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Missis Joker
11 September 2014 @ 08:43 pm
Loki stood near the stairs leading down from the roof and watched.  The reception was a rather modest gathering even by human measures, whilst in Asgard it would’ve been considered intimate. Loki almost felt offended for the lack of grandeur befitted a royal. Almost.
 Humans mixed and mingled, constantly shifting between the couches and tables covered in snacks and glasses filled with bubbly golden mead. He has been on Earth for quite a while now, and yet still had to learn of those new traditions and rules or, more likely, lack of thereof, as he surely was not accustomed to this.
 On Asgard, there would’ve been one humongous table in the center of the room, bursting with regales and delicacies, roasted animals and bottomless goblets of whine, and carts of fruits for those who choose to dine lightly, all wrapped in candlelight and glory. And each guest would know his place and his seat. Nobles and heroes of war close to the King, all others - further away. And in no time would anyone dare to speak out of term or bother the king with a question unless spoken to.
Here there was no order, just complete chaos.
It would have irritated him immensely- to have all those low people come and bother him with questions. But what irritated him even more was that he was not the one most of their attention was directed on.
All his golden brother had to do is come down that staircase, hair shimmering in the light and muscles flexing, and immediately everything changed, shifted back to the way it was in Asgard.  Even Stark, who earlier embarked on a mission to bombard Loki with all sorts of inappropriate questions was now fully preoccupied with discussing something with the older prince. The human rendered something with his arms, which made Thor throw his head up and laugh, brawny shoulders shaking and booming voice echoing through the room.
 Loki growled, itching to go there, grab the human and throw him across the room, away from Thor, make pay attention only to Loki himself.
The people gravitated around Thor like he was the sun, and all that was left for Loki was shadow.
The prince was about to give in to bitter sulking, when a familiar presence tickled his nerves and the hair on his neck stood up.
“Steve?”  He whispered to himself, turning around on his heels right in time to see Captain Rogers burst into the door.  The man hovered on the doorstep for a moment, a formidable silhouette against the dark stormy sky.  The night air washed over Loki’s face with a cold whiff and he gulped at it in relief.
He didn’t realize the atmosphere in the hall turned suffocating so quickly.
Finally, Rogers’s eyes locked on target he was searching for.
“Loki!” A luminous smile flashed over the man’s face as he charged down the stairs.
 Loki caught himself on a thought that Steve in his dramatic entrance was desperately missing a cape.
 “Where were you?”
Steve ignored irritation in Loki’s question, closed the distance and caught the Asgardian in a bone crushing hug. The prince made an effort to look displeased, but couldn’t help himself and returned the gesture. The human total disregard for personal space was something Loki could get accustomed to.
“I can’t breathe.” Steve choked out with the mocking difficulty, and Loki put him back to the ground, releasing the grip.
“You know, you are heavier than you look.”
“I had a big breakfast.”
Steve’s smile went even bigger, but the corners of the eyes stayed crinkled, giving away the concern.
“I was worried.”
“About me or the city?”
“Both, actually.” Steve opened his mouth to say something, but stopped.
The prince arched an eyebrow, “I find your lack of faith in me offensive,  Steven,  you should know by now that I am more than able to take care of myself. “
Steve’s voice broke a little, “I know I’m just…not ready to lose any more friends.”
Loki’s smirk softened, “Well it will take more than a flying rock for you to lose me, if that’s of any consolation. “
 “I’ve heard you’ve stopped it with your magic?”
“You haven’t seen the footage?”
Steve gave him an apologetic shrug, “Sorry, I had to assist the injured first, and when all was done it was time to leave. But I bet there are a lot of recordings.”
“I’m sure Stark’s discarnate butler can fetch you one.”  A proud smile played on Loki’s lips while Steve furrowed his brows trying to understand the reference. The prince looked up to the ceiling to call out for Jarvis but stopped, and considered it for a second.
 “Not here though, way too noisy with all those …common people.  Speaking of, why such a scandalous lack of punctuality?”
Captain run his hand through the hair, looking around the room, “Ms. Lewis and Director Fury had a disagreement about your upcoming public appearance.”
“Director Fury?”
“The head of SHIELD”.
Loki’s eyes lit up, “Oh. Did it get physical? I bet Lady Darcy is a nifty hair-puller.”
The prince was rewarded with a toothy grin, “Fury is bold.”
Loki’s face fell in disappointment and Steve snorted,
“I’m sure that would’ve been a show to die for. She argued it is too soon, and the world is not prepared. And you are too, not prepared.”
“I would object that a rock in the middle of this city proves that our timing is impeccable.”
“She said you have to be coached on how to deal with the politicians, eased into our diplomacy to avoid mishaps.”
“I thought she was as Lady Jane, a woman of science?”
“Political science, it turns out. “
“And you think we should seek her advice?”
Loki saw something with the corner of his eye. A young waitress was walking by them with a tray full of glasses, but her eyes were dangerously glued to Captain’s lower back. The prince waited, waited some more, and then, just as he thought,
“Oh!”
Steve swirled back in a split of a second, neatly catching the waitress, the tray and all the shaking glasses in mid-fall, spilling almost none of the drinks.
You should look where you are going, darling, not drill holes in Steven’s arse.
Loki ogled her, unblinking, as she apologized to Steve, muttered thanks and hurried away, burning red as a fire garnet.
“What?” Steve looked completely clueless.
Loki sighed.
“You were saying?”
“Oh, right, right. Um, dealing with politicians can be tricky, and Darcy’s vision is sound, plus she has some insight into modern politics. I wish I could be of any use but I am way out of date.”
 “You don’t seem too fond of your government officials.”
“I’m not. It is all intrigues and shadow playing and trickery, hidden agendas, and a whole downpour of lies and propaganda. I prefer to meet my enemy in the open battle, face to face.”
“I should treat politicians as my potential enemies then?”
Steve’s chin jerked up, “No, that’s not what I meant. It’s just…subtleties of political games and diplomacy are not among my strongest talents.  Anyway, Darcy was insisting your public coming out should be postponed.”
“And Fury managed to convince her? How?  Was any weaponry involved?”
“Mostly bribery.  And some threatening here and there. She is to advise you on your actions.”
“Very well. My brother dearest however will require a bit of convincing.”
The pair looked to the bar in unison and Loki’s posture visibly tensed. Steve suppressed an urge to give him a pat on the shoulder- family or not, but dealing with people like Thor required immense amounts of patience. Self-centered egoistic pricks who won’t take no for an answer- yes, he had a fair share of meeting those in his lank years. Most of those meetings ended up in blood and bruises. And hissing and death glares from Bucky after he dragged Steve out of yet another rat shitted alley and cleaned up the wounds.
Bucky.
Steve’s heart skipped a bit and he had to try hard to swallow a cold lump in his throat, trying to keep on the stoic façade. All the fleeting joy drained out of him leaving behind only emptiness, as if it was sucked out of his heart through a straw by someone very, very hungry.

While Steve regressed into a flashback, Tony got bored of Thor’s unending boasting, detached himself from the older prince and made his way to his younger sibling.
“So, I see you traded me in for a tall muscular blond? My enigmatic personality and plasma hot charisma isn’t enough then?” Tony wiggled his eyebrows suggestively and shot Steve a sly smile, “Captain.”
Steve nodded the greeting, “Mister Stark.”
Loki folded his arms and nodded towards Thor, “Consider it retaliation, for you’ve done just the same.”
Tony leaned in towards the prince, brusquely invading his personal space, dark eyes gleaming with challenge, “Did I make you jealous?”
 Loki returned the gesture and tilted his head so their eyes were on the same level, noses almost touching, “No.”
And then withdrew.
Stark grinned from ear to ear.
“But I will have you know that I do not like to share attention.”
He couldn’t explain why, but he didn’t even try to hide his irritation at Stark’s sudden deviation of interest.
Tony put an empty glass on the tray of the passing waiter and gave Loki a look full of disappointment, “So, no threesomes than?”
“What…” Loki shot a quick glance at Steve who looked just as lost in translation as the prince felt.
 The Asgardian decided to shake it off, “I need to speak to my brother. Steven, I am going to request the footage from Jarvis, join me later.”
“You are planning fun, why I am not invited? In my own house?”
“Indeed, it is your house. And you have guests to entertain. Excuse me.”

Loki swayed his way through the crowd when familiar mop of dark spikey hair flashed in front of him.
The prince’s hand darted out and caught Jayjay by the elbow, making him jump in surprise.
“Hey, aw, I dropped my olive!” the man pouted, watching as the little green ball bumped off the floor and disappeared under the couch.  Then he gave Loki a glance full of condemnation and extended his arm with the glass as far from the prince as length of his limb allowed, “What?”
“What is a threesome?”
Jayjay’s face went blank for a moment, eyes darting to his sides and around the room until staring back at Loki as he stood perfectly still, without even trying to wriggle his caught arm out of Loki’s grip.
 “Why do you ask?”
“Stark said we won’t have this “threesome” since I don’t like to share attention. I am not familiar with this colloquialism. So?”
Jayjay took a deep breath, “Well…Oh, god, how should I put it”, the prince could swear he heard the gears in Jayjay’s mind turning.
And then the human birthed, “Threesome is a social gathering of people with the similar interests to exchange their life experiences and increase skill levels in the subject of choosing. “
Loki’s eyebrows crawled up and he turned to Javier, who appeared by Jayjay’s side out of nowhere looking as usual completely disinterested. The man wolfed down another canapé and shrugged, “That’s one way to put it.” And walked away.
Loki released Jayjay’s elbow and nodded, secretly harboring a suspicion. “Thank you.”
What is it with these humans? The longer I stay in Midgard, the weirder it gets. As if there is a pandemic of nonsense spreading around. Though Thor seems to enjoy it. May be it’s just me…
The prince made a mental note not to get distracted again and set his foot to the bar with grim determination, when Lady Jane called his name, shadowed by Lady Darcy.
“Loki?”
He abruptly stopped and gave the women a curtesy nod, “M’ladies.”
“I was wondering…If you have time of course, could you help me with some calculations. I created an interdimensional matter transmittance formula based on the information you gave me but I have some irregularities…”
“I am afraid it will not be possible in a foreseeable future, Lady Jane, as me and my brother have to address the people of this planet and ensure a treaty first.”
She did her best to hide disappointment, but Loki still felt a sting of guilt. “If it would bring you a peace of mind, once the negotiations are concluded, you, Lady Darcy and I may engage in a threesome for as long as it is needed to satisfy your curiosity.”
Jane chocked and spilled a bubbly drink she carried in her hand, hurriedly trying to clean up the expanding droplets from the oversized Navy t-shirt she was drowning in. All while avoiding looking Loki in the eyes. Her cheeks were burning with a lovely shade of pink that was slowly creeping up into the hairline.
A cold lump of dread sank into Loki’s stomach.
Darcy gave him a long lascivious look from under half –closed eyes and smirked, “I don’t know what hit you but I am totally in!”
“Darcy!”
“What? He offered!”
The lump of dread in the prince’s stomach melted and gave way to a spark of righteous fury.
While Darcy explained in full detail what really the term meant, Loki’s eyes chased down Jayjay among the crowd. The very second Jayjay caught Loki’s eye, human’s face went into a habitual “o, shit” expression as he pushed through the crowd and escaped into the corridor.
“I am going to kill him.”
Thor continued to boom with laughter at the bar, forgotten.
***
“So, how do you find the new world, must be pretty different, huh?”
 Steve studied Tony for a moment. He was truly Howard’s kid: same oval of the face, same pampered look, same sly half-smirk playing on the lips, even the same damn mustache.
What was it with Starks and their fixation on ridiculous facial hair?
But there was something different to him too- the dark eyes were too piercing, the web of wrinkles around them gave out worries, the tension in shoulders betrayed alertness, as if he was constantly waiting for attack.
PTSD and a ton of emotional baggage, that’s what it is.
Steve has read Tony’s file on the way to the tower- some things shouldn’t happen to good people. Like being ambushed, kidnapped and tortured. Like a father figure trying to kill you over the money.
Rogers forced out a smile,
“Well, the food is much better. No polio is good. Internet- very useful. Still no flying cars though.”
“Yeah. We compensate with other things,” Tony quirked an eyebrow and gestured to a passing by lady. Needless to say, her skirt looked more like a wide belt than an actual skirt.  Steve averted his eyes and chuckled,
“Some things are a bit too much for my taste.”
“Oh, you haven’t seen nothing yet! You should go with me some time, fly to Bahamas or may be Ibiza- you’ll see that that,” – he gestured back to the girl with the glass, “Was actually a royal gown compared to what ladies wear there. Or not wear.”
Steve barely suppressed an urge to laugh, “You are so much like your father”.
“I am nothing like my father.” Tony recoiled, his tone suddenly darkening.
A shift in Tony’s mood got Steve like a sudden slap on the face.
“I don’t understand…Howard was a good man.”
“Sorry to burst your bubble, Captain, but He was a selfish prick that didn’t care about anything or anyone except for his legacy.”
“I am sure you don’t mean that.”
“Oh, I mean every word.”
Steve shifted from one foot to another, fighting growing displeasure.
“Whatever quarrel you had with your father does not make him a bad person.”
“You knew Howard for what, six months? I lived with that bastard for half of my life, you don’t know him as well as I do.”
 “He was my friend …”
“Of course he was your friend, considering he made you into what you are now.”
That made Steve’s blue eyes burn with fury so cold and bright that Tony took a step back.
“He didn’t make me”
“Well I’m sure he helped a lot.”
It would be a shameless disregard for hospitality to break something in you…
Steve slowly exhaled through the nose, clenching and relaxing his fists. This has always worked; it always helped to calm him down after a fight.
Only there also was a strong arm around my shoulder…but not anymore. I have to be on my own now.
Steve’s rage expired, making room for exhaustion.
“He passed away, you should show him more respect”
“Are you going to teach me how to treat my father now?”
“If I have to.”
“Captain, can I borrow Mister Stark for a moment?”
Coulson materialized out of thin air like a jinn out of a fairy tale and dragged protesting Tony away from the Captain. Steve suddenly was alone in a crowded room, full of unfamiliar people.
Lonely in a crowd, go figure. 
Well, Thor is still at the bar and I could probably go and say hi…
Captain shot a glance in direction of the older prince and immediately shook his head,
“Nah.” He muttered under his nose and set his way to the snack table. It was a long day and the food looked delicious.
You are an emotional eater, Rogers. Soon your ass won’t fit on Coney Island. Steve could hear Bucky’s mocking voice in his head, and felt his lips twitch into a smile.
“Well, Barnes, I am a stress exerciser too. So I think I’ll be just fine.”
***

 “What is up with you two?”
“Your favorite hero is a dick, that’s what”
Coulson’s jaw was far less dramatic than Steve’s but it didn’t make him any less scary.  There was something terrifying in his quiet resolution, as if he was going to lash out at any moment and smack Tony into oblivion, all without raising his voice.
“You’ve just met him.”
“One minute was more than enough.”
“I thought he was one of your childhood heroes too?”
“Yes, he didn’t live up to the legend.”
Quirk of an eyebrow, “Did you get up from the wrong foot?”
“If you furry your brows a bit more the crease will split your face in half.”
The agent all but growled, “This isn’t funny, Stark.”
And Tony snapped, “You know what? Fine, I’ll tell you what the problem is.”
He threw his glass away on the table, spilling the drink, and sprung back closer to Coulson, tensed like a taut string.
“I kept hearing how perfect he is all of my childhood! My father never stopped complimenting Roger’s inexhaustible list of virtues when he never even once told me, his own son, that I did a good job. I thought it was my fault, I was not good enough, and that I was just another disappointment.”
Stark was spitting out words with such bitterness, that Coulson shivered.
The whole situation was getting out of hand. Tony-smartass-Stark with eyes glistening as if he was on the verge of tears? Way above the level 7 agent’s pay grade.
“And then one day he told me he would switch me for Rogers in a heartbeat if he’d given a chance. Totally ruined the fan boy mood. ”
 “People say nasty things in the heat of argument; many times they don’t really mean it.”
“Well, I never got a chance to ask him if he meant it, he died two days later.”
“Yes, but he still left you the element to discover, among other things.”
“He didn’t leave it to me because he loved me so much; he only left it for me because the bastard knew I would be the only one with the right technology to do the job! And now this grandpa from the forties comes over and starts singing how good of a man my father was. Not going to listen to that!”
“I am sorry you had bad relationship with your father. If you want to blow some steam off you might scream on me, even throw a couple of punches- though I might have to retaliate.   But don’t involve captain Rogers.”
“He started it.”
Coulson shot Tony a stern look, “Let me put some things into perspective. We thawed him out of the ice less than three weeks ago. While you are enjoying life, surrounded by pricey toys and drowning your sorrows in obscenely expensive liquors, he is still living in the war, all while the world he knew is forever gone and all his friends and family are dead.  But he had to put all that away and deal with aliens who he was sure never existed. And now some rich dude gets all snotty on him and insults his friend, a person he knew as a good man, he snaps. Anyone would.  I’m just surprised all your bones are still intact. Consider this a great opportunity to learn how to behave like an adult.”

That seemed to calm Stark down a little.
“Fine. I suppose you got me there. When do I present our alien royals to the public?”
“You don’t.”
“Excuse me?”
“Captain Rogers is presenting them tomorrow on the Security council meeting closed to the public. You might be invited if they need a consultant and a witness.”
“So you are giving that to that old man with love for spandex? You do realize you’ve just ruined all effect from your previous speech? It is my honestly earned right…”
“Now this is nothing more than your ego going through the roof. There is no place for feelings in it, it is politics. And you have a tendency to piss of all politicians who venture into your vicinity. I am not here to discuss this.”
Tony threw his arms apart, looking at Coulson incredulously, “Then what?!”
“We know you’ve hacked into Shield database, and Director Fury didn’t like that.”
“Director Fury can go and suck my…”
“I would be very careful with your actions; you don’t want to make him angry.”
“Is that a threat?”
“A fair warning, stop poking around into something that is none of your business. Might sleep better at night.”
“And if I don’t? What are you going to do? Send one of your pet assassins to kill me?”
“No. You are not a threat yet, more of a constant annoyance. But we still can make your life very unpleasant. Considering your long record of breaking the law.”
“Tony.”
A melodious voice cut through the stare down like a knife through the butter. Tony was ready to throw his arms around the woman and give her a biggest hug he could. Hopefully without his arc reactor poking up her cleavage.
“Pepper, you are just in time. Agent here is threatening me with a law suit.”
“Phil?”
  “I wish it didn’t come to this. He hacked into SHIELD’s database.”
“You did what?!”
Corners of Pepper’s mouth slid downwards into a “Pout of doom”, as Stark liked to poetically call it. It usually ranged from “I am not paid enough for this” to “I will murder you in your sleep”, depending on what depths Tony’s depravity had dragged him to. Usually, the deeper he descended, the more flowers and chocolates it required to buy back Pepper’s good grace.
Tony immediately started calculating the expenses. Flowers, chocolates- dark and milk only, and no strawberries please. May be a pineapple?
 “Director Fury is simply trying to keep him out of it, by any means necessary.”
Pepper straightened up and looked Coulson dead in the eye,
“Well Phil, would you please remind director Fury that if mister Stark faces a lawsuit, Stark industries will have to pull out all the financing we grant for Shield research in order to counteract the litigation expenses.”
“Yeah, what she said.”
 “Tony, could you please bring me some water and aspirin?”
“I thought you‘ve taken my personal jet to Los Angeles and back, was it not comfortable enough for you?”
“Oh, it was perfect. My headache started earlier, when I spent 8 hours trying to convince the governor of California not to cancel our multibillion contract. The one you’ve publically called a poo-brained dickhead.”
“Yeah I did that..”
“Yes, you did. Now, can you get me my aspirin, please?”
Tony rolled his eyes and mouthed “Fine”, before marching away.
“Phil, what is going on?”
 “I am sorry, Miss Potts, I didn’t want to involve you in this.”
Coulson offered Pepper a chair and she slid into it with a sigh of relief, “This whole situation doesn’t give me pleasure. Well, may be a little. But director Fury insists Stark stops fondling with our security systems.  Most of the Shield’s secrets are best kept secret.”
“I understand. But you have to remember; when you are threatening Tony he will do just the opposite.”
“Can you suggest an alternative?”
“The only method is to keep him busy and occupied and away from the trouble. Or to ask him very nicely. I will try both, but you will have to do me a favor in return.”
“I am listening.”
“Well, as you know I have to run a company. I don’t have enough time to babysit Tony and his guests, at least not full time.”
“Yes, looks like you’ve got your hands full.”
“Indeed. So I was wondering if I could have my assistant back. Just for a while, of course. Until the situation calms down.”
Coulson beamed with a sly smile, “You wouldn’t believe it, but that’s exactly what I was thinking.”
***
“You are supposed to be a god of tricks and jokes for hell’s sake!  I find your lack of sense of humor very concerning!”
“You should be more concerned about a forest where I will hide your body.”
Loki’s voice dropped an octave when he growled at JayJay hiding behind a sofa. The man smoothly lowered himself and disappeared completely for a moment, and then the spikey top of his head moved towards the end of the sofa and the closest escape route. Loki watched with pursed lips, then cut the way through the room and stood between the human and the door.
Jayjay looked at Loki from his crawling position and smiled,
“Uh come on, it wasn’t nearly as bad as you make it to be.”
The prince’s eyebrows made their way into hairline, “Is it not now? You’ve brought dishonor on me before… “
“Disho…No-no, what dishonor?”
Jayjay jumped upwards, “If anything you should be thanking me right now! Those are women! They won’t think any less of you, instead their motherly instinct will kick in and they will spend more time teaching you Midgardian slang and customs so that in the future assholes like myself won’t take advantage of your innocence. See, I am your wingman here, dude, I’m looking out for you.”
“I fail to see any trace of logic. Oh, wait,   have you been drinking?”
“What? Hehe, no, well yes, but not that much. So, what are you going to give me for my birthday? “
“Changing the subject will do you no good.”
“I’m not changing it. We’ve established that you have nothing to be angry at me for.  So the case is closed. Now, considering you are a prince and dirty rich and I am your bestie, I am expecting a lavish present.”
The Asgardian had nothing else to do but pinch the bridge of his nose in utter frustration. Whatever was happening in this Midgardian brain, it clearly defied any logic.
“Surely, I will be most generous; I’ll grant you my forgiveness.”
“No, you’ll have to do better than that. Besides, I know you won’t actually hurt me.”
“Oh, is that your gift of clairvoyance manifesting?”
“I’m just a good judge of character.”
“Is that so?”
Jay shrugged, “Yeah had to learn, and had a tough childhood.”
Loki threw his arms up in desperation, “I  ...just...unbelievable.” Jayjay’s expecting stare made him pause for a second.
 “If you want something lavish ask it of Stark, for I have little knowledge of Midgardian tastes.”
“Um, no, that would be inappropriate. I don’t know him that well.”
“And your acquaintance of me is most intimate.”
“Well yeah, sure. I fed you. “Jayjay beamed.
“Speaking of Stark, you know what I find the most amazing? You got all up in armor because of my little joke and yet he just openly stated he is considering have sex with you and he had an intention to have an orgy. Yet you don’t react to it or act offended.”
Loki stared into an empty space over the human for a moment, and then his face fell as he narrowed his eyes and hissed, “I haven’t thought of that.”
“Uh-uh. Anyway, I don’t want anything material. I want a wish.”
“What?”
“A wish, you can do magic, right? So, grant me one wish. Like a jinn in a fairy tale- I rub the lamp and get the wish.”
“I don’t understand what lamp you are speaking of and if rubbing it is yet another one of your sultry jokes. My magic doesn’t work like that, and even if it did, I would never make lives of all beings in the galaxy depend on your whim.”
“Oh, come on!”
“I have some business to attend to. “
“No, wait, please?”
“No.”
“Pleeease?”
“Enough with those eyes already, you look like a drunk bar wench.”
“I do?”
“It was not meant as a compliment. Fine, come. You shall show me how to operate the television. And that omnipresent butler of Starks. I wish to see the footage of our flight, and show it to Steven as I promised.”
“Oo, showing off to your boyfriend?”
“He is not my boyfriend.”
“Whatever. He does have a nice butt though,” Jayjay made passes with his hands that somewhat resembled an outline of buttocks, “and those abs… I mean who wouldn’t tap that…”
Loki’s fingers caught Jayjay’s nose into a grip and pulled down, “Mind your language.”
“Ok, ok, went too far, sorry. No offence. “
“None taken. Considering you’d tap anything, as you say. Even this table.”
“Well, it is a very pretty table.” He threw himself over it and caressed the shiny surface with mock affection, “Mahogany…”
Loki rolled his eyes, “I must be cursed.”
***
Tony sat at the bar and drilled two holes with his eyes in a whiskey glass as the ice cubes slowly melted away into the amber liquid.  He didn’t expect a night of celebration of his heroic deed to turn into such a sour mess.  Getting into a fight with two super agents certainly was not in his plans. And then Pepper.
Oh, it will take a lot of effort to get back into her good graces.
That blasted one-eyed son of a bitch.
A flame of red hair behind him snapped Stark out of his reflections. Tony grinded his teeth and turned, as the Black Widow slithered into a chair next to him.
“So I was right then? Fury’s patience ran out and he sent you to get rid of me for good? How are you going to do it? Slowly and painfully? No, not your style, you are an expert of deception, aren’t you. Strangle me in my sleep? No, something more befitting your name. Oh, how about poisoning my drink?”
Natasha’s lips quirked into a smile, “What makes you think I haven’t already?”
Tony choked and pushed the glass away.
“What’s wrong?”
“Oh you are going to sooth-talk me? Tell me you are here for me?”
“I am not here for you; I am here because of you. So, what is wrong?”
“Fury is being a secretive manipulating dick.”
“He is doing his job. What else?”
“I bet you’ve heard America’s golden boy will be presenting the princes to the public tomorrow.”
“So?”
“So, I wanted to do it.”
“Why? You never seemed like a man interested in politics.”
“Well may be I learned a lesson from my father. I want it to be my legacy, I deserve to have a legacy, don’t you think? And not the one of being constantly drunk debouchaire.”
“You’ve invented many things, I’m sure…”
“Most of which have killed thousands of people.”
Natasha tilted her head and considered Tony for a moment,
“So you think presenting aliens to the Security Council is a way to make people remember you?”
“Rogers is already an undying symbol of all the goodness, he doesn’t need another star on his spangled banner.”
“You have a distorted impression of what is going to happen tomorrow. It will not be a public show off; it will be a meeting of politicians behind closed doors. Half of them you hate and the other half you despise, and I am pretty sure the feeling is reciprocal. There will be no cameras or reporters of any kind. Your desired legacy will not leave that room, is that what you are aiming for?”
Tony frowned at her, confused, “But I thought…”
“What, that it will be like one of your science fair presentations? There will be no showing off of the princes. If the council reaches some sort of agreement, then, maybe there will be a press-conference. Most likely without the alien presence. As to your legacy, you’ve already eternalized your memory in stone. Literally. I think it is still fuming somewhere on Broadway and Canal.”
“It will be removed in couple of days. Besides, I want to create a memory. Something that will become sort of a legend…”
“Want a legend? Do what you do best. And make Asgardians participate.”
“What, you mean invent something?”
“No, Stark, throw a party.”
Natasha slid off the chair and tousled her hair, making it fall in soft waves around her face. Then she positioned herself strategically right between Tony and approaching Steve.
 Tony wondered for a second if her curves would have any effect on the walking beacon of righteousness like they not so long ago had worked on him.
“Mr. Stark?” Steve looked, if nothing else, apologetic.
“I think we’ve got off the wrong foot.”
“Don’t mention it. “
“Captain, nice to finally meet you.” The woman extended her hand and shook Steve’s, making him blush.
You really need to work on that, dude. Tony watched her unleash her charms and felt an unexpected sting of jealousy.
 “Natasha Romanoff.”
“You are an agent of SHIELD?”
“Yes, but not today. Today I am Miss Potts’s assistant.”
“Oh, be careful, Captain, this woman is dangerous. She likes to stab people.”
That earned Tony a dirty look, “I saved your life.”
“You stabbed me in the neck.”
“I could have stabbed you in the eye.”
“Point taken. Let’s go find Loki before he breaks something.”
Steve followed Stark when Natasha’s hand gripped his upper arm, and she leaned in to whisper,
“Why so magnanimous? Tony can be a real prick sometimes, but he quickly bounces back. Don’t be afraid to put him in his place.”
“I’m not. But I might have overheard his conversation with Coulson. About his father.”
Natasha looked at Steve incredulously, “You were on the other side of the room full of people!”
“Super soldier, remember?”
“Remind me not to be around you when I’m hungry.”
“Are you two lovebirds coming or you gona be standing there gossiping about me?”
Tony pointed to the exit and waved his hand,
“Come on.”






 
 
 
Missis Joker
03 September 2013 @ 10:27 pm
Title: When rules change
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar and multiple mistakes
Disclaimer: most of the characters are not mine, but all the mistakes are.

“Do I look like an idiot?”

Tony’s eyes darted from the ground and back to Coulson, “This is a test question, isn’t it? I really don’t like when you do this, it creeps me out.”

“Do what?”

“Stare at me unblinking. There, you are doing it again.”

Agent Coulson grinded his teeth and waited until Tony got his accusational finger out of his face.

“You are telling me that the men were suspended in mid-air by a magnetic field disturbance caused by a solar flare and you think I’m going to buy it?”

“No I don’t, but you know what? I have no idea how they stayed like that, okay?”

I might know who did it, but I don’t know how he did it, so I am at least semi-honest.

“But I am going to find out. I just need more time. Meanwhile, why don’t we discuss a more urgent matter? Like, how many times did we get attacked by aliens this month and why I wasn’t told?”

Coulson felt corner of his left eye twitch, “Those files were classified.”

Tony just waved him off, “I declassified them.”

“Of course you did.” The Agent mentally sighed, watching Tony moving closer, leaning into him in the Iron Man suit.

“Listen, I know it is a secret, but don’t you think I should be informed? If there is going to be a major boo-boo, who’s going to clean it up? After all I did for you I think I have a right to know.” Stark stopped for a second, waiting for any reaction from Coulson and when he got nothing, started to fidget.

“C’mon, just tell me as a friend, we are friends, aren’t we? Besides, I will find out sooner or later.”

Stark took a moment to consider and added, “One way or another.”

That earned him a dirty look.

The staring match continued until the Agent shook his head, hooked smirking Iron man on the elbow and navigated him away from the eavesdroppers.

“I advise you keep this conversation confidential.”

“Or you will taze me and watch a Super nanny while I drool on the floor?”

“No, I will shoot you, burn the body and say it was an accident.”

Stark gave the agent a sly smile, “I am still wearing my suit, remember?”

Coulson didn’t even blink, “I’ll wait till you fall asleep.”

“It’s that bad, huh?”

“There have been … accidents, involving hostiles with weaponry of unknown origin and unmatched by our own technology. We might be facing a large scale invasion soon.”

“And then Loki and his brother pop up, offer help, and you send the biggest bag of dicks to oversee the party?”

“Captain Rogers is almost twice your age, show him more respect.”

“I wasn’t talking about him, but since you’ve mentioned it, did you really think Rogers would be an equal match for them in a fist fight?”

“You’ve misunderstood. Captain Rogers has fought in the Second World War; he had seen things both you and I have only read about. He’s quite an expert in judging the character.”

Tony tolled his eyes,   “And yet with all his terrifying experience he seems a bit naïve. Besides, Loki saved his life and now I call all Capsicle’s opinions a bias. Oh, wait, that’s why you invited that Iceman dude? So he could tickle the guys in all the wrong places and you and Cap could just stand close and assess?”

“We had to make sure they are not enemy insurgents.”

“By pissing them off?”

“True enemy spies would not let their negative emotions sabotage the mission. And the brothers demonstrated theirs on multiple occasions.”

Stark paused for a second, “Well, strange logic. Whatever. Now I am stuck with babysitting them.”

“You are the best choice.”

Tony’s eyebrows shot up. “Flattery?” Then the corner of his mouth twitched.

“I guess you just can’t afford them.  What else do I need to know?”

Coulson threw a quick glance around, making sure the crowd and its constantly flashing phone cameras was far out of reach. Last thing they needed was a conspiracy scandal.

“We need a constant surveillance on both Loki and Thor and your mansion has the best means to do it …discretely. We desperately need you to get as much info out of them as possible. Weaponry, defense systems, transportation, communications, energy- anything.”

Stark scratched his goatee, absorbing the info.

“What about that Thor guy, is he as bad as his brother, a full of himself diva?”

“Worse, he is like you. Just more…chivalrous.”

“Hey, I am a gentleman.”

“Less promiscuous then. I suggest you play nice.”

“So you are selling me out for the good of mankind without remorse?”

“You volunteered.”

“What if they try to seduce me and turn me to the dark side?”

“You’ll manage.”

A quiet beep ringed through Coulson’s bracelet, transmitting the message from the base. Tony tried to pry into the message over the agent’s shoulder but Coulson defiantly covered it with his palm. Then the Agent smoothed his costume and turned to leave.

“Thor and the rest of the group are three hours away.”

“Fine, I’ll see to it.”

“Thor is royalty and expects a royal welcome.”

“Who do you think you are talking to? I’m the best party-thrower in New York.”

“I’ll send the backup.”

“What? Whom? No, wait- I don’t need back up; I need detailed reports on those accidents!”

“It’s above my pay grade.”

“I don’t care, I want my files!”

“Ask Fury. Oh, and Stark- please tell the solar flare when you see him not to disturb any other magnetic fields, it can influence his public image.”

With that Coulson turned away and headed towards the dark grey sedan that stopped at the corner of the street.

Tony took a moment to look around, watched the last ambulance leave and police start to clear the street to give way to criminal investigators. Now that the crowd was booed from the spectacle, its attention shifted and the wall of people started to slowly surround the Iron Man.  If not for the smiles and camera flashes, the movement would have looked like a scene from a zombie apocalypse movie.

It was time to leave.

“Jarvis, upload the hacking codes for S.H.I.E.L.D. interface, I want to see what they are hiding from law obedient citizens.”

“Sir, I believe Agent Coulson said…”

“I know what he said, but it is easier to beg for forgiveness then ask for permission.  Besides, if Coulson says “desperate”, it is time to panic.”

Iron man looked around the street, waved one last time to the people and soared away.

                                                                                                               *****

The captive craftsman was complacent enough to reveal the hand that was guiding the heist; Loki didn’t even have to break his second leg for that, although he wanted to.  The prince let him go after the human shade tears of remorse and  swore to all gods and devils he didn’t know it would’ve ended in the bloodshed. The fear was a good punishment for the weak of heart.

Loki took a second to lay out all of the evidence on the floor of the room before he left: pictures, plans, video recordings, all the police had to do was to collect.  He stood there, towering over the mosaic of facts until the voices of the guards resonated up the staircase, and then took his leave.  With some spare time on his hands, the prince had only one other business in mind- meeting face to face with the man behind the heist, the very owner of the bank.

The trip was swift, two blocks from the building now entrapped into a moving crowd of police and bystanders.  However, Loki froze for a second when he saw Stark dragged away by Agent Coulson.

The prince’s fingers twitched and heart picked up a bit as he watched the two men talk aside from the huddle. Coulson was gifted in interrogation and did not extend gentle affection he showed to Steve on to Stark.

But, it was doubtful the agent would resort to torture, the country they were in did not favor those kinds of methods

Not that he would need any method.

Loki’s lips curved down into a pout.

Coulson was nothing but an idiot, and Loki was nothing but subtle. Most likely the agent had long figured out Loki didn’t keep out of the action as he was asked to. The only hope was that Coulson would take into account that Loki’s involvement, although indirectly, helped save the lives and capture the misdoers.

Stark on the other hand…

Loki felt light shiver running down his spine and straightened up, taking a deep slow breath.

The dark brown eyes stared at him again, going ablaze with the thought of Loki indebted to him. Stark would never miss a chance to get something at Loki’s expense.

As many would.

Loki rushed in the heat of the moment and made a bad bargain and now had to face the consequences.

Then the grim foreboding gave place to curiosity. Loki had already concluded Stark completely lacks a sense of shame, but he would like to know how far this human’s depravity can go.

Whatever Stark dares to ask of, I will be ready for the challenge.

                                                                                               …

The man rushed through the papers on his desk, crumpling and pushing them into the briefcase.  The helicopter was warming up on the roof, only waiting for its primary passenger, when Loki stepped into the office and locked the door behind him.

“I am afraid you can’t leave just yet.”

“Who …who are you?” The man’s head jerked up and he froze in mid-movement, ripples going through his second chin.

“My name will do you no good. But, you could address me as …my Lord.” Loki’s chuffed smile morphed into a frown as the man wobbled around the table, knocking stationary off with his belly, and started slamming his finger into the phone.

“Security!!”

“Don’t waste your lungs, they will not come. I made sure they remain occupied.”

“What do you want?” The man cowered back, shielding himself with the briefcase from Loki’s cold steely gaze.

“Merely to satiate my curiosity. Did you think you could kill so many people, get the money and yet escape punishment?”

“I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“Do not try my patience.” Loki let his voice drop an octave and was rewarded with a visible shiver running through man’s body.

“Look, I am a man of business. Tell me how much do you want for your silence, and we will roll from there.”

“So easy to appease me, you think? I have no care or use for your money.”

“Well, maybe you will care for this!” The man pulled a small gun out of his briefcase and fired, laughing as the bullets hit Loki in the chest.

The laugh died at instant when Loki arched the eyebrow and growled at the sizzling holes in his clothes.

“You’ve just ruined my suit, you stupid pest! What are you planning to do now?” Loki’s face darkened as he shifted his gaze to the gun and made it candent hot, burning off skin on man’s palm in an instant.

The man shrieked and tossed his weapon away, hissing in pain as the room filled with a light smell of burned flesh.

“You are thought to have planned the heist of your own bank but…you don’t seem to have strength of character nor wit for such endeavor, you are a thief, but poltroon one of that. Who guided you into this? I would have a name.”

“There is no name.”

“Perhaps you require more incentive? “

The energy flowed from Loki’s fingertips, fueled by his anger, ripping the air and swirling around, tightening around man’s limbs. The magic threw the man into the air only to stop abruptly several inches away from the ceiling.

The man spit and cursed in hopeless rage, face red from strain and sweat pouring all over the collar.

“Screw you and your cheap magic tricks!”

“Hm, interesting, you don’t seem surprised…You have seen magic before!  Where? Did your master show it to you?”

Loki watched as the man struggled to break free, still refusing to give any answer, until his patience ran out.

“Very well then, I will resort to my brother’s method of persuasion this only time.”

That didn’t work out well though, because instead of responding to Loki’s questions, man was simply screaming his lungs out as he hung head down 80 stores above the streets, supported only by Loki’s iron grip on his ankle.

Loki waited for the man to run out of air, absently watching creeks of cars gaining speed on the roads below as the emergency services navigated them away from the bank.

“You can choose to deny my offer and choke on your own blood, or cooperate and live a little longer. What would your answer be? Do tell me promptly, for my hand is growing weary.”

The man finally stopped screaming and crooked his neck to face Loki.

“Mandarin.”

“Mandarin …what? Is that all you can tell me?”

The man wheezed between the ragged breaths,  “Mandarin. That’s his name. That’s all I know. Please!”

“Fine.”

Loki swung the man around and threw him back into the room as a ragdoll. The man gulped for air while Loki meticulously brushed fragments of the broken glass off his shoulders.

“You know, your people will punish you but it will be gentle. And I crave something else, for my personal satisfaction. That money you spoke of, I will have it before I leave.”

The man crawled up, leaning on the table and stared at the prince.

“How much?”

“All of it.” Loki smiled.

“Are you mad? I can’t, it’s not mine, you can’t! You must be joking!”

“Do I look like I am in a joking mood? And if this displeases your master, he will have to address me personally.”

Loki produced a small bank card out of his pocket and handed it to the man.

The card was black and green with intricate gold ornaments entwined into the carcass. No name, no card number, just empty space.

The man stared back at him.

“I cannot transfer anything if I don’t have a bank account number.”

“Just open the flow up, it will find its way.”

And it did. The man watched in horror mixed with total disbelief as all the funds from his personal and business accounts streamed away to somewhere unknown, leaving no trace.

When finished, Loki twirled it between his fingers. It was all the same, but seemed a bit heavier.

“I start to appreciate this system. I just got all of your riches and yet it all fits into a palm of my hand! Brilliant.”

The man slid down to the floor, tired and resigned.

“We are both dead, you and I. He will destroy you for what you did.”

Corner of Loki’s mouth twitched up. “I highly doubt that.”

The moment Loki left the office a group of armed men in civilian clothes burst in the hallway from the stairs.  A sound of quarrel followed with shouts no and don’t standing out; then three gun fire rounds thundered and everything went quiet.

Loki stopped for a second, and then entered the elevator without looking back. He had enough of getting his hands dirty with pawn blood for one day.

The puppet master, Mandarin, must’ve learned that the police got a hold on the evidence and ordered his dogs to dispose of the main witness.

Should’ve done it faster.

Loki grinned.

If Mandarin wants to know where his money went, he will find a way to contact the prince.

And then I will have a little bit of entertainment before I leave this planet.

As the elevator slowly descended, the prince made a mental note to himself to be more discrete in the days to come. He couldn’t allow the earthlings to get advantage in negotiations because of his dealings.

Late afternoon colored the skies in peach and yellow, pouring the warm sunlight over the busy streets.  Loki still had a couple of hours to kill before his brother would arrive.

Nordic culture exhibition banners loomed in the distance and Loki made his way to the library.

Not that he held any interest in remnants of human culture so undeveloped they worshiped Aesir as gods, but Stark’s reaction alone made Loki reconsider. He would not have that human make jokes that Loki didn’t understand.

                                                             

                                                                                               *****

“Jarvis, where are we on those files?”

Tony bit a mouthful of a donut and powered up the screens around the floor.

He just flew through Brooklyn to get a snack, scared the living hell out of two teenagers trying to steal a car and got a dozen of donuts for free because the shop owner was a huge fan of Iron Man.

Life was good.

“Sir, I now have full access to all Shield database, however there is no trace of any alien activity data of any king.”

“Well they couldn’t have just evaporated.”

“Since they are considered a top secret priority they might have been moved to a secure external drive to which I have no access to.”

“Fine, we’ll use another tactics then.  Give me all 911 calls for the past two months.”

“Accessing emergency services database and creating the map now.”

A holographic projection of the United States hovered over the center of the room, flickering as Jarvis was analyzing the data. Myriads of small yellow dots decorated every inch of it, turning the hologram into multi-colored puzzle.

“Good, now cross reference those with Shield’s first response log and remove everything else.”

“Done.”

The net of the yellow dots thinned, revealing wide spaces empty of activity.

Tony eyed the map and took another bite of a glazed donut, only to stop, look at it, put it back, and reach for the chocolate one instead.

“Now leave only big ones with allocation of 10 people or more and cross check it with injuries and death log.”

“Unrelated response logs deleted, sir.”

“Ok, what do we have here, hm…?”  Tony walked through the lines of light, looking at each dot.

“Look for any inconsistencies, like a huge body count and log register of kitten attacks, don’t forget to check local news feeds.”

“Cross-referencing.”

“Ok, show the final result.”

The hologram blinked one more time and froze with one hundred and twenty three gleaming dots scattered throughout the country.

“This can’t be right.”

123 possible alien related events in two months in US alone?

Tony frowned in disbelief.  He danced around the lights, magnifying some of them and skipping through the data. The reports, witness accounts, pictures- everything pointed to activity from the outer space.

The evidence was still inconclusive, but even if 90% of it was a bogus, it still left 12 episodes of extraterrestrial encounter.

He stopped at a blurry picture taken on one of remote military bases in Mojave dessert. Burning structures, blown vehicles and charred bodies spoke for themselves.

So far only Loki and his brother willingly came into contact with humans. The rest chose to sneak into the shadows, leaving a trail of bodies behind. Whoever they were, their intentions were far from friendly.

Stark forgot about his sugary treat and focused, running multiple scenarios in his head. He had to access the real data somehow to eliminate any chance of error.

“Sir, Shield helicopter ETA 5 minutes.”

“Save and collapse.”

If the Earth was preparing for war, he would know of it.

                                                                                                               ***

Loki had never understood the humanity’s unquenchable thirst to dig out graves and put the departed and their belongings on display. What was dead should stay dead. The history and legacy should be preserved by the living, not by putting graveyard bounties for gapers to gawk at.

The prince took his time to read through all the texts, waving most of them off as a manifestation to the earthling priests favorite pastime- abuse of ale. And ritual herbs.

Peasants had no idea how Aesir magic worked.  It was powerful, but even it had its limits. Giving birth to a horse? Transforming into a mare? No one could assume a form of such great difference.

Loki cringed. He has a strange suspicion that the voice of reason would have no effect on Stark’s taste for sultry jokes.

The prince mused on a course of action while he lazily prowled between the glass stands, ignoring herds of humans around him. The exhibition was tawdry and yet somewhat entertaining.

Until he found himself facing a stand about mythical Loki’s birth and demise.

The prince froze as he read the story before him, and then shook his head and read it again, again, and again still, bitter bile forming up in his throat with each passing minute.

Those little pests had made him a monster.

Out of all who came down to Midgard he, the prince of Asgard, the son of Odin, was made into a laughing stock.

Named not a prince, not even an Aesir- an ice giant, son of Laufey, that pitiful ogre who didn’t deserve to be among the living!

The fact that king Laufey was portrayed as a female served no consolation.

Loki towered in front of the glass, his reflection staring back at him, dark with fury. He leaned closer, pushing his fingers into the cold surface and making it crack under pressure.

A freak. A frost giant. Son of Laufey. Mother of monsters. Bringer of the end of Asgard.

When did it all go so wrong, what did he do to deserve that? Was it his preference for magic? Was it his disdain for mindless brawls?

The rage rushed through Loki’s body and his blood boiled. A reckless flicker of his finger, and the glass would crash into smithereens, spreading fear and chaos. He took a deep breath and stepped back. The floor was bent where he stood a second ago, a web of cracks running in all directions away from the dent.

That had never happened before.

“Incredible , isn’t it?”

The prince suddenly found himself in a company of a man almost as tall as himself, which annoyed Loki greatly, because when exactly earthling midgets suddenly grew up to be as tall as Aesir? But even more disturbing was the mop of unruly dark blond curls crowning the man’s head. Loki’s fingers twitched with strain as he barely stopped himself from reaching out and smoothing that wobbling monstrosity down.

“Indeed. “ The only word seeped through the clenched teeth. Loki was in no mood for company, and made no effort to hide it.

But his animosity was bluntly ignored.

“Such an interesting character, Loki. Too bad his end was so tragic.”

“He was a monster, and he got what he deserved for his treachery.” Loki almost spit the words filled with spite.

“Oh, I am afraid I have to disagree. He was simply too smart for a society that valued brutal strength above all. He was different, he was innately predisposed to mischief, and that made him difficult to control.”

Loki mused on simply gagging the human and leaving, but he couldn’t resist getting into an argument.

“You sound like it was Asgard itself that brought the destruction upon Loki and the Aesir.”

“And I believe so.”

“He was a monster and a liar, he poisoned everything around him with envy and knavery and hate – and paid for it with his life.”

The human listened carefully, tilting his head to the side and eying Loki with huge blue eyes.

“But…if you read carefully, you will see that it was, in fact, the truth that ultimately got him killed. How many times did he caused trouble and yet the gods forgave him?  He managed to get away with everything, until he spoke the truth. As I see, the Aesir had created a perfect world with no foul in their minds, and tried to protect it by setting up a set of rules. Even their deaths were dictated by rules. And Loki enjoyed tinkering with those rules to see what would happen. And he would not be shy of breaking them in need be. But Aesir could not extend compassion for his predicament and set their judgment upon him instead.”

“He was a harbinger of chaos.”

“But chaos is change. In a way. It is uncontrollable and perpetually shifting, but it is a driver of life.  If something is not changing, it becomes static and after some time, decays and dies.  That violent end of Asgard could have been averted if only its people were not so adamant about following the rules. ”

“One born a monster will be a monster, not a hero. It is in his blood, and it makes his destiny, rules or not.”

“Circumstances of our birth are irrelevant; it’s our life choices that make us who we are.”

“You cannot escape your destiny if it is written at the moment of your birth.”

“Then you just have to flunk the written.”

Loki gave a man a long evaluating look.

“You are very sentimental. And naïve. Do you truly believe that a devil thirsty for blood and destruction can be a hero? Someone weak and pitiful and full of hate and envy, save the world?”

“I do, actually, yes. All heroes are flawed. They are lonely, vain, arrogant, proud, envious. But what makes them heroes is that they overcome their frailties for the sake of greater good.  And the unlikeliest of heroes make the greatest heroes of all.”

"And how do you possess such deep knowledge of the subject, if I may inquire?"

The man fidgeted and blushed a little, rubbing his neck.

"Well, ehehe, I majored in literature, and Norse legends were among my favorites. A world birthed in blood and murder and ended in fire. Incredible."

The silence stretched for a good minute as Loki was dwelling in his own thoughts.  Although unwillingly, but the conversation made the prince wonder if human was at least partially right.

And the said human watched Loki brooding, and grew more and more concerned, thinking he had just offended the prince with his expatiation. So he leaned in and whispered conspiratorially,

“Some believe Norse gods were actually extraterrestrial travelers, who used an interdimentional wormhole to travel between worlds. “

Loki rounded his eyes in a mock surprise, “Really? What a preposterous idea!”

The human remained completely oblivious to Loki’s blatant mockery and beamed with a blinding smile.

“I think it would be very exciting to meet with a being from another world.”

“What makes you think you haven’t met him already? You can never be sure whom you are speaking with.”

“Oh, dear! How inexcusably rude of me! I’m so sorry; I got so uncontrollably excited that I forgot to introduce myself! My name is…”

The tower clock in the middle of the hall filled the exhibition with nine bell strikes, making the glass vibrate a little as the sound reverberated from the surfaces.

“Oh dear lord, have mercy!”

Loki arched left brow, eyeing an extended hand that stopped in mid-movement as the human turned to face the clock.

“That is a very unfortunate name.”

The man jerked as if waking up from a trance. “Oh, I am so sorry, friend, I have to go, I am late for a meeting…I am so sorry, I wish we could talk more, but…So sorry.”

“Stop apologizing and go already, you are just wasting the time.”

As Loki watched the tall blonde navigate through the crowd, unceasingly apologizing, a different feeling of dread rose in him.

Nine hits of the bell meant nine o’clock.

Which meant Thor was going to arrive at Stark Tower at any minute.

A show Loki certainly didn’t want to miss.

                                               ***

“So, did you go?”

Stark gave Loki a brow wiggle as they walked out on the helicopter pad on the roof.

“To where are you referring, exactly?”

“Don’t play a silly, princess, you know what I am talking about.”

Loki gave Tony a hard look and sighed.

“Your lack of respect appalls me. And yes, I ventured there. Found nothing to my taste though.”

“Really? What about some raunchy myths?”

Loki stopped and turned to Stark, hiding a smirk.

“If you mean the one where I gave birth to a horse, well, I found lack of accuracy …disappointing. You see, magic can’t change the essence of things, only their physical manifestation. In simple terms, when I turn into something, I remain a male. I’m afraid your ancestors had botched the action.”

The prince silently jubilated watching Tony’s face go through a wide range of expressions until it settled on, as Jay would’ve called it, “Unyielding to bullshit.”

“Wait a minute, are you saying that you really…”

“What, mated with the horse? I truly do not understand your amusement. In my short stay on Midgard I’ve already seen some things that make my …endeavor pale in comparison.”

Stark stared at the prince for a moment, eyes wide open and unblinking, but recovered quickly.

“I call you a bluff. You won’t let one hair on your head to stick out of place. There is no way you could have slept with the horse.”

“Svadilfari was one fine mare.  Besides, you see, Aesir live for thousands of human years. When you live that long, one day you might get bored. And when I get bored, I tend to ….experiment.”

That rendered Tony speechless.

Loki’s heart filled with glee, messing with this particular human might become his favorite pastime.

A sudden gust of wind and a sound of thunder on an almost cloudless sky made both men look up.

“Weird.”

“That’s my brother.”

“Wha…”

A mere second later Thor came bolting through the sky and landed on the platform, Mjolnir gripped tightly in his hand.

Stark looked at him for a moment, then at Loki, then back at Thor, leaned to the younger prince and whispered, “They are not feeding you well, or something?”

“Brother!”

Thor’s voice boomed over the landing pad as he stomped towards the welcoming party. Loki’s heart swell with joy as Thor crushed him in a bear hug.

“It is good to see you, brother. You did well with that rock.”

“You weren’t bad yourself, as I’ve heard. “

Thor just waved that off, “There was nothing to tell.”

The older prince’s gaze shifted as he finally noticed Tony. The human held out a hand,

“Tony Stark.”

Thor shook it, and smiled, “The man of Iron? Son of Coul said you aided Loki in saving the city. I would see the armor Agent spoke so fondly of.”

“Yeah, later. By the way, aiding would’ve been much easier if your baby brother wasn’t nagging me all the time.”

Thor’s large frame shook with laughter, “Loki is like that sometimes, isn’t he?”

Loki fumed with irritation. For all the possibilities he surely didn’t think those two belligerates would bond over mocking him!

“Why did you fly like that? I thought Fury sent a helicopter.”

“It was too slow.”

Tony’s grin widened. Thor seemed like a decent fella, though he would use a wardrobe overhaul. Tony wasn’t sure if brothers had some special dress code or regal garments, but the tall blonde in plaid shirt with a hammer looked more like a plumber than a god.

The air filled with a sound of propellers as two helicopters approached the Stark tower.

“Jarvis, light up the pad.”

The rows of lights flamed up into a pattern, marking the landing way for the pilots above.

Stark stepped aside, preparing to snatch Fury away at the first sight.

“Tomorrow, brother, we will speak to the rulers of Midgard and be done with it.”

Thor looked around, just now noticing the night city below.

“You think it’s going to be so easy? You think that humans simply fall to their knees upon seeing us?”

“I do not require worship, Loki, but this realm has always been under Asgards protection and guidance. All the earthlings have to do is aknowledge that. They would be fools not to.”

Loki pinched the bridge of his nose, “It is not that simple, Thor. They aren’t worshipping us as gods anymore. That time had long passed, they evolved, they now have advance technology.”

The wind played with princes’ hair as helicopters landed on the rooftop.

“all their technology is no match for us. I will not hear about it again, I am tired and require sustinence. I hope the man of Iron prepared a feast for us.”

“Yes, it’s in the ballroom eight floors below. Who else is coming?”

Thor beamed, “Lady Jane.”

“And there I thought we shouldn’t mingle with humans as it would impair our judgement.”

Thor glanced at Loki in surprise,

“Lady Jane is different.”

“And how is she….Wait, is it because you fancy her?”

“No, I don’t fancy her, I…”

“You fancy her!”

“Brother, speak quieter, we can be heard.”

“Do you plan on courting her?”

“I don’t…I don’t know, I will be living soon. And all those Midgardian traditions, they are so weird and different. “

“So you will let someone else court her.”

“No! Do you know of someone?”

“Well, Stark might be interested. She is beautiful and a woman of science. He is rich and spends his riches on science.”

“I will not have that.”

Oh, father would be very pleased with that. The crown prince of Asgard courting a mortal woman, what a scandal.

Loki mentally grinned. Thor without knowing was digging his own grave.

Though again, the golden prince got away with much worse.

A group of people, servants, most likely, emerged from the elevator and moved through pad to great the guests.

As Loki watched the roof swarm suddenly with so many people, Jane almost ran to Loki and awkwardly shook his hands, “I’m so happy everything is fine, we were worried sick. “ And then she rose on her tip toes and placed a brief kiss on his cheek, “And that’s for New York.”

Loki was stunned. He stood motionless for a moment and watched as Thor and Jane were guided inside, wondering if someone had noticed what had happened.

“ Duuude!”  Something collided with Loki’s side and he felt as if he was attached by an octopus, or a large snake with several heads. Something- or someone, has not only climbed him like a tree, but was successfully blocking all Loki’s attempts to break free from the grip.

“Disattach yourself at once!”

With a tremendous effort Loki managed to tear Jay off himself and hold him down at a stretched hands distance. Luckily Loki’s hands were longer than Jay’s, and he succeded in preventing any further attacks. Scandalized and dishivored, Loki about to shout how dare you and why and we could’ve been seen, but settled for shorter “What is wrong with you?!”

Jay pouted and widened his puppy eyes,

“I missed you. And I hadn’t been hugged enough in childhood so now I overcompensate. “

Loki smoothed his hair and fixed his clothes, minimizing the damage. He growled at Jay with barely concealed irritation,

“Remove yourself from my sight, at once!”

The pout deepened.

“Ok.”

The man’s shoulders sank as he dragged his feet away from the prince. Loki rolled his eyes.

“Stop.”

Loki caught Jay’s chin between his fingers and gave the human’s face a look. The skin healed perfectly, the burns were all but gone, leaving the cheek smooth and pink.

Jay stood motionless as Loki examined the fruits of his spell, but the dark orbits darted frantically from side to side. When the Aesir released his grip, the man jumped and started swirling around.

“Oh my god, oh my god, it is Tony Stark’s tower!”

“May I inquire, what is so special about this Antony Stark? You reacted calmly when learned that me and my brother were aliens of royal blood, and yet you scream and jump around at the very mention of this human’s name?”

Jay tried to hang on Loki’s neck but was promptly stopped by a firm hand.

“No, oh don’t get jealous! You are totally awesome, and cool and badass and I love you. But this is Tony Stark!!”

“He is a lost case of a fangirl. Good job, bro.” Javier materialized out of nowhere and gave Loki a strong shove.

“You know, your struggles and protests will not keep him away, he likes you too much.”

Loki turned to the human, “Do you have any other ideas, then?”

Javier shrugged and flashed Loki a smile, “I bet a tazer would work.”

The crowd started to melt away, slowly clearing the helipad.

Loki turned to leave when he noticed another familiar face.

The doctor  clapped Loki’s shoulder briefly, and when Loki tried to return the gesture, caught prince’s wrists and inspected the palms. “Hm , healed. Any symptoms, pain, burn, itching sensation?”

Loki wriggled out of the grip and clenched his hands behind his back. “I assure you I am totally healed.”

“You should teach me that. Oh, and that trick you pulled off on Jay. “

“What, peeling him off?”

“No, that I know how to do. Healing him. He had some deep second degree burns and now has fully recovered and not even sporting a scar. That’s some very cool stuff.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

Suddenly Loki’s nerves tingled, he turned around and, well, of course, there he was, towering over the platform.

“What are you doing here?”

Captain Iceman cut the distance between him and the prince in five long strides.

“We came to testify in Security Counsil about your stellar performance. Well, I, Javi and Doctor came to testify, Jay just dragged along. But I’ll just use him as my demon monkey to annoy the shit out of politicians. He is skilled in doing that.”

The silence stretched, becoming uncomfortable, until Loki inquired, smirking,

“Why are you looking at me like that? Are you going to manhandle me too?”

Iceman’s monolith face suddenly split into a smug smile.

“Well, if you insist.”

 
 
 
Missis Joker
05 June 2013 @ 02:28 am
Title: When rules change
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar and multiple mistakes
Disclaimer: most of the characters are not mine, but all the mistakes are.

Coulson slithered through the long corridors towards the main hall, looking for surveillance spots and civilians in distress.  The ground floor was deserted in a rush, lights flickering and papers flying in the wind like confetti after a parade.
Police outside won’t be much of a help at least until the robbers declare their demands. Ask for backup? Possible. But the closest on call is Stark, and he is anything but subtle. High risk of collateral damage is unwanted. I should proceed with caution and gather additional Intel.

Suspicious noiseCollapse )
 
 
Missis Joker
26 September 2012 @ 12:21 am
Title: When rules change
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar and multiple mistakes
Disclaimer: most of the characters are not mine, but all the mistakes are.
p.s. I'm super overloaded with homework and full-time job, hence almost 2 months break in updating- but I'll do my best to be quicker :)


More hereCollapse )
 
 
 
Missis Joker
12 August 2012 @ 06:44 pm
Title: When rules change
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar and multiple mistakes
Disclaimer: most of the characters are not mine, but all the mistakes are.



ClickCollapse )
 
 
 
Missis Joker
09 August 2012 @ 05:19 pm
Title: the Man of the Hollow Heart
Fandoms: Snow white and the huntsman/ the Hollow crown x-over
Main characters: prince Hal and Erik the Huntsman (neither is mine)
Author: well, me.
Warnings: slash in future chapters, graphic depictions of violence, and lots of mistakes.
Disclaimer: all what is written is done not for the profit, but for the pleasure of my wicked heart.
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Prince Hal, eldest son of the King, returns home after decade and a half spent in war campaigns to see his dying father. However, the welcoming reception he gets is far from what he had hoped for.



MoreCollapse )

 
 
 
Missis Joker
02 August 2012 @ 02:18 pm
Title: the Man of the Hollow Heart
Fandoms: Snow white and the huntsman/ the Hollow crown x-over
Main characters: prince Hal and Erik the Huntsman (neither is mine)
Author: well, me.
Warnings: slash in future chapters, graphic depictions of violence, and lots of mistakes.
Disclaimer: all what is written is done not for the profit, but for the pleasure of my wicked heart.
Rating: NC-17
Summary: Prince Hal, eldest son of the King, returns home after decade and a half spent in war campaigns to see his dying father. However, the welcoming reception he gets is far from what he had hoped for.



ClickCollapse )
 
 
Missis Joker
23 July 2012 @ 11:28 am
Title: When rules change
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar and multiple mistakes
Disclaimer: most of the characters are not mine, but all the mistakes are.



clickCollapse )



 
 
 
Missis Joker
05 July 2012 @ 12:35 am
Title: When rules change
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar and multiple mistakes
Disclaimer: most of the characters are not mine, but all the mistakes are.



USS Victoria Collapse )
 
 
Missis Joker
02 July 2012 @ 02:18 pm
Title: When rules change
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar and multiple mistakes
Disclaimer: most of the characters are not mine, but all the mistakes are.


USS Monterey


USS Monterey Collapse )
 
 
 
Missis Joker
11 June 2012 @ 12:33 am
Title: When rules change
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar and multiple mistakes
Disclaimer: most of the characters are not mine, but all the mistakes are.



What is the meaning of all this?Collapse )
 
 
 
Missis Joker
05 May 2012 @ 04:39 pm
Title: When rules change
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar and multiple mistakes
Disclaimer: most of the characters are not mine, but all the mistakes are.


Loki was captivated by the austere beauty of the ship.Collapse )
 
 
 
Missis Joker
27 April 2012 @ 12:40 am
Title: When rules change
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar and multiple mistakes
Disclaimer: most of the characters are not mine, but all the mistakes are.



The rays of the rising sun had barely touched the sky when Loki was woken up from his peaceful slumber by quiet knock on the door.Collapse )

 
 
Missis Joker
21 April 2012 @ 03:42 pm
Title: When rules change
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar and multiple mistakes
Disclaimer: most of the characters are not mine, but all the mistakes are.


As Loki followed the Captain he couldn't shake off the feeling that something was very very wrong.Collapse )

 
 
 
Missis Joker
14 April 2012 @ 01:15 pm
Title: When rules change (working title)
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar and multiple mistakes
Disclaimer: most of the characters are not mine


Chapter 2 part B


Loki was approximately 48 midgardian minutes late.Collapse )
 
 
Missis Joker
09 April 2012 @ 02:35 pm
Title: When rules change (working title)
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar and multiple mistakes
Disclaimer: most of the characters are not mine

Fill for the prompt from my dear accomplice [info]vardek   on Norse!Kink.
(I had a similar idea for a long time, so it was indeed a crime not to try to fill it *brow wiggle* )

Chapter 2 part A

The seconds of scientific exploration merged into minutesCollapse )
 
 
 
Missis Joker
04 April 2012 @ 01:20 am
Title: when rules change (working title!)
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar XD
Fill for the prompt from my dear accomplice [info]vardek   on Norse!Kink.
(I had a similar idea for a long time, so it was indeed a crime not to try to fill it *brow wiggle* )
Work is in progress, so I would be grateful for any ideas or criticism or pokes for mistakes ( work is unbetaed, so all mistakes are mine).

P.S. If you have an idea how to title it- please tell me, because all my titles are epic failures XD

Chapter 1 part B.

The humans never seized to surprise Loki.Collapse )
 
 
 
Missis Joker
29 March 2012 @ 02:46 pm
Title: When rules change (working title!)
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar XD

Fill for the prompt from my dear accomplice [info]vardek   on Norse!Kink.
(I had a similar idea for a long time, so it was indeed a crime not to try to fill it *brow wiggle* )
Work is in progress, so I would be grateful for any ideas or criticism or pokes for mistakes ( work is unbetaed, so all mistakes are mine).

P.S. If you have an idea how to title it- please tell me, because all my titles are epic failures XD

Chapter 1, part A

“Tell me again, agent Coulson, what am I doing here?”Collapse )
 
 
 
Missis Joker
27 March 2012 @ 02:46 pm
Title: when rules change (working title!)
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: bad grammar XD

Fill for the prompt from my dear accomplice [info]vardek   on Norse!Kink.
(I had a similar idea for a long time, so it was indeed a crime not to try to fill it *brow wiggle* )
Work is in progress, so I would be grateful for any ideas or criticism or pokes for mistakes ( work is unbetaed, so all mistakes are mine).

                                                                                      
                                                                                         Prologue


“What is war good for if you can not assure peace that should follow?”Collapse )

 
 
Missis Joker
16 March 2012 @ 02:48 am
Minifill for Norse!kink prompt

Title: After the fall
Author: MissisJoker
Warnings: violence

Whether it was day or night mattered not; the dungeon was dark and cold, hidden deep beneath the groundCollapse )

 
 
 
Missis Joker
Title: no title yet
Author: MissisJoker
Pairing: Tony/Loki, one-sided
Warnings: a bit of bad language

Tony glared at the villain towering menacingly in the middle of his penthouse.Collapse )