Past meetings colliding with the present, an intense hatred of inevitability that gives way to so much more. Frost Iron in a short, twisted facet of a back-and-forth perspective with a deliberate tweak of canon.

Ownership to its respected creators.

Somewhere, there was someone having a long, cruel laugh at their expense. Neither believed in the object of Fate, in the weavers who spun threads that were either golden, gilded to represent immortality but with all the harm of mortality. They believed not in destiny, in predetermination that had any hand in dictating their decisions, the impetus that they sought with every passing construct of their days and nights.

If that was the case, they asked themselves with glances that had once been purely stolen, then what was keeping them here, at each other's sides, making them follow through on this whim, on this fever of the flesh? What indeed, what string, what purpose, what motive.

For, Tony understood as lassitude washed over him, bathing him in the euphoria and repulsion of the one who gave him the gift of afterglow, there was a motive behind this. Razor, green-dipped eyes would not follow through on this passion-play if not for a reason, if not for some twisted sense of justice.

It happened in so many ways, too many versions that left the both of them panting, robbed of breath and the truth of their wicked beginning. Was it that confrontation on the rooftop that left them boneless, shifting against one another's frames, or the time in a bedroom that dripped with the shadow of dusk, staining their skin by the striated, mired light of the moon?

Mired, because neither had seen the moon appear more clouded, more mercurial and fog-filled than at that moment, bleaching all they knew in a new color, a shade that neither were too certain about.

The mortal who resisted his control was without self-denial, righteous beliefs and unshakable egotism coating his skin with the power to stain his flesh entire, stain him indelible. His tongue traced patterns against his neck, as if to detect the cording vein of life that pulsed there, a vein that could so easily be severed with a flick of his wrist and a well-timed dagger. The warmth from his back was of the equal patina, heat masking the muscle of his craft, science and the necessity of work revealing strength, a hard-won beauty that Loki buried his face in, as if to dissolve, drown, devour.

And devour they did, tongues slipping past the seam of bitter-tasting lips, mouths claiming, dominating, seeking something immoderate in their kisses, something timeless and lasting that would parallel their desire. What they received was inner-disgust at how low they both had sunk, for they could have anyone they wanted, anything at their beck and call, one by magic and one by might.

But both knew that wasn't what they yearned for, what both were starving to taste, to sink their teeth into, the amity of a diametric their one and only craving. This was little more than a pedantic coupling, hips meeting hips in a flurry of anxious bones, backs bending to expose throats that could have been slashed, broken, crushed and yet remained as the conduct to carnal-borne reactions, a hushed sigh there, a moan here, skin marked and bitten, claimed and needed. Their cadence remained unbroken, the rhythm perfected beneath the steam of showers, hands sliding down tiled wall panels, underneath the cool lining of freshly washed cotton sheets, lips covering lips when their vocals became filled with too much expression, with too much life.

That was what it was about, they recognized with a heated joining of hazy eyes: drowning in one another, losing themselves to insatiability because they hadn't been able to do that with any other.

For months without a word, their minds tricking their hearts into believing that neither would return, that neither cared about what had happened by unhappy accident. If Tony looked close enough in the mirror when he bothered to shave, or deep within the reflection of one of his helmets he saw judging, determined emerald. If Loki gazed out into the nebulae, the tapestry of space and time entire dancing above his head, he saw what kept his mortal alive, what kept him breathing.

And then arms were around waists, fingers snaking across hips that had all but been worshiped by teeth, lips and tongue, immutable truths obliterating any hint of change, that one day they would be able to break this sick little pattern of offering only so much only to snatch it away, for it would hurt far too much to allow sentiment into this dance. It would be as if they slept with broken glass clenched to their chests, tempting the storms with conducts that flew away on wind-lusting kites, the plunge that would not buoy but submerse without air.

Just bodies, simply bodies. A sliding of fingers through graying hair, a kiss to a temple afterwards, a steadying of traitorous, trembling hands that should have been still.

They were both liars in their own right, fashioning a digestive truth that one day, they would be able to break this cycle, screaming forth without the chains and binds that constricted them with every flash of green and brown, with every memory. They were both liars in believing that sentiment was not already hovering above them, a phantom in this game, shimmering and twisting within their bodies with every thrust, every kiss, every time they met one another's eyes.

By fantasy alone they killed one another, Loki spilling Tony's blood in the fibers of the mattress and in turn Tony crushing the god with his metal-encased hands, leaving nothing to return back to Asgard. The scene was set, lain out for murder, for killing the one responsible for leaving them without direction, without having any idea where they stood as people in their own separate missions.

Neither did play by the rules of gods, nor adhere to puppet strings, to ill-tempered Fates that wanted their misery.

The daggers were put away, the suit and its capabilities were forgotten; for, they were engulfed in one another's presence, eclipsed fully in silence, in honeyed words, in shattered remnants of what they were and would ever become.

What was the purpose, Tony wondered as he watched the god that had fallen asleep against the crook of his neck, the motive behind this. He should be dead, cast away and forgotten by now, chest barren and skin poisoned without his Reactor.

Why did he see the eyes of the one he wasn't supposed to understand or feel for on every reflective surface, coating his skin with a subtle rise of temperature, staining him with the way lips grazed his cheeks, the bridge of his nose, the triangle of his lips. Why...just why.

It was punishment he knew, to be so in thrall of skin, to seep into the rapture of a skin's coat, of pores that expelled the scent of oil and wires, machinery and the iron of his lover's namesake. There were splotches on his own skin, refusing to be cleansed or scrubbed away with any thought of a passage of time.

In private, they cursed one another's name, despising them until their vision knew no other color but the red they had once bitten into their lover's skin. In their minds, with every dip, alteration of positions they wondered what it would be like to kill them right now, right then, ceasing the way they fit together with a perfection that neither had ever known, choosing to do the exact opposite, choosing to fill the other with life.

Life? Obsession? The brand of a parallel, without thought of the purity that veered from the typical description of such a definition.

"This will be my last visit."

Tony's elbow remained on the pillow, his gaze impassive, throat clogged and thick with venom-soaked malice.

"You know the way out."

Dismissal, immediate and stinging, blades upon whips that had too long remained out of the picture, out of the setting. A dispersal of warmth without so much as a tendril of smoke, creating little more than an absence of heat and weight on the mattress.

'Good riddance,' was the thought they shared, a thought that was as much a truth as it was a lie. They couldn't afford to think any less, to think that this was anything but a lofty fixation that had become a thrice-shed obsession. Shrugging out of a skin to the raw, garish light; that was all this was, a transition, an experiment, something that had careened far out of control.

There was evidence everywhere, the walls, the bedroom, the landing, the showers, the rooftop, lingering with their hues, the aroma that had once intoxicated him; now it only polluted everything. Destruction was imminent then, rebuilding necessary, a project Tony threw himself into with a manic frenzy that gave birth to worry, to weight-loss, to a breakdown into tears that he didn't know he was allowing until he miscalculated a slice of the saw.

He would have been left limbless had the power not faltered, had he not been embraced by shadow and poison, by the light and his antidote.

"What the hell are you doing here? What the hell are you doing, spying on me from the shadows or your cave or your cauldron or whatever you used to see this; what makes you think that I needed to be saved?"

They struggled out of one another's grip, grasping at thoughts, at anger, at whatever held them aloft in this moment, surrounded by the rubble of recreation, of what had imploded.

"Did you honestly believe that I would let you die, or that I would allow for machines to maim you and render you beyond saving? Did you believe for one moment that I would succeed in such a feat, that I was capable of leaving you?"

Both of them whispered for the lights to turn on at the exact same moment, the hum of electricity binding their thoughts, their words mirrors. Neither wanted this, neither wanted to believe that this person, myth and god, mortal and machine would stain their bodies, coating their palms and lips, limbs and minds with what they had needed, what they had reached for for so long. Neither wanted to believe that they had found it, the forge and instrument of their own insatiable fancies.

"You did. You left me."

"Did I? Or did you just stop looking?"

The eyes in the polished sheen of metal, the breath against his skin as he showered away the oil and grime that he had mistaken for steam, the warmth that was more than his own body heat as he slept. All fictional constructs of his mind he had believed.

And when it came down to it, to the bleeding-edge of what they were, it was precarious, salvation and the bane of their existence all in one.

Taking, taking. Giving, giving.

Tony flexed his left hand, tendons and fingers all attached, the saw off and far away, the product of his work around him, in the pipes, the new walls and floors. What remained was the bedroom, a place he never went in anymore unless he stumbled from fatigue, landing nowhere else.

"Do you want this? Whatever this is?"

"I want you. You are what this is, you are this, Anthony."

They didn't meet each other's eyes for a long while, too afraid of what they would see, too foolishly, pathetically concerned with understanding how alone they had left one another, of how changed they had become, how human and needy.

"You won't like this. You won't like what I become." Their hands had slid together, fingers meshing until segments and spaces were no more, of their own joined accordance that led to a lack of choices, a build-up of consequences the ignition of wildfire, of the truth that there was more to connection than Fate, than strings, than supposed notions of "destiny."

"Excuses coat your skin also."

There was no time for explanations, self-defense stripped, gazes touching, completing the jagged edges of razor green to scrutinizing brown. They were unbroken after all.

The risk of a repeat, of failure, of anger and humanity lingered, dispersed by an exchange of breath, of a kiss borne of something freshly and wholly benign.

"Sappy moments have never been my strong suit." Tony had no idea that he could get a god to laugh, and contrary wise, that a mortal would allow for him to go before the world so raw.

"One can only hope for the unreachable."

They reached for one another, finding what they had sought, what had drove them to madness and delight, violence and naked displays of emotion, tear tracks that were dried with the base of still-trembling fingers. They found what consumed them, what bewitched the mind and the heart all in the same moment, fingers sliding against skin, a tenderness that had been repressed fully unbridled.

And this time, they enjoyed it without second-guessing, without darkly played out fantasies, without natural proclivities to doubt.

Maybe they were the ones that could laugh now.

"But you can't have everything you want.

When you want it.

I will be everything you want.

When you want it."