“Loki, please stop fighting me on this. You need to put your dress on. We’re going to church,” his mother said to him when he was five.
“Loki and Frandal sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love—” Loki tackled his older brother to the ground. Thor may be a fifth grader, but Loki was tall for a third grader.
“Shut up!” Loki whispered while covering Thor’s mouth with his hands. “He’ll hear you!” Loki glanced over to where the blonde who loved to play soccer was sitting with his friends.
Thor licked Loki’s hand and he abruptly pulled back with a look of disgust on his face.
“I’m gonna tell him. I bet he thinks you’re pretty.”
“No,” Loki’s shoulders hunched, “he’s only interested in girls.”
“So then what’s the problem? You’re a girl.”
“Just do it,” Loki said to Peggy.
“I don’t know if this is a good idea.” Peggy was staring at the pair of scissors in her hand, clearly worried. “Just because my mother is a hairdresser doesn’t mean I know how to cut hair.”
Loki pulled at his long, black hair.
“Anything is better than this.”
Peggy gulped before setting to work.
“It’s not a pixie cut!” Loki shouted, tears in his eyes. His mother frowned at him.
“Why are you being so petulant? I was complimenting you on your new hairstyle.”
“No, you weren’t! I’m a boy and you know it! This is a boy haircut! I’m not a girl! I’m not a pixie! I’m Loki and I’m a boy!”
“Please, not this again. I just got home from work, Loki. Just finish your homework while I make dinner.”
Loki stared into his mother’s blue eyes while holding back a sob of pain.
He just nodded and went to his room.
“Please shave your legs,” Thor groaned out. Loki turned his head to the side while looking at Thor disconcertingly.
“Why should I?” he asked, his voice completely flat.
“My friends are laughing at you!”
“Are you laughing at me?”
“Wha-no, it’s just—”
“It’s just that you care more about your friends’ opinions than my happiness. I get it.” Loki stood up from his seat and quickly headed upstairs.
“Loki!” Thor called out. “That’s not what I meant.”
“I’m gay,” Loki stated simply to Thor.
“We can pick up chicks together then,” Thor said without missing a beat. Loki felt a bit of his heart crumble into pieces.
“I like men.”
“So you’re straight.” Thor pouted. “We could have had so much fun together.”
“When will you understand that—”
“Loki, I know you want to be like me, but—”
“You arrogant asshole!” Loki shouted while standing up. He quickly calmed down. “This has nothing to do with you.” Loki took in a breath before walking away.
“Before I move in you should know that I’m a male,” Loki said while clutching his bag tightly. He was trying to look strong, even though he was shaking on the inside. “I’m sexually attracted to men though, so you don’t have to worry about me ogling you or anything.” Loki looked away from the blond who had already taking up half of their dorm room.
She walked over to him and Loki felt himself tense up. Amora had her hands on her hips and looked like the epitome of the ideal woman.
“Well I’m a straight lady.” She titled her head slightly and their eyes met. She smiled. “You get the gay guys and I’ll get the straight ones. Deal?” Amora asked while winking at him.
Loki laughed so hard with relief that he cried.
Loki gripped his beer, wishing this was an open bar. The stupid music was stupid and his stupid dress felt stupid and looked stupid.
He wanted Loki to be on stage with him when Jane walked down the aisle. Loki would have been fine with that if he was the best man or one of the groomsmen, but no. He was forced into a dress by his mother. At least Jane sympathized with him.
She’d said sorry a thousand times over and it did help a bit. She even chose dresses that were less feminine than what she originally wanted.
If only his family could be more like her. If only he’d been born in a different family—or better yet if only he’d been born in the right body.
He groaned and rested his forehead against the bar. At least he didn’t have to wear makeup, but he was tired of seeing all those outfits that he’d rather wear.
Someone sat down next to him and he really hoped it wasn’t his mother.
“Love of your life get away?” a male voice asked.
“No, definitely not. This is my brother’s wedding and he’s an idiot,” Loki said, not bothering to lift his head up. The stranger chuckled.
“Fair enough.” Loki really wasn’t in the mood to deal with other people right now, but he wasn’t allowed to change out of this damn dress or leave until the newlywed whisked off to their honeymoon. “Would you like to dance?” Loki held in a groan of annoyance.
“I’m gay.” He liked men, but the stranger would assume he liked females since Loki was stuck in this body.
“Doesn’t mean you can’t dance, unless you don’t want to.”
Before the stranger could say anything else the bartender came over and the stranger order a scotch.
“It’s clear you don’t want company,” the stranger said kindly. “I’ll just leave—”
“Loki! Stop moping about!” Loki’s mother said and he cringed.
“I’m not moping,” he grumbled to himself before sitting up and slapping on a fake smile. “We were actually just about to dance.” Loki glanced over at the stranger and quickly grabbed his hand, pulling him to the dance floor. “I’m leading,” Loki said once they were out of earshot of his mother.
“I can dance either part. I’m Tony, by the way.”
Thankfully the dance floor wasn’t packed, considering they were only playing classical music.
Now that Loki didn’t have his head on the bar and could properly see Tony he realized he was just his type.
Except for the whole thinking Loki was a lady, but that could be corrected.
“Which side of the family are you from?” Loki asked, not knowing what else to say. Tony grinned at him.
“The side that’s across the hall.” Loki gave him a confused look. “There’s a science conference being held there, but they don’t have a bar and I already gave my first speech.”
“What was your speech about?” Maybe Tony wasn’t as big of an idiot as Loki originally thought.
“Clean energy, mostly. But that’s work, and I came here specifically to avoid work.”
“Fair enough.” Loki was actually starting to enjoy himself, but the song was coming to an end and they both knew Loki was only dancing with him to appease his mother.
“My scotch is waiting,” Tony said while pulling back. Loki held in a frown. “I wouldn’t mind company.” Loki perked up and smiled.
Loki’s beer was where he left it, but… he ordered a new one just to be safe.
Tony obviously didn’t have the same worry since he took a sip of his drink without hesitation.
Loki turned away and sneered. One of the perks of having a male body, statistically less likely to be drugged and raped.
“What’s got you down on this most joyous of occasions?” Tony asked half sarcastically. Loki let out a snort of a laugh.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” He wasn’t about to give away his life story, in a manner of speaking, to this semi-stranger.
“I get it.” Tony winked at him and it was strangely comforting, even though Tony knew nothing about him.
Tony downed the rest of his drink before ordering another.
Drinkers, Loki wasn’t really a fan, but who was he to judge?
He was tired of being judged and refused to do that to others, even though it was a bit instinctual for him—for probably everyone.
Loki was surprised when he finished his beer. His fourth. More than he ever drank because, as Amora loved pointing out, Loki was a light weight.
He was starting to feel good, maybe part of that had to do with Tony’s random babbling.
It made Loki almost forget that he was in a dress.
“They make a cute couple,” Tony said. Loki hadn’t even noticed that he’d turned around on his barstool. Loki snorted. “Not a fan of the bride?”
“No, she’s perfect. I’m happy that she’s my sister-in-law. I just wish my mother was more like her.” Loki couldn’t keep the bitterness out of his voice. He took a large swig of his beer.
“Mum doesn’t like that you like the ladies?” Tony was shaking his head in disapproval.
“No, she doesn’t like that I’m a man.” The words slipped out before Loki could stop them, but he couldn’t bring himself to care. Damn him for being a light weight.
“Born in the wrong body. Ain’t that a bitch?”
“You have no idea.” Loki’s forehead and the bar had a reunion as he slumped against the counter, just holding his beer tightly.
“And they even made me wear a dress.”
“I think I can fix that.”
“If that’s a come on I’ll stab you,” Loki groaned out without lifting his head. Tony chuckled.
“Can we get three more beers, all unopened, and that bottle of scotch?”
“What are you doing?” Loki asked while turning his head so he could see Tony. He was pulling out his wallet and a credit card before putting a fifty in the tip jar. “I’m not going to have sex with you.”
“Don’t wanna have sex. Well, I do want to have sex, but you don’t and that’s all that matters.” The bartender handed over their drinks along with a new glass for the scotch. “My man.” Tony gave the bartender a charismatic smile. “To the men’s bathroom!” Tony said loudly, drawing the attention of a few people around them.
“I can’t leave,” Loki grumbled.
“Look around you. No one cares about us. This is their day.” Tony gestured to the newlyweds. “Let’s go!”
Loki almost grinned. Tony was smiling goofily and holding up the alcohol. Loki snorted and stood up. He was briefly annoyed by how the dress restricted his strides.
Loki glanced around when they snuck into the men’s bathroom.
He glanced at the urinals and tried not to pout. God, why did he have this body?
He avoided looking in the mirror. From the corner of his eye he saw Tony dry off the counters. Tony patted the counter, a sink between them. It was so childish that Loki just had to laugh and join him.
Tony handed over a bottle of beer while uncorking the decanter of scotch. Loki twisted off the cap while Tony tossed the plastic and cork top, missing the trashcan by a wide margin.
“I suck at that.” Tony laughed while glancing over Loki.
Damn. He was handsome.
Loki concentrated on his beer.
“So why are we hiding?” Loki asked after a long swig. Tony glanced at his watch.
“By now my PA has probably noticed I’m missing. She’ll find me eventually, but being here will delay that. She’ll probably find me before my next speech though.” Tony pulled off his suit jacket. “Wanna wear my coat?” Tony asked. It was dangling off his finger in Loki’s direction.
“I’m not cold,” Loki sneered. Tony smiled, but it was different than his other ones, gentler.
“I wasn’t asking if you were cold.” Tony tossed his coat at him. “Fuck it. Do you want out of that dress, because I’m tired of wearing this suit. Don’t worry. Nothing sexual. I won’t even look.”
“You hate wearing that dress. I hate wearing suits. Fair enough? Besides, there’s always a spare suit in my car.” Tony looked like he was trying to hold back a cocky grin.
“You’re insane.” Tony began unbuttoning his shirt and Loki gave him a quick ogle. He was fit… but liked women and Loki wasn’t about to fake being a woman for a romantic interest.
When did Loki start thinking of Tony as a romantic interest?
It was probably just the beer.
Oh, and he was taking off his pants.
This was torture.
The only positive aspect of having the wrong body was that his intense arousal wasn’t visible.
“Here.” Tony handed over his poorly folded clothes before sitting back on the counter, in only his boxers and undershirt.
Loki pulled his eyes to the still warm clothes.
“These won’t fit me at all,” Loki said, not knowing how to feel about this. No one had ever…
Tony took a swig straight from the bottle.
“No skin off my back. I feel comfy. I just want you to feel comfy too. Nothing sexual. Promise.” Tony covered his eyes with his hand. “I won’t peek.”
“You better not.” Loki headed to one of the bathroom stalls. He refused to even risk anyone seeing him in this… form. Besides, anyone could walk into the bathroom at any moment.
Loki took off the dress, thanking god for Jane choosing a dress without frills. Loki quickly took it off and refrained from dropping it on the bathroom floor. No need to ruin a good dress that could be donated to someone who actually wanted it.
Loki adjusted his chest binding. He regretted pulling on his black one this morning. It would be visible through Tony’s shirt.
It was better than the dress though.
He could smell Tony’s cologne.
The shirt wasn’t long enough for his arms and the pants…
Despite them being ill-fitted he felt more comfortable in Tony’s clothes than in a dress.
He exited the bathroom stall and laughed. Tony had his bright red tie wrapped around his eyes as a blindfold. He was kicking his feet back and forth, gripping his bottle happily.
Was this real life?
“Are you even real?” Loki asked between his giggles.
He really had too much to drink.
“Can I look now?” Tony asked.
Why was he so handsome?
“If you must.” Tony pulled his tie down until it was in its proper place, except it was skewed to the side.
“You look happier.”
“And happier!” Tony raised up his decanter of scotch.
“And happier,” Loki agreed while grabbing his beer. He leaned his hip against the counter and began humming.
“You wanna dance?” Tony was playing with his tie.
Loki stared at his bottle for a moment, thinking. He really wanted to dance, but…
The bathroom door opened.
“What are you doing in here?”
“Getting drunk and enjoying ourselves.” Tony answered. “Take a piss and piss off, Dr. Stout. Report on us and I’ll tear down your argument on Project Leaf Energy.” The other man paled before quickly storming off.
“You’re a bit devious, aren’t you?” Loki observed with a smirk on his face.
“Only when someone is a buzzkill or trying to scam me. Although I leave most of the standard assholes to my PA. She cuts through bullshit like it’s an art form.” Tony grinned, proud of Pepper.
“You’re in love with her.” Loki felt his heart sink.
“Pepper?” Tony snorted. “No, she’s too good for any mortal and it would never work.” Tony grinned. “Anyway, I’m a bit infatuated with someone else right now.” The way Tony looked at him made it clear who he was referring to. Loki gasped and quickly looked away, feeling his face heat up. Music started playing. Loki glance over at him. Tony had his phone out and music was emitting from it. “So would you like to dance?”
Loki gaped at him. He nodded and Tony slid off the counter.
Loki walked over to Tony. Something about his soft smile gave Loki confidence.
Their hands touched and Loki noticed how many callouses he had. Loki pulled him close, closer than their first dance.
They moved in tandem and Loki felt like he was melting against the other man. He was so… understanding, spontaneous, kind, and a bit mischievous. Unlike anyone Loki had ever met before—and he accepted that Loki was a man.
This could be something he’d never had before.
He felt so warm inside and he knew it wasn’t the alcohol.
Loki leaned down slightly and Tony tilted his chin upward so that their eyes met.
They kissed and it was so soft and warm that Loki almost cried. Tony held him a bit tighter.
“Would you give me a chance? Would you go on a date with me?” Tony whispered and Loki felt his warm breath on his skin. His heart started racing. No one had ever…
Loki kissed him again.
“Is that a good enough answer for you?” Loki asked while blushing and grinning.
“Best answer I’ve ever had.”