Author’s Note: Guys, to make this clear… this is set in movie!verse so Loki will not have any kids prior to this little one (it wasn’t implied in the movie Thor either so we’ll skip that part). We’ll get to the mythology later.
Dr. Jenner makes an appearance and for some reason, I picture her as someone like Helen Mirren. She won’t have too much screentime on this story so don’t worry much about her.
The chapter will enlighten us a bit on the pregnancy but I’ll go further in detail in the next chapter.
Warning/s: Mpreg, language, not very well researched science, OC in the person of Dr. Jenner
DISCLAIMER: Not mine. Plot is mine, nothing else.
Pairing/s: LokiXTony and others
Summary: Tony had always been careful with who he sleeps with. Man or woman, he always makes sure that there will be no accidents. Still, who really knew how potent a frost giant sorcerer was in bed? Well, now he had some idea.
Pepper was kind of relieved that she had agreed to Tony’s demands for an afternoon flight. They had left the airport at around four o’clock and would arrive in Los Angeles at six o’clock in the evening, just in time for an early dinner and she knew she was going to be in great need of good food and a few minutes of peace and quiet before she had to go through yet another hour of Tony and Clint’s bickering and scheming.
Clint Barton was a nice and charming guy, Pepper had decided when she had first met him six months ago. He was taller than Tony, broad-shouldered with thick arms that she wouldn’t be able to circle with both of her hands, and a body with no ounce of fat (Pepper maintained that she was a woman with perfect sight and she had every right to examine, observe and appreciate a handsome man). He had ashy, blonde hair and blue-gray eyes and his smile was a mix of Steve’s good guy smile and Tony’s devilish smirk.
He was quick-witted and funny and could keep up with Tony in a verbal sparring match although, she was quickly discovering that it wasn’t exactly a good thing for a five hour flight.
Pepper was having a headache the likes of which she had not experienced since that one instance Tony’s ex-girlfriends, flings, one night stands and fangirls (and fanboys) had decided to storm their California headquarters at the same time for his birthday – and she had been left to do damage control.
Halfway through the flight, Tony and Clint had moved past the sarcastic insults and condescending rejoinders as was their ritual since the archer and the others moved into Tony’s New York mansion and had figuratively rummaged through Tony’s movie collection, arguing about which one to watch (Clint wanted to watch the Hangover and Tony wanted Saw 7; Tony had won and had the girls – including Pepper – sick to their stomachs while the archer complained) then had gone on a little food fight that had Pepper ducking with the flight attendants in their area and finally had calmed down enough for the flight attendants to clear their mess while they began scheming pranks for the other Avengers with the occasional name calling.
So far, she had heard them conspiring to block all channels in Steve’s personal TV except for porn, something about a shortage of Pop Tarts and ending world hunger, playing “I’m Sexy and I Know It” when Bruce entered any room, putting a cockroach in Natasha’s bedroom (Pepper shuddered), taking Coulson’s Captain America cards hostage, and turning Director Fury’s office into a My Little Pony paradise.
If anybody asked her when they got caught, she would claim ignorance.
That was all they’d been doing up until peanuts were brought out from the jet’s kitchen. Pepper watched as Tony stopped talking to Clint, looking up at the approaching attendant, his nose scrunching in obvious disgust. Conversation forgotten, his eyes widened as he pursed his lips and covered his nose and mouth with a hand, standing abruptly and nearly sending himself crashing to the floor as he made a beeline for the bathroom.
Clint stood, shouting after him. “Whoa, Tony, what’s the matter?”
“Tony!” Pepper called out as she, too, stood up and began to follow but stopped when she felt a hand on her arm. She looked over her shoulder and found Clint staring at the direction Tony disappeared into before turning to her.
Despite the teasing between them, it was obvious that the archer cared for the billionaire. “What’s wrong with him?”
She took a deep breath and tried to smile reassuringly. “Must be a little motion sickness,” she said with a shrug before pulling away to follow the billionaire. Motion sickness that Tony never had in his life, she added silently to herself. She didn’t miss the suspicious look on his face but decided not to worry too much for now.
She went inside Tony’s bedroom in the jet and saw the door to his bathroom open and from within she could hear him heaving. She asked for a glass of water and approached, seeing the billionaire hunkered over the toilet, his arm resting on the toilet seat and his head laid on top of it. Sweat dotted his brow and his breathing was a little too heavy for her comfort.
“Hey,” she whispered softly. “What happened?”
Tony looked at her with dazed, miserable eyes, blinking slowly. “Never knew peanuts could stink so bad,” he groaned, eyes slipping shut. “I don’t ever want to smell them again. We have to throw them out.”
Pepper couldn’t resist a smile at that. “We can’t just throw them from way up here.”
“Why not?” he whined in answer.
“People will think it’s the end of the world,” she said seriously before putting the glass of water in his line of sight. “Here you go. Gargle and have a drink. It’ll make you feel better.”
“I doubt it,” he said sourly though he took the glass and did as he was told. “At least have them hide the things and remove the odor. I can’t stand it.”
She giggled a little at that. “I’ll make sure they sanitize the jet.”
“I thought it was supposed to be morning sickness – it should be happening in the mornings,” he complained – though from that little gleam in his eye, Pepper knew he was kidding her.
“If what you’re suspecting is true then, think of it this way,” she started, playing along. “In some parts of the world, it is morning.”
“True enough,” he agreed, shrugging as best as he could from his position. “You know I’m rarely wrong about things right?”
She nodded. “I know. But if it is true, what are we going to do?”
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get there,” he murmured. Then he cleared his throat. “Meanwhile, I’d like to have a little rest now. Puking your guts is not fun and I should know.” He seemed to think for a while before saying, “I want the green ice cream to make me feel better.”
“We’ll see,” said Pepper as she shook his head. “Well, I have to get some help. I can’t lift you all by myself.”
She went out without waiting for a response and called Clint over, hearing the toilet flush somewhere behind her. She and the archer had one of each of Tony’s arms around their shoulders and slowly got him over to the bed.
Pepper took care of his jacket and tie while Clint removed his shoes. When he was properly tucked into bed and covered in sheets, Clint stood before him and crossed his arms.
“You sure you aren’t pregnant, Tony?” he asked teasingly with a smirk to which Pepper responded with coughing and wheezing. “Hey, you okay?”
“Y-yes!” Pepper wheezed amidst the coughs, trying to smile at him. “Air just, uh, went down the, uh, wrong way!”
Clint eyed her before shrugging and turning his attention back to the billionaire who was burying himself in the sheets. “I mean, it’s impossible unless if you’re actually a chick under that beard. Like that guy – or girl – whatever – in Oprah.”
Tony turned his back on both of them before he peeked at Clint over his shoulder. “You watch Oprah?”
“I’m actually not surprised that’s the only thing you heard,” Clint said dryly.
“Selective hearing can be a blessing and a curse,” Tony agreed. He turned to Pepper. “I still want my ice cream. Please and thank you.”
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Tony had fallen asleep after eating mint and chocolate chip ice cream and had woken up in a better mood after about an hour. Before long, he and Clint went back to the usual bickering like little five-year-old’s (Pepper was waiting for either one of them to say, “Your mother!”).
They had been making plans long after they arrived at the airport and breezed through security, baggage trolley in Clint’s hands after another round of squabbling (“I’m not your freaking bellboy, Tony!” “Hah! I beg to differ, Carrier Pigeon!” “Oh, so we’re back to name calling now, aren’t we?”). She had never thought she’d be so relieved and excited seeing Happy waiting with the car, grinning from ear to ear as he saw them approach – until she remembered that they would be in the same car for an hour drive to Malibu. She looked at the dozens of cabs parked along the road wistfully. Maybe she could ride a cab and follow them instead?
No luck because after Happy put their bags in the trunk, he opened the door and all three men looked at her expectantly until she got in. From the smirk on Tony’s face, she was sure he knew what she’d been thinking so she huffed and slid right in, followed by Clint and finally Tony.
They stopped at a Burger King and ordered takeaway to eat on the drive and it was actually more peaceful than Pepper had expected because Tony was busy eating a cheeseburger and Clint was also preoccupied with his chicken sandwich (“Didn’t know you were a cannibal…” “Shut up, Tony.”).
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath unknowingly dozed off moments later.
Clint smiled to himself as he saw her nodding off, taking a bite of his sandwich. She was one tough woman to be able to handle Tony and the rest of them on a regular basis and felt a little dismayed that it didn’t work out between her and and the billionaire. Still, they had a dynamic similar to what he had with Natasha minus the romance. Maybe it was a redhead thing? Pepper had a different kind of strength from his redhead but both of them had nerves of steel.
He turned his gaze to Tony who was slurping on a milkshake while his fingers flew over the surface of a pad, eyes darting from one detail to another of what looked to be his suit’s design. There was a deep concentration in his gaze but the quirk on his lips was enough indication that he was having fun with whatever it was he was doing.
HIs sharp eyes took in every detail of Tony’s face, noting that he looked better than he did than the past couple of weeks (even after that whole puking episode on the jet), and though Clint would never admit it even on pain of death, he was getting a little concerned about Tony’s health (so did everyone else but no one said anything to Tony because the subject was kinda touchy).
No one had mentioned anything until that one time they were called in for a hostage taking situation in a bank in downtown Manhattan (Thor dropped by every now and then). It had been one of those days recently that Tony would wake up from sleep, throwing up at the slightest scent of anything from Poptarts to grilled cheese sandwiches (hence, the pregnant jokes). Tony had been looking out from the sky, on standby in the rare chance that a bad guy managed to escape the team below.
When everyone had been either rescued or rounded up with SHIELD agents taking care of the cleanup, Steve had shouted and everyone had turned to see that Tony had dropped from over three thousand feet in the air and had been caught yet again by the Hulk, hanging limply over the huge arm around his waist.
Phil had hijacked one of the cars and driven them back to the mansion which was a lot closer than Headquarters, calling Fury on the way for a med team to meet them there. They had to remove the suit under JARVIS’ instructions and Tony had remained unconscious the whole time, which had freaked everyone out. He had been pale and covered in cold sweat, breathing ragged, as Steve carried him in his arms and put him to bed. Bruce had disappeared into the kitchen and got a basin of cool water and a towel while Natasha and Clint removed his clothes. He’d woken up long enough to hear Steve and the med team talking about him transferring to medbay for tests and observation, though, and had refused. A lot. When Fury had heard about his collapse, he had been ordered to take a few days off to rest.
Tony had always confused Clint from the time they’d officially met. The guy had been an asshole but he was always honest and he never treated Clint any differently despite the whole mind control thing. He could be very flashy in public and could work the crowd to a frenzy, but back at the mansion, he would keep himself locked up on his workshop for days at a time until someone (usually Steve, Pepper and Bruce) forced him out. He could be charming one second and insulting the next. He could even say that he wasn’t a hero and be annoying as fuck while he said it and then sacrifice himself for the world.
Natasha had called him an Unknown once - dangerous because you didn’t know what he was thinking. Unpredictable. But the archer knew that Tony would be watching everyone’s back even if he kept blabbing about not being part of the team.
Clint stared out the window as the car turned to a wide path lined with trees. He could already spot the helipad a short distance away and before long the gates to the mansion loomed into view, as well as the impressive mansion behind it.
The car stopped before the gate and the driver, Happy, pulled his window down and said some kind of code to a little device. The gate opened and the car moved forward and around a circular garden at the front, stopping at the front doors.
He let out a low whistle as he looked up from the car window. It resembled the mansion in New York but this one was definitely bigger. Maybe about twice the size of the other one.
He heard a door open from behind him and turned to see Tony already out of the car, straightening his suit out while Pepper began to stir. She rubbed her eyes and yawned before getting out from the other door.
“Hey, Birdboy, let’s go! Time’s a-wastin’,” Tony called. “We’ll give you the grand tour, get you settled in, eat some pizza then it’s every man for himself.”
Clint smirked. “Sounds good to me.”
He got out of the car and looked around a bit while Happy got their bags inside. Pepper was already on her way up the front steps when she paused and turned to Tony.
He watched curiously as the redhead gave Tony a hard stare. “You remember what we talked about, right?”
Tony sighed. “Yeah, yeah. I’ll go to bed by ten o’clock, Nanny McPhee.”
“And don’t think about weaseling out of it. JARVIS will be watching you,” Pepper added, sternly. “And he will tell me if you didn’t go to sleep like you were supposed to.”
“My own creation - conspiring against me,” said Tony in mock despair, the back of his hand touching his forehead dramatically.
“Dude, you are so whipped,” Clint remarked, chuckling a little. “You seriously have a bedtime? What’s next? A bottle of milk before bed?”
“Not recently and I prefer chocolate milk in a tippy cup,” the billionaire answered easily.
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“I called Dr. Jenner and she said she’ll be coming around ten o’clock in the morning today,” Pepper said as she spread butter on her toast. “Happy’s already gone to fetch her.”
They were having breakfast in the veranda overlooking the ocean, enjoying the warm sunshine and the sounds of the crashing waves. Pepper had prepared breakfast for them since she didn’t trust Tony around the kitchen anymore than Steve did and had actually filled Tony’s plate, despite his protests.
Tony was stacking some bacon on his buttered toast, along with scrambled eggs and slices of ham while Clint watched, his fork frozen halfway into his mouth. Beside his plate was a tall glass of chocolate milk (a compromise since he couldn’t have coffee for some reason Clint didn’t know) and a tub of pistachio ice cream.
“You’ll be there, won’t you?” asked Tony without looking up from his food.
“Of course,” she answered readily.
Tony looked at Clint from across the table. “Fly away and make yourself scarce, Big Bird. This is private business.”
Clint grimaced and resisted the urge to stick his tongue out. “You know, I can’t do that, Tony. This is official business for me, too, and I need to make a report.”
The billionaire took a sip of chocolate milk. “Uh, no way, Clint. You’re not gonna sit in while I get myself prodded on. I’ll just tell her to make you a copy of her diagnosis.”
A few hours later, the doorbell rang and JARVIS’ voice echoed throughout the mansion.
‘Sir, Dr. Jenner has arrived.’
Dr. Stephanie Jenner was a woman in her sixties, tall and thin and quite a bit of gray in her auburn hair. She had intelligent brown eyes and a kind smile across her lips.
Pepper was the first to welcome her, giving her a small hug and a kiss on the cheek while Tony literally swept her of her feet till she laughed and patted his head. The billionaire led her to Clint who held his hand out for her to shake, smiling as the woman nodded at him and told him how handsome he was.
“How are you, Doc?” Tony asked as he led her further in.
“I should be asking you that, Anthony,” she replied wryly. “Pepper called me and said it was an emergency. Looking at you now, well, I don’t see much of anything.”
“Puking happens kinda randomly the past few days,” Tony answered, shrugging. “I don’t think there’s something wrong per se. Alarming, really. Maybe a little strange if my hunch is true.”
Her brow furrowed. “We’ll know later for sure.”
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The Malibu mansion had its own medical facility equipped with the latest technology and modifications Tony could provide. It was located a door down from the workshop and could only be accessed by people Tony trusted personally (and yes, JARVIS had a list). It was in this room that Tony, Pepper and Dr. Jenner gathered themselves while Clint was happily going around Tony’s workshop (Clint could have any weapon he wanted provided he didn’t come in).
“So, why don’t you tell me what’s wrong?” asked the older woman as she made herself comfortable on the chair behind the desk, a notepad set before her on the table and a pen in her hand.
Tony and Pepper shared a glance with each other before he took a deep breath. “Okay. The last couple of weeks, I’ve been having some strange symptoms: vomiting, lightheadedness, backaches, headaches - the works. Just recently, I find myself loathing peanuts when I’ve always been okay with them. It’s been going on for nearly two months now and, uh, due to a suggestion of a friend of mine, I took a, well - “
“He took a pregnancy test and he got a positive result,” Pepper filled in, earning an incredulous look from the doctor as she swiveled her gaze disbelievingly at her. “It’s true. I saw it and JARVIS knows about it.”
Shrewd, brown eyes moved from one to the other, gauging the truth in their statements before the doctor sighed and leaned back against her chair. “Well, pregnancy tests are not always accurate.”
“I took a lot of them,” the billionaire added in. “Got the same results.”
“Well, pregnancy tests are sensitive to HCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin which is a hormone produced by a forming placenta. In men, having a high level of HCG is an indication of having testicular cancer though I haven’t heard of anyone using a pregnancy test to determine it,” Dr. Jenner stated with a skeptic gleam in her eyes. “Plus, all the symptoms you’ve provided can be attributed to your horrible habits which Pepper tells me about every once in a while.”
“Cancer?” Pepper exclaimed in shock.
Tony groaned. “I don’t know which one is the better option.”
Dr. Jenner shook her head. “There is no better option, Anthony. It’s either one or the other and as a male, it is certainly not the pregnancy. I would suggest you put on a hospital gown and we’ll determine for sure.”
It didn’t take long for Tony to strip down to his boxers and wear the hospital gown. He was ushered onto a bed and was lying down peacefully while Pepper and Dr. Jenner pulled his personal scanner that functioned by using active sonar into creating a three dimensional holographic representation of any object or, in this case, human. It was a Stark version of an upgraded ultrasound (1).
The scanner was in two pieces. The first one was a handheld device that emitted the sonar waves and it was connected via cord to a monitor that collected and made a model from the gathered data. The monitor could zoom in and out of the model and the older woman was quite adept already in using the scanner, holding it and running it over twice at Tony and focussing particularly on his midsection.
Data was collected and a hologram of Tony’s body was created.
“Look, Pep, even my innards are awesome,” he whispered at Pepper who was sitting beside him.
“Tony, be serious!” she hissed at him as she watched the doctor zoom in on Tony’s hips and the unknown growth that was right below what she guessed was his stomach.
“Oh, my, this is certainly unprecedented,” Dr. Jenner whispered to herself in surprise. “This is impossible.”
“What is it, doc?” Tony asked as he craned his neck to look at the image. His eyes widened. “You know, I’m not very good in biology but I know for sure that’s not some tumor in my balls.”
“Oh no, your testes are doing fine,” the doctor reassured, still focussed on the image in front of her. “It is the newly grown uterus and the little one inside that is worrying me.”
“I thought you’d be more surprised,” Tony remarked with a little grin as he looked at the display and saw a small thing attached to his, uh, new equipment.
The older woman sighed. “I gave up on being surprised a long time ago, Anthony, since I became your doctor.”
“Yeah, we’ve become desensitized by all the craziness,” Pepper agreed.
Tony gave no indication that he’d heard anything as he stared at the little human or frost giant (whatever) growing inside him. He wanted to look closer.
“Huh. I knew I was pregnant,” said Tony as he began to feel a little lightheaded. There was something different about knowing there was a possibility and actually knowing that it was, he found out, because now he wanted to scream and he wanted to panic - a totally different reaction from when he had assumed that he could be mistaken.
Although, on the bright side, they didn’t have to cut his balls off or anything but it didn’t help much.
“You’re pregnant? Tony, is this a fucking joke?”
Of course, things could only get worse.
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Clint didn’t know what to think when he heard that little tidbit from Tony’s mouth. He didn’t actually believe it till his sharp eyes zeroed in on the very detailed hologram of Tony’s stomach.
As an assassin, he knew much about anatomy. After all, without it, how could someone know where to shoot or stab to kill or to immobilize?
“Uh, hey, Clint,” Tony greeted him with forced calm. “Thought I told you to stay in the workshop.”
The archer didn’t respond and take his eyes away from the image. He approached and pulled a chair with him, sitting beside Pepper as he addressed the doctor directly.
“Has it always been there?” he asked, noting the slight differences and comparing it with what he knew.
“Not since his last physical, no,” answered the doctor. “I am certain this is fairly new development.” She zoomed in on his stomach. “Notice how his stomach is a lot smaller? His bladder has also decreased in size (“No wonder I had to piss a lot more than usual.”). I can only speculate but it appears that this uterus may have been made by manipulating the muscles around this area. As for the actual manipulation, I don’t know what could have triggered it.” She turned to Tony who was having a meaningful eye-conversation with Pepper and cleared her throat to get his attention. “Have you felt any discomfort or pain in your lower abdomen in the past few months?”
Tony glanced at Pepper before stopping to think about it. “There were some times that it felt a little cramped usually a few days after we - I mean -” he paused, catching himself and looking around guiltily. “I mean, yeah, but it wasn’t too bad. Sometimes I didn’t even notice anything.”
“The real question is what made it this way,” said Clint as he met Tony’s eyes squarely. “No technology can do this, it’s impossible. Unless -“
His eyes widened. “The closest thing that can do this is magic. There’s no other explanation for it.”
“Magic?” Dr. Jenner echoed skeptically but no one heard her.
“Tony, who did you sleep with?”
“Deja vu, much?” Tony muttered at Pepper before he sighed in surrender. “I’ll tell you but you have to keep it quiet. No one outside this room can ever know until I get a chance to tell the, uh, other father. Promise me.”
Clint shrugged. “Alright, I promise.”
“You’d better because most of the bombs I got for your arrows can self-destruct whenever I want it to,” Tony said breezily. “Thought you should know.”
The archer didn’t know whether he was bluffing or not but for him to imply killing Clint meant this was very serious. He nodded nevertheless.
“It was Loki.”
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Sitting alone by the window in the library of the palace, Loki perused the book about the magical properties of the bifrost, marking the important lines and noting them in a notebook he took (with permission) from Tony’s desk.
He sighed a little, wanting nothing more than to visit his incorrigible lover but knowing he could not. The reconstruction of the bifrost was taking too much of his time and power, so much so that he would not be able to cloak himself from Heimdall’s watchful eye should he decide to visit. After all, he was still technically serving his punishment, despite his father allowing him to go as he pleased (in secret, of course).
All of Asgard did not trust him and he didn’t expect them to nor did he want them to. He wanted to make amends, starting with the rainbow bridge, but if no one believed in him, it was fine. As long as the people who truly mattered to him believed in him, it would make things perfect.
“Hey, you know what I say when people who don’t know me give me crap? I say: fuck ‘em because they don’t matter.”
Such crude words for such honest wisdom, he remembered, laughing a little to hiimself as he pictured that night when Tony said those words and he couldn’t stop himself from kissing him.
It was their first kiss.
“You’re sappy, you know that?” Yes. Yes, he was.
Now he was feeling anxious about seeing Tony again. He’d only heard snippets of stories from Thor when he would come home from his travels to Midgard and most of them were about battles and the wounds that accompany them (or lack thereof). He’d heard mention of Tony’s unusual illness but was afraid to ask more about it lest his brother be suspicious about his “sudden” interest. His brother was more observant than most would give him credit for.
It was certain that he would see Tony again, he assured himself. It wouldn’t be long before the repairs on the bifrost were done, he knew, because he would make it so. He just had to be patient.