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What Makes Us Happy

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“I’m so excited!” Fenrir announces as he runs around the house. He is completely dressed in his new school clothes, including his Bob the Builder backpack full of supplies.

“Fenrir darling, it’s almost bedtime. It’s time to settle down,” Frigga reminds him with a laugh, watching the boy with a pleased smile.

“Is it school time yet?! Ma said it would be so much fun!” Fenrir shouts and climbs on the couch, jumping up and down.

“Fenrir, off the couch please,” Odin tells him, not looking up from the newspaper he is reading under a single lamp. “Excitement does not excuse manners.”

Fenrir sighs but jumps from the couch, landing on the floor. He quickly wanders to where Frigga is sitting and leans over the arm of her chair. “Amma, I’m hungry.”

“Did your mum say it was okay to eat?”

Fenrir shrugs, “She’s taking a bath. It was a Gone Day today.”

Frigga sighs and stands, heading to the kitchen. She quickly makes Fenrir a peanut butter sandwich using a single piece of bread. Loki has struggled the last few days leading up to Fen’s first day of school and true to what Fenrir was saying, the woman had made no appearance downstairs all day.

“Why don’t you go show Grandpa all of your school supplies again?” Frigga directs the boy and he happily runs off to show Odin for about the 50th time all of his stuff, his sandwich in hand. She almost feels bad for making Odin go through it again. Almost.

Frigga quickly makes another sandwich for Loki and wanders upstairs. She doesn’t find the woman in her bedroom but bumps into her as she is exiting the shower.

“Hey mum, could you braid my hair for me?” Loki asks quietly, completely enveloped in a large robe.

“Of course love. I brought you something to eat, I wasn’t sure if you had anything today,” Frigga tells her and follows her into her room. “Fenrir told me today was a Gone Day?”

Loki shrugs as she sits in her chair in front of her vanity, quietly tearing the sandwich into small pieces to nibble on. Frigga stands behind her and begins brushing the woman’s black hair back away from her face when Loki decides to answer. “I’ve just been in my head. I’m nervous. Were you nervous sending Thor and I to school?”

Frigga nods. “I was less nervous with you than I was with Thor. You know how your brother is.” Loki manages a small smile. “Thor was so preoccupied with everything in the room that he didn’t tell me goodbye. You, however, were much more headstrong. You were ready but somehow you knew I was upset. I remember clearly you turning to me and saying. ‘Móðir, I’m sure this teacher will be good enough. There is no need to worry, I will see you at the end of the day. Love you.’ You then hugged my leg and went in. The minute you father and I got into the car, I sobbed for hours. It’s okay to be nervous, but he will be fine.”

“I know, it’s just the last time we were apart... “ Loki tells her mum, worry filling her voice. “I’m scared and I want him to be able to be a real kid, with a real future but I’m scared to let him go. We’ve spent almost every waking moment with each other and I could protect him. I know it’s selfish to think about myself but what if I can’t take it...”

Frigga pauses braiding so she can wipe the tears from her daughters face. “You can do this, my child. I promise. You are a much stronger woman now than you were then. That woman was so scared that she couldn’t give Fenrir the life he deserved and look at where you are. Fenrir is so happy and thriving, you are giving him everything a mother could want for their child. This sacrifice you have to make is worth it. Every day that the two of you continue making a life for yourself is nothing short of amazing. You aren’t selfish to be scared, every mother is.”

Loki says nothing in response so Frigga stands back up and finishes braiding the other woman’s hair back, making sure the small braid of intertwined hair isn’t disturbed. She quietly watches her daughters face, making sure she’s alright but Frigga determines that she is just deep in thought. Frigga taps Loki’s shoulder twice to signal she was leaving. “Thanks, mum. For everything, I feel better I think. When you go back down will you send Fenrir up?”

Frigga kisses the woman’s head. “Your father will appreciate that. I told Fenrir to show him his school supplies… again.” Fenrir bounds up the stairs moments later.

“Ma,” Fenrir greets softly as Loki gestures him to sit in her lap. She places her chin on the top of his head, causing Fenrir to giggle.

“Would you like to spend the night in here? You’ve been doing so well in your own room but I miss you,” Loki asks, voice soft. They had converted Thor’s old room across the hall and while it seemed Fenrir was doing well sleeping on his own, Loki has tossed and turned every night since. Fenrir happily grins so Loki sends him to get his pajamas while she slips into hers. Loki spends the rest of the night curled around Fenrir, her hand placed on his heart and the faint rhythm sends her to sleep.

---

The next morning goes far too fast for Loki’s liking. Loki has Fenrir dressed and ready to go fairly quickly. She makes him pancakes for breakfast and lets him have as many as he wants. She eats a half of one before she thinks she might throw up. As they leave Frigga has the camera out and took plenty of pictures. Even Thor had shown up to send Fenrir off, offering to drive him in the police car but Loki had declined, much to Fenrir’s dismay. She wants to spend this morning with Fenrir herself. It doesn’t take much to get Fenrir in the car and pull out of the driveway, the school is less than a mile but Loki wishes this drive would take an hour.

“Nervous?” She asks, looking at him from her rear view mirror.

“Nope! Peter is going to this school too! We are in the same grade!”

“Really? I bet that is so exciting, I’m glad you will have a friend.” Loki doesn’t know what else to say to the boy but he seems content to spend the drive looking out the window. “Okay, my love, let’s go.” Together they walk hand in hand up to the front of the school. Loki keeps telling herself that everything is okay and that Fenrir will be safe here. When they enter there are parents and kids everywhere, parting to the different classrooms. Loki carefully navigates the crowd to find which room Fenrir was in and who was in his class.

“Fenrir, look! You are in the same class as Peter! Your teacher’s name is Ms. Hill. You want to go meet her?” The class group was small, only about seven kids and that made Loki feel better. She didn’t know how Fenrir would feel with a huge class and having so much thrown at him.

Fenrir’s eyes light up and he nods. The classroom is not far down the hall, the second door on the left and Loki made a mental note of every exit. The room is fairly empty at the moment and Loki is thankful. She enters and Ms. Hill immediately greets them.

“Hello! I’m Ms. Hill, it’s a pleasure to meet you…?” she asks with a wide smile, shaking Loki’s hand.

“Loki Odinson. It’s nice to meet you as well, Ms. Hill,” Loki supplies with a smile on her face, trying to hide her worry.

Suddenly, Ms. Hill's demeanor becomes more professional in an instant. “Ms. Odinson, I was told that your son was going to be in my class.”

Fenrir immediately hid his face into Loki’s leg, clinging to her. Loki nods, suddenly feeling as if the woman was judging her. She knows that it is just her anxiety flaring up but she forces herself to speak, “This is Fenrir. He might be a bit shy. But this is totally new for him. Here is some things that you might need to know.” Loki handed the woman a small green notebook her hands shaking with nerves. “It has my number, my mothers, fathers and brothers numbers as well. Just in case. I will be available all day if you need anything. He’s never been around a lot of other kids before so he might be drawn to you and I-.”

Ms. Hill takes the book and give Loki a sincere smile. “Ms. Odinson, I promise you I will take very good care of him. I can’t imagine how scary this might be for you. He will have a good time and I will personally call you if anything happens. If you want, when they are at lunch I can give you an update.” The teacher makes a show of placing the book on the center of her desk where it was easily accessible.

Loki smiles down at Fenrir to show him that everything is okay and she feels him relax a bit, taking in the world around him. “Thank you, I really appreciate it. I think his friend from our neighborhood, Peter, is in this class as well. It might help him warm up.”

“He is! Fenrir would you like to help me put your name tag next to his so you can sit together?” The woman asks the boy and he moves to follow, Loki lets him go with a pleased smile. She carefully hangs his backpack and lunchbox in his designated cubby for him. She glances around the colorful classroom, the bright colors and toys all around making her feel better about leaving Fenrir. Then as other kids and parents began to file in, she knows it was time for her to leave.

“Fenrir, Ma has to go now,” she tells him and the boy runs over. She kneels so she is face to face with him. “I love you. I will pick you up at exactly 3 o’clock right out front where we came in. I will not be late, I swear it. You are so strong and I love you.”

Fenrir reaches his arms around his mum and gives her a hug. He pulls away to reach for the single braid of their hair as he reaches into his pocket. Fenrir smiles as he pulls out Bad Tooth to show Loki. “So you are with me all day and I'm with you, and so we won’t get scared. I love you, Ma.”

Loki physically has to keep herself from sobbing, letting out a breath she didn’t know she was holding. She knows she can’t make this harder on him by crying in front of him. “I love you too, my heart.” She kisses him once on the forehead and sends him on his way. Loki quickly flees the classroom and doesn’t stop to greet any of the other parents.

It isn’t until she reaches her car does she finally give into her tears. She is so immensely proud of her baby and knows he will do fine.

“Hey, are you okay?” A voice from behind her asks, soft and understanding.

Loki immediately freezes, the voice sounding vaguely familiar but she can't place it. She tries to quickly dry her eyes but it doesn't work. She just gives another sob. “I’m fine, thanks.”

“Are you sure? Usually sobbing outside of a school doesn’t really mean you are okay,” the man asks, a hint of a smile in his voice.

Loki gives a slight laugh, “You are not wrong there.” She finally calms herself down enough that she was just breathing rather heavily, not crying. With a final wipe of her face on her sleeve she turns around to face the man.

“Loki Odinson?” the man asks, confusion all over his face, and then a wide smile replaces it.

Loki’s eyebrows bunch together in confusion as she tries to place where she knows the man or at least how he knew her. He must have seen the interview or her picture on the news.

“I’m sorry… I have to go… I’m not doing interviews right now,” Loki says quickly, trying to get in her car but before she can even open the door the man speaks again.

“Loki, hey it’s me Tony Stark, I know it’s been a while… I promise I’m not here to interview you.”

“Tony? Tony Stark?” Loki stops and turns around as the realization finally hits her. Tony has aged definitely since the last time she saw him, his hair greying slightly and he has a goatee. “Physics club, right? It’s been a long time…”

“It indeed has,” he laughs.

“What- what are you doing here?”

“Oh I was dropping off my son, it’s his first day and if I hadn’t noticed you I probably would be crying in my car as well.”

“You have a son?”

“Well… he’s not technically my son… it’s a long story.”

“Oh, what’s his name?”

“Peter Parker.”

“Your son is Peter? Mine is Fenrir. They play together all the time.”

“You are kidding me and we haven’t figured this out before?”

“Peter has always been the one that shows up to our house and it’s usually my mother that escorts him home. You’ve met her I’m sure.”

 

“Frigga is your mother? I absolutely love her. It’s surprising I didn’t put two and two together, I remember her from high school now.”

“That’s been such a long time…”

Tony then pauses and looks down at his watch. “Hey, uh, I have to go to work but could I possibly take you out for coffee sometime and we can catch up?”

Loki shakes her head, and tries to make for her car. “Tony… I don’t think that would be such a great idea. I’m sorry.” Suddenly her pulse quickens and she felt her hands begin to shake nervously, making her fumble with her keys and drop them. “I’m sure I’ll see you around with the boys.”

Tony reaches down and grabs them, handing them back. Loki can tell he has noticed her hands. But instead if calling her out he begin speaking in a softer tone. “Sorry that was a litttle forward. We don’t have to go out. Maybe we can have dinner at your house? I’ll cook and the boys can play. I just would like to catch up.”

Loki holds her breath for a second and steadies herself. She knows Tony. She grew up with him. This wasn’t Thanos. Tony wasn’t Thanos. People did this all the time, reunions and such, this was normal. Loki glances at Tony, looking him up and down once again. She will not deny that the man was handsome, definitely more her type. If she had a type. Does she? Loki couldn’t say.

Loki comes back to reality when she notices Tony checking his watch again. “Would you like to come over on Thursday?”

Tony grins. “Does pizza work for you?”

Chapter Text

Thursday. Four days that Loki had been stewing on her conversation with Tony and to begin to regret inviting him over for dinner. She had seen the man in question twice since then and the conversations had not lasted very long, usually enough to hinge on edge of awkwardness. So that was great. Loki had no idea how this night was going to go. Frigga and Odin had left for their own “date night”. Odin had voiced his displeasure of Loki inviting a strange man into their house and thus ensued an hour long argument between the two. Loki knew that her father was not completely confident in her ability to keep herself and Fenrir safe. Frigga had ended the argument by pushing her husband out the front door, vouching for Tony herself having been the only one who has met him recently. Not long after they had left, Loki went upstairs to get herself ready.

“Ma?” Fenrir knocks on her open door, alerting his mother to his presence. Loki is curling her hair and turns to him with a smile.

“Hello, my heart.”

“When is Peter going to be here? I pulled out all of my toys in the living room.” Fenrir crosses the room and sat at her feet.

Loki glances over at the clock. 5:47. “Not too much longer, darling. Are you excited Peter is getting to come over?”

“Yes! I am going to show him my new dinosaur toy that Uncle Thor got me!”

“Wonderful, now scooch over. I am going to get dressed,” Loki smile, nudging him enough for him to topple over earning a giggle from the boy. She crosses the room to her closet and finds herself staring at her clothes. Her eyes go over every piece of clothing at least fifteen times. I should have never planned this. I have nothing to wear. This was a huge mistake. I’m not ready-

“This one, Ma. It’s soft,” Fenrir’s voice interrupt/ her thoughts and he hands her a multi-colored sweater that was draped over her bed post.

Loki took the sweater from her son and kissed his head. “Thank you.” She quickly slides the sweater on and realizes it was perfect.

It wasn’t long after Loki had put her shoes on did she hear a knock at the front door. She quickly gave herself a once over in the mirror and darted down the stairs, Fenrir at her heels. She put on a smile and opened the door. As the door opened her smile quickly disappeared.

“Thor? What the hell? Why are you here?”

“Language, Loki,” Thor grumbles and pushes past her into the house. He is still wearing his uniform and Loki can see the car parked sideways in the driveway. She feels something brush past her legs and realizes Thor has brought Hogun. She lets out a loud groan. Fenrir, however, squeals loudly in delight, the dog immediately licking the boys face.

“Uh excuse me? You and I both know that Móðir informed you that I was going to busy tonight,” Loki snaps, chasing after her brother. The man lazily strips off his uniform jacket and tosses it onto the dining room table and completely messing up the place settings Loki has put out. He trudges into the kitchen, grabbing a beer from the fridge. As he pops the top he begins peeking through the grocery bags that sit on the counter.

“Yeah but don’t you think this is a little soon to be ‘busy’, Loki?” Thor asks and Loki’s jaw sets in defiance.

“Nope, you are not doing this tonight Thor. I’m an adult and can decide when I want to become busy again. It’s not like I’m going out with him alone, I’m not stupid,” Loki said and grabs the beer from his hands to pour it out. “You answer me truthfully,Thor. Did Father put you up to this?”

Thor mumbles something under his breath which sounds like “yeah no shit”. He reaches for the bottle again and expecting his sister to put up a fight, yanks it out of her hands. Loki on the other hand lets go and lets the beer spill all over his white uniform shirt.

“Loki!”

“Oops. Accident. Oh damn, looks like you will have to leave and get a new shirt. How unfortunate,” Loki deadpans.

Thor just grins and puts a hand on her shoulder. “Nope, I have an extra in my car. Don’t worry sister! Good attempt though.”

Loki throws her hands in the air out of frustration but can’t find it in her heart to be too upset with him. Thor had always been protective but with the past being what it was, it never hurt to be too cautious. “Thor! How am I supposed to explain this to Tony? ‘Hey Tony, my brother is here to babysit us like we are in middle school again and to make sure you don’t kidnap me. Hope this doesn’t ruin this date… play date’.”

“Loki? Are you here? Your door is standing wide open and I tried knocking. …” Tony is standing almost awkwardly in the hallway with grocery bags in his hands; Peter by his side carrying a large bouquet of flowers. Loki had been so busy yelling at Thor both of them had failed to notice the two walk in.

“Hi, Tony, Peter. Give me just a second” Loki greets them before turning and glaring at Thor. She leans in quickly and whispers in his ear, “If you are going to stay, just shut up and entertain the boys. Let them play with your badge or whatever you want to do. If you ruin this I will stab you repeatedly in your sleep.”

Thor rolls his eyes but nod, taking his coat from the table.

“Will you go change clothes now? You smell horrible.”

Thor grumbles and disappears out the front door to grab his clothes but not without giving Tony a once over.

“I’m so sorry about that Tony, here come in, please. This was unexpected. You know how siblings are.” Loki apologizes, feeling her face flush in embarrassment.

Tony laughs and ushers Peter further into the house. Peter marches directly up to her and hands her the flowers. “Ms. Loki, these are for you! You are pretty.”

Loki grins and bends down to take the flowers. “Thank you so much, Peter. These are beautiful, you have wonderful taste. Do you want to help me find a vase to put them in before Fen-”

Before she could finish the boy in question came running in, followed by Hogun. “Peter! Look! My Uncle Thor brought Hogun”

“Fenrir! A dog! So cool!” Peter completely forget everything regarding Loki and ran towards his friend. They immediately began chatting happily, letting Hogun lick their faces.

 

Loki turned back to Tony and lead him into the kitchen, “Thank you for the flowers, they are beautiful.”

Tony just gave her a fond smile and put the groceries that he bought on the counter, next to the bags that she had bought.

“Oh damn, I should have told you I was going to buy the groceries.”

Tony shrugs. “I figured out the other night that I forgot to get your phone number. I didn’t want to assume.”

“Well thank you.” Loki nodded and began methodically organizing the groceries. Tony stood next to her and handed her whatever she asked for, the silence comfortable around them. The sounds of the boys giggling in the next room seemed to fill the lack in conversation

“Sorry about my brother, I didn’t know he was going to show up like this. My family doesn’t do anything discreetly,” Loki apologizes.

“Loki, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I get it. Do you and your brother have your own ‘this is our get along shirt’ too?”

Loki laughs, “When we were younger, yes.”

At this point the ingredients are all laid out in front of them but neither move to get started. Loki had read up a little bit over how to make pizza but her knowledge in the kitchen was… lacking.

“Tony? Have you ever made a pizza before?”

“Yes,” Tony lied. Loki glances over at him, eyebrows raised in suspicion. “Okay, no. But how hard can it be? We have the awesome tool called Google, Loki. The internet is a gateway of information. We can do this.”

Loki shrugs and together they both begin working on the pizza, occasionally pausing to check on the boys. Currently they were were using Thor as a jungle gym and the man didn’t seem to mind. Loki was so unbelievably happy that Thor had taken up with Fenrir so well and was a decent role model for the boy.

As it turns out making pizza is a lot harder than they believed. There was flour and yeast from one end of the kitchen to the other. They had to restart twice because Tony was convinced his Italian heritage gave him the power to spin the dough. It did not. The first time it landed on the floor with a loud plop and the second stuck to the ceiling. Loki keeps her eye on the pizza on the ceiling for a long time as they work on the third round. Slowly but surely it begins to peel away from the ceiling.

“Tony. Wait. Stand right there. I forgot something,” Loki said and Tony froze. She pretended to look through the grocery bags, but before he could ask her what she was looking for, the dough fell and landed on his head. Loki burst out laughing. “I wasn’t sure that was going to work.”

Tony frowns and for a second Loki thinks he might be mad as he sits the pizza down on the counter. However, a grin spreads across his face as he reaches up and peels the dough from his hair. He takes the dough in his hand and begins tossing it at Loki, who is dodging them to the best of her ability. Finally there is a standoff when Loki grabs the sack of flour from the counter.

“Don’t make me use this, Stark. It will not end well for either of us.”

Tony raises another ball of dough and takes aim. “You are no match for me, Odinson.” The kitchen was still as they anticipated for the other person to make the first move. And like most intense battles, neither Loki or Tony would say who made the first move but in a heated fury, flour coated the entire room. Squeals of laughter echoed out into the living room, drawing the attention of the boys and Thor.

Fenrir and Peter were the first on the scene. Tony and Loki were covered almost head to toe in flour and pieces of dough were stuck in their hair.

“Dad!”

“Peter! Help! This villainess is defeating me. I need your help!” Tony yelled, ducking behind the island in the middle of the kitchen. Peter gladly ran over to his dad and Loki could hear them whispering loudly to each other, making a plan.

“Fenrir, would you care to help?” Loki asked and the boys face lit up.

“We can make a mess?” Fenrir asked, skepticism in his voice. Loki was usually very strict about not making messes. Clutter usually made both of them feel a bit claustrophobic.

“Oh yes, Fenrir. Today, messes are appropriate.” Loki said and handed him the bag of flour. “Be careful, my heart. I fear we are facing some powerful opponents.”

Soon, before Loki and Fenrir could predict, Tony and Peter made their move. The battle was hard fought on both sides, leaving both covered head to toe in a mess. At some point the boys had turned on their parents and forced Tony and Loki to work together. Loki’s stomach hurt from laughing and she could tell Fenrir was having a fantastic time.

“We yield!” Tony laughed, waving a napkin above his head. “You have defeated us.”

“Too much raw power! My magic is useless!” Loki cries, causing Fenrir to laugh. Loki opens her mouth to speak again but another voice cuts her off.

“So dinner is coming along nicely as I can see,” Thor spoke, his voice almost hinting at amusement.

“Hush, Thor. Must I remind you that no one invited you over for dinner,” Loki snarks as Tony helps her off the floor, hands clasped together. For a moment their eyes connect and Loki felt an immense feeling of warmth flow through her body. Tony leans forward a bit towards her but Loki dodges by turning to the boys, giving Tony’s hand a squeeze before letting go. “Are you guys still hungry for pizza?” This was met with enthusiastic cheers causing both parents to laugh. “Fenrir and I have a favorite place downtown that we can order from, they deliver. In the meantime, we can all get cleaned up.”

“Sorry about the mess, Loki. You did start it,” Tony teased and Loki rolled her eyes. “I’ll help you clean up.”

“Loki if you want to go order pizza and get changed, I’ll help Tony clean,” Thor said, as Loki and Fenrir strode out of the room she gave a look that conveyed ‘Don’t fuck this up for me or scare him off or I will murder you with a butter knife.’ Thor believed her.

This time there is an awkward silence as Thor and Tony went to work on cleaning up the kitchen. Before Tony went any further, he took a washcloth to clean up Peter’s face for him, cleaning him up the best he could. Then they took to the kitchen. It wasn’t the most difficult thing Tony had ever done but if it wasn’t a pain in the ass. Somehow flour seemed to find itself in every crevice.

“So, Thor, what do you do for a living?” Tony asked, groaning internally at the most boring question in the world.

“I’m a detective.” Thor answered shortly. Tony opened his mouth but Peter had cut in.

“A detective?! Like on TV?! That’s so cool!!! Dad did you hear that?! Thor is like Scooby Doo!” Peter’s smile was from cheek to cheek.

Neither Thor or Tony could hold back a laugh. “I’m not sure he’s exactly like Scooby Doo.”

“No dad! He’s like Scooby Doo. You saw Hogun earlier!”

Tony grinned back at Peter as he cleaned off the counter. Peter rambled on about his favorite episodes of Scooby Doo. Tony went back to cleaning, chiming into Peter’s ramblings every once in a while.

Thor and Tony continued chatting and by the time Loki returned with dinner, both were talking enthusiastically. Dinner went well and they spent time laughing and letting the boys talk about what they were learning at school. After dinner, they escaped into the living room and it didn’t take long for both Peter and Fenrir to fall asleep, happy and with their stomachs full.

“Well… I think Peter and I are going to go. You have school tomorrow. Thank you so much for inviting us over,” Tony said and stood, crossing the room to maneuver Peter in his arms without waking Fenrir.

“I don’t wanna go!”

“I know, Pete. But you have school in the morning. You will get to see Fenrir tomorrow. Promise.”

“Mkay,” Peter mumbles and buries his face into Tony’s shoulder, quickly falling asleep again.

Loki stands and walks to the front door with Tony. “Can you get him into the car yourself?”

“Would you mind opening the door for me? He keeps growing and makes it harder,” Tony says and they walk out to the car, Loki opening the door so Tony can place him in the back seat.

“I know what you mean,” Loki whispers, wrapping her arms around herself to shield herself from the chill of the night.

“Loki, I really enjoyed tonight. I think Peter did too. Probably the most fun we have had in a while,” Tony told her with a smile.

“Same here, it’s been… difficult. Tonight opened my eyes a little bit, so thank you Anthony,” Loki responds and quickly leans over to kiss him on the cheek. She is thankful it’s dark enough that her blushed face isn’t totally obvious. “I’ll see you tomorrow at school.”

“See you tomorrow.”

~~~

The next few months go just as smooth as that night did. The two pairs constantly around each other, doing fun things with the boys. Even Loki’s family had started to relax. Frigga worries less with her daughter being out with Tony and Thor stops interrupting them, well for the most part. Loki herself has never felt more free, there isn’t a day that she and Tony don’t talk, whether it’s about the boys or what they did that day. For the first time since Loki escaped Room she sees a future where she and Fen can finally be happy. So, like an idiot, she stops taking her medicine, believes that this newfound relationship and possibly love was the cure. Things started to go down hill gradually enough that by the time Loki was at her worst, no one had caught it.

“Loki… you need to get up… you have work in an hour,” Frigga said poking her head in her daughters room. Loki lay under the blankets, unmoving.

“No going. I’m sick,” Loki grumbles, a nip of harshness in her tone. “Leave me alone.”

Frigga walks over to the bed and removes the blankets enough to feel her daughter's forehead. Perfectly normal, almost running on the cooler side of normal. “My child. You do not feel hot. If you got on your feet and moving around you’ll feel better. Fenrir needs you to take him to school. Your father and I can’t.”

Loki hid her face into the blanket. She pulls out her phone and Frigga rolls her eyes when she hears her son's voice on the other end of the line. Loki mumbles into the phone, “‘Thor? Can you drive Fen to school today? I’m not feeling very well... Brother, please… Yeah sure, I’ll owe you… thanks.’ There you go mother, taken care of. Bye.”

Frigga let out a huff but left her daughter alone, praying this was only for today. The older woman went to wake Fenrir and start getting him ready for school, explaining Loki’s absence along the way.

~~~

“I don’t think we should do this anymore Anthony,” Loki states blatantly over dinner one night about five months into their relationship, her voice monotone. Frigga and Thor’s heads shot up. Tony’s face contorted in confusion.

“What?”

“I said I’m finished. I don’t want to do this anymore,” Loki snaps, crossing her arms over her chest and leaning back into her chair.

“Boys, go upstairs and play please,” Odin orders and the boys immediately ran off, the tension filling the room.

“Loki. I don’t understand. What’s wrong? I thought things were going fine,” Tony stammered out, his heart beating so hard in his chest that he swore he could hear it. “If there’s something I’ve done, please tell me.”

“Why do I have to explain every fucking decision I make? God damn! Can’t I be my own damn person?!” Loki tells him harshly, standing from the table.

“Loki enough. Sit down,” Odin orders with a firm voice. Loki ignores him completely.

“Everyone questions everything that I do like I’m some fucking breakable toy, well I’m not. I’m not.”

“Loki I never said you were-“ Tony starts and reaches out for Loki’s hand. The woman pulls it away as if it would burn her. “Please, Loki, I love you. Don’t you-“

“No. I don’t. I don’t even know where you would even get that idea.”

Tony could feel his heart breaking, he kept trying meet her eyes but she had drawn back and away. Finally they met and Tony almost was startled. This wasn’t the Loki he had fell in love with, her eyes were hard and uncaring. All the light had gone and instead of the bright emerald green, they were dull.

“Loki please, please don’t do this,” Tony begged. “Peter and I love you.”

“I don’t love you, Tony! I don't! Get out!” Loki screams putting her head in her hands, she was crying into them. Every word out of her mouth hurt her and part of her didn’t understand why she was saying these things. She didn’t want Tony leave. “Get out!”

Tony had tears running down his face as he steps back, not wanting to send Loki into further misery. “Lokes…”

“Get out!” Loki screamed and threw her plate, the thing smashing on the wall next to Tony’s head. Tony ducked and immediately backed out of the room and towards the stairs. He called Peter down and was gone before Loki could say anything else.

Loki let out a harsh sob and fell to the floor, her body floating. Her mind was racing, there was so much going on and she thought she’d feel better but it hurt worse. The horrible part was that is made her feel cold and numb, as if something evil was causing her to lash out. What was wrong with her? She didn’t want this.

“Ma?” Fenrir whimpers, his head peeking around the corner. “Why did Peter leave?”

Odin carefully took the boys hand, and led him into the living room. Thor and Frigga followed. There was a long time that nothing happened, Loki could hear her family discussing something quietly but couldn’t make it out. She stood quietly and exited out the back door, she followed the familiar path out to the hammock and curled into it.

She hadn’t been out there very long before she heard her father clear his throat.

“Loki. We must speak.”

Loki couldn’t help but scoff, “What’s to talk about? You saw everything.”

“Yes but we both know that’s not the question I’m asking Loki. What happened?”

“I just want to be able to make my own decisions as a person. My head is so busy all the time and I thought by getting rid of Tony I could focus more on Fenrir and…”

Odin sighed he sat in the chair next to the hammock. “Loki, have you been taking your medicine that Dr. Banner prescribed you?”

Loki couldn’t meet her father's eyes. She sat as still as she could be hoping he would just go away.

“Loki, I have half a mind to call the police. You could have hurt Stark seriously. You need to tell me now. Have you been taking your meds?”

Loki shook her head ‘no’, averting her eyes from her father’s face.

Odin sighs and hands her her pill bottles and a water bottle. “Loki. Your mother and I discussed it. We can’t have this happen again. You have to take your meds or find another place to live. Fenrir needs stability and not a mother who neglects to take care of herself.”

The cold of the night finally hit Loki. The hammock stopped swinging and she put her head in her hands. With a defeated sob, she opens them and pops her medicine in her mouth. “I’m going to go to bed. Can we talk in the morning?”

“No, Loki. We are talking now. No more running.”

Loki nods, and tries to compose herself. “I know I should have been taking my meds. Logically, I know this. For the first time in a long time I felt better. I was happy and Fenrir was happy. It’s been over a year and I thought I was over it. I didn’t want to be so dependent on my medicine. I wanted to be normal, to be a good mom. I just ruined the best thing I’ve had in a long time, Father. I could have hurt him.”

“Fear makes us do things we shouldn’t.”

“I wasn’t ever scared of Tony. I’m just scared that I’m going to blink one day and I’m going to wake up back in that stupid shed. I’m ashamed that Thanos still has so much influence over my life.”

“You should be telling this to Anthony, and not to me.”

“I don’t know if I will get that chance again, Father.”

Chapter Text

“Thor hurry the hell up. We are going to be late. Look at you huff and puff, consider the cardio option the next time you are at the gym,” Loki shouts out the window of her car, honking the horn vigorously. Thor is obviously annoyed as he slides into the passenger seat, but Loki isn’t worried. Thor is about as intimidating as an angry puppy.

“I do work on cardio, sister. I am breathing heavily because you sent me a text 10 minutes ago telling me we were going somewhere and I had to rush,” Thor grumbles but then turns around to grin at Fenrir. “Hey buddy, how are you?”

“Good!”

“Quit whining. Buckle up,” Loki says, turning around in her seat as she backs the car out of the driveway. “Everyone ready to go?”

“Yup,” Thor answers through a Pop Tart.

“Where the hell did you get a Pop Tart? You literally were holding nothing when you got into the car.”

“I will never reveal my secret,” Thor tells her but turns to Fenrir and holds his hand up to block his mouth from Loki’s view but doesn’t bother to lower his voice. “My pocket.”

Fenrir laughs. Loki can’t help to roll her eyes.

A few minutes later down the road, Fenrir speaks up. “Ma? Where are we going?”

“We are going to look at a new house.”

“Why?” Fenrir asks, leaning forward in his seat to get a better look at his mum.

Thor turns to look at Loki, slightly shocked at her response. While Loki had mentioned wanting to find her own place, he never thought she would actually act on that so soon. His gut immediately twists in fear.

“Because I think we can do this. I’ve told you before that one day we were going to get a new house and live on our own.”

“I like living with Amma and Grandpa,” Fenrir whines. Loki reaches back to the back seat to hold his hand. She didn’t know the best way to break it to Fenrir that they were moving out and understood that this would be difficult. She doesn’t even want to approach the subject that they might be moving farther away from Peter… and Tony.

“I know you do sweetie. I like living with them too. But… don’t you think it would be cool to have our own house? We can decorate however we like, and no one can tell us differently. It’ll just be you and me again.”

“Like in Room?”

“Never like Room, Fenrir. We are going to have plenty of space, we can come and go as we please.”

“Can we get a dog in our new house?”

“I don’t know, Fen.”

“You said we couldn’t have Rocket in Room is because there wasn’t enough space. Now we are going to have a lot of space, so Rocket can fit,” Fenrir argues.

“You are right. We will just have to talk about it later. I promise we will discuss it,” Loki concedes, and Fenrir’s eyes go wide in excitement at the thought of getting his own dog. Loki’s grip on the steering wheel is tight. Thor coughs to break the tension.

---

Later, as they are walking through a house Thor pulls Loki aside. “Sister, why are you choosing now to start looking for another house? It doesn’t make much sense… Are you alright?”

“Yes, I am fine. It’s time for Fenrir and me to move out. Dr. Banner agrees that if I’m ready for this, it would be a positive step. Also, I read that this is the best time to search,” Loki explains, still looking at the ensuite bathroom with an intensity that Thor doesn’t think a bathroom deserves.

“Loki…”

“Thor, I am fine, really. I’ve saved up for a while so Fenrir and I can get a nice place. Mother and Father don’t need us living with them for the rest of our lives. I’ve been taking my medicine and going to see Dr. Banner every week. It’s not an impulse decision, I’ve been planning this for a while.”

“This isn’t because of Anthony is it?”

Loki stops dead in her tracks and Thor has his answer. She begins to fidget nervously with the rings on her fingers and Thor pulls his sister into a hug.

“Loki, you can’t just run away from him for the rest of your life. Especially since Peter and Fenrir are so close.”

“I know and I will talk to him. I promise. It’s all so new to me Thor. Relationships. Love. If what I feel for Anthony is… was… still is love? I don’t quite understand it all. Fenrir is who I need to focus on right now. Trust me.”

Thor nods in response and places his hand on her shoulder. “I trust you, Loki. I always have.”

“Thank you, brother. I really appreciate it.”

“Ma! Look at the backyard! It has swings!” Fenrir shouts as he rounds the corner, a grin decorating his face from cheek to cheek. Loki can’t help but laugh and follow him as he pulls her to see the backyard.

---

“Fen baby come on. You have got to put your stuff in Uncle Thor’s car, please. We are leaving in 30 minutes.”

“I don’t want to go.”

“I know,” Loki pokes her head into Fenrir’s room to find him sitting solemnly on his bed, his back towards the door. He has a few toys spread around him with a box open in front of him. She sets her own box down and pushes the door open more so she can enter. She carefully climbs in bed behind him and pulls him into a hug. “I know you don’t want to go, love. We are only going a few miles away. Amma is going to pick you up every day after school to go over and play while I am at work.”

“I’m sad that we are leaving,” he whimpers hiding his face in her shoulder. Loki can feel where his tears are starting to soak her shirt. Her heart breaks a little.

Loki hums, resting her chin on his head, wrapping him up even tighter in her arms. “I do too. You and I have grown a lot in this house. No matter how far we go, you and I will always have a place here with Amma and Grandpa, right? It’s okay to feel sad or to cry. I can’t promise that leaving won’t be hard. What I can promise you is that you will always have me. I love you, sweetheart.”

“Love you too, Ma. Still sad though.”

“You know what the best cure for sadness is?”

“What?” Fenrir peaks out from her shoulder, his eyes shining with curiosity.

“Well. First, you start off with a big kiss from your mum,” Loki grins as she plants a kiss on his cheek, making a loud “muah” as she does.

“MA! Your lipstick tickles!” Fenrir squeals reaching up to rid his face of her lipstick.

“Then you, add a little bit of laughter,” she says with a bit of mischief behind it and surprises him with tickles to his sides. Their shared laughter fills the room. He began trying to tickle her back, almost knocking her off the bed.

“Stop!!” Fenrir squeals holding his sides in laughter. Loki laughs and stands, handing him one of his toys. His smile fades.

“Next, you do something a little difficult but with some help,” Loki told him and pushes the box towards him. Fenrir nods and begin to pack his stuff, Loki praising and helping him along the way.

“The final step to cure sadness is the most important. A step you can never, ever forget,” Loki tells him and Fenrir crawls off the bed. “You treat yourself to some ice cream on our way to the new house.” Fenrir cheers and bolts towards the stairs, box in hand, leaving Loki alone. Ice cream works every time.

She takes a moment to herself to calm her nerves before exiting the room as well, grabbing her last box and taking it out to the car. Fenrir is chatting with Thor, making sure his box is safe in the front seat of Thor’s car. He even makes Thor put the seatbelt over it. She smiles and realizes that now she’s closer to happiness than she’s been in a while. The feeling is good.

As Loki loads her box into her car, she spots her dad’s car pull up. “Loki. Good. I was worried you had left already,” Odin greets as he steps out of the car, papers and folders in hand.

“Nope! I thought you weren’t getting off work until later?”

Odin’s eyes glance down at the files and back up at his daughter. He shakes his head, “He’s changed his plea, Loki. He’s pleading not guilty and is saying that you consented to the entire time you were there.”

Loki feels as if she had been slapped in the face and her breath leaves her body. She has to place her hand on the car to keep her from falling over. “No, that’s not possible. How can anyone believe that I…? We were in a shed under lock and key. There’s

Odin shakes his head, “I don’t know. He’s charmed his way out of the guilty plea. I’m fighting it the best I can but… Loki. You’re going to have to testify against him.”

Chapter Text

With her jacket wrapped tightly around her to keep out the chill of the winter air, Loki walks alone down a quiet street lined with street lamps. It’s late at night, later than Loki thinks is appropriate for this visit but if she doesn’t do this now, she’s not sure she ever will. As she gets closer, she sees two or three cars in the driveway, all of the lights in the house are on. Loki almost turns around. With a sigh she continues down the sidewalk and before she knows it, she’s standing at the front door, hand raised to knock.

Before she can, the door opens to reveal Pepper Potts, who almost seems shocked to see her. “Loki?”

Pepper and Loki had never really interacted much in high school since Pepper was two years younger. However, Loki had met Pepper really during her time dating Tonyt. since he and Pepper shared a similar bond that Loki had with Thor. Pepper was Tony’s right hand at his company, though Loki knew Pepper took on more than most people thought she did. Pepper was an immensely serious but caring person whom Loki had enjoyed being around.

“Oh, Pepper. Hi,” Loki greets.

“Can I help you?” Pepper asks, voice low as she steps out onto the porch, shutting the door behind her. The redhead crosses her arms over her chest.

“No, I came to give Tony this,” Loki pulls a small slip of paper out of her pocket where her address is scribbled on it. She is still so wary with the trial on the horizon to give out her address through text. “Could you give him this address? It’s where Fenrir and I are living now.”

“You moved?” Pepper asked taking the paper but doesn’t pocket it, instead she crumples it in her hand. “You could have just sent it to him. You both own phones.”

Loki’s eyes narrow and her fists clench inside her pockets. “I felt like giving it to him in person would be the best decision, but it appears I won’t get the chance. If you could give that to him and tell him that I stopped by, I’d appreciate it. Have a good night.”

“You too, Loki,” Pepper says but her tone is unforgiving. Loki watches Pepper retreat back inside, the door slamming behind her. Loki catches a glimpse of Tony through the front window but does nothing, turns around and begins her walk home.

Loki is disappointed, of course. She wipes a tear from her face quickly and tries to stop them from falling but fails. She only gets a few driveways down before her cheeks are soaked.

“Loki wait! Come back,” a voice calls out. Tony. Loki doesn’t stop or turn around as she hears his footsteps approach her. “Loki!”

Loki stops, biting her lip as she turns towards him. She tries to wipe her face of her tears. “Sorry if I interrupted your party. Pepper made it pretty clear that I couldn’t come in.”

“What’s wrong, Loki?”

“So much. Thanos changed his plea from not guilty to guilty. He’s claiming that I consented, that I was there by my own will,” Loki tells him, not holding anything back this time. Tony deserves the truth and that’s what Loki was prepared to give him. “I moved, I don’t know if Pepper gave you my new address.”

Tony steps towards her and surprisingly, pulls her into a hug. “Loki. I’m so sorry.”

Loki pulls away from Tony so she can look him in the eyes. “No, Tony. You have nothing to be sorry for. I actually came to apologize to you.”

“Loki, you don’t have to apologize.”

“No, I was so cruel to you and you didn’t deserve that. I owe you so much but the least I can do for now is apologize. That’s what I intended to do tonight.” Her heart is beating out of her chest and she thinks she might throw up. “You didn’t deserve that. I am sorry. From the bottom of my heart, Anthony Stark. I was vicious and none of it was your fault.”

Silence engulfs them as Loki contemplates what to say next. “Tony. I really am sorry. I’m sorry if I scared you or Peter, that was never my intention. I care so much for the both of you. I had been off my medicine for a few weeks. I was so happy with how things were going I thought I wouldn’t need them anymore. That was a mistake. I’m better now, I promise. I’ve been going to a therapist and taking my medicine. It’s not an excuse for my actions just an explanation. I understand if what I did made you feel if I’m too unsafe for you or Peter to be around, but I’d really like it if Fenrir could come over to play every once in a while. My mom can even drop him off and pick him up. Fenrir misses his best friend and I’d be more of a horrible mother if I had to deny him being around his friend because of me.

The truth is, and if you don’t want to hear it, please stop me. You don’t have to let me down gently… The truth is that I love you, Anthony. I fell in love with you during the food fight in my kitchen. I broke it off because I was scared. Thanos destroyed me and reshaped the way I saw the world. Love… was a feeling I reserved for one person, Fenrir. I didn’t even know that I could feel love for another person in the way I feel about you.” Loki says and wipes a tear from her face with force, trying to keep a resemblance of being in control of her emotions. Ha. “I know that it’s been months and you’ve probably moved on. That’s okay and I’m glad you’ve done so. I just needed to get this off of my chest and I hope this doesn’t ruin anything for you. You have been a wonderful person to me, and Fenrir and I cannot thank you enough for that. Fenrir wanted me to tell you that he misses you. I miss you.”

As soon as the last word is out of her mouth, Tony’s hands are on either side of her face and his lips are on hers. It’s something deep and more loving than Loki had ever experienced. When Tony pulls away both of them are breathing heavily. “I missed you so much Lokes. I knew something wasn’t right that night but knew you needed space. I should have come back to you. I’m so sorr-”

“No, no. Don’t apologize to me, please,” Loki whispered, running her hands through his hair. “Forgive me.”

“If you do one thing.”

“Anything.”

“If you ever start feeling bad again or want to push us away, will you please tell me? I love you so much and will never abandon you. The bad days and the good, okay? Promise me?”

Loki nods and leans into Tony. “I promise.”

---

A few weeks later, they are all at dinner at Loki’s house. She had finally finished decorating and wanted to officially host dinner for the first time. Her parents and Thor were very happy to see Tony and Peter again.

“Boys? Come wash up please!” Loki calls out the window to where Peter and Fenrir are playing in the backyard with Hogun. They both groan but come inside anyway. “Thank you.”

The boys disappear upstairs, talking wildly about what happened on the playground that day at school. Loki smiles as she and Tony continue to prepare dinner. She is just placing dinner in the oven when the doorbell rings. Loki wipes her hands on the hand towel hanging on the stove. “I’ll grab it.”

When she opens the front door, she sees two women standing side by side. The one on the left appears to be slightly older, a few years older than Loki at least. The woman has beautiful dark skin and red hair. She has an intimidating aura around her that tells Loki immediately this woman means business.

“Are you Loki Odinson?” The woman on the right asks. This woman, no less intimidating, is shorter than her counterpart. Her eyes are very dark but what stands out the most to Loki is the woman’s dark blue hair.

“Yes, how did you get this address? I’m sorry but I’m not doing interviews at this time,” Loki tells them quickly and tries to shut the door. The blue-haired woman sticks her hand up to keep the door open and Loki is surprised at the easy strength the woman possesses, especially because Loki notices that the arm propping the door open is a prosthetic.

“Ms. Odinson, my name is Nebula, and this is my sister, Gamora. We need talk to you about Thanos. He’s our adopted father and we’d like to help you send him to prison for a very, very long time.”

Loki lets the door open cautiously. “What do you mean?”

“Ms. Odinson. He has hurt us, too. He’s too powerful to take on yourself. He has a very good lawyer by the name of Gast but we think that we can help each other,” the older woman, Gamora, finally speaks. There is desperation in her voice.

Loki is about to speak again when she feels a hand on the small of her back, she turns and sees Tony who looks at Loki with confusion. Loki turns back to the two women. “We can talk. Please come in. This is my boyfriend, Tony Stark.”

The two women step in, nodding at Tony in greeting as Loki leads them into the living room.

“Please have a seat wherever. This is my Odin, my father and lawyer, Frigga, my mother, and Thor, my brother. Everyone this is Gamora and Nebula, Thanos’ adopted daughters. They are here to help us with our case,” Loki introduces them, and she can feel the tension skyrocket in the room.

“Sister-

“Loki… What?”

“Lokes… is this such a good idea?”

“Ma! All done!” Fenrir shouts proudly as the boys come bounding down the stairs. They rush over to Loki when they notice the two strangers in the house. Fenrir immediately hides his face into his mother’s side, nervous because both women look only at him.

Peter, however, is much more brazen. He steps in front of Loki and Peter. “Hi. I'm Peter.”

“Fenrir, Peter. I know you just got washed up but why don’t you take Hogun outside again?” Tony asks. Hogun raises his head at the mention of his name where he was sleeping at Thor's feet.

“Don't wanna,” Fenrir whispers to Loki.

“It’s alright, my love. Go out and play for me. You can come back in soon, promise,” Loki tells Fenrir, rubbing his back affectionately. She leans down and kisses both boys on the forehead. They both quickly disappear outside.

“Is he?" Gamora asks, gazing out the window at Fenrir.

“My son? Yes, that’s Fenrir.” Loki answers, curtly.

“He looks a lot like you,” Gamora comments, her smile genuine but gets the hint to back off asking about the boy. “I’m sorry that you had to get him through such a terrible route.”

“If I may ask, again. Why are you both here? I’m struggling to understand why you would speak out against your adopted father.” Loki gestures to living room and everyone sits. Loki sits in a chair across from the two, Tony perched on the arm of the chair next to her.

The sisters sit close together but not close enough that they touch. Gamora begins, “He adopted me when I was about six or seven and then Nebula, a few years after me. He had a girlfriend or something for the first few years, but she was just as strange as he was. I hardly remember her name because one day… she just stopped coming around. That’s when things went from bad to worse for us. Thanos was angry that she had left and began to pit us against each other as we got older, make us fight for food or a warm shower. There were ‘accidents’ that happened rather frequently. Nebula lost her arm and leg to his abuse. He was manipulative enough that each time either of us got hurt, he made us think it was our own fault. When I reached 18, I took Nebula and got out of there and away from him.”

Loki looks to Nebula who is openly scowling at the story, Gamora reaches over and grabs her sisters’ hand to comfort her. Loki can tell they both care for each other.

“Why go after him now?” she asks Nebula. “Why wait so long?”

“Well, we tried to go after him years ago but Gast was too smart and too powerful. We don’t even know how Thanos can afford to hire him. We didn’t even get to court, we didn’t have enough money to afford a lawyer to even put a dent into his defense. So, we backed off. Nine years later, however, we see on the news about your escape and his arrest. We wanted to reach out immediately but thought the case for him to go to prison would be very cut and dry. It appears not, which is why we want to help you. He’s an evil, evil person and between the three of us we know the true evil that lies in him. We want to expose this asshole for what he is,” Nebula tells her. “He can’t get away with what he’s done.”

Loki looks over at her dad, who appears to be writing most of this down in his notepad. Odin finally looks back at his daughter, his face unreadable. She looks at Thor two and he seems to believe their story, so he gives her a slight nod.

Loki looks to Odin again but before anyone else can say something, Frigga speaks, her voice firm with an air of finality. “Ladies, I think we would love to have your help. My husband and daughter will work with you further but I for one think your testimonies could only help. Thank you for reaching out to us.”

The two women let out a sigh of relief and smile at each other. Loki can’t help but smile as well, there’s a powerful energy in the air. She can’t wait to help these two tear Thanos apart.

Chapter Text

“Loki! Open the door!”

“Gamora? Nebula? What on Earth are you doing? It's late.”

“It’s seven pm?”

“Late...”

“We are here to get you- what are you wearing?” Gamora stepped in and eyed Loki up and down as she entered.

“Clothes.”

“I can see that but- why are you wearing that.”

“Yes? It’s a Saturday… also, they are comfortable. These are my ‘my kid is gone’ clothes,” Loki crosses her arms now, covering the shirt that she is wearing. It’s one of Tony’s that he had left here but Loki assumes it’s the ratty pajama bottoms that has Gamora questioning her choices.

“Loki, you are in your mid-twenties and you act like you are in your mid-sixties! Tony happened to let us know that your mom had the boys tonight and you two were going to be here. Also… since apparently, you don’t remember…”

Loki grumbled and silently swore to hit the man the next time she saw him. “I just want a quiet night; the trial is tomorrow.”

“Yes, so that’s exactly why we are going out. It’s going to be very low-key, and not the pun is not intended. You will have time to wear ugly pajamas and lie around when Fenrir and Peter are in college. Shower, now.” Gamora pointed.

Loki groans but listens, trudging up the stairs. She knows that the two women seem to be in a hurry so, just to tick them off a bit more, Loki takes her sweet time getting ready.

“Loki, I’m coming up there. You better be in some sort of clothing, I’m not afraid to kick your ass naked or not.”

Loki just rolls her eyes, slips on a robe, and continues curling her hair.

Nebula is the one that opens the door to her room and by what Loki can tell, she is antsy and uneasy, though Loki doesn’t think it’s because of her.

“Happy Birthday, by the way,” Nebula casually says as she flops down on to Loki’s bed, phone in hand.

“Today isn’t my birthday?” Loki says.

“It is.”

“My birthday isn’t until-” Loki quickly checks her phone. December 4th. Her birthday. “I forgot again. Haven’t celebrated since before...”

Nebula looks over at her now, something in her gaze but it isn’t pity. “We didn’t celebrate birthdays while we were with him either Loki. Gamora just marked them down until she turned 18. I chose one when we left.”

Loki nods, “What day?”

“April 27th. Spring seemed nice. New life and all that shit.”

Loki turns around and the women make eye contact, nothing has to be said between them. It’s understanding that connects the two women, causing them to be so close. Loki knows that if any person in the entire world knew what she was going through it would be Nebula. She reaches out and pats the woman’s head, causing Nebula to sneer but the women both just laugh. “Where are they wanting to take me?”

“Out to this new bar... Xandar or something.”

“Was this Tony’s idea?”

“Yep.”

“Asshole.”

~~~

“Loki!!”

“Hello Peter, how are you?”

“Uh, awesome. It’s your birthday! Party all night long! Woo!” the man shouted, and it echoed across the bar. Gamora rolled her eyes and took her boyfriend’s face in her hands.

“Chill out, Peter,” Gamora said sternly, fondness in her eyes. Peter was an eccentric one, as were all of Gamora’s friends. Quite the ragtag bunch of misfits but Loki enjoyed the chaos that followed them.

“Happy Birthday, Loki! You look so pretty tonight,” came a sweet voice to her left, Mantis. “You are nervous, yeah?”

“Thank you, Mantis,” Loki smiled. She wasn’t sure why everyone called the woman Mantis, but the woman had continuously been one of the sweetest people Loki had ever met, which made her absolutely terrifying. The woman was one that Loki didn’t like to be around due to the woman’s uncanny ability to read Loki’s emotions like a book. “Have you seen Anthony?”

Just as the words left her mouth, two arms wrapped around her waist. Loki stiffened for a second, her eyes growing wide as she swung around. “Hey-”

“It’s me, it’s me. It’s alright, got caught up in the moment. I’m sorry babe,” Tony apologized, and Loki could see the sincerity in his eyes. He quickly loosened up on his hold around her waist. “You look gorgeous. Happy Birthday Lokes.”

“Thank you, this was all your idea, hmm?’ Loki asked with a smirk on her face, pulling him back closer.

“Do not give him all of the credit for planning this night, Loki. You offend me,” Pepper said, appearing with three glasses in her hands.

“I knew there was a brighter mind behind this,” Loki smirked and took one of the glasses Pepper offered her.

Ever since Loki and Tony had reconciled, Loki had made it her goal to make friends with Pepper again. It had been a long and tedious road, the redheaded woman was not one to ever cross but eventually with many wine and movie nights, the two had grown close once again.

“LOKI! SISTER! IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY! EVERYONE TELL MY SISTER HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”

Loki groaned, hiding her face in Tony’s neck. “Don’t let the himbo brigade see me.”

“It’s too late there, babe. He’s been so excited. You aren’t going to get away from it.”

“This is your fault; I had forgotten that it was even my birthday and now I’m here!”

“You forgot it was your birthday?”

“Yeah, I mean I hadn’t really celebrated my birthday since… before. I just kept up with Fenrir’s” Loki admitted quietly.

Tony huffed and nodded, pressing a gentle kiss to Loki’s temple just as Thor arrived at their table.

“Happy Birthday, sister!”

“Thank you, Thor. You didn’t have to tell the whole bar though. You are incredibly embarrassing,” Loki laughed.

“Alright, alright, someone give a toast before we all get super smashed,” Rocket shouted from somewhere to her left.

“To Loki, the most badass mom in the world, and the most badass person in this room, who we all love so much, especially yours truly,” Tony said, and the room gave a laugh, holding up his drink.

“Cheers!”

The group all tipped their drinks back. A cheer echoing across the bar.

“Loki, come dance with me!”

With a shake of her head, Loki pulled out her phone checking to make sure that there were no texts from her mom. She quickly fired one off before Tony grabbed it. “Ah ah ah the boys are fine. Your mom just texted me that we are not to disturb their movie night.”

“Anthony Stark, you are insufferable.”

“Hey you think I’m fantastic.”

“Not when you drag me out,” Loki leaned in close, voice low and sultry, her lips close to his ear. “I thought it was going to be us two. I had a lot of things planned for us. No children and many, many hours of -”

“Loki! Shots with us!” Nebula said interrupting Loki and grabbing her arm. Loki grinned evilly, glancing back at Tony who seemed to be regretting all of his choices this evening. She laughed and followed her friend.

~~~

“Excuse me.”

Loki was laughing at something that Gamora had been spewing off and turned around to the voice. Standing behind her, hands on her hips and looking extremely pissed off woman. She had bright red hair and seemed to be in her 40s.

“I’m sorry, are we being too loud?” Loki asks just as someone bumps into her from behind, making her topple over into the woman.

“You are the woman from the news, aren’t you? The one who was kidnapped?”

Loki feels a chill run down her spine. She quickly turned her head to look for any sign of Tony or Thor or any of their friends but in a stroke of bad luck, they had disappeared. “I’m sorry? Why are you asking?”

“I just think that you are being irresponsible. You are out partying and drinking. Your son deserves better.

“I am sorry, but I think it would be wise for you to not bring him up. And I’m an adult that can make my own choices, just mind your own business, and please leave me alone,” Loki tells her calmly and draws the bartender's attention. Loki is just on the far side of tipsy but assuming the conversation is over, orders another drink.

The woman, however, doesn’t and taps on Loki’s shoulder. “What did you do? Leave him locked in a closet again while you left? You should have let that baby go when he was born, selfish bitch. Unfit is what I think.”

“Excuse me?” This isn’t the first time Loki’s been confronted by the public, especially with the trial so close. She understands that the public will make their own opinions of her and have their say. Usually, she has the wits to ignore it and move on but, Loki knows that she is vulnerable. There are people all around her and her head is feeling more than fuzzy. Loki quickly decides the drink isn’t worth standing here and begins to head back to who she thinks is Nebula across the room.

“Slut, you ruined that poor kid's life. He will grow up without a father and hate you for the rest of his life. You should have killed him when he came out, it would have been a nicer fate,” the woman finally quips and that makes Loki stop.

“Say something else and I will rip the tongue right out of your mouth,” Loki turns on a dime and immediately bares her teeth at the woman. “You’ve pissed me off. Obviously, since you care so much about my life and think you would have made a better decision. Let’s put it all out there and then we can hear from you. So, listen close and pay attention, imagine you are taken at seventeen years old, kept in a small room and raped every day for seven long years. There is no one to keep you company other than your rapist and kidnapper. Imagine then finding out you are pregnant. You give birth at nineteen years old, alone, with nothing but a hastily put together birth kit made from what your rapist could get you. You give birth in a 10 foot by 10-foot room by yourself, screaming out for your family who you know you will never see again, for the Gods, for someone to make it stop hurting so much. You deliver your child on a rug and struggle to stay awake long enough to cut the cord and make sure he’s breathing. When you look at them, you realize that you aren’t alone anymore. So, what now, take a step off of your podium and tell me what you would do next,”

The woman is stammering, her face ghostly pale. Loki just takes a step closer, invading the woman’s personal space, Loki towers over her and she can see the woman obviously shaking. The people around them have stopped dancing and are listening intently now.

“You think you know, huh? You watched the interviews, caught snippets of the news on your phone and made your assumptions? It’s ballsy of you to approach me but fuck that. I’m fine with what you think of me, I know myself and what I’ve done. However, I will warn you once, if you ever bring up my son again it will not end well. If I even sense your presence anywhere near me, I will not hesitate to send you to the fiery gates of hell and not feel a thing. Walk away, now.”

Loki feels a hand on her shoulder, and she turns to see Tony, face hardened and glaring daggers at the woman. “Loki.”

“I want to go home,” Loki tells him, quietly. Tony nods and pulls them away, leaving the woman stunned near the bar.

“Here,” Tony quickly shrugs his jacket off and drapes it over her head. Loki turns around once to see the bartender kicking her out, her friends that she arrived with quickly shunning her.

“How long were you standing there?” Loki asks him quietly. Her heart is beating out of her chest and she’s no longer feeling very well.

“Long enough, I was just coming to make sure you were alright when I heard her last thing…” Tony admits. “I’m quite upset you didn’t punch her.”

“She was horrible, wasn’t she?” Loki smiles a bit.

“It’ll be alright. Let’s go home. We can stop by and grab Peter and Fen.”

They quickly say their goodbyes and Loki has to reassure Thor several times that she is, in fact, okay. He seems to not really believe her but is satisfied after Loki assures him once more that she will call him in the morning.

Tony, who hadn’t been drinking, drives them to get the kids. The two boys are already passed out by the time that they all get home.

“Mama?” Fenrir whispers from Loki’s arms. “Can I sleep with you tonight?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Me too?” Peter chimes in from where he had been drooling over Tony’s shoulder.

“Yeah, buddy, alright,” Tony says.

It doesn’t take long for the four of them to get ready for bed, all of them dead tired. Loki falls asleep with Fenrir wrapped tight in her arms.

~~~

“Oh Loki,” a voice came from behind and sent shivers down her spine. She turns around slowly to face the voice. “I’ve been waiting a long time to see you Loki. How long has it been? Five years?”

The man looks no different than the last time she saw him. He holds something in his hand, and it takes a moment for her to realize that it’s the bright red toy truck that Fenrir received his last birthday while in Room. The sight of it sends Loki’s heart racing and she calls out to Fenrir.

“Fen?! Baby?!”

“Oh, he’s gone, Loki. Your little plan didn’t work… I did as you asked, buried him among the trees,” Thanos tells her, his voice filled with

“No… we got out.”

 

“You could only wish that you escaped, little one. You got him killed, Loki.”

“No! You bastard!” Loki opened her mouth to respond but the man closed his fist around her throat, cutting off all of her air supply.

“I remember this look. Oh, it was one of my favorites. Grabbing you like this and shoving you against the wall. I am pretty sure that’s how that bastard Fenrir of yours was conceived wasn’t it? That was a lot of fun. I think about that night a lot,” Thanos growled in her ear as she scratched at his hand, trying to fight her way out of his grip. Just as her vision began to blur and darken, he let go and sent her to the floor.

“Fuck you.” Her eyes scan Room wildly, looking for anything. Behind Thanos, the door is wide open, and she makes a break for it. However, she only makes it a few steps before falling, when she looks down it turns out her feet are chained to the wall.

“Now Loki. Where are our manners? Now see I was going to take you with me, but I feel like you would just be more of a pain in my ass. You would howl and scream and never give in to what I want. I made a mistake last time not killing you.” Thanos, in an impossibly fast speed, slammed her head against the floor, the ground rippling around her with the force.

~~~

Loki wakes up gasping, her eyes darting around the room frantically trying to place where she is. It’s only after a few seconds that Loki calms enough to put the puzzle together. Peter is clinging tightly to Loki’s shirt, his hair going in every direction possible. Fenrir is happily draped across Tony’s chest, snoring lightly. Relief instantly washes over her and she reclines back into the pillows.

“Loki, are you alright?” Tony whispers to her, his voice rough from sleep.

Loki looks over at him but can barely make out his features in the dark light of the morning, “Yeah, bad dream. I’m fine. I think that woman from last night shook me a bit… Not to mention that today is the trial. I probably should get up and look over everything again.”

“Loki, you’ve had everything memorized for a week.”

“I know but today… facing him again... If I could run and never stop, I would.”

“I know and I would let you. If my pretty face could survive prison, I would kill him myself. Just snap him out of existence and no one would ever have to deal with him again.”

Loki can’t help but giggle quietly but has to still when Peter’s face scrunches up like he might wake up. Loki lowers her voice a bit to make sure he stays asleep.

“You will be perfectly fine, we’ll all be there,” Tony whispers and Loki feels his hand run through her hair and she leans into the touch and the room falls silent again.

“Anthony?”

“Yeah, babe?”

“Would you- would you want to get married?”

“To you?”

“Who else?”

“Thor. Turns out I’ve been dating, sleeping, and living with you to get at your hunk of a brother. Surprise, bitch.”

Loki reaches over and smacks him. “I knew it. I guess I’ll just have to go after Pepper, she’s hot.” They both laugh.

“But kidding aside, are you proposing to me?”

“I guess so, this feels right. All of us together here, doesn’t it?”

“More than anything.”

 

“Are you going to answer?”

“Oh, yeah. Yes, Loki Odinson, I will gladly marry you.”

They lie together like that for a while longer, the morning sun starting to peek through the window. The room begins to lighten.

“Mama?” comes a soft voice. Peter. Loki’s heart fills with love and she leans down to kiss his forehead.

“Good morning, darling,” she says.

Peter curls up even closer to her and Loki wraps him in her arms. They have time, so Loki doesn’t hesitate to let her eyes fall closed.

~~~

Outside, the weather is more than dreary. Loki thinks it’s very fitting. They are just now arriving at the courthouse and even from down the street Loki can see photographers and paparazzi stand outside waiting like a pack of wolves. She knows this is the closest she’s been to Thanos since that last night in Room. A hand absentmindedly goes up to grab the braided hair strand she still has. From beside her Odin places a gentle hand on her knee.

“Are you ready?”

“As ready as I can be.”

“Good,” Odin responds before looking out the car window again. He reaches for his umbrella.

Loki rolls her eyes, of course he has no time for rousing speeches here. She can almost hear the wheels turning in his head. Loki takes the last few seconds to study her father, he has been looking more and more ragged the past few days but so has everyone else. They have been talking a bit more, but Loki knows that what happened to her still makes him unbelievably uncomfortable. Their relationship still is not 100 percent the same. Loki doesn’t think it will ever be.
Their cars all park directly out front. Loki has Odin, Thor, and Frigga with her. In the car behind them is Tony, Gamora, Nebula. Thankfully, Pepper had offered to watch Fenrir and Peter for the day. Her mother and brother are uncharacteristically quiet as they prepare to exit the vehicles. All of them know that the walk from the cars to the doors will be quite an affair.

“Whatever happens today, I love you all,” Loki whispers, her eyes trained on the doors of the courthouse.

“We love you too, Loki,” Thor answers.

It happens so quickly that Loki barely has time to open her umbrella. She is pulled to Thor’s side as he escorts her through the crowd that immediately surrounds them. She can hear questions being asked and Fenrir’s name being shouted at her, but she just pushes forward.

“Inside, Loki,” Odin says gruffly when they reach the door and she is almost all but thrown into the building.

The air in the building now is extremely tight and crisp. Odin immediately leads them all upstairs into a spare room across the hall from the courtroom.

“Loki,” Tony greets, coming up next to her and intertwining their hands together.

“Anthony,” Loki murmurs, biting one of her nails on her opposite hand.

“You’ll be fine.”

“Excuse me. You and your lawyers are requested in the courtroom. The proceedings will begin in 15 minutes,” a man says and leaves the room immediately. The whole room shifts and makes their way across the hall. Loki knows it is going to be testimonies in the beginning, which she is confident in. There is a small room off to the side where Gamora Nebula, Dr. Banner, Loki and Fenrir’s doctor, Clint and Natasha, the first police officers who met Fenrir are staying while they wait to give their testimony

Luckily Frigga, Thor, and Tony are sitting directly behind them, along with Peter, Rocket and the rest of Gamora and Nebula’s friends. Loki and Odin pass through the small gate and take their seats. In front of Loki is her papers and folders. There is a pitcher and glasses for water and Loki takes one, trying to still herself.

People begin to fill the room, some desperate to see the proceedings and Loki can hear her name being whispered among the crowd. However, before it can bother her too much a door to her left opens and the room falls silent.

Emerging from the door are two police officers and behind them, Thanos. He is wearing an orange jumpsuit and his hands are chained to his hips. His eyes immediately land on Loki and a grin spreads across his entire face. Loki feels like she wants to throw up.

“Loki,” Thanos greets, a smirk crossing his face. Loki can hear shuffling behind her and Frigga whispering to Tony. Thanos goes to say something else but he is pushed forward to the table across the room.

“Move, Thanos,” the guard says and nudges the man forward. Thanos moves but his eyes never leave the women behind him. Thanos is greeted by a man Loki knows to be his lawyer, Gast. The man has an ease about him but in the few times Loki had to meet with the man, she knows he is more powerful than he looks.

“All Rise for the Honorable Judge Lee.”

They all stand, and the judge enters. “Thank you. Good morning, ladies, and gentlemen. Calling the case of Odinson versus Titan. Are both sides prepared?”

“Yes, Your Honor.”

“Yes. Your Honor.”

For a few moments more, the judge goes around and the proper people are sworn in. Finally Judge Lee has them all sit and then turns towards Thanos.

“Mr. Titan, what do you plead in today’s proceeding.”

“Not guilty, Your Honor.”

The whole room livens up at this, even though it was fairly public that Thanos had denied his original testimony and changes his plea to not guilty. Loki has to keep from rolling her eyes. The court proceedings go on as expected. Gast and Odin battle each other with a fierce ferocity and Loki has worn her cheek raw from biting it in nervousness. Dr. Banner’s testimony goes smoothly even though the man is more nervous, he stumbles through a few words, but she trusts the man with what he recalls to the court, revealing pictures of herself and Fenrir the day they got out. Loki hardly recognizes them in the pictures, they are both extremely pale and bruises litter their entire bodies. Dr. Banner speaks of Loki’s mental health and what she and Fenrir had to go through to get back into society. By the end of this testimony, Loki feels confident. Clint and Natasha go next, both recalling that night that they found Fenrir and Loki. Loki hears more details of what Fenrir went through that day then she remembers hearing. After Fenrir left her. It’s heartbreaking but she cannot be prouder of the boy. The room seems to come alight during Gamora’s time on the stand. Thanos is more than annoyed and angry. However, Gamora handles herself with grace. She is not afraid to look Thanos in the eyes as she seals his fate. Nebula is however more agitated than Loki’s ever seen her. She’s calculated in her answers but the determination on her face shows. Thanos dismisses Nebula instantly, looking more interested in glancing at Gamora every few minutes. Peter, who had arrived not long ago has his arms wrapped tight around Gamora’s shoulders.

“Are you prepared to call your next witness?”

“Yes, we call Loki Odinson to the stand,” Gast states says and Loki stands, walks to the stand next to the judge, and is sworn in. Her hands shake so violently that she shoves them under her legs to stop them. Gast approaches her and Loki almost wants to gag. He smells too strong of cologne and Loki recognizes it as the one Thanos often wore.

“Please state your name and spell it for the record.”

“Loki Odinson.”

“How old are you?”

“I’m 29.”

“What is your date of birth?”

“December 4th, 1989.”

“Ms. Odinson, you lived with Mr. Titan for eight years? Correct? You have a son together?”

“I didn’t live with him of my own free will. My son is not his.”

“Your Honor, please direct Ms. Odinson to answer the question, yes or no.”

“Ms. Odinson…”

Loki hesitates but at a small nod from Odin, she answers. “Yes.”

“Let’s go back to that day, Ms. Odinson. When Mr. Titan pulled up to your car, did you voluntarily get in?”

Loki pauses, snapping her mouth shut.

“You voluntarily got into his truck, yes or no, Ms. Odinson?”

“Yes,” she whispers.

“Louder, Ms. Odinson,” the judge directs.

“Yes.”

“What happened once you arrived at the house?”

“He invited me inside.”

“Did you accept this invitation?”

“Yes, he said the dog was in the backyard.”

“You had a fight with your family that day, didn’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Was this the first time you had fought with your family?”

“No.”

“So, it would safe to assume that you could have been looking for an escape route?”

“No. It wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to argue with my family. I didn’t want to be kidnapped I didn’t want to leave them.”

“But it could have been possible that you didn’t want to go home that afternoon, was looking for something else to do. Is that right?”

“I just wanted to help the dog.”

Gast pauses and goes back to his desk, checks some papers before turning back to Loki.

“Ms. Odinson, don’t you think that if someone was raped, they would try to escape? Call someone?”

“I couldn’t escape. The door was metal and had a keypad, we saw it in the picture.”

“Don’t you think that if someone was raped and held against their will, they would try to escape?”

“I did try to escape.”

“Did you? From Mr. Titan’s account you seemed perfectly happy to stay with him.”
Loki recoils, pulling back a bit as Gast leans closer into her. The cologne is overwhelming, and Loki can’t help but cough. Loki looks at the judge.

“Mr. Gast, please step back.”

Reluctantly but with a smile, he does. He goes back to his desks, looks at a few papers and turns back to Loki. “You haven’t allowed Mr. Titan’s son to visit him at all while in prison?”

“He’s mine! He isn’t Thanos’.” Loki says loudly, obviously bothered by the questioning. She can’t take her eyes off of Gast who relishes in the fact.

“You had a DNA test didn’t you not? Who is the biological father of that child?”

“He’s not the father, he’s a rapist.”

“That’s not an answer! Did those tests prove that Mr. Titan is Fenrir’s father?”

Judge Lee taps his gavel once, lightly but the warning comes across. “Ms. Odinson?”

“Biologically, yes.”

“You say that Mr. Titan didn’t care for your son, but the truth is just the opposite. You refused to let Mr. Titan be a father figure in his life, you kept him in a closet every time Mr. Titan came to visit with him, isn’t that right?” Gast asks, voice loud and it makes Loki flinch. “This wardrobe right here in the pictures we can see blankets and pillows and drawings. Is this where you kept him all day, every day?”

“Objection, your Honor. Speculation,” Odin stands and shots.

“Sustained. Choose another topic, Mr. Gast.”

“I have nothing further,” Gast says, as he walks back to his seat but it’s clear that Loki is more than shook up.

Odin stands now and gives her a slight nod; Loki takes it as reassurance. They’ve rehearsed this part a thousand times. Loki takes a deep breath and looks at her father.

Her father takes a few steps forward. “On February 23rd, 2006, Ms. Odinson, how old were you?”

“I was 17. I was a senior in high school.”

“You were a senior?”

“Yes, Avengers High School. I skipped a grade.”

“A mere child during this period,” Odin points out to the jury. “The afternoon of the 23rd… what made you decide to walk home. Did you not usually get a ride home with your brother?”

“I had Science Team practice that afternoon and my brother, Thor, had football practice. We had fought that morning, so I didn’t really want to sit and wait on him, so I decided to walk home.”

“Ms. Odinson, on your way home what did you do?”

“Nothing out of the ordinary. I followed the same path I always take home. It wasn’t uncommon for me to walk home.”

“You never made it home that day, did you?”

“No, I didn’t. I was only about two streets away when I heard a truck come up behind me.”

“Can you describe the truck for us when you finally saw it?”

“It was an older truck, red and the paint was chipping off in some places.”

“What happened then?”

“I remember it stopping next to me and the man shouted at me, I was scared and dropped my book. When I turned to look at him, he was crying and beckoned me over. I went.”

“What did he say to you?”

“He told me his dog was sick and he couldn’t lift the dog into his truck without hurting him. He needed help.”

“And you believed him?”

The room at this point stills, she knows that this is where all of the contention lies in this case. She reaches forward for her water and takes a small sip before nodding. “Unfortunately, yes, he seemed convincing and I was caught off guard. My brother and I had argued, and I was angry.”

“Did he invite you in the truck?”

“Yes, I told him that I needed to go home first, and he got more upset, started crying again. I did what he asked and got in.”

“And then what?”

“He drove to his house, and we made small talk. I felt that something might have been off, but I was so preoccupied with the fight my parents and I had that morning it didn’t register. I remember we got out and he parked his truck on the side. I kept my backpack on me, but I ended up accidentally leaving my phone in the truck. He invited me inside and I agreed but when I asked about his dog, it was when he got defensive. He told me that it was in the backyard. I took a step outside and when I didn’t see the dog again, I tried to leave. The next thing I remember, I was in Room,” Loki explains, and her eyes drift down to her lap.

“What do you remember?”

“I remember the first thing I saw was the skylight. It was still light outside, so I don’t think I was out for a long time. I just remember my head hurting so bad. It took me a few moments to actually compose myself, when I sat up, I realized I was on a bed, but all of my clothes were gone. I was wearing this like smock of some sort, white and it smelled old. When I tried to get up, I realized my wrist was handcuffed to the bed.”

“You were handcuffed to the bed?” Odin asks, voice tight.

“Yes. They were strong, real ones.”

“Was anyone in the room with you during this time?”

“No, I was alone.”

“Can you describe the room?”

“Yes, it was very small. There was a toilet and a bathtub across the room. There was a wardrobe and a small side table next to the bed. There was also a small kitchen area.”

“What did you do next?”

“I began to look around the room for anything to tell me what happened. My phone was gone as was my backpack. I tried to break the cuffs and ended up making my wrists bleed. I screamed as loud as I could for someone to help.”

“Did anyone come?”

“No. Not at first.”

“How long was it before anyone else finally entered the room?”

“I don’t know. I was in and out. There was nothing else to do but sleep. I remember when he came in, I was starving.”

“Who entered the room?”

“The defendant.”

“Can you point them out?”

“Yes.” Loki leans forward a bit and points Thanos out. “It was him.”

“What happened?”

“He came over and sat on the bed with me and put a hand on my leg, he just told me that I belonged to him and could never leave. I couldn’t believe I was so stupid. He at one point reached across me to unlock the handcuffs. So, I bit him and kicked and screamed. He pinned me down then and told me if I ever touched him like that again he would kill me. I told him that I hated him and that I wanted to go home. He said, ‘You’ll never leave here unless you are a good girl for me.’ He then hit me.

That was when the first time he raped me. I tried everything to get him to stop. I dug my nails in his face, hitting him as hard as I could, screaming. He was much stronger than I thought. He ripped off the clothes I had on. I begged and pleaded with him not to touch me, but it didn’t work.” Tears stream down Loki’s face. Across the room, she meets eyes with Tony and even though he knows the entire story of what happened to her, she can’t help but feel ashamed.

Odin’s voice brings her back to the present. “When you use the word rape, you mean he forced you to have sexual intercourse with him?”

Loki stills again and looks down at her hands. Even though every detail of the first night is embedded in her brain, hearing them, and speaking them into fruition again, sends her spiraling for a moment. Deep down she knows Thanos is probably getting off on all of this, seeing her struggle and speaking of what he did to her. Thanos isn’t remorseful and she knows, either way, he’ll get what he wants.

“Yes.”

“And you physically tried to prevent him from raping you.”

“Yes, I fought tooth and nail.”

“What happened after he raped you?”

“He got up and left, I remember crying myself to sleep.”

“Did this happen every night?”

“No, there were nights he didn’t come to Room. There were nights he just sat and watched TV. I never knew what he was going to do. Others he would come in pissed off and I knew it wouldn’t end well. He would leave me more food and other things the less I fought him off. I was weaker at that point and very sick. A few weeks after that attempt was when I realized I was pregnant.”

“So how long was it before you became pregnant?”

“About a year and some change? I made marks on the walls. Like I said, I was unbelievably sick, throwing up everything that I ate. I could barely get out of bed. I begged him to take me to the hospital, told him that I wouldn’t say a word to anyone. I was dying, or at least I thought. He just continued forcing stomach medicine down my throat. It didn’t work. He came in with a box one night and threw it on my lap. A pregnancy test. He made me take it in front of him and when it turned positive, he just left me there. I was stunned. A million things ran through my head. I was only 18, pregnant by a man who kidnapped and raped me.”

“What did you do?”

“I wanted to kill myself. What kind of monster would I be to bring an innocent child into that room? I knew they would probably never get to feel the sun on their face or grass under their feet or rain on their skin or have friends or see birds and trees. Even I had started to forget what those things felt like. The more I debated, and days became weeks. I became attached I suppose. I would have someone to talk to, someone that loved me unconditionally. I was selfish.

“I sat in front of the TV for days, I only got a few channels but luckily one of them was one of those medical shows you know. I just remember sitting and watching hours of it, paying close attention to whenever there was a baby involved. Not very practical I suppose but it’s all I had, and what I remembered from Sex Ed in high school. I tried to prepare myself because I knew I would have to do it alone. Growing up, you hear the horror stories about what it’s like to give birth, but they always said you were surrounded by people you love, that it is worth all the pain, you can get an epidural if you need it. I didn’t have that luxury in Room. All I could do was track the days. Every week I would ask for something else I needed.”

“What do you mean you asked for things you needed?”

“Thanos had a rule that on Sundays he would bring me one additional thing, a “treat”, along with groceries. Sometimes what I asked for wasn’t feasible for him but most of the time he provided. I had to be very careful. I asked for vitamins and rationed them out the best I could, not knowing if he would get extras.”

“Did the defendant ever seem excited about you being pregnant?”

“He didn’t visit as much during this time. I wasn’t very able to… to do what he wanted me to while pregnant. At night, however, he used to talk about how he wished it were a girl and ask what I was going to name her. I just prayed to every single damn god I could think of to make it a boy, even though I knew the dangers of that as well. He told me several times that if it were a boy, he’d take him, that he’d let me get attached for a few years and then give him away. He was scared of a boy. But I feared if it were a girl, it would be far worse.”

Loki goes on to explain to the jury the day that she gave birth to Fenrir. She keeps herself from crying, but she can hear her mother sniffling a few feet away. There are others in the room that are crying too.

“The first year was the hardest. He was a fussy baby and I didn’t have the best things to care for him with. I was so scared he was going to get sick. Thanos didn’t pay much attention to him, but whenever he would come in, I would put Fenrir in a makeshift crib in the wardrobe. Fenrir was mine and mine to me. It got much easier when Fenrir began to talk and walk. I didn’t sleep much, constantly scared Thanos was going to make good on his promise to take him away. We slept at night with me wrapped around him, trying to protect him as best as I could. He was a wonderful toddler. He listened and was curious but there wasn’t much to be curious about or get into. There was only Room. I decided I wasn’t going to teach him about the outside world or about the life I had before. For him, there was only that little room. There was no way to make him understand while lie a foot behind the walls we were trapped by. We grew up together. There were days that he taught me just as much as I taught him. His laughter filled the room. He saved my life, long before I helped him escape.”

“Can you describe your attempt to get Fenrir out?”

“Yes, I knew I had to try something. Fenrir was growing more and more curious about Thanos. He didn’t understand what was going on. There was an incident when Fenrir left the Wardrobe where he slept while Thanos was in the room. He was so scared, and I knew I had to get him out. I had to try…” Loki goes on to explain the first attempt to escape. The feeling of failure and fear. The second attempt comes directly after, the crying and screaming from Fenrir as he rolled out from the rug in practice.

“I never expected to escape. I just had to sit there, and hope Fenrir remembered what I told him. That he would… get away with ease. Fenrir had trouble remembering my name, I was just his ma. I gave him a note that explained who he was and that I was his mother. I just hoped that they would be able to get him to my family.”

“You didn’t think you would escape?”

“No, I fully expected Thanos to come back angry that I had tricked him into letting Fenrir go. Which he did. A few hours later, the door opened to someone else other than Thanos. I was able to step outside for the first time in seven years.”

“Thank you, Ms. Odinson. I conclude my time.”

Loki stands and goes to sit back next to her father, hands shaking wildly. There are a few things discussed further, more evidence shown before the judge dismissed the jury to deliberate in the back. There is no telling how long it could take. Loki is quickly ushered back to the room they had begun in this morning by her father.

“You let yourself get flustered,” Odin snaps when they enter the room. Loki stops and turns to look at her father.

“I’m sorry?”

“We talked about this, Loki. You let him get into your head,” Odin raises his voice. Loki’s mouth drops. “You need to just brush Gast off. You looked a fool.”

“Odin. Stop it, enough,” Frigga interjects, her face confused at what brought the sudden onslaught against her daughter on.

“Are you serious? Tell me you aren’t serious,” Loki scoffs. “I’m sorry that I was a little overwhelmed seeing him again. It’s not fucking easy. Not to even mention that Gast was drenched in the same cologne that Thanos used to wear. You are the biggest asshole I’ve ever met in my entire life.”

“Don’t speak to me like that, Loki,” Odin shouts. “You should have been more composed. We went over all of those questions, you let your anger get the best of you. The jury is going to tear you apart!”

“You are the biggest dick in the world, oh my god. You are batshit crazy!” Loki is yelling. “What’s done is done. Just leave me the fuck alone. A normal fucking father would have told me, ‘Hey Loki, you did a great job, I’m proud of you.’ or ‘There were a few stumbles, but it will be alright’. Just stop. Don’t speak to me again, Odin.”

Loki is sure that people can hear the screaming from outside and just slams herself down into one of the chairs near the windows of the room. It isn’t long before Tony joins her.

“You did wonderfully.

Chapter Text

“We the jury find the defendant, Mr. Thanos Titan, guilty on all charges.”

Loki immediately feels a wave of relief wash over her. She stands to see the man who once imprisoned her for seven years of her life be handcuffed again. There are cheers all throughout the courtroom. The judge is saying something to them all but there is a loop of “it’s over, it’s over, it’s over” running through her head.

~~~

“Mama!! I’m scared! Don’t let me go yet...”

“You’re alright, Fenrir. I promise. You got this, okay?” Loki tells him as she runs behind the boy, barely keeping up as he pedals down the street. She isn’t holding onto the seat at all, just keeping up with him until Fenrir gains a little confidence. She slows her pace a bit to see if he will go further without her but just as she stops, Fenrir turns around to look at her and the bike tips, sending Fenrir to the ground. Immediately the boy starts to wail.

“You let go! I crashed!” Fenrir cries at her, holding his knee. Tears stream down his face.

“Let me see, baby,” Loki said, crouching down next to him. “You tipped because you turned to look behind you. You were riding all by yourself for a few minutes there, I let go.”

“Ouch,” Fenrir whimpers as Loki inspects the scrape.

“You’ll be alright, it’s just a scrape,” Loki smiles. “There’s not even any blood.”

“I’m done, Ma. Don’t like riding bikes anymore.”

“Fenrir, you were having so much fun before you fell, don’t let this one time ruin it for you.”

“It hurts me.”

“Yes, but each time you fall you learn something. Now come on, you have to at least ride your bike home. I’m not carrying you or your bike,” Loki told him and stood, offering her hand to her son. He looks at the bike and then backs up at her. For a second she believes he’s not going to get up or touch the bike so she places a gentle hand on his cheek. “You are so strong, baby. A little scrape? That’s nothing.”

“What if I fall again?”

“Then I will pick you up and we will try again.”

“Promise?”

“Promise,” Loki smiles and Fenrir nods, picking up his bike again. He carefully gets on and Loki holds it until he’s properly seated. She taps his helmet. “Ready? Remember, keep your eyes forward, watch where you are going.”

Fenrir nods and begins to pedal once more. Like before, Loki stays with him for a while and then let's go. She stops and can’t stop grinning as Fenrir continues. He’s still a little wobbly but he makes it halfway down the street before he stops and falls again. Loki hasn’t even reached him when he gets on and heads back towards her, a smile spread across his face.

“I did it!”

“You did it!” Loki can’t help but cherish this moment, something simple and fun after the craziness of the trial now concluded. She goes to help Fenrir untangle from the bike, helping him stand up and get on once again. This time he’s got the hang of it and cruises up and down the street happily, moving to the side when Loki warns him of cars. Loki’s phone rings in her pocket.

“Thor?”

“Loki, where are you?”

“I’m at home, why?” Loki asks but her attention isn’t really in the conversation as she watches Fenrir attempt to turn around, grinning when he completes the turn. “Good job! Watch out for the curb!” Thor says something in the phone and Loki doesn’t catch it.

“Loki! Did you hear me?”

“What? What did you say?” she asks.

“Mom called me about an hour ago. Dad is in the hospital. He was in his study and unresponsive. An ambulance picked him up and arrived at the hospital at the same time I did. Don’t know much more than that. Can you get here? I fear Mother might rip one of these nurses heads off. She isn’t listening to me.”

Loki’s heart stops for a moment, worry filling her. “Yeah, I’ll get ahold of Tony and we will be there in an hour.”

“It’ll be alright, Lokes. Bring Fenrir, won’t you, he will keep mother busy.”

“Okay, see you in a bit.”

“Bye, sister. Love you.”

“Love you too.” Loki immediately can tell her brother is worried. Usually there phone calls are more casual but it’s only when either of them need to hear it when they end with ‘I love you’s.

Loki beckons Fenrir in, “Come on baby. We have to go now. Time to put the bike up.”

Fenrir whines but listens. With a bit of struggle, he manages to get off of his bike and push it up into the garage. Loki quickly loads them into the car and backs out. She can feel her hands tighten on the steering wheel as they begin their drive.

“Where are we going?”

“Grandpa is sick and is in the hospital. He’s fine, we just need to go there and help Amma while Grandpa gets better,” she explains. Fenrir’s eyes go wide but he nods and settles into the few coloring books he has in the back seat. She immediately dials Tony once satisfied that Fenrir is occupied.

“Lokes?”

“Anthony, sorry I know you are at work, is it okay to talk?”

“Of course. What’s up?”

“I just got off the phone with Thor, apparently my mother found Odin in his office unconscious. Fenrir and I are heading to the hospital right now.”

Loki can hear Tony pull away address others in the room and cringes when it sounds like an important meeting she just interrupted. He finally comes back to the phone. “I’ll meet you there.”

“Tony, you don’t have to… everything is fine.”

“Of course I need to be there. Pepper has Peter for the day.”

“Thank you,” Loki tells him, voice not hiding her relief.

“Of course babe.”

“See you in a bit, I suppose?”

“Yeah. Love you. It’ll be alright.”

“I know. I love you too.”

The remainder of the trip to the hospital is quiet. They get lucky and avoid traffic, making it there faster than Loki had expected. Loki texts Thor to meet them in the lobby.

Once inside Loki is reminded of her hatred for the smell of this hospital, it is the same one that she and Fenrir were brought to almost two years ago. Fenrir clings tightly to her arm, asking to be picked up. She can tell it makes him nervous too. The antiseptic smell is stronger in this wing and she has to refrain from turning around and leaving.

“Loki,” Thor calls out. He walks over to his sister and Fenrir immediately scales his way up into Thor’s arms which Loki is thankful for. He’s almost too heavy for her but her brother seems to have no problem being treated like a jungle gym.

“Have you heard anything else?” Loki asks as they walk.

Thor shakes his head. “Nothing. Mother has gone to ask again. This is only the 37th time. Other than that, everything seems to be okay.”

“Where is she?”

“Third floor.”

Loki nods and follows her brother to the elevator. It’s a quiet trip, neither knows what to say to each other.

“Loki? You are here! Good, your brother has been terrible company.”

“Mom!”

“Well, it’s true,” Frigga says as she wrings her hands together. A nervous tick that she and Loki share. Loki crosses the space between them before pulling her into a hug.

“Still nothing?”

“No, I’m afraid not, dear.”

Frigga lights up a bit once she sees Fenrir. She holds her arms out and the boy is then shifted into her arms. “What happened to your knee baby?”

Fenrir, now awake grins. “I learned how to ride a bike today! I fell but it’s okay. Doesn’t hurt.”

“That’s my boy! Grandpa will be so excited to hear that!”

“It was so cool, I enjoyed going super fast.”

“I bet you did,” Frigga laughs and takes Fenrir over to the seating area. Loki is positive that Frigga has a few books and coloring stuff that will keep them both busy for a little while.

~~~

[Three Months Later]

“Loki?”

“Hi, Papa.”

“I’ve not heard that name since you were a child,” Odin whispers and Loki watches on as he struggles to catch his breath. He’s deteriorated in the last 24 hours so much Loki has a hard time recognizing the man.

“I know, I’m sorry.”

Odin nods and pats the bed next to him.

“I’m scared,” Loki tells him as she perches herself carefully on the edge of his bed. Odin looks breakable and Loki never thought that possible. It’s a harsh sight to see. This room at least is a lot more luxurious than the last one and Loki has no doubts that her mother had a say in him being moved here. The horrible smell is faint but Loki’s spent enough time here in the last few months that she’s grown used to it. There are all kinds of tubes hooked up to the man. Odin narrows his eyes at her before patting the space next to him and Loki is careful not to move too much as she lies next to her father. She feels almost like a small child again, and part of her wants to close her eyes and pretend. She’s reminded of a time when Frigga would invite Loki and Thor in bed for movie night. Loki remembers Thor spilling the popcorn everywhere. She remembers Odin grumbling as he picked popcorn out of his beard. It was a time when none of them fought, many years before Loki would climb into a truck with a man who would ruin her life.

“Of what?”

Odin’s voice makes her jump a little bit. “I’m scared because you are going through major surgery tomorrow and I won’t be able to be here,” Loki pauses. Her voice comes out a whisper. “I found out I’m pregnant.”

“My child, this is good news yes?” Odin asks and Loki can hear the excitement in his voice.

“I don’t know. I think it will be good news. Anthony will be over the moon.”

“I am sure that he will be. He’s a good man and you both are lucky. He has a strong soul with a heart to back it. Any person can see that he would do anything for you and the family you have made. I like him.”

“Thank you, papa. Anthony will appreciate those words. Your approval-

“Loki. I want to apologize to you.” Odin cuts her off.

Loki’s breath catches in her throat. Loki would be a fool to not acknowledge that the two of them have always had a very complicated relationship, before and after Loki’s kidnapping. Before, the two of them were in a decade long tug of war for power and approval. Loki used to want nothing other than Odin’s approval but Odin had set his sights on sending Thor to law school. Loki had once dreamed of following in Odin’s footsteps. She had excelled in classes where Thor had struggled, she had been first in her class. Nothing had ever been enough it had seemed. Neither of them has ever really apologized, it had just been a mutual understanding that they weren’t going to talk about it.

“Loki, I’m sorry if I ever treated you secondary to your brother. Or never told you that I was proud of you. Those years you were missing were the worst of my life. I feared I would never get to tell you these things in person. I regret-”

“I… it’s alright,” Loki responds. “I forgive you.”

“That’s all I need to hear.”

“I want to apologize, too,” Loki whispers quietly. “I’m sorry I have put you and Móðir through so much pain and suffering. I was so horrible to you for many years. That day, those things that I said before I left for school…”

---

“Fuck off, asshole,” Loki screeched as she threw clothes into her backpack, along with her laptop. She wipes tears from her face before throwing her door open and descending the stairs. Odin was right on her heels.

“Loki, I’ve had enough of your attitude. You will not speak to me like this. This is ridiculous. Thor has never-”

“I don’t give a shit about what Thor has done, Father. If you think Thor has never done anything wrong, you are a fool. Thor is an idiot and who do you think helps him pass half of his classes? Hmmm? I make a single mistake and you jump down my throat meanwhile your son could get into a fight and you act like nothing happened. He’s an arrogant asshole! No wonder you favor him, father like son, huh?”

Loki turns and can see her brother standing in the hall, eyes wide and full of hurt. Right now, she doesn’t care about his feelings.

“Loki,” Odin growls. “You are grounded, get your ass back up in your room!”

“No, I’m done. I’m sorry I’m such a shitty kid, sorry I never lived up to your expectations that you didn’t give me a chance to reach. I work my ass off every damn and for what? Just to fall short every fucking time? I fucking hate living here. I hate you so much.” With that Loki, storms out and slams the door behind her.

---

“Loki. It will never be like that again. You and I have so much to regret regarding each other, but I am ready to let them go if you are.”

“Of course. I think it will be best.” Loki glances down at her stomach and rests her hand upon it. Odin rests her hand on top of hers.

“She will be just as beautiful as her mother.”

“She? Papa, there’s no way you can know-” Loki chuckles and turns to find that the man has fallen asleep. She gives herself a moment to sit and reflect on what he has told her. Her hand falls to her stomach and believes that perhaps her father is right. “See you tomorrow, Papa,” Loki whispers and stands from the bed to kiss Odin on the forehead and leave. For now, the baby will remain a secret.

~~~

“No no no no no no, please god no.” Loki can hear her mother wail from somewhere off to her right. Thor has collapsed in a chair to his grief. Loki, she goes numb and a piercing sound seems to echo through her brain. She quickly stands and grabs Fenrir’s hand, knowing that he has no idea what has happened.

“Momma? What’s wrong? Why is Amma crying?”

Loki fights through the sadness that wants to overcome her. “Sweetie. Remember when I told you that Grandpa was sick and the doctors here were going to try to take out the sick from his brain?”

Fenrir nods, eyes wide.

“Well, the doctors tried their best but the sickness… the sickness was too strong and Grandpa couldn’t fight the sickness anymore. So he’s uh, he’s gone to heaven,” Loki explains, trying to keep her emotions in check. She had managed to find a relatively secluded part of the waiting room, hoping to eliminate overwhelming Fenrir more than she already has to.

“Grandpa died? Is he pretending to be dead like I did?” Fenrir asks and Loki can see him trying to cling to any sort of hope.

“No, sweetie. It’s not pretending this time. I’m so sorry, baby,” Loki tells him and can’t keep back some of her tears

“I don’t want Grandpa to go to heaven, Ma. He needs to stay here with us!” Fenrir protests through his tears. “It’s not fair.”

“It isn’t fair at all Fenrir. I’m so sorry. I wish there was something I could do, but I just know Grandpa loved and cared so much for you. I know you feel sad and that’s okay. I do too. So do Amma and Thor.”

Fenrir doesn’t say much else, instead, he chooses to climb into Loki’s arms and hide his face into her neck. She can feel his hot tears against her skin and kisses his head. Her own, falling down her face. “Is it alright if we go back? I want to make sure Amma and Uncle Thor are okay.”

Fenrir nods his head but doesn’t pull away from her, so Loki stands and adjusts him as well as she can in her arms.

“Oh, Loki. I’m so sorry.”

“Modir. I’m sorry too.”

Chapter Text

~~~
Anxiety

“Anthony! I’m home, sorry I’m late,” Loki shouts as she enters the house, bags hanging off of her arms.

Unexpectedly, she is met with silence. Tony is usually downstairs, greeting her as soon as she walks in. Worried, Loki sets the bags on the kitchen counter and ascends the stairs. His car is in the driveway and if he’s gone out with Rhodey or Pepper, he would have told her.

With a knock, she pushes the door to the bedroom open to find Tony sitting on the floor with his face in his hands. His shoulders shake with quiet sobs. Loki immediately rushes over to his side and places a gentle hand on his shoulder. “Anthony? Oh baby, do you want to move off the floor?”

“Yeah,” he answers quietly. This isn’t the first time either of them have been through a panic attack. Loki’s have been less frequent since the trial. However, Tony and Pepper have a big project in the works and his anxiety has been up tenfold.

Loki carefully moves him to the bed. She can feel Tony lean into her touch and quickly draws him into her arms. “Breathe with me darling.” Together, she leads him through a few exercises. Loki makes sure not to rush him through any, taking their time.

“It’s alright, this will pass. I need to grab your medicine from downstairs, I’ll only be gone for just a second. Is that alright?” Loki asks, her voice low and quiet. Tony shakes his head and Loki nods, sitting on the bed next to him. “You are okay, my love. I’m here for you. What do you need for me to do?”

“Just stay,” Tony whispers and Loki smiles. Loki then begins to tell him about her day, going through meaningless details from work and the grocery store. She keeps running a gentle hand through his hair as she speaks. Usually with Tony’s panic attacks they just take time and comfort to get through. She praises his breathing as it slows down to something more on the side of normal and runs through another breathing exercise. Finally, Tony sits up and taps the side of his face which causes Loki to roll her eyes but obliges and presses a kiss to his cheek.

“Thanks, Loki. I’m okay.”

“Would you like to talk about it? We don’t have to,” Loki asks after a minute or two.

“My dad called again,” Tony told her, and Loki let out a groan. She knows that Howard Stark causes more problems for Tony than he helps him. Tony had taken over his dad’s company and Howard seemed to question every decision Tony has made since, even though the company was thriving more than it ever.

“One day, I’m pretty sure I might “accidentally” punch Howard straight in the face,” Loki tells Tony which causes a chuckle from him.

“I just wish he didn’t have so much… sway over me. You know? Stark Industries had done better this year than it ever has before and he just tells me I’m doing everything wrong,” Tony explains, rubbing his eyes. “I wish I could brush things off like mom could. She never let anything he said bother her. Makes me look pretty damn pathetic doesn’t it?”

Loki pulls away and looks him in the eyes. “Don’t do that to yourself darling. His words have meaning to you because deep inside you still care for and love him. There’s nothing wrong with that and it doesn’t make you a weak person for caring about your father.”

“Loki, I’m just so scared I’m going to turn into him. I don’t ever want Peter or Fenrir to feel this way, ever,” Tony admitted.

“Tony Stark, you are already a hundred times the father that Howard is. A thousand times. I’ve seen you with the boys and admire your ability to be such an amazing parent. I don’t know if you ever saw it but in the first interview I did after Room, the woman asked me if I would ever tell Fenrir if Thanos was his father. I told her that Thanos wasn’t his father and that a father is a man who loves his child. I told her that Fenrir was no one's but my own. Today, I think differently. You have shown him nothing but love and support. You’ve given him something not even I could give him. A father figure. Tony, if Fenrir grew up to be even half of the man you are, I’d be nothing but proud,” Loki explains with a smile on her face. She reaches up and cups his face in her hands, gently kissing him. Tony has tears in his eyes, but Loki can tell they are all happy. “The good days and the bad. I love you so much.”

“Thanks, Lokes, love you too.”
~~~
Wedding

“I was told you both wrote your own vows?”

The two of them nodded.

“Who would like to go first?”

“I will,” Loki volunteered, and Steve gave her the go ahead.

“Peter, darling come here,” Loki motioned for the boy who was standing directly behind Tony. She crouched down to be eye level with him, thankful that the dress allowed her to do so. “Peter, my vows today are not only for your father but for you. I know that I was not there to witness your first steps or your first words, but I vow today that I will not miss another first. I will be by your side. I promise on this day to not only love and support you but to guide you into your future. I am so thankful that you have shared your dad with me and Fenrir. I love you.

Loki gave the boy who was crying a kiss on both cheeks. She stood to look back at Tony. “I, Loki, take you, Anthony Edward Stark to be my husband. You are my best friend and my soulmate. There is not a day that you don’t make me laugh until my stomach hurts, which is something that I had not experienced in a long time. Anthony, you have stood by me through my darkest days and my brightest and every day you continue to tell me that you love me. I am looking forward to hearing that for the rest of my life. I vow to stand by your side and to support every decision you make, no matter if I think it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. I promise to choose you in every lifetime after this one. I promise to put my freezing feet on you, take up all of the space in bed when the kids climb in and to use you as a pillow. I love you so much. The good days and the bad.”

“I, Tony, take you, Bambi, my Lokes, Loki to be my wife. I vow to you on this day to always to be your strongest supporter and your biggest fan. I vow to pick you up when life inevitably knocks you down. I promise to love and support Fenrir just as you vow to love and support Peter. He is a wonderful boy who I love as my own. I promise that our house will never lack love or fun. I will always continue to race you to the car and to share my pizza Lunchables with you even though you always eat the pepperoni which is the best part. I cannot promise you that every day will go smoothly and that we won’t face difficult challenges. I cannot promise that I will always say the right things. But I do promise to love you, to let you use me as your personal pillow, a shoulder to cry on, someone that is your forever family. I didn’t have a family until Peter came along, but I didn’t realize how incomplete we were until I met you and Fenrir. I promise to do my best to be a father figure to Fenrir and make sure he succeeds in life. I love you more so much and will continue to do so until death do us part. The good days and the bad.”

There was not a dry eye in the crowd as Tony finished his vows, including Loki herself. Steve stepped back up.

“Now the rings please boys,” the man motioned, and Loki turned to Fenrir to get the ring, kissing her son on the head and Tony did the same with Peter.

“Now will you repeat after me. As you place the ring on Loki’s finger, Tony.”

Tony took the woman's hand and repeated after Steve, “As a sign of my love for you, of choosing to share my whole life’s journey with you, and of my knowing that in marrying you I shall become much more than I am, I give you this ring, with the pledge that with you, I shall become my highest expression of God, sharing the gifts that I have, with you and the world.”

He slipped the ring on her finger and then it was Loki’s turn and she repeated the same thing Tony had.

“Of the power vested in me I now pronounce you husband and wife; you may now kiss the bride.”

The grins on their faces told a story themselves, Tony immediately took Loki’s face in his hands and kissed her deeply.

“For the first time, ladies, and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Tony and Loki Stark. The reception will be held inside!”

The two pulled away and immediately Fenrir and Peter came crashing into their hug, worming their way in, causing the two to laugh.

“Walk us down?” Loki asked, offering Fenrir her arm and the boy took it.

~~~

~~Telling Thor~~

Thor, are you at work?” Loki texted her brother as she paced the empty living room. “

Soon the bubble popped to show her brother was typing.

“Not tonight- thank god. Are you alright?”

“Yes, I just need your opinion. Can you come over for a bit?”

“Omw.”

About 25 minutes later there was a knock on Loki’s door, and it opened, Thor strode in quickly and sighed in relief when he saw Loki. “Sister, is everything alright?”

Loki was biting her fingernails and staring out the back door. “Everything is fine I just… have a giant issue” her hand immediately slid down to her stomach as she looked at her brother, worry evident on her face.

“Loki… are you?” Thor asked glancing down at the woman’s stomach.

She nodded with tears in her eyes. “I haven’t told Anthony yet. Or Fenrir. I’m so scared Thor. I don’t know what to do.”

Thor immediately crossed the room and gave his sister a grand hug. “Whatever you need me to do, Loki. Were you and Tony planning this?”

“It definitely wasn’t planned. At all. After Fenrir… and Room… I wasn’t sure I wanted to have another myself, getting Peter was a blessing but I think Anthony is going to be elated and over the moon. And I want nothing but for him to be happy. The last time was so horrible, and I had to do it all on my own…”

“The difference this time is that you won’t be alone, Sister. You have a wonderful support system behind you. Anthony and the boys. Mum, father, and me. You will not have to go through this alone.”

“Thor how do I explain this to Fenrir? Anthony and I discussed that we would talk to the boys before we decided to have children but then that night, he proposed to me…” Loki cut herself off because Thor’s cheeks were turning slightly pink. “I don’t want him to be angry or think this will take away my love for him.”

“Loki, I think you need to be honest with him. He loves you and knows that you love him more than anything else. He will be fine.”

Loki took a deep breath and exhaled. “Thank you, I feel a bit better about this now. I just was so scared and didn’t know what to do…”

Thor kissed his sisters head and then ruffled her hair out of affection. “I’m always here for you sister. Is there anything I can do to help you?”

“If you can keep a secret, that’s all I need you to do. Until I get brave enough to tell Tony.”

~~~

~~Telling Tony~~
“Hey love, why don’t you come in here for a second?”

Tony pads down the hallway in sweatpants, holding blueberries in his hand. “Hey Bambi,” the man greets and giving Loki a sloppy kiss all over her face.

“Anthony!” Loki squeals happily. “Oooh give…”

Loki reaches out for the blueberries and Tony hands them over. Loki tosses a few into her mouth as Tony sits next to her on the couch.

“What are we watching tonight?”

“Not sure…” Loki comments, scrolling through movies on Netflix. Both boys were upstairs fast asleep.

“Anthony?”

“Lokes?”

“I’m pregnant.”

Tony turned towards her; eyes wide in shock. “What?”

“I’m pregnant.”

“Is this a good thing or a bad thing?”

“I think it’s a good thing. You aren’t saying much.”

“Babe… I thought you weren’t sure… are okay with this? I know that you weren’t sure that you wanted to have children after... but… I don’t want to feel like this is being forced upon you. We still have choices we can make.”

Loki leaned up to kiss Tony. “I love you so much. I was so scared at first and didn’t know what to do. It took me three hours to finally move off of the floor and call someone. I should have called you but I… couldn’t…”

“Baby…”

“I’m alright, Tony. I called Thor and he came over before I got bad. I’m sorry I didn’t call you. It’s not because I didn’t trust you, I trust you more than anyone in the world. I thought I could handle it all by myself, but my brother was the one person I thought of who had a neutral say. I’m sorry, Anthony.”

“Loki you don’t have to be sorry for seeking help from your brother. I understand. There are days when I need to call Rhodey or Pepper because they have helped me before. I will never, ever, get mad at for something like that. What are you wanting to do?”

“Tony… if you think it’s a good idea, I am ready to do this. I was scared because I didn’t want to be alone, but I won’t be this time. I have you. I have Fenrir. I have Peter. I have my family. This time I won’t be scared and alone.”

“Loki Stark. I swear to you now that you will never be scared or alone ever again. I’m ready to do this if you are. I love you so much and I am honestly so excited we get to do this together.” Tony reached down and put a hand on her stomach. “Hello baby.”

 

~~~

~~Pregnancy~~

“I hate you.”

“I know but you also love me a lot.”

“Right now, you are on thin ice buddy. I’m huge. I’m a whale. I was never this big or this uncomfortable with Fenrir. What did you do to me, Satan? I’m surprised Sea World hasn’t shown up yet to take me back.”

Loki came waddling into the room, a hand on her stomach looking almost as if she were going to burst. Fenrir and Peter giggled from the table where they were eating breakfast which appeared to just be cereal this morning.

“Alright you two, laugh it up. We’ll see what you are laughing at when I can finally move again.”

“Here you go.”

Tony leaned over the woman and placed a sweet kiss while putting her breakfast in front of her. It was nothing outlandish just an assortment of different fruits and vegetables. Loki sighed but began slowly picking her way through her meal.

“What do you have planned for today?” Tony asked, sitting across the table from Loki with a simple cup of yogurt.

“Well my first option was to keep looking like a bloated sea animal which is well underway for today. I am going to try and finish the nursery today.”

“Hey, babe? What would you say to having everyone over tonight for dinner? I mean, the baby is going to be here soon so it’s not like we are going to have another chance for a get together…”

Loki hummed into her blueberries. “I don’t mind. Mother will be thrilled and I’m sure the boys will be thrilled. Perhaps when mother and father leave, they can take the boys for a sleepover.”

“Sleepover at Amma and Grandfathers? YES! Amma always makes us cookies and lets us-” Peter shouted before Fenrir slapped a hand over his mouth.

“Amma said it was a secret, Peter!”

“Oh yeah. Sorry.”

“It’s alright.”

Loki giggled and leaned over to kiss Peter on the forehead.

“A sleepover? You mean?”

“Yes, Tony. A sleepover,” the woman whispered and popped another blueberry in her mouth with a suggestive look in her eyes. Tony honestly could have died on the spot.

Loki laughed and winked before pulling her phone out and sending out a text inviting the entire family over for dinner.

~~~

“Anthony…” Loki leaned over the man in bed, shoving his shoulder slightly. “Anthony, wake up.”

The man let out a groan, but his eyes slowly opened. “Bambi. Are you alright?”

“My water just broke, but besides that everything is fine,” Loki tried to reply casually but a contraction hit her hard. “It’s time to go.”

Loki really had never seen Tony pop up out of bed so fast. “Okay well the baby stuff is already in the car ready to go. I’ll go wake the boys if you want to call your mom.”

Loki nodded and with Tony’s help managed to get out of bed and change clothes.

Loki clenched in pain as another contraction hit hard.

[13 Hours Later]
“Oh, go shove it up your ass Anthony!” Loki screams, gripping her husband’s hand with an iron grip.

“Hey hey hey, I’m sorry. You are almost there, Lokes.”

“You are doing great sweetie,” Frigga coos and Loki shoots a glare. It’s only about the 10000th time that Loki has heard that this evening.

“No more children, this is it. This demon child is worse,” Loki grunts.

“Alright, Mrs. Stark, this is it. One last push, just as we did before,” the doctor says. With a last scream of pain, the baby enters the world. Loki’s head falls back as she listens for the crying and soon the sound fills the room. Tony is instructed to cut the cord, which he does, and the baby is quickly taken to be weighed, measured, and cleaned off. Loki is in and out of it as she is cleaned up by the nurses.

“Mrs. Stark?” the doctor says and quickly places the baby in Loki’s arms. “A girl.”

“Tony, Anthony look,” Loki pants, pulling the man back from where he had cut the cord.

“You did fantastic, she’s so beautiful,” Tony whispers and Loki feels his tears drop onto her shoulder. She grins.

“She’s so precious.”

“You have a name?”

“Hela?”

“Very Norse of you, Mrs. Stark,” Tony teases but he nods. “Hela is badass. What about Morgan for the middle name?”

“Hela Morgan Stark,” Loki whispers. “Welcome to the family, little one.”

~~~

Teasing Thor

“Oh, thank goodness, Loki is here. I was minutes away from putting Thor in a black wig and a dress to try and pass him off as you,” Rhodey teased, even though he was very intrigued on rocking and cooing at Hela.

“She’s not being too whiny, is she?” Loki asks and Rhodey shakes his head.

“She’s an angel. Tony is the one who is being annoying.”

Loki laughs. She glances over at Fenrir and Peter who were still engrossed in their movie. She decides not to bother them.

“Wouldn’t be the first time Thor’s been in a dress,” Loki commented with a smirk, earning a glare from Thor. “I was very into fashion shows when I was younger. Mother’s wedding dress looked lovely.”

“Loki! I made you swear not to talk about it.”

“But brother the story is so entertaining, why should we not share it with the group? I’m sure mother still has the pictures somewhere... I also had my fingers crossed you dolt. I always had my fingers crossed. It doesn’t count.” Then the two began to bicker back and forth.

“I swear to god, Loki. I will fight you right now, shut up.”

“So… when I was little-” Loki started but darted quickly behind her mother when Thor made his way towards her.

“You wouldn’t.”

“I would.”

“Brat.”

“Oh harsh, how will I ever recover from these wounds. My own brother?! Asshole.”

“Thor! Loki! Enough,” Frigga finally said and the two paused, glancing over at their mother who was despite her tone, smiling at them. “You will wake the baby.”

“You have got to teach me how to do that,” Tony said with a smile.

“It’s an ability only I seem to be able to possess, dear Anthony.”

The adults sat in relative quiet for a while, chatting quietly as Hela was passed to Frigga. “Loki, I am going to put her down for a while.”

“I would greatly appreciate it,” Loki smiled, and very gingerly Loki lowered herself to the floor to join Fenrir and Peter. With a hint of mischief, she plucked the headphones out of their ears. “What are we watching, boys?”

“Ma!” Fenrir grinned and rolled over to give her a giant hug and Peter quickly joined in.

“We are watching How to Train Your Dragon, mom,” Peter answered and offered her one of his headphones and Fenrir did the same. Loki smiled and kissed the boys head, those brown eyes melting her heart.

“That’s a good one,” Loki smiled and settled in to finish the movie with them.

 

~~ Into the Future ~~

“Mom?”

“Hey, Fen! I didn’t know you were coming home! Why didn’t you call?” Loki turns to greet her son. Fenrir is grown so much in the last year of being at college. She’s missed him.

He is taller than her now, a strong jaw and Loki can tell he’s been outside a lot, he’s tan. However what surprises her is the other man standing next to him. The man has dark skin and wears his confidence on his sleeve.

“Nice to meet you, Mrs. Stark,” he greets, offering his hand. Loki takes it and wriggles her eyebrows at Fenrir which makes him blush.

“Please, call me Loki.”

“Mom, this is my boyfriend. Sam Wilson.”

Loki can hear the hesitation in his voice, and she knows that her opinion means everything to Fen. “Well, we are glad to have you, Sam. Our house is yours. You picked a very good time to visit, Fen, Peter is coming back from MIT this weekend as well. Your father went to go pick him up, I think he’s bringing MJ as well.”

Loki pulls Fen into a hug and kisses his head. “I’ve missed you.”

“Thank you, ma.”

“Fenrir… we’re a team. Always will be.”

“MOM DAD WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE PLEASE MAKE HIM STOP,” came a voice screeching through the house.

“Oh, come on Pete!! We are just having nice father/son bonding time,”

“There was nothing nice about that drive. My ears are bleeding mom, Led Zeppelin the entire way home.”

“DID YOU SAY LED ZEPPELIN?! THAT WAS AC/DC YOU BRAT.”

Peter turned the corner then, looked at Sam for a brief second before jumping behind Loki putting her in between him and Tony.

“Peter you can't hide behind her, you know she scares me and that’s unfair,” Tony said.

“Is your family always like this?” Sam whispered to Fenrir, who nodded.

“This is just my immediate family. You haven’t met my sister yet.”

“Hey, Sam! Hi momma!” Peter greeted over Loki’s shoulder, giving her a quick peck on the cheek.

“Hi, Mrs. Stark!” A girl stuck her head in, bags strung over her shoulder.

“MJ, how lovely to see you. I tell you every time you are here to call me Loki.”

“Yes, but my main goal is to create anarchy and listen to no one’,” MJ said deadpan.

“That is the correct answer, good girl.”

“Can you teach me more about witchcraft this week?”

“I’d be delighted to.”

“Cool, you really are like the best person in my life, gonna take our stuff up to Peter’s room. Catch you later. Peace!”

“Who is this?” Tony asked.

“This is Sam my bo- “

“BOYFRIEND? WOOHOO!” Tony shouted enthusiastically before calming. “Peter told me you were bringing… Sam? Right?”

“Yes, sir. It’s nice to meet you all.”

Fenrir grinned and strode over to his mom, Tony and Sam beginning to chat quickly about something. “Thank you.”

“For?”

“Everything. I love you.”

“Fen, what brought this on?”

“I don’t know, I guess I was somewhat scared.”

Loki’s smile fell, she quickly pulled her son into her arms. “Fenrir. It’s always you and me, right? There is nothing you could ever tell me that would change that. I will always be here.” She reaches up to her hair and pushes it back around her ear, revealing the strands of their hair braided together. Fenrir reaches up and touches it.

“Thanks again. I probably should go save Sam from dad. Is Hela home yet? “

“Not yet, should be any minute.”

“Alright, I love you, Ma.”

“I love you Fenrir.”