If anyone had ever asked, most people would have said it started with Thor. This was the first time anyone had any solid proof of a god – any gods – existence. And then came the invasion and, with it, Loki. Another Norse god on the loose. Further proof. And Thor openly talked of Odin and Frigga and Sif and others of the Norse Pantheon.
It was natural for people to wonder and to question and to speculate. It is human nature. Curiosity may kill one cat, but it won't stop the next one from trying too. The risk of death is nothing next to the chance of new discovery.
The Avengers are no different in this. When it occurs to them to ask Thor if there are other gods and other Pantheons out there, they do. And when Thor answers yes, they ask about them. Of course they do. Despite what people might think, the Avengers are very human – even those with super enhancements. Thor gladly tells them what he knows.
It always makes Tony snort when he isn't internally squirming in discomfort. Like Thor had any real idea of what he is talking about. Oh sure, he knows some of the other gods, mainly from the Big Four: Norse, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman. (And yes, there is a difference between the latter two.)
If any one had asked Tony, he would have said it started much earlier. He would have talked about the hot sun shinning down relentlessly, the sand blowing everywhere, the monuments built to stand the test of time. He would have talked about family issues and affairs and plots and chaos. Especially chaos. Where he should have been raised in justice and righteousness, he was instead taught mischief and disorder after it became apparent that was what he wanted. Legends only go so far after all.
Tony would have described a childhood raised by his adopted father and not his biological one. He would have told people about play dates with tricksters and death. He would tell them of one Trickster in particular – his favorite uncle. It's not what people would expect from Tony Stark. And it was unlikely he would tell the truth anyways.
So it's a good thing no one asked him.
“What about Osiris? Is he really green?”
Tony scowls at the question and burrows farther into Bucky's side. Bucky, being the good boyfriend that he is, lets him without question. He hates when the team gets curious about other Pantheons. He especially hates it when they start on Egyptian mythology. Why can't they stick to the others? Why can't they just leave the whole concept alone?
He doesn't listen to Thor's answer. He doesn't have to. What a stupid question anyhow. Is fucking Osiris green? Is the moon made of cheese? As if anyone had any idea of what the true story is. He shoves his head into Bucky's neck and determinedly ignores everyone else. Bucky runs a hand through Tony's hair.
The genius focuses on that. He can stay here if his boyfriend is going to keep doing that.
“Can you imagine having an animals head for a face?”
Tony flinches at the question. Bucky is the only one who notices. He sends the other man a questioning look, but Tony just shakes his head. Nope. So not going there. No way, no how. Because, while in theory, it is probably a conversation they should have, they aren't. Not as long as Tony can help it.
He wants to keep what he has – with the team, with Bucky – intact as long as possible. And nothing about that conversation is conductive to that. All it would do is bring up awkward questions. Also, possibly, freak them out a bit. There's a good chance of that too. Thor is one thing. He, on the other hand, is completely another.
Besides, what does it matter? It's not like he ever plans on revealing himself. Ever. He left for a reason. He has no plans on dragging his past into his new life.
“What the hell is a Seth animal anyways?”
Tony walks in and promptly walks right back out of the kitchen. Nope.
Bucky brings him coffee down in the lab. “Alright dollface?” he asks.
Tony nods and Bucky doesn't push. It's one of the many things he loves about the assassin. He doesn't push for information like basically everyone else in his life. He gets that they mean well, but there are just some things he doesn't talk about. Bucky gets that. He always lets Tony have his space when he needs it.
Funny enough, that's why Tony opens up so much to the other man.
“Movie date still on at eight?”
“Of course Buckaroo. The fact that you still haven't seen all the Harry Potter movies yet is a sin against humanity.”
Bucky kisses him on the forehead. “Whatever you say darlin'.”
“Man, can you imagine having kids with your siblings? Imagine how fucked up the kid is going to be.”
Tony takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. Calm. He is calm. Tranquil. Serene. Composed. He can do this. He absolutely can. There is no reason why he can't. It isn't even him specifically they are talking about. Leaving now will only draw unwanted attention to himself.
Beside him, Bucky stretches. “Hardly think gods have the same genetic issues we do. Sides I don't think that's what's gonna be what messes the kid up. That comes later after all the shit hits the fan.”
Tony doesn't know if he wants to kick him or kiss him. Maybe both.
“Gonna turn in early tonight,” he then declares.
“Alright Buck?” Steve asks, concerned.
“Yeah punk, just got too early of a start today. Coming sweetheart?”
Tony nods and stands up. Kissing him it is then. He knows for a fact Bucky isn't tired. For one thing, he doesn't need as much sleep thanks to the bastard super soldier serum he was injected with. For another, both of them had slept till noon.
He leans into the other man as the elevator takes them up to the penthouse. Neither of them say anything until they are laying comfortably on their bed.
“Sure you're alright?” Bucky asks.
“Nothin' you wanna talk about?”
Tony shakes his head.
“You know you can talk about whatever you want, anytime?”
Tony nods again.
“Alright, come on then. I'm in the mood for Mulan.”
Now that is something Tony can gladly agree to.
“Hello brat,” is Tony's greeting as he walks into the kitchen, still rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He freezes when he hears the voice. Damn it.
He grunts in response.
“My Friends,” Thor booms, “It brings me great pleasure to tell you my Brother–“
“–I am not your brother Thor–“
“–is to join us on our quest to protect this planet. It has come to light that he was not in charge of his actions and was used like Friend Barton was. Our Father–“
“–not my Father either–“
“–has decreed that it will do Loki good to join us,” he finishes, beaming.
Tony thuds his head onto Bucky's conveniently place shoulder. Great. There goes his cover. Even if Loki let him keep it, Dad definitely won't. And of course he is going to be around because where one Trickster is, the other is sure to follow.
“Brat?” Bucky questions.
“He's one to talk,” Tony grumbles as he pours himself a cup of coffee. The others listen to his answer curiously. “Just because he's older doesn't mean he isn't just as bad.”
“Such disrespect,” Loki teases, “and after all I did for you.”
“I learned from the best. And don't make it sound so dramatic. To listen to you, you'd think you did all the raising.”
“What?” Clint asks.
“You haven't told them?”
Tony shoots the other god a glare at that far too innocent tone of voice. “No,” he replies drily, “but thanks for asking.”
“Really Anubis, one would think you are ashamed of your family.”
“What?!” Clint says again, louder this time.
“I claim Dad and Hel. That's enough for me.”
“And here I thought I was your favorite uncle. Of course you only wanted me for my daughter instead,” Loki says haughtily.
Tony rolls his eyes. “You threw me out a window, sorry I'm not claiming you.”
Loki scoffs. “As if that is the worse things that has ever happened to you. Need I remind you of the time you and Hades dragged my daughter into–“
“Nope. Remember that incident too well. Wish I didn't.” He refills his cup again.
“Friend Tony, why did you never say you were Anubis? I did not recognize you from the young child trailing around in my Brother's shadow.”
Tony gives him a look.
“Wait, I'm confused,” Steve admits.
Loki sighs. “The man you know as Anthony Stark is my adopted nephew Anubis, who I helped raise along side my daughter Hel, Fenrir and Jörmungandr with the help of Seth–“
“–his bestie in crime–“
“–and not that fool of a god–“
“–like you mortals think.”
The team blinks at them. Tony snorts. “Come on guys, you really think I would be raised by anything other than chaos? Me ?”
They all just continue to stare at the two of them. Bucky is the one to break the silence. “Naturally darlin'.”
“Wait, what do you mean Tony is a god?!” Clint asks, clearly freaked out.
Tony just laughs. Damn Loki.