This was written as a sequel to this excellent fill by LulaMadison, which was for this prompt at norsekink. Seriously, go read this first! I'll wait.

Back? Okay, here we go...

 

"Stark!"

"Shit!"

The small circuit board jumped above Tony's flailing fingers until he forcibly calmed himself, caught the board, and carefully placed it on the workbench. A touch to the hovering holographic display saved the schematic he'd been updating to match the physical board. He spun his chair about to glare at the haughty God of Mischief who'd appeared in the center of the workroom.

"Why do you have to do that? Teleport in with no warning? You could at least land on the terrace and knock."

"What, and have your phantom servant alert the entire building to my presence? I have no interest in all the tiresome threats your little team would no doubt deliver." Loki cast a lazy gaze about Tony's workroom. "I came to talk to you alone." It was true that Loki was not sporting his full battle armor and horned helmet. He wore only clothes of black leather and green, where the sections of mail seemed rather more decorative than protective.

Tony sighed and pulled a tired hand down his face. "All right, all right. JARVIS, call a stand down." He knew that his AI majordomo would have, in fact, alerted the other Avengers in the building the moment Loki materialized.

"Done, sir," came JARVIS's disembodied voice. "Mr. Barton and Dr. Banner have been informed that Loki of Asgard is present, but not currently hostile."

"I don't want to see them. Keep them out of this room," demanded Loki.

"Fine! JARVIS, call them up only if Reindeer Games here does something stupid."

"Understood, sir."

Tony had never taken his eyes off Loki during the exchange, not sure he liked the apparent interest that the self-proclaimed god was showing in his equipment. "So how do you intend to annoy me today, Loki?"

"You said you'd make something for me."

Tony jerked back in surprise. "I did?"

Loki sniffed. "You did, and I will hold you to it."

"I don't suppose you could refresh my memory?"

"I'll do better than that. I've been pondering the details of the design I want and I've brought it with me." Loki waved a hand before him, and a small object appeared in his palm. He stepped forward and held it out to Tony.

Tony eyed the small object suspiciously. It appeared to be a thumb drive, except that it was limned in sparkly green light, the kind of light that usually accompanied Loki's spells.

"Go on, take it, plug it in," instructed Loki, pushing the little drive at Tony. "I created this and put my design notes on it so you could easily review them."

"Wait ... you actually made that thumb drive? Like, out of thin air?"

"Of course. I didn't have your system protocols, but thought they'd accommodate something that fit the physical socket dimensions. Then I laid my design thoughts into it. It was actually a simple procedure. I expect to get much use out of it here on Midgard."

Tony frowned at the shining emerald thumb drive. Who knew what Loki had put on it, that could contaminate Tony's systems? Did he really think Tony was so gullible? Yet ...

Yet was it possible that Loki had actually created a drive that could magically communicate with a system that he knew nothing of? If it worked, and if he cooperated, maybe Loki would let him keep it and he could reverse-engineer it.

And wasn't this why Tony kept a carefully isolated quarantine system anyway? He plucked the thumb drive from Loki's hand and took it to a desk across the room that held a single silent desktop system.

"This one is already on," complained Loki, gesturing to the workstation where the schematic still hung frozen in the holographic display.

"Yeah, and I don't know where this," Tony waved the thumb drive, "has been. Or what it has been. I'm not exposing my systems to it. The quarantine box will do just fine."

As Tony started the isolated machine booting up, he said, "I hope you weren't depending on the holographic display. I only use a monitor on this beast, and JARVIS doesn't record anything that is displayed from it."

Loki waved a dismissive hand. "No matter. The material will adapt to a two-dimensional display."

Oh yes, Tony had to learn how this magical drive worked.

The computer signaled that it was ready. Tony inserted the thumb drive into a port, and a window opened, filling the screen and displaying a title in ornate green and gold lettering, the initials larger and formed of intricate, intertwining patterns: "Birth of the IRON GOD".

Tony eyed Loki, one cynical eyebrow raised. "This isn't some bizarre way to proposition me, is it? Because if you wanted to have sex with me, not that I could blame you—"

"What are you blathering about?" cried Loki.

Tony shrugged. "You said you wanted me to make something for you." He pointed to the computer screen. "That sounds like the love child we'd produce. Of course, if I'm doing the making then I'd have to be the mom and you'd have to fit me up with a uterus, but you probably could do that with all your fancy magic, right? But I've heard that childbirth is really painful, especially when the body ain't built for it, and you didn't say this was going to hurt. Hey, giving me a uterus is probably going to hurt too—"

Loki practically quivered with impatience, hissing, "Why would I waste the effort giving you a womb when I could just do it myself?"

Tony opened his mouth to respond just as the implications of Loki's statement slotted into place in his brain and his jaws clicked shut. "Ah, heh," he stammered. "Of course, silly me." A tap of the keyboard caused the title window to be replaced with an introduction. Tony sat down to read.

Or rather, watch, as it turned out that the introduction was not text, but a video (would it still be called "video" if it was magic?). Pale pearly color filled the screen, then crawled towards the edges as if the viewer moved slowly into a thick bank of fog. A lozenge of shadow appeared, became larger, resolved into the silhouette of a man, then became Loki himself.

Video Loki smiled broadly and spread his arms welcomingly to the viewer. "I am Loki of Asgard. I shall be residing in your lovely Realm for the foreseeable future, in the company of your team of notables, the Avengers." The background melted into an image of the group. It was a publicity still that Tony recognized, in which everyone was clean and fresh, smiling bright and friendly for the camera. It was not lost on Tony that Loki had chosen an image and positioned it such that his own figure obscured that of his brother Thor.

"In recognition of my new role," video Loki continued, "my very good friend, Tony Stark, widely known as Iron Man, will create new armor for me."

"I fucking will do fucking what?" growled Tony.

Loki just smirked into his furious glare. With a flick of his fingers the video paused. "I'm simply announcing to the world what you promised me at our last party." Tony blinked slowly at him. Loki sighed and waved a hand dramatically towards the center of the room, flinging out a spray of green sparkles which spun into a sphere, coalesced, and faded into a green-tinted image.

A green-tinted moving image with audio which was familiar to Tony. Tony was getting a very bad feeling as the video he'd had JARVIS record, and which he'd intended to use as blackmail material to coerce Loki out of further villainous rampages, played out before him.

At one point Tony flung up a hand, "Wait! Wait! I didn't say I would build you a suit of armor, I said I could."

"In context, do you think anyone will care about that split hair?" asked Loki with a serpentine smile. Then he turned a shoulder to Tony, mouth twisted into a moue of skepticism. "Or are you saying you can't?"

"I can make anything if I choose to. 'course I need decent designs and I don't think you know anything—"

Loki's smile returned as he pointed back to the quarantine display. The video resumed playing and Tony sat back, arms folded across his chest, prepared to laugh at Loki's feeble attempts at design, not caring at the moment how suicidal such laughter might be.

Video Loki raised his arms and a golden metallic layer swirled about and encased him, settling into intricately formed armor. Like in any of Tony's versions of Iron Man, the body was completely enclosed, even the face. Like in Loki's traditional battle attire, curved horns sprouted up and back from the helmet brow and a green cape flowed from under the shoulder plates.

"Cape's gotta go," said Tony. He kept a careful eye on Loki.

"I thought it might," said Loki. A slash through the air with two fingers and the cape vanished.

"Just like that?" asked Tony. "I mean, it looks really dashing and all, but we don't want another layer covering the armor itself."

"Yes, I've observed that you don't have any such as Iron Man. I knew you'd say something if it was going to interfere."

Loki seemed perfectly calm and accepting of Tony's small critique. It was ... strange. He wondered how far he could push Loki's apparent patience.

"All right then, give me a three-sixty view."

Loki held up one forefinger, swiped it around in a slow circle, and the armored figure slowly spun accordingly. The initial sweep didn't have anything immediately crying out "ERROR!" to Tony. He still thought the horns were goofy, but they were kind of Loki's trademark. Then again, the people who might dare laugh at them could be counted on one hand without using all the fingers, and they all resided in Tony's building. The horns were probably harmless to the idea of a suit of powered armor.

"That's an awful lot of plain ... gold," said Tony. "If you can call gold 'plain'."

"It's not plain gold," said Loki. He touched a finger to the screen over one upper arm, and pulled back his hand. The view zoomed in to that section of plating. To Tony's surprise, most of the surface was covered in the same kind of interlaced designs used in the lettering of the opening screen.

"That's really attractive. But we couldn't even see it in the long view."

"Easily corrected," said Loki. He tapped a fingernail against the screen and the spaces among the interlacements filled with a rich green. "My favorite color."

"Cool, we can work with that."

Loki pushed a palm towards the screen and the figure pulled away again to be fully visible. The green was used only in selected areas. Loki said, "It would be just too busy if the green was applied to all the surface work."

"Yeah, that's a good balance," agreed Tony. "On to the serious stuff. Gimme a close-up of ... an elbow joint." Loki complied. "Can we see the movement?" Loki flexed his own arm and the arm on the screen bent appropriately. Loki twisted his forearm as far as it would go in either direction and the armored arm easily followed suit.

Tony studied the screen as Loki continued to slowly turn and bend his arm. He couldn't see any flaws in how the various plates seemed to be meshing and sliding past each other with the movement. "How did you manage this?" he muttered, forgetting that Loki's sharper-than-human hearing would catch it.

Loki bent down to whisper in Tony's ear. "I've been wearing armor since I left childhood. I have forged it by my own hand. Why would I not understand the design to hand to another?"

Tony turned to scowl at him, almost nose to nose. "Then what do you need me for?"

"What I don't understand, yet, is your Midgardian technology. As I desire a merging of the arts of Asgard and Midgard, who else should I commission than the finest engineer of your Realm?"

"Enough of this," huffed Tony. He stood suddenly, sending the wheeled chair shooting back and pulled the thumb drive from the quarantine box. He stalked right through the hovering replay of his recorded video, causing it to disintegrate back into green glitter that drifted down to the floor and disappeared.

"Hold! What are you doing?" cried Loki. "I didn't even insult you!"

Tony went to the system where he'd been working on the circuit board, shoved the emerald thumb drive into a USB slot and nodded when the opening screen from before sprang up in a new holographic window. This time, the words "Iron God" stood out away from their background. Tony let it play through to when Loki's figure was encased in the golden armor. It exhibited the edits Loki'd already made. He pulled a hand across the display and the figure obligingly pivoted.

He flashed a grin over his shoulder at Loki. "Get over here. You're working with the best now, and we're going to do this right."

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