A/N: I don't think I need to tell you that the reason this is late is that I was struggling to bring myself to write the last chapter.


IS THIS LOVE FOR TONY STARK AND LOKI LAUFEYSON?
Peter Parker reports on the new power couple!

As it turned out, even serious reporters who didn't like to write gossip pieces were tripping over themselves to interview 'Laufeystark', as it had been dubbed.

By Tony and Loki's reckoning, that was the stupidest celebrity couple name ever.

Regardless of their thoughts on the subject, however, people wanted information on the couple, and as there was a pretty high risk of inaccurate reporting, Tony and Loki wanted someone who was on the level. Yes, they would be feeding some misinformation, but they wanted their misinformation printed correctly.

A year or so ago Tony had done an interview on a rather controversial area of clean energy and had been met by a scientifical and investigative reporter, who, instead of taking a side, wrote exactly what Tony said.

Therefore, Peter Parker dropped everything to get the interview of a lifetime the moment JARVIS called. Almost suspiciously fast, but there you go.

His boss wanted a quick interview to be leaked a little to draw people in by that evening, as well as a longer one the in the next few days (Christmas was in a couple of days, so money was in the air) so it was still the day after Tony and Loki had broken the news that Parker turned up with a list of questions to ask them.

Which brings us back to the start.

IS THIS LOVE FOR TONY STARK AND LOKI LAUFEYSON?
Peter Parker reports on the new power couple!
As I walk into the penthouse of Stark Tower, the first thing that strikes me is how homely it looks compared to earlier photographs of the penthouse when it was first constructed. This is a home that is now being lived in by two people.

Tony Stark and Loki Laufeyson are sitting on the couch, playing some kind of memory game while they invite me to sit down. They sit next to each other, Tony's hand unconsciously on Loki's thigh, and they look content. This quiet image of domesticity is at odds with expectations of the pair; both are known for their hellfire personalities and their valour in battle as Avengers.

But this isn't Iron Man and Lightningrod or CEO Laufeyson and SI owner Stark, it's Tony and Loki, the people behind those powerful images. And it seems very clear to me at this moment that this Tony and this Loki undoubtedly care for each other.

When I pull my list of questions out of my satchel, both of them adopt a similar posture - they've been in front of interviewers their whole lives and they know what to do.

And I begin the interview.

Everyone's dying to know - how did your relationship start?
Well, it all started after the first battle of Manhattan. You saw when I sent that nuke through the wormhole? I would've died afterwards if it hadn't been for Loki - he kickstarted the Iron Man suit. That was when it all started. The idea that we didn't have to be against each other.
After that, Tony and I were performing scientific research for SHIELD together. While it started with perhaps more hubris than teamwork, we began to work together seamlessly in time, aided by the fact I was spending increasing periods of time at the Avengers' Tower with my new friends. In the past, I had viewed Tony as not much more than an irksome competitor in business. As time went on, I began to understand the man better, and had little reason to cause fuss when I could have someone finally understand my work and still be worth carrying a conversation with.
I was the same. I just needed Loki as someone to talk to. It wasn't just the physics and engineering, though; Loki and I just get along with any subject. Anyway, we'd become pretty close when this big Avengers thing happened-
At this point it remains fairly confidential.
Confidential, yeah. It happened, and I may have told Loki afterwards that he was one of my best friends and amazingly awesome. He thanked me. Thoroughly. 'Thanked' is a very iffy word.
But that was not when our relationship started.
Nope. We danced around it for ages. I mean, yeah, we were still banging whenever we had the opportunity, but we didn't want to put a label on it, because we're Tony Stark and Loki Laufeyson and the idea of being in relationship with each other was too bizarre.
Even now, it seems a little strange. In any case, this again changed when I was forced to go away for a week on SHIELD business. I missed Tony intensely. When I came back, we decided our relationship needed to change.
That was when we had our first date. One of the best nights of my life. Call it sappy and unnecessarily romantic, but I knew that I always wanted to be with Loki like that. It was perfect.
We have been together ever since with no real issues. As it turns out, Tony and I can actually be far better together than we ever were apart.
And now we're engaged. Look, people can complain and protest as much as they like, but when it boils down to it, it's Loki's and my decision and I love the guy enough that I'm perfectly willing to flip off anyone who calls us the Antichrist for this. We don't belong to the citizens of America - we're people just like anyone else, and we should be able to marry whoever we choose.

You may have only become engaged yesterday, but what can you tell me about the wedding?
A great deal of the details are unconfirmed - as you said, it has only been a day. We are certain that our wedding will be held somewhere in New York, as it is not legal in either Malibu or England, where we respectively have lived most of our lives.
Planner's said we're both looking at charcoal grey for suits, and really, that's all we know. We've been hijacked by our friends and we have less say over the whole thing that we perhaps should.
I would add - we know certainly that it will be a private wedding. Owing to the extreme amount of protesting and the likelihood of our wedding being interrupted by a vast number of people with many objections to our union, it will be invitation or no entry. For that I apologise, but it is our big day and I'd rather not have to deal with narrowminded [expletive deleted]

And afterwards? Do you live together here? Are you planning for kids or a home together?
At this point, we do not live together, owing to the fact-
Owing to the fact we're both way too prideful to live in a tower with someone else's name on it.
That said, we do sleep in each other's company every night. It simply depends on the day. We've yet to discuss permanent living arrangements, though it is clear to both of us we will live together in the future.
Yep. Personally, I think Loki should just swallow his pride and move into Stark Tower like a grown-up, but no. About kids - our line of work is way too dangerous for kids. We could both be killed in action tomorrow, and we wouldn't leave a kid without any parents. We've both been there and we wouldn't put it on anyone else.
I would not have a child unless I could guarantee I could care for it fully, and at this point I cannot claim that.

Tony, was the proposal planned?
Oh, hell, no. You can tell by the look on Loki's face he wasn't expecting it! I just wish I'd actually had a ring.

Is this undoubtedly the end of both of your playboy ways?
We may be open to someone joining us, but this is not any form of open relationship.
Nope. We're a bit too possessive for that.

I think Wall Street would like to know - what will change with your respective companies?
Nothing, insofar as I am aware. My business life is different from my private life, and in any case, Stark Industries and Laufeyson Corp do not cross over in fields enough for a merger to take place.
I'm not even the CEO of Stark Industries anymore, so it's not really anything to do with me.

A personal one now - what're you getting each other for Christmas? Is it a secret?
What day is it?
22nd of December, babe.
[Expletive deleted]
Yeah, same here. To answer your question - at the moment, nothing, by the looks of things. It's been pretty chaotic recently.

That had marked the end of the interview. It was supposed to be quick, a short Q&A, and so Parker (who was a lot more awkward when he wasn't reading off a piece of paper) thanked them repeatedly and made to leave. Another longer interview would be conducted in the near future.

"It's unfortunate," Loki smiled at him as he left.

"What?"

"Gossip journalism is not your specialty, yet this will likely be your breakthrough article," Loki pointed out.

Parker winced. "I know."

"Good luck," Loki said with a respectful nod as he left.

Of course, their answers had not actually been entirely truthful on how they got together, but it was as much as they were willing to reveal to the public.

-O.O-

It was that evening that Clint finally decided to give Loki his present.

Everyone was at the tower at the time, and Tony and Loki had just finished their interview.

In any case, Clint went upstairs, told Loki there was a surprise for him, and brought both of them - rather confused - down to the main Avengers floor, with Loki being made to close his eyes.

Loki was pouting. "I don't see why I have to close my eyes. I will hit my legs on something."

"Loki, you've walked through this room how many times? I think you'll be fine," Clint said resignedly. "Open your eyes."

They were in the living room, everyone there watching to see how Loki reacted.

Loki opened his eyes, blinked for a bit, and looked around the room "I - oh."

That was Tony's reaction too - shock.

He knew Steve was good at art, but, well, this?

It was a hyperrealistic painting, a large one.

Of Loki's family.

That was, Nal and Farbauti with a smoky grey background, and three boys in their early thirties in front of them - Loki and two brown-haired, identical boys with the same look of mischief written across both their faces.

None of them knew what Loki's brothers would've looked like - technically, they'd never been born - but the green-eyed, short-haired boys that were just a little shorter than Loki and just as handsome and slim were an amazing approximation.

Loki's mother had had to be aged by thirty years, but she was still gracefully beautiful and exactly where Loki had gotten his Snow White colouration from.

Clint, Steve and Darcy had even managed to find a rare photo of Farbauti smiling.

They looked like a happy family, and Tony thought it was brilliant, immediately looking over to see how Loki was going to react.

Clint had finally succeeded in knocking Loki speechless. Natasha was smiling uncharacteristically widely, along with everyone else in the room.

"Oh lords," Loki murmured finally.

"Don't you like it?" Steve asked worriedly.

"It's the most amazing thing I've ever seen," Loki said, still quietly. Tony could see his eyes were a little teary. "Thank you so much, Steve."

"It was Clint's idea," Steve smiled.

"Darcy helped," Clint shrugged, but he looked very proud of himself.

"It's...so detailed. So close to looking like a photo," Loki said. "Byleist, Helbindi, Nal...They look as I often imagined them."

Because Darcy must've picked up on the same thing Tony had - Loki wanted his family. He mentioned it basically never, and he clammed up whenever the subject was raised, but he wanted the idea of the loving family he'd never been able to really get his hands on. Thor, who was an okay brother, but tended to be a little oblivious to Loki's complex and bizarre moods, and Frigga, who was an excellent mother, but not Loki's mother, were not quite enough to fill the void left by knowing his whole family was dead.

"Loki, don't take this the wrong way," Clint said. "But I had to look up photos of your mother for Steve for this, and man, she was hot."

The corners of Loki's mouth quirked up from where he was staring at the painting. "She was. Frigga showed me a few photos she had of her - they used to be rather close friends, I believe. Beautiful."

"Don't take this the wrong way either, but you really look like her."

"I'll take that as a compliment," Loki chuckled, before sniffling and wiping his eyes with one large hand.

Loki went and sat down on the couch to continue looking at the painting, taking in every tiny detail. "This is mine, to keep?" He asked uncertainly.

"Of course!" Clint said. "For saving our asses a hundred times over. And as a sorry for the heart problem, because that really sucks and I hope you find some way to cure it."

"I'm working on it," Loki replied distractedly. "This will go next to my armchair in my living room."

"Just your armchair?" Darcy said a little disappointedly.

"Darcy, that armchair is my favourite place in the world. Would you rather I put it in my office?" Loki asked.

"Oh, yeah. No," Darcy smiled. "Merry Christmas, Loki, from me and the Avengers."

That was the start of a very good evening for everyone - sitting around cheerfully talking, eating a delicious dinner and actually acting like a team for the night, playing cards then watching a movie before bed.

It was midway through the next morning when Loki and Tony got a video call from one Happy Hogan, who had moved back down to Malibu a few months ago and was working as Pepper's head of security at Stark Industries.

Sitting on the couch together, Tony reached for his phone and accepted the call.

It only showed Happy's forehead.

"Is that Miss Potts' Forehead of Security?" Loki chuckled dryly.

"You little fuck!" Tony snapped playfully. "I was right about to say that!"


A/N: sCREAMING. This is finally over. After everything, it's over, done and gone.

As some folks know, I'm heading on holiday very soon and I won't start posting the sequel until I get back, so until the second week of August.

The sequel is named (subject to change, mind you) How The Shovel Talk Turned Into Saving America and is Loki, Tony, Pepper and Rhodey vs AIM, the Mandarin, and Aldrich Killian.

Also, Peter Parker will probably turn up again in the future.

Meanwhile, I might post a one-shot or two for the series, so bookmark the series or something! Also, I'll be posting a bit on Tumblr in the Frostiron tag about this, so keep an eye out = P

I would absolutely love a show of reviews now this is done. Please let me know what was good so I can do more good things in the future - remember, I don't know your opinions unless you tell me them.

Thank you so much for everything, my people!