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Family Ties

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It was a quiet Saturday in the Tower and the entire team was gathered in the den for a relaxed afternoon together. Or at least, that was what Steve had hoped for. Sadly, most of his teammates seemed way more into playing on their phones and tablets instead of socializing with each other. Only Natasha had shifted into her black cat form and sprawled across Clint and Bruce’s laps to demand attention.

Oh well. Steve would take what he could get.

“Argh, died again,” Clint complained as Natasha playfully swatted at his phone. “By the way, Steve, your boyfriend’s on the roof.”

“What?” Steve glanced upwards. They were twenty stories down. There was no way Clint would be able to see or hear him. “How do you know that?”

“There’s a disturbance in the force.”

Steve frowned. “I don’t feel anything.” And Loki was his mate. If anyone was able to sense his presence, it should have been Steve.

“Nah, I’m fucking with you. He just texted me.”

Steve’s frown deepened. “Why is he texting you?”

“No offense, Steve, but you have a terrible track record with phones. Remember what happened to your last phone?”

“It’s uh, somewhere off the coast of Maine,” Steve said sheepishly.

“And it was a Starkphone too,” Tony grumbled as he tapped away at his own phone. “I built you an amazing phone even the Hulk couldn’t break and you go and toss it in the ocean.”

“I didn’t do it on purpose,” Steve huffed. “It was a little hard to keep hold of a phone and battle a giant octopus at the same time.”

“No judgements here,” Clint said. “But it makes it harder for Loki to get ahold of you. I don’t think he even has your new number. And that’s probably pissing him off.”

Steve groaned and wiped a hand down his face. “He’s in his dragon form, isn’t he?”

“Most likely.”

Steve sighed and rose from his seat. “I’ll go talk to him.”

“Yeah, make sure you talk him down,” Tony said. “We all know what happened last time he set up shop on the roof.”

Steve rolled his eyes. “This is nothing like that, Tony.”

“I’m just saying,” Tony said with a shrug. “If he’s come with a chitauri army to carry you off, don’t come crying to me.”

If Loki wanted to carry him away, he wasn’t going to need an army, but Steve really hoped it didn’t come to that.

The elevator opened onto the roof and Steve cautiously peered out. Loki was indeed in his dragon form, his long, powerful body draped over the rooftop. When he saw Steve, he snarled and rushed over, scooping Steve up and wrapping him in the coils of his body.

Steve ran a comforting hand over the green and black scales. “Clint told me you were up here. Wanna talk about what’s bothering you?”

Loki regarded him with slitted golden eyes. “You’ll be going into heat soon.”

“In another week,” Steve agreed. “And?”

“And I wish to take you somewhere private. Far, far away from civilization. Another planet, ideally.”

“Not going to happen. We talked about this already.”

Loki’s nostrils flared. “I don’t like my omega dwelling in the presence of so many alphas, especially this close to heat.”

“It doesn’t matter that they’re alphas. They’re my family. That means nothing will ever happen between us. I know your family is pretty dysfunctional, but the concept should still mean something.”

“Thor,” Loki said miserably.

Steve’s expression softened. “Ah. I understand what’s going on now. You’ve always been living in Thor’s shadow. Everyone saw him as stronger, more attractive, a more worthy mate. And you were always the skinny little weakling.”

Loki’s eyes narrowed. “And how would you know this?”

“Bucky and I weren’t brothers, but we were pretty damn close.”

“Barnes must die.” Loki hissed. His tail lashed against the roof. “He will pay for humiliating my mate.”

“Hey, no. He didn’t mean to make me feel inferior. He was just trying his best to get me set up with a nice beta girl and didn’t really see how everyone he tried to set me up with was only pretending to be interested in me to get to him. I’m sure your brother is the same way, just oblivious to how his charisma draws everyone in.”

Loki growled and his coils tightened around Steve’s chest.

“Relax, babe. Thor’s not going to steal me from you. I’m loyal to the people I love.”

In a puff of smoke, Loki’s dragon form unraveled and he looked small standing there in a simple green tunic.

Steve wrapped him up in a hug. “Feel better now?”

“If we were at home in Asgard, I would have you dripping with jewels,” Loki grumbled against Steve's shoulder. “Then no one would question that I am your mate.”

“That’s a little impractical in our line of work. I wouldn’t want to lose any of the pretty things you buy me. You know how often I end up losing my phones.”

Loki’s mouth curved into a smile. “Perhaps a bejeweled Fitbit would be more your style.”

Steve chuckled. “I’d wear it.” He cupped his hands around Loki’s face. “And if it makes you feel more secure, it’s great in my book.”