Could I convince you to write FrostIronWinter? All three trauma babies snuggled up together, drinking tea under a fuzzy blanket because none of them like to be cold and ever since Tony informed Loki that his accent was vaguely English; Loki has been obsessed with English culture.
You don’t have to convince me! I like WinterIron with pretty much anyone added and I’ve been a fan of those three since I read a series about them a couple of months back. (Also not sure this is what you had in mind but I tried.)
Tony wasn’t tired. Fine, maybe he was a little tired. Maybe.
Tired enough not to have heard FRIDAY announcing his visitor at least, to let out a startled “Eeeeep!” when the soldering iron is suddenly taken from his hands, set down carefully, before he’s lifted in a strong grip. Tony flails, would have called for the suit already if not for how intimately familiar the hands holding him feel.
That one of them is made of metal is a decent clue as well.
“Buuucky!“ Tony whines, squirms in an attempt to reach for his soldering iron, but the grip doesn’t let up. Instead he’s being lifted, carried away from his workstation.
It takes Tony’s brain a full two seconds to process this, which is a warning sign all on its own. But that’s besides the point.
“Bucky!” Tony calls again, sharper this time. “Let me down! I’m not a child! I don’t need you to drag me out of my workshop, I’m perfectly capable–”
Bucky doesn’t slow down, doesn’t even acknowledge Tony’s rant until they’re in the elevator and the door is closing behind them with a soft wooshing noise. Tony likes that noise. He’s had it installed into every door possible (and even a few empty doorways) just so he gets to listen to it every day.
He doesn’t like it very much right now.
“What the fuck, Bucky?!”
He’s past annoyed and gone straight to furious. He doesn’t need anyone to babysit-kidnap him and really, Bucky should know better, what the ever loving fuck–
“Loki is sad,” Bucky finally says, voice devoid of any inflection.
Yeah. Sure. Tony scowls. Like he is gonna fall for that I-was-brainwashed-by-HYDRA-now-I-can’t-talk-and-explain-my-actions-like-a-normal-person bullshit. Tony happens to know that Bucky can talk just fine.
It’s a struggle to find the right words sometimes, but just last week when the room caved into itself around Tony, Bucky was there by his side, talking about the pros and cons of Stelena vs Delena for half an hour, just to distract him.
(Which worked fine, in case anyone is wondering. Bucky dared to suggest Stelena would be a decent option and Tony just couldn’t let that stand.)
“And what does that have to do with you kidnapping me from my workstation?” Tony snaps impatiently. Or exhausted. At this point, it’s hard to tell the difference.
A small frown curls around Bucky’s upper lip, but otherwise he remains unmoved, much to Tony’s frustration.
“You’re the best cuddler,” is all Bucky has to say in his defence, like that is a reasonable explanation. Tony hates that he can already feel his (justified) annoyance crumbling.
Then the elevator stops, prompting Bucky to carry him towards the common living room. And–okay. As soon as Tony catches sight of Loki, he gets why Bucky interrupted workshop time.
Loki is sitting hunched over on the couch, green eyes dark with something that isn’t quite sorrow, a frown on his face that remind Tony of the day the demigod tried to brainwash him with a glow stick. Good times.
Before Tony has time to fully catalogue the signs of Loki’s distress, Bucky drops him in Loki’s lap. Literally drops him.
Tony groans because that hurt, alright, it’s not like Loki is made of pillows and plush. Loki on the other hand seems to barely notice the sudden weight, save a quiet huff of breath. There’s no mocking, no insults, just hands clinging to Tony’s waist, and that’s how Tony knows how bad this is.
Whatever it is.
He shifts–to find a comfortable position as well as ease the dull ache in his bottom from his less than comfortable landing–curls one arm around Loki’s neck, the other one around his back. The position allows him to rest his chin on Loki’s shoulder and glare at Bucky’s blank face while simultaneously rubbing slow circles across Loki’s back.
How come Tony, who is the least mature person he has ever met, has to be the functional adult in this–whatever it is that they have?
After a long moment of glaring, Bucky finally cracks, begins to fidget restlessly. It’s better than the creepy motionlessness though. He still falls into that mask too often for Tony’s comfort.
“I don’t–” Bucky gestures helplessly, a wounded look in his eyes that conveys how much he’s struggling with the situation just fine.
“Loki is sad, Bucky,” Tony says in the calmest voice he can manage, never once breaking his (hopefully) soothing ministrations. Breaks the emotional mess down into simple words, to help Bucky regain his footing. The last thing he needs is Bucky to lash out again because being, feeling, thinking becomes too much. Simple protocols are easier for him still, sometimes.
“What do we do when people are said?”
“Make them tea,” Bucky repeats automatically, then turns towards the kitchen to do exactly that.
Really, whoever thought Tony would be the right person to help a brainwashed prisoner of war to become a human being again should be shot. Or at the very least subjected to Bucky’s When-people-are-happy-we-bake-them-something-sweet cakes. Baking was still on the To Be Improved list, and for good reason.
“You alright, Mr Evil Overlord?” Tony murmurs once he’s certain Bucky doesn’t try to go off and kidnap a clown to lift the mood. Again.
Loki huffs a laugh under his breath but stays otherwise quiet, which is so unlike him that Tony feels a twinge of genuine worry in his chest. Which sucks. Tony doesn’t approve of genuine emotions at all.
“I am fine,” Loki murmurs after another moment, his grip on Tony tightening momentarily before easing into what an uninformed bystander might call ‘affectionate’.
Tony doesn’t know what he’s supposed to call it. He buries his face in Loki’s chest instead.
He waits for Loki to continue, but he doesn’t say anything. Tony finds himself listening to the sounds of Bucky moving around in the kitchen, the steady beat of Loki’s heart, their breathing. It’s…
Then Bucky joins them with three steaming mugs of tea. Tony wrinkles his nose, eyes the cups suspiciously. Everyone knows he prefers coffee.
Honestly, he’d suspect the two of them were just trying to lure him out of his workshop, if not for how upset Bucky was. As much as Loki likes messing with them, he’d never take it so far. Not over something as silly as cuddling.
“You’re not gonna talk about it, are you?” Tony mumbles around a careful sip of tea–though Bucky knows better by now than to hand him anything hot enough to burn his tongue.
Loki blinks, the picture of clueless innocence. He arches an eyebrow at Tony and really, how the demigod can hold a cup of tea that regally while Tony is stretched out over his lap is a mystery.
“I have no idea what you are referring to, Anthony,” Loki says with a masterfully added edge of curiosity. As though he hadn’t sunken back into that strange state of utter stillness, so similar to Bucky’s own behaviour from time to time, that never fails to freak Bucky and Tony out.
“Of course you don’t.” Tony makes no effort to hide his eye-roll. “Now come on, Winter Boy, cuddle me!” he demands when Bucky doesn’t join them, remains standing instead. “I need at least two cuddle buddies at all times!”
Sometimes the closeness is too much for Bucky, sometimes he’s just insecure. Tony can never tell what it is, so as always he pushes and waits to be told to back off.
It doesn’t happen this time.
Instead Bucky carefully sets his tea down on the small coffee table and sits down next to Loki, so close that their shoulders are brushing against each other. Pulls Tony’s feet into his lap until he lies sprawled across them (thankfully Loki’s quick reflexes save Tony’s cup of tea).
Then Loki’s slender fingers sneak into Tony’s hair, skilfully card through the curls–he needs a hair cut–and massage the skin beneath. Tony can feel himself melting into the gentle touches, turns until his face is buried in Loki’s stomach, Bucky’s hand resting on his hip, anchoring him. And with a sigh of pure bliss Tony closes his eyes and relaxes. Lets go of a tension he hadn’t even realised he has been holding in him.
Sleep comes easily after that. It always does, with Loki and Bucky close to him. Steady and dangerous and maddeningly complex and safe.
Okay, that’s it for now. I hope you all like it, especially of course @agenderraskel! Basically (because I’m not sure I conveyed that very well) Loki had some sort of panic attack/flashback/terrible mood and Bucky doesn’t know how to cheer him up so he places a Tony in his lap. I thought it was kinda cute but I also was ready to go to sleep an hour ago so I might not be the best judge right now.
Also Stelena/Delena is a Vampire Diaries reference I won’t apologise for. It was the first show that came to mind *shrug* I don’t mind either pairing by the way, so in case anyone has strong opinions, I’m not trying to bash Stelena. Bucky just needed to distract Tony for a while.
Added: I JUST REALISED I FORGOT TO MENTION THEIR ISSUES WITH BEING COLD DAMN IT. HOW ABOUT I WRITE A SECOND PART THAT MENTIONS IT? I’M SO SORRY!!!