up behind him, and the position is familiar, comfortable.
The next morning, Loki would pad into the kitchen to make breakfast, only to find an apple perched on the counter. Afterwards, as the scene finally registers in his sleep-fogged brain, he would crack a silly grin, grab it, and take a bite, like he'd wanted to do to that first apple several months ago.
But presently, they're stumbling for the bedroom, and Loki really has other things to be preoccupied with.