I'm sorry this took so long guys!
"Peter, your pizza has arrived."
"On it, thanks Fri!"
Peter runs out of his room, heading into the kitchen where the aroma of sweet, herby tomato and melted mozzarella beckons him. He gathers the boxes into his arms, grinning at Tony who pretends to look interested at his phone.
"How's the sleepover going Pete?" He asks in a tone that is way less nonchalant than he's probably going for and Peter shrugs. Okay, so maybe it was kinda strange choosing a sleepover to be his last activity, especially with a God who's like, a million years older than him, but he had to do it. Tony hadn't been there when he and Loki had been talking about Spring Break, about how it was a chance for kids to hang out with their friends and, you know, relax for a bit. It's a opportunity to have late night sleepovers; eating way too much junk food and watching movies until you physically can't keep your eyes open anymore. Well, turns out Loki didn't have that in Asgard. Not that people in Asgard didn't take breaks, but when it came to chilling you're your friends…Loki apparently didn't have any friends to do that with. Anyone who came close to that were more Thor's friends who just tolerated his little brother. Now that? That hit Peter right in the feels and it was at that moment he realised he didn't need to do anything flashy for their last activity. He was going to show Loki what it was like to hang with your friends on Midgard. That meant; it was time to throw an awesomely epic sleepover.
And step one of an awesomely epic sleepover? Pizza.
"Going great thanks! Now, gotta go before these get cold!"
He runs back to his room, ignoring Tony's totally unnecessary warning to 'slow down before he breaks something' and throws himself to the ground, his precious cargo unloaded in the middle of him, Ned and Loki.
"I have eaten pizza before," Loki comments when Peter practically shoves the box into his hands, Ned's box forgotten in front of him as he watches the exchange. The wonder of being invited to a sleepover with a god still hasn't worn off him yet.
"Yeah, but you've never had it from Greasers and dude, you don't know pizza until you've had a Greasers pizza."
"Greasers," Loki repeats blandly. "What a charming name."
"Don't knock it before you try it."
So maybe the pizza did live up to its namesake, and there would be more than a little oil sunk into the carpet by the end of the night, but they had a secret sauce you could add onto the pizza that was out. of. this. world.
…Huh. Maybe it was run by aliens.
Loki delicately takes a bit of his pizza (a veggie supreme with the famous sauce) and his eyes widen slightly.
Hey, it was famous for a reason.
"Told you man, never judge a pizza from its grease," Peter says, clapping Loki on the shoulder. "C'mon Ned, let's eat. We're gonna need our energy."
The next item on their awesomely epic sleepover itinerary is a classic.
Since Tony gave him his own room at the compound, Peter's noticed that the man occasionally sneaks gifts into it when he's away. Sometimes it's something small, like a packet of Peter's favourite sweets (gummy worms), and sometimes it's a lot bigger. No matter what it is, whenever Peter's asked about it, Tony just replies it was something he 'randomly saw and thought Peter might like' and quickly changes the subject. It's pretty sweet, and even though Tony spending money on him always makes him feel a little weird, he can't deny the Switch is awesome.
"I want the purple one, he looks wily."
"Well, you know what he says…," Peter looks to Ned and in unison, they cry "Waluigi numba one!"
It sends them into a fit of giggles, while Loki looks on with a bewildered expression. Once the pair of them have calmed down and both tried and failed to explain just what was so funny to Loki, they choose their own characters and the game begins.
Every competition they've had so far, Loki has been able to win. This time, however, Peter has a feeling it's not going to go the same way. This time, he's up against Ned. Ned's a beast at Mario Kart, him and Toad getting first in nearly every match they've played, and even after he gets the hang of the controllers, Loki never gets close to him.
So, of course, he begins to cheat.
First, he tries distraction, making bits of their leftover food float in front of Ned. Ned just chomps on them mid-air when they get close enough. After that failure, things get a bit more physical, with 'accidental' nudges, that eventually forces Peter to sit between them and use his own strength to counter the nudges that are now directed at him to hit Ned by extension. Peter expects Loki to get frustrated and quit, but instead he just gets the same sort of calm focus he got during Space Attack. At the end of the session, when the best Loki has reached is second, he holds out a hand to Ned, which, after a friendly tap, he takes.
"You are a worthy competitor," he compliments.
"T-thanks," Ned stammers out. Peter thinks he looks close to never washing his hand again.
(If he's a little insulted that Loki's never said something like that to him, well, he's not about to ruin Ned's moment.)
After Mario Kart, it's time to do the obligatory movie watch coupled with some building of the Lego Death Star. Peter figures Lord of the Rings will keep Loki busy enough so that he and Ned can build in peace, but it turns out that he's pretty handy with the death star, using his magic to find the bits they need so they don't always need to search for it. He doesn't see the point of it, which is fair enough really, but the fact that he's helping them is something that'll definitely go in the final edit. Occasionally, he'll get a little magic happy and fill in a section when Peter and Ned have their eyes focused on the film, but he dutifully unpieces it when they remind him that just building it easily is 'definitely not the point'.
Normally, with enough food and energy drinks, Peter and Ned can last way into the early hour of the morning, but it's been a hectic semester for both of them. Therefore, just as the group have reached Lothlórien, Ned is snoring quietly upon the nest of blankets and pillows they'd arranged because, despite what Tony jokingly said, there was no such thing as being too old to build a pillow fort. Peter turns down the volume and slides the mess of Lego pieces to the side to be dealt with in the morning as Loki watches on.
"Is it time to retire now?"
Peter shrugs. "If you're tired, sure. If you're not, then we could make a hot chocolate or something?"
Peter expects Loki to pass on the offer but to his surprise, the God nods. Quietly, they sneak into the kitchen, where FRIDAY has set the lights onto dim, so there's a pleasant, orange glow.
"So, how was your first sleepover?" Peter asks, tapping his finger against the top of his smiling lip when he notices Loki's foam moustache.
Loki quickly rubs it away, but his reply takes more consideration. "It was…enjoyable. Similar to what I've heard it like in Asgard but less…Asgardian, I suppose. Your friend, I like him."
"You would," Peter says, a small grin on his face, and at Loki's raised eyebrow he elaborates with, "You like anyone who fawns over you."
"I appreciate anyone who shows me the respect I deserve," Loki replies, but the teasing glint in his eye makes Peter laugh. They silently drink more of their hot chocolate, before Peter asks;
"How was this? Like, everything. Did you seriously enjoy it, apart from the sleepover?"
Loki takes one more considering sip.
"The library was charming and introduced me to Midgardian literature, which is surprisingly imaginative and engaging. The theme park was a death trap, but with redeeming qualities that permit its existence. The park was quaint, if a little dull, apart from those beasts. The magic show was…infuriating," he grimaces. Peter knows for a fact that he's still not managed to figure out a couple of tricks, despite extensive research using both books and the internet. "This sleepover…it has shown me what it's like to have friends."
No, Peter's not crying. You're crying. He quickly wipes away a stray tear, hides a sniff behind his mug, and offers Loki a tremulous smile.
"Well hey, I'd call that a success."
Perhaps it's because it feels like they're in their own little bubble, away from the outside world and the prying eyes of the suit, but Loki gives Peter the gentlest, fondest smile he's ever received from the often-cold God.
"As would I."
Peter feels his cheeks heat as he ducks his head. "You know, I think we'll have definitely fixed your cred with this. There'll be no reason to keep you house-bound anymore."
To Peter's confusion, Loki's smile disappears.
"Peter, I believe there is something I ought to tell you."
"I am not staying on Midgard."
"Midgard is not my home," Loki explains quietly. "Even with this, me remaining here will likely cause much upheaval. It would not be wise for me to stay here. I have considered travelling for a while now and I believe that is the right path for me. Go somewhere where I do not have a reputation to begin with. There is a lot I have yet to learn and discover."
Peter…well, he's hurt, there's no denying it, but…he gets it. "You'll…you'll come back right? To visit? And not like, in 10 years because it's 1 minute for you but soon, you know, so you can tell me all about where you've been and see more of what Earth, I mean Midgard, has to offer, because there's a lot more cool places I could take you and-"
"Breathe Peter," Loki instructs. "You would truly wish for me to come back?"
"Well, yeah," Peter says. "It's like you said, we're friends."
"I did not say that exactly," he starts off with, but even without Peter having to give him a Look, he continues with, "but that doesn't mean it's not true."
A warm feeling in his chest, Peter asks, "When are you going? You'll at least stay to see the video go live, right? You can look over it before it's released."
"Of course, I will be watching it. I won't have you make an utter mockery of me," Loki replies with a faux pompous attitude.
"Well, of course, we wouldn't want that, would we?" Peter says, mimicking Loki's accent, which immediately sends him into giggles that Loki matches with a laugh of his own. As the pair of them quieten down, Loki regards Peter more seriously.
"You are a good man, Peter Parker. Midgard is lucky to have you. Now, it is time for you to retire."
Peter accepts the diversion, and complains, "But I'm not tired!"
"Peter, Boss has asked me to inform you he says, 'I can't believe I'm saying this, but listen to Loki, kid. Time for baby spiders to head to bed.'"
Peter groans. Loki and Tony ganging up on him had never been part of the plan.
Honestly, as fun as this was to write at some points, this has been a real struggle to get out. Thank you for all the support you guys gave me though, it means so, so much!