Summary: For the sake of curiosity, Tony pulls Loki into a true Asgardian marriage. Sort of. Not really. Oneshot.
Fandom: Marvel's The Avengers
Pairing: FrostIron – Loki Laufeyson x Tony Stark
Warnings: Slash, traditions and not-quite traditions, references to mythology and comics, randomness, sleepy wit and flirtations, curiosity, and sexy cuteness
Disclaimer: The Avengers and all affiliated characters belong to Marvel and the genius of Stan Lee. All referenced marriage traditions and mythology belong to the Norse as well as various Germanic peoples and Celts.
Author's Note: So, working on the final chapter of Just a Rose and I started getting all sentimental… studied some Old Norse marriage traditions and got inspired. Decided to add in some Celtic traditions too and mused on how an Asgardian marriage would play out. Final conclusion: Tony would have way too much fun with it.
Random blurb is random and merely for the giggles. I needed the smiles. I hope you all enjoy the FrostIron goodness here. All comments and commentary are most welcome.
I take Thee, Should'st Thy be Thine
(or something like that)
As far as lovers went, Tony Stark was an oddity. And considering Loki's history with unusual bedfellows (most blaringly among them a Jotun woman responsible for half of his children and, of course, the horse), that was really saying something.
Straightening out his sleeping shirt while walking down to the workshop, the god prepared himself for anything and everything Tony might throw at him, wariness and unease creeping into his bones with each step. A year together and Tony still held the power to surprise him, mostly because he was so unpredictable at the best of times and almost everything he did made absolutely no sense to anyone but himself. Though Loki could honestly say he was getting a better grasp at what made his mortal tick, there were those moments Tony managed to catch him wholly and completely off guard.
They tended to come on nights like this, when the warmth of the bed had not been enough for Tony to sleep peacefully and Loki had awoken to empty arms and cooled sheets. It was a bit troubling how effortlessly the other had learned to slip away without his notice, a feat of skill that baffled him just as surely as it troubled him. There were only a few reasons he knew for Tony to be up so late – or early, depending on how one regarded the clock: work, a new project idea, or nightmares.
His time with Tony had taught him to always approach with a certain amount of caution when things happened like this. If it was simply work or the hurried playing with various tools and programs to set down his newest schemes, Loki would be content to leave him be and return to bed. However, if it was one of his de-habilitating nightmares, the haunting ghosts Tony had shared with him over months of restless nights and thunderstorms, then Loki would be exactly where he needed to be. He may have no name for what they were, but the sense of protectiveness he felt for the other man was undeniable and inescapable and not something he was about to disregard for any reason, pride be damned.
So the sight of Tony rubbing his eyes sleepily while talking to Jarvis in words too quiet to hear, disheveled and handsome, the tunic he'd stolen from Loki lopsided and crumpled over his shoulders was a pleasant relief. Almost instantly, the disquiet he'd felt eased away under a wave of curiosity and he knocked softly on the wall to announce his presence. Tony did not seem surprised to see him and grinned lopsidedly as he drew near, gaze tired but serious when their shoulders brushed.
"Your Tony senses tingling?" he laughed quietly, dark irises brightening in the light. Loki regarded him closely, fishing for a hint of discomfort in his expression.
"And what grand schemes plague you this night?"
"Ah, you'll just think I'm crazy," Tony shrugged and then paused, contemplative. "Well, crazier than usual."
"Try me," Loki laid the challenge, leaning on the workbench. He was awake and whatever his mortal was concocting already felt considerably different than other nights. It was worth sating his curiosity at the very least. If nothing else, he was always free to return to bed.
Tony only laughed and stretched his arms, causing the tunic to hike up over his bare thighs. It drew Loki's attention instantly and Tony snorted at the look on his face.
"Up here sweetheart," he twirled a finger against his mouth, grinning like a wildcat. Loki smirked back.
"Then tell me what keeps you from our bed so that I may quiet that mind of yours and turn it to a far more… pleasing distraction."
"I love it when you talk dirty," he chuckled. "Very tempting." His features took on a more deliberative set and he took a step back, mulling over a question. "Okay, so this is random. Honestly I'm not sure why the hell I started thinking about this… just remember you asked for it."
Tony drew circles over his temple, blinking against the lack of sleep. Loki quietly went to his side, drew him in with warm hands on his arms. The smaller man murmured a little at the attention, but did not melt into him like usual, letting Loki know whatever subject was on his mind was not going to go away with honeyed words and thorough touches. Only answers.
"If I wanted to marry you, how would I go about it?" he mumbled out, squinting up at him. Loki was taken aback for a moment at how serious he was and wondered just where in the Nine that had come from. He was used to the random and strange when it came to Tony Stark, but this was territory Loki never dreamed they'd cross into.
Truly an oddity.
"Is this you asking for my hand?" he couldn't help but ask. The smile was easy despite his surprise and Tony matched it.
"Do you want this to be?" was his playful counter. Loki shook his head at the familiar turn of phrase. It was one of the many ways Tony urged him to speak his mind, the truest desires that belonged solely to the Loki he was still trying to discover in himself. And it worked better than either of them could've ever anticipated. His mortal was made of wonders uncountable.
Loki took the safe road. "I'm almost afraid to ask what prompted this inquiry, but, nevertheless, I will do my best to answer, if only so I may return you to bed. Is it the Asgardian marriage you wish to know about or the Midgardian equivalent?"
"So there's a difference?"
He could see the thoughts crossing over Tony's face as he mulled that over, the gears clicking and firing behind his eyes. Loki resisted the urge to tilt his chin up and discover if those endless questions could be tasted on his lips.
"Asgardian then," Tony grinned, reading his intent before he could act and slipping easily out of reach. Such was the way of the game. Loki sighed in defeat, crossing his arms.
"Well, for a proper marriage to begin, we would first need to be properly betrothed. A meeting must be called with the ruling patriarch of my bloodline and in the presence of witnesses you would need to offer up a mundr. About eight to twelve ounces of silver by ancient Norse agreement."
"But you killed Old Frosty, remember?" Tony pointed out and Loki shrugged a shoulder, uncaring.
"The Allfather then, though he would not be satisfied with silver."
Tony was amused by that. "What would the Man in the Clouds want then? My soul?"
"Probably," Loki chuckled. "Your mortality at the very least. It would be of no particular gain to anyone should a mortal take an immortal as a partner. Such uneven lives would forever be out of balance. If you were to ask in earnest, either you or I would need to surrender that which keeps us from equilibrium; your mortality or my immortal soul."
"That doesn't surprise me," Tony admitted. He turned thoughtful eyes to the ceiling as his words filed away in the vast recesses of his mind. "What else?"
"The Allfather would ask for my heiman fylgia in response to your mundr," he smiled, wondering when his use of the traditional names would confuse the other in his tired state. "If you gave up your mortality for an immortal existence, perhaps I would need to allow my life to be tied to yours, our life spans as one, where one cannot live without the other. Your death becomes my death. Such fair reasoning worthy of the House of Odin."
He made his disdain for his former home clear and Tony pat him good-naturedly on the shoulder. Loki reached forward to tug on the high collar of his tunic.
"Then a date must be set by my mother. Marriage is a human invention, one the gods have coveted and mimicked for millennia. Frigga is the patron goddess held in the highest respect in regards to such unions. There is even a day in her honor to mark the date with luck."
"Friday, right?" Tony was just as fond of Frigga as Loki was and it showed in the delight on his face. Loki didn't hold back the desire to kiss his smile a second time.
"Very good," he breathed, pulling away. There was a dare in those eyes he didn't miss and he chucked Tony's chin, smirking. "Without Mother's approval, the marriage would surely fail. She quite adores you though, so have no fear of being refused should ever you find the bravery to ask properly."
"I said 'if'. If is the working word here."
"I am well aware. Besides, it is doubtful I would even allow myself to go through such ceremonies again considering the shambles of my first marriage."
"But that was all arranged," Tony reasoned, waving it away. There was a light in his gaze that warned of trouble. "I nearly forgot you got hitched once before. You should be able to walk me through the ceremony then yeah?"
Loki sent him a pointed stare. "…I felt content enough to pass off this inquiry as a mere fancy of exhaustion, but now I'm fairly certain there is a motive hidden somewhere in that innocent look of yours. What are you up to Anthony?"
"Ye of little faith," Tony lifted his hands. "I promise I'm just curious… okay, like really curious. Don't give me that look. You know how I get when I discover something I don't know. It doesn't happen everyday. I don't care what I say, sometimes having a genius brain sucks."
Still slightly on guard, Loki slowly consented, thinking back on his own marriage as reference.
"We would be stood at an altar before all of Asgard, facing one another."
"Like this?" Tony had a thoughtful frown on his face as he moved himself accordingly, squaring their bodies within a comfortable distance.
"Quite," Loki titled his head, not quite believing he was playing along. His marriage was not something he dwelled on for it held too much pain and unspoken bitterness; he was better off ignoring and being ignored by Sigyn altogether. It had been a political marriage from the start and he had been the unlucky bridegroom because Thor had refused to go through with it, passing on the duty to him.
It was an odd pleasure then, when he grabbed Tony's hands in his and mimicked the hold he'd once had on Sigyn's, he felt no sorrow or sour hatred towards the action. Perhaps the resolute and unwavering stare they were sharing had given him more strength than he'd accounted for.
A warmth spreading through his fingers, he continued.
"To begin, the colors of the higher House would be draped over the lesser House, to signify the merging of the bloodlines."
Tony blinked slowly to process that then gazed up at him expectantly. "Well, status quo. Frost giants over geniuses. I'm pretty sure the House of Laufey trumps the House of Stark. Been around for millennia and all that. Plus, I don't have an emblem or flag or whatnot…"
Loki chuckled at him. He summoned his cape and settled the green fabric tightly around Tony's shoulders before he fully understood just what he was doing. His hands paused at the action the moment it registered, that he was really doing this, and Loki took in the sight of Tony wearing his colors – a sight not even granted him on his real wedding when he'd taken up the Odinson mantle and the scarlet cape proudly to cover his bride. But the green; to see his color, his insignia upon Tony so, to see him smile like that, he couldn't help but wonder if it was a mere whim pulling them along in this impromptu marriage ritual.
"The Allfather would then set his spear, point down, between us so that we may grab the handle together. Afterwards, Mother would come and fasten our hands with cloth as a symbol of our union."
Dutifully, Tony looked about for anything they could use. A torn work rag was the casualty and he ripped it in two without any effort. For the spear hilt, he procured a broom from underneath the worktable. Entwining their fingers over the handle, Tony set to work tying their hands together around the wood, utter concentration on his face. He was really into this, whatever it was they were actually doing, taking it in with the same eye that studied magic and science, objectively and with every intention of achieving complete understanding. It was hard to fault the man for anything with such an earnest expression.
Giving in completely, Loki tried to take the objective side as well, no matter how much his hand warmed against Tony's or his heart leapt at the sight of green around his shoulders. He was, after all, merely describing an aspect of Asgardian life he was no stranger to. Nothing more, nothing less.
But still, it was nice to imagine it was real even for the briefest of breaths, even if he had to wait for his pride to fall asleep to admit it.
Joined together, Loki went on.
"Now we would be at the part where gifts are given… I suppose rings in your society today."
"What would you expect me to give you?" Tony asked him.
"Anything you wished," he answered, huffing a soft laugh. "These gifts are symbolic to a promise of devotion and sincerity. Whatever you owned that would convince me of your affections could be given and accepted."
The seriousness etched into Tony's features gave him pause and the lightness of the moment slowly dissipated into something else, something far more reaching and real. Tony was studying him carefully, the join of their hands, the cape draped over him, and there was a determined, sincere thought dancing in his eyes. Like they weren't standing half-naked in his workshop with their hands tied over a broom, like this wasn't all just a curiosity they were desperate to spend in want of sleep.
Without a word, Tony pulled the arc reactor from his chest and offered it, freely, between them. Loki froze at the gesture, completely lost as to why Tony was going so far for something so trivial, that perhaps he was saying far more than words allowed. True to form, Tony's actions made absolutely no sense, but the weight of the act wasn't lost and Loki grabbed the glowing sphere from Tony in muted acceptance, stunned.
A play of unspoken trust and respect. There was something in Tony's eyes he couldn't read as he gently pushed the arc reactor back into place, twisting it locked. For a heavy moment, neither of them spoke, the power of their actions truly sinking in. Loki was well and truly lost and Tony's expression took on a satisfied light.
"Then the vows I'm guessing?" he said into the silence. Loki nodded, struggled to regain his voice.
"Yes… and then the ceremony would be over. A feast follows were we would share a special ale from the same cup to further embellish our union. By the time the feast ends, we would be well and truly wed."
"…and that's it?"
"That is all, yes."
"Huh." Like a breaking spell, Tony broke out of the meaningful haze and smiled, yawning hugely. Then he took a step closer, free hand curling on the open collar of his shirt, a devious slant to his mouth. "So, no kiss the bride?"
Loki allowed himself to be pulled down, enjoying a breath of laughter before it was stolen away.
The broom fell to the side as their bond hands, fingers entwined, lifted off of it when Tony stretched against him into the kiss. The cape slid from his shoulders and dissolved into fireworks of lime light before it hit the floor. Loki slid his palm underneath the tunic, teasing the skin underneath. Tony arched his fingers into his hair, tilting his head just right, mouthing wordless jokes and promises against his lips until they were both breathless.
"I have not, of course, divulged in details of the wedding night," Loki rasped in the respite. Tony laughed outright, grinning ear to ear at the implication.
"Well don't hold out now. You can't just stop at the best part." The clever fingers slipping beneath his shirt were evidence enough of that. Their foreheads pressed together and Loki could only shake his head in wonder at the incredibly odd, amazing, confusing man his mortal truly was. He stole another kiss, his smirk matching their mouths into a seamless, heated line.
"I suppose if you insist…"
Yup, I'm ending it there. Kill me if you wish but I've got to finish up Just a Rose. I love how Tony's so pushy lol and so inadvertently sexy. Loki was doomed the moment he walked in. Yus.
The heiman fylgia is the dowry. The mundr is the bride price. There would be a third gift given called the morning-gift, which the groom would present to the bride the following morning after the wedding night. Traditional Norse weddings did not involve draping the lesser house with the colors of the greater house. That was a nobility thing elsewhere (I honestly stole it from Game of Thrones). They also did not include hand fasting, the tying up of the hands. That's a Celtic thing.
I do hope you all enjoyed. Next story up will be the final chapter of Just a Rose on a Star. Thank you all for being so patient with me... until next time. Stay awesome.