Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Tony Stark didn’t want to move forward anymore. He had enough. All his life he had done nothing but try. And now he was tired. So tired. Like pretty much every morning, he wished he didn’t have to get up in the morning.
It all started before he was even born. When his mother told Howard she was pregnant and he did nothing but nod his head to show he had heard. When Maria went back to her room wishing she could drink even tough she was pregnant.
When nobody but the nurse was there to hold him on the day of his birth. His father wasn’t even in the same country as him.
It wasn’t until he was four that he understood that his family wasn’t normal. That his mother should not spend every free moment that she had in her bed popping pill and emptying alcohol bottle. That his father should not hit him every time he tried to show him something. He was four when he created his first mask to hide all the pain he was feeling. It would only be the first of many.
He understood when he was four that he would never be enough for his parents, that he would never be loved by them, no matter how much he tried. But that didn’t stop him from trying. He learned Italian by reading books so that his mother would have someone to practice her mother thong with. He builded circuits board so that his father would see he wasn’t useless.
It wasn’t until he was seven that he understood that it didn’t matter how much he tried, he would never get his parents attention. Another mask was added to his collection.
The first time his father looked at him for more than a few seconds, he was ten years old and he had just gotten his soulmark. He loved his soulmark, he thought it was beautiful. But he only loved it for about two hours. He hated his soulmark, he thought it was ugly and wished he had never gotten it. But Captain America shield was on his skin no matter how much he wanted it gone. There was no way to remove. It. He knew because his father had tried them all. Removing the skin on top of the mark, pouring acid on it, burning it, making it freezes, having it covered with black ink, no matter what his father inflicted upon him, his mark was there to stay. He didn’t want the only person to love him unconditionally to be dead. But as his father told him, he deserved it.
He went to MIT at fourteen years old, way too young to be thrown to the sharks. But there was nobody there to care about what happened to him. After all, everybody there thought that at the smallest problem he would run and cry into his rich fathers arm. They didn’t know that those arms had taught him nothing but pain. His mask were too good for anyone to think that Howard was nothing but a perfect, loving and caring father.
So when people gave him pill that made him forget everything, he took them. It didn’t matter that he didn’t remember what those people did to him while he was under the influence, it didn’t matter that he woke up with bruises in place he didn’t want them, because he had deserved it. And if one time he took to many pills not exactly by accidents, there was nobody there to notice except the doctors at the hospital. Even them were quick enough to accept money from his father to bury the story to do anything about helping him. He didn’t deserve to be helped.
But then, there was a boy that started to talk with him and hang out with him. Tony tried to drive him away, but no matter what, Rhodey came back. For the fist time in his life, Tony wasn’t alone. It didn’t take long for Tony to fall in love with him even tough he knew Rhodes was a straight as they come. And Rhodey still had her soulmate waiting for him. So he just created another mask to hide how hurt he was each time Rhodey presented him his new girlfriend. He deserved it.
He graduated with the highest honour possible the same year as Rhodey. But his friend knew him to well to ask him why his family wasn't there. At least he had been able to sneak Dummy in, one of his school project, a learning AI.
After MIT, he started to work for the R&D department at Stark Industry, under the supervision of Obadiah Stane, one of his father closest partner. Even when Rhodey told him he was enrolling in the Air Force, when Rhodey told him he was leaving him all alone, he didn’t show any emotion. It didn’t matter that it made Rhodey think he didn’t matter to Tony, his masks were too good to let any emotion seep trough.
He created JARVIS, so he could have a friend that would not leave him. Just how pathetic was he that he had to build his friends himself? Dummy also got two new friends, U and Butterfingers. They helped Tony in his workshop, but neither of them were even close to JARVIS level. Tony loved them all the same.
He continued to party every night, got used to wake up every morning with a hangover. Anything to make him forget. Even though he didn’t deserve to forget.
He was just shy of his twenties when he learned of his parents death in a car crash. Not that anybody had tried to call him to tell him. He learned it through the news like everybody.
While the world was mourning the lost of the great Howard Stark, Tony was alone getting drunk of his ass. He didn’t show up at the funeral.
He was used to living in the spotlight since before he could even talk, so he didn’t care anymore about what the press had to say about him anymore. He deserved it anyway.
He continued to design weapons for Obie, and didn’t care about what they did as long as they brought money into his bank account. Even when he had more money than someone could spend in a lifetime, he didn’t stop. He continued to make his weapons stronger, deadlier, because Rhodey approved of that. And Tony would do anything to get Rhodey to approve of him.
It took him twelve years to fall out of love for Rhodey. Not that his friend ever noticed it in the first place.
Pepper came into his life one night, when he thought he the only one left in the office. It took two years to convince her to become his personal assistant, but he eventually succeeded. He now had two friends and a family made of his bots. Even tough he wasn’t happy, it was more than he could ever had asked for.
He went through his life that way, mostly alone and never happy, but he knew he deserved it.
Afghanistan happened, and he got the arc reactor and a whole lot of new scars were added to the collection his father had left him. Yinsen died in the cave, and Tony added him to the list of things that he would never forgive himself for. But he escaped.
When he was rescued, he spent a lot of time thinking about Yinsen’s last words.
“Don't waste it... don't waste your life...”
He decided that he owed him to a least try to be happy. So he shut down SI weapons department. It hurt when Rhodey, Rhodey that had always stood by him trough everything, sided with Obie and told Tony he was insane and he needed to change his decision. But now that he had seen what his weapons were doing, he wasn’t going to change his decision.
The Iron Man suit was next on his way to redemption, and he spent countless days and night without sleep making sure it was perfect, flawless. The PTSD he had from Afghanistan sure didn’t help him.
If he hadn’t be so tired, he would have easily stopped Obie, no, Stane, from ripping his arc reactor out of his chest. He considered just waiting there, on the ground, literally without a heart, for death to take him, but he couldn’t let Stane get away with this. He would learn the hard way not to get on Tony bad side.
He only realized how much he cared about Pepper, although in a platonic way, when she was about to die. But they both escaped without a scratch. The same couldn’t be said about Stane.
He didn’t know what he would have done if Rhodey hadn’t come back to apologize, because it was Pepper’s turn to leave him. She too had realized how much she cared about Tony, only it wasn’t in a platonic way. She didn’t believe him when he tried to explain to her that it wasn’t her, he just didn’t like girls that way. She chose to believe his false reputation as a playboy rather than him.
When Nick Fury came into his house, believing that he had succeeded in deactivating JARVIS, Tony was eager to accept his offer about being a consultant for the Avengers Initiative. After all, it was a way to pay back for all the harm he had done.
He still wasn’t happy, but a least he was trying to help people, to be better. Than maybe he would have a shot at happiness.
He started back all his old habits he had gotten rid of when he learned that Captain America was found frozen in the Arctic, but alive. His father had been right all along. His soulmate was alive. But Tony still knew he didn’t deserve him, he never would.
When he was alone, celebrating his new tower, Agent Coulson came into his house, he too fooled into believing he had hacked JARVIS.
When Tony arrived at Stuttgart, he took a moment to analyze the situation
from up high before coming in in the most obnoxious way possible. After all, it was the first time he would meet his soulmate.
Tony thought there was something a bit off about Loki, altought he didn’t have time to think about it too much, because he had just met his soulmate for the first time. He still noticed how his eyes were constantly shifting from a light blue to an emerald green.
“Big man in a suit of armour, take that off what are you?”
Even tough their first encounter hadn’t exactly been good, Tony hoped they would be able to move past it. After all, he had said some pretty mean things too, even if he hadn’t started it. They were meant to be together, so Steve would learn to see trough the masks, right? Maybe Steve mark just didn’t show as clearly who his soulmate was as Tony’s mark.
Before going in the wormhole with the nuke, he thought about telling Steve. Instead, he recorded a message that JARVIS would give to Steve. Because he was sure Steve would figure out who he was even if he died before telling him.
“I’m sorry about what I said to you in the helicarrier. I didn’t mean any of it. I wish I had the chance to get to know you. But I loved you since the day I got my mark. It kinda suck that I won’t get to know what’s its like to live with a person who understands you better than anyone else, but I’m. happy dying knowing that you will be safe. Hopefully it won’t be too hard on you.
I love you,Steve”
It was all he got the time to say before JARVIS went offline and he was left alone in the dark in cold emptiness of space. He could already feel the nightmares and the PTSD coming if he survived this.
When he woke up, he hurt everywhere, but it didn’t matter, because Steve was smiling at him and telling him that they won. Hulk was turning back into Banner and Clint and Natasha were slowly making there ways toward them.
Realizing what they could become, the potential that they had if they stuck together, he invited all of them to live in his tower. He never for once thought that he would be the only one left out of the family they would become.
He revised the footage of his discussion with Loki in the penthouse, and zoomed in on his eyes. Having the confirmation he needed, that Loki had most probably been brainwashed like Clint, he gave the data to Thor, so that his brother would not be wrongly accused.
It didn’t take long for all of them to each have their own floor. Tony was more than happy not to live alone for once. Sure, some of Clint remarks about him being a selfish ass stung, and Natasha “Iron Man: Yes, Tony Stark: Not recommended” was still fresh in his mind, but the fact that he was living with his soulmate was more than enough to make him forget.
One night, when sleep was particularly difficult to find, Tony went up to the roof. He expected to be alone, so he was surprised to see that Steve was already there.
“You know you can’t fly if you jump, right?” He asked jokingly. He hadn’t expected Steve response.
“What if I don’t want to fly, what if i would rather just fall?” Steve answered, with a tone too serious to be joking.
“Why?” Tony simply asked. “Why would you do that?”
“Why not ?I’ve lost everybody. The world doesn’t really need me anymore. I’ve got nothing to live for.” Sadly answered Steve.
“Trust me,I know it’s hard to keep moving forward sometimes, but still, there must be something, someone for who it’s worth to keep moving forward.” Tony tried his best to not let his panic show in his voice.
“I don’t expect you to understand what it’s like, but I lost more than you could ever imagine” Harshly answered Steve.
“What do you mean?” Asked Tony, not letting Steve tone affect him.
“You just don’t know when to quit, do you? Alright then, I’ll tell you. His name was Bucky, and I knew him since I was 5 years old. He was my best friend. Our birthday was exactly the same day. So when we turned ten, we each got a soulmark. Mine was a red star on my shoulder and his was a red, white and blue shield with a star in the centre. Even tough we didn’t
understood their meaning then, we figured out that we were soulmates. We had to hide our relationship and our soulmark, because of the time we were living in. So congratulation, you’re the only living being that knows about this. Even during the war we fought side-by-side. He died a few months before I crashed the Valkyrie. So no, I don’t have any reason to keep moving forward without my other half.” Steve left right after finishing his story, not sparring a glance toward Tony who was shaking like a leaf.
Tony kept repeating in his head that it wasn’t possible, that one way soulmates didn’t exist. But if they existed, of course it would happen to him. He didn’t know when he forgot that he didn’t deserve anything good, but he swore himself that he would never forget again.
Heading down to his workshop, he asked JARVIS to load all the information that shield had about Steve’s soulmark and Sergeant Barnes.
He had already read all that information, but he went trough it again just to be sure. He also did something he had promised his teammates not to do, he had JARVIS spy on the Captain and do a full body scan for any soulmark. Only the red star on his shoulder came up. He had tough that Steve didn’t have a soulmark in the 30’s and the 40’s because he hadn’t been born, but it turned out that he had just hidden his, and that Tony was destined to be alone.
If JARVIS hadn’t been there that night, Tony Stark would not walk among the living anymore.
He still stayed holed up in his lab for two weeks. When he came out, he had designed a body paint that could last for month without needing to be applied again. He made sure that Steve would never find out about his mark. It helped that Howard had gone to such length to make sure that nobody knew about his son mark.
Thor only came back from Asgard a few months later. He announced them of Loki life sentence with no chance of ever getting out. When Tony asked him about the data he had given him, Thor only shrugged and told him that Loki had gotten what he had deserved and that if he had really been brainwashed, the All-Father would have known it. The others looked at him like he was insane for suggesting Loki’s innocence. So he let it go even tough it felt wrong.
It still took Ultron to make Tony realize that he had never really been part of the team. After that, they stopped pretending to have any kind of respect or friendship for him and just put all the blame on him. It didn’t matter that Wanda and Bruce had equally helped in Ultron’s creation, and that the United Nation had cleared him of any guilt in Ultron case. The team also moved out of the tower and into the brand new compound, leaving Tony alone once again once it was made clear that he wasn’t welcomed into his own compound.
The first time Loki appeared out of thin air next to him, he was so drunk that he thought it was only one of his numerous hallucinations. He often forgot that JARVIS wasn’t there anymore to protect him from any real intruders.
The second time, he wasn’t exactly sober, but he still wasn’t drunk enough to miss him. He quickly aimed his repulsor watch at him, even tough he was aware it wouldn’t do much if Loki was in full possession of his power.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” Asked Tony, still keeping the repulsor directly aimed at his head.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Here is the last chapter.
Thank you for the Kudos and comments!!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“What the fuck are you doing here?” Asked Tony, still keeping the repulsor directly aimed at Loki’s head.
“If I remember well, you owe me a drink.” Calmly answered Loki, completely ignoring the weapon pointed towards him.
“I’m not nearly drunk enough for this.” Perfectly knowing that it was a bad idea, he lowered his gauntlet, and walked towards the mini-bar he kept in his workshop. After all, he doubted he could do anything about it if Loki decided to attack him. “Aren’t you supposed to be in Asgard, like locked in a dungeon for eternity?” Asked Tony while pouring another drink for his ‘guest’ and refilling his glass.
“Aren’t you the one who gave Thor that data about me being brainwashed?” Curiously asked Loki, while taking the whiskey glass he was handed.
“That doesn’t answer my question, I thought that the All-Daddy had decided that you were in full possession of your mind at the moment of the attack.”Answered Tony, while downing his glass.
“ You’re right, the All-Father wanted me locked up for eternity, but he just used the invasion as a pretext for it. And do you really think that Asgard dungeon could keep me locked up for really long?” Loki pushed his glass away after sniffing the content, his disgust clear on his face.
“Okay, so you escaped and you just thought you would come and visit me, your enemy, while a whole city of gods are looking for you?” Said Tony, while pouring himself another glass.
“Well, they would probably be looking for me if they knew I escaped, but I guess being in solitary confinements has it’s perks. And I came here to propose you a deal. You saw what was in that portal. You know something, someone big is coming. I can’t fight that alone, so I would be interested in a partnership with you.” Offered Loki.
“And what makes you think that I would have any interest in allying myself with the guy that tried to invade earth? And if something really is coming, the Avengers are there to defend the earth.”
“You know that I was brainwashed for the invasion, you wouldn’t have tried to prove my innocence to Thor and Odin if you weren’t sure. And I don’t see any of the Avengers here. Do you really think they would be enough to stop what you saw?”
And it all it took for Tony to accept the deal, after all, what did he have to lose? The worst Loki could do was what, kill him? And he still had nightmares about what he saw in the wormhole.
Tony didn’t see Loki for a whole month after that night, and he began thinking that he had hallucinated the whole thing.
He spent all his time pretty much alone, drinking and inventing. He missed JARVIS so much, and FRIDAY, his new AI, just wasn’t the same thing. He got called a few times on Avenger business, but he didn’t go out when it wasn’t necessary. He continued to bring new design to SI, but since Pepper had quit her job, nobody came to bother him to sign paperwork in the tower.
When Loki came back, they slowly started to plan for the upcoming battle against Thanos. They first localized all the infinity stones that were on heart, and then tried their best to contact their owners.
Vision, of course was the easiest to find, since he lived in the compound along the other Avengers.
Next was Dr. Strange, or the Sorcerer Supreme, as he called himself. He agreed to come by the tower in a few weeks, to help them plan.
Loki too had an infinity stone in his possession, the Space stone he had stolen from Asgard while escaping.
Tony, knowing how the Avengers would react, kept his alliance with Loki hidden from them. Plus, it’s not like any of them came by the tower these days, so he didn’t need to worry about them too much.
Surprisingly enough, he got along pretty well with Loki. They were pretty similar and they didn’t get offended by each other snarky comments. They both used it as a defence mechanics when each others questions got too personal.
Loki also didn’t question Tony’s quirks, like when he wouldn’t take anything that Loki handed him. That meant a lot for Tony, because it was the first time he didn’t feel the need to invent fake reasons for all his ‘eccentricity’.
In return, he also didn’t ask questions about Loki’s family or childhood when he realized that it was a sore subject for him. After all, he could understand not wanting to talk about it.
They both also didn’t mention their soulmates, and didn’t ask questions about wether or not the other had found his.
Loki never stayed for long when they were planning, and also declined any offer of having his own room or floor on the tower even if he frequently ended up spending the night in one of the guest room of the penthouse.
He would also sometimes disappear for days on end without telling Tony beforehand, and wouldn’t tell him where he was when he came back. Tony suspected that Loki had a soulmate, or at least a significant other he liked to visit.
They first ended up in bed together three months into their alliance, which proved wrong Tony’s theory about Loki having someone in his life. It became a somehow regular thing after that. It didn’t mean anything, it was just a way to let off some tension. At least that’s what they told themselves. After Loki left that night, it didn’t stop Tony from having a pretty bad panic attack. He didn’t regret what he had done with Loki, but still, he unsurprisingly had some trust issues and it had been a long time since he had let someone get as close to him as that, even if it was only physical.
It didn’t change much in their relationship, and Tony was grateful for that. After all, what they were planning could mean the survival of half of all living creature. He couldn’t afford a distraction right know.
They first argued around four months into their partnership. As Loki and Tony got along pretty well, they never had an argument before. It was about Tony’s drinking, because Loki didn’t approve. He had let it passed before, but when Tony showed up in the room where they were planning too drunk to walk in a straight line, which took a lot of alcohol considering Tony had years of experience, he decided that he had enough.
Loki threw in ultimatum at Tony, either he would stop drinking, or their alliance would be over. After all, Loki could ally himself with literally anyone in the universe now that he had all the information that Tony had given him about the position of the infinity stones.
Tony of course tried to stop drinking, he didn’t want to find himself alone all over again, but years of bad habit and heavy drinking were hard to change overnight. When one week later, Loki didn’t show up as he usually did in the planning room, Tony wasn’t surprised. After all, all his life he had done nothing but drive people away. He was a fool for thinking it would be any different with Loki.
Loki leaving still affected him way more than what he had expected. He missed having someone to banter with, someone who could follow his thought process without having to be explained everything, someone who hadn’t judged Tony before knowing him.
He lost all motivation to do anything after that. He spent his whole days in bed, not eating, but not drinking either. He still went out on Avengers business, but got injured a lot more in fight, due to his slower reflex. He didn’t go to the infirmary with the rest of the team afterwards and if any of them noticed how he had stopped talking and commenting everything over the com during the fights, they were probably grateful for it.
He stopped trying to convince the team that they should prepare for the upcoming battle against Thanos, because he didn’t even care anymore if they would win or not. He sure felt bad for all the innocent people who would die in it, but he had tried to protect people, and nobody had cared. So he was done trying to please and save everyone. Damn he missed Loki.
When Ross came up with the Accords, it gave him a little bit of motivation. If he could get the whole team to sign, he could easily retire without having to worry about what would happen to them. He didn’t even know why he still worried about them, seeing that they never had for him, but maybe the fact that his soulmate was on that team didn’t help. He had given up on Steve a long time ago, but he still couldn’t bring himself to forget him.
When he was laying on the cold floor of the bunker in Siberia, watching Steve limper away with his soulmate, not Tony, his real soulmate, there was only one thing going through his head. Finally. He would die there, and he wouldn’t need to care about anybody anymore.
The only thing he regretted was that he wouldn’t get to see Loki anymore. He only realized then of how deep he had fallen in love with him. He would give anything to just catch a glimpse of his smile again. Not his false and sharp grin, the one he liked to flash to scare his opponents, his real smile, so rare that Tony had only seen it twice. Or to hear his laugh, or to see his face, or even just to feel his hand in his.
He thought he saw a little green spark before losing consciousness, but he didn’t have any time to react before the darkness was taking over.
He woke up seconds later, and the first thing he saw upon opening his eyes was the worried face of Loki over his.
“Anthony, stay awake, you better not fall asleep now, come on Anthony.” Was the first thing he heard.
“Lo-Loki, what are you doing here? Is-Is that really you?” Stuttered Tony, fighting not to close his eyes.
“Of course it’s me, Anthony, did you just expect me to leave you to die here? Of course I came when I heard you calling me.” Loki answered, while slowly letting green energy seep from his fingers and slowly crawl towards Tony. “Now stay calm, please. I’m doing my best to heal you, but I’m not used to using this kind of magic.”
“I love you.” Was the last thing Tony had the time to say before finally succumbing to unconsciousness.
When he woke up again, he was laying in a comfortable bed, in a small room he didn’t know. He slowly remembered the last events, and wondered if he had hallucinated the part with Loki.
He got his answer when he spotted Loki sleeping in a chair in the corner of the room, a book still open in his hands. He tried to stand up without waking Loki, but as soon has he put his feet on the floor, Loki woke up.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t want to wake you.” Quickly said Tony.
“Don’t be a fool, I was waiting for you to wake up. I don’t mind being waked up. But we need to talk.” Answered Loki, taking a slightly more serious tone towards the end.
“I know.” Was all that Tony answered.
They slowly made their way towards a living room, which would be spacious enough to hold the entire Avenger team in it. They sat in a big sofa, but at opposite end so that they weren’t touching.
When Tony looked out of the window, he nearly had a heart attack when he realized that the sky was a deep purple instead of a clear blue. They clearly weren’t on earth.
“Where are we?” Worryingly asked Tony.
“A place were you won’t get hurt ever again.” Was all that Loki answered.
And after that, Loki managed to get the whole story of the ‘Civil War’ out of Tony. He in turn told him how when he had left Tony a month ago, how he couldn’t bring himself to ally himself with anybody else, how he did nothing but think about Tony, and was about to come back to the the tower when he felt Tony’s mind calling him. When he had teleported next to him, Tony was already falling asleep and he had just barely managed to heal him before it was too late.
They ended up in each other arms, just savouring each others presence for the time being, neither of them willing to break the moment.
One week later, Tony told Loki about his soulmate, and asked Loki what he could possibly see in him when even his soulmate didn’t have any affection for him. Loki reassured him by telling him how Odin had managed to wipe his soulmark off of him, without ever allowing Loki to see it.
They spent the following month like that, opening up to each other, sharing things that they never had with anybody else before.
For the first time in his life, Tony was happy. Sure, he still woke up every night, plagued with nightmares, he still had to be reassured frequently by Loki that this was real, and that he would never leave him alone again. But each time he heard Loki tell him that he loved him, that he was the most precious thing he had, he forgot everything but the present.
Two month later, they found themselves watching Thanos fight what was left of the Avengers on earth. When he ripped the last infinity stone out of Vision’s forehead, they calmly waited together, each of them ready to follow the other one if only one of them turned to dust.
Tony was surprised not to feel anything when he saw Steve slowly be blown away by the wind. Loki’s hand stayed firm in his and they kept that position for hours, silently celebrating together.
Loki gave him a golden apple after one year of living together peacefully.
It took Tony years to realize that the shield on his skin was slowly becoming paler and paler. It would never go away completely, but Tony didn’t care anymore. He didn’t need to share a soulmark with him to have found his soulmate.
All his life, Tony had done nothing but try. But he didn’t need to anymore. He was enough for Loki. He wished he didn’t need to get up, that he could just spend his whole time laying close to Loki in bed. So he did just that.
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