The common room was filled with the pleasant buzz of conversation. Thor, Steve and Clint were chatting happily at the kitchen counter. Natasha and Pepper actually giggled and chattered some girly nonsense on the couch in the far corner. Sam and Bucky were arm wrestling good-naturedly. Jane, Darcy and Phil were talking in front of the TV, some ridiculous reality show playing. Rhodes and Bruce were smiling over their drinks and casting amused glances towards Tony.
Tony himself was sitting on the empty couch with Loki curled in his lap. The trickster had transformed into a cat for the evening and decided the most comfortable place for his nap would be the billionaire's legs. Tony hadn't minded, really, and was petting him absentmindedly.
The room smelled of spice and home cooked food; Steve and Bruce had made an amazing dinner earlier. For once, everyone had sat down to eat. Easy conversation had been exchanged across the table, interspersed with laughter and smiles. People had willing passed food and told jokes and shared stories. Everyone left the table with a warm fuzzy feeling.
Tony had passed out drinks then. Everyone wanted something different, but he was happy to serve them all. When each person had a drink, he had returned to clean the table. Bucky and Clint had helped him rinse the dishes and put them in the dishwasher.
That was when Tony had finally settled on the couch. He watched everyone with bright, warm eyes. It made him unreasonably happy to see everyone interacting and generally enjoying themselves.
On his lap, Loki yawned, pink tongue curling, and stretched. Tony smiled down at him and scratched lightly behind his ears.
"You're happy here, right? I mean, even after everything, you're not unhappy?" He worried for a moment. Loki have him a special, fond glare that only he seemed capable of and let out a deep, resonating purr. "Okay. Okay, good. It'd be sad if you were unhappy. We all like you and want you to be happy." The cat settled more heavily against him. Tony smiled.
At the tv, Darcy suggested playing a video game. Jane and Phil retreated to the kitchen to prepare dessert, letting Sam, Clint, and Thor snatch game controllers. The other Avengers and assorted friends gathered on the remaining pieces of furniture or pulled up chairs. They ended up playing baseball, with each person claiming a character so everyone could play.
Tony quietly sat with Loki, sipping his dessert wine. Even taking quick breaks to play their turns, Phil and Jane quickly brought everyone a slice of the cake Natasha and Pepper had picked that morning. The sugar made Clint and Bucky a little hyper, but Steve pulled his fatherly routine and got everyone settled again.
Hours later, everyone had retreated to their beds. Tony and Loki stood shoulder to shoulder in the kitchen, taking care of the glasses and dessert plates. The game system was still playing in the background, but the duo were able to ignore it over their quiet chatter.
"Good night, Stark," Loki bid before turning into a mouse and disappearing into the darkened hall.
"Night, Reindeer Games," Tony taunted back lightly. He moved to the television and turned off the electronics. Normally he would let Jarvis take care of that, but it felt nice to do things by hand sometimes.
Tony took one last look around the room before he finally went to bed, thought of his happy family making his heart warm beneath the arc reactor.