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“Aren’t you cold?”

Loki looked over and down at Anthony, who was pressing in at Loki’s side a little bit tighter than was strictly warranted, even for affectionate snuggling. “Not particularly. Why?”

Anthony snorted, and Loki smiled. He knew – they both knew that the temperature was far too low for a human to be entirely comfortable. And yet it had been his idea to come here, to this ‘idyllic retreat’ where they could spend some quality alone time. Anthony had seemed so enamored of the idea – a semi-rustic cabin high in the mountains, stocked with everything they could need and far away from what passed for civilization on this planet.

And Loki had to admit that the location had its charms. It was remote enough that no one was likely to bother them unless there were a dire emergency. The views of mountains, forest and lake were all pretty enough. And he could hardly fault the company.

The one flaw in Anthony’s plan appeared to be that he had forgotten that it was March, and winter clung to the tops of mountains tenaciously. That and the fool insisted on being right beside Loki at all times, even when he chose to spend his morning seated out on the covered porch, enjoying the sunrise.

At the moment, Tony appeared to be doing his very best not to shiver.

“Wouldn’t you prefer to go in and get your coat?”

“No,” was the petulant response. Loki had to bite his lip to keep from snickering. “Besides, you’re not wearing one.” He poked at Loki’s arm, which was sleeved in only thin cotton.

Loki rolled his eyes. The fact that he was Jötun and therefore hardly felt the cold at all wasn’t even worth bringing up. Anthony knew that, and yet he still insisted on these sorts of foolish displays. As though he’d been set a personal challenge to match Loki in every way.

As adorable as the sentiment might be, it was still foolish. Anthony was not intended for these temperatures, and attempting to pretend otherwise would only result in sickness.

He nudged Anthony up a little, and then handed him the mug he’d had clasped between his hands. “Hold this a moment, will you, love?”

Anthony took the cup automatically, his lips still forming a question as Loki teleported himself inside the cabin. Whatever he had intended to say turned into an indignant shout heard through the wall.

He only needed one of his own coats to soothe Anthony’s pride – a light one, because he was not cold – and one of the thick blankets from their bed. The coat he put on, and the blanket he imbued with a simple spell. Keeping hold of the blanket, he teleported back to the porch before Anthony could follow him.

He needn’t have worried. Anthony hadn’t moved at all, and looked as though he didn’t intend to, either. He gave Loki an exasperated look. “Showoff. Is it too much to use doors like a normal person?”


Anthony rolled his eyes, and then blinked when Loki took away the mug of tea, setting it aside, and then began wrapping him up in the blanket.

“Hey, c’mon, I don’t need a blanket, I’m just a little chilly, I’m… oh, that’s nice…”

The protests and the struggles melted away at about the same time, right when the heat spell Loki had put on the blanket began to soak in. One shiver managed to escape Anthony, and he snuggled down into the warm folds, the reasons for his protests all forgotten. “Did you just pull this out of the dryer or something? Because it’s amazing.”

“Something to that effect,” Loki agreed, tugging down an edge to fall over Anthony’s legs and down to his feet. No illness would be touching his mortal if he had anything to say about it. Once finished with making certain that Anthony was properly bundled, Loki took up his cup and resettled onto the little wooden bench.

Anthony immediately leaned against him again, but this time without the urgent press of heat seeking. Now it was simply a case of seeking nearness, which Loki was very far from complaining about.

“Next time we come up here,” Anthony said, his voice noticeably more drowsy, “we come up in summer.”

Loki chuckled. “What, and give up such a perfect excuse to snuggle close like this?”

There was a vague pressure through the blanket, which might have been Anthony attempting to poke him in the ribs. “Don’ need excuses to cuddle…”

Loki looked down at Anthony again, and smiled at how comfortable, how relaxed he looked, bundled up snugly in the blanket.

“No. We don’t need any excuses.”

Loki drank his tea, and Anthony drifted in and out of a light doze, as they watched the snow covered world around them enter a new day.