A/N – I'm so sorry that this chapter took so long, I have no excuses, I've just not felt up to it recently – I'm sorry.

But I found it a great chapter to write, it's a little heavy and emotional from a Loki point of view, but it's moving the story along – so it all needs to be said.

Thank you to everyone who is reading and being so kind in reviews, and thank you for being so patient with me :] Enjoy!


Chapter Eight

Love Thy Brother

Tony awoke to a gentle but firm pressure covering his chest. Still dazed with sleep, he attempted to roll in a vain attempt to release himself from the unknown object of discomfort. The pressure only increased however, now shaking him slightly as a muffled sound tried to reach his sleep-addled mind. The noise became a little deeper, pushing at his consciousness gently.

"Stark," it was a voice; a voice that Tony knew all too well, but it was the tone that forced him to open his eyes. The sight that met him was entirely surreal; Loki was sprawled across his chest, green eyes half lidded with lust as his fingers danced lazily over the Arc Reactor, a smirk tugging at the corners of his mouth. Tony narrowed his eyes slightly, focusing on Loki's almost glowing skin; the relaxed demeanor that he held himself – something wasn't right about this situation. "Finally you're awake."

The shorter man visibly tensed as the image of Loki flickered before his eyes like some kind of projection; it was one of his clones. Narrowing his eyes, he tried to sit up, only to have a pair of firm hands gripping his wrists and tugging his hands above his head, he arched his neck to look up at another clone, a wide smile spreading across his face. "Where is Loki?" his voice was slightly panicked as the clone descended, his lips a hairs breadth from his ear, hot breath fanning delectably over his neck.

"We have been ordered to distract you, Anthony." His eyes rolled back as he recognized the promise behind those words. "You can have as many as you like," Tony's eyes flashed open just in time to see several bright gold lights flicker around the room, revealing more of Loki's clones, some dressed in armor, some in their birthday suits – but all wearing identical smirks as they approached the bed like predators cornering an easy prey.

Tony did not mind being their meal – not one bit. A bright smile slid across his face as several sets of hands reached out to touch his overly sensitive skin.

Loki sat nonchalantly upon the couch, awaiting the inevitable appearance of Thor. He had heard the thunder storm; smelt the air, pregnant with electricity. His brother had never been all that subtle when enraged. To be truthful, the trickster had expected him to arrive far sooner, but perhaps he had only recently seen the little clip of his darling younger brother behaving like a wanton whore. Finally he heard the tell-tale thud on the balcony, a slight quiver running through the floor - show time.

He had thought it rather fitting to keep Tony busy while he dealt with Thor; no need to bring a Midgardian to a God fight.

Despite his devil-may-care attitude, the God found himself bracing against the fabric of the couch, anticipating fury from the God of Thunder. Loki was surprised however, when Thor merely strode through the glass door, inclining his head towards the lounging Deity before speaking in his usual booming voice, "where is the man of iron? I wish to speak with him."

A tight smirk donned his features as he replied, "he's a little pre-occupied right now - perhaps you could come back later." As though on cue, a low but loud groan emanated from the scientist's room, echoing slightly through the expanse of the living area.

"Very well," Thor sighed, running a hand through his unusually unruly hair, "then I shall discuss this with you; I wish for you to leave Mr. Stark alone; it is unsafe for him to be in your company." His voice was tight, controlled as he held his hands out in an almost defensive posture; clearly anticipating some sort of resistance from the other man.

Loki let out a rather cruel burst of laughter; his head lolling back as he openly mocked one of the only people not out for his head. He made a show of wiping the corners of his eyes before finally having the courtesy to offer a reply, "oh, Thor, you came all this way to save a man's virtue?" he placed his palm over his heart, "how touching – you really have gone soft haven't you?" His calm tone was now an angry snarl. "What makes you think he will listen to you?" Loki stood quickly, walking towards the blonde with a sneer upon his pale face.

The God of Thunder held his ground firmly, eyes rolling as he heard yet another cry of unadulterated pleasure sound from the bedroom. "He is my teammate; a friend – he will heed my warning."

"And what, dear brother," he bit out the endearment, twisting it with his tongue until it was cold, bitter and meaningless, "do you believe I will do to him? – As you can plainly hear; he isn't in any discomfort." Loki gestured towards the closed door, listening to the now almost constant stream of sighs and screams.

Thor turned his back on the Trickster; no longer wanting to look into the ghostly, green eyes which once held warmth, love and admiration, but were now a cold icy stare that unsettled him to the core. "It is time for this game to end, brother – you must come with me at once, we must return home."

"I have no home," Loki spat before his eyes narrowed, catching sight of a small black object hanging uselessly from the blondes ear, "what is that?" he snarled, trying to grab the offending object.

Turning quickly, Thor grabbed the ear piece and tugged it loose, holding the broken technology in front of his face. "It's my communication device from S.H.I.E.L.D – I destroyed it before coming here," he stated simply, tossing the plastic to the ground and pressing his boot firmly down upon it; wanting to make certain that it was broken.

"And why would you do that?" Loki actually appeared confused, his eyes darting from Thor's foot to his face.

"Because I did not wish to be followed; they would not be as kind as I," Thor's face softened into an almost pleading expression, "we can leave before they discover this; before they find y-"

The dark haired Deity soon cut him off with a raised hand and a look of complete disapproval, "I will not run, Thor; I have no need; you know as well as I that we are far superior; they could never hold me," he stated smugly, turning sharply to return to the couch.

"Why do you persist in chasing this poisonous dream? I do not wish to see you imprisoned on this planet or any other. Why do you continue to fight me?" Thor cried indignantly, no longer attempting to shadow his grief and pain at the loss of his once devoted brother.

Loki waved a dismissive hand, turning to gaze out of the window in an attempt to ignore Thor.

"Just tell me what you desire and I will help, but not this – surely you don't wish to enslave an entire race of people. And what could you possibly want from the Man of Iron? – You are a God, I know that you are not simply seeking sexual gratification; we are far more evolved than that." Thor had taken a step closer, his face clearly showing his confusion.

Loki had to smirk at that; when on Asgard, before he was outcast all Thor did was seek sexual gratification – usually having to deal with the exact same speech from Loki the morning after. "Oh how times have changed, brother," he mocked, clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth.

"I am aware of what I was, Loki – but I have changed," Thor stated solemnly.

"As have I," he quickly retorted with a sneer.

Thor shook his head slowly, further than tired of this unending conversation. "What do you want, Loki?" He practically shouted, his bellowing voice briefly disrupting the steady stream of groans coming from the Scientist's chambers.

The Trickster was soon on his feet, stalking towards the blonde with a fiery look in his eyes. "I want to be respected; I was recognition; loyalty," he spat the words as though they had burnt his tongue, desperate to leave his mouth.

It was Thor's turn to stalk away, heading for the window with heaving shoulders as he tried to wrap his head around the words; their meaning and how utterly pointless they seemed to him, "you were a prince, Loki; everyone respected you; were loyal to you. We were happy as a family, brother – one small truth does not erase the years of adoration from a family that cared for you." His hands were balled into trembling fists as he glared at the sky line.

He had wished many a times that he could erase the past; to never set foot upon that dreadful realm. Jotunheim was where it all began – if he had known the damage that his betrayal would cause, he would never have committed such a sin. However the past was irrevocable, he could not take back what had already been done. Thor could attempt again and again to repair the situation; however it seemed so futile when dealing with someone as stubborn as Loki. Would he ever yield?

The dark haired man's jaw tightened almost to the point of pain as the words sank in, slicing through him as they settled restlessly inside his mind. "One – small - truth?" Loki snarled, bearing his teeth as he rushed towards the other man, placing his hand firmly upon his shoulder, turning him roughly before continuing, "that's how you justify it? - he lied to me, Thor; I was never his son; never your brother; I didn't have a family; I was a spoil of war – nothing more and nothing less."

Loki was seething, his breath coming out in uneven pants as he stared at Thor. How was it that nobody could see the truth? For Loki this had begun far beyond Jotunheim – if anything he was thankful for Thor disobedience, at least he had gained the truth – it all started on that fateful day that his so called father had abducted him, planning to use him as a pawn against the Frost Giants. He hadn't taken him out of kindness, simply bitter greed. Odin had lied – as had his mother – throughout his childhood, continuously shunning him in favor of Thor. Loki had never stopped loving his brother, not even through his jealousy. But now, watching him reduced to begging; listening to him defending Odin's lies; reducing them to simple things – made him utterly furious.

Thor's hand came to rest on his shoulder, squeezing firmly before he spoke with a solemn tone, "blood does not make us brothers, Loki – we grew together; your true heritage means little to me – to anyone. We all care deeply for you and only wish to see you again – the real you."

The Trickster couldn't stop the bitter laugh from bubbling to the surface. "You think that this is about blood, Thor – no it goes much deeper than that; I'm talking about the differences in our childhood, think back to all the times I was shunned and ignored by your father, how he favored you over me. It all makes sense now doesn't it? Why would he want a stray Frost Giant when he had a true Asgardian warrior for a son?" The Deity was visibly shaking, his eyes a mix of madness and heart break.

Shaking his head slowly, Thor's grip loosened before he allowed his hand to fall entirely. "So all of this was bread through resentment? Destroying a race because your brother gained more attention? This is feeble, broth-"

"Stop calling me that!"

"You are-!"

"Hey, hey, can you ladies keep it down in here – some of us are trying to get laid," Tony growled as he strutted into the room, a sheet draped precariously around his hips as he made his way to the bar, hair sticking out in all directions and several harsh, red marks littering his chest, neck and back. Loki smirked triumphantly at the sight – a disheveled Anthony Stark and he hadn't needed to raise a finger.

Thor's face was soon lit up in a bright smile as he moved toward the Billionaire – seemingly not at all deterred by his half naked body and obvious post-sex appearance. "Ah, man of iron, I wish to speak with you," he bellowed, clapping the shorter man square on the back, almost causing him to topple over under the powerful blow. Tony spluttered slightly as he held onto the bar for support, his eyes bulging as he gasped for air.

Loki rolled his eyes at the clear show of affection. The movement didn't go unnoticed by Tony who quickly took a step back, holding his hands up in surrender before replying with a sorry tone, "Look, big guy – I don't wanna get in the middle of a family thing."

"We are not family," Loki quickly corrected, acid lacing his words.

Tony cringed as he watched the hurt pass over Thor's features slowly, making him seem ancient. He knew how much the blonde Deity adored Loki; how badly he wanted him to return to Asgard. "Thor, what do you wanna tell me, Buddy? – I'm all ears," Tony placed his hand upon his gigantic shoulder, looking almost laughable as he tried to sooth the much taller man. He looked like he needed a hug, but this was as consoling as Tony got.

Loki's eyes narrowed as he watched the scene with a bitter anger; yet another falling for Thor's self-pitying expression. He grumbled before quickly going back to his perch on the couch, eyes directed at the floor as he listened begrudgingly.

Thor tried to ignore Loki as he spoke, "I do not think it wise for you to continue consorting with my brother." A deep frown was now set in his brow as he crossed his arms over his chest, seemingly challenging the Midgardian to disagree with a powerful God.

The Playboy almost laughed, and would have if Thor didn't paint such a threatening picture. Be that as it may, "I'm sorry, Pal – I don't like being told what to do and who I can do it with. But thanks for the advice." Tony winked up at him, clapping his hand on his broad shoulder before taking a long swig from a bottle of scotch – trying to seem much braver than he actually was. Out of the corner of his eye he could see Loki attempting to smother a chuckle – and failing miserably.

Thor's stance only became more threatening as he straightened his shoulders and schooled his features into an undeniably serious expression. "I'm afraid I must insist, Mr. Stark; you do not know Loki as I do; he is manipulative, and trust me when I say this; he never does anything without reason, you are a means to an end and I do not wish to see the outcome of his obsessions. Please heed my warnings, I have your safety in mind, Tony," his voice had started with such strength but now seemed like shameless begging as his eyes softened, the already light blue turning to liquid as his gaze trained onto Tony's hopefully.

Tony narrowed his eyes for a moment, contemplating Thor's words as he looked between the two Gods – noting the nonchalant demeanour of Loki compared to the tense and visibly upset form of the Thunder God. "I'll be fine, Thor – but thanks for your concern," he daren't meet the blonde's eyes as he spoke, his gaze instead set on the floor as Thor nodded his head slowly, making his way back to the balcony with heavy footsteps.

"Wait," both Deity's turned in confusion as the Billionaire spoke, "I'm guessing they don't know you're here?" Tony hedged, his eyes pleading with Thor's.

"They do not," Thor swore solemnly, "even if we aren't bound by blood, I still do not wish for my brother to be imprisoned on either Midgard or Asgard." His eyes were now set intently upon the back of Loki's head, the Trickster flat out refusing to acknowledge the undeserved show of kindness. Tony had to admit; Loki could be a cold son of a bitch, but he had seen beneath that briefly; it was just a mask. Thor just had to learn how to unveil it.

Tony released a long and drawn out sigh before thanking Thor. "So how did you know he was here – with me?" His voice was slightly higher than usual as he clutched at the sheet, tugging it a little higher before sitting on a bar stool with a puzzled expression. Obviously he had known that someone would figure it out eventually, but he had thought it would be Bruce or Tasha, not Loki's fucking brother.

"As I said, man of iron; I know my brother well," with that he strode from the room. Tony watched as he picked up Mjolnir from its resting place on the balcony and spun it with such ferocity that he sped off into the night, as though flying. He let his head fall forwards slightly, eyes closing – he felt bad for the guy; Thor was a good guy, very considerate and Tony had just spat his offer of help back into his face. He really wished he didn't live to regret it.

"Anthony, stop it," Loki was stood before him in an instant, hands deceptively soft as they massaged his scalp, "you did what needed to be done; you swore an oath to me – you must carry it out." Tony's heart dropped at the Gods words; he had completely forgotten about the deal he'd made with Loki – the one which entailed that he do as he was told, no matter what the request or the consequences.

So then, why had he said no to Thor if not because he couldn't break the deal?

Tony blinked several times as he tried to collect his thoughts; it was far too terrifying to even think that he had feelings for the heartless Trickster. But was he really that heartless, or was it all just an act? Their last night together had been different somehow; the atmosphere afterwards was not as awkward or filled with guilt as the rest had been.

He gritted his teeth, quickly disregarding those traitorous thoughts and turning his attention back to Loki, "yup – I made a deal with the Devil – can't back out now," he joked, a large smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. His heart continued to betray him as the God unleashed a smile in return, causing his chest to tighten as his heart pulsated erratically, and pumped adrenaline carelessly throughout his system.

Fuck, he was in way over his head.

Loki released a low hum as his hands travelled down to the Playboy's shoulders, "the Devil?" he chuckled, arching a perfect, raven eyebrow at the Midgardian. He found himself rather enjoying that title; 'Trickster' and 'God of Lies' soon lost their appeal after so many centuries of use.

"Well, you have the horns and a give-'em-hell attitude," Tony reasoned easily, shrugging his shoulders lazily.

"Yes, but I don't have a tail," Loki argued.

"I'm pretty sure it's big enough to be classed as one," Tony smirked, running his hands down the front of Loki's armor to settle roughly over his crotch, rubbing his hand slightly over the vast length to make his point.

The Trickster gave a small smile before turning slightly serious, "how did you get away from my clones?" His eyebrows drew together as he indicated towards the now open door leading to the bedroom.

With a chastised expression, Tony answered with mock sadness, "I think I broke them."

"Well, you're going to have to show me how you did that," Loki smirked, descending upon the Midgardian before pressing their lips together, his tongue darting out to swipe over his lower lip, Tony complied easily, parting his lips for the God and allowing him to dominate his mouth completely. The kiss was soon cut short however as Loki pulled back, his face an expressionless mask as he croaked out, "room now."

With eyebrows furrowed, Tony stood from the stool allowing the sheet to fall carelessly to the floor before he mock saluted, "yes Sir." His confusion only grew as Loki ignored his antics, turning from him, sweat collecting on his brow as he headed for the same doors that Thor had recently departed through. "You alright?" his tone was serious as he went to follow.

How had they gone from having such a carefree conversation to Loki leaving?

Loki spun quickly, "bed now – I'll be there shortly." His eyes flashed with anger as he flicked his wrist, "they are waiting for you – try not to break them before I arrive." He sounded slightly out of breath, eyes glazing over as he tried – and failed - to make his tone teasing.

He didn't know why, but Tony obeyed, turning his back and heading for his bedroom, hearing the sound of clones calling out his name longingly. The Billionaire felt strangely numb as he took the final step through the threshold and into the waiting grasp of long pale fingers, open arms and desperate mouths.

Loki stood on the open balcony looking out at the lights of the city, body shaking, but not from the cold of night. Waving his hand gently, he grasped the scepter as it appeared before his hand.

Taking in a steadying breath, he closed his eyes and murmured the incantation.

He dreaded being summoned.