"Stay for as long as you have time
So the mess that we'll become
Leaves something to talk about"
- Brendon Urie [Panic! at the Disco]
Loki sat quietly where he was strapped into a seat on the quinjet. He was completely docile, staring ahead at the seats opposite, completely ignoring Tony and Rogers.
Tony didn't trust it. The Loki he knew from over a year ago would never sit quietly without a smug smirk on his face, or a dangerous leer. The Loki he knew from SHIELD footage would never let himself be so easily captured. He was planning something; he probably already had an escape plan.
But Tony... he wasn't sure if he could risk it. He wasn't sure if he could trust Loki to get himself out of this. Tony wasn't sure if he could get Loki out of this. He knew what SHIELD would do. Loki had killed over eighty people in cold blood. He was a god and could clearly handle pain. SHIELD would rip him apart to get revenge- to get any information they could.
'You shouldn't have come,' Rogers said suddenly.
Tony turned to look at him. 'You're welcome,' he muttered sarcastically.
'You weren't called,' Rogers said. 'I had everything under control.'
'Yeah, it totally looked like you had Loki begging for mercy,' Tony snorted. He still had his eyes on the Trickster in question, and saw Loki's lips twitch briefly. 'You don't know what he's capable of,' he muttered almost as an after-thought.
'And you do?' Rogers demanded.
'More so than you,' Tony didn't miss a beat.
'You think everything revolves around you, don't you?' the soldier asked.
'Doesn't it?' Tony turned wide, innocent-looking eyes on the man, as though the very thought of the world not revolving around him was blasphemous. Loki actually chuckled at that, though it was quiet and quickly petered out.
'Oh, the world has always revolved around you, hasn't it, Stark?' Loki said in clear amusement. Tony and Rogers looked at the god, but Loki kept his eyes on the wall opposite him.
'Sorry, Rudolph, I don't remember asking for your input,' Tony said.
'And hasn't that always been your folly, Stark?' Loki hummed.
Rogers was clearly confused, but Tony rolled his eyes. 'Whatever.'
'Such wisdom from the Man of Iron,' Loki muttered sarcastically. 'How you manage to talk anybody into buying your products is beyond me.'
'Hey, I talked you into a shit load of stuff if you remember!' Tony snapped, losing control of himself.
Loki finally turned to look at him, one eyebrow going up, and he even had Rogers' attention, too. If Natasha hadn't been busy flying the quinjet, Tony knew she'd be staring at as well.
'What do you mean?' Captain America demanded.
'Yes, Stark,' Loki drawled in delight, 'what do you mean?'
'Nothing,' Tony grunted and turned to look out the window.
Rogers was eyeing him suspiciously, and Loki just grinned that sharp, dangerous grin that half-aroused Tony, half made him want to run in the opposite direction.
Before Rogers could ask Tony any more probing questions, lightning flashed through the sky, followed by the crackof thunder. Natasha frowned and flipped a few switches as she muttered, 'Where did this come from?'
Loki sat up straight when another boom of thunder sounded and the quinjet shuddered.
'What's the matter?' Rogers asked Loki. 'Scared of a little lightning?'
Loki glanced at them before looking back at the roof. 'I'm not overly fond of what follows,' he muttered.
Tony frowned and he and Rogers shared a look before Tony's eyes once more found Loki. Loki actually seemed annoyed, slightly fearful. His fingers were clenched on his knees and his blue eyes- wrong, they're wrong! Tony's mind shouted at him- were fixed on the roof.
'Loki?' he couldn't help but question.
Loki didn't look at him, but his lips twisted upwards. 'Apparent brother of Thor, the God of Thunder,' he chuckled.
It hit Tony immediately. The thunder wasn't naturally, it was being created by someone. If Asgard had lost Loki, if Loki had come to rule the planet that Thor promised to protect... then Thor would come here after his brother.
Tony's time had run out, and he had a choice to make; let Thor take Loki and whisk him away to another realm; keep Loki safe and deliver him right into Fury's waiting hands; or...
Tony leapt forward, already knowing what his choice was; what his choice would always be from now on. Loki yelped slightly and looked up when Tony's hands easily undid him. The genius hauled Loki to his feet, ignoring Rogers' shouted, 'Stark!'
Tony had designed these quinjets, so he easily found the button to open the tail. Wind whipped past Tony's face as the ramp lowered, and Loki stopped struggling in his grip. Tony locked eyes with the god before tossing him out of the plane.
'Stark!' Rogers shouted again, and Tony turned to face him. 'What are you doing?' the captain demanded.
'Something I should have done a long time ago,' Tony told him. And with that, he flipped his visor down and blasted his way out into the night.
Loki had hit the ground hard, and Tony felt fear grip his heart as he landed before the god. Fuck, he hadn't even thought about the fact that Loki couldn't fly... that was bad. But Loki seemed fine. He was laughing as Tony ripped his helmet off, and when he sat up his eyes flashed green. Tony's breath caught; that was good, right? Because the blue eyes, something about it had just... it was wrong. It had been like Loki wasn't completely there; like a fundamental part of him was... was missing, or something.
Loki was still laughing as he stumbled to his feet, looking none the worse for wear. Apparently being thrown out of a plane and hitting the ground didn't take much out of a god.
'Stark!' he shouted. 'Well, you brought about something that not even I could do. I suppose I should thank you for that.'
Tony frowned. 'What are you talking about?'
Loki's grin was dangerous as he advanced towards Tony, but the mortal didn't back down. 'And why should I tell you, foolish human?' Loki demanded, baring his teeth. 'You made your choice long ago.'
'Lokes, I just wanna-'
Loki's hand wrapped around his neck, just like when Loki had kidnapped him, and Tony gasped as he was forced against the large rock behind him. 'No!' Loki snarled. 'You don't get to be familiar with me, Stark. I'm not the same man you left behind. Things have happened to me that you could never even dream of. If you thought your time as a captive was bad, I can tell you a few things that would make your nightmares seem like nothing.'
His eyes were wide and wild, the bruises under them even darker up close. Tony ran his eyes over the taller man, hungrily drinking him in now that they were alone.
Slowly, Loki loosened his grip and stepped back. 'Why did you bring me here?' he demanded. 'What will your precious SHIELD think of you saving the villain?'
'You're not a villain, Loki,' Tony immediately responded.
Loki rounded on him, his eyebrows raised. 'Oh, yes,' he chuckled, 'I truly am. I've done things that would make your skin crawl, Stark.'
'I already know about all the people you've killed,' Tony shrugged. 'I knew that you slaughtered the people who kidnapped me, but I still slept with you. What makes you think that I'd care about a handful of SHIELD agents?'
'Seventy-eight SHIELD agents, if my mind remembers correctly,' Loki said. 'And if you didn't care, you wouldn't have sent me away.' His eyes closed off as he turned away, and Tony sighed. He should have known that Loki wouldn't make this easy.
'I know who you are, Loki,' Tony tried again. 'I know what you've done-'
Loki whirled around, angry once more. 'Don't even pretend that you know me, Stark!' he snarled. 'I am a god. I am a former Prince of Asgard. I have slaughtered hundreds, I killed my birth father, and I tried to destroy an entire realm!' Tony's eyes widened. Wow, that was quite the rap sheet. 'I have done things that would make your good little heart stop in your chest.'
He got into Tony's face, and Tony couldn't even focus on the words that Loki was saying; because why did it matter when Loki was here, safe and sound?
'The blood on my hands far outweighs the blood on your own,' Loki hissed. 'Don't pretend that you know me.'
Tony finally looked away from Loki's lips and up into his eyes. 'I bet I know parts of you that your brother doesn't.'
'Thor is not my brother!' Loki snarled.
'Okay...' Tony shrugged. 'I bet you never laughed with him like you did with me. I bet you never rode a motorcycle through New York with him like you did with me. I bet you never just enjoyed yourself with Thor like you did with me.'
Loki's eyes flickered, and Tony knew that he was right.
'None of that matters,' Loki finally said, stepping back again, closing himself off again. 'Nothing you say matters any more, Stark. The things that have happened to me... they changed me into who you see now.' He spread his arms and grinned like a maniac. 'I am here to subjugate the human race, and nothing you say or do will stop me.'
Tony shook his head. 'I know you, Loki, and this whole take-over-the-world thing? It's not you.'
'Oh?' Loki hummed, eyebrow going up. 'And why is that?'
'You could have taken over Earth years ago, but you didn't,' Tony said. 'You could have snuck into that SHIELD base and stolen the Tesseract without Fury even noticing, but you didn't. You made a grand entrance and made sure that we'd know what you were doing and come after you.'
Tony stepped forward, and felt hope grip his heart when Loki didn't back away.
'I know that you're capable of being completely invisible, Lokes,' Tony told him. 'Announcing yourself to SHIELD like that? It's just not you.'
Loki stared at him. 'I'm not the same man you once knew, Stark,' he said softly.
'So?' Tony shrugged. 'Let me get to know the man you are now, then. I'll learn the new you just as well as I knew the old one- no, I'll learn you better.'
Loki sighed and glanced away, suddenly looking tired. 'I don't know what you're saying, Stark,' he admitted.
Tony shook his head and wrapped his hand around Loki's neck. He felt Loki tense beneath his fingers, even through his gauntlet, and his heart skipped a beat. It wasn't right. Loki shouldn't flinch, not from Tony's touch.
'I realised that I was a fool,' Tony spoke honestly.
Loki just stared at him.
'I was a fool to think myself a hero when I'd lost the one person who knew me- who knew everything about me, my faults included- and still loved me.'
Loki's eyes widened, but he still didn't speak.
'I made a mistake,' Tony said, but then shook his head, eyes closing briefly. 'I made a lot of mistakes, Lokes. And when I saw you, just sitting there, waiting for us to... to lock you up, like an animal,' Tony's voice failed on the last word, and he had to take a deep breath to continue. He stared at Loki, gaze not wavering. 'I realised that I couldn't lose you, Loki, I just couldn't. I'm not a hero. And I can't... without you, I just can't...'
He wanted Loki to understand; he just couldn't live without the other man. He couldn't eat, he couldn't sleep. Sex was meaningless and just made him angry when the person beneath him wasn't Loki. Fighting for the good guys, taking out the villains as Iron Man, what the fuck did it matter when Loki wasn't with him? When Loki was on the other side?
Loki understood Tony; he accepted everything about him, the good and the bad. Rogers and Romanov and Fury? They only wanted Iron Man. They found fault in everything that Tony Stark did. They didn't trust him, they didn't like him; he was only here because they'd needed him to find Loki.
Everybody in Tony's life had always been with him because they wanted something; sex or money or tech or weapons... it was always something. Loki had been the first person- the only person- to want Tony just for Tony. Faults included.
Loki was still staring at him, but now his mask faltered. 'Anthony...' he breathed, but trailed off. 'What...'
Tony squeezed the god's neck briefly. 'I'm chaos, Loki, and you know it,' he told the Trickster. 'I'm not a hero. Iron Man is... it's protection for me, not for anyone else, and I can't... Captain America, and SHIELD, they wanted to lock you up, and I couldn't do that.' He shook his head again. 'I'm not a hero if I can't lock up every bad guy, Loki. And you'll never be the bad guy, not to me.'
Loki tried to take a step back, but Tony's hand stopped him, so he paused. His arms twitched at his sides, and he asked, 'What are you saying, Anthony?'
'I'm saying... I love you,' Tony admitted. Loki's eyes widened even further before they fell, became closed off once more. But there was something there... a hint, a spark, that made Tony hope.
Loki tried to smile- that big, dangerous grin he threw at other people so that they'd stop talking to him. But it fell before it could truly form, and Loki just stared at him, his eyes wide and slightly wet.
'You chose your suits over me,' Loki pointed out, tilting his head back as he looked down on Tony. 'I asked you again, and again, you chose your suits over me.'
'I was an idiot,' Tony shook his head. 'I made a mistake- twice. I won't be making it a third time.' He squeezed Loki's neck before saying, 'This time, and every time after this... I choose you.' And then he leaned forward and captured Loki's lips in a bruising, passionate kiss.
Slowly, so slowly that Tony almost decided to pull back, fearing that he'd made a mistake, Loki kissed him back, his hand wrapping around the back of Tony's neck to tug him closer.
And with that, Tony knew that Loki still loved him too.
Author's Note: Thus, we come to the end of this tale. Seriously, I just wrote and wrote and wrote until it was finished, it took me about seven fucking hours to get most of it down, and then a further two or three days to finish it off, but I finally got it done! It's not as long as I would have liked, but there's nothing I can do about that. Also, I listened to the song on repeat while I wrote, and iTunes now says that I've listened to it 245 times. So, yeah... I'm productive with my time, aren't I? I know the song off by heart now :p
The video that this is based on is one of the BEST fanvids that I've ever seen (and the song is awesome, too; one of my favourites). So all praise should go to lighthopelove. If you haven't watched the video yet, do so. The video can be found on Youtube under the author's name.
Anywho, I hope you enjoyed it :)