Movie Night at Avengers Campus (LokixReader)
Summary: A continuation of the series where I write my take on my favorite fanfic clichés.
It's movie night at Avengers campus, and Natasha has picked out a scary movie for you to watch. Horror movies aren't your thing - not when there are real monsters in the world - but being an Avenger means projecting bravery, even during movie night, so you stick around. Luckily, when things get to be too much for you, Loki is there reminding you that not all monsters are worth hiding from, in fact some might be worth venturing into the dark for...
Author's notes: These one-shots are meant to celebrate frequently used story tropes. The intent is to add new stories bi-weekly unless life gets in the way. Please feel free to comment with your favorite fanfic clichés, and I'll add them to the list!
Pairing: Loki (Marvel) x Female Reader
Content Warning: 18+ smut ahead (Reader is of age)
"What if this was the thing that lurked in the shadows? Would you still be afraid then?"
Tony Stark had made sure that there were several screening rooms at the Avengers compound. There was the one that was part of the big conference room - it was usually used to show the Avengers footage of how badly you’d messed up, and how the UN was “very, very disappointed in you (but not really, because what could they really do about it)”. Then there was one that was a part of a small conference room, which was usually used by Scott or by Sam trying to show off clips of new tricks to whoever would wander by. And there was the large theater, where Tony imagined the campus would one day hold movie premiers - but was generally used only for press conferences.
Lastly, of course, there was the small theater, where you found yourself that evening. It was where the Avengers would host their own intimate movie nights - a way to wind down and blow off steam between missions or after a hard day of training.
You loved movie nights - it was one of your favorite parts of your new life as an Avenger. Every day you were learning enough novel things to make your head spin and you welcomed every break from the intense work. You thought you’d be used to the onslaught after being there for nearly six months, but being a hero was so much more complicated than you could have imagined. At least movie night made you think of simpler times. It reminded you of sitting on your lumpy sofa back home with family and friends snuggled under blankets. It made you think of sleepover birthdays and midnight movies and awkward first dates. It made you think of normal things.
But there was nothing awkward or lumpy or normal about the little theater. It had three rows of comfortable reclining seats - three deep and in pairs. It could fit eighteen, but there were rarely ever more than six of you. The sizable screen lowered from the ceiling simply by asking, and the projector’s library had access to every movie ever made - all you had to do was tell FRIDAY its name.
Natasha had picked the night's movie you were told, and you were glad. The others had groaned when she’d picked Moonraker, but it was one of the first ways you’d bonded with her - literally Bond-ed - over campy cinema and spy thrillers. However, when you entered the room and saw the movie’s title card already displayed on the screen your stomach sank. It was a horror movie, and not the subtle kind that you could handle. It was an American remake of a Japanese classic. You’d avoided it at all costs when it came out, for fear that it would give you night terrors - waking dreams that would make you lose control of the powers that you didn’t then yet understand.
But you did understand your powers now, at least a little, and as everyone was settling into their seats, your brain failed to come up with a good excuse to leave. It only reminded you that this was an opportunity for growth, and for fostering camaraderie with your new teammates. You hated when your brain did that. You hated when you talked yourself out of being a coward. It was that voice that made you a perfect hero, but damnit, you did not want to be brave in that moment.
“C’mon New Girl, we’re dimming the lights. It’s spooky season, let’s go!” It was impossible to be a coward in front of Natasha. She had an uncanny ability to inspire. So you looked for a seat.
There were several empty seats, and generally, attendees of Movie Night were happy enough to occupy plenty of space by themselves, but you didn’t feel up to it as the images you remembered from the film’s trailer played hauntingly in your mind.
Loki was seated by himself in the back row. You’d built a friendly rapport with him over the months. You were pretty sure he liked that you hadn’t been there to see his mess in the Battle of New York, and you liked liked his dry, witty quips.
“Do you mind?” You asked, pointing at the empty seat beside him, “I’m not great with scary movies.”
“If you don’t like monsters, then you may want to find another seat,” he shot a signature smarmy grin, the kind you’d gotten used to seeing when you bantered with him in the field, but he gestured to the seat beside him all the same, “I do have a request though, he whispered in a low voice now that the music from the film had started to play, “Do you mind sharing that blanket? I forgot my own.”
You had brought a big fluffy throw from your room. The compound was stylish, but not always full of creature comforts, and the cozy softness of your own items made you think of home. It was wild that, after everything extraordinary you’d experienced since becoming an Avenger, you still got homesick now and then, and It was always the little things that ate at you, like blankets on sofas or the familiar smell of coffee in the morning.
You sat down and threw half of the blanket over him, making sure to keep your arms tucked in, not taking up too much room or trespassing on Loki’s personal space when everyone else was so spread out.
The movie progressed, beginning with a creepy, atmospheric prologue, nothing too terrifying, then moved to the optimistic young protagonists without a care in the world. Curse? What curse? They couldn’t be bothered by any old folktale. But of course, alas, they should have heeded all of the warnings, and as the music intensified you could feel the first big scare of the film creeping up on you like a spider on your spine. You dropped your head and brought your blanket up your face to hide there. If you just shut your eyes maybe the horror on the screen wouldn’t plague you later. You tried to disappear into your own understanding of the events transpiring on screen, forcing your imagination to be flooded with the images of harmless behavior set to the eerie, screeching soundtrack.
Suddenly there was a presence at your leg - a touch that made you jump before realizing that it was soft and gentle, warm and reassuring.
Loki gave your knee a little squeeze as the music settled, “it’s over,” he whispered, just barely a breath, and moved from your knee to reach for your hand, still clinging tightly to your covers.
He was intent on watching you, not the movie as you relinquished half of your grip to be held by him. It was a new sort of intimacy for you with a teammate. You’d barely ever hugged a fellow Avenger - your only real physical contact with them was trading blows in the training gym. You hadn’t realized you missed touch so much until now. Another small thing to make you homesick.
Loki was the type of man who took up space. Wherever he stood, wherever he sat, he seemed so spread out, so voluminous, in attitude and in actual stature. But he was tucked completely now under that blanket with you, holding your hand, letting you cling to him, and pulling you in close.
The cadence of the movie settled into its horrific rhythm. A few minutes of plot that you could stand to watch, following the mystery and intrigue unfold, and then a few minutes of horror that you had to hide from. The cycle went on like that, an endless loop, and you inched closer and closer to Loki’s comforting touch. Eventually your face was just as buried in his shoulder as it was buried in your blanket. A little more than halfway through the movie, he had switched the hand that was holding yours, and wrapped you in his free arm entirely.
An Avenger, you knew, should be embarrassed to be curled up like a child because of some silly fiction. Embarrassed because there were real terrors in the world that would make the scariest of movie monsters blanche upon sight. But you couldn’t be bothered to be embarrassed or even move. You felt too safe, too comfortable tucked in Loki’s arm, safe under the eaves of those broad shoulders. If you were homesick before, this felt like home now, and you were happy to be small once again, hidden under a blanket on movie night.
The film was almost over now, and the suspense building up to the big horrific, climactic scene had you burying your face fully into Loki’s chest and his plush black sweater, that smelled clean and of his musk at the same time. He squeezed you tighter, closer with his arm and you let yourself plant there and worm your way into him as you tried to escape from the projected scenes.
Just as the music was about to break, Loki let go of your hand and for an instant you were left feeling clammy and betrayed, until his hand gently connected with your jaw, and he pulled you towards him for a kiss.
His kiss was ginger, delicate and warm. The tension you’d been holding in your neck and shoulders and stomach eased, if only slightly, and for the first time all evening you found yourself genuinely distracted from the images on the screen.
It wasn’t until Steve yelped in fear that you remembered yourself and pulled away. You giggled at the Star Spangled Man’s reaction to the movie along with the rest of the cohort, but you and Loki shared a different kind of smile as he squeezed you once again.
When the movie ended and the lights came back on, Loki released your grip, not moving, but allowing you move away should you choose, and to your almost immediate regret you did, pulling up and out of his embrace to regain some amount of professional distance. You could pretend that you hadn’t just been fully tucked away in Loki’s arms and in his kiss, but a threshold had still been crossed, and you knew you’d have to address it sooner or later. With yourself, at least, if not everyone else.
When you got back to your room you dressed for bed, assuming that you’d done enough to avoid any real lingering images of ghosts and monsters, but when the lights were out, you found it was a different story. The haunting suspenseful music still rang clear in your mind and re-conjured what few scenes you’d absorbed, more horrific now, twisted by your active imagination. Creatures crept in the corners of your bedroom and lurked behind every cabinet or closet door. You pulled your comforter cover up tight, but still felt that the fabric was a measly layer between yourself and what creeping, long fingered creature that your brain invented to lay in wait for you.
But when you tried to banish those images from your brain, all you were left with was the other curious thing that happened that evening. The sensation of Loki’s lips against yours lingered, as did the feel of his warmth and the fresh smell of his sweater. It haunted you as much as the movie did, lingering there in the corners of your mind every time you tried to close your eyes.
The truth was that you weren’t sure what the kiss meant. You had read once that the racing heart and sweaty palms when experiencing terror could be mistaken by your body for feelings of romance. It was why they released almost as many horrors on Valentines Day as they did on Halloween. You also conceived that perhaps it was just a natural progression of your friendship - casual kisses were common around the world, and frankly you had no idea about Asgard.
But then there was the possibility that it was more than friendship - a true gesture of romance, and that’s what scared you the most.
There was so much you’d learned and gotten used to. You felt like you were already a different person entirely from when you’d arrived. You weren’t sure you were ready for any complications that could come from adding intimacy to your life. Much less with a literal god. Much less with a literal god who once tried to conquer the planet. Much less with a literal god who was also a co-worker.
You knew you should banish all thoughts of him until morning, until you had a clearer head, until you could think about the situation more rationally, but when you pushed away your thoughts of Loki, the horrors crept back in. And so, you entered a vicious cycle that barred you from sleep.
There was only one thing to do about it. One person to go to.
Half delirious from exhaustion you got out of bed and found yourself headed for Loki’s room, not even sure that he’d still be up, but you needed company, and comfort, and ideally, a little clarity. You pressed a few light taps on his door with your knuckle, and it only took a moment for you to get your response.
Loki opened his door, shirtless, dressed only in relaxed pajama pants, and hair dripping wet, towel still in hand.
“I wondered if I’d not enjoyed your company for the last time tonight,” he was all cheek and cool calm, and it was a refreshing contrast to your hot, anxious insides.
“I, uhhh… I…,” Now that you were here you had no idea what to do or say
“It’s alright,” he said, reaching out a hand, “I get nightmares too.”
You were pulled into his room, more sparse than you’d have imagined, but littered with books and candlesticks burned to nubs. You sat together at the edge of his bed, unsure of what to say, but glad for the company, glad for the closeness as he began to wordlessly rub your back, slowly, up and down your spine.
“Why… why did you kiss me?” Maybe it was the calm that was beginning to find you now that you had company, or maybe it was the hand on your back that gave you the trust, but the question just came out, forward as could be.
“I wanted you to have something to think about. Something to distract you from the horror on screen. Did it work?”
“Yes…,” Your face burned at the memory, “I’m… sorry I pulled away. I don’t want you to think I’m only interested in you in the dark,” you weren’t sure why, but it felt important that he understand.
“I know,” he said, “It’s a strange thing being here. You have immense power, but also endless scrutiny.”
“Not unlike royalty in that way though, I suppose?”
“No,” he smiled in a sad sort of way, “No, I suppose not.”
It was your turn to kiss his feelings away. You reached out, cupping his cheeks in your palms and returned his soft, comforting kiss. He leaned in and pulled you close and once again your head was clear - free from worry or doubt or questioning.
Loki slipped his fingers just under the hem of your night shirt so that they could rub at the bare skin at the small of your back. It sent another tingle up your spine, a warm one this time, and you leaned in harder, kissing him again with more urgency, chasing the thrill and not running from it. He pulled gently at your leg, left bare by the length of your pajama shorts, and urged you up and over him.
You sat straddled in his lap, hands still at his jaw, too apprehensive, still, of fully touching his bare shoulders and chest. But as your mouths continued to connect and explore, his hands found new terrain under your shirt, reaching higher and higher, lifting the garment up dangerously high, and dangerously close to exposing your own chest. He pressed you closer to him, forcing the bare skin of your bellies to touch and sending goosebumps down your arm.
His kissing slowed, just a little, before he pulled away, slightly, to look you in the eyes.
“I know what you said, about not only being interested in the dark, but the dark keeps things hidden, away from prying eyes. You’re afraid of the that monsters lurk there, but what if it was something beautiful hidden away? Something too nervous to be perceived by others just yet? What if this was the thing that lurked in the shadows? Would you still be afraid then?”
You looked at him, perhaps really seeing him for the first time since arriving. Solid and strong, but also vulnerable and kind. A man full of complexities and anxieties all his own.
“If… If it was just us hiding there. If it was just like this. Then… Then I think I could be very happy living in the dark with you.”
With that Loki was lifting your shirt up and over your shoulders and discarding it to the side. His soft and sweet kisses passionate and deep. He pulled you close, pressing your now bare chest against his. You wrapped your arms around him completely and whimpered as you relinquished all apprehension and melted into his body.
Soon Loki’s fingers were toying with the waistband of your pajama shorts, and then his hands were slipping entirely under the soft fabric and palming the cheeks of your rear. You could feel his arousal growing to its full stature between the fabric left between you. When you couldn’t stand to wait anymore, you gently pried yourself from his lap and stood to take off your shorts. You bent low to draw them to your ankles and discarded them with a little kick before trying to return to your efforts.
Loki stopped you, however, with his hands on your hips, and after taking a moment to drink in the sight of you, he stood as well. He let you watch him remove his own pants, leaving nothing between your flesh besides the temperature-controlled air. He winked at you and you took the full sight of him in for the first time. You’d seen what his body could do before - you’d seen his strength on missions and in training, but seeing the form of it, lean muscles held taught along his elongated torso and legs - it almost took your breath away. With all the grace of a panther he plodded to the controls for the lamps in the room and switched them off leaving you with only the subtle glow of minor appliances and moonlight spilling through the window.
“Now,” he said in an almost purr, making his way back to you and the bed, pulling back its covers, “Let’s make the darkness our domain.”
You slid in between his sheets and he followed, pressing himself close to you once more. You felt as if you never wanted to let go ever again. Your hands explored the muscles that rippled along his back, and his tongue discovered the sensitive skin on your neck and chest.
There was a time in your life when you’d insisted on languorously slow foreplay, when you’d required complete control in the bedroom in order to keep your powers at bay. But you let Loki’s touch wash over you like the darkness, and when he was lifting your leg up over his so that he could push himself deep into your body, it felt natural to accept him and let yourself sink into his sheets.
He held your hand out and pressed into the mattress beside you, like your junction was a waltz, half wrapped around each other and movements combined. Every thrust of his hips was one more edict to banish your fears. Every hot breath against your skin was a salve to soothe away your worry. Every kiss was a life saving breath to bring you into this new world with him.
Loki pushed your legs higher, opening your body up to him completely. He caught your gaze and held it, continuing to thrust, connecting with you through your eyes and through your hips. The sensation built closer and closer to its apex with you staring into one another. It was only when the wave of pleasure crested, like a spray of ecstasy washing through you, that you closed your eyes to brace against euphoria. Loki soon followed, feeling your rapture beneath him. He pressed in even closer, slowing but not stopping until your bodies had softened and he had spent his all.
Loki pulled the covers up and over your heads, shielding you from even the moonbeams, and you lay there for a long while, entwined in the warmth of each other, catching your breaths.
When the rhythm of your inhales and exhales began to slow into slumber you heard Loki whisper, “And you can sleep now? With a monster in your bed?”
“Loki, if you’re a monster, then I’m a monster too, and I know I can learn to love the dark,” and you meant it too, with all of your bravery returning there in the pitch black, “It’s a wonder I was ever afraid of it in the first place.”
He kissed your forehead then, and rubbed your back, and tucked in there, between Loki’s strong arms, in the inky dark of his covers, you felt secure, you felt protected, and so you settled into your most restful night of sleep.
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