As requested by dracavia
Title: A Cold Spell
Fandom: Avengers, Thor
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by Marvel et al. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Warnings: dubious consent
Summary: The morning after what should have been carnage, but turned into something else entirely.
Author's Notes: This is for Day 3 of the post every day meme and anything Marvel or Harry Potter was requested. Since I've just seen Coriolanus, Loki it had to be :). Thanks to Soph for the beta.
Word Count: ~1550
Tony woke up with a groan. Then he remembered at least some of the day before and groaned even louder.
"Tell me that did not happen," he said, very conscious that there was someone behind him as well as Pepper in front of him.
That someone was naked.
"It would give me great pleasure to do so," responded a familiar, cultured voice, "but even I am not that good a liar."
Tony twisted slightly to find Loki just lying there staring at the ceiling. He wasn't sure whether to be terrified or turned on. Given what they had been doing not so long ago his reactions were all mixed up. It wasn't clear in his head, but he was getting flashes of hot and heavy sex with him, Loki and Pepper in various combinations. He'd always been able to admit Loki was attractive, but he'd never expected to end up in bed with the demi-god.
"Aren't you supposed to be dead?" he asked Loki as Pepper began to rouse.
"Assuredly," Loki said, "but my infernal brother continues to interfere with my plans even when he has chosen to remain in this realm."
It sounded to Tony as if Loki really couldn't be bothered to be that annoyed. Possibly sex was good for Asgardians too.
"Um ... what..?" Pepper asked as she finally woke up.
Tony could tell the exact moment she remembered what they had been doing.
"What happened?" she demanded without a pause.
"Yeah, I'd kind of like to know too," Tony said, doing his best not to antagonise the psychotic god lying next to him.
Loki sat up, revealing lots of pale, unmarked skin and Tony almost lost his train of thought. He remembered licking up that back and chest.
"Your Avengers were about to kill each other," Loki said before slipping out of bed.
A robe materialised around him from nowhere and when Tony turned to Pepper he caught just the hint of a disappointed look in her eyes. It was nice to know he wasn't the only one.
"A crude enchantment from one of Thor's old enemies," Loki continued. "I should have known he could not stay out of trouble without me to watch his back, even in such a backward realm as this."
"So, what, you swooped in to save him and ended up having sex with me and Pep?" Tony asked incredulously.
"Yes," Loki said, whirling on him with a very artful twirl of robe and something of a snarl; "the only solution was to turn the base impulses into some other direction. You should be thanking me, not accusing me."
Tony held his hands up in a placating gesture.
"Hey, I wasn't accusing, just asking," he said, because the last thing he wanted was a god throwing a snit-fit in his bedroom. "Just trying to work out the facts here. Not that the sex wasn't great, but kind of unexpected."
He wasn't sure how Pepper would be dealing with the encounter, but he didn't want to make a huge issue out of it. Yes there were definitely consent issues, but he wasn't about to ignore the fact he had enjoyed it. Hell, from what he remembered, they had all enjoyed it, over and over again.
"So you got caught in your own spell?" he wanted to check.
Loki definitely wasn't reacting like someone who had just gotten everything he wanted.
"It required a great deal of energy," Loki replied, surprisingly cooperative it seemed; "if I excluded myself from the effect I risked failure."
Now wasn't that an interesting tit-bit of information. Loki was willing to risk himself to save Thor and Tony realised that everything Thor had been telling them about Loki since his return might actually be true. He wasn't about to forgive the devastation of New York, but he could see that maybe Loki wasn't quite the homicidal maniac everyone on Earth seemed to think.
"What about everyone else?" Pepper asked, also sitting up and wrapping the sheet around her.
"I believe Miss Romanov ended up with the Good Captain and Agent Barton, while Thor paired with Dr Banner," was the concise reply.
"Well at least we know Thor can cope if the Big Guy made an appearance," Tony commented.
"Unlikely." Loki replied; "the spell was very powerful and should have redirected all rage."
That was comforting, kind of, at least.
Tony was remembering more of the previous day as time went on and he remembered Loki just appearing in the tower, which begged the question why Loki hadn't just disappeared again as soon as the spell wore off. The fact was, as far as he could tell, Loki wasn't acting very Loki like at all. Admittedly his only experience with the guy had been the Chitauri incident, but the Loki in front of him was definitely not the same Loki he had met then. If anything, this one looked just a little uncomfortable.
"Well," Loki said after a few awkward seconds, "please give my brother my regards, but now I must be going. Miss Potts, Mr Stark, thank you for an evening which was not lacking in interest."
Tony figured that was a compliment at least, but something else was tickling at the back of his mind.
"Hey," he said before Loki could disappear, and wasn't that a kicker; he had to wonder why Loki hadn't done that at all last time he was on earth, "were you blue at points last night?"
Any friendliness in Loki's expression vanished completely. Even Tony could figure out he had said the wrong thing.
"It would be wise never to mention that again," Loki said and Tony didn't need to remember cold fingers running up his back for the shiver that sent though him.
Of course Tony never did know when to shut up.
"Not a trick you're supposed to use with humans or is it more complicated than that?" he asked just as he remembered something else.
It occurred to him as the words left his mouth that when Loki had been blue Loki had also not been all male. That he might be treading on Asgardian social taboos was a real possibility.
"And before you kill me," he said quickly, "just so you know, we're not going to judge you for being a bit of both. Not sure what it's got to do with the blue, but you being intersexed is totally okay."
The rage he had seen building in Loki's features faded a little at that, which gave Loki a strangely boyish expression. Loki actually looked confused.
"If you are sensible you will not mention any of this to my brother," Loki said, clearly at a loss.
"Why?" Pepper pinched him as he asked the question.
That drew a bitter smile from Loki's pale features.
"That, Man of Iron, would take far too long to explain," Loki said and then vanished.
"He's not insane," Pepper said after a few moments; "he's broken."
Tony took her hand, gently stroking her fingers as he thought that over.
"There's so much we don't know," he finally agreed. "I think we need to speak to Thor."
"But Loki ..." Pepper objected.
"Loki doesn't know his brother half as well as he thinks he does," Tony replied. "Thor's changed, even since I've known him, especially after the convergence fiasco. We need to know what's going on in Loki's head."
"Because this just upset whatever plans he was making and that means he'll be making new ones. If we can figure out what makes him tick we might just be able to make sure that doesn't include destroying anything we're attached to."
Tony smiled to himself; Pepper knew him so well.
"You're the one who said he was broken," he replied, "don't you want to see if we can fix him?"
"Fix him how?"
"Well these Asgardians have some funny ideas," he said, just speaking whatever came into his head, "but Jane's helped Thor, well maybe that should be is still helping Thor. What if we could help Loki?"
Pepper frowned at him.
"What are you saying?" Pepper asked.
"I don't know," he admitted, because he didn't; there were just possibilities whirling around inside his head. "I just kind of feel a connection and no, I don't know why. Don't you feel it?"
Pepper looked unsure.
"Last night," she said eventually, "he said things."
"I don't think we're supposed to remember them," he said.
"He's not who he pretends to be."
"I know," Tony agreed.
He wasn't sure what else to say, which wasn't usual for him.
"Yes," Pepper said after a few more moments, "I feel the connection."
Loki had intended to just teleport away, but paranoia had made him cloak himself instead. As he watched Stark and Miss Potts climb out of bed he could only stand there in shock. He had expected recriminations, anger or jokes at his expense, definitely not the conversation he had just heard. He knew he was broken; he had realised that just before he had let go and fallen from the Bifrost, but he hadn't expected others to see it. They were supposed to see rage and insanity, not the shattered pieces of his soul.
Gathering his magic, he prepared to teleport away. He needed time to think.
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