Companions To The Gods
Amora had her eyes focused on Doom as soon as they arrived back in the castle, unable to bring herself to look away from him. He looked glorious, holding fast to the head of his slain enemy, blood coloring his clothes; he looked powerful, he looked Asgardian. A returning conquer gloating over his spoils. Mage though she was, she was still Asgardian, battle and victory were still of the highest importance to her, even if she chose her battles a bit differently for herself. Still there was nothing more impressive than a mortal defeating a god.
Svadilfari had not been a god, but he was still much more than mortal and Doom had defeated him. She couldn't call herself unimpressed.
She had teleported them directly into his lab, knowing that was where he would wish to deposit his spoils. Skurge was behind her, holding the body, her awareness of his slipping further from her mind as he placed the body on one of the work tables. Her mind was almost on auto as she cast a spell to hold the body in stasis for a time, an accompaniment to a healing spell when time was a commodity one did not have, but there would be not healing here. Just time.
"Here, let me..." She said, reaching out toward the head and casting a replica spell, halting Doom's actions as he prepared a container for the head. "Magic will be better," She told him. She didn't know what inefficient methods mortal had for such things, but she was certain nonetheless.
He didn't question her on the matter, though she half expected he would, he just laid the head aside.
"Skurge, leave me," She said dismissively as she approached Doom. She couldn't see his expression under the mask, but she was used to that by now.
"Enchantress?" He addressed her with curiosity.
"Those Doombots were stronger than usual, to hold Svadilfari, even for so short a time," She said. "You were prepared for this."
"Of course," Doom replied. "I tested their strength against your pet when you allowed me use of him and I had them laying in wait in the city for when I would need them."
The feelings that she had at this moment had nothing to do with her godhood. She wasn't being moved by the forces that moved her. It was an odd realization, but Doom's display called to her on a completely different level. He was watching her steadily as she approached him, no doubt giving her a look that she couldn't see beneath that mask, but he didn't move as she slid her arms around his neck. Not to embrace her and not to move away.
"I would have you for what you've done," She said in a husky whisper.
"What have I done?" She couldn't tell if it was arrogance that made him ask, trying to goad her into complements, or if he was trying to be coy with her. The latter would certainly be a surprise, as Doom was not one to be anything other than absolutely arrogant, but that thought was fleeting. She was willing to play his game, whichever one it was.
"Slayer of Gods!" She whispered in praised. "Champion to Gods! To, as a mortal, have destroyed a creature that should be beyond you..."
"Nothing is beyond Doom," He replied confidently.
"Perhaps not," She conceded easily. "Still, you fought well for your gods. You have slain our enemies. You are victor this day," She said with a smile. "I would lay with you, God Slayer."
Doom seemed oddly hesitant as he placed his hands on her hips, poised to push her away as likely as to pull her in. "Why?" The question seemed odd of him. He had no hesitancy before when she fell upon him. Though thinking of it, that was perhaps because he had the answer to this very question. The answer was very different this time, though she had no idea if he would know it or not.
"Because I want you," She answered.
"My mask stays," He told her.
Disappointing, but not unexpected. And not as disappointing to her as it might otherwise be. She smiled wickedly at him. "As you wish."
Doom likely thought his mask would protect him. There would be no protection from her. He could have his armor, but it wouldn't help. It wouldn't hold. But this wasn't about breaking him open, as she did before, this was... something else. Something more. Doom had killed a demigod and she wanted him. To lay with this mortal, this God Slayer, because she wanted to lay with him.
Amora didn't realize why this was so different than the other times she'd desired others.
Loki woke to find himself contained in the Hulk's glass cage, reminiscent of the last time he was in Shield's custody. His hands were trapped in manacles that resembled those Thor had taken him home in, but without any magic reducing properties, he could escape them fairly easily. It was rather amusing to see the mortals attempts at replicating their technology, but they knew so very little about magic.
Loki settled in to wait for the appearance of Director Fury or one of his agents. It was a little overdue that he have a talk to Shield. The mortals were lingering under the mistaken opinion that Loki didn't want to be here and he would try to correct their opinions, resistant as he knew they would be to all his efforts.
Loki wasn't waiting long. Fury strode into the room, wearing his intimidation like a cloak as he stared Loki down. "Director Fury," Loki greeted pleasantly. "If you wanted a meeting, there are easier ways to go about it."
Fury rose an eyebrow at that. "And what way would that be?"
"Well, for one, you could talk to Thor," Loki answered. "He doesn't know where to find me, but I usually find him."
"Is that suppose to be a comfort of some sort?" Fury questioned.
"Just informative," He corrected. "I assumed that is the purpose here, Director? Information."
Fury glowered at him a bit longer. Loki waited. The mortal thought that he was controlling the situation, but Loki wouldn't let him. If he lets the mortals think they can control him, they will be less likely to accept his help and concede to his wisdom.
Eventually Fury gave in to his desire to speak. "What do you hope to accomplish here?"
"I am here for one reason, Director, and that is to help your people. Danger comes to your realm and I intend to do what I can to offset it."
"You are a danger to my planet," Fury responded immediately.
"I don't expect that you will believe anything that I have to say, but in the interest of co-operation, I will say what I have to regardless. I am here for the protection of your realm. I realize that I have caused problems here in the past and I wish to make amends for those mistakes. But those mistakes were not because I chose your realm. It was chosen for me and I was only following the orders of my king as they were given. Now that I am not, I plan to correct my previous mistakes where I can. My leaving will not make your people safer, only more vulnerable and you cannot afford to lose allies."
"And how do I know that you won't decide to turn tail and head right back to daddy dearest?" Fury demanded. "You really expect me to believe that you followed his orders all your life and you suddenly decided that you no longer want to play his game?"
"You believed it of Agent Romanov," Loki replied softly, steadily. "You took in Agent Barton. I'd be willing to bet that a lot of your agents were someplace less desirable before they came to you or you came to them. And you assume that this was sudden, but it was not."
"I know my agents, that's why I trust them."
"You believe that you can control them," Loki corrected, "That is why you trust them. You steal them away so that there is no where else that they can go, rescue the ones that already had no where else, trap them with debt and gratitude and desperation. I do not fault you for it, Director, but do not pretend. I find I have little tolerance for it at the moment."
"That's rich. The God of Lies demanding honesty."
"That is not my domain."
"You're in no position to demand anything from me, honesty or otherwise," Fury spat harshly.
"You have your agents very well trained, Director. Even with the way you've been pushing Romanov, she still delivered me to your doorstep after I saved her and her comrades lives. Agent May remains loyal despite how you prod into her. Agent Coulson remains silent despite watching so many under his command being torn into, torn to shreds. Even Agent Barton, after all you've done, had remained faithful... until someone else offered him a place. You'll lose Romanov the same way, you realize? The Avengers, no matter what else they are, hold themselves to higher standards than Shield. I think your agents will start to crave life outside the shadows once they've gotten a taste of it."
"Don't think you can tell me how to treat my agents!"
"I am telling you how you have already treated them," Loki corrected.
"You said that you were here to help, but all you seem to be doing is watching us," Fury responded. "How did you find out all this information and what do you plan to do with it? It doesn't seem like you're helping much to me."
"You have your sources and I have mine," Loki replied. "It would not due to know so little of those I wish to ally with and I would not make much of an ally if I could not prove myself. Of course, one should not turn allies away so easily in the first place."
"I don't need advise from the likes of you."
"Clearly you need it from someone," Loki replied. "You stand there throwing stones at me, but you fail to realize that you have turned your own organization into a glass house. My intention here, Director, is to help. To right my own wrongs. I don't need anyone else to tell me about them. But you mortals are all so arrogant and blind, you think that you are the pinnacle of righteousness. You are not. You think yourself better than accepting my help, but you also fear me because I am out of your control. You would do well to get over yourself." He broke himself out of the restraints placed on him and teleported outside of the Hulk cage, standing right in front of the other man. "It is my intention to help, but I refuse to be under another's control for any reason. Not again. Whether you chose to accept my help is up to you, but do not think I will bow to you because of it."
Loki decided to take his leave then. If the man wasn't really willing to listen to him, there was no reason to continue speaking.
It was strange to Tony that Thor was the calmer one between the two of them. Tony hadn't known Thor long, but he knew that the God wasn't the calm type. He was a God of Thunder, after all. He couldn't be calm. And yet, Thor was the one to keep Tony calm when Shield took Loki, the one that talked him down from going off on the Widow. "Loki can take care of himself," Thor had assured him. "He is not in danger from mortals."
Tony chose not to take offense to what Thor was implying with that statement. His priority was Loki at the moment, worrying about Loki. He was ignoring the strangeness that Black Widow had pulled on Hawkeye, was choosing not to call her on handing Loki over (it would give away their connection, anyway), was restraining himself from storming Shield. Well, Thor was restraining him, but he wasn't trying to argue semantics.
"What do you mean he's gone!" Tony yelled at Jarvis. "Find where he went! Track his phone."
That was when Loki teleported into the room and Jarvis promptly replied, "Sir Loki has arrived."
"Thanks, Jarvis," Tony replied. He turned to Loki. "Hey, are you alright?"
"Brother!" Thor exclaimed, wrapping the slim man in a tight embrace. "I am glad to see you well!"
"You already knew that I was well," Loki replied with an eye roll.
"That is not what I meant, brother," Thor said more quietly. "I am glad that we have emerged victorious. Your champion served you well."
Loki closed his eyes, accepting the embrace and taking the opportunity to finally breathe. Svadilfari was dead and gone and could no longer touch him. He was... safe... Not unscathed, but protected. Loki's eyes found Tony's across the room. The mortal was watching him and Loki watched back.
"Champion to the Gods," Loki said, "But not my own."
"I am glad that you have found allies here, Loki."
"Yes," Loki replied, taking a step out of the circle of Thor's arms and holding his hand out to Tony. "Anthony."
Tony didn't think about taking Loki's hand, being pulled into his embrace and kissed. He was too busy thinking how relieved he was to see Loki again, that he was okay. When he pulled away, he said quietly, "Pepper was worried."
"Well, you shall have to give Miss Potts my apologies, then," Loki answered with a smile. "Where is The Widow?"
"With Shield. It didn't seem like she planned to tell them about... whatever that was. Probably a late reaction to Magneto's Extremis injection."
"Hmm, I see," Loki replied. "Something to worry about later, what this new ability of hers is and how it can be used."
"You should relax, Loki. Tonight, at least, everything is fine."
Thor was watching them curiously, a look between happiness and contemplation. "I'll leave you to rest, then. We should speak soon, Loki."
"Yes," Loki answered. He turned to Tony. "Will anyone be interrupting us here?"
"No. I'll make sure no one does. Jarvis?"
"I'll make certain that no one is allowed up," Jarvis replied.
Tony took Loki's hand. "Stay here, tonight."
Loki smiled. "As you wish, my mortal."
There were things they needed to talk about. This should all be too much between them, too fast, too unruly and messy and uncontrolled. Too Loki. There were lines that were unknown; Loki's trust (or lack thereof), his plans; unspoken complications and no boundaries to speak of. Loki wanted everything, had already admitted to as much, but it was unclear what he'd be giving in turn.
Loki was complicated. He was a god. He was a hero and a villain, a man and a woman (and sometimes not even that), he was more than the sum of his parts.
There were a lot of things they needed to talk about.
Tony didn't want to talk, though. Planning was never really his strong suit. He was much better at action, immediate and spontaneous. Loki was here, was his, and that was important. Tony had always hated talking anyway.
"Let's play a game," Tony said to the god, lining up and filling a couple shot glasses on his bar. "Twenty questions."
Loki smiled at him as he wandered over, remembering the last time they did this as Tony was. Tony was rather bad at using words to say what he meant, so he didn't use words. Loki, he suspected, was too good with words. The god could make them mean whatever he wanted and that usually meant he turned them into a trick. If he started with the trick, though, started with a game, Loki could tell the truth. It had worked well enough last time.
"I have an extremely high tolerance," Loki told him, same as the first time they had tried this.
"Then you can take two shots to start," Tony told him. Loki grinned as he downed two shots, wild and joyful, where before he'd been curious and cautious. And a woman. Tony wondered why it was so easy to want Loki, so easy for Loki to want him. God of Change, Loki had told him, a being of creation and destruction, and that thought alone resonated so well with Tony that he wants at just the thought of it.
"Since I am already at a disadvantage, I shall have the first question," Loki told him.
"Go for it," Tony answered.
"What are you thinking, Anthony? Right now?"
"Wondering why it's so easy to want you," Tony told him.
Loki looked away a moment as he answered, "That is because I am a god."
"Untrue," Tony told him. "I don't feel this way for Thor or Amora. Penalty shot. It's a rule."
Loki gave him a wry look, the smallest of smiles tugging at the corners of is lips. He took the requested shot before correcting himself. "It's because I am your god."
Tony raised an eyebrow at that. Loki continued.
"Creation and destruction, chaos and change. Mischief. Everything you are falls under my domain. You were made for me. To worship me. To be mine. More than any mortal I've known in ages." Loki's eyes sparkled as they watched Tony, but he could read the hesitancy in them as well. "Everything you are calls to me, makes me want you, and you feel the same. Why you would want me beyond that, I could not say."
"I could," Tony replied. He didn't say more, though. The look on Loki's face told him that he didn't have to. The god eyes met his head on and Tony could tell that he was remembering what he'd said the other times. It hadn't changed. He wanted to take Loki apart more than before, if that was possible, get inside the god's head. Study every component and fix the broken pieces. "My turn," Tony said. "Why won't you believe that I want you?"
Loki seemed to still at the question. His hand hovered near the shot glasses. Tony decided to preempt him.
"If you don't want to answer, you take a shot, but you have to answer anyway."
"I believe you are making these rules up as you go along, mortal," Loki said, smiling through his nervousness.
"You think I'd do that?"
"One question at a time," Loki responded, downing his shot. Tony began to refill the glasses to give Loki a moment to gather himself. His voice was soft as he began to speak. "In Asgard, everything that I am is undesirable. A male that practices magic is looked down upon, my statue as compared to Thor's makes me seem weak, my propensity for mischief for makes me untrustworthy, and being a catalyst for change makes me dangerous. No one has ever wanted me, only what I can do, and sometimes barely even then. Not even fa... Odin wanted me except for what I could do, what I could be, a pawn in his game with the nine realms."
"Asgard can go fuck itself," Tony said strongly, startling Loki into looking at him again. "You're on Earth now and I don't care what anyone says, they can't have you back. Asgard doesn't matter, doesn't have to matter. I want you. I want you here. You even have your own evil little family now or whatever in Doom's lair. It doesn't matter what Asgard thinks. That place sounds ass backwards anyway and if they don't want to change, you can just stay here and we'll renovate Earth together. This place is always changing."
Loki's eyes looked suspiciously bright for a moment before Loki blinked it away. He reached out for Tony's face, holding it between his palms like Tony was something precious as he kissed him. "I will change everything you know," Loki whispered against his lips.
"Maybe I could use some change," Tony replied.
Loki smiled, but his eyes grew serious. "I am a monster, Anthony, by both birth and deed. In the All-father's name I have committed atrocities. Betrayal and lies and death, things you can't even..."
"I don't care," Tony told him. "You aren't doing anything for that asshole anymore, you said that yourself. And that doesn't make you a monster."
Loki pressed another kiss to Tony's lips before pulling away. "Will you tell me about your monsters, Anthony?"
Tony took a deep breath. "That would take more than a few shots."
"I am not going anyway tonight, Anthony," Loki told him. "And I will be here as long as you need. You belong to me, my mortal, and I want everything. Starting with tonight, but continuing indefinitely."
Tony felt a shiver go through him at the words, at the look in Loki's eyes, at the feel of the god's hands still on him. He felt claimed, kept. Safe. Looking into Loki's eyes, he knew there was nothing he could do to scare off the god. No matter how broken he was, or that he was bad at talking, or that he ruined every attempt at a relationship before now. This... him and Loki, wasn't the same. Even if Tony didn't know exactly what it was.
Tony closed his eyes. There was something unbelievably reassuring in belonging to a god. Solid. Loki was a god of change, Tony was pretty sure he wouldn't be able to break that. Hell, Odin had already tried and failed. Svadilfari had tried and failed. Thor had probably tried, inadvertently, and failed. They would take each other apart.
Destruction and creation.
Only he was pretty sure that he couldn't break Loki.
He opened his eyes and stared into Loki's. "I trust you."
The way Loki's eyes lit up, Tony thought that perhaps those words meant more than if he had uttered a different three word phrase.
Loki kissed him again and this time didn't let go.
Whatever they needed to talk about could wait until morning.
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