The Difference between Love and Hate
After almost three hours, Thor was becoming impatient. Nathaniel was crying and nothing he did would calm the child down. He assumed the babe was hungry. He rocked the child but it only seemed to make the infant cry louder. Pepper was talking to the babe but that didn't help either. The agent looked like he was annoyed by the child's crying. He stood and went over to them.
"May I?" he said looking down at the child. Thor was very reluctant but he doubted the mortal would do anything to the child. He gently put the child in the man's arms. Nathaniel was so small and adorable that Thor wanted to take him back.
Pratt looked at the child and gently rocked him. He ran his fingers over the child's hair and he talked to him with a soothing voice. "Shh...Little one, your mother will come for you soon. You must be patient."
The child quieted down and looked at the blonde man that was holding him. Tears ran down the infants cheeks but he didn't cry out. Pratt wiped them away and hugged the child. The face the young man was making grabbed Pepper's attention. She wondered if he liked children. It was as if some kind of regret. Although he was smiling his eyes looked sad. It was a heart wrenching sadness underneath the smile and it made Pepper think there was a lot about the agent that no one would ever know.
Nathaniel stayed quiet for another few minutes. When the infant could not hold on any longer he started to wail. Pratt looked down at the child and tried to calm him but he couldn't. Thankfully, Tony was coming out into the waiting room. He went straight for Pratt and took the child. He turned and went to the mother's room that the facility had, Pepper followed. Pratt took a seat and looked at his watch.
When Tony returned, Nathaniel was quiet and interested in looking at his mother's face. "Okay, now that junior is calm, we can leave. Thanks for watching him Thor."
The god shook his head and smiled looking at the child. "No thanks is needed Anthony. Hugleikr is welcome to my attention whenever he seeks it."
"You're going to continue to call him by that name?" Tony asked looking at the blonde god as they headed for the elevator.
"Of course, it is the perfect name for the child." Thor said giving Tony a pat on the back. "It is something I believe my brother would have approved of."
Tony was quiet for a moment then spoke. "Like I'd give a s-"
"Tony!" Pepper interrupted him. He sighed and apologized.
Tony looked down at the child's beautiful green eyes. As always they were staring directly at Tony. "Sorry, little one. Dad- Mommy's a little mad. Just a little…angry. We should probably get you some clothes and gear and well...baby stuff."
Pratt watched Tony reaction. The brown haired woman was holding in her rage and tears. She quickly changed the subject and gain control of her emotions. Her mask was slipping off, but she grabbed it in time.
"So what was the prognosis?" Pepper asked as the elevator went down. "Is everything going to be okay?"
"Well, I have to get some test done, but for now he gave me a type of Digoxin to slow my heart down. It's not the kind that needs monitoring but he said I should be carefully. I'm cleared to work but nothing strenuous. You know the usual, no alcohol and moderate exercise, eating right and other things. No alcohol and more sobrieties."
"No pizza Tony." Pepper said almost automatically.
"Pep! I haven't had pizza in months. Months I tell you! I've already been force into sobriety, don't take away my pizza." Tony whined making the most adorable face.
"I'm sorry Tony, but you need to eat healthier stuff, like salads and avoid things like red meat. You're going on a diet."
"Hell no! I finally get back home and now I have to eat like a bird."
"Anthony your language." Thor said and Tony apologized and kept going.
"I'm sick of Asgardian food, no offense Thor, but I would for once like an oil sopping cheese steak. It's not like the food sucks in Asgard but I want something from home." he said giving Pepper puppy dog eyes. Pepper only gave him a stern look that brooked no argument. "Fine, I'll go on a diet."
Tony slumped and looked over to Pratt who was smiling smugly for what reason Tony didn't know, but the smile didn't fit the man's face. Before he could speak the elevator doors were opening and they were getting off.
"We're going to have to get Nathaniel some formula. He can't have your breast milk anymore." Pepper pointed out. Tony nodded and then looked to his baby.
"And you just got good at suckling." Tony said. No one made a comment and Pepper shook her head.
Once in the limo Tony spoke to the driver. "Estella on 6th Avenue, please. Time to go baby shopping."
Pepper perked up at hearing that. "We should also go to Giggle in Soho. I know the cutest bodysuit for Nathaniel."
As Tony and Pepper talked over what they baby needed, Thor was looking at Pratt.
"You seem interested in my nephew. Why is that?" Thor said perceptively which threw Pratt off. Thor was not the perceptive type, he was a lot of things but perceptive was not one of them. He was the head first kind of person. Pratt fumbled over his words for a moment before he answered.
"Ah...I just like kids. I want a bunch one day." he said smiling and scratching his head sheepishly. "I was wondering what the kid's name was."
"It's not a warrior's name but a good strong name. Anthony picked it out himself. The child name is Nathaniel Hugleikr Antione Stark Odinson. It's a great name for a child of both Asgard and Midgard. I know not the meaning of the Midgardian names but I'm sure it is suitable."
"I think it's too long, it makes Nathaniel sound like he's some kind of prince...never mind." Pepper realized that the child was indeed a prince. "Hey... doesn't that mean you're some kind of..."
"Pep, please don't say whatever words that have come to your mind." Tony said playing with the infant's hand.
After shopping at baby boutiques they headed back to the tower with both Thor and Pratt carrying the baby items. Tony went all out and brought the child clothes, gear, furniture and a 'baby go bag' as he called it. Just in case he had to make a run for it at any time. It doubled as a regular baby bag as well. He'd at least have the essentials for his child when he had to leave.
He wasn't sure but knowing how relentless some of the Asgardian people were, he was sure one or two of them would find their way to earth using the biforst or other ways.
When they got off the elevator the team was waiting for him with his child's baby shower. Tony feigned his surprise. "You guys, I'm so surprised!"
"Surprise." Clint said deadpanned, while eating some of the cake. Natasha had a present under her arm and was about to place it on the table they brought out. It was full of presents and gifts for the baby.
"Here Tony." she said placing the small gift in his free hand. He went over to the table. He handed Pepper, Nathaniel and started to open the box. Inside was an onesie with socks and a cap. Tony smiled.
"Thanks Natasha, I knew there was a maternal side in you." he teased and she shot him a dirty look.
"Don't push it Stark."
"It probably has a tracking device in it." Bruce said laying down plates for the food.
"Maybe." she said taking a seat at the table.
Tony sat down and opened the present while everyone watched. It was as if he never left and that made Tony feel a bit better. Though, he knew once they left to the base things would become professional or as professional as it got when dealing with him. So he enjoyed the baby shower and relaxed for once.
He ended up getting some great gifts for Nathaniel. Bruce had brought the child an array of toys he couldn't use yet, but would come in handy as he got older. Natasha brought the onesie, socks and baby caps. Clint had jokingly brought the child a Captain America bib and a bunch of other bibs. One even had an Iron Man face, which Tony was going to put on the kid because the child was Iron Man's baby.
Steve had brought a crib and put it together. Along with that he also brought the baby a car seat and all of the baby proofing items needed. Tony thought the captain may have went overboard because the kid couldn't even lift his head let alone stick his fingers into an electrical socket. Nonetheless he was thankful.
Thor had given him a tapestry, which was the Asgard royal family's history right down to Nathaniel. Surprisingly, Tony was up there three times. Once as Iron Man protecting the earth and then further down as himself. His hands were on the cheeks of who he assumed was Loki.
Lastly, he was as a female holding Nathaniel looking down with a gentle smile. Nathaniel was sleeping and looked like his natural self, blue skin and all. Although he assume no one else paid it much attention. Tony was blown away by the detail and how beautiful it looked. It was a very large tapestry and Tony wondered how the god even hid it or got it there.
"Frigga, my mother and your mother-in-law, sent it earlier and told me to give it to you, when the time was right. I believe that time is now. She has been weaving this for a century to give to whichever of her sons had a child first. It details the child's Asgardian lineage. Since my brother is not here to accept this wondrous gift, it will be passed to you." Thor said spreading it out for everyone to see. Everyone looked on with awe because the details of the work spoke volumes about the amount of time and effort that went into it.
"I don't know if I can take this?" Tony said and everyone in the room, even Tony, was surprise with his words. He rarely if ever denied himself anything lest it was for the health of his child. He felt embarrassed for the first time in his life.
"Anthony, it rightfully belongs to you. If you were to not accept it, Frigga would be greatly insulted."
"Okay, but wow, just wow." he said touching the intricate weaving. It was a display of the goddess' love for whoever gave her son a child. He could tell she really care about him. He had brought some light to her beloved troubled son's life. Tony looked at the infant then to the tapestry. God he was not going to cry. He was not, so he forced a smile and thanked Thor for bringing the tapestry, even as tear made their way down his cheeks. He quickly wiped them away.
Lastly he received a gift from Fury, which surprised him greatly. Not more than the tapestry but right up there with it. The gift was a white teddy bear with a ribbon around its neck. The ribbon read 'Nathaniel's Toy'. Tony was tempted to rip it open to make sure there was nothing funny about it but decided to trust that Fury wouldn't do anything to hurt his kid. The man could be an ass but he wasn't a monster.
When it ended Tony changed into some normal clothes he brought while out shopping, a tee-shirt and some jeans. He packed up Nathaniel's bag and changed the child into something other than the Asgardian garb. He wiped the baby down with a warm cloth. Then he put on the onesie Natasha brought the child and then the bodysuit that Pepper picked out. It made the baby look like a little cow. The child's green eyes were on Tony as he pulled the small cap over the child's head. The way his child looked at him, Tony knew the Nathaniel was very intelligent. He pulled on the hood of the bodysuit. The hoodie had blunt cute horns on it. After the small infant was dressed warmly he laid the child in a basket.
It actually was a baby carrier but it was in the shape of a basket. It was something along the lines of 'Little Red Riding Hood'. Tony was more into the advance carriers but Pepper talked him into getting the old fashion one. It was kind of cute, so he caved.
Looking down at the cute child in the basket he was glad he did.
Tony sat looking at the countless equations he had written out on a white board. He was given all the access deemed necessary by Fury, so he had access to computers but he wanted to write out the equations for a change. Nathaniel was in his basket sleeping in the corner of the room. It was turned into a miniature nursery.
After several hours of writing Tony turned to the holographic keyboard and started working out the outcome of a certain formula. The scientists at Shield were smart, but not very creative when it came to working with his blueprint. They couldn't replicate the element he created but they did make a semi perfect arc. It was large and the power it could generate was at least 100 times greater than the arc in his chest. Though, it would never work.
It was what Shield wanted but Tony knew his arc held enough power to run a city. This meant their version could power the country if they knew how to create the element. That would equal instability and a breakdown if not handled correctly. Tony switched over to the in-depth diagram of the Arc. He folded his arms over his chest and stared at the Arc.
What could Loki possibly need with that much power?
He was a god, didn't he have the equivalent of that amount or more. Loki never did get around to explaining the extent of his magic. Not that Tony really wanted to know, magic was not something he really wanted to fathom.
This bothered Tony because there were few reasons a god would need that amount of power. Opening a giant portal half the size of America would be one reason, but since the Tesseract was still in Asgard that couldn't be the reason. Then it dawned on Tony that the item Loki stole from Asgard could work similarly to the Tesseract. If that was true then said item could hold more power than the Tesseract. Tony jumped to his feet and started putting in more formulas and variables. He started drawing up another blueprint that fixed the problems the scientist encounter. He pulled out all the readings from the Tesseract and accumulated another equation that answered his question.
How much power could the arc generate using the Tesseract as an element?
Screens started popping up as the calculations were being done and Tony took a step back looking at each screen. His mouth dropped.
"If that's the Tesseract then what would the item he stole look like?" Tony flopped down in his seat and ran his fingers through his hair. The god was planning something against the earth. It was the only probable reason he'd need all that power, unless he planned to attack Asgard or both. Tony was getting antsy at the thought running through his mind.
"Mr. Stark is something wrong?" Pratt entered the room and Tony quickly cleared all the screens. He wasn't ready to share his epiphany with anyone else yet.
"Nope, why are you here?" he asked turning to face the young man. He had a glass of orange juice in his hand and some bagels.
"I thought you might be hungry." he said sitting the food and drink down on an empty table. "So it looks like you got a lot on your hands."
"Yeah, I do. Aren't you just sweet?" Tony said grabbing the bland bagel and biting into it. "You got the hots for me or something?"
Tony bluntness threw Pratt off seemingly. "N-no."
"You do realize I'm a guy, right?" Tony looked over to his baby that was still sleeping peaceful. "Don't let the boobs fool you. I still think like a guy."
"I was sent to check on you. You've been down here for hours. I am only doing my job." the blonde said.
"Good, I don't need a lovesick puppy chasing after my feet." Tony said bitterly. He didn't mean for it to come out so mean, but his mask was slipping. Loki was up to no good and he didn't know exactly how bad it would affect everyone.
"Mr. Stark, I've heard a lot about you-" he was cut off.
"I'm sure you have but I'm not interested in the grapevine right now. I have work to do, so if you're done you can get the hell out." Tony turned his back to the agent as a dismissal. The man's eyes slanted on Tony.
He said nothing and left. When he got on the elevator he saw the screen that came up and the blueprints that Anthony was working on. As the doors closed Pratt made sure to keep a pouting face. He was aware of all the cameras in Shield Headquarters. He kept track of all of them.
Anthony character seem off so he knew that the seemingly woman found out something. Most likely Anthony realized that the amount of power he was after was exponentially higher than what he expected. He didn't really want Anthony or the baby around but the man always found a way into things. It only made him more cautious since the two of them were there. He had to be or the consequences would be dire.
He got off the elevator and met up with agent Dupeur. They walked to the main bridge. Fury decided to keep the headquarters on sea for the sake of the kid on board.
"What is the insect working on? I doubt its brain can comprehend what the master intends to do." she said. Dupeur was an uninteresting woman. She was plain and didn't stand out except for the coldness around her. She had the air of a killer and it was quite questionable that she was allowed to join Shield.
"You do well to watch your words. We are being watched." he said to the woman. She scowled and then straightened up her face.
"Why do I have to hide and answer to these mortals is beyond me, but it is the master's will, so I shall obey." she said looking at him with a malicious look.
"If you become a liability I will kill you." he said in a conversational tone.
"By all means try, frost giant, try." the woman's smile widened almost inhumanly.
Later that day Tony sat with Thor talking over what he found. He thought he should inform the god before the others.
"What was the item Loki took?" Tony asked while changing Nathaniel's diaper. The infant was yawning and looking at his mother. Watching her facial expressions but not understanding them. He didn't really have a care in the world. He was dry and warm. It was a good day for him.
"Anthony I cannot tell you."
"Look big guy, I need to know. If I don't how are we going to stop it? If this thing is anything like the Tesseract then we may have a war bigger than the battle in New York. Do you really want that?" Tony said tossing the diaper away and washing his hands.
"No, I do not. The item that was stolen came from the Norn. It was given to Odin because he was to protect it. It is like the Tesseract but it is unpredictable, so it was locked away in the treasury for the safety of the Nine Realms. The Norn decides fate but not even they would keep the power they found. It is not safe and so they gave the Cosmochoron to us. Since Loki has taken this item war will inevitably start in Asgard. We had the responsibility to protect the Cosmochoron. The other realms will attack Asgard in retaliation for losing such power. This is why Asgard has begun gathering for war." Thor explained with such a sad face.
"So, Loki really is going to start a war on earth and in Asgard."
"No Anthony, it is not just Midgard and Asgard but the other realms as well. If we do not stop Loki and the Cosmochoron expels its power, we are facing something that is akin to annihilation of all nine realms and Midgard."
"Great my crazy ass husband isn't just opening a portal but may destroy everything with it. Why me?" Tony looked down at the child that was about to cry. He could sense Tony's unpleasant mood. "No, no don't cry. I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to upset you. Shh... Mommy's here and I won't let any of this happen, okay?"
Nathaniel wet eyes brighten some and he didn't cry. Tony was relieved and rocked side to side with the child to make sure he stayed calm. Tony kissed Nathaniel's cheeks lovingly and he could tell the infant loved it.
"So this Comoschoron looks like a 120 side pentagon?" Tony asked and Thor looked confused.
"I have never laid eyes on it, but the Allfather told me what it looks like. He said that it is like a sphere that had many flat sides."
"So I'm right a 120 sided pentagon. The fourth dimension, can this get any more complicated. I probably just jinxed myself. Anyway I know what you're talking about, somewhat. Not sure on how the object would work with the arc. I don't think I could even figure out how to generate power from a 4d object let alone Loki. Maybe I could in some years but right now it's out of the question. Which leaves the question who is Loki working with. The god isn't tech savvy so it must be someone who knows how to harness the power of this Comoschoron."
"I believe it may be whoever he was aiding those seven years ago." Thor sighed deeply wonder why his brother would turn back to such a life when he had finally found happiness. He knew his brother was not good per se but he did not believe that he was completely evil. No not Loki. He was such a sweet child and the best brother he could ever ask for. Though most of the time he took that for granted, he regretted it.
"Well, I guess we'll be seeing those ugly reptiles' things again. First thing I need to do is find a backup plan just in case this Cosmos thing decides to disburse energy on earth. Hopefully it's not on earth but that's as likely as fish flying, so I guess we should look for a way to find that. I better get Banner on this. If it is the ugly stepsister to the Tesseract then it should be easy to find." Tony played with Nathaniel's little hand while looking at a computer screen he brought up.
"Anthony, when you find my brother what will you do?"
"I'm not sure. If I don't fly into a rage and try to gut him then maybe I'll talk to him. Odds are I'll try to gut him and I'm not even that kind of person." Tony said with a pleasant smile.
"Maybe Loki has good reasons?"
"Good reasons...to stab me in the back and leave me to die in a pool of my own blood. What logical reason could there be unless he just wanted to murder me. If Loki had any good reasons I'll shove them in unpleasant places. Then I'll figure out a punishment worse than the one's he suffered in that Abyss." Tony kept it clean because he remember his child was in his arms but the anger and rage rolling off of him upset the child anyway. Tony was right away cooing the child and talking to him in a gentle voice.
"We should tell our friends then." Thor leaned over and gently patted the child's head. "Your mother is going through a lot."
Tony looked at Thor and then to the ground. Stupid mask slipped again. He really had to get better at it like Loki. The god was forever wearing a facade. Now that he thought about it, he wondered if he ever saw the real Loki or if everything was lie.
Just as Tony was about to say something agent Pratt entered the room. He was being followed by that other female agent.
"Director Fury wishes to speak with you about your finding." Pratt said looking down a Tony.
"It figures they would be watching my every move. Cat is out the bag, huh?" Tony said looking at Pratt that looked confused for a second then nodded.
"Don't tell me you as bad with idioms as Thor?" Tony said grinning at the blonde. Pratt only shook his head and looked at the child that seemed interested in the fabric of Tony's shirt. He was grabbing at it and holding onto it tightly.
Tony looked down at where Pratt was looking. Nathaniel had the strength of his father because he almost had the neck of the shirt down to Tony's bra cup. "That my son is cotton and showing off mommy's bra is not nice."
He got the shirt out of the child's hand and gave him metal ring to play with. "Mr. Stark you can't give that to a child."
"Oh settle down kid, he not going to eat it and its light as a feather, nontoxic and smooth, so he can't cut himself. It'll be okay."
"I am not a child." Pratt suddenly said.
"What are you 23 maybe?" Tony asked looking up at the blonde though he really didn't like it. The agent didn't say anything and Tony smiled widely at the man.
"Like I said, kid." Tony walked passed him with Thor following. All four of them got on the elevator. Pratt stood on one side of Tony and Thor on the other. Dupeur was on the other side of Pratt. As they went up, Tony looked around Pratt to see the woman. Tony was 5'4 currently and he was very aware of it when standing between both the god and the agent. Both over 6 feet and making him feel like a child. He wanted to move over to the shorter woman but Pratt was blocking the way and he didn't want them to know his height bothered him.
Once they were off the elevator the female agent moved over to Tony instead. "Your child is cute."
Tony looked at the woman. Her words weren't threatening but the vibe he got off her made his stomach twist in knots of fear. Nathaniel started wailing and Tony felt like his head was going to explode. He moved quickly away from the woman and over to Thor. She looked confused and Nathaniel didn't stop crying no matter what Tony did. Eventually he had to leave the room completely and sit alone with the child until he calmed down. Thor stood outside of the room guarding the door, while Fury and everyone else in the room looked utterly confused.
"Nathaniel is a sensitive child. He picks up on negative feelings." the god skewed the truth. He didn't want them to know the truth that the woman wanted to harm the child and Tony. He had learned from Tony that the best thing to do sometimes is waiting. As the human once said 'you don't want to show them your hand'.
Pratt noticed the guarding position Thor was in and he could tell everyone else did. No one else spoke and it made him wonder if that was all that was wrong. He knew the lizard didn't know how hide herself but he didn't think the child would pick up on it. It was impossible but Nathaniel had begun to cry after hearing the woman's voice.
Dupeur was watching the door and it only made the man curious. Fury turned to everyone else and they took a seat.
"While Stark is calming his kid down then I will tell you what we have so far." Fury said looking over to agent Hill. She pulled up the screen and the information they were going to be briefed on.
As they talked, Tony finally came out but left the room with Nathaniel and Thor followed. He didn't answer any question instead he left the room walking fast.
Outside of the room headed back to the workstation Thor caught up. "Anthony, are you okay."
"Peachy. I don't like the idea of someone wanting to hurt my child so I'm going to find out what's up with miss agent up there." Tony had a look of purpose that meant business. He didn't take well to someone threatening his child's life.
He entered the lab and pulled out his handy hacking device. He placed it on the side of the computer and started searching through the files. He found the woman's file and then read it only to come up with nothing. She was clean but that didn't stop him from digging deep. Everything about the woman was clean and that was already a strike against her. Fury probably figured something was up with her, so that was the only way he could see the director keeping her around.
After a couple of minutes Tony returned by himself without Thor and Nathaniel. He took a seat and then he looked at the file that was given to each of them.
"Nice of you to join us, Stark." Fury said not asking about Thor or the infant.
"It's so great to be here." Tony said sarcastically.
After a while the new recruits were dismissed by Fury and Tony left because technically he wasn't an Avenger at the moment. He didn't have the level of clearance he use to have. Not that he cared to know what they were talking about at the moment. He wanted to get to his kid first and foremost. Having the child out of his sight for longer than a few hours rattled him. He trusted Thor but he didn't like Nathaniel out of his sight.
He walked down the hallway avoiding the agent known as Dupeur. She was staring at him as if he was her prey. He passed Pratt and the blonde haired man was watching Dupeur with a blank expression. Tony continued walking back to the small lab that Thor was waiting for him in. He used the key card to open the door to see Thor sound asleep with Nathaniel lying on his chest sleeping as well. The god was sitting on a small couch on the nursery side of the lab.
Tony stopped in his tracks and smiled. "Well aren't you two just cute."
"How sweet." Pratt said deadpan, which was out of character. Tony jumped not expecting the man to be directly behind him. "I was ordered to watch you."
"Fury still got trust issues. Well can't blame him." Tony went into the second part of the lab, so he wouldn't disturb Thor or Nathaniel. He pulled up the design for his new armor. He decided he wasn't going to sit on the sidelines simply because of a heart condition and because he had a child. If there was a war coming, he was going to be in it.
"You're making another suit." Pratt said sounding slightly surprised.
"I am Iron Man and it's my job to protect earth. You know being one of earth's mightiest heroes and all."
"You have a heart condition that could kill you. Fury won't let you do this...I mean the director." Pratt seemed worried.
"Fury can't stop me. Last time I checked I was an adult. My condition isn't that bad and I'm not sitting on the sideline when I'm the cause of the problem. I'll be the only one who can play on the field and understand the inner working of that arc." Tony said starting to work with the design of the suit. He wasn't sure for how long he'd be a female. It was supposed to be a temporary thing but now he wasn't so sure.
"You're being irrational Mr. Stark. You can't take the blame for something someone else did. Putting yourself in danger is not going to help anyone." Pratt's tone was serious.
"Who the hell are you, to tell me I can do? If I want to take the blame for making this mistake then, so be it. You know nothing about me, so don't stand there and tell me I'm irrational." Tony said turning to face the agent. His masking was slipping again. It was getting hard to keep his emotions in check, especially with the agent.
"What if you die, who will take care of your child? Have you even thought this through? You're reacting Mr. Stark and that's not a good thing."
"His uncle is capable of taking care of him and I don't plan on dying. I'm going to stop this war and drag that god back to face a real punishment." Tony had no idea why he was getting so angry. He just didn't like the blonde. What right did this man have to put him in his place? He didn't even know him.
"He's a god, do you really think you can go against him one on one? Not to mention your heart again. You can't even do intensive labor, how are you supposed to fight a god?!" the man was pissed with Tony. He was only letting his anger drive him and the blonde was pissed with Tony's foolishness.
"Why the hell do you care?! Why?! You don't even know me! I am known as the self-centered rich bastard who got played like a fiddle. Do you think I'm just going to sit here and play with my thumbs? I'm going to get my revenge dammit! He is going to pay for hurting me! He is going to pay for breaking me! He is going to paid for the blood I spilled. No one is going to stop me from showing him how it felt to be betrayed like that. No one is going to stop me from showing him what I felt! Not Thor, not Shield, the Avengers and most of all not someone who doesn't even know me. Some child that can't fathom the things I've had to endure." Tony felt the tears leaking down his cheeks. He could feel the cracks forming in his facade.
"You're being an irrational one-tracked mind fool! You have a child to care for and people who love you. You're hurt because you let him have your heart, so now you are blindly attempting suicide for your pride, Anthony! Your damn pride is going to get you killed? Then what Anthony, then what! How will you give that child a better life than yours if you are dead? How will you ever prove yourself better than your father?" Pratt was seething as he laid into Tony and the small woman couldn't say anything. He hadn't even realized that he had grabbed Tony's by his shoulders. His grip had been bruising, since he had lost some control. The blonde's eyes widened some and he quickly let go of Tony.
There was a silence in the room. Tony was the first to speak. "Did you call me Anthony?"
Pratt turned to leave and Tony didn't stop him because he wasn't sure what had just happened. He wasn't sure how to react to the man yelling at him and calling him by his given name and comparing him to his father. It was too weird and he didn't even want to deal with it. He had to pick up the pieces of his façade that had fallen away.
Tony returned to Avengers Tower later that night with everyone else after giving Fury a full brief about the arc and the Comoschoron. They had to play the waiting game until Thor went to Asgard to ask the Allfather about the Comoschoron and the extent of its power. So everyone was on their respective floor and Tony was in his sitting room near the bar staring the alcohol down. He was so tired of being sober at the moment. Whoever Loki was working for was probably already building the arc even if he knew it wouldn't work he was worried.
Nathaniel was in his bassinet and Thor was headed to Asgard. He'd be back by morning. Pratt was in a room on Tony's floor, apparently because his sole duty was to watch Tony, according to Fury. Just in case his darling husband contacted him. They didn't think Tony was the enemy but Fury wanted to be sure that Tony wasn't swayed.
He'd never let the smooth talking god twist his thoughts again. Of course no one believed him because he was already married to the god. It was just too funny how messed up his life had become. He looked toward the windows that overlooked the city, pondering how he ended up so broken.
He reached forward and grabbed the bottle of whiskey he been staring at for hours. He was becoming weak. He opened the top and unceremoniously put the bottle to his lips and took a large swallow. It burned going down and Tony was glad to taste the smooth liquid, even as tears were shed. He took another large gulp of the bitter whiskey. He was so good at pretending that he was fine, but it hurt to admit the truth. His mask was breaking to pieces and there was nothing he could do to stop it. He wounded heart was going to be exposed and he didn't know how to stop it. He didn't know how to cope with the events that happened in the last couple of years. Bottled up emotions were going to come crashing down and he didn't know how to stop that.
Admitting that he was wrong about Loki was like saying he lost, even if he didn't actually lose. He was hurting and his escapist was coming out. So he took another drink and another because he really needed to be out of his mind to sleep dreamlessly. He needed a night of sleep that didn't entail the damn god and his broken smiles. He needed a night when blood wasn't covering his hands and dead bodies at his feet.
How ridiculous could his life get? That he was sitting at him home getting drunk because he could sleep. Years ago he would have just climbed into bed with Loki and wake the god. Forcing the green eyed trickster to listen to him not cry his eyes out, he couldn't do that anymore…ever again.
For once in his life he wasn't being so self-destructive. He was being good or at least his version of the word. He was happy and that was seriously something new for him. It wasn't like he wasn't happy before but it wasn't anything like being with that damned god. The bastard made him feel good and now he hated it. He hated how much love he felt for the person who betrayed him and left him to die.
He wanted to claw out his figurative heart so he could remove Loki from it. Loki was making him sick and so he took another drink and then another. His mind was fogging up and he really didn't care if he went to sleep sitting right there at that bar. He leaned heavily on the bar. His mind was drifting already and he could feel the fake calm the alcohol provided. Finally, it was an escape from the pain building in his injured heart.
"What are you doing?" there came the voice he wished would shut up and mind his own business. He turned to see the blonde still in his uniform but bare footed. He was coming over to Tony.
"I am drinking." Tony said relatively clear. "You know, it's what grown-ups do. But then again you just became a grown up a few years ago, so this fact probably eluded you."
"You can't drink with the medicine you're taking. Ms. Pepper told you this." Pratt said grabbing Tony by his arm.
"Don't touch me! I don't like being touched." Tony recoiled as if he was burned.
"Oh, it's Mr. Stark now." Tony said as Pratt took the bottle. "What happened to Anthony?"
The facade had come down and Tony's words tumbled out unfiltered. "You know, I really thought he was different. He was always somewhat of an ass but I thought there was something more. I thought… Why would I do that? Why would I fall for such and obvious trick? Was I that lonely?! Am I that afraid to be alone that I let him in? I loved him so damn much and look at me now. Me! Me of all people, in love with someone I thought loved me. I-I was in love."
Tony admitted mournfully before started to laugh hysterically as if he had some disturbing epiphany. His laughter descended into crying as he hid his face with his hands. He was embarrassed again to be seen so weak.
"It's not your fault." Pratt could see that Tony was breaking down. He wanted to calm him but he couldn't find the words without breaking character.
"Whose fault is it then, huh?! Who?! Who am I supposed to blame? I did this. I did all of this for him!" Tony motioned to his body. "I gave up my manhood for him. I forsook my friends. I betrayed their trust. I did it all…he probably never even loved me. I was so desperate to belong to someone and for someone to belong to me."
Tony desperately reached for the bottle and Pratt used his height to his advantage to keep the bottle from Tony. "Give me the bottle."
"You will stop this nonsense, Anthony. Your emotions are getting the better of you and you need to put them in check before you hurt yourself." Pratt said regretting his manner of speaking once the words left his mouth.
The man's voice wasn't right to Tony's ears. The dialect was wrong and Tony sobered faster than any time in his life. The voice wasn't Loki's but the words and accent were. He pulled away from the blonde looking at him strangely. Years of turmoil and stress threaten to fall.
"You know... what I hate the most." Tony staggered before he continued his voice cracking from stress. "I don't usually hate many things but this takes the cake. It's the difference between love and hate. And this is going to sound awfully poetic of me, but you can love someone after hating them. That doesn't bother me at all. It's great to be able to change and all that good stuff. What bothers me is the fact...that you can't hate a person after you love them. I absolutely hate that glaring fact about love. No matter how much I try to tear you out of my heart I can't. I can't get you out of my heart... and I hate it. I hate it!"
Tony reached across the bar and grabbed the bottle of vodka he got as a birthday gift, never opened. He wasted no time. He couldn't hate Loki but he was still enraged. He was angry because he was in love with Loki even after all the things the god had done. He enraged at how he felt relief, just from being near the god. He was livid at the happiness he felt before the rage sunk into his heart.
The bottle flew through the air with great precision, even though Tony was drunk. Pratt dodged it only to have more bottles coming at him. Tony ran out of bottles and then grabbed the barstool and flung it at the agent. "You are despicable piece of worthless trash! Who do you take me for?! Did you think I wouldn't notice? You probably did, didn't you? Well you slipped up too many time Casanova!"
The blonde man caught the chair and sat it down. "Anthony, stop."
"Take the mask, glamour or whatever the hell you call it off, Loki!" Tony grabbed another barstool and threw it at the man. He dodged again and Tony ran out of items to throw. This only made him angrier because he wasn't pissed enough to start throwing his crystal glasses or the really old bottles of wine.
"If that is what you want." he said easily sliding back to his true appearance. Tony staring at the green eyes he wanted to hate. He stared at the god he wanted to bludgeon to death and cry on at the same time.
"What's to stop me from getting everyone in this tower up here?" Tony asked grasping at the bar to support him. His arms were shaking and he could hear his blood rushing in his ears loudly. He was in agony but continued to talk. "You wanted to finish me off or did you forget to steal something. This time make sure you hit my heart. Make sure you twist the blade. Do what every you want to me but you leave my child alone."
"You understand nothing, Anthony. I did this for...I had to do this." Loki watched Tony's reaction. His breathing was labored and his arms were shaking as he tried to keep himself standing. Tony was laughing bitterly as tears leaked down his cheeks. He had hurt his husband terribly.
"You had to stab me! Is that what you're saying to me? I was pregnant with our kid and you stabbed me! And your response is; you had to stab me! You cannot honestly be telling me you had to stab me. I almost died! DIED PREGNANT WITH YOUR KID!" Tony screamed at the top of his lungs. He dropped the mask completely. He'd been wearing it since he was stabbed, it as protection. Tears were falling faster and Tony was blaming it on the pain in his heart physically and figuratively.
"Our child...you were pregnant?" Loki paled greatly, if at all possible. He thought he avoided all of Tony's vital organs but Tony was struggling so he wasn't completely sure now. His intention was never to hurt Tony or their child. The realization dawn on him caused him to step forward to Tony.
"Of course I was pregnant with your child! Who else's kid would I be having! Did you really just doubt my fidelity! I can't believe this! I cannot believe this…"
Tony gave a painful moan and lean heavily on the bar, unable to continue. Tony was growing paler by the minute. Loki moved to help Tony, but the small ailing woman held her hand out. "Don't! Don't come over here. Don't you dare take another step, you bastard!"
Tony could hear Nathaniel crying loudly and he wanted to go to the child but his body wasn't obeying his mind. Loki was still moving closer and Tony couldn't move away. He felt like his heart was going to explode. "I want to hate you so much...so much! I swear if you mess with my mind Loki and I find out..."
"Quiet Anthony, you need medical attention." the god said picking up the small woman. Tony's body was shaking and his eyes were rolling back. He started to convulse slightly.
Loki quickly returned to his agent persona and told Jarvis to call for help. The AI couldn't see through the magic Loki used so Jarvis didn't pick up anything out of the ordinary other than Tony.
"Help has already been called sir." the AI said.
Before Loki could even move to the elevator Steve was coming off of it. He was rushing over to Tony picking up the small woman from the agent.
"Get Nathaniel and meet us in the infirmary." Steve said rushing to the elevator leaving the god alone with the child.
Loki went to calm the crying child but nothing he did worked. The infant wanted his mother or someone he knew. A sad smile graced his face. He had almost killed the only person in his life that made him happy. Along with that he almost killed the very person both he and Anthony worked so hard to make.
It was truly an accident but nothing would convince Anthony of that. He ripped open a wound in the man that was still bleeding. Tony absolutely hated being betrayed and he had done just that. Even if the god explained what was happening, he doubt Anthony could forgive him. He took the child to the infirmary. He had already felt the weight of his deeds but now reality made the acts much worse.
In the end, it had to be done or Anthony and his child would be facing a far worse fate than the one they had now. Even if he had to lie to Anthony again and twist the man's thoughts, he had to continue with the plan. For everyone's sake not just Anthony and their child, if he didn't many would die.
AN: Long chapter but I didn't want to split it up since everything flowed together in my opinion. Sorry Tony's so ooc right now. I'm going to get him back to his normal attitude. Sorry as always if anyone else is out of character, still trying.
Feed me reviews please, so I can continue. =)