"You hate someone whom you really wish to love, but whom you cannot love.

Perhaps he himself prevents you. That is a disguised form of love."

- Sri Chinmoy


Tony was breathing heavily, his helmet was broken, suit was in shambles, and he had less than 13% of the power in his armor left. He leaned his head against a broken slab of a building, trying to keep his breathing under control. He got separated from the rest of the Avengers after he was knocked into several skyscrapers in the city. He didn't know where the rest of the team was, but he knew with the status of his suit he would be of little help now. However, that wouldn't stop him from finding the other Avengers. He tried to stand up, but his legs didn't seem to agree with him. Buckling under the pressure of his body. So he sat there for a few moments longer fiddling with the suit, hoping that he could get it functional again, or at least Jarvis working anyways. A scuffle was heard in the debris and Tony quickly looked around, he lifted his right hand up on instinct. As soon as he saw the horned shadow, he knew who it was. "I thought you were saving me for last?" Tony asked with a laugh, which turned into a cough half way through. "Just be careful with my face. I don't want it getting too messed up." He lowered his hand and his body began to relax as the man stepped closer to him. "I still need to look photogenic after I die, since this will probably be on the front page of every newspaper and magazine around the world." Tony was still trying to keep his cool, despite the fact Loki did not appear in a jesting mood.

"I warned you before, didn't I?" Loki asked stepping closer towards Tony. His smile was wide, and jade eyes gleaming in the afternoon sun. His battle armor was scuffed, cape torn, and he seemed to be holding his staff more for support than anything else. His normally slick, black hair was a sweaty mess sticking out of his helmet, and ashes covered his face. He finally reached Tony, kneeled on the ground and took his helmet off. Loki reached out his hand and gently caressed the left side of the shorter man's face. "We cannot be together...we are destined to fight one another, till the other is dead." The two looked deep into each other's eyes, as if searching for a way around this; around the truth. The truth both tried so hard to ignore, but could never forget. Loki stood up slowly, grabbing his staff, and immediately pointed it towards Tony's arc reactor. He slowly moved it up, brushing the cheek, only to stop at the middle of Tony's forehead. His hands were shaking the entire time, but both were still too intent on staring deep into one another to pay attention to anything else. "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player. That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing...farewell, Tony Stark." Where the last whispered words heard...

A little over a year prior...

"Brother, please." Thor pleaded, arriving shortly in New York when he was informed of the battle going on. Captain America was already on the scene, trying to get civilians out of harms way; while Iron Man was getting back up after being hit by a spell from the lengthy god. "Return home with me." Oh how often Thor pleaded this to his younger brother whenever he was found, on earth...or any of the nine realms for that matter. "Father will forgive you..." Thor started, but the piercing green eyes of his brother looked full of venom when he uttered those words.

"Forgiveness." Loki started, his voice was seething from the word. "I do not need forgiveness..." Loki muttered, but in moments Tony took the chance to attack the distracted god and tackle him head on. The two of them flew through a few buildings in the process, but Loki was quick to get back on his feet, thinking of the best way to fight back against his attacker.

"You know, Prancer, you're not the only one with daddy issues..." Tony started, the face on his helmet was down. He then held his hand out, blasting Loki with one of his repulsors after putting his face mask back on. "So why not go back with big brother and sort out your problems..." Tony continued, as he attempted to dodge glowing green daggers that seemed to appear out of nowhere. The Loki he thought he blasted was in fact a decoy.

He didn't know why he even bothered trying to talk Loki out of what he was doing; it was futile cause. However, Thor loved his brother dearly, so he made the Avengers promise, if they were to fight Loki, they would try to be more diplomatic before starting the brawl. Yet, every time Loki attacked, the words of Thor meant nothing to him. Tony had fought enough fights to know Loki didn't want to hear any of this, so why did he bother trying this time? What difference would it make? Loki wouldn't give a damn about hearing Tony's father issues. He was too self absorbed in his own darkness.

"Sympathy Stark..." Loki scoffed, "never expected that from you."

"You're right" Tony smiled, "It just doesn't sound right coming out of my mouth." And in a few short moments, missiles left the armor and headed straight towards Loki. With a smirk and wave of his bony hand, Loki redirected the missiles back to Tony. "Oh crap." Tony said quickly maneuvering through his own weapons. Despite his skilled dodging, a few of the missiles still hit him, knocking him down. Quickly getting up, Tony looked around, "Jarvis, any sign of Loki?" Tony asked not seeing the horns anywhere in sight.

"No sir. He seems to have vanished. I do not detect any trace of him" The computer said, "shall I run a facial recognition scan on a further spectrum?"

"That's fine, once Loki vanishes he is hard to find unless he wants to be." Tony sighed and saw that both Thor and Steve finally found his location, quickly joining his side.

"Where's Loki?" Steve asked, shield in hand preparing for an attack.

"He vanished." Tony replied moving his shoulder where he got hit with one of his missiles.

"Loki running from a battle," Steve started as he helped prop Tony up, "Something doesn't seem right, here." He looked between his two partners for some form of agreement. "Loki never runs from battles. It seems like he enjoys getting caught. So why vanish this time?" Steve was thinking hard of every military strategy he knew seeing if any matched up with Loki's usual attack plans. Tony stayed quite, a few ideas running through his head. He thought this may have been a distraction, or maybe in the midst of battle, he thought of a new strategy for winning. At times, Loki's madness was easy to read, but others, it even threw Tony Stark into a loop; and this was one of those times.

"Many times in the past my brother has helped me escape with his magic." Thor contemplated, "but as of late, he does seem to be easy to catch. He must have some plan."

"When doesn't he have a plan." Both Tony and Steve thought, keeping it to themselves. Too many times have the Avengers argued against Thor about his brother. Thor still believes wholeheartedly that his brother could be saved, that he would see the errors of his ways. That his brother always teetered between mischief and being honorable, but in the end he will choose what's right. There was no action that Loki or the Avengers could do to change that stance. Thousands of years of brotherly love can make one jaded, or, possibly, more knowledgeable than the rest of the team, but they chose the jaded option with all the times they have fought Loki.

As normal, after battle the three went their separate ways, Steve back to SHIELD to give his report, Thor either Asgard or to wherever Jane was doing her research, and Tony back to Stark Tower, or his home. They all saw enough of each other in battle, so there was no point in spending every waking moment with one another. At least that's what everyone but Steve thought. Steve thought it would be good for team unity if they all lived together in some secret base, that way assembling would be easier, and lift up team spirit. With both Clint and Natasha always gone on other missions, Tony and Bruce always busy doing research, and Thor spending half of his time in Asgard, the plan was quickly thrown aside. However, every once in awhile, Steve would bring up the idea again. Phil thought that Steve kept bringing it up because he was lonely, but everyone thought Phil more than made up for all of them, when it came to keeping Steve company.

After Tony made his way home, he A-lined it straight to his liquor cabinet. He pulled out a few bottles looking intently at each one, until he finally picked a bottle of scotch. The silence while drinking the amber liquid was one of the few times he could just enjoy himself and forget everything. Being Iron Man, part of the Avengers, and constantly working on advanced technology with all the threats from new villains popping up, it kept him busy. However, he didn't mind it, he needed the distractions and welcomed it; despite the fact it caused others to worry for his health i.e. Steve and his advanced AI Jarvis.

Before Tony knew it, half of the bottle was empty, and his body felt light. Any pain he felt from the battle earlier was all but gone. He laid down on his couch and grabbed his tablet; his mind racing with ideas. Ways to stop Loki from vanishing...or just using magic in general. Since he had no way to study Asgardian magic, Thor was of little help when it came to the topic, it was a tough egg to crack. Although Thor used a magic hammer, he didn't use the same magic as Loki or Enchantress, and it was their magic he needed to study. He also tried to think of ways that Thor could charge his suite with more power even if they were not in a close proximity to one another. Running over equations and schematics in his head, with a playlist of 80's rock blasting, it seemed to be going nowhere. Although magic is a form of science, science is not magic, and he had found no known equation yet to be able to study magic as if it were just mixing some chemicals in a laboratory. He tried on a few occasions to study Mjolnir. He wanted to know if it contained any vibranium, or possibly learn how effective vibranium is against magic. However, that would require him to make more, and find a magician to test his theory on. Also, it didn't help that after the Tesseract issue, SHIELD was being careful about people wanting to combine magic and technology, thinking that humans were still not ready for it. But, that was not going to stop Tony Stark...if only he could figure out how...

Tony suddenly woke up, not aware that he even fell asleep on the couch, his tablet covering his face. The ice in his drink was melted, so he went to the cabinet to get another one. The pounding in his head returned, and his body felt stiff. After getting his drink, and looked back over to where he was sleeping. There sat a still shadow and a cane propped up against the side of one of the chairs. "Loki," Tony barely whispered, quickly looking for his bracelets on his bar table. How did the guy get in his house without Jarvis noticing. Then Tony realized that was a stupid question, magic.

"I am merely here to talk," Loki said, a miniscule smile was dancing on his lips, and his eyes moved up and down studying the slightly shorter man before him.

"Ya right," Tony said sarcastically, not taking his eyes of the god. When he finally found the bands, he picked them up, putting them on nonchalantly.

"But it's true," Loki said standing up and moving closer towards Tony, "Something that happened in battle today intrigued me." He paused for a moment after he finally reached Tony, "When you said that I was not the only one with parent issues..." Tony remembered that moment well, but he also remembered Loki not wanting his sympathy, and Tony really had no desire to give it in the first place.

"And, if I remember, you said you didn't want my sympathy," Tony interrupted before taking a sip of his drink, "And I didn't want to give it."

"But, your eyes, when you spoke of a father..." Loki replied back. "They were eyes of a boy, who felt bitter towards his father. Lonely. Hatred. Loathing towards the man who created you. Despite anything you say, I can tell of your rage towards your father, is much like my own." Loki paused and turned around heading back towards the couch. Keeping calm, not wanting to start a fight if he didn't need to. "Tell me your story." Loki said sitting down, his emerald eyes staring into the soft brown of Tony's. He was curious how so much hatred could make Tony the person he was. How did Tony end up the hero if he suffered so much like he. Loki needed to know. He needed to understand, and the only way he could was to ask the source himself.

"And, why should I tell you?" Tony asked his eyes narrowed, trying to read Loki's angle. "The last time someone told you a story, you threatened to use said person to kill them." Tony was playing it serious now, instead of his usual joking self. Obviously this was why Loki ran from battle today. He needed some intel that only Tony knew, but what was it?

"Ah, yes. The women with the red ledger." Loki smirked, his eyes still gleaming. "However, your father is already dead. So what use could I make with this story."

"So, you have been doing your homework." Tony said with mild surprise. Loki always did seem to know more than he left off, so the questions was, how much did he really know about Tony's life. Tony looked at the god's face, his smile faded, back to a more morose manner.

"Of course," Loki stated matter-of-factly. "How else would I be able to take over this planet, if I didn't fully study my opponents."

"Ah," Tony replied with mild amusement, "So you do see us as more than, what was it again, ants?" Tony took another sip from his drink. He was finding it hard to believe the two of them were talking for this long without being at one another's throats. The last time they had an intimate talk like this, it ended with Loki throwing him out a window, so this was quite a surprise for both of them. It also wouldn't help if the team heard about this visit. It would not matter if Tony did or didn't tell them about this visit...the end result would not be pretty either way.

Loki gave a light chuckle at this, his alluring smile surfacing once again. "Well Stark if you must know, only one of you possess any great threat to me."

"Well Loki, I'm flattered, really." Tony interrupted, with a faux smile, "That you considered me your only threat, after what the big guy did to you months ago."

"Don't flatter yourself," Loki sneered, detesting the thought of being smashed by the Hulk. "While you are the only one who I consider a threat, that doesn't mean I won't kill the others. It just means I'm saving you for last." Loki stood up and began to move closer towards Tony again, "First I'm going to kill the mortal assassins, the same way I told her the first time. Next will be the beast, killing him will take some special magic, oh, but I know just the one for him." His voice was rising higher and higher ever so slowly, "Then it will be the most virtuous of you, his simple minded war strategies will mean nothing when I get him alone, and he will die quickly, covered in more red than any of you. Finally, will be you." Loki's smile seemed even more menacing than before. Pausing for only a moment, and then continuing his speech. "Now, I'm sure you are wondering about my brother. Well, I have special plans for him back in Asgard."

"Then what?" Tony asked, "So you defeat us, say this all works. Then what?" Tony took another sip of his drink, "You think that the Earth will just bow down to you then? Even if we are gone, there are people out there who will stop you no matter what the cost. Killing us won't make you stronger, but, make humans stronger instead. They will rally together, making all of this for nothing."

"Well...we'll see about that." Loki said granting Tony one last smirk before he vanished from the room.

"Jarvis?" Tony asked.

"I'm sorry sir, he vanished out of range before I could attempt tracking him." Jarvis replied back. Tony sank in his chair, wondering what just happened. What was the god thinking? Was this all part of his new plan? Taunt Iron Man? Or something more? He could try talking to Thor. He was the one that supposedly knew Loki the best, but what would he tell him? That Loki wanted to hear about someone else's parenting issues. The worst part was, Thor would probably think that to be true. He would think his brother came to Tony because he wanted to talk to someone he could on some level to relate to; share their pains together. That idea almost seemed laughable to Tony. Why now, out of nowhere, would Loki want to have a heart to heart with someone. This was all too suspicious, and he was going to find out the truth.

A/N: Thank you fro reading here are a few notes for you

This is based on a mix of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a little bit of Iron Man Extremis

Special thanks to Andi for reading it over and support me in this.

I apologize for any spelling or grammar errors. English is not one of my strong points.