Title: Until death do us part

Rating: T for swearing?

Pairing: Tony/Loki

Word count: 8,400

Summary: Loki is dying and as a last resort he turns to Tony Stark for help, the clever engineer who already offered to help once.

A/N: My first fic. First fic that I actually got myself to writing as I usually find it really hard to find the words and stuff. But this went really well. I also want to thank my dear friend Antti, who sort of beta-read this C: And especially since he's not into Tony/Loki or any other male pairing for that matter xD 3

A/N: 24-03-2013; Made a few changes... I've no idea why I waited this long, when I posted this on AO3 I rewrote and corrected it a bit and I honestly don't know why I didn't update this version as well.


-missing date- (Early September)

It all started sometime early in September. I have no idea what time it was, but it was dark outside, so it was pretty late. I was out on a test run for my new suit when I spotted a lone figure on a rooftop, a bit too close to the edge to be ignored, so I got closer. It wasn't until I landed that I noticed the horned, golden helmet lying next to the figure and I quickly raised my repulsors, ready to fire. He didn't seem alarmed though, surely he'd heard me, the suit isn't exactly subtle, but he just sat there, with his legs dangling over the edge.

"Loki?" I called out and at that he turned his head slowly, the corners of his mouth quirked downwards and he drew a deep breath.

"Anthony Stark, what an unpleasant surprise" He said, voice sounding strained, tired.

"What's up? Planning on sulking the world into your obedience?" I joked, but of course he wasn't amused. He stood up though, and turned to face me. Not only did he sound tired, but looked the part as well. His usual proud posture was sloping slightly and his expression grim (still noticeable in the poor light).

After asking me if I truly wished to know his actions for the evening, he told me that he was dying. I scoffed, coldly, told him we all do, that he was nothing special. He turned his back to me. That's when I knew I wouldn't have to call the Avengers that evening.

A moment of silence lingered between us, then he turned to me again and I think that was when I first noticed how old he truly looks, how old he is, and when he spoke, he told me he did not have long. A couple of months, tops. He showed me his arm, his left arm and his blackened hand. He told me it was some kind of virus (Midgardian term, he added), feeding on his magic. He'd already spent a month trying to get rid of it, only to find out all he could do was dampen it, hinder it from spreading faster. And I felt a sudden urge to help the poor bastard, because he looked so pathetic, so helpless and tired and no one deserves to walk around, waiting for death to come take them away. So I made a proposition, to help him, run some tests, see if there was anything I could do, but he (politely) declined and before disappearing into a swirl of green he informed me, without holding back on the gory details, that if word were to reach his brother, I would be dead. Actually, if I as much as considered telling Thor, I would be dead before I got to the part where I actually told him.

September passed and we didn't see much of Loki, in fact we didn't see him at all. We did however capture MODOK, beat off some steam on a couple of Doom Bots and kick Amoras and Skruge's asses. So, it wasn't all that bad.

On my test runs I'd keep an extra eye out, some night when I felt a need to get away from everything I'd stop by the rooftop and just sit there, and look out over the city. After a while I started wondering if Loki had, in fact, died...

October 5, 2012

It wasn't until October that Loki made an appearance, and even then it wasn't as himself. It was at a party that I had no real intention going to, but there I was, chatting with someone- I can't even remember who. A guy came up to me, put his hand on my arm, asked me if I had a moment. I looked at him, noticing a pair of recognizable green eyes but it wasn't until I looked down at the hand that I realized who it was. I quickly excused myself and walked off with this presumably unknown man.

We ended up on a balcony, a couple of floors above the party. The music could be heard in the background, a distant noise filling the silence. Loki had turned back to his usual self, but was still wearing the same black suit with a green scarf accenting his eyes. This time he looked even more like shit. His face covered in bruises, small cuts here and there and he was leaning against the railing, favoring his left leg.

I asked what had happened to him, joked; asking if he'd been trampled by a hoard of horses. He snorted, shaking his head but there was a hint of a smile the way the corners of his mouth quirked slightly upward. Second attempt at a joke directed towards the God of Mischief and it was a success. That ought to count for something.

I joined him by the railing, he turned and we both stood facing the city. He then asked me if I knew of Idunn's golden apples and I shook my head. So he proceeded to tell me the tale of the goddess Idunn who is the keeper of the golden apples that bring the gods their youth, strength and immortality. He had, after some trouble, (quite a lot actually) gotten his hands on one of the apples, in hope it might put a stop to the magic-feeding virus, but it hadn't. The virus had in fact started spreading even faster and it took him a lot of energy and effort to put up stronger barriers and holding spells to slow it down again. With a quick wave of his hand the sleeve of his jacket and dress shirt were pulled up, revealing the blackened hand and now equally black forearm.

He was silent for a while, looked almost like he was hesitating. "If it's all the same to you, and the offer still stands, of course" he finally said, then turned to look at me "I'll accept it". I smiled and nodded. I turned my gaze towards the city, still nodding slightly. "Of course..." I murmured. Another silence, a comfortable one, passed before I decided it was time we might as well get going then.

We spent a couple of hours in my lab that evening, just running tests. I wanted to get some blood, but had nothing to extract it with, and even if I'd gotten it, I wouldn't have know what to do with it. I could probably run some test, see if it contains anything weird but I'm not sure if his blood is like human blood, might stumble upon a whole load of weird, and then not know what to do with that. I figured I'd save it for another day.

Loki was silent for most of the time, just going along with the scans I'd request. The only time he seemed to object was when I asked him to take off his clothes, but he did it anyways. That's when I discovered his arm wasn't the only problem. He had a big patch of black around the lower part of his left-side abdomen.

PS. "Loki, meet Jarvis, he runs the place, sort of. Jarvis, Loki" "Good day, sir." You should have seen his face. Priceless. They always look to the ceiling, always.

October 8, 2012

So, now I've moved in with a god, in my old penthouse. Sort of disconcerting. I thought it best to get out of the Avengers mansion, it's kind of hard hiding a god, being consumed with work, and at the same time trying to convince everyone that nothing's wrong. Loki figured there was no point going between places and he seemed to find my bed very comfortable. No, we do not sleep together. He sleeps when I don't and I barely sleep anyways, so, at least someone's using it. I usually end up crashing on the couch in the workshop, or on the worktable. Yesterday I actually woke up on the floor, and I was not hung over. I was surprised.

We've done more scans, at least 15 different on his arm, 10 on his body, 6 on his head. No bags with cats were found. We did however find out that the blackness that the virus causes lies just beneath his skin, and doesn't have much to do with anything, it seems to be just some sort of indicator of where the virus has been. The real thing movies through the flesh, through the muscle. It feeds on something, it's not magic but it's strongly attracted to it, it's drawn to the core of it. It also slows down the muscle as it moves, at a very slow rate but it happens. Loki mentioned this the other day so I set up a muscle test. Even though it's only been three days, you can still see the numbers going down slightly. It's not a lot, but it's still worrying.

October 12, 2012

The guy is really clever, I have to give him that. He's got a much better understanding for technology than his brother.

I talk when I work. I talk out loud to think better and I talk to Jarvis. And every once in a while Loki throws in a comment, and even though he's not into this stuff, he still has an understanding for it. Really clever. Maybe I should be worried? I have to make sure he stays away from my suits...

October 14, 2012

Progress. Finally.

The device has no name yet, but consists of three needles that go into the arm, held together by a bit of machinery. It's constantly giving of a magic signal that is amplified and powered by an arc-reactor. The magic radiation will hopefully attract and then draw out the virus. We'll see in a few days.

Also Loki's finally given in to wearing "midgardian" clothes. And I find it a little bit amusing that he still sticks to black and green.

October 17, 2012

A little bit of mischief.

Pepper came by today. I knew she was coming, so I asked Loki to stay put in the workshop.

But in the middle of our meeting Loki came up, walked to the kitchen area, made some noise, and then he went back down again. And he was topless.

I'd turned to look after him as he disappeared back down and when I turned back to Pepper I was met with a glare, mixed with shock. "I- I didn't know... you swing that way..." She said. And I realized what it looked like. "No! No, no I don't! He's- he's... it's Loki!" I didn't even know what I was saying, god and it just came out. "What!?" I clearly wasn't making it any better.. "Oh god no! No, not- fuck, not like that! I'm helping him, he's- sick- he needed my help, that's all...! Not quite sure why he decided to take his shirt off though!" I raised my voice a little at the last part, while glancing back towards the stairs and I can swear I heard him laugh. That evil bastard. Can't be the god of mischief without causing some I guess.

The next hour and a half was spent explaining to Pepper how it all happened, how we met on the roof, the virus, the guy I walked out with from the party two weeks back and why I'd moved back here. To my surprise she seemed pretty cool with it. "As long as you know what you're doing" she said. Do I ever?

October 21, 2012

The affected area around his stomach seems to be moving downwards, which is both good and bad. It's good, because that means it won't get in the way of any of his organs. The bad part is, if it progresses more he might lose his leg. But It won't go that far, I'll make sure of that. Still feeling pretty much out of my depth though...

The device in his arm made zero progress. I trashed it yesterday.

His hand keeps getting worse, it's becoming harder and harder for him to hold things. I gave him this ball so that he could hopefully keep up the motor skills but it doesn't seem to be working either. He's been carrying it around a lot lately, just holding it.

Today he had quite some trouble just picking it up, dropped it seconds later. He got really frustrated and I can totally understand why. He ended up lashing out and I happened to be in the way. I don't blame him.

October 23, 2012

"So, if you don't mind me asking, what do you have against Thor?"

Loki was silent. Direct questions like that are hard to answer, I have to admit. After a while, he opened his mouth though, and told me the tale of Mjolnir...

Thor had always been a remarkable fighter, a fine warrior and a golden son. He had always gotten the better things, the pretty ladies. Sif was one. She was also a remarkable fighter, and her hair was as golden as Thor's. One day Loki decided to play a prank and he cut off all of Sif's hair while she slept. The following day Thor sought Loki out and confronted him about it.

All the blame always fell on Loki. Everyone always assumed it was his pranks and tricks, even though they had no proof. Odin got word of Loki's prank and sent him to repair it.

Loki went to the sons of Ivaldi (two dwarves) and asked them to make gifts for the gods and in return they would earn the gods eternal gratitude and loyalty. (Or something. Sounds fair.) They set to work and made golden hair for Sif, the mighty spear Gungnir and a golden boat. But before returning to Asgard, Loki sought out two other dwarves, and tricked them into making more gifts. He said that if their gifts were finer than those of the brothers of Ivaldi, they could have his head.

In the end Loki went back with golden hair, the spear, a gold boat (a small boat, apparently it grew when you blew its sails), a golden arm ring, a golden boar (...) and Mjolnir. And when he presented the gifts, and gave Sif back her hair, he hid Mjolnir, planning to keep it for his own. But one of the dwarves, Brokk, had followed Loki, and shouted there was another treasure. Loki showed Mjolnir to Odin and he thought that it was indeed a fine weapon and decided that Brokk's gifts were the best.

When Brokk was to collect his prize, Loki said that there was a problem, he had only offered his head, not his neck, so if Brokk could take his head without touching his neck, it was his to keep. But Brokk couldn't, and he got angry and he went to Thor and begged for justice. Thor, who was already upset with Loki for what he had done to Sif, agreed that something had to be done.

Before Loki knew it, Thor was holding him down, while the dwarf was sowing his lips shut so that he would not be able to tell any more lies. And all the other gods laughed.

I have to agree that was a pretty good reason to hate your brother. I know I would have hated mine if he'd done that, over a silly prank. Sif even got her hair back.

Later he added there was another story, a funny one involving Thor and crossdressing. But he was going to save that for another time. Fucking tease.

October 25, 2012

From a homemade 'biopsy' I got a piece of dead muscle that I've been running scans on and done a load of tests on. My equipment obviously wasn't built for this kind of thing, but I'd still like to say I'm doing pretty good for a guy so far out his area of expertise. And I think I've found something.

I went to Bruce, showed him what I'd found, said it was Top Secret when he asked where it came from. He didn't believe me. I probably wouldn't like him the way I do if he had believed me. But I asked him to trust me and I'd let him know if it worked. And he accepted that.

So with Bruce's help I created a serum, and with Loki's assistance laced it with magic. This is supposed to kill this motherfucking virus once and for all. We'll see.

October 28, 2012

Loki asked for the story behind the arc reactor. What exactly it was for, why it was in my chest, how it'd gotten there and I told him without even blinking. He had shared his story about Thor in good faith and I felt obliged to repay the favor, all the same I wanted to tell him, wanted him to know. So I told him of my father's friend Obadiah Stane. Of my gratitude towards the greedy terrorists who thought I was worth more than what they had already been paid to kill me. Of Ho Yinsen who saved my life and then helped me build the first prototype of the Iron Man armor, in a cave, and then saved my sorry ass again. Of Obadiah Stane, this time as the story's antagonist, who stole the reactor from my paralyzed body and attempted to kill me with his own armored suit.

November

Health state update: Virus spreading to shoulder and descending towards thigh. Limited use of arm. Unable to use hand.

November 2, 2012

One week on the serum, zero progress. But it's still too little time to know for sure.

Loki says he's feeling better but I think that's the placebo effect talking. I haven't actually showed him the results yet.

November 8, 2012

Two weeks on the serum. Something has happened all right but not the things we wanted.

He did fine the first week, then it spiraled downwards by the end of the second and yesterday he was a wreck. Nausea, dizziness, vertigo, vomiting and balance disorder are just some of the things he experienced. Right now he's sleeping it off but he's pale as a sheet and cold as fuck. I wrapped him up in blankets and I hope he'll be better in a few days.

November 12, 2012

"Yes, you might be- you are the best sorcerer but this this guy is a doctor as well, or used to be at least. I'm not really sure what he does now- the point is, you should let him take a look at it, he might know something"

And with that, I had Loki's permission to contact Doctor Stephen Strange. A former doctor (surgeon?) whose hands were damaged in a car accident and who then somehow got caught up in the whole voodoo-magic thing.

So I called him, explained the situation but he didn't seem too keen on helping out. I kept going and he finally gave in, saying taking a look might not hurt. I think he got a bit curious about the virus.

He stopped by today and basically got straight to work. A giant chalk circle was drawn on my floor and candles placed all around. (I have no idea what they were for, other than decoration and mood-setting). Loki was said to lie down in the circle, which he did and Strange sat down by his head, held it in his hands and they were like that for about thirty minutes. (I might have nearly fallen asleep.)

From Strange's expression when they 'woke up' it seemed the procedure hadn't gone as planned. A new circle was made, they both sat cross legged in it, facing each other. Strange held Loki's arm in one hand, his other slowly moving up and down the length of Loki's. Five minutes later Loki's arm was hastily dropped and Strange was up and out of the circle. His expression a mixture of shock, fear and disgust.

He explained what we already knew and apologized for his actions, told us that if he had not let go the virus might have etched onto him as well. We understood and tried to smile as we waved him off.

November 15, 2012

I'm not really sure what I'm doing now. I have no idea what I should do, what would help. I'm pretty much out of ideas. Everything we do, all methods we try come back negative.

We were both in my workshop, he on his newfound favorite spot on the couch with a book in hand. He's been reading quite a lot lately and seems quite fond of Shakespeare. I can totally see why.

It's not like there was a need for a conversation, or a need for me to share anything, I just did. I told him about the time I'd been thinking I was dying, and I'd gotten on this sort of self-destructive path. I think I told him because I wanted to give him some sort of reassurance, a bit of hope. I'd found my way out of it, and we'd find one for him as well. I think I told it because I needed to remind myself that- I wasn't going to give up. And let him know that I was going to keep trying.

November 19, 2012

After Strange's visit, I think we both knew it was pretty much over, but neither of us wanted to admit it

Until today.

Loki brought it up. He was lying on the couch in the workshop, and I was comparing numbers from the recent scans. "I think we should stop" He said suddenly. He'd been silent for a while. I looked at him. "What do you mean?" "This- all of this." He gestured at nothing in particular. "Giving up?" "No, I'm being reasonable. It has been nearly four months, and after all we have done- my condition has not improved once- not even a little. And- we are wasting time." Silence. "What do you want to do?" I asked after a while. He shrugged and I nodded.

"We should tell Thor though, he deserves to know" Loki shook his head. "Look, if you die, and he doesn't know- he'll have my head on a silver plate- or something." Loki snorted, corrected me by saying 'golden plate'. We laughed. "Seriously though..." And Loki said, that if we told him, he would try to bring Loki back to Asgard, and Loki knew, that there was no one in Asgard who could help him, no one who would. He'd already tried.

November 20, 2012

We went for a drive today. First time I took Loki out of the house. We ended up on a cafe where we sat for about four hours. Loki decided to finally share the tale of Thor's crossdressing adventure.

Some giant, named Tryn (I don't remember) had stolen Mjolnir and used it to blackmail the gods into giving him the Goddess Freya in turn for the Hammer. Obviously she refused and the gods had decided Thor should dress up as Freya and go himself. The giants fell for it despite the 'goddesses' large appetite and broad shoulders. And when the wedding was due, Freya(Thor) was given Mjolnir and then he beat them up. I think- I didn't really catch the last part because I was too busy laughing my ass off.

November 23, 2012

"So, Loki, did you really give birth to an eight-legged horse?" I think I wore what one might call a shit-eating grin.

But the glare he gave me in return killed it right away. God. I swear he could have killed me with it, ten times over, and then turned me to stone. Then back just to kill me again.

But I just laughed, and he shouted at me to stop, and threatened me with- well I won't go into detail but rather unpleasant things- but I couldn't stop myself and then he gave in and started laughing himself because it was such an absurd thing.

His arm is almost gone now. He can still move his shoulder a bit. I got him a sling for it just so it won't hang loosely by his side.

November 26, 2012

I realized today there's no real reason for him to still stick around but I'm actually happy he's here.

Not a lot is going on these day...

December

Health state update: Unable to use arm and hand. Virus spreading out in chest and leg. Minor trouble walking.

December 2, 2012

Being a billionaire is great, and being Tony Stark is sometimes even better. Because when you do crazy stuff, no one questions it. 'Oh he's Tony Stark, he does things like that'.

Suddenly going to France with a +1 that no one knows who he is, but some people think they remember vaguely, is probably the best example of 'That's just like Tony Stark'.

And when I say suddenly, I mean it. "Hey, pack your bags, we're going to France, now." "What for?" "We're going paragliding. I have a sudden urge to go paragliding. You'll love it. Let's go." And so we went.

Why France? Because they say that's the best place for it. I've never gone before, so I can't really argue but one thing's for sure; it was awesome. And Loki was enjoying it too. I've never seen a wider smile on that face. A genuine smile wider than his usual wicked grin.

One could probably argue that I shouldn't be as excited and amazed as I was, since I have an armored suit that can not only fly but shoot stuff out of various places as well. But, it's nowhere near the same and I'm the only one who can properly tell the difference.

Firstly we have the air, feeling the wind against your face as you soar through the sky is so liberating and you feel so free. In the suit the closest you come to feeling free is when you nearly break a law by entering an airspace you should really be keeping out of. And then you get shot down.

Secondly, the soaring versus flying using repulsor powered jets. There's no resemblance at all, except that you're in the sky.

December 3, 2012

Still in France just because we can.

If I didn't know better I could probably have mistaken Loki for the lost prince of France rather than Asgard. Within just two days he's picked up a lot of words and phrases and I'm almost jealous. (I would probably be a lot more jealous if I didn't know French myself)

He's made a habit out of sneaking up on me. I'm not easily frightened so I guess it became a bit of a challenge to try and scare me. He sure as hell is creative.

Today, in one of his less creative but simply- tasteful? ways- he snuck up on me while I was standing by the bar and whispered a line in French into my ear. I did not get scared but I might have gotten a bit turned on. Which concerns me a little.

December 4, 2012

Still in France, and still because we can.

Got an angry phone call from Pepper. Was apparently supposed to meet her today. Whoops. Then Loki stole the phone and said that we were in the middle of something and would appreciate it if she did not interrupt. If you can hear someone blush over the phone then I swear I did.

December 5, 2012

Left France, went to - "Close your eyes" "Why?" "Just do it. And then you're going to point somewhere on this map and we'll go there." - Australia.

It's hot. And of course we weren't prepared for this weather. We weren't really prepared for anything other than paragliding for a day. In France. Where it's cold.

The hotel's air conditioner's nice though. And the pool is godly.

December 6, 2012

I have to say it's going pretty going well for an unplanned trip. Went diving by the Great Barrier Reef. It was astonishing. Really, freaking amazing. Loki had a little trouble with the gear and his arm but it was easily fixed with the help of a little magic.

December 7, 2012

Last day of our trip, didn't do much of anything. Strolled the streets of Sydney and went to a restaurant towards the evening. We were being annoying bitches towards the staff just because we could and we're mischievous bastards like that. (Or I'm becoming more of one, he's such bad influence)

December 8, 2012

Back from our unplanned trip. Pepper made it pretty clear she was very unhappy with my sudden absence but refrained from asking too many questions. She clearly assumed we had been doing something different. Wonder what might have given her that idea.

After a bit of teasing I told her what the trip really was about. Where we'd been and what we'd been up to.

"So you didn't- then?" "No Pep, we didn't"

December 12, 2012

Slow week, not a lot is going on. Still recovering from the trip, I suppose. Pepper had a lot of papers for me to look through, so that was boring.

December 15, 2012

"I hear you were pretty sexy as a woman" "What of it?" "Well, care to show me?"

"What do you plan to do then?" I swear there was a challenge in there somewhere.

Nestled into the way he said it, tilted his head to the side and put a hand on his hip.

"Just curious" I said, raising my hands in defeat. He laughed. "Another time, perhaps"

Was that a promise?

December 22, 2012

After what felt like an hour long cough attack, Loki admitted he'd begun experiencing pain in his lungs and around his chest. So the virus does not only shut down down muscles, but it causes pain as well. I fear this will not be pleasant at all. It would have been one thing if it just shut everything down slowly, peacefully. But if it's going to hurt as well...

His leg is now so bad he needs assistance to walk, so I got him a cane. "It's an early Christmas present" I told him as he looked at it questioningly. It's green. I said I picked it because it would match his eyes. He laughed, then he hit me with it.

December 23, 2012

Party with painkillers! But not really. I got him some Vicodin for the pain. Leave it to a billionaire to get his hands on anything. Including some weed. No real reason but In some cases it's used in medical purposes and frankly- why not?

December 25, 2012

Christmas party at Stark Industries. I showed up for about 15 minutes, then headed to the Avengers Mansion for the party that was being held there. I don't think I've ever seen that house hold so many people before. Except for maybe last years party. I don't know. I don't remember.

It was great seeing people though. Haven't seen Hank (Hank Pym) or Reed (Reed Richards) in a while and the three of us, along with Bruce, got caught up in a pretty intense conversation. I managed to even sneak in a question about the virus, asked if they'd come across anything like it, unfortunately they hadn't. (Not like I was expecting them to)

Then Janet (Janet van Dyne, soon to be Janet Pym) stole me away. I congratulated her and ended up talking to her, Sue (Susan Storm Richards) and Natasha for a while.

Pepper and Happy showed up after about two hours. It still feels a little weird, seeing them together, but I'm happy for her. Happy is good for her. Much better than I could have ever been. (Or could have ever dreamed to be)

And then, it was time for dinner. Everyone took a seat and it was going really good until Clint, slightly affected by the alcohol he'd consumed thus far, decided to bring up the fact that Loki hadn't showed up in a while. He joked he might be busy getting it on with a horse, and everyone laughed. Except for Thor and I. Thor tried, in vain, to inform everyone that the rumor was no more than a just a silly rumor and I remembered Loki informing me the same when I had brought it up, and I had just laughed. I laughed then. Why not now? I guess I couldn't stand talking about him behind his back like that, especially when knowing he was so sick.

Clint continued his jokes, bringing up other villains who'd been laying low and even I was laughing. Then he brought up Loki again, and I got this knot in my stomach. Clint joked he might be dead, and it felt like the temperature dropped several degrees and I froze. He is dying, and I realized I really don't want him to... He doesn't deserve it. Of course no one deserves to die. But I don't want him to die, of all people, not him.

I think I sat there, a good couple of minutes with a blank stare on my face, until someone nudged my foot with theirs. I looked up to see Natasha, who was sitting across from me, looking at me, frowning, a little worried. "You okay?" she mouthed, voice unheard over the otherwise loud platter of voices. I nodded, pointed towards my stomach and mouthed "cramps" back at her. She nodded. I stood up, informed everyone I'd be retreating for the evening. "Not feeling so well" I said.

When I got back to the penthouse Loki was where I'd left him, on the couch, watching some old movie. I joined him and we finished it together. I told him I didn't want him to die. He said I was drunk.

December 29, 2012

When I got back from a meeting with Pepper, Loki was lying on the floor with an empty gaze and a bottle of painkillers next to him. "How many did you take?" "... Eight" "At once?" He nodded. "How are you feeling?" He giggled. The god of fucking mischief giggled. "Good" And he felt good.

December 31, 2012

Stark Industries New Year's Party. Didn't show up. Avengers New Year's Party. Didn't show up. Instead Loki and I sat on the roof of my tower, champagne in hand, talking, laughing, sharing a joint, having a small party of our own and enjoying the fireworks. I shouldn't brag but I think we had the best view in town. Especially as Loki fired off a few of his own. Didn't know he could do that. I'm not sure why I was surprised. Is there anything that guy can't do?

Loki was enjoying the cold, wearing only a sweater while I was freezing my ass off wearing close to three sweaters and a blanket. I remembered then, that he's not- human. I realized I'd stopped thinking about that after a while. There was always the fact that his biology was unlike mine but that still didn't make me think of him differently. You know? He's Loki. God of Mischief is just a title, so's the rest. He's Loki, a nice, intelligent, extremely clever, fascinating person and it pains me to think he'll be gone soon.

The meds- the drugs have been good but I think they're getting to week. He needs something stronger and an IV- or something during the night. He doesn't want to admit it, but I know it's really bad during the night. (It's scary how fast it goes now.)

We sleep together, sort of. When I got him the pills I just started going to bed when he did. He doesn't seem to care and I actually don't get that much sleep, my body clock is messed up as it is (No thanks to an evening cup of coffee). But when the pills wear off during the night he start tossing, turning and groans in agony. Hard sleeping with that going on next to you. When that happens I quickly get a bunch of pills and wake him up, recently I've had to calm him down, (Real pain and nightmares don't mix well) I give him the pills and we talk or watch TV until he goes back to sleep.

I wish we had more time.

January

Health state update: Breathing and walking difficulties. Unable to move longer distances without help. Pain in multiple areas, worst in chest. Fatigue due to illness and constant need of keeping wards and spells up.

January 3, 2013

Got my hands on some morphine, the kind you drink and it's way better than the pain killers. Loki was even up dancing for a while, just because he could. Called me a party pooper when I said he probably shouldn't move around too much because it would probably hurt like shit later.

Then we were dancing together.

I also got him an IV which provides him with a dosage of morphine during the night. We'll see how that works, unsure of the dosage so far.

January 5, 2013

"I want more time!", "Why?", "Why me, why now?", "It's not fair!"

The breakdown always gets me. I managed to keep my face straight though, because the last thing he needed was me freaking out as well. I tried to comfort him. I'm shit at that though, really. I knew he wasn't looking for comfort, sometime all you want to do it scream and shout and for someone to hear you.

The silence that followed was almost deafening then I heard quiet sobs. The god- former god? Loki was crying next to me. It hurts. I didn't try to comfort him. I just took his hand and lead him out onto the balcony and then we screamed, both of us, loud and long until our lungs were hurting even more. But this time it was a good hurt.

January 8, 2013

"You know we really should let Thor know..." "Not yet."

"I feel like- when we tell him, it's going to be final. I like to think this won't end. I like to fool myself that we have time. Once well tell him- anyone. It's going to become a fact that no lies, not even my own, can fool. I'm not ready for that"

January 12, 2013

"I want to go somewhere" "I'll get the car" "Not the car- I want to fly" "I'll get the jet ready then" "Not the jet either, the suit." "... Alright"

Suit on, Loki in arms, I took to the sky. I asked him where he wanted to go but he didn't care, so I flew to the rooftop where we met. It feels like it was ages ago. Still it feels like it was just yesterday. Time goes so fast, and still it feels like we've had this for so long. Like we've known each other for ages, but it's still not enough.

He called me sentimental but I just shrugged. Then I told him I used to come here, in September, and I used to sit there, on the spot he sat, with my legs dangling over the edge. I asked him why this particular roof. He shrugged. "A roof as a roof, a private spot to hide yourself away." I told him if he'd wanted to hide, he'd gone somewhere more private. The top of a far off mountain, a lone island in the middle of the Pacific ocean. Anywhere but the roof of a crowded city. "Maybe you wanted to be found?"

"Maybe"

We sat there for hours, watched as the sun crawled down and hid behind the tall buildings. Loki had leaned against me and I'd wrapped my arm around him, held him tightly.

"I don't want you do go..." I said finally, after a long silence, my voice cracked, nearly failing me.

When all I got in return was silence and I realized how heavy Loki felt against me- my heart dropped into my stomach all the while picking up speed, hammering its way out of my chest.

"Loki?"

And he woke up and, blinking the sleep from his eyes, tiredly murmuring 'what?' in return- and I wrapped both my arms around him, held him tigher. "Sorry..." I whispered.

January 17, 2013

"So hey guys, there's something I've got to tell you. Don't freak out. Especially you, Bruce. And Thor, don't kill me. Had it been up to me you'd known weeks ago."

And with an opening like that, all eyes are on you, and everyone is expecting the worst.

"As you all know, I've been- busy lately... Ah, fuck it. Loki." And then Loki walked in, cane in hand, arm in sling, looking like shit, but still better than other days. All eyes on him.

"Brother! What has happened to you?!" Thor shouted, as he darted over towards Loki. Loki just raised the cane, pointed it at him. "If you come any closer, I will exterminate you where you stand" He said sourly and Thor retreated, then he turned to me. "Explain yourself! What have you done to my brother?" He demanded. All eyes on me, again.

"Do not raise your voice towards Stark, you buffoon. He has not done anything. In fact, everything he tried failed." Smug (but broken) grin. "But I seem to have- been infected with some sort of virus, which-" "Which killed his arm, slowly fucking up his lungs, heart, leg, everything" I filled in when the words were hiding themselves from the wordsmith.

There was s a mixture of confusion, shock and anger in our audience of five.

"We figured it was time you knew what's been going on. And- we fear he doesn't have long left... Not long at all" As if on cue, a cough attack. Thor was darting towards his brother again. And again, the cane came up.

"How long?" Thor asked. "Nearly five months now" Loki answered. "Why did you not tell me?" "Why should I have? Because you're my brother? But you aren't Thor, not really." "What about all those times when we were little? Does that mean nothing to you?" "That is in the past. Besides, I have told you, all I remember is a shadow. Cast by you, big brother." The hate was practically laced within the last word.

The rest of their conversation was held in another room. Their voices were raised a couple of times, and once I was called in as Loki wanted his morphine. Thor looked horrified as Loki drank. I assured him it was just to ease the pain, but that only made him more worried.

While they were talking in the other room I was answering questions asked by the remaining four avengers. The most popular one was 'why?' and 'are you out of your mind?'. The answer to the last one is easy. Yes. Yes I am.

When Thor and Loki finally came out, they seemed to have gotten most out of their systems and were somewhat on friendly terms again. Loki even let Thor hug him.

January 20, 2013

Heavy rain was attacking all of New York, a perfect day in, some might say. We were both on the cough, Loki with his head resting in my lap and I was watching the rain. The TV was on, but muted and the light danced across the otherwise dark room.

Loki looked peaceful like that and to any other person he looked like he was simply resting, but that was far from the case. Moments like these the pain was too grave and he simply shut down, waiting for it to be over with. It happened more and more lately, he'd assume a fetal position and focus on something else, something far away.

The first time it happened I got worried, I tried to talk to him, he simply groaned in response and when I touched him he cried out. I let him be then and later he told me that there were moments when the morphine just wasn't enough, when the pain became too much.

"You never told me you had a daughter" I said as I noticed him stirring. "You never asked" He replied, voice strained but a smile tugged at the corner of his mouth.

Hela was her name, she was the ruler over the dead in the realms Hel and Nifelheim. She sounded lovely. I said I'd like to meet her and Loki laughed weakly (He rarely laughs, it hurts too much) and told me it could probably be arranged.

"It's a promise, then."

He held my gaze. Usually I look away when he stares at me for too long, but not this time. I drew closer, bending down towards him, slowly. My hand crept towards his hair, fingers tangling through it. Our lips met, just a quick press before I drew back to see that he was smiling again. He reached for my hand, cuddled up a bit more, closed his eyes and fell asleep almost right away.

January 23, 2013

"I believe it's time to sleep"

January 24, 2013

You can fool yourself so much by telling yourself that you're ready, that you'll be alright. But you never are, not really. You can't be. If you were ready to lose someone, then would it matter? Would anything matter?

January 25, 2013

He was taken back to Asgard today. Thor said he would return for me, so I could attend the funeral- whatever they call it in Asgard. 'The ceremony for celebrating, respecting, sanctifying, or remembering the life of a person who has died.' Who the fuck came up with that definition? What is there to celebrate?

January 29, 2013

Had the conditions only been different I'd been overwhelmed with joy and excitement about going to Asgard. But not now... Standing on the Bifrost, watching the city, didn't feel special at all. And I caught myself thinking I'd given anything to have Loki by my side, rather than Thor.

The ceremony began with Loki being carried a long distance to a shore where a boat lay waiting for him. He was carefully placed on the deck and gifts were arranged around him. 'Gifts he would carry on to his next journey', they said. I hadn't brought anything with me, but I walked over and put my phone on his chest, placed his hand over it. "Call me" I whispered.

By the time we had stepped off the boat it'd started raining, not sure if it was just rain or it came from the storm that Thor was calling forth with his thunder. He swung his hammer above his head and called the thunder to the ship and it instantly set afire.

At the sight of the burning ship I felt my legs giving in under me and I stumbled to the ground. I guess I'd been in some sort of state of denial, thinking he was just sleeping again and that he'd wake up. And when I watched the ship burning it finally sunk in that he would not awaken. He would not come back.

February

Health state update: I feel like shit.

May 13, 2013

I found a letter today. It was hidden in the drawer of my bedside table...

"To Anthony Stark" it says. The adression is handwritten in dark green ink. The paper looks old, so does the envelope and it's got a wax seal. Also dark green. I don't think I've ever seen a real wax seal before.

To be honest, I don't know if I can read it. Not yet.

September 4, 2013

It's been about a year since we first met. I finally read the letter. His letter.

January 22, 2013

Dear Tony,

I wish to thank you for all you have done for me, but I know not how.

I'm a lonely man, have always preferred solitude, have always stayed out the way of others. Partly because I was unwelcome, partly because I chose to. I have never felt I was wanted, except for when I was little and that was so long ago, I barely remember how it felt. As I had forgotten I told myself it did not matter, I did not need it, I was better off. But you have reminded me of that feeling, and that even though I do not need it, it is still welcome.

When you found me, that night in September, I was so lost and out of my way. All I knew was something was coming for me and I knew not what to do. I had traveled through all the nine realms in search for a cure and I never expected Midgard to be where I would find it. Although it did not work I still got more than I ever bargained for. I found someone in whose company I was not a burden, a liability, an unwanted presence. Someone with a mind like my own, in another field but still just as brilliant. And that is what I admire about you Stark, your clever mind.

And your heart. Your ability to look to another being in need, neglect all previous interactions, and help that lost soul. Although I was your enemy, you offered to help me. And you stood by your word even as I declined your offer only to come back later. You chose to help. I know you do not think yourself a hero. I know you think yourself a heartless man. But trust the words of the liesmith when he tells you that you are a hero and that you have good heart.

You showed me such a beautiful world and you made the end of my days worthwhile. Truth be told, had you not stayed by my side I would not have known what to do. Presumably drifted into a self-destructive path, like yourself, but in the end taken more down with me. More would have been lost in the destruction of myself. You probably saved the world, by staying with me. Saved the world from me.

For all of this I am forever grateful and I wish you know you were loved by me. You saved me.

Loki