The Spider and the Fly Part One
For Hella. :-)
Warning: Tony Stark, Loki Laufeyson, and pretty much the entire cast of this story is absolutely not mine. They all belong to Marvel and the respected people involved therein.
Rating: This story Tony Stark/Loki Laufeyson and is rated NC-17. If you are a minor (whatever that means for your location), DO NOT READ IT. If you do not like slash fiction, DO NOT READ IT. Consider yourself warned. If you proceed past the break, it is off my hands.
Loki knew who he was. He also knew how he was perceived, particularly by the mortals of Midgard. He was a villain, a murderer, subtle and intelligent and absolutely dangerous. His machinations were the stuff of myth and legend to the mortals, and they would not soon forget the damage he’d wrought upon their city of New York. Loki hated mortals, considered them far beneath him, and would never stoop so low as to try to understand them.
For the most part, this was true. Loki did not have any particular desire to understand what petty hardships and trivialities cluttered such short lives. What was the point of it? The mundanity of a typical human life was of no use to him, and therefore of no consequence. But for those who were not so mundane, were not so trivial, Loki had interest. Namely, this meant the Avengers. Of course, he knew a lot about them, their talents and weaknesses, but they had managed to surprise him. What was that mortal saying he had heard? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
It pricked his pride to think that Thor with only five human comrades and the backing of the rather ordinary organization of SHIELD managed to defeat him with the army he’d had at his back. However, those five humans were talented in a way that he hadn’t really expected humans to accomplish. He’d made the mistake of being too dismissive of these unique humans the first time. Loki never made the same mistake twice.
Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton, also known as the Black Widow and Hawkeye. They were talented, it was true, but human. He easily dismissed them to the bottom of the list.
Steven Rogers, Captain America, was a formidable opponent. He had strength, reflexes, and other physical talents beyond that of an ordinary human. However, these gifts had been given to him. The serum had not been created by him, nor did he know anything about how it really worked. Again, he was dismissed, but higher on his list than the previous two.
Bruce Banner with his alter ego was far more interesting. The Hulk could hardly be qualified as human and possessed immense power. Having gone up against the Hulk in a fight, he knew from experience that it was unpleasant to be on the receiving end of those fists, even for an Asgardian. It was also immensely easy to manipulate the Hulk due to his lack of intelligence and blind-rage. Dr. Banner had well trained himself to remain calm to aggravating stimulus, but it was a small matter for Loki to work about that. What made Banner and the Hulk a lesser priority in his mind was that the creation of the incredible Hulk creature was an accident. Banner didn’t know exactly how he’d done it, nor how to reverse it. He wasn’t clever enough to know the process and repeat it, and therefore, was second on his list.
The final human who numbered amongst the Avengers was the Iron Man, Tony Stark. Stark did not have the physical talents of Romanoff or Barton, nor the prowess of Rogers or Banner’s alter ego, but what he did have, he had created himself. Every connection, bolt, and wire of the Iron Man suit was purposefully placed where it was by Stark’s own hand, and he knew precisely what it could do and how it would work. In addition, the Jarvis entity that operated everywhere Stark did was the closest he’d seen a human come to the creation of a familiar. The fact that it could not independently move around and act on Stark’s will was a minor detail that Loki believed Stark could accomplish should he choose to. Stark was intelligent, willful, and clever, precision in the midst of chaos; extraordinary in a way that was infinitely useful.
Tony Stark was at the top of Loki’s list.
It was for that reason, and that reason alone, that Loki was in a bank in New York City. His eyes scanned the line of humans waiting to speak to the tellers at their stations, then drifted to the tables in the center of the room. Standing at one of them, writing something on a small slip of paper, was Pepper Potts, Stark’s servant. She had worked for Stark for years, and they were currently in a relationship. Loki considered having relations with a servant to be rather tasteless, but obviously Stark did not and he wanted to know what he could the way the Iron Man’s mind worked. Loki confidently walked to an unoccupied table and plucked one of the deposit slips from its holder. He picked up a pen and considered the paper, stalling a bit.
Loki was used to stalking his prey and knew when Pepper moved from the table. He glanced up to see her walking straight toward him, her lips thinned into a hard line. He hadn’t been trying very hard to hide, simply changing his clothing into human ‘business casual’, black slacks and a loose, green silk button-up, but it still amused him that she had recognized him. Most people do not see the beyond the facade of normality.
"I have SHIELD on speed-dial these days," she said to him softly, standing close so that their conversation would be private. She clutched her phone for emphasis. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t call them?"
Loki gave her a slow, confident smile. “Mass panic and civilian casualties come to mind. That’s two, to show my generosity.”
The color drained from her face even as she gave him a hard glare. “What are you doing here?” she hissed quietly. “I would have thought such petty, human things like money would be beyond you.”
"Generally, they are. However…" Loki’s eyes were drawn to an individual who had just entered the bank. The man was dressed in a long coat, the hood pulled up far over his head and hands shoved into his pockets, face down. Loki’s eyes flicked around, catching a couple of others with similar poses. His eyes narrowed, knowing what was about to happen.
Before Loki could decide if he wanted to act, the man who had just entered pulled out a gun and shouted, “On the floor! Everyone, on the floor!” He was wearing a blank white half-mask, the mouth bare to allow his words to be heard.
Pepper turned and stared at Loki, her glare murderous. “A bank heist? A little beneath you, don’t you think?”
Loki’s expression was one of barely veiled disdain. “I do, actually,” he said. Of all of the things to interrupt his surveillance, a robbery. “I am not responsible for this.”
"You mean you just happened to be unlucky enough to wander into a bank that was about to be robbed?"
"I didn’t so much wander as follow you." He met her gaze. He saw the slight widening of her eyes as she believed him.
"Then how about you do something," she said.
His eyebrows slid up into a mocking expression of disbelief. “Do something? Such as what? You want me to save these mortals?”
Her eyes hardened, then one of the thieves turned and pointed a gun at her head. “Be still,” Loki murmured to her.
"Hey, Romeo," the thief growled. "Down on the ground or I’m going to hurt your pretty girlfriend here."
Pepper’s eyes widened as the man walked up, holding the barrel against her head. Loki still was undecided as to how he wanted to handle this. It was interesting knowing her life was in his hands. He raised his hands and put them behind his head to show he was unarmed. “Please, don’t hurt her,” he said, his tone placating. He went down onto his knees as if he was just like any other human. He could see the helpless frustration in Pepper’s eyes.
"All the way down, lover boy," the robber said.
Defiance tightened Pepper’s jaw Loki nearly sighed. Pepper Potts to the rescue. How absurd. “You don’t want to do this,” she said calmly.
The masked thief laughed. “Oh? And why not? You going to teach us a lesson, sweetheart?”
"I’m Tony Stark’s personal assistant. If you hurt anyone in this bank, he will hunt you down."
Loki hung his head with a sigh. He was beginning to wonder if Pepper had an unknown power that made her walk unconsciously into greater danger. Making oneself a target for ransom was one of the first things you learned not to do.
"What, like Stark Industries Stark?"
"Dude," another of the thieves, this one in a yellow mask, said as the tellers were being confronted by a third in blue. "Don’t talk about Tony Stark. Last thing we need is fuckin’ Iron Man showing up."
"He’s not going to care about a bank, and I bet he’s loaded." The gun moved off of Pepper, making her let out a small breath. White-Mask circled them an she stilled , shocked as she looked just beyond Loki. His eyes closed as he felt the barrel of the gun against the back of his head. Pepper Potts was damnably close to a curse to have around. He wasn’t worried about being shot. If it happened, he’d make sure they all suffered, but it wouldn’t kill him. Rather, his patience with the situation was beginning to wear thin. It was one thing to play a helpless human when the stakes were small, quite another when the humans started to think they actually had the upper hand.
"You’re going to be a good girl, Ms. Personal Assistant, and give us everything you can on Stark or I’m going to shoot your boyfriend here."
"Oh, please," Pepper said, trying to sound nonchalant. "He’s not my boyfriend. We hate each other."
"I don’t believe you. Now stand up," he said, nudging Loki’s head with the gun.
Loki carefully stood, keeping. The thief gestured Pepper forward as the others kept the other hostages in line and collected money from the registers.
"Any time now, dear," Pepper breathed to Loki, obviously frustrated with the Asgardian and their situation.
"What would you will of me, beloved?" Loki replied, still pretending to be human. His tone, however, held an undercurrent of mockery.
"Quiet!" White-Mask pushed Loki, but the disguised Asgardian barely shifted.
"Let the others go," Pepper said to the thief. "You can keep us, but let them go."
"Why would I do that?" The man was beginning to sound annoyed.
"Pepper," Loki said calmly, trying to warn her. If she just did as commanded, the thieves would go away. No one would be hurt and it left Loki to hunt them as his leisure. Why was she not understanding this?
"Because if you don’t, I won’t help you." She crossed her arms stubbornly.
Everything was still for a moment. Loki was tempted to put a silencing spell on her. Then lights exploded behind his eyes as White-Mask clubbed Loki across the back of his head with the butt of the gun.