Fireangel76

My Writtings

Category: FrostIron (page 2 of 2)

All I have to give

“Steve I can do this on my own. You don´t need to walk me all the way.” Tony complained more than slightly annoyed by Steve´s company.

 

“I know you can Tony … it´s just …” Steve answered distraught; there was no right way to tell him what the problem was.

 

Tony frowned upset at Steve´s troubled expression and suddenly stopped. “All right. What´s wrong?”

 

“I … It´s just …” Steve rubbed his nape nervously struggling to find the right words.

 

“Come on Steve, spit it out!” Tony demanded losing his patience.

 

Steve sighed deeply before reluctantly telling him. “It´s just that … every time you two have talked I´ve ended up patching one of you guys up and …”

 

Tony raised his eyebrows surprised by Steve´s concerns. “Steve I promise you it won´t get to that this time.”

 

“I´ll just stay in the hallway, you´ll even forget I’m there.” Steve volunteered pleadingly; Tony´s reassurances didn´t comforted him at all.

 

“No, you are not!” Tony huffed vexed. “No, no, no! Don´t you dare give me the sad puppy eyes! Dammit Steve!” Tony nodded his head in disbelief. “I hate you when you do that!” He bit his lip anxiously trying to think of a solution. “All right! How about we do this? Jarvis will monitor the room and report any incident to you. “

 

Steve leaned his head down considering Tony´s offer. “No countermands?”

 

“Jarvis monitor Loki´s room and report any incidents to Captain Rogers. And Jarvis revoke my privileges on that specific order.”

 

“Understood Sir.” The A.I. agreed.

 

“You are not to interrupt us or share any audio or video feed with Cap. Are we clear?” Tony added adamantly.

 

“Definitely Sir. “Jarvis reported.

“There. Are you happy now?” Tony asked Steve with irony.

 

Steve pondered on it for a moment before reluctantly agreeing with a nod.

 

“Now … would you just leave me alone?” He asked impatiently.

 

“I guess.” Steve agreed unwillingly.

 

“Mommy and Daddy are just going to talk. Ok?” Tony mocked him. “Stop looking so worried!”

 

“I´m older than you!” Steve protested annoyed by Tony’s condescending comment.

 

“Frozen years’ don´t count.” Tony pointed out adamantly. “I´m older than you and Loki is older than both of us put together. That makes you the youngest person in this building. Now beat it!” Tony pointed to the elevator sternly.

 

“All right.” Steve agreed looking disgruntled. “But if something happens …”

 

“Jarvis will tell you.” Tony assured him firmly. “Now go! I´m serious. I can´t think with you here.”

 

“All right. I´ll leave.” Steve sighed defeated. “Just … don´t screw it this time.” He looked at Tony in hope for a second before stepping into the elevator.

 

“That´s the plan.” Tony agreed nodding his head affirmatively. That was the plan; although … he still had no idea of what he was going to say. I´m sorry and I´ll do my best sounded like empty words. They couldn´t be enough; not after all that had happened. How could they be enough? He needed to say something better than that. Loki deserved to hear something better than that. Something grand … he had no clue whatsoever what that actually meant. He thought it over and over pacing around silently; dismissing plan after plan.

 

After half an hour of arguing with himself he was again at Loki´s door. “Please! Just this once … let me do this right for once.” He mentally pleaded to whatever higher power was listening.

 

Taking a big breath, he gathered himself and knocked on the door. “Loki? Can I come in?” There was no reply; making the uneasy feeling on his stomach to grow. He forced himself to knock again. “Loki?”

 

“Come in.” Loki´s voice answered nonchalant.

 

As he entered the room he was met by a blunt question. “You made up your mind?”

 

“Yes, I …” He started to reply when Loki interrupted him impatiently.

 

“So, what’s it going to be? Stern looking eyes fixated on him.

 

“Will you just let me talk?” Tony asked annoyed by Loki´s impatience.

 

“Just say what you came here to say.” Loki replied. He didn´t want to drag matters any further. He just wanted to know; and if Tony’s reply was negative he just wanted it done as fast as possible.

 

“Will it kill you to let me do this my way?” Tony raised his voice angered by Loki´s attitude.

 

“I´m not in the mood for one of your speeches.” Loki replied swiftly.

 

“Too bad, cause I am.” Tony spat angrily before softening his tone. “I´m sorry … just … thi isn´t easy for me, just … just let me do this.”

 

“If there´s no other way.” Loki pouted angrily. It was so Tony to drag things over.

 

Tony sighed as he tried to gather his thoughts once again. “I´ve been thinking over and over about what you asked of me and … it would be easier If I just could fix this with a ridiculous expensive gift as I used to do before you … but, I know I can´t. And let´s face it, what could I possible get you that you couldn´t get yourself anyway? All of my fortune amount to nothing. That never happened to me before, but I never met someone like you before either…”

 

Loki listened frowning upset at Tony’s rambling. What was it that he was trying to tell him?

 

Tony noticed and huffed distraught. “I know; you want a straight answer … but I don´t have one. I´m what you see; messy, complicated, egoistic, certified genius but otherwise a complete asshole who can´t deal with his feelings and doesn´t have a clue about how to behave in a relationship. And I know I should´ve been there for you, and I´m sorry I wasn´t.”

 

Loki expression softened with Tony´s apology. At least it was something; even if he still had no clue where Tony was going with all his rambling.

 

“Anyway. I´ve been thinking this over and over and … I´m not sure I´ll ever be anything better than the man you see … I´ve searched my soul for something … anything … and the only thing that could make me a better man, the only thing I could give to you … it isn´t mine to give … not anymore at least.”

 

“For Odin´s bear Tony!” Loki spat vexed. “What are you trying to say?”

 

“The only thing I could give to you … my heart … it isn´t mine to give … not anymore.” Tony looked at Loki pleadingly with sorrowful eyes hoping with all his heart he would understand what he was trying to say.

 

Loki growled irked. “You mean to tell me you fell in love with someone else?” He was beyond furious.

 

“What? No!” Tony exclaimed surprised. “God, I suck at this!” He exclaimed distraught before attempting to explain himself again. “I can´t give you my heart because it´s already yours. It has always been yours! Ever since I clumsily flirted with you for the first time it´s been yours.” He had approached Loki´s bed during his explanation. As he ended his sentence he held Loki´s hand in his own trembling hands. Leaning his cheek into the warmth of Loki´s hand he closed his eyes for an instant. Loki closed his eyes too; overwhelmed. It was the first time they had touched each other in months, not a casual touch; but genuinely touched each other. When Tony opened his eyes again he looked up at Loki´s with overflowing tears. “I´m sorry I haven´t been enough …” His voice broke; fighting his tears he continued. “I´m sorry I´m half the man I should´ve been. I´m sorry I let you down.” He took a deep breath. “I´m sorry we had to come to this for me to realize that the reason I´ve felt so lost all this months, the reason I´ve been so heartless … was that … my heart was missing …” Loki looked into Tony’s eyes attentively with glistering eyes as a turmoil of emotions ran through his head. “You are my heart.” Tony declared adamantly leading Loki´s hand to his beating chest. “Loki, you are my heart. And I pushed you away because it hurt too much.” He couldn´t go on.

 

“Tony …” Loki said with concern, he had never seen him cry like that before.

 

“No … just let me do this.” Tony nodded his head negatively sniffling. “I can do this.” He told him vehemently staring right into his eyes. “I can do this.”

 

“Yes, you can.” Loki smiled at him with understanding between his own tears.

 

“I´ll never be a better man without you, I know it now. I´ll never push you away again. I promise. It doesn´t matter how much it hurts … I´ll never do it again. No pain will ever be as bad as living without you. I know it isn´t much just … please just stay with me.”

 

“Off course I will you … stupid man” Loki hugged him tightly. “You just had to ask.”

 

“I´m sorry.” Tony whined still holding Loki desperately against himself.

 

“I know.” Loki answered sniffling. “We can´t go back to what we were …”

 

“I know, I´m sorry.” Tony interrupted him afraid of his next words.

 

“But we can start anew.” He offered in hope.

 

“I think I´d like that …” tony asseverated relieved. Loosening his embrace to look into Loki´s face he jokingly asked. “Does that mean I can woo you again … my lucky charm?”

 

Loki raised his eyebrows amused by Tony’s reference to that cheesy attempt of a pickup line. “That didn´t worked then and it won´t work now either.”

 

“What do you mean it didn´t worked then?” Tony asked baffled as he frowned. “I thought it had.”

 

“Absolutely not, you just were lucky that I felt sorry for you after Doom tried to obliterate you for using that lame pick up line on me.” Loki informed him plainly before scolding him. “It was the most foolish thing you ever did.”

 

“Nevertheless it worked.” Tony volunteered shamelessly. “You were the best nurse I ever had.” He half-bit his lip mischievously. “Care to play doctor?”

 

“What?! Do you think that after all you made me go through I´m just going to …” Tony silenced Loki´s protests pulling him into a heartfelt kiss.

 

“God, I missed you!” Tony confessed with a relief sigh before hurriedly apologizing. “I´m sorry … I just couldn’t help myself. I´ll understand if you want to take it slo ….” It was his turn to be interrupted as Loki hungrily kissed him back. “I thought you ..” Tony volunteered confused when Loki stopped for air.

 

“Oh, just shut up!” Loki scolded him jokingly as eh pulled him into another ardent kiss.

 

It wouldn´t be easy, there was still much to be said, many explanations and apologies to be made … so many. But it could wait. For a single moment in time they could forget about it. It could all wait.

 

Meanwhile in the living room. “Jarvis are you sure everything is all right?” Steve asked anxiously for the hundredth time.

 

“Yes, Sir. I can assure you there hasn´t been any undesirable incidents.” Jarvis volunteered dryly.

 

Steve could almost swear he had heard a hinge of irony in the A.I. voice. “all right. I guess they finally patch it up this time.” An hour and a half had gone by since he had left tony in the medical level.

 

Suddenly a virtual screen lit up. “Clint!” Steve smiled at the welcomed interruption. “I thought you were arriving tonight. Will you be arriving sooner?”

 

“I´m afraid not Steve. This business turned out to be more complicated than what we had originally thought. How fast can Tony, Loki and you join us?”

 

“I … don’t know.” Steve frowned upset. Loki was better but in no shape to go on a mission or stay by himself. And he was pretty sure Tony wouldn´t leave him behind anyway. “Give me a moment I´ll get back to you.” Whit that he cut the connection. He frowned in deep thought before raising his voice again. “Jarvis patch me to Tony.”

 

“Sir, I must remind you Mr. Stark left precise instructions about …” Jarvis informed him.

 

“I know Jarvis, but this is important. I need to talk to him.” Steve asked as gently as he could.

 

“As you wish Sir.” Jarvis reluctantly agreed. “The channel is open.”

 

“Thank you Jarvis” Steve quickly thanked him. “Tony …”

 

“Fuck Steve! What the hell?!” Tony´s voice sounded vexed between the panting that could be overheard in the background.

 

Steve face palmed himself embarrassed; even if it was only an audio channel he could picture exactly what the scene looked like. “I´m sorry, it´s important.” He regretted convincing Jarvis to make the call.

 

“It better be…” Tony warned him irked by the interruption. Loki´s laugh could be overheard; clearly he was amused by the whole situation.

 

“Clint called. He needs help. I´m taking the Quinjet.” Steve informed him as fast as he could. He just didn´t wanted them to get the wrong impression by leaving so abruptly.

 

“All right. All right. Is that all?” Tony asked anxiously.

 

“Yes, I´m sorry for the interruption. I just didn´t wanted to worry you.” Steve volunteered abashed.

 

“forget about it! And I mean it Steve!” Tony told him sternly. “Jarvis close the channel and don´t open it again until I say so! With those last words the communication went dead.

 

Steve remained silent. At least he knew they would be all right by themselves. A mission after all could be the best thing to keep the matter out of his head. He took a deep breath; pulling himself together he asked Jarvis. “Patch me to Clint, please!”

 

“Right away Sir!” Jarvis agreed almost mockingly; Steve was beginning to wonder if Tony had been messing around with its programming lately. “Clint. I think you will have to settle with me for the moment.” He informed him calmly.

 

“What?  Why? Where are Tony and Loki?” He asked puzzled.

 

“Umm, they are … otherwise engaged.” Steve volunteered doubtfully.

 

“Oh! The love birds finally patched up.” Clint offered jokingly.

 

“Umm, yes.” Steve agreed feeling awkward.

 

“That´s what I call bad timing; but I’m glad they finally did. I´m sending you the coordinates.” He acknowledged mockingly.

 

“Where am I going?” Steve asked with curiosity.

 

“Russia.” Clint volunteered with a smirk.

 

“Why?” Steve asked interested; while wondering what could be the assignment.

 

“Well … that´s the part where it gets complicated.” Clint answered rubbing his chin pensively. “We are … kind of … after a ghost.”

 

“What do you mean a ghost?” Steve asked puzzled while Clint volunteered plainly. “Umm … have you heard of … the Winter Soldier?”

 

The End ….?

To be continued in “Till The End of The Line”

If you loved him

Steve was washing the dishes from breakfast when Tony suddenly showed up. For a moment they both ignored each other until Steve heard a familiar sound that made him turn around. The sound of a can being opened; a beer.

 

“How´s the headache?” He asked with irony knowing Tony would have a very bad one due to all his drinking the day before.

 

“Don´t even pretend you care.” Tony spitefully answered as he leaned the cold can into a sore temple. It was only a momentary release but he relished in the cold sensation.

 

“I wouldn´t have asked if I didn´t.” Steve volunteered sternly. Why did everything had to be so difficult with him?

 

“You have a strange way of showing it. Kissing my boyfriend on one side …. knocking me out on the other.” Tony mocked him resentful.

 

Steve huffed upset biting his lip he looked down. “I´m sorry for both. It won´t happen again. I know this doesn´t mean much to you right now but I´m truly sorry I betrayed your trust. It´s just … “ He nodded his head negatively clearly distraught “Solitude is a bad counselor.” He looked up at Tony; repentance in his eyes.

 

“Forgive me if I don´t trust the man that just a few hours told me he would steal my boyfriend from me if he had the chance.” Tony pointed out wryly.

 

“What is it that you want Tony? You want to take another shot at me? Scream at me? Just tell me what you want and get it out of your system.” Steve raised his voice frustrated before warning him sternly. “Just don´t make me your excuse for not dealing with Loki. You really don´t have the time for that.”

 

“Really? Why wouldn´t I have the time?” Tony asked with irony. “Maybe you already have a plan, isn´t that right Captain?”

 

“Fine. You don´t want my apology; fine. I´m not playing this game with you Tony. You can believe whatever you want but the only thing standing between you and Loki is yourself. I won´t interfere anymore.” With those final words he directed himself to the kitchen door.

 

“Why?” Tony asked loudly stopping Steve on his tracks.

 

“Why, what?” Steve asked baffled as he turned around.

 

“Why not stand between us?” Tony asked nonchalant. Shrugging his shoulders, he continued calmly. “Obviously Loki likes you … or he wouldn´t have kissed you back.”

 

“He didn´t …” Steve tried to tell him wrong.

 

“Don´t lie to me Steve. I saw both of you remember? I might be selfish but not stupid … and I know him better than he thinks.” He took a sip of his beer, he felt so thirsty.

 

“I don´t know what is what you think you saw Tony but Loki loves you.” Steve assured him. “You can have my word on that.”

 

“For what it´s worth, I love him too.” Tony agreed wryly.  “But … he does like you and … you are a better man than me, you´ll always be … better.” Tony acknowledged somberly. “It would solve everyone´s problems.”

 

“What the hell are you saying?” Steve asked irked hoping he had misunderstood.

 

“You know what I´m saying Steve. Stop acting as you didn´t. “ Tony stared at him bluntly. “Loki can have a better man; one that won´t let him down. You can have Loki and I … I can keep doing whatever I want no strings attached.” Tony explained wryly, he had convinced himself that it was a solution. One he hated but a solution nonetheless.

 

“You are still drunk Tony. Go back to bed.” Steve dismissed him incapable of believing what he had just heard. “Sleep it off.”

 

“On the contrary my Captain. I´m quite sober … I can assure you.” Tony asseverated firmly before changing his tone to a more familiar one. “Come on Steve, you say it all the time. I´m a big screw up; and accident waiting to happen. He would be better off without me.”

 

“Loki is not a stray cat you can put up for adoption when it´s convenient.” Steve scolded him angered by Tony´s last remark.

 

“What is it Steve? Are you afraid of a little commitment? I thought you loved him.” Tony spat with irony.

 

“More than you at least.” Steve growled in return. Vexed he turned his back on him ready to leave; he had only taken a few steps when he returned to confront Tony. Irked he poked him strongly in his chest as he stated. “The real question here is if you love him.”

 

“Of course I love him.” Tony asseverated offended. “Do you think it´s easy for me to give him up? I love him more than you can ever understand.”

 

“I don´t believe you.” Steve stated firmly. “I don´t think you even understand the meaning of the word Mr. I´m doing what’s best for everyone.”

 

“I do understand the meaning of the word, you … self-righteous popsicle! I do love him! And that´s why I want you to be with him!” Tony shrieked painfully.

 

“No, you don´t Tony.” Steve growled vexed. “You don´t desert the one´s you love because it´s too hard to love them. You don´t leave them because they would be better off without you. That´s what cowards do, they justify leaving just to make themselves feel better about not having what it takes to stay and fight. When you truly love someone you fight for them. You strive to become more than what you are; someone they can be proud of. You just don´t leave because it´s convenient. So no, I don´t believe you love Loki. I don´t believe you ever did.”

 

Steve´s words touched a nerve. “I don´t care what the fuck you think. I do love him!” Tony growled enraged.

 

“Then prove it!” Steve dared him defiantly.

 

“I…” Tony gasped thunderstruck. “I …” He frowned in deep thought.

 

“If you do love him probe it!” Steve dared him again sternly. “Go to him right now and tell him you made up your mind.”

 

Tony looked at Steve in amazement. Did he just used reverse psychology on him? “You almost had me there Cap. Do you think I wouldn´t notice?” He asked between irritated and amused.

 

Steve nodded his head in disbelief. “Tony … stop getting in your own way. You know you love him. Furthermore, you know you would be lost without him. Why on earth do you keep resisting?”

 

“I will screw up again, maybe not right away. But at some point; I just know I will.” Tony volunteered somberly.

 

“Yes, at some point you will.” Steve agreed, as Tony looked up at him baffled for his admission he continued. “It´s called life Tony. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you don´t.” As Tony remained quiet he continued. “He´s not asking you to always get it right Tony … after all … we are only humans. What he wants to know is that you won´t drop the ball again.”

 

Tony frowned for an instant considering Steve words before raising his brows as he mocked him. “Sports analogy Cap? Really? You are really going with that?”

 

“Stop being a dick Tony.” Steve admonished him with a smirk. Something told him he had finally gotten through this time.

What have I done?

Still furious Steve directed himself to the infirmary. Only when he stood in front of Loki’s door he stopped anxiously as the full realization of what had just happened hit him.

 

“What have I done?” He asked himself mentally as he drove his hands to his temples distraught. “What have I done?” He asked himself over and over as he paced around the hallway in a futile effort to make sense of his last actions.

“What do I do know? The question stopped him dead on his tracks; he cursed himself mentally. “I have to tell Loki.” Taking a deep breath, he entered the room down casted. “Loki?” He asked as a scared child about to confess his misgivings.

 

“Steve?” Loki asked sleepily before taking a good look at him. “What happened?” He exclaimed both surprised and worried looking at Steve´s noticeable bruised cheek.

 

“I screwed up.” Steve confessed disappointed. “I think I made things even worse than they were.”

 

He looked so guilty. What could´ve happened? Loki questioned himself mentally before motioning Steve to his side. “Tell me what happened.”

 

Steve acceded discouraged as he heavily sat in the chair next to Loki´s bed. “He saw us … Tony … he saw us kiss.” The words hurt more than he had thought they would. What had he been thinking? Right … he wasn´t.

 

Loki gasped surprised, even if he had toyed with the idea of cheating on Tony to punish him this wasn´t exactly what he had thought of. He didn´t felt guilty as Steve did, not really. He was still to hurt to care about that; maybe once things got better … if they ever did. What he hadn´t factor in was Steve´s reaction; he looked extremely anguished. He may not love him even if he was earning a place in his heart quickly but he hadn’t meant to hurt him nor get him trapped in the crossfire between Tony and himself.

 

“He did this to you?” He asked gently as he tilted Steve´s down casted face to examine him. “He used that cursed gauntlet of him.” He snarled disapprovingly, knowing by own experience the damage it inflicted. “I´m going to give that man a piece of my mind.” He spat angrily as he attempted to get of the bed.

 

“No, wait!” Steve pleaded frightfully. “Don´t make this worse. I told him that … that it was my fault; that I was the one that kissed you believing there was something there when it wasn´t. Let him believe that … it´s the truth anyway.” He ended with a depressing sigh.

 

“You did what?” Loki inquired baffled. “You lied? For me?”

 

“Of course I did. What did you expect? That I was going to betray you? This is my fault anyway I should never have said anything to you. I started this by believing I could have something that wasn´t mine to have. Let him be angry at me, he´s right I betrayed him.” He lowered his head again sulked fighting with conflicted feelings.

 

“I … I can´t believe you lied.” Loki said softly mostly to himself. He didn´t recalled him lying before. He felt conflicted.

 

“What´s a lie to the God of lies?” Steve answered in a whisper. “It´s done anyway.”

 

“Steve I´m sorry. If I knew this would happen …” Loki apologized, he did felt guilty although not about the cheating … at least not yet.

 

“You would´ve done it anyway.” Steve acknowledged. “I should´ve known better.”

 

“I was the one that kissed you.” Loki reminded him sternly.

 

“Only because I … I opened a door a shouldn´t have. It´s just … if you offer a raft to a castaway he will take it; never mind the consequences.” Steve admitted painfully.

 

“I´m a raft?” Loki asked intrigued by Steve’s´ words.

 

“Forget about it.” Steve said with an ever deeper sigh. “I miss him …” By the tone in his voice Loki knew he was fighting unshed tears. “Maybe too much.”

 

Loki´s heart ached at his words. He knew exactly what Steve meant … the pain, the longing, the hopelessness, the horrifying notion that you will never be loved that way again. Tears were streaming from his eyes before he could prevent them provoked by the acute pain he felt in his chest; a pain he now knew mirrored Steve´s. That´s why he felt such a connection with him, in a way they were both lost hoping for someone to save them from themselves.

 

It was his sob that made Steve look up; for an instant they just looked at each other acknowledging just how much pain their hearts felt. When Steve´s own sob escaped from his lips it undid them. Desperate they search comfort in each other’s arm as they cried about their own miseries.

 

As they both calmed down Loki examined Steve´s bruise closer. “That brute! Look what he did to you!” He frowned upset even if he knew it would fade in a couple of hours.

 

“I think you could say it was a draw.” Steve volunteered as he bit his lower lip trying not to smile.

Loki looked at him questioningly.

 

“Umh … I kind of knocked him out with a stapler.” Steve blurted out unable to stop laughing.

 

“You did what?” Loki looked at him shocked, even if he felt a bit concerned about Tony he couldn´t stop himself from laughing as he pictured the scene.

 

They both laughed for a minute or two shedding all the tension that had built before.

 

“I can´t believe you actually did that.” Loki acknowledged “He´s all right, isn´t him?”

 

“Yes, I made sure he was.” Steve asseverated with conviction. “I even bandage his wrist … uh … he hurt it when he fell.” What did one more lie mattered? “Although …” He quieted suddenly.

 

“He´s drinking again isn´t he?” Loki volunteered, Steve´s expression was easy to read like Thor´s.

 

“How can you stand it?” Steve inquired baffled.

 

“It didn´t used to be this bad.” Loki admitted. “Sometimes it was the only sign I had that he still cared.”

 

“He does care Loki, but he´s so bad at showing it it´s frightful.” Steve tried to comfort him.

 

“Not all … Steve are you sure you are all right?” Loki interrupted himself in mid-sentence; he thought he had seen Steve wincing slightly.

 

“It´s nothing. I´ll be fine in the morning.” Steve dismiss it.

 

“I’ll be the judge of that. Now let me see.” Loki demanded sternly.

 

“But …” Steve complained.

 

“Steve, now!” Loki commanded him with a frown in his face.

 

Steve sighed displeased. “You know this is how it all started. What if Tony is watching us right now?”

 

“I´ll deal with my jealous boyfriend. Now show me!” He ordered him sternly.

 

Unwilling to upset Loki Steve raised his shirt reluctantly. A large purple bruise marked the spot where Tony´s propulsor ray had hit him.

 

“Tell me again why I don´t choose you over Tony?” Loki joked wryly as he nodded displeased at the new found injury.

 

“Because you love him?” Steve volunteered gingerly

 

“Well, yes. There´s that.” Loki acknowledged emotionless before frowning as he helped Steve to set his shirt back in its place. “It´s hard to like him when he does stuff like this. I´m truly sorry Steve. I didn´t meant for you to get hurt.”

 

Steve shrugged his shoulders “He´s jealous; I really can´t blame him.”

 

“Why not?” Loki asked intrigued, if he was in his place he would be angry at least.

 

“Don´t ask me that. You know the answer already” Steve volunteered shyly.

 

“Steve I …” Loki looked at him worryingly unsure of what to tell him.

 

“It´s all right. I guess I always knew you would choose him.” He admitted sadly

 

“I could change my mind and choose you.” Loki offered, he just wanted to make Steve feel better somehow even if it wasn´t the truth.

 

“No, you wouldn´t.” Steve painfully admitted. “You don´t have to lie to me. I know it, you know it. Probably the only person that doesn´t knows it is Tony.”

 

“Steve I…” Loki felt at loss, there really wasn´t anything he could do to make feel Steve better.

 

“Either way I told Tony I wouldn´t stand between you two. Unless … you want me to.” Steve told him against all his instincts, it was futile, he knew it, but he didn´t wanted to leave anything unsaid, not anymore, not ever again. He looked into Loki´s eyes in hope of an answer he knew would never arrive. Loki stared into his eyes for a moment before adverting his gaze.

 

“There’s your answer. “He volunteered disappointed.

 

“I´m sorry Steve. If I could …” If he could he would wipe all the sadness from his face, but he couldn´t.

 

“It´s all right. I already told you. As long as you are happy that´s enough for me.” Steve smiled sadly at him; suddenly he changed his tone. “I might have said Tony something I shouldn´t have.”

 

Loki looked at him questioningly. “What did you said?”

 

“That he ever screwed up I would steal you from him.” Steve confessed embarrassed almost ashamed.

 

Loki opened his mouth surprised. “I might hold you to that.” He finally volunteered to Steve jokingly.

 

“I was hoping you would.” Steve replied warmly. That was all he had, maybes and what ifs … somewhere in his heart he knew Loki would never be his.

Jelous

Steve went to Tony´s lab quite sure he would be able to find him there and he did. Maybe it was the fact he was starting to feel guilty about what had just happened with Loki, it might have been the fact that Tony seemed awfully concentrated on fixing something on his right glove while he was wearing it but whatever the reason he had approached Tony stealthy almost silently.

 

“Tony …” He called him distractedly.

 

Without any warning Tony closed the gap between them in one swift jump over the table and taking advantage of an unsuspecting Steve threw a punch to his face with his gauntlet arm.

 

Steve fell to the ground tackled by a raging Tony who tried to hit him again. The second stroke came from Tony´s bare hand giving Steve an opportunity to block the next punch. Seizing the gauntlet to avoid being hit again Steve rolled Tony pinning him effectively under him.

 

“Are you out of your freaking mind?” Steve howled furiously.

 

“Sanctimonious bastard! You kissed him! I saw you!” Tony spat vexed.

 

Steve gasped surprised. “It´s not what you think!” He couldn´t tell him the truth. The truth wouldn´t help him this time.

 

“It´s not what I think? Don´t try to deny it! I saw both of you through the surveillance system.” Tony yelled enraged as he kept trying to escape from Steve´s grip.

 

“You were spying on us?” Steve inquired baffled. How much had he seen?

 

“I wanted to see if he was all right. I was worried. And guess what I saw, the two of you kissing … and you´re trying to tell me I imagined it?” He growled furiously. “What sick game are you playing Steve?”

 

“I never …” Steve uttered confused. What could he tell him? As he tried to think of something Tony managed to loosen his armored arm and fired a repulsor blast against his unprotected ribs. The blast knocked Steve a few meters away as he forced himself to raise up despite the pain he felt on his injured side he noticed Tony walking towards him ready to fire another blast. Swiftly he jumped behind the nearest desk avoiding being hit by barely a second.

 

“Tony wait! Just listen to me!” Steve yelled from behind the desk while he quickly scanned his surroundings; he needed something to defend himself, anything.

 

“Why would I do that?” Tony shouted at him while looking for the best angel to shoot at him again. “You are trying to steal my boyfriend.”

 

“Tony come on just listen to me, I´m not playing any games. I wouldn´t have talked you into meeting with Loki if I was. I made a mistake ok? A stupid mistake! I´m not trying to steal your boyfriend. Just let me explain.” He tried to reason with him as he grabbed a stapler that had felt to the floor, he grinned wryly at it, he had hoped for something better. He had one chance and one alone, a stapler wasn´t much but with the perfect aim.

 

“I don´t know.  Maybe you´ve been spending too much time with Natasha. All that double agent crap … I don´t know Steve. I wouldn´t have believed it if I hadn´t seen you.” Tony rambled, it bothered him that part of what Steve said made sense. “But I did.”

 

Steve huffed distraught. “I know you did … you didn’t imagine that. I´m sorry. It happened but it´s not what you think.” He acknowledged mortified.

 

“Backstabbing traitor! “Tony fired his propulsor enraged by Steve´s guilty admission. Steve had been expecting it; as he jumped to the next desk for cover he threw the stapler against Tony´s head.

 

In the next moments the only sound Steve could hear was the beat of his own heart. Carefully he peeked around from his new hiding place. From the corner of his eye he noticed a boot; Tony´s boot. He jumped out and nervously checked Tony for breathing and pulse. When he found both he sighed relieved; the only visible wound was a red mark on Tony´s forehead where the stapler had hit him.

 

Steve sat demoralized next to Tony his face buried between his hands. “What am I going to do?” He questioned himself mentally over and over. Maybe he wasn´t the one that had kissed Loki … this time but he would have to fix it whatever it took. Rubbing a still sore cheek he looked at Tony´s gauntlet. “I´d better get rid of this first”

 

As he removed the gauntlet from Tony’s armed he gasp surprised; he had a very recognizable hand patter bruise around his wrist. He squinted as he touched it, it didn’t seem broken but it was swollen. Undoubtedly it was painful.

 

“I´d better patch him up now that I can.” He reasoned doubting Tony would give him the chance once he regained consciousness; not that he would blame him. He went for the first aid kit they kept on the lab. Once at Tony’s side again he asked Jarvis out loud. “Jarvis, can you scan Tony for any fractures? Specifically, his right wrist and head. As he waited for the A.I. diagnosis Steve stared at Tony´s unconscious form worryingly.

 

“There are no factures, a mild concussion and a muscle sprain Sir.” Jarvis reported after a few moments.

 

“Thank God!” Steve uttered relieved. He then proceeded to take care of the strain wrist; when he finished bandaging it he looked at Tony´s head; it didn´t seemed it needed any bandages. When he finished he took special care of gather every item of the first aid kit worried Tony could use any of them as a weapon. Once he had finished he sat again near tony while he wondered what to tell him. He was still in deep thought when Tony woke up suddenly.

 

“What?!” He tried to get up quickly as he rubbed his hurting forehead getting dizzy in the process.

 

“Wait Tony! Take it easy. You were out for a couple of minutes.” Steve hurried to him steading him gently against the desk.

 

Tony smacked Steve helping hand aside as he wryly scolded him. “And who´s fault is that?”

 

“You didn’t give me much choice.” Steve complained sternly.

 

“You kissed my boyfriend.” Tony reminded him angrily. “You … bandage my wrist?” Tony spat surprised noticing the wrapping on his right arm.

 

“Yes.” Steve admitted dryly.

 

“Why on earth would you do that? We are fighting! I took a shot at you …” Tony rambled annoyed.

 

“Several as a matter of fact.” Steve volunteered despondent. “I guess I deserved that after all.”

 

“No, no, no. You are not doing that. You have no right to do that.” Tony growled vexed.  “I´m angry at you. You have no right to place nice.”

 

“I just want you to listen to me. You can take a shoot at me afterwards if you still want to. Just let me try to explain.” Steve volunteered downhearted.

 

“Just because you did a good job with my wrist. Don´t hold your hope, I really want to kill you right now … as soon as my head stop hurting.” Tony agreed reluctantly. “So, what do you have to say for yourself?”

 

Steve sighed. “Well …”

 

“Stop right there, If I´m going to listen to you I need something to drink. Get me that bottle over there.” Tony interrupted him wryly.

 

“But you just had a mild concussion …” Steve protested

 

“Thank you Dr. Rogers for your input. Now handle me that bottle before I fetch it myself and throw it against your traitorous head.”

 

“Fine.” Steve sighed upset. He knew Tony wasn´t kidding. He gave Tony the bottle reluctantly and sat an arm and a half away from him leaning into the same desk.

 

“So …?” Tony inquired impatiently as he gave his first sip.

 

“I … I thought I saw something that wasn´t there. I´ve always liked Loki …” Steve acknowledge discouraged.

 

“Ah-ha!” Tony exclaimed triumphant. “I knew it!”

 

“Are you going to let me explain or not?” Steve questioned Tony irked by his childish reaction.

 

“Go on.” Was Tony´s nonchalant response.

 

“I mainly avoided contact with him cause … well he is your boyfriend but these past days … with everything that happened … we´ve been spending a lot of time together … and just now … you made him upset again … I thought I saw something … I thought … and I did something utterly foolish I kissed him … “

“Did you …?” Tony asked upset sternly eyeing Steve.

“Did we …?” Steve first asked not understanding what Tony meant; but when Tony just tilted his head raising his eyebrows exasperated for his delayed answer. “What? No! I swear … it was only a kiss. “

 

“It looked more than just a kiss.” Tony volunteered upset.

 

“It wasn´t … I´d never …” Steve claimed anxious. How much would Tony had saw?

 

“Why not?” Tony asked with a frown. “He´s not good enough for you? Just someone to snuggle when you feel lonely? Do you feel good about yourself? Taking advantage of him?”

 

“You are such an ass!” Steve coursed angrily. “Because he loves you stupid, that´s why not!” After a few seconds he spoke again in a low tone. “And because I hope that you love him back. I´ll never have what you two have. You are the only one that can make him happy.” Steve confessed sullen.

 

There it was again that melancholic tone of someone who knows lose. It had softened Tony´s heart the first time he had heard it but this time he refused to let it affect him. “You´re so full of crap Steve! I don´t care what you delude yourself into thinking … you took advantage of him. You don´t even love him! Not like I do.”

 

Steve stood up too angry to remain sited. “Thank God I don’t” He spat furiously. “He was raped and you just let him fence for himself because you felt too guilty to dealt with it.” He clenched his firsts irked. “” If I hadn´t been in the house yesterday you would´ve killed him. Don´t you dare preach me about love, you selfish bastard!”

 

He walked away; after a few steps he walked right back. “He asked me to tell you that you have until tomorrow night to make up your mind.” He walked away again with Tony’s words biting at his heart he turned back to warn him vexed. “If you ever screw up like this again. I will steal Loki from you!” Slamming the lab´s door he stormed away.

 

“Maybe I should just let him.” Tony wryly told himself as he took another sip before clumsily standing up. He directed himself to his room, his mind was too clouded to think.

Temptation

As Tony walked out of the room Steve turned his head right. He didn´t wanted to eavesdrop on the couple but he wasn´t comfortable leaving them completely alone after all that had happened. He had settled on sitting down on the farthest corner of the corridor in case he had to intervene again.

 

When Tony finally walked out Steve could see him protectively nursing his right wrist with a concerned frown on his face. He stood up quickly as Tony walked absentminded right in front of him.

 

“Tony?” He called worryingly.

 

Tony looked back at him startled by his presence. For a moment he opened his mouth as if he was to say something but at the last moment refrain from saying a word and just huffed upset as he walked out of the medical level.

 

Steve watched him leave with a heavy heart. Things didn´t seemed to have gone right. Next he walked into Loki´s room startling him.

 

“Steve? How?” He spat surprised then frowned upset “Were you eavesdropping on us?”

 

“No!” Steve defended himself quickly. “I … I stayed on the corridor as far as I could … I was worried something could happen … and … I saw Tony leave. What happened?” He couldn´t conceal the concern in his voice.

 

“I gave him an ultimatum.” Loki told him with an air of self-satisfaction. “Either he stands by me side or he doesn´t at all. I can´t him wavering anymore.”

 

“You did what? I can´t believe it! What did he say?” Steve asked baffled by Loki´s response.

 

“Nothing yet.” Loki volunteered calmly. “I asked him to think about it. I want him to be sure about his decision.” Next he changed his tone. “When are the rest of the team coming back?”

 

“According to Clint tomorrow night … at least him and Natasha. I´m not sure about the rest.” Steve told him shrugging his shoulders.

 

“All right.” Loki sighed. “Then I guess he has until tomorrow night to make up his mind. I´d like to keep this incident … private.”

 

Steve looked at him confused, how did he planned to do that?

 

“You should tell him that.” Loki added snapping him out of his thoughts.

 

“Ah … umh … all right.” He agreed absently.

 

“What´s wrong Steve?” Loki asked reading the confusion on his face.

 

“I … I´m just surprised you did that. I thought you wanted tony back no matter what.” Steve dryly pointed as he withdraws his real question.

 

“I thought that too.” Loki agreed pensively. “I really hadn’t realized it until now … “He raised his head to look at Steve as he added. “He might be wrong about a lot of things; but I think he is right when he says I deserve better. Now he just has to figure out if he wants to become that sort of man.”

 

Steve nodded affirmatively as he considered it. Next he asked. “How´s your arm?”

 

“Still sore, but better.” Loki acknowledged, this time he was sitting up without any discomfort.

 

“Seems you are starting to heal faster.” Steve pointed out relieved.

 

Loki examined his arm briefly and smiled. “I´ve had an outstanding nurse.” He bowed his head slightly thanking Steve.

 

Steve blushed at his compliment embarrassed as he bowed back. “Then I guess I should check on the rest of your wounds or I would be neglecting my duties. I think I should start with your eye.” He walked towards Loki right to examine it.

 

“It seems it …” Without any warning Loki pulled him into an ardent kiss. Steve widened his eyes surprised before he was swooned away by Loki´s kiss. When Loki loosen his grip on him to get some air he tried to ask. “But … Tony …” Without any delay Loki threw his arms around his neck and pulled him into another kiss to silence his words. This time he leaned down into the bed taking Steve down with him. Taken by surprise by the sudden position change Steve barely steadied himself leaning his arms into the bed. When a muffled moan escaped his lips Loki smirked and tried to pull him into the bed with him. He pulled too hard too fast with a disastrous result; feeling unbalanced Steve´s instincts told him to roll with such bad luck he rolled himself out of the bed taking Loki down with him. By some miracle neither of them had got entangled with Loki´s IV. The scene was hilarious Steve sprawled on the floor while he tried to catch his breath back as Loki laid on top of him staring worryingly at Steve´s red frowned face. When Steve finally looked up and found Loki´s eyes upon him he couldn´t help to laugh.

 

“You scared me!” Loki scolded him first, then joined him laughing as he realized just how silly they looked. After a while he leaned to kiss Steve again. This time Steve closed his eyes. “If this is a dream I never want to wake up.”

 

Feeling Steve responding to his kiss Loki blindly reached for his crotch with his healthy ARM. Steve gasped surprised. “No … wait!”

 

“Why?” Loki replied with a confused frown on his face. “I thought this is what you wanted.”

 

“More than anything.” Steve confessed which encourage Loki to try again. Steve panted. “But … not like this.”

 

“Like this, how?” Loki inquired both concerned and intrigued.

 

“Not to get back at Tony for whatever he has told you.” Steve replied with a frown; he looked at the distance as he regretfully added. “I don’t want you to regret this in the morning.”

 

“I´ll regret nothing.” Loki adamantly told him working his way down again as he nibbled on Steve´s neck.

 

Steve huffed; it was taking all of his will not to give into Loki’s loving ministrations. “You just said he has until tomorrow.” He spat swiftly.

 

Loki stopped dead. “Yes … I did.”

 

“Wait until then … if … if you still want me then I´ll be yours.” Steve sighed, he knew that it wouldn´t happen, not if Tony …

 

“Why wait?” Loki asked mildly angered. Mischievously he breathed into Steve´s neck making the younger man shiver. “You know you want this.” What did it mattered what he had said?

 

Steve tensed up, if Loki kept going he would lose his resolve. Huffing he begged him. “To be yours … yes. But not like this. Not to get back at him … please, not like your plaything.”

 

His desperate tone made Loki look back into his eyes, those blue eyes that looked at him with such yearning they now looked at him pleadingly, glistering.

 

“If you still want me after Tony and you have talked, I´ll be yours.” Steve kept reassuring him.

 

Loki frowned upset. “You make it sound as if you were expendable.”

 

“Am I not?” Steve asked rueful. “If you and Tony weren´t fighting you would´ve never noticed me.” He looked away conflicted. “you never noticed me before.”

 

“Steve that’s not…” Loki complained abashed.

 

“Don´t try to deny it.” Steve demanded softly turning his gaze back at him. “I knew it since the beginning.” He smiled wryly almost shamefaced. “I´m just your way out in case … in case things don’t work out with Tony. Why else would you have given him a chance?”

 

Loki didn´t knew what to answer to that.

 

“It doesn’t matter. I´m fine with it.” Steve admitted looking morose.

 

“Why didn´t I noticed you before?” This time he asked out loud. Everything would be different if he had fallen in love with Steve instead of Tony.

 

Steve opened his mouth surprised by Loki´s question. Frowning he answered it. “You wouldn´t have liked me back then.”

 

“You mean before the serum?” Loki asked intrigued.

 

“I was too skinny … weak.” Steve admitted.

 

Why would he go back so far? Loki questioned himself mentally when it hit him. Because tony wasn´t around back then. He genuinely though he would never notice him with Tony around. “Do you really think that´s all I´m attracted to?” Loki asked between amused and annoyed. There was something really cute about Steve´s lack of self-confidence.

 

“No … I´m sorry. I didn’t mean. I know you don´t. You wouldn´t …” He snapped his mouth shut hiding his face with his hands abashed as he cursed himself for being stupid.

 

Loki looked at him attentively, sighing he kindly told him. “You can say it. I wouldn´t have dated Doom. I agree; I wasn´t with him for his looks.”

 

Steve apologized ashamed. “I´m sorry, I didn´t meant to.”

 

“It´s all right Steve.” Loki reassured him. “I know you didn´t meant anything by it. How about we change the subject?” Loki asked as he rested his head on Steve’s´ chest.

 

Steve looked at him flustered. What if Tony decided to come back?

 

“I´m still making you nervous?” Loki smirked amused as he listened to Steve’s´ rapid heartbeats.

 

“I … umh … shouldn’t we get of the floor?” He asked shyly as he turned into a darker shade of red.

 

“I´m comfortable here.” Loki stated nonchalant before looking back at Steve who know looked even more conflicted. “All right.” He finally conceded. “You win. If you promise not to knock us down again we can get back into bed.”

 

“I didn´t meant to.” Steve answered pouting slightly. “and I think it would be better if you alone got back into bed … for the moment.”

 

“You could still reconsider.” Loki flirted shamelessly with him.

 

“Please don´t tempt me.” Steve pleaded mentally feeling all of Loki´s weight over him. It was excruciating; so near, and so far at the same time. “Tomorrow you might change your mind.”

 

Loki looked kindly at him, after all he was right. He was angry at Tony and he wanted to hurt him back as he had hurt him. “You are right … as always. Don´t you get tired of doing the right thing all the time?”

 

“I wouldn´t be myself if I didn’t.” Steve confessed. “Besides it´s easy to do the right thing when it doesn´t cost you. “

 

“I guess so.” Loki admitted.

 

“The real challenge is doing it when it does.” Steve added with melancholy in his voice. “But I don´t regret it at all. As long as you are happy I´ll be all right.”

 

Loki was taken back by his words and effusively told him. “Whatever happens I want you to know … you are precious to me now. That won’t change.” He sat up allowing Steve to get off the floor.

 

“Uh … thank you?” He blushed even darker as he sat up.

 

“Thank you?” Loki inquired amused.

 

“I really don’t know what to say to something like that.” He admitted embarrassed.

 

“You don´t have to say anything.” Loki comforted him. “Will you stay with me tonight?” He asked worryingly; Steve´s presence was reassuring.

 

“As long as you stay on the bed and me in my chair I will.” Steve agreed raising up carrying Loki up with him. He smiled relieved he didn´t seemed so weightless now.

 

“What are you smiling at?” Loki asked bemused.

 

“Nothing. I´m just glad you are feeling better” Steve volunteered cheerfully. If Tony and Loki could find the way to be together again he would be heartbroken. Even so he thought; it would´ve been worth it. “I’ll just deliver your message to Tony and I´ll be right back.”

 

“Message?” Loki asked puzzled.

 

“About his deadline.” Steve reminded him.

 

“He dare to tell me I shouldn´t have save him.” Loki complained distraught to Steve who looked at him with understanding eyes.

Too Hard

Tony walked all the way down to the infirmary pensively. What could he say? That he was sorry? He really was, but somehow he doubted that it would be enough.

Finally, he arrived to Loki´s room. Nervously he raised his hand to knock on the door only to back it down quickly. He tried to do it again and ended pacing anxiously on the hallway for a couple of minutes trying to gather enough courage to walk in. Admonishing himself mentally, “This is ridiculous, just do it” swiftly he walked in.

When he did both Loki and Tony looked at each other startled by his entrance. Loki was the one that spoke first. “You finally decided to show up; I was beginning to wonder if you would.”

Tony squirmed uncomfortably, he already knew he wasn’t walking towards a warm welcome from the start. “I … I´m sorry.” He finally spat.

“For breaking my arm or my heart?” Loki asked wryly.

“Umh … both … I guess.” Tony admitted ashamed.

“You guess?” Loki asked annoyed.

“Come on Loki! You are not making this any easier.” Tony complained anguished.

“This is not supposed to be easy.” Loki told him harshly.

Tony sighed, he was right. “I´m not good at this sort of things, remember?”

“After all you have done you could at least try.” Loki reproached angrily.

“I know.” He admitted scratching his nape. “I´ve made a mess of things. I just … I didn´t … well, I still don´t know what to tell you.”

“That you don´t love me anymore. That should be easy.” Loki volunteered irked.

“I wish it was that easy.” Tony blurted out. “If I didn´t loved you anymore it wouldn´t hurt so much.”

Loki looked at him quizzically. So, did that meant he still loved him? Then … why? Sighing impatiently, he softened his tone and asked. “What hurts?”

“Everything. Being with you … being without you … knowing …” Tony tried to explain.

“Knowing what?” Loki asked hastily, all of Tony´s rambling was beginning to wear down his patience.

“That it was all my fault.” Tony finally confessed. “If I hadn´t allowed myself to get distracted …”

“What are you talking about?” Loki asked angrily. “I was the one distracting you!

“It wasn´t my first dance, I should´ve know better!” Tony raised his voice irked.

“Neither was mine!” Loki yelled at him in same vexed tone. “Do you forget who are you talking to?”

“You should´ve let me die!” Tony screamed at the top of his lungs in despair.

Loki looked at him too astonished to react; after a few seconds he asked incredulously. “What?”

“You should´ve let me die.” Tony repeated in a low tone while looking grimly to the ground. “You shouldn’t have saved me.”

Loki had never felt so rabidly angry at Tony before. “How you even dare to say that?”

“Because it is the truth.” Tony asseverated desperate. “If it wasn´t for me … he wouldn´t have …” He couldn´t even say it out loud.

“Raped me.” Loki ended his sentence venomously. “If we are finally going to talk about it; you could at least have the decency to say it out loud.”

“I can´t.” Tony acknowledged abashed as he nodded his head negatively.

“Coward!” Loki spat vexed.

Tony smiled wryly as he moved his head in approval. “You are finally figuring it out. Yes, I am weak and a coward.” Prodding at his own chest with both his hand he continued. “This is what you risked your life for. You deserve someone better, someone braver and stronger, someone who can protect you like Steve or your friends back in Asgard”

“I don´t want someone else.” Loki growled softly down casting his gaze.

“I know.” Tony scowled painfully. “That´s what makes it so hard. I really would like to be like that; but I´ not. “He acknowledged sorrowfully looking at his feet. “I don´t know how to be with you anymore; I really don´t know. As much as I try I can´t stop thinking about that day.”

“And you think I can?” Loki asked aggravated. “Do you think I can just forget what happened?”

“That´s not what I meant.” Tony tries to apologize knowing he’d just screwed it up.

“Then what did you meant?” Loki demanded exasperated.

“I´m just trying to tell you how I feel, I …” He walked timidly towards his bed. “I … I just …” He raised his hand with the intention, no the need to touch Loki´s cheek but stopped himself a few centimeters away. “I miss you so much.”

Loki tried to grab Tony´s hand and lead it the rest of its way to his face but Tony quickly retrieved. He looked frustrated. “I’m sorry … I don´t know if I´m strong enough.”

His sweet gesture followed by his negative and indecision left Loki confused and hurt. He frowned thinking of Tony´s word when the hurt turned into anger. “And who would know Tony? Who would know if you love me enough to help me get through this?”

“I´m sorry.” Tony nodded his head in denial, he didn´t felt he could. “It´s just too hard.”

“Too hard?” Loki couldn´t believe he actually had said it. Out of anger he snatched Tony´s wrist and pulled him near so they would be facing each other. “Do you want to know what hard is? How about being raped by someone you used to love? Someone who knows you so well … someone that knows exactly where your breaking points are. Someone who knows exactly what to do to terrify you … how´s that for hard?”

“Loki!” Tony tried to wriggle his wrist out of Loki´s grasp scared.

“And you know what the worst part is? That the one person you clung on to survive through it; that one person you strived to survive for … that person can´t even look you in the eyes afterwards because … it hurts too much!” He snarled at him through clenched teeth allowing all the anger he felt inside to surface.

“Loki, stop!” Tony shrieked in panic.

His scream snapped Loki out of his thoughts. The pain in his eyes, the fear … Loki let go of Tony´s wrist as quickly as he had grabbed it shocked.

Tony nursed his injured wrist appalled; he had never seen Loki that angry. He wished he could´ve taken all back. “I´m sorry.” He pleaded anguished. “Please, I want to try …”

Loki looked at him with a heavy heart. “Try, Tony? No. I can´t handle you just trying. I need to know. No, I want to know if I can trust you to be at my side no matter what. I´m sorry, but trying it´s just not good enough anymore.”

“Loki …” Tony tried to convince him.

“No, don´t say anything. I want you to think this through. You need to realize if you love me enough for us to get through this.” He calmly said while looking at Tony with sorrowful eyes. “I want you to figure out what you really want; but do it quickly before I take the decision for you.”

“What do you mean?” Tony asked frightened by his sudden calmness.

“You have your own thinking to do, and so do I.” Was Loki only answer. “I´m tired now, I´d like you to leave.”

“But …” Tony felt reluctant to leave.

“I won´t do anything foolish if that´s what you are concerned about.” Loki informed him. “I already promised Steve I wouldn´t. Please leave.”

“If that´s what you want.” Tony agreed defeated. Maybe Loki was right; trying wasn´t good enough anymore. He deserved better; now he had to figure out if he could give him what he deserved.

Ghosts

This time it was Steve who woke up first; as he stretched he mentally told himself while yawning. “I shouldn´t get used to this.” Next he looked at Loki who was still asleep. If he had his normal Asgardian strength his wounds would´ve been mostly healed by now. The delayed healing let Steve know just how weakened Loki was. With a disapproving sigh he carefully stood up and walked out.

He directed himself to the kitchen; once there he asked Jarvis. “Is Tony back yet?”

“No Sir.” The A.I. responded.

“Please inform me when he comes back Jarvis.” Steve requested patiently. “But not in front of Loki.”

“Certainly Sir.” Jarvis conceded.

It was late in the afternoon when Tony finally decided to turn up. Luckily Loki was asleep again when he did which allowed Steve to confront him.

“How dare you show up until now?” Steve reproached him vexed. He could feel his blood boiling, if he hadn´t promised Loki he wouldn´t nothing would make him happier than beating the crap out of Tony.

“Mind the yelling Cap. And what´s all the fuzz about? I needed some air.” Tony replied dismissing Steve´s tone as he rubbed his sore temples.

“I needed you yesterday! That´s what´s wrong asshole!” Steve growled furiously losing his patience.

“What for?” Tony whined. “To nurse Loki´s wounded feelings? I´m quite certain you are better than me with that sort of crap.” He looked at Steve irritated.

“You stupid son of a bitch!” Steve spat enraged “You almost killed him!”

“What? No, no, no. That can´t be.” Tony answered incredulous.

“I had to resuscitate him by myself.” Steve stomped the desk with his fist exasperated. “I needed you here, he needed you here. And you just …” He couldn´t even end his phrase.

“No, wait. What? I couldn´t … and even if I did … why didn´t he just healed himself?” Tony asked confused remembering seeing Loki do it before.

“I swear to God if he didn´t loved you.” Steve spat while using all his self-restrain; he wanted to hit him so much. “Jarvis, project Loki´s vitals on the screen.”

Tony skimmed through the data with a confused frown on his face. “That can´t be right.”

“Jarvis project the images of Loki´s injuries on the screen.” He needed Tony to understand the damage he had done.

“No, but how?” Tony rambled confused. “But … he seemed fine yesterday… how on earth he lost so much weight overnight?” He widened his eyes. “Is that … a plaster? Oh my God! I did that?” Tony looked genuinely horrified. “Why didn´t he healed himself?”

“Because he can´t.” Steve replied dryly. “Nor he wants to for what he has said.”

“What do you mean he doesn´t want to?” Tony huffed angrily.

Steve looked at him irked. “I know about Doom.” He crossed his arms while giving Tony an ice cold look. “What he really did to Loki.” His tone was accusatory. “I still can´t believe neither of you said anything. I understand Loki; but you … you are supposed to be in love with him! You are supposed to look out for him!”

“And you think I don´t know that! This is all my fault! If I hadn´t been distracted, he wouldn´t have had to shield me from the explosion …” He could hear his own heartbeat drumming in his ears. “He should´ve just let me die. Everything would´ve been better if he had.” Tony finally confessed. His indifference cracking down showing all the despair inside. “You always say I´ll drink myself to death. I had never wished more you were right. I just don´t know what to do anymore. I´m angry all the time, at Doom, at him, but mostly at myself for letting him down when it mattered the most. I can´t look at him without relieving that day … and … it just sickens me. I can´t even look at myself in the mirror without feeling disgusted. How can he stand to look at me day after day knowing I´m the reason Doom took him? I´ve tried to make him understand he deserves someone better than me, why doesn’t he understands?” He reached frantically for a bottle on his desk. It was too much reality to deal with while sober. “I´m too weak … I’ll only end up getting him killed.”

Steve sighed as he nodded his head in disbelief. “Have you told him what you just told me?”

“Not with that many words.” Tony reluctantly volunteered. “Talking about my feelings … it’s not my thing … I think you noticed.” Tony spat in irony before gulping the leftovers of the bottle he had found. “I ´genuinely tried … yesterday I mean; it didn´t end up well.” Tony leaned down into his hands frustrated. “I tried to end it before. To make him hate me. I wanted him to hate me as much as I hate myself.” He played idly with the empty bottle, suddenly he looked up at Steve. “Was breaking my heart too much to ask? From all the times he chose this to be unselfish …” He casted his eyes down as he asked in a reproach. “Why didn’t Doom took me instead?”

Steve frowned upset by Tony´s self-loathing and dryly asked. “You think that would´ve make this better?”

“At least for me.” Tony confessed. Being the victim, at least that was something he was familiar with.

“You …” Steve started to yell at him enraged.

“What? Selfish bastard? I think we have establish that. Why does it even surprise you? Yes; I´d rather be the one broken. That way I wouldn´t have to think.” He leaned into his palm distraught. “I can´t stop thinking … why didn’t he just leaved?

“Because he loves you, you moron.” Steve grunted.

“I don’t want him to.” Tony protested sulkily.

“It´s not your decision to make.” Steve pointed out harshly. “Don’t ask me why because I don’t understand it myself but he does. All he wants is for you to be with him.”

“I can’t.” Tony asseverated guiltily.

“Then tell it to his face, but you´d better explain him why.” Steve poked him in the chest firmly. “He is convinced you don’t love him anymore and it´s killing him, literally killing him. “He ran his hand through his hair in despair. “He´s been starving himself to death because he´s rather die than to live without you. He even went so far as to casting a spell so none of us would notice until it was too late.”

Tony kept nodding his head in denial. “I can´t. Not after what I did to him.”

Steve pulled Tony through his collar as he menaced him furiously. “I´ve had it with you Stark! You are going to see him and you´re going to explain him everything in full detail! I don’t care if I have to drag you kicking and screaming all the way.” As he let go of him asked. “What is it going to be?”

“I wouldn´t even know where to start.” Tony admitted nervously; knowing Steve wasn´t kidding.

“You´ll figure that out along the way.” Steve asseverated firmly.

“Shouldn’t we wait until I´m alcohol free? Or at least hangover free?” Tony asked in hope.

“That’s your problem.” Steve informed him looking grave.

“But …” Tony started to protest again thinking of some other pretext.

“Tony …” Steve warned him bluntly. “You are exhausting my patience.”

“You wouldn´t …” Tony said trying to feign disbelief.

“I´ve been consoling your heart broken boyfriend since yesterday …” Steve glared at him rabidly. “Do not test me.” A part of him wished Tony to keep resisting so he could go good on his word about dragging him to the infirmary. Finally, he asked at him irked. “Do you love him?

“Yes.” Tony asseverated quickly, he didn´t needed to think his answer, he knew it.

“Do you want him to die?” Steve yelled. “Cause that´s what it´s going to happen if you don´t do this.”

“I … I don´t.” Tony answered frightened, he didn’t felt he was capable of making things better. “But …”

“For crying out loud Tony!” Steve blurted madden. “If I had someone to love me like Loki loves you I wouldn’t hesitate. I would break myself in pieces trying to help him. No matter how much pain I would have to bear I wouldn’t desert him. Not even God would be able to keep me apart.” He was trembling in anger; suddenly he changed his tone as he took a step back adverting his eyes from Tony. “Regret is the worst part Tony.”

Tony didn’t need to see Steve´s face; he could hear the hurt in his voice as he continued. “Unsaid words will hunt you like ghosts.” Unexpectedly he looked back at him. “Don´t let that happen to you.”

Tony was taken back by Steve’s sincerity. It was so easy to forget how much he had lost; he seldomly showed it. “Steve … I am sorry. I didn’t know. Who?”

“It doesn´t matter.” Steve replied as he covertly dried his tears. “It´s too late for me. Don´t make the same mistake I did. You can still fix this. Don’t wait until it´s too late.”

“You really think he can forgive me, even when I can´t forgive myself?” Tony asked doubtfully. Steve’s´ confession had hit a nerve. What did he had to lose? His sanity? Worst case scenario Loki would truly hate him and leave him; best case scenario? He didn’t dare to hope.

“Why don’t you ask him that yourself?” Steve replied giving him a small sad smile.

“Probably I should.” Tony acknowledged; one way or the other it would be over. He started walking to the door when he turned back worryingly. “Seriously, what´s the worst that can happen? That he turns me into a toad?

Steve sighed as he nodded his head negatively; Tony always joked more when nervous. “If he does you would have well deserved it. But don´t worry if that happens I´ll get you a nice terrarium. I would even get you some friends.”

Tony considered it for a few moments. “Mmm … better not. I don’t want to wake up to learn I had tadpoles.”

“I guess not.” Steve couldn´t help to smirk to Tony´s comment. “Now stop stalling or …”

“I´m going, I´m going.” Tony asseverated, he had no desire of being unceremoniously dragged to Loki’s feet. Was there really hope? Or it was just Steve´s wishful thinking? Either way he was about to find out.

Clinging to Hope

It was the middle of the night when Loki suddenly woke up. He found Steve again sleeping next to him sitting on a chair. Just as before his arms and head were resting on his bed. He sighed. Would it really be so bad to give him a chance? He gently caressed his hair. Steve leaned to the warmth of his hand instinctively. For a moment he stood still wondering. Steve was so different from Tony; he had told him everything and it didn´t seemed to matter to him. He hadn´t looked at him any differently, well; he had but in a good way. He hadn´t even complained when Loki threw up the food he had brought for him. He just shrugged his shoulders and suggested to try again with something lighter when he felt better. Would it really be so bad? He could pretend … no, that wouldn´t be fair. Steve was both young and old at the same time; still struggling to find his place in the new world he had been thrown into. He now remembered catching him looking at him and Tony once; when things were still all right. He had a sort of lost child look in his eyes.

 

“Steve?” He asked softly hoping he wasn´t completely asleep.

“Mmm?” Steve drowsily opened his eyes and looked up.

“A while ago … was that your first kiss?” He couldn´t help to ask, me felt curious.

Steve blushed instantly. “I … well … umh yes.” Why did he ask him that? “Was it that obvious?” He asked in return concerned.

“Kind of, but I really just was wondering. “Am I your first crush?” He wanted to understand him.

Steve blushed even darker. “No, I …” He looked down visibly upset. “It doesn´t matter.”

“Why?” Loki asked intrigued.

“They are gone.” Steve answered with a heavy heart.

“I´m sorry. I didn´t meant …” Loki started to apologize. It must have happened before he got frozen.

“It doesn´t matter.” Steve shrugged. “I never had the courage to … do something about it. And now I can´t change it. Can´t we talk about anything else?” Steve asked trying to hide the hurt in his voice.

“I´m sorry, I didn´t thought.” Loki tried to apologize again.

“It´s not your fault. You couldn´t knew. I really don´t want to talk about it. Tell me about you and Tony.” Anything to drown down the memories.

“What do you want to know?” Loki asked intrigued.

“I don´t know. Why you love him so much I guess. He´s a complete pain in the ass for me.” Steve gingerly acknowledged.

Loki smirked amused. “You shouldn´t say that. He´s really fond of you, you know?”

“Well, he has a very strange way to show it.” Steve complained wryly.

“That he does.” Loki conceded. “But he respects you.”

“Sure! He´s full of respect. That´s why he put pink dye on my shampoo.” Steve remembered still feeling angry at the whole incident.

Loki couldn´t help to laugh. “Actually, that was me.”

“What?!” Steve spat surprised. “Why?”

“I just thought you would look good in pink.” He teased him.

“Well, I didn’t.” Steve pouted visibly offended.

“But you did, you looked like a cotton candy. Yummy enough to be eaten.” Loki joked without thinking.

Steve blushed again taken by surprise by Loki´s comment. Was he flirting with him? He looked up in hope he was.

Loki noticed his demeanor change and quickly apologized. “I´m sorry. I didn´t meant it that way. I really don´t want to give you any false hopes Steve. It´s just been so long since I had someone I could really talk to.” Looking at Steve´s sulking face he added. “Don´t get me wrong; you are a good man. Maybe … in a different lifetime.”

“But not in this one.” Steve finished his sentence looking grim. “Your heart it´s Tony´s I know. Maybe I should let you rest.” He stood up and walked to the door. Stopping without turning he added. “I´ll be on the next room so don´t get any ideas.” He left without waiting for Loki to answer. He knew it was foolish to hope, but he couldn´t help it. It was just too painful. As he closed the door behind him he turned back with tears on his eyes. He didn´t wanted to go; he just didn´t wanted Loki to see him cry over him anymore. He leaned on the opposite wall in the corridor and slid to the ground sobbing silently.

 

Loki didn´t needed to see Steve to know what had happened. He felt bad; but maybe it was for the best. Steve was right; his heart belonged to Tony regardless if he loved him or not. He felt miserable and lonely. Tears began to pour out of his eyes but unlike Steve he had no effort to silence his feelings.

It took only a couple of minutes for Steve to overhear Loki´s cries. He sniffled cleaning his nose with his sleeve. What could he do? He couldn´t leave him alone. What did it matter if his heart broke in the process? He had to help him. He stood up decided and walked back into the room.

Loki looked up startled; he hadn´t expected him to come back.

“I´m helping you to get Tony back even if it kills me!” He suddenly spat before cleaning his nose again with his other sleeve.

Loki looked at him too surprised to respond. He could see the tears still tracing Steve´s cheeks. His expression a mix of determination and pain. He opened his arms to him moved beyond words.

Steve doubted for an instant before running into Loki´s embrace. He couldn´t stop crying but he didn´t cared anymore.

Loki cried with him for a while overwhelmed by his gesture before calming down enough to try to comfort Steve who was still crying his heart out.

“Shhh. It´s ok. I´m sorry. I never meant to hurt you. Steve it´s ok. Don´t cry. You really don’t have to do it.” What could he tell him? That he would find someone else? If he believed that he would stop hoping for Tony to love him back. He sighed discouraged and warned him in a firm tone. “Stop crying right now or you´ll make me start crying again.”

“No.” Steve protested between sniffling’s. “I´m … trying.” He whined upset.

Loki sighed rubbing his back. “Try taking big breaths.” He knew that feeling; of not being able to stop.

Steve started taking long breaths between sniffling’s until he finally was able to stop. Loki kept hugging him until he did.

When he finally calmed himself down Loki loosen the embrace to look into Steve´s face. He still looked contrite and the fact that his eyes and nose were puffy and red didn´t helped.

“Look at us, we are a mess.” Loki finally acknowledged with a sigh.

Steve just looked at him still feeling miserable. Out of the sudden he asseverated. “I will keep my word.”

“You don’t have to.” Loki responded concerned; he couldn’t imagine doing something harder than what Steve had vowed.

“But I will.” Steve adamantly informed him. “If I can´t make you happy I´ll make sure he does. Even if I have to beat some sense into him.”

Loki looked at him slightly alarmed.

“I´m not going to hurt him.” Steve reassured him. “But he´s really thick headed. He might not want to listen to me; but I have to try. For your sake.”

“What have I done to deserve someone like you?” Loki thought but refrained from saying it out loud. Instead he answered. “I don’t know how to thank you …”

“Don´t thank me. At least not yet.” Steve replied.

“I´m sorry about your hair.” Loki suddenly apologized.

Steve couldn´t help to smile. “Just don’t do it again.”

“All right. No pink. How about blue?” Loki joked, it felt good to see him smile.

“No, unless you plan to paint the whole flag on my head.” Steve joked back. He loved seeing Loki smile.

Loki considered it for an instant. “That would make an interesting look.”

Steve backed down instantly. “I was only joking. Please don´t. I don´t want to look like …”

Loki´s laugh interrupted him. Steve was so naïve.

“You were only teasing me.” Steve realized.

“And you fell for it.” Loki smirked at him.

“I´m too serious for you.” Steve suddenly realized. “Tony would´ve played along.”

Loki frowned at Steve´s comment. Why would he do that to himself? “Stop that right now!” He scolded Steve.

“But he would.” Steve protested.

“I don´t want to hear you being sorry for yourself. I have the monopoly on that subject at the moment and you are not taking it away.” Loki added defiantly.

“But …” Steve started protesting again but Loki´s angry glare made him desist.

“As you wish.” He finally conceded with a sigh. Then he asked. “Why can´t you heal yourself?”

“I don’t have the strength.” Loki confessed. “And the pain killers you gave me aren´t helping either.”

Steve looked guiltily at him.

“They just make it harder to focus.  Don´t look so concern. I wouldn´t be able to heal myself even if you hadn´t given me any. And I’m not saying I would want to.”

Steve looked quizzically at him. Did Loki had a change of heart on the subject?

Loki didn´t really hoped Steve to be able to change Tony´s mind about their relationship; but that didn´t stopped him from wishing.

Not Valhalla

Bright white light hurt his eyes “Valhalla?” Loki mentally questioned himself while his unwounded eye adjusted to the fluorescent lights. Realizing his other eye wouldn´t open he sighed closing his eye again. “As if I were that lucky.” He wryly mocked himself before opening it again to scan his surroundings.

He was in the medical level for what he could see. His clothes had been replaced by a white hospital gown, his broken arm had been set right and plastered and his wounds taken care off. As he raised his uninjured arm to touch his wounded eye he noticed an IV strapped to it. Sighing he turn his head right and noticed Steve asleep by his side. He was sitting on a stool for what he could guess while his head and arms rested on the bed. Even asleep he had a worried frown on his face.

Loki sighed again, he hadn´t expected Tony to be by his side when he woke up; to say the truth he didn´t expected to wake up at all.

“Steve?” He called for him in a low tone.

A drowsy startled voice answered him back “Loki?” The frown disappeared into a relief smile. “You are awake.”

“I´m guessing thanks to you.” Loki dryly pointed out; although he had tried to hide it the bitterness in his tone betrayed his true feelings.

“I´m sorry.” Steve blurted out as he down casted his eyes ashamed.

“For…?” Loki asked intrigued by Steve’s demeanor.

“I should´ve …. I hesitated … I shouldn´t have … he broke your arm.” Steve raised his glistering eyes to meet Loki. “I´m sorry.”

Loki frowned confused while he studied Steve´s face. Why would he feel guilty? “It wasn´t your fault.” He finally told him.

“It is” Steve insisted. “I should´ve noticed sooner. I´m your leader, I´m supposed to take care of you all. Loki, I don´t understand. Why?” Steve looked extremely worried, tears threatening to pour out of his misty eyes.

“It´s not about my wounds.” Loki suddenly realized. He grunted displeased. How could he have forgotten? The glamour … it had faded away.”

“I´m not your responsibility.” Loki snapped angrily. “And if you are going to lecture me …”

“Stop it!” Steve raised his voice as he stood up. “I understand now you have a death wish and …” He bit his lower lip hard. “I stood in your way. And I will do it again, so you´d better …” He stared at him defiantly.

Loki interrupted him hissing vexed “You …. you arrogant mortal. You think you can stop me?” He tried to sit up but the effort lighted his body in pain.

Steve rushed to his side and help him lay down again as Loki coughed. “I´m sorry. I didn´t meant to upset you.” He sounded alarmed.

Loki sighed as his body was laid down carefully. Without the extra glamour he could notice just how thin he was. “Does he know?” He simply asked trying to sound uninterested.

“Tony? No. He … cut off communications, and … I really don´t know. I don´t think he has come back. Jarvis?” Steve asked feeling uncertain.

“Mr Stark is currently out of reach and he´s not monitoring the mansion.” Jarvis replied nonchalant.

“At least that´s something.” Loki replied somehow relieved.

Steve looked back at him confused. “He doesn´t? But how? Doesn´t he …?”

“It´s not of your business.” Loki snapped back cutting Steve’s´ questioning.

Steve´s fists turned white, he was squeezing them very hard trying to yell at Loki again. He closed his eyes as he mustered all the calmness he could as he asked: “Then why don´t you just heal yourself so I can stop being such a nuisance to you.” When he opened his eyes again Loki could see anger, but also pain, even sorrow. He felt guilty, Steve was trying to help him, he had saved his life and he was behaving like an ungrateful bastard.

“You should´ve let me die.” The words broke in his mouth. “You can´t help me, no one can.” Silent tears traced his injured features.

Steve felt his heart broke. What could´ve happened to make Loki feel that way? He was a powerful, skilled and resourceful man. What had happened to him?

“That won´t keep me from trying.” He replied with complete sincerity.

Loki looked warmly at him. “My sweet loyal Steve, sometimes I don´t know if that´s your biggest flaw or your best quality.”

“I hope it´s a quality.” Steve volunteered gingerly, before pleading. “Please, let me try to help you.”

“Don´t waste your time on me.” Was Loki´s response.

“Do you love him that much?” Steve asked feeling a knot in his stomach. “Enough to die for?” He fixated his blue eyes on him waiting for a response.

Loki stayed silent for a moment before surrendering his answer. “Yes.”

Steve couldn’t keep his composure after that, suddenly he made a muffled confession. “I want to hate him.”

“It´s not his fault.” Loki volunteered. “It was mine. I should’ve known better. A battle field is no place for love games. I was arrogant, careless … I distracted him. Then … what else could I’ve done? It was my fault he was unprepared. I had to save him. I didn´t thought …”

“But you saved him.” Steve acknowledged.

“Regardless the cost.” Loki agreed.

“I don´t understand.” Steve admitted. “You both seemed fine until that day. Maybe not the perfect couple, but a good one. And I know we all took it very hard when Doom captured and …” He swallowed hard, he hated saying it. “… tortured you.”

“He didn´t just … tortured me.” Loki confessed, he felt worn out, desperate. Maybe if Steve understood why maybe next time he would stay out of his way. “… he raped me.” The words burned like acid in his mouth, it was the first time he had said it out loud. Even his body rebelled in pain at his confession.

Steve gasped horrified; the knot on his stomach turned into a sharp pain. It didn´t made sense. “You never …”

“Said anything? I couldn´t … this is the first time I said it out loud.” He admitted laboriously.

“But … Tony. He knows, right?” He inquired anxiously, Loki seemed to be very good at hiding things.

“I assume that much, we never talked about it.” Loki confessed.

Steve felt totally baffled, how could they not talk about something like that?

Loki continued his story with complete disregard at Steve´s confusion. “He found me chained, naked, filthy, bleeding just where Doom left me after discarding me as if I were a broken toy. He freed me, dressed me up and took me back to you. He didn´t said a word, but; the hurt in his eyes as he cleaned me up. “He knew.”

“But he didn´t do anything … he should´ve help you. Say something. You were in pain.” Steve interrupted scandalized.

“So was he.” Loki sighed defeated. “I failed him, I wasn´t strong enough to defend myself. I allowed it to happen. I´m weak, unworthy….”

“Don´t you dare say that.” Steve scolded him. “You shielded Tony from the explosion, you saved his life. The damn thing knocked most of us down for a couple of minutes Doom could´ve taken any of us.”

“Too bad he had a grudge against me. I used to sleep with him Steve; I should´ve been more careful.” Loki huffed. “Changing sides on him over Tony. It was foolish of me not to anticipate his vengeance.” Loki admitted calmly.

Steve´s eyes widened appalled of Loki´s way to talk about the whole situation, so analytical.

“I tried to get over it, but I can´t.” Suddenly he looked right into Steve´s eyes. “I can´t sleep, I can´t eat, I can´t think, I can´t even be with tony any more. I can´t live like this anymore Steve, I just can´t.”

“Is that why?” Steve asked afraid of his answer.

Loki chuckled wryly. “I didn´t wanted any of you to know, not until it was too late at least. I still had my pride. You would be surprised how easily I deceived all of you.” What better way for the God of lies to depart than with a lie?

Steve nodded his head negatively in disbelief, he couldn´t understand how Loki had fooled them. According to Jarvis Loki was 44 pounds under his normal weight. “You couldn´t have fooled him … I mean, you sleep together.”

“We share a bed.” Loki confessed. “He never touched me again after that day, he tried, but he couldn´t hide the disgust in his eyes. Somewhere along the line we mad an unspoken understanding to maintain appearances. We tried to uphold that bargain, that until today.”

“What happened?” He asked inquisitive.

“Yesterday happened.” Loki answered as it was all the explanation it needed.

“The goblin?” Steve volunteered unsure.

“He threw a grenade at Tony. I tried to get him out of the way; I hoped to end it.”

“What?!” Steve gasped alarmed.

“Tony noticed. He got both of us out of harm’s way. That´s what started the fight. He wanted me to quit the team, to go back to Asgard. He went as far as to say I should´ve gone back to my books long ago, that I had no place in the battlefield … I couldn’t prove him wrong. Nevertheless, I tried to find my way out.”

Steve step back horrified, he really had tried to get Tony to kill him. He could play in his head the gruesome outcome if he hadn´t been in the mansion, Loki´s lifeless form on the floor …

“I told you all of this for a reason.” Loki interrupted his thoughts. “Help me end it. No one has to know … it can just be a lover´s quarrel gone wrong”

Steve felt like his heart threatening to break in his chest, his breathing grew swallow as blood drained out of his face. How could he ask him that? He had no right.

“Please Steve, it would be a better end than starving myself to death.” The sincerity of Loki´s plea frightened him more than anything.

“I can´t …” Steve mumbled in denial. “Please don´t ask me that.”

“You could just increase the painkillers …” Loki suggested plainly. “Let me go.”

Steve walked towards Loki´s bed timidly almost frightfully, he unavertable touched Loki´s fingertips with is as he leaned into the bed to tell him. “I´m sorry. He´s not worth it. I can´t.”

Loki broke down; it didn´t mattered he had confessed everything. He had done it for nothing. Steve wasn´t going to help him. Ignoring the pain he sat up as he screamed furiously at Steve. “So you are just going to stay there and watch me suffer? He´s gone! Don´t you understand? That was all the comfort I had left and know he is gone! I´m alone! Thor can´t help me! You can´t help me! No one can! He doesn´t love me anymore! And how could him? I´m worthless! I”

Steve couldn´t take it anymore, he had sworn to take the secret to his grave, for Loki´s sake, for Tony´s sake …. But it hurt too much.

 

Holding to Loki as if he was holding to dear life itself he tore the truth from his own lips as he allowed his withhold tears to flow unrestricted. “I love you. I know you´ll never love me back. And maybe I´m selfish but that´s the main reason why I can´t do it. Please, don´t make me. I love you.”

Loki was too stunned to react, after all he had told him … but Steve wasn´t lying. No one could fake such heartbroken sobs, not even him. Why hadn´t he noticed before?

For a couple of minutes they just stayed there in relative silence; the only sound was Steve trying to muffle down his own sobs. Suddenly Loki relaxed into Steve´s hug resting his head on the youngers man shoulder. He hadn´t been held that way since that fatidic day, it felt so comforting. For a moment he wished he could fade away into such a warm embrace. Steve froze as he felt Loki leaning into him; he felt scared, so scared.

“Your heart … does it always beast that fast?” Loki shamelessly asked. “It sounds like a scared rabbit.”

Steve tensed meaning to break their embrace.

“Not yet.” Loki protested immediately noticing Steve´s intentions.

Steve sighed deeply. “But ..”

“Shhh” Loki motioned him.

Another defeated sigh told Loki he had won. Steve decided to ignore all the arguments his brain was already working on. Whatever happens next at least I´ll have this. With that in mind he decided to risk it. Trembling nervously he turned his face towards Loki. “Loki …. I … I´ll understand if you say no, but I …” Loki looked up to find a flustered Steve fidgeting with his words. “I …” He could feel Steve´s heart beat raising again. He smirked. How could he not notice? He loathed himself for being cruel, but he longed for him so much. Knowingly he leaned into Steve´s kiss pretending it was Tony.

Steve was painfully aware of it but decided to ignore it. “It doesn´t matter.” He tried to convince himself.

But Steve wasn´t Tony, he was too sweet, too giving; he lacked the fire Tony´s kisses had.

Loki pulled apart apologetically. “I´m sorry. I shouldn´t have done that. You are not him.”

Steve casted his eyes down. “I shouldn´t have said anything; don´t apologize. I brought this upon myself. I just …” He sighed. “I don´t want you to go. “He looked up. “I would´ve made you happy if you could´ve found a way to accept me, I really would´ve tried.”

Loki smiled kindly at him, he knew he meant it. For a moment in his kiss he was tempted to let him. But that would only have prolonged his pain and viciously drag Steve along to his own personal hell.

“That fucking stupid selfish bastard doesn´t know how lucky he is.” Steve spat furiously.

Loki raised his eyebrows almost amused; Steve didn’t used to swear out loud.

“Yes, I can swear. I just don´t do it much.” Steve responded with irony. “Could you at least heal yourself so I can stop making a fool of myself?”

“I couldn´t even if I wanted to.” Loki confessed. “And I´m sorry Steve, but I don´t want to. My mind is made.”

“I wished you changed it.” Steve told him sorrowful.

“All I can promise is that it won’t happen under your watch. I´ve been cruel enough with you already. I could tell you I didn´t meant to, but it would be a lie.” Loki conceded almost ashamed, almost.

“I´ll just have to keep my eyes on you then.” Steve volunteered, afraid to give in into hope.

“Stop!” Loki reprimanded him. “You can´t fix this, let it go.”

Steve´s hopes crashed again.

“Can we just pretend everything is all right? For tonight? I could use some company.” Loki tried to smile. It didn’t matter what he did Steve’s heart would be broken; at least they could provide each other a measure of comfort, at least for a moment. “I could use a friend”
“I think I can do that.” Steve nodded sadly.

Broken

Steve sighed with satisfaction as he let himself drop into his bed. Finally he had all the mansion for himself.

“It´s not that I don´t enjoy their company” He thought feeling a pang of regret over his relief. “It´s just …”

A loud noise interrupted his thoughts making him jump out of the bed startled. “What …?” He was interrupted again by what sounded like a small explosion. “That´s just great.” He complained upset by the sudden turn of events as he grabbed his shield and ran to the lower level which seemed to be the source of the commotion.

Before he reached the end of the spiral staircase he recognized Loki and Tony´s raging voices. He stopped grunting upset. “They are at it again. I don´t understand why don´t they just break up. It´s not getting any better; not at least since …” Steve heart cringed at the memory. “not since Loki got hurt.”

He stood still undecided; considering if he should intervene in the lover´s quarrel when a loud painful shriek snapped him out of his thoughts. He covered the distance between the stairs and the living room in just a few seconds. His heart pounding loudly, painfully in his chest. Why had he hesitated?

He stopped dead in his tracks as he entered the room unprepared for the scene playing in front of him. Tony had both his gloves and boots from his Iron-Man suit on. His face distorted by the rage that shined rabidly in his eyes. Blood dripping from his mouth as well as from a wound on his side; several dark bruises marked the unprotected parts of his body. But even as bad as he looked it was nothing compared to Loki´s state. One of his eyes was too swollen to remain open anymore; blood dripped from his nostrils as well as from his mouth. He had his right arm bended protectively against his body. Something looked wrong about the angle it dangled; suddenly Steve realized, it was broken.

Even so Loki coursed and provoked Tony relentlessly calling him all sort of names. The cold fury in his voice made Tony´s rage paled in comparison. All of a sudden Tony growled irked; he had had enough. As he raised his arm preparing to fire his propeller against Loki Steve found his voice. “Stop! What on God´s name are you doing?” He was already standing between Loki and tony as he finished his sentence.

“Stay out of this Steve!” Tony grunted, his propeller still on. “He asked for it.”

“Coward!” Loki snarled. “You don´t have the guts.”

Steve remained still looking straight at Tony´s eyes; determination drilled in his face as he calmly added. “I´m not moving.”

“You want him Cap?” Tony retorted, anger oozing from every pore as he lowered his arm. “You can have him, I´m done with him.” Without expecting any response from either of them he fired his legs propellers and stormed away.

Steve stood too surprised to react for a couple of seconds; he could feel the adrenaline flowing all through his system when a low sob brought him back.

He turned around concerned and found Loki on his knees, tears pouring absentmindedly as he stared at the open door Tony had left on his abrupt departure.

Without any warning Loki turned his attention to him. “Why?” His tone was accusatory.

Steve wasn´t sure of what to say. “He …” He stuttered. “He would´ve …”

Loki didn’t need Steve to finish his sentence, he was full aware of what he was going to say. “And why didn´t you let him? Why?” Loki broke down. He couldn´t even tell which pain was more unbearable.

Suddenly he winced as he coughed loudly; when he removed his hand from his mouth he smirked. It was covered in blood, deep dark blood. He smiled almost peacefully before collapsing.

“Loki! Loki!” Steve tried to reanimate him in vain. Had he been too late? How could´ve this happened? How had things gotten so bad? His eyes had inadvertently filled with tears, he closed them for a second before pulling himself together. Cradling Loki’s body into his arms he dashed at top speed towards the infirmary.

Loki felt almost weightless, he pushed the thought down. There were more pressing matters at hand.

“Jarvis I need help. Patch me to Tony.” Steve almost shrieked as he reached the underground medical level. Everyone else was too far away to be able to return in time to help him.

“I´m sorry Sir, but it appears Mr Stark has cut off communications.” Jarvis informed him.

“Jarvis, an ambulance?” Steve asked nervously, he had basic training in first aid but nothing more.

“I´m afraid I don’t think you have the time if you want Mr. Laufeyson to survive.” The A.I. replied nonchalant as it monitored Loki´s life signs. “He´s going into cardiac arrest.”

“Jarvis!” Steve practically pleaded as he laid Loki in the examination table and started CPR. He had never envied the lack of emotions of the A.I. until that moment as Jarvis kept instructing him on what to do to save Loki´s life.

After what it seemed an eternity to Steve the A.I. suddenly stated. “Mr. Laufeyson pulse is steady now, you can stop the compressions Sir.”

“Thank you Jarvis.” Steve answered in a whisper as he leaned into the examination table emotionally exhausted.

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