First off, I'd like you to blame this story on awful liquid cold medicine. I'm thinking this story will run about 10 chapters.

WARNINGS: This will eventually contain M/M slash of the naughty variety, ridiculous situations, and completely fudged/cracked-out Loki mythology. Do NOT take anything Loki says as a reflection of the comics, movies or mythology itself. Since this is my fanfiction, I am doing whatever the hell I want with it because I make no profit on it.

DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. I don't own the Avengers or anything Marvel related. I don't own Robert Downey Jr. or Tom Hiddleston, but if I did, they would be having lots and lots of ridiculously creative sex. everywhere. And they would talk more then they already do because I'm addicted to Tom's voice and Robert's humor.

And, with all that said...I hope you enjoy my first attempt at The Avengers. Good luck! -TPP


Part 1.

[or How Tony Yelled At A God And Got Away With It]

It was a typical Thursday night when genius billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark realized he hadn't eaten in the last…

"Jarvis, when is the last time I grabbed a bite to eat?"

"Approximately thirty-seven hours ago, sir. And may I recommend you consume something wholesome that does not contain caffeine or alcohol?"

Tony stared forlornly at his overused and extremely abused coffee maker, stroking it with oil-stained fingers before heading towards his industrial (read: sexy) stainless steel refrigerator. He'd been tinkering on a new side project for those thirty-seven hours, ignoring all sustenance that wasn't in a liquid form. He was covered in oil, grease, and all that other testosterone-y stuff.

And you better believe if he hadn't eaten in thirty-seven hours, he definitely hadn't showered in thirty-seven hours. Tony was finally ready to fill his stomach then hit the showers. Maybe slip in a flask of bourbon and a few episodes of Top Gear he'd had Jarvis record before passing out.


Ugh. Tony was so not ready to think about his lack of happy-fun-sex-times lately. With Fury breathing down his neck and the other Avengers constantly up his ass ("Let's go save a city in Uganda, Tony", "Stop robots from destroying that town in Sweden with the awesome chocolate, Tony", "Let the head weapons specialist shoot the latest-and-greatest S.H.I.E.L.D arsenal at you for shits and giggles, Tony"), it was hard to find time for sleep and sustenance, much less sex.

Besides, it was easier to blame others for his lack of action lately. If he was being honest, there had been a lack of bad-guy-with-an-ego-tries-to-take-over-the-contine nt activity lately (how else had he, Bruce, and Clint managed a three day marathon of classic Disney flicks that nobody else in the world would ever hear about, ever? Especially when Bruce had tears in his eyes when Belle kissed The Beast and Clint had hummed along to The Little Mermaid songs?)

"Laugh it up, Tin Man. Ariel's smokin' hot," Clint had said with a self-satisfied smirk.

Which, of course, Bruce and Tony had agreed and they'd all cracked open another beer. (See? Animated movies during Bro Time could be manly!)

But anyways, food. He was pretty sure he'd bypass a blonde in a bikini for a deep dish with green peppers and sausage at the moment.


He had just poked his nose into a safe-looking Chinese takeout container when he heard something like rustling from behind him. He cocked his head to the side, nose still buried in what smelled like leftover sesame seed chicken (Barton's favorite on Takeout Tuesdays) to meet cosmic green eyes set in a familiar pale face.

"Hey, Jarvis?" Tony called to his AI butler, "There a reason you didn't inform me of my guest?"

"I would have, sir, but it seems whomever is in the tower has tampered with my programming in some indiscernible way. I am unable to track thermally or vocally, and it appears your surprise party of one has managed to infiltrate without using a common method, such as a door."

"Don't get sassy with me, Jarv. Run a full system's check?"

"Inconclusive, sir."

So Jarvis hadn't even been able to sense Loki thermally? The scientist in Tony was both repulsed and intrigued. Every living thing gave off a thermal energy.

And if Jarvis announced when Thor was in the building (which Tony usually didn't need because he could hear the loud god long before he saw him) then it stood to reason even a slick god like Loki couldn't override that basic principle.

Then again, this was LOKI, THE TRICKSTER GOD. He was the devil in razorblade stilettos (and wasn't that a picture? The god did seem to have legs that went on for days.)

"Right. Of course. Fantastic," Tony said, closing the refrigerator slowly like he might set off a bomb. His eyes were still locked on that of the rogue God of Lies who, last time Tony checked, had been locked up in a cushy palace up in the sky being guarded by an overprotective big brother.

Not many people could call prison a palace, but this lost prince sure got the deep end of the dream pool when it came to punishment.

Obviously his jail cell hadn't been too hard to break out of if the window-friendly mischief maker was standing in his (recently renovated) penthouse kitchen.

It'd been nine months since the Chitauri-and-their-creepy-pet-leviathon-whale-maji gs had taken a good chunk out of the city, but nothing a few fundraisers and Stark Industries contributions couldn't fix.

Anyways, where was Tony going with this?

"Team Rocket," Tony said.

Loki gave him a strange look, "Excuse me?"

"Team. Rocket," Tony replied, "You know, the bad guys from Pokemon. Always trying to pull off all these little evil schemes, but they never actually win. By season 3 you can't even hate them anymore it's just that sad."

Loki just gave him an epic poker face, but Tony knew he'd thrown the god off with the strange Midgardian reference. Tony doubted the poor guy even knew it was a cartoon tv show.

"So can I help you or are you gonna just stand there all creepy and menacing? I'd prefer not to get stabbed while I work a microwave."

Loki caulked his head slightly, his eyes running over Tony's disheveled form (he didn't think he looked that bad: what was wrong with comfy sweats and an Iron Maiden wife beater showing off his magnificent arms?) Or maybe it was the sludge from the renovated motorcycle he'd been tinkering on as a surprise for Bruce (since apparently he liked to steal them when he came to the rescue of New York. Honestly, where the hell had he gotten that piece of shit before pittering in to save the day with the rest of them?)

But that was neither here nor there, considering Loki didn't exactly look all that creepy or menacing. Well, creepy in a 'why the fuck are you standing in my kitchen in what looks like Norse God pajamas at nearly midnight on a Tuesday when I still have nightmares about being thrown out a window' kind of way. But menacing? Not so much. (It was probably the pajamas that calmed Tony's fears. Green, of course, with a trim of gold around the simple v-neck collar, but comfy-looking pajamas none-the-less. Non-threatening. Non-pokey.)

Which, of course, made Tony snort in amusement.

Loki's eyes narrowed at the sound, his eyes no longer fixed on the strange white-and-red Midgardian food container, "What amuses you, Man of Iron?"

Tony couldn't help but smirk, motioning at Loki up and down, "Nothing. It's just different to see you in pj's, Rudolph. They look super comfortable. You got a pair in red I could borrow?"

Loki's eyebrows furrowed at Tony's explanation, which just made Tony want to laugh again. Jesus, the god just looked so young when he did that, like he wasn't understanding some joke that everybody else was in on.

So of course, like a typical child, Loki decided anger was the answer to being misunderstood, "Are you referring to my lounging wear, Man of Iron? Would you prefer me in my armor? Perhaps I could dismember you with my bare hands?"

"Um, no, the yoga look is good on you," Tony amended quickly, his eyes skidding down Loki's lean chest (the top hugged him so nicely, especially in the hips - AND NO UH-UH YOU ARE NOT GOING THERE STARK, NOT EVER- and flow-y, loose yoga-y pants looked like liquid pooling to the floor, "Seriously, you got a spare pair? They look like heaven."

Honestly Tony wasn't sure if complimenting a god's pajamas would stop him from being eviscerated via pinkie nail, but it seemed to appease the god if his continued 'I'm-so-adorable-when-I'm-confused-hug-me-please' face was anything to go by.

"Yes, the silk spun in Alfheim is divine," Loki conceded, one of his hands tugging on his other arm's sleeve and breaking eye contact to stare at the floor (which was just TOO FUCKING ADORABLE AND – STARK, seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you? Tell your libido Mr. Adorable killed eighty people in two days and see if you can still manage a stiffy!)

Note to Inner Stark: yup, totally possible, if the heat in his belly was anything to go by.

The sleeves reached his elbows, and when he released the sleeve and lifted one of those long, graceful pale hands to push some silken black hair behind his ear (when in the Frigga-fuck did you become so poetic, Mr. Scientist? It's just a pretty boy god in some fucking green pajamas! Pull yourself together!)


"Yes. Light Elves are capable of spinning silk from the first breath of spring."

"Sounds tough."

Loki shrugged. Shrugged! Fuck this Lord of the Rings shit, "Odin travels throughout the Nine Realms, allowing seasons into being: Alfheim would have no means of export without their support."

Hm. So even magic and fairies and Peter Pans had marketing strategies and economies to worry about.

The microwave dinged.

"So you're telling me your parents allow the seasons to happen? That they wouldn't exist without their permission?"


Tony wanted to spit out all the basic knowledge of seasonal change and Earth weather he'd learned in middle school, how scientific it was, but decided at the last moment to ride this gravy train of a non-threatening (and surprisingly talkative) Loki.

"Well that's…interesting," Tony coughed, pulling his takeout from the microwave and sliding a fork out of the drawer not too far from the god, "that's all very Thumbelina of you guys. I should read up on my Norse mythology."

"Perhaps you should," Loki intoned in that haughty I'm-better-and-sexier-than-you voice, "It would benefit you greatly to know how truly beneath them you are."

"Shut up," Tony mumbled, eyes transfixed still on where Loki had exposed part of his long, slender neck.

Loki made no comment as he slid gracefully onto a barstool at the end of the counter (seriously, Tony knew about the whole shape-shifting thing from Thor, but was he part panther or something? The guy was as sleek and sinewy as a fucking tiger on the prowl…)

…and just as fucking dangerous. Gonna get burned by that heat, Stark.

"Shut up," Tony mumbled again, tired of his inner monologue.

"How does one shut up when one is not talking?" Loki asked in a tone that Tony just knew spelled sassy in Asgardian.

"My tower, Princess. Not yours," Tony shot back, not really thinking.

Tony was paraded to the world as a genius, but honestly, he was an idiot when it came to self-preservation.

But wait, rewind: " know how truly beneath them you are."

Beneath them. As in, excluding Loki.

"Wait," Tony said through a mouthful of chicken. He swallowed quickly when Loki shot him an annoyed look (either from the Princess comment or the bad manners, Tony wasn't sure), "how beneath them? Last time I checked, you were an immortal trickster god. Something change in the Cliffsnotes?"

"I do not know who this Cliff is, but I assure you I am still a god," Loki raised a single eyebrow (a thing that annoyed Tony 'cuz, hey, that was HIS I'm-sexy-and-I-know-it thing), "and no, you foolish creature, we are only indestructable within our realm."

"So you're not immortal when you're on Ear – Midgard?" Tony seriously wished he could order Jarvis to record all this without alerting Loki to what he was up to. Did S.H.I.E.L.D have any idea about something this huge? "Your brother Sunshine failed to mention that at the last company picnic."

"I suppose he wouldn't," Loki said with an airy sigh (was that boredom?), "What with it being so obvious."

"…Still not getting it."

"Last we battled," Loki said, his face taking on that darkness Tony remembered right before being hoisted out a window like a ragdoll, "when your…green beast attacked me, did I not bleed?"

"Well, yeah. I don't think anyone's gone up against The Other Guy and not busted a few blood vessels."

"I suppose over enough time, with enough strength, the beast could have ended me. We are not undefeatable, Man of Iron, simply hard to kill."

Tony didn't even blink before blurting, "That why you haven't managed to kill Thor?"

Loki's eyes were deep, and Tony couldn't read much from his expression, but he was still standing (awesome) and breathing (even more awesome) so his comment couldn't have pissed the god off too much.

But then his expression changed to something thoughtful, his eyes falling on the countertop of the bar, his mind whirring and it was actually exciting for Tony to watch before he lifted his eyes and looked at Tony, and it was like BANG, and Tony was like, WHOA TOO INTENSE.

And Loki's voice was soft, "So you do not know? I was sure the oaf had…but perhaps not."

There was a beat of silence. Tony chewed some more, swallowed, "Um…know what?"

Loki's eyes narrowed, and Tony was about ready to get into a defensive position, 'cuz hey, honestly, he'd let his guard down enough for one night, and it was instinctual to want to defend yourself against a nearly immortal god –

"Of what I am," Loki finally breathed, the pain evident on his face although his voice was steady, dull, very Slytherin, "A Jotun, a Frost Giant, a beast of Jotunheim. I hold no blood with Thor. I thought this general knowledge."

Tony had heard the whole 'adopted' schtick, but seriously? What the fuck was a Frost Giant?

"But you're brothers. You're a prince of Asgard, right? Even if you're Thor's little brother…"

"The Allfather went to war against my people. I was found as weak babe, taken back to Asgard and raised by Frigga, trained beside Thor. That does not make them blood," Loki hissed, and it was so acidic it made Tony's stomach flip, and not in a good way.

"But he saved you. That counts for something, doesn't it?"

Loki went completely still, and for a second, Tony worried that he'd broken the trickster somehow.

"It matters not. I was a prize of war."

"You were raised in a palace and proclaimed second son of an all-powerful king, god or not. You grew up with Thunderpants. You even STABBED him and he still tried to save you. And he stood at your trial in your defense when you got all crazy with the shiny blue sugar cube. If I had a brother, which let's be honest, the world couldn't handle, I know he'd never put up with as much shit as you've thrown at Thor," Tony took a swig from a nearly-empty cup of bourbon that had been sitting there for…probably forever?


"It matters not!" Loki raged, his voice going so loud it cracked the empty liquor glasses near Loki's hands. Note to self: stop pissing the supernatural entity off, "They hid me from my true nature, denied me my rightful place…"

"No offence, Lokes, but do you really wanna be running around with a bunch of Frost Giants? I've played World of Warcraft, but I think I'd take the palace made of gold and the loud-mouthed big brother anyway."

"Do not mock me, boy," Loki spat, the counter top cracking in crazy, spiral-y patterns (that would've been cool if, you know, it wasn't DESTROYING HIS EXPENSIVE-AS-FUCK CUSTOM BAR COUNTER), "I grow weary of your foolish tongue."

"So why are you here?" Tony said, grabbing a bottle of Jack Daniels and pouring two tumblers, "Seriously, you're such a BRAT. I didn't drag you to my awesome man cave! You showed up in my space, Loki, not the other way around."

Loki's eyes widened slightly (and yay hoorah the cracks in the counter weren't getting worse) so Tony did what he did best and kept talking.

"Look man, I know you don't like me. Hell, I don't think you like ANY humans, mortals, hammer-wielding big brothers, whatever, but I know what it's like to be alone, and feel unwanted, and be bored and angry, so, if you wanna pout and Etch-A-Sketch my marble countertops with magic, go for it, but don't insult me and act like I asked for your company."

And holy shit on a stick, Tony was amazed that A) he was still standing B) still breathing and even C) getting a genuinely surprised expression off of Loki's face instead of being incinerated with icicles or whatever it was that Frost Giants killed with.

He'd expected fire and brimstone and zapping ow-ow-ow but it didn't come, and another minute later, Tony was taking one of his shots and staring at the quiet god, wondering if the silence was an act of petulance or an act of introspection.

He was so gonna Tweet that later:



…or maybe not. S.H.I.E.L.D would be all over him, nagging him, dragging him into some underground layer to spit in his face repeatedly and tell him what a naughty boy he was (and if the agents weren't balding and so…agent-y…he might be into that kind of thing) and then he'd have to explain the whole 'oh yeah Loki just popped into my tower for a midnight chat' thing, which would just open a whole other can of worms that Tony was just too tired to deal with.

Speaking of which, that shower was sounding realllllly good, followed by, eh, two days of sleep. Sounded more than good.

But he still had a god sitting in his kitchen who was now running a finger over the deep cracks in his countertop, ice beginning to form wherever his fingers traced and, okay, the scientist in him was interested but the little boy that refused to grow up was practically ooh-ing and ahh-ing.

Loki was actually kind of…amazing…when he wasn't out, you know, destroying American fashion capitols.

Loki lifted his eyes to Tony and Tony tried not to freak out as his eyes had turned a crimson red, blue tendrils seeping around his hairline, brow, and chin as rivulets began to appear down his neck. He closed his eyes again, and when he reopened them, they were that piercing green that Tony couldn't put a name to. The blue was beginning to fade back to that even, pale skin.

"You're right, mortal. I'm bored."

Tony took his other shot before pouring two more.

He shrugged, "Okay."

He placed the other tumbler in front of Loki, just brushing some of the ice slivers. Loki reached out his hand as if to touch the tumbler, but he stopped short, placing his hands back on the countertop, the ice melting into puddles that seeped into the new art-deco cracks of his countertop. (And Tony didn't think about those fingers that were long and perfect and too pretty to kill anything but a piano.)

"Midgardian mead?" he asked.

Tony shrugged again, "I never did give you that drink."

And Tony had been completely unprepared for the smirk that Loki threw him, in combination with those ridiculously dark eyelashes and those insane-colored eyes that held complete cosmic pools of –

My gawd I am not nearly drunk enough for this.

"Unfortunately I cannot accept it. Another time, perhaps."

And Tony couldn't help the shiver that ran down his spine, especially at the promise of another time.

Which, for some reason, made him think about the god's presence in the first place again…

…and if he hadn't been attacked (yet), and Jarvis hadn't reacted to Loki's presence in the tower (a kink in the pipes that Tony WOULD obsess over for the next week), then maybe, hypothetically, quite possibly…

"This is that magic thing you do, isn't it?" Tony said, fisting one of his shots but not taking a drink from it yet, "One of your clone things?"

Loki's smile was slow and predatory (and sexy. Honestly, what was the point in denying it anymore? The trickster was a slim sexy sinner and had probably charmed the pants off more mortals than even Tony had gotten to in his life, not to mention deflowering gods and probably an alien or two).

"Very good, Anthony. What gave it away?"

And then Tony's brain kind of short-circuited because Loki had never called him that, ever, and it shouldn't have been as hot as it was (but it was, Sweet Satan's Strap-on, it was).

"Uh…thermal," Tony hit himself in the forehead to get his brain functioning again (much to the amusement of the god), "everything living has a thermal energy. So you're here, but you're not here. I dunno how you destroyed my counter and made your ice stuff, and broke my crystal glasses, but you can't pick anything up or move anything. You haven't moved the chair, or the shot, so…that's all I've got for now."

Loki clapped slowly, "Very good, Man of Iron."

"Tony. So the real you is still back in Asgard?"

"Yes. The fools managed to bind my magic to a specific location, but it is impossible for them to bind me in all places."

Even with the alcohol, Tony's mind was trying to keep up with the logic, "So…you can't use magic in Asgard…but the deal is exclusive to Asgard?"

"Very astute. Yes. I am bound within the walls of Asgard, but once again I have been underestimated."

"Extremely underestimated."

Loki grinned again, and Tony was pretty sure he was blushing but he'd never admit it because he was drinking and he always got a bit red-faced when he was drinking…right?

"Spells are indeed very powerful, but extremely specific. I'm slowly working my way through the bindings, the incantations. I've found quite a few loopholes in my father's spells. It seems even he forgets my nature: the blood of a Jotun runs through me, not the blood of an Asgardian."

"So what you're saying is it's only a matter of time before you're running around fully loaded again?"

"In the final binding spell, the Allfather bound me, body and soul, to the realm of Asgard. Other bindings keep me within the walls of the palace, but those are not important at the moment. My blood is Jotun, of ice and snow and darkness, a very different breed of magic. Magic and blood are like the chemical compounds you mortals tinker with: I simply have to find the combination with the words that will allow me my ultimate freedom. It was his oversight, not mine. He cannot bind my Jotun blood if he did not declare it as so."

And then it hit Tony: this was Loki, the Silver Tongue, the Trickster God, the immortal who had probably spent more time in a library growing up then all of Thor's battle hours combined. Of course he would use his brain, his words, his cunning to release himself. S.H.I.E.L.D had been so worried about the Tessaract and Loki's magic that nobody stopped to think that Loki was fucking dangerous all on his own.

The Tessaract had been dangerous, amplifying power, but Loki had gathered an army, Loki had orchestrated careful planning and continued to show his wit (much to the future chagrin of his father, no doubt).

Tony had to admit, he had loved pissing off his old man. Loki was probably going to enjoy it even more than Tony ever had with his.

Seriously. They needed to start a Daddy Issues club. They could make jackets.

"Damn. This is why I stick to science," Tony said, sipping from his tumbler to get away from the headache that was Loki and his Asgardian episode of Prison Break.

He didn't do magic: he didn't put a lot of stock in it (but he couldn't explain half the shit he'd seen Loki do, so he'd have to accept it for now).

"It takes much concentration, much more than I realized, to maintain a projection this far for this amount of time," Loki admitted quietly, "Although I attribute a great deal of my energy being wasted on useless emotion."

"For example, breaking my stuff. Again."

"Apologies," Loki sighed, but he didn't sound like he meant it at all.

"So you figured out these little magic loopholes…and decided to come here. Why?"

Loki shrugged, "Simply a whim, mortal."

"Nuh-uh, I don't buy it."

"You enjoy guessing games."

"I just think you're a shitty liar when you're tired."

Which was true: there were dark circles under the god's eyes, and his skin was even more vampiric than Tony remembered it being all those months ago. It was something Tony had never even thought about, but apparently even gods needed rest.

Loki laughed. It wasn't one of his watch-me-take-over-the-world laughs either.

It was…well, Tony didn't want to admit how much money he'd be willing to pay to hear it again. 'Cuz if that's what the god sounded like when he was (what? Relaxed?) Tony hoped that he could entertain the god enough to hear it again.

"I have a theory," Tony said, setting his drink down.

"By all means, enlighten me, Anthony."

Tony leaned back against his side of the counter, crossing his arms over his chest, running his eyes over Loki's face, using that genius brain to glean everything he knew already and could infer about Loki (after all, they were a lot more alike then either would admit), "You're intelligent, a genius. Geniuses get bored fast. Trust me, I know."

Loki didn't stop him, so he continued.

"We like challenges, puzzles. Distractions. We can't slow down, so must always be doing something or…someone," Tony coughed into his fist while Loki gave him what could only be labeled as a yes-and-go-on stare, "We find something and we pick it apart until we have all the little tiny pieces, then we build it back up again. Until we understand it, until we master it. You weren't on Ear – Midgard that long, Loki. You focused on The Avengers specifically, obviously. You controlled Barton for a while, then tried to play with Natasha. You provoked the Hulk. That leaves Capsicle and me."


"But Captain's too…predictable. Boring. Old-fashioned. What do you care of a soldier that slept in ice for eighty years? You're a thousand years old. And he's a great guy, makes a mean apple pie, but he's a classic little foot soldier, predictable in his bravery and morality…

…which finally leaves me. We got a little screen time together, but I actually challenged you, stood up to you. You hadn't faced that with the others before. And when you tried to control me with your princess fairy wand and it didn't work…well, another challenge," Tony shrugged, "Which you tried to solve by throwing me out a window. MY window."


Tony finally noticed the intense stare Loki was giving him, and it wasn't unlike what Tony was sure he looked when he was focused on a new project.

Like Loki wanted to dissect him piece by piece and put him back together again.

It was both uncomfortable and extremely flattering at the same time.

"So I've got your attention. I'm an equation, a spell you haven't figured out yet. And when geniuses don't understand something, they obsess over it until they do."

Loki breathed in, then out, his eyes fixed on Tony's, that devious smirk back on his face, "Clever little mortal. Very good."

"Do I win a prize?"

The god laughed. It was light, delighted, a child that had just unwrapped a shiny new toy.

"We shall see."

Tony scratched his ear, "But I do have one question."

"Only one?"

He sounded amused. Good.

"You've basically been spilling your guts to me. What makes you think I won't go running to the team, to Thor, and tell them that you're pretty much guaranteed a jailbreak any day now? S.H.I.E.L.D freaks out, calls Thor, Thor goes tearing back up there, your dad gets pissed, and you end up in some Bermuda Triangle Dungeon of Doom or something."

Loki stared at the still full tumbler within his reach, a small smile on his lips, "Because you know what it's like to be bored, Anthony. To want, to crave, a distraction."

Tony watched Loki touch the glass. It froze over, the glass and ice rearranging into shards that fanned out into some kind of mutant lilly, the amber liquid within looking like crystallized pollen, "I cannot deny my nature, just as you cannot deny yours."

"I thought you couldn't touch anything," Tony breathed. Whether to confront Loki or reassure himself, he wasn't certain.

Loki smiled, "I said no such thing. And as you said, it is only a matter of time before I burn through all my little locks. I have a rather –intimate- acquaintance with imprisonment. I am as much a force as I am a god – I cannot be contained, just as you are incapable of being a dull, ordinary man."

Fucking Liesmiths and their fucking monologues.

But Tony was still flattered. Kind of. Sort of…was that some kind of compliment?

And just like that, Loki was gone. No noise, no magical mist, nothing.

Hours later after his shower and a run on Jarvis' mainframe, Tony went back to the kitchen. The ice in the statue had melted, but the paper-thin petals Loki had managed to morph the glass into obviously wasn't going to melt.

Loki had not only touched a solid object with a projection of his clone, he'd mangled it (in a completely girly and attractive way). Order out of chaos, beauty out of destruction.

"So instead of blowing glass, he could've blown your head off," Tony mumbled to himself.

But he had chosen not to, because for some reason, Loki was playing nice. For what? Entertainment purposes?

And could Loki just pop in whenever the fuck he felt like it, and Tony couldn't do anything to prevent it?

Close, you sexy psychopath, but no cigar.

"Annnnnnnnd gotcha. Jarv?"

"Yes sir."

"Store most recent Team Rocket file in your main audio database: voice recognition marked under Vanilla Ice. If we can't get him through thermonuclear physics, at least we have some kind of trigger system when he's playing house ninja. Oh, and I want alarm set to Ice Ice Baby."

"Of course, sir. Downloading now."

"And download all kitchen camera feeds of the last half hour onto one of my Starkpads. I've got hours of meetings tomorrow and I want something pretty to look at."

Tony smirked to himself: it'd been a really good idea to install the password audio override on JARVIS' recording systems for any bullies, human or otherwise, that decided to come at Tony on his own ball field.

Maybe it didn't make him any safer, but it sure as hell made him feel as if he'd gotten one over on the trickster god.

Tony picked up Loki's little glass creation again, his hands apparently having a mind of their own and wanting to play with the new toy.

He ended up fiddling with it on the couch, feet kicked up on the coffee table. He finally put it down on the coffee table, but his eyes kept straying to it.

He should throw it away, or burn it, or something, but he actually liked it.

Too bad Tony didn't smoke: it'd make one kick-ass ash tray.