There was a harsh prick in his left side, then the fogginess of sleep slowly started to peel off of him like a skin to be shed, leaving the trickster vulnerable and shivering on the couch's soft leather cushions. Loki wasn't one to panic unnecessarily, but he felt a sickening sense of dread well up when he tried to lift his hand and block out the light cruelly invading the darkness beneath his lashes, only to find it impossible. He couldn't move. It was as if someone had bound his limbs, a not entirely foreign sensation, and one that had his heart racing frantically with the beginnings of fear. "What-"
"Relax. It's only temporary. You're a god, remember? It'd take something a lot stronger than this to put you down for good."
That voice, he knew that voice. Loki struggled to grasp some thread of logic, but all he could think of was how familiar the man speaking was...Norns, why couldn't he think straight? "Who-" Loki grimaced and sluggishly dropped his head to the side, forcing the words out, though each syllable was grueling and slurred. "Who are you?" There. Much better. "What have you done to me?"
Laughter bubbled thickly in his ear. "Way to make things easier for me. This version must have really laid on the charm thick. Come on Loki. Don't you recognize me, even a little?"
"...Stark." Loki's eyes peeled open, confirming the suspicions rifling through the back of his mind. There was the inventor himself, smirking and watching him like an animal keeping tabs on its prey. Of course; he'd known that voice was familiar. But there was something off about it, a trickle of darkness threaded through each word coming out of the man's mouth. As if he were a stranger wearing another’s skin, every word he spoke seemed out of sort. “You--” Loki flexed his fingers and frowned when they only gave a feeble tremble. "What did you do to me?"
"Paralysis." Scooting to the edge of the coffee table he was perched on, Tony grinned at him and held up a syringe. It was empty, but there were the faint vestiges of an electric green fluid clinging to the plastic inside. "Cool, isn't it? Like I said though, it's only temporary. So we better take advantage of what time we've got."
Take advantage? That did not bode well. "You best have a very good reason for accosting me like this," Loki muttered. "Though if all you desired was a rousing discussion, a drink would have been far more persuasive. I do not take kindly to being bound, Stark. Even if the chains are experimental in nature."
"Experimental, yes. But clearly effective." With a sharp smile Tony took him by the arms and maneuvered him into a sitting position on the couch, then reclaimed his seat and grabbed a decanter of scotch off coffee table, plus a small glass. "Want a drink?" He poured a hearty splash, the liquid sloshing lightly against the cut crystal. Tony offered it out to him, quirking a brow when Loki pursed his lips and pointedly worked one of his shoulders in what might have passed for a shrug, were he not immobile. "Suit yourself." He took a sip himself, eyeing Loki over the glass rim. It might have seemed casual, except for the way those bourbon irises settled on him, weighty and without their normal hint of friendly mockery. Instead there was something strange in their midst, and Loki fought to put a name to it as he stared the mortal in the face. "Nice to see I have your attention," Tony drawled. "See something you like? It‘s ok if you do. I‘m flattered, really."
"I see only a mortal with a clear death wish," Loki retorted. His limbs were still without movement, but that didn't stop him from glaring at the other man with all the power sequestered in his veins. "Tell me, Stark. What purpose does this serve? If you sought conversation, you could have simply asked."
"Oh c'mon Loki. You should know the answer to that. Why ask, when taking's so much more fun? Or should I say force? Force seems like the more appropriate word to use in this situation." Tony polished off his drink and set the glass down, not once breaking eye contact with the trickster. "Don't give me that look. I haven't done anything you're not used to by now."
That was...disconcertingly true. Even still, Loki refused to give him the pleasure of knowing that. "You're the first to drug me, Stark. And you'll be the last, now that I know such a poisonous substance exists." A thread of strength webbed through his veins. He had the strength to tilt his head slightly to the side, looking around the room with its sleek chrome and glass, and the polished wood. The classic furnishings of Stark tower, complete with Tony's brand of elegance. So they hadn't left the vicinity. Somehow that gave him a lick of comfort.
"Don't look so worried. I would've looked pretty obvious if I'd tried dragging you out of here when you were unconscious. Kidnapping is still frowned upon in modern society, even when it's a supervillain playing the role of the damsel in distress. And the last thing I wanted was our private time interrupted. Not before we had a chance to really sit down and talk."
The coffee table scraped across the floor, and Tony shifted until his knees were boxing Loki's in, forearms resting on the posh fabric of his trousers. This close, the trickster could see every detail of his face, right down to the tendrils of hair groomed nearest his brow. Loki honed in on those, frowning softly. He remembered the mortal having silvery hairs speckled through the brown locks the last time they'd met, and that had only been--this morning? Yet there were none now. "Talk about what, precisely? You and I have nothing to say to one another."
"On the contrary. I think we have a lot to talk about, Jadis." That detestable grin grew wider, practically overtaking his firm mouth. "Sorry. That was too familiar, wasn't it? You never struck me as the type to frown upon a good nickname though."
He wasn't. Norns knew Loki had had plenty for Thor over the years. But he didn't approve of a mortal being so ballsy with him, and most certainly not when he was going to use such blatant mockery. "I understood that reference, Stark," Loki hissed through his teeth, "and I do not approve. I'll thank you to keep such insults to yourself from now on. Is it not enough that you've placed me in such a compromising position?"
"It's a compliment, not an insult. You've got more ice mojo than all of the white witches and snow queens put together. All you need is a fur cloak to go with that fancy spear you're always toting around, maybe some nice chain mail to set everything off."
Loki's fingers twitched, curling towards his palm. Norns, but he was of half a mind to throttle the man senseless. If only he could. "If this is what you wanted to talk about, then consider this conversation finished. I have no interest in sitting here while you mock me with your foolish mortal quips!"
"You don't have much of a choice. And for the last time, I'm not mocking you. Maybe if you'd take your head out of your ass for more than five seconds, you'd understand that." Tony put up his hands, unabashedly smirking. "Don't get me wrong! I know how it feels to have everyone think the worst of you, but that's not what I'm here to do. Quite the opposite. I'm the only person in this whole damn city that actually understands you, Maleficent. And I think you'll see that too, with the right encouragement."
Encouragement. A chilling sensation rolled down his spine, pooling at its base while he looked to the brunette with fear icing his veins. That was a word he knew well. Thanos had taken great care to ensure he understood it, and all its connotations. "I thought the Avengers above torture," Loki spat.
"Torture?” Tony feigned a wounded look, clutching at his chest. “Where the hell did you get an idea like that? I'm not talking about torture, Loki. How could you even think that of me? That's so overrated! Way too--cliché, over the top eighties villain for my tastes. I want you agreeable, gorgeous. If you’re brain dead and drooling on the upholstery, where‘s the fun in it for me? Or the use?"
Something wicked flashed through those irises, and Loki got the sense that whatever was going on here, this wasn't the Tony Stark he knew. Not in the slightest. There was something off about him, a shadowy essence clouding what was normally a bright, if obnoxious, spirit. The Stark who imposed his presence upon him at his leisure and constantly made quips about Loki's formerly villainous status was not the same man sitting before him now, smiling and looking like he rather wanted to devour Loki whole. It was....bone chilling. Loki masked his discontent as well as he could, suspiciously eyeing the other male. "What are you getting at, precisely?"
Tony’s smile split wider still. He leaned forward with his elbows perched on his knees, and though the casual nature of the act might have soothed another, it only served to make the god more uncomfortable. “Come on now Loki. Naiveté doesn’t suit you, and we’re both too clever for mind games. I know, and you know that that’s not the question you really want to ask me. So lets try again, hm?” When Loki deemed fit only to stare at him, he chuckled and placed a hand on his thigh, thumbing the inline seams of his pants. “It’s not that hard. Just part your lips and say ’Tony, who are you?’ Try it with me now. Tony, who-”
“Are you,” Loki finished with a waspish undercurrent. “I know how to speak! Do not patronize me, Stark. Such foolishness suits you ill.” Or perhaps far too well.
“Don’t get nasty. Here I am trying to be your friend, and you’re just throwing it all back in my face! You know, any other guy might take your bitchiness personally.” Tony got off the table completely and planted his hands on the couch on either side of Loki, caging him in. As if he wasn‘t already. “Lucky for you, I’m not like other guys. I know better. It’s something we have in common. That, and our flair for dramatics." He canted his head to the side, fixating on Loki's eyes with an intensity that was strangely...intriguing. "Since you asked though, I'll tell you. I'm Tony Stark. Maybe not the one you've come to know, but that doesn't really matter now, does it? We're one and the same. I just took the highway to power and privilege, while yours decided to play at being a hero with his super secret boy band."
There was a labyrinth in his words, twisting and spread before Loki in a blur of winding paths he wasn’t sure he could navigate. He traversed it slowly, picking apart Tony’s claims until some vague sort of understanding came upon him. “I suppose my next question should be where do you hail from,” Loki closed his eyes and simply felt. Though his seidr was dampened, locked inside him and unreachable with his limbs as useless as they were, he had control enough of it still to reach out and feel the aura hovering around the other man. It was familiar, cold. Loki imagined glacial blue engulfing them both, and he sucked in a sharp breath, laughter teasing his ears. “You reek of power. The taint of space is all around you, Stark.” He slowly opened his eyes and found Tony’s still watching him, thrumming with an energy he knew well. “The tesseract. You have it.”
“Have it, and used it,” Tony drawled. “It packed a mean punch at first. Took some fine tuning before I learned how to channel its energy proper, but once I did….well,” he lazily waved his hand. “Here we are. Now, let me guess. You can sense the tesseract’s energy signature on me, right? I figured as much. Kind of surprised you didn’t recognize it immediately though. Your new pals must have really done a number on you to make you forget power like that. Real power,” he added slyly. “The video feed’s didn’t do you justice by the way. You’re way prettier in person. I like the hair. The wavy look suits you, though you should really consider growing it out a little more. You could have a fantastic Tolkien thing going on.”
The incessant chatter no more masked the importance of what he was saying than that eerily chipper smile. Loki snatched at it and dissected each nuance, every impressed syllable. “You…have the tesseract,” he iterated, “and you used it to come here.” A surge of adrenaline suddenly went rushing through his veins, and his body jerked against the leather, allowing him to angle himself toward Tony. “From where? You speak of this realm as if you are a stranger to it, but your countenance is that of the Tony Stark I have come to know.” Save a few differences. Loki noticed them more now; Tony’s grey free hair and clever eyes, and the more--youthful cast to his features. This wasn’t the face of a man who had seen war. This was the face of a man who caused it instead, and simply didn’t care.
“I could almost take that as a compliment. If there’s one thing that didn’t change between worlds, it’s my stunning good looks.” Tony got off the coffee table and paced the floor, one of his hands trailing across the back of the couch, Loki’s shoulders. There it hovered, until it didn’t, and instead its weight settled on the trickster’s head and mussed his raven hair. “I could say the same for you, but you don’t exist where I come from. Not anymore. Your big brother and daddy one eye decided to wipe you out of existence after your little episode on the bridge. Said it was too painful to think about.” Tony’s fingers flexed, and Loki heard a dry laugh behind him. “They should’ve invested in some memory potions, if they really wanted to forget you. If it wasn’t for Thor, I never would’ve known about you in the first place. Give him enough booze and he blubbers like a baby, going on and on about his poor, lost brother, destroyed by his own madness. Sentiment, am I right?”
It shouldn’t have stung, but it did. The very idea that Thor would ever want to forget him was agonizing. “Spare me your riddles and speak clearly,” Loki snapped. “Tell me who you are. How did you get your hands on the tesseract?” Why are you here? That question remained silent, yet hovered in the air as if it had been spoken anyway.
“All very good questions. See? I told you we had things to talk about.” His hair was toyed with, languidly teased into disarray and then combed back into place. Perhaps the drug was finally wearing off, because Loki was able to angle his head farther back still and actually see the man who apparently had such a penchant for touching him. “I’ll answer them, but nothing comes free. Quid pro quo, Lokes. You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.” One of Tony’s brows gave a jaunty waggle. “All night long, if you’re really good.”
Loki glared at him. He couldn’t jerk his head away like he wanted to, but at least he could do that. “Keep your filthy hands to yourself, and I might spare you the agony of having them cut off.”
“Ooo, violence. That’s attractive. You’re speaking my language now.” Tony’s fist snapped closed and jerked on the dark strands, drawing a sharp hiss from Loki’s lips. “How I got the tesseract isn’t really important. It’s a long, boring story, chock full of daddy issues that would make your pretty head spin. Maybe I’ll tell it to you another time, when we aren’t working with such a short deadline. I think the really important question here is why. That’s what you’ve been dying to ask me this whole time, right? Why I came here. Why YOU.” Tony leaned over the back of the couch and stared him down, and Loki had the sense that he was trying to memorize each inch of his face. Or see past it entirely. It was difficult to tell. “It’s simple. When I want something, I take it. That’s the way of the world, and I don’t see any reason why that should change now. Nobody’s going to stop me. Not even you,” he smirked, taking the hand from Loki’s hair and grasping his chin instead. The pad of his thumb was rough as it caressed over his skin, and the god shivered, lashes unconsciously fluttering over his pale eyes. “I know, this has to be surprising for you. You’re probably not used to anyone giving a damn about you. For all Thor’s rambling about his darling baby brother, I got a pretty good sense that you were always the outcast back in Asgard. And it doesn’t really seem like things were all that different in this world. I can see it in your eyes. All the loneliness, your pain…”
Loki hissed, biting at Tony’s finger when it passed over his mouth again. “Your ignorance shines ever brighter when you indulge such ludicrous thoughts. Do not speak as if you understand me, Anthony Stark! I have little patience for it. If you came here only to take advantage of what you so foolishly believe is my supposed weakness, then be done with it already and leave me be! I grow weary of this conversation, as well as your presence.”
“That’s unfortunate, seeing as how I’m not. In fact, I’m enjoying myself. You’re exactly what I imagined you’d be. Maybe even better.” As if sharing a secret, Tony angled his head down and cupped the side of Loki’s face, humor illuminating his features from within, making the man positively glow with excitement. How could he be so…happy? Loki didn’t understand, and it must have shown. “Did you expect me to run off with my tail between my legs? Nice try, Jadis. Just so you know, your temper tantrums won’t run me off. And since the drug’s holding strong, you’re stuck here until further notice. So instead of bitching at me like a toddler, how about you shut up and actually listen to what I’m saying? Because I want you, Loki….do you have a last name? I know Thunderdome uses the whole Odinson spiel, but since you aren’t really part of the family tree anymore, I figured you’d want something different.“
The man who looked so like the Tony Loki knew shared not only his face, but the incapability to settle on one topic at a time. It derailed Loki for a moment, and he blinked heavily, processing every word Stark was throwing at him. It was…grueling. “Skywalker.” He turned his cheek from the hand that held it, trying desperately to ignore how pleasant the warm, calloused skin felt against his own. “My surname is Skywalker. Though I fail to see why it’s of any importance to you.”
“I can’t proposition you without knowing your full name! That would just be rude. You’re the type who appreciates manners, aren‘t you Loki? ” Tony blazed on without giving him even a second to respond, thoughtfully following the curve of Loki’s slight face. “I came to this world to see what my other self was up to. He has some impressive tech in progress, but nothing I haven’t seen before. I’m two steps ahead of everything he’s done, and I don’t have Shield’s subordinates hanging over my shoulder, watching my every move. I have complete and total freedom,” he drifted a fingertip across Loki’s cheekbone, following its elegant sculpt. “All I’m missing is a partner in crime.”
“You came here to spy on yourself,” Loki repeated, ignoring his final words. It sounded just as ridiculous the second time around, though he believed that far more than the mortal having anything but a passing interest in him. “I suppose you discovered me in the process of your snooping, hm? I know Shield has gathered quite the impressive file on me, despite most of it being malarkey. They have not the brains to fully understand my powers, nor what I’m fully capable of.”
“You’re right. They don’t.” The glimmer of white teeth warned Loki of his impeding threat before Tony even opened his mouth. “Stark does. Your Stark, that is. He’s not half as skilled as I am, but he’s well on his way towards figuring out a way to suppress your magic. Full time, if I read his research correctly. Which I did.” Releasing him, the brunette rounded the couch and stared Loki down, for the first time looking serious about his claims. “How long until you think he decides to lock you up and experiment on you, with or without Shield‘s approval? Hell, I bet they‘d fund the research! Anything to gather intel on one of their greatest enemies. You’re a power they don’t understand, just like the tesseract was. And I wouldn’t count on big brother coming to save your ass. Not now. You’ve broken his heart one too many times. He thinks you’re INSANE, Lokes, beyond his pathetic idea of redemption.”
“Thor is a fool! His ignorance is a shining example of how far Odin‘s corruption extends. He would do anything to make his blessed son seem the perfect, golden child, while leaving his sins in the dark to rot and fester.” Like a serpent poised to strike, Loki lashed out with what magic he could grasp and shoved Tony back several paces. “I will not be a forgotten crime, left wallowing because others cannot accept the blame that should rightfully rest upon their shoulders! Nor will I accept being anything less than what I am. If you see to remake me, Stark, mold me in whatever image you think suits your best purposes-”
Laughter cut through his tirade, startling the god into silence. "Mold you? Why the hell would I want to change anything about you? You're perfect just the way you are.” Tony picked himself up and approached with a look that could almost be labeled as chastising. “I don’t think you’re understanding me Lokes. I’m not looking for someone to trail at my heels like some subservient dog. That’s what your precious Avengers want. What I want is someone who not only has the power to seek out his ambitions, but the balls to do what needs to be done, and damn the consequences!” Tony grabbed him with a surprising amount of force and buried his hands in Loki’s hair, half twisting several of the strands right out of their roots. “You have nothing here, Loki. Not a damn thing. The Avengers despise you, your brother pities you, and Shield would sooner make you their lab rat on permanent lockdown than listen to a single word you have to say. You hear me? There’s nothing here for you, except a whole shitstorm of misery.”
“In comparison to what?!” Loki’s magic writhed, unstable yet responding to his discomfort. “All you’ve done is continuously remind me of my pain, while offering nothing in return! I have not a shred of proof confirming that anything you’ve told me is true. Shall I blindly trust in your words? Is that what you want from me? Because I am no fool, Stark. You‘re untrustworthy. Look at what you’ve done to me, knowing full well I would react poorly!” He twitched his arms and legs, spitefully lashing out at Stark again. “You drugged me, just as Shield would have done. You created that vile poison and sought to imprison me within my own body!”
“Temporarily. I temporarily sought to imprison you, gorgeous. That much I can take credit for. But I didn’t create the drug rushing through your veins. You can’t pin that on me. That’s all him.” There was no question about who he was talking about, and Loki didn’t bother to clarify. He already knew. “Stark.” Tony dug in his pants pocket and pulled out another vial identical to the one that had been attached to the syringe he’d shown Loki earlier. But, unlike the first, this one was full to the brim with neon fluid. “I found this when I was poking around in his lab. Judging by the whiplash you gave me, it doesn’t suppress your magic. What it does do is suppress YOU though. That’s worrying enough. If he’s already got this worked out, then it won‘t be long until he actually manages to create something that nullifies your magic. Your biggest asset, not counting your brain.”
When that happened, Loki was in danger. There was no reason for the Avengers to continue with his ongoing living conditions if Stark managed to create a means of containing him permanently. He’d be vulnerable to them, and to Shield. He couldn’t let that happen. “…..Tell me what you want.” Loki tore his eyes from the vial and met Tony’s, his pale face smoothed of any emotion. “You claim to want me as your partner, yet you’ve failed to tell me why. For what purpose do you desire me so? If you seek companionship, I’ve never been fond of sleeping with mortals. You’re all too fragile. If it’s my mind you’re after, as so you eloquently put it, then you should also know that I have no interest in playing second fiddle to some deranged, half cocked philanthropist with a lust for power.”
“I’m never half cocked.” Tony smirked. “You’ll have a chance to learn that, if you can get over your bias against mortals. That’s something I’m working on anyway. The tesseract has opened up a lot of possibilities, and I don’t see why I should be constrained by the same rules as everybody else. When you’re superior, they don’t apply. Something I think you understand.” He all but kicked Loki’s legs apart and took a stance between them, each of his hands going to work to smooth down fabric and hair, putting Loki back to sorts. “They don’t respect you. I do. I’ve seen what you’re capable of, and damn if I couldn’t use a guy with your capabilities on my side. I have plans, Loki. World domination doesn’t take care of itself, and it’s a hell of a lot harder than it looks.”
“You wish to conquer the world?” Whatever Loki was expecting, that wasn’t it. “Don’t be absurd. I know you, Stark. Despite all your arrogance and quests for superiority, you care too much for the denizens of Midgard to ever want such a thing.”
“That’s where you’re wrong. THIS world’s Tony Stark gives a fuck about its people. I don‘t.” Adjusting the collar of his loose tunic, Tony amused himself with dipping his fingers past the material and lightly stroking Loki’s jutting collarbone. “You’re right about one thing though. I haven’t given you much reason to trust me. For all you know, I’m no different than anyone else you’ve ever known. You’ve been screwed over your entire life, and nobody ever stopped to ask what you want, or think about your needs. Everyone always fixated on your Hercules of a brother, while you got shoved to the side, always the shadow to his light.” The touch stuttered before it made a pass over the hollow of Loki’s throat, betraying how his pulse fluttered nervously. “The thing is, I am different. I’m like nothing you’ve ever experienced before, and I don’t have a single doubt in my mind that I can prove that to you. You just need to give me the chance.”
The arrogance of this mortal was astounding. To think, he believed he could prove himself worthy of a god! And yet… “You no more belong to this world than I do,” Loki turned his face away, comforted by the fact that he could at least now do that much. “You can’t stay here. Someone is going to notice when a near duplicate of this realm’s Anthony Stark suddenly starts walking around! The mortals are ignorant, but they are not without some speck of intelligence. They will discover you, and then what? Do you expect to disguise your true purpose here, or will you simply wipe their minds and pretend nothing ever happened?”
“You let me worry about that. This isn’t exactly my first act of subterfuge. I know what I’m doing. I’ve been here for a lot longer than you know, and nobody’s suspected a thing. They won’t either, until I want them to. And by then it’ll be too late. I’ll have what I came for.” The way that ocher gaze swept across him, there was no chance of Loki doubting exactly what it was Tony desired. Or rather, whom. Nevertheless, he clung stubbornly to his disbelief and scowled at the other man, until Stark laughed and pinched his throat. “You’re cute when you play clueless. I wouldn’t make it a habit though. There’s lies, and then there’s avoiding the truth. You should only be good at one of them.”
All at once the humor in his actions was gone, leaving Loki with an annoying sense of being disoriented. Tony went to work, guiding Loki flat on his back despite his feeble resistance and adjusted a pillow under his head. “The Avengers will be back soon. I told you we were working within a time frame, remember? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather them not discover our secret liaison until we’re both good and ready for it to happen. That’ll take time. Patience. TLC. None of which I’m extraordinarily good at, unless the payoff’s worth it.” Still wearing that damn grin Loki both loathed and curiously found intriguing, he tucked a small object into his hand--the vial. Loki could feel it. The glass was warm from being held so long by the inventor, and Loki’s ears picked up the gentle sloshing of the liquid inside. “Consider it a token of my affections,” Tony drawled. “A guy you couldn’t trust would’ve kept that for himself.”
“As would a man seeking to gain my approval for his own selfish purposes,” Loki pointed out. “Had you been genuinely interested in securing my trust, you never would have drugged me in the first place.”
“But it gave us a chance to talk. I’d consider that a risk worth taken.” Tony’s hand swept across his hair, primping the feathery locks and arranging them in a sleep tussled style. “If my timing is on point, your roommates should be back soon. Spare yourself the incoming stupidity and pretend to be asleep. The last thing we need is Stark getting suspicious and checking to see what’s got you playing like a puppet with its strings cut off. I planted a few dummy vials to make up for the ones I stole, and the video feed’s on a loop of you sleeping until roughly six o’clock, but it’s better to play the safe card right now.” His other hand found Loki’s and made it clench around the tiny bottle. “Keep it secret, keep it safe.”
Apparently the use of odd references was another trait this Stark shared with his other self. Loki ignored it though, watching the man drift away from the couch before he allowed his eyes to fall shut. He could hardly follow him anywhere, or move to defend himself with anything but mere flickers of his magic, so there was no point to keeping them open. The conversation had wearied him, and his thoughts raced with new information. As well as possibilities. “I haven’t agreed to any treaty between us,” Loki called out, refusing to give in to the smile that wanted to form. “You may not be of this realm, but your actions have proven that you are as dangerous as those with whom I share quarters. I cannot trust you, Stark.”
“Maybe not yet. You will though.” Chuckling breezed across the god’s ears as Tony made his way out of the room, leaving behind the aroma of alcohol and his natural, musky scent. “Give us a chance Lokes. We could be great together. All you have to do is open yourself up to new opportunities, and you’ll start to see that I’m right.”
Doubtful. Very doubtful. There was almost no chance of him and any version of Stark ever becoming friendly, much less the sort of bosom companions this one was seeking, and the Norns would surely be playing a prank on him if anything did come of it. Still--
Loki’s fingers closed ever so slightly tighter around the bottle pressed against his palm and felt its glass, the metal cap. There was this. Much as he despised it, he was indebted to the mortal for choosing to share this deceitful discovery with him. Loki might have found out himself that Stark was plotting against him, but he could have been too late. He couldn’t risk the Avengers discovering it now. Whatever other dirty secrets they were hiding, he had to know about them. He couldn’t not. If that meant risking another meeting with the man who had dared drug him and spoken to him so crassly, then perhaps it was worth it. If not, then he could take care of him discreetly, eliminate him entirely from the situation. He didn’t fear Stark. No version of him, tesseract or not.
“Oh Stark.” Loki slowly turned his head towards the couch’s warmed leather, a smile crooking the corner of his mouth. “You’re an even greater fool than I ever imagined possible.”