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Winters of Jotunheim

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Since the great war with Asgard was over, Jotunheim's economy was flourishing. Nowadays Jotunheim was one of the most advanced realms. A fact that made the life of Anthony Stark incredibly comfortable. As the son of a blacksmith who worked for the royal family, as well as the court, life couldn't be much easier. Orders came in almost every day and his old man couldn't work fast enough to complete them. The reputation that followed the name Stark was securing their well-being. His family was always held in high esteem and Tony, as he liked to be called, didn't need to lift a finger. Even though his mother always tried to convince him that her talented son should help his father in the workshop. She was a gorgeous woman. Lovely and caring, the exact opposite of his father.

Tony had already learned everything he needed from his old man and he didn't spend time with him if he could avoid it. Howard always did what his clients wanted, even though it was a dumb commission from an even dumber man. Tony couldn't do that. He wouldn't deliver anything but perfection, which had often caused him trouble when it came to work. No one seemed to care if the spectral knife was better balanced, or sharper, if it hadn't the look they wanted. So Tony had stayed out of the forge, only inventing his own technology. Some people called him arrogant, ignorant and egocentric, but the truth was, he was a genius. Even more so than his father, who always held his attitude against him, saying that his insubordination would be his death someday.

Little had he known that this would be his fate, after all. The realm of Jotunheim had many cities, which from the capitol, where more than a day's journey away. Since Tony refused to deliver their forged goods, his parents headed out to do this task. Unfortunately, winter had been already nearing, and Howard hadn't expected that the pass through the Hilgr mountains would be already buried deep within snow and ice. It had happened because he couldn't wait for the weather to get better, couldn't wait for spring. This stubborn old bastard.

Tony had mourned for his mother, but not for his father. He had brought them into this situation. It was entirely his fault. If he hadn't been so stupid to be always correct and punctual, Maria could still be alive. He blamed the man for her death. He had dragged her with him. And thus could be held liable for Tony's misery.

In the first time after the funeral, in which only replacements were buried in the frozen ground, people had expressed their condolences, given him all kinds of gifts to help him over the loss of his parents. But even the most kind people were eventually minding their own business and soon Tony was dependent on his father's forge. Now he had to work to earn enough money to actually eat. This was one thing he thanked his father for. His established clientele. The work was monotonous. Easy. Too easy for him. Some clients wanted weapons, others armor or simple jewelry. Nothing creative. Nothing challenging. Yet, Tony had trouble to comply to their wishes. It turned out that people still didn't appreciate getting something different from what they had ordered, improved or not. One single month did he last. Just one month until customers stayed out and Tony had to rely on the savings of his parents. Embarrassing, really, but what else could he do when these people were too stupid to admit that their ideas or drafts were not efficient. Their loss.

Much to Tony's dislike, it was his problem in the end. Without money there was no way for him to buy food. Trading was out of the question, because normal citizens didn't need ores or rough gems. They only needed smithery for luxury goods or weaponry. Most of them had their seidr for anything else. Magic. Tony was no seidr wielder. He had to depend on his own skills to forge what he needed. So there was only one thing he could resort to. Theft. It was strange how easy that was for him. At first no one noticed, he was smart, after all, only ever stole what he needed for survival, never too much, so nobody grew suspicious. It worked out for a couple of weeks. Not that he was proud of himself for stealing, but he had to say that he got pretty good at this. He could take items from people's pockets without them even noticing that he was there. Probably because no one would expect to get stolen from in the capitol. Royal guards roamed the streets day and night, at least facilitating the feeling of safety. Tony was thankful that he at least had the workshop and didn't need to sleep in some dark alley. The Jotuns living on the street had a hard furrow to plough this time of year. It got colder with each passing day, to a degree that the ice and snow would burn even a frost giant's skin when he wouldn't wear any protection from the cold. Tony hoped he wouldn't ever have to spend a night without a roof over his head.

But Tony got careless after these few weeks. Stole from the wrong people. A merchant caught him red-handed and was about to cut off his hand, for this was the appropriate way to handle a thief, but his wife prevented him from actually doing it. In their struggle, Tony accidentally knocked over a few objects made of porcelain, which only made everything worse. Not only was he accused of thievery, but was now also in the shop owner's debt. Guards dragged him out by his neck, the bulky men were much stronger than Tony, even though he wasn't slight by any means, and were quick to throw him into the dungeons. Normal or poor people couldn't effort trials. Nor could they demand a hearing.

The dungeons of Jotunheim were just that. Dungeons. Not like the ones in Asgard, or Midgard. The prisoners told each other tales that these realms actually put their captives into cells that had beds, or an adjoining bathroom. Something you could only dream of in here. Tony sat on the cold floor, hands enchained by iron manacles that cut into his skin whenever he had to move them. Warmth was only provided by a single fire in the middle of the corridor, barely reaching the cells that were separated by iron railings. It was barely warm enough to let them survive. And this was the whole reason why they shouldn't just die. They should suffer for their crimes.

Tony was starving. It had been almost a week since the guards had given them something to eat. It was strange what hunger could do to you. He sat there, leaning against the wall, head dropped to his chest, imagining how the meat of a Jotun would taste. Not that he could get out of his cell, or would actually try it, but this was just that kind of thought that came to you when you haven't eaten in days. A sound startled him, making him look up. He watched as a posh dressed Jotun with fair, slicked-back hair, walked to the door of his cell, gesturing to the guards to open up. Tony eyed him up suspiciously, asking himself mentally what this was all about and hissed in warning when the arrogant-looking man came too close to him.

“You will have to drop this attitude.” The man raised an eyebrow at the huff.

“And who are you to order me around?” Tony was surprised how hoarse his own voice sounded.

A guard yanked him up by the chains, causing pain to spread from his wrists into his entire body. Tony was barely able to stand on his legs when the guard unfastened the shackles, and not too gently. The blacksmith rubbed his aching wrists to soothe the pain, but the cuts were too deep and needed proper treatment.

“My name is Jarvis. I am the head of the royal servantry. I am here on behalf of king Laufey.” The other said, not a hint of emotion there. His voice was as cold as this prison.

And Tony just burst out in laughter when he heard the words.

“Oh? No shit?” He cursed and saw the man grimacing at the use of vulgar language. “Tell me then, valet, what do you want?”

Without his consent, one of the guards threw a thick fur around his shoulders, which in any other situation, Tony would have been glad for. Now he just tried to get rid of it, a wasted effort.

“You will also have to adjust your language.” Jarvis only said indifferently and stared down on the dirty man, eying him up from head to toe. “Your obligee has sold you to the royal house. Apparently you weren't able to square your debt, even though most of your possessions were disposed of.”

Tony's breath caught in his lungs. This couldn't be true. This was not happening.

“From this very second you are part of the king's property and will serve as a thrall.”

His gaping was answered with a wink of the man's hand, at which the guards grabbed Tony by his arms and started pulling.

“I won't serve anybody!” Tony spat, before his hair was grasped by a firm hand, keeping him in check.

“You will.”

Without being able to fight back, or even struggle, Tony was dragged out of his cell.

Chapter Text

Two guards had accompanied them to the palace, making sure that the spiteful slave was ending up at the right place. And spiteful was the most fitting word to describe Tony's behavior at that moment. The entire time he was struggling against the grip of the two men, cursing them for doing this to him, but it hadn't been any good. Those two were trained for this and thus not deigning him even one look.

They had taken one of the backdoors to the palace, probably because the sleek looking man had wanted to assure that no one saw slaves or convicts entering the building. Tony couldn't appreciate the discretion though, his mind too far gone to do anything but trying to break free. Jarvis had guided them to, what Tony could only recognize as, the slaves quarters. He was roughly shoved forward into some kind of kitchen and landed ungently on his knees, glaring at the two men who now bid their goodbye.

When Tony tried to stand up to inspect his knees, two servants heaved him up by his arms, snatching the fur off him and discarded it to the side, exposing the man as a result. Tony stared at them and tried to cover himself. He felt vulnerable under all these pairs of eyes. But Jarvis just stood there, arms crossed, eying him up, as if this was the most natural thing. It was disgust that was written all over his face. Tony ground his teeth and averted his gaze. This man gave him the creeps. It was rare for Jotuns to have eyes of a different color than red or brown. And those bright eyes were piercing his soul.

His hands were clinging to the undergarment he still wore and only now, under the light, he realized how dirty he really was. Cold air hit his skin and he involuntarily started shivering. The windows were open to ventilate the room and with clothes on it maybe wasn't too cold, but standing bare foot on the cold tiles was something entirely different. Tony's eyes followed the two servants, but he couldn't get himself to actually move after them into the other room. They didn't look like slaves to him. They wore beautiful garments. Long robes with golden seams. Blue eyes were still looking down at him scrutinizingly when he tilted his face back. It made him even more uncomfortable as he already was.

“I won't serve anyone.” Tony tried again, but felt his voice cracking, betraying him.

Jarvis raised an eyebrow at this and nodded, taking a step towards him, screwing up his nose.

“Yes, indeed you won't. Not in this pitiful state.”

Tony pouted at this, standing there with his mouth open. Who was he to insult him like this.

“What did you just say...?” Tony pressed out through gritted teeth.

“I said, despite the fact that you look like a filthy prostitute from the streets... You reek. Your appearance is a disgrace for your family's name. Be thankful the king took you in.” The jotun said, face blank, not mirroring the anger on the other's face.

“Pah...” Tony spat back. “You can shove your generosity up your ass! You stupid son of a...”

The rest of the insult got stuck in his throat when his arms were grabbed and bent behind his back, rendering him immobile.

“Don't make this any harder for yourself, please.” Jarvis added, seemingly bored by the futile struggle.

The second servant took a knife and all of a sudden Tony was at a lack of words. He swallowed hard when the dark-haired male stepped towards him, knife in hand, getting dangerously close. The blade came down on his undergarment, cutting it in half, denuding him.

“Hey!” Tony objected, face turning a bright red, but no one was listening to him. It seemed to be routine around here. Routine of getting slaves ready for their master.

A female jotun entered the room, small and pudgy, but with a beautiful face and nodded towards her superior, who finally had the benevolence to lift his gaze from him.

“The bath is ready, Sir.”

Tony's eyes lit up at this. He hadn't had a bath in weeks. Suddenly he couldn't wait to get going.

“We will have to make you look acceptable before we can even remotely think about you getting near to our majesty.” Jarvis stated and moved to thank the female. “I will instruct you personally.”

“Great.” Tony rolled his eyes. That man was the last one Tony wanted to spend more time with. “And what if I refuse?”

A hand moved to Jarvis chin, he looked at if he was actually considering it.

“Well... I can't force you.”

A gesture with his hand made the two servants sigh and the one holding Tony's hands shoved him rudely to the kitchen's door. The other opened it and immediately Tony hissed at the cold wind that whipped his skin. He tried to shield himself, but the grip on his wrists wasn't letting him turn away. Before Tony could say anything, he was pushed out into the snow. Barely able to catch himself, he turned around and wanted to curse, only to get the door slammed into his face.

“What...” Tony stared incredulously at the now closed door. “You can't leave me out here!” He hammered a fist against it.

The winter in Jotunheim was hard. Especially in the night. If he would stay in the snow for too long, he would freeze to death. It already felt as if the snow was burning his skin.

“I can and will. You are of no worth for me if you can't behave yourself.” Jarvis told him nonchalantly through one of the windows. “And you will die on the streets if you keep that attitude up. Die on the streets or serve your majesty, it is indeed up to you.” With this, the window was closed and Tony left alone in the ice.

It didn't take long until the pouting face was contorted by the cold. His body started shivering on its own, the biting cold piercing marrow and bone. Tony thought about running away. He could try and find shelter in the town, try to get back to his house, which probably had been sold by now. Damn. He had no choice. It was either swallowing his pride and accepting his fate or dying on this very doorstep.

For more than half an hour he sat on the icy ground, his teeth already shattering when he ruefully knocked on the door, knuckles already hurting. But there was no answer, no one opening the door.

“Please...”

He was begging now, pleading for admittance. And only now the door opened a crack, revealing the maiden, who invited him in. She helped him stand up and go inside, where Jarvis had tended to a book, not even looking up when he addressed him.

“Did you come to your senses?” The indifferent voice asked and Tony couldn't do anything else but nod.

“Yes...”

“Good.” The blonde stood up from his chair again, left the book and walked the maid and Tony into the other room.

Even though he was back in the warmth, Tony was still shivering when he was let to a bathtub. Hot water steamed the room and he walked a little bit faster, the embarrassment of being naked completely forgotten. The maid helped him into the tub, holding his arm so that he wouldn't slip and fall. Tony sank into the water, body temperature immediately rising. Hot water wasn't too enjoyable, at least not in summer, but for someone who was close to freezing, it was perfect. Normally hot water was used to punish, but in his case it was probably to clean him from all this dirt. Laying his head back and closing his eyes in bliss, Tony enjoyed the water, until a sponge brushed over his shoulder.

He opened his eyes abruptly, staring into bright orange eyes. It was the handsome dark-haired male from earlier. Handsome yes, but Tony was still uncomfortable with someone scrubbing him down. His gaze switched to Jarvis, who stood next to the tub with his hands behind his back.

“I can do this myself, you know?” Tony chirped and startled the young man.

“Apologies...” He began. “I have to make sure that you are clean.”

“Hey...” Tony raised an eyebrow at this.

The orange eyes turned to the older for instructions, who only nodded for him to continue.

“Go on, Karef.”

So that was his name. Tony sniffed a chance to make his stay a little bit more comfortable.

“Karef, huh? Fine you can clean me all day long.” Of course he was joking, but the reaction he got from him was worth it. The other could barely hide his smile, but it was wiped off his face the moment Jarvis cleared his throat.

“Do your work.” Karef nodded obediently and proceeded with running the sponge over Tony's body. “How did you manage to expend all the money your parents had saved up?” Tony narrowed his eyes. “It should have been more than enough to support you for more than two months.”

“None of your business.” He snapped back, but Jarvis only shook his head chidingly.

“It is. The king did buy you, as well as your debts.” The elder watched how the boy imitated him talking, definitely stretching his patience. “It is embarrassing, really. Do you know how many... establishments we had to visit until we had all your creditors collected? Multiple inns, taverns and brothels...”

The disgust on his face left Tony cold. This shouldn't concern him. It had been his money. And he had spent it the way he had wanted. Tony grimaced when Jarvis continued talking, as if his sermon wasn't long enough already.

“And what's up with all those machines?”

“I needed all that!”

“Of course...”

Tony was about to get out of the bath tub, ready to get into the other man's face. No one talked to him like this. This bastard had the nerve to openly insult him and didn't even look regretful at all. But before he could raise out of the water, two hands from behind held him tightly in check and the sensational voice whispered into his ear.

“Please, calm yourself. Master Jarvis will cast you out if you don't start showing your good manners.”

Tony ground his teeth, but eventually relaxed and let himself be pushed forward, so the dark-haired servant could wash his back. So he was more than the mere head of the servants. He didn't know what it was, but the others clearly respected him for more than just being their superior. More than ten minutes Tony stayed silent, enjoying the water and the thorough cleaning. Finally even Jarvis seemed to unwind. How he was able to stand that straight for such a long time was a mystery to Tony.

“So...” Bluish eyes were on him again. “What will my tasks be?”

Another frustrated sigh left Jarvis, lips pressed into a thin line.

“I already explained it to you...”

It was serious, but when Karef started scrubbing his soles of his feet, he couldn't quite suppress a laugh.

“Then please...” Tony gave his best pleading face. “Enlighten me again.” He held his leg up for Karef, grinning at him.

“Such a pampered brat.” Jarvis commented. “I hope for your sake that you'll drop this behavior soon...” He rolled his eyes before giving him an answer to his question. “You will be a royal thrall.”

“A slave...”

“No. A thrall.” One could see Jarvis' patience wearing thinner.

“Are you a thrall?” Tony then asked and earned a shake of heads.

“No. I am the king's main servant. The head of the staff. I am in charge of every servant housed in the palace.”

Tony just huffed and watched his new person of interest running that sponge over his thigh, dangerously close to his crotch.

“So what do I have to do then?”

“You will do everything your master asks of you. Whatever it is... I mean it.” Jarvis added, after he saw him pulling a face again.

“They can't force me to do shit.”

“They can. And they will. Let me be clear about this.” A hand grasped Tony's chin and turned his focus on him. “If you won't obey. If you talk back or even hesitate, then being thrown out will be the least of your problems.”

Tony gulped at the severity on his face. His own cockiness slowly fading away.

“I still think you don't get the gravity of this situation, Anthony. Once you are assigned to your master, they won't let you go anymore. The proper procedure to avoid dishonor, caused by a thrall, is beheading. So I suggest you'll focus your attention on learning fast.”

Tony's chin was released, but his gaze was still fixed on the fair-haired man. So it really didn't matter whether he died in the streets or in this house. Beheading... They couldn't do that. Killing someone for not being submissive? He dropped his head, looking at his hands under the water surface. They could just have let him die in that dungeon. It would have been much easier for them. So why did they choose him. Tony clenched his hands into fists.

“They can't do that.” He forced out, looking at Jarvis for help, who only looked back at him indifferently.

It was answer enough. Tony went quiet after this, keeping his mouth shut. When Karef was done brushing the dirt off of him, he stepped around the tub again, tending to the too long hair. With a mug, Karef wet his scalp, using his hand to make sure that no water got into his eyes. A sweet scent reached Tony's nostrils, fingers massaging a shampoo into his hair. Even though this was the most pleasant thing he had felt in months, he couldn't enjoy it. He just sat miserably there in the water, enduring the treatment and thinking about his future.

“Are you a seidr wielder?” The neutral voice asked and Tony didn't even look up to answer him.

“No...”

“Very well.”

The shampoo was rinsed out and Karef absented himself, only to get back with a scissor. He started cutting the wet hair, getting it into shape. Once he was done, he offered Tony a hand to help him out, before he let the water drain out of the bath tub. Tony stood there on the spot, waiting for anything at all, while Karef fetched a large towel to dry him off. Meanwhile Jarvis called for two other servants, who brought clothes and put layers and layers of silk on him, until he was dressed in the finest robe he had ever seen in his life. One of the servants retrieved a box from one of the cabinets and held it out for Jarvis to open. An expensive looking collar appeared in his hands and Tony gasped at the sight, shaking his head violently.

“I am not some dog!” He hissed and tried to get away.

“That might be the case, but you do have an owner.” Tony stared wide-eyed at him, still struggling against the hands that held him in place. “You will not go anywhere without the mark of ownership.”

The man regarded the item in his hands. The black leather collar was jeweled with many expensive stones, bright red and golden ones, fitting his future carrier's eyes. In any other scenario, Tony would have admired the crafting of the jewelry, but now it left a nasty taste in his mouth.

“If you would prefer another way, we could also brand you. But I fear the king wouldn't like this.”

Tony furrowed his brows at this, but eventually nodded and raised his head. One of the nameless servants took the collar from Jarvis' hands and fastened it around Tony's neck. And almost instantly, he felt constricted like an animal.

“We have five weeks to knock the nonsense out of you. You will learn to not shame yourself or your master. To behave appropriately. I will teach you table manners.”

Tony gulped and nodded reluctantly.

“Furthermore. And I warn you now. Mind your words. Keep your voice down. Another swearword from your lips and you will face punishment.”

Tony growled in his throat and followed his superior out of the room.

Chapter Text

Tony followed Jarvis around the palace, or castle, or whatever the royalty had decided to name this shithole. Not that it looked like that, but at the moment he hated everything. The marble floor, the detailed wall ornaments, the man walking in front of him... He still had the same grim expression on his face, and that probably wouldn't change any time soon. Especially since everyone crossing their way stared at him as if he was some kind of attraction, which admittedly, he probably was. As if those high born bitches had never seen a normal person. Gosh, he hated this place. But what else could he do but follow? Freeze to death. Great.

Jarvis stopped in front of a door and Tony almost ran into him because he was staring at the floor. He wanted to curse, but as soon as he opened his mouth the fair haired man cast him reproving look. How would he survive this when he couldn't even speak his mind. The guy had to know about his malicious tongue, and still wanted to make him a slave to royalty? Another kind of stupid. But just for now he decided to stay silent and Jarvis raised an eyebrow before finally opening the door and stepping inside.

It was a small room, fully furnished, which looked infinitely more comfortable than the other chambers. Well, this was probably because it was more normal and not that noble, no gold or silver, fortunately.

“This will be your quarter.” Jarvis exclaimed and Tony walked past him to look around further. Yes, it was nothing special, but at least he had this room to himself and didn't have to share it with anyone. That would have been the final straw. “I'll await you at six in the morning. Have a good nights sleep, you will need it.”

Tony mimicked Jarvis behind his back as he talked, ignoring him as much as he could. Unfortunately his voice stung in his ears. No way he couldn't register what he said.

“Whatever.” He mumbled as Jarvis turned to leave, closing the door behind him.

Tony sighed and hung his head. Everything was just so fucked up. Why did it have to be him? It was ridiculous, never had he imagined that something like this could happen to him. Growling, Tony abandoned the thought and turned around. Except for the bed, there was a small living room suite and a giant closet, filled with massive amounts of clothing. Only servant uniforms, of course, but still. At least he had some spare clothes. A door lead to a bathroom, fitted with a shower and a bathtub. To be honest, Tony had expected way less as a slave. This would do for those few days he would have to spend here until he'd figure out how to escape this prison. Tony shot a glance over to the bed again, suddenly feeling tired and exhausted. Right, he hadn't slept for a whole twenty-four hours. And just now his body decided to remind him on that. Without bothering to undress, he let himself fall face first onto the bed, almost immediately falling asleep.

But his sleep was haunted by nightmares and more often than not he lay awake, groaning and placing his hands over his eyes to find at least a bit of sleep.

“Wake up!” A voice right next to his ears shouted, making him jump.

“What the fuck is-” Tony ran a hand over his face, trying to block this annoying sound out.

“You are already late! You need to stand up, before you get punished. Come on!” Tony's hand was grabbed and he was yanked into an upright position. “Don't tell me you slept in the robes.”

Finally Tony opened his eyes, suddenly surprised to see the handsome black-haired male from the day before. Karef was his name right? Damn, he was really cute when he was angry. Why was he angry?

“Robes, what? I don't-” Tony mumbled unintelligible, but was forced to stand when the man pulled him off the bed.

“It's already two after six, you had to be in the study hall two minutes ago! Jarvis won't be amused.” Karef whined and shoved the startled Tony out of the room.

And then it dawned on Tony. Fuck the thing he had needed to remember, but didn't. Great. Fortunately Karef had been there to wake him.

“Where is that-”

“Down the corridor, second door on the right. Hurry.” Why was he always interrupting him?

“Thanks.” Tony cast over his shoulder and started to run, for some reason not wanting to be any more late than he already was. Not that he expected to get off easy, Jarvis would scold at him either way.

Panting heavily, he made it to the door, supporting himself against the door frame. Jarvis was sitting on a desk, rolling his eyes when the shorter male stepped into the room.

“Lecture one, punctuality. You don't have leisure time and you won't sleep in, unless your master permits you to.” Jarvis said in that indifferent voice that annoyed Tony immediately.

“Oh please.” Tony sneered back and sat down at a table covered in books after Jarvis gestured him to. “I am five minutes late, maximum.”

“Late, exactly. Next time it happens you will be punished. Remember that.” The blonde walked over to the pile of books and took a heavy looking one. “What do you know about the royal house?” Blue eyes shot up and Tony grimaced at the intensity of the color. Those eyes were piercing right through his being. He had never seen a Jotun with such eyes. Maybe this fact made him even more odd.

“What time is breakfast?” Tony countered, causing Jarvis to exhale in exasperation. Hey, he was hungry after all. But when Jarvis didn't deign this an answer Tony gave in. “Eh, well.” He was seriously trying to remember something. “There is the king and...” Admitted, it wasn't much. “I heard the prince its pretty hot.” Tony shrugged and Jarvis hit him on the back of his head.

“Read. You will know the entire chronicles by heart. I will come back later and bring you something to eat, only then you are allowed to take a break. I will check your progress. You won't leave this room until you are through with this task. Are we clear?”

Tony ground his teeth, watching the man put the book in his hands, but said nothing.

“I didn't hear you.”

“Yes.” Tony spat back with as much venom as he could muster. Not that Jarvis would be impressed by any of his tantrums. He heard how the door was locked after Jarvis and only then he slammed his fist on the table. “Fuck this shit!”

It took him two whole days until Jarvis was finally satisfied with his state of knowledge. It had been kind of interesting, he had to give him that. The royal family was more than just some noble asses sitting on their thrones. All those wars they had fought were awe-inspiring. The only thing that was strange was that there was nothing written about the current prince. Would have been too practical to know something about the man who was bound to be his master soon. He had asked Jarvis about him, but the man had remained silent.

The whole next week Jarvis taught Tony how to behave, something that was not quite as successful as he had hoped. Today he tried to teach Tony dinner etiquette which wasn't crowned with success either. Tony was not in the mood to actually learn how fancy people were eating their food. Nonetheless he was sitting at a dinner table, in front of a plate with way too many forks and knifes, spoons and glasses. Silly people. In Tony's opinion it was stupid to have flatware for every course and it was not as if he would ever eat with the king, but his every gesture would reflect on his master and thus, he had to learn it. At least that was what Jarvis had told him. Fucker. It wouldn't have been as bad if there had been actual food for him to eat, but no, he had to practice without it. A waste of time.

Every day the same game. Jarvis told him how to talk, to eat, he even corrected his walk. And every time a curse or a snark remark left his throat, he was beaten, until after a week he had learned and just stayed silent completely, enduring it without talking back. The second week had barely been over and Tony felt as if he was about to collapse. Too little sleep and way too much stress. Especially since the day of his handover was approaching fast. He was anxious, but Tony had learned by now to keep his mouth shut. Jarvis had hammered it into his head, literally, that he was only allowed to talk when he was asked, that he had to do anything his master asked of him.

Tony walked next to Jarvis, just as they did it sometimes, so the man could correct his behavior as he saw fit. They stopped and Tony stared into the blue, not caring about what his superior was doing. He talked to someone, and only when Tony turned his head to look, he got interested. Jarvis was talking to a female, definitely not a Jotun, so what was she doing here? Judged by her clothes, which reminded him more of battle armor, lots of platinum and silver, she had to be of high rank. Damn he would give anything to see that crafting close up. Not to mention the woman under it. She was pretty, had a great body, as far as he could see, anyway. Tony finds himself staring at the foreigner, only to get tsked at by Jarvis. He quickly averted his gaze when he heard Jarvis whispering.

“Always bow when people of higher social rank cross your path.” Tony nodded quickly and Jarvis turned his attention back to the woman. “I hope you are well, envoy.”

“I am indeed, thank you Jarvis.” Her eyes darted over to Tony, who wanted to flinch. “Is this him?” She obviously knew who he was.

“Yes. The blacksmith's son.”

“I see.” She mused, eying him up sceptically, until their eyes met and she smiled at him. “When will he be ready?”

“In a week, punctual.” Jarvis answered and glanced over to Tony, who wanted to be be somewhere else right now. People talked about him as if he wasn't there, as if he was some object. He wanted to yell at them that he was still in the room for fucking sake.

“Perfect.” With this she nodded to Jarvis and left and Tony couldn't help but look after her.

“Okay boy, back to work.”

Chapter Text

Up until now Tony had could deal with the fact that he had to get up early and had been punctual on every occasion. It had to be today that he overslept. Tony woke when cold water hit his face and he jumped to his feet.

“What the freaking-!”

Karef stood there with his hands on his hips, frowning down at Tony. Of course he knew why the male was here. Jarvis would not have him late to the most important day of Tony’s new life. If Tony had his way he wouldn't show up at all, but Jarvis had him trained for this special day, so naturally the head of the staff wouldn't have any of his bitching and grumbling.

“You’re already late.” Karef whined and threw a towel at his face. “I can't believe you.” He rummaged through the closet, waiting for Tony to dry himself off and get out of his sleeping clothes. “Why do you keep throwing away your chances away?”

Tony raised an eyebrow as he pulled the shirt over his head. He suspected that Karef was envious, but he didn’t know why. They talked often, but Tony could not understand why anyone would want to take his place. Being a slave was nothing desirable, at least to anyone in their right mind.

“Every one of us would give anything to serve the prince.” Karef mumbled as he drew an especially noble looking robe out of the closet.

“Is that so?” Tony replied with a sneer, and Karef frowned at him reprovingly as he brought the robes over to Tony.. “What's the big deal with the guy? I haven't even seen him once in all the weeks I've been here. And why do I have to dress up for that bastard? I'm just a slave.”

The word made Karef wince, and Tony looked down when he saw his hurt expression. He hadn't wanted to insult him.

“This isn't just any day, Tony. It's the prince's name day and our king requests everyone to be present.”

He still thought all it was stupid, but said nothing and let Karef help him into the robe. Once everything was in place Tony stepped in front of the large mirror to examine his new clothes. Why all this splendor? He looked more like a prince himself than a slave. All the silver and golden adornments were too much, and the jeweled collar didn't make it any better. He still hated that thing.

“I would die to wear something like this.” The smile on Karef's face kept Tony from cracking his usual jokes. He could see that the man really meant it. Come to think of it, he didn't really know how the life of the lower servants was, what they had to endure. Clearly it wasn't fun. “You should learn to appreciate the things given to you.”

Okay, that was enough. He had controlled the urge to argue up until this moment, but the other pressed his luck. How could he appreciate this at all? He had been free before, and now he was imprisoned here, not allowed to leave or do anything he liked. Not to mention that serving someone was not what Tony would call a blessing.

“Don't give me that bullshit.” Tony gritted out, but Karef just shrugged it off.

“You are a spoiled brat, Anthony Stark. Everyone knows that and you brag about it. It wouldn’t hurt you to do some real work.” Karef grinned and gestured to the door.

Tony pulled a face as he walked past him into the corridor. “You not coming?” For some reason he had expected Karef to support him, at least morally. But the servant shook his head.

“No, not today. I have to prepare dinner.” A weak smile graced his features and Tony quickly thought how beautiful the boy could be if he would wear his clothes. “Jarvis will meet you down there in the dining hall.”

Tony averted his gaze and nodded.

“Kay, see you later.”

“Maybe.” Tony blinked in confusion at the other male before the door was closed in his face.

Maybe? Tony didn’t have time to speculate Karef’s words, he was already late as it was. Tony walked down the corridors, but started to speed up until he was running. He knew what would happen if he kept Jarvis waiting for too long. He definitely wasn’t running because he was curious what would happen, because no one had said anything about the ceremony. No, definitely not curious. Not one bit. When he turned the corner to the main dining hall, he almost bumped into his mentor.

“Late. Again.” Jarvis pointed out and giving him that criticizing look that Tony had come to hate. “I thought I had knocked this out of you.”

“Apologies.” Tony grumbled and Jarvis brightened at the apology.

“Shall we then?” Jarvis eyed him up while Tony attempted to get his breathing under control. Damn him for not keeping his running schedule. Now he knew why Jarvis had ordered him to do more sports. The man started walking and Tony fell into step with him.

“What's happening exactly? Karef just told me that it's the prince's name day or something.” Tony asked, while looking at all the servants who decorated the walls. Why someone would make a fuss for such a thing was a riddle in itself. Jarvis didn't answer until they arrived at the big dining hall. The room was full of people organizing, moving tables, and placing silverware. All this for one person. He had celebrated, of course, but really, this was too much.

“Or something.” Jarvis finally responded, obviously judging the impressed look on Tony's face. “Oh, dear, where have you been the last couple of years?”

Tony rolled his eyes, but ignored the subtle insult otherwise.

“And what now?” He asked while following Jarvis through the tables to the entrance door. It was a little bit farther off from all the noise people made.

“You keep quiet and wait. I will introduce you later. Until then, stay silent.”

Tony hated to stay quiet. He hated doing nothing, especially since Jarvis was walking away and leaving him alone. But the older man had made it clear that this was important, so he waited and tried to be as good as gold. More than an hour passed, and he was still waiting, almost dozing off while standing, because nothing happened, when Jarvis finally came back and stood next to him, actually looking impressed that he was still at the same spot. The servants vanished and made room for guests, most of them stiff as a statue, dressed in fancy clothes, sitting down at the tables one after another. These were the type of people Tony wouldn't hang around with. He ignored the mumbling of the crowed, because he wasn't interested in anything they did. After a little while the hall suddenly became quiet and Tony looked up to see the king entering the hall. All eyes were on him, people standing and bowing when he crossed their path. Tony swallowed, he had forgotten how he looked like. Majestic was the right word for it. Shiny armor, long cape, King Laufey exuded an aura of power.

Laufey took his seat on the royal table, gesturing to the other side of the room when another person entered. It was the prince, and Tony felt all air leave his body at the sight of him. He was clothed in black and green leather, his long black hair was braided in the back hugging his beautiful pale face, striding into the room as if he owned the place,. He had a look of arrogance and pride on his face; extremely king-like and much to self-centered, but damn he was hot. His eyes followed the prince to the table as he gracefully sat down next to his father, but not without winking at the numerous females close by. Playboy, huh? Tony shook his head before finally dragging his eyes away from the princeling.

Laufey eyed his son before demanding silence. He rose again as if to make a toast, and the guests mimicked his gestures. When the king spoke, it sent shivers down Tony's spine. His voice was deep and strident, just as he had imagined for some reason.

“I thank you all for coming today.”

Laufey talked, and Tony had tried to listen but his attention fell back to the prince who was now staring at the servants who started bringing trays of food. It was pretty obvious that he looked down on them. Tony saw Karef in his servant uniform filling wine goblets. He really did have to work hard.

“You are privileged.” Jarvis whispered.

Once King Laufey was done with his speech, the servants finally revealed the food that was hidden underneath the lids. The moment Tony saw it, his mouth watered. What he would give to be able to eat that now. Jarvis’s subtle throat-clearing snapped him back to reality.

“It his not your place to eat, stop staring.” Jarvis reminded him, and Tony could do nothing but sigh. It was easier said than done though, because his stomach had other plans.

Hours went by with eating and celebrating, and Tony finally gave up on standing straight, even though Jarvis reproved him more than once for it. He was hungry, his legs hurt, and he was still standing with absolutely no idea what was going to happen.

“Almost.” Jarvis encouraged him, but it hadn't the desired effect. “Don't pull a face.”

Laufey spoke up again, drawing everyone's attention.

“I have a gift for my son on this his name day.” The father looked at his son and gestured for him to stand up as well. “Since the coronation nears and you still have a few things to learn, I will delegate a great responsibility to you Loki.”

The prince raised an eyebrow, anot knowing what his father was talking about.Tony didn't either until Jarvis placed a hand on his back and shoved him forwards. A surprised sound left his throat and Jarvis walked him to the middle of the room. People were now focusing on him and he didn't like it. They all stared as if he was an attraction. Jarvis bowed down, with Tony reluctantly doing the same. Out of the corner of his eyes he saw the prince narrow his eyes, obviously not too happy with the events. Tony still didn't understand what was happening.

“Loki, I will gift you your first personal thrall.”

As the words left the king's mouth, Tony's eyes widened in realization. He was the birthday present.

Chapter Text

Tony swallowed the lump in his throat, eyes fixed on Loki. A frown appeared on his face as he eyed him up from head to toe. For some reason he didn't look impressed at all. A few moments passed until Loki grimaced and turned his attention back to his father.

“I already have my own staff, I don't need a personal thrall. I don't need... him.”

The snark in the prince's voice made Tony clench his hands, and he briefly glanced at Jarvis as he wanted to bark back an insult, only to feel a hand on his neck, fingers pressing hard into the muscles there.

“Not one word.” His tutor muttered, head still bowed.

“I'm a gift?!” Tony couldn't stay silent, had to ask this question which already had an obvious answer. “A present? You can't be serious.” Jarvis didn't deign with an answer.

“I don't want him.” Loki then stated in a neutral tone. “Can't you see him, he's not more than a beggar from the streets, clothed in silk.”

Tony looked up again, completely baffled by the words. He gaped at the prince, seriously insulted, and even Jarvis's warning look couldn't stop him from voicing it.

“What?” He all but snarled back as he felt a hand on his shoulder tried to calm him.

“Apologies my Lord. He's still in need to get accustomed to the rules of the palace.” Jarvis shouted over Tony's cursing. “Silence, boy. You have no rights to complain.”

Tony screwed up his face, trying to gulp down his anger.

“If I could say something, my lord?” Jarvis straightened again and waited for a gesture of Laufey's hand to continue. “I personally selected and trained him to suit your son's needs. He will exceed in serving you.”

The prince rolled his eyes, but looked to be considering his words. Red eyes fell on Loki, which made it obvious that even the prince really hadn't got a choice.

“You will accept my gift, son.” The king ground out, allowing no argument.

“Of course, father.” Loki snarled back in the same tone, smiling sarcastically at his father, and only then Tony realized in which kind of situation he had gotten himself into. The prince was far from a nice guy. This was bound to end in flames. “Whatever you think is right.”

“Good.” Laufey turned to Jarvis and nodded briefly, and the blonde immediately bowed and turned to leave, yanking Tony with him.

They were barely out of the dining hall when Tony freed himself from his tutor's grip.

“What the fuck is going on?!” He shook his head, growling at the man in front of him. “Serving is one thing, but being gifted like a piece of trash is another!” Tony was panting in anger, completely distraught by the recent events.

“What did you think would happen? I told you that you will serve the prince.” Jarvis replied, voice calm and collected, unfazed by the temper tantrum in front of him.

“Yes, but this-”

“I told you Loki would be your master. You can consider yourself lucky that Loki had to accept you as his thrall. Else you would be dead by now.”

Tony hung his head, trying his best to cope with his situation, but knew it would take time. Only after a few minutes, he was able to look up into blue eyes again.

“Where are we going?” He asked ruefully.

“We need to dress you appropriately.”

“Huh?” His eyes darted down over the rich tunic. What could be more appropriate than this?

“Like I said before. You will be staying with the prince from now on. We will take you to his room.”

“You're kidding.” At least Tony hoped that Jarvis was making fun of him, but the indifferent expression on the man's face told him otherwise. “Seriously?” He whined and fell into step with Jarvis when he walked on.

Karef was already waiting in front of Tony's room, arms full of fabric. A smile was gracing his features the moment he saw them.

“He is gorgeous, right?”

Jarvis only gave an annoyed roll of eyes as he heard that and went past the servant and into the room.

“No.” Tony spat back, but followed his teacher inside, instantly starting to get rid of all the layers of silk. “He's a brat.”

“Don't talk like that.” Jarvis cautioned and Tony fell silent again, if only for a minute.

“It's not that bad.” Helping Tony out of the robe, Karef gave him another one.

“I am an object. I don't think it can get any worse.”

Karef snorted and bursted out in laughter as he heard that, making Tony gape at him in confusion.

“Everyone here would love to take your place.”

“And I would accept that offer.” Tony grumbled back as Karef shook his head.

“Maybe, but Loki does not want any of us.”

This caused Tony to turn around and face him. “What?”

“Many have tried to become his thrall, to seduce him.” The servant looked down, a sad smile on his lips. “We all were devastated when we were rejected.”

“Yeah, but he was forced to accept me. His father-”

“I don't think so. Loki would have come up with a scheme to convince his father if he really hated the fact to get involved with you.”

Tony narrowed his eyes, trying not to think about this information for too long. Turning the fabric in his hands, he slipped it over his head, noticing that it was actually quite comfortable.

“So, why this now? This doesn't look splendid at all.” His hands brushed over the silvern tunic, straightening the edges.

“Well, you aren't meant to be presented again today. The only thing you have to do now is serving the prince in his room.” It was said so casually that Tony did a double-take. He was still blinking when orange eyes looked back at him in slight confusion. “What?”

“Did you just tell me I'm a whore...?” There was the trademark smile on Karef's face again and in every other situation Tony would have liked it, but not right now. “Jarvis?”

“What ever it is he wants you to do, you will do.” Jarvis replied and Tony's face fell.

“This... No. You can't be serious.” He could deal with everything but this. How should he do this? Even the thought of being close to that man was making him swallow hard.

Tony fell silent, thinking that he would rather be thrown out and die in the cold of Jotunheim's winter right now. An hour later Karef escorted him to the prince's chambers. Tony felt increasingly nervous the longer they walked. Being delivered made him feel vulnerable and worthless.

“Okay, so... This is your last chance to switch places Karef.” Amused orange eyes glanced at him for a second.

“If that was in my might, I would.” With a nod, his friend knocked on the door they were standing in front and left him alone.

Tony stood there for a moment, hands fiddling with his tunic, until he finally the prince's voice answering.

“Come in.”

Gulping, he reached out to push down the handle and open the door, peeking inside. The prince rolled his eyes and grimaced at the sight of him, and Tony mirrored the expression as soon as he set foot into the room. He closed the door with a silent click and stayed on his spot, letting his eyes wander. Loki was lying on his bed, a book in his hands, covered in some of the finest furs that Tony had ever seen in his life. The prince didn't seem to mind him much, or was ignoring him. Either way, he didn't mind either. Both options were better than having to bed him. Yet, it didn't take long until Tony started shifting uncomfortably on his spot, growing increasingly impatient and jittery.

“Okay, so...” He began, unable to take the silence anymore. “What should I do? I don't want to keep standing here all night.” His tone might have been just a little bit too snarky, because suddenly green eyes were on him again.

“Pardon me?” The prince said, putting his book aside and arching a brow.

“What happens now?”

A groan escaped Loki as he heaved himself up.

“It amazes me how you're able to annoy me the moment you arrive. Even hearing your voice makes me cringe.”

The prince stood then, letting the furs slide down his sides and reveal his naked body. Inhaling sharply, Tony averted his gaze. Why was the man naked? Loki scowled at him for a brief moment before stepping towards his thrall.

“I thought Jarvis handpicked you.” Tony just clenched his teeth, but didn't respond, which was just what Jarvis had taught him instead of talking back. Apparently the silence rubbed the prince the wrong way, because his hand was suddenly on Tony's neck. “I can make you stand here for the whole night, if I'd like that, but right now I would prefer not looking at your pitiful visage.”

With this Loki opened the door and roughly shoved the servant out of the room, making him stumble and fall onto the floor. Tony groaned at the pain, but before he could even form words, the door was slammed in his face.

Chapter Text

Tony couldn't believe what had happened. He was still blinking in confusion, his eyes fixed on the closed door in front of him. That bastard just kicked him out, so how was he supposed to serve a guy who didn't even want to be with him? Even if he would try to show his best behavior, this prince would drive him into madness, or worse, suicide. Which was probably the better alternative to Loki being his master. Especially when the man decided to run around naked the whole day. What had ridden him to just walk around like that?

A faint blush crept onto Tony's cheeks as he thought about the prince's body. Who would have been able to look away when someone like that walked towards you? Not that Loki was overly beautiful or something, Tony himself was much better built, Loki was just lean and tall. Also very well endowed, he had to give him that. Not that it was relevant in any way to his current situation.

Even a few minutes later Tony was still sitting cross-legged on the floor, shaking his head. It was just like everyone had told him. Loki was as arrogant and bitchy as he was handsome. Great. Now he would probably spend the night in front of a closed door. Even better. At least he wouldn't have to actually spend time with him now, or well, worse. He didn't have a problem with sitting here until the end of time.

Tony's opinion changed though when two women, servants, judged by their clothes, came his way. Their eyes were on him as they whispered to each other, giggling the moment they passed him. Within an instant he was on his feet, scowling at the females, who quickly hurried to get away from him. Tony cursed under his breath. This guy was embarrassing him. It wouldn't take long until those two chicks would spread rumors. He had to get back into that room.

Gnarling his teeth, Tony grabbed the handle of the door, turning it, but to his surprise, it was locked. He could only gape at the handle, before he growled and turned around. If Loki didn't want him here, that was fine with him. Everything was better than staying with that diva, so Tony walked off and into the direction of his own room. Once there, he slumped down on his bed, closing his eyes in annoyance. Just now he wanted to go back to his father's workshop, which was ironic in itself, because he had told his old man a hundred times that he wouldn't continue the business.

It didn't take long for Tony to become antsy. He knew that he was supposed to stay with the prince, and Jarvis had made sure to tell him that there would be consequences if he wouldn't obey. Death, or probably worse. Only fifteen minutes later he jumped off the bed, screwing up his face. All this was more than stupid. If someone caught him in here, his head might come off his shoulders. Tony hesitantly walked back to the prince's wing. He still didn't understand how someone would need that much space for themselves.

For more than a few minutes Tony stood in front of the door before he finally swallowed his pride and knocked on the wood. No answer. So he knocked again, already starting to get angry.

“Mylord...” Tony pressed out through gritted teeth. Even this word made him sick. “I am obliged to keep you company.”

A chuckle could be heard behind the door and Tony narrowed his eyes.

“I don't think so.” Loki's amused voice replied. “I don't have use for a worthless and churlish servant who does not respect authority.”

Tony would have loved to just laugh out loud at this, but bit his tongue and gulped his anger down.

“Sire, this will get me executed.” His tone was serious now, trying to get the other to comprehend his situation, even though this man was at fault here.

“Oh, I know this very well.” The other male chirped behind the door. “That does not mean that I care.”

Tony looked down at this, both his hands on the door. He couldn't believe his ears. The prince didn't care that someone would get killed for his sake? This was even worse than he had thought. Slowly turning around, Tony slid down on the door, leaning his head against the surface. He heaved a sigh, thinking about what he could do to convince the prince to let him in. Tony didn't know whether he wanted him to beg and crawl before him, or really wanted him gone.

Some time went by before Tony tried again, knocking softly.

“Please your majesty, I beg of you.” There was no answer.

He was trying for hours, begging until his voice got hoarse and eventually the door was opened and Tony almost fell onto the princes feet. Loki stared at him in the most annoyed way possible, nose wrinkled and brows furrowed. It was obvious that he had only opened because Tony had bugged him enough to not being able to ignore him anymore. Brown eyes were fixed on green as Tony heaved himself up from the ground.

“You are a nuisance and not even worth being in my presence.” Loki snarled and Tony averted his gaze, even though he was boiling inside.

“Please...” His voice was quiet and soft, trying to not aggravate the prince even more. This guy was his only chance of surviving this whole ordeal.

For a long moment Tony could feel Loki staring down at him, but a second later, he stepped aside, holding the door open for him, waiting on him to enter the room, before he closed and locked it behind him.

“I don't want to hear one word from you.” Loki gnarled as he went back to the bed. “If there is something for you to do, I will tell you.”

Tony nodded, kept standing at the spot right beside the door. This was going to be a long night. Yet, standing here was not as bad as getting dragged into that guys bed. Fortunately they both couldn't stand each other, so that was off the table. Loki kept ignoring him from then on, reading on his bed until he finished the book. Tony's legs were getting tired from standing, and he would have loved nothing more than sitting down, or lying, but he was afraid to ask the other anything at all.

Only when Loki turned the lights off with a snap of his fingers, stupid Seidhr users, and faced away from him, Tony took the liberty to sit down and lean against the wall, completely exhausted from doing nothing at all. It only took moments until his eyes fluttered shut and he dozed off into sleep.

Chapter Text

Tony grimaced when he felt something pressing him back against the wall. Up until now it had been some kind of weird dream, but the pressure increased almost to a painful level, so he opened his eyes to see what was going on. Looking down on himself, his breath caught. Was this a foot kicking him? His eyes darted up to the owner of said foot and only then Tony actually remembered what had happened yesterday and that he was sitting on the floor in Loki's room. Fuck. The man had let him sleep on the fucking floor like a dog.

Enraged brown eyes looked up to meet unimpressed green ones and he could see that Loki was obviously just as annoyed as he was. The prince was already dressed, which was a miracle considering the fact that he had been naked the last day. A growl escaped Tony then and he wanted to tell the other to get his fucking foot off his chest, when Loki cut him off short.

“It is unbelievable that I woke before you and had to get breakfast myself, which was your task, as far as I remember, thrall.” The words were pressed out, annoyance layering the tone and Tony refrained from actually calling the guy a spoiled bastard.

It was his task after all and if the prince decided to inform Jarvis of this incident, Tony would definitely get in trouble. Swallowing down the curses on his tongue, Tony nodded and averted his gaze to the ground. The foot left his chest then and he followed Loki with his eyes when he moved back to the bed. His eyes went wide as he saw the tray full of food resting on the furs and his mouth immediately started watering involuntarily. There was fruit and cornbread, eggs... Heaving himself up, he tried to catch a better glimpse, hoping that he would get at least some of it.

“Fuck.” Tony mumbled and blushed when those green eyes shot back to him.

“I won't tolerate that language. Mind your tongue.” Loki snarled, looking back over his shoulder at the still crouching man.

Getting onto his feet, Tony rolled his eyes.

“Why do you even care? Neither you nor I want me to be here, so what is your fucking problem?”

Before Tony had even completed the sentence, the prince was in his face again and backhanded him, making him stumble. Tony gasped at the stinging pain in his cheek, blinking in bewilderment. He hadn't thought that Loki would hit him. His mouth opened and closed as if he wanted to say something, but no sound came out. He was seriously at a lack of words. Loki just stood there while Tony was staring into the blue and after a moment, he arched a perfect brow up.

“Did you never get hit before, boy?” There was a trace of confusion in his voice, as if he didn't know why Tony reacted the way he did. Without waiting for the answer, Loki sat down on his bed and started eating.

Tony looked up shyly and only now realized just how hungry he was, but decided to keep quiet. He didn't want to risk another slap. Wait. Was he afraid of that bastard now? Fuck. He was panting slightly, his hand cupping his own cheek and Tony's eyes went wide in realization. This was exactly how his father had always dealt with problems.

“If I ask you something, I expect an answer.” Loki's voice brought Tony back to the present and he shook his head, trying to form words.

“I... It's-” The stuttering made everything worse. The prince was narrowing his eyes, clearly having enough of waiting, so Tony gulped, hands nervously fiddling with his robe. Should he tell Loki that this had reminded him on his father? That he was intimidated and scared? Probably not, but once he opened his mouth to speak, it practically spilled from him. “It... It reminded me on how my father treated me.”

If Tony didn't know better, he would have said that the prince looked empathic for a second. There was a nod before Loki tended to his food again.

“I see.” The anger was gone from his voice and Tony was finally able to look at the prince without fearing to get hit again.

Tony's eyes were glued to Loki's hands and how they elegantly slipped a slice of fruit between those soft-looking lips. Shaking his head to clear the daze in his mind, Tony swallowed the need to ask for food and just stood on his spot, staring at how the other male devoured his breakfast. His tongue darted out to lick unconsciously over his bottom lip, couldn't keep his eyes off Loki as he ate. Tony didn't know whether he was staring because of his increasing hunger, or because the prince was giving him a show on purpose. Another slice of apple was slipped into Loki's mouth, something no normal person was able to get this time a year, and a quiet moan escaped him which made Tony shift uncomfortably on his feet. He couldn't deny that the male was, handsome and attractive, but damn this guy was an asshole.

The moment Tony's stomach growled, Loki opened his eyes to shoot him a glance.

“Something's the matter?” The silken voice asked in feigned interest and Tony pondered for a moment whether he should really ask.

“Uhm, well. Could I-”

“What?”

While Tony was searching for the right words, Loki finished up, leaving some of his less desired food on the plate.

“Can I have some?” The thrall gestured to the food and Loki raised a brow, glancing down knowing exactly what Tony wanted. But instead on giving him the leftovers, he stood and emptied the tray in the trashcan.

Tony almost jumped at the sight, mouth standing open in shock and disgust.

“What the hell are you doing?!” How could the man throw away food? “I just begged for you to-”

A sharp laugh came from Loki as he stepped towards his servant again.

“You begged? I sounded more like a demand. Maybe you should practice your submission and actually use your brain before you open your mouth.” Tony ground his teeth while glaring at him. “You asking also doesn't mean that you deserve any of it.” He could tell that Loki was serious by the way he snarled at him and he would have loved nothing more than to cuss at him right now. “Oh, do you have something to say, slave? Go on, make your life more miserable.”

Without thinking it through, Tony grabbed the collar of Loki's shirt, even though the man was towering over him.

“Yes, you stupid piece of-”

Before Tony could complete his sentence, a hand closed down on his throat and shoved him backwards towards the door and threw him out. Even when the doors closed in front of him, Tony kept screaming and cussing until he realized that the other man apparently wasn't listening.

A few hours went by which Tony had used running around and vent his anger about the spoiled prince. Even when he made it to his room that evening, he still hadn't calmed down. With a growl he slammed the door shut and bared his teeth.

“This arrogant and ignorant asshole! God, what would I give for the chance to shut him up...”

Tony's hand came up to claw at the stupid collar. How he hated that thing. He opened the fastening on the jewelry and threw the thing across the room, panting heavily from his rage. This thing made his enslavement even worse. At least now he felt as if he could breath again, with nothing pressing into his neck anymore. Slowly walking over to his bed, he lay down and stretched his aching muscles. Why should he care anymore? Tony couldn't imagine that being dead or cast out would be worse than serving this asshat. And it was the prince's fault anyway. He threw him out, there was no way he would crawl to him a second time.

Tony was about to drift off into a more comfortable sleep when the door opened and Karef came in, hands full of freshly washed clothes for him. Orange eyes went wide as he saw him on the bed and he actually dropped the robes the moment his eyes spotted the collar on the floor. He was immediately on his knees to pick it up and Tony screwed his face up when the other man glared at him.

“What is this about?” There was no amusement or content in Karef's voice anymore, which deeply disturbed Tony for some reason. Usually he was always happy, or it at least seemed like that. “You can't just throw it away, do you know how much it’s worth?!”

“Who cares?” Tony snapped back in the same annoyed tone. “Loki threw me out, twice, just because the diva thinks he is better than anyone else. So why should I even wear this piece of sh-”

“Even if you don't like it, it's your duty to-”

“My duty?” Tony asked as he started to laugh. “Duty? I was forced to be here. This is just some sick game apparently. How to enslave people.”

“So you would be rather dead than to serve the prince?” Karef sounded insulted and Tony gave a roll of his eyes when he averted his gaze. “You should look at you. It's no wonder the prince threw you out. Always bitching back, never being grateful or polite. I heard of it, Tony. If you want something to eat, you have to get it yourself. I am certain Jarvis taught you this.” The man ran a hand over his face and sighed in exhaustion. “Why can't you for once lay low and do what you are told?”

Tony's eyes flicked over to his friend, who narrowed his eyes in return and shook his head in disappointment. He had never seen him like this and it scared the shit out of him. Maybe he was right and Tony was the root of his problems.

“You know I have to inform Jarvis of this...” Karef murmured and Tony stood in an instant.

“No, please, Karef don't.” He pleaded, but the other just proceeded in putting the clothes away and moved out of the room, leaving Tony alone again.

Chapter Text

Karef didn't make hollow promises. Tony realized this the moment Jarvis stepped through the door, followed by two guards who yanked him up from his bed. His tutor didn't even say a word, no matter how much he cursed and protested, just looked down at him in the most disgusted way when those two brutes dragged him away. It was clear that he was just as disappointed as Karef had been and now he would face the consequences for it. Not that Tony was worried in any way. What could they do to him that was worse than serving that bastard? Unfortunately Tony soon regretted his decisions when those two bulky guys brought him down to the dungeons.

This feld oddly familiar and Tony flinched in the guards' arms when he saw the dirty and moldy cells. This was not right. He didn't deserve to be here, if anything, Loki should be the one who should get punished. Not that this was a valid possibility, he knew, but still. Of course that no one would actually punish the prince, or even talk back at all, except for maybe his father, but not even the king seemed as if he really wanted to change the behavior of his son. It wasn’t important what the prince did, no matter how atrocious.

A moment later Tony was yanked from his thoughts and shoved face first to the floor, a growl forcing its way out of his throat when the two guards started restraining his wrists and ankles to the ground with chains, forcing him to kneel.

“And what's that now, huh?” Tony snarled, glancing up to Jarvis, who still stood in front of him, his expression completely unreadable. He just needed to say something, needed to talk his way out of this. “Are you going to torture me because I voiced my opinion? Really? How about this freedom of choice you offered me? Well, yeah I’d rather die than serve under these conditions.”

There was no answer and Tony started frantically looking around for help when he saw that one guard retrieved something from the wall close by. The silence was unbearable and definitely worse than any insult Jarvis could have thrown at his face.

“Jarvis, for fuck’s sake, it wasn't my fault!” The words were pressed out, his face contorted by fear when the second guard came into his view again, holding a whip. “Fuck, please! I didn't do anything!” Tony tried again, voice starting to crack, but Jarvis didn't even deigned him a look. The blonde only gestured to the guard to begin with the punishment. The smirk that spread on the man's lips made Tony shudder and he tried to pull on his chains, which was a futile attempt in itself. The only thing he achieved was that the metal pierced into his skin.

“Please! Jarvis, I swear I-” Tony was pleading now, but it didn't make Jarvis or the guards budge at all. The one with the whip was stalking around him now, getting into position and before Tony could prepare himself, the first hit came down on his back, making him arch and scream in pain.

The beating took hours and even the guard was panting in exhaustion when Jarvis finally gestured for him to stop. Tony had long since stopped struggling, accepting his fate, since he couldn't really do anything against it. He had just knelt there and endured every new hit until his mind blanked out everything around him. Tony knew he was bleeding, sweat and blood dripping down his body, puddles of it had formed underneath his body. Panting heavily he stared at his hands, which clawed at the ground, shaking badly, just as the rest of his body. The whip had broken his skin, it would take days or even weeks for it to heal properly and would probably scar.

Tony was still shivering when the guards freed him and picked him up, having to drag him out of the cell because his legs wouldn't carry his weight.

“You brought it all on yourself.” Jarvis's voice hit his ears, but couldn't bring him to look up.

Tony was hanging his head, his eyes shut tightly as a maid ran a sponge over his wounds in attempt to clean them. Everything that came out of his mouth was small whimpers and hisses, Tony just couldn't bring himself to answer. Even though his whole body hurt, Tony still believed that this was the prince's fault. The bastard should have gotten the beating instead of him. Another swipe of the sponge made Tony flinch and he bit his lips to not cry out in pain. Well, alright. He knew that his behavior had brought him this punishment, had definitely learned that he wouldn’t talk back anymore, even if he was right. This was no place for equality.

“First you dishonor the king by treating his property like trash...” Jarvis held the choker collar into his line of sight, then some stones were missing, probably because of the impact with the floor earlier, bad craftsmanship. “And then you dare to insult the prince? This is not what I taught you.” Jarvis sneered and just then Tony couldn't remain quiet.

“It was the other way around. First insulting, then destroying that damn necklace.” Sometimes Tony wondered why exactly he tried to wind up people on purpose, even though it was true. It just was in his nature he guessed. “And really now? The fucking oaf called for it!”

“Don't insult the prince, Anthony Edward Stark.” Jarvis warned, but Tony wasn't thinking clearly anymore, his mind clouded by anger and pain.

“It's the truth! He is arrogant and humiliates me every wake moment! You can whip me all you want, but I don’t lie! This asshole had-”

Jarvis's flat hand connected with his cheek then and Tony fell immediately silent, words stuck in his throat. He just stared at his tutor, lips quivering.

“Don't ever say any of this again.” Jarvis warned and Tony could only nod, despite the fact that he felt like shouting out his displeasure about all this. Casting a last glare at Tony, Jarvis left the room, leaving the baffled servant alone.

xxxx

Loki was lounging next to the king in the library, it was a rare occasion that father and son spent some time together. Jarvis slowly approached them and bowed his head in greeting when he entered their line of sight. While Loki not even looked up from his book, Laufey gestured for him to come closer.

“My king, I have something to discuss with your majesty.” A nod from Laufey later, Jarvis told him of the latest events concerning his son and his thrall. Only then Loki actually put the book aside. “I disciplined Anthony accordingly, but I fear he does not want to go back to serving your son. I believe it is some kind of act of defiance to the prince's behavior towards him.”

Glowing red eyes turned from Jarvis to Loki.

“What is this all about?” The low voice made Loki sigh.

“Anthony is convinced that you humiliate him on purpose, mylord.” Jarvis added a second later, which caused Laufey's expression to darken even more.

“Indeed.” Loki smirked. “The vermin deserved it.”

A frown appeared on Jarvis face and he dropped his gaze to the floor.

“Anthony is most intelligent and gifted. I plead for you to give him another chance to prove himself.”

Loki was about to sneer, but a thoughtful glance from his father made him rethink this.

“Loptr...” Laufey warned, but his son didn't answer.

“At least the feeling is mutual then.” Jarvis heaved a sigh again and drew both their attention back to himself.

“What do you mean?” Loki suddenly asked, eyes narrowed as he looked into blueish eyes.

“If you don't want him, it is fine on his behalf.” That made Loki sit up, a silent question lingering in the air. “If the prince didn't know until now, Anthony does not want to spend any time with him. Not wanted it from the beginning. He even was ready to die outside in the cold of Jotunheim’s winter so he wouldn’t need to go back to be the prince’s servant.” It seemed that Loki was utterly confused by that statement, probably because this had not happened before. Even the most struggling servants always wanted to serve him, yet Jarvis knew that Tony was not like any of them and would most likely not put up with it any longer. Whether this was good for him was another story though. “Unfortunately he is way too proud to just give in without physical punishment or restraints, and since you apparently don't offer him any kind of respect-” Jarvis speech was interrupted by a snort. “He won't respect you either.”

“So you want to tell me that Anthony doesn't want to be in my presence? That is new.” The prince's corners of his mouth quirked upward and Jarvis grimaced slightly, fearing that he was plotting mischief again. “Interesting even.”

“Yes, prince Loki. He doesn't want to serve you in the least.” He confirmed and hoped that this would not end even worse than it already was. It was not that Jarvis liked to hurt his charge, yet he would do it again to make him comply and actually live through the next day. He couldn't just let him throw away his life. Serving, no matter whom, was better than dying out there on the streets. And Jarvis had to admit that the boy had grown on him over the last weeks.

“How hard did you punish him, Jarvis?” Loki asked then and made blue eyes look back up into his.

“It might take some time to heal, but after this it shouldn't hinder him from completing his tasks.” So that meant that Loki was actually considered taking Tony back, good.

“Fine, I'll give him another chance.” The prince chuckled and opened his book again. “Bring him to the feast next week.”

“As you wish my prince.” Jarvis bowed and walked backwards to leave them alone. From the corners of his eyes he could see how the king was speaking to his rebellious son. Even if Loki had not taken interest in his request, Laufey would have made him. Fortunately for Tony's future, the prince seemed to be intrigued at last.

Chapter Text

Tony ground his teeth when he slowly walked into the direction of the personal quarters. His wounds were almost healed by now, still, having this much fabric on them hurt. Jarvis had given him a speech about today, that he needed to show his best behavior, because another time, he probably wouldn't be able to change the prince's mind and with this his fate. Tony hated that he was forced to actually seek Loki out now to apologize, especially while he was talking to business partners. This would probably result in him getting a beating or being humiliated after they would be alone again. Or very likely both. He didn’t want to see the man, not now nor ever, but Jarvis had made sure that he actually knew what was at stake. His life. So he would not talk back, or at least very little and try to obey, even though he feared that Loki would ask ridiculous things of him on purpose to get an unwanted reaction from him. But what else could he do? If he would be disobedient again, it would end even worse. Cuts and bruises were nothing, at least if he could trust Jarvis’ words, but up until now the man hadn’t disappointed in that department.

For a moment Tony just kept standing in front of the giant golden doors, wary if he should really go in there or not. It felt like the stroll to the death row. His hair stood on edge, every fiber of his body was tense as he hung his head in resignation. He could still feel the cuts with every movement he made, the sting because of the fabric he wore a constant reminder.

A distressed sigh left Tony as he finally opened the door to the conference room after moments of hesitation. All eyes were on him the second he lay foot on the carpet and he quickly looked down to his feet when green eyes met his. Still, out of the corners of his eyes he could see that Loki’s business partners were grimacing, obviously displeased of being interrupted. Well, he felt exactly the same way. As far as he was concerned, he would just turn around and run back to his quarters to hide under his blanket right now. When he dared to look up again, Tony’s throat felt almost constricted and he had to swallow a few times before even a word would come out.

“Apologies...” Tony's voice was quiet as he spoke, his gaze now lingering on the prince as if searching for guidance. His hands were fiddling with the edges of his robes and their grip tightened immediately when he saw the smile that tugged on Loki’s lips. Why was he smiling? And why was it making him feel so incredibly weak? Averting his eyes to the ground again, Tony spoke on. “It appears you called me...”

“Indeed, pet, come here.” Loki waved at him and Tony could only blink in sheer confusion. Why was the prince so... happy to see him? Well, fine, happy was probably not the word Tony would use to describe the creepy expression on the prince’s face. But pet? Since when was he calling him pet instead of dimwit or slave? It made Tony uncomfortable, because the word was usually used either in an affectionate or a humiliating way.

Hesitantly Tony started walking over to the large table, which was covered with all kinds of delicious food. He stood next to the prince, who glanced up before he turned his attention back to the other people at the table. No Jotuns, Tony thought to himself when he let his gaze wander over the different faces that stared back at him. From what he could tell it was an Asgardian, a fat one that was, and two female elves of apparently rather impressive age. You know they are old when they actually get wrinkles. What business did the prince have with those people? For some reason Tony didn’t think that it could be anything good. They all looked kind of untrustworthy and with the trickster prince as their partner, he couldn’t think of a thing that could be considered good or beneficial for the kingdom. His thoughts were interrupted when he felt them staring at him in return and he nervously shifted on his feet, awaiting any kind of snarky comment, but none came. It didn't help ease the tension at all though, it reminded Tony more of the quiet before the storm. The business partners continued eating then, which the fat one should probably do less of, not that Tony would actually dare to say anything, and were now completely ignoring him as it seemed.

A few minutes went by with Tony just standing awkwardly next to Loki’s chair, before the smacking and slurping sounds made him wet his lips and right now he wished that he could have some of that delicious meat. Or the vegetables or fruit. Just a tiny little bit to satisfy his hunger and sooth his growling stomach. He hadn’t eaten in days and watching those people eat was pure torture. At this very second Tony knew why Jarvis had given him only little to eat the last days, to make him more obedient and submissive. Smart son of a bitch. Tony swallowed but refrained from actually asking for anything, the last time had taught him that Loki would never give him any without ulterior motives. His longing gaze had not gone unnoticed though.

“You really have a formidable slave, prince Loki. I guess he was very expensive.” The fat ass said in a sing-song voice and nodded towards Tony, before he bit into a haunch of meat again. The sight alone made Tony feel sick to the stomach. Crumps and pinguid chunks of food were sticking to his beard. The way he was eating reminded Tony of a pig.

That guy was disgusting and the look he gave Tony crept him out to say the least. Loki looked up at him and met Tony's eyes, seeing the discomfort there and offered only a small humming sound. That was unusual and Tony wasn’t sure how to deal with a reassuring prince who tried to calm him down.

“Can he do tricks?” This made the thrall do a double-take though and he turned to look at the man with wide eyes, while Loki only raised an eyebrow. A hint of annoyance and irritation was written on his face, while Tony almost exploded inwardly. Did this guy think he was a jester? “Can he sing or dance?”

“Probably.” Loki muttered and held a hand up when Tony opened his mouth to protest, silencing him before he could even say a thing. He gave a little smile, but for some reason Tony imagined that he could hear the annoyance layered in his voice. Hopefully the prince wouldn't make him do that. He would do anything but this. “Up until now his purpose is more one of a decoration than of use.”

Tony closed his eyes and focused on not punching the arrogant bastard in the head. He was fuming inside and wanted nothing more than pulling him back by that silky black hair and slamming his fist into that beautiful face. That train of thought was seriously messed up, but no matter how much he hated the fact, the prince was pretty and he damn well knew that. Actually, he more of stuck it into everyone’s face on a daily basis. As if he had called it, Loki notice how he was glaring at him, and he stared right back, not even bothering for any kind of etiquette. The indifferent face told him that he would regret even turning his eyes on him. The Asgardian asked a few things then, but Loki didn't take his eyes off Tony and the thrall couldn't help but shudder at the intensity of those green eyes, flinch and look away almost immediately.

“Kneel.”

Tony choked on his own spit when he heard the command and he tried his best to stay calm and think about what he could do in such a situation, but the business partners were staring at him now and there was nothing he could do without embarrassing the prince and thus dooming himself. So he slowly slid down to his knees, as elegantly as he could and raised his gaze to face Loki, a heavy blush on his cheeks.

“Oh, what are you up to, prince Loki?” The older elf asked, voice full of amusement as she hid her growing smile behind her hand. But Loki didn't address her at all, instead he picked a slice of asparagus up with his fingers.

“Do you want some of this delicious food, pet?” Tony inhaled sharply. Of course he wanted to eat, but like this? Loki chuckled as he saw the interior struggle in Tony's features. “Well?” The vegetable was dipped into some kind of sauce and Tony's lips fell apart as he licked over them, showing everyone wordlessly how bad he wanted to taste that.

“Yes please.” Tony all but grumbled, which seemingly amused the prince to no extend.

“Beg for it.”

Without thinking, Tony bared his teeth in a snarl. “No.”

“Oh!” The younger elf gasped in surprise and turned around to look at the older one. “Back talking!”

“Ah, he is still young and will learn.” She nodded towards Loki, who just smirked mischievously.

The piece of asparagus was waved in front of Tony's face then, the scent of it involuntarily reaching his nose and making his mouth water. God, that prick was teasing him on purpose now.

“Oh dear prince, please give it to him, look how hard he tries to resist.” The older elf chuckled and Tony felt his cheeks reddening.

At this Loki leaned over to him and pushed the asparagus to his lips, his other hand reaching out to rest on Tony's shoulders. There was nothing else Tony could do but comply, even though the thought of it made him physically sick. Hesitantly, he used his lips to take the food from Loki's fingers, who obviously approved of the gesture and promptly held another one out for him. Sick and kinky bastard was enjoying this way too much. Okay, under normal circumstances he would probably like this as well, especially when the other looked as if he wanted to devour him whole. But this was Loki and why the hell was he looking at him like that?

Tony didn’t really have time to wonder about the why, as he had to take the second piece of food, closing his eyes in pleasure the moment he tasted it on his tongue. It was way more exquisite than the servant's food. Damn, nope, he would not enjoy this. Loki continued feeding him, with Tony trying to blank out the stupid comments from across the table. Why should he care for their opinion? Loki would probably trick them and they wouldn't ever come back here, so why should he even be embarrassed? At least like this he would get something good to eat. A soft groan fell from his lips at a piece of fruit that was shoved into his mouth and Loki chuckled faintly.

“Now clean them.”

Brown eyes shot up in confusion and Loki waited with his head cocked to the side, a grin gracing his face.

“What?” Tony murmured, not quite getting it yet.

“You heard me.”

Only now Tony realized that Loki meant his fingers and he flashed a bright red at the order. He wanted to say no, wanted to stand up or hit the man, but for some reason, Tony couldn't bring himself to move. Loki raised an eyebrow then and Tony winced when Loki's hand squeezed his shoulder, reminding him of the wounds of his back. Hesitantly Tony leaned in and flicked his tongue over one digit, lapping over it before taking it into his mouth and sucking on it. If Loki wanted a show he would damn well get one. He reached up to grab Loki's hand and put a second finger into his mouth, tongue swirling around them, cleaning them of the sauce. Loki's lips parted as he watched and despite the embarrassment, Tony felt like the little shit was finally getting what he deserved, didn't matter that Loki seemed to be pleased by it. Only when the fingers were clean, Tony let go of the hand, his eyes closing in shame when he heard giggling from the females across the table.

“Oh, I would love to have a thrall like this.” Tony could swear he heard arousal in her voice.

“You’ve got him tamed alright, as I see it.” The fat Asgardian laughed in his dark voice.

Fortunately for Tony, the rest of the evening went over without any additional humiliation, because Loki was working for a change and did not quite care for him at all. So Tony could lean against his chair and relax, even though his stomach was still rumbling. He must have dozed off somewhen, because when Loki stood, he almost fell over due to the lack of support from the chair. Quickly heaving himself up, he blinked at Loki, who gestured for him to take the plate of fruit and dessert with him.

Without complaining, Tony did as he was told and followed Loki out of the room, glad that he was finally away from the fatty and the giggling bitches. They walked to Loki's room in silence and Tony wondered for a second if he was even allowed to stay there this time or if he would have to sleep on the floor in the corridor again. Loki entered first and Tony noticed immediately how the man's posture changed into a more relaxed one. The prince got rid of all the robes until only the fine linen clothing was left and picked up a book from his desk before slumping down on his bed. Reluctantly moving closer, Tony placed the tray next to the prince, who didn't really pay attention to him, so he moved to sit down and leaned against the bed. Fortunately he was able to catch a glimpse of what Loki was reading, so at least this evening would not be so boring like the last. Not that he understood any of the crap that was written there, but it had pictures. Pictures were better anyway.

Loki started eating grapes after some time and Tony watched the man licking his lips when a few drops of juice escaped him. He was still hungry as hell and without another word, and to his surprise, Loki held one out for him, which Tony gladly took the moment it was offered to him. Groaning appreciatively, he ate what Loki gave him and didn't even care for the fact that the prince was chuckling whenever Tony moaned at the taste of the food. Maybe, just maybe, they could get along with time going by.

Chapter Text

It was strange that Tony could deem a conversation with Loki worth his time, or consider it even remotely entertaining, but here he was, sitting on the prince’s bed and throughout enjoying himself. Who would have thought that behind Loki’s arrogant, sassy facade was a smart and funny guy? He had been surprise anyway when the prince had offered him a hand and a book. Really, Tony had never been the one for reading, but on the basis of daily boredom, he could damn well get there with time. And who was he to complain? He could be lucky if he was on the good side of Loki and didn’t need to endure his tantrums, no matter what kind.

Tony worried his lips as he studied the pages of an old smithery book. It had been ages since he had seen such craftsmanship and it made his fingers itch with the dire need to do something, to work on a personal project or at least something to get himself distracted from all this confining solitude. It would be enough if he could repair the water pipes in some of the servants’ rooms. But Jarvis had expressly declared that a thrall, especially if he served royalty, wasn’t allowed to do dirty work. At this Tony had just rolled his eyes and called him a snob.

“Something on your mind Anthony?” Loki’s silken voice ripped him from his thoughts and he pondered about it for a while.

Wait. Anthony? Was this his name that had just dripped off that usually so insolent tongue? What was up with that? It had been said so casually that it made him cringe. Why was he suddenly so courteous towards him? After all he had been the reason for him getting his ass whipped back there. Tony’s fingers tightened around the metal edges of the book when he finally peeked over to the prince, who wasn’t even looking up from his own book, indifferent as always. Tony had come to hate that expression. It seemed as if he wasn’t really interested, but that asking was rather a necessary evil to get his thrall to not be a bother.

“Uhm, yeah well…”

“That was an intelligent answer.” Loki gave back as he wet his fingers to skip a page.

“If my lord would let me finish, I would gladly elaborate.” Tony gave back through gritted teeth, the sound actually making the other male look up.

“The boot licking attitude suits you. Now, what is it.”

Should he retort something to that or ignore the snarky remark in sake for the overall eased atmosphere? Tony decided on the latter, just because he was getting food and was comfortable in here for a change.

“I just mused about the fact that I will never again work with metal; invent things, craft weapons or jewelry. Hell, hadn’t believed that I would ever miss working on those stupid commissions from stupid people.” The former blacksmith looked down at the palms of his hands. It was strange how they looked now. With time and care his callused hands had lost every sign of his old life. “Just… Thought how nice it would be to do this kind of work again.”

Loki was looking at him now, book cast aside as he eyed him up.

“I know, it’s dumb. People would love to change places with me.” Tony gave a small, bitter chuckle.

“Hm.” The prince hummed, apparently in thought as he suddenly stood and walked over to his desk, where he skimmed through papers and books before he took a particularly old tome and sat down next to Tony again.

“This might interest you then.” He murmured and placed it inside Tony’s lap. “It’s the complete collection of the blueprints used for the royal machinery and weaponry.”

Brown eyes met green then, staring at the other in absolute awe.

“F-for real? Why would you give me this?” The question had just blurted out of him and before Tony could withdraw it or apologize, Loki huffed a little laugh. It was not the kind of annoyance that he always used to answer, but rather an honest one, which made Tony pull back in embarrassment. Suddenly his question seemed dense even to himself. But thinking about it, he had never before seen or heard Loki laugh. The sound made him smile in return.

“Why not?” He shrugged and sat back to retrieve his book. Well, to be fair, Tony couldn’t really tell him that he knew that Loki hated him, so he just kept on looking, an eyebrow raised in question. “Oh, foolish oaf.” Loki chirped then, pointy, white teeth flashing in a grin. “Of course I need to take care of you. I might not be able to get you a forge here, but these blueprints are old and irrelevant. What should ever happen? You cannot possibly use it against me, so why not feed your mind instead of just your stomach?” He coaxed and, for the second time today, Tony wasn’t sure whether he wanted to kick him or thank him for it.

“I see.” He just muttered and opened the book to study what was inside. Loki hadn’t lied though. It had every little craft in it that had ever been invented in whole Jotunheim; it reminded him on a holy book, his holy book of engineering. Too good to be true. How badly Tony wanted to get going and start right now with his own projects.

It was a few hours later that the prince yawned and finally put his book aside, while Tony was still absorbed in the matter. When he didn’t made a move to get off the bed, Loki placed a hand on his shoulder, looking over it to see on which page he was. Tony immediately stilled, eyes looking straight ahead as he felt how horns brushed against his hair. He turned his head lightly to see how green eyes scanned the page. From this close they appeared to reflect the light, for the first time Tony actually thought them to be beautiful and he wondered how they could have that colour. Sure, he knew that pure blood Jotuns had different eye colors than the normal mob, but he had seen Laufey and the king had definitely red eyes. Was it appropriate to ask the prince about his mother? He must have inherited the color from her. Swallowing hard, Tony dared to turn a bit more towards the prince, who was still way too close for his liking.

“My prince, may I ask you a personal question?” Loki pulled back at this, bringing some distance between them, narrowing eyes looking back at him.

“You may, I will not guarantee that I will answer though.”

“Fair enough.” Tony sighed and nodded lightly. “Did the queen have the same eye color as you?”

For a brief moment there was silence and Tony could see in the other’s face how his mind was working. The fine lines of his features were tense as he spoke.

“My mother, queen Farbauti, was of high blood. It is said that she had bright green eyes as well.”

What was that supposed to mean? Had the prince just told him that he didn’t know himself? It sounded weirdly much as if he hadn’t seen her once… Well damn. Tony averted his gaze then, couldn’t really hold the exe contact as the information sank in. He knew how hard it was to live on without your parents, but he at least had both of them until he was an adult. He couldn’t imagine how it would be without a loving mother.

“Sorry I- I didn’t know.” He whispered, the tone of his voice indicating how uncomfortable he was feeling right now. The prince apparently picked up on it, because he just snorted. Tony wasn’t sure whether he wanted to comfort him or hide his own grief.

“Do not fret, Anthony. She died before I could even get to know her. I was a mere infant when she passed away.”

“I am still sorry for this.”

Both men were silent then and Tony eventually got up from the bed when Loki gestured for him to do so. They had much in common, if you would ignore all the annoying details and Tony wasn’t sure if he liked it or not.

 

Tony woke up at a reasonable time the next day. At least that was what he thought when he opened his eyes. Sunlight was already shining through the windows, illuminating the room, giving it a warm atmosphere. Stretching, Tony yawned extensively, a relaxed smile spreading on his lips. This night had been better than the last one he had spent in Loki's room. Loki had given him a few of his furs to sleep on, and despite them being no mattress, Tony had slept like a stone. Blinking sleepily, Tony heaved himself up into a sitting position. God, if this was going to continue, he would definitely need someone to reset his joints from time to time, his back hurt like hell no matter how good he had slept.

With a groan Tony got to his feet and turned to wake the prince, but when his eyes fell on the bed, no one was there. So he had to be already up and running. Good for him, he figured and walked over to the adjoining bathroom. Knocking on the door, he waited for a response, but when no came he pushed the door open to glimpse inside.

“Apologies my prince, but I-”

Tony fell silent mid sentence. The bathroom was empty. No one was there. Was Loki gone? How had he not noticed? Tony started back to the bedroom, his eyes skipping the room for any trace of Loki, but the prince was nowhere to be found. A sudden feeling of panic rose in his chest and he frantically walked up and down, thinking about what he could do. Fuck. Where was the damn prince? He couldn't have left without waking Tony, at least not without stumbling over him. Except if he had used his magic to get out of the room. He hated Seidhr users so much it hurt. Why, after yesterday, would he do that? It was painfully obvious that Tony would get into trouble when Loki decided to stay away.

Cursing the man, Tony ran from the room and down the corridors, basically searching the whole palace for the prince, but to no avail. The bastard had fallen from the face of the world, which was one of the worst cases that could happen in Tony's current situation. Jarvis had made sure to tell him twice that he shouldn't leave Loki's side no matter what and the fact that he was gone now left him in a bad spot. He was responsible for the safety of his master and if something happened to Loki, he would bleed for it.

Hurrying through the corridors, Tony only stopped running once he reached the laundry and was stopped by Karef, who looked completely confused by the man's rush.

“D-did you see the p-prince, Loki, did-” Tony was panting and his opposite narrowed his eyes, trying to make sense of his stuttering. Hands grabbed his shoulders to calm him then, guiding him to sit down on one of the benches nearby.

“What? Calm down, Tony. What's wrong? Breath, else I can't understand you.” Worried orange eyes looked from him to the door and back.

Tony inhaled deeply and hung his head, the shame of having lost a prince weighting heavily on him. His body was shaking from exhaustion and stress.

“Did you see Loki?”

The question made Karef stare at him incredulously.

“Huh? No, I thought you were with him.” A snicker came from the servant and he hid his smile behind a hand. “Rumors, you know?”

“Fuck the rumors, when I woke up he was gone!” Tony could see the doubt in his friend's eyes and quickly added. “And no, I didn't sleep in! We talked until late and I just went to bed. He seemed to be quite tired himself, I thought he would sleep until noon. I neither saw nor heard him when he stood up. Fuck, I don't know! I'm not sure what to do! I have to find him, but he's nowhere in this fucking place. I also searched the gardens, he vanished.”

The desperate tone in Tony's voice obviously made Karef consider it and he quickly nodded and lay the tools in his hands to the side.

“Right, I'll help. He has to be somewhere and we can't have you back in that dungeon again.”

Tony cringed at the thought alone.

“Thanks.”

Both men spent hours searching for the prince, but even with Karef's help, Loki couldn't be found. They had decided that Tony should go back to the room and wait, maybe the prince would come back on his own. He just had to make sure to let no one into the room who wanted to talk to the prince. Tony was glad that the room was still empty and the bed sheets still ruffled, at least like that no one knew of Loki's absence yet. The maidens hadn’t come in yet it seemed, so that gave him a little bit of time. Sitting down on the bed, Tony buried his face in his hands and sighed, waiting for the person he liked the least to return.

A whole day passed which Tony had spent worrying and getting rid of servants who wanted to clean up Loki's room. Up until now his little lies had worked; that Loki was still sleeping, or studying or bathing, but a moment of negligence changed that. Two servants had opened the door and rushed in while he had been staring out of the window, mind too far gone because of all the worrying to notice them sooner.

Of course they had informed Jarvis and the king of Loki's absence once they saw that he wasn't there. Even with him pleading and begging for them not to, he knew that they would share the blame if they didn’t report the incidence. Tony didn't even want to know what was going to happen to him. The complete staff was ordered to search the palace grounds and when they realized that their prince was indeed gone, Tony was dragged into the dungeon to get interrogated. He wasn't struggling this time, couldn't. Maybe it was part his fault. He should have known that the bastard would get him into trouble again, no matter how nice he had been the day before.

A dark voice sounded right next to his ear again before a hand pulled his hair back with force. Truth be told, he was expecting that. Those guys didn’t care if he was at fault or not. They were just here to get a confession and right now Tony didn’t know if he could endure their practises again. His back was still sore from the whipping, the skin new and vulnerable and he could still feel the white pain radiating through his body.

“Where is the prince?” They were really thinking he knew it, heh, stupid idiots.

“I don't know.” Tony barked back and cursed when another slap hit the still fresh wounds on his back.

This time he was restraint to a wall, face pressed against the cold surface and his hands hanging above him in chains. At least these guys were creative. Tony chuckled bitterly to himself, but apparently the guard didn't saw the irony in his situation. Another strike came down on his shoulder.

“You fucking piece of- I don't know where your stupid ass of a prince is!” Tony shouted, pulling on the chains again. His gaze was caught by the blood that was dripping down his arms. He followed the drop with his eyes, somehow mesmerized by the red on his blue skin. He really shouldn't do this to himself, he knew, but he had to bring his point across, no matter if wearing clothes would hurt for the next few weeks. “Fucking prick just left while I slept on his floor, you dope! Yeah, but it's alright as long as you can torture someone, right? Fuck you!”

The cursing did Tony no good. The guard just smiled and continued with the onslaught. Tony had spent the next two days in the filthy dungeon before he was finally freed from the chains. He had asked why and couldn't quite believe his ears when he heard the answer. Loki was back. After three days, he just came back strolling through the gates as if nothing had ever happened. Just like the last time. Tony couldn’t even say anything to this. He had no words anymore. After all he had thought that they would finally get along.

Tony was hungry, thirsty and looked like shit when he dragged his bruised body over the stone tiles towards his quarter. The blood had dried on his skin and all he wanted was take a bath. A cold one, but he feared that he couldn't be picky about that now. Limping through the corridors, his room finally came into view, but the moment he turned around the last corner, his heart dropped. There he was, standing in his personal space, looking down at him with a puzzled expression. That fucking bastard.

“What happened to you?” Loki said while arching a brow up, his eyes wandering over the ill-treated body of the other man. He looked as if he really didn’t know what had happened, as if he hadn’t even thought about the consequences of his actions and what they meant for Tony.

“You happened you fucking shithead!” Tony shouted and bared his teeth, just wasn't able to put a bridle on his tongue in time.

Loki just stared in bewilderment as he was shoved away and watched Tony walked on, only to follow on his heels.

“What do you want from me now?” Tony snarled without even looking over his shoulder.

“Where do you think you're going?” The amused tone in the prince's voice enraged him even more.

“To my room? Or does your majesty plan another scheme where I can take the blame for?”

A sigh fell from Loki's lips as he fell into step with Tony.

“Apologies, it was not meant to be like this.” It seemed to be the truth, but he didn't trust the man's words at all. He had had enough time to come to that conclusion. “I was quite surprised that you were blamed for my departure, even though I actually told my father. Amusing isn't it?”

Tony spun around to face Loki then and his mouth fell open, but no words came out for a moment. The king had known? And he was still punished for it? He needed a word with Jarvis about this.

“No it's definitely not!”

“Oh, it’s somehow ironic, you have to admit. Though I have to say that it is a shame seeing you so bruised.” Green eyes scanned his body again and Tony felt seriously sick then. A hand shot came uo his face and out of instinct, Tony tried to flinch away, but the fingers just caressed his skin, stroking over his cheek. “You have to be more careful. I don’t want me property damaged.”

With this, the prince turned on his heels, a broad grin on his face.

Chapter Text

Tony was about to clean Loki's chamber when a sharp pain in his back made him flinch. Grunting, he stood up straight and stretched, one hand coming up to his lower back. Damn, even after more than a week his body still hurt all over. The wounds had finally closed and were not oozing anymore, but they still burned whenever the too heavy clothes rubbed over the skin of his back. Or when he moved. Yes, moving at all was not good, but what else could he do? There were no vacations for servants.And really, he didn't want to start talking about the muscle aches he had gotten from the chores Loki had made him do. Even after his second torture, which he had had to endure because of him, the prince hadn’t gone easy on him, no matter how much he had protested, or well, maybe exactly because of this. Even though they had somewhat bonded, if one would call it that, Loki was still obviously amused whenever he could rile Tony up, and he did this at every possible opportunity. Which was basically every time they met. Each and every day. It was tiresome to say the least.

And still, all this was better than the dungeons. Half a week after his torturing Tony had sought Jarvis out to confront him about what Loki had told him. Funnily enough, Loki had spoken the truth. His father had known about his departure. That was apparently still no reason for the head of the staff to not let him get punished, because, and Tony remembered the words as if they had been burned into his brain, it was his task to keep track of his master, that he needed to know where he was at all times. Yet, something had left Tony speechless. It had been the expression of his teacher when he had lumped into the room. It had been almost sad, pitiful. As if he regretted his decision. And maybe that was it, because Jarvis had been way too calm while they had spoken. Maybe he had not known how badly those guards treated mere servants. And soon enough he had seen those two brutes lose their heads, quite literally; it had made Tony throw up all over himself. The image still wasn’t leaving his mind even days later. At least there was some kind of justice here.

Sighing, Tony took a look around the room. It was even worse than usual. How a prince could make havoc of his belongings like that was still a mystery to him. Especially since he had explicitly told him not to damage his property... But considering Loki, he knew that a prince didn't automatically have proper manners, just because he inhibited a title. Oh well. This was bound to take long. Another low groan left Tony’s throat and he shook his head at the mess that was this room. Clothes were lying around everywhere, remains of food also... The whole carpet was ruined. He didn’t even want to see the bathroom right now. But since there was no one who would hear him ranting and complaining, Tony kept his thoughts to himself and got to work.

It had taken him almost the entire day to clean the chamber and the additional bathroom, but when Tony finally was done with the task, he grinned to himself in satisfaction. The bathroom was shining again and even though his hands hurt from all the scrubbing, and the fact that he had hurt himself a few times over the day, he still was incredibly proud that he had cleared up this mess on his own. The prince's eyes would pop out of his head the moment he'd see this.

A sound of someone opening the door made Tony turn then and peek through the slightly ajar bathroom door. His eyes widened when he saw who was giggling and chuckling there. The prince strolled through the door, a smug grin plastered on his face as he pulled a woman after him into the room and against his frame. Tony figured it would be better to make his exit rather now than later and get caught in between. He really didn't want to disturb Loki while he fucked that chick, even though he had to admit that she was one of the most beautiful Jotuns he had ever seen. She had bright reddish eyes, being almost the tone of those Asgardian roses that were placed all over the castle in summer. Her hair and skin was strangely bright as well, which reminded him a lot of Jarvis. Creepy. He would have never hooked her up, but taste obviously differed.

Tony cleared his throat when he stepped out of the bathroom, his eyes fixed on the door as he walked.

“My apologies, Sire.” He began, his voice low and quite disinterested to not aggravate Loki. “I was cleaning up. I will retire for the night immediately.” As if it was his fault that the bastard had a chick and couldn't clean up after himself. But there was no way he would tell him that of course, he could deal without another round in the dungeons.

Tony had expected some kind of answer to this, but Loki seemed to not mind him at all, instead he pulled the female closer and kissed her. That in itself would have been awkward, but Tony visibly tensed when he saw how green eyes were staring at him. Tony couldn't help but wet his lips and swallow hard, a faint blush creeping onto his cheeks. Why was Loki looking at him while making out with that girl? Should that intimidate him? That was what Loki was doing right? Symbolizing him that he should go. Without wasting another word, Tony averted his gaze and closed the bathroom door behind him. He was almost out when he heard Loki chuckle behind him, followed by the sound of shifting clothes.

“You already want to go, thrall?” The prince's voice pierced through the room in the most silken tone Tony had ever heard him speak in.

As if in reflex, Tony turned to look over his shoulder, only to blush a bright red. Brown eyes followed the robe that fell down the female's frame and he caught himself staring way too long when Loki pulled her with him onto the bed. Her gaze crossed Tony's and only then the woman gasped and tried to cover herself. Without much success though, because Loki hindered her pretty effectively.

“Now, now. No shame.” Loki purred and licked over her neck, all the time while looking at Tony. “Why would you want to leave?”

He couldn't mean that, right? Tony's hands instantly shot up in a placating manner as he shook his head frantically.

“My prince?” The woman stuttered then, finally attracting Loki's attention. “I- Please, no. I don't want him to watch.”

“Shh.” Loki silenced her with a finger, while his other hand kept undressing her. How would any woman complain when a member of a royal family looked at her with that intensity?

“Sire, I would rather-”

“I feel insulted.”

I sounded like a joke, but Tony felt as if he had been punched in the stomach, as if all air was ripped from his lungs. It took him a good moment to even comprehend in the slightest what the other male had just said to him. He was supposed to do what? Stay here and watch? Would the other really be insulted if he would leave? Would that have consequences for him? How could he know. If he left and Loki decided later on to punish him for not obeying his orders, he would be left standing. But watch Loki fucking this girl? Could he do that? He probably would be able to just blank it out, it wouldn’t be the first time that he had listened to people having sex, but with Loki it felt different, way more uncomfortable. It was weird, crazy shit to watch his prince fuck around, literally, and he definitely didn’t want to do that, but it was not even comparable to get another wiping.

“My lord. It's not my place to-”

He tried again, but Loki just raised an eyebrow as he elicited a moan from the girl, his hand where Tony couldn't see it anymore. Fuck it. Tony actually couldn’t help but stare for a moment, how her face contorted in a mixture of embarrassment and pleasure. His gaze wandered over to the prince again, and those eyes were still glancing right back at him with an intensity that rose goosebumps on his skin. Right now he didn't know whether he wanted to run or- Or what exactly? Switch places? With whom? The way Loki devoured him with his eyes was scary as hell. Fuck.

“Of course not.” The purring voice answered and the smith’s son wasn’t sure what that meant. This had to be a joke.

Tony involuntarily gasped when he heard the sounds the girl made, little whimpers and whines. Damn, how was he supposed to watch this? Or even listen to her? So after all this the prince was still going to humiliate and mock him? Fine. After today this would be over. He would quit, no matter what. Sighing audibly, he hung his head and looked down onto his feet. Tony was still standing right next to the door, the handle in reach; he could just go, disappear through the door and be done with it. But was this embarrassing, torturous shaming really worse than another few days in the dungeons? No, definitely not. And Tony was sure that Loki would get him there if he disobeyed. That stupid prick and his games. But why would he want him to watch in the first place? The look on Loki’s face told him that the other probably did this to test him somewhat. He just couldn’t make sense of that.

At first it had been pretty easy to ignore them. Sure, the girl was moaning, but he had heard that often enough in his life to just blank it out. But after a few minutes of leaning against the wall besides the door and staring ahead, Tony didn't even know how long he had just stood there, another sound hit his ears and made him involuntarily look up. Low panting between those high pitched moans. Loki's racked breaths. Tony could feel the heat building in his stomach, could feel how this was affecting him. Why? Why would this stupid asshole-

Without really wanting it, Tony turned his head, his gaze immediately falling onto the pair of blazing green eyes that stared right back at him. Tony swallowed hard, his heart literally jumping in his chest when he let his gaze wander over the two bodies. The moment Loki moaned, Tony cursed and let himself slide down on the wall, hands shielding them from his view.

xxxx

Tony's hands were still on his head, desperately trying to blank out every sound. He was breathing through his mouth by now, being as quiet as possible to not attract any attention at all. This was hell, or worse. Right now he would gladly switch this for a day of physical punishment. Listening to Loki doing things to the girl, Tony really didn't want to know what exactly and he surely didn’t want to know, was torture. Why was the guy doing this to him? Hadn't he been obedient the last couple of days? He hadn't even talked back and now this was the acknowledgment for it? Well thank you very much.

It took more than an hour until everything was silent in the room, yet Tony only took his hands off his ears hesitantly, couldn't really trust the quiet, not with Loki around. Raising his gaze from the ground when there was no sound at all anymore, Tony realized that the prince, as well as his company, were apparently asleep. Tony heaved a barely audible sigh when he tried to pull himself up from the ground, wincing at the pain in his numb legs. Damn, he hadn't noticed in what kind of position he had sat in and now he had to fight away a cramp. But now he couldn't pay this any mind, he needed to get away from this madman. Everywhere was better than here. Tony huffed lightly when he pressed down the handle of the door with a shaky hand. Why had he thought that they would be able to get along again?

With quick movements he stepped through the door and left the room behind him, desperation and frustration making him strode down the corridors in long strides. He needed to get away from this place. He had tried, for real, but after getting tortured physically and mentally, this had been the last drop. The moment Tony turned the next corner, he crashed into something, or someone more exactly. Brown eyes flew to the person he had knocked down and widened when he realized who that was. He knew that woman, the not-Jotun ambassador. Tony quickly stumbled forward to extend his hand to help her up.

“Apologies!” He blasted out and could see the confusion on the female's face. “I didn't mean to- Are you alright?”

The stuttering made her raise an eyebrow then as she took hold of the thrall's hand and let him pull her up onto her feet again.

“Nothing's happened, be at ease.”

“Thank goodness. Would have been the icing on the cake...” Tony breathed and was about to walk past her, but was held back by a hand.

“Everything alright with you, thrall? You look restless.”

Well, yeah, that much was true. He was probably looking like shit after that evening.

“Yes.” He answered, lied and looked to the ground as he clenched his hands into fist. But the truth was, he wouldn't have believed himself right now and judged by the expression on the other's face, she didn't either.

“What is amiss, Anthony?” She then asked, tightening her grip on his arm a bit to get his attention. Right now he was glad that he still wore these layers of clothes, else she would probably suffered from severe frostbite. The Jotun flinched slightly when he heard his name and despite everything, shook his head. Talking bad about the prince wouldn't do him any good.

“Nothing.” He stuttered and was finally released, even though the woman screwed up her face at the blatant lie. Within the next second he was walking on, but was followed by her, much to his dislike. Not that he would change plans just because she was on his heels, but it could make things more complicated, especially when she would tell the king where he had gone.

The moment Tony pushed into the kitchen, he heard her rumbling something behind his back, but he didn't really care right now. Only when he wanted to grab the handle of the delivery door, he was violently shoved backwards.

“Are you out of your mind? What are you doing?” The woman yelped, almost sounding shocked. “You can't go out in these clothes. It's winter, even Jotun skin suffers from the cold!” She yanked Tony back, who immediately started growling.

“I don't care!” Tony hissed back, glaring at her for all it was worth. “I'd rather suffer the cold than staying one more day with that psychopath. I just go back to where I came from and all these royal asses can forget about me. How does that sound?”

He could see that the woman was taken aback by that statement, and he used the opportunity to push her away and make his way through the door and into the darkness. He was still fuming when he eventually realized just how cold it was. It was snowing heavily and only in the distance Tony could make out the lights of the town, way too far away, but he would take the chance. If he made it to the city alive, he would just take a portal to another realm if needed.

Tony's hands clung to his robes, his breath fanning visibly in front of his lips, almost freezing the moment it came out of his lungs. A thin layer of ice was covering everything that was exposed to the cold. A small smile crept onto his lips as he thought about the old tales people told around here. That the old kings and their people had been able to manipulate the ice, form blades and armor around their bodies. That would be damn practical right now. But truth be told, those were just myths. His body was shivering violently, but he still pressed forward, trying to bring as much distance between himself and the palace. It took an eternity until Tony reached the borders of the city, his feet and legs completely lifeless. He didn’t even feel the burn of the cold anymore. Tony almost collapsed when he finally reached the first house, the wall feeling warm under his hand. Never would he have imagined that he would be glad to get back to his dusty workshop. Strange how things could change.

A little relieved huff escaped Tony when he finally stood in front of his old home. He had made it. Reaching out for the door, Tony felt something breath into his nape. Shuddering, he stilled every movement. He knew exactly what that was, he could smell the bacteria inside the rotting jaws behind him. A hound, not those cute ones Asgardians used to have as pets, no. These ones were hunting people, killing them on command with ease. They were big enough to tower over anyone, their flesh a dark, greyish color while their eyes were pale white. They were mostly hunting by scent or sound and that pretty effectively. It also meant that the ambassador had snitched on him for running off. Peeking over his shoulder, Tony clenched his frozen hands into fists. The beast was right behind him, saliva dripping from its fangs as it took in his scent. Brown eyes slowly raised to look at its rider, who probably glared behind the mask that was hiding his face. With a snap of his fingers, Tony was grasped by the beast and hauled into the air as it started running off.

“You will not take me back there!” Tony screamed against the storm, but the rider just chuckled. “I wouldn’t have run off if I wanted to stay there.”

“Orders boy, orders. I don’t care one bit for you or what you want.”

Tony groaned audibly at this, but knew that there was nothing he could do to make the guy change his mind. His bad luck just wasn’t running out.

 

“How stupid and suicidal!” Jarvis gnarled and ran around like a scared up hen when Tony was dragged into the kitchen again by the masked guy, who nodded towards the foreign woman. “What did the boy think when-” A groan left the head of the staff and he gestured for the servants to get to work while pinching the bridge of his nose. “Thank goodness you were there Lady Syn.”

“No need to get your feathers ruffled, he won't hear you, Jarvis.” She said and looked down on the unconscious Tony.

“He blacked out on the way back.” The rider murmured as he collected his pay. “Not harmed except for the burns.” Lady Syn screwed up her face and sent him away with a gesture of his hand.

“I couldn't stop him, but I didn't think he would actually do such a drastic thing.” Lady Syn's voice was muffled when she got rid of some layers of clothing, which were immediately taken away by a younger girl. “Or that we would come that far.”

“The boy is unbearable most of the time. Always behaving like the spoiled brat he is.” Jarvis sighed, sounding tired and exhausted. “I try to save his life. Try to give him a new home and values that he can use later on, but he always throws his chances away.”

Both of them watched the staff members tend to the thrall, whose body was bruised, suffering severe frostbite and shivering heavily. Warm water and blankets were brought to get him to warm up.

“Well, I believe he had a reason.”

“A reason?” Jarvis huffed and narrowed his eyes, now looking a little bit wary. “A reason to kill himself? What reason could he possibly have to-”

Someone cleared their throat and Jarvis as well as Syn spun around to bow their heads.

“Sire.” They said in unison when King Laufey stepped into the room, bright red eyes scanning the boy on the ground, his gaze lingering on him when he addressed Jarvis.

“I was informed to come here. What happened to him?” The voice with which Laufey spoke made Syn gulp, the graveness unmistakable.

“He ran away.” Jarvis said in the most neutral tone he could manage.

“Why?”

“Because-”

“He said he would rather die in the cold than spend one more day with the prince, my lord. Anthony Stark seemed to be upset when I met him, what exactly happened I do not know. You might have to ask your son.” Syn interrupted and earned a surprised glance.

“Is that so?”

“That is what I saw.” She confirmed and Laufey sighed heavily, as if he had somehow foresee something like this.

“Call my son.”

 

It took way too long for Loki to arrive in the kitchen, so Laufey, as well as Jarvis and Lady Syn, made their way to Loki's chambers. The king entered without knocking, at which the prince grabbed the bedsheets and jumped out of bed, his face gracing a fake smile as he snarled his greetings.

“Father, what pleasure.”

“Where is your thrall, Loptr?” The king asked without even addressing his son’s attire or the woman that lay on his bed.

Loki affectedly looked behind himself, then shrugged, but one could see that he silently cursed to himself. There was just a hint of a grimace before it was gone the second later.

“Not here obviously. How should I know?” He gave back and earned a snarl from his father.

“And who is this?” He gestured to the girl, who winced and tried to cover herself more. “Since when is this a suitable behavior for a prince? Do you think your mother would have appreciate this? Who do you think you are, brat?” The way Laufey was glaring at Loki was daring, and just this once, Loki stayed silent, probably realizing that his father was serious this time. “What did you do to your thrall that he wants to rather die than spend time with you?! Answer!”

Green eyes widened when a hand fasted around his neck, painfully reminding the prince who had the whip hand.

“I might or might not have made him watch us.” Was the hissed answer, at which Laufey growled and let go of the wayward son.

“Are you out of your mind!?” A small, scared noise came from the girl on the bed, but no one paid it any attention. “He is not your slave, he never was, he is your responsibility! I can see how well you're doing with him, how you take pleasure in humiliating him. You bring shame to our name and I guarantee you that you will never get the crown if you can't even care for one person. How will I ever be able to trust you with the well-being of the kingdom?”

Loki literally stared at his father, unable to cope. The cocky prince didn't even find a word to give back.

“This was meant as a test, and your childish games and behavior made you fail.” Laufey grimaced as he turned his gaze back to Jarvis, disgust clear in his features. “Coronation will be postponed until my child learns to take responsibility.”

Jarvis nodded at this and waited for Laufey to leave and followed him on his heels, while Loki just stood there, mouth open in pure disbelief.

xxxx

When Tony woke up somewhat later, he didn't know for how long he had slept exactly. The only thing he knew was that he stared into angry green eyes. The prince was pacing the room, hands crossed behind his back. For some reason he seemed as if he was distraught and Tony couldn't bring himself to care one bit. Why was he even here? He had been the reason that Tony had tried to flee, and now he was concerned for his well-being? After all those games he played with him?. Maybe he should just pretend to be still asleep to avoid having that kind of conversation. Unfortunately, just in the second he wanted to turn onto his other side, those green eyes fell on him and the prince almost stomped to his bed, making the thrall pull himself up and try to back off into a corner.

“What were you thinking?!” The prince spat and the tone in itself was making Tony flinch and pull the blanket up to his chin. Why was he the one being angry now? “Why would you even want to do this to yourself?”

Loki's expression suddenly changed into one that Tony could only describe as regret. His gaze lingered on him for far too long, it was making Tony get uncomfortable fast. He should be the one screaming and shouting, but that part apparently went to the prince.

“Just look at you.” The prince murmured and pulled the the blanket away, revealing Tony's bruised and burned upper body. He immediately started shivering, which made Loki narrow his eyes in something like disgust. “Your skin is burned, you're shivering, you look disgraceful to your own self.”

This let Tony finally remember that he was indeed present and he grabbed the blanket and pulled it back over his chest, a faint blush on his cheeks. Personal space was obviously something the other lacked the concept of. Up until now he hadn't even dared to say anything and when he opened his mouth, Loki was quick to interrupt him.

“So you really don't want to stay.” Well, no shit. He had said it multiple time and it should have been clear, but the other male still looked as if he couldn’t quite believe that. “That is indeed a first.”

“Oh really?” Tony finally found the strength to answer, despite the fact that his body protested vehemently against any form of stress or movement. “Haven’t I been clear enough? Okay then, listen up, dumbass. You are an arrogant, self-centered little shit, who doesn't care for anyone but himself. No wonder you have no friends besides the stupid people you surround yourself with.”

Loki looked positively baffled by that, he was staring at Tony as if his whole world-view had just crumbled. Which probably was the case, considering he was a spoiled prince. Tony bet that no one had ever talked to him like this, and even if he would get beheaded for this, it would have been worth it. Silence spread between both men until Loki sat down next to Tony, facing him. The blacksmith pulled back immediately.

“Why are you, of all people, so different? I had many slaves, servants, or whatever you want to call them, before you, but no one ever dared to say something like this.” A small grin appeared on Loki's lips as he followed Tony’s movement and leaned in to inspect the tiny bit of exposed skin on Tony's shoulder. Tony flinched the moment his cold fingers met the burned skin, but Loki would have none of it and hold him still by his arm. “It's a shame you did this to yourself, especially since I told you not to harm yourself. It’s a shame.” He sneered, screwing up his face for Tony to see. “Who would have thought you would cause so much trouble.”

“Excuse me?!” Tony all but screamed into the prince's face as he slapped his hand away. “I'm the one that causes trouble? Look at yourself for a moment, princess!” The thrall stood up from his bed then, looking down at his opposite and clutching the blanket to his chest. His legs were shivering, daring to give out under him, but he forced his body to remain still. Loki was just looking at him in slight surprise, completely focused on him, as if he didn't know what he was talking about. “Are you for real? You don't get it. Oh for fuck's sake.”

Tony groaned and took a step back as he ran a hand over his hurting arm.

“I did everything for you. I cleaned up after you, I was tortured because of you, fuck you made me watch you having sex with that girl. I didn't complain and you know what? I didn't do all that because I wanted to, but because I had to! I was sold into this house. I didn't beg to be your thrall, I don't even like you. And you make it obvious that you don't want me here either. The way you treat me shows me exactly how much you hate me. Everything you did until now was to denounce or embarrass me, how do you expect anyone wanting to stay by your side? It's not possible to endure your attitude and behavior for long. You are just such a-”

Tony was growling, his hands clenched into fists as he stared into astonished green eyes. Loki wasn't saying anything, looked very much taken aback by his rant, which Tony took as hint to continue. He wasn't done by far.

“You don't deserve a thrall, or any servant for that matter. And hell you don't deserve a throne! I can't even understand how anyone would idolize or adore you!”

He was panting from anger and exhaustion, while Loki's rage had apparently dissolved completely. For some reason Tony thought he rather looked intrigued, something that made him want to turn around and leave right now.

“Fine then.” Loki purred and stood again, getting way too close to Tony for his liking. The spark in his eyes made Tony screw up his nose. “I will take care of you. I apologize for my earlier behavior, it hadn’t been meant to anger you, I merely thought it amusing.” Tony's chin was grabbed and held in a firm grasp that forced him to look up at the taller man. “I swear to not do this again, but don't you dare hurt yourself again. You still belong to me after all.” He gestured to the collar that rested on one of the drawers.

Tony was released shortly after and almost lost his footing as he watched the prince leave.

“What...”

Chapter Text

To Tony’s surprise, no one bothered him for the next couple of days and seriously, he deserved a break after all this bullshit with Loki. Loki… That guy was still a closed book for him. He just couldn’t understand him, it didn’t make any sense. His whole appearance in his dorms a few days ago had been weird enough and to tell the truth, it had left him scared shitless. A polite and caring prince was for some reason way more creepy than the madman he had been introduced to. The sudden change of mind just didn’t seem right. Why would he just stop with his games now? There had to be a reason for it and Tony wasn’t sure whether he wanted to find out about it or not.

Tony’s suspicion only intensified when the other servants started bringing him exclusive gifts, such as jewelry, new robes or exquisite food. He didn’t mind, sure, the stuff the servants got to eat was not even comparable. Yet he wondered why he was granted attention all of a sudden, why he would get special treatment, so he asked every servant who brought him food and he always got the same answer: It was at Loki’s behest. Which also didn’t make any sense, except if Loki had gotten scowled for what he had done. Well, served him right. But no matter what reason he had for doing so, he enjoyed to have more privileges than the others and it astonished him somewhat that the unnerving prince was apparently able to change his way. It seemed that Loki only needed someone to teach him the ins and outs.

It was about a week later that Tony got frantic inside his little room, even despite the fact that he had by now explored the whole palace as well as the gardens. He was bored, big time. So bored that he even wanted to know what the sucker of a prince was doing with his time. After all he was left alone in this room, while Loki was off doing things. Doing more awesome things. Probably plotting mischief. Still, Tony felt caged, needed a task badly to not go insane in here. There had never been a time where he had been just lazy, he had always worked on something, but now it felt as if he was useless.

A knock on the door made the blacksmith start towards it, curious brown eyes watching the man who came into his room.

“Thank the Norns.” Tony all but cracked a laugh at how relieved he was to finally had some company. Not even Jarvis had visited him, something that had left him seriously worried for the first few days. Usually the guy made sure to come and lecture him the moment he had done something wrong. “I missed you Karef. You can’t imagine.”

The servant chuckled when he closed the door and eyed him up.

“I actually can. You were gated. No one was allowed to come into your room as long as you were recovering.” Orange eyes wandered over his body. “You look better, good.”

“Good? That sounds as if it would start all over again. Thanks, but no thanks.”

Karef smiled a cheeky, ill-boding smile. It made Tony cringe.

“Maybe? I don’t know what it is, but the prince wishes for you to meet him down in the dungeons.”

Tony was just staring at his friend while he started sorting his used robes from the fresh ones.

“You for real?”

“Unfortunately.”

“Why would he even go down there on his own?” The blacksmith clenched his hands into fists as he tried to get that into his head. There was no reason for Loki to go down there except he planned something, something that would get him in trouble, he was sure of it. “God, why me?” The other male just chuckled from behind him.

“Why not you? Maybe he really wants to make amends?”

“I seriously doubt that.” He snorted and ran a shaky hand through his hair. Strange how he had wanted to know what Loki was doing in one second and cursed him the second after. But there was no way he could actually decline, so Tony rolled his shoulders and went to the door.

“I hope for your sake that you are wrong.” The way the other servant was grinning at him made Tony furrow his brows.

“Well thank you. Make sure to clean up here while you’re at it.” Was said casually while he walked out of his room, only to get hit by a pillow.

Tony hated this place. He had been here too often, had too many bad memories related to the dungeons. Even the smell made his throat constrict. The mixture between dried blood and mold caused him to slow down as he skulked through the dark corridors which were only faintly lit by a few torches on the walls. It was strange that something this dirty and disgusting could be hid beneath such a decadent palace. Maybe it was just like everyone said: Everyone had a skeleton in the closet. And Jotunheim had a lot of them.

Eyes placed firmly on the ground before him as he walked, Tony tried to ignore the other prisoners and their cries for help. There was nothing he could do, even if they would be innocent; he just wanted to find Loki and never come back down here. A sigh of relief escaped him when he could finally make out someone in green and gold. Approaching slowly, he bowed his head.

“My prince…” The word almost burned on his tongue. “You called for me?”

Green eyes fluttered shut for just a second before Loki turned towards him. What had he been doing here?

“I see you are doing better.” A nod came from the servant and a hand on his head made him facing a cell, the taller man holding him there. “See, I will say it again so we are clear from now on.” Was purred into his ear, something layered in his voice… Concern maybe?

Tony couldn’t really think long about it, the breath on his skin making the tiny hairs on his neck stand on edge. He had never touched him before, well except for the incident with the feeding, and having him press against him like that made him feel hot all over… and incredibly uncomfortable. A cool hand tilted his chin up so he would look into green eyes.

“You know this place, probably better than most of those who are imprisoned here.” Tony averted his gaze at the intensity. “We both don’t want you to end up down here again, really, I don’t want my thrall to look like a dirty dog from the streets. But there is something I will guarantee you. If you ever do something that stupid again; harming yourself-” The prince’s other hand shoved the robes up Tony’s arm, revealing the still very visible bruises. “Then you will die down here.”

Tony gasped, a spike of fear running through his veins at those words. Was he for real? But sure, not harming himself shouldn’t be too hard, right?

“I want to never see any kind of wounds on your body again, except if you got them from me. Are we clear?”

Brown eyes went wide when realization hit. Wounds he would inflict? What kind of game was that? Tony still nodded eventually when the grip on his chin became too tight.

“I didn’t hear you.” Loki breathed into his ear, making his servant grimace and try to pull away.

“Yes.” He groaned and was released a moment later.

“Too bad..” The prince gave back, a smirk now playing on his thin lips. “ I would have loved to punish you for saying no.”

At this Tony finally turned around and raised an eyebrow, a small snicker coming from him.

“Really? Hell, I believe you don’t actually want to do that, princess.” Challenging Loki was probably the only thing that would help him out of this awkward situation. “Make your hands dirty? No, you are too much of a diva to actually punish someone.”

A few seconds went by with them both just watching the other, before Loki started laughing, a sound that made Tony involuntarily smile as well.

“Indeed. I was merely jesting. Still, I don’t want you in here ever again, understood? My thrall is too precious to be around the vermin that vegetate its life in here.”

The prince started walking away with quick steps, obviously expecting Tony to follow, but he kept standing on the spot, thinking about what he had been told right now. Vermin… These were probably normal people, some not even guilty perhaps, and Loki treated them as if they were petty and dirty. He was one of those people.

“If you say so.” Tony said, nodding to himself before he slowly walked after the other male. “Would be new for you to treat me nicely.”

“Please.” Loki groaned and shot a glance over his shoulder. “I try.”

“Yes, because your daddy denied you the crown. I heard of it.”

“Could you resent me for it? If I had known that you were that important, I wouldn’t have played around.”

Tony screwed up his face as he fell into step with Loki.

“That is really comforting, but no. I actually can’t blame you for wanting the throne, but it was still a shitty move.”

“Really?” Loki asked in that incredulous tone of his, which he sometimes used when he just couldn’t understand something. They were climbing the stairs back up to the palace when the prince glanced over his shoulder. “I heard rumors you would like the ladies.”

“Oh very funny.” Tony grunted and shot him a glare. “I like them alright, if I am alone with them.”

“Is that why you kept peeking at us?” Loki snickered, his fangs flashing as he grinned.

“Seriously? How could I not?” The blacksmith shrugged and went past the other, who followed on his heels.

“And why were you looking so flustered then?”

For a brief moment Tony didn’t know what to retort. Yeah, that was the million gold question. Forcing the building blush away, he waved Loki off.

“Nothing to be proud of, dipshit. Everyone would get hard if he’d heard such a girl moan.”

Loki stopped abruptly then, causing Tony to turn around in curiosity. Green eyes glistening with something dangerous and he really didn’t like that look.

“Is that so? I myself prefer men over women.” Tony’s mouth fell open and he blinked as his brain tried to comprehend what he had just heard. Why was this even a topic now? Before the thrall could make his mind up, he was pulled into a small alcove, his back hitting the wall. The way Loki towered over him elicited a silent gasp from the servant. “Men are way more interesting, intriguing. They don’t just let go and give themselves over to you. They don’t moan and gasp until you push the right buttons.”

Tony could only stare at those soft-looking lips as they moved, the tone of Loki’s voice making him gulp. He couldn’t help but imagine the scene again, replay it in his inner mind. How Loki took a man instead of a woman, how they would both moaned in unison.

“Women are far more easy to make them give over the reigns, indulge in the pleasure of the act. Whereas men are mostly too caught up in their so-called manliness to just enjoy and shout out their ecstasy. They are more of a challenge. If you have them moaning, you know you’ve won.”

For a moment Tony could just stare at the other, could not pull away even though Loki was right in his face, those green eyes burning into his skull. Now he knew what other servants meant by mesmerizing, yeah, there was no way he could break the eyecontact. Truth be told, he was too curious if what the prince was implying was true.

“So…” The thrall began, worrying his lips lightly. “You are after men.”

The statement made Loki snort, a rather improper sound for a prince in Tony’s opinion, but he couldn’t deny that he liked him being more on the casual side, when he wasn’t as starched as usual.

“Not exactly. I like who interests me, I just prefer males.”

Silence stretched between the two males as Tony finally found the strength to avert his gaze.

“So…”

“So?”

“Don’t fucking tell me I rouse your interest.”

The roaring laughter echoed in the halls and left Tony utterly perplexed. Only seconds later the prince actually calmed down enough to answer.

“Maybe, maybe not. I went with no before, but that face of yours… Would that actually be something you would want?” The cocky sneer was more than mocking.

“Hell no.” Tony blasted out, both of them having to smile. With Loki backing off now, they finally could continue walking, whereto he didn’t know. “No one endured your games for long, huh?”

The question caused Loki to raise an eyebrow, his eyes scanning Tony’s face as if he wanted to search for the reason why he would ask something like this.

“What makes you think that?” He eventually inquired, only glimpsing at the smaller male while walking faster with each stride.

“Obvious reasons. You are annoying.” It elicited a huff from the other.

“It was me who dismissed them all, not the other way around. They all took part in my games.”

“Then I don’t really get you at all.”

“That is probably for the best then, Anthony.”

xxxx

Days later Loki was standing in front of his door and demanded his presence in one of his court meetings. Tony had never been interested in these type of things, in politics, but he had gotten to know that Loki was pretty involved in it. Which was strange due to the prince’s nature. He just couldn’t imagine him to be serious at all, and not fuck things up on purpose just for shits and giggles. But even he could be wrong as it seemed. It especially stunned him that Loki would want him to attend one of those meetings; a thrall who had no clue about anything that was related to politics.

Tony was just adjusting the stupid collar around his neck when he spotted Loki in the corner of the mirror. Raising an eyebrow at the pleased expression on the other’s face, the turned to look over his shoulder.

“What.”

“Nothing, I just admire your attire.”

Tony grunted in fake annoyance.

“Good morning to you too. So, what is this about, huh? You take a slave for a walk? Into a political meeting that is? Not a really smart idea if you ask me.”

Brushing a bit of dust off the other’s shoulder, Loki shot him a disconcerted glance.

“I thought you would like to be involved in other tasks next to cleaning and cooking. But if you would rather do that instead, feel free to do just that.”

“Yeah, sure. I dig that shit.”

Loki flashed a toothy smile before turning to leave, his hands crossed behind his back. Tony followed a second later, somewhat flattered that the other invited him to join, even though it was obvious that Loki just did it so he wouldn’t have to go alone. Wearing a tiny, almost invisible smirk, the thrall walked after his master, who cleared his throat to get his attention.

“I expect you to not open your mouth except if you are asked. The connections with Muspelheim and Alfheimr are important and I don’t want you to ruin anything by sputtering your nonsense.” The look Loki gave him was nothing but amused. He probably bet on him to do exactly that.

“Good to know. Would never have guessed.” Tony matched the stupid grin and folded his hands behind his back to mock the prince’s gesture.

“If you would just always have such a formidable posture.” Came as the witty retort and Tony just couldn’t stop smirking.

When they arrived at the large doors to the conference room, Tony found himself growing nervous. Something he hadn’t expected himself to be, especially not if all this didn’t concern him in the slightest. So there was technically no reason to have this nerve-fluttering feeling in the pit of his stomach, but it was definitely there. Brown eyes gazed at Loki, who had his lips pressed into a line, the mask of indifference faltering ever so slightly. Was it that important to him? What kind of meeting was this?

Nodding towards his thrall, Loki seemed to heave a sigh before his clawed fingers reached for the door handle to open it and step inside. Tony followed quietly, being somewhat astonished to see that the prince was all calm and collected again, not one trace of tension left in his body language. Instead of looking around the faces on the long, round table, like Loki did, Tony held his gaze low, didn’t want to attract the attention like the last time he had accompanied Loki. Stopping just besides Loki when he sat down on his seat, Tony glanced up. The silence inside the room was thickening, every pair of eyes was on Loki.

“Good morning, valued council. What is it you want to discuss with me instead of my father?” Tony gulped soundlessly and tried to not let his wariness show. The Jotunheim council met without their king? That sounded awful, as if they were plotting something and Loki was part of it.

“The commercial treaty with Muspelheim.”

“Muspelheim?” The prince parrotted and narrowed his eyes. Tony understood the sentiment. Muspelheim was no convenient location. Sometimes Tony couldn’t understand why such people would even suggest a treaty like this, it was clear that all it served was their own personal interests and in part he could understand it. It was just that Muspelheim was a burning rock and had nothing of worth, at least nothing he could see.

While the council members started explaining, a small huffing sound escaped Tony, which didn’t go unnoticed by the prince at his side. Fortunately, he was the only one who apparently cared for it, since the other men were just continuing discussing the most ridiculous reasons to accept a commercial treaty with the mountain of dirt that was Muspelheim.

“Apologies.” Tony whispered and bowed his head when Loki glared at him.

“What do you think was that funny that you couldn’t contain your voice?” Tony blinked and looked at him, pondering for a second if this was a catch question or not.

“Well, he talks bullshit.” Loki seemed intrigued by that and gestured for him to continue, and Tony did exactly that, bowing down and whispering into his ear. “Well, we both know that Muspelheim is the worst location for trading. Most Jotuns wouldn’t even survive the heat. Also the fact that those firey bastards have nothing but rocks and metal makes it pretty much worthless to the country. And do I have to repeat the thing that they want to make the treaty with you behind your dad’s back? Seems pretty fishy to me.”

For a split second Loki looked impressed, but the emotion was gone as soon as he turned his gaze back on the council.

“You obviously dare challenging my intellect, Fasolt. Why should I even consider a treaty under these conditions? The metal you claim to be of such high worth is nothing compared to the one from deep under Jotunheim’s ice.”

“That is not true, Sire, it’s-”

“Are you calling me a liar or a fool?” Menacing green eyes were fixed on the red ones that were now unable to hold the gaze.

“Neither, prince Loki, but-”

“Dismissed.”

The faces staring back at Loki almost made Tony laugh out loud, but he managed to hold it back when Loki waved for him to follow.

“Let me guess.” The thrall started as they walked through the corridors again. “You never even thought about actually agreeing on it, right?”

Loki just grinned.

xxxx

This evening, Tony was invited back to Loki’s chambers. He was actually ready to spend his night standing or sleeping on the floor, but much to his surprise, Loki wanted him on his bed. That was something that made him uncomfortable.

“What. I don’t bite.” The prince uttered as he eyed his servant up. “Night robes? Were you planning on sleeping early for a change?”

“Actually yes, but a certain someone keeps bugging me at ungodly hours.” Tony hummed and hesitantly did as requested, sitting down on the rather comfortable bed. “You should give your servants such a bed, would be good, just a little advice of course.”

“And what would you do with such a bed, Anthony?” The prince snickered and shrugged his robes off his shoulders, revealing smooth skin. Whenever Tony saw those faint lines, his eyes involuntarily followed them and he couldn’t help but imagining how they graced every curve of muscle on the male’s body. The question just was: Why did Loki undress before him?

“Uh.” Tony had completely forgotten about answering Loki as he just stared. “Sleep?” His voice came out as innocent as possible when he looked into green eyes.

“Interesting.” Loki cooed and got rid of his robes completely, his crotch now only hidden by one of his fur blankets. “Do you know how to give a massage?”

Tony paused, the content smile that had just been on his face gone now.

“Yes, but no. I’m not one of those guys.” A perfect roll of eyes followed the annoyed groan. “Fine, fine. Just no dungeons this time.” The moment he lay his hands onto those firm shoulders, Loki hung his head, his braided hair falling forward. The small sound of approval from him though was what made Tony gulp and his heart pound. His fingers first started stroking carefully over the muscles of Loki’s back, before he felt a few harder knots. “I can’t even begin to imagine how you get tense.”

“You would marvel.” Loki teased before a slightly pained groan came from him.

“Oh please. You wanted a massage, you got one, deal with it.” Tony hissed into the prince’s ear from behind, now using almost his entire strength to get those hard spots to soften.

Really, this situation was not good. He was way too close for his liking, and touching someone’s skin after weeks of abstinence was cruel. And, not that it would matter, but Loki had really smooth skin. After a minute of hesitatingly massaging the other’s back, he realized his dilemma. He wouldn’t be able to reach his lower back without him laying down. Great.

“Lie down please.” Tony sighed and waited for the other male to comply to start running his hands over his back again.

“You can do it right.”

Raising his gaze, Tony needed a second until he understood.

“Really? Fine…” Was it fine? Sitting on Loki’s ass? That would make it even worse. So Tony was doing the exact thing he shouldn’t do, straddling the prince’s ass.

“You are quite heavy for your stature.”

“Excuse me?” Tony huffed and kneaded the tense muscle with more force than necessary on purpose. An amused and argonized chuckle escaped the taller man before he closed his eyes, his head lying on his crossed arms. “Spoilt brat.”

“That I am. Jealous?”

“A bit. From time to time I mean.”

The slight smile on Loki’s face spoke volumes about how much he enjoyed this and Tony wondered how often he had someone else touching him who wasn’t somehow paid. It was a shame, really. If Loki wasn’t the annoying and arrogant prick he behaved like, he would probably enjoy this as well. Okay, admittedly, this wasn’t entirely true. For some reason his body decided to show a vague interest, his cock twitched inside his robes when Loki moaned under his hands. Grinning bitterly, Tony was happy that he was wearing all those layers of fabric for the first time in weeks.

When his hands made their way down to Loki’s lower back, reaching the fur which covered the royal’s ass just barely, he stopped and stared at the back of his head. Loki wasn’t squirming or anything, only his chest was calmly raising and falling. Tony sent prayers to all gods for that miracle. Climbing off the man, he took the liberty to allow himself to sleep on this soft mattress tonight, he had earned it after all and since the princeling couldn’t argue, he couldn’t say no.

Chapter Text

When Tony woke the following day, he felt weirdly refreshed. Maybe that had something to do with the fact that he had slept on a real mattress this time and not on the cold floor tiles. Yes, Tony was positively certain that this was the reason. And he had to admit; Loki’s bed was fairly comfortable, better than his even. His sheets were out of elven silk and fit to one’s body like a second skin.

Tony smirked again as he ran his hand over the fabric, liking the feeling so very much. Stretching a bit, the thrall turned onto his other side and bumped against the still sleeping prince. Well fuck. Would the guy be cranky in the morning? Especially if woken by someone on purpose? Fortunately for him, Loki apparently slept like a stone, considering he hadn’t woken up by him practically hitting him in the back. Like this he could at least have a good look on the prince for once without earning strange glances.

Brown eyes scanned the other male’s face then, and Tony couldn’t help but grimace at his own thoughts. He really was handsome, or beautiful, the latter fitting more in his opinion. His skin looked flawless, darker blue lines framing the marvelous features of his face, long lashes fluttered as the prince obviously dreamed of something. Not one scar or imperfection. Tony exhaled through his nose and tilted his head to the side as he dared to run a finger over Loki’s cheek towards his hairline. He still couldn’t get used to those horns. He had never seen anyone with horns, except for the king of course. Tony worried his bottom lip between his teeth as he hesitantly touched the rough thing and immediately pulled his hand back when the prince shifted next to him, a slight frown appearing on his face.

Alright, enough with the touching, he didn’t want this to get uncomfortably awkward again. Like yesterday for example. He was still embarrassed with himself for getting hard just because Loki moaned like a little-

The next thing Tony registered were green eyes staring incredulously back at him, as if the prince had had forgotten about him being here. Actually, it seemed more as if Loki had not expected him to stay here over night. Gulping, Tony opened his mouth for a few times, trying to say something, but no sound came out, as if his throat was constricting just because he had been caught watching him while he had slept.

“G-good morning, my prince.” It came out way way too shaky for his own liking, as if it hadn’t been obvious enough that he had been caught red-handed.

Much to his surprise though, Loki just arched up a brow and shifted again, turning his back on Tony. Blinking in confusion, Tony could just watch as the prince fell asleep again.

It took two full hours for Loki to finally wake up for good. Tony had used the time to clean up the entire chamber as well as the bathroom, and now glanced over his shoulder when the man sat up and yawned blearily. He could barely suppress a chuckle at the sight. The arrogant prince, sitting there, blinking sleepily, his hair completely ruffled as he sat there half naked between the pile of blankets and furs. Tony was still grinning to himself when he heard incoherent muttering behind him.

“What was that? I couldn’t quite catch that.” He cast over his shoulder, the tone of his voice obviously giving away how amused he was by the situation.

“Food…” Loki mumbled again, this time clear enough for Tony to understand. The thrall shook his head, but left the room without any complaints or balk talk.

A plate of fruit, eggs and fish in hand, Tony opened the door to Loki’s chambers and kicked it close behind him with his foot. Loki was still sitting on the same exact spot, his body still exposed and Tony thanked the gods that at least his groin was covered by those thick furs. Slowly approaching the bed, Tony bowed mockingly and placed the tablet of food next to the prince, who almost instantly reached out for the first piece of fish. Somehow manners were completely forgotten in the morning as it seemed. When Tony turned to leave, Loki sent him a curious gaze, obviously thinking he wanted some, but not being able to voice it due to the food in his mouth.

“No, thank you, your highness. I already ate while thou were sleeping.” He chuckled. “I appreciate the gesture though.”

Loki just snorted and dismissed his thrall with a wave of his hand.

xxxx

A few days later Loki had asked for Tony to join him in the gardens. This was the first time Tony set foot into the giant light flooded glasshouse and had the time to actually appreciate its beauty. Until now he had only been here twice, while running around and searching for Loki. There were all kinds of foreign plants, trees with green leaves and flowers blossoming in every imaginable color. It was strange to walk here, in a room which was so much warmer than the rest of the palace, almost too warm. The huge glass fronts were fogged because of the temperature difference, the winter storm was hammering against it from outside, while the artificial light made Tony sweat while walking.

Under one of those trees was the prince, leaning against the trunk, a book in hand. Reading again. That guy couldn’t get enough of his books. A small smile tugged on Tony’s lips as he approached Loki, which was matched by the prince when he looked up.

“Now there you are.”

“Here I am. What did you call for me? Was there a reason or were you simply bored?”

The question seemingly amused the prince enough to lay the book aside.

“I am always bored if nothing particularly interesting happens.” Loki gave back, the small smile turning into a smirk.

“And if nothing’s interesting enough, you’ll help make it interesting, right?”

“Sit with me.”

That made Tony’s smile falter, but he did a good job hiding his confusion as he sat down next to Loki in the grass. His fingers unconsciously carded through the unfamiliar plant and for some reason he liked the softness of it. He had never before seen or felt grass under his hands, so this was enough to make him be mesmerized by it. Loki next to him chuckled.

“You seem to be intrigued by grass, the thing people of almost all realms are walking on. Easy to please I see.” The toothy grin made Tony act as if he was gagging.

“Shut up, we don’t have that where I come from, and you know that. It’s way too warm in here.” He murmured and tugged on the hem of his robes to fan himself some colder air.

“You’ll get used to it.”

“Why should I? You know that there’s a storm right outside this glass dome?”

“I thought someone as curious as you would like to explore other realms as well.”

The sentence made Tony spin around and stare at Loki in bafflement. Was this just a statement or an invitation? It sounded awfully lot like the ladder. Which couldn’t be true considered that this was Loki.

“And you will be here more often, since this my dear thrall, is my favorite place in this prison.” The book was picked up again and Loki seemed to completely ignore the expression on Tony’s face while he skipped through the pages.

“A- a prison?” Tony parroted then, at which piercing green eyes met his.

“Is it not?” Came back in such a wounded tone that made Tony gasp softly. “I cannot go as I please, not even here inside what should be considered my home. I am always watched and judged, no matter what I do. And as far as I can recall, you do not see this place any differently.”

He had a point there. For Tony, this was the prettiest fucking prison in all the realms. But he hadn’t ever expected Loki to feel the same about it.

“True I guess.” They both just sat there for a moment then, neither of them continuing the conversation, even though Tony had liked to tell the prince what cool things he had back at his workshop. Maybe it was better this way though. Maybe like this Loki wouldn’t go crazy and do something stupid because Tony had given him ideas and told him how much better everything was outside the palace. Only minutes later, Tony dared to break the comfortable silence.

“It’s beautiful here.” He could see the small smile on the prince’s lips out of the corners of his eyes and had to involuntarily smile as well.

xxxx

“You have to go!”

“No, I do not.”

“Oh definitely, and if I have to carry you!”

“Not that I think you would be able to accomplish this, but I refuse.”

The amused chuckle that followed was pushing all of Tony’s buttons. An annoyed grunt followed swaying arms, but all it achieved was making Loki snicker even harder.

“Please?” Tony tried again, the desperate tone obviously interested Loki enough to listen on. “I will be held responsible if you don’t go.” It seemed as if Loki thought about listening to him, but the chirped “No.” told a different story. “Please prince Loki…”

This discussion was going back and forth for quite some time now, hours to be exact, and Tony had grown desperate to the point of him begging for the prince to go. Loki though had no eyes or ears for that, was even pleased to see his thrall pleading on his knees, at least if the expression on his face was anything to go by. And instead of considering what Tony was asking of him, Loki just involved him into conversation, slowly but surely trying to drag his mind and attention somewhere else.

“Tell me, Anthony, weren’t you a blacksmith?”

“Yeah, as I told you. Could you not change the subject?” Tony grumbled while trying to shove Loki through the door, but the prince just closed it with his hand, trapping him in between his arms. “Really now? You’ll be responsible for me getting back into the dungeons, the place where you didn’t want me to end up again.”

Loki raised arched up a brow and elegantly took a step back and out of Tony’s personal space, at which the smaller man sighed in relief.

“Oh, don’t be that overdramatic. They won’t whip you for it. Maybe I could also undertake this if you would like that better.”

“No thank you.” Tony stated, his lips pressed into a thin line. Was the other serious? Whipping him? For some reason the thought alone made him feel hot and cold simultaneously. “I’ll pass.”

“Too bad, really. I thought you would enjoy that.”

Tony followed the prince with his eyes when he strolled over to his desk to sort a few papers, a wary frown on his face.

“What?”

“I am merely jesting.” Sure.

Stemming his hands into his hips, Tony opened the door again and pointed deliberately out into the corridor.

“Great. Now, what can I do to make you move your ass to that council meeting?” That seemed to attract the prince’s attention again, for green eyes were fixed on his face.

“Now this gets interesting. What do you suggest?” He purred in that silken voice of his, the one he always used to charm the ladies. It sent a shiver down Tony’s spine. What the hell was he expecting him to say?

“Nothing your dirty mind comes up with, bicorn.” He gave back in the driest tone possible, despite the fact that the way Loki stared at him made him feel vulnerable. “You would have my everlasting gratitude though.”

The snort that echoed through the room made Tony grin as well, both men knowing that this would never suffice.

“Gratitude cannot buy me anything, Anthony, don’t be ridiculous.” The smirk forming on the other’s face was foreboding.

“True.” The thrall said and shrugged. “But services do. Especially ones with my magic hands involved. And no, before you get too excited, I don’t mean anything else but massaging your tense shoulders.” The way Loki rolled his eyes was priceless. Still, it apparently worked, since he reluctantly moved back towards the door.

“One week, each night. And you tell me more about yourself today’s evening.”

More about himself? Well, fine, whatever.

“Off to the meeting, then you have your deal.” Tony grumbled and waited for Loki to move out of the room. He just hoped that he would really attend.

Chapter Text

Days went by with the two of them spending more and more time with each other. If one would ask Tony about it, he would call it crazy. The way both of their behavior had changed over time was simply not possible to describe any differently. Loki changing his ways was something he wouldn't have expected at all. But here he was, standing next to the prince while he condemned people because of their crimes. Okay, he could imagine better things to do, seriously, but the fact that Loki sometimes asked for his opinion in such an important matter was making him feel needed, helpful. Though he quickly noticed that he and the price had way different views on how to handle said ‘criminals’. Some of them clearly deserved the hard approach of the prince, were murderers and rapists, and Tony understood why they didn’t even get the chance to plead for mercy, but this now was way too much for him.

There was a little girl kneeling in front of the large table, shivering as she looked to the ground, a sobbing sound echoed through the room from time to time. She had been caught stealing a fish and the law usually demanded for her to either serve time in the dungeons or pay back her debt. But everyone in the room knew that this poor girl would never be able to even pay a small amount of what was owed. She had stolen because of hunger. Tony gulped down the lump in his throat when he heard her begging for mercy, and he looked over to Loki, wanting to maybe discuss her fate with him, but all he saw was an indifferent face which stared her down. There was not one bit of sympathy showing in the prince’s features, he was looking as if he wanted to get the girl executed within the next second. It scared Tony. He hadn’t seen him like this since the very first days he had arrived here, and now Loki’s threat was coming back to his mind, reminding him on what he would do to him if he ever dared to misbehave again. Brown eyes uncertainly darted over to the prince, who met his gaze a second later.

“I think she regrets what she did.” Tony whispered so that no one else would hear him. “Look at her, she’s clearly not able to pay anything back. She just needed to eat and-”

“She is a thief, Anthony, what do you think I should do with her instead? Not punish her and let her continue with this behavior? She causes damage to the local farmers and fishermen. I can’t go easy on her while I execute all the others. Thieves will always be thieves.” Tony evaded Loki’s gaze then, not knowing what to say to this. Of course she had to face consequences, but this was a little girl, maybe ten, twelve years old. She wouldn’t survive even a week in the dungeons.

“Prince Loki, she won’t-”

“Off to the dungeons with her.” Loki stated in the most neutral tone, which made Tony gasp in absolute horror. How could he do that? How could he be that cruel? Tony could just watch as the guards dragged her shuddering body away, her pleads and begs audible even when the heavy doors shut behind them?

The thrall blinked, trying to figure out how to deal with this. The man he had gotten to know better about the last few days had changed within a second again, and it made him wary. What would Loki do when he would get angry for real? He had shown no mercy towards a kid, then he certainly wouldn’t hesitate to do the same to him, right? When Tony dared to look over to Loki again, green eyes were staring back at him, seemingly annoyed.

“Are- are you alright?” Tony asked, despite feeling as if he shouldn’t be the one asking the question. “Wasn’t that… a bit harsh?” He tried, testing the waters. He wasn’t sure whether Loki was annoyed by him and his reaction or the fact that he had had to punish the girl. If it would be the latter, it would at least show that Loki wasn’t just a heartless bastard, would show that Tony hadn’t been wrong about him.

Green eyes narrowed then and that was the moment Tony felt his heart sink.

“How dare you questioning my decisions? The decision of the future king and head of the court.” Loki hissed and bared his teeth, making Tony take a step back out of instinct. “A thrall has no say in these things, so don’t you open your mouth and talk when not asked!” The way too loud tone had silenced the whole room, all eyes were on them suddenly. Tony could just stand there, rooted to the spot, wondering what had gone wrong in this last hour. The man who had joked and spent time with him, who had been nice to him, was now back to his former self, and it was scaring him. He could see the prince breathing hard through his nose, his chest rising and falling heavily as they looked at each other.

“Alright… Didn’t think any differently anyway…” Tony breathed out and averted his gaze, obviously let down. “Nothing but a slave.” Yes, why should a prince befriend a blacksmith and thrall anyway? He had just imagined things apparently and it was probably better that way anyway. He was just angry at himself for falling for this bullshit. Maybe Loki just treated him nicely because he got something out of it. The coronation, right. How could he have been so stupid?

The following hours Tony just stood there and said nothing, which unnerved the prince obviously, since he looked over from time to time, his gaze lingering on him for a few moments before he looked away again. One could see that the prince regretted the outburst from earlier, but Tony was not about to speak up again, the thought of Loki punishing him was too intimidating and Loki didn’t even seem to want to apologize, so he kept quiet for the rest of the hearing. The fucker could talk to himself.

Loki sighed heavily when he finally released the rest of the court members, a hand running over his face, hiding his eyes from view. He looked tired, worn out, but Tony was in no position to comment on that, and he wasn’t in the mood to even talk to him right now. The guy had told him to shut the fuck up, so he was giving him what he wanted. Sympathy was now something he wouldn’t offer to him, not after denying it to the girl and probably sealing her fate. Shifting on his spot, Tony stared straight ahead and crossed his arms, waiting for an order, or well, anything at all, and only after minutes of waiting, the prince finally cleared his throat.

“Go and help the other staff members preparing for the feast tomorrow.” He murmured and rubbed the bridge of his nose, waving for Tony to go, and really, there was nothing he would rather do. The man’s tone made him hesitate for a second though. He seemed exhausted. Well too fucking bad.

“Alright.” Tony muttered and went out of the room without even looking back. How could he have been so stupid to think that the man would change his ways? The thrall smiled bitterly to himself as he closed the door behind him.

After hours of preparing dinner, scrubbing the floor and carrying heavy ornaments, Tony just wanted to head to bed. He was done for today. Too bad that Jarvis and the others weren’t about to let him go any time soon. The festivities were important, as they told him, but he couldn’t really care less. Whether the Vanir were coming or not, he just wanted to fall into his bed and sleep. The only thing keeping him here was the fact that he would have to face Loki again once he was done working, and nope, that wasn’t high on his list right now. No thanks, the guy could massage himself tonight. Ass.

Tony was totally in thought when he turned the corner, so that he almost ran into the two Vanir who walked along the corridor.

“Gosh, sorry, I didn’t-” Tony began, but started smiling when he saw who was looking back at him.

“Anthony, good to see you again.” Lady Syn returned the smile and gestured to the man next to her. “How are you? I hope everything went well that day. This is my business partner Lord Freyr.” She said and looked up at the blonde, whose blue eyes were solely fixed on Tony. And, truth be told, Tony had seen him before she had introduced him.

The guy was tall and blonde, beaming a gentle smile and nodded at him in greeting. He was basically the exact opposite from Loki and hell, was he handsome. Tony could only barely take his eyes off him to address lady Syn’s question.

“Exhausted, really, but pleased to meet you again, Lady Syn, Lord Freyr.” He murmured and bowed lightly. “I still have work to do unfortunately, so-”

“Oh I am positive that king Laufey will excuse you for just a second to chat with a friend.” She said, obviously picking up on his tone and overall body language. And Tony was thankful for that. She practically dragged him off towards one of the multiple dining halls, where the three of them sat down. “You look quite downcast, everything alright?” The lady waved for a servant to bring them some water.

Tony hesitated for more than a few minutes until he explained the situation to her. He shouldn’t talk bad about Loki, but this woman had helped him before and even if it was embarrassing to tell a stranger about his relationship with the prince, it felt good to have someone to talk for a change. Even Karef wouldn’t understand him. Both Vanir glanced at each other for a second and nodded before they looked over to him.

“Oh my…” Syn said and pressed her lips into a line.

“I believe this to be a misunderstanding for sure.” The deep, calm voice said and made Tony look up immediately. God damn, that voice was sounding like heaven compared to the last few things Loki had said to him and that scared him somewhat. He couldn’t, and more importantly shouldn’t, flirt with anyone else, especially not with some high society guy from a different realm.

“I don’t think so, but that doesn’t really matter anyway. If you excuse me now, I really have to work.” Yeah, and walk away from the blonde foreigner who was looking at him that attentively.

“Of course, later.” Syn said decidedly, at which Tony sighed lightly and sat back down. “I just want to make sure you are okay. After the last time I cannot just let you run off again. I promised to the king himself.”

 

“Even better…” Tony murmured to himself, at which she tried to hide her amused smirk.

“Just rest for a few more minutes and exhilarate us with your company.” That woman and her flattery. A servant brought them the water then and poured it into three crystalline glasses. Tony briefly wondered how important those two were, since even Loki wasn’t drinking from these glasses, but he was certainly not complaining about a bit of luxury once in a while. The rather comfortable silence was broken by the blonde man then, who was watching him again.

“You are the prince’s thrall I heard…” The tone made Tony frown and wait for him to continue. “My apologies, I do not want to appear rude or intrusive, but… You don’t look as if you really enjoy your task in this-”

“Lord Freyr!” Lady Syn exhorted and shot him a glance which clearly showed that she didn’t want him to continue. “It isn’t our place to-”

“Yes, it isn’t, but a thrall has to be happy and content. He’s no slave, he’s no staff member.” Lord Freyr turned his gaze to Tony once again and the intensity in his eyes made the Jotun shift uncomfortably on his chair. Sure, it was nice to hear that, but he didn’t know why the other male would bring that up.

“It is still not our place to discuss how prince Loki handles his business.”

Lord Freyr just smiled warmly at Tony, completely ignoring her. That was flirting alright. Fuck.

“A thrall is supposed to be a partner for us, a confidant. Someone we can trust with our lives, not waste away in a kitchen.” Brown eyes had stared into blue ones as the lord talked, before they averted their gaze when the whole thing got too intimate. Definitely flirting, yes, and implying that he would be a better… master? This was as strange as it was flattering. “It’s alright.” The man waved off and chuckled lightly. “I don’t want you to slander your lord.”

“Lord Freyr…” Lady Syn sighed audibly and pinched the bridge of her nose. Actually, Tony could understand her very well. This was more than awkward for him and someone coaxing away a thrall was nothing one should do in broad daylight. And that was what was going on here, wasn’t it? But Freyr was obviously not caring in the slightest.

“I can’t see why prince Loki wouldn’t be thrilled to have such a beautiful and gifted thrall. I heard you were quite talented with metal and all kinds of scientific topics.” Tony blinked as the other went on complimenting him, telling him how interesting his work was and how badly he wanted to see it. Really, he couldn’t help but liking the guy who actually appreciated what he was doing and didn’t just ignore him or feigned his interest. It was refreshing and damn, the guy was like the crown prince Balder himself: Handsome, charming and beaming the brightest smile, just like the Asgardian every woman was dreaming about. Really, now Tony could relate. They talked for a while longer, and Tony got more and more comfortable, even felt drawn to him somewhat, but then the blonde dropped the phrase which literally made Tony choke on his water. Especially since said man now reached over to place one hand on his.

“If you wouldn’t belong to him, I would love to take you with me and-”

“You cannot say something like-”

Too late. Within a second Tony was yanked from his chair, the glass falling to the floor and shattering into thousand pieces. Shocked brown eyes looked up to see hart, piercing green orbs, which stared at the blonde Vanir on the other side of the table. Loki’s grip on his arm was tight, way too tight for Tony’s liking, but he was simply too scared to even say one word; the prince looked as if he wanted to kill.

“How dare you.” Loki hissed and pulled Tony behind his larger frame.

“Prince Loki.” Freyr nodded towards him, seemingly unimpressed, what really surprised Tony. No one dared to challenge Loki like this and he hoped that this wouldn’t escalate.

“He is my personal belonging, how dare you talk to him and even lay a finger on a royal thrall?!”

A sly smile spread on Freyr’s lips as he stood and held up his hands in a placating manner.

“I never meant to insult you or your house, prince Loki.” He said and shook his head when his opposite bared his teeth in a snarl. “I merely entertained him on his break.” Clever man. Lying was the only thing that would get them both out of this, since Loki seemingly hadn’t heard Freyr’s last sentence. “It was never my intention to steal him away, I just complimented him and told him that you are lucky to have such a loyal thrall.”

It was clear that Loki didn’t buy anything of it. His whole body screamed attack, and Tony could just stand there and watch, his eyes darting back and forth between the two men. Were they really fighting over him right now? Seriously? He had to stop these two stubborn bullheads, had to sooth Loki’s anger so that there wouldn’t be any consequences for lord Freyr.

“My prince.” Tony tried and immediately got Loki’s attention, which was surprising in itself. Maybe he had finally gotten over his bad mood from today’s morning. “I assure you that the lord tells the truth, we were chatting while I took a break. It is my fault, they simply kept me company.” Green eyes narrowed as they focused on him now and for a split second, Tony feared that he wouldn’t believe him either. But just a moment later, the prince turned sharply towards the Vanir again and screwed up his nose.

“I don’t want you anywhere near him again, mind my words or risk a war declaration.”

Lady Syn and Tony both gulped visibly and sent each other a look of pure panic, while lord Freyr just nodded thoughtfully.

“No need for such drastic matters. I understand.” A small smile was directed at Tony before both Vanir turned and left the two alone.

Tony wanted to die. Yes, sure it was good to know that Loki was apparently fond enough of him to be jealous, to even declare a war, but this was going too far. This was too possessive, and Tony now really felt like a slave. The heavy sigh leaving his lips attracted Loki’s attention again, the gaze making the thrall flinch.

“I want to see you in my quarters in an hour. Clean yourself up.” If this hadn’t been such an important and dangerous situation, Tony would have barked back, but instead now just nodded and took a few steps back before walking away.

Chapter Text

Tony heaved a heavy sigh when he stood in front of Loki’s quarters. He had redressed and cleaned himself, just to not anger the prince any further. He knew how disgusting Loki found him when he was sweaty from work. His hand hovered over the wooden door, hesitating to actually knock. It was strange that he was fearing the guy again, but yeah, it was the truth. Tony was scared that Loki would hurt him or do even worse. Only a moment later, after he had mustered all his willpower, he knocked and entered the room when he heard the familiar voice.

Brown eyes immediately fell on Loki’s frame, who was sitting hunched over at his desk in front of a large pile of papers. It looked as if it would take a century to go throw all of these papers and the way Loki stared down on them made it clear that he realized that. Actually, if someone would ask Tony, he would say that the prince looked kind of exhausted and tired. Dark circles seamed his eyes and the hand supporting his head was obviously needed to hold him up right. One could feel sorry for him, but Tony did not.

He still didn’t know how everything had turned out so wrong, why it had gone downhill and ending like this. They had been fine yesterday and now, they weren’t. Simply as that. And yet, Loki had been aggravated that he had spoken to Lord Freyr. Strange. Green eyes darted up for just the briefest of seconds then. Maybe Loki was really jealous? Maybe he did like him somehow and didn’t want anyone else being with him? Tony snorted inwardly. No way. He probably just didn’t want anyone else to have his favorite toy.

“So…” Tony’s voice cut through the silence of the room. “You wanted me here, I am here, come to the point.” He muttered and could only blink when the prince stood and grabbed his wrist to hold him close.

“And again you dare to talk to me like this.” Loki gnarled, the tone of his voice annoyed, but not really angry. It irritated Tony endlessly. The grip hurt and Tony glanced up at the man.

“Yes, because you act like a-” His hand twitched when the fingers tightened around his wrist, cutting off the blood flow. “Sorry, sorry!” He shouted and pulled his hand back when Loki released it, his other rubbing over the skin to sooth the pain..

“Yes, you keep saying that.” Before Tony could retort anything, the prince turned around and sat down on the bed. “This piece of filth dares to-” Tony blinked. “He dared to touch you, I-”

Wait a second. Really now? The prince wasn’t angry at him but at the lord? Good for him, bad for the realm related relations. But this here was actually scaring Tony more than foreign politics. It meant that Loki was… interested in him. Still, this was no reason to declare war on a realm, or behave that childishly. The thrall’s gaze lay on the murmuring man as he stepped closer.

“Prince Loki.” He began and now had the man’s attention again. “He was just polite. He didn’t incline anything.” A lie was better than the risk of two apparently grown men fighting over him like children fighting over a lollipop. “Please don’t make this any worse for me.” Dark brows furrowed, as if he didn’t understand what Tony was aiming at. “Please, don’t threaten him like this. You know that this wouldn’t end well.”

For a few moments they just looked at each other.

“It may have been a bit exaggerated.” Loki finally offered, looking incredibly resigned, which made Tony sigh and close his eyes.

“What… What exactly happened? You made a ten eighty in just a few hours, I just don’t understand. You acted like a total maniac, and even if you are posessive over me, that doesn’t-”

Loki was in his face a second later, glaring at him, so close Tony could feel his breathing on his cheek. Tony could hear his own heartbeat in his ears, it slammed against his ribs wildly. The way Loki glared at him made him feel small, like a child getting scowled for doing something wrong.

“You want to belong to someone else? Isn’t that it?” The sharp voice echoed through the room.

“I did never say that!” Tony barked back, baring his teeth in warning, which unfortunately had no visible effect on the prince. On the contrary, the tall frame was still towering above him. “You always read something into my behavior or words, or what ever, even if there is nothing, and then act like a spoiled brat who had his doll stolen from him! You insult me and snark at me without a reason and wonder when I don’t want to spend time with you! You bring me to the courthouse for my opinion and scowl me for saying it out loud! Hell, Loki, you sent a little girl to the dungeons!”

“Yes, because I had to!” Loki was screaming, his eyes glowing as he pushed the smaller man away and went to his desk, his hand hitting the wood so hard that the pile of papers fell to the ground. Tony was staring at the other man in pure shock, unable to even say a word, completely taken aback by the outcry. He flinched when the fist hit the desk again. “You know nothing about the circumstances, Anthony, and still you demand to have a say in this! You have no idea how to rule or what it takes to rule, the only thing you claim to know is your so important smithery and how other people should treat you! This girl-” Loki hissed and turned his seething gaze back on his thrall. “Comes from a deprived background, forced to steal! Forced by her parents to beg for alms and steal the income of hard working peasants! I discussed her fate beforehand, Anthony. She will serve her time in the dungeons and will then work in the palast, away from the negative influence of her so called family!”

The prince was panting hard, one could see the rage dwelling underneath his skin. Tony took a step back, feeling his confidence vanish. Why hadn’t he told him then? Opening his mouth to say something, Loki screwed up his face and hit the desk again, which gave a low crunching noise as the wood gave in to the force.

“No! You will not interrupt me again!” The prince spat. “No, as always, Anthony Edward Stark, the best and most important being in the whole realm, knew better!” The sarcasm stung, and Tony let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. He had never seen the prince being this angry and this behavior scared him. “No! You had to intervene and give me that derogatory, disgusted look, as always! You have no say in such things, Anthony, accept that! It doesn’t matter if I’d like to hear your opinion on a matter or not! You are not the one who has to carry the guilt and responsibility on your shoulders!”

Loki was gnarling his teeth, green eyes fixed on Tony’s face. He could feel the prince’s gaze burn into his skull, no matter that his own was directed to the ground. All this had apparently built up since quite some time and if Tony would be honest to himself, this was changing everything. The other sounded hurt. Silence spread between them and eventually, Loki went backwards and to his bed, sinking down on it once more. His hands looked bad as he covered his face with them. No wonder when one looked at the desk now. When he spoke again, his voice was softer, but frustrated nonetheless.

“I can’t always be your happy donor. I can’t. This here is what I have to do, no matter if I want to do it or not. And if you know any better, please enlighten me, what should I have done instead? Sent her back home? So she would turn up here in a week again?”

Tony didn’t know what he should say to this. The other was right, and obviously the last few days had taken their toll on him. He himself had overreacted, maybe, but not telling him how he felt, what troubled him, what he had planned had led to this disaster, and for this was Loki to blame.

“You could have told me.” Tony’s small voice had spoken the words before he could really think about it.

“I can’t always tell you everything.” Loki retorted.

“Sure, but-” The thrall interrupted himself mid-sentence. Should he address the topic? Lord Freyr had told him what a thrall should be. Rather now than never he supposed and heaved a heavy breath. “I was told that a thrall should be like a partner, a confidant. But that’s not how I-”

“Of course not.” Tony blinked at that. “I know how you want me to behave around you, but that- I can’t do that, it won’t work.”

“Why?”

A bitter smile graced Loki’s lips.

“There is more to being a thrall than being a partner or someone you can trust. I can’t treat you like a real thrall, Anthony.”

Tony took a few steps closer until he was standing right in front of Loki. He was still frowning, not knowing what that was supposed to mean.

“What do you mean?”

“You want me to treat you with respect, with love even, don’t want to be made fun of, not like a slave… But that would mean that we would need to be… closer.” The way Loki said the last part made Tony pull back slightly. Closer? “A thrall is a partner, Anthony.” A- oh. Oh! Tony pulled air through his gritted teeth and looked away, a bright blush on his cheeks.

“I-I didn’t know.”

“I don’t want to press matters if you don’t want that, and up until now it was pretty clear you didn’t want that in the slightest. I also refuse to just court someone because my fool of a father would tell me so. But everyone would know the moment I would behave differently around you, and you would be in danger. Right now I am not vulnerable, but with you close to me? You would be target to not only more ridicule but attacks. Some thralls are considered whores, because they give nothing except for sexual pleasure. I wanted you to be a part of this place and work on yourself instead of being just the prince’s slut.” The prince huffed through his nose. “I couldn’t stand a character like yours being reduced to just a royal whore.”

But he would be okay for them to be sexually involved? The thought hit Tony like a brick. Was he himself actually appalled to that idea? His body had clearly showed him the answer, back when he had massaged Loki’s shoulders. Still, actually doing this? With Loki? No, he was so not going there. No matter how good Loki smelled and how handsome he was. Gulping, Tony stepped closer again and reached over to massage Loki’s shoulders lightly, a small sigh leaving the taller man’s throat.

“Alright, I understand. I am sorry, I didn’t know all that.” He whispered. “I didn’t know that you would want to… go all out. I just wanted you to trust me and treat me more nicely. Sorry.”

Loki shook his head at this.

“I should have explained myself to you but- It’s already hard enough to get along as it is. I don’t need you to worry about us doing-” The two men looked at each other for a moment, and if Tony didn’t know it better, he would have said that Loki blushed.

He was interested. Somewhat at least, and Tony didn’t really know whether he liked that or not. Maybe a tiny little bit. A prince liking him, even if he could act like an ass sometimes, was kind of nice. A boost to his ego at the very least. Not that he had doubted that he could wrap the guy around his finger if he wanted.

“My behavior won’t change. If we’re alone I can behave differently, but tomorrow at the gala, I will-”

“It’s alright.” Tony cut him short, knowing what he wanted to tell him. “As long as you stop being a dick to me after that.”

Loki gave an amused huff.

“As long as you won’t speak to the blonde bastard.” Oh hell, really? Maybe he should address that.

“What, jealous?” Tony narrowed his eyes, awaiting an answer.

“No.” Came the reluctantly answer. “But you are still mine and no one else is allowed to have you.”

“Sure.” Tony grinned, feeling weirdly good about that. His fingers were still kneading Loki’s shoulders, at which the prince’s green eyes were on him again.

“I would advise you to stop that if you really don’t want to ...go all out.” The sly smirk on Loki’s features made Tony snort.

“Yeah, no thank you. Not horny enough for that.” He offered the same kind of smile before he retreated for the night.

 

“Okay, pet. Don’t leave my side.” Loki said as he stalked through the corridors.

“Yes, of course not mylord.” Tony answered, his face a neutral mask.

It was the next day, the day of the grand gala and Tony was dressed in his best robes. Loki also looked as if he would go to a wedding or something equally important. Golden armor seamed his black and green robes, and Tony couldn’t help but marvel at the sight. The only drop of bitterness was that Loki would behave like a total asshat again. Well, he had that coming. At least he hadn’t punished him yesterday and had resorted to talking instead. He was thankful for that, even if the thought of them being involved didn’t leave his mind anymore. Awkward to the max.

Tony had his hands crossed behind his back as he walked after Loki into the large decorated dining hall. Candles enlightened the room, metal ornaments reflecting the warm light, providing a wonderful atmosphere. It was beautiful, Tony had to admit that, even though he had to carry all this stuff here. Grumbling, Tony let his gaze wander over the people sitting at the tables. He almost fell over his own feet, his heart skipping a beat, when he saw Freyr on the other side of the room. It felt wrong to throw him a smile, it felt as if he was betraying Loki, but he just couldn’t help it. Having these two fight over him was funny, the war declaration not so much, but the overall behavior definitely was, especially since Loki had been close to admitting his jealousy.

It was just unfortunate that Loki chose to look at him in the exact moment he gave lord Freyr that smile. Fuck. He could see how the prince glared at him, a flicker of hurt in those green eyes. Damn. He would have to listen to a lecture later. Loki had asked him to not flirt, but oh well. If he behaved like an ass, Tony could do so as well. Was all show, right? So Tony shrugged and gave Loki the most innocent smile, pretending to not know what he had done wrong.

The longer Tony stayed with Loki, the more he wanted to just get it on with, so the prince didn’t have to put on that type of show any longer. Sex couldn’t be worse than Loki denouncing and joking about him whenever some business partners talked to him. Annoyance was written into his face.

Whenever Loki presented him to people, showing them how nicely he did whatever the prince demanded from him, Tony looked over to Freyr, who always sent him a smile back. Sometime around nighttime, Tony had had enough. Another joke left Loki’s lips and with a smirk on his face, he turned to look at Tony, who glowered back at him. Tony mouthed some insults and curses, which made Loki grimace, but obviously understand that he had gone too far. He could endure hours of this, but the whole night? No thanks.

“Excuse me my lord.” Tony grumbled, but Loki nodded anyway.

Now he wished that he would wear pants where he could stick his hands into. He moved past all the people in his way until he made his way to the kitchen. They had Asgardian ale there, imported just for today, so Tony stole one of the smaller flasks when no one was looking. Strolling through one of the corridors, Tony’s spirit was obviously lifted by the alcohol. This stuff was definitely stronger than anything they had here and as a thrall he usually wasn’t allowed to drink anyway. But today he decided to just not care.

“I didn’t think that he would ever let you go.” Tony choked as he took another sip from the bottle, the voice had caught him off guard. Who the fuck- “Hello Anthony.”

Freyr. Tony gulped slightly and hid the bottle behind his back, his lips parting as if he wanted to apologize.

“No need for this bafflement.” The sky blue eyes wandered up Tony’s body, making him shift uncomfortably on his spot. Really this guy was sending obvious signs and Tony wasn’t really denying him or telling him off, which basically was Loki’s and the ale’s fault. “I just saw you leaving and wanted to take the opportunity to talk to you again. Without the jealous prince around.” Freyr chuckled and leaned against the wall with his shoulder.

It made Tony smirk to himself.

“So you know Loki disapproves of us meeting and you still do it? You risk your country’s relations too easily.” Tony murmured, his eyes going hooded as he looked back at Freyr, offering him the flask.

“That is the fun of it, right?” The man grinned and took a sip from it. “It’s way more exciting to steal you away from him and seeing him angry. I heard of all the things he pulled in the past, trickster.”

“Yeah, he’s… different and demanding.” Tony rolled his eyes and felt his cheeks getting warm. Damn this flirting guy. “And what are you doing now?” He heard himself saying without really thinking about it beforehand. That became a habit as it seemed.

“Stealing you away, hm?” Freyr whispered as he closed in on Tony, his hand on the wall next to the Jotun’s face. “Would you actually like that? I think I made myself pretty clear that I am interested in you.”

So it was out in the open now. And Tony wasn’t really sure what he wanted. He liked Loki somewhat, when he was nice to him at least, but Freyr made him feel appreciated and… wanted. Damn. The man looked as if he wanted to devour him whole and god, it made him shiver.

“Maybe, maybe not. I’m still bound to Loki, even though we’re not… that close.”

“I am happy to hear that.” Freyr closed the distance between them, wanted to kiss the smaller man, but Tony placed a finger on his lips, grinning, even though his heart hammered in his chest.

“Nah-ah.” Tony breathed out huskily, deep inside regretting what he was about to say. “I don’t just kiss any guy who wants me. And I won’t risk the peace between our realms.” This said, Tony turned and gave Freyr one last glance before he walked away. This would be really problematic in the future, he knew. These two would definitely get him into trouble, especially since they both were… special. Not that he wanted either of them, but truth be told, he liked the attention and he wasn’t really against a bit of fun. Hell, as a thrall he couldn’t get any woman or man from the palace. They just steered clear of him. So having these two bullheads fight each other, without causing a catastrophe? Sure, he wouldn’t protest.

Chapter Text

Tony heaved a heavy sigh when he walked into Loki’s chambers that night. For whatever reason, the prince had decided to invite him over again. Actually, Tony knew exactly what this was about. He would be considered an idiot if he had believed that Loki wouldn’t notice him meeting with the Vanir. So he had reluctantly left his room to face the gallows, or whatever Loki would have in store for him. He didn’t know, but he sure as hell hadn’t expected to see this. Narrowing his eyes at the sight in front of him, Tony stemmed a hand into his hips.

“I didn’t think you would just flash me as punishment, but I don’t complain.” No he wouldn’t complain, not even when those green eyes glared daggers at him. “Don’t give me that look, I’m not the one stripping with his doors open.”

It amused him that him talking to another man had such an effect on the prince. Sure, they had talked about Loki’s affection, if one wanted to call it that, and his jealousy, but one simple conversation shouldn’t be the deciding reason for him to pout now. Or flash him. Tony let his eyes wander over the prince’s naked body, appreciating the lean form, the curve of his ass and those slender hands which held on to the man’s robes. Truth be told, ever since the two of them had talked about it, intrusive thoughts were running through Tony’s mind. Giving in to Loki’s games and just getting it on. Not that he would ever pursue those thoughts, not in a thousand years and definitely not with this arrogant dickhead, but seeing him naked was kind of exciting, no matter his intentions.

“Why am I here, Loki? Is there a reason you wanted me to come in on you being naked?” The thrall asked, one eyebrow raised. “After you pulled the exact same thing I asked you not to do?” The humiliation had been the reason for him to go and seek out Freyr after all. It was his own damn fault.

The prince just tsked and threw his robes at him, leaving his servant stumbling for balance.

“Did you like the feast?” He asked then, bitterness layering his voice.

Tony knew it was a trick question. He probably wanted him to confess his… sins. Instead of answering, Tony kept quiet and started folding the clothing to put them aside, at which the prince screwed up his nose.

“What? No witty reply? No comeback?” Loki sneered, obviously growing irritated by the continuing silence. “What is it Antony? Cat got your tongue all of a sudden?”

Tony gulped when he heard his name in that voice.

“Doesn’t really matter now, does it?” He eventually gave back, his gaze averted to the ground.

“Oh now it doesn’t?” Loki asked, a bitter smile on his face. “Usually you beat my ears with your petty affairs and now it doesn’t matter?” The prince huffed in an exaggerated manner.

“Yes, since you are obviously pissed that you aren’t the center of my unive-”
Before Tony could even complete his sentence, he was grabbed by his collar and lifted of the ground. His hands immediately shot up to grab Loki’s, brown eyes were on green though the entire time.

“Mind your place. I won’t tell you again. If I ever see you with him again, I-”

“You what?!” Tony hissed back through gritted teeth as he struggled to break free. “What will you do? Kill him? Kill me? Just because you have some unhealthy-”

A hand hit Tony’s cheek then, and for a moment the thrall wasn’t able to comprehend what had happened, until the skin started stinging. His hand found his own cheek, his eyes wide open as he stared at the prince. His lips parted as if he wanted to speak, but not one syllable left his mouth.

“You don’t want me? Is that it? Or do you just mindlessly hate me like all the others? Do you despise me for wanting you?” The prince panted in anger, both men staring at each other before, without warning, Loki closed the distance between them, kissing Tony heatedly.

Tony was startled, dumbfounded because of what was happening, enough to not be able to react at all. Only after a moment he pressed his hands against Loki’s shoulders to push him away. Brown eyes were staring at the taller man’s chest, wide and in shock as he searched for words.

“What are you doing?” He huffed out, his gaze up at Loki’s face to see the most enraged expression there. It scared him, since this time Loki seemed to be serious. Hands grabbed him by the upper arms then and pulled him closer.

“Don’t tell me you don’t want me.” The prince hissed and buried his nose in the spot right underneath Tony’s ear. He could feel the warm, soft breath fanning on his neck, and it made him shiver in return. It felt good, no matter the time nor person it belonged to, but Tony vehemently shook his head.

“I don’t. I have enough of the spoiled kid that is you. You just get everything you want, but I am not one of your toys.” He snarled, but the sound was immediately muffled by Loki’s mouth again, closing over his lips and pushing his tongue in between them. Tony groaned. A sound elicited by disgust and something else entirely. He could feel how Loki’s lust swept over, how those hands and lips made his will falter. It had been too long, but giving in to such a bastard just because he couldn’t keep his junk in his pants? No, not going to happen.

He pressed his palm hard against Loki’s face, wanting to force him off, without much success. Only when he bit down on the other’s lip, the man pulled away with a hiss, one hand flying to his face to feel the injury. Tony’s lips were red with blood as he breathed for air.

“Did you just listen to me!?” Tony barked and took a step back. “I don’t want any of this.” Alright, not true, he wasn’t completely averse of the idea, but not if Loki was about to force him into submission. Loki just glared at him until Tony mumbled some incoherent insults and turned on his heels, but the moment Tony’s hand found the handle of the door, strong arms were pulling him back against the prince’s taller frame. “What is it you didn’t understand?”

Tony gasped when instead of an answer, one hand sneaked down his body to cup his clothed cock.

“So you don’t want any of this?” Loki’s gravel voice echoed right next to the shell of his ear. “That’s why you were hard and straining when you massaged me? When you had your hands on my body?” His fingers started fondling Tony’s cock, making the thrall pinch his eyes shut and take in a shaggy breath. “Is that why your body responds so nicely to my touch right now? Because you never even thought about this? Never imagined us doing this? I told you that I was interested, that I was willing to wait…” Loki was breathing right into his neck, making Tony shudder as his hands clawed at Loki’s arms. “But you had to go to him, didn’t you? You had to invite him instead of me.”

Tony blinked, but before he could actually explain himself, Loki’s hand fiddled with his robes and reached down inside his pants, not bothering with asking for his content again. Slender fingers wrapped around Tony’s hardening cock, and the thrall then and there cursed his body for even remotely liking Loki’s touch. Actually, it was more than obvious that his cock though of this as a good idea, yet his brain still searched for a way out of this nightmare.

“Stop this please.” Tony choked out, his knees beginning to feel week. He wouldn’t be able to get out of Loki’s grip if the other wouldn’t allow him to, and he knew it. So he pleaded for him to simply let go.

“Why would I ever do this, now that I can actually have you?” Loki gave back, his voice dark with arousal. He could feel the man’s prick pressing against his lower back despite the layers of clothing between them. “Why would I when I knew that you are enjoying my touch?” Lips brushed against his earlobe, wrapping around it to gently suck on it.

God damn. So that was it then. He would simply be the bed slave he had never wanted to become. The realization hit Tony like a slap, like a fist to the stomach. He suddenly felt nauseous, despite the fact that he was breathing heavily because of what the man was doing to him.

“Maybe because you respect me.” Tony whispered desperately, a sound that made the prince groan behind him.

“Respect you? After you so blatantly disrespected my wishes?” Tony looked over his shoulder in pure horror. “You intentionally acted against my will, so don’t preach to me about respect.”

Within the blink of an eye, Tony was yanked backwards and shoved towards the bed. Hands started unbuckling his robes, getting rid of the fabric that separated the two men from one another. Loki didn’t care for etiquette anymore, just ripped the clothes apart when they wouldn’t come off at first try. Tony was pushed unceremoniously forward onto the bed then, his hands falling onto the sheets for support.

“You can’t do this.” Tony murmured, his head hanging low. He didn’t even know what Loki would do to him, but a glance over to the prince made it obvious that this wouldn’t end well for him. The man’s erect cock was only a few inches away from his face and he screwed up his face as he turned the other way.

“I cannot do what? This?” Loki crooned, a pleased grin plastered on his face as he knelt right behind his thrall and bowed over to reach around and grab Tony’s erection again. Those long fingers started stroking him firmly, and Tony did his best to not outright moan. He hated this, hated all of it, hated how Loki’s front pressed against his back and the outline of the other’s erection pressing against the curve of his ass.

Tony shivered, not only because of the touch and close contact, but because of fear. Would Loki just fuck him? Without preparation or anything close to affection? It would change everything. He wouldn’t be able to look at Loki without thinking of this. When the prince started rolling his hips and rubbed his erection over Tony’s entrance, the servant gave a small, pathetic whimper. He could feel the tip of it nudging the tight ring of muscle, and if the man decided to just push in, to take him, it would result in excruciating pain.

Tony gulped and tried to focus on Loki’s hand on his cock instead of the slick feeling on his buttocks. He could hear Loki’s panting behind him, right next to his ear as he ground against his skin. In every other scenario he would have loved to hear the prince whisper sweet nothings into his ear in that dark, husky voice, but now it was making him tremble with fear. Tony’s eyes shot open when he felt how Loki’s free hand positioned the tip of his cock at Tony’s entrance. The moment Loki was pushing in, Tony cried out in pain, turning and looking at the other male, eyes glistening with unshed tears.

“Please. Please not this.” He breathed out in what sounded like begging. Loki stopped his movements as if to understand what the other man meant by that. When no answer came, Tony continued. “I wouldn’t be able to look you in the eyes again after this. Please, Loki, don’t. Not this..” It seemingly did the trick, because the prince pulled back a bit as if in shock, as if he hadn’t meant to really hurt him. Lips brushed against Tony’s shoulders then and he relaxed visibly when he felt that Loki placed his cock back in between his cheeks.

It still wasn’t good or alright in the slightest. It was wrong and Loki shouldn’t even remotely think about this, but now Tony held still and let Loki do what he wanted. If he wanted to get off, fine, as long as it would be over after this. But what Tony had forgotten was the hand that still rested on his own dick. He didn’t want to receive pleasure from this, didn’t want to like this, but the fingers picked up their speed again, stroking his cock hard and fast in sync with Loki’s rocking hips. Tony was panting hard into the pillow, his hands tightened in the fabric when he got closer to his orgasm. He didn’t want to come, especially not after he heard a breathless snicker behind him.

“So eager. Your body responds so beautifully.” Loki whispered.

“Fuck you.”

“No need to, boy. Come for me, let me hear your moans and pleas.”

“No. I- No Loki, ah!” Even though he had wanted to keep quiet, Tony couldn’t help but jerk when he felt the other hand coming down to fondle his balls. Within only a moment, his body grew tense and spasmed, strings of white cum hitting the sheets beneath him. Loki stroked him through his orgasm until the body in his grip went slack.

Pushing Tony down completely, Loki now used both hands to pin his hips down to intensify his rhythm. Tony was still panting hard, could barely do anything against the wet feeling in between his cheeks or the rutting of the prince. He was lying in his own jizz and hated himself for not trying harder to force Loki off. Tony felt the cock pulsate against his skin and with a loud moan, Loki came onto his lower back. The droplets of cum and sweat mixed and ran down his side, making the thrall wince and try to shy away, without any success though.

Loki just held him still as he rolled onto his side, obviously very pleased at the moment. Tony though felt like crying. He wanted to get away, to get out of the tight embrace of Loki’s arms, but instead of letting go, Loki just pulled him closer and against his chest. He could feel the prince’s breath on his neck, those fingers roaming his chest almost too gently. Tony felt disgusted by himself and by the prince’s behavior.

“Are you done?” He asked in the most indifferent tone possible and hoped that his voice wasn’t quivering or sounded so broken like he felt. Loki’s face pressed against his neck, kissing the skin there.

“Stay.” He whispered, sending a shudder down Tony’s spine.

“Why? You are done.”

“Because I want to have you close.”

Tony gave a small, hysterical chuckle. So he was not even allowed to clean or relief himself. He had to stay with his molester. Tony pinched his eyes close and tried to blank everything around him out, tried to swallow the bile in his mouth. Some time later, Tony felt how Loki’s breathing got more steady, still, even with a sleeping prince, he couldn’t get away from him.

He had lain awake for a few hours, rigid and quiet to not wake Loki, but eventually he succumb to sleep as well. When he woke the next morning, he felt… fresh. Blinking slightly, he felt something cold and wet rub over his back. Spinning around, he caught Loki... cleaning the mess up? Washing him?

“No-” Tony breathed out and stumbled away, one hand pulling a thick fur up to his chin.

Loki was staring at Tony for a moment, wanted to say something, but sighed heavily when he saw the scared expression on his thrall’s face. The prince lowered his gaze until it was fixed on his hands. He looked distressed, as if he was troubled by something. Tony didn’t think that he regretted what he had done, not one bit. Why should he even? He was a thing, nothing more than an object, there for Loki to satisfy his lust.

The two men were sitting on the bed, neither of them saying a word for a long moment.

“Anthony-” Loki began and shifted on his knees, making Tony cringe in discomfort but not react in any other way. The prince scooted closer, cradling Tony’s cheeks with his hands, their foreheads resting against one another. “Sorry, I am sorry, I didn’t-” He began, his voice sounding pained and hoarse.

Tony didn’t say a word. There was no excuse for what he had done and there was nothing Tony could say to make this better, for neither of them.

“Anthony, please. Forgive me. Forgive me for what I’ve done to you, I never wanted to hurt you, I-” Loki’s arms pulled Tony against his chest, holding him tightly, while Tony’s arms just hung slack at his sides. He just stared at a spot on the wall above Loki’s shoulder and tried to endure the contact without breaking out into tears. Loki buried his face in the crook of Tony’s neck, murmuring his apologies, repeating them like a charm, but eventually resigned and let go of his thrall when he didn’t get an answer.

Tony stood then and slowly picked up his discarded clothing from last night to redress.

“Anthony…” Loki begged and reached out one hand for him, but Tony just turned and walked to the door, ignoring the pleading behind him and left the room. He had started to like him, had started to admire his brilliant mind, but now it didn’t matter anymore.

The moment Tony closed the door to his quarters behind him, he sunk to the ground, tears starting to run down his cheeks. He covered his face with his hands, his body shaking as he started crying uncontrollably.

Chapter Text

The next few days were hell for Tony. He spent all his time inside his room, his door locked. It didn’t matter that he had no food in here, he wasn’t hungry anyway. If anything, he still felt nauseous, sick to the stomach. And no matter if his tummy was growling or not, he couldn’t think about eating. The only thing in his mind was the evening which had changed everything. The memories were dancing in front of his eyes whenever he closed them, making sleeping impossible. Whenever Tony did doze off, he would wake up screaming, drenched in sweat and tears. It was impossible for him to forget this, impossible to go back to his duties, to even look at the prince. He couldn’t serve him anymore. Not when the fear of getting assaulted was omnipresent in his mind.

And this was what this was about, right? Serving a molester, being the slave used for pleasure and nothing else. He had known that he would end up like this, somewhere deep down.

Now he was sitting on the floor of his room, leaning against the wall and staring blindly ahead. They had told him to come out, to finally resume work, but there was no way Tony would just do this without any resistance. If he could have his druthers, he would just stay in here and starve to death, since the chance of escaping this prison was very much non-existent. And he would not go back into Jotunheim’s dungeons, that much was certain.

A loud banging noise sounded from the door then, making Tony yank his head around and lock his gaze on the handle which was pressed down furiously. He had locked the door and right now he was glad that he had done it. He could imagine who was standing there, banging his fist against the wooden surface, and the next words spoken confirmed his suspicion.

“Anthony.” Came the restless sounding voice of his mentor. “You have to open up the door and come out. The prince is asking for your service.”

This made Tony chuckle darkly to himself. He pulled his legs up to his chest and hid his face in his folded arms. His service… Yes, sure, he didn’t doubt that.

“If you will not cooperate, I am forced to use more desperate measures. I warned you.” Jarvis muttered, the threat ending in a small sigh. When Tony gave no sign of understanding, Jarvis simply opened the door with a spare key. Tony’s eyes widened as he pulled himself up.

“Hey! T-that’s-”

“You didn’t give me another choice.” The head of the staff stated and closed the door behind him before he stepped closer to the thrall. Tony looked uncertainly at the taller male, his breath hitching when a hand found his shoulder. His body had tensed without him wanting to. “What is wrong with you? You don’t come out for more than an hour at most these days.” Brown eyes narrowed and averted to the ground. He couldn’t tell Jarvis about it, or anyone for that matter. They would just call him a liar and turn him into ridicule. Or worse: Punish him again. So Tony didn’t answer, even when Jarvis grabbed him by his arms. “You need to tell me if something is wrong. If you just act up again boy, I can and will not help you. If this turns out to be just another one of your shenanigans, I swear-”

“I was sick. Couldn’t eat nor drink really.” His voice was wavering, he knew, and he could see it in Jarvis’s eyes that he didn’t believe one word. “I threw up and didn’t want the prince having to endure this.”

For a moment Jarvis just eyed him up, scrutinizingly watching his every move before he nodded in what looked like understanding. Even if the man was seeing through his facade, he didn’t say it. Maybe he just didn’t want Tony to feel any more miserable with making him say the truth out loud. Right now he was incredibly thankful that Jarvis was at least there, even if he often scolded him for his mistakes. He was one of the only people here that liked him. Tony swallowed hard as he raised his gaze again and found worried blue eyes looking back. Within the next second the man pulled him into his arms, holding him firmly as his one hand stroked over his back soothingly.

“If there is anything I should know, Anthony, tell me.” Was whispered into his ear and Tony felt his throat constricting. He felt like crying, like clinging to this man and screaming his heart out. But doing this, telling Jarvis what had happened would not only get him in trouble, but would also embarrass him. He had been hand-picked to serve the prince after all, and now he felt unable to perform what he had been told? No, he would not tell him a word.

Tony nodded lightly and after another minute pulled back out of the embrace.

“I’m alright. Tomorrow I will be-”

“Take two more days to recover. After those you will be back at work, full strength, are we clear?” His voice was a tad softer now, so Tony nodded eventually, even though he couldn’t look him in the eyes. “Good.” Taking another moment to look his charge over, Jarvis then turned and opened the door again to leave.

Tony kept standing there for minutes, unable to cope with what had just happened.

The next two days weren’t much better though. He still hadn’t eaten anything, was too nervous because of what was inevitable. Seeing Loki again, after almost two weeks of fleeing from this very man, was making Tony shudder, and not in the good way. What if Loki would want to repeat this? What if he would want to got further this time?

Tony stood in front of the doors again, but the usual smile was not gracing his lips now. He was still wearing these expensive robes, making him look good, giving the impression of his well-being… Nothing but a lie. A small chuckle forced itself out of Tony’s throat as he watched his hand hover over the doorhandle. He knew that the prince wasn’t there, yet he was shivering. Taking in a shaky breath, Tony pushed it down and the door open. The room was a mess. A disaster. Had no one taken care of Loki and his chambers in his absence? It certainly looked like it. Not only clothing lay around, scattered over the entire floor, but also dishes and leftovers. Heaving a heavy sigh, Tony started cleaning up, just as he had done countless times before.

“You are back.” A low, whispering voice sounded from behind him and Tony felt his blood running cold. He had been almost done with cleaning the room, and out of all moments the prince could have chosen, he had to come back in exactly this one. “I thought you would not come here again after-” Loki stopped himself then and even though Tony couldn’t see his face, he knew that what drove the men was remorse. “I am sorry, Anthony, I really am. Can’t we…”

Tony still didn’t look at Loki as he wanted to go past him to place the washed clothes in the wardrobe, but the prince blocked his way.

“Answer me! Talk to me at least!” Loki was panting in anger, his hands balled into fists as he fixed his gaze on his thrall.

Tony looked at the man for a moment, but couldn’t bring a word over his lips. When he tried to sidestep Loki, the man growled and grabbed the pile of clothing, throwing it to the ground. Tony could just stare at his work which was now lying on the floor, unable to even say a word. Why was he doing this? Why was he trying to get a reaction from him? Wasn’t it enough that he was here? Apparently not. Furrowing his brows, Tony dropped his gaze and sighed softly.

“Talk to me!” Came the shaking voice again, but Tony simply ignored it. At least until he felt arms wrapping around his torso from behind and fingers getting under his robe to stroke over his skin. Tony inhaled sharply, his whole body tensing instantly. Not again. “Why won’t you- Why aren’t do saying anything?! Why aren’t you telling me to stop if you don’t want this?!”

Loki sounded desperate, just as much as Tony was feeling right now. He felt like panicking, his heart was pounding against his ribs, shiver after shiver running down his spine, goosebump rising wherever Loki was touching him. Yet he couldn’t stop this, couldn’t stop him. He would just get it over with, without struggling it would be over more quickly. And really, even if he would, it wouldn’t change a thing. It hadn’t stopped the prince the last time. So Tony held still, which obviously only distressed Loki more, for he pressed his face into the crook of Tony’s neck.

“Anthony, please…” Was whispered into his ear and Tony just closed his eyes and swallowed hard, trying to blank out what was about to happen.

 

Tony sighed audibly when he put on his clothes again. A hand sneaked around his waist, preventing him from standing up. Hot breath was fanning over his ear, a low voice rumbling behind him.

“Stay for the night, Anthony.” It was more than a request, it sounded like a plea, but Tony couldn’t stay with him. He had let him do what he had wanted, now it was his right to go and be miserable alone. Grabbing Loki’s hands, he took them off his body and stood. “Please don’t leave me.” It stopped Tony in his tracks. “If you hate me touching you so much, why don’t you object?”

It wasn’t that Tony hated the contact. Hell, he had been hard, and Loki made sure to let him climax as well, but this wasn’t the point. He would have even liked the touch if Loki would have asked him, if he would have told him and showed him that he lusted after him. But like this? Without his consent, without him allowing the touches? No. How could he like someone using him and demanding sex?

Tony swallowed hard before he turned his head to look at Loki.

“Because it wouldn’t matter.” He simply stated and could see how Loki’s face fell into something close to despair. The man knew he was wronging him. He knew it and still did it to him.

“I am-” Loki cut himself off when he saw how Tony vanished through the opened door.

Loki had called Tony a few more times for these kind of services, and by now the thrall had long since stopped even saying a half-hearted objection. He had resigned with the fact that he was nothing more than a simple bed slave. It actually didn’t hurt that much anymore and since Loki made sure to not go all out on him, Tony couldn’t care anymore. The only thing he mourned was their old relationship, how they had laughed and spent time together. Now Tony only visited the prince when he had to fulfill his desires. He missed it, missed him. He missed the fucked up way of Loki making fun of him. Right now every meeting between them resulted in pain, probably for both of them. And there was one thing Tony really disliked when that happened: The fact that Loki seemed to seek his company when he was spent. He always wanted to cuddle, to clean Tony, to care for him. Usually he just got out of Loki’s embrace and left, but today was different.

“Stay. Please stay.” How often had he heard this words by now? Countless times already. THis time though, Loki sounded as if he was despondent.

“No.” Tony said and wanted to remove Loki’s hands from his waist, but Loki’s grip tightened, his face now buried in Tony’s shoulders.

“Anthony please. At least hear me out today.” Tony turned his head slightly to look at the mass of black hair brushing his cheek. Right, he had always left because he had know what Loki would tell him. Yet this time he had no chance of getting out, the prince wouldn’t let him and the way he sounded made Tony’s heart sink. “I-I couldn’t help myself… I don’t know how to- I-” Loki was stuttering, the always calm and collected prince was stammering his words. It made Tony grow rigid. “I know I did ineffable things to you, I know I torture you whenever I-” It seemed as if Loki himself couldn’t bring it over his lips for a moment. “Whenever I use you for pleasure. I need you. Please, I know I can never atone for my sins, can never make things right between us again. And I am sorry for this, I am.”

Tony was silent, repeating those words in his mind again and again like a charm. He had expected those words, but not how Loki was saying them right now. He was close to sobbing, his voice cracking and becoming thinner by the end of each sentence.

“I will never touch you like this again after today. I will never force you to be around me ever again.” Loki’s hands clung to his body, pulling him harder against his frame as he continued. Tony could feel something wet on his shoulder. Tears. He was meaning it. “Anthony, please forgive me. Forgive me for what I’ve done to you…”

For a moment Tony just sat there on the silken sheets and stared into the blue while Loki was silently sobbing into his shoulder, but it didn’t take long until he hung his head and felt his own tears run down his cheeks.

Chapter Text

Brown eyes opened when the first rays of the dim sunlight hit the windows of Loki’s chamber. Loki’s chamber. Right. Tony blinked, a hand rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. He hadn’t found much rest this night and there was a reason for it. Turning his head lightly, Tony could see the arm that was holding him in place. It had been like this for the entire night: Loki lying behind him, having his arms wrapped around his chest and whispering all kinds of things into Tony’s ear. In any other situation that might have been comfortable, but after what had happened, it had been the exact opposite. It had made him tense and for hours he hadn’t been able to fall asleep. He was actually surprised that he had apparently dozed off at all. But now that he was awake, there was a way more grave problem he had to take care of. How should he get out of the prince’s arms without waking him and making all this more awkward?

Tony sighed almost inaudibly, his free hand pinching the bridge of his nose. This was possibly one of the worst scenarios he would have imagined to ever find himself in. After Loki’s breakdown the past evening he didn’t want to stay at his side, but could he really leave just like this now? Sneak out and leave him like this? He really should do that after what he had done to him; after he sent him through an emotional and physical hell. Tony swallowed hard, felt his throat constricting. It hurt him. it hurt him to be close to him, that it had come this far between them. After all he had started to like him. Still, Tony felt bad for wanting to leave him like this. The prince had cried, had tried to apologize and no matter if he would accept the apology, leaving him alone without an explanation seemed wrong.

So Tony hesitantly reached up to nudge the prince’s arm in attempt to wake him, but Loki just stirred and nuzzled his face against the crook of Tony’s neck. Okay, that was too much. He could feel his breath fanning on his skin and it raised every hair in an instant.

“My prince.” Tony almost gasped out, a light blush on his cheeks. “May I request you to-”

Tony could see green eyes opening and closing the next second.

“You want to leave.”

“Yes. I-” Before Tony could elaborate, the prince took his arms away and backed off.

“Apologies.” He simply whispered and grabbed a fur to cover himself before lying down again, facing away from Tony.

He had wanted to avoid exactly this. Tony ran a hand over his face when he sat up, his eyes still on the other man, even as he stood. He wondered if they would ever be able to behave normally around each other again, because now Loki seemed to be hurt. He shouldn’t be, really not, he wasn’t the one who had been raped, and Tony still felt sorry for him now. Stupid.

He deserved it. Tony told himself again and again as he finally took his gaze off Loki and started picking up his discarded clothing. After only a moment he was at the door, but not looking back.

“I will be at my quarters if you’ll need my assistance.” There was no answer, but Tony very well took it as one and quietly moved out of the room.

 

“You are a lousy liar.” Jarvis gave back in a neutral voice, even though Tony imagined to hear something else besides the usual indifference. Concern? Worry maybe? Probably, after their conversation the other day. Sure, Jarvis didn’t know the details, but Tony was sure that the man was smart enough to have figured it out on his own by now.

“Who says I am lying.” Tony murmured after another second, his eyes scanning the prince’s clothes for any stains that he could have missed.

“I asked you if you were okay. I think it is pretty obvious that you are not.” The man rolled his eyes as subtly as possible, his hands folded behind his back. His overall posture betrayed his usual so calm and collected demeanor, he seemed to be out of it. This couldn’t be surely because of him, right?

“And I answered you. What do you expect me to say? That it’s all love, peace and harmony? Won’t work, sorry.”

Jarvis sighed audibly at this and tilted his head to the side to take a better look at Tony’s face.

“I told you that I will help you if you’ve gotten yourself in trouble boy, and I meant every word of it. But if you stubbornly decide to not open your mouth even when asked, my business is done here.” Even though the man said this, he just raised an eyebrow, as if he was waiting for anything witty his charge could come up with and, as a matter of fact, Tony snorted.

“And what would you do if I’d say, let’s be hypothetical here, that the prince molested me.”

Hard blue eyes grew softer the exact second the words left Tony’s mouth, and the thrall had to avert his gaze almost immediately; he couldn’t bear that pitiful look.

“If you would tell me this, Anthony, I would act. I would arrange it that you would serve someone else, that you would not get hurt again. So, Anthony…” Even without directly looking at him, Tony could feel Jarvis’ eyes boring into the back of his head. “Is there something you want to tell me?” The tone suggested that he was serious and Tony wasn’t really sure whether he should tell him now. After all this could not only affect his life, as in getting way worse, like the dungeons for slandering a lord’s name for example, but also Loki’s. If people would really believe him, then he would have a problem as well. Not that the fucker didn’t deserve it. But if he was looking realistically at this, he knew that this would never happen. No one would believe a thrall. Or well, believing might not be the problem at all, it was rather the fact that authorities would sweep this under the rug and he would have to deal with the consequences.

So Tony just swallowed, pressed his lips into a thin line to not curse, and shook his head. There was silence between the two men before Jarvis simply turned on his heels and left. Only when the echo of footsteps faded away, Tony allowed himself to let the tunic in his hands fall back into the bucket of water and hide his face in his hands. Why couldn’t he do it? Why couldn’t he tell Jarvis that he had been serious? Why was this man still haunting his every decision?

This night, Tony couldn’t sleep. His brain decided on replaying every single memory of those incidents instead of just shutting down and letting him rest. The problem with this though was that the dreams weren’t nightmares.

The following days, just like before, Loki didn’t call him, he didn’t show up once. He wasn’t ordered to serve him, nor clean up after him, and this was something that made Tony wary. Even the last time Loki had fucked up, he had eventually turned up, or at least sent someone who did it for him. This time was different though. Maybe this was Jarvis’ doing. For days he was now helping out in the kitchen, an even more mindless task than everything he had done before. It was chopping vegetables all day long, until his hands were a blistered mess. How could one grow bored and exhausted at the same time?

Days grew into weeks and Tony wasn’t exactly sure what was going on anymore. He knew for a fact that Loki was still alive, he had seen him on occasion, but whenever that had been the case, the prince had pointedly ignored him. Maybe that was good. After all he had no urge to talk to him again. Or so he thought. Another two weeks later Tony started feeling lonely. Despite having other servants to talk to, he missed this special someone who made him laugh, who gave him a smug smile and told him to shut up. Hell, how could he even miss this bastard? How could he miss being close to someone who had given a shit about his consent? Maybe just a bodily reaction, since these encounters between them had been the only real release he had gotten this entire time; jerking off had grown old quite quickly, it just hadn’t been the same as being with a girl… or guy. It was somewhat pathetic and Tony hated himself more and more for the intrusive thoughts that spread in his mind.

There was another thing that took a lot out of Tony. He had grown accustomed to Loki’s mattress, had slept there for weeks, but since Loki’s breakdown he was forced to sleep in his own bed again, the shabby, hard servant cot. So not only was his mind sabotaging him, but also his body.

There was a day when Tony wanted to seek out the prince, to talk, to- to clear things up. Maybe even to reconcile with him. But when Tony arrived at Loki’s door, there was a guard, telling him that no, Loki didn’t want to see him. Loki didn’t want to talk to him. It had left Tony baffled.

Tony sighed audibly at which Karef, as well as Aila, one of the cooks, turned their heads.

“What is it now?” The female smirked and raised an eyebrow while stirring the soup that boiled on the stove.

“He misses his prince.” Karef chirped at which Tony huffed in utter annoyance. These two had no idea. How should they? He had told no one but Jarvis about what had happened and it was good this way, since people needed their leaders to be… righteous. At least on the outside.

“Shut up. The works bugging the hell out of me, that’s all.” The thrall, or rather kitchen boy, grumbled back in return.

“Sure.” Karef shrugged and went over to look at the delicious smelling stew. “Gotta tell me though, why aren’t you serving the prince anymore? You two were inseparable.”

“Exaggerating, as always.” Tony stated calmly, not falling for his tactic. This guy always tried to gossip with him.

“Am I? Just thinking it’s strange is all.”

“Strange? Loki is known for throwing hissy fits.” Aila murmured and languidly moved the cooking spoon around in the big pot. “Wouldn’t be impressed if this was another one of his tantrums. What did you do? Did you wash his favourite robe with the wrong powder?” She smiled, red eyes darting over to Tony.

“No, just didn’t do what he wanted from me and now he doesn’t even want to talk to me anymore. And, what is way worse, I am forced to work with you guys.”

“I’m insulted.” Karef huffed affectedly and walked past Tony to get a few more ingredients. “No, but seriously. If you guys had an argument-”

“That’s putting it lightly.” Tony interrupted, at which Karef hit him on the back of his head.

“What I wanted to say. If you guys had an argument, and if it means so much to you, talk it out.”

“Didn’t you listen? I just told you seconds ago that he won’t see me.” The unimpressed look the servant shot him spoke volumes.

“Are you really that stupid?”

“Excuse me?”

“I mean, seriously, Tony. You want to talk to him, but don’t even approach him where he can’t run? I’m disappointed.”

“You expect me to stalk him?” Tony raised an eyebrow.

“If it gets the job done.” Karef shrugged. “And if it gets you to be less cranky, I’m all for it.”

“Great.” Tony just uttered as he finished up the last onion. “You should be relationship counselor.”

“I know, right?” The grin on Karef’s face revealed that the guy really didn’t get the word sarcasm.

 

He had a point though, and Tony took his advice a few days later after thinking it over again and again. Shouldn’t he be glad that Loki was finally backing off?. No. He decided that no, he hated the current situation. He wanted at least talk this over and be done with it. It sounded strange and he probably shouldn’t forgive the man, but something inside him told him that both of them had suffered enough, since this was going on for weeks. Now, after Tony had made up his mind, there was only one problem. Getting to Loki, because it proved really difficult to actually head Loki off. He had tried to approach him after dinner, after a business meeting, but every time he had gotten close to him, the prince had ignored him and had basically fled the scene. Now there was only one more thing Tony could do. Interrupt his leisure time.

He wasn’t supposed to be here, like at all. These gardens were for royalty only, staff of all kind wasn’t allowed to come in here on their own unless permitted. Little did the guards in front of the gates know that the prince himself had shown him the secret passageway that lead past them.

“Your lack of subtleness is unrivaled.” Tony stated as he stepped closer to the prince, who was sitting on a bench and currently facing away from him, at least until he had heard Tony’s voice. Now he was frantically straightening, throwing his book away as a result.

“What are you doing here?!” Loki asked as he struggled to his feet and backed off just a bit so that he could look at the thrall without being in his face. “You aren’t allowed to-”

“Why show me the passage in the first place then?” Came the aloof answer, and before the prince could answer or move a foot, Tony continued. “No. No running away this time, I am sick of it. I want to talk about-”

“There is nothing to talk about.”

“What?” That left Tony baffled and one could see it in his face. The guy denied him still? “You use me like that and now even deny me the right to talk about this? After what you have done to me you are still so selfish and throw me literally away like a piece of trash? I thought that the last time- You-” Tony looked down, trying to hide the emotional pain that flared up inside of him, but failed miserably. “You know? It was stupid to come here. Sorry for interrupting your precious time.”

When Tony turned around and wanted to go, his wrists was grabbed and he was yanked back.

“It’s not like that!” Loki spat, but looked more frustrated than angry. “I try to protect you from me.” Green eyes averted their gaze and now Tony was the one who looked utterly perplex.

“What?”

“I want you so much it hurts. Every time I see you, I- You hate me for what I did to you, and reasonably so, so tell me why you come here today and seek me out? I don’t understand why you would do this.” Loki had let go of his hand while talking and was now just standing there as if he didn’t know how to cope.

“I don’t know.” Tony whispered after a moment of silence. “I’ asking myself that question for weeks now and I didn’t come to a conclusion. I just can’t stand how you ignore me. You are avoiding me like the plague after everything I did and endured for you.” Should he really say what was lying on his tongue? “I miss the old you. Your witty comebacks and your damn ego.” By the end of the sentence, Tony’s face was bright red, his eyes darting up to see Loki shaking his head; right now he hated himself for even starting this.

“No boy.” Loki breathed out and took a step back so he could sit down on the stone bench again. “No, this is not what you want.” Tony was gaping at the other man when he buried his face in his hands. “I want you so much, for such a long time that is. I’m a prince, I should just take what I want! You are but a thrall!” The angry outburst ended in a whine. “But after taking you, hurting you… I just can’t. I can’t bear your face contorted in pain and despair whenever we meet. I don’t want to see fear in your eyes whenever I call you to me. But for that I can simply blame myself. I should have never done this to you.” The prince swallowed hard, his hands folded in front of his face now. “I will set you free. Give you the life back you so desperately seek. You won’t need to serve me or anyone else ever again.”

That was it for Tony. He wanted to release him of his duties? Why would he do this? Was it that painful to see him? Would they even be able to get along if they would get this behind them? Tony wanted them to be good again, whatever that meant. He didn’t want this to end with him quitting everything; he had nothing to go back to anyway. And seeing Loki like this hurt him as well. He didn’t know what this between them was, but labeling it would probably only be counterproductive. So he stepped closer again, one hand hesitantly coming up to rest on the prince’s shoulder.

“I forgive you.”

Loki’s eye shot up, incomprehension written into his features.

“No, this is unforgivable.”

“Might be, yes. Forgiving isn’t forgetting. I won’t forget this. Maybe never. But I can’t stand you being like this. You’re guilt tripping me here.”

“That was never my intention, I merely-”

“Shut up.” Green eyes narrowed at which Tony smiled. “I forgive you. So, if you really want to make it up, if you want to do something for me, then stop this. Stop avoiding me. Stop treating me like a slave or an inferior being. Don’t act like an asshole to me in front of others, start respecting me as much as I respect you.”

Loki didn’t say a word, even though his lips stood apart and quivered slightly.

“I don’t hate who you are, but who you’re always pretending to be. The fake one, the prince with the mask. The one who doesn’t give a shit when you obviously do. If I say no, I mean it. If you want me like this, then you need my consent. Please, Loki, never again.” Tony offered a small smile, despite the fact that he felt like crying because of emotional strain and embarrassment.

For a long moment there was no answer, but then Loki’s hands reached around him to gently hold him by his hips.

“I promise.”

Chapter Text

With time, the relationship between the prince and the servant had become better again, more than that even, Tony felt himself getting attached to this little mischievous piece of shit. After all the prince had decided to really honor their deal, which, truth be told, had surprised Tony. For some reason he had thought that Loki would have just told him whatever he had wanted to hear, but apparently Loki had been honest. Maybe for the first time since forever. Maybe the first time in his life, judging by how other people spoke of him. But this was a damn good feeling, a real achievement, and it made Tony somewhat proud. Not just because every other servant was jealous of him having close contact to the oh so fabulous prince but because he had cracked the cold prince’s shell.

“You don’t seem to be on track today, your highness.” Tony smirked triumphantly as he regarded the board between them. “Actually I might even consider letting you win at this point, simply because you seem to be not up to par.”

His opposite gave a small huffing sound as long fingers elegantly moved a token.

“Don’t be so larking, Anthony. It’s chess, it’s about thinking ahead, not going for the very, very obvious traps.” Loki mused, green eyes darting up to meet brown. The cheeky grin made Tony want to snark back, but he kept his annoyance contained because yes, he had seen that move coming.

“You would call this traps? No more than weak attempts at distracting me.” Tony murmured while beating Loki’s pawn. There were other things that would be more suitable to do that. Tony watched the prince think for a moment, the subtle frown not vanishing from the lines of his face for even a second. It wasn’t that Tony had fallen in love with him, no, people like him didn’t do that, falling in love was stupid, especially if the object of that non-love was a prince. Seriously, not in love. Yet, hell, with no physical contact other than his hand once in awhile one could say he was lusting after the bit of pleasure they had had. Much to the servant’s dislike though, Loki hadn’t tried anything in that direction after that… incident. Even when Tony had hinted at the possibility of them maybe getting some steam off, the prince had simply dismissed this as a joke and hadn’t taken him serious. Tony was sure that this one incident had intimidated the prince up to the point that he didn’t trust himself with that anymore. Nothing he could do about it.

“Is that so?” Loki crooned, a smile gracing his lips as he placed his dame and with that mating Tony.

The servant blinked in astonishment; how could he have missed that?

“Wait- What? No, this-” He babbled and scanned the board with his eyes to check if this was legit. Much to his distress, it was. “Cheating. Always cheating princeling.”

“Admit defeat, Anthony, nothing to be embarrassed about.” Loki laughed when he saw the pouting expression on his servant’s face. “Now, now, you did better this time, I would even say it was close.”

“Well thank you very much.” Tony gave back but had to snicker a second later as well. He had felt too safe, yes. With Loki as an opponent one could never be certain to win, even if it would look good. He should have learned that by now. “You probably had a long time mastering the skill of chess.” While others worked their ass off for him.

“Indeed.”

Silence followed and a thought was haunting Tony so much that he had to break it again a few minutes later.

“How should all this play out?”

Green eyes focused on him again, looking as if they had no clue what he was talking about.

“What exactly?”

“I mean- well all of this, me being here, working here? My future? I’m a smith, you do know that, so… how will that go?” He didn’t want to stay a servant, no matter if he liked this place and the people or not.

Loki kept on staring at Tony as if he still wasn’t comprehending what the other man wanted from him. Bafflement would be an understatement.

“I am not sure if I understand you clearly.” Loki mumbled and furrowed his brows in confusion. “What is there to discuss? You stay here.”

What?

Tony needed a moment to even find words for this. He inhaled deeply, his gaze on the ground.

“For all my life?”

Both men fell silent after the question. Had Loki really imagined him to stay here for the rest of his life? He couldn’t do this, this wasn’t fulfilling at all. Sure, he would pay back his debts working here, but after this he would go back to his workshop, right? Continue with his life? He even started missing this stupid jewelry work.

“This- Loki, I can’t stay here for the rest of my life. I am no servant nor am I a maid, I need to work with metal. This will not work for me at all. I mean sure, yes, you guys are all nice and- it’s okay here I guess, but-” Tony stopped talking when he saw Loki’s face. He seemed prostrated, as if he had never considered that Tony would leave again. And somehow that made him feel awful. Before he could clarify, or even say anything to make it sound less insulting, the prince smiled, one of those fake smiles he always used for other people.

“Oh. Yes, of course. Understandable.” Loki said and stood to move over to the window front. The weather was getting worse day by day, it was snowing continuously by now. Tony stood as well, but didn’t walk after Loki, knowing that he had put up that mask of indifference again. Wait. Maybe…

Tony stepped behind Loki until he could wrap his arms around the other man. The prince tensed, obviously not accustomed to this gesture. He turned his head in silent question, and Tony couldn’t hide the blush of embarrassment that crept onto his cheeks. Cheesy stuff he would do to amuse the princeling. Damn it.

“Anthony…?”

“Being all drama again.” Tony gave back and took his arms off the other man. “You looked as if your only friend abandons you. Hell, I just don’t want to be a maid for the rest of my life. I need to work, but it’s not as if we couldn’t- Okay, no that’s too girly right there. But man, Loki, I- it’s not as if I would be dead or anything.”

Loki was looking at him for a moment before he smiled, nodded and turned back to look out of the window.

“Okay.” Sighing, Tony decided to leave the prince alone for now since he obviously didn’t want to talk about it further. “Sleep well then.”

It was sad that even now, after all that had happened between them, Loki seemed to rather blank everything out and swallow it down instead of talking about it.

 

“He what?” Karef shrieked as if he couldn’t believe the news. “And you just- you just say that you want to leave. To the prince’s face. Wow. I can’t believe you. I- I thought you two were better, that you like it here.”

“Yeah, both true, but man, I need to work. Work that doesn’t include dirty laundry and scrubbing floors.” Tony countered and looked at the ceiling. They were eating dinner in the servant's’ room and talking about what had happened. Yet, since Karef had been too loud, again, people started gathering around them, especially the girls. They always wanted to know the latest gossip. Well, he wasn’t about to make this a secret anyway.

“Yeah but- Knowing you, you probably weren’t really… tactful.” Karef sneered.

“Why should I’ve been tactful? Why would that matter?”

“No one leaves. I never saw anyone leaving since I came here, and that are more than ten years now.”

“What does that mean, no one leaves?” Looking around, Tony looked into the fellow servants’ faces. They were shrugging as if this was nothing of concern. A girl put her spoon down and smiled.

“No one wants to leave. We have a better life here.”

Well it made sense. The prince’s reaction made sense now. If no one had ever left, then him being stunned by the statement was no surprise. This night Tony went to bed with a really bad feeling in his guts. He would have to talk to Loki about this.

Chapter Text

Tony spent the next day doing his usual chores, not minding much that the prince didn’t seek him out. After yesterday he really needed a break from the whole drama that surrounded Loki and his attitude. It was strange that at the one hand, Tony wanted to see him and on the other that he wanted to sometimes backhand him for every single word that left his mouth. Which was strange considering that the drama queen had really grown on him. For today though Tony decided to just stick to himself and leave the prince to his own thoughts.

A hand touched his shoulder, shaking him lightly and making Tony wake with a start. He blinked himself awake and saw the face of Jarvis, who looked even more neutral than usually. What was he wanting from him in the middle of the night? It wasn’t even dawning yet.

“Get up.” Jarvis muttered and straightened again, a hand brushing off his clothes. If Tony didn’t know better, he would say that the man sounded regretful. Why though was the question. Heaving himself up, Tony narrowed his eyes when he turned towards his mentor.

“What is going on? You sound-”

“You will be relieved of your duty.”

What? Tony blinked, not believing his own ears there for a second. They were kicking him out? Why? Why now of all time? What had he done this time? Was Loki that angry that throwing him into the dungeons wasn’t enough anymore?

“Huh? What is that supposed to mean?” Tony asked and got onto his feet to dress up in more than his undergarments. “What duty exactly?” He couldn’t mean everything, right? After all the shit he went through here?

“Prince Loki relieves you from your tasks, Anthony. You will be asked to leave the palace.”

It felt like a knife that was slammed into his back. Tony could barely inhale deep enough to breath through. Why now? What had happened that Loki changed his mind so drastically? They had talked about him leaving, eventually, and Loki had been adamant that he would never be able to go somewhere else, that he should stay. Here, with him. What had changed within just one day? For a moment Tony simply stared at the other man, unable to even start confessing how that made him feel. Was Loki just throwing him away now after using and having his fun with him?

“Are you fucking serious? Why?” It burst out of Tony, emotions bubbling to the surface. He wasn’t caring for his dirty language anymore. This felt like betrayal.

“I am not in the known, neither is it my business to ask for Loki’s reasoning. The king approved of that decision, so pack your things, Anthony.” Jarvis said, brows deeply furrowed. Tony stayed on his spot, not moving an inch. He wanted an explanation. “Wasn’t this what you wanted the whole time?” Jarvis asked then and grabbed Tony by the shoulders. “All the while you were just rambling about how you wanted to leave. You even tried to flee. So where does that remorse come from all of a sudden?”

Tony couldn’t answer this. He really couldn’t say. Yes, he had wanted nothing more to get out of here, but now that he could and had to, Tony was averse of the idea. He had grown accustomed to the palace, the people surrounding him and even the prince. Or even more than that. He had felt at home here, something that Tony had never felt possible.

“Yes, but-”

 

“No buts. You will be escorted to the city. Your debt is forgiven. There is nothing that binds you to this place anymore.”

How wrong Jarvis was. Looking after him, Tony exhaled heavily, unable to do more than standing here. He had not believed that Loki would do this to him after everything. Tony smiled to himself as he felt the bitterness creep into his thoughts. How could he have been so stupid to believe that Loki would care for him? Ridiculous. He should have known better than to fall for his game.

 

Even when Tony was walking through the snow he still couldn’t believe what had happened within the last few hours. His whole life, or what had been left of it, had turned upside down. Again. He had even tried to argue with Jarvis, had insisted on staying, but the guards had thrown him out in the end. Truth be told, Tony had thought that he and Loki had had something, but apparently he had been the only one thinking that. Loki didn’t seem attached at all and Tony felt like a naive boy for falling for his shenanigans, for his fake charme and smile. Had Loki given him the run-around on purpose? He couldn’t help but wonder. After all Tony had fallen for his trap, for his performance of the lonely but mischievous prince. Tony had wanted to help him. But obviously caring for Loki meant trouble. Maybe the prince was really not able to care for anyone but himself.

Sighing, Tony took a look at the bundle in his arms before he threw it over his back and walked on through the biting wind. They had given him a bit of water and food for the trip home, had even put in some cash to start anew. For the work he had done, they had said, but Tony wasn’t feeling grateful at all when he saw the nearing lights from the city. Tightening his grip on the tunic he wore, Tony tried to hurry towards the familiar roads which now seemed foreign to him.

Jotuns were used to coldness. The other races of the nine realms wouldn’t be able to stand even half an hour in the cold of their world, but even for them the winter started to get too cold to bear it for long. Their scientists were having no real explanation for it, but people were whispering that it was because of an old prophecy, initiating the end of the world. Ragnarök, as they called it. A harsh winter preceding the end of the world and putting an end to all life in the nine realms. Fimbulwinter was supposed to last for three years, the snow never melting and covering the worlds in a thick layer of ice even in summer. Tony had never believed the old tales, being a man of science himself, especially since these tales had come from the Midgardians, and Asgardians ultimatively. They could not be trusted. There were countless stories of Odin and his sons conquering realms and killing their inhabitants for nothing more than riches or simply because Odin felt threatened. It was the reason why Jotunheim kept mostly to itself after all and traded mostly with the other realms. Their king didn’t trust the Allfather.

Now though Tony wasn’t too sure about the legitimacy of the tales. It was colder than ever and he had never experienced temperatures that he weren’t able to bear, where he actually froze. Clenching his teeth at the cold wind that was blowing through the deserted streets, Tony tried to recognize them to be able to orientate himself. There weren’t many people up and about at this time of day, or well, night, and those who were up weren’t about to talk to him even if he would dare asking for the way to his old workshop. He just hoped that it hadn’t been sold in his absence. Were the people he had called friends still here? He somehow doubted that anyone would remember him.

“Tony?”

He knew that voice. Turning around, Tony blinked when he spotted Bruce there by the end of the road.

“I thought you were…” He began and looked down, unable to really say much more. Without an explanation Of Tony’s vanishing, Bruce had had to come to the conclusion that his friend had been dead. Tony himself would have thought the same. Coming closer, Bruce hesitantly wrapped his arms around his friend, pulling him close. “We all thought you were gone. Where have you been? And how- why-?” There were too many questions and Tony needed more than half an hour to fill Bruce in, but the man still looked utterly confused after he had explained everything. Or well, minus the fact that he had had something going on with the prince.

“I, wow-” Bruce huffed out and rubbed the back of his neck, unsure what to say to this. Tony could see how that made him uncomfortable. “And what now? Where do you want to go? Do you have a place to stay?”

“No, not really.” Tony shrugged with one shoulder and looked around. He had to think back on Frey’s offer, that he would take him in, but even if he would consider this, Tony had no means to contact him.

“The smithery was sold.” Bruce stated which dragged Tony’s attention back to him. Only now Tony seemed to realize what he had lost there. Not only had he lost his father’s legacy, but also his future. Without a place where he could work he wouldn’t be able to make money and keep a roof over his head. “You can crash at my place, no problem. We can get you back on track.”

No. Tony couldn’t do that. He couldn’t be pitied and be dependent on Bruce after just leaving him behind. The man was too nice for his own good.

“Not necessary.” Tony said and forced a smirk. “I have a bit of money, I will just rent a room in one of the inns around the corner.” He assured. “It will do for the time until I found work.”

“Are you sure?” Bruce asked, seeing through the facade of that smile.

“You know me. I always get around.” Was chirped in answer as a hand found Bruce’s shoulder.

“That’s what worries me…” Bruce whispered as he saw his friend move down the dark road.

 

Tony was able to rent a room in one of the nearest inns, from which he could at least start searching for work, for anything to do really. Funnily enough Tony felt as if he wasn’t belonging anymore. Not that he had ever felt like belonging to the normal people, he had always been cushioned when he thought back on his life, but being here now seemed utterly wrong. It also seemed as if people would recognize him, either from his prior life or from serving in the palace. Maybe even both. And it made Tony usually not nervous to have people talk behind his back, he had had that plenty before, but these type of people in this part of town were not his usual cup of tea.

Tony was coming back from a day of work at a stable, not that Tony was liking this type of work, but if one wanted to eat and sleep one had to do what was necessary. And if he had to carry out dung from horses then he would do it if it meant for him to get a glass of mead in the evening.

“Hey, if that ain’t the prince’s bitch boy.” Sounded a voice from behind Tony, making him turn around and look at the men that were approaching him. A Jotun and two elves. He had never seen them before, but Tony wasn’t stupid enough to look forward to getting introduced to them. “The pet is roaming the city now. Probably lost its collar.”

“And that would concern you how?” Tony asked and raised a brow, completely unimpressed. “This dog is too expensive for you.”

Tony had a habit of making stupid decisions. And this right there might have been one of those cases where his snark and attitude would not help him out of a situation, since the men were looking more grim than before, if that was even possible. Maybe he should have shut his damn mouth.

“What do you want?” Tony muttered a second later and took a step back, not wanting to get surrounded by them.

“Oh, nothing special.” One of them said, red eyes narrowing dangerously. “Just catching the prince’s expensive pet.”

Before Tony could even turn around and run, an arm was wrapping around his throat, keeping him in a headlock.

“He likes you quite a lot. We’ve seen you at his side. Let’s see how badly he wants to get you back. Or if someone else would pay more for you.”

There were a million thoughts running through Tony’s head at that moment. Would they blackmail the prince? Would Loki pay? Would he even care after he had thrown him out? Tony didn’t come to a conclusion before his world turned black with a well aimed hit to the face.

Chapter Text

Shouting voices around him were making Tony blink, the stinging pain in his head numbing them but they were still ringing in his ears. Why were they shouting even? His eyes needed a moment to adjust to the brightness when he opened them, everything still blurry, the people walking around only silhouettes in his dizzy mind. What was happening here? With his vision clearing up, Tony was eventually able to access the situation he found himself in, and it confused him even more. Wanting to stand up, something pulled him down again, metal clinging as the chains tightened. Hectically wiping his head around to see what was constricting his movements, Tony swallowed hard. Cuffs. His feet were cuffed to the ground, next to him a few more cages with Jotuns inside, suffering the same fate. Where was he? Why had they captured him? The room they were in was only dimly lit, the exits hung with heavy fabrics, no light making it in. This seemed like a cruel joke, but when a shout came from somewhere next to him Tony finally realized what this was. He was on the market.

All things considering he thought of their society as a modern, a developed one. But Tony knew that this was just one side of the medallion. Where hard working people existed, there were criminals, and he himself had made business with them in the past. They were not only selling their services, relics or stolen goods. They were also handling people, shipping them to other realms as slaves. He had known that this place existed. And yet he had never done anything to change how things were run here. How ironic. Somewhere in the back of his mind Tony was thinking he deserved it for everything he had done wrong in the past. Maybe he really did, but it didn’t change the fact that he wouldn’t want such a fate for himself. A woman was weeping next to him. She held a bundle in her arm, no noise or movement coming from it as she rocked it back and forth in her arms. It made Tony swallow and look away. There was nothing he could do about it now, but if he would ever come out of this, he would make them sure that this place would be demolished and the people who organized this brought to justice.

“Attention, my dearest attendees!” A big, dark Jotun shouted over the mingling voices, and soon a crowd formed in front of them, not only red eyes staring at them. There were a lot of other species; Tony could spot Vanir, even Asgardians. Trafficking and slavery was illegal under common law, yet this didn’t seem to bother these people. Frowning, Tony looked up at the auctioneer, anger making his jaw clench. “Today we have a few very, very explicit goods for you.” Moving over to the first captured man, the auctioneer pulled him up by his wrists, telling the crowd who he had formerly been and how much he cost now. Disgusting.

It went on for the next five people, Tony having his eyes firmly on the side, even when the woman next to him was sold of for not more than a month worth of pay. Only when the tall guy cast him in shadows he glanced up at him, looking grim.

“Oh, what face is that? Do you think anyone will buy you with a grimace like that?”

“I am Anthony Stark, no one buys me!” Tony snarled back, but the man simply pulled him up from the ground, not looking impressed.

“Oh, we know, Stark. That’s why you will lump in quite the sum. There are a lot of people still having a bone to pick with you as far as I know. I hope they don’t cut that smooth skin of yours.” Was hissed back at him and Tony turned to see a few familiar faces in the crowd he had conned a few years back. Shit. There was nothing he could do without weapons, without equipment and his hands bound. He was at the buyer’s mercy.

“I-” Tony began, “I belong to the prince! This is treason.”, trying to think of a reason for this guy to set him free. But the man only smiled darkly at him, not paying this any mind. There were a million jokes that ran through Tony’s mind, that he could insult him with, but right now his self-preservation instinct clearly overweight the smugness.

“Oh, we know. We knew you belonged to the prince. And we know you’ve been set free. But some of us won’t just pardon your debt, Stark. It will be paid in full.” was whispered into his ear before the auctioneer started counting the bids. Back in the day this would have stroked his ego to hear how much people would bid for him, but right now he dreaded the outcome. Tony closed his eyes, head hanging as he waited for them to be done.

Only when there was shouting from outside Tony looked up again, the people in front of him scrambling away, trying to reach the exists, only to get caught by what looked like guards. Not Jotun guards though. They looked like-

“Anthony? Is that you?” The familiar voice made him look behind him where people cleared the room, detaining some individuals and starting to free the countless slaves. “I feared I wouldn’t find you in time.”

“Lord Freyr.” Tony breathed out, eyes staring at the blonde man in front of him, who easily broke the chains with a wink of his hands. The Vanir were powerful sorcerers, their knowledge of ancient mights even more advanced than that of any other realm. Compared to him, Tony was a mere smith, no matter his superior intellect. And seeing him here, in his robe and armor, coming for him, was overwhelming. Tony swallowed the lump in his throat when the shackles came off his feet and was helped up by strong hands.

“I’ve heard from your friend that you were in need of help, and I came as quickly as I could.” A friend? Bruce? “Never could I have imagined what they would do to you.” Freyr murmured and let his fingers stroke over Tony’s wrists, making the Jotun tense. Of course he had known about Freyr being more affectionate to him before, subtly so, but that he cared enough to help when a stranger came to him was astonishing.

“T-thank you.” Tony stuttered and let Freyr support him, his legs not working as intended right now, the adrenaline not helping much. “How did you find me? How could you know?”

Freyr looked a bit abashed at this and worried his lips before helping Tony out of the market and towards his horse.

“After I heard that Loki pardoned and sent you out there, I just couldn’t stand by and watch you facing your demise.”

“I would've been fine.” Tony insisted, with Freyr just looking at him, but not commenting on that.

“I had you watched.” Freyr admitted and pulled his thick robe off to lay it around Tony’s shoulders. It was storming badly outside and even for Tony this layer of clothing helped endlessly.

“You what?”

“I had someone watch you. I wanted to be sure that you would return to your home safely. Nothing more. And I am glad I did.” Freyr answered, blue eyes looking into brown, and for some reason Tony believed him. Maybe the king wasn’t a liar, or a very good one, but Tony believed he had just been concerned. A welcome change to what he was used to.

“Me too.” He offered and saw a smile appear on Freyr’s lips as he helped him onto the horse.

“Let me take you home to my realm, Tony, at least until you recovered. But even then, you will be free to stay if you so desire.” Freyr promised as he mounted the horse, one arm wrapping around Tony’s frame in the front.

What choice did he have? It sounded nice, even though Tony was still not done with Loki and how he had kicked him out. But where else should he go? If Freyr would offer him a home at least for some time, he could come back on his feet, work on something to make a living. And it felt good that someone wanted him by his side. So Tony gave a nod to that and relaxed against the warm body in his back.

Chapter Text

The travel was a bit of a blur for Tony. He had been way too exhausted to stay awake for the entire journey, the last thing he remembered was them crossing the Bifröst, the bridge between worlds, and a bright light that encompassed them fully. Tony had fallen asleep after that, Freyr’s frame keeping him secure on the horse.

The first thing Tony noticed when he opened his eyes was the warmth that spread through his body. The second thing was the softness of the sheets, the silky fabric underneath his calloused hands. Where was he again? It felt like Loki’s bedroom when he had lit a fire in the evening, in the rare moments he had stayed for the night. The thought made Tony smile in his daze, the memories being fond ones. But this didn’t seem to be right. Frowning, Tony blinked himself awake and rubbed at his eyes, trying to get a clear view of his surroundings when he raised his head. No, these weren’t Loki’s chambers. The whole room was decorated in silver, a fireplace illuminating high ceilings and large, hung windows. No, this was somewhere else. Tony’s attention was dragged onto someone next to him then when he felt movement.

“Good morning, Anthony.”

Tony swallowed hard when he saw the blonde Vanir lying next to him, blue eyes looking back, crinkling around the edges as he smiled. Right. This had really happened. It hadn’t just been a nightmare. He was lying in Freyr’s chambers, in his bed, and Tony wondered how that had come to. Heaving himself up, Tony looked around the room.

“Why am I in your chambers, Sire?” Tony asked reluctantly, disbelief clear in his features as he glanced back at the Vanir. It wasn’t usually the case that a peasant would be taken to a king’s quarters after all.

Freyr sat up, still smiling, much to Tony’s confusion. Before even answering he walked over to the adjoined bathroom and got a wet cloth.

“Let me, please.”

No matter that Tony didn’t really want to do that, he wasn’t as stupid as to say no. The moment the cloth touched his skin, Tony felt the strain the last days had put on his back and neck. Everything hurt. Slender fingers let the cloth slide down his shoulders and back up to his neck, with Tony being only able to stare ahead and let him do so.

“You are here because I wanted you close. It felt wrong to leave you alone in a foreign realm, between people you don’t know.” Freyr explained as he washed Tony’s back, his eyes solely on the cloth. “I wanted you here the moment I first saw you back in Laufey’s palace. And now that you are here, I will not let you rest in a mere peasant’s room.”

“But… what is this here then?” Tony dared to ask, wanting a real answer.

 

“I want you to stay with me, Anthony. Not as my thrall, not as my property. But as my partner, my second half.”

His partner? Tony felt himself evade Freyr’s gaze, not wanting to think about this. This had never been an option for him, but now that he had lost everything, why shouldn’t he consider this proposal? Freyr wasn’t the one he had fallen for though, but if Tony was honest with himself, that was best to be forgotten. Loki didn’t seem as if he was interested anymore, now that he had had him. Loki had simply thrown him out, thrown him away, and it still stung. It still felt like betrayal, and that couldn’t just be forgotten.

“I can’t promise you that.” Tony gave back after a minute or two, at which Freyr just smiled and brushed a hand against his arm to sooth him.

“Of course. I will not urge or threaten you. You will be free to stay here, no matter how you decide. If you want a room for yourself, tell me. I just want you to be safe and happy, Anthony.” Freyr answered in a soft voice and continued moving the cloth over Tony’s back.

It sounded nice for a change. But Tony couldn’t promise that he would fall in love with him, maybe never. And would that be fair to the other man? Tony was sure that he would make advances eventually, that he would not be pleased with just having him around without Tony offering more.

“Why would you be alright with that?” Tony heard himself ask before he could think about the consequences of the question. If Freyr wouldn’t want him here anymore, then he would have to go back to the streets. There was no doubt that Tony would find back to a normal life eventually, but he wasn’t sure how long that would take, and with winter approaching it would be even harder. “I mean… king Freyr, I am honored by your request, but I don’t know if I ever-”

“I know.” The king murmured and placed the cloth aside to grasp Tony’s hand in his and brush a kiss onto his knuckles. His gaze was on the window as he he stood and approached it, the silky fabric of his robe glittering in the sunlight. “But what a fool does for love.”

Love? Tony swallowed when he repeated that word in his mind. Was he really talking about love? The king barely knew him. Yet… He had never been loved. Not really. He had been admired, lusted after. And Loki? He had done nothing of this. The term love would have never come out of his mouth, even though Tony still wasn’t sure what it was that Loki was feeling. The last few weeks had been so different from before. But that wasn’t mattering now anymore. Loki had cut their ties. Probably forever. He had made it clear that he didn’t want Tony.

“You barely know me.” Tony uttered after a moment, confusion audible in his voice. “We met-”

“Not often enough. I know. I fear that this is a stupid idea on my part, but it’s what I feel is right. I couldn’t just let you leave now that you are free from-”

“From Loki?” Tony completed the sentence and met Freyr’s eyes when he turned to look over his shoulder.

“Yes… I never particularly liked the Jotuns’ royalty.”

“One barely noticed.” Tony had to hide his smirk there, because yes, it had been very obvious.

“Did one now.” Freyr smiled in return. “Think on it. There is no rush, no duty you have to fulfill. But I would welcome your stay here.”

“Would I be allowed to work on something here? I mean, I was a smith before I was sold into sla- when I was taken in by, and I would love to work again.”

“You would want to work?” Freyr looked perplexed as he glanced back at Tony, seemingly taken aback by that statement. “I mean, there is a forge in the castle, if you really want you can work there. But you know that you don’t have to earn your keep I hope.”

“That’s generous, thank you.” It would help him greatly to get focused, to get his mind off things and to think this through. Tony wasn’t sure whether he should get his own room though. Maybe he should try this whole thing for Freyr’s sake, after all Tony was owing him his life. Watching how the other man walked back to his wardrobe and let his robe slip down his shoulders made him look away though. Tony had to admit that Feryr was a good looking man, his back milky white, not one scar seaming his skin. Yeah, he wouldn’t have a problem with getting intimate with him, not at all. Tony hadn’t had any quarrels to sleep with other people in the past, even with other races. And he was sure that Freyr wouldn’t be an exception to the rule.

“Very welcome. I will leave you for now, as I have to take care of a few things. Feel free to roam the castle and get accustomed to the people and the place.” Freyr said as he put on a dark robe with silver embroidery, making his complexion and eyes stand in stark contrast to the fabric. He looked royal through and through. “I have a few garbs here for you, just choose which is to your liking.”

“Alright.” Tony answered as he watched the man move through the room towards the door.

“Until dinner?”

 

“Yeah, until then.”

It was strange to be in a new environment, just like this, in a new life. Tony remained in bed for another half an hour, staring at the ceiling. Maybe he could forget Loki eventually. Maybe someday. Sighing audibly, Tony got up from the bed and walked around the room, his first steps leading him to the window where Freyr had stood before. Vanaheim was so very different from what he knew. Lush green meadows, forests and flowers everywhere. It was like the paradise his mother had always told him about. It was beautiful, even though it would be too warm in summer for him to be comfortable in. A disadvantage he was willing to ignore.

Vanian clothes were quite different from Jotun ones as well and Tony felt a little bit out of place as he moved through the corridors of the castle, one hand constantly straightening the silky fabric. People had been briefed already about who he was and why he was here, he could tell, since every time Tony met someone they politely bowed and wished him a nice day. But this wouldn’t make Tony feel more comfortable, but rather set him apart from the servants, which wasn’t the best thing if he wanted to get to know people.

Tony made it to the kitchen eventually, after wandering around aimlessly and trying to memorize all these corridors. At first he wasn’t spotted by anyone as he leaned against the door frame, only when he got closer the servants turned their head.

“Master Anthony.” A woman gasped and bowed her head, which unnerved the Jotun to the point that he shook his head firmly.

“Please, I am no Lord or anything close to royalty. Just call me Tony.” The Vanir were eying him up in bewilderment, as if he was planning to trick them.

“Are you sure?” One of them asked incredulously and looked at the others for input.

“Yeah, I am. I was a thrall not long ago. Just because Freyr took me in doesn’t mean that I am something special.”

That made one of the servants burst out laughing, another starting to snicker as well.

“Seriously? You call the king by his first name.” Well, true, but for Tony that had come naturally. Maybe he should address him more formerly though. “You are something special.”

“Not at all.” Tony gave back and shook his head again. “Calm down, yeah? I will not snitch on you for talking casually to me. I’d just like some company, and maybe someone to show me my room?” The servants were looking at each other again, pondering if they were really allowed to talk or interact with their new master. Tony hated it. “Would it be better if I command you rather? Because fine with me if you need an excuse for your guilty conscience there.” He teased, but even then the servants weren’t reacting. A hand on his shoulder made Tony look behind him though, a small, chubby girl with golden hair smiling up at him.

“I’d gladly escort you to your room, mylord.” She nodded and even this title made Tony uncomfortable.

“Please call me Tony. All of you.” This said he followed the small female, ignoring the whispering behind his back. “Why are they all so uptight?” He asked after a moment.

“They are afraid of getting punished for being too rude is my guess.” She answered with a shrug of her shoulders. “King Freyr advised everyone to be at their best towards you, as you are not just some guest.” Well, it was commendable, but not was Tony was used to.

“And is there a possibility of you dropping the formal addressing?”

“With time, maybe. We aren’t used to talk to royalty on a daily basis. They might just be intimidated. My name is Mara, if you want to address me by my name, Sire.”

“Tony.”

A second passed before Mara gave a node, the smile still in place.

“Tony then.”

 

His room was just as spacious as Freyr’s own and it looked just as ridiculously pompous. Walking around, Tony frowned visibly, prompting Mara, who was standing by the door to look unsure as well.

“Anything the matter, Tony? Isn’t the room to your liking?”

“No, nothing like that, it’s just… too big.” There even was an adjoining bathroom, with a bath and a shower. It was more than he had ever owned, even back in the day he had really enjoyed life.

“That is a new one.” Mara cackled behind a raised hand. “No one complained about that before.”

“Not complaining, just comprehending.” Looking back at Mara, Tony wondered if their routine was the same as his had been back in the palace. “What are you doing all day? Are you only working?”

“Not all hours of the day, no. Most live in the city nearby and are only coming here for work. Only few are living here, me included.” She explained and put her hands behind her back. “Don’t worry, you will manage. Everyone is happy that Freyr found someone.”

Oh, so they weren’t aware that he was not close to Freyr yet? Were they thinking that he was with him already? Probably, judged by the way Mara acted.

“Thanks.

“Do you need anything more? Else I will leave you for now.”

“No, I guess not.”

“Then I will see you around, Tony.” Mara offered a last smile before she turned and exited the room.

Tony wasn’t sure if he could do this without someone guiding him, without people who were helping him out and keep him company. It would be lonely, especially for someone like Tony, who needed a bit of attention from time to time to keep his mind going. And without the friends he had made. It became evening without Tony leaving his room again. He rather got accustomed to all the wardrobes and took a bath to let the strain of the last days wash off him. It was dinner time by now for sure, the sun was going down behind the trees in the distance, but the Jotun wasn’t certain where he was supposed to go. A knock on the door made Tony open his eyes again, and it took a moment before he had heaved himself up from where he had lain on the bed.

“Come in.”

 

Tony blinked widely when he spotted Freyr coming through the door, a large silver tray in his hands.

“I heard you found your room. Good evening.” Freyr purred and closed the door behind him.

“Evening.” Tony gave back meekly and put the gown back to welcome the king.

“I wasn’t sure whether you wanted to eat in private or rather have an official dinner yet, so I brought you some of the finest food.” Freyr moved further into the room and placed the tray onto the small table by the window. Holding a chair out for Tony, who hesitantly walked over and sat down on it, Freyr pushed it gently towards the table and took the seat himself. “I know it has to be quite the shock to be in a new environment, to be in between unknown people.”

“People who worship me already. I mean, it’s kind of you to tell them this, but I would feel better if they wouldn’t do that.” Tony muttered as he watched Freyr prepare tea for them both, who only looked up a second later to not spill the beverage.

“Why?” Was the dry question. Apparently the king could not fathom this to be the truth. “Why would you want to not be treated better than the servants?”

“Because I am not better than them. I was a smith, then a thrall. I am no lord or king.” Tony gave back in a rather peeved voice as his hand fiddled with the cup, a finger tracing the delicate golden print that seamed it’s edge. A hand found his then and when Tony looked up, kind, blue eyes looked back as Freyr smiled.

“But you belong to my side now. Of course you are more important.”

“Might be, but I don’t want them to fear even talking to me. If you want me to feel welcome, then don’t make me someone the people here don’t want to interact with.”

“If that is your wish Anthony, then I will advise them to be more casual around you. I don’t want you to feel excluded.” Freyr answered in all sincerity, giving Tony’s hand a gentle squeeze. “Now, what do you like better; duck or turkey?”

 

The evening had ended with a nice dinner and a lot of conversing between the two men. Somehow the time with Freyr had given Tony a bit more confidence in everything and maybe it would work out in the end. And Tony had been left alone this night. Freyr had not even tried to pursue him for any physical contact, had not bothered to ask if he could spend the night, he had just bid Tony good night and left, something that had left Tony baffled. Maybe Freyr really was the knight in shiny armor.

Chapter Text

Days went by like this, with Tony moving around the castle and getting familiar with the place and the people that lived there. By now most of the staff members had become less reserved around him, were mostly calling him by his name and were overall friendly. Something that Tony had really hoped for. After all, if he really would stay here, they would have to interact more and he wasn’t the one for being all politically correct. All these mannerisms were causing him headaches. Headaches in midst of luxury that was. Even with Loki he hadn’t lived off the hog. But life was good in Vanaheim. Life was easy. And boring at times. At least until Freyr had given him access to the local smithery. And Freyr had gifted him a lot of things, from jewelry to robes and even tools.

Even though Tony had gotten his own room they had spent a lot of time together. Freyr was a brilliant colloquist, had a lot of stories to tell from places Tony had never been to and he had sworn to show them all to Tony sometime. Despite the king making his intentions clear, he stayed polite and gentle, never pushing too much, never cornering Tony or making him uncomfortable with his affections. Tony still didn’t quite know how to handle this type of attention. No one had ever treated him with that amount of respect and, yes, love. Freyr obviously hadn’t lied about his feelings, and Tony increasingly felt bad for not reciprocating them. Everything Freyr had done these last two weeks had been for Tony, the ride into nature, the gifts, those nice words… Tony was getting more attention than ever, yet each and every day another was plaguing his thoughts. Freyr was so different from Loki. Nice, gentle, polite… And yet he compared him to the prince again and again, and it irked Tony to no extent. Loki had behaved so strange in the time before his release, and Tony still wasn’t completely sure why. It hadn’t been like him to act that reserved. But Tony couldn’t be sure why that was. He could imagine it, maybe even hope for the only logical answer that came to him, but considering Loki it probably was all a spiel in the end, a scheme and nothing more. No feelings. When had he fallen for that bastard? When had his hatred and repulsion given way for affection? Ridiculous. He should fall for the person that was loving him back.

“Anything the matter, Anthony?”

“Tony.” It came out before he had even looked up and Tony blinked when he met blue, amused eyes.

“Tony.” Freyr repeated and slowed down his horse to come into stride with Tony’s. “You seemed distant.”

“Oh? No, I was just in thought.” That Loki was the reason for such thoughts shouldn’t be spoken of.

“Those must be quite the intriguing thoughts.” Freyr mused with a smirk on his face as he led the way through lush, green woods. And how right he was. “I wanted to ask you something.”

“What is it?”

“I wanted to invite you to our yearly dinner. Usually it’s only royalty, but I would like your company.” That sounded like an event Tony really didn’t want to attend, especially when he remembered the dinners and banquettes Loki had held.

“Are you sure? Doubt your acquaintances would really welcome my company.” He gave back and lightly pressed his heels into the mare’s stomach to make her go faster and past Freyr’s horse.

“Oh I am sure you will provide the needed entertainment value. And I would love for them to see my future partner.”

Oh. Well. That explained it.

“If you insist then.”

 

If Tony would have known who would attend the dinner he would have refused. No doubt there. Not only that he had had to put this golden and red robe on that pinched not only in his knee pits, no, he also had to put on manners for this event. Sighing lightly, Tony tried to banish the agonized expression from his face. Freyr next to him had to chuckle.

“I will not tell you how beautiful you look this time, but you really don’t have to stand that straight.”

“You told me it’s royalty that will attend.” Tony raised a brow as he glanced at Freyr.

“Yes. But they are still friends.”

Friends. Tony doubted that these people would be his friends. Maybe trade partners eventually, the other realms had a lot of interesting materials Tony would love to work with some day. Shrugging, Tony put his hands behind his back as he waited next to the king to welcome their guests. And oh my, they weren’t just coming here, they were giving a show. Asgardians then. In their big, pompous gowns and armour. He couldn’t see who was coming their way, but from the top of the stairs where they were standing he could see all the staff and soldiers that were accompany them. Most looked ridiculous in Tony’s eyes, but he was sure to not say a thing.

“There is someone I would love to introduce you to beforehand.”

“Oh?”

Smiling, Freyr gestured to the right, were a flock of women were accompanying another, dressed in the finest silver dress that Tony had ever seen. She looked royal: The fair skin didn’t stand out more than her piercing blue eyes, her hair golden, even brighter than Freyr’s, the crown was just the icing on the cake. And from what he could tell she was tall. Who was that? How could someone climb stairs this elegantly? Especially when in a dress? The woman smiled as she stepped closer, spreading her arms and giving Freyr a hug once she reached the king.

“It’s been some time.” She said in a sensual, silky voice.

“It’s been indeed. But I remember you being on a journey to find yourself for these last hundred years.” Hundred years? Hell, he knew they got old, but this seemed exaggerated.

“Exaggerating, as always.” They both laughed briefly before Freyr turned towards Tony again, who immediately stood straighter.

“I would like to introduce you to Anthony Stark, of Jotunheim.”

“Oh I would have barely noticed that he was a Jotun.” The woman teased, her lips spread in a cheeky grin. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Anthony. My name is Freya.” Tony blinked. Had he heard that right? Freya? That sounded a lot like… “I am Freyr’s twin sister.”

Well, that explained the similarities.

“It’s my pleasure.” Tony said in answer and bowed slightly, at which Freya hid her laughing out behind her hand.

“No need for such formalities.” She waved off and smiled at the smaller man. “My brother told me already who you are, so I don’t think we have to keep up these uptight mannerisms. Don’t you agree?”

“I would be glad.” Tony admitted while Freyr next to him chuckled.

“He even befriended the kitchen staff.”

“Interesting choice then, brother.” With a wink Freya went past them and Tony didn’t quite know what had happened. She had approved of him, sure, but he had thought that they wouldn’t be that casual. Well, good for him.

“You look frightened.” Freyr remarked even though his eyes were firmly on the arriving royalty in the distance.

“A bit.” Not to say that he would tap that, but her mere presence and height intimidated him. “Didn’t think your sister would be that nonchalant though.”

“Why?”

“Well, just look at your stiff arse.” Freyr blinked at the Jotun, perplexed by the statement, before he frowned and laughed. “No offense.”

“None taken, Tony. Well, we aren’t as similar in character I fear. Despite us being twins, my sister was always the active type. Traveling, fighting. She might be the stronger of us two.” Might be true, the woman could challenge Thor for sure.

Speaking of the devil, the mass of Asgardian soldiers were parting their rows, revealing the Allfather Odin and his son Thor.

“Really..?” Tony asked and raised a brow as the blonde was stalking up the stairs, waving at swooning people around them. Yes, that was exactly how he should behave based on his reputation. He couldn’t stand him. “Him? You are friends with him?”

“More with Odin, but I fear we share our dislike for pompous entrances.”

“Depends who does it. But goldie locks here really takes the cake.” Tony commented and still looked rather reserved when Thor and his father made it up the stairs.

“Freyr, old friend.” Odin greeted and shook the king’s hand. “It’s a pleasure to be here again. Vanaheim is beautiful this season.”

“The pleasure is mine, Odin. Thor.” Freyr responded and bowed his head in respect.

“Hello.” Was offered by the Odinson heir, at which Tony almost rolled his eyes. “And who’s this?” Oh, how he was despising him already.

“This is my partner, Anthony Stark.” Thor regarded the Jotun for a moment before he was nudged by his father.

“My pleasure, Anthony.”

“Thor.” Tony just gave back with the same tone and only took his eyes off him when Freyr gestured for their guests to move into the lobby of the castle. “This will be a long night.”

“Probably.”

 

The Asgardians weren’t the only people attending the large dinner, there were a lot of allied races that Tony had never seen in person before. Dwarves, dark elves, even nature spirits. Freyr was a popular man as it seemed. Tony let his eyes wander over the large table and the people that sat at it. No Midgardian though. He had been interested in their technology for some time now. A loud laugh was bringing Tony’s attention back to the Asgardians and he gaped when he saw two ravens on Odin’s shoulders. He had heard about the rumors concerning those, that they were his eyes and ears, but he hadn’t thought that it would be true. These bright blue and red eyes were staring at him all of a sudden, Tony feeling weirdly caught under their gazes, which made him look away.

“Didn’t think he would have pets.”

“Not really pets, Tony.” Freyr answered after swallowing his bite of food.

“I know, but they are weird no matter what.”

The dinner went on with people talking, eating and obviously drinking, with Tony being mostly ignored by everyone which he was quite pleased with. Not that he hated attention, quite the opposite really, but he doubted that he could impress anyone here, so he wouldn’t make a fool out of himself and rather enjoy the good food.

“So, Anthony.” Freya began and grinned at him from a few seats away. “How did that happen?”

“That?”

“Yes, you and my brother?” Suddenly everyone’s attention was on him and Tony felt like hiding underneath the table. He didn’t, obviously, was rather looking confused when he looked back at Freya. Him and her brother? Seriously, until now there was nothing. What had Freyr told them?

“What about us?”

“You don’t need to answer any questions, Tony.” Freyr assured and patted Tony’s shoulder. Well, not saying anything would be just as much of an answer.

“Your brother rescued me from Jotunheim.” Tony said matter-of-factly, a frown on his face. “I was released from the royal palace and got into a rather unpleasant situation. Freyr helped me and offered me a home here.” There was nothing more he could tell them. They were no partners, had no relationship, so what else was there to tell?

“I fear that is correct.”

“So that’s it? I thought you would give us some juicy details, brother.” Freya winked at which Tony rolled his eyes visibly.

“What juicy details would that be? How I ride him? Is that what you’re asking for?” He gave back with a smirk, at which Freyr next to him blinked, his cheeks turning a bright red as he heard what Tony was uttering.

“That is not what-”

“I know, but she wanted juicy details, and who am I to not deliver them to the sister of the king?” Tony shrugged while Freyr just looked flustered.

“I like this one. Good choice indeed brother.”

“Didn’t think you had that in you, Jotun.” Thor laughed out all of a sudden and raised a glass of mead in Tony’s general direction. A nice word from the god of thunder? He would take that as a win. “Let’s drink to Anthony then, the rider of kings.” The only thing Tony could do was smile there.

 

The dinner went on with the guests getting more and more casual, the overall mood getting more relaxed the more alcohol was consumed, and eventually even Thor was heading to his quarters for the night, two vanian girls on his arms.

“Well, that was an… eventful evening.” Freyr brought out as they walked along the nightly corridors. Tony next to him could just smirk, because yes, one could say that. “But you held your ground well.”

“If you ask people what I am good at, then they would tell you that talking, and pissing people off, is one of my trades.” Tony shrugged.

“I doubt they were... pissed off. Rather amused. But I heard of the great Tony Stark of course.”

“As if. You wouldn’t have liked me back in my earlier years.”

“I’m sure I would have. I heard you were a talented smith.” Freyr smiled. They reached the king’s chambers then, and Tony stopped, wanting to bid him goodnight, only to get cut off. “I would like to invite you for the night, Tony.”

Oh. What? How did he mean that? Was he meaning that how Tony interpreted it? For the night… He owed him that much, right? It was just sex. It was possible between Jotuns and other races, especially if they had an affinity for magic. Just sex. He never had a problem with that. So why now?

“Alright.” Tony said after a moment, brown eyes meeting blue ones as Freyr opened the door to let them in.

Chapter Text

It had been an unspectacular night, something that had left Tony rather stunned when he opened his eyes the next morning. Truth be told, he had expected Freyr to try something, to at least seek closeness, but the king had not even laid a hand on him. It gave Tony a feeling of security, and over time he felt more at home in these walls. Days went by, then weeks and soon Tony was barely thinking back on his prior life. Most of the time at least.

Today Freyr and he were having tea in the conservatory, one of Tony’s favorite places in the castle. It was bathed in natural light, the flowers and plants around them making the small seating accommodation even more inviting and cozy. Bringing the cup to his lips, Tony hummed at the fresh, minty taste.

“I do have something to ask of you, Tony.” The jotun looked up at the rather desperate sounding tone and nodded.

“Of course. What is it?” Freyr set the cup down and leaned further over the table, his one hand finding Tony’s.

“Would you object to me kissing you?”

What. Tony blinked, unable to say something to this… very polite request. This was the first time since he had been here that Freyr initiated anything, that he showed real interest in pursuing more than just friendship. And the way he did it was strange to say the least. He had never been asked this before. Looking down, Tony wasn’t sure whether he was comfortable with this. Still. And he hated himself for it, for how ridiculous this was. Freyr was an attractive man, and Tony was single. He had no one and nothing to worry about, so to hell with it.

“No.” He stated, his voice a tad harsher, just so that he wouldn’t back out again. Hell, he had waited long enough. Loki apparently had no desire to get in contact with him. Maybe he really had just used him in the end. It somehow bruised his ego to think about that. Freyr smiled and rounded the table to lean in, one hand gently tilting Tony’s chin up before he brushed his lips over that of the jotun. This kiss was not like the ones he had gotten before. This felt different. Tony closed his eyes at the gentle gesture, his hands tightening in the fabric of his clothes. His mind immediately went back to cold lips though, to the way Loki had kissed him. Not as gentle, not as caring. Freyr’s touch was careful, loving, and for a moment Tony wasn’t sure whether he should embrace the kiss or push the man away. He couldn’t decide fast enough, Freyr was already pulling away, smiling lightly as he looked down at Tony.

“What’s wrong?” Tony asked, now growing nervous. Didn’t Freyr want to do more than a brief touch of lips? This was wrong on so many levels.

“Nothing is wrong, Tony.” Freyr sighed, the smile still in place. “I just find you mesmerizing and-” He interrupted himself there, shaking his head. “My apologies.” He stepped back. “I will leave you for now. Might I request your presence later? I fear I do have some business to take care of right now.”

“Of course.” Tony murmured and watched the Vanir leave the room. “Hell, Tony. What did you get yourself into this time? How can you be that stupid?” He asked himself and ran a hand over his face, unable to really know what to do about all this. Not that there was an alternative. This was all he had. And he should be glad that someone like Frey would adore him enough to let him stay here and treat him better than everyone else. He wasn’t a slave anymore. He wasn’t sleeping on the floor, he wasn’t punished in a dungeon. He got the best robes, the best food, unlimited freedom. Tony felt guilty for wishing for someone else while Freyr kissed him. Yet he had to let go of Loki. Loki had gotten rid of him and he needed to do the same with the prince. Not that the bastard deserved anything else after throwing him out. Tony wondered when had he become such a sentimental fool.

 

“Are you sure?” Tony asked and raised a brow when he followed Mara out of the kitchen.

“Of course. I know who everything and if I tell you that you have nothing to do and can spare some time right now, then you will do it. And you are not needed anywhere at the moment. I would know.” The plump female purred. “I am the secret queen of this castle. And by the way, I think you will like what I have to show you. So shut up and move your arse.”

Tony wasn’t so sure of that fact, really not, especially since Mara had that sly smile on her face, the one she always wore when she was plotting something. They had gotten closer over the weeks, had become friends even, and now she was simply pulling him through the castle, on the way to whatever. Mara stopped abruptly then, turning around and almost making Tony run into her.

“Alright, so… The king told me to give this to you.” Mara grinned and reached into the pocket of her apron to produce a key.

“A key.” Tony murmured and blinked in confusion.

“Obviously.” The vanir answered and rolled her eyes as she pointedly gestured towards the door they were standing in front of. “Well? You know the function of a key, right?”

Tony looked towards the door and grabbed the key a second later.

“Smartass. And what should this be?”

“A present from your majesty.”

Well, what could it be that needed a whole room for itself? There was nothing on Tony’s mind that would fit that description. Turning the key in the lock, Tony slowly opened the heavy wooden door and stepped inside, only to stop dead in his tracks.

A smithery. A fucking smithery. With a furnace, an anvil, material and tools, everything neatly lined up. This was a dream for every smith and Tony could just stare at the beauty that lay before him.

“Oh god, you should see your face.” Mara crooned and leaned against the frame of the door as she watched Tony stagger further inside and inspect the tools.

“I am sure it’s still just as handsome, how- Why-” He stuttered and turned around to shoot Mara a confused look, only for her to shrug.

“Well, King Freyr told us you would like to work, so I guess a forge was what you wanted, else it wouldn’t have been built for you.”

“What?”

“Do I speak some language you don’t understand?” Mara sneered and stepped closer. “He built it for you, stupid. Apparently he sees something in you.” The grin was answered with a huff from Tony, who had to smile when he took a forging hammer in hand.

“These are all brand new.” He mused and laid the tool back down to run his hand over the surface of the large work bench. This was even better than his old workshop. And it would help him a lot to not get bored, to get over his thoughts. Maybe it would even get Freyr and him closer together. He couldn’t thank him enough for this present.

“What did you expect? A dirty dungeon?” Tony turned brown eyes on Mara then, at which the female realized that her joke was hitting a bit too close to home. “Of course it’s new. It’s for you after all. You are a king, at least if Freyr could have his way.” She whispered then and stepped closer.

“Yeah…” Tony murmured, unable to really say more to this. It made him frown deeply and Mara leaned around, trying to catch his eyes.

“Everything alright with you and the king?”

“Yes. Of course.”

“Doesn’t sound like it.” It wasn’t a lie. They were alright. But they weren’t at the point that Freyr wished for them to be, and it irked Tony to not be able to let go. “What is it?” Mara asked then, a hand finding Tony’s shoulder.

“It’s difficult.” He answered.

“Is it? I thought you liked Freyr.”

“I do, that’s not it. I’m just not sure whether I can give him what he wants, and this feels a bit like him trying to buy me.” Tony finally gave back. “I do like him. He’s generous, caring, gentle.”

“And still you want someone else.” Mara tilted her head to the side, reveling in the way Tony blinked at her; as if she could read his mind. “You are easy to read Tony. And I think Freyr knows about this fact.”

“Do you think that? How?”

“You are the first he waits for. I think he knows that you are still dealing with shit that happened before you came here.” Mara shrugged as she wandered through the room. And maybe she was right. Freyr probably knew. And still he wanted Tony. “Do you want to try? If not you should probably tell him clearly.” Looking aside, the Jotun smiled softly.

“I do.” He answered in all honesty. He wanted to try. And he would. Freyr deserved that much.

“Then do that.” Mara smiled. “Sometimes we cling to people of the past, that’s just how it is. But sometimes it’s better to look forward.” She winked and strolled out of the room. “Make sure to clean up in here after you worked. I will not do that.” Tony could just laugh.

 

“Please stay with me tonight.” Tony almost spilled the tea in his mouth.

“Come again?” He blinked at which Freyr laughed out loudly.

“Not what you think, even if I have to say that you are quite the stunning man, Tony.” Freyr chuckled, a hand hiding it from Tony as he stood. “I would just like to have you near tonight.” Tony frowned at that but nodded anyway.

“Okay.” He looked to the bed then and couldn’t help the thoughts that were roaming his mind. Usually he did more than just sleep when he shared a bed with someone. There was no cuddling or sleeping next to each other, and it confused Tony to no end that Freyr only wanted that. “Really?”

“Really.” Freyr affirmed, still chuckling when he moved to his wardrobe to get rid of his robe. Tony watched the silken fabric moved down a firm back, muscles flexing with Freyr’s movements. He was fit, that was for sure, and hell, Tony couldn’t deny that Freyr was a very attractive man. His eyes darted towards Freyr’s hands when they unfastened his trousers and only when the man was in underwear he forced himself to look away.

“Fine then.” Tony huffed out, acting unaffected while Freyr moved to his bed and got under the covers. He killed the lights with a wave of his hand, a motion that still left Tony speechless. “You know I will find out how you do it eventually.” He murmured as he stood as well to get rid of his robe and pants.

“Feel free to try, but don’t get disappointed if you can’t wrap your head around it.” Freyr huffed in amusement. Tony could feel Freyr’s eyes linger on him, and it was a turn-on for sure to see that a man like Freyr desired him. The king was patting the spot next to him, covers raised invitingly. Tony hesitated for a moment before casting his thoughts aside and moving in and under the covers. It was warm. Almost too warm. The added body heat underneath the covers made Tony wince lightly, which Freyr noticed immediately. “Everything alright? Sorry, Tony, I didn’t think-”

“It’s fine. It’s fine, really.” Tony shook his head and looking into Freyr’s eyes there to make him understand that it was alright. “I just need to adapt to the temperature.”

“If I hurt you, please-”

“No. You don’t.”

“Alright.” Freyr murmured and relaxed into his pillow, eyes staying on Tony, something that made the Jotun wet his lips. This warmth reminded him on his times with Loki, how their skin had heated up when they- A hand made Tony snap back to reality, warmth spreading on his back where it was resting. “Don’t worry, Tony. I would never force myself on you.” He whispered then. “I just want to be close to you.” And Tony believed him. The hand on his back felt nice. He hadn’t had real physical contact for some time now, and having Freyr close felt good.

“Okay.” Tony responded, voice only a whisper as he closed his eyes.

Chapter Text

Tony had to admit that he had not slept that well in the last few months. Neither here nor back in Jotunheim. When he woke up that morning Tony was still wrapped in a warm blanket, next to a gorgeous man who was ready to do everything for him. Freyr was still asleep, so for once Tony could look at him without any remorse, without getting embarrassed for staring. He was handsome, or more beautiful than that even. The thought made Tony smile to himself. Hell why couldn’t he let go. Maybe he just had to do what Mara had told him. Maybe he just had to look forward for once. And hell, when had he lost all of his bravado? His appeal and cock-sure attitude? Ridiculous really. Thinking about it… Tony really wanted to try. So why not now? Who was he but not the successful playboy? What was stopping him?

Freyr gasped lightly when he felt added weight on his body, blue eyes blinking as he tried to wake up fully. Freyr wanted to say something, but the words got stuck in his throat when he looked up and met bright brown eyes. It was still dawning and Freyr couldn’t believe what he was seeing in the morning light. There was Tony, straddling his hips, pale skin glistening in the dim sunlight that made it through the curtains. Tony looked down at the king, hands placed on the firm chest underneath him, cold against warmth. He could feel Freyr’s heart beating faster by the second, and really, Tony liked the reaction, the way he was looking up at him with hunger in his eyes. And Tony didn’t need to say a word. He was just looking down at Freyr, showing him wordlessly that he had more than just cuddling on his mind.

“Tony…” Freyr breathed out, almost inaudible, his voice more a rough whisper. Hands found Tony’s hips, not holding or urging on to move, but rather only to seek contact.

“Shht.” Tony just gave back and started to roll his hips, making their clothed crotches rub against each other. The feeling was nice, and he could see the immediate reaction in front of him. Freyr had leaned his head back, eyes closed again as he obviously enjoyed the movements. Yes, this was what Tony was good at and he would show Freyr that much. Tony leaned more forward, his face mere inches away from the other man’s. He could feel his hot breath fanning on his skin as he moved his hips again, the warm hands tightening their grip on his hips.

Blue eyes looked up after a few seconds, the color darker than before. Tony could feel Freyr twitch inside his underwear, his fingers hooking underneath Tony’s in return, teasing the skin there and making Tony shiver pleasantly. A look was cast up again, silently asking for permission, and Tony couldn’t help but smirk. Getting onto his knees, Tony nonchalantly pulled the piece of clothing down as far as it would go. The look on Freyr’s face could only be described as stunned, as if he was in awe at the sight, and somehow Tony had to chuckle when he realized.

“Can I-”

“Don’t ask.” Tony answered in a whisper and leaned down again to kiss the king, deeper than their brief encounter the day before, more sloppy than graceful, and he could hear Freyr groan against his lips.

A hand found his exposed cock then, the warmth in stark contrast to his cool skin, but not in a hurtful way. The moan that made it out of Tony’s mouth was an honest one, the touch welcome, and he looked at Freyr as he leaned his forehead against his shoulder. The king complied immediately as he felt Tony buck into his hand, beginning to set a slow but intense rhythm. Tony panted lightly against the man’s neck, the head of his cock pushing through slender fingers. There was nothing else on his mind than this moment, and somehow it made Tony smile. This felt right. A hand turned Freyr’s cheek towards him so that Tony could kiss along his jaw to the corner of his mouth. Maybe that small gesture really showed the king that Tony meant it, that he wanted this, because a second later Freyr pulled him on top of his body while one of his hands pushed his own underwear down.

Tony rested his elbows just next to Freyr’s head as he kissed him again, their erection now rubbing against each other as both men moved. It was an extreme contrast, having Freyr’s hot skin moving against his colder one, but somehow this exact difference caused shudder after shudder to run through Tony. He was arching his back to get more of the friction, his cock already leaking precum as he pushed himself against the other body. Hands pulled him down by his hips, making both men moan against each other’s mouths. It wasn’t before long that Freyr changed their position, making them both lay next to each other. He reached down, wrapping his fingers around both their cocks, stroking them together. Tony was looking into Freyr’s blue eyes, both men sharing a few kisses in between them breathing for air.

It was over way too quickly, but Tony couldn’t really care. He was exhausted and was encompassed by a warm blanket and arms that wrapped around him. They both had their eyes closed, enjoying the nice feeling of afterglow that washed over them. It took a moment before Tony opened his eyes, fearing that he would fall asleep again if he wouldn’t. There was no feeling of remorse or guilt, just that pleasant buzz. It surprised Tony a bit, but he was thankful for this. Maybe this could really work out. A hand found his cheek then, gently brushing over his skin. It was warm, and the smile that greeted Tony when he looked back at Freyr made him smile as well.

 

The next few days went by just like that, with Tony getting more and more frisky concerning his relationship with Freyr. And the king apparently didn’t have any complaints to the bolder approach, quite the opposite. He welcomed the teasing hand under the table, the occasional kiss and look across the room.

“I didn’t think you would be-” Freyr was silenced by a hand closing over his mouth as he was pushed back against a wall, an alcove hidden behind tapestry and plants.

“What?” Tony huffed out, grinning. “That straight forward?” He continued and took his hand away to kiss Freyr, who hummed in return.

“Not that I would complain.” He whispered back, one hand resting on Tony’s lower back, holding him close. “Just not used to certain practices.”

“You never stole yourself away for some quick fun?”

“I fear not.” Freyr answered and had to smile when he was met with amused surprise.

“Really? I thought royalty screwed around like crazy. You burst my bubble a bit there, king.”

“I can burst more than your bubble.” Freyr crooned and leaned in to kiss Tony again. A loud sound interrupted the scene, an explosion shaking the castle and making both men stumble forward. “What-” Freyr blinked and moved out of the alcove, confusion all over his features.

“What was that?” Tony asked and looked at Freyr, who simply shook his head.

“I don’t know.” He said. “That sounded like an explosion. Why would-”

“Sire!” Freyr turned to the panicky voice that echoed through the hallway. A young man was running towards them, clearly out of breath. Freyr had to take a hold of the man’s elbow to steady him.

“What happened?”

“It- it’s Loki!” Both Tony and Freyr stared at the man, incomprehension on both their faces.

“Loki? Why would Loki attack the kingdom?”

Tony was watching the clueless servant and how he tried to make sense of all this. And he himself was at a loss for words. Why would Loki do such a thing? How had he even gotten wind of him being here and why would he care? Why would he care now? Why would he attack Vanaheim? Surely not because of him. Never. His heart was hammering in his chest and Tony could only listen to what was told. Another explosion made them all duck for cover and Tony’s ears were ringing as he covered them with his hands. He was pulled up by his elbow, dragged along the corridor and for a moment he wasn’t sure what was happening. He couldn’t believe that Loki would do this. There was another loud sound coming from the other wing of the castle, and only when Freyr directly spoke to him, Tony looked up.

“We have to get you to safety!” The king hissed, a drop of blood dripping down his temple.

“What?” Tony stammered, trying to make sense of the words, his mind running miles in seconds. “No- if this is Loki, then I have to help- And you are bleeding, I have to-”

“I’m not sure if-”

“Let me go with you.”

Both men looked at each other for a moment before Freyr gave a hesitant nod.

The gardens laid in ruins and Tony felt his heart sink at the view. Soldiers were gathering around Freyr and the longer they walked, the more Tony dreaded the sight that would greet him. They found the Jotun prince in the throne room, golden armor reflecting the light that shone through the windows. He was surrounded by Freyr’s soldiers, weapons pointing at him, holding him in place. Not that Loki looked threatened or cornered, no, he looked seething. Tony stopped abruptly when he noticed that Loki’s eyes were on him, and he felt as if he couldn’t even breath. Why was he here? Freyr stepped in front of him, effectively shielding him from the prince’s view.

“How can you muster this audacity to attack my kingdom?!” Freyr snarled as he stepped closer, a rage in his features Tony had never seen before. “I hope your reason is worth more than your devoid morality!”

The outburst was causing absolute silence, yet Loki wasn’t even deigning Freyr a look. His eyes rested solely on Tony.

“And how do you dare abducting my thrall?! Who allowed you to take him here?!” Loki barked back, seemingly not one bit impressed by the king’s speech.

Neither Tony nor Freyr knew how to answer that for a moment, both men staring at the intruder, dumbfounded.

“Your thrall? That is not what happened, nor would it be a proper reason for this!” Freyr tried to argue as he gestured around. “You can be glad that no one got hurt, else this would mean war!”

“War? You took what was mine.” Loki countered.

“Yours? Tony is not your, or anyone’s, property! We helped him get out of slavery that your neglect caused! And if you don’t leave now, I-” Freyr gasped when Loki vanished and reappeared right next to him, was actually ready to defend himself, but noticed that the Jotun was simply looking at Tony. “I dare you…”

“I didn’t mean for you to leave the realm.” Loki grumbled and suddenly Tony started to get angry at the prince again. “Or get into trouble.”

“What.” Tony just uttered as he stared at back Loki. “Are you really telling me you did release me but thought I would book my audiences with prince Loki? Leaving me without means, a home or even food? Leaving me for people to sell me on the blackmarket auction house?!”

“I never intended for you to go through this. Let’s go back now.” Loki stated and wanted to grab Tony by his arm, but was pushed away at the attempt.

“Go back?” Tony huffed, smirking in astonishment. “Why should I go back? Back to you? So you get rid of me the moment you get tired of me again? I’m not some girl you fuck and send off after, Loki. I am not some damsel you need to rescue and can discard later.” Tony huffed and took a step back, away from Loki. “And now you come here, endanger innocent people, just because you want your toy back? That’s insane. And I will not be part of it.”

“Tony, I-” Loki began, but stopped himself, the raised hand pulled back now. “I need you.”

Tony looked at Loki, brows furrowed deeply, unable to believe him. He had loved this man. Loki had done him wrong so often, had tortured him on purpose, had humiliated and punished him. Up until the last few weeks the prince’s presence had only caused him pain. And still he couldn’t deny that he still felt for him. Looking down, Tony swallowed the lump in his throat. He shouldn’t even consider going back. Loki had thrown him away like an old, over-worn garment. He had just moved on, had just come to terms with the fact that he would not see the man again, and here he was, throwing Tony right back into this spiral of doubt and confusion. He couldn’t do this again, no matter if he still felt drawn to Loki.

“You just need yourself. You always just needed yourself.” Tony muttered, eyes still on the ground, avoiding Loki’s gaze entirely. Loki regarded him, for longer than what was necessary to realize what this meant, what Tony was saying without explicitly using the needed words.

“You want to stay with him.” It wasn’t a question. It was a desperate statement Loki wanted Tony to negate. But there came no answer. Tony was just raising his gaze, serious, hard eyes staring at Loki. He had never wanted this to happen. He would have stayed with him. But he couldn’t believe him anymore. Not after this, not after Loki going over corpses. Maybe now the prince would finally learn that he couldn’t force his will on people and just take what he wanted. Tony could just hope. “You can’t-”

“Don’t make this worse.” Tony cut him off, not wanting to hear anything of this. “Just leave before more people get hurt.”

Only a moment later Loki stepped back, eyes still on Tony before he eventually turned.

“I’m sorry.” Tony heard the prince utter, just loud enough for his ears. “Fare well, Tony.”